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  • Google Just Filed A Lawsuit Against Mississippi's Attorney General (GOOG)

    larry page, google

    Google filed a lawsuit against Mississippi attorney general Jim Hood on Friday, the Washington Post reports.

    Google has accused Hood of helping launch an illegal campaign against Google and acting as a pawn for Hollywood lobbyist group Motion Picture Association of America (MPAA). 

    Hood issued a subpoena for information about how Google hides ads promoting the sale of illegal and prescription drugs on its search engine and through YouTube. The lawsuit would block this subpoena, the Post reports.

    Among the 32,000 emails leaked in a massive cyberattack against Sony Pictures Entertainment were emails between Hood and the MPAA. Last week The Verge reported the MPAA was working with movie companies on a project to stop a company identified by the name "Goliath," which is thought to be a code word for Google.

    The MPAA has historically taken issue with Google because, from Hollywood's perspective, Google enables illegal movie downloading and piracy. Google has tweaked its search engine algorithm to make it harder to find pirated movies, but for Hollywood, that's not enough. The movie companies think Google should stop people from searching and finding pirated movies entirely. 

    Google alleges the MPAA and six other studios are trying to "secretly revive SOPA." SOPA, the Stop Online Piracy Act, was a controversial piece of legislation that would let the federal government and private companies — like major movie companies — create a "blacklist bill" that would censor certain websites, like sites hosting pirated movies. 

    "Google voluntarily strives to exclude content that violates either federal law or Google’s own policies, by blocking or removing hundreds of millions of videos, web pages, advertisements and links in the last year alone," Google says in the suit. "These extensive efforts comply with and go well beyond Google’s legal obligations."

    The lawsuit says Hood's subpoena is a violation of the First Amendment because it is "overbroad" and asks a private company to censor material.

    In a blog post published yesterdayGoogle accused Hollywood — and by association, Hood — of trying to "censor the internet."

    Even though Google takes industry-leading measures in dealing with problematic content on our services, Attorney General Hood proceeded to send Google a sweeping 79-page subpoena, covering a variety of topics over which he lacks jurisdiction.The Verge reported that the MPAA and its members discussed such subpoenas and certainly knew about this subpoena’s existence before it was even sent to Google.

    Attorney General Hood told the Huffington Post earlier this week that the MPAA "has no major influence on my decision-making,” and that he “has never asked [the] MPAA a legal question” and “isn't sure which lawyers they employ.” And yet today the Huffington Post and the Verge revealed that Attorney General Hood had numerous conversations with both MPAA staff and Jenner & Block attorneys about this matter.

    You can see the entire lawsuit filed by Google against Jim Hood here.

    SEE ALSO: SONY: 'We Have Not Caved'

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  • Google Just Gave Photographers A Big Reason To Choose Android Over The iPhone (GOOG)


    Google's new Android software comes with an important feature for photography enthusiasts: the ability to shoot raw images.

    This means users will be able to see what photos look like before the phone's camera processes it and translates it to a JPEG file.

    The ability to shoot in raw is common on high-end DSLR cameras, but hasn't made its way to mobile until now.

    So why does this matter? The average person probably doesn't care much about shooting photos in raw.

    In fact, it would probably be more of an inconvenience than an improvement. The camera software in phones are built to compress and translate images into a JPEG or similar file format since it's easy to share and edit, as CNET's Stephen Shankland notes in his feature about raw coming to the Android platform.

    But those who do know a thing or two about photography could benefit greatly from the new feature. Unlike JPEG or PNG, raw gives you the freedom and flexibility to edit and manipulate particular parts of an image.

    Raw photos are essentially pure image data captured through a camera without any compression or modifications — meaning photographers can fiddle with it any way they want using software like Photoshop, as Shankland explains. In other words, when you're shooting in raw the camera's software doesn't make any assumptions about how colors and other elements of an image should look. 

    It might not be the most noticeable addition to Android, but it opens up the door for mobile phones to replace professional cameras in certain circumstances. And, it certainly gives Android a leg up over the iPhone in that particular regard. Although the iPhone takes fantastic images, it doesn't allow you to shoot in raw like you can with phones running Android 5.0.

    SEE ALSO: CAMERA SHOOTOUT: The iPhone 6 Plus Takes On The Galaxy Note 4 And Nexus 6

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  • Tensions Are Rising Between US And EU Tech Companies

    jean claude juncker

    It has been a dynamic year for tech companies on both sides of the Atlantic.

