Apple and Shazam Combining AI Technology



A Tech Match Made In Heaven

When a giant in the tech world like Apple makes a purchase, everyone knows. Buying a company that provides artificial intelligence capable of recognizing any song, movie, TV show or commercial by just hearing a snippet is an ultra cool move.

Apple and Shazam Combining AI Tech

Rodrigo_Jay / Pixabay

The Shazam acquisition appears to be a big hit. Amazingly, Shazam launched almost 20 years ago and the company maintains that at least one billion people have downloaded its app, using it to identify songs and their artists approximately 30 billion times.

The way Shazam works is that it uses a smartphone or computer’s built-in microphone to gather a brief sample of audio to create an acoustic fingerprint. It then compares it against a central database to find a match, which is sent back to the user with potential data about the artist, song and album title.

Shazam and Monetization Problems

If Shazam is so popular, why did they decide to sell their service to Apple?

Although Shazam emerged as one of the most popular smartphone apps on both Android and iOS, with around 1 billion downloads as of last year, the company struggled to find a viable business model, which restricted its revenues to just about $54 million in 2016. While Shazam initially started off by earning commissions from digital music services, who paid it for downloads of songs that users identified via the app, the company also branched off into advertising, leveraging its media recognition technology.

See the full post here:  How Apple’s Shazam Acquisition Fits Its Broader Strategy

It’s not like Shazam and Apple are strangers to each other. iPhone virtual assistant, Siri, and Shazam are old friends. As of 2014 and iOS 8, all you have to do is press the home button to wake Siri up and ask her what song is playing.

Android users have to settle for tapping the icon to “Shazam a song,” although Google has announced it will be incorporating it into the Google Assistant sometime in the near future.

Integration of Apple and Shazam with AI

Back to Apple’s purchase of Shazam and how they plan to integrate AI deeper into Siri, possibly being able to suggest similar songs based on a recent Shazam. This video provides more about the acquisition:

Apple’s CEO, Tim Cooke, has high aspirations for his company to be a leader in AI and machine learning. In an interview with Emily Chang on Bloomberg Studio, he refers to an Autonomous Artificial Intelligence (AI) system that could power multiple platforms, including run our smart homes and drive our autonomous cars.

Apple’s Secretive Plans For Autonomous Vehicles

Apple has been rather mysterious about their AI advances for self-driving cars, but the program seems to be picking up steam. Apple’s Director of Artificial Intelligence Research, Ruslan Salakhutdinov, spoke about some of the company’s recent developments in machine learning and how they may be applied to other areas such as drones, warehouse assistants, and search robots.

In this post, Mr. Salakhutdinov shares more concerning their plans to integrate AI and road safety:

Wired reports that Salakhutdinov spoke before a group of AI experts at the end of this year’s Neural Information Processing Systems (NIPS) conference Tim Cook, Apple CEOin Long Beach, California. There, he spoke about how Apple is using machine learning to analyze data to from a vehicle’s cameras. He talked about techniques used in a recently published study on the advances that the company has made in using AI to detect pedestrians and cyclists using LiDAR. But he also revealed efforts on some other projects: software that uses a car’s cameras to identify objects such as cars and pedestrians, as well as the drivable lanes on the road. He also showed off images that demonstrated how the system performed even when camera lenses were obscured by raindrops, and how their software could infer where pedestrians were, even when they were obscured by parked cars.

See the full post here:  Apple’s AI director on advances in machine learning for its self-driving car project

Apple has been investing heavily in augmented reality technology, and since Shazam launched a visual recognition engine in 2015 followed by an augmented reality platform in March of this year, it seems like a good fit for both companies.

Other major players like Facebook are using AI in ways that could be very valuable, such as for suicide prevention. Check out this recent post on how Facebook is using artificial intelligence to prevent suicide.

Apple and Shazam combining AI technology will benefit both in multiple ways by incorporating their broader AR and AI technologies, which many envision as the future of computers and science.


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Are You Using Progressive Web Apps?



