“Electric Jukebox” & Forgetting to Register Domain Names

Here’s a very short tale about spending what looks like millions on launching a digital product, without paying attention to the basics of digital marketing. It is about “Electric Jukebox”, a service that has just been launched, with Stephen Fry, Robbie Williams, Sheryl Crow, and various other celebrities on board.

Electric Jukebox is billed as a simple music streaming service, controlled by a remote control unit, aimed at people who don’t use Spotify or Apple Music. The launch was covered by the BBC, Wired, the Telegraph, the Guardian, and dozens of others.

Here’s a photo of Robbie Williams – taken from the press material – holding the Electric Jukebox remote:

And in case the high profile celebrities aren’t enough to convince you there is money behind the launch, here’s their advisory board:

I’d guess that their combined worth is somewhere in the billions.

The service is aimed at UK people. So, where would you expect to find further information about this on the web? Or to buy it (it costs £149 for the first year)? Probably at www.electricjukebox.co.uk. After all, “.co.uk” is the standard for UK-based commercial entities.

But, at the time of launch, here’s what you’d find if you visited that site:

If you dug a little bit further, you’d find they’d bought the .com, but this is what happened when trying to find the owner of the .co.uk domain:

Maybe they’d gone for ‘electricjukebox.uk’ instead? After all, Stephen Fry is involved in the promotion, and he was also involved in the launch of the shorter ‘.uk’ domains last year. Sadly not: They had the “.com”, but had completely forgotten to buy any of their UK domain names. That’s a mistake for a few reasons:

  • If the service is a success, it is an asset they will need.
  • If a domain squatter buys the domain, it can costs many thousands to buy it from them, or tedious legal negotiation.
  • Many people in the UK still type in domain names directly, rather than searching Google.
  • Literally the only reason for not owning the domain is oversight. The cost of it is a rounding error to them.

In other words, they have spent what looks like millions signing up advisors & celebrities, produced launch videos, a combined physical & digital product, organised music licensing, and much more, but forgotten to spend the fiver on the most important digital asset they could have bought: the main domain name for the country they’re focussed on.

(If anyone from ElectricJukebox is reading this – feel free to get in touch – you are welcome to electricjukebox.co.uk & electricjukebox.uk for free)

.UK Domains Launched – Sorry!

On June 10th 2014, at 8am, Nominet (the UK domain registry) launched “.uk” domains. In other words, I could now move this site to “http://barker.uk” rather than “http://barker.co.uk”.

To announce the launch – the biggest change to UK internet addresses in many, many years – Nominet have launched what they call “the world’s largest welcome sign”, visible from 35,000 feet. Here’s how the Daily Mail described this enormous sign:

Sadly – here’s what you see if you visit the URL on the world’s largest welcome sign:

A shame to have launched the world’s largest welcome sign leading to a large “Sorry…” notice, and a nice lesson to remember to double check your landing pages when running multi-channel campaigns.

Note: If you’d like a full summary of the .uk change, what it means, and what to do about it, feel free to leave a comment and I’ll update this post later.