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/apple-made-twice-as-much-profit-on-phones-as-everybody-else-combined-2011-7

Apple is now the leading phone manufacturer by market share. It passed Nokia for the first time last quarter.

But more impressive: it captured two-thirds of all profits in the mobile phone business last quarter, according to statistics from Asymco.

Another way of looking at it: Apple made about twice as much profit on mobile phones as Samsung, RIM, and HTC did — combined. Nokia, Motorola, Sony-Ericsson, and LG all saw losses.

chart of the day, operating profit, mobile companies, july  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.engadget.com/2011/07/21/amd-earnings-continue-to-drop-despite-record-cpu-sales-gpu-busi/

AMD Earnings
Poor AMD. While Chipzilla just keeps shattering its own earnings records, the little company that could from Sunnyvale is struggling to chug its way uphill. Its total revenue of $1.57 billion represents a two-percent drop from the last quarter and five percent from the same time last year. Total profits fell from half a billion in Q1 to just $61 million. News was particularly bad at the graphics division which saw revenues plummet 11 percent from Q1. In total, the former ATI brand lost $7 million. It’s not all bad news, though — the company did ship a record number of mobile CPUs, won some awards, and increased its presence on the top 500 super computer list by 15 percent. That’s gotta count for something right?

[Thanks, Matt]

AMD earnings continue to drop despite record CPU sales, GPU business loses $7 million originally appeared on Engadget on Thu, 21 Jul 2011 18:02:00 EDT. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

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Source: http://www.businessinsider.com/chart-of-the-day-cost-of-an-app-2011-7

Last week Apple announced that its 200 million iOS users have downloaded 15 billion applications.

How much money money is Apple making from those 15 billion downloads? Apple wasn’t so forthcoming about that, so we’ll have to rely on this estimate from Piper Jaffray analyst Gene Munster.

Munster says the average selling price of an app in the App Store is $1.44. Of that Apple nets $0.18 after you account for credit card fees and storage/delivery costs.

Since the App Store launched, Apple has earned a net profit of $538 million on paid app sales, estimates Munster. It has spent an additional $246 million on storing and delivering free apps, says Munster, suggesting Apple’s true profit is just $292 million.

Of course, that’s the narrow way of looking how much Apple is making from the App Store. Apple’s vibrant app ecosystem has helped it sell millions of iPhones, iPads, and iPod Touches, helping it earn billions in profits.

chart of the day, cost of an app, july 2011

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Source: http://gizmodo.com/5816167/netflix-for-theaters-moviepass-lets-you-watch-unlimited-movies-in-theaters

Netflix for Theaters: MoviePass Lets You Watch Unlimited Movies in TheatersHow’s this sound: A movie subscription that lets you watch unlimited movies in theaters for 50 bucks a month. It’s like Netflix but for the real, real life. Would that be something you’re interested in?

Called MoviePass, it’s a service that’ll let users use a smartphone app to handle all their movie bookings. For 50 bucks a month (additional $3 for each IMAX or 3D), users of MoviePass will get unlimited access to any movie playing in participating theaters. If you’re not that psycho about watching movies, they also have a ‘lite’ package of 4 movies for 30 bucks. Either way, they’re rolling out a private beta in San Francisco right now that includes 21 different theaters and hopes to expand to other US cities throughout the summer. The goal is to put MoviePass in 40% of the theaters across the US.

I know people who—rain or shine, $15 bucks for a ticket or higher, popcorn or no popcorn—just have to watch movies in the theater. This is going to be perfect for them. Would you guys use this? [MoviePass via Wired]

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Source: http://lifehacker.com/5814945/everyone-wants-better-no-one-wants-change

"Everyone Wants Better. No One Wants Change"Jonathan Fields points out that often times we’re only interested in the result and want to ignore the hard work it takes to get it. The internet has created a culture based on immediacy, and that is good in many ways, but sometimes the hard way is better. Being healthy and happy isn’t just a decision to make. It takes concentrated, ongoing effort. It’s easy to see the hard stuff as bad, but it rarely is. Even positive change may be stressful, but it’s going to be better.

Photo by Yuri Arcurs

"Everyone Wants Better. No One Wants Change" Everyone Wants Better. No One Wants Change | Jonathan Fields


You can follow Adam Dachis, the author of this post, on Twitter and Facebook.  Twitter’s the best way to contact him, too.

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Source: http://www.businessinsider.com/chart-of-the-day-ipad-traffic-2011-6

It’s been more than a year since Apple’s iPad started shipping, and around the world, it’s still overwhelmingly the only tablet that matters.

ComScore just released a bunch of stats about traffic consumption on non-PC devices in 13 countries, including tablets, smartphones, and other devices, such as the iPod touch.

We analyzed comScore’s data to focus just on tablet usage, and charted the iPad’s traffic share in each country. It was 95% or higher in 12 of the 13 countries, with Android the second-place finisher in most countries (and “other” in Canada, home of RIM).

Of note: China isn’t one of the countries reported by comScore in this data. That could be a market where Android does particularly well. We’ll see. And, of course, plenty more competition is on the way from the likes of HP, Microsoft, etc. But for now, the iPad stands alone.

iPad traffic by country, comScore

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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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