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.

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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

Purple Paym ents launches

The Payments Council today launched Paym the new system for easing money transfers using mobile phones between friends family & others!

How it works in their words:

  • “To receive money through Paym, you first need to register your mobile number and the current account you’d like payments made into with your participating bank or building society.
  • Your friends will then be able to pay directly into your current account using just your mobile number – no sort codes or account numbers. You don’t need a smartphone to receive payments and you still receive the money if your phone is off or out of coverage.
  • To send money using Paym, use your existing mobile banking or payments app to select a friend’s number from your contacts or enter a mobile number manually. It’s possible to send without registering your mobile number for Paym.
  • You’ll be asked to confirm the name of the recipient. Once you’re happy, check the amount and press send. If the person you’re sending money to hasn’t yet registered, you won’t be able to send them a payment using Paym. You could contact them to suggest they register, or use an alternative form of payment.
  • You’ll receive confirmation that your payment has been sent. And because you’ll be using your existing mobile banking or payments app it couldn’t be easier, it’s just as secure and most payments are processed almost immediately.
  • You can send up to £250 a day through Paym, although some participating banks and building societies offer a higher daily limit.
  • Visit paym.co.uk to find out how to register or go to your bank or building society’s website for more information.”

You need to have the mobile banking / payments app from, and an account with, one of the current providers ie:

(links are to the bank’s/societies system – HSBC gets the prize for the shortest link!)

Allegedly later 2014 joiners will be Clydesdale Bank, first direct, Isle of Man Bank, NatWest, RBS International trading as NatWest, The Royal Bank of Scotland, Ulster Bank and Yorkshire Bank. The Nationwide Building Society is planning to join in 2015 and Metro Bank is looking at it!

Some of the payment systems of the individual banks have been around for quite a while eg Barclays Pingit was introduced in February 2012.

The Payments Council reckon that the 9 carriers, so as to speak, enable about 30 million people to use the system from today!

Another purple patch has been provided by Trajectory, the futures partnership,  who in their research for Paym discovered that the average IOU stands at a massive £21 between friends and family.

Top of the pile with a massive £3.7 billion outstanding are parent to children loans BUT encouragingly there is £1.7 billion going the other way!

Security will obviously be an issue and the FAQ’s provided are:

“Is Paym safe & secure?

  • Yes. The service has been developed by the participating UK banks and building societies to meet with their high security levels.

Is my personal information safe?

  • Yes, your details are held securely, and are fully protected by data protection laws. The only information stored will be the details needed to send or receive payments.

What happens if my mobile is lost or stolen?

  • It isn’t possible to send a payment using Paym without your app’s password or security code, but you should still contact your bank or building society immediately to report a lost or stolen phone.
  • Your bank or building society will be able to suspend the service and reset your security settings.
  • You get the same legal protection with Paym that is already applied to your other current account, online and mobile payment services. You are covered providing you didn’t act fraudulently or without reasonable care.”

In general there’s a daily transfer limit of £250 but some providers may vary this on request.

Sounds good, although the name encourages us to a derogatory pronunciation of Pay – ummmm rather than the no doubt preferred Pay – em!

The twitter handle is @paymnow

Internet GB retail sales growth slows in June

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Last Thursday was the third Thursday of the month so The Office for National Statistics (ONS)  published the monthly retail sales figures for June (pdf) We’ve cut the pdf  down to exclude the 85 pages of tables. If you want these, the full version is on the ONS site.

Overall the figures had a mixed reception being headlined as either in line with forecasts or marginally disappointing. No Diamond Jubillee “bounce” was apparent! The weather is still being blamed for unseasonal movements and inflation is seen to be moderating..

Our Internet sales headlines are:

June increases:

  • Year on year +14.3%.(+25.2%) showing a significant slowing after May revision to over 25%
  • Year to date June 2012/2011 + 17.6% (18.4%) a marginal reduction again on a revised upwards May figure.
  • Moving Annual total increases (1) on May 2012 annualised + 13.9% (2) on June 2011 +16.8%
  • The UK’s *largest online retailer is included in the group (Non store retailing) showing 16.7% growth on 2011 and contributing 6.9% to the overall growth of 14.3% (This is an area which is likely to just grow & grow unless further meaningful analysis is undertaken by the ONS)

As always the “history” has been revised by the ONS which this month went back as far as September 2011 with a significant upwards revision to May 2012 sales of +2.9% with the headline weekly Internet sales figure increased to  £525.8 million from the original £510.9 million.

