Big Data: Amazon Set To Sell Advertisers On Its Trove Of Consumer Buying Data

amazon-featured The world’s largest online retailer is now positioned to expand its advertising services. MIT Technology Review reports that after relying on third-party technology and ad exchanges over the past year, Amazon has developed its own in-house advertising platform. Amazon has an unrivaled bank of data on online consumer purchasing behavior that it can mine from its 152 million customer accounts. The company knows what millions of people actually buy or are intending to buy and it can now give salivating advertisers a way to target ads based on that data. While Amazon has not commented, the MI [...]

‘Amazon Pages’ Let Brands To Express Themselves & Enhance Their Amazon Presence

Amazon-Pages Marketing on Amazon just became a whole lot more appealing for brands. New, customizable, pages are coming for brands that not only allow brand managers to update the look/feel, but also the messaging to customers. The new brand pages will allow brands to feature products,  post messages, and view analytics. Once a brand is registered on Amazon, they can choose from the following templates: All Products Posts with Merchandising Posts Only Each of the template features a large "hero widget" that looks similar to Facebook cover photo or Twitter Header image. The new look is m [...]

Cash-Strapped Euro Governments Look To Online Giants For Additional Tax Revenues

tax-money-180px Google, Facebook, Twitter and even Starbucks are being criticized and investigated for what several European governments consider to be tax avoidance. In the UK and France in particular Google is under scrutiny. And earlier this week a French newspaper (albeit like the satirical Onion) reported that French authorities had served a whopping EUR 1 billion tax bill on Google. Google has denied that it has received such a bill. Google's practice of billing advertisers and running profits through its Irish subsidiary, which is legal, allows the company to minimize taxes. According to a Reuter [...]

iPad Mini A Great 7-Inch Tablet, But Price A Success Barrier

ipad-mini-featured Yesterday at the Apple iPad Mini launch event I had a chance to play with the smaller Apple tablet for about 10 minutes. It initially did look and feel to me, contrary to the statements of Apple SVP Phil Schiller, like a "shrunken iPad." However it was also immediately clear, as has been pointed out several times in other "hands on" reviews, that this is the best small tablet now on the market. Apple may have built the best-quality 7-inch category tablet but the ultimate success of the Mini is far from certain. Why? Its price. I have been harping on this for several months. Yesterday Dan [...]

The Tablet Pricing Spectrum: Kindle Fire To Nexus 7 To iPad Mini

kindle-nexus-ipad-mini-featured As expected, Apple announced its new iPad Mini today. One of the key areas being watched was pricing. For the seriously price conscious, the iPad Mini doesn't look to be a game changer. Comparative prices below, along with technical specs pitting the iPad Mini against its rivals. Much was made during the event about how the experience of using the iPad beats Android tablets. The Nexus 7 was even used as a comparison of this. The Nexus 7 name was never said, but it was shown side-by-side with the iPad Mini. No doubt, many will choose the iPad over the Nexus 7 or other mini-tablets just f [...]

Schmidt’s Choice: He’d Take Apple CEO Spot Over Amazon & Facebook

Eric Schmidt Once CEO of Google, now executive chairman, if Eric Schmidt could become CEO of Apple, Amazon or Facebook, which would he choose? Asked during an on-stage interview with Walt Mossberg and Kara Swisher from AllThingsD, Schmidt went for the one with the most cash, Apple. The question came from an audience member at a 92Y event today in New York, where Schmidt was being interviewed. Schmidt responded that he'd been on the board of Apple and would always a special spot in his heart for Apple and plus "they have more cash." He then said each company had different challenges, though he [...]

Kindle Ads: The Amazon Bait & Switch

amazon-trap-money-featured Nowhere in the promotional messaging yesterday for the new "Kindle Family" of tablets did Amazon mention the fact that Amazon "Special Offers" and full-color "Sponsored Screensavers" (read: ads) will show up on the lockscreen. This program was initiated originally to bring down the price of the entry level Kindle eReader, which costs $69 today. Purchasers of those devices were given the opportunity to buy out of the ads by paying the difference in price between the ad-supported and non ad-supported version of the Kindle. However yesterday we learned that all the new Kindle tablets will feat [...]

