Netflix Subscribers Growth

Netflix is no doubt one of the most popular channels for people to rent movies. There has been a recent discussion on how Apple iPad, Youtube rentals,etc. will affect the veteran online movies rental player. That could be studied in the quarters to come. However, here are the numbers from the latest quarterly report

Total Subscribers
Q4 2008 : 9.39 million
Q4 2009 : 12.268 million (10% growth from Q3 2009)

Number of Paid subscribers in Q4 ’09 : 11.892 million (97%)

iPhone vs. Droid – Comprehensive Comparison

Here is a comprehsive comparison of features and price that you would pay for an Apple iPhone 3GS as against Motorola Droid (Pricing for the US market)

Carrier
iPhone 3GS : AT&T
Droid : Verizon

Storage Capacity
iPhone 3GS : 16GB
Droid : 16GB (expandable to 32GB)

Battery Life
iPhone 3GS : 5 hours talktime. 300 hours standby
Droid : 6.4 hours talktime. 270 hours standby

Camera
iPhone 3GS : 3MP with Video recording and editing
Droid : 5MP with Video recording

Video Formats
iPhone 3GS : MPEG4, H.264,MOV, M4V, MP4
Droid : MPEG4, H.263, H.264

Audio Formats
iPhone 3GS : MP3, AAC, AIFF, WAV, Audible (2,3,4) Protected AAC, VBR and Apple Lossless audio
Droid : MP3, AAC, AAC+, eAAC+, WMA, AMR WB/NB, WAV, MIDI

App Store
iPhone 3GS : iTunes App Store
Droid : Android Market

Number of Apps
iPhone 3GS : 100,000
Droid : 13,000

Multitasking
iPhone 3GS : No
Droid : Yes

Price
iPhone 3GS : $199 or $599 (without contract)
Droid : $199 or $599 (without contract)

Wifi : Enabled on both
GPS : Turn-by-turn and digital compass available on both
Voice Commands : Available on both

Unlimited Usage Plans Cost (@ unlimited voice, messaging and 5GB data)

iPhone 3GS : $3,799 plus tax over 2 years
Droid : $3,799 plus tax over 2 years

Average Usage Plans Cost (@ 900 minutes, 5GB data, Unlimited messaging)
iPhone 3GS : $2,839 plus tax over 2 years
Droid : $2,839 plus tax over 2 years

Clicksor Pay-per-click: From an advertiser's perspective

Recently I ran a small budget campaign at Clicksor, a PPC network. There were two objectives of the campaign: 1) To increase the subscriber base for Techcrunchies and 2) To test the effectiveness of PPC advertising. You may view this analysis in different perspectives: How good a PPC campaign is, How good is Clicksor as a PPC campaign or How good/bad I was as an advertiser using PPC method of advertising.

About the Campaign

I had invested just around $20 for this campaign. Primarily I wanted to check how effective and how many visits I can garner through advertising. The objectives of the campaign was to gain as many new subscribers to my blog as possible. Please note that how many I eventually succeeded in getting signed up for my blog need not be directly dependent of the traffic quality that Clicksor sends me as I have also myself responsible when it comes to providing an easy way to subscribe.

The campaign lasted for two days (a budget of $10 per day), 260801 impressions and 113 clicks 🙁

Geography Statistics

I think this is one area where I had made a mistake. My targeted audience is global, English speakers and technology savvy. While I had provided the appropriate category (technology, web related) I had provided ‘All Countries’ as the option when it came to choosing the geography. My understanding was that since traffic from USA is always high in anything web related, i will be getting targeted traffic, even when I choose ‘All Countries’. I did realize that I shall be wasting money on the traffic that goes to non-English speaking nations in South America and Europe but decided to let it go for a test campaign since I expected it to be minimal.