The ONS words are:

“Internet Sales

Key points

  • Average weekly Internet sales values (non-seasonally adjusted) in June 2012 were estimated to be £493.3 million, an increase of 14.3 per cent when compared with June 2011.
  • Internet sales were estimated to account for 8.5 per cent of all retail sales values excluding automotive fuel.
  • The non-store retailing sector had the largest proportion of Internet sales in June 2012 and accounted for 62.0 per cent of all sales in this sector, up from 57.0 per cent in June 2011. The food sector had the lowest proportion of Internet sales and accounted for 3.2 per cent, up from 2.7 per cent a year earlier.

Internet sales in detail

The Internet sales measure how much has been spent online through retailers in Great Britain.Figures are non-seasonally adjusted and the reference year is 2010=100. The table below shows the year-on-year growth rates for total Internet sales, by sector and the contribution that each sector makes to total Internet sales.

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Category Weight Year on year Contribution to
(YOY) growth YOY growth
All retailing 100.0 14.3%
(a) All food 17.3 18.2% 3.1%
(b) All non-food 41.4 10.1% 4.2%
Department stores 7.0 16.4% 1.1%
Textile clothing & footwear stores 11.7 16.4% 1.9%
Household goods stores 8.2 16.7% 1.4%
Other stores 14.5 -2.0% -0.3%
(c) Non store retailing 41.3 16.7% 6.9%

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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.

* 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.

As previously mentioned the figures are no longer experimental.

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The moving annual total, which we report, moved up again (it has increased EVERY MONTH since October 2007 being the first full year of reporting by the ONS) to an all time high of £27.1bn an increase in the month (adjusted re restatements and revisions) of 1.16% annualised 13.9%. This is well below the long term compound average growth rate (from 2007) of 25.8%.

Our last months aggressive forecast of  £525 million weekly sales with a Diamond Jubilee contribution was 5% above the actuals BUT we did achieve the £27+ billion MAT primarily due to Mays revised figures! For July, with some London 2012 help, we will again go for our £525 million with a MAT reaching £27.5+ billion ish!

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We have again included our experimental graph (e & oe!) 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.

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. 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.

A Bellevue from Bing & Seed Capital from Seedrs

Microsoft, using their Bing “brand”, announced last week the set up, initially in the US, of an angel investor fund with “an incubator program”

What they’re looking for is:

  • “Startups that are building online or mobile experiences that incorporate fresh insights.
  • We want startups with both inspirational vision and ability to execute
  • A working prototype, preferably a site or application that is already live (i.e. people can sign up to use it) and gaining momentum
  • A compelling plan that describes the problem being solved, a general idea of the market potential/competitive landscape, and unique market advantages”

They intend providing both project help (including subsidized usage of unique APIs from Bing’s data ecosystem, access to certain technology assets developed by Microsoft Research, appropriate multidisciplinary guidance from the Bing Fund team) and financial aid in the form of a convertible note and introductions to strategic investors.

If the startup is Seattle based they will even offer their co-work space (in Bellevue which is just across the lake) with direct access to Bing teams and other similarly located startups.

They have a FAQ section which includes a response to “What does Microsoft expect” that is fairly specific “We expect to build strong relationships within the startup community, which will expose us to new companies that we could potentially partner with and/or acquire.”

If you are US based and want to apply then simply go on over to their site  & get the ball rolling.

If you’re a new UK based startup seeking seed capital (resident in UK and aged over 18) then it might be worth having a look at Seedrs.

For entrepreneurs seeking up to £150,000 Seedrs think you should consider them as you could:

  • “Access capital from a wide range of investors.
  • Benefit from a seamless fundraising process.
  • Connect with a strong network.”

They outline a 7 stage process from joining them as a member through the (equity) investment and finally achieving an exit.

As with the BingFund Seedrs have a FAQ for the startups.

The other side of the coin, so as to speak, is that they are looking to “Raise capital for your startup from friends, family and the crowds”.

They are doing this almost entirely online and they are also authorised and regulated by the Financial Services Authority.

