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Goin’ Mobile: Some Stats and Tips for Mobile Marketing this Holiday Season

November 22, 2011 Marketing No Comments

Digital marketing has always offered seemingly endless permutations of what one can do. This is, in fact, one of its chief allures and has kept me occupied for more than 15 years always chasing the next, (hopefully) most effective trick in the book. However, this very boundlessness is also quite often a trap, one into which all marketers — present writer included — fall from time-to-time.


Forgetting  the fundamentals and failing to see a tactic through to its effective pinnacle; or, often, missing an opportunity altogether in favor of a bright, shining object or flavor of the week is all too easy to do.

With the Holiday season upon us, I’d like to spend a moment on an oft-discussed but, in my humble opinion, completely under-exploited medium. Mobile. Specifically, the mobile web – as opposed to OS-specific apps. With so much focus on search and social, we marketers often fail to realize the media through which these activities are increasingly being performed by our beloved end users.


Image Source: GetElastic/ThreatMatrix


Wait, that last one… what? It makes me feel less alone. But… wow!

We all know that mobile usage is skyrocketing. We all know that search drives discovery and purchase. We all know that social media is huge and that a great deal of that social activity occurs on mobile devices. Having a search strategy or a social strategy without taking into account mobile is akin to having a great face for radio.


So, what’s a time-pressed, Tweeting, Facebooking, SEO-ing, SEM-ing music marketer to do? Well, there’s a  typical response: “Let’s build our own app!”

No. Unless you have a compelling reason to do so, this is likely your poorest ROI choice.

I’ve been trying to focus on fundamentals and leverage the activities that are already a part of my strategy. Perhaps this approach might work for you. Some examples:

When tweeting, ensure that the destination URL is mobile friendly. Or, tweet twice: once to a web destination, once to a mobile destination and denote which is which. Ditto for Facebook posts.

Assume that a good percentage of your audience is on a connected mobile device — and not necessarily via a speedy Wi-Fi connection. Walk a mile in their shoes. How’s the experience? If it’s lame, don’t send them there. Create something else.


Use a WordPress plug-in to make your site or blog mobile-friendly. It may not win you a design award but, unless you’re running a design firm, that shouldn’t be the goal anyway.

Use a plug-and-play solution like Songpier to build a music-specific mobile destination site. (Conveniently for clients of The Orchard, Songpier is a Marketplace partner. I highly recommend taking the few minutes to build a few for your priority releases.)

Straightforward, highly-functional mobile pages will get the job done. Use tools that make it easy for you and useful for your mobile end user. After all, mobile commerce is expected to go through the roof this holiday season. And the last thing a good marketer wants to do is a miss a good look or leave a sale on the table – or on the (small) screen.

AT&T + T-Mobile: Mission Accomplished?

September 6, 2011 Industry Trends No Comments

This week the US Justice Department moved to block the proposed merger between AT&T and T-Mobile. T-Mobile offered itself for purchase due in part to a lack of a 4G strategy which had them facing massive network upgrade charges to remain competitive as most operators in the US roll out 4G service.


If the merger is successfully blocked, here’s who loses:

T-Mobile – no 4G strategy, facing massive network upgrade charges

AT&T – a reported record-breaking $6B (15%) breakup fee

AT&Tthe top donor to Congress, money not so well spent if it can’t get what it wants

Apple – loss of the massive auto influx of customers under the AT&T umbrella, meaning that if it wants to reach T-Mobile customers, it will have to do a separate deal


And the winners:

Sprint – it never wanted this to happen anyway, plus, it may get the iPhone 5 in October

Consumers – greater selection of smartphones

Android – T-Mobile doesn’t carry the iPhone and for the near future the best phones available are the high-end smartphones like the recently announced Samsung Galaxy S2

Clear – a fledgling/struggling 4G provider in the US, backed by Comcast, Google, etc.  They are Sprint’s 4G service provider and now that T-Mobile is without a 4G strategy, there’s a clear opportunity to provide service to T-Mobile


For a brief history lesson, you can find the Ma Bell family tree after the historic breakup of AT&T in 1984 right here.

More Partners Partnering: Google + Motorola Mobility

August 22, 2011 Industry Trends 1 Comment

As a content provider in the music industry, we are seeing more and more of our partners partnering. And now Google has stepped into the arena in a big way by acquiring Motorola Mobility. This is a natural progression for them as they continue to grow their Android footprint. It’s a bit tricky though, as they are now competing with several of the partners they license the Android platform to… aka some expensive relationship-calming dinners are afoot! But it ultimately allows them to make a smartphone that fully integrates hardware and software design from the ground up.

Now with Microsoft exclusively using Nokia as their manufacturing arm for Windows Mobile devices, and Apple using their own as a closed system, where does this leave other manufacturers like HTC, LG or Samsung? All of these hardware kings make sophisticated devices that own significant shares of the smartphone market and almost all (and soon-to-be all) make more than just phones as we are seeing the tablet market grow larger everyday. Will they find partners also or will they try to spread across the few offerings that are left?

And is this good or bad for the music business? Will it help to grow the market or will it close off accessibility and make customers choose their system of preference like when  you had to choose between iPod + iTunes, Zune player + Microsoft Zune, and P2P Network obtained mp3s on a Sansa player?! I think the former. Once Google integrates with Motorola, they’ll have already established distribution through a number of wireless carriers, as well as being able to sell online. Then couple that with the Google Music cloud-based music service. It’s still only in beta mode, but embedding a music service into a mobile phone built from the ground up for that purpose is compelling. Of course, they’ll need a wireless operator to complete the play.  But if they can close that loop, get their licensing in place to offer the original fully on demand streaming service they envisioned, and then add tablets and set top boxes to the mix, the access points grow, the market grows, and so does revenue for the music business.  Apple finally has some company, and the music industry can finally give them a formidable competitor. Exciting times!


About The Orchard

The Orchard is a pioneering music, video and film distribution company and top-ranked Multi Channel Network operating in more than 25 global markets. Founded in 1997, we empower businesses and creators in the entertainment industry.

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