    There has been a huge expansion of services from companies like Uber, Amazon and Google in both the United States and Europe and not without protest. In Spain, Germany and the UK taxi unions have fought Uber’s attempts to expand into European markets.

    In the US, politicians have argued over corporate tax loopholes and a surge of corporate inversions, a case in which American firms have relocated to more tax friendly European states. The debate over net neutrality and privacy rages on both sides of the Atlantic.

    At the heart of these disputes is Google. With the decision in favor of the “right to be forgotten,” Google has begun rolling out services in Europe allowing users to request personal information to be taken down by the search engine. European lawmakers are now pushing for this ruling to be applied internationally. However, Google still faces several other investigations into its Android platform, patenting and copyright laws.

    Of these cases, the latest and biggest Google antitrust investigation, started in 2010, focuses on claims that the search engine uses its 90 percent European market share to benefit its own Google related products and services, placing them first in search rankings while hiding competitors, such as Yelp, lower on the list.

    Google has proposed several settlements in the case, offering competitors the opportunity to pay for search rankings that appear alongside Google’s. However, the same competitors that these settlements seek to appease, such as Microsoft and Expedia, claim that Google has not gone far enough, and after three rounds of negotiations, no settlement has been reached.

    On November 25th the European Parliament voted 458 to 173 in favor of a resolution that effectively calls for Google to unbundle its commercial and search services.

    Is a Google breakup a possibility?

    Because the European Parliament has no enforcement power, the November vote becomes primarily symbolic of larger political sentiment. The final decision will rest with the European Commission and Margrethe Vestager, the newly appointed competition commissioner, who has promised to take her time with the already 4 year long case.

    Vestager vows to separate parliamentary politics from any future decision and has two fundamental options moving forward: If there is a lack of evidence to support an infringement procedure, Google could remain in negotiations for years and a political back and forth with the EU and its competitors who have used the European courts as a battleground.

    More critically, if the Commission decides it has enough evidence to bring infringement charges against Google, it may take any action it deems necessary to end that infringement. This includes a theoretical break-up of Google services. However, this remains highly unlikely for several reasons. First, “the commission has to date never imposed a structural remedy in an infringement decision,” and second, it remains to be seen whether Google and other search engines could even be capable of unbundling search and commercial services since the two are so closely intertwined and interdependent.

    The more likely outcome in this case is for the Commission to impose fines that may reach up to 10 percent of Google’s annual global sales, equivalent to 5 to 6 billion euros. In the event of infringement proceedings, this is the most likely outcome, given precedent in similar past cases.

    In litigation for over 10 years, in 2003 the European Commission ordered Microsoft to pay a EUR 497 million fine for anti-competitive behavior and fined the company an additional EUR 860 million in 2012 for failing to comply with the earlier commission ruling. In 2009, Intel lost a similar antitrust case in which the European Commission ordered it to pay a EUR 1.06 billion fine and end the illegal practices identified in the case.

    Anti-Google or anti-American: the macro perspective

    Is the EU picking on Google? While the parliamentary resolution, demanding internet search providers to unbundle their services, never specifically mentioned Google outright, it was clearly aimed at Google who holds 90 percent of the European market share.

    However, as the cases with Microsoft and Intel demonstrate, Google is not the first major American tech firm to be caught up in European regulation. Instead, the recent proceedings against Google should be seen in part as a political reaction against the recent abuse of data collection by the US government and its use of American firms to do so, particularly in the most recent NSA and Snowden scandals.

    Combined with a greater European value on privacy, this has led to fears of a new American digital colonization and has caused the EU to reassess the power of American firms in the market place and plans to improve Europe’s own digital infrastructure via a Digital Single Market (DSM)

    Made a priority since Jean-Claude Juncker’s run for European Commission President, the DSM is an attempt at an indigenous, continental digital economy that would accelerate Europe’s economic recovery by creating universal European telecom, copyright and data protection regulations while promoting European-grown tech entrepreneurs that could compete globally. It is unsurprising that the phrase “digital single market” appears almost thirty times in the parliamentary resolution aimed against Google. The concept of the DSM will continue to grow with new EU tech and data legislations.

