MEDIAWATCH #1: South Korea

Over the last year, I have been fortunate to visit 10 different countries on business.
The experience and learnings I captured during each trip are tremendously valuable.
I have been writing specific work reports, and I have also decided to share broader observations about each market.

This is my media watch, starting with South Korea where I am spending the week.
I will then backfill with India, Brasil, Singapore, Indonesia, Mexico, Australia, France..

  • Population: 49.3 Million
  • Internet penetration: 85.3%

Skorea population and internet metrics

  • Media Spend:  Mobile ad spend is said to account for 10-15% of total ad spend in 2015 and as much as 29% by 2019.
    IPTV & Mobile represent the strongest growth. This demonstrates the power of fast mobile network accessible anywhere (when everyone watches mobile on their phone in the subway: commute time is the new prime time).

S Korea spend by media

  • Mobile leaders: Google and Facebook are strongly represented, yet they are being crushed by the regional giants Daum Kakao and Naver.

S Korea mobile apps used

  • Opportunities for international companies: South Korea is well connected and extremely competitive. The lessons learnt by observing the dynamics can be very valuable (Kakao’s vertical integration is fascinating. Although described as a messaging service it also offers e commerce, content curation, taxi services…).
    South Korea is a great benchmark.
  • Barriers for international companies: Language.
  • Personal observation: This is the most competitive market I have ever seen with local player being extremely advance + vertical integration like nowhere else.
  • Fun fact: #KPOP is everywhere.
      • Travel tips: Traveling to Korea is like stepping into the future.

Marie Sornin

Day 1 with the Apple Watch

Everyone is wondering if the Apple Watch is worth buying.

There are way enough reviews about it to help you make a decision.

I bought the Apple Watch because I wanted to experience wearables.

This post is a documentation of my experience with it as I integrate it into my daily habits.

If you do have an Apple Watch, please feel free to comment and add your thoughts at the bottom.

What I like What I don’t like

What I don’t know yet

Like all Apple products it is beautiful and delightful to (use) wear.I ordered it on Apr 18th and was expecting delivery in June. What a great surprise when it got delivered in April 24th It doesn’t have a browser.
So when I receive a notification, there is noting more that I can do on the watch. I have to take out my phone or computer to follow-up.That is the fundamental question about connected watches: Do they bring enough value to fit in the current usage of connected devices?
There are not a lot of apps available yet
Fitness tracking is great, motivating interactive, accurate + I can keep my Apple in the shower. That is a plus! Siri and I are having a lot of arguments. I hate repeating myself…. And she is not very tolerant with mixed accents … I want Google apps: search, maps, translate… when they will be available, it will bring this tool to a whole new level
The battery life. A lot reviews marked this down. I was actually worried that pairing the watch with my iPhone via Bluetooth would drain my iPhone battery. So far, I have been out for a full day using both and the batteries have lasted the whole day on both. Notifications are always on: Is there a way to automatically turn off notification when the work out app is running? For instance, I don’t want to see my emails pop up when I am in the middle of a spin class checking my heart rate. The voice control is a great feature (to send messages, search… ) but it feels awkward to use in public places. Not a lot of people have adopted it yet.
The notifications at your finger tips without having to take out your phone (email, txt, tweets…) give you the feeling that you are not missing a bit of the information that comes your way. I am yet to use Apple pay, Delta check in, SPG keyless room
The Haptic (vibration) system is definitely not as intrusive as receiving notification on a phone. I can see how this type of communication will become a game changer in the future. Apple is leading the way there I have only made one phone call so far and holding my wrist near my face to talk was far less comfortable that using headphones with an iPhone with . Not sure if I can talk into the watch with my hand hanging down and also the volume of the watch is not strong enough to hear. How do I make the best use the camera command? Is this suppose to replace the selfie stick??

Have you used the Apple Watch?
If yes, please share you experience and nuggets that you have found using it

Stay tuned for more remarks as I learn more about it!

Marie Sornin

Google Goodness?

It’s day 2 at Google I/O so by now you would have seen most of the major announcements made by the lead Googlers during I/O13 keynote opening session.
The presentation went on for a solid 3 hours, you can view it here .
For me, the product highlights were: of course the all access music service, the new and awesomely enhanced maps (with content discovery, 3D imagery inside buildings, offers, geo fencing, activity recognition and live traffic event), as well as the Star Trek computer project, which is the future of search (awesome and related to one of my previous post) and the new user features for Google+ (photo sharing & editing, content recommendation # and multiplatform sign on- a real plus on Facebook).

