Source: http://www.engadget.com/2011/10/06/digital-video-game-distribution-finds-brick-and-mortar-camping/

Blame it on the economy, or simply chalk it up to a better way of earning revenue, but physical distributors of new video games are beginning to feel some major heat from the scrappy competition. While this mainstay segment still comprises the bulk of sales with $1.44 billion earned in the previous quarter, the combination of digital purchases, subscriptions, downloadable content, social network and mobile games — along with help from rentals and used purchases — now tops $1.74 billion dollars. This news comes from the NPD Group, and while we’re still scratching our heads at the logic of combining second-hand purchases with electronic distribution, it provides a strong indicator of consumers’ changing tastes and preferences (along with their willingness to spend). Does this industry titan simply need a new console or another Call of Duty to maintain supremacy? Perhaps a modest uptick in GDP? Or does this signal the changing of the guard for our favorite electronic pastime? There’s a full PR after the break, where you’re welcome to fire one off in the comments and let us know your take.

[Image courtesy bradleyolin / flickr]

Continue reading Digital video game distribution finds brick and mortar camping, moves in for win

Digital video game distribution finds brick and mortar camping, moves in for win originally appeared on Engadget on Thu, 06 Oct 2011 14:32:00 EDT. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

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Source: http://www.engadget.com/2011/09/29/some-cable-companies-are-pushing-for-unbundled-channels-but-n/

Sick of paying for cable TV channels you don’t watch? Reportedly some operators are looking for a way — through negotiation or regulation — to end channel bundling, where to get certain channels (like MTV) they’re compelled to pack others (like TV Land) owned by the same company into their basic lineups. According to Reuters, smaller operators like Suddenlink and Mediacom are leading the charge, while even bigger companies like Comcast, Time Warner and DirecTV are feeling squeezed in retransmission fee disputes. However, as the LA Times points out, it’s still doubtful you’ll be able to pick and choose specific channels for a cheaper bill. What may be available however are cheaper packages of smaller bundles, like the lineup shown above that Comcast is testing in certain areas. What’s stopping true a la carte programming choices? Hybrid cable and content companies, like Comcast with NBC Universal and Time Warner, and sports — someone has to pay for that billion dollar ESPN Monday Night Football deal.

Some cable companies are pushing for unbundled channels — but not for you originally appeared on Engadget on Thu, 29 Sep 2011 23:41:00 EDT. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

Permalink   |  sourceLA Times  | Email this | Comments


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Source: http://www.businessinsider.com/chart-of-the-day-netflix-subscribers-2011-9

Netflix has more subscribers than any single cable company, a number that is up 10 million from last year. That’s impressive.

But perhaps not as impressive as the 80 million the major cable companies boast as a collective. That figure could explain why Starz walked away.

“For now, they may be in a better position to make Starz money than Netflix is — even if Netflix reportedly offered more than $300 million per year for Starz content,” Dan Frommer writes.

In the coming months, we will see if Starz made the right call.

chart of the day, video subscribers, sep 2011

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Source: http://www.businessinsider.com/chart-of-the-day-hulu-plus-2011-7

Hulu Plus now has 875,000 paying subscribers according to CEO Jason Kilar. It pales in comparison to Netflix’s 23 million subscribers, but considering Hulu is primarily a free ad-supported video site it’s not too bad.

In a blog post revealing the data Kilar says,”we proudly and profitably pay the content community approximately $8 per subscriber per month for the content offering you see today on Hulu Plus. A portion of the $8 payment to the content community comes from our $7.99 subscription fee; the balance comes from the revenue we generate through advertising.”

This is good news for Hulu, but it comes at an uncertain time for the site.  Disney CEO Bob Iger said today Hulu’s owners are committed to selling the site, and it was just reported that Kilar is not under contract.

chart of the day, hulu plus subscribers, july 2011

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Source: http://www.engadget.com/2011/06/22/wyoming-wholly-commits-to-google-apps-adds-more-flare-to-state/

Milestone-maker may not be the first words that come to mind when you think ‘Wyoming,’ but consider this: the state lays claim to the first ever national park (Yellowstone), the first national monument (Devil’s Tower), and to being first for women’s suffrage. Not content to rest on its laurels, Wyoming Governor Matt Mead put on his early adopter hat and marched all ten thousand civil servant soldiers into the Google cloud. It’s a major first for both parties, and might even help Google ease the federal government’s earlier MS-favoring snub. By switching solely to Google Apps for Government, Mead says the move will save his great territory significant coin, not to mention getting everybody under the Gmail umbrella like Los Angeles did back in 2009. Unintended consequence of the move? The inefficiency of, oh, about nine thousand, nine hundred and ninety-nine workers whiling away their days on Gchat. Check below for official video of the address.

