Tag Archives: advertisers

Thought for imagination

Consider the next setting, I am in the Harrods foodcourt, I feel the meat-pie as my right hand caresses the side pf the pie, I see two small basins of ketchup, I grab the knife in my left hand as I slowly use the sharp knife to cut a part of the left side of the pie. I cut through the pastry and the what I think is minced meat. It looks a little dry, but the overwhelming scent of fresh and warm meat enters my nostrils. I add a small bit of ketchup to the pie. The slice is cut in half and I slowly eat the part on my fork. My senses overwhelm with the spices in the meat, the pastry and it does not taste dry, it is an amazing experience and this is merely the first bite.

All what you saw before is true, all came from my imagination. You see I have had meat pie in the past and I envision what might be the perfect meat pie. I have been to harrods twice, but I never set foot in the food courts. Not for any particulate reason, I just never got around to it. I hope to do so in the future, but that will be part of the future that I see, or it might never happen. This is life. So what was this about?

The train of thoughts started a little while ago and that train entered the station again when I stumbled upon same article today ‘Netflix reportedly plans push into video games market’ by the Guardian (at https://www.theguardian.com/media/2021/jun/02/netflix-reportedly-plans-push-video-games-market). The thing that got to me was “Streaming company said to have approached game industry executives with project at early stage”, one could argue that they kill their own project by approaching Ubisoft, Ubisoft has another setting of needs and their product is what I personally would call ‘faulty at best’. Yet it is not all bad news “Netflix has been approaching senior game industry executives about joining it to lead the creation of a subscription games service, according to reports from the tech news site the Information and Reuters”, is the right sentiment, but as I see it, the safest route is to take the route Apple is seemingly taking. Games absent of in app purchases and absent of advertisements. These two elements will spell a much larger stage of doom on the industry than you know. Places like Android and iOS are now filled with phrases like “These ads are driving me insane, every level again”, and it will not be long until people have had enough. Then there is the stage of deceptive conduct in advertisements, a decently new approach to getting people to install your software. But these two elements will have a disastrous impact on gaming soon enough, and it will hit Apple as much as it will hit Google. Then there is the competition, Amazon did a lot better than I expected it would. I (personally minded) thought that it would be an easy win for Google, a tech maker if ever these was one. And it is ahead of Amazon, but I never expected Amazon to be this close to Google in the first place, as such the Amazon Luna remains in the race and there is an element that might not make Google the winner in the end. Google’s approach to exclusive games is not that impressive (as far as I can tell, they have none), Amazon Luna has acquired the knowledge it needs to make that difference. And the article repeats my thoughts towards gaming, with “However, the new offering is at a very early stage, with executives focusing on Apple Arcade as the potential competition. Users of that service, exclusive to Apple’s iPhones, iPads, Macs and AppleTV, pay a flat monthly fee of £4.99 for access to a library of downloadable games, spanning genres and target audiences. Apple sets strict rules on developers, banning them from monetising their games through in-app purchases or advertising, in order to try to keep Arcade a premium service” is the right move, but they made one mistake, a big one, there is no mention of the Amazon Luna and the Luna is in a primed spot to become the number three system behind Sony and Nintendo (yes, I have written off Microsoft to remain a competitor), so even as Netflix has the advantage of a subscription group that makes the head spin of all streaming gaming solutions, good games is where it is at, innovators and makers of original creators that is the winning combo and Netflix (might or might not) move into a field where it is not certain it will become the third position player, or what they classify in the Tour de France, the polka dot player. On the plus side (from my point of view) it will soon thereafter reduce Microsoft to the 6th position, behind Sony, Nintendo, Amazon, Netflix and Google. So as I see it, their investment $7,500,000,000 investment in Bethesda goes tits up and Bethesda is not to blame, the board of directors at Microsoft is. 

I remain a Sony person, hence my Playstation remains on its pedestal, I would say right next of the shrine of Panigale, a Ducati shrine where the executives of Ferrari, Lamborghini and Maserati come to pray for inspiration, OK, there is no Panigale there, because I could never afford one and I am not a racer, but engineering perfection can be recognised by plenty of people, so there! Yet the stage is given, inspiration comes from excellence in creativity and that is what a good gaming provider offers. I wonder if Netflix is considering what they need to do to get there. Microsoft merely bought the IP out there hoping it would thrust them there, but they had too much against them, like the most powerful console in the world that has nothing to offer (at present). They might in the future, but with all the bad decisions haunting them, all whilst Amazon is already on the run towards an upcoming third position, they might not be in time to make a real difference anymore. All this whilst they are trying to bash xCloud streaming everywhere. They become their own worst enemy and when it happens, the people will not trust Microsoft, I see elements of that everywhere and they, what I personal regard as a push towards whatever influencer they can muster is more than a bad call. 

