Tuesday, 30 June 2009

LOVEFiLM API Program - looking for developer

LOVEFiLM are looking into an API that can be used to develop apps and widgets for our customers and also for affiliates and partners to use to drive new customers that they will get paid for. Below is the full 1 pager that outlines our plans - email Jason.Norris@lovefilm.com if you are interested and I can put you in touch with the guys in our tech department that are working on this.

Introduction
LOVEFiLM are currently working on an API Programme to enable 3rd parties to securely access our data in order to build custom applications and widgets.

Benefits

Engaging with LOVEFiLM’s API provides exciting opportunities to:

gain access to a wide range of LOVEFiLM and 3rd party content
develop custom integrations in partner sites
increase partner traffic through sticky content
increase partner revenue through initiating member registrations, which may lead to full subscriber sign-up

Overview
Our preliminary research suggests key interest areas include simply enabling customers to display their LOVEFiLM activity on other websites, blogs and social networks – for example, exposing their ‘at home’ or rental list, or their ratings and reviews. Customers may like to have an automatic Facebook update when they add a movie to their list, or perhaps Tweet when they rate a movie, for example.
In addition to these customer needs, there are great opportunities for partner sites who may wish to build widgets to display specific charts / genres on their site, or to make a custom LOVEFiLM collection to display with synopsis, ratings, reviews, images, trailers, etc.

Developers may also like to build widgets to search for titles to view and add to list, in a variety of new ways – longer term this could be integrated into a hardware from set-top boxes to cameras, or scanning tools in handheld devices.

There also may be opportunities for partner websites to display LOVEFiLM gift options to initiate a purchase remotely, or to send/show a customer personalized cinema listings for their local or favourite cinemas.

In addition to LOVEFiLM customer data such as reviews and ratings, we also have content from multiple 3rd parties that we may be able to expose in various ways – this could include select charts and reviews from critics, or additional images or trailers. Whilst we are in the early stages of the programme, we are yet to confirm exactly how such 3rd party content may be used and branded on widgets outside of LOVEFiLM’s site.

Naturally, the scope of opportunities with an API is very broad, so our next step is to identify what our customers and partners are really looking for in this service, so that we can deliver the most exciting and focused product possible. Above are just a few simple ideas of what we think our partners may be looking for – but we hope to gather as much information from you as possible in the coming weeks about the sort of widgets and applications you would like to build, in order for us to provide value to you as early as possible.

Available Features

We are currently developing APIs to expose:

Search
Catalogue data (title, synopsis, rating, certificate, image/s, trailer, contributors, reviews);
Viewing or adding a rating of/to a title
Viewing collections
Viewing charts (including Weekly rental, Weekly TV rental, Blu-ray top 20, All-time top 250, BFI Top 100, AFI Top 100)
Customer Rental List (at home list, Rental List, View, add and delete titles)

This development is already underway and will be reviewed shortly in an internal alpha. There are further additional features already in discussion internally for possible inclusion in the beta, which we would be able to confirm at a later date.

Closed Beta

We are working with a 3rd party – Mashery – to manage our API, from providing access and handling calls to the API, to providing a range of tools and resources, such as usage reporting & developer forums.

LOVEFiLM will be holding a closed beta within Q3. Invited participants will then be able to access the service to build applications targeting new and exciting niche areas and customer needs using these APIs.

Next Steps

Not sure what this all means? Please pass on to your appropriate technical lead and we would be happy to discuss in more detail. Our next step is be to hold a session in the LOVEFiLM offices for parties who would like to register their interest in participating in the closed beta, to provide an opportunity to discuss technical logistics and also high-level discussion of available features and data. We would warmly welcome your thoughts, comments and requests for specific feature exposure via API and look forward to discussing this further.

Monday, 22 June 2009

Affiliate marketing article: Survive the online jungle

I meant to post this the other week but never got to it, so am slightly late now but the article is still very interesting.

Affiliate marketing: Survive the online jungle

I took part in an interview with David Benady for Marketing Magazine to talk about brands and their use of affiliate marketing. We talked about the role of affiliates, loyalty sites and voucher codes etc.

Its worth a read for anyone in affiliate marketing with thoughts from PrezzyBox and Moneysupermarket alongside LOVEFiLM.

Friday, 19 June 2009

Summer Lovin' Sale - The LOVEFiLM Shop

SALE, SALE, SALE, GO, GO, GO...- At last Summer is here and we have launched the LOVEFiLM Summer-lovin' Sale. We've handpicked the best titles below on our opening day, we've got some choice Boxsets to up basket size for maximum commissions.

Massive Savings on US TV Boxsets
Heroes - Season 1 and 2 - Complete on DVD - £16.93
Gossip Girl Season 1 - Only £11.93
ER Season 1 Only £6.93

Huge Savings on Games
Fun Fair Party (Wii)- £9.93
Alone In The Dark (Wii & XBox360) Only £4.93
Assassin's Creed (PS3)- Only £9.93

Ex-rental DVDs
We are adding more Ex-rental DVDs to our list over the next couple of days - this has been an extremely popular promotion to date with most titles added last week showing as sold out in a couple of days -so stay tuned for mega discounts on things that we have bought too many of - Whoops!