    Culture war or trade war: what we expect for the future of tech in Europe

    Despite the probable settlement or fine in the current case against Google, expect the tech battle to continue in Europe.

    Expect more policy and possible taxes addressing online publishing and copyrights. Backed by strong lobbies, Spain and Germany have already passed laws requiring Google and other search engines to pay online publishers and newspapers for listing their content. More states are experimenting with this type of legislation, even though it remains to be seen whether this actually benefits publishers, which Google can simply drop from its listings altogether to avoid any fees.

    Plan to see more states like the UK implementing an aptly named “Google-tax” which increases corporate tax rates on transnational companies like Amazon, Apple and Facebook, which use complicated corporate tax structures to avoid paying taxes in the major European countries in which they operate. Expect to see this in-step with an increase of tax-avoidance investigations by the Commission. Apple has already announced to shareholders possible effects of a Commission investigation on its operations in Ireland, and Amazon faces a similar investigation surrounding its 2003 tax deal with Luxembourg.

    Finally, some analysts have expressed concerns of a cultural and philosophical war turning into a larger trade war. This is unlikely, with both sides actively pursuing to close the largest free-trade deal in history, the Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership (TTIP), before the newest US presidential elections in 2016. However, expect the spate of legal tech battles between Europe and the United States to shape ongoing negotiations as well as the larger cultural debate surrounding privacy and data, particularly concerning future US-EU trade relations.

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  • Google Has Accused Hollywood Of Secretly Reigniting Plans To Censor The Internet (GOOG)

    Locked Fence

    In a blog post published yesterday, Google accuses Hollywood of trying to "censor the internet." Again.

    The web giant claims the Motion Picture Association of America (MPPA) has led a renewed campaign to reignite 2011's Stop Online Piracy Act (SOPA) legislation, which would have allowed the US government and private corporations to create a "blacklist bill" of censored sites.

    The legislation was well-intentioned — it was designed to prevent piracy and copyright infringement — but Business Insider's Alyson Shontell noted that it did so in "a n overly-aggressive, innovation-endangering way."

    The battle of internet censorship has been going on for some time. Many feel it would corrupt the very nature of the world's digital resource. Three years ago, millions of Americans helped stop SOPA from being passed. Around 115,000 websites opposed the bill and it failed to go through. More than 10,000,000 people signed a petition against it.

    Now, the proposal of censorship is back in the spotlight. Google's Senior Vice President and General Counsel Kent Walker writes: "We are deeply concerned about recent reports that the MPAA led a secret, coordinated campaign to revive the failed SOPA legislation through other means and helped to manufacture legal arguments in connection with an investigation by Mississippi State Attorney General Jim Hood."

    According to the Verge, documents leaked in the ongoing Sony hack by suspected terrorists in North Korea reveals media companies have been once again plotting to pass "harsh anti-piracy measures."

    On Dec. 12, the Verge also reported that leaked emails show major movie companies are working together with the MPAA on a project named to stop a company known as "Goliath." It's thought that "Goliath" refers to Google, which from Hollywood's viewpoint is enabling piracy online.

    Google previously tweaked its search engine algorithm to make finding illegal copies more difficult, but it appears that's not enough to satisfy Hollywood. It all boils down to the argument that Google should entirely stop people being able to "search" for pirated material in the first place.

    But it appears the MPAA is back with a new plan. The Verge reports the MPAA and six other studios have recently joined together to conspire to "secretly revive SOPA."In dozens of leaked emails, lawyers from the MPAA and its counterparts call it their "most powerful and politically relevant adversary in the fight against online piracy."

    Walker says the MPPA has "pointed its guns at Google." It notes movie studios even factored in £500,000 a year to provide legal support. There are also claims the MPAA did the "legal legwork" for Hood, a self-confessed SOPA backer. The New York Times previously highlighted a letter signed by the Attorney General that was drafted at the MPAA's law firm, Jenner & Block.

    Google finishes with a bold, detailed statement on the matter:

    Even though Google takes industry-leading measures in dealing with problematic content on our services, Attorney General Hood proceeded to send Google a sweeping 79-page subpoena, covering a variety of topics over which he lacks jurisdiction.The Verge reported that the MPAA and its members discussed such subpoenas and certainly knew about this subpoena’s existence before it was even sent to Google.