Microsoft (as I personally see it) forgot that good games come from the mix of imagination and creation, they used to know that, yet it seems that they forgot, I have no idea why, the wrong board member, the sentiment of revenue over substance, it could be a boatload of things, but there you have it. And Netflix? 

Well the article gives us the important stage “One key decision that has not yet been finalised is whether a game subscription service would also require Netflix to develop games itself. Apple Arcade is filled entirely by third-party developers, but other gaming subscriptions rely on first-party exclusives to drive signups.” They are hitting the nail on the head, it is the exclusives, Microsoft forgot, Google never embraced and that is the stage why Amazon Luna is in a good place, Netflix could be too. One of these two needs to get these 2-3 exclusives that no one thought about that they are locked into third position and in an industry that is about to have a relevance of 90.7 billion, with a stage that has an annual increase of 24%, it matters, the difference between third and fourth position implies the stage representing several billions, when you consider that good AAA games cost (according to some) $500,000,000 to make, but that result in a God of War with a 97% rating, it is the price of an original masterpiece and it sold over 10,000,000 copies, implying that the game close to a billion. In streaming land, that setting will be a nail driver, 2-3 games like that and people will jump on that bandwagon a lot faster than you think. So as Microsoft gave us (via sources) that they will build native games for the cloud, why would anyone buy one of those overly stated powerful Xbox’s? And in that stage, would you trust a provider who dropped the ball three times in a row to provide you with original games, all whilst they bought the talents and are trying to grow through that premise? So far Netflix might make it, but as far as I can tell, Amazon Luna is most likely primed to get there at present.

And that too will set the indie developers off into a direction, where they end up I cannot tell (it will be their choice), but there are a few indicators that it will not be in a direction Microsoft will like. As I see it, outsourcing gets you a labour force, hiring creation and imagination grants you a universe of opportunity. I will let you work out the rest.

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Consider the question

We always have questions, we all do. Some are based upon curiosity, some are based on acquisition and some on compilation. The people tend to have questions in the range of one and three, businesses on two and three, with an optional need for the first group to see if a creation towards awareness is required. And in this we need to see ‘Facebook v Apple: The ad tracking row heats up’, the article (at https://www.bbc.com/news/technology-56831241) gives us “The IDFA can also be paired with other tech, such as Facebook’s tracking pixels or tracking cookies, which follow users around the web, to learn even more about you”, yet the question no one seems to be asking is how much is an advertiser entitled to get? I have no issue that Facebook, within Facebook measures and ‘collects’ it is the price of a free service, but did we sign up for a larger stake (or is that steak) at the expense of the consumer? Even as we tend to agree and accept “Apple co-founder Steve Jobs acknowledged that some people didn’t care about how much data they shared, but said they should always be informed of how it was being used”, in this the question takes a few steps and has a few exits in where to go next and we tend to remain in the dark about our needs, and what we are comfortable with. This is not new, but digital marketing is new, we have never faced it before. Even as we accept the quote by Tim Cook, the setting given with “If a business is built on misleading users, on data exploitation, on choices that are no choices at all, it does not deserve our praise. It deserves reform”, we forget that this is not merely misusing, it is a much larger stake. I some time ago refused to play a game because it collected my religion. Since when is a game’s requirement the religion I have? So (its Catholic by the way), even as we decide to not use an application, consider the price we pay and it goes further as app’s and their advertisements strategy on nearly EVERY device is set to showing us advertisements (to further the financial setting of the maker), in this I have no real problem, but what information is collected by the advertiser? And we all like the steps Apple seems to be making and as we ‘revere’ “Apple is baking privacy into its systems. Its browser Safari already blocks third-party cookies by default, and last year Apple forced app providers in iOS to spell out in the App Store listings what data they collect” we are forgetting what all advertisers are collecting and no less the issue becomes what happens when 5-7 games collectively are collecting and for the most we have no idea where this will end and it is important to take that in mind. It is there where Facebook is getting the largest negative wave. With “And it argues that sharing data with advertisers is key to giving users “better experiences””, precisely what is that ‘better experience’? And in what setting should ANY data be shared with an advertiser? We get that the advertiser wants to segment WHO gets to see their advertisement, we get that and I reckon no one will object. Yet why share our details? How is that priced and why are we not informed? OK, we are not told that Facebook is getting money of us, it is after-all a free service and as Mark Zuckerberg told the senate in a hearing “We sell ad’s”, yet he did not say “We sell ad’s and user data”, you all do understand that there is a fundamental difference between the two, you do get that, do you? And we see that given in the BBC article when we are given “Facebook appeared to accept the changes and promised “new advertiser experiences and measurement protocols”. It admitted that the ways digital advertisers collect and use information needed to “evolve” to one that will rely on “less data””, but that now gives us a much larger problem (optionally), when we see ‘new advertiser experiences’ we should be concerned on what it will cost, in pricing, in experience and in data segments. It does not make Facebook evil or bad, but when we are given “Technology consultant Max Kalmykov wrote in Medium that advertisers had to “prepare for the next, privacy-focused era of digital advertising””we accept change, we accept evolution, but in the stage of digital marketing most can be achieved WITHOUT sharing data of any individual level with the advertiser, the setting we see come might be good, yet I am concerned with their view of ‘new advertiser experiences and measurement protocols’, a setting for sales, not the consumers and optional victims, because to some degree that matters. Do I care when I see another advertisement by MWAVE.com.au? No, I do not, and for the most I do not care about that part, it is basically the cost of a free service, but no one accepted sharing data and that I what Apple is bringing to the surface even more than Cambridge Analytica brought. 