Continue reading Wyoming wholly commits to Google apps, adds more flair to state’s firsts

Wyoming wholly commits to Google apps, adds more flair to state’s firsts originally appeared on Engadget on Wed, 22 Jun 2011 22:32:00 EDT. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

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Source: http://blog.compete.com/2011/05/24/compete-releases-ranking-of-top-50-websites-for-april-2011/

NYTimes.com Declined in First Full Month With Paywall; Daily Deal Sites Continue to Thrive

BOSTON, MA–(Marketwire) - Compete, a Kantar Media company, today released its ranking of the top 50 websites for April 2011. Notable changes during the month included NYTimes.com, which saw unique visitors (UVs) decline during its first full month behind a paywall. Elsewhere on the list, daily deal sites thrived and video site Ustream.tv climbed more than 200 spots.

NYTimes.com Drops
NYTimes.com dropped 20.4 percent in April — a 24.9 percent decline from one year earlier; traffic decreased across nearly all of NYTimes.com’s subdomains. But NYTimes.com sports blogs were interesting exceptions in April: bats.blogs.nytimes.com (baseball), offthedribble.blogs.nytimes.com (basketball) and fifthdown.blogs.nytimes.com (football) increased traffic during the month, with month-over-month growth of 57.8 percent, 142.4 percent and 44.5 percent respectively. Readers, it seems, do not part as easily with their sports content.

Daily Deal Duel
As the race intensifies in the daily deals space, Groupon still leads the way with nearly 24 million UVs, increasing 5.4 percent M-O-M and 655.8 percent Y-O-Y. While LivingSocial.com only boasts half as many UVs at this point (roughly 11.5 million), its rate of growth for the month, 32.7 percent, was six-times greater than Groupon’s, and its Y-O-Y growth rate stands at 418.4 percent. It is catching up quickly.

One to Watch: Ustream.tv
In April, traffic to video site Ustream.tv grew 46.6 percent for the month (92.3 percent for the year). This helped the site shoot up more than 200 spots in Compete’s rankings, likely a result of the growing popularity of video sharing sites.

Top Ten Order Unchanged
The order of top ten sites remained unchanged in April and no site had a monthly traffic increase. While YouTube.com, ranked #4, stayed steady with no change, the other nine sites experienced drops in UVs during April.

Information regarding top 250 websites is drawn from the Compete PRO Enterprise edition on Compete.com. For more information on the enterprise offering, please contact Lauren Streisfeld at lstreisfeld@compete.com.

