YouTube’s Tipping Point reaches Crowdfunding

Towards the end of last week Google introduced for YouTube in the USA, Mexico, Japan and Australia their new “tip jar” on a beta basis. It basically enables fans of video channels to tip/fund videos with between $1 and $500 we believe.

It doesn’t need to be a music video so effectively “fan funding” is a form of crowdfunding which, we thought, infoDev (a global innovation and entrepreneurship program in The World Bank Group) defined rather appropriately as “ … an Internet-enabled way for businesses or other organizations to raise money.”

They also produced a handy little graphic which puts crowdfunding into the overall funding cycle.

Click to enlarge

YouTube hope to extend fan funding to “ … more countries soon.“

Some of the initial participants are Dulce Delight, Fitness Blender, The Healthcare Triage, The King of Random, Soul Pancake, Steve Spangler Science, The Young Turks, and Thug Notes.

If you have a channel (in the beta test countries) and are “… interested in testing this out on your channel, please sign up  and we’ll be in touch soon. Unfortunately we have limited spaces available – so we can’t guarantee a place as a tester – but we’ll do our best.”

We think it’s a great idea for, in particular, idea inception project testing and promotion.

Sources: Seeking Alpha, YouTube, InfoDev

Keep an I on our Week, Grand Canal edition

Our top three articles this week were:

  1. Almost time for Google i/o 2014
  2. ICANN 50 and Domain names for dummies
  3. The UK Appy Economy

Our Tech Rich List for 2014 continues to be popular.  and Peek’s Vision still attracts many eyes!

The latest video featuring our favourite violinist (Lindsey Stirling) is Owl City’s Beautiful Times


Google Domains

Google announced earlier this week that it is in the process of building a domain registration service.

It’s not “… fully-featured yet, but we’re giving a small group of people the ability to buy and transfer domains through it and send feedback on their experience.” It’s by invitation only at present and looks like it’s a US only service right now.

The “features” they envisage providing, are in their words.

“Here’s what you get:

  • No additional cost for private registration
  • Branded emails
  • Easy domain forwarding
  • Customizable sub-domains
  • Fast, secure and reliable Internet infrastructure with Google
  • Simple domain management tools
  • Easy integration with top website builders
  • New domain endings (assistance re the new gTLDs)
  • Support

We added the italics annotation re the new gTLDs in which of course Google is a significant player applying for, we think, over 100 names range from the obvious .google to the less obvious .dot!

Worth a look and applying to join in if you are a US small business

Very interesting, we shall await developments!

The UK Appy Economy

That’s according to Vision Mobile (The leading research company in the app economy) who at the behest of Google have “… set out to assess the state of the UK app industry in 2014 and find out whether the UK is on the right track to becoming a vibrant and global hub for the app economy.”

“The UK App Economy is a research report that charts the mobile app economy in the region, investigating revenues, jobs, the profile of the British app developer, and how the UK can provide better opportunities for developers. This report contains the findings from the UK App Developer Census, an online survey of 300+ UK mobile app developers”.

Click to enlarge

Amongst their conclusions / “takeaways” are that the UK app industry:

  • will exceed £4 billion in revenues in 2014
  • will be growing at a CAGR of 38% between 2013 and 2015 and 22% between 2013 and 2025
  • has approximately 8,000 companies that are directly involved in app development
  • has approximately 380,000 jobs centred around the app economy
  • they expect, will create approximately 30,000 new jobs in the next 12 months.

So “The UK is certainly among the top global tech hubs with several metrics indicating that it is in fact the biggest tech hub in Europe and most likely the second most important tech hub after the US. In 2013 the UK accounted for over a third of the total app revenues generated in EU28 and slightly less than a fifth of all app developers in the EU28”.

Much more besides in this excellent report which can be downloaded on registration.

Almost time for Google I/O 2014

The two day event starts later today at 5pm BST with the Conference Keynote and you can follow much of it live.

Possible features of the event commentators think might be:

  • Wearables
  • Glass
  • The Internet of Things
  • Updated Nexus tablet(s)
  • Android TV
  • Updated Android operating system release – what follows Kit Kat ? an unsponsored L with Lollipop favoured over Latte or Liquorice!
  • The Cloud
  • Apps, apps & more apps

Here’s an explanation of “the experiment”  by Ben Purdy  and we’ll leave you with his video.



ICANN 50 and Domain names for dummies

ICANN (The Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers) is in London town (at the Hilton London Metropole) this week celebrating it’s 50th public meeting with a pretty full schedule. involving over 300 events and 3,000 participants.

They even include in their Meeting guide (pdf) details of ICANN’s Expected standards of behaviour together with a more useful list of acronym definitions ranging from ALAC through gTLD to UDRP.

Surprisingly there is no entry for ATLAS the At Large Summit II  which is taking place at the same time and is considering, in particular, the further internationalisation of ICANN’s governance as it is intent on shedding its overtly US organisation in particular post Snowden’s revelations.