    Attorney General Hood told the Huffington Post earlier this week that the MPAA "has no major influence on my decision-making,” and that he “has never asked [the] MPAA a legal question” and “isn't sure which lawyers they employ.” And yet today the Huffington Post and the Verge revealed that Attorney General Hood had numerous conversations with both MPAA staff and Jenner & Block attorneys about this matter.

    While we of course have serious legal concerns about all of this, one disappointing part of this story is what this all means for the MPAA itself, an organisation founded in part “to promote and defend the First Amendment and artists' right to free expression.” Why, then, is it trying to secretly censor the Internet?

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  • The 10 Things You Need To Know In Advertising Today

    sasha luss

    Good morning. Before you wind down for the weekend, catch up on the most important stories in the advertising world today.

    1. Time Inc. is making a huge ambitious bet to become a tech company. The magazine publisher accelerating partnerships with tech businesses, most recently IFTTT, and is looking at developing its own standalone apps and tech. 

    2. Google is letting companies rack up hundreds of thousands of dollars in ad revenue — then taking it away. One business has sued Google for $1 million in revenue it allegedly earned from AdSense ads, which Google declined to pass to the company.

    3. Unilever has dropped its lawsuit against Hampton Creek’s Just Mayo. Hellmann’s maker Unilever had said that “Just Mayo” has no eggs, therefore doesn’t meet the definition of mayonnaise, but it has now withdrawn the suit so Hampton Greek can address its label issue directly with industry groups and regulatory authorities. 

    4. YouGov’s BrandIndex has ranked the restaurant chains that have the highest brand loyalty amongst millennials. McDonald’s, Taco Bell and Wendy’s are not in the top 5. 

    5. Instagram has begun to delete millions of accounts. It is cracking down on spammers and fake accounts, but people are freaking out. 

    6. From start to finish, this is how beacons send ads to your phone while you’re shopping. From creating a target customer called “Jennifer,” to an ad landing on her phone while she does her grocery shopping. 

    7. These are the 15 hottest up and coming models. You’ll see many of these people fronting ad campaigns in 2015. 

    8. Bustle, the one-year-old publication for women, now has 20 million monthly readers and has just raised a $15.5 million round of financing. Bustle founder Bryan Goldberg tells Business Insider the site will pull in more than $1 million in the fourth quarter of this year, largely from native advertising. 

    9. NBC Universal is offering social media guarantees to advertising, AdAge reports. NBC’s new “Social Synch” product guarantees impressions on social media, elevating the role of social media in ad deals and trying to attract advertisers who are increasingly thinking digital-first. 

    10. Google is making it easier for brands to figure out if online ads actually drive in-store traffic, Adweek reports. Its new “store visits” tool uses an algorithm to estimate how many people went into a store within 30 days of seeing a search ad. 

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  • Google Is Making Plans To Put The Next Version Of Android Directly In Your Car

    A Google self-driving vehicle is parked at the Computer History Museum after a presentation in Mountain View, California May 13, 2014. REUTERS/Stephen Lam

    SAN FRANCISCO/DETROIT (Reuters) - Google is laying the groundwork for a version of Android that would be built directly into cars, sources said, allowing drivers to enjoy all the benefits of the Internet without even plugging in their smartphones.

    The move is a major step up from Google's current Android Auto software, which comes with the latest version of its smartphone operating system and requires a phone to be plugged into a compatible car with a built-in screen to access streaming music, maps and other apps. The first such vehicles will debut in 2015.

    Google, however, has never provided details or a timeframe for its long-term plan to put Android Auto directly into cars. The company now plans to do so when it rolls out the next version of its operating system, dubbed Android M, expected in a year or so, two people with knowledge of the matter said.

    The sources declined to be identified because they were not authorized to discuss the plans publicly.

    "It provides a much stronger foothold for Google to really be part of the vehicle rather than being an add-on," said Thilo Koslowski, vice president and Automotive Practice Leader of industry research firm Gartner, who noted that he was unaware of Google's latest plans in this area.

    If successful, Android would become the standard system powering a car's entertainment and navigation features, solidifying Google's position in a new market where it is competing with arch-rival Apple. Google could also potentially access the valuable trove of data collected by a vehicle.

    Direct integration into cars ensures that drivers will use Google's services every time they turn on the ignition, without having to plug in the phone. It could allow Google to make more use of a car's camera, sensors, fuel gauge, and Internet connections that come with some newer car models.