Building Your Mobile Presence

Finding your online niche in a world with 1 billion websites is the veritable needle in the worldwide haystack. To stand out and be noticed is a major feat, requiring either a lot of advertising money and/or mad-scientist-know-how to understand the algorithms and find a loophole in the rules.

Progressive Web Apps

geralt / Pixabay

Most business owners don’t have the resources when it comes to building their mobile brand. It isn’t that they are clueless, but it comes down to a time management factor that keeps them from digging into the unknown with big data and innovation.

Utilizing mobile applications (apps) are one way to help an overworked business owner stay on top of aspects such as online customer service and brand building, at the same time providing more value for their customers. They can also help manage their company’s budget, finances, and mobile payments, just to name a few.

Exactly How Many Apps Are Available

The number of mobile apps that are accessible is immense:

This statistic contains data on the number of apps available for download in leading app stores as of March 2017. As of that month, Android users were able to choose between 2.8 million apps. Apple’s App Store remained the second-largest app store with 2.2 million available apps.

Read the original post here:  • App stores: number of apps in leading app stores 2017

Progressive web apps

mohamed1982eg / Pixabay


According to the above-post from Statistica, the average time spent each day accessing online content from a mobile device is approximately two hours. The Millennial generation alone average is 185 minutes. Over three hours of their day is consumed by their phone or tablet!

Capitalizing on this behavior should be an influential part of all business decisions. One method for accomplishing this is to utilize progressive web apps.

What is a Progressive Web App

If you aren’t familiar with what a progressive web app is, they are applications that offer an experience which combines the best aspects of the web along with the advantages of mobile apps. They work for every user, no matter what browser they are using, because they are built with progressive enhancements and are responsive to all types of devices, including mobile, tablet, laptop, and desktop.

Combining the capabilities of apps and the reach of the web is the key to helping users get what they want. With reliable performance, push notifications, and the ability to have a launch icon on a phone’s home screen, these apps are more engaging which in turn offers a better conversion rate.

The stat that today there are 1 billion mobile Chrome users every month compared to 400 million one year ago is information that cannot be ignored…especially considering Chrome is only four years old.

The difference between a mobile website and an app is difficult to understand for the average user. Most people just want their experience to be seamless, no matter what the platform.

A summary of the contrasts is in the following post:

Mobile Websites

Mobile Websites vs Mobile Apps

FirmBee / Pixabay

A mobile website is usually not a separate website, it’s a responsive design that works for all screen sizes. Mobile visitors should be able to access most of the content you have on your full website, but in a way that is optimized for smaller screens.

Mobile Apps

Mobile apps can do things websites can’t, like push notifications and offline access, but they also have cons. They aren’t necessary for some people, for example if you are a casual mommy blogger you probably don’t need an app. However, many businesses can benefit from one, let’s look at the pros and cons.

See more about the pros and cons here:  Is a mobile app better than a mobile website?

Keeping your organization visible to your customers at all times will preserve your company in the forefront of their mind. Every time they unlock their phone, even if they aren’t going to your app, they will see your icon on their mobile screen to remind them you are still there.

Providing a direct marketing channel to your products or services not only improves engagement but builds your brand. Create loyal clients by giving them what they want: an amazing online experience they won’t forget.

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Facebook is Using Artificial Intelligence to Save Lives



AI-Based Suicide Prevention

With increasing evidence that social media can influence suicide-related behavior, Facebook is stepping up their game by using artificial intelligence to save lives. Using an algorithm to find disturbing and worrisome posts can shave off critical seconds in contacting help, and the social media giant is becoming proactive in their detection.

The fusion of the technology and social interaction is relatively new considering Facebook was founded in 2004 but didn’t catch fire until around 2010. The popularity of social media sites has increased rapidly and with it came a whole new type of bullying:  cyber-harassment.

It seems people are bolder when they aren’t face-to-face with their victim and instead they hide behind their online persona of their digital device.  As of 2015, the suicide rate among teenage girls ages 15 to 19 hit a 40-year high, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

Between 2007 and 2015, the rates doubled among girls and rose by more than 30 percent among teen boys.