The main (Gold) sponsors of the wider conference are:

  • EURid
  • Microsoft
  • Nominet &

Nominet got a mini feather in its cap yesterday as Wales’ First Minister, Carwyn Jones, announced that the Welsh Government plans to begin a switch of its official internet address from to .cymru and .wales from next year. We wonder if this will be a precursor to .scot and .london getting similar endorsements.

EURid is offering at the conference free copies of  its publication “Domain names for dummies” which is also available as a download

Elsewhere there is a little spat (or as many wags have described it … a whine) concerning the new gTLD applications for .wine and .vin. Our cousins across la manche are not amused and foresee a possible attack on, in particular, their regional win names which are protected under international trade agreements and the  geographical indications (GIs) of products and brands.

Keep an I on our Week, Clematis edition

Our top three articles this week were

  1. firePHONE firefly, Mayday, Mayday Mayday
  2. Boris & Bloomberg upbeat about Billions from London Tech Sector
  3. Google Scores in Brazil

We also published our monthly review of Internet Retail Sales  at the end of the week.

Our Tech Rich List for 2014 continues to be popular. and Peek’s Vision  still attracts many eyes!

Internet sales record at 11.4% of all sales

Yesterday The Office for National Statistics (ONS) published the monthly retail sales figures for May (pdf) Full details are available on the ONS site.

Overall figures showed a decrease in sales of 0.5% on last month which was in line with expectations according to Bloomberg.

Even the ONS on their preferred quarterly view noted continuing significant growth ” The three-month on previous three-month movement in the quantity bought showed continued growth for the fifteenth consecutive month increasing by 1.3%. This is the longest period of sustained growth since November 2007.”

All the figures we quote are now the new seasonally adjusted statistics issued by the ONS. January 2014 was the one year in six when an extra week occurs statistically and we have annotated our headline graph to show an approximately comparable level of sales.

Our Internet sales headlines:

  •   New all time highs in May
  •          o Internet sales 11.4% all sales
  •          o Internet Sales over £725 million (£727.5) per week.
  •          o Online food sales at 3.7% of all food for first time
  •   May internet sales up 1.5% on April
  •   Online food sales continue to exceed £100 million a week for the eighth consecutive month
  •   For every £1 spent in the online retail sector 50 pence was spent on non-store retailing 35 pence in non food stores and 15 pence in food stores!
  •  We do think the ONS needs to do more analysis of internet sales as already half are effectively categorised as sales by online retailers virtually irrespective of the underlying goods or services! These average YoY growth figures of over 20%

May and year to date stats for internet sales:

  • Months sales 11.4% (11.1% last month 10.3 % a year ago) of all retail sales
  • Monthly year on year increase of 15.1% (14.3% last month 11.1 % a year ago)
  • Moving Annual total increases (1) on April 2014 annualised +15.9% (2) on May 2013 +16.9%
  • The UK’s *largest online retailer is included in the group Non-store retailing and this sector shows growth of 22% on 2013 and accounts for nearly 50% of all online retail sales. This is an area which SHOULD just grow & grow unless further analysis is undertaken of this channel!

The ONS words this month are:

Key Points

  • The amount spent online increased by 15.1% in May 2014 compared with May 2013 and by 1.5% compared with April 2014.

Internet Sales in Detail

Seasonally adjusted Internet sales data are provided within this release. These seasonally adjusted estimates are published in the RSI tables (195 Kb Excel sheet) and include:

  • A seasonally adjusted value index; and
  • Year-on-year and month-on-month growth rates.

Internet sales are estimates of how much was spent online through retailers across all store types in Great Britain. The reference year is 2010=100.

Key Points

  • Average weekly spending online in May 2014 was £727.5million. This was an increase of 15.1% compared with May 2013;
  • The amount spent online accounted for 11.4% of all retail spending excluding automotive fuel, compared to 10.3% in May 2013; and
  • The online spend in department stores increased by 26.5% year-on-year but decreased by 15.7% in other stores.

Table 4: Summary of Internet Statistics for April 2014 (seasonally adjusted)

We have added our annotations to the ONS table – The bold categories/ figures in the table are the primary constituents of the total (ie (a) + (b) + (c) = All retailing). Dept. stores, Textile etc, Household etc and Other stores are simply an analysis of (b) All non-food.
We have also added the weekly Internet sales figures by sector and the proportion they represent of all online sales.

Sector summary

The non-store retailing sector comprises of stalls and markets, mail order and those retailers that sell mainly online.

+ Whilst the ONS will not confirm the names of specific retailers within categories they did say that retailers selling wholly online with no physical outlets would be included in the Non store retailing category along with eg online mail order retailers.

Click to ...

The moving annual total, which we report, moved up again (it has increased EVERY MONTH since January 2009 to an all time high of £35.7.billion an increase in the month of 1.1% annualised 14.1%. The average this year is 15.6%. The long term compound average growth rate is around 23%.