    Analysts said Google's plan could face various technical and business challenges, including convincing automakers to integrate its services so tightly into their vehicles.

    Google declined to comment.

    Technology companies are racing to design appliances, wristwatches and other gadgets that connect to the Internet. Automobiles are a particularly attractive prospect because Americans spend nearly 50 minutes per day on average on their commute, according to U.S. Census data.

    Apple unveiled its CarPlay software in March and Google has signed on dozens of companies, including Hyundai, General Motors, and Nissan, for its Open Automotive Alliance and its Android Auto product.

    Android Auto and CarPlay both "project" their smartphone apps onto the car's screen. Many of the first compatible cars are expected to be on display at the upcoming Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas next month.

    By building Android into a car, Google's services would not be at risk of switching off when a smartphone battery runs out of power, for example.

    "With embedded it's always on, always there," said one of the sources, referring to the built-in version of Android Auto. "You don't have to depend on your phone being there and on."

    By tapping into the car's components, Google could also gain valuable information to feed its data-hungry advertising business model. "You can get access to GPS location, where you stop, where you travel everyday, your speed, your fuel level, where you stop for gas," one of the sources said.

    But the source noted that Android would need major improvements in performance and stability for carmakers to adopt it. In particular, Android Auto would need to power-up instantly when the driver turns the car on, instead of having to wait more than 30 seconds, as happens with many smartphones.

    Automakers might also be wary of giving Google access to in-car components that could raise safety and liability concerns, and be reluctant to give Google such a prime spot in their vehicles.

    "Automakers want to keep their brand appeal and keep their differentiation," said Mark Boyadjis, an analyst with industry research firm IHS Automotive. "Automakers don't want to have a state of the industry where you get in any vehicle and it's just the same experience wherever you go."


    (Reporting by Alexei Oreskovic in San Francisco and Ben Klayman in Detroit; Editing by Richard Chang)

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  • This One Chart Shows Why Google Needs A 'Buy' Button (GOOG)

    Amazon is facing competition from all sides, but Google has the best shot at dethroning Amazon as the king of online retail. Google has been ramping up its paid product listings and shopping results, but what Google really needs is a "buy now" button on those featured items, which the company is reportedly working on.

    Based on Custora data charted for us by BI Intelligence, search is still the main way people find the products they want to buy, as about 40% of e-commerce purchases in November were referred by search engines like Google. If Google didn't have to refer that traffic to another retailer website like Amazon, Google could capture all that precious commerce behavior, which would give a huge boost to its ad business. Google's ad business, by the way, is the company's bread and butter: Ads make up nearly 90% of the company's total annual revenue.

    bii sai cotd ecommerce referrals search

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  • The Single Most Terrifying Trend Facing Google (GOOG, AMZN)

    Larry Page Google

    Two and a half years ago we wrote a post headlined "Forget Apple, Forget Facebook: Here's The One Company That Actually Terrifies Google Execs."

    That company? Amazon.

    Google is a search company, but the searches it makes money from are the searches people do before they are about to buy something online.

    These commercial searches make up about 20% of total Google searches. Those searches are where the ads are.

    Two and a half years ago we wrote, "What Googlers worry about in private is a growing trend among consumers to skip Google altogether, and to just go ahead and search for the product they would like to buy on Amazon.com, or, on mobile in an Amazon app."

    We noted that, according to ComScore, "the trend is real." Searches on Amazon.com were up 73% year over year.

    Well, we checked back with ComScore recently, and the news remains bad for Google. Desktop search queries on Amazon increased 47% between September 2013 and September 2014, according to ComScore.

    Even worse for Google, that number doesn't tell the whole story.

    In the past two and a half years, the number of mobile internet users surpassed desktop internet users.

    desktop versus mobile users in 2014

    On mobile, using Google as a starting point when you want to buy something makes even less sense.

    Think about it. Why go through these steps?

    • Open your web browser on your phone.
    • Google search "bike gloves."
    • Scan some text links.
    • Click on a link to go to a product page at some e-commerce store.
    • Click to add the item to your cart.
    • Input your credit-card info.
    • Type in your address.
    • Select the shipping preferences you want to pay for.

    When you can just ... 

    • Open the Amazon app on your phone.
    • Search "bike gloves."
    • Click one button to buy the product with your usual credit card, and have it shipped to your usual address free.

