Amazon has rolled out Launchpad, a new marketplace for products supplied solely by start-ups, and is partnering with a raft of Silicon Valley VC firms, including Andreessen Horowitz and Y Combinator, to help it identify outfits and goods for the new online destination. Launchpad start-ups will get their own, dedicated product pages and consumers will be able make pre-orders for items through Amazon, which will deal with the shipping side of the business.
Aussie music streamer Guvera has opened up its House of Guvera content division in downtown Los Angeles, promising that the location will serve as a creative and event space for artists, musicians and brand partners, hosting live performances with established and emerging artists. Guvera also says House of Guvera will offer curation and creation of original content, “to create deeper more engaging experiences on the Guvera streaming platform”.
The number of global ‘Mobile Addicts’ – consumers who launch apps 60 times or more a day – hit 280 million in the second quarter of 2015, up from 176 million in the same quarter last year, according to Flurry Mobile. “Just to put things in perspective, if the number of Mobile Addicts there were in 2014 had been the population of a country, such country would have been the eighth-largest in the world last year, slightly below Nigeria,” says Flurry.
There were seven newcomers to the BrandZ Top 100 Most Valuable Global Brands this year and, reflecting the shift away from Europe and North America, three of those brands are Chinese, plus one each from Australia, India, Japan and the US. And a trio of them are also telecoms providers, in the shape of Australia’s Telstra, SoftBank from Japan and China Telecom, while Chinese telecoms supplier Huawei also features in the ranking.
Netherlands-based Fairphone has begun accepting orders for its new ethical smartphone. The device has a new modular architecture so that users can easily replace damaged components like screens without having to send then to the repair shop, while it also boasts non-conflict metals. The first Fairphone shifted 60,000 units and the company is looking to sell 15,000 Fairphone 2s – which carry a €525 price tag – in the pre-order period up to end-September.
Dunkin’ Donuts has partnered with Spotify to develop a summertime music initiative, the DD Summer Soundtrack. The campaign kicks off with a concert series spanning five cities and with five different emerging artists at pop-up concerts in high-traffic public spaces. The first show, in Philadelphia, features Marian Hill, while additional artists will be added to the roster to perform in Miami, Chicago, New York and Boston.
M2M deployments are delivering significant ROI to organisations, while more than 83% of adopters are reporting that they have gained competitive advantage from their initiatives. Plus companies report a wide range of benefits from M2M, in areas such as productivity, customer service, speed/agility of decision-making, costs, competitive advantage and innovation, according to the M2M Barometer 2015 report from Vodafone.
Another in a long line of musical creative brand appointments is with us in the shape of Rihanna, who has been made contributing creative director, and named as ‘Punk & Poet’ brand ambassador, by fashion brand Stance. The artist will now design multiple seasons of her women’s collection as part of a multi-year partnership. Her first complete Stance sock collection will be unveiled this autumn.