Diginews - 1 blnth mouse - Amazon music - Pizza chain's mobile com success - Oodle to power Facebook classifieds - P&G DTC - AOL's Playsavvy.com for parents



Logitech makes one Billionth mouse
Logitech's description comes at a time when analysts claim the days of the mouse are numbered. "It's rare in human history that a billionth of anything has been shipped by one company," said Logitech's general manager Rory Dooley. "Look at any other industry and it has never happened. This is a significant milestone," he told the BBC.

Amazon MP3 will sell tracks from 59p and albums from £3. The new music store will offer more than 3 million songs that will work on any digital music player, including Apple's iPod. The move puts Amazon in direct competition with Apple for a stake in the growing market of online music sales, which in Britain alone was worth an estimated £163m in 2007.

It turns out yesterday's news about former AOL CEO Jonathan Miller trying to gather money to buy Yahoo was false. Miller has been raising money, but it's for his own venture capital firm, not for buying Yahoo. Miller's firm is Velocity Interactive Group and it does invest in digital media.

If GM Has a Brand, It's General Misery. Company Has Eight Brands, but No Brand Messaging. It seems to me that the fundamental nature of Detroit's Japanese competition is its ability to build brands. Toyota stands for reliability, Scion for youth, Prius for hybrid, Lexus for luxury. But what does Saturn stand for? Or Chevrolet? Or Pontiac? Or Buick? Or Cadillac?

This is the title of this very interesting 34-slide presentation on Google prepared by FaberNovel, a french consulting firm. It is hard to realize the real nature of this just 10 years old giant given the number of services it has continuously released, updated (and sometimes shut down) or acquired. This presentation gives a great overview of the company's overall strategy and the reasons it has become what it is today.

What is interesting about this deal is that Oodle already powers the classifieds on MySpace. Even though Facebook and MySpace are archrivals, this makes sense because in classifieds scale matters. The more listings and the more people seeing those listings, the better. Classifieds so far have failed on Facebook because they have not been reengineered to be more social. Oodle should take a look at iList, which tries to make listings go viral by letting friends promote your listings for you.

Industry forecasts call for 5% to 7% of consumer packaged goods purchases to be made online over the next five to seven years, according to Joe Quinn, Procter & Gamble's director of global e-commerce. So P&G has taken a $7.5 million, 1% stake in a British online grocer that it hopes will help it learn more about direct sales to consumers over the Internet, David Holthaus reports. P&G has been supplying Ocado -- whose 150,000 users click up annualized sales of about $500 million -- since 2000. The investment, however, gives it "an opportunity with a small, nimble company to learn to better communicate with consumers and deepen our knowledge of Internet shoppers," says P&G spokesman Damon Jones. "We see their business model as a fertile testing ground for new ideas."

P&G's presence in direct Internet sales has been relatively small, but it does sell directly through a site called

Google began placing a thumbnail image or banner ad alongside image searches in October, in an experiment that was restricted to U.S. advertisers. Now, image searches show three paid search listings in a yellow box, similar to the AdSense ads that appear on Google's regular web search.

By 2013, the number of email marketing messages sent annually is expected to reach a high of 838 billion, according to a July report by Forrester's Julie M. Katz. Despite the low cost and the potential for high returns, Katz warns that by the end of 2009, consumers will have become increasingly immune to marketing pitches sent by email as a result of the high volume of such messages.

In the latest development, the McClatchy Co. said it will share foreign news stories written with The Christian Science Monitor. The deal does not pose an immediate threat to the AP, as McClatchy CEO Gary Pruitt confirmed in late October that the newspaper group is staying in the organization, which is collectively owned by 1,400 newspaper members.

Parents hit with pre-holiday pleas for "Grand Theft Auto IV" and other hot video games have a new source for sorting out which are appropriate with the launch of PlaySavvy.com from AOL. A complement to the Web portal's game-focused properties, the new site offers parents a guide to games, from ratings and reviews to connecting with other parents about making informed buying decisions.

Pizza chain Papa John's International Inc. has generated more than $1 million in sales from mobile Web orders in less than six months after offering that option to consumers. They earlier launched a Facebook page that quickly attracted 175,000-plus fans in less than a week. The mobile commerce push led to the introduction yesterday of an iPhone site for Papa John's.

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