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.businessinsider.com/facebook-news-feed-apps-2011-7

Facebook users spend most of their time in the News Feed, the river of information about your friends, and comparatively very little (just 10%) using apps according to a comScore report on how people use Facebook. 

This is interesting because the biggest app company, Zynga, filed to go public, and more generally because tons of Facebook apps are getting zillions of VC money all the time.

If people spend so little time on Facebook apps, why the excitement?

First of all, 10% of usage on Facebook, the second biggest site in the world, is still a huge market.

And also almost certainly because those who do use apps, use them a lot. Social games are a perfect example: not everyone plays them, but those who do, play them a lot. And a smaller minority pay for virtual goods in those games, but that minority pays enough to fund a thriving social games industry.

It’s definitely possible to build big businesses on the Facebook platform. But those numbers are a useful reality check: Facebook isn’t becoming a new internet, with Facebook apps replacing websites, as some fear. People still overwhelmingly use Facebook for what it’s designed for: knowing what our friends are up to.

chart of the day, time spent on facebook, may 2011

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Source: http://blog.compete.com/2011/07/21/the-new-music-landscape/

It’s no secret that the music industry has undergone massive changes over the last ten to fifteen years. According to the Recording Industry Association of America, total US music sales have dropped an average of 8% each year since 1999, from $14.6 billion to just over $6 billion. Having heard this, you probably wouldn’t expect that in the first half of 2011, US sales are up by 1%. Okay, so it’s just 1%. But consider that in the first half of 2010, sales were down 11% year-over-year.

So what’s responsible for reversing this trend? Ever-increasing broadband speed has enabled mass media consumption on the web, paving the way for music discovery services like Pandora, Last.fm, Grooveshark and iLike. Because of these services, the average person can now find and listen to a more diverse body of music than ever before – and it’s catching on. Unique visitors to radio category websites has increased by nearly 19% since last year, with Pandora leading the pack at 11,824,629 in June 2011 – that’s 81% yearly growth.

Over the last few years, Pandora has made decisions to support growth of their user base and help them stay ahead of the competition, even if just barely at times. In 2008, the Pandora app became one of the most consistently downloaded apps in the Apple store. By 2010, Pandora was present on more than 200 connected consumer electronic devices ranging from smart-phones to TVs to Blue-ray players. It was in 2010 that Pandora began to break away from the other music discovery services and would attract more than double the unique visitors of Last.fm, traditionally Pandora’s toughest competitor, by year-end.

In February 2011, Pandora officially filed with the SEC for a $100M IPO, piquing even more interest in the service in the months leading up to their pricing announcement on June 15th. The company’s future may not be as bright though, as innovative alternatives to radio-style listening like Spotify, Music Beta by Google and Apple’s iCloud are beginning to gain traction. While these services are very different than Pandora – and from each other – there is no doubt that they pose a threat to the current music landscape. You can be sure we’re keeping an eye on it.

So, have you tried Spotify? Music Beta? iCloud? What do you think? Are you ready to abandon Pandora?

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Source: http://www.businessinsider.com/chart-of-the-day-hp-apple-notebook-pc-shipments-2011-7

Here’s another look at the impact of the iPad on the PC industry, courtesy of Jefferies analyst Peter Misek and Dan Frommer of SplatF.

Misek initiated coverage of HP today with a hold rating, and included this chart showing the drop in the growth of HP’s notebook shipments, as well as the drop in the growth PC notebooks overall. (Frommer added the data on Apple’s growth in notebook shipments as a contrast.)

As Frommer points out, “A market that was growing 20% to 40% year-over-year per quarter just a couple of years ago is now basically flat.”

Misek says it’s thanks to the growth of the tablet market: “We believe tablets are cannibalizing consumer notebooks and are the biggest driver in the deterioration of HP’s consumer notebook shipments. We expect tablets to cannibalize more enterprise notebooks as we get into 2012.”

Until someone delivers a credible iPad rival, this trend will continue for all the PC players.

chart of the day, apple, hp, pc shipments, july 2011

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Source: http://www.businessinsider.com/chart-of-the-day-vc-exits-2011-6

The environment for early stage startup investing is very “challenging” right now because big exits are still rare, but Series A round valuations have grown larger and larger, according to Fred Wilson, one of the best known early stage investors in the world.

On his blog, Wilson highlights the chart below which comes from Mark Suster. It shows the number of exits over $100 million on an annual basis is relatively small. There are 1,000 early stage fundings annually, according to the NVCA, which means just 5%-10% are producing big exits.

