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Showing posts from May, 2009

The Idiots Guide to Acquiring New Customers

According to Heidrick & Struggles, the legacy high-priced executive search firm, the primary focus for mainstream C-level executives in 2009 is acquiring new customers, increasing retention and improving their lifetime value -- in that order. Eighty-eight percent of the executives surveyed said acquiring new customers was important, and 87 percent said the same about customer retention. Least important on their list of priorities were improving marketing's impact on shareholder value, retaining talent and expanding to new geographies. Apparently eMarketer believes that this makes sense in current economic conditions -- if a business is struggling, further development gets pushed to the back burner. Talent is easy to come by when unemployment is high, and if sales increase, shareholder value will naturally follow. However, they wonder if the lingering question is, how to increase sales in this environment? Please, hold the laughter. This is serious stuff. Most significant t

GSM Still Dominates Mobile Phone Networks

GSM-HSPA has captured 72 percent of the entire cellular market in the Western Hemisphere. This represents a 6 percent increase in market share since the first quarter of 2008, according to Informa Telecoms & Media. With nearly 555 million subscriptions in the Americas at the end of the first quarter of 2009, GSM achieved an annual growth of 25 percent, adding 110 million new connections in 12 months. On a global basis, GSM and UMTS-HSPA added 680.7 million subscriptions in the year ending March 2009, representing 89 percent global share of market and annual growth of 22 percent. There were 4.16 billion wireless mobile connections worldwide at the end of the first quarter of which 3.7 billion are GSM-HSPA connections. Informa reported 329 million UMTS-HSPA subscriptions as of March 2009, already 8 percent of the global wireless market. This number will exceed 474 million by the end of 2009, and one billion in the year 2012. There are 284 commercial UMTS-HSPA networks today, in

Broadband Digital Home Network Evolution

By 2013, the average household will have 2.5 times as many digital media devices -- computing, gaming, stationary digital consumer electronics, portable and mobile wireless devices -- in use as compared with 2008, according to the latest market study by In-Stat. Accompanying this adoption will be a rise in the number of these devices that are network-enabled, leveraging various wired mediums and wireless technologies, like coax, phone wiring, powerline, Ethernet, and Wi-Fi. Networking over wiring that already exists in homes is becoming increasingly important. This is particularly the case among broadband service provider entertainment networks that connect set-top boxes together and to residential gateways. "Over the next few years, service providers will drive the growth of in-home networks" says Joyce Putscher, In-Stat analyst. Digital media entertainment networks tie set-top boxes together, enabling additional services, such as whole-home DVR. Providers will encourage

Upside for Mobile Marketing and Advertising

Like most segments of the mobile phone services industry, the Asia-Pacific region leads the world in mobile marketing and advertising. Accelerating growth will see nearly $7.7 billion -- and more than $16 billion globally -- spent there in 2011. "Spending on mobile marketing and advertising in 2009 worldwide is at least flat compared to 2008 if not slightly growing," says ABI Research senior analyst Jeff Orr. That's very encouraging compared to the numbers for advertising in most other media. It's less money per campaign, spent more intelligently, with greater benefit per dollar. Why has mobile marketing and advertising been more widely adopted in some Asian countries than elsewhere? Particularly in the most broadband-enabled countries -- Japan and South Korea -- SMS text messaging, the downloading of ad-supported games and applications, and the mobile web were adopted widely and quickly by consumers. People understood how to use these services and rapidly built t

Global Mobile Entertainment Service Market

Mobile entertainment services have evolved since the introduction of mono-ringtones in the late nineties, with mobile carriers now delivering diverse services such as streaming audio and video, multi-player games and mobile gambling across high speed networks on to advanced handsets. According to Portio Research, in 2008 mobile entertainment services (including mobile music, mobile games and mobile video services) generated worldwide revenues of nearly $24 billion, and this will rise to a market value of $47.2 billion by 2013. Mobile music continues to be the dominant component of the mobile entertainment services pie, however, within mobile music, and ringtones have gradually given way to advanced services, such as ringback tones, streaming audio and full-track downloads. Worldwide mobile music revenue stood at $11.7 billion at end-2008 and is forecast to hit $19.2 billion at end-2013. Mobile games have also shown strong growth recently and will, in all probability, become as big

