Skip to main content

Posts

Showing posts from January, 2007

Segmenting the Online Advertising Networks

comScore Networks announced that their audience data for online advertising networks can now be segmented into broad consumer-focused categories through its 'Media Metrix' service. This capability enables online advertisers to better understand advertising opportunities within specific content areas. "This enhancement provides advertisers and agencies with the ability to make side-by-side comparisons between individual Web sites and advertising networks, in order to select the optimal mix of media vehicles with which to achieve their goals," commented Jeff Hackett, comScore Networks director of agency relations. "It enables advertisers to gain deeper insight into the most effective vehicles for reaching consumers within a particular content area, while publishers and advertising networks can now quickly identify and evaluate competitors within their content category. In addition, it can be an effective tool for media planners intending to capitalize on the Int

Cable & ISPs Lead VoIP Market Development

Voice over Internet Protocol (VoIP) telephone services, which last year counted less than 38 million subscribers worldwide, should have a subscriber base of over 267 million in 2012, according to a new study released by ABI Research. "Hosted service providers, the pioneers of commercial VoIP, are going to grow to some extent, but it will be cable operators and other broadband providers trying to leverage their high speed data networks who will really push VoIP in the future," says principal broadband analyst Michael Arden. These operators want to add value to their broadband pipes, and they will generate new revenues over and above what they earn from their basic net access services. While traditional telcos have been slow to embrace VoIP due to their huge investment in conventional telephone networks, their desire for total control of service quality and their fear of upsetting their existing customer relationships, the development of VoIP markets will play out differently

IPTV Predicted to be Loss-Leader in Bundles

The total number of IPTV households will grow dramatically over the next five years, rising from just under 6 million homes worldwide in 2006 to more than 80 million in 2011, predicts a new market study from Strategy Analytics. Their report, "Global IPTV Forecast: Homes, Users and Subscribers," finds that many subscribers to IPTV will not be paying directly for TV programming or services, but will use IPTV free-of-charge as part of a package of bundled broadband services. This report predicts that the number of households worldwide actually paying for IPTV services will rise from 3.3 million in 2006 to 40.9 million in 2011. Given the slowly growing momentum for IPTV services globally, particularly within the North American markets, this is one of the few times that I've reviewed a market forecast for telco pay-TV and considered it a plausible assessment. The combination of paid and free 'loss-leader' subscriptions seems like a reasonable assumption. However, it

CABA Profiles Seven Digital Home Segments

The Continental Automated Buildings Association (CABA) has released further details of the market segmentation research from their "Connected Home Roadmap" project. It's intended to provide a framework to support stakeholders and players in this arena as they navigate the complex and shifting dynamics of this emerging market. The following is a list of the seven market segments that they have uncovered, in order of market size. Further information, such as the segment descriptions, from CABA's market study is available within their Winter 2006 issue of iHomes & Buildings magazine . Home Heroes (20 peercent), Bystanders (18 percent), Critical Adopters (16 percent), Tech 'sters' (15 percent), Achievers (13 percent), Dreamers (11 percent), Mobi-Politans (7 percent). As I said previously, it doesn't matter if the segmentation groupings or labels differ from other similar studies, but it does matter that definitions evolve beyond the typical age demograph

Forecast Broadband Equipment Sales Decline

In a newly published report, Dell'Oro Group forecasts that combined revenue for Cable, DSL and PON (fiber) access concentrators and customer premises equipment (CPE) peaked at $9.4 billion in 2006 and will gradually decline over the next five years, in part due to slowing worldwide broadband subscriber net additions. Despite this anticipated market decline, revenues from VDSL are expected to more than double and PON are estimated to increase by almost 50 percent over the same period. "Even though subscriber additions are slowing, there are still major opportunities for infrastructure equipment manufacturers to grow revenue as service providers look to new services," said Tam Dell'Oro, Founder of the market researcher Dell'Oro Group. "VDSL and PON are the two leading technologies being considered by service providers to deliver higher bandwidth required for new video services. Increasingly, manufacturers that have total end-to-end VDSL and PON solutions wi

