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Showing posts from January, 2010

Digital Marketing Metrics and Reporting Shifts

eMarketer reports that digital marketing survived the downturn, and marketers worldwide are now bullish about the prospects for growth in 2010, according to the latest market study by the Society of Digital Agencies (SoDA). Their report found that 81 percent of the marketing executives surveyed expected an increase in digital projects in 2010, and one-half will be moving funds from traditional to digital budgets. More than three-quarters also think the current economy will push more allocations to digital marketing projects. Senior marketers reported that social networks and applications were their biggest priority for 2010, followed closely by digital infrastructure. While social media marketing looks set to stay top-of-mind, a majority of respondents considered a wide range of digital activities to be important, with only games failing to inspire widespread interest. As paid traditional media investments stagnated or decreased, paid digital spending has held steady or gone up,

Australians: Most Active Social Media Users

Web users spent more than five and half hours on social networking sites in December 2009, an 82 percent increase from 2008 -- when users were spending just over three hours on social networking sites, according to the latest market study by The Nielsen Company . Globally, social networks and blogs are the most popular online category when ranked by average time spent, followed by online games and instant messaging. With 206.9 million unique visitors, Facebook was the top global social networking destination in December 2009 and 67 percent of global social media users. Time on site for Facebook has also been on the rise, with global users spending nearly six hours per month on the site. People in the U.S. continue to spend more time on social networking and blog sites as well, with total minutes increasing 210 percent year-over-year and the average time per person increasing 143 percent. Year-over-year growth in average time spent by U.S. users, for both Facebook and Twitter.com, o

4.5 Billion Downloads from Mobile App Stores

Consumers will spend $6.2 billion in 2010 in mobile application stores while advertising revenue is expected to generate $0.6 billion worldwide, according to the latest market study by Gartner . Mobile application stores will exceed 4.5 billion App downloads in 2010, eight out of ten of which will be (ad-supported or otherwise) free to end users of these Apps. Gartner forecasts worldwide downloads in mobile application stores to surpass 21.6 billion by 2013. Free downloads will account for 82 percent of all downloads in 2010, and will account for 87 percent of downloads in 2013. "As smartphones grow in popularity and application stores become the focus for several players in the value chain, more consumers will experiment with application downloads," said Stephanie Baghdassarian, research director at Gartner. Games remain the top application, and mobile shopping, social networking, utilities and productivity tools continue to grow and attract increasing amounts of money.

Blu-ray Players with IP Network Connectivity

High-volume shipments of Blu-ray disc players, most of which feature IP network connectivity, are finally making inroads into the broader disc player and recorder market, according to the latest market study by In-Stat . By 2013, Blu-ray player shipments will still lag slightly behind the 90 million DVD player unit shipments. However, higher average selling prices will put Blu-ray player revenue at more than 4 times as large as DVD player revenue. "In North America, significant price drops of Blu-ray players drove unit shipments to triple in 2009," says Michelle Abraham, In-Stat analyst. Regardless, other markets are still the leading adopters of this technology. The cost differential between standard definition DVD and Blu-ray is becoming much smaller and new features such as IP network connectivity are becoming increasingly important. Blu-ray is finally starting to make significant advances in the marketplace. Blu-ray players are predicted to become one of the key lever

Continued Growth for the Mobile App Stores

Mobile application stores enabled 3.6 billion apps to be downloaded in 2009 -- which is expected to rise to 6.6 billion this year, and grow to 16.2 billion in 2013 -- according to the latest market study and assessment by Futuresource Consulting . At the upcoming Mobile World Congress event, the App Planet showcase will be devoted to this phenomenon that's helping to fuel demand for Mobile Internet subscription and consumption. "More than 85 percent of app store downloads are currently free to users, and we expect this percentage to remain stable for the next few years," says Patrik Pfandler, senior market analyst at Futuresource. "The market will experience vigorous consumer spending, and the paid-for market has already developed beyond the established gaming segment. Our forecasts are showing global revenues of $4.6 billion this year, rising to nearly $15 billion in 2013, which includes payments for direct pay-per-download and indirect value-add services like i

Broadband Consumers Using Multiple Access

Consumer enthusiasm for broadband service continues unabated. In fact, some will subscribe to more than one type of broadband access, according to the latest market study by In-Stat. During 2009, an average of 8.8 million new broadband subscribers worldwide signed up for service each month. By 2013, In-Stat forecasts that the number of global broadband subscribers will surpass 1 billion. "The growing popularity of bandwidth-intensive applications, such as watching online video, using IP-based telephony services, and downloading music files, is spurring global demand for broadband Internet connections," says Mike Paxton, In-Stat analyst. Their reporting on the penetration of DSL relative to Mobile Internet subscribers was a surprise to me. I'm wondering if In-Stat has some of their data points transposed in their research report summary. Can it be true, that mobile wireless broadband has already surpassed cable broadband access, globally? In-Stat's market study fo

Marketers Plan to Develop New Mobile Apps

eMarketer reports that mobile application (app) investment should grow significantly in 2010, according to the latest market study by DM2PRO and Quattro Wireless. In contrast, spending on social media apps will stagnate -- even though more marketers have already developed those applications. Among those marketers who already had an social media app in 2009, however, Facebook was the leading platform. Fewer than one-half of marketers created either a mobile or social app in 2009, but most plan to invest in a mobile app this year. The Apple iPhone is the platform of choice, followed by Google Android. "Engagement" was the top reason to choose either mobile or social as an app platform, but social sites were perceived as better for many top goals -- including engagement, audience targeting, sharing and branding potential, and reach. Mobile, however, scored higher on creative control and persistence. The top one-third of advertisers and agencies using mobile apps planned t

The Very Real Investments in Virtual Goods

According to the latest market study by Engage Digital Media , an amazing $1.38 billion was invested in 87 virtual goods-related companies. The amount invested in 2009 represents more than three times the investment in the virtual goods space in 2008 -- when $408 million was invested. The total number of companies receiving investment money also increased year-over-year -- 87 in 2009 compared with 34 in 2008, an increase of more than 100 percent. Of the $1.38 billion invested for the year, $398.3 million is acquisition related. "Virtual goods was the hot story of 2009, driving investment that crossed over into game development, virtual currency, payment services, and social networks," said Christopher Sherman, CEO of Engage Digital Media. In the fourth quarter alone, companies raised an astounding $944 million -- more than double the amount raised in all four quarters of 2008. Also noteworthy was the number of acquisitions in the space -- 18 of the course of the year -- w

Quest for the Next Wave of Broadband Growth

Where's the primary opportunity of new consumer demand for broadband services? According to the latest market study by Informa , global fixed-broadband subscription numbers will reach half a billion this year, driven by continued growth in the emerging markets. Although the fixed-broadband markets of many developed countries are saturated, tens of millions of homes in China and