Friday, September 7, 2012

Don't You Love Blind Taste Tests

Blind taste tests are great fun.  The best ones are probably Coke vs Pepsi but I'm sure there were a few soup blind tests and others to disrupt expectations and try to throw the leader off their perch at the top of the hill.  The latest blind taste test is truly unique, comparing search engines.  With Google as the leader and Bing the upstart, a blind taste test is a great way for people to see that sometimes their comfort zones need to be challenged.

"Dubbed 'Bing It On,' the commercials will target a young demographic and run over the next few months on MTV, Fox (including during the premieres of "Ben & Kate" and "American Dad"), The CW, FX, ABC Family and Hulu.

An engaging commercial.  Even Pepsi had a hard time converting people despite their tastes telling them they preferred Pepsi.  Whether it gets people to try Bing for their searches remain to be seen.

Once people have their default search engine, it may be difficult to get them to make a switch.  Perhaps Microsoft has the best chance of getting engagement with Bing is by getting companies to use Internet Explorer where Bing is the default. or convincing Apple to put Bing into Safari.  There may be simply other ways to encourage more use.

Movie Distribution Windows Changing Again

As the physical DVD becomes less desirable, the need is greater to replace this lost revenue through new approaches.  Fox believes it has come up with a winning formula, to recapture that revenue; "the studio plans to offer high-definition versions of its films for sale at newly lowered prices about three weeks before making the movies available on discs and through video-on-demand services, studio executives said in interviews." At the right price point, consumers just might be interested in downloading these films for their tablet and/or computer.

The timing certainly seems smart for Fox.  With new editions of Amazon Kindles coming out and a new Apple mini iPad on its way, the Holiday Season may be seeing tons of sales of these products.  And these devices have an insatiable need for content.  Movies, TVseries, books, and music could see a nice bump as consumers fill the pipeline for content to download.

The one question that Fox and others must face is the desire for consumers to rent or buy.  Do they want to hold onto all this content that they download or simply rent it when they are interested in using it and able to delete it when they are finished or its use expires.  We are generally pack rats, enjoying the feeling of ownership and instant gratification, but  a digital stream rental is virtually instant and may be just as good.  I'm betting on purchase behavior to prevail.