Nokia Leads Sector, with Sony Ericsson Rising

Nokia Corp. expanded its leadership position in the mobile phone handset market in 2006, shipping more units than its next two closest competitors combined, according to iSuppli Corp. However, the biggest waves in the market in 2006 were made by Sony Ericsson, which in the fourth quarter posted the largest quarter-over-quarter growth of all mobile phone makers, with shipments rising 61.5 percent to 26 million units, up from 16.1 million units during the same period in 2005. The joint venture between consumer electronics giant Sony Corp. and telecommunications specialist Ericsson enjoyed a successful 2006, achieving more than 15 percent growth in the second, third and fourth quarters of 2006. "Sony Ericsson is targeting its entire product line at the mid-to-high range of the market and just recently has started entering the emerging low-cost handset market," said Tina Teng, wireless communications analyst at iSuppli. "This has contributed to the company's accelerat

Asia Pacific Leading Digital Home Markets

According to IDC's recent report "Asia-Pacific (Excluding Japan) Digital Home Survey 2006", the need to share content among multiple PCs in a household will drive demand for home networking solutions as the number of broadband users across the APEJ region continues to grow. Broadband access continues to have a major impact on consumer's lives, and the overall economic development within communities. However, the rate of this usage depends a great deal on the internal dynamics of each market. In 2006, Internet users across the APEJ region continue to make significant progress in terms of ownership, use, and understanding of home networking applications. "The goal of our survey was to understand how broadband is affecting consumers across Asia-Pacific as the number of residential Internet subscribers using a high-speed broadband connections grow," said Claudio Checchia, Research Manager, Asia-Pacific Consumer Markets. "Our survey

U.S. Telecom Growth Behind Global Leaders

In 2006, the U.S. telecommunications market grew at its fastest rate since 2000, according to the Telecommunications Industry Association (TIA). Regardless, the progress hasn't changed the fact that the U.S. is still behind the leading growth markets. Each year, TIA's Telecommunications Market Review and Forecast analyzes the trends affecting the information and communications technology industry. The report includes an overview of the entire industry, as well as detailed sections on the landline, wireless, equipment and international markets. The U.S. market grew 9.3 percent in 2006 to total $923 billion in revenue, and the worldwide telecommunications market grew 11.2 percent to total $3 trillion. Demand for broadband and high-speed services is fueling this growth, as carriers invest in new fiber, new IP technology and new wireless infrastructure to provide voice, video and data services. The report forecasts growth for competing new broadband technologies such as fiber, s

Opportunity in Transition to Digital Television

With digital terrestrial television (DTT) subscriber numbers set to expand from less than 36 million in 2006 to 89 million in 2012 and broadcasters preparing for the digital switch-over, the market dynamics of local and regional over-the-air video transmission is quickly changing. The result will be growth in consumer equipment and core-network markets for digital-video equipment. Broadcasters stand to benefit in several ways, according to ABI Research's principal broadband analyst, Michael Arden. "Not only does digital broadcasting allow them to do targeted local advertising more easily, it also allows them, using their existing spectrum license and allocation, to add extra sub-channels, which could contain specialty content or HDTV programming." Digital broadcasting offers real business advantages, says Arden. The ability to create localized content (news, sports, etc.) on a limited budget and to resell it to cable companies and others is quite significant. I believe

Digital Content within the Telecom Ecosystem

Telecom service providers of all stripes are gearing up for a major push into the digital content sector, which has rapidly emerged as a critical competitive issue affecting the entire telecom supply chain, according to a market study from Heavy Reading. "Survey results show that service providers are highly optimistic about the roles they will play in the future of entertainment," notes Sterling Perrin, Senior Analyst with Heavy Reading and author of the report. "Respondents to our survey overwhelmingly believe that players with converged wireline and wireless offerings have the most to gain from the digital entertainment evolution -- more than cable and satellite providers and user-generated content players such as YouTube." Key findings of the study are as follows: - Service providers are casting a wide net in their plans to make money from content. This reflects the early stage of market development and general uncertainty surrounding what the winning revenue

