Tag Archives: music

Google Pixel Buds Translate 40 Languages in Real Time

Language can be a great way to unite people, but it can also be a great barrier when people speak different languages. After all, not everyone speaks multiple languages fluently, and it can definitely be hard to navigate or do business in a country when one does not understand that language.

In the sci-fi classic book, The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy, traveler Arthur Dent had the use of a ‘babel fish’ to translate all alien languages. (The small, yellow fish when placed in the ear can help the listener instantly understand anything said, in any form of language.) Now, it seems that real-life is imitating science fiction with the recent announcement of Google Pixel Buds.

The blue-tooth ear buds have many functions similar to other ear buds (assistant, messaging, music, etc.) but they also have one striking new feature – the ability to translate language in real-time when paired with the Pixel 2 phone. Languages included are Arabic, Swedish, French, Japanese, German, Chinese, and many more.

Here’s how it works: Tap and hold down the right earbud, thereby activating Google Assistant (paired with a Pixel 2 phone in your bag or pocket).  Then, ask for help speaking a language. This then activates Google Translate, and you speak the phrase you need translated. The translated phrase appears on the phone screen and is read out of the phone speaker. The person you are speaking to then holds down the mic button and speaks the answer, which is then translated directly into the ear buds.

Voilà!

Group Activities and Discussion Questions:

  1. Show a video of the Google Pixel headphone launch event: https://youtu.be/Q5bA12koB-g
  2. View product information: https://store.google.com/us/product/google_pixel_buds?hl=en-US
  3. Poll students: Who would be interested in using these? Why or why not?
  4. Other translators and devices also exist. Have students research other models and compare with Pixel ear buds.
  5. Discuss target markets and market segmentation.
  6. Have students develop a target market profile for this device.
  7. What should the marketing plan be for the new ear buds?

Source:  Google, The Verge, CNBC, New York Times, other news sources.

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Farewell to the iPod

The iPod is officially dead. Yes, you read this correctly. After 16 years, with more than 400 million units sold worldwide, Apple has pulled the plug on the iPod Nano and Shuffle, removing the product line from its online stores. To many people, the iPod was a revolutionary device. The portable device with its iconic white headphones enabled people to take their full music library anywhere, giving listeners control of playlists and music.

iPod launched in 2001 with a unit holding 5 GB of data for $399, quickly followed in 2002 with a 10 GB unit at $499. Things really changed when Apple launched the iTunes Music Store in 2003, setting off a landslide in music downloads as well as music piracy concerns. In 2007, Apple launched the iPhone, which included capabilities beyond just making phone calls, incorporating music capabilities in the phone.

How many iPods have you owned?

R.I.P. iPod. You changed the world of music.

Group Activities and Discussion Questions:

  1. Discuss the stages in the product life cycle. What are the marketing objectives in each stage?
  2. Divide students into teams. Have each team draw a product life cycle and place various products and services into each stage.
  3. Next, discuss the iPod and it’s journey through the product life cycle: http://www.macworld.com/article/1053499/home-tech/ipodtimeline.html
  4. Show Apple’s online store: https://www.apple.com/. What product line is missing from the store?
  5. Poll students: Who had an iPod? What do they use now for music?
  6. Show first iPod commercial: https://youtu.be/mE_bDNaYAr8
  7. Next, have students brainstorm on how to reposition or revise products/services to that they can move into an earlier stage of the life cycle.

Source:  Wired, other news sources

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Fender Teaches Guitar Online

While not everyone is a musician, many other people have longed to learn a musical instrument. Some people do learn, but many others stop learning and playing way too soon. According to research from Fender Guitars, 45% of guitar sales are generated by people who have never used one before – but 95% of people who try guitar give it up in the first year. That dramatically lowers overall industry sales, and gives Fender an opportunity.

Fender Guitar has a new plan to help people learn how to play classics such as The Star Spangled Banner and  other songs. The key is to get future guitarists engaged quickly. The Fender Play web site has a guided curriculum so that students can pick the style of music they want to learn, and then immediately get instruction on songs from that genre. Fender Play includes:

  • A guided learning path for your musical style
  • Hundreds of lessons
  • High quality, close-up videos
  • New songs and lessons added regularly
  • Artists such as Foo Fighters, Elvis, U2, The Lumineers, and more

The service starts with a free 30-day trial period, followed by a  fee of $19.99 per month. Fender Play is not limited to its own guitar players. Any guitar student can learn to play on their own instrument (but, of course Fender hopes to create future good will towards its company).

What are you waiting for? Pick up that six-string and go!

Group Activities and Discussion Questions:

  1. Poll students: Who plays guitar? Who used to play guitar? Who wants to play guitar? What keeps them from playing guitar?
  2. Show FenderPlay site: https://www.fender.com/play
  3. Optional: Additional videos to show:

https://youtu.be/h6ada1kvgEw

https://youtu.be/jnkppFj5Ri4

https://youtu.be/GSvQOodrEpA

https://youtu.be/T4lFt2JWrXk

  1. Discuss the four primary marketing strategies: market penetration, market development, product development, and diversification.
  2. Which strategy is Fender using for this product? Why?
  3. Divide students into teams. Have each team select one of the four different strategies and explain why that strategy could be used to market Fender guitars.
  4. Have each team determine the marketing mix (4Ps) to support their strategy choice.

Source:  Brandchannel.com

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