And just this past week, researchers in the U.K. published similar discoveries in a study on self-harm that showed a dramatic increase in the number of adolescent girls who engage in it: Self-harm rose 68 percent in girls ages 13 to 16 from 2011 to 2014, with girls more common to report self-harm than boys (37.4 per 10,000 girls vs. 12.3 per 10,000 boys).

See the original post here:  Is Social Media Contributing to Rising Teen Suicide Rate?

Not only has cyberbullying caused an increase in suicide rates, but some desperate individuals have used sites like Facebook to actually live stream their attempt to kill themselves. With 2 billion users, it is virtually impossible to monitor all streaming video but this new method of prevention is a step in the right direction.

In 2016, Facebook rolled out tools to help prevent suicides by allowing other users to flag a message as one that could raise concern about suicide or self-harm. The recent update using AI can reportedly find these same posts quicker and cut down on the time it takes to provide resources.

Facebook will also have more humans looking at posts flagged by its algorithms. According to Engadget, the new AI tool has already “pinged over 100 first responders about potentially fatal posts, in addition to those that were reported by someone’s friends and family.”

Comments such as “Can I help?” and “Are you okay?” are an obvious indication that someone is having trouble, and these are being immediately flagged by the new system. Earlier today, CEO Mark Zuckerberg put out this statement:

If you read the comments following the above post, there is a discussion that artificial intelligence can be used for more than preventing suicide, but also for flagging conversations concerning potential terrorist attacks. However, some people feel that it is rather invasive to our privacy and question whether it is necessary.

The new tool will not be used for countries in the E.U. where their privacy laws are more strict, but it is being rolled out worldwide as of today.

With all of the concern that AI could eventually cause the end of mankind, it is really good to see it being used in a positive way. The tools represent a big step forward in getting help to individuals who are in a dark place as well as possibly preventing someone from hurting others.


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Comparing Google Assistant To Google Now



Upgrading To A Better Assistant

Voice-activated digital assistants are everywhere these days, and one of the new kids on the block is the Google Assistant. Unveiled in May 2016 at Google I/O, it is a voice-controlled smart assistant that is considered to be an upgraded version of Google Now.

Comparing Google Assistant to Google Now

Kaufdex / Pixabay

Google Now, which was released in 2012 in an attempt to compete with programs like Apple’s Siri, was initially a way to get a user’s relevant information based on location, time of day and the user’s mobile calendar in order to provide intelligent answers and recommendations. It also delivered information based on your search habits and app history, which to many seemed somewhat invasive but also offered a lot of power.

Google Assistant takes invasive and powerful to a whole new level. This post gives an idea of what to expect when comparing Google Assistant to Google Now:

Google Now is convenient for when you want to use the power of the Internet and your mobile device without actually picking it up — like Siri and Cortana, Google Now offers hands-free accessibility from the lock screen with the command, “OK, Google.” But while Google Now can look up everything you need to know on Google, and access information in your personal Google accounts, it doesn’t really get to know you, and that’s where Google Assistant comes in.

Read more here:  The difference between Google Now and Google Assistant

Features of Google Assistant

Google Assistant is more engaging, with the ability to participate in two-way conversations. You can get Google Assistant on a wide range of phones, including the Galaxy S7, LG G6 and other devices running Android 6.0, but even more surprising is that iPhone users can also download an iOS version of Google Assistant.

Not only can it assist with scheduling and unlocking your phone, its newest features include the ability to identify objects and gather visual information through the device’s camera as well as support purchasing products and sending money.

This video demonstrates some cool tricks with Google Assistant:

What Else Can Your Assistant Do?

Besides being a skilled vocalist, your Assistant will be able to identify any song currently being played. Not only that, the app will provide information about the song, including title, artist, lyrics, through Google Play Music, YouTube links, or any third party apps installed on your device.

Google has plans to take over the market when it comes to artificial intelligence-powered virtual assistants on mobile devices. Between Google and Chinese search giant Baidu, they plan to boost their market shares by 31% and 75% respectively by the year 2022.