Its a bit out of date but this NuWire Investor article is worth a read and we thought this paragraph was particularly interesting:

“The metrics of angel investing are sobering – it is not a game for the faint of heart,” according to David S. Rose, managing principal of the Rose Tech Ventures Team and a member of the New York Angels. “Of every 10 deals you make, five crash, two return even money, and two give you two to three times your money. It takes that last one company, a mega-hit,” to get the high return most angel investors are looking for, he said.”

We will likely return to discuss Seedrs in the future but in the meantime here’s a flavour of the capital raising side of the company.
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Digital shoppers aren’t getting it (‘cos Retailers don’t get it)

That’s, an integrated experience across all channels, according to Capgemini’s  research findings per their report – Digital Shopper Relevancy – Full report (vuzit / pdf)  Executive Summary (pdf)

Their conclusions are that both today’s and tomorrow’s digital shoppers:

  •  “First and foremost, …… expect an integrated experience across all channels but aren’t yet getting it. Nearly 60% of respondents said they expect channel integration to be the norm by 2014, but more than half said that most retailers currently are not consistent in the way they present themselves across channels.
  • Second, the many differences that digital shoppers demonstrate across countries, journey phases, product categories, demographics and segments make it clear that there can be no one-size-fits-all approach to a digital strategy. To be relevant to the digital shopper, organizations must understand the most important needs and demands of their particular target segments at different phases of the journey. Prioritizing investments where they matter most to the shopper will benefit both the organization and the shopper.”

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“The study focuses on five product categories: food, health and personal care, fashion (clothing, footwear, accessories), do-it-yourself home improvement (DIY) and electronics. The findings are based on 16,000 interviews with people who have used technology during the shopping process across 16 countries, representing developing as well as mature markets: Australia, Brazil, Canada, China, Finland, France, Germany, India, Italy, Mexico, Russia, Spain, Sweden, Turkey, the United Kingdom and the United States.”

You can discover which country has the most digital shopaholics (China), the most social shoppers (China) and  who are most rational (Finland). We seem pretty rational and the US are remarkably balanced!

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Amongst the five product categories, they concentrated on, there aren’t any surprises amongst the top retailers for the UK. We will let you compare the  Australian Target with the USA Target! We are surprised that India wasn’t asked about the DIY category!

Some of the headlines on the report have gone with  Shops will be Showrooms by 2020 which we think slightly exagerates the report finding that “51% of respondents said they expect that by 2020 MORE physical stores will just be showrooms to select and order products.” (our capitation and highlighting).

Interesting research in pursuit of Capgemini’s “All-channel Experience” approach. – We have tried to add their video but it doesn’t  seem to like our site for some reason. It’s here.

The Shard’s Sellar hard sell

Updated UPDATE 11pm BST – Here’s we think the first unofficial video The official version is here but they seem to be keeping it to themselves! (It’s been taken down unfortunately). There is also this SKY News link for their version!

UPDATE 10.30pm BST – Quite spectacular but rather short! They promise a video on demand shortly & we will at least link to it once available. Pending its arrival here’s a link to SKY NEWS’s  video

UPDATE 10pm BST – From 10.15pm BST to view the livestream of the  Inauguration Laser Display at THE SHARD London CLICK HERE

The latest addition to the London skyline, The Shard, the tallest building in Western Europe, receives its official inauguration tonight at 10.10/15pm BST with what promises to be a spectacular laser show augmented by live music (London Philharmonic) from messrs Copland (Common Man) and Stravinsky (Firebird). The event is being streamed live and you can watch it on their inauguration (countdown) page

Links to the show are also available from Twitter  and Facebook   Their preferred/official hashtag is #TheShardLondon

Rather than repeat all the structural details we shall refer you to Wikipedia’s entry Shard London Bridge.  You can even discuss whether it should be simply renamed The Shard.

This is where you can enjoy spectascular 360º panoramic views. There are also a couple of webcams but they are not, in our view, particularly exciting although a sunset might change our opinion!

From early next year (February) it will be possible to visit the viewing platform and enjoy what we are sure will be a unique perspective of London. Tickets are available from “The view from The Shard” website from tomorrow at 9am BST. There has been a bit of chuntering about the pricing  (£24.95 adult £18.95 child) but we’re not sure (apart from the 95p element) if this is valid.

