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Showing posts from December, 2006

Telecom Equipment Sales Boost from IPTV

The number of subscribers to Internet Protocol Television (IPTV) services worldwide is expected to nearly triple in 2007, helping to drive a strong increase in sales of wired communications equipment and related semiconductors for the year, iSuppli Corp. predicts. IPTV should bring new capabilities to television entertainment, including interactivity, integration with voice and data communications, personalization and value-added services. With the arrival of more competitors in the market, the variety and pricing of IPTV services should also improve for consumers, iSuppli predicts. "The year 2007 represents an inflection point for IPTV where the technology will no longer be only for early adopters but those in the mass market will also jump on board," said Steve Rago, principal analyst for networking and optical communications at iSuppli. "This IPTV transition is occurring simultaneously around the world, so everywhere regionally will see an increase in subscribers.&q

Upcoming CES has International SuperSession

The Consumer Electronics Association (CEA) announced that senior technology policy makers from Brazil, Japan and the United States will participate in an International SuperSession at the 2007 International CES. U.S. Secretary of Commerce Carlos M. Gutierrez will kick off the SuperSession with an opening keynote address focused on international competitiveness in the 21st century. Produced by CEA, the 2007 International CES, the world's largest technology trade show, returns to Las Vegas January 8-11 to celebrate its 40th anniversary. "Consumers' access to broadband networks, the availability of wireless spectrum and the transition to digital broadcasting are all critical factors driving products and services on exhibit at the 2007 International CES," said CEA president and CEO Gary Shapiro. "Our International SuperSession will explore which country or region is best prepared to handle the convergence of voice, video and the Internet, and which policies best s

AT&T Concedes to a Two-Year Net Neutrality

Associated Press reports that lawyers for AT&T Inc. and the government worked marathon hours to forge an agreement that would allow the company to complete its $85 billion purchase of BellSouth Corporation. The proposed deal could lead to the largest telecommunications merger in U.S. history, and enable communications industry consolidation to mirror what has happened in the media sector. In both cases, the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) has been criticized by consumer groups for not protecting the public interest. AT&T on Thursday night put forth what is expected to be its last and best offer, and it appeared it was 'good enough' to lead to a vote on the merger by the FCC as early as Friday. AT&T has offered concessions beyond what it had promised in October, including a significant pledge to observe standards regarding network neutrality -- basically, equal treatment for all Internet traffic. AP reports that this issue appeared to be the biggest roadb

Datamarts Will Enable Forward-Looking View

Enhanced knowledge of customer activity will be critical to gain additional revenue from next-generation products and service investments, which will drive broadband service providers to adopt 'subscriber information management' solutions that allow them to harness subscriber data from a number of different sources, according to a new report from Light Reading. Earlier this year, I researched the untapped applications for existing Datamarts -- specifically how they can be applied for predictive analytics purposes. While many service providers already use historical analytics to determine what their customers have done, very few use the same data to identify apparent forward-looking trends. Armed with the combined data, and an understanding of the trend implications, service providers will be enabled to predict emerging consumer demand. As operators provide more and more next-generation services for their customers, understanding how customers are using these services will be

Best Customer Experience Key to CE Branding

Consumers like the latest digital products, but they are easily frustrated by the complexity and commoditization of those offerings, according to a survey from Accenture. The survey results also shows, while new and enhanced service offerings can be crucial in building brand loyalty, customer service remains one of the best tools in providing customer satisfaction. The survey found that 20 percent of consumers have returned a technology product in the last two years, citing poor product quality (38 percent) and missed functionality expectations (19 percent) as the main reasons. Poor customer service (11 percent) and a failure to work with other products and services (15 percent) were cited as leading reasons for product and service dissatisfaction, according to the survey. The potential reward for companies that deliver a superior overall customer experience is quite significant. For instance, two-thirds (65 percent) of respondents said that product brand supersedes store brand, indi

