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A Battle of the Browsers | Volume 3

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October is winding down and you know what that means—Earnings Reports!

Microsoft runs a ton of different products, and their FY21 Q1 earnings report reflects the success they have all seen – even Teams is taking off, surpassing 115 million daily active users. 

  • $37.2 billion reported in revenue, a 12% increase from the last fiscal year 
  • $13.9 billion reported in net income, a 30% increase from the last fiscal year
  • $15.9 billion reported for operating income, a 25% increase from the last fiscal year

Teams has been a star for Microsoft, which is what they need right now since Bing can’t seem to get it together. A study by Barry Schwartz identified that Bing is having search indexing issues. 

If you are a part of the 2.83% of Bing’s market share – don’t worry they are working on a fix! 

Shopify strikes up a new deal with the content creation platform TikTok.

Shopify is known for being a trailblazer with its ability to lock in great partnerships ahead of the curve – curious to see how this app grows in terms of eCommerce.

Before we get into that, here’s a peek at what’s to come

  • Bing is struggling with indexing and Google is undergoing an antitrust lawsuit – where does leave us? Time to dust off the encyclopedias and brush up on our guerilla marketing techniques. 
  • From humble beginnings as an online bookselling platform, Amazon is once again spreading its offerings further away from books with a restructuring of Audible.  
  • Facebook is expanding its abilities as a social network and increasing its translation services to benefit global connectivity.   


Shopify Strikes Again Securing a New Platform for Partnership

On Tuesday of this week, Shopify struck a deal with the content creation platform TikTok. 

Only a few months ago Shopify was discussing its partnership with Facebook to create a unified & personalized shopping experience across all of Facebook’s platforms. On the same day, they launched Facebook Shops to help businesses sell their goods online directly from Facebook’s platforms. 

It is a risk to venture onto TikTok for ecommerce since it has yet to be validated as a platform for selling goods, especially B2B or SaaS products. 

But in the age of influencers, and TikTok being the influencer training ground – this is a justified risk to take. From the Facebook partnership, Shopify impressed us all with their Instagram click-to-shop feature, and that technology would be a great advantage to TikTok.

Shopify is able to pitch and position itself to a range of companies in order to develop highly strategic partnerships.

At the end of the day, Shopify is an all-in-one eCommerce platform that powers business’ online stores – through partnerships they have expanded into new fields and have reached a larger audience: all of the registered businesses on Facebook.  

Developing and growing from its base as an eCommerce platform, Shopify continues to seize opportunities to expand its service offering and show the world what Shopify can do. 

Partnerships open the doors for: 

  • Additional revenue streams
  • Expansion for the product line 
  • Expansion on the geographical reach
  • Additional resources shared between partners
  • Acquiring new customers through joint promotions 
  • Access to new technology and information sharing 

Everybody needs somebody, at least sometimes, and that is the same for businesses. Occasionally businesses will hit a point where they can’t grow any further on their own and look to partnerships in order to increase the value they offer.  

 

Key Takeaways

  • Partnerships not only work to expand revenue they increase opportunities around an expansion in alternative ways
  • Shopify is trailblazing in establishing partnerships to create new avenues for its service 
  • Partnerships are a unique opportunity for growth 

Is Google Getting Punished for Popularity?

How many of you are Microsoft users? 

Now, how many of you downloaded Google Chrome immediately after starting up your PC? 

Most of us do. 

And even if we don’t download the entire browser, we are likely going to set up the default search engine to be Google. Do we do this for any other reason than user experience and familiarity?

No offence to Bing, but we don’t hear people saying “Hold on while I Bing that” – if we heard that, we’d think you’re talking about Chandler, not search engines. 

In fact, 2006 saw google added to the Oxford English Dictionary as an actual verb – making “google” the kleenex of the web.

Looking at the market share for each search engine – Google is the default browser on Chrome, Safari, Firefox, and Samsung Internet, leaving Bing to run as the default only on Edge and Internet Explorer. Making it fair to assume that users are comfortable using Google and won’t want to switch away from it – people trust in Google and the results it brings.

According to the Department of Justice’s lawsuit, Google is paying Apple $12 billion a year to appear as the default search engine on Safari and this deal sits at the heart of the case.

Up until 2017, Bing was the default search engine for Siri, but because Google was already the default engine in Safari it made the most sense to remain consistent and replace Bing with Google for Siri searches. And the $12 billion played a persuasive role.   

So what: the Department of Justice is arguing that Google has been unfair to the other search engines by paying for their position as the leading search engine – harming innovation and limiting the opportunity for other engines to rise up. 