Worldwide Mobile and WiFi Phone Forecast

Worldwide mobile phone sales reached $115.5 billion in 2006, and WiFi phone sales topped $535 million, up 13 percent and 327 percent from 2005, respectively, says analyst firm Infonetics Research. As prices continue to drop, demand will continue to grow for both mobile and WiFi VoIP phones in 2007. Worldwide, shipments of mobile handsets jumped 27 percent between 2005 and 2006, and single- and dual-mode WiFi handsets together jumped 489 percent. For the 4-year period between 2007 and 2010, shipments for mobile handsets are forecast to increase 26 percent, and WiFi handsets are forecast to increase nearly 1300 percent. The fastest growing segment in the market by far is the dual-mode WiFi/cellular VoIP phone, with worldwide units shipping at a phenomenal rate: Infonetics forecasts a 5-year compound annual growth rate of 198 percent between 2006 and 2010. "Users are demanding single number/single device services, and operators like T-Mobile announced converged services based on

Multi-Player Gaming and Micro-Payment Offers

As increasing numbers of gamers participate in multi-player gaming and community features enabled by their consoles' online service offerings, a growing percentage of their gaming budgets will go towards the purchase of in-game virtual assets such as maps, game related add-ons, casual game titles and eventually full core console titles. According to a new study from ABI Research, micro-payments for consoles alone will account for over $833 million by 2011, as console vendors and their publisher partners look to monetize both in-game and game-related assets beyond initial game purchases. "The market is evolving from one in which over 90 percent of software monetization occurs at time of game purchase through standard retail channels, to one where a significant portion will take place through digital distribution," says research director Michael Wolf. "All of the big-three console vendors are working closely with their publisher partners, both internal and third part

Targeted Web-Like Ads Coming to Your TV

Communications Technology reports that one of the sessions at the SCTE Conference on Emerging Technologies is a look at bringing Internet-style advertising to TV screens. The session will look at how advertising content can become more relevant through the use of addressable advertising, customer profiles and targeted ads that are generated on demand. Dan Gordon of ICTV submitted a white paper, "Bringing Lean-Forward Television to the Lean-Back Screen," that was selected as material for the session. For ICTV, the solution is actionable video, which is designed to bring the best practices of Internet-based advertising technologies to TV screens. ICTV's ActiveVideo does this by assembling MPEG content streams, which can be MPEG-2 and MPEG-4 or other advanced video codecs, into TV programming via Web servers. The ads can be telescoping if a viewer wishes to learn more about a product, or L-shaped banne

Record Labels Will Consider the Unthinkable

The New York Times reports that sometimes even the most unthinkable change can become acceptable when you allow yourself to let go of obsolete and self-destructive biases. Apparently, the major record labels are moving closer to releasing music on the Internet with no copying restrictions -- a step they once vowed never to take. Executives of several technology companies meeting in Cannes, France at Midem -- the annual global trade fair for the music industry -- said that at least one of the four major record companies could move toward the sale of 'unrestricted' digital files in the MP3 format within the coming months. Most independent record labels already sell music tracks digitally compressed in the MP3 format, which can be downloaded, e-mailed or copied to computers, mobile phones, portable music players and a compact disc (CD) without limit. The independents see providing songs in MP3 partly as a way of generating publicity that could lead to future sales. In contrast