Large Screen TV Market Adapting to Demand

Despite soaring sales of larger-screen TV sets, rapid price declines will cause the Liquid Crystal Display Television (LCD-TV) market to undergo a deceleration in 2007 compared to the red-hot year in 2006, although growth will continue at a healthy rate, iSuppli predicts. Global LCD-TV shipments will rise to 62.5 million units in 2007, up 57 percent from 39.7 million in 2006. This is down from 95 percent growth in 2006. This slowdown reflects the large volume of LCD-TV shipments, which makes it difficult to maintain such dramatic growth on an annual basis. The slowdown in 2007 will be more pronounced in terms of revenue. Worldwide LCD-TV factory revenue will rise by 20 percent in 2007, expanding to $53.5 billion, up from $44.7 billion in 2006. This represents a 56 percentage point decrease in growth compared to 2006, when LCD-TV revenue increased by a whopping 76 percent. "Regardless of the slowdown, the LCD-TV market remains in a phase of explosive growth, mainly due to boomin

Evolution of the Canadian Pay-TV Market

According to Kagan Research, Canada's entrenched cable TV industry was startled when satellite TV made big inroads after its 1997 debut. Canada's two direct broadcast satellite (DBS) platforms have 2.6 million total subs today accounting for about 25 percent of the 10.3 million total subscription TV households. "Multichannel has matured and reached a saturation of 85 percent penetration, so it's no longer a pitched battle simply to add more subscribers," says Brian Schecter, analyst at Kagan Research. "With multichannel plateauing, DBS aims to dial back on new subscriber acquisition expenditures to instead grow what it already has by raising average revenue per subscriber unit," or ARPU. Schecter says that means offering fancier hardware, new services, up-selling existing subscribers to more expensive packages and boosting pay-per-view programs. The country's two DBS platforms are Bell ExpressVu with 1.8 million subscribers and Shaw Star Choice wi

Consumer Expectation for Digital Experiences

Forrester Research Consumer Forum 2006, titled "Humanizing The Digital Experience," focused on how leading brands are rethinking their digital and multichannel experiences in order to reach new and existing customers, tap the benefits of social computing, and reassert their role as customer advocates. According to Forrester, digital channels now reach broadly across all age, gender, income, and ethnic groups: 79 percent of U.S. households are online, and 84 percent have mobile phones. The forum began with a look at how mainstream consumers have new and higher expectations for their digital experiences. Consumers do the following: They tune out when the information isn't relevant -- Nearly half of consumers who visit a landing page leave in under 8 seconds. To build relevance, brands must start with segmentation models that enable personalization and deliver targeted function, content, and images. They give up when the digital experience isn't intuitive -- Fifty-n

HP Dreams of Managing Your Digital Home

New York Times reports that Hewlett-Packard is looking for a second act. Apparently, it now hopes that people will view it as an innovative consumer electronics company. In 2007 it will have the opportunity to prove that it's worthy of that title. Its turnaround was confirmed this year when profits from PCs and corporate servers and storage devices nearly doubled from a year earlier. It sold more PCs than any other maker and claimed the title of the world's largest technology company. Now it has to sustain those gains. Hewlett-Packard is clearly benefiting from the shift in consumer preferences toward notebook PCs. As the entertainment-obsessed consumer shifts toward ever more mobile devices like hand-held video players and phones that can function as mini-PCs, the company wants to be ready with always-connected devices that may blur the differences between a PC and consumer electronic devices. "It is an important part of the vision we have," said Shane Robinson, H

Telecom Service Providers Lack Mind-Share

While 2006 may be remembered by some U.S. telecom analysts as the year that mobile service providers continued to invest billions in network infrastructure to launch their third-generation (3G) wireless services, marketers will simply remember the low market adoption rate and disappointing ROI. Regardless, 2007 is expected to be yet another banner year for new technology in search of a market, with the anticipated unveiling of initial fourth-generation (4G) services to consumers. 4G will offer new choices in the world of wireless services, including even higher speed mobile Internet access, video and TV on-the-go, and new options for networking and entertainment within the home. Ultimately, 4G will allow consumers to select a single provider to deliver their entire home and mobile communication, plus entertainment services. However, as with any new technology, 4G presents a variety of questions and challenges. Will consumers buy it? How many will buy early and how many will wait? Giv