Many years ago we recall going up to the John Hancock Tower Observatory (now known as 360º Chicago) in Chicago and experiencing the incredible views over Lake Michigan. We can’t remember the then cost but now it’s $15 & $10 (+ sales taxes of 6%) for an adult/child.

OK so maybe £25 is a bit much – after our detailed research we recommend £15 & £10.

We will leave you with a (slightly historic) promotional video of the building.

We will aim to tweet a reminder circa 10pm BST re the inauguration.

The above London Evening Standard photograph was taken at last night’s rehearsal for the laser show..

A Locker in-store to be as popular as a hole-in-the-wall?

amazon are rolling out their UK locker delivery service to several more Co-operative stores in London and elsewhere around the UK.

They initially trialled it in their home town of Seattle with it subsequently spreading to New York and  London..

Their lockers they say   “provides you with a self-service delivery location to pick up your amazon.co.uk parcels.”

Looking at the amazon service in particular in the London area there seem to be the  following 4 types of location:

  • Shopping centres /Malls
  • Co-operative & other in-store facilities
  • Open locations like train and bus stations
  • A Library (Shepherds Bush)

The London shopping centres include Brent Cross, Lewisham, O2 Centre Mall, Southside & West 12. The opening times will link to those of the particular Mall but are in general extended at least into the early evening & in some cases the end of it!

 

 

 

 

 

 

The London Cooperative shops include  Chelsea (SW10) Greenwich (SE10) Parsons Green (SW6) and Poplar (E14). Photo is of Chelsea by Bryan Reynolds of Kantor Retail IQ. Shop hours apply but on weekdays are generally from before 9am until after 6pm

 

 

 

The open locations we identified (normally with 24 hour collections) are in Hammersmith Broadway, New Street Square &  Thomas Moore Square

The video is of Hammersmith Broadway.

amazon as ever have a detailed run over of the system and you can search by various means (post code landmark etc) to find your nearest location.

On a convenience basis the 24 hour variety could be available we hope in future in at least one location in all 66 of the official cities in the UK in the not too distant future..

At present London Manchester and Cheshire seem to have the widest coverage but we have a feeling they will multiply very rapidly, in particular the in store variety as they will likely attract additional casual customers.

So perhaps amazon lockers will be “good for everyone” at Co-operative stores!

We note that the Co-operative already, sort of, has its own gTLD .coop!

 

Internet Retail Sales soar by over 20% in May

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It’s the third Thursday of the month so at 9.30 today The Office for National Statistics (ONS)  published the monthly retail sales figures for May (pdf) We’ve cut the pdf  down to exclude the 100 ish pages of tables. If you want these the full version is on the ONS site.

Overall the figures are a little ahead of “the median forecast of 20 economists”  (we’re sure there’s a joke there somewhere!) The weather is still being blamed for April which seems to have been revised even further downwards.

Our Internet sales headlines are:

May increases:

  • Year on year +21.6%.(+20.7%) the greatest increase this year
  • Year to date May 2012/2011 +17.6% (16.6%) another move upwards making 4 so far this year
  • Moving Annual total increases (1) on April 2012 annualised +16.6% (2) on May 2011 +17.0%
  • The UK’s *largest online retailer is included in the group (Non store retailing) showing 23% growth on 2011 and contributing 9.5% to the overall growth of 21.6% (This is an area which is likely to just grow & grow unless further meaningful analysis is undertaken by the ONS)

As always the “history” has been revised by the ONS which this month went back as far as August 2011 with (to us at least) some fairly large increases in their estimates eg we reckon April’s headline weekly Internet sales figure increased to  £499.8 million from the original £489 million.

The ONS words are:

Internet Sales

Key points

  •  Internet average weekly sales values (non-seasonally adjusted) in May 2012 were estimated to be £510.9 million, an increase of 21.6 per cent when compared with May 2011.
  • Internet sales are now estimated to account for 8.8 per cent of all retail sales values excluding automotive fuel.

Internet sales in detail

The Internet sales statistics measure how much has been spent online through retailers in Great Britain. Figures are non-seasonally adjusted and the reference year is 2010=100. The table below shows the year-on-year growth for total Internet sales, for each sector and the contribution that eachsector makes to total Internet sales.