Worldwide Microwave Equipment Trends

Infonetics Research released its microwave equipment market size, market share, and forecast report. The report tracks access and backhaul/transport PDH/SDH microwave equipment and Ethernet and dual Ethernet/TDM microwave equipment. "The big trend in the microwave equipment market is the transition from TDM to Ethernet. Microwave enables mobile operators to make phased upgrades of their backhaul networks from TDM-only to hybrid TDM/Ethernet systems to packet-based all-Ethernet solutions in the future, said Richard Webb, Infonetics Research analyst. This offers a scalable and cost-effective roadmap for managing the escalating bandwidth demands driven by the mobile broadband boom, and future 4G deployments. Typically, operators will keep legacy TDM microwave for another 5-10 years to support 2G/3G voice while deploying Ethernet for growing volumes of data traffic. The Infonetics market study highlights include: - Worldwide microwave equipment sales hit $4.9 billion in 2008, up

B2B Magazine Publishers are Still in Tailspin

According to eMarketer, when the American Business Media (ABM) Annual Conference was held recently in Amelia Island, Florida, most of the speeches were optimistic. Reviewing the financial performances of business-to-business (B2B) publishers in print, online, events and data from 2006 to 2008, Richard Mead, managing director of The Jordan, Edmiston Group, said, "This has all been part of a controlled evolution." That's a little like saying driving a car off a cliff is all part of a controlled stop. With equal denial of recent industry performance Gary Fitzgerald, CEO of Meister Media Worldwide and chairman of the ABM, said, "It's a time of great opportunity." Unlike the spoken words, however, eMarketer says that the data presented at the conference was more sobering. According to the ABM, B2B media ad pages declined 30 percent in the first two months of this year. And last year was not good, either. Looking first at the B2B publisher's largest sourc

Growth for PC Accessories and Peripherals

The U.S. market for PC accessories and related peripherals, software, and services continues to represent a substantial opportunity for PC vendors, independent software developers, peripheral makers, and critical component suppliers. IDC's third annual survey confirms that, within the first 12 months of making a PC purchase, U.S. consumers over the age of 18 spend an average of $0.87 on additional PC-related purchases for every $1 dollar they spent on a PC. Small businesses with less than 100 employees spend an average of $284 per PC on other products and services that enhance usage and productivity, while securing their computing environment. On the consumer side, the most common product category purchased is software, for both desktop and notebook buyers, with a majority of respondents purchasing anti-spam and/or security software. Over half of survey respondents tend to buy accessories in retail stores at the time of purchase, with the second most common choice being retaile

Comparisons Between Youtube and Hulu

Nielsen Online announced that YouTube continued to rank as the number one video site with 5.5 billion total streams in April. Meanwhile, Hulu continued its explosive growth, increasing 490 percent in total streams year-over-year, from 63.2 million in April 2008 to 373.3 million in April 2009. "Historically short form, clip-length video has ruled streaming on the Web -- as demonstrated by YouTube's top spot month after month. Hulu, along with pure-play providers like Veoh and the TV networks, have spent the past two years trying to convince consumers that the Internet can be a good place to watch full length programming as well. April's strong showings of Hulu, Fox, and ABC suggest that consumers are beginning to listen," said Jon Gibs, vice president at Nielsen Online. In April 2009, people between the ages of 35 and 49 were the fastest growing demographic in time spent viewing per viewer, increasing 29 percent during the past six months. This was 13 percentage poin

Consumer Network Attached Storage Market

Home computer users save more data than ever before. The phenomenal growth of digital photography, audio, and video has focused consumer minds on the secure storage of their pictures, music, and movies -- raising the profile of backup and media server solutions. Although most consumers still rely on single-computer backup scenarios, a small but growing number are opting for Network Attached Storage (NAS). While the market is still relatively small, consumer NAS is expected to deliver more than $1.25 billion in revenues by 2011. "In order to move the consumer NAS market forward," says ABI Research senior analyst Jason Blackwell, "vendors, including leaders, need to educate and inform consumers about NAS advantages." Consumer NAS equipment falls into three groups: - Integrated NAS drives, which include the necessary networking software. - Network storage enclosures, for those who wish to add the hard disk themselves. - Storage routers and bridges, which allow a

Mobile Broadband Helping Service Providers

Over 15 percent of revenues generated by mobile operators globally came from non-voice services in 2008. According to the Informa Telecoms & Media market study, actual revenues comprising data services reached $188.7 billion in 2008, representing a 24 percent year-on-year increase. "This is an important finding" commented Informa principal analyst, Nick Jotischky, "as non-voice services are becoming a central plank to mobile operator strategies at a time of increasingly high penetration rates, low voice tariffs and intense competition." Not only can data services help to keep the offerings of mobile operators more relevant and distinct from their competitors, but they can also help to raise ARPU levels and generate new customers. Looked at regionally, there is a considerable disparity in the significance of non-voice revenues -- at the top end, just over a fifth of the total $192.8 billion revenues generated by mobile operators in North America in 2008 comes

