It’s extraordinarily difficult to capture the madness of the annual Consumer Electronics Show in one page. Imagine the world’s largest Best Buy electronics shop pumped up on steroids and populated by a strange mash-up of intense tech geeks, cutting-edge marketers, and advertising and media honchos….all in Vegas. Here’s a quick take on some of the key talking-points and trends.
Just a few short months ago Facebook couldn’t do anything right. Universally derided for its IPO debacle, every pundit in town took their turn lambasting the former darling of the media industry. What a difference a few months make. Not only has Facebook’s stock nearly climbed back up to its original IPO evaluation (around $30 as of writing), the company has also kicked off 2013 with a bang by announcing a major new feature, Graph Search.
Samsung has announced plans to launch multiple devices using Linux-based mobile operating system Tizen. This represents a significant move away from the Google-owned Android operating system it has used in most, but not all, of its devices to date. Based on Samsung’s market share, this move could see Tizen quickly establish itself into the 3rd or 4th most used operating system behind Apple and Android.
SoLoMo (social, local, mobile) was one of the more catchy industry phases of 2012. So what better way to round off the year than with a frenzy of application updates in that space? Facebook has just revamped and re-launched its Nearby function that helps mobile users discover relevant nearby businesses. At the same time, Foursquare has refreshed its iOS application to enhance the local business features. Both follow hot on the heels of Apple’s new Passbook service, which alerts users to local business deals based on their virtual cards. Not to be outdone, Google has taken full advantage of Apple’s “mapgate” problems; Google’s recently launched Maps iPhone app has received over 10 million downloads, all embedded with the Google+ Local info connecting you to local businesses.
Founded in 2006, Spotify is a digital music service that allows users to stream music on-demand. Available in 17 countries (USA, UK, Sweden, Finland, Norway, Denmark, Germany, France, Spain, Austria, Belgium, Switzerland, The Netherlands, Australia, New Zealand, Ireland and Luxembourg) Spotify allows users to stream music for free with ads, or for a monthly Spotify Premium fee of £9.99 users can download and listen to music uninterrupted across multiple devices.
Maz is a service that enables publishers to quickly produce iPad applications - creating an App for their magazine content. The service also enables App creation from books, internal documents and even websites, without the need for coding. Launched in 2010, it has partnered with over 1000 publications and has increasingly been searching for ways to aid publishers with the distribution of content.
2012 has been a bumpy year for Facebook. They hit 1 billion users, paid the same amount of dollars for Instagram, and made billions of dollars through their IPO. But the IPO proved to be a damp squib, with shares currently trading 40% below their opening price, and the mass movement of consumers to mobile is hitting their revenues due to the lower CPM on mobile formats. 2013 is likely to see a concerted effort by Facebook to redress these issues, likely with a move to off-platform advertising.