According to an article from Business Insider:

Devices running Google Assistant account for 46% of the smartphones equipped with personal assistants, but by 2022, Google will expand its market share to exceed 60%.

One of their most impressive features is the introduction of what Google calls “multi-surface conversations.” This refers to interactions between the Assistant on a mobile device and Google Home, the smart speaker developed by Google.

The following post offers an example of how this might work:Google Home

An interaction begins on a Google Home device and is then sent to a smartphone for completion. The example Google provides is food ordering that begins on Google Home, with the payment transaction concluding on a smartphone. For relatively obvious reasons, this could be a boon to travel and e-commerce transactions on Google Home.

See the full post here:  Google aims to make apps for Google Assistant more functional and discoverable

As mentioned in the above video, using Google Assistant in conjunction with IFTTT will be a huge time saver. With a little bit of effort, your assistant will help you be more efficient, productive, and organized.


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Welcome To Facebook Local App



A Replacement For The Events App

Facebook is rebranding its Events app as “Facebook Local”, which will help users find activities based on friends’ advice as well as info on Facebook business pages and their reviews, all by people you know and trust.Welcome to Facebook Local App

Launched this week on Android and iOS in the US only, another goal of the app is to make it easier to find out what location or event your connections are interested in attending.

Facebook introduced the Events app just last year as a way to combine a calendar with happenings going on around town, but it wasn’t a big hit. So they are giving it another shot, and it goes right along with a statement made by Mark Zuckerberg in February of this year: “Facebook stands for bringing us closer together and building a global community.”

This new app is similar to Yelp and Foursquare, and since it is completely separate from the original Facebook app, you won’t be distracted by all of the images and videos on your timeline.

Navigating The New App

At the bottom of the screen, there are three icons:

  1. Home
  2. Map and search engine
  3. Calendar

The home screen offers three tabs:

  • For You
  • Events
  • Guides

Within each tab is a ton of links for ways to search.  This post offers more detail on these sections:

Local Restaurants and Shops

MichaelGaida / Pixabay

The Local app is divided into three sections. The home screen offers quick searches for restaurants or drinks, plus a running list of events happening nearby that you might be interested in. (Mine’s currently enticing me to head to an Elf On The Shelf Scavenger Hunt, a Holiday Bubbly Walk, and a tree lighting. Happy holidays, everybody!) You can also see which events your friends have expressed interest in, in case you want to tag along.

The second section is just a map and a search engine. You can search for “coffee” or “Thai food,” sort by “open now,” a lot like Yelp. At a quick glance, it’s not quite as complete a database as Yelp’s, nor does it have as many reviews or ratings, but it’s a pretty useful tool. Where Facebook starts to differentiate is by letting you search “comedy” and “literature,” and sort by “late night,” to find something to do after dinner. Places plus events makes perfect sense, and nobody has both as completely as Facebook. The third tab is just your calendar, initially populated by Facebook events you’ve responded to but also including whatever calendars you want to give it access to. It’s a shockingly nice calendar app, actually.

See more here:  Facebook Local Might Be the Only Facebook App You Need

See For Yourself

To give you a quick tour of what the app looks like, I created the following video. I typed in my hometown. It a quiet little place in Colorado, but it populated plenty of upcoming events and places to go.

The Facebook Local app shows the local weather at the top and as mentioned in the previous post, there is a calendar link that allows you to schedule upcoming activities, invite friends, and share it to your feed.

Some people are a little perplexed as to why Facebook chose to make it a standalone app as opposed to integrating the information into the main Facebook app. I personally appreciate the escape from all the noise happening on my Facebook timeline, allowing me to focus only on events and places.

As previously mentioned, Facebook’s main app is saturated with so much information, images, and videos that it is almost difficult to navigate. This does simplify searching for events to attend and places to go.

According to The Verge, the local product manager for Facebook, Aditya Koolwal, said in a statement,  “The new app, Facebook Local, helps you easily find what to do, where to go, where to eat, or what you need — all recommended by the people you know and trust, ”

The question of how and when Facebook will monetize the new app remains to be seen, but since it is set up for people searching for local businesses on their mobile device, it is a given that there will be competition for attention in the advertising space.