    Two and a half years ago, we wrote that Google's Amazon nightmare would get scarier if Amazon's Kindle Fire tablets and (rumored) phones ever got wide adoption.

    That hasn't happened yet. Kindle Fire sales are pretty bad. But earlier this month, Amazon CEO Jeff Bezos made it clear in an onstage interview at our BI Ignition conference that he's not giving up on the project.

    Bad news for Google execs trying to get eight hours a night.

    Nicholas Carlson is the author of "Marissa Mayer and the Fight to Save Yahoo!"

    NOW WATCH: 14 Things You Didn't Know About Whole Foods

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  • YouTube CEO Susan Wojcicki Explains Why Everyone Should Get Paid Maternity Leave

    susan wojcicki

    YouTube CEO Susan Wojcicki is grateful for the four and a half months of maternity leave Google provides its employees, but says it's a problem that most other American mothers don't enjoy the same luxury.

    In an op-ed for the Wall Street Journal, Google's 16th employee (and first to go on maternity leave) makes the case that the US should follow the lead of every other country in the developed world and offer new mothers paid maternity-leave benefits, funded by social-security programs, as a matter of law.

    "Support for motherhood shouldn’t be a matter of luck; it should be a matter of course," she writes. "Paid maternity leave is good for mothers, families and business. America should have the good sense to join nearly every other country in providing it."

    Wojcicki's essay argues that Google's maternity-leave program, enviable even among Silicon Valley's employee-friendly upper echelon, has helped the company keep female employees, noting that turnover among new moms decreased by 50% when the company increased its leave time from 12 weeks to 18 in 2007.

    Plus, she maintains, women who return to the workforce after a lengthy maternity leave are better able to contribute than they were before their departure.

    "Best of all, mothers come back to the workforce with new insights," Wojcicki writes. "I know from experience that being a mother gave me a broader sense of purpose, more compassion and a better ability to prioritize and get things done efficiently."

    Meanwhile, Wojcicki says that women who do not work at big, generous tech companies, and particularly those in low-wage jobs, cannot afford to take the unpaid time off they are entitled to under the Family and Medical Leave Act of 1993. As a result, mothers can be forced into returning to work too early, a decision that can hurt their own health as well as that of their newborn children.

    "A quarter of all women in the U.S. return to work fewer than 10 days after giving birth, leaving them less time to bond with their children, making breast-feeding more difficult and increasing their risk of postpartum depression," Wojcicki writes in the WSJ.

    The topic of motherhood and the workplace has been a hot one in Silicon Valley this year, as the tech world continues its conversation about how to improve the relative lack of diversity — gender and otherwise  — in its offices and executive suites.

    In October, Apple and Facebook announced they would help employees cover the cost of freezing their eggs, allowing women to focus on their careers and still have children later in life.

    In her op-ed, Wojcicki seems to be saying that with appropriate policies from private employers and the federal government, women won't have to choose between putting their careers on hold and taking care of their children during the children's time of greatest need.

    Read the rest of Wojcicki's column at The Wall Street Journal >>

    NOW WATCH: Here's What It Feels Like To Drink The Hallucinogenic Amazonian Brew Ayahuasca


    SEE ALSO: Apple And Facebook Are Paying Employees To Freeze Their Eggs

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  • How E-Commerce Is Finally Disrupting The $600 Billion-A-Year Grocery Industry

    bii food bev cagr

    At $600 billion a year in sales, food and beverage is by far the largest retail category in the U.S. by a wide margin. However, it's also the category that has been the least disrupted by e-commerce; less than 1% of food and beverage sales currently occur online, according to BI Intelligence's estimates.

    But shopping habits are changing, and niche online grocery services that compete on convenience and selection are gaining traction. Meanwhile tech giants like Amazon are fronting the cost of expensive delivery infrastructure that has so far held back grocery e-commerce. 

    In a new in-depth report, BI Intelligence looks at why the grocery business has proved so challenging to e-commerce companies — from consumer reluctance to complicated and expensive logistics — and what new strategies e-commerce startups and big-name tech companies are pursuing to push more grocery sales online. Between 2013 and 2018, online grocery sales will grow at a compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of 21.1%, reaching nearly $18 billion by the end of the forecast period. For comparison, offline grocery sales will rise by 3.1% annually during the same period. 