Upgraded Kindle Fire Now $159, New “HD” Tablets Also Aggressively Priced

Kindle Fire HD The Amazon Kindle event just concluded without a smartphone announcement. But there were a bunch of new tablets introduced. I'm not going to go through all the specs; Danny's live blog presented some of them and Techmeme is loaded with blog posts that detail screen resolution, battery life and so on. However what struck me about the announcements was the pricing. Amazon now maintains that in its new Kindle Fire HD line it has created the "best tablet" in the market at any price. And at the end of the presentation Amazon CEO Jeff Bezos slammed Apple by name, arguing that the better busine [...]

Amazon Introduces “Paperwhite” Kindles & Three Versions Of Kindle Fire HD

amazon-icon Today Amazon announced new "Paperwhite" models of its Kindle ebook reader as well as a new Kindle Fire HD edition of its tablet, a version available in two sizes and one with 4G LTE support. Below is my live coverage of the news. See also our more formal story, Upgraded Kindle Fire Now $159, New “HD” Tablets Also Aggressively Priced Here we go, video of the TV commercial that Amazon aired last night showing: [youtube][/youtube] Jeff Bezos comes out. "We love to invent. We love to pioneer. We even love going down alleys that turnout [...]

Yes Virginia, There Will Be An Amazon Kindle Smartphone

According to a Bloomberg report that first appeared last night Amazon is going to release a smartphone, probably this year. There are no details about its operating system but one assumes it would be a customized version of Android, like the Kindle Fire tablet. The Bloomberg story also says that the phone will be made by iPhone maker Foxconn in China. The acquisition by Amazon of 3-D mapping company UpNext last week added fuel to the "Amazon is making a phone" meme. However Amazon smartphone rumors have been circulating since before the release of the Kindle Fire tablet. Danny speculated [...]

Seven-Inch Tablet Category Heats Up With Nexus 7, Coming Kindle Fire 2 And Rumored iPad Mini

Samsung has built a range of Android tablets: the 5-inch Galaxy Note, and the 7, 8+ and 10.1-inch Galaxy Tabs. Almost none of them have succeeded save the 7-inch version, which has sold modestly well mostly in Europe. In the end, however, there will be two tablet sizes: 7-inch and roughly 10-inch versions. Apple owns the larger category and until last week Amazon's Kindle Fire dominated the smaller category. But with the release of the Nexus 7 at the Google developer conference, Mountain View now "owns" the 7-inch category. The NY Times' gadget reviewer in chief David Pogue loves the Ne [...]

Google Shows Nexus 7 Tablet, Media-Streaming Device “Q” At Developer Conference

Nexus 7 tablet As expected Google unveiled a $199 7-inch tablet at its developer conference, Google I/O, this morning. The "Nexus 7" tablet is made by ASUS and comes in a WiFi only version (so far). Presumably there will be other versions later that offer more memory and/or carrier support. The deep integration of Google's content store, Google Play, together with its $199 pricing makes the Nexus 7 a direct and formidable rival to the Kindle Fire. An updated Fire is anticipated some time in July. But in comparison to the current Kindle Fire the Nexus 7 looks better in almost every imaginable way. I h [...]

Google (7-Inch) Nexus Tablet Finally Arrives

Image Credit: Gizmodo [caption id="attachment_15261" align="alignright" width="240" caption="Image Credit: Gizmodo"][/caption] It was something of a non-secret that Google would be launching a 7-inch tablet this week at its developer conference, Google I/O, in San Francisco. However we get an early look (apparently) at the device courtesy of Gizmodo Australia and CNET. What's being reported is that there are two models: a 8GB unit that will cost $199 and a 16GB model coming in at $249. The hardware maker is apparently (as rumored) ASUS. However the tablet will be branded Google Nexus according to reports. [...]