Click to

The published weekly figure was £727.5 million which was in line with our estimate as was our moving annual total prediction of £35.5 billion.

The average monthly increase this year has now moved up to 1.2% so we’re going for this level of increase in June so are looking for £730-£735 million and a moving annual total of close to £36.3 billion

We have again included our experimental graph (e & o e!) showing the relative internet and non-internet, moving annual total, sales from late 2007 by month. As before it highlights that high street sales have been and continue to go nowhere! As, we have mentioned before, the Boston Consulting Group forecast in their report (The $4.2 Trillion opportunity) that this trend is likely to continue with the high streets market share contracting at around 2.75% a year from 2010 through 2016. Due to the exceptional 5 week month in Jan 2014 there is a 6 yearly jump to allow for the 53rd week!

Further details and explanations are either in the ONS release on the statistics or on their website. As previously mentioned a retail convention of a 4, 4, 5 week quarter is used by the ONS (March June September and December are 5 week months). To cater for the inconvenience of years not having 364 days every 6 years or so an extra week is included in the statistics. The ONS adds this in January which happened this year the previous one being in 2008.

firePHONE, firefly – Mayday Mayday Mayday

The overall reaction is remarkable we think for the paucity of comment on the call element of what is, after all is said and done, a mobile phone!

Having said that we think it is certainly smart in terms of features, some gimmicky, some not. Showrooming has just reached a new level  with firefly’s ability too scan over 100 million items of which, we guess, the majority can be acquired on

General comment seems to be some surprise at the pricing being somewhat more expensive than envisaged (starting at $199 for a 2 year contract) but the “free Prime for a year” offer saving $99 is quite an incentive.

In hands-on terms some of the features including gesture control are possibly not as smart as they could be. Apps are a significant concern as with the specially “forked” android system being used many of the standard ones are not at this stage available and email systems must be a consideration. At 4.7” the screen size is unsurprisingly larger than Apple’s 5S at 4”.

There’s a useful competitive comparison over at the WSJ detailing iPhone 5S, Samsung Galaxy S%. HTC One and Motorola‘s MotoX

We guess the firePHONE will ship, like Kindle Fire tablets a smallish % of the overall market (over 1 billion globally)  but where it is present it will achieve up to perhaps 5% points share and globally will ship several million units a quarter peaking over the holiday season. There will of course be an intial surge with maybe between 7 & 10 million max sales in Q3 this year in the US

As far as any UK availability is concerned (US from July 25) the only comment TechRadar got from an Amazon employee was “Stay tuned” which if previous tablet precedents are used as a guide could take us  into at least Q3 of 2015.

In terms of the media event itself which you can watch in full (just under an hour and a half in total)  Jeff Bezos, as usual, was impressive and we particularly liked the use in the opening video sequences of customer application videos to attend the announcement. Amazon had 60,038 requests and had  300 invitations so that’s a 200/1 shot!

We can’t yet see the official Amazon “See what customers have to say” promotional video on YouTube so pending its appearance here’s a third party upload.
You can of course see the two videos on Amazon.coms site

Disclosure: We have marketing affiliate arrangements with Amazon

A FirePhone for All

Click to view videos

UPDATE 8.15pm BST:

It’s here (or rather there from 25 July) – No UK mention yet. Some features:

  • Mayday button
  • Firefly scanning ability for over 100 million items & growing
  • Dynamic perspective (sort of 3D simulation)
  • Tilt scrolling
  • Much more

Pricing in US is $199 via AT&T for 32gb for 2 year contract we think (unlocked $649)

We will add much more tomorrow. Initially impressed.

Looks like in fact the Amazon / Jeff Bezos announcement today may in fact initially have only US availability as the rumour mill has AT&T as the sole US carrier and … discussions taking place with O2 and Vodafone over here.

Predictably much comment concerns the likelihood of low pricing including possibly free (or subsidised) carrier elements with Mashable saying “But Amazon doesn’t care about helping you keep in touch with friends; it cares about putting its industry-leading online retail store and services in your pocket and your hands almost 24/7.”

We don’t disagree but we think we can rely on Amazon to come up with some eye catching facilities apps or whatever like eg the Mayday button on their Kindle Fires which they recently told us “… the Mayday button is now the most popular way for Fire HDX customers to contact customer service, and the average response time is just 9.75 seconds.“ The button also is used for 75% of all customer contacts on the HDX.

So far we can’t find any details of any live streaming of the Seattle media event due at 10.30am PT which is 6.30pm BST.

There are of course numerous live bloggers prepping for the reveal and we noticed the following:

Pending our update shortly after the event we’ll leave you with the teaser video “ it’s a …, it’s a … it’s a…” We continue to hope it’s a FirePhone!

Disclosure: We have marketing affiliate arrangements with Amazon.