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Increasing Brand Awareness With Educational Video Content



Choosing The Right Video Marketing Strategy

Utilizing video for teaching, learning, communication, as well as promotion is paramount in today’s high tech environment. For marketing departments, it isn’t just optional any longer…it’s a must-have strategy.

Increasing Brand Awareness With Educational Video Content

TeroVesalainen / Pixabay

One of the most searched keywords is “how to…”, and many individuals and companies have jumped on the bandwagon to offer their advice on a particular topic in order to elevate the perception and recognition of their brand.

If a company’s image can come across as helpful and generous, providing valuable information, then giving away some information might seal the deal with a consumer making a purchase.

Finding a happy medium between giving away too much information, effectively rendering a product or service unnecessary, but still providing enough instruction to highlight a company’s good will and level of knowledge is a delicate balancing act.

According to the Huffington Post, the key to boosting your brand awareness via video is to be genuine:

Every day more and more people watch videos about products they’re interested in and decide to buy them because they watched their video. That’s why video marketing has become this huge thing for startups. Forget about going viral. This is more about sharing with the world what you are all about, and in those 90 seconds [hopefully] you’ve got their full attention. And that’s a score!

How to make the most out of those 60 to 90 seconds of full viewer glory: Be Yourself, Everyone Else is Taken.

See the full post here:  How to Use Video to Boost Your Brand Awareness

Measuring Video Engagement

Knowing exactly what the lasting impact of a video for your brand is difficult to nail down. Engagement metrics are one approach because they provide various insights.

The number of views and likes shows an element of how engaged the audience is. How many shares across social media is another method of measuring a video’s success.

More important than any of the above is the length of time spent watching a particular video. In the following clip, the narrator discusses how much brand awareness increases the longer the video is viewed:

One big difference between promotional videos and how-to videos is that the person searching for the latter is on a mission. They want to learn more about a specific topic, so they will be more engaged.

Someone that views a promotional video advertisement is a whole different story. If they choose to watch it as opposed to skipping the ad, that is a great way to measure their interest, but our topic is increasing brand awareness with educational video content.

Attracting An Audience With Educational Content

YouTube’s Director of Family and Learning, Malik Ducard, had this to say about the importance of educational video content:

Perhaps that explains why learning and educational content have exploded on YouTube in recent years. There are 500M views of learning-related content on YouTube every day. People aren’t just watching—they’re engaging: 1M learning videos are shared every day. These viewers are learning from a library larger than the Library of Congress. And unlike that library, this one is global: Over 50% of learning-related videos are uploaded outside of the U.S.

See the original post here:  What brands can learn from educational content on YouTube

How to videos on YouTube

geralt / Pixabay

Mr. Ducard went on to share three things brands can learn from educational content on YouTube:

  1. Lead with entertainment, or “edu-tainment”
  2. Get specific with skill-building content
  3. Find your format: teach-along, learn-along, animation, and more

When given a choice, most people will pick video over text every time. In fact, viewers retain 95% of a message when watched as a video compared to 10% when reading.

So, if you want to be remembered, tell your story, be genuine and add value for your viewers.




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Cloud Computing and SMBs



Managing Small to Medium Sized Businesses in the Cloud

One facet of starting a new enterprise in today’s world requires building a framework to store, study, retrieve, transmit, and manipulate data. Small and medium sized businesses (SMBs) are often overwhelmed by a lack of expertise, resources, and time restraints when building their digital foundation.

Cloud Computing and SMBs

geralt / Pixabay

Most people utilize cloud computing daily without even realizing it. Checking your banking information via your phone is cloud data. Social media updates and digital calendars are also part of the cloud.

For businesses, the need to develop hardware and software resources is critical in scaling your growth so you can easily increase your customer base and handle surges in demand. That is where cloud computing and SMBs have to converge.