Under traditional antitrust laws, Google is considered a monopoly; however, users on any browser have the ability to change from Google to any search engine provider they choose. 

So what’s stopping them? 

On top of the familiarity, users are drawn to Google for a suite of reasons… 😉

Those who use a GSuite account, be it business or personal, are going to favour running Google as their search engine because of the connectivity across devices and browsers. 

If the DOJ succeeds in passing this lawsuit and finds Google guilty, we will lose access to Google ads which has a 70% market share. Plus, we will lose access to the search habits and information surrounding all of the Google users. 

If you’re getting flashbacks to the 2001 case surrounding Microsoft, you’re not alone, this is a similar situation. Presumably, this case will also drag on for some years to come. 

Let’s enjoy Google while we can and prepare for the worst by googling alternative search engines and ad services.  

 

Key Takeaways: 

  • Google is under fire for creating a monopoly in search engines 
  • Google is the preferred search engine by most users – it became an actual verb in 2006
  • If the antitrust doesn’t fall not in Google’s favour, marketers will need to become versed in other search engines
  • It’s possible that this is a demand monopoly and not one that has been masterminded by the provider

Amazon Turns Audible into a Full Blow Podcast Hosting Service  

Speaking of brand expansion, Amazon is entering podcast hosting pandemonium! 

Through Audible, Amazon is providing free podcasts to anyone with an Amazon account – transforming Audible into more than just an ebook provider. Sadly for Amazon, they are coming in a little bit late to the game and offering podcasts that are already available to users on Spotify and Apple Music. 

Currently in the preview phase, its catalogue contains 100,000 free podcasts and they are available through its new podcast landing page

As a value-added for Audible, they are creating a subscription plan called Audible Plus. This plan grants listeners access to original audio content at a cheaper monthly subscription fee than Audible’s. 

Though the lower cost comes with user disadvantages; Audible Plus members don’t receive credits to download audiobooks, which is an attractive feature within Audible’s ebook membership. 

For double the cost of Audible Plus, users can upgrade to Audible Premium Plus. That plan provides users access to the podcasts Plus catalogue, as well as, one credit per month that can be applied to any piece of Audible’s content. 

Expanding service offerings into complementary fields will boost revenue and improve their middle of the funnel process as exclusive podcast offerings will pique interest. 

Podcast marketing has been growing since 2018, with a dip in growth occurring in 2020; trends suggest a large jump in podcast marketing spend for 2021, predicted to grow by 44.9%.

This doesn’t mean that podcast marketing is the best route to go after – but creating podcasts that promote your brand and offer valuable content to your audience will benefit your brand & increase revenue from hosting advertisements. 

Podcast marketing can be as simple as remixing a blog post, pulling out the content from your highest quality blogs and recording a discussion around the topic. This way you are getting in front of those who prefer to listen instead of reading.

Key Takeaways

  • Amazon is backing podcasts and trying to break into the space 
  • Podcasts are a great way to expand your brand awareness
  • Podcasts can increase revenue streams through ad space

OTHER NEWS OF THE WEEK: 

🌲For years people have been saying you will be working in a field that doesn’t exist today, that is exactly the case for the Australian co-founders behind Linktree, as it “Raises $10.7M For its Lightweight Link Centric User Profiles” 

🤖 AI and ad tracking go hand in hand, as eCommerce continues to be a high performing industry. It is no surprise that “SimilarWeb raises $120M for its AI-based Market Intelligence Tool” which, similar to DDA, follows the user journey from ad to conversion. 

💲Venmo isn’t allowed in Canada, yet “PayPal Launches New Service Enabling Users to Buy, Hold and Sell Cryptocurrency” I wonder when the Great White North will catch up. 

BRAIN FOOD OF THE WEEK:

Facebook undergoes 20 billion translations a day on their news feed, however, these translations have always had to make a pitstop in English when translating between two non-English languages. 

Now Facebook AI has open sources for its multilingual machine translation model, which can translate a pair of 100 languages without going through English. Facebook is ready to help us target any market

“Facebook argues that direct translations between languages capture more meaning and outperform English-centric systems by 10 points on the BLEU metric.”

TWITTER THREAD OF THE WEEK:

Marketing for Need or Want by Thomas @Concept2Brand

ALBUM OF THE WEEK:

SATURATION II by BROCKHAMPTON (Best Track: SWEET


Originally Sent Out Thursday, October 29, 2020. Stay up to date with all of our latest findings by subscribing to our newsletter today.

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