Wireless Personal Area Network Technology

The wireless HID (human interface device) market, which includes wireless mice, keyboards, and remote controls, has historically been dominated by products operating in the 27MHz band. However, 2008 looks set to be a crossover year in which shipments of 2.4GHz-based products outstrip those running at 27MHz, thanks to wholesale product changes by major OEMs. ABI Research expects that by 2011, 2.4GHz products will account for triple the number of 27MHz products shipped. Some wireless HID products may employ other communication methods such as Bluetooth, but according to research director Stuart Carlaw, "Bluetooth still does not have price points low enough to allow it to penetrate much outside of its present territory: products aimed at smartphones, and mice for use with Bluetooth-enabled laptops. The narrowing cost differential between 2.4GHz and 27MHz ICs and the improved range of 2.4GHz mean that 2.4GHz products are well positioned to take advantage of the growing need to suppo

U.S. Wireless Consumer Segmentation Study

comScore Networks released a study of wireless service consumer segments, the second in a two-part series that analyzes trends in the wireless industry. Based on a survey of U.S. consumers who use a wireless mobile phone, this report analyzes differences in behavior and attitudes among the following key wireless consumer segments: - The Cellular Generation -- Ages 18 to 24, these young adults grew up with cell phone awareness, experiencing cell phones as a part of their everyday lives. - Transitioners -- Ages 25 to 34, these people fall in between two distinct groups: those who grew up with cell phone knowledge and those who did not. Cell phones began to infiltrate everyday life during their teen years and early adulthood. - Adult Adopters -- Age 35 or older, this group was not exposed to cell phones until adulthood. Adult Adopters tend to have the most functional view of cell phones, with many requiring just the basics and showing limited interest in emerging technologies. "

Conditional Access Helps Digital TV Services

The strong worldwide growth of digital television services is driving demand for conditional access (CA) products and technologies, reports In-Stat. At the end of 2006, there were over 175 million households watching digital TV services, the high-tech market research firm says. According to In-Stat, while the growth of digital TV households is certainly good news for pay-TV service providers, it also poses an important challenge -- how to protect valuable video content from piracy or illegal usage. "The common industry solution to this challenge is through the use of conditional access technologies," says Mike Paxton, In-Stat analyst. "CA technologies can protect video content by specifying that certain criteria be met before a viewer is granted access to that content." Once again, I believe that as pay-TV service providers embrace the 'follow-me' content subscription model, CA technology will also provide the capability to authenticate subscribers outsi

Mobile Phone's Role in Economic Development

The global market for sub-$20 ultra low cost handsets (ULCH) will be over 330 million units in 2011. A new study from ABI Research finds that over 50 percent of these handsets will be shipped in the emerging markets of Asia Pacific and the remainder in markets of Africa, Middle East, Latin America, and Eastern Europe. According to research analyst Shailendra Pandey, "The growing demand for ultra low cost handsets has provided mobile operators and handset vendors with a quick route to a greater share of the emerging markets. The downside is that they are manufacturing and shipping a greater proportion of low-cost handsets, which can adversely affect their profits." Nokia's profits in 3Q06 were down compared to the same quarter the previous year, because a greater portion of its sales came from low-cost handsets. Mobile operators will also see declining ARPUs because ultra low cost handset users are mostly from the low-income communities in the emerging markets. Their mo

Growing Demand for IP Service Customization

Current Analysis has studied the status of industry-transforming telecommunications and entertainment services that are enabled by IP Multimedia Subsystem (IMS) and other next-generation technologies and architectures. They conclude that the most compelling attribute that the proposed overhaul of service provider infrastructures and business operations will deliver is not some yet-undiscovered application -- it's the ability to offer end-users customizable services. As much as consumers and enterprise workers crave advanced multimedia services that blend together multiple applications across multiple devices, research proves that the most attractive component of any next-generation service delivery infrastructure is the ability to personalize the user experience. The elusive application of the future is customization. Service providers destined to be the most successful in capturing subscribers will be the ones that deliver users not just compelling services, but the ability to