Three basic uses of cloud computing:

Virtual IT (Information Technology): Configure and utilize remote, third-party servers as extensions to a company’s local IT network

Software: Utilize commercial software applications, or develop and remotely host custom built applications

Network storage: Backup or archive data across the Internet to a provider without needing to know the physical location of storage

See the full post here:  What is Cloud Computing and How Do You Use It?

When you compare cloud computing to on-premises computing, in which all of the digital information and resources are accessed and managed from your place of business, there are some definite advantages and disadvantages to both.

For example, onsite computing allows information and resources to be accessible only at that particular location, where cloud computing is available anywhere there is an internet connection and on any device.

With cloud computing there are security and privacy issues, which can be a problem with the local servers as well, but by leveraging a remote cloud based infrastructure, you are basically outsourcing everything you have.

This video provides a good overview of the pros and cons of cloud computing for smaller businesses:

Besides their incorrect usage of the word “premise”, the video does make some good points for deciding if the cloud is right for your organization.

Will You Save Money With Cloud Computing?

As mentioned in the video, the costs for maintaining the network hardware, network infrastructure maintenance, and labor are incurred by the cloud provider. This savings can be beneficial to a business start-up because the cost of having your own IT infrastructure can be quite expensive.

The price to use a cloud service is determined by the amount of space a business will require to manage their clouding computing needs. The main three aspects that are figured into this space are:

  1. Network
  2. Compute
  3. Storage

Here is an outline of how these three costs are calculated:

Network: Cost per Rack Unit When setting price, cloud providers determine the expense to maintaining the network. They start by calculating costs for

costs of cloud computing

wynpnt / Pixabay

network hardware, network infrastructure maintenance, and labor. These expenses are added together and then divided by the number of rack units a business will need for its IaaS cloud.

Compute: Cost per GB of Virtual RAM Each organization has a unique set of requirements including use of CPU. Most providers calculate the cost of CPU by determining the respective company’s cost per GB of virtual RAM.

Storage: Cost per GB of Virtual Disk Storage costs are similar to compute costs. The provider calculates how much it costs to operate your storage hardware and acquire new hardware for your storage needs.

See the full post here:  How the Cost of Cloud Computing is Calculated

After the above quote is estimated, there are still additional shared costs, such as the power required to run the system and cool it, possible software licenses and hosting.

Another environmental benefit of using the cloud is that you eliminate the need for onsite servers and the cost to cool them, which helps to erase your carbon footprint. You do have rely on the cloud provider to keep you up and running, but most cloud-based services are aware of how to mitigate these risks.

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Building A Successful Mobile Campaign



Mobile Video Consumption

Boosting your brand and increasing sales in today’s world requires reaching  people on the go, especially the 18 to 34 year-old crowd. On average, 98% of millennials report using their smartphone to watch video content, and they are much more engaged via mobile than when watching the same content at home on TV.

Building A Successful Mobile Campaign

Pexels / Pixabay

One element is that when individuals are out and about, they are usually watching video for a specific purpose, such as searching for information on a local business or learning more about a subject they are excited about. If they come across your video when searching, you have to grab their attention quickly.

That is why the creation of bumper ads are catching on.  These short six-second ads are great for driving brand awareness, but you have to master the art of micro-moment experiences. You can check out our blog titled What Is A Bumper Ad in this recent post.

Building a successful mobile campaign requires a well-rounded marketing strategy using a variety of mediums, with video at the top of the list. No matter the mode, though, you have to provide meaningful, helpful content that your viewers will want to share and then revisit your site to learn more.

One of the first keys to setting up a profitable marketing plan is understanding your target audience:

Understanding your audience is the first step to any marketing strategy, and buyer personas are a valuable tool to aid in that understanding. Buyer personas are simply fictional representations of your various types of customers. Create a profile that describes each one’s background, job description, main sources of information, goals, challenges, preferred type of content, objections, and/or role in the purchase process. It is easier to determine a channel and voice for your marketing messages when you have a clear picture of your target audience.

Make a specific point to detail your target audience’s mobile habits as well. How much of their web usage happens on mobile devices? Are they comfortable completing a purchase on a smartphone? A simple way to start is to research big data reports on mobile usage.

