FWM Digital Bytes

Digital news from FWMWelcome to FWM Digital Bytes, where we look at all the biggest digital marketing and digital media news doing the rounds. This week, Amazon gains on Google, YouTube hits a milestone and Apple is very, very, very rich indeed…

Amazon gains on Google
With the success of the Kindle, Amazon enjoyed one of their biggest ever years in 2011 and that looks like it’s going to continue into 2012. The online retailer has been named the second most-trusted brand in the UK, with YouGov’s BrandIndex league table revealing that it made significant advances on leader Google during the last 12 months. Indeed, the study reveals that Amazon actually surpassed Google in December, adding further cheer to a month that saw them dominate the Christmas market. The two companies are the only digital brands in the top 20 – in which Marks & Spencers, Sony and the BBC also feature strongly – but social media has played a part in helping Dove break into the elite, their ‘real beauty’ campaign helping them outrank Apple (40th), Facebook (182nd) and Twitter (615th). Sarah Murphy, YouGov’s Associate Director, BrandIndex, said: “It’s been a tough year for the leading brands; very few have managed to improve their perceptions in consumers’ eyes. However, many outside the leaders have certainly bucked that trend, most notably British Airways, Android – Google’s operating system for smartphones and tablet computers – and mobile phone manufacturer HTC who achieved the highest increase in consumer ratings from 2010 to 2011.”

Video Vault
Every second, one hour of video is uploaded to YouTube. That’s the amazing statistic the video site revealed this week. But it didn’t stop there. Not only are YouTube users uploading a vast amount of videos, they’re watching huge amounts too, with the site recording over four billion video views globally every day. This represents a 25% increase during the last eight months. It’s mind-boggling to think of the numbers that are involved here – 86,400 hours of uploads in a day, 604,800 hours in a week, 2,419,200 hours in an average month – so to help us wrap our brains around it, YouTube have created a website – onehourpersecond.com – filled with all kinds of little factoids. Check it out – and try not to get too distracted by Nyah Cat.

Google wants you!
Google’s increasing personalisation of their search results has continued this week with the launch of  ‘Ask A Friend’. A natural continuation of the recently introduced ‘Search Plus Your World’ personalised service, ‘Ask A Friend’ allows users to enquire about their search on Google+. The link appears at the bottom of the first page of the SERPs and will bring up a dialogue box that allows users to post a question to their Google+ account. The development is another example of Google promoting their own products in the SERPS and is likely to further annoy Twitter, Facebook and Myspace, who have already complained about what they believe to be bias. Engineers from these sites have even gone so far as to create their own tool that will negate the effects of Google’s personalised search and – so they say – incorporate all social networks fairly. It’s unlikely this tool poses any serious threat to Google, but with the anti-trust investigation into their operations continuing, this latest set of revelations and criticisms certainly won’t be welcomed by the company’s increasingly beleagured management.

The Big(gest) Apple
Apple is rich. Very, very rich. Richer than Denmark, in fact. And Israel, Syria, Jordan and Lebanon. Combined. The company announced this week that its quarterly revenue stands at just over $46billion, $7billion more than Wall Street estimates. The money has been generated by the immense popularity of iPhones and iPads, with 37 million iPods and 15 million iPads being sold. “We’re thrilled with our outstanding results and record-breaking sales of iPhones, iPads and Macs,” said Tim Cook, Apple’s CEO. “Apple’s momentum is incredibly strong, and we have some amazing new products in the pipeline.” Indeed, Apple shows no sign of slowing down in 2012, with financial analyst Hendi Susanto saying the company still has new terirotires to conquer: “Going into 2012 I expect strength of iPhone, iPod Touch and iPad should carry on into the year. Apple still has some tailwind including opening up new retail stores and expanding its distribution channels.”