Orange see currency in bitcoin

French telco Orange is looking to move into digital currency by investing in bitcoin start-ups over the next few months. Its Orange Silicon Valley subsidiary has been running bitcoin events at its San Francisco offices and it is already in talks with two bitcoin outfits. OSV has enough cash to pump in $20,000 per firm. “There’s something intriguing in this technology, so we want to be there as early as possible,” Georges Nahon, CEO of OSV, told Bloomberg. “This could be a digital platform of the future.”

EDM for brands

Live events producer SFX Entertainment has launched an Audience Insights Group to study electronic dance music fans and understand their interests, attitudes and behaviours to provide brands with ideas for connecting with this segment. “The insights lead, we believe, to some provocative questions that marketers might want to consider as they strategise about how to connect with this elusive audience,” said Whitney Miller, director of consumer insights for SFX.

Mini augmented

BMW Mini has unveiled its Mini Augmented Vision AR platform with ‘see-through technology’ which displays information in the driver's direct field of vision while driving. The Mini eyewear shows data such as transport speeds and speed limits in the field of view above the steering wheel to ensure other road users are not concealed.

Returning retail

Some 16% of UK consumers now do pretty much all of their shopping online, and the issue of free returns has become a key factor for shoppers. When it comes to choosing an online retailer, three quarters of consumers questioned for the Royal Mail’s Delivery Matters Returns Special report say they want free returns as standard, while a further one in three would be unlikely to use an online retailer again if they were charged to send unwanted items back.

Ads get mobility

Global mobile advertising spend will exceed $100 billion and account for more than 50% of all digital ad expenditure for the first time in 2016, according to eMarketer forecasts. The $101.4 billion earmarked for spend on ads served to mobile phones and tablets worldwide next year represents a 430% spike on 2013. And between 2016 and 2019, mobile ad spending will almost double, hitting $195.6 billion to account for 70% of digital ad spend as well as over one-quarter of total media ad spending globally.

Lives elastic

It’s all about the Elastic Generation. They’re the 60-to-69-year-olds among us and account for close to 30% of the population. They are pretty important as they control 80% of the UK’s wealth, while 50-plus households account for around half of total consumer spending. However, a mere 5% of advertising budget is spent on campaigns talking to people over 50, which is clearly out of whack.

Net ads come of age

UK advertisers upped digital advertising spend by 14% to £7.2 billion in 2014 from £6.26 billion in 2013, according to IAB UK/PwC data. The biggest sector in display ads last year was consumer goods, with a 19% share, ahead of travel and transport (14%) and finance (13%). Display now accounts for close to one-third of digital ad spend, its largest-ever share.

Is Red Bull coming to Leeds?

Red Bull is rebutting claims that it’s set to take over Championship football team Leeds United. Reports suggest the energy drinks brand is willing to shell out some £60 million for the troubled club which is owned by controversial Italian businessman Massimo Cellino, who is currently serving a Football League ban. Dire though life has been for Leeds fans in recent years, they might not want to be part of the Red Bull sporting empire, says Steve Mullins.

Xiaomi goes bricks and mortar

Chinese smartphone maker Xiaomi’s 12-hour online ‘Fan Festival’ across seven Asian markets this week saw the company rack sales of over 2.1 million devices and pull in revenues of RMB2.1 billion ($335 million). The company pointed to this these as proof that ‘Xiaomi is truly an Internet company, with the e-commerce model being an extremely successful way of reaching its users’.

Rich pitching

Virgin Media Business is partnering with LinkedIn to launch the #VOOM: Pitch to Rich 2015 initiative, with ‘Rich’ being Virgin chief Richard Branson, writes Steve Mullins. Virgin Media and LinkedIn are on the look-out for new business ideas across three categories – ‘grow’, ‘new things’ and ‘start-up’ – and those coming up with the best 150-word elevator pitches (along with pitch video, logo, images and supporting documents) will get the opportunity to do a real pitch to Mr Branson for real cash.