Contact Kate.Walsh@lovefilm.com with any queries and ideas, and follow The LOVEfiLM Shop on the new Twitter page - LOVEFiLM_Shop (lovefilmshop) on Twitter

Thursday, 18 June 2009

Examples of LOVEFiLM Viral and Video Marketing

video

A clip showing the different ways LOVEFiLM have used viral. The final game clip 'Superhero Shooter' is available for affiliates to use on their sites via Tradedoubler.

Monday, 15 June 2009

LOVEFiLM Validations Process

I wanted to confirm the LOVEFILM affiliate lead approval process following some tightening up of the process on out end.

We have been working on a new way to fully automate the process to be more consistent. We have also been reviewing the amount of leads and sales we pay for that are auto approved despite not renting any films, the 1 main requirement of a lead.

Leads can slip though between validations reporting due to time limits given by various networks for approving of leads. I hope our affiliates can support our new process that will see more regular reporting and approval of leads, but will also catch and reject leads that do not meet the criteria we set.

The following criteria are used to approve and deny leads and sales in relation to LOVEFiLM free trials and PAYG. This is an automated process that we every week when possible, otherwise every 2 weeks.

LOVEFiLM would like to take this opportunity to state that affiliates should not use promotional codes that they have not been approved to use. Leads will be rejected and you could be removed from our program. Our validations process will also find any examples of fraudulent activity based on the criteria used.

Summary

We will approve leads where the person has tried our service

We will reject leads where the person has not tried our service

You cannot have a 2nd FREE trial if you have already been a member of a LOVEFiLM or LOVEFiLM powered service (screen select, tesco etc)

Affiliates should be aware of the terms of our program

Validation Process for a LOVEFiLM Trial

Approved leads
Leads that have come from approved affiliate codes that pass 1 requirement:
Signed up and had at least 1 rental and added 10 films to their rental list


Rejected Leads
Leads that have not used an approved code, such as those that swapped for a different offer or sites that have promoted a direct mail code for a longer trial

Leads that have failed to pass credit card and address checks 2 weeks after sign up, meaning they are not renting or using the service as a complete lead. We email these leads to prompt sign up completion and after 2 weeks assume the sign up will not be completed.

Leads that have cancelled without renting any discs during the trial, which is more common when an incentive for signing up is being used by an affiliate

Pending Leads
Leads that have come from approved affiliate use codes that pass 2 requirements:
Leads that have not rented any discs or added any films to their list
Leads that have failed to pass credit card and address checks within 2 weeks of starting sign up, meaning they are not renting or using the service yet but we continue to email these leads to complete sign up


Validation Process for a LF PAYG and direct paying customers

Approved Sales

Sales that have come from approved affiliate use codes that pass 1 requirement:
Signed up and made 1 payment

Denied Sales
All sales in the past 20 days that have not made an actual payment, suggesting bank card issues or declined sales due to bank balance. These people are emailed to complete the sale by LOVEFiLM

All sales that cancelled before payment, due to bank balance or bank card issues. When LOVEFiLM attempted to charge the card payment was not possible. This is more common when an incentive for signing up is being used by an affiliate

Pending Sales
All sales as recent as 20 days with no payment, these people are actively targeted by LOVEFiLM to complete payment and become a full member

Friday, 5 June 2009

Official launch of the sale of Ex-rental DVDs


Today sees the official launch of the sale of Ex-rental DVDs from LOVEFiLM. We have a collection of over 100 DVDs to offer in our first week, stock is limited but we will be updating these titles weekly. This is a unique offer and one we are happy to shout about. We will let you know about new additions to the list and related deals as and when they come.

For all Shop queries please contact Chris or Carla at Tradedoubler or your account manager.

Wednesday, 3 June 2009

A4U Awards - we are highly commended

It was a great night and I am suitably recovered from the A4U Awards. It was amazing to see 500 people in 1 room from the affiliate industry, with the boys in suits and the ladies all looking glamorous. Thanks to Tradedoubler for inviting myself and my colleague Isabel, with our table near the stage.

Unfortunately we were not award winners this time, but we were highly commended in for 'Best Use of Affiliate Marketing as Part of an Integrated Campaign'. A nice way to say we came second to Argos, but still a great nod from the judges who had a lot of nominations this year (half a tree of paper I was told).

It was also great to see some friends win awards as well. Credit Expert retained
Finance Vertical (merchant), I-level won Affiliate Marketing Digital Media Agency and VoucherCodes.co.uk collected the Retail (affiliate) award. The full list of award winners can be found here and well done to them all.

Also a couple of photos from the night. In the first I am joined by colleague Isabel and the guys from Tradedoubler including Lee Griffin. In the second I am giving kudos to Patrick for Credit Expert's win, along with Jeff Sullivan from TrialPay. From the red eyes I have I seem to have turned into a terminator.





Monday, 1 June 2009

LOVEFiLM - Love is in the Air

As promised the new LOVEFILm TV Advert

We've got our old friend Simon Pegg back as our voice over, who couldnt be bigger right now as Scotty in Star Trek - along with a brand new sound track and new film clips.

Also here is a youtube link of the advert should you need it.

URL - http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6SK3PZAWmgw