Weekly Digital News Roundup: July 24-28
Obama to sign cellphone unlocking legislation
- According to Politico, President Barack Obama pledged Friday to sign a bill passed by the House and Senate to legalize cellphone unlocking, in a rare example of tech policy advancing in Washington.
- The House passed the legislation just hours earlier, and the Senate approved the measure last week. The bill reverses a Library of Congress decision that made it illegal for cellphone users to unlock their devices to be used on other networks.
- Cellphone unlocking — the act of changing settings on a mobile device so it can be used on a different wireless network — was legal until the Library of Congress declared it copyright infringement in 2012.
Amazon loses $126 million
- According to Ad Age, Amazon’s earnings report, released last Thursday, revealed widening losses for the company.
- Amazon recorded $19.3 billion in revenue for the second quarter, up 23% from the quarter a year ago. However the company actually lost money, and much more than is standard for the notoriously profit-averse company, turning in a second-quarter loss of $126 million.
- Even Wall Street — which usually stomachs Amazon’s nearly nonexistent bottom line, quarter after profit-lean quarter, more or less buying into CEO Jeff Bezos’ long-term vision — had a hard time nodding along to the company’s latest turn to the red. Investors dropped Amazon’s stock by more than 5% in after-hours trading on Thursday.
SEM the Most Effective Acquisition Channel for 85% of Retailers
- According to Search Engine Watch, a new study by Shop.org and Forrester Research shows 85 percent of retailers surveyed said search marketing (including paid and SEO) was the most effective customer acquisition tactic. And, the research showed paid search was the channel most heavily invested in.
- PPC drove more revenue in 2013 than 2012, according to 76 percent of survey respondents. For 19 percent of the respondents, paid search accounted for more than 50 percent of their marketing budgets.
- Display ads, too, are seeing something of a resurgence: specifically remarketing, retargeting, and behavioral targeting ranked among retailers’ leading customer acquisition tactics, and display ads now collectively rank as the second highest area of marketing spend behind paid search.