Category Weight Year on year Contribution
(YOY) growth to YOY growth
All retailing 100.0 21.6%
(a) All food 17.3 34.1% 5.9%
(b) All non-food 41.4 15.1% 6.3%
Department stores 7.0 18.4% 1.2%
Textile clothing & footwear stores 11.7 21.9% 2.4%
Household goods stores 8.2 34.7% 2.7%
Other stores 14.5 -0.6% 0.0%
(c) Non store retailing 41.3 23.0% 9.5%

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.

* 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.

We are disappointed that the ONS have not provided greater analysis and commentary on their internet statistics after all they are the only “sector” showing dramatic growth and on a specific point in their table the All food category has increased to 34% in the moth wheras Marh and April were stated to be 14.3% and 15.3% respectively!

As previously mentioned the figures are no longer experimental.

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The moving annual total, which we report, moved up again (it has increased EVERY MONTH since October 2007 being the first full year of reporting by the ONS) to an all time high of £26.7bn an increase in the month (adjusted re restatements and revisions) of 1.38% annualised 16.6%. This is below the long term compound average growth rate (from 2007) of 25.9%.

 

 

Our previous forecast for April at £500 million weekly sales with the ONS restatements now looks as if it was spot on and we therefore underestimated this month by £10 million. For June with Diamond Jubilee contributions we’re aggressively going for £525 million with a MAT reaching £27+ million ish!

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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.

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. 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

The key to smart knowledge

The SmartKey – Smarten up your TV (as long as it has an HDMI port) for €99+  from the beginning of July. This is LiquidTv’s  boast. “The SmartKey TV is a small pocket-sized dongle that connects to the HDMI port of any regular TV, Video screen or projector, and convert it into a Smart TV.

It’s the smallest dongle in the world with HDMI that runs Android 4.0 Ice Cream Sandwich” and if you are fluent in Italian here’s their video!

So if Apple has its hobby TV maybe Android deserves one as well!

 

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The imrsmart knowledgebase  – At the end of last month IMRG (Interactive Media in Retail Group – the voice of e-retail) announced in conjunction with emota (European Multi-channel and Online Trade Association ) “… the launch of an open-access, fully interactive platform offering a wide range of insights into the performance of the global e-commerce market.”

 

 

 

“The data in IMR Smart is divided into the following categories:

  • e-Commerce: This section contains data on the growth of e-commerce markets across more than 60 countries
  •  Country Dashboards: In-depth information on 200 countries and other economic regions such as MENA, OPEC and GCC
  •  e-Sales Index: Real aggregated sales data representing retailers across 16 categories
  • Delivery Index: Real parcel performance data sourced from more than 220 retailers tracking 3.5 million parcels
  • Other Stats: Information on topics such as Facebook penetration, and mobile and fixed line penetration.
  • Economics: Information to help identify leading economies of the world and access e-commerce potential.
  • Demographics: Data on male and female population, spread of population across different age groups (e.g. 0 -14 years, 15 – 65 years).
  • Rankings: The rankings section provides a glimpse of the performance of countries across various indicators such as e-readiness, ICT development and ease of doing business.”

There does appear to be a wealth of data available and we are still exploring the database and may well return with additional comments and conclusions at a later date.

The Value of the British Monarchy

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Brand Finance in the Jubilee edition of their Journal calculate a brand  value of over £44bn for the monarchy (they also include much generally interesting information on lineage etc etc in their pdf).

In another release, again with a “British” theme they value  the most Valuable Brands of British Origin with Vodafone, HSBC & Shell taking the top 3 spots.

We note that even Vodafone comes nowhere near “The Monarchy”. Our detailed work on the Monarchy front comes up with an incalculable result!

Reverting to the weekends activities here are “The best bits” from yesterdays River Pageant

And a link  to information about the 4,000+ beacons which will be lit during the day (or in fact mainly tonight from 10pm BST ish). At 7pm BST the site appeared to be a bit overloaded! This link is to the main Diamond Jubilee website section giving general information about the beacon events being held throughout the UK  & beyond.

Update 8pm BST – Copy from the Diamond Jubilee Beacons website of the UK Beacon lighting schedule as the site seems to be under a certain amount of pressure!

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