How Wi-Fi Became the Disruptive Enabler

While mobile PCs and portable consumer electronic (CE) devices comprised the majority of Wi-Fi chipset shipments in 2008, mobile handsets and stationary new CE categories are driving the market growth, according to the latest market study by In-Stat. In 2008, Wi-Fi chipsets in mobile handsets grew by more than 51 percent. By 2010, In-Stat anticipates that this category will exceed 20 percent of the total Wi-Fi semiconductor chipset market. "A new segment of Digital Media Adapters (DMAs), over-the-top devices, is also generating a lot of attention," says Victoria Fodale, In-Stat analyst. Independent over-the-top (OTT) devices access third-party home entertainment services that are delivered across a broadband network -- typically with no affiliation to a specific broadband service provider. These emerging OTT video devices include Apple TV, the Netflix player by Roku, and the Blockbuster 2Wire Streaming MediaPoint box. This is a growing segment to watch, as it disrupts th

Legacy Ad and PR Agency Customer Exodus

Marketers worldwide are shifting their budgets into cheaper, more measurable categories. In most cases, that means online marketing. Meanwhile, traditional advertising and PR firms use their industry associations to spread FUD that new methods aren't effective. Regardless, these legacy firm's concerted smear campaign is clearly failing to stop the continued exodus of even their most loyal customers. In a survey by the Society of Digital Agencies (SoDA), 81 percent of respondents said they plan to invest at least as much in digital marketing in 2009 as in the previous year. Ironically, more than 77 percent of traditional advertising agencies are increasing the amount of digital in their budgets by 1 percent to 29 percent. And over 10 percent are upping online budgets by 30 percent or more. In addition, about 15 percent of digital agencies, digital service providers and freelancers plan to increase digital budgets by 30 percent or more. Brand agencies were least likely to ad

IT Virtualization Reaches Key Inflection Point

IDC investigated the adoption of IT virtualization in Europe and confirmed that this technology is significantly impacting the server market, and even more so the way that data centers will be built and managed. The market study showed that the number of server systems shipped with a virtualization platform on top has increased by 26.5 percent in 2008 compared to 2007, reaching 358,000 units in the Western European countries. "The accelerated adoption on the x86 side of the server market is making virtualization a crucial factor, changing the approach of suppliers and the deployment habits of customers throughout Europe," said Giorgio Nebuloni, research analyst at IDC. "In 2008, approximately 18.3 percent of all servers shipped in Western Europe were virtualized, against 14.6 percent in 2007, and we expect the percentage to grow to almost 21 percent in 2010. More importantly, last year, and for the first time ever, the number of virtual machine (VM) shipments exceeded

Entertainment Sector Hopeful 3D Will Prosper

Ready or not, 3D is coming with backing from all major sectors of the entertainment and consumer electronics industries. 3D movie production is intensifying, cinemas all over the world are investing in 3D technologies and feedback from audiences has been highly positive. Yet the ultimate goal is to bring 3D to the home, and a Futuresource Consulting market study reveals studios, consumer electronics companies, broadcasters, video game vendors and network operators are all poised to promote 3D. "Consumers are starting to experience the new wave of 3D technologies at the cinema and through Digital Out of Home advertising, and it won't be long before there's a groundswell of demand for 3D within the home," says Sarah Carroll, Director at Futuresource. With over 200 million new TVs sold across the globe every year, the potential is huge, but the industry needs to overcome some serious obstacles in order to kick start and fully realize the revenue streams. Most notably

Upside for Mobile Rich Communication Suite

Infonetics Research released the results on a new market study which tracks Rich Communication Suite (RCS) service revenue, subscribers, mobile phones and user clients. In a world where mobile communications is quickly evolving, all service providers need to continue driving voice and data usage while enriching the overall communications experience. RCS aims to unify the communications experience by integrating presence, voice, chat, and multimedia services seamlessly to the user. It is an attractive opportunity considering the total available market of 1 billion worldwide 3G subscribers that will exist in 2010. However, the success of RCS hinges on a number of factors, including operators achieving service interoperability and native integration of RCS in mobile devices. "If done right, though, service providers will be able to tap into increased revenue streams from services and applications, particularly mobile broadband, text messaging, and data services," said Diane