Value Added Services to Transform PC Sector

Worldwide personal computer (PC) shipments grew by 8.7 percent in the fourth quarter of 2006, according to IDC's Worldwide Quarterly PC Tracker. While Europe, Asia/Pacific (excluding Japan), Canada, and Latin America continued to grow at a healthy clip, shipments in the United States and Japan continued to decline. Slowing commercial enterprise sales constrained the growth of some market leaders and had a significant impact on the U.S. and Japanese markets. Despite these pockets of slow growth, the retail and consumer markets remained relatively strong -- even in more mature regions. Worldwide PC shipment growth of 8.7 percent brought quarterly shipments to 65.6 million for the quarter. This was down from 9.1 percent growth in the third quarter and 1.4 percent below a forecast of 10.1 percent growth for the fourth quarter. For all of 2006, PC shipments reached 228.6 million with growth of 10 percent compared to growth of 16 percent in 2005 and a forecast of 10.4 percent for 2006.

Digital Music Distribution Channels Diversify

According to the IFPI, record labels are making some progress, selling an estimated $2 billion worth of music online or through mobile phones in 2006 -- almost doubling the market in the last year. Digital sales now account for around 10 percent of the music market as record companies experiment with an array of business models and digital music products. Among new developments in 2006, the number of songs available online doubled to four million, thousands of albums were released across many digital formats and platforms, classical music saw a 'digital dividend' and advertising-funded services became a revenue stream for record companies. However, despite this success, digital music online sales has not yet filled the revenue void from the decline in traditional CD sales for the major labels. The conclusions are published in IFPI's 'Digital Music Report 2007,' a comprehensive round-up of developments in the sector. Consumers are finding that digital tec

Mobile Multimedia Devices Gain Momentum

In their new research report, Strategy Analytics states that they expect Apple's iPhone launch to be a sorely needed boost to the traditional handset market development efforts for cellular-enabled media devices, but the lack of W-CDMA support could prevent it from reaching their volume projections. David Kerr, Vice President of the Global Wireless Practice at Strategy Analytics states, "While the hype around the iPhone is reaching dangerous levels, one benefit we are already seeing is a greater emphasis from handset OEMs on improving usability and making interaction with the handset easy and intuitive for media and productivity applications. Just as the Motorola RAZR energized design innovation, Apple's strong global brand and reputation for innovation in this area will be a catalyst for change. Traditional handset OEMs must improve or face being cast aside by operators who are looking for both strong usability and brands to drive their data service initiatives." &

Broadband Over Powerlines is Still Emerging

The number of U.S. households subscribing to broadband over power line (BPL) services will increase from 400,000 in 2007 to 2.5 million by 2011, according to a market study entitled "FTTx and BPL: Analysis and Outlook." This new report from Parks Associates concludes that consumer and competitive demands will lead to a strong growth rate in residential subscribers for BPL, outpacing other access methods such as DSL and cable over the next five years. "Both consumer demand and business factors will drive this growth," said Chris Roden, research analyst at Parks Associates. "On the consumer side, many rural residents don't have access to DSL or cable, but every house in the U.S. has access to power lines. This technology is often the only option for these residents to receive broadband service. On the business side, utility companies will also drive BPL's growth. BPL gives utilities more information to better manage power demand and troubleshoot line i

China Pursues IPTV as Key Growth Strategy

Technological innovations are rapidly redrawing the Chinese telco landscape. Operators seem compelled to diversify in order to thrive in the competitive environment. Is that a wise decision? The November 2006 announcement of Jiangsu Telecom's network expansion effort to meet subscribers' demand for IPTV, VOD, and other advanced IP services was just the latest in a similar series of moves to support multi-play service offerings. According to ABI Research broadband analyst Serene Fong, "More operators than ever are offering multiple services in an attempt to retain customers and to increase revenue. Telecom operators are venturing into the TV industry, while cable operators move into the voice business." IPTV is the Chinese government's platform of choice because it is aligned to its long-term plan of unifying broadband, Internet, and television. Hence the future of the industry continues to be viewed optimistically. More resources will also be allocated to makin