“At at time when the average Series A round is now north of $20mm (based on very anecdotal evidence and not at all scientific), this poses challenges for the VC industry,” says Wilson.

Wilson simplifies the math to prove his point, but says assume a fund can get one company to exit at a $250 million valuation. If it invested in 20 companies at an average valuation of $20 million, then it has committed $400 million.

The one big exit isn’t going to provide enough of a return to cover the portfolio, which is how the VC business has traditionally worked.

So, either the VC model needs to evolve, or valuations need to come down.

Annual exits for VC-backed startups worth more than $100 million

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Source: http://www.businessinsider.com/chart-of-the-day-rim-htc-2011-6

When Steve Jobs unveiled the iPhone on Jan. 9, 2007, the mobile industry changed forever. All of a sudden, software and user interfaces mattered on mobile devices. It was a turning point for many companies.

Some, like Palm and Motorola, started to crash almost immediately. Others, like Nokia, took longer.

Research In Motion, which makes BlackBerry devices, actually did very well for a long time, capturing a lot of the market with email- and messaging-focused phones, strong carrier promotion, and a solid corporate base.

But RIM has suffered recently as it has been unable to compete with Apple and Google Android in the lucrative high end of the smartphone market. Its growth has been coming from selling cheaper phones overseas, and U.S. carriers aren’t promoting RIM devices like they used to.

Meanwhile, Taiwan-based HTC has been one of the more exciting stories in the industry. It made an early bet on Google Android and has been riding it to success. Earlier this year, HTC passed RIM in market cap. (Data courtesy Capital IQ.)

Continued success isn’t guaranteed for HTC, of course. Samsung has been rising fast in the Android market, and HTC still hasn’t shown it’s going to be a threat in the tablet business.

But it seems to be in much better shape than RIM, which is struggling to stay relevant in the early stages of a big, risky platform change — as it moves away from the old BlackBerry software to a new OS called QNX.

RIM HTC market cap since January 2007

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Source: http://www.engadget.com/2011/06/21/self-published-kindle-author-breaks-one-million-in-sales-legs-m/

Our big, bad digital era’s been caught red-handed overturning media industry business models before, so it comes as no surprise that publishing houses have a new headache on-hand. Straight outta sunny Seattle comes word that Amazon has welcomed its first self-published author to the “Kindle Million Club.” John Locke (so this is where he wound up after going to that quasi-’heaven’) is the lucky dude who gets to claim the prize, and that’s not all — Mr. independent-author-from-Kentucky now shares bold-face status with the likes of Stieg Larsson and Nora Roberts. By churning out action / adventure novels on the $0.99 cheap and making heavy use of some leggy lady models, Locke easily blew past the one million mark, and even has a book to tell you how he did it. Take that evil publishing overlords. Hit the break for Amazon’s official PR spiel.

Continue reading Self-published Kindle author breaks one million in sales, legs might have something to do with it

Self-published Kindle author breaks one million in sales, legs might have something to do with it originally appeared on Engadget on Tue, 21 Jun 2011 17:46:00 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://www.businessinsider.com/chart-of-the-day-netflix-cable-subscribers-2011-5

Netflix now has more subscribers than any U.S. cable or satellite provider, and it’s the only one really growing.

Netflix finished Q1 with 22.80 million subscribers, just squeaking past Comcast, the biggest cable provider, which had 22.76 million subscribers. The big difference is their growth: Netflix added almost 9 million subscribers over the last year, while Comcast lost about 700,000 video subs.

This isn’t to say that the cable companies should immediately be freaking out about Netflix — it’s still more of a complementary service to cable than a replacement.

But that could change, especially as Netflix continues to grow, and can start writing bigger checks to content companies — the sorts of checks that they could only get from the Comcasts of the world just a few years ago.

Don’t miss: Our exclusive interview with Reed Hastings, Netflix CEO

SAI chart Netflix cable subscribers

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Source: http://www.businessinsider.com/chart-of-the-day-video-conversion-2011-5

While there’s not a lot to brag about for AOL, here’s one thing it has done incredibly well. It has the second most video views across the web, according to data from comScore.

Considering how small its overall audience is compared to the rest of the web, it’s an impressive feat.

In this chart we take a look at how many unique video views are garnered in relation to the amount of unique visitors to a site. As you can see AOL is getting more of its visitors to look at video than anyone other than Google, which has YouTube.

chart of the day, video conversion, march 2011

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