February 2, 2006

Major League Baseball (USA) is using RSS feeds for direct marketing…

Filed under: Direct Marketing — Administrator @ 12:21 pm

For the record, we’ve been in favor of leveraging RSS feeds for “permission based” direct marketing for some time. This is what they’re doing at 1Diantong, a Shanghai based direct marketing/loyal start-up.

However, not everyone is happy that advertisers are piping marketing down RSS, for example, Joanna Hicks, a blogger running Empyreal Environs, is a bit, well, pissed-off at Major League Baseball (USA) for taking “advantage of RSS for advertising purposes“.

Okay, I can understand that unwanted adverts are intrusive (that’s why I don’t have any on my site), however to say RSS, as a channel, should not be used for direct marketing is going too far.

Pumping permission based marketing campaigns through RSS feeds is brilliant, especially when organized in an aggregator, such as NewsGator. Think of how an OPML Reading List is organized – same same but slightly different…

AOL, Yahoo, Goodmail, and email spam…TAKE 2!

Filed under: Direct Marketing — Administrator @ 9:04 am

Two days ago, we touched upon AOL and Yahoo’s move into paid email spam with Goodmail — as a follow-up, today, Brad Feld from Mobius Venture Capital talks about this as well — his post is a bit more detailed and insightful.

As a word of caution, Brad is an investor in Goodmail’s competitor, Return Path. Things are spicing up!

February 1, 2006

Gaming at any cost…or…at any profit?

Filed under: Gaming — Administrator @ 4:42 pm

CNN reports that the Los Angeles attorney’s office has sued the makers of highly popular “Grand Theft Auto: San Andreas” for allegedly hiding mature material inside the video game, officials said.

Since being introduced in 2004, Grand Theft Auto has sold more than 13 million units, generating about $700 million in retail sales. Compare this to China’s gaming industry (year-end 2004) which generated US$391 million, of which Shanda and Netease accounted for 39% and 19%, respectively. Morgan Stanley sees China’s gaming revenues expanding at a 3 year CAGR of 37%, eventually reaching US$1.8 billion by 2010.

Okay, so what is your point? Why bring this up? If Grand Theft Auto, a single game, can generate over US$700 million (a little less than half of Morgan Stanley’s 2010 China gaming estimate of US$1.8 billion) in less than two-years, it might be safe to say that as China’s gaming industry matures we can expect even more impressive numbers coming out of China (i.e. Morgan Stanley is low balling it) — furthermore, over the next several years, I believe the line between what is acceptable and what is not acceptable (i.e. mature content in video games) in the “Gaming Universe” will continue to blur — especially given Grand Theft Auto’s success (i.e. give the public what they want, not what is good for them)…

As a final point, I’m not condoning the mature content embedded in Grand Theft Auto, but there is no denying that this is big business, and if mature content sells, well, most likely it is here to stay (whether hidden or not). It is going to be interesting to see how this develops in China — where major Internet and mobile companies earn over 50% of their IVR revenues from mature content — from both a regulatory (the State) and a moralistic (the Investors) standpoint…

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