SHANGHAI Sony BMG China has signed a content partnership deal with Shanghai-based digital hip-hop music service Dai-Biao to host and promote its artists.
HONG KONG Pacific Coffee is stepping up its brand battle against Starbucks with the launch of Asia's first digital media network at its local outlets.
BEIJING The Interactive Advertising Bureau is launching in China, with Google, Baidu, Tencent and CNET involved as prospective partner members.
Yahoo is beginning to feel a little pressure. After being pipped by Google for internet darling YouTube, the brand then reported disappointing results for the third quarter of 2006.
Johnson & Johnson's Clean & Clear's (C&C) online BlogPetz push has almost doubled its database of young consumers.
The 'metaverse' could redefine Asia's digital game
You'd be forgiven for wondering whether the regional boss of the maker of one of the most obsessively-used gadgets invented is a bit of an obsessive himself. Because you'd be right.
Just two months into her role as Sony Pictures Television International's (SPTI) Asia-Pacific director of mobile entertainment, Rosemary Tan fancies herself as a bit of a chef.
Hong Kong-based mobile telecommunications service iMagic has rolled out its MyClick platform in China, to cater to growing demand from advertisers. MyClick, which transports consumers from a page in a magazine (or any other medium) to an advertiser's online homepage via a mobile phone, has performed strongly in Hong Kong since its May launch, according to iMagic Systems CEO, Rupert Purser. "There has been pressure from our Hong Kong advertisers, because they've been saying 'our main spend is over there, so that's where we want you'," he said. MyClick, which requires that consumers download software onto the phone, has already been used by a number of brands in Hong Kong, with several in China already confirming their involvement, including Coca-Cola, Northwest Airlines, Estée Lauder, Intel and Shanghai Volkswagon. "It offers engagement with the consumer, interactivity and measurability. People don't like to be sold to, and they want more excitement in the process," said Purser.
A US court has ordered Google to pay a US$90 million settlement to advertisers in a click fraud case. Is the situation under control in Asia-Pacific?
As leading publishers in the region race to transform themselves into cross-platform content providers, the podcast and its big brother, the vodcast, have emerged as the new, new thing. The reason is simple: the technology is (relatively) new and sexy - and the most likely consumer to download a pod, or vodcast, research shows, is young and affluent - just the kind of audience that newspapers traditionally have most trouble attracting and hanging onto. The question, however, is this: does this brave new world of audio-visual content promise to generate new revenue streams, or is it just added value for an increasingly discriminating audience? 1. So, what exactly is a podcast? And why is it so cool anyway? While the term 'podcasting' is drawn fromApple's iPod, other portable MP3 media players are equally able to play a podcast. The term 'podcasting' was created by ex-MTV presenter, Adam Curry, who created an Applescript application that made the process of downloading audio files to iPods automatic. Podcasting is simply offering audio - and, in the case of vodcasting, video content - on demand, to be downloaded and consumed later. 2. The reason podcasting has created such a stir is that it is a cheap way to expand the means of content delivery for traditional media. Anyone with a mic and a computer can quickly and easily create an audio package for distribution via the internet. 3. As well as giving readers more choice in the way they consume the stories they're interested in, podcasting gives advertisers an opportunity to create highly targeted pieces of communication. There's the ability to sponsor a regular themed podcast, or to create radio-style ads of five or 10 seconds that can run at the beginning, end, or during a podcast. 4. The fact that consumers have to click to download a podcast means it's easy for advertisers to see how many people are accessing their ad; the problem is that at the moment they don't know how many of those people actually listened to it, or how many times they listened to it. On the plus side, though, there's a wealth of information to be gleaned from compiling audience profiles of podcast users. Knowing which podcasts, and which online content items, have been clicked on by an individual reader or user will certainly be of value to advertisers, in the same way that Amazon can estimate what you might like to buy based on what you've looked at before. 5. Numbers of users aren't really that big, however, and exponential growth isn't generally forecast. Recently however, a Nielsen//NetRatings study showed that in the US, more people have downloaded a podcast lately than have published a blog, or engaged in online dating. It found that 6.6% of the US adult online population - or 9.2 million web users - had downloaded a podcast within the last 30 days; four percent, or 5.6 million users, had also downloaded a video podcast, or vodcast. 6. While the absolute number of podcast downloaders is still small, they remain an attractive bunch of people. Those most likely to download podcasts are, generally, young - usually under 30 - well-educated males with higher-than-average incomes. They're also extremely busy, which makes them difficult to target via traditional media. 7. For print publishers and their advertisers, it is unclear whether podcasts will have real staying power and not just novelty value. It seems uncertain whether consumers who don't already consume a newspaper, whether in print or online, will start doing so because they can download podcasts. The added choice for existing consumers may well help retain readers, though, and there are clearly opportunities for media owners who can generate desirable podcast content to generate ad revenue. 8. The real appeal of podcasting probably lies more in its potential. Automatically generated podcasts, based on consumers' pre-selected preferences, are on the horizon.The ability to download on the move, via a mobile phone, will also make the technology far more appealing.
Joanne Bradford has been given the challenge of transforming the software giant on a global basis. By Sharon Desker Shaw
Nissin Foods has overhauled its online image, creating a trendy, youth-oriented website for its two key brands, Demae Itcho and Cup Noodles.Developed by eCrusade, Nissin's website - www.nissinfoods.com.hk - has been restructured for better usability, targeting business users accessing the website for corporate and product information, as well as consumers seeking updates on Demae Itcho and Cup Noodles."The original website was informative with company and product details, but lacked strong consumer relevance and brand communication. There was not enough updated content to drive revisits," said Venus Lee, director at eCrusade. "We have expanded the image to be more young and trendy, appealing to teens and young adults."Lee said the site's section on Damae Itcho, which targets younger consumers, now allows users to navigate cartoon character and brand ambassador Chung Chai's house. "There are different sub-sections; for example, games can be accessed via the house."Nissin is tipped to roll out an online campaign to promote the new site shortly.
The search engine giant is stretching its wings online and blurring the lines between old and new, as James Murphy reports
SOUTHEAST ASIA Samsung has taken an aggressive digital approach for the launch of its latest MP3 player, the Z5, after research showed that consumers relied on the web and magazines to help them make their purchase decisions.
Three microsites - created by Stereotype Design, a local interactive shop - have been launched for the debut of its slimmest MP3 offering, which was designed by Paul Mercer of Apple iPod fame.
The first microsite features an interactive showcase of the product.
Samsung has also launched an interactive guide and a Music Mix microsite, which lets consumers mix their own music and upload it onto their phones. The latter was recently named an Adobe Acrobat 'Site of the Day'.
Samsung's regional brand director Edwin Koh explained that the brand was banking on technology and design to position itself as the innovative leader and differentiate itself from the market leader in the style stakes, Apple's iPod. "Our main target audience is the premium seeker: 20- to 30-year-old working professionals who want an MP3, which they can carry to the office and which would suit their professional attire," he said.
Omnicom is moving to strengthen its integrated offering in China with the roll-out of its digital unit, Tribal, in Shanghai.
Chinese consumers with WAP-enabled mobile phones will be able to access movie previews and information at the touch of a button, following a deal between mobile media marketing company 21 Communications and Warner China Film HG Corporation (Warner China).
Johnson & Johnson's Vision Care division plans to increase use of online and mobile media across the region following better than expected product trial results for its 1-D Acuvue Moist disposable contact lens launch in Hong Kong.
Levi's has ramped up its digital presence in Malaysia with an online push targeting young consumers, its first such drive in the country.
The Singapore Institute of Management (SIM) has launched an online game to tap into a digital pool of potential students.