This past holiday season it seemed like everyone got either an Amazon Dot or an Amazon Echo. For the past couple of month, every time that I ask my Amazon Alexa a question I was always waiting for her to do an advertisement. It has been crossing my mind lately that voice search marketing is on the horizon or some how us marketers are going to figure out a way to take advantage of this technology. This week Amazon announced a new program called, Alexa for Hospitality. This program will bring Alexa to chain hotels across this nation.
This past Sunday was the running of the 60th Daytona 500. The Great American Race. I am not the biggest racing fan, but every year I tune in to watch NASCAR’s biggest race of the year. I like to hear what changes are made to the sport every year, and what new technology that is brought to the sport from the broadcast networks. This year, I found out that not only are NASCAR teams working on an esports venture that would hold racing video game tournaments held at tracks during event weekends, but the track Richmond Raceway is the first track to form an esports team.
In my last post, I talked about how streaming of NFL games on Amazon increased in 2017, well Amazon looks to increase footprint in sports with NBA’s G-League on Twitch. If you don’t know, Twitch is a video-streaming platform that is owned by Amazon. Starting this season, the NBA will showcase 6 G-League games per week by streaming them on Twitch. Previously, Twitch has been widely known for streaming video game action but has now expanded into other mediums such as sports. This is just another example of what viewing sports online might look like in the future.
As more and more people cut the cable cord, the rise of television streaming has grown in popularity. The 2017 NFL season marked the first season of a partnership between Amazon and the league for streaming Thursday Night Football games. With one season now in the books, Amazon is reportedly looking to build of it’s first successful season, where they say viewership of the Thursday Night Game on Amazon Prime rose 17%.
Amazon Prime took over streaming the Thursday Night NFL games from Twitter. In their first season, they built on the audience Twitter had in 2016 with the averaging per-minute audience for the 11 games hitting 310,000, which equals the 17% increase from Twitter’s numbers.
Millions of people watch sporting events, especially the NFL. It is reported that in 2016, viewership averaged 16.5 million people watching each game. NFL stadiums have a seating capacity for a fraction of their fan base, for example, the Minnesota Vikings new stadium, U.S. Bank Stadium, can seat exactly 66,655 spectators. A big number, but it is only a fraction of their fan base. Teams understand this and are always looking for innovative ways to make the in-stadium experience more enjoyable. The Minnesota Vikings have come up with a new marketing tool to bringing fans “inside” the stadium, as they will become the first NFL team to launch a virtual reality (VR) application for Oculus.
The smart home is official here. This holiday season, it has been reported the Amazon’s Echo Dot smart speaker and its built-in Alexa voice assistant dominated the sales charts. So following the Christmas holiday, Amazon announced the Echo Dot was the best-selling product of the holiday season on its website. The Alexa app also made its way to the number 1 spot on the App Store for the first time, and the Google Home app managed to sneak into the top ten. It’s easy to say, ‘Oh look, a lot of people got smart speakers this holiday season,” but this is an important milestone, as the smart home is finally upon us. If you are like the many people and got a smart home speaker this holiday season you are not alone.
We got the Amazon Echo Dot and it’s quite the cool little gadget. We hooked it up to control our lights. We purchased two outlet plugs along with the Dot. You can also get smart bulbs but did the plugs because they were cheaper and on sale, plus I wanted to test everything out first. There is so much this device can do it’s incredible. It’s like today’s version of Rosie from the Jetson’s. I will do a post reviewing the Dot at a later date, but I am going to talk about utilizing the Logitech Harmony Hub with the Amazon Echo Dot.
Virtual Reality (VR) is an emerging technology platform that Destination Marketing Organizations (DMOs) must embrace as it continues to evolve the next few years. The biggest opportunity that VR will present to DMOs is inspiring meeting planners and helping consumers make decisions about where to travel. With the virtual reality market predicted to increase to nearly a billion units sold by 2020, now is the most opportune time to get on board with the VR and 360-degree video technology.
Tourism marketers everywhere have an opportunity to lead their destinations with cutting edge technology. The tourism industry is all about selling experiences; a feeling, a landscape, a vision of what spring break or family vacations should be. This has been done through compelling imagery and content, but now VR can bring the destination to the consumer before they even book their trip.
I have been thinking about cutting the cord and getting rid of cable for awhile. We already had Netflix and we had the Roku streaming player. Our son was mainly watching Netflix and my wife and I were getting sick of paying well over $100 every month for channels that we didn’t watch. Plus, we always complained about not finding anything on TV that we wanted to watch. Even though my wife was ready to cut cable, like most people, we stayed a prisoner to the cable company simply because I didn’t know how to get rid of cable without missing out on my favorite TV shows, and live sporting events. I was holding out as there was no easy way to watch my local sports teams. Sound familiar?
After spending many hours researching cutting cable and soley streaming, I finally decided to cut the cord and get rid of my cable TV provider, AT&T Uverse in April 2016 when our year contract was up. I can honestly say that we will not be going back to cable, as we are saving over $80 a month, by just cutting our cable. I did stay with AT&T Uverse for our Internet.
Getting rid of cable is extremely easy. Here is what we did.