See you at IBC Amsterdam 2013!

This year, Popyoular will be out in force at the IBC event in Amsterdam. You'll find Johnny, Magnus and Jörgen in and around the exhibition areas from Saturday September 14th to Tuesday September 17th. We'd love to meet you there to talk about how Popyoular can help your users find and consume more of your best content. Drop Johnny a line at johnny@popyoular.se or give him a call at +46 70 971 88 87.

Ziggo Brings Popyoular Functionality To The Netherlands

 We’re very happy to say that we’ve signed an agreement with Ziggo - the biggest Cable-TV provider in the Netherlands. As of today, Ziggo integrates the Popyoular platform in its Video-On-Demand services. Later this year, Popyoular is planned for Inclusion in as Ziggos streaming music service Ziggo Music.

In our first meeting with Ziggo, we immediately felt that we saw the same end-user needs. More importantly, Ziggo grasped exactly what we want to achieve with Popyoular: Help entertainment consumers find more great stuff with less effort.

With our new agreement, Ziggos users will be able to discover more content and make more informed decisions based on how Popyoular connects content with highly relevant, localized, trusted review data.

Read the full press release or head on over to ziggo.com to read more company information about Ziggo

Conversion rates up 15%. Time spent on product pages up 20%. Yes, Popyoular really works.

We know you want real numbers to back up a potential investment in Popyoular for your business. Luckily, we have some fresh, highly relevant results straight from Platekompaniet, one of the leading music, film and game retailers in Norway with 26 retail stores and a highly successful online store at platekompaniet.no

Platekompaniet have been running an A/B-test measuring the effects of the Popyoular context functionality, which is designed to give consumers relevant, editorial review-based recommendations integrated in product pages. 

For this test, Popyoular was implemented on album pages in the music section of platekompaniet.no. Here's what they found after three weeks of structured A/B-testing:

  • Product pages featuring Popyoular data convert to sales on average 15% more often than the same pages without Popyoular. 
  • Customers stay on product pages featuring Popyoular on average 20% longer than on product pages without Popyoular.
Parts of the Popyoular data is visible immediately, more detailed review data is available behind a tab. Oh, and this is one of our favorite albums of 2012 ;)

Parts of the Popyoular data is visible immediately, more detailed review data is available behind a tab. Oh, and this is one of our favorite albums of 2012 ;)

In both cases, the inclusion of Popyoular data led to better numbers than the original versions of the product pages on each individual day of the test period - there were no miselading peaks affecting the relevance of the average results.

As happy as we are with these numbers, we'd like to mention that we can do even more:

  • The implentation that was tested was Platekompaniets first stab at integrating Popyoular. Further tweaking and optimization could further improve the effects.
  • Again, these results refer to the product-level context functionality only. They don't measure the additional effects of the Popyoular discovery functionality, designed to help consumers find more great content in the first place.

With WiMP launched in Poland, Popyoular now handles eight languages

Just recently, WiMP broke into one of Europe's most exciting markets with their streaming service. Poland isn't just a big market. It's also one of the fastest growing European economies.

That's not just great news for WiMP (and Poland!). We're very happy to offer Popyoular support for yet another local market. With a roster of trustworthy Polish sources and our signature hand-picked review quotes, WiMP can offer Poles the same kind of localized recommendation functionality we already support for English (UK+US), German, Dutch, Swedish, Norwegian, Danish and Finnish. 

Brand New WiMP Desktop Client Just Launched, Polished Popyoular Integration Makes Us Proud

Today, Norwegian WiMP users will be updated to a brand, spanking new WiMP desktop client. Completely rebuilt and rethought from the ground up, this is one massive update from the Oslo-based team. Do we like it? We love it!

Long-time Popyoular followers know that we've been working closely with WiMP for longer than with any other partner. This time, we're truly stoked about how the WiMP team has further refined and expanded the Popyoular functionality in the new client. We're posting some screenshots here to illustrate some of the changes and additions.