But here are the impressions statistics: Germany 8800+ , Brazil 9200, Serbia and Montenegro 7100, Egypt 7200, Greece 12000, Indonesia 11000, India 16000, Lithuania 9700, Turkey 27600, Taiwan 12000…

Apart from India none of the other countries were actually my targets, honestly. I got only about 10000 impressions on US; something same as what I got in Lithuania…I only managed around 1900 impressions on UK. As for the clicks, they were almost proportional to the number of impressions. However, as you would observe the Click-through-rate(CTR) has been really low in this campaign. This “disaster” when it comes to geographical targeting could be because Clicksor has got more partners serving these countries than US or UK. However, it has been an important lesson to not feel lazy about choosing the countries specifically you need to target. It’s better to manually select 50 different countries than let your money go to the traffic who do not need you.

Geographical statistics of clicks

Keyword Statistics

Another blunder from my side: I had inadvertently chosen ‘internet’ as one of the channels for displaying ads. The term ‘internet’ is so broad a term and you should never expect to get a targeted traffic from such a channel. However, my blunder wasted 30,000 impressions and 13 clicks (till I realized it to disable it). The most successful keywords and the impressions and clicks each of them received:

Business Strategy 194000 85
Internet Marketing 28000 10
Google Strategy 3459 2

At the End of it all…

This was my first brush with PPC advertising, and I presume I had not done well enough. But it was supposed to be a test campaign and so the lessons are always there to share. Twenty Dollars, 268610 impressions and 113 clicks later, I had managed to get TWO new subscribers. These two subscribers will have to be the most treasured of all, and I hope you two are reading this review too 🙂

Is it the end of the road for FeedReaders in India?

“If you are in India and can use internet, you have to have an orkut account” – this is an unwritten rule. Almost everyone in India (a lot many below 18 years of age as well, which is against the T&C) has an orkut account. That is why orkut is now the second most visited website in India after Yahoo.

Today, orkut launched a new feedreader feature in orkut. This allows you to add blog and website feeds you follow so that you may directly read these feeds from orkut.

Does this mean that with the launch of this feature, it is virtually the end of the road for the feedreaders in India?

RSS Awareness

One huge pro that I see with the introduction of this feature is the awareness about RSS to the common internet surfer. For all the hype around how simple internet has become after RSS, a majority of them do not know or use RSS. It is still the tech-savvy users who still use feed readers. Now that people will come to know that you can read blogs via orkut, the awareness about feed syndication is going to proliferate.

Are Feed Readers out?

As the existing bloggers promote their friends in orkut to follow their blog via the feedreader, I see the general readership increasing for blogs. But, we should remember that while people add feeds, they might not actually follow them. This could turn out to be another feature like the orkut communities where not everyone frequents though everyone on orkut has quite a list of communities subscribed to.

The bottom line however is that this feature WILL increase the awareness about RSS feeds. There are quite a good number of feedreaders on the web today that are way better than what orkut has to offer that the introduction of this feature shall only open up the gates for many more people to subscribe to the other popuar feedreaders.

This then boils down to the feedreaders which rank top on the Search Engines and on the word-of-mouth. Because these are the two avenues the new feed reader will use to find a feedreader which is better than what orkut has to offer.

Embed Flickr slideshows on your blog

You might have noticed slideshows of pics on Flickr. There is an easy way, as Paul Stamatiou tells us in his blog. For this, first tag all the photos that you want to display on your blog with one specific ‘tag’. Once you do this, the next step is to insert the following code inside your blog post.

In the above code, replace “1234567” with your own flickr id and replace “foo” with the tag that you want a slideshow of. Paul’s original blog on this in fact has many more options that you may edit, but which is generally unnecessary for a primary set up.

For an example, here is a flickr slideshow of the “Evolution of Yahoo” that I had made for my other blog, Nice Ideas.

Beautiful colors for your blog

Bloggers often tend to tweak the blog template that they find online, and those who are not well-versed with CSS and HTML codes atleast try changing the default colors so that their blog gets a unique look.

But, the sad part is that the color codes in HTML are mentioned in six digit hexadecimal codes which are at best, undecipherable. For example, white is denoted by #FFFFFF, black by #000000.