A multitude of journalists and bloggers have covered the event and you can learn the details of all these features elsewhere (Google: I/O13).

google I/O 2103

google I/O 2103

The two things I will focus on this live post are: My personal experience being part of the crowd at Google I/O and how Google is building the future of the Internet.

This year the event gathered over 6,000 attendees. The highlight of I/O is always the opening keynote, where the big announcements are made. The line in front of Mascone West 2hrs before kick off looked like the usual queue for the Sistine chapel. Funny analogy, but later that morning Sundar Pichai (SVP of Chrome and Android) actually referred to funeral of Pope J.P II and the nomination of Pope Francis to illustrate how mobile devices have changed our behaviour. The parallel between Google and a new kind of religion is too obvious here #justsaying…

French style… I might have slightly jumped the queue at the entrance and then waited for another 1h30min, I finally made it to the main theatre. It filled up quick, every single sit taken, lots of people standing in the aisles. Dimmed light, smooth electronic tunes playing in the background. Countdown clocks on the big screens and a tangible build of excitement as the clocks got closer to 0! The last 10 seconds were literally like NYE. Google brought us NYE at 9am, at that point in time we didn’t know that Google was also going to bring us Christmas at 2pm by giving away free Chorme books to everyone!

The first speaker to get on stage was Vic Gundotra (Vice President). All his followers were just as polished and impressive. Naturally at ease in front of 6,000 demoing live technologies. Very inspiring presentations, mixed with animations and live demos… and Larry Page came on stage to clos off the keynote! He gave a casual chat about where Google is now opportunities ahead. He even opened to the floor for questions…. and they were as diverse as: how does Google protects freedom of speech to how to help youngsters be positive about technology or how to get more women in tech carrers… which brings me to my second point: How Google is building the future of the Internet.

The future of the Internet will be seamlessly multiplatform, easy to use, frictionless, intuitive and infiltrated in everything we do. After spending 2 days at I/O it is hard to say if the future is organically shaping up that way or if Google is building it that way.

Larry Page says that technology must get out of the way for us to spend more time doing what makes us happy. Did Google’s CEO, really said that. Yes he did!

Very early on, when developing Google, like Steve Jobs, Larry recognised that the power of the Internet is not in super computers but in all the PCs in homes around the world. At the moment all these computers are connected via tiny pipes, which dramatically limits the possibilities. Google wants unleash this opportunity! Since its inception Google has aimed for big audacious goals. As Susan Wojcicki (Senior Vice President) testified, when Larry and Sergei were renting her garage their objective was to organise the world’s information… the same bold philosophy drove projects like maps, street view, Glass, Fibre etc.… and still applies now more than more than ever. That is exactly what makes me think that there is nothing that Google cannot do. It currently dominates the global online advertising market (search and display combined), keeps diversifying its revenue streams; its share just crossed $900…. Even if Larry says that there is no safe place to experiment and to roll out technology, when Google decides to index every street corner or under water spots all around the world and add real 3D images to every single spot, it puts a world class engineers in a room and ask them a way to figure it out, test it and deploy!

He also said that Google has a strong desire for free flow of information and freedom of speech. Protecting personal information, computer security, being as transparent as possible… and empowering individuals. And Google does empower us by giving us technologies: rolling out Fibre in 4 test cities in the USA, giving away 6,000 chrome books, supporting computer literacy in schools… but is it really for us to do the things we love, or is it to increase Google’s Power? Imagine what super high-speed connexion will do to YouTube or a whole generation of kids familiar with Chrome book pixel…

There seems to be only one area, at the moment that Google can’t penetrate and that is healthcare. Larry’s explanation on it is just because too much regulation and that laws are now irrelevant as they were made before the Internet even existed, but he clearly sees user benefits for Google to get into space and has no shame talking about DNA sequencing….

The more time I spend in this environment, or may it’s because I just finished reading “The End of Big” but Google seems to me more and more like an institution that is some respects more influential on societies that governments. Scary or exciting?

Marie Sornin

Summary slides:

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If you are waiting for the year of mobile, you might be missing out!