    Access The Full Report And Downloadable Charts By Signing Up For A Free Trial>>

    Here are some of the key findings explored in the report: 

    To access the E-Commerce Grocery Report and BI Intelligence's ongoing coverage of the future of retail, mobile, and e-commerce — including downloadable charts, data, and analysis — sign up for a free trial. 

    bii same day shipping demo

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Affiliate Resource Site
  • iTunes Affiliate Program Terms & Conditions Update 2014-10-23T16:00:50Z

    The Terms and Conditions for the Affiliate Program have been updated. There will not be any impact to the commission rate or the purchase window which remain at 7% and 24 hours respectively.

    Here is a brief overview of the changes:

    • Minor changes to unify verbiage used in the platform and program terms

    • Section 2.2 has broader language for qualifying links allowing Store Kit Product Sheet to be supported for app developers

    • All the terms are managed and enforced by Performance Horizon Group in United Kingdom

    You can review the new PHG Terms and Conditions here.

    The new terms come into effect immediately. If you continue using our services after today, you agree to be bound by these new terms. If you do not agree with the new terms and wish to remove your account, or if you have any questions, please contact us at our Helpdesk.

  • Affiliate Linking to App Bundles 2014-10-02T16:49:18Z

    App Bundles

    App Bundles let you promote multiple apps or games from the same developer at a special price. This is a great way to promot high quality apps and earn more commission with higher value sales.

    View App Bundles: https://itunes.apple.com/WebObjects/MZStore.woa/wa/viewFeature?id=915131749&mt=8

    Grab a link from any App Bundle and append your affiliate token when linking from your own app or website. For more information about how to create an affiliate link, see our basic linking guide.

  • Affiliate Program Update for App Developers 2014-08-18T16:15:43Z

    Store Kit Product Sheet

    We are excited to announce that Store Kit Product Sheet is now affiliate commissionable on iOS 8. Store Kit Product Sheet allows app developers to promote the purchase of music, apps, books and more directly from a sheet within your app and earn the standard affiliate commission on all sales within 24 hours.

    We encourage you to use Store Kit Product Sheet to provide a superior user experience and keep users in your app longer. Learn how to integrate your affiliate token into the Store Kit Product Sheet in the Developer Documentation.

    Smart App Banners

    Smart App Banners have always been commissionable in the affiliate program. Promote your app with this banner feature when a user is viewing your website in mobile Safari. Learn how integrate your affiliate token in the Developer Documentation.

  • Korea and 19 More Countries Added this Week 2014-04-17T21:17:49Z

    Korea and 19 more countries have been added this week. The Affiliate Program is now supporting 147 countries on one easy to use platform. Start earning commission today when you link to music, apps, books, and more.

    If you are already signed up for the Affiliate Program then you are automatically opted-in to start earning commission in these new countries.

    New Countries added April 2014
    Albania Algeria Angola
    Azerbaijan Benin Bhutan
    Cambodia Dominican Republic Iceland
    Korea Laos Malawi
    Montserrat Palau Seychelles
    Solomon Islands Sri Lanka Tajikistan
    Turkmenistan Turks and Caicos Islands  

    Click here for a full list of all countries in the Affiliate Program.

    If you have not already signed up for the Affiliate Program on PHG you can go to http://affiliate.itunes.apple.com/apply to apply and start earning commission

  • 33 New Countries Added, Now Over 100 Supported 2014-02-18T05:10:24Z

    We've done it again. We have expanded support of our Affiliate Program to 33 new countries added today on the PHG platform. Also, as part of our expansion two weeks ago into Europe and South America, we added six more countries that had previously not been supported. Over 100 countries are now supported.

    If you are already signed up for the Affiliate Program on PHG then you are automatically opted-in to start earning commission in these new countries.

    New Countries added February 17, 2014
    Antigua and Barbuda Belize
    Brunei Burkina-Faso Cape Verde
    Fiji Gambia Ghana
    Grenada Guinea-Bissau Guyana
    Jamaica Kyrgyzstan Macedonia
    Micronesia Mongolia and Tobago Mozambique
    Namibia Nepal Niger
    Pakistan Papua New Guinea Saint Kitts and Nevis
    Saint Lucia Saint Vincent and The Grenadine São Tomé and Príncipe
    Sierra Leone Suriname Swaziland
    Tunisia Virgin Islands Zimbabwe
    New Countries added February 3, 2014
    Ecuador Guatemala
    Nicaragua Uruguay Venezuela

    Click here for a full list of all countries in the Affiliate Program.