Consumers Join Mile High Broadband Club

There's a new mile high club, where people access the Internet from their passenger seat in a jet plane. The number of broadband enabled airplanes will increase from 25 in 2008 to 800 in 2009, according to the latest market study by In-Stat. As a result, broadband ready airline passengers will generate over $47 million worldwide in 2009. The in-flight broadband market is still emerging and will grow well beyond $1 billion annually by 2012. "The market is clearly gaining momentum, with deployments escalating in number," says Daryl Schoolar, In-Stat analyst. "However, in-flight broadband faces challenges, however, by the struggling economy and competing non-traditional IFE solutions." Live broadcast video is also poised for significant growth in 2009. While this service is more established than in-flight broadband, usage revenues are still anticipated to nearly double in 2009 and continue to grow strongly through 2013. In-Stat's market study found the foll

VoIP and Unified Communications Services

Infonetics Research released the first of its biannual VoIP and Unified Communications (UC) services and subscribers reports, which now tracks SIP trunking, IP integrated access, and hosted UC in addition to residential VoIP, VoIP VPN/IP access, IP Centrex and managed IP PBX. Demand for residential and business VoIP services continues to grow through the economic downturn because of the cost savings they provide. As a result, in 2008 the VoIP services market had healthy growth of 33 percent to $30.8 billion. For the first 3 months of 2009, service providers experienced an average of 40 percent to 50 percent year-over-year growth for IP Centrex, indicating the demand for outsourcing and managed solutions remains healthy. "We expect hosted UC services to take off, with worldwide revenue doubling between 2009 and 2013, and we forecast SIP trunking service revenue to hit an 89 percent compound annual growth rate from 2008 to 2013," said Diane Myers, Infonetics Research analyst

Consumers now Watch Online Video on TV

Just imagine what it would be like to watch online video content on your television. Well, a segment of mainstream American consumers has already moved beyond their imagination. The under-35 adult population in the U.S. has already adopted Web-to-TV video capability, according to the latest study by In-Stat. Over 40 percent of young adult U.S. households view Internet video on the TV at least once per month. On the upside, revenue from Web-to-TV streaming services will grow to $2.9 billion in 2013. "Once Web-to-TV video becomes simple and convenient, mass consumer adoption will follow quite rapidly," says Keith Nissen, In-Stat analyst. "Our primary research shows that users want a variety of their consumer devices to enable a web-to-TV video experience." In-Stat's market study found the following: - Within five years, the number of U.S. broadband households viewing Web-to-TV content will grow to 24 million. - Already, 29 percent of U.S. 25 to 34 year

British Bonding on Social Network Sites

Do the Brits "socialise" everything? Apparently, they're on social networking sites, they're British. eMarketer estimates that 39 percent of UK Internet users -- more than 15.4 million people -- will use social networks at least once per month in 2009. And growth will continue, though at slightly slower rates after 2010. By 2013, the social networking population in the UK will reach 21.9 million and represent 50 percent of Internet users. IMHO, it's all those friendly cockneys from London. Alright, mate? "Most early adopters of social media in the UK were young and male," says Karin von Abrams, eMarketer senior analyst. "And while older users -- especially those ages 65 and up -- still lag in social media usage, the appeal of Facebook and the spread of professional social networking among UK employees are boosting adoption in other age groups." The all-important user group, UK women, is also warming to social networking, forums and blogging

Mobile Phones Suffering from Weak Demand

The worldwide mobile phone market began 2009 with an expected sequential downturn, fueled by the ongoing worldwide recession. According to IDC, handset vendors shipped a total of 244.8 million units in the first quarter of 2009, approximately 15.8 percent lower than the 290.8 million units shipped during 1Q08. The first quarter of a new year is typically characterized by seasonally lower shipment volumes. However, the 1Q09 decline was especially sharp due to weak end-user demand, currency volatility, and lack of credit for merchants as consumers and the supply chain adapt to the recession. "That the worldwide mobile phone market started off 2009 with a year-over-year decline highlights just how much the economic recession has affected all industries, including the wireless market," says Ramon Llamas, senior research analyst with IDC. The market continues to adapt to the new economic reality with both vendors and retailers exercising caution to remain profitable. In some ca

Wi-Fi to Dominate HD Video Home Networks

Digital home networks will be optimized to distribute video. Standards based 802.11n Wi-Fi technology will dominate the wireless High Definition (HD) video market, at least for the next several years, according to the latest study by In-Stat. Three other connectivity technologies are competing in this space -- Wireless Home Digital Interface (WHDI), WirelessHD, and Ultrawideband (UWB). However, the ubiquity of Wi-Fi technology is proving unstoppable. "802.11n is the next generation of the immensely popular Wi-Fi family. It promises data rates above 100Mbps and is backwards compatible," says Brian O'Rourke, In-Stat analyst. The installed base of Wi-Fi is immense, and effectively includes all mobile PCs, many mobile phones and a wide variety of CE devices. The primary drawback to 802.11n is expense, since it requires codec technology on both ends to transmit HD video. Neither of its primary competitors, WHDI and WirelessHD, requires codecs. In-Stat's market study fo