You can use Adobe Photoshop to find the color code that you were looking for. But, I found a much easier way online at ColorBlender. This website provides an online platform for you to try different combinations of colors to find the color code of your choice.

Basically, the utility of the website exetends beyond just amateur webmasters. You can also download the color blends for further work in Photoshop or Illustrator. But, do not worry if you have still not found the right color and you have to go. The website remembers where you left it last time around, if only you have browser cookies enabled!

Watch TV Online while chatting with friends

IMvite was launched as a free to use website to view TV channels online. Now, the website has improved further upon this service to now allow users to view TV online while chatting with friends.

IMvite has come up with a TV messenger, which can be downloaded to simulataneously use AOL, MSN and Yahoo messengers for chat. Along with this, the messenger also allows you to browse TV channels, listen to radio channels, surf movie trailors, etc.

The basic purpose of this website is to achieve a consolidation between the ‘entertainment’ users seek through three media: TV, radio as well as online. You might want to download the messenger here.

SMS Backup on your Yahoo mailbox

Yahoo India has now a new feature to help you create a backup of your important SMSes. To avail the SMS Backup service, all you need is a Yahoo email id. Though the registration is free, this Value Adding Service(VAS) charges rates based on your network provider.

HOW IT WORKS:

You specify the mobile phone number corresponding to your Yahoo email id (you may also have more than one mobile number for an email id). After verification of the number, you can start using the service. To backup the message, you need to forward the SMS message to 82438243. The message gets stored on your SMS Backup folder of your mail inbox, which you can always check online.

TO NOTE:

Yahoo has only recently launched this, and hence a few of the desired features are still missing. For example, you may not yet start forward MMS and picture messages. Also, messages saved in the mailbox cannot be downloaded back on your mobile phone. Thirdly, information regarding the sender cannot be saved, as the mail is forwarded from your number only.

Elicit – Blog client software for enhanced content quality

Bloggers typically require quite a bit of research before making a post. For example, if I were to write about ‘Google acquires YouTube’, I would have to search Google News for looking up the exact value of the deal, search Flickr for a Google/YouTube logo, search Wikipedia for the history of the two companies, etc.

I found this extremely useful tool which can be used by bloggers to make their work easy. Elicit provides you a common platform for most of the popular blog platforms including Blogger, WordPress, Movable Type, Live Journal. The different resources that you may require are available in the form of ‘docklets’. Docklets are windows that pertain to each of the resources that the blogger may require such as Flickr, Yahoo News.

For example, take Amazon. Elicit offers you a docklet for Amazon, which you may use to search for relevant books, the links for which you may put on your blog to make money. Now, this docklet contains the book image, details and also a tab where you may enter your affiliate-id so that it appears in the link you put on your blog. You may simply click-and-drag items from a docklet to the editing screen to include them in your post.

There are quite a lot of docklets available with the software now, though there does not appear an option to include your own docklet at this stage. Elicit also comes with the feature to ‘time’ your posts so that they are published at the specified time. That means, should you be out of station for a week, you may time your posts to be published one everyday so that you retain your leadership. (You anyway need to keep the internet on for the whole week!)

Unfortunately Elicit is NOT free. Fortunately though, you may try the product free for 30 days. Do visit the demo tutorial which is pretty useful.

Create your own remixes

Happy New year!

If you had been to a party for the New Year celebrations, and loved the remixes that were played, you definitely would want to make something of your own. JamGlue is a website that offers users to create and remix music online.

How JamGlue Works

JamGlue is rather easy to use. There are several options to remix. You can either upload your own music to remix. Or, create remixes from music already available; Or, break down remixed music to shuffle and put in new music of your choice.

The website offers clean visual interfaces that are easily understandable for newbies. Also, the website also allows you to embed your ‘published’ music on your blog, or download the music.

Note that the website only allows music that are available under the creative commons for use.