    If you have not already signed up for the Affiliate Program on PHG you can go to http://affiliate.itunes.apple.com/apply to apply and start earning commission in over 100 countries.

  • Important News for Europe and South America 2014-02-03T17:08:47Z

    Last year we introduced our new affiliate platform partner, PHG, providing added countries and unified program reporting. Today we are announcing the migration of 39 Europe and South America countries to this single platform.

    If you are already signed up for the Affiliate Program on PHG then you are automatically opted-in to start earning commission in every country we support. If you are currently participating in the affiliate program for Europe or South America, you need to migrate your links to PHG before 3/31 in order to continue earning affiliate commission. Click here for a full list of all countries in the Affiliate Program.

    Latin & South America
    Brazil Chile
    Colombia Costa Rica
    El Salvador

    Cyprus Czech Republic
    Finland France
    Germany Greece Hungary
    Ireland Italy Latvia
    Lithuania Luxembourg Malta
    Netherlands Norway Poland
    United Kingdom

    Learn more about this transition. If you have not already signed up for the Affiliate Program on PHG you can go to http://affiliate.itunes.apple.com/apply to apply and start earning commission in all 94 countries.

  • Affiliate Reporting Holiday Shutdown 2013-12-18T18:46:21Z

    As a reminder, the iTunes Connect holiday shutdown schedule will also impact the affiliate program tools.

    Affiliate program reporting may be impacted from approximately from Saturday, December 21 to Friday, December 27, 2013. Some of the affiliate tools will be temporarily suspended or updated less frequently.

    • The Enterprise Partner Feed will be taken offline for the duration of the iTunes Connect shutdown.

    • The Search API, Link Maker, Banner Builder, RSS Generator and Widget Builder will be kept online.

    We thank you for your understanding and wish you the best of luck in the coming weeks with your affiliate sales.

    Happy Holidays,

    The Affiliate Team

  • Affiliate Reporting Planned Downtime 2013-10-16T02:04:16Z

    As part of a planned downtime affiliate reporting will be delayed this week by 3 to 4 days.

    All sales are still being recorded and will be recognized by PHG and TradeDoubler respectively once reporting is resumed.

    • Clicks will still be reported to PHG and TradeDoubler
    • Free items will still be reported daily on the PHG platform

    Only paid items are impacted by this downtime.

    If you have any questions please contact the Affiliate Helpdesk at http://affiliate.itunes.apple.com/support.

  • 20 Additional Countries Added to the PHG Platform 2013-09-30T19:07:38Z

    We are happy to announce the continued expansion of the Affiliate Program with 20 new countries added today to the PHG platform. This brings the total of new countries to 43. The total number of countries on the PHG platform (existing plus new) is 49, providing a tremendous opportunity for iTunes affiliates.

    If you are already signed up for the Affiliate Program on PHG then you are automatically opted-in to start earning commission in these new countries.

    New Countries
    Bahamas Bahrain
    Barbados Belarus Bermuda
    Cayman Islands Croatia
    Dominica Kenya Mauritius
    Moldova Nigeria Oman
    Tanzania Trinidad and Tobago Uganda
    Uzbekistan Yemen

    Click here for a full list of all countries in the Affiliate Program.

    If you have not already signed up for the Affiliate Program on PHG you can go to http://affiliate.itunes.apple.com/apply to apply and start earning commission in all 49 countries.

  • 17 New Countries Added to the PHG Platform 2013-09-04T23:03:54Z

    We are very happy to announce the expansion of the iTunes Affiliate Program with 17 new countries now available on the PHG platform.

    If you are already signed up for the Affiliate Program on PHG then you are automatically opted-in to start earning commission in these new countries.

    Egypt India Indonesia
    Israel Jordan Kazakhstan
    Kuwait Lebanon Macau
    Malaysia Philippines Qatar
    Saudi Arabia Thailand Ukraine
    United Arab Emirates Vietnam

    Click here for a full list of all countries in the Affiliate Program.

    If you have not already signed up for the Affiliate Program on PHG you can go to http://affiliate.itunes.apple.com/apply to apply and start earning commission in all 29 countries.

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