The "Recommended" section is now much expanded and divided into several different parts. Apart from the reworked frontpage, this is where you really grasp how much effort WiMP is putting into helping you discover more music. We've selected the brand new "Critic's Picks" part, built entirely around Popyoular functionality. With recent highlights, all-time favorites and shortcuts to source-specific toplists this is a great way to use Popyoular's capabilities.

The source-specific toplists help you discover what your favorite sources are recommending. A cool new WiMP-feature even lets you keep these for easy access: Use the bookmarking function just to the left of the search box, and a shortcut to this toplist is placed in the permanent left menu in the client.

Album pages have been completely reworked, too, and apart from all the other improvements the review information from Popyoular has been updated and improved, with much better visibility for quotes.

Of course, there's a huge number of other new features and improvements for all the WiMP users out there, but we'll leave it to the WiMP team to tell you more about that.

Congratulations to the WiMP team on an extremely impressive new client!

 

Popyoular Enriches New Spotify App From EMI Nordic

A few days ago, our good friends at EMI Nordic released the brand new Playalistic Spotify app.

With the Playlistic app, users are presented with three main types of curated musical content: Playlists for any and all occasions, Classic Albums collected and curated by the Playalistic team, and Reviews, with fresh and interesting albums tied to reviews from trusted sources, as collected by the Popyoular platform. 

Our favorite feature is probably the one-click playlists based on recently reviewed or classic albums. Then again, we're biased...

We think the app rocks. As EMI succinctly say: Playalistic is all about great music recommendations! 

Try it out in the Spotify App Finder today! (Available for Sweden only, thus far).

 

Massive WiMP iOS Update Features Deep Popyoular Integration

Yesterday, our WiMP friends released a massive update to their iOS-client. It's chock full of good news for WiMP users anywhere, ranging from minor improvements to brand new stuff like a PDF booklet viewer.

From our perspective, the big news is the deep integration of Popyoular functionality. With PopScore displayed at the album level, a separate view for individual review data and quotes plus an in-app browser for viewing the full reviews at the source sites, this is big news for us.

But it goes way beyond that, with really slick music discovery functionality powered by review data. There's a brand new "Critic's Picks" section in the app, featuring review-based lists sliced by time as well as by source.

Want some quality inspiration courtesy of some of the top curators out there? You've come to the right app :)

 

Popyoular in good company at #wowhack Gothenburg

As I'm writing this, the Way Out West Hack Battle (#wowhack) is in full effect over at Villa Belparc in Slottsskogen, Gothenburg. Arranged by EMI in cooperation with Spotify and Way Out West organizers Luger, #wowhack brings together a bunch (80 or so actually) of very talented developers for a 24 hour music hackathon focussing on music discovery. 

The API providers present apart from Spotify and OpenEMI/The Echonest are Last.fm, Gracenote, MusicMetric and - yes - Popyoular. 

We're obviously stoked to be present in such illustrious industry company - thanks to the ever optimistic, creative and energetic Paul Sonkamble over at EMI! Now we're hoping for some creative, useful or just downright crazy hacks using our API. If you're there, just give Magnus Eklund a shout if you want to discuss our API or if you need an API key!

Hack in progress!

German WiMP review highlights Popyoular functionality

The press mentions and reviews keep stacking up for WiMP in Germany following their launch there earlier this spring. Music blog Soundbox just published a thorough review, and the tone throughout is very, very positive. From our Popyoular perspective, we especially like this part:

"Ein in meinen Augen besonders cooles Feature ist die direkte Integration von diversen Musik Kritik Plattformen [...]. So hat man immer gleich im Blick, wie die Fachpresse über ein neues Album urteilt."

Which, roughly translated, should mean:

"A particularly cool feature in my eyes is the direct integration of various platforms for music reviews [...]. This way, you can always see the verdict of the music press for a new album"

Thanks, Soundbox!