There is a larger setting in all this and we optionally see that with “Device fingerprinting combines certain attributes of a device – such as the operating system it uses, the type and version of web browser and the device’s IP address to identify it uniquely. It is an imperfect art, but one that is gaining traction in the advertising world”. You see I made the personal choice not to link devices, not to link services of any kind, it will not stop aggregation, it will merely slow it down, yet most of the people did not have the foresight I had a decade ago, as such the apps that have a identifier of hardware, they will get a lot more information on non-Apple devices in the near future. When the people realise that all others will take a backstage, it is a powerful advantage that Apple is creating, I wonder what Google will do next, because their market is in the middle of Apple and Facebook, they need to side one way or the other and it will have deeper repercussions in the long game. As such we see that Apple made its choice, it is one the consumers will embrace, some will accept the scenario that Facebook offers, and laughingly they oppose the data governments have and give it to whomever else wants it. In this Google has an opportunity (or a burden), but only if they change the game they are playing. When the consumers see this, they will wonder where to go next and they are all about flames and biased options through the media. 

It started last year and got to be serious in December 2020 when we were given (at https://www.theverge.com/2020/12/17/22180102/facebook-new-newspaper-ad-apple-ios-14-privacy-prompt) ‘Facebook hits back at Apple with second critical newspaper ad’, in one form we are given “Forty-four percent of small to medium businesses started or increased their usage of personalised ads on social media during the pandemic, according to a new Deloitte study. Without personalised ads, Facebook data shows that the average small business advertiser stands to see a cut of over 60% in their sales for every dollar they spend”, is that true? When you pick up the newspaper, how much is personalised? There will remain a level of personalised ads within Facebook, but the following outside of Facebook (within Apple products) stops and that might be a relief to a lot of consumers. As such I have a much larger issue with “the average small business advertiser stands to see a cut of over 60% in their sales for every dollar they spend”, I would be interested to investigate the data that brought the statement, and I have some reservations on the application of the data used. We could optionally say that the digital marketing that relies on such a 100% application is also to some degree unfair on printed media, but that is a very different conversation. 

And in all this the question will soon become “What should you (be allowed to) collect from me?” And now with the upgrades Apple has created a massive advantage, Google will need time to define an answer and direction, because Google will need to make a choice, and this is not a simple one, their business profile will alter accordingly and as Facebook is setting its premise, we see a larger stage, one with the option where Google Plus might be re-introduced in a much larger application of personal and non personal data, you see they are all about the personal data all whilst the hardware fingerprints in 5G will be a much larger setting then it ever was and there a much larger gain could be made by the proper makers in all this.

Did you see the new world where your mobile, tablets, laptop and domotics are linked? I can see it and the application of one of my mobile devices, yet the stage that it offers (or not) is still open to a lot of the players, so as I see it the next year will see a rapid evolution of digital marketing. Those who adjust will see 2023, those who do not ‘Goodbye!

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