Upside for Connected Consumer Electronics

Consumer demand for digital media and online content will push worldwide annual sales of connected consumer electronics (CE) to more than 100 million units by 2013, according to the lates study by Parks Associates. The market for connected CE includes networked TVs, Blu-ray players, game consoles, home media servers, and set-top boxes. Through network and Internet connections, these devices can access and display home network content such as photos and music and retrieve online content such as widgets, games, and video from Hulu and YouTube. "Key consumer trends are aligning to drive this market," said Kurt Scherf , vice president, principal analyst, Parks Associates. People want whole-home access to their personal content, which will increase the storage needs of the average U.S. household to a terabyte. At the same time, consumers are very interested in bringing Internet content to the television. For devices to offer a compelling value proposition, they will have to fe

Pay-TV Growth Slows as OTT Video Rises

Pay-TV subscribers are expected to grow by 8 percent in 2009 to reach nearly 733 million worldwide despite the challenging economic environment, according to the first quarter market update from Pyramid Research. Considering the current estimates of a 6 percent decline in global nominal GDP during 2009, the adoption levels for pay-TV services will undoubtedly hit a speed bump worldwide, with year-over-year growth rate declining to 8 percent from 11 percent in 2008, notes Ozgur Aytar, research manager at Pyramid Research. Lower double-digit growth rates expected across the emerging regions coupled with the stabilizing effect of multi-play bundles and their increasing penetration particularly in mature pay-TV markets should, however, prevent the global subscriber base to take a nose dive. "We started the year with a great sense of uncertainty of the impact of the economic downturn on the pay-TV market, and while much uncertainty remains, pay-TV operator's first-quarter result

Computing and CE Products Drive GPS Apps

Mobile handsets still dominate shipments of devices with integrated Global Positioning System (GPS), but the new growth will come from mobile consumer electronics (CE) and mobile computing applications, according to the latest study by In-Stat. Mobile computing and CE devices will comprise over 100 million units in 2013. "With growing attach rates and market maturity, GPS chipset providers must carefully evaluate which technologies to integrate into single chip solutions," says Jim McGregor, In-Stat's Chief Technology Strategist. Integration of the RF front-end and base band processor may not be enough. For example, which radio makes the most sense to integrate with, given the single mini-card slot of PC-based platforms? In-Stat's market study found the following: - Although the number of devices shipping with integrated GPS is increasing, the attach rates and the devices shipments have been hampered by the faltering economy. - By 2012, there will be more C

U.S. Retailers Find Growth in Online Sales

U.S. economic indicators for retailers were down in first quarter of 2009, but online sales were an exception. According to a survey by Forrester Research and Shop.org, U.S. online retail sales rose an average of 11 percent in the first three months of 2009. Of the 80 companies studied, 58 percent saw online sales increases compared with the same quarter last year. Looking further into the findings, 44 percent of the e-tailers reported increases of over 10 percent, 14 percent showed increases up to 10 percent, and 13 percent reported flat sales. In the survey, about 70 percent of both consumer brand manufacturers and multichannel retailers reported online sales increases. However, Web-only merchants had a different situation. About six in 10 reported Web sales declines. "It seems that consumer confidence is getting better," Sucharita Mulpuru, a Forrester analyst, told Bloomberg News. "Hopefully the worst is behind us." Looking ahead, Citi Investment Research

BSPs Target Home Automation Systems

Vendors of home automation systems are expected to ship nearly 2.8 million units in 2011, according to the latest market study from ABI Research. Only one of the four segments of this market -- that for luxury systems -- will be significantly impacted by the recession, according to senior analyst Sam Lucero. The luxury home automation market for systems costing more than $50,000 is relatively mature, so it will feel the greatest impact from the recession. Two other segments -- standards-based mainstream home automation systems and home automation as a service -- are so new and have so much room for growth that they should expand rapidly starting in 2010 no matter the progress of the wider economic recovery. Likewise, the final segment -- DIY home automation -- is tied to a certain extent to these other newer segments and should also see healthy growth. Rather, the challenges to achieving that growth are related to creation of new market mechanisms: the development of distribution