Rank Site Unique Visitors Monthly Change Yearly Change
1 google.com 150,132,536 -0.29% -0.34%
2 facebook.com 137,917,539 -2.00% 13.33%
3 yahoo.com 137,281,886 -0.11% 2.02%
4 youtube.com 123,404,304 0.00% 22.42%
5 bing.com 86,836,886 -3.51% 48.43%
6 wikipedia.org 81,157,591 -2.31% 6.01%
7 amazon.com 74,978,780 -1.29% 12.71%
8 msn.com 73,799,209 -2.74% 8.95%
9 live.com 72,369,485 -4.69% 4.21%
10 ebay.com 67,372,294 -1.65% -10.04%
11 blogspot.com 65,940,748 -5.50% 12.10%
12 microsoft.com 62,162,835 -0.94% 9.19%
13 craigslist.org 57,500,250 -1.86% -5.52%
14 ask.com 54,508,628 -3.14% -10.72%
15 go.com 49,504,372 -8.20% 17.32%
16 about.com 47,709,562 -4.30% 3.88%
17 aol.com 46,906,652 -6.07% 2.32%
18 walmart.com 46,349,561 5.44% 14.15%
19 ehow.com 45,960,705 -7.74% 60.20%
20 answers.com 42,276,025 -10.87% 38.03%
21 mapquest.com 36,700,156 -0.60% -9.61%
22 target.com 36,178,431 1.79% 24.64%
23 weather.com 33,728,429 10.51% 11.58%
24 wordpress.com 33,459,473 -2.92% 1.92%
25 netflix.com 33,129,869 -1.74% 52.15%
26 myspace.com 32,876,686 -16.55% -53.60%
27 paypal.com 31,870,573 2.97% 11.06%
28 apple.com 31,103,237 -11.00% 10.79%
29 adobe.com 31,079,363 -14.31% 3.17%
30 twitter.com 27,504,233 -11.33% -0.75%
31 chase.com 26,432,079 1.00% 5.86%
32 att.com 25,744,344 -9.11% 12.12%
33 bankofamerica.com 25,671,467 0.79% 4.82%
34 imdb.com 23,787,667 -9.47% -2.86%
35 groupon.com 23,768,883 5.40% 655.82%
36 cnn.com 23,341,250 -15.81% -13.93%
37 flickr.com 21,514,439 -1.85% -13.68%
38 photobucket.com 20,523,415 -4.93% -23.97%
39 comcast.net 20,077,436 11.53% 57.38%
40 bestbuy.com 19,690,984 -6.36% -1.66%
41 yellowpages.com 19,683,713 5.93% 40.39%
42 irs.gov 19,682,366 -2.12% -4.02%
43 jcpenney.com 19,452,462 5.67% 33.94%
44 sears.com 19,348,832 11.41% 25.28%
45 homedepot.com 19,244,361 12.20% 3.58%
46 verizonwireless.com 18,440,068 -7.54% 11.74%
47 cnet.com 18,405,154 -5.23% -13.40%
48 comcast.com 18,362,992 -5.35% 60.51%
49 wellsfargo.com 17,984,172 4.04% 26.90%
50 lowes.com 17,949,686 13.16% 19.84%

About Compete
Compete, a Kantar Media company, helps the world’s top brands improve their marketing based on the online behavior of millions of consumers. Leading advertisers, agencies and publishers rely on Compete’s products and services to create engaging online experiences and highly profitable advertising campaigns. Compete’s online panel — the largest in the industry — makes the web as ingrained in marketing as it is in people’s lives. Compete is located in Boston, MA, with offices throughout the U.S. For more information, please visit http://www.compete.com/.

About Kantar Media
Established in more than 50 countries, Kantar Media helps clients master the world’s multimedia momentum through analysis of print, radio, TV, internet, cinema, mobile, social media, and outdoor worldwide. Kantar Media offers a full range of media insights and audience measurement services through its global business sectors — Intelligence, Audiences, TGI and Custom. Kantar Media companies also include Compete, Cymfony and SRDS. Drawing upon the deepest expertise in the industry, Kantar Media tracks more than 3 million brands and delivers insight to more than 22,000 customers worldwide. www.KantarMediaNA.com/.

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Source: http://gizmodo.com/5801695/screw-mtv-youtube-100-makes-music-videos-relevant-again

Screw MTV. YouTube 100 Makes Music Videos Relevant Again.YouTube 100 sheepishly materialized this week. The feature itself is minor, a space in their music section listing the 100 most popular music vids. But for the future of the music video, the implications are HUGE. In the best possible way.

YouTube 100 not only lists the Top 100 vids, but lets you play them back to back automatically. (Roku and AppleTV need to get this on their boxes). YouTube 100 returns us to an era when finding and watching music videos isn’t an arbitrary, single-serve experience. It makes watching vids less about personal discovery and more about the shared experience. And it’s as populist as the MTV of yore: our clicks determine what hits the top of the list. It will make music videos relevant again, which they haven’t been for quite some time.

When MTV cancelled TRL and decided they only wanted to show every form of reality TV under the sun, the music video basically died. I mean, specimens still existed (YouTube was coming into its own), but the music video universe had turned into a wasteland of cheaply made abominations that depended on viral distribution for views.

