Analyst Opinion – It’s been two-and-a-half years since Google bought YouTube for $1.65 billion. At the time, the 18-month-old online video sensation was struggling to figure out how to convert its immense popularity into sustainable revenue. It’s still struggling. Which begs the question: Will Google’s patience eventually wear out?
It’s a valid question. Figures just released by Credit Suisse project $711 million in YouTube-related operating costs through 2009. A relatively paltry $240 million in ad revenue leaves parent Google $471 million out of pocket. As the deepening recession continues to send advertisers scurrying for cover, it’s increasingly clear that these numbers won’t improve anytime soon. How much longer can Google keep footing the bill?
Storing and distributing all those videos of kids making fools of themselves in their backyards and pets destroying the house isn’t cheap. While some conventional media providers have toyed with charging subscriptions, I doubt anyone would pay to see teenagers falling off their skateboards. After four years of free YouTube, users feel entitled, and will quickly find other ways to share teen-skateboard videos if YouTube initiates subscriptions.
Sprint’s new ad campaign, What’s Happening, is making some serious waves. The ads are brilliant examples of effective marketing and great presentation design.
Sprint spent a lot of money building a new 4G network and had to figure out how to show it off. They could have taken the traditional approach and created a campaign that explains the network’s new features (e.g. “you can transfer so many megabytes per second on our new network!”), but in reality people don’t care much about features — they care about benefits.
My favorite example of selling benefits instead of features was when Steve Jobs first introduced the iPod in 2001. He didn’t describe the iPod as a “4GB music player”; it was “a thousand songs in your pocket”. Big difference.
Sprint clearly understands the power of selling benefits because instead of focusing on what their network can do, their campaign demonstrates what people can do on their network, and on an incredible scale.
The ads are slick examples of how proper pacing, dynamic visuals, and the right amount of humor can make a fact and data driven presentation extremely compelling to watch. You’ll definitely find inspiration in these videos for new, creative ways to present your data in future presentations.
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Chandramouli Mahadevan shares his experience about Indian Language usage in composing emails …
It’s hard for me to imagine going without email for a day. It’s such an easy and convenient way to communicate with my friends and family. However, there was one limitation that bothered me: my family members and friends who prefer to communicate in Hindi did not have an easy way to type and send email in their language of choice. I am extremely happy to announce the launch of a new feature in Gmail that makes it easy to type email in Indian languages.
When you compose a new mail in Gmail, you should now see an icon with an Indian character, as the screenshot below shows. This feature is enabled by default for Gmail users in India. If you do not see this function enabled by default, you will need to go the “Settings” page and enable this option in the “Language” section.
When you click the Indian languages icon, you can type words the way they sound in English and Gmail will automatically convert the word to its Indian local language equivalent. For example, if a Hindi speaker types “namaste” we will transliterate this to “??????.” Similarly, “vanakkam” in Tamil will become “???????.” We currently support five Indian languages — Hindi, Tamil, Telugu, Kannada and Malayalam — and you can select the language of your choice from the drop-down list next to the icon.
We built this new feature using Google’s transliteration technology, which is also available on Google India Labs, Orkut, Blogger and iGoogle. I hope you find this feature useful to communicate with those of your friends and family who prefer to write in their native language, and it will be available soon to businesses and schools using Google Apps. Now back to replying to all those Hindi emails I got from my family and friends today!