Judge Declares Illinois’ ‘Amazon Tax’ Unconstitutional

affiliate-marketing In a big victory for affiliate marketers, an Illinois judge has declared that a state law allowing Illinois to collect sales tax on online sales by out-of-state companies -- a law sometimes called the "Amazon tax" -- is unconstitutional. According to a news release from the Performance Marketing Association (PMA), the judge ruled that having affiliates in Illinois doesn't establish a legal presence, or nexus, inside Illinois for tax purposes. The judge also agreed with the PMA's position that the 2011 state law is premature because of a federal moratorium on Internet taxes that runs through [...]

Amazon, Nevada Agree On Sales Tax Collection

amazon-logo Nevada is the latest state to reach an agreement on sales tax collection with -- news that should be welcome by affiliate marketers in the Silver State (and elsewhere). As Internet Retailer reports, Amazon will start collecting sales tax on items purchased by Nevada residents on January 1, 2014, or sooner if the federal government passing a law that lets states collect sales tax from online merchants. The agreement is very similar to one announced earlier this year between Amazon and the state of Indiana. The news is good for affiliate marketers because it should mean they [...]

Android Market Becomes “Google Play,” Reflects Google’s Multiplatform Content Aims

google-play-featured Android Market is dead. Long live Google Play! Today, Google announced that it is changing the name of its Android Market to Google Play, a move it hopes better reflects that the marketplace now offers more than apps, with content like books, video and music available even to those who aren't using Android. "This is really an acknowledgement that these experiences are relevant not just for a mobile environment but across the web," said Jamie Rosenberg, Google's director of digital content. Google's March To Selling Content Over the past year or so, Google has been ramping up how i [...]

Google’s Smartphone Dominance, Tablet Weakness And Surprising Mobile Ad Numbers

Screen shot 2012-02-27 at 5.53.16 AM In the event you weren't aware the mobile trade show Mobile World Congress is happening in Barcelona, Spain this week. I'd probably be attending but for SMX West starting tomorrow in San Jose, California. The European show is mostly about hardware, carriers and devices, a larger version of CTIA here in the US. Yesterday there was a ton of new device news out. HTC, Sony, LG and Huawei released new tablets and handsets. Without exception those devices are powered by Android. Android Handset Growth: 300 Million Served Earlier this morning Google released some new (and impressive) Android act [...]

Why Necessity Will Soon Make Facebook The World’s Largest Mobile Ad Network

Screen shot 2012-02-01 at 4.02.58 PM As widely anticipated Facebook filed its S-1 to go public today, and interesting fact emerged. Facebook -- out of necessity -- will soon become the largest mobile ad network in the world. Throughout the S-1 Facebook makes reference to mobile. It sees mobile as both a threat and essential to its future growth. (Last year I argued that Facebook would be the largest mobile ad network in the US if it had mobile ad units.) More than 400 million mobile users Previously the company said that it had 350 million active mobile users. In the filing today it identified 425 million monthly active use [...]

Pew Data Underscore The Challenge Of Smartphone-Based “Showrooming” For Traditional Retailers

Screen shot 2012-01-30 at 6.23.16 PM It has been known for some time that is much as 82 percent of smartphone users (InsightExpress, 2010) consult their iPhones and Android handsets in stores as part of on-site shopping research. Last year Google said that 70 percent of US smartphone owners did price research and looked up product reviews in stores. And this morning the Pew Internet Project released survey data echoing the earlier findings but offering some additional color and insight into mobile shopper behavior. The Pew data, drawn from a survey during Q4 last year, offer numbers that are somewhat more "restrained" than the [...]

Affiliates Get A Win: Amazon Will Collect Sales Tax In Indiana

amazon-logo Amazon has agreed to begin collecting sales tax in Indiana, marking a rare win both for affiliates and U.S. states. The company and state announced the agreement Monday, a deal that requires Amazon to collect sales tax on internet purchases on January 1, 2014 -- or 90 days after any federal legislation on internet sales tax is enacted, whichever comes first. Several U.S. states -- looking for ways to regain sales tax losses as commerce shifts online -- have pressured Amazon to begin collecting sales tax, citing the company's affiliates as evidence that Amazon has a presence inside their [...]

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