Prediction: Major Ad Agency Stumbles in 2007

I was asked to contribute a prediction of a major event in the coming year that is based upon my observations of evolving trends, and submit it for inclusion in the book Happy About Knowing What to Expect in 2007 . Unlike prior years, I submitted only one prediction because I believe that all others I considered truly pale in comparison. The following is my contribution. "The notion of a mass-market is finally laid to rest, as marketers uncover effective ways to reach clusters of individual consumers that have similar lifestyles, interests and behaviors. At least one big multinational ad agency will fail to evolve, by embracing this transformation. As a result, they will be disregarded as fossils from a bygone era." Now, before I receive angry emails from the folks at Omnicom Group or Publicis Groupe, please let me explain two things before anyone jumps to conclusions. First, I didn't have a specific multinational ad agency firm in mind when I wrote my prediction. Secon

A Long Road Ahead for Telco IPTV Growth

The latest analysis from Point Topic shows that IPTV subscriber numbers doubled during the 12 months ending 30 June 2006. The total number of customers worldwide paying for TV services supplied via Internet Protocol (IP) increased from just under 1.5 million to almost 3 million. Point Topic believes that Europe is the most important region for IPTV, with the strongest growth in subscriber numbers during the period. There have also been a large number of service launches. This growth reflects the developed and competitive pay-TV market in many European countries. Hong Kong's PCCW still remains the largest IPTV operator, with 444,000 paying IPTV subscribers, and a total of 654,000 TV connections (not all TV services require a paying subscription). France Telecom had over 300,000 paying customers, while Telefonica in Spain grew strongly to 267,000 TV subscribers. Point-Topic's research shows that the picture of IPTV development worldwide remains a complex one. The success of an

Digital Lifestyle Study Reveals 50 Categories

Rapid consumer adoption of Internet and mobile services will boost U.S. spending in digital living services and products to nearly $300 billion by 2010, according to Parks Associates latest report "Digital Living 2006 Forecasts." This study, which features forecasts and analysis of more than 50 digital lifestyle categories, reports a steady rise in U.S. household spending for these advanced products and services over the next five years, fueled by adoption of broadband and communications services, which will account for $229 billion in 2010. "Recent investment and developments in such services as broadband access and television, including the shift to digital and IP delivery of communications and entertainment services, have given rise to a host of new digital living products and services," said Kurt Scherf, vice president and principal analyst with Parks Associates. "As we close the first decade of this century, the companies and service providers that can

Prediction on How the Apple iTV Will Succeed

Will Richmond of Broadband Directions shares his insightful picks for 'seven broadband video trends' in 2007. His company is a market intelligence and consulting firm specializing in broadband-delivered video. The following is the first prediction, you can read the remaining six at his website . Apple's iTV box will likely succeed (but only if more than just iTunes video is easily accessible). This is clearly my most controversial prediction and the one I will devote the most ink to. Let me stipulate upfront -- standalone appliances like these are indeed the "third rail" of consumer electronics. I understand all the reasons why they don't succeed. And the list of failures is long and undistinguished. However, my bet is that is that if ever a company stood a chance of succeeding and a box potentially met a clear consumer need, it is Apple and iTV. (by the way, "iTV" is just a code name, expect a new name prior to launch). Apple's user-centric des

Awareness Doesn't Sell Mobile Entertainment

The mobile entertainment market will more than double over the next five years reaching $38.1 billion in 2011, according to Informa Telecoms & Media, publisher of the new report. The emerging market is was responsible for $18.8 billion in revenues worldwide in 2006. "Although music services such as ringtones, full track downloads and ringback tones will continue to generate the highest proportion of revenues seen in the mobile entertainment industry, mobile TV service revenue are set to sky rocket over the next five years, growing from $178 million to more than $1.8 billion in 2011," says Daniel Winterbottom, senior analyst at Informa and joint author of the report. "Large sporting events, like the Ashes cricket tour, are seeing more and more people take out subscription packages with their operators that allow them to watch TV services on the move, and this is reflected by the phenomenal growth this segment will see," said Winterbottom. Music and images domi

Video on Demand to Attract more Advertisers

While the video-on-demand (VOD) business generally has been disappointing so far, Turner Broadcasting is experiencing a noteworthy VOD boost, according to Kagan Research. The basic cable network unit of Time Warner sells ads in VOD content re-purposed from its cable channels -- such as Cartoon Network, CNN and Turner Classic Movies. "From our point of view, VOD has been a nice and steady growth business," says Chris Pizzurro, vice president for digital new media at Turner Entertainment. "It doesn't have to be knock-you-over numbers to be successful." Four years after launching its first VOD content 'free to consumers' with paid commercials, Cartoon Network today delivers more than 6 million VOD views a month. Next highest is Adult Swim with several million views monthly. Turner's other properties generate fewer than one million views: Boomerang, Court TV, TBS, TNT and Turner Classic Movies. Regardless, the audience for Cartoon Network VOD programmi

