Getting back into the usual routine, the first week of the year is often full of ecommerce, digital and media news and this week proved no exception. Here’s a quick round up of the stories that caught my eye over the last 7 days.
Rail fares go up at the start of each year and we seem to get the accompanying “why?” news stories every year too. However, 2016’s 1.1% UK rail fares rise pales into insignificance next to Twitter’s mooted move to increase its 140 character limit to 10,000. Despite the ensuing panic and negative reactions, Twitter streams themselves are in reality likely to remain the same, as Slate pointed out, with a “read more” or similar call to action taking you to any expanded content. It will be interesting to see how this pans out; this new development is predicted to go live within 3 months.
Sainsbury’s reported £1bn offer for Home Retail Group (owner of Argos and Homebase) has been all over the news this week too, a story of particular personal interest, having spent 8 enjoyable years previously working within Argos’ ecommerce operation. Opinion has been divided on the wisdom of Sainsbury’s bid but this Internet Retailing article provides a good take on the rationale behind it; namely Argos’ multichannel expertise plus the ongoing threat from Amazon, especially notable with their plans to expand Amazon Pantry in the UK this year. With Home Retail having firmly rejected the first bid, Sainsbury’s are reported to now be mulling over making a new, improved offer.
Across the pond, the Consumer Electronics Show (CES) in Las Vegas seems to start earlier and earlier each year, showcasing this year’s shiny new toys and gadgets, with the “Internet of Things” again highly to the fore. This Fast Co Design round-up highlights 7 “best ideas from CES” (and I personally can’t wait for a robot helicopter taxi), but most headlines were driven by Netflix and their announcement that they were launching this month around the world in 130 more countries. This means Netflix is now available globally in more than 200 countries, a target they had previously set for the end of 2016 as I looked at in my last blog. Not a bad start to 2016 to hit an ambitious year end target in the first week, I would say.
The first week of the year also typically brings with it more “what to expect this year” predictions. Media Guardian’s comprehensive “2016 – the year ahead” section included useful thoughts on digital advertising (alongside more traditional fare such as TV and radio) and the likely impact of adblocking before concluding “expect the usual stratospheric figures for ad spend growth on mobile, and in video”. Digital media was also examined, in particular looking at Vice’s move into traditional TV. For another look at what 2016 may bring, my “6 for 2016” blog unsurprisingly has 6 more forecasts for the coming year.
Finally, Tom Fishburne was on typically good form with his take on New Year resolutions, filtered through a marketing lens which I am sure will resonate with many...
Lead blogger and founder of Clear Digital: talking about ecommerce, digital, marketing and media.