Hello Germany, We're Popyoular!

As of yesterday our WiMP-friends are officially live in Germany with their award-winning music streaming service. We've been busy preparing for this for some time now, and of course we're very, very happy that Popyoular has been chosen to be a part of WiMP in yet another market, from day one. Here's a screenshot of a Swedish album that's a well-deserved big hit in Germany, with Popyoular review links and quotes:

SF Anytime reviewed in PC För Alla, Jan 2012 - Popyoular very well received

The January issue of PC För Alla, the leading Swedish consumer-oriented computer magazine, features a big review of the main contenders in the Swedish online film rental market.

Our partner SF Anytime receives a great 8/10 score and comes out in the top three. We were really happy to see the first point among the pros in the pros/cons section: "Reviews via Popyoular". 

To quote from the full review: "SF Anytime have recently added reviews from the media via Popyoular, which is a really good complement to reviews from other users."

This kind of attention is very flattering, and we're very proud. Thanks to our friends at SF Anytime for believing in Popyoular and putting us out there!

Read the full review here.

Popyoular makes it easier for consumers to find the gems in Telias IPTV video store

We’ve recently gone live with Telia as a new Popyoular for film-partner. This is the first time a partner integrates Popyoular with a set-top box service. The Telia team have done a great job, and in our opinion the live service really shows how the Popyoular platform allows partners to seamlessly blend our information into their service. And importantly, to do so simply, reliably, and with the necessary performance for a really large-scale consumer service.

Here's the full press release in English. The Swedish press release is available here.

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Swedish tech start-up makes it easier for consumers to find the gems in Telias IPTV video store
 
Telia, Sweden's leading communications operator, has integrated the review-based content discovery platform Popyoular in its IPTV-offering

With Popyoular, scores and quotes from massive numbers of editorial movie reviews are automatically connected to the specific selection of movies available in Telias video store. Consumers browsing the store with their remotes quickly and easily see how domestic as well as international movie critics have scored a specific movie. In many cases, short, relevant review quotes are also available.

By integrating Popyoular, Telia makes it easier for consumers to make an informed decision as well as discover new content. Going forward, Telia will also use Popyoular to gather great content from across the catalog and put it within easy remote control reach using toplists, dynamic categories and other functionality available out of the box from the Popyoular API.

- There are thousands of movies in our video store. That’s why we’re always working to make it easier for our customers to find the right movie for the occasion, as quickly as possible. Popyoular is a valuable tool that automatically enriches our service with information that’s important to many of our customers. – Kent Jonsson, Marketing Director, Consumer Services, Telia

- Telias success with their IPTV-offering along with their position as the number one communications player in the region makes it hard for us to overstate the importance of this agreement to our business. We now have an amazing opportunity to prove why we’re so confident in the power of a platform that connects digital content with relevant editorial reviews in order to build curation- and discovery functionality. - Jörgen Eng, MD, Popyoular AB

Popyoular is a technical platform that’s integrated by other services using an API. As of today, more than 150 000 movie and music reviews are available.

Popyoular AB was founded in 2010 in Stockholm, Sweden. As of today, the service is used for movies by SF Anytime across Scandinavia, and for music by the streaming music service WiMP across Scandinavia, by EMI Nordic and by the Norwegian music streaming service beat.no.

 

 

How SF Anytime are using Popyoular to convert browsers to renters

A couple of weeks ago, our friends at SF Anytime launched brand new versions of their pioneering Scandinavian VOD-sites. It really is a huge makeover that pretty much affects every aspect of the user experience, and we like it. A lot. 

One of the things that SF Anytime are successfully doing is to make the experience much more editorially flavored. You immediately understand that this is a service run by people who love movies themselves. People that are able to bring that across in practical, usable ways that help you find your way to a movie you really want to see.