CE Brands will Dominate the Connected Home

While many technology start-up companies seem to benefit from their unfair share of the media buzz, it's a few mega-corporations who will actually drive the emerging marketplace for innovative 'connected digital home' consumer products. Sony, Panasonic and Samsung lead the wave of the leading mobile, PC and consumer electronics (CE) companies that are targeting the connected home for their next major growth opportunity, according to the latest research from Strategy Analytics. The report, "Connected Home Leaderboard: A Strategic Assessment of Leading CE, PC and Mobile Companies," assesses the key business challenges facing major technology vendors that intend to lead in the connected digital home market. By contrast, the strategies of leading PC vendors HP and Dell exhibit significant weaknesses, such as limited proprietary technology ownership and inability to penetrate emerging device segments. "In spite of the tendency of the general media to focus on e

Telecom Insiders Unsure About Their Future

New research findings from STL has found that the vast majority of telecoms industry professionals lack confidence that Telcos are set up to cope with the threat from new internet and IP-based services. Over 550 telecoms industry insiders expressed their concerns in the survey, part of a new market study 'Telco 2.0TM - How can telcos make money in an IP-based world?' The survey shows that the majority of telecoms industry insiders now believe that telcos need to dramatically alter their business models if they are to prosper in the Web 2.0 world. In particular, most industry professionals believe that Telcos need to be structurally separated into different businesses -- one focusing solely on the network, and the other on the retail and services business -- with external talent brought in to manage these businesses. Simon Torrance, CEO of STL, commented: "The Telco industry has woken up to the threat posed by the internet and Web 2.0 business models. It now needs to add

Gartner Says Bloggers Have Attention Deficit

MarketWatch reports that contrary to some interpretations, Gartner Group analysts do not believe blogging is over. Blogging no more faces a demise than Facebook or MySpace, according to the senior analyst who was the source for last week's "blogging has peaked" story. "The life span of the blogger is not that long," Daryl Plummer explained in an interview about his firm's annual 'Predicts' report. "It's not that they come to hate blogging, it's just that their lives go in another direction or they lose interest in the subject. So they stop." The same thing is true for social sites like Myspace, he said. "The number of unique visitors is declining. There is an explosion of interest when something is new, and then when it becomes the norm it settles down. The steady state is less than the peak," he said, and next year will be the year of 'blogging saturation.' Plummer cautions businesses not to ignore blogs just b

U.S. PC Market Will Reach Saturation, Again

You've heard this story before, those people in the U.S. who need a personal computer (PC) already have one, so we're done. However, that story typically starts and stops every time a new trend takes hold -- like the laptop purchase to complement the desktop computer. Clearly it goes in cycles, and here's the latest. Worldwide PC shipments grew at a solid 9.1 percent in the third quarter of 2006 despite 'no growth' in the United States, according to IDC's Worldwide Quarterly PC Tracker. While the U.S. saw demand slow considerably in 3Q06, growth in other regions was much better than expected, keeping third quarter results in line with forecasts and limiting the impact of slower U.S. sales on worldwide growth projections for the coming year. In the United States, overall PC shipments were flat year-on-year in the third quarter versus more than 5 percent growth in the first half of 2006 and roughly 10 percent annually for 2003-2005. Interestingly, weak demand

How Dilbert Becomes a 'Knowledge Worker'

Ipsos Public Affairs evaluated how typical office technology is used, how its use has changed over the past five years, and trends among today's "knowledge workers." In 2007, now even the infamous Dilbert may use a BlackBerry or other smartphone. Ipsos interviewed 711 knowledge workers across the United States by telephone. The interviews took an average of 17 minutes to complete. Here are some of the key findings: - The biggest personal impact of technology in the workplace is identified as connectivity: almost all knowledge workers (85 percent) say that having constant access to technology means that they are always reachable. - 92 percent of knowledge workers read, send, make or take work-related communications in non-work situations. - 73 percent have kept their communications device(s) on the weekend. - Just under half (45 percent) still tune in to the office while on vacation. Knowledge workers are even thinking about work in social situations: more than half

Free Guide: How IPTV Will Change Everything

A packed audience at an 'IPTV Explained' conference in London heard how internet technology is changing television and video distribution. In conjunction with the conference, informitv has published a free IPTV Guide to internet protocol television and broadband video. Note, I have not yet read this document, but based on my experience with the thought-provoking research that's typical of the two author's prior work, this guide is sure to be a worthwhile read -- plus, it's available for download at no cost. The IPTV Explained conference was organized by Broadcast magazine in association with informitv. The conference provided an introduction to the internet technologies that are changing the distribution of television and video, presenting new threats and opportunities to broadcasters and programming providers. To coincide with the conference, informitv has published an exclusive executive overview of IPTV and broadband video and is making it available to their

An Application Centric View of Digital Homes

Simplicity, by design, is a recurring theme in my innovation advocacy for user interface enhancements to personal computer (PC), home networking and consumer electronics (CE) devices. So, why the ongoing mantra? Our thinking must evolve regarding market segmentation. The digital home concept was originally centered around device technology, then a product orientation -- next is meaningful mainstream applications. That's why. It's my belief that digital home market development can't proceed until we cross this chasm. Some believe that better consumer education is required to bridge the void. Broader awareness and articulate product insights help, I agree, but neither is going to stimulate demand like a series of engaging consumer application scenarios. Ultimately, superior UI designs will enable renewed momentum. Word-of-mouth evangelism then acts as the accelerator to share emotional connections with applications that touch people's lives in meaningful ways. That'

Strategic Advantage to Engaging Young Adults

comScore Networks today released a study analyzing the impact of visitation from university locations at the top two Web properties, Fox Interactive Media (which includes MySpace.com) and Yahoo! Sites. Eight percent of all Web content consumed by U.S. Internet users, as measured in page views, comes from university settings. At Fox Interactive Media -- the top Internet property in November on the basis of page views -- 12 percent of content is viewed at university locations, while only 6 percent of page views at Yahoo! Sites occur at university locations. If college usage is omitted, a comparison of page views at Fox Interactive Media and Yahoo! sites tells a very different story: Yahoo! sites combined, with 35.6 billion page views for November, would rank slightly higher than Fox Interactive Media with 34.9 billion. So, why all the fuss about this these metrics, and what's the big deal? "Recent media coverage of the total page views for Fox Interactive Media and Yahoo! Sit

Trials & Tribulations of AT&T IPTV Customers

There are reports that AT&T is delivering U-verse door-hangers to homes in two new markets, and the bold promotional copy is still proclaiming that "We've Just Re-Inventing TV" -- as the plan to launch in 15 new markets by the end of 2006 apparently hasn't been retracted by the company's leadership. However, back in the first market to launch -- San Antonio, Texas -- customers are lamenting about the frustrations that go hand-in-hand with being an early-adopter of a service that utilizes a relatively new technology, combined with a totally new and unproven service delivery platform. At the UverseUsers.com forum site, there's an updated post entitled " When is Enough, Enough? " which indicates that some of the trailblazer subscribers have finally run out of patience. The process of pay-TV set-top box trouble resolution clearly hasn't been 're-invented' in the race to prepare the commercial launch of the first high-profile deployment

Social Communities are Going Mobile in 2007

An ABI Research Brief reports that 'mobile social communities' currently count nearly 50 million members worldwide, a number that is expected to reach 174 million in 2011. "The rapid rise of online social communities -- gathering places such as MySpace and Facebook -- has done more than bring the 'pen pal' concept into the 21st century," says vice president of research Clint Wheelock. "It has created a new paradigm for personal networking. In a logical progression, many social communities are now based on the mobile phone and other portable wireless devices instead of (or as well as) the PC. Such mobile social communities extend the reach of electronic social interaction to millions of people who don't have regular or easy access to computers." The brisk pace of mobile social community growth means opportunities for new entrants hoping to join the established players such as SMS.ac, AirG, and Jumbuck that provide the technology and marketing be

2006 Time Magazine Person of the Year - You

Time magazine's Lev Grossman addresses the co-creator in us all when he says "Yes, you. You control the Information Age. Welcome to your world." Apparently, in a world of 'user generated' content, ordinary people prove that some folks are truly extraordinary -- they've taken advantage of a public forum for personal expression called the Web. It's a truly wonderful thing for most people, but the gatekeepers of legacy 'big media' are probably not smiling at your accomplishment. The "Great Man" theory of history is usually attributed to the Scottish philosopher Thomas Carlyle, who wrote that "the history of the world is but the biography of great men." He believed that it is the few, the powerful and the famous who shape our collective destiny as a species. That theory took a serious beating this year. In the early years at MCI, while working on their marketing strategy, I had the privilege to collaborate with Vint Cerf and Don H

Exposing the Reasons for Costly U.S. Pay-TV

Associated Press reports that cable television service rates keep going up while prices for other communications services are going down, says the U.S. chief communications regulator, and he blames local governments for blocking competition. The Federal Communications Commission (FCC) is scheduled to vote on whether to make it easier for competitors to obtain cable franchises. FCC Chairman Kevin Martin, in speeches over the past few weeks, has said local franchise authorities at times "obstruct and in some cases completely derail" new attempts to bring video competition to an area. At stake is the battle for America's television watchers. And people in the United States watch a lot of television. The FCC reports that the average U.S. household tuned in for eight hours and 11 minutes each day in the 2004 and 2005 fall television seasons. The latest statistics indicate there are 109.6 million television households and 94.2 million of them subscribe to a pay television se

Multimedia Will Ride on Wireless Home Nets

Adoption of next-generation specifications will provide a substantial boost to the market for wireless multimedia networking, prompting growth in excess of 50 million wireless network devices by 2010, according to a new study from Parks Associates. Their new report predicts that annual sales and shipments of wireless multimedia-capable devices, including home networking gear, personal computers, and fixed and mobile consumer electronics, will grow from 2.5 million units in 2006 to nearly 52 million units by year-end 2010, due in large part to standardization in the market. "Multiple factors are driving the move by both manufacturers and service providers in embracing wireless connectivity," said Kurt Scherf, vice president and principal analyst with Parks Associates. "Service providers are looking for greater ownership in developing home networking solutions, broadband operators need to reduce CAPEX costs in deploying home networking equipment, new content services ar

Marketers Narrowcast Low-Budget Video Ads

AdAge reports that as more of the U.S. population moves online, B-to-B industries that previously thought they were immune to the migration have had to begin figuring out their web strategies. And increasingly, those strategies are involving video. I agree, and I'd also add that any small and medium size business (SMB) can now apply a similar approach to streaming brief video presentations -- it's more engaging than a typical online slide presentation. Examples of my own prototype video experiments are available on our GeoActive Group USA website. In contrast, Caterpillar has launched what are essentially long-form commercials -- or infomercials -- via ForConstructionPros.com , a division of Cygnus. Such online video plays are letting marketers previously relegated to print media take advantage of the 'sight, sound and motion' of TV, said Starlink's Vickie Szombathy, who chairs the American Association of Advertising Agencies' B-to-B committee. Caterpillar a

Cable MSOs Still Dominant in U.S. Broadband

Consumers of broadband services in the U.S. are apparently confused by the telco's shifting marketing strategy. DSL was previously viewed as the 'low-price leader,' but recent price increases and the elimination of some promotional offers may have driven prospective customers to the cable multi-system operators (MSO). DSL services from U.S. telcos continues to challenge the MSO's dominant market share for broadband high-speed data (HSD) subscribers, but a Kagan Research survey shows in the third quarter of 2006 cable operators actually made gains in the battle to capture new customers. According to Kagan, DSL corralled 51 percent of net subscriber ads for the three months ended September 30, compared to 56 percent in Q2, with HSD cable modems taking the 49 percent balance of Q3's 2.7 million total net adds. "One good quarter alone does not establish a firm trend," notes Kagan senior analyst Ian Olgeirson. "But the cable industry's focus on band

Apple Computer iTunes Revenue Grow Rate

comScore Networks reported that revenue from Apple Computer's iTunes digital media download service rose by 84 percent during the first three quarters of 2006 versus the same period one year ago as a result of a 67 percent increase in the number of iTunes buying transactions and a 10 percent increase in the dollars spent per transaction. "As Mark Twain might have said, the rumors of iTunes death have been greatly exaggerated," said Gian Fulgoni, chairman of comScore Networks. "In contrast to a recent research report indicating that iTunes sales have declined by 65 percent, comScore data show that iTunes sales actually grew." Further, the comScore analysis found the number of people using the iTunes service has also increased. The iTunes application attracted 20.8 million unique visitors in November 2006, up 85 percent from November 2005. comScore's findings align closely with a report from analyst Gene Munster of the investment banking firm Piper Jaffray,

Online Video Offerings to Accelerate in 2007

Online sales of TV shows, movies and other prerecorded video will become a billion-dollar business in 2007, predicts a new report from technology research firm Strategy Analytics. Their report predicts that while video download sales made through Apple's iTunes store and other sources will total just $298 million this year, by the end of 2007 the market will grow to $1.5 billion. By 2010, global revenue from online video sales, rentals and subscriptions will surge to $5.9 billion, and account for eight percent of total home video industry revenues. "2007 will be remembered as the year in which online sales of prerecorded video finally become a real business," comments the report's author, Martin Olausson, Senior Analyst from the Strategy Analytics Broadband Media & Communications service. "Just like with music, online delivery of video content is now emerging as a viable and increasingly important distribution channel for content owners." Along with b

Demand for Mobile Enterprise Applications

The mobile employee is mandating more solutions to answer a broader set of needs, spurring the strong growth of the worldwide mobile enterprise application (MEA) market. Understanding the significance of these needs requires taking a truly holistic assessment of the application environment. According to a new IDC study, the mobile enterprise application market reached $1.2 billion in 2005 and IDC forecasts that this market will grow to $3.5 billion in 2010, representing a compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of 23 percent. "Vendors and organizations alike must recognize that MEA's are not just about mobilizing a particular application, but rather delivering a set of composite applications based on the mobile workers business processes," said Stephen Drake, program director of IDC's Mobile Enterprise research. "Recognizing this, the underlying platform infrastructure plays a critical role in the delivery of such MEA's. Vendors must continue to enhance their p

Gaming is Most Time-Intensive Online Activity

Nielsen//NetRatings announced that 78 percent of 'active' home Web users connected via broadband during the month of November, up 13 percentage points from 65 percent of active Web users a year ago. No surprise, broadband consumers are heavy Internet users compared to their narrowband (analog modem) counterparts. In November, with an average of 34 hours and 50 minutes per person, they spent 33 percent more time online than narrowband users, who had an average of 26 hours and 13 minutes per person. Among all time spent online during the month, 82 percent could be attributed to those connecting via broadband. In addition, broadband users viewed over twice as many Web pages as narrowband users, with averages of 1,574 and 681 Web pages per person, respectively. Web sites for online gaming, instant messaging, e-mail and social networking all made the top 10 list when ranked by average time per person among broadband users at home. Online gaming site Pogo.com led the pack among

Google's Latest Partnership Induces Pain

While many of the leading telcos globally have aligned themselves closely with Yahoo! -- which is currently embarking on a major corporate turn-around restructuring -- the pay-TV market leader in Europe has selected a different strategic partner. Informitv reports that British satellite broadcaster and broadband service provider BSkyB has announced plans to collaborate with Google to become the first partner in the world to deploy a suite of search, advertising, communications and video services from the internet information company. Sky will launch a multi-platform user generated video portal powered by syndicated video tools from Google that will allow users to edit, upload and share their own video material, including the ability to upload and download from a mobile phone. "These agreements will bring Sky customers a valuable set of services from the world's leading search company, including cutting edge tools for video sharing and communications," said Sky chief ex

Portable Media Player New Markets & Apps

New entrants, declining prices, and improvements in product features are making Portable Media Player (PMP) shipments gain traction in 2006 in China, reports In-Stat. Early adopters will remain the primary market for PMPs in China in 2007, the high-tech market research firm says. PMP shipments in China will reach 1.43 million in 2010, In-Stat projects. "What can bring PMPs into the mass market is the combination of PMPs with mobile TV," says Raymond Yan, In-Stat analyst. "Mobile TV eliminates concerns about video formats, and can bring real-time content to consumers." In 2007, in all markets globally, I predict that we will witness growing PMP use as an informal learning tool. The ease at which people can create, edit and share insights and knowledge via multimedia podcasts and vodcasts will escalate the discovery of new applications. However, don't expect traditional corporate training departments to embrace this on-the-go learning modality in the near term