Read more here:  What is Mobile Marketing? Overview & Resources

Tug At Their Emotions

Emotions play a huge part in consumer behavior, so using humor, joy, shock and awe are especially effective with creating a catchy video. Video creators are masterful at utilizing words, music, and captivating visuals to help trigger your emotions.

Check out these ten popular video marketing campaigns that went viral, and they all used emotions to make it happen:

Practical Video Content

Helping people figure out the solution to a problem is another important way to reach your audience. That is why “how to” and “tips for” are searched so regularly.

Many people are visual learners and that makes watching how to do something much easier. In fact, says that four times as many customers would prefer to watch a video about a product, rather than read about it.

The amount of time spent on mobile is somewhat mind boggling. When you consider that many people don’t even use a desktop or laptop computer any longer, but instead do most of their work on their smartphone or tablet, it makes you realize the the phrase “mobile friendly” isn’t a suggestion…it’s a necessity.

If you want to see this in real time, just to give you the full impact of the urgency for a mobile marketing campaign, click here:

Infographic via

Get your mobile game strategy in gear and reach out and touch someone! It’s not just the future of marketing…it’s what is happening right now.  If you need assistance with your online exposure, give our digital marketing experts in Denver a call. (303) 800-6866

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What is a Bumper Ad?



In the realm of online marketing and video, change is constant. One such case in point is the bumper advertisement.

What is a bumper ad? Also referred to as snackable content, it is a six-second video that is short and sweet but still grabs the viewer’s attention, many times coming in a string of several short, related ads.

Why such a short promo? There are several reasons, but the main factor is the bombardment of competing video content trying to reach people who are hit with thousands of messages a day from every direction.

How much media is consumed by the average person?

What is a bumper ad

geralt / Pixabay

Thanks to multitasking (and our method of accounting for it, explained in a moment), US adults’ average daily time spent with major media will slightly exceed 12 hours this year, according to eMarketer’s latest report, “US Time Spent with Media: eMarketer’s Updated Estimates and Forecast for 2014-2019” (available only to eMarketer PRO subscribers).

But while our reports early in the decade told a story of robust gains—with increases in digital usage more than compensating for declines in time spent with nondigital media—growth has been petering out.

See the full post here:  US Adults Now Spend 12 Hours 7 Minutes a Day Consuming Media

Even though that sounds like a lot of time spent online, they are considering the fact that many people are on more than one device at the same time. For example, someone watching TV will many times be surfing the net on their smartphone, and both count separately.

Telling a Captivating Story

The days of the 30- and 60-second advertisements being forced on viewers are pretty much over. If an ad contains a good enough story to keep the attention of the spectator, then it might work.

However, it is a fine line between keeping an onlooker’s attention and raising brand awareness for your company. That is where the bumper ad comes in, but it isn’t easy to create an effective ad experience in such as short time period.

This video offers some tips, plus it is pretty entertaining to watch:

So how do you make your brand unskippable? That is the million dollar question! According to Google Adwords, a bumper ad must be six seconds max and nonskippable to fit into that category.

How To Create A Bumper Ad

The temptation with a bumper ad is to try and pack everything in all at once. This can result in the message being lost because of over stimulation. Instead, these ads often work well in mini segments or in conjunction with a related TrueView ad campaign, which is a skippable format.

Stand Out from the Competition

ColiN00B / Pixabay

The trick with bumpers, of course, is to maximize your 6 seconds. It’s natural to want to try and do a little bit of everything, to literally cut your 15- or 30-second spot and capture everything it once had in 6 seconds. But that’s not how to succeed. Frankly, it’s impossible, and you end up drowning your message in a sea of noise. Rather, success comes through creating a series of vignettes and stringing them together. Don’t try to focus on three elements in 6 seconds. Instead, create three distinct ads that each focus on one element. In addition, voiceovers, music and emotion — particularly comedy — play particularly well in bumpers. When these things are combined, the message becomes clear. Short-form messaging has also allowed brands to take more chances and be more creative with longer-form Trueview content because the purpose each ad serves can be definitively divided: one for reach and awareness, the other for deep-level engagement, etc.

