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View Full Version : More Advertising Not The Answer

Jason Dunn
12-13-2006, 04:00 AM
<div class='os_post_top_link'><a href='http://techdirt.com/articles/20061212/081746.shtml' target='_blank'>http://techdirt.com/articles/20061212/081746.shtml</a><br /><br /></div><em>&quot;Microsoft's entry into the portable music space has been more whimper than bang, with the unit seeing fairly brisk sales early on, only to have consumer interest quickly wane...Zune reviews have been mixed, with one of the more annoying shortcomings being that the much ballyhooed WiFi functionality falls short -- prohibiting you from doing any of the cool things you'd expect to be able to do with a wireless music player. Last week Microsoft worked hard to defend Zune sales by saying their internal expectations (1 million by June) were on target. This week they've announced their miracle solution to the lack of consumer interest: pour more money into an already bloated advertising budget to highlight the device's largely unused music sharing capabilities.&quot;</em><br /><br />I agree with the author that pouring more money into the advertising budget isn't going to sell more product: there's a reason why most reviews have been neutral to negative, it's that the Zune needs improvement in a big way. And focusing on the crippled WiFi is a horrible idea. Every single person I've told about the Zune and how it uses WiFi reacts the same way: &quot;It sounds...lame. Why would I send someone a song that will bomb out after three days?&quot;. It's a bad scenario no matter how you slice it - the &quot;social&quot; aspect of the Zune is a non-starter right now, and emphasizing that only complicates things.<br /><br />In some ways, I think it might actually hurt the Zune long-term for Microsoft to sell more of the Zune in it's current incarnation. There are too many rough edges, too many missing features, too many broken scenarios. I'd like to see Microsoft re-direct some of that money into paying for a Divx codec. Yeah, that's right, WMV just doesn't cut it - especially when the Zune software on the desktop is so limited and it's so hard to get content into WMV (no, <a href="http://www.zunester.com/zunevideo.htm" target="_blank">spending $99 to fix the problem</a> is not a realistic solution). Channel some money into software development to accelerate the pace of improvements. Basically, anything other than advertising - because the product, frankly, just isn't ready for prime time yet (and it pains me to say that as a guy running a Zune Web site).

12-13-2006, 05:29 AM
I disagree. I think more ads are needed. That does not mean that new features are not needed in Zune. I think both are complimentry. New features and new ads.
Also features cannot be added just a month or two after product release. Right now Zune is a half product and needs a few features updates, but if MS is able to sell 1 million Zuns then they did their work with the initial release. I million gives then 10 to 15 % market in 30GB player and thats a good start.
They neede to back that with the missing feature and more product release next year.
There is an interesting article here:

Aaron Roma
12-13-2006, 02:26 PM
Interesting topic. My initial gut reaction is mostly agreement. If there's more money to be spent, then it would be better served filling in some of Zunes gaps; wider codec support, podcast support, movies and shows on the marketplace, and more models. Address some of those issues first, then ramp up the marketing. Zune was already rushed out the door to hit the market in time for the holidays. Mission accomplished. Now time to turn this nice device into a true competetor.

12-13-2006, 03:29 PM
I'm not sure that the MS ads are any less obvious then the Apple ads. That said, Apple does have the whole household name thing going for it. I have confidence that MS will improve the player as long as they are really committed. None of the version 1.0 products from MS have ever really been up to what the competition was pushing. It's the whole turtle and hare thing. They aren't the fastest/best out of the gate, but if you ever stop to rest, they pass you by.

As far as the Divx codec or other codecs forget it. MS has a vested interest in seeing a single codec (theirs) prevail. That said I'd love a BYOC (bring your own codec) model. That way third party vendors could write and we could vote with our $$.

12-16-2006, 06:10 AM
In my opinion, the ads they have make no sense. The current ads are confusing about what exactly is being sold. I've seen exactly one TV ad during Grey's Anatomy and one print ad in my son's snowboarding magazine. The only reason I knew what the product was is because I had already bought one. How is more of that type of advertising going to sell product?

The same negative reviews are being reguritated and recycled, in some form or other, every day on the web. That, in short, is the type of advertising that is keeping people away in droves (or driving them to straight to Apple).

MS seems to be deaf and dumb to this negativity.

How will more strange and arty advertising help with this image they now have? The Marketplace has been up for a month and there has been no absolutely no improvement.

I agree with you, Jason. More advertising will not improve anything.

PS - How about a new tagline: "Share your music. Share your life."