For how many years have we said/heard “it’s the year of mobile”? I was just about convinced that 2014 would be it… PWC has been built some pretty compelling modelling where the curve of m -browsing would over take the curve of desktop browsing in 2014.

However, based on some insights gathered from the Mobile World Congress 2013, it seems that “the year of mobile” might be happening as we speak….

What makes me think that?

Well, maybe the year of mobile should not be represented by a crossing point on a graph, but by the realization that the rapid progress of technology is generating fast adoption of portable devices & services, consequently creating new behaviours… hard to grasp? a few key highlights from the MWC 2013 should be enough to prove my point:

Payment is going virtual: Thanks to NFC our Android & Apple smart phones will become payment gateway, but MasterCard, Visa, PayPal are also rolling out smarter ways to pay. I am happy to hear that MasterPass, PayPass on steroids, will launch in Australia first!

Device mobility: Phablet? PhonePad? Bigger phones or mini tablet… the point here is mobility. Tablets are getting smaller and coming with us everywhere rather than remaining the lean back/ TV companion…

Portable services: Start ups have opened the way for consumers to use their smart phones at full potential (Instagram for camera, Shazam for music, Yelp for reviews, Google maps for location & search…) traditional companies should now have an easier task in transferring their products to mobile and make real business!

Finally, the next big thing is “The Internet of all things”. Connectivity will soon be embedded into anything we own: appliances, clothes, cars, etc.… Research predicts that over 50 billion of devices will be connected by 2020.

It felt so experimental a year ago and now it opens up so many new opportunities (along with challenges) for companies to re invent their products & comms… Samsung just launched HomeSync, I have also seen transparent overlay that contains Internet connexion and that you can apply on any surface

So if, you still don’t have a mobile strategy. Come up with one fast… and if you do have one, start thinking of what it would like once connectivity is infused in everything we own…

I would be happy to hear your thoughts on the evolution of the mobile world!

Marie Sornin

This is what you would have seen if you went on holidays to Las Vegas

I am just wrapping up my holiday and unfortunately I haven’t been to Las Vegas…
Every year in January the Las Vegas Consumer Electronic Show seems to be taking more room on the technology landscape. For those like me who haven’t been able to go, here is a condensed overview of the key trends I have picked up from the 2012 trade show.

Above and beyond being always cheaper, faster and more powerful (eg: D-Link’s Amplifi HD Media Router 3000 DIR-857 router will be the first to supports USB 3.0 and 450Mbps dual-band… compared to my own router which I thought was quite good with its 100 Mbps!!!!), I would say that the words that are mostly influencing technology development are: Anywhere anytime// Android// Green?

– Anywhere anytime:
Cloud computing is now a default feature on most devices and applications which gives a new dimension to mobility.

We have also been talking a lot about multiple screen media consumption, well it looks that a few hardware suppliers believe in the one screen domination.

 Examples:  

Intel’s ‘Nikiski’ Notebook 

 I like it because it combines the activity of a tablet and a PC together and for those (like me) who haven’t found a great benefit in fitting their Ipad experience between a laptop and smartphone, this might be the answer??

 Sharp Aquos Freestyle ConceptTV 

A TV that can be carried around the house… hmmmm, not so sure that this is such a groundbreaking achievement????? However, removing all the wires and redesigning the TV tuner with integrated WIFI, that’s ground breaking. Could it be the start of a merge between TV and tablets?
More gimmicky but useful for those who can’t let go of their mobile phone even in the shower the HzO Waterblocking Technology is the answer!!!

– Greener?: 
On one hand more efficient technology should mean less strain on resources and energy: is the announcement of OLED technology in some LG TVs a good thing? 
But on the other hand some new products such as the LG blast chiller refrigerator (claiming to cool a can of beer in less than 5 min). I know that beer is a very important topic, particularly in Australia but it still makes me wonder how much LG engineers care about the future…

Good to see that some recycling initiatives such as “Uncle Oswald Is Our Hero are also getting traction!

 – Android:
That mobile is the future proof strategy for Google is no surprise to anyone now. What seems to be more surprising is to see Android setting itself up as the cross platform standard… Windows 8 launches, more than 400,000 Android apps will be available through BlueStacks

What’s the most impactful technology progress you have seen this year?

 

Marie Sornin