At the time this article was written, ESPN had 3,335,412 followers on Twitter. However, Erin Andrews, one of ESPN’s most popular commentators had 1,200,905 all to herself. By the time you read this, CNN will have more than 3,980,000 followers. But more than 2,304,000 people will be following one of CNN’s biggest brandividuals—Anderson Cooper. Many media executives are naturally driven to perceive this brandividual independence as a threat; not just to their brand, but, as if they’re pimps, to their way of life. However, the risks of resisting or ignoring the realities of this new, brandividual-led world are greater than if you embrace them. First, make sure you have the right brandividuals—journalists or bloggers who are domain experts, whose expertise and reputation engender trust and loyalty, and who understand the importance of immersing themselves into the social networks that matter.Second, don’t be shy about leading your online editorial product with your brandividual(s).Third, in addition to providing the necessary buttons and icons for connecting to your media brand over social networks, be sure to offer all of the available means for your audience members to connect directly with your brandividuals. David Berlind is the chief content officer at UBM TechWeb.More on this topic Resisting Brandividualism Is Futile The Brandividual, “Problematic Neutrality” and the Emerging Editorial Model UBM Tech Shuffles Executive Team CMP Acquires ‘Unconference’ Events Group for $1.2 Million Meredith Hires Mark Peterson as Newsstand VP Hearst Looking to Boost Social Interaction On-SiteJust In TIME Names New Sales, Marketing Leads | People on the Move This Just In: Magazines Are Not TV Networks Editor & Publisher Magazine Sold to Digital Media Consultant Four More Execs Depart SourceMedia in Latest Restructuring BabyCenter Sold to Ziff Davis Parent J2 Media | News & Notes PE Firm Acquires Majority Stake in Industry DivePowered by Last fall, at the American Business Media’s Executive Forum, I joined IDG Enterprise CCO John Gallant and SourceMedia EVP/CCO David Longobardi on stage for a panel about the future of content and editorial and, much to my surprise, my introduction of the “brandividual” concept turned into a lightning rod for subsequent hallway conversation.Brandividualism is nothing new. But prior to the arrival of social networks, the media brands themselves got to be the sole arbiters of brandividualism. There were no other practical ways to keep in touch with your favorite newscaster, weatherperson or columnist other than to tune into the media brands that employed them. Then along came Twitter and Facebook—two services that have not only up-ended the media industry in well-chronicled ways, but ones that have also reinforced the principles of brandividualism.In a double-whammy, not only are Twitter and Facebook disintermediating media brands as the sole channelers of the trust relationship between audience and brandividuals, they’ve become the platforms upon which new independent, but highly trusted brandividuals have risen. The latter phenomenon and its potential to dilute audience is the more oft-discussed challenge to modern day media. But the former should be just as interesting to us students of media.
Samsung Galaxy Home Juan Garzon/CNET When Samsung first started talking about making a Bixby-powered smart speaker last year, it said it would arrive in the second half of 2018. Samsung officially announced the Galaxy Home at its Galaxy Note 9 event in August 2018 and promised to share more details at the company’s developer conference in November. It showed off the speaker again then, but didn’t give specifics on its launch date.Then at the Galaxy S10 Unpacked event in February 2019, Samsung co-CEO DJ Koh told CNET that it would launch the speaker by April. (Samsung’s US PR department, though, would only say it would launch in the first half of 2019.)Now it’s mid-May and, and the world remains without a Bixby-powered cauldron. What gives? Share your voice Amazon Google Samsung Samsung’s first Bixby speaker, the Galaxy Home, revealed 0 2:23 Galaxy Home: Samsung’s answer to the HomePod News • Samsung Galaxy Home reportedly delayed to later this year Now playing: Watch this: Samsung Galaxy Home In a statement provided to CNET on Friday, a Samsung spokesperson said it’s “planning to launch Galaxy Home in the first half of 2019,” making it clear that Samsung still intends to release the device. But the company didn’t share any specifics, and it hasn’t yet detailed the Galaxy Home’s pricing. Bixby is Samsung’s homegrown digital voice assistant that launched with the Galaxy S8 about three years ago. It initially was geared as an interface to control the phone, but Samsung since then expanded the technology into its various appliances and televisions. A smart speaker is aimed to be the latest home for Bixby, taking advantage of the expertise of Samsung’s Harman audio expertise. For Samsung and numerous others, artificial intelligence is the next big wave of computing. Every tech heavyweight is investing in these assistants because they’re heralded as the future of how we’ll interact with our gadgets. But it’s already a crowded arena, with Google and Amazon largely dominating the smart speaker market. The Galaxy Home’s lateness could make it even tougher to compete. The delay of the Home comes as Samsung struggles to get its flashy Galaxy Fold out the door. A number of devices tested by journalists ahead of the $1,980 foldable phone’s release suffered from broken or damaged tablet displays, leading Samsung to postpone its planned April 26 launch. More smart speakers: Sonos readying Google Assistant update for next weekThis week the company emailed those who preordered the device saying that it would cancel their orders if the phone doesn’t ship by May 31 unless customers tell the company that they want to keep them. With a little over a month to go until the first half of the year ends, time is certainly ticking to see if Samsung hits this latest target. CNET’s Shara Tibken contributed to this report. Preview • A Galaxy far, far away? Samsung’s Bixby speaker is still a no-show Smart Speakers & Displays Tags 12 Photos Post a comment