Gone were the days of Diddy’s 10 minute, multi-million dollar epics, which featured big name actors and entire scenes that had little—if nothing—to do with the song. Gone was the video premiere as an event. Some artist (or if they were lucky, PR flak) would just upload a video to a YouTube unceremoniously. Gone was the focused, steady stream of music videos force-fed to us in 30 and 60 minute blocks. Instead, we watched what someone emailed to us, then went back to staring at animated GIFs. Also gone were the video countdowns—there’s something to be said for coming to your own conclusions, but filters and lists always make things more interesting, amiright?

But then something happened. Musicians and labels learned how to market music on the internet (even if they still have no idea how to make money off of said marketing). They learned that a music video gone viral could be a crucial turning point for an artist. They learned how to make the music video an event again (have you SEEN Kanye’s Runaway?!). And when this happened, videos started getting the time and money and care they needed to flourish on the internet. Many of the recent videos from the likes Beyonce, Lady Gaga and Kanye West have had TV-quality production values, but largely found their viewership online.

The problem has been that there’s been no single, communal space where these videos are curated and discussed. MTV has had its MTV Hive site for a while now, but they’ve kept it far too obscure and feature-lacking to really connect with the masses. Vimeo, despite having a treasure trove of amazing content, is too niche in its scope to find a mainstream audience. And YouTube on its own is too chaotic to facilitate a sense of community.

But now that they’ve added the YouTube 100, we have a starting place. Something to talk about. Something to disagree with. It’s a reason to care about music videos again. You know, just as long as VEVO doesn’t ruin it all with those crappy, borderline intrusive ads.

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Source: http://techcrunch.com/2011/03/28/video-advertising-company-adap-tv-raises-20-million/

Video advertising company Adap.tv has raised $20 million in funding led by Bessemer Venture Partners with Gemini Israel Funds, Redpoint Ventures and Spark Capital also participating in the round. This brings Adap.tv’s total funding to $43 million.

Adapt.tv’s ad platform allows advertisers to buy and manage online video ad inventory from a single interface and enables publishers to monetize their online video content. Advertisers can run campaigns across all publishers, ad networks and the Adap.tv Marketplace. The Adap.tv Marketplace connects publishers and brand name advertisers, with over 4,200 sites selling inventory and hundreds of campaigns running daily.

Currently, Adap.tv reaches over 60 million unique viewers and delivers more than 1.8 billion video ad views monthly. Adap.tv says it will use the new funding to support international growth, expand product development, and strengthen the company’s footprint in the U.S.
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Information provided by CrunchBase


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In days of old, advertisers had to buy TV airtime, magazine placements, or radio spots to send their ads out to reach customers. Usually one of the largest chunks of cost is the media placement, followed by “creative” development and content creation.

What if there was a way to cut out most or all of the media cost?  And what if we could also substantially reduce the cost of “creative development” and “content creation?”  Look at the JetBlue example below.  On Twitter, JetBlue has nearly 600,000 followers.  Each of these followers has basically “opted in” to receive their updates, often multiple times a day (“costless media”). There is no “media cost” for getting these messages out. Compare this to what it would cost to air a TV ad that reaches 600,000 viewers (assuming all the viewers wanted to receive the ad, and were sitting there in front of the TV watching the ad when it was aired).

Also, the cost of content is nearly zero too. JetBlue has their customer service people (and fans) help create content by tweeting. These tweets range from customer service (“twitter customer service”) , to service notices (e.g. dense fog in NYC area airports causing delays, etc.), to tips from frequent travelers. This type of content is more “real,” valuable, and trusted than an advertisement. And there is no cost of “creative development” because the content does not need to be dressed up into a glossy ad for TV or print — it’s just 140 characters of text at a time. It’s more effective AND lower cost?!  Imagine that!

Finally, notice in the “bio” area on the upper right of the screen shot that it reports who is currently on duty — “Morgan and Lindsey” — this gives the normally faceless customer service system a name and a face and perhaps even a personality.  JetBlue’s twitter is a great example of social marketing done awesome!

jetblue-twitter

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contextual commerce

when e-commerce becomes “everyday commerce,” consumer retail will hit $2.7 trillion in the U.S. alone, with the online channel accounting for a larger and larger percentage of completed transactions.

Contextual commerce™ eliminates duplication of spending, provides accurate targeting through understanding the consumers’ online lifestyles™, increases the probability of completing transactions, and provides unprecedented tracking because the entire sales cycle is closed-loop in the same medium.

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