The Disney Channel: Tween Stars, and Marketing Tie-Ins

I’m not sure whether to applaud Disney or to ban any children I may have in the future from ever watching the Disney Channel based on this article.  This article talks about how the Disney Channel doesn’t sell commercials in the traditional sense, but rather there are product tie-ins within Disney Channel programming.  What’s interesting is that it sounds like these product tie-ins have to be integrated into the show and have to go through some Disney sanitizing to be included.  What’s more influential to children? A product advertised during commercial time during the “Hanna Montana” show or “Hanna Montana” actually using the product within the show.  I’d fear for my wallet and sanity if I actually had children.  As for Disney, this a very clever, because I imagine they can charge quite a bit for the influence characters like Hanna Montana have over children.

Here’s a link to the article.


Blockbuster Offers to Buy Circuit City

I guess I'm not the only one who doesn't see the synergies here.  I haven't been to a Blockbuster in years since joining Netflix.  I'm not sure how the whole content delivery thing fits in with Circuit City either, since Circuit City doesn't make anything it sells and therefore cannot be a part of any digital ecosystem.  Circuit City can offer digital content downloads, but that won't bring anyone into the stores.  As for Circuit City, drawing from the experience of my local store, they could go a long way to improve the in-store experience if they want to compete against Best Best.  I know this sounds strange, but the “Circuit City Red” irritates me so I don't like shopping in Circuit City.  It feels altogether “loud” to me.  I also don't like the way my local Circuit City is set-up.  It has a bunch of physicals walls that section the store which forces a flow.  I can't see where I need to go when I enter the store, which completely turns me off.  Oh, and the low ceilings don't help either.  I haven't ventured into a Circuit City unless lured by a cheap price on a specific item and with that, I ordered the item online and then picked the item up at the customer service center, by-passing going into the store all together (perhaps that is contributing to Circuit Cities problem too — no attachments or upsell).

Here's a link to the article.

AP Cuts Prices, Announces Mobile Product

It is interesting watching how quickly news delivery is changing.  The first thing that jumps out at me about the Associated Press' change in strategy is that they are moving towards a free or nearly free pay structure that will supported more and more by ad revenue than fees charged to various newspaper outlets.  The other part is that they have recognized the need to get their product delivered digitally and are quickly transitioning from analog distribition to digital.  In many ways it feels like the AP doesn't need the newspaper at all to distribute content or to gather ad revenue, so I guess the revenue sharing is just icing on the cake until traditional newspapers die off.

Here's a link to the article.

WeBooks — Collaborative Book Authoring

I subscribe to the notion that too many authors on a book will probably make for a bad book, but some advice and encouragement along the way could probably help.  After reading this article on WEBooks, it's not very clear to me what side of the spectrum this web service is (perhaps if covers the entire spectrum).  Despite whatever this article says about everybody being an author via this service, it doesn't seem to me that is what this service does.  It looks like the works are vetted by self declared experts and the participants on this site decide what gets published and what does not.  Those that are not selected to be published can “self publish”.  I guess this yet another avenue for first time writers, but given the throughput quoted in this article, I'm not sure how different this is from a traditional publisher other than it's wrapped in the novel cloak of being on the web and “crowdsourced.”  I do like the idea, though, of aspiring authors forming a community for mutual support.

Bethesda Start-Up Makes Writing a Little Less Lonely