The new sites use Popyoular on the film presentation pages. Using the automated connection between films and editorial review scores and review quotes, SF Anytime can give users just the kind of relevant, trustworthy information that can turn browsers into renters

For a couple of Swedish examples, how about this presentation of 'Get Low', or perhaps this one of 'The Last King of Scotland'? (scroll down a bit to see our part - or check out the screenshot below)

We're looking forward to working with SF Anytime on more fun, helpful and profitable functionality that harnesses the power of content curation - on a platform scale.

WiMP wins Spotify-showdown in Swedish M3 Magazine


The November edition of Sweden's leading gadget mag M3 features a blow-by-blow showdown between Spotify and WiMP. While it's a close call, WiMP takes home the victory.

Now, if you're in Sweden you should of course run out and buy the magazine (it's worth it), but if you can't we will reveal that it's WiMP's editorial and functional focus on providing guidance and inspiration that ends up swaying the testers.

We're proud to deliver Popyoular to WiMP as a part of that package, and we think it's cool that the Popyoular album-review connection is indeed specifically highlighted and illustrated in the article.

Congratulations to the WiMP-team over at Aspiro Music!

Social Recommendations And The Editorial Connection

The other day I overheard two kids on the bus discussing which movie to see. A guy and a girl, perhaps 18-19 years old. The girl was undecided and didn’t really have any specific ideas. The guy was gently pushing for Fast & Furious 5, without much success at first. “But it got a great review in Metro!” he said. “Really??”. “Yes, a four out of five!”. That seemed to settle the discussion, and – I presume – off to the movies they went.

So apart from illustrating the fact that kids actually read newspapers – on paper no less – and that they take the time to check out the reviews, what’s the point? The point is that a traditional, editorial review was translated into a social recommendation.

That’s how it tends to work when you think about it. When your discussions with friends and co-workers turn to movies, music or books, how often does someone refer to something they’ve read about, heard or seen through some media outlet? “It’s a great book, I read about it in …”, “Oh, you liked it? I saw the review and it seemed really good”, “My girlfriend got that for me, apparently it was on …’s list of unmissable DVD-releases”.

In short, while social recommendations can be based entirely on personal discovery and taste, very often they will channel opinions – filtered or unfiltered – expressed by a tastemaker (or expert if you will) in the media. Sometimes channeled through a single intermediary as in the anecdote above, sometimes by word-of-mouth passing from person to person many times over, radiating to a larger group.

From a Popyoular perspective, this is why we firmly believe in the commercial value of automatically connecting specific content with the relevant editorial reviews. And in the value of making sure your discovery- and conversion tools cover both the social angle and the editorial angle.

Let’s say you run a site that sells DVD’s. Or a VOD-service. In your catalog, you have a number of films that have gotten good reviews. To a bunch of your customers, that fact alone will help sway them to a postive decision for a given film. Now, would you rather hope that your customers have discovered that positive review, either directly or indirectly through friends? Or would you prefer to make positively sure they know about it, right there as a simple, automated feature of your service? And then in turn perhaps see them use your other, social features to tell their friends how they’ve seen a great movie, now perhaps adding that their opinion is shared by a specific, trustworthy source?

Oh, and what about Fast & Furious 5? Did it really get that great review? It sure did.

Hello Home Market! Popyoular live in Sweden

Finally! We’d be lying through our teeth if we didn’t admit we’ve been waiting for this one: We’re live with Popyoular in our home market. Our WiMP-friends have now formally launched in Sweden. The client is very similar to the Norwegian and Danish implementations, but from a Popyoular perspective it does add one cool feature. Check out how certain quotes that meet specific criteria have been automatically selected to be displayed alongside the album title/art:

The WiMP launch has generated a great deal of buzz. All sorts of media and blogs have written about the new kid on the streaming music block. To our great pleasure quite a few of them do specifically refer to the review integration provided by Popyoular as an added product benefit. We’ve also seen a major review (Dagens Nyheter – review not published online) specifically mention the benefit of the discovery functionality provided by the automatically generated album lists powered by Popyoular, even though it in all honesty is a bit hidden in the WiMP-client.

