Archive for January, 2009

Hi All,

For my Chinese friends, Happy Chinese New Year. May the year of the Ox bring prosperity and good fortune to you & your business.

Speaking of fortune, I came across some interesting articles in the NYT on video ads. Seriously folks, there are more and more articles these days on monetising videos & this can only mean one thing, there is going to be a boom in video ads in the near future. Its almost a prophesy & I strongly believe it will come true.

Discovery channel is discovering (pun intended) that there is money in its 23 year archive of video productions and has started to monetise them on the Web. This is strictly for the Internet as they expect Web video to grow and along with it video ads. Check out the NYT article here.

Then there’s the opportunity of making ads for the SMEs.  See the article here. The company Turnhere makes video ads for the SME industry on the cheap, just US$1,000 per video ad and according to Kelsey Group an advertising research group, the SME video  ad business will be worth US$ 1.5 billon in 2012. Thats just for small businesses.

Kelsey believes that Interactive advertising (which includes search, display, classifieds & other interactive ads) will increase from US$45 billion in 2007 to US$147 billion globally in 2012. Thats huge business.

Yet making money from video ads is tough at the moment. Pre-roll ads (just before the video starts) or ads either in between the video (a clear no-no in video advertising) or at the end of the video (who will watch it?) have all been tried with varying degrees of success (pre-roll is acceptable, the others not so). Companies like Turnhere make the entire video the ad and has had some success with this type of ad.

But how do you monetise other forms of video, news stories or documentaries or other short videos? I wrote about the Stanford startup that blends videos into videos and there is another startup in Israel called Innovid which also blends videos into videos, sort of like a “skin” over the original which is even clickable to take you to the advertiser’s site. Veeple is another startup that enables content owners and publishers to monetize their video content, by embedding interactive, clickable elements to their video. Thus you can embed clickable logos and links within your video to send viewers to your website, social network profile, etc. All these are innovations that will only help create the video ad industry of the future.

In terms of behaviour, are users taking to video ads? Apparently yes, based on a survey done by Kelsey (see below). Almost 43% of those who saw a video ad visited the website and 15% made a purchase. Thats pretty impressive & can be indicative of the future potential of video ads.

One company Blendtec even increased its brand recognition and sales by 500% thanks to its funny ads on YouTube. That is proof enough that you can monetise video.

Moral of the story? “There’s gold in them there video ads” (vads?)

Kelsey Video Ads Survey 2008


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Malaysia is honoured to be the country to launch Global Entrepreneurship Week 2009. Having done extremely well as the 3rd most active country for GEW 2008, Malaysia and Warisan Global, the hosts for GEW in Malaysia, were given the honour of launching GEW 2009 on 21st January 2009 in our fair city of Kuala Lumpur.

The guests of honour at the launch were Dato’ Saifuddin Abdullah, the Deputy Minister of Entrepreneur Development, Malaysia and His Excellency Mr. Boyd McCleary, the British High Commissioner to Malaysia (on behalf of Mr.Gareth Thomas, MP, the British Minister of Trade who was supposed to launch it jointly with Dato Saifuddin but had to return urgently to Britain).

It was a fantastic and colorful occasion with more than 150 invited guests and GEW partners and even Bag Pipers and a lion dance to commerate the Chinese New Year on 26th January 2009. I must say, having been in Scotland for a few years, the Bag Pipers were top notch for a local group.

As HE Mr. McCleary said, this year Malaysia has to do better than 2008 and thats to be No. 1 in the world. Dash, my friend (CEO of Warisan Global) you have a great challenge ahead, but with everyone’s support I am sure we will achieve this target.

So everyone, lets help Dash, lets make Malaysia No. 1. Onward we go……

GEW Launch

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A Full House

Audience Voting for What's Hot

Karamjit Singh of Netvalue, The Edge wrote an article on the What’s Hot 2009 Forum. Click here for the article.

Here are some photos of the event

The Panel

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In a previous article I shared with you the thoughts of a panel & participants on Whats Hot in 2009. Even better than what panelists say is what investors have actually been investing in especially in late 2008 as they are investing for 2009 and beyond. The best global gauge of technology investing is the USA, so what have US VCs been investing in?

The following graphic on industries that they invest in is interesting.
In the US the top 3 sectors are biotechnology, software & energy. Media and entertainment (which is what Creative Content covers in Malaysia) is a distant 5th.  Outsourcing is not even on their radar (thats obvious), broadband & mobile is in 8th place. Web2.0 is probably covered under software while clean tech is 3rd under energy.

So we are doing ok with our Hot 2009 except for biotech which is BIG in the USA but we didn’t have even a single Biotech Entrepreneur at our event. Perhaps much of our Biotech is still being done at Universities and has not got into the mainstream yet. This is food for thought for Malaysian Biotech Corporation.

So what should Entrepreneurs do in 2009? Besides Biotech, in the ICT sector software, creative content & IT services is definitely Hot. Because of the financial crisis computers and consumer products rank quite low, so very cold. In conclusion we are still on the right track with the hot sectors in ICT, now if only we can persuade the Biotech Entrepreneurs to join the party!

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Researchers at Oxford University have compiled a list of the top 10 most irritating phrases or expressions that people use in everyday language.

‘With all due respect’ to Oxford, ‘it is not rocket science’ to say that these phrases are the most irritating. While I ‘absolutely’ agree with them that some of the phrases are indeed irritating, ‘I personally’ do use a few of these phrases. This is not a ‘fairly unique’ finding although I agree that ’24/7′, ‘at this moment in time’, somewhere in the world someone is using one of these phrases. While ‘it’s a nightmare’ for linguists, ‘at the end of the day’, I am sure you’ll agree that there are phrases that ‘shouldn’t of’ been included in the list.

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This is a awesome example of a great innovation. By enabling you to insert your video or picture into another video, it allows you to sell ads within your videos and also to do so much more with videos. If this works seemlessly then it is going to be a great business idea. Thanks to Colin Wong for posting this video on his Facebook.

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Check out the Would be Entrepreneurs Handbook from CNNMoney.com

Its not very comprehensive but a simplified 10 step guide on what “would be Entrepreneurs” should think about.

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