Digital Media Venture Capital Investments

Rutberg & Company has reviewed and analyzed the venture capital activity for the digital media sector in 2006. Their key takeaways include: - Venture financings in digital media totaled $4.4 billion in 2006, as compared to $2.6 billion in 2005. The 2006 growth rate of 66 percent far exceeds the growth rates for the overall venture industry. Notably, though, the growth in venture financings for digital media has moderated over the past six months. - The curbed growth of investment activity is consistent with Rutberg's conversations with venture capital investors. On an anecdotal basis, they believe that investor sentiment is becoming more rational rather than exuberant, as was seen in the beginning of the year. - The percentage of transactions with a financing size of $20 million or greater has increased, from 6 percent in 1H05 to 13 percent in 2H06. These larger transactions are driven, in Rutberg's view, by activity in the capital-intensive Semiconductors sector an

Seeking Wireless Device Application Nirvana

Various new and emerging wireless technology applications have caught the attention of American consumers, according to recent research conducted by Ipsos Insight. However, many consumers will seriously consider these emerging wireless applications only if they are compelling enough to break through device and communications overload, as well as budgetary constraints. At the same time, consumers appear less concerned that a given wireless application will perform up to expectations. Ipsos Insight recently surveyed over 1,000 online adults on their awareness, use, and interest regarding a range of specific 'wireless device-application' combinations, focusing primarily on notebook PCs and mobile phones. By design, these wireless device-application combinations emphasized newer and emerging features and options. Respondents were asked whether they had used each of the applications in the last 30 days, and whether they would seriously consider using each in the future. Their 

Gartner Predicts Telecom Future is Troubled

Mobile broadband, Internet Protocol (IP) technology and the desire to become full-service providers are increasingly driving telecom carrier strategies. However, according to Gartner, as they confront these industry upheavals, carriers face risks in building non-core telecom business units and over-investing in immature technologies. Gartner believes that the reality for most telecom carriers is a future where they have to strive to be profitable on much lower margins than today. Historically, telecom carriers have been able to depend on high revenue growth from broadband or mobile services, but they now face the prospect of rapidly declining revenue growth. Gartner predicts that year-on-year growth of total revenue from telecom services (80 percent of total global telecom market size) will shrink to just 1.7 percent in 2010. Gartner expects total telecom service revenues to rise only modestly over the next four years from $1.3 trillion in 2006 to $1.5 trillion in 2010. As a resu

Wi-Fi Mesh Access Point Incompatibility Issue

Wi-Fi meshing, which allows wireless access nodes to achieve a longer range by using each other as repeaters, is becoming increasingly common in several markets, reports In-Stat. More than 50,000 Wi-Fi mesh access point (AP) unit shipments were reported in 2006, with almost 100,000 unit shipments expected in 2010, the high-tech market research firm says. Incompatibility among systems, however, is a potential hurdle for the growth of the technology. "There is no industry standard for mesh networking, yet, so interoperability between mesh vendors continues to be problematic -- customers must purchase their Wi-Fi mesh networking gear from one vendor," says Gemma Tedesco, In-Stat analyst. "However, Wi-Fi clients are standardized and prolific, providing a ready and waiting installed base for Wi-Fi mesh networks." Recent research by In-Stat found the following: - Although Tropos has the largest mind-share in municipal mesh networking, Nortel, Strix, BelAir, and SkyPil

U.S. Consumers Bonding with Mobile Phones

comScore released a comprehensive report on the behavior and attitudes of mobile phone subscribers. The first in a two-part series on the wireless industry, this report is based on a survey of U.S. consumers who use a wireless phone and analyzes consumer's satisfaction with wireless carriers, carrier switching behavior and usage of wireless features that go beyond voice communication, including wireless Internet access. According to the study, consumers are growing ever more attached to their cell phones, with 14 percent reporting that they no longer subscribe to landline (wired) phone service, and 33 percent strongly agreeing they 'feel lost' without their cell phone. However, the bond can be part of a complex love-hate relationship with service providers. Consumer loyalty and satisfaction among wireless subscribers are clearly related. According to the study, only 6 percent of respondents who were 'highly satisfied' with their carriers stated that they were lik