Read more here:  The 6-Second Impact: Bumper Ads Explained

Popular social platforms like Snapchat, where a video can only be 10 seconds long, are part of the logic behind this push. Marketing to the younger generation is on every marketing agency’s agenda.

Even Facebook has recently announced their intent to experiment with shorter ads, coming at a time when they are planning to debut some original video programming. Breaking up a video campaign into shorter chunks that are interconnected is part of the six-second era of advertisement, and if the giants of the industry are on board, we all better be ready to morph into the six second era.




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Top Streaming TV Options



Saying Goodbye To Traditional TV

More people than ever are cutting the cord from the traditional TV programming that forces you to subscribe to hundreds of channels just to be able to watch three or four of your favorite shows. It is not only young people that want to choose their own lineup of programs; even baby boomers are becoming more finicky and streamlined.

Top Streaming TV Options

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Not that long ago there was really only one online streaming option: Netflix. Today, though, there are a number of competitors that want your eyes on their programming, which is lowering the price and expanding viewers’ choices.

Not only are internet connections faster, but with all the video devices available and the growth of the mobile market, services like Netflix, Amazon Prime and YouTube TV are investing a lot of money in what they offer their subscribers. Some aspects to consider are:

It’s more complicated now, with Netflix battling other well-known subscription services, such as Amazon Prime and Hulu, as well as with upstarts including Acorn, DirecTV Now, and Sling TV. If you only watch a few movies or shows each month, it probably makes more sense to opt for a pay-per-view service, such as Amazon Video, FandangoNow, or Vudu.

But if you do watch a lot of programs or movies, or you’re looking to cut back on—or cut off—your pay TV service, subscription services make the most sense. They offer up an all-you-can eat buffet of streaming content, often at a price well below what most of us spend each month for pay TV.

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So how do you decide which is best for your situation? Getting over-the-top internet television services is what most cord cutters are looking for.  Some offer DVR services, some offer more channels, and some lower prices, but how do you know which one is your dream stream?

This video gives tips for their opinion of the top streaming TV options, and you might be surprised at their choice for the #1 alternative:

What is the big hubbub about PlayStation Vue?

As mentioned in the video, PlayStation Vue is an online video service from Sony that has over 400,000 subscribers to date.  With a monthly subscription, you get a load of live TV channels, including ESPN, ABC, and Fox along with DVR features and on-demand programming, all available on a variety of Internet-connected devices.

With TV, sports, movies, and news live and on demand, some of PlayStation Vue’s main features include:

  • Cloud DVR with unlimited storage

    PlayStation Vue Streaming Service

    WikimediaImages / Pixabay

  • No annual contracts or extra fees
  • Stream on up to 5 supported devices at the same time
  • No PlayStation console required
  • Receive tailored recommendations
  • Personal DVR on up to 10 profiles

The bottom line for many is “How much is it going to hurt my bank account?”:

How much does it cost, and what’s included?

Pricing for PlayStation Vue depends on the availability of live local broadcasts, which in turn depends on where you live. In markets that include live feeds from most or all major networks—that is, ABC, CBS, NBC, and Fox—service starts at $40 per month. Everywhere else, Sony offers “Slim” packages starting at $30 per month, with ABC, NBC, and Fox offering on-demand video. (Find out live local channel availability by plugging your zip code into the Vue website.)

PlayStation Vue FAQ: Everything to know about Sony’s cable TV alternative

I love that PlayStation is morphing into the future, considering gaming consoles aren’t as hot of an item as they used to be. There are so many great gaming apps available on mobile devices, so kudos to Sony PlayStation for “moving their cheese”.

Internet streaming services are substantially lower in price than the big cable providers and along with the capability to subscribe to your favorite shows, there’s no doubt that traditional TV providers are concerned.  The ultimate decision on cable vs. streaming services doesn’t have to be black and white, but be sure to shop around and find a package that fits your specific needs.

from S&S ProServices
via S&S Pro Blog