Now, not a single source we’ve seen review WiMP thus far actually mentions us by name or refers to the functionality we provide as a a third party service. Are we all in tears over that? Quite the contrary. The whole point of what we do is that it’s easy to seamlessly embed as a natural part of what you bring to your customers, helping your service shine.

 

Popyoular on Music Ally’s 2010 Startup List

Digital music industry experts Music Ally wrote about Popyoular in one of their newsletters earlier this fall. We’re not going to hide how excited we got about getting recognition from that kind of expertise.

No wonder, then, that we’re positively ecstatic to find that Popyoular made it onto the list of 2010 discovery startups in Music Ally’s new 15-page report “2010 – Key Trends”. You’re going to need to get a Music Ally subscription to enjoy the full report, but that doesn’t mean you can’t check out our moment in the spotlight right here!

 

Help Me Spend More In Your Store

(00:24, Dec. 9 - Just updated after another book shopping spree online) I take it as a good sign whenever I find myself really missing a Popyoular integration when I'm using an e-commerce site.

Last night, pre-Christmas online shopping kicked off at my house. My wife and I wrote a list of who we needed to get presents for, and some rough ideas of what to get them. I think there were about 8-10 books on that list. A couple of them were specific titles, but most were not. I just knew I needed books that corresponded to a few criteria. And I knew I wanted them to be good.

Photo by flickr-user pfala

Now, I know there are lots of competent folks out there making a living from (or just having fun) writing book reviews. Which books are they writing about? What are they saying about them? Which ones do they love? That's the kind of stuff Popyoular is built to present in a meaningful, simple, unified way, directly integrated into the storefront.

For the most part, the online bookstores in my region offer me categories plus some combination of what's new (and also expected to sell a lot), what's already selling a lot, and customer reviews. While these are all very helpful, they're not necessarily enough.

If I get someone a current bestseller, they're also going to get it from someone else. Boring, and also really impractical in terms of exchanges as we're getting this stuff online.

Reader reviews are very important and can be extremely helpful, but generally retailers need a critical mass they don't always get in smaller markets for reader reviews to work well. For obvious reasons reader reviews can also lag a little.

Content discovery and purchase decision support comes in many flavors. Chances are your customers need different types of help and inspiration at different times. We believe we offer an important but often missing part of that puzzle. One that results in more sales and happier customers.

[Update] Some of the online bookstores in our region have done a truly admirable editorial sales job putting together Christmas-specific shopping guides with very well thought out selections for different tastes and ages. No wonder we think this is excellent stuff: Editorially driven discovery is at the core of what we do

With Popyoular, we can work across a vast selection of content and cover a significant back-catalog. That means it's a great way to automatically harness the power of editorially guided discovery across a much larger catalog, as a permanent addition to the seasonal and event-focused work done by a great editorial team.

One Week, Three Steps Forward

Being just half a handful of guys in a single room is one of the greatest things about doing what we're doing. Being half a handful of guys is also an obvious constraint, and not necessarily always of the "constraints fuel creativity" kind. This week we got an extra hand on deck, at least part-time. Chinese KTH master's student XiaXi Li is joining us as an extra development resource. Our to-do list is bursting at the seams, and XiaXi couldn't be more welcome. In other news, we're just about done with all the formalities necessary to set up Popyoular as a separate company called, somewhat unsuprisingly, Popyoular AB. The new company will be 100% dedicated to Popyoular. From now on, Substrata will be a pure consulting operation for Magnus and Jørgen. A new site reflecting this, changes to the location of API-docs, Popyoular product information etc is coming up. Last but clearly not least, this week saw us featured in the subscription-only bulletin from the digital music industry experts over at Music Ally. We're pretty certain that's about as good as it gets in terms of readership relevance and source credibility when it comes to spreading the word on what we're trying to achieve with Popyoular. Made our week, if not our whole month!