Smoke Signals

December 5th, 2013

Welcome to the Tribal Worldwide weekly Smoke Signals trend report, news from the frontier of digital marketing. We’ve scoured the net to bring you the hottest stories in the digital, media, and marketing space. Have any thoughts on any of these stories? We want to hear what you think!

In this issue:

Google Must Block Streaming Sites in France

Black Friday, Cyber Monday and What Happened this Holiday Weekend

Google Must Block Streaming Sites in France

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A court in France has ruled that Google, Bing and Yahoo can no longer index video streaming websites that violate copyright laws. The search engines and local ISPs have been fighting in court since 2011, concluding in a decision made late last month.

The recent ruling states that the defendants must, “take all necessary measures to prevent the occurrence on their services of any results referring to any of the pages.” The websites in question are almost exclusively dedicated to streaming protected movies and television shows.

Good news for Google as they are not required to pay damages to French film associations, nor do they have to bear the financial load of de-indexing and blocking these sites, although it is still unclear as to who will.

Implications: This ruling could have a ripple effect as search engines and webmasters in many countries are fighting against similar laws.  In 2012, United States politicians introduced SOPA (Stop Online Piracy Act) – a law that would have put more liability on website owners. SOPA was ultimately defeated by netizens who rejected the law’s ambiguous language. If successful, this French court case could spur another round of anti-piracy laws effecting the sales and allocation of media worldwide.

Black Friday, Cyber Monday and What Happened this Holiday Weekend

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This year’s Black Friday was widely declared as a flop by analysts with reports claiming a 2.9% revenue loss compared to last year. However, with so many variables in play, is it possible it isn’t as bad as many initially thought?

For one thing, Black Friday numbers did not include Thanksgiving Day shopping.

Big box stores like Walmart and Target pushed their store openings as early as 6p.m. altering traditional shopping hours, and inadvertently cutting into their Black Friday’s profits by distributing across two days, producing the lackluster numbers that were reported.

Consumers are also weary of waiting in line for hours so they can run into a store, grab a few presents and fight their way out. Thanksgiving online shopping increased by 19.7% this year and Black Friday’s increased by 19%. There are less and less benefits to physically going to a brick and mortar store when the same sale items can be found online.

Cyber Monday revenue has increased 16% year after year and this past Monday, e-retailers received 8.5 billion page views per minute earning over 2 billion dollars in revenue. Another key piece of information is that many of the analysts published their reports before Monday evening – even though peak shopping was expected to be at 8pm.

Implications: Consumers no longer view Black Friday as their only day to shop for goods at a discounted rate.

More consumers are moving towards online shopping and companies need to make sure that their web presence allows for an easy shopping experience. It is important for stores to have a mobile friendly site, powerful servers, and extra sales days to accommodate the shift in shopping behavior.

Please contact Stacey.Clermont@tribalworldwide.com for more information.

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