Cable TV Operators Tackle Bandwidth Crunch

The accelerating adoption of high-definition television, multi-player gaming, and other data-intensive services is leading to a bandwidth shortage that will require cable TV system operators to upgrade the capacity of their networks. A number of solutions are available, according to a new study from ABI Research, the total revenue from this market opportunity is expected to exceed $24 billion in 2012 and will amount to $80 billion in total investment from 2007 through 2012. "The looming bandwidth crunch, which is more pronounced in the United States than elsewhere due to its deeper penetration of digital cable, will present different problems to different operators, and each will need to find its own bandwidth upgrade formula," says principal broadband analyst Michael Arden. The severity of the crunch will depend on factors such as the speed with which HDTV is adopted in particular markets, and the extent to which cable operators add extra HDTV channels. As usual, the av

Demand for a Personalized Online Experience

The demand for the convenience and relevance of digital content personalization is undeniable, but that requirement comes primarily from the 'interactive' segment of the market. According to the 2006 ChoiceStream Personalization Survey, more consumers are now willing to provide information about themselves to providers they trust in exchange for a personalized online experience. The number of consumers willing to provide demographic information in exchange for a personalized online experience has grown dramatically over the past year, increasing 24 percent to a total of 57 percent of all respondents. The Survey also finds a significant increase in the number of consumers willing to allow Web sites to track their clicks and purchases, increasing 34 percent from the previous year. However, the results show no significant decline in the number of consumers concerned about the security of their personal data online, with 62 percent expressing concern in 2006 vs. 63 percent in 200

Wireless Sector Venture Capital Investments

Rutberg & Company has reviewed and analyzed the venture capital activity for the wireless sector in 2006. Their key takeaways include: - Venture financings in wireless totaled $6.4 billion in 2006, as compared to $5.4 billion in 2005. A material portion of the growth is due to several outlier investments. The growth rate for 2006, adjusted for outliers, is 13 percent, which is in line with the growth rates for the overall venture industry. - This strong level of activity is consistent with their conversations with entrepreneurs and investors. On an anecdotal basis, they continue to hear significant interest among venture capitalists, and they continue to see financings with multiple term sheets and full valuations. - The percentage of transactions with a financing size of $20MM or greater was 18 percent in 2006, as compared to 11 percent in 2005. This and other statistics reflect in their view the growth of private company revenues and funding requir

Sony Enables Over-the-Top Video to TVs

Informitv reports that Sony is the latest in a line of consumer electronics companies that are attempting to connect the television screen to the internet, and in the process they are upsetting the status quo of the current broadcast network television business model. Sony has introduced a new device that attaches to the back of its new television sets, providing access to streaming video delivered over a broadband connection. Known as over-the-top video services, because they bypass a broadband provider's pay-TV distribution services and go directly to the consumer. Sony Electronics president and chief operating officer Stan Glasgow unveiled the 'Sony Video Link' internet video system at the Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas. "The Internet is reshaping the entertainment and technology landscape," he said "and it can’t come as any surprise that Sony is committed to creating an environment of convergence where products and content work together seamles

Growth of Digital Gaming Profit Moves Online

It is becoming obvious that in the increasingly expensive world of producing digital gaming consoles and games, both the console vendors and software publishers are looking to the online world to recoup development costs, reports In-Stat. Paid downloadable content and advertising are becoming key elements in this process, the high-tech market research firm says. "Sony and Nintendo both launched new online efforts focused on providing paid downloadable content in the form of games from past consoles as well as casual games that will be available for $3 to $15," says Brian O'Rourke, In-Stat analyst. "Meanwhile, Microsoft continued to be the leader in the online console space in 2006, with its announcement of a video and movie download service for the Xbox 360." In-Stat research found the following: - From 2005 to 2010, annualized growth of console subscribers will be 40.8 percent, and growth of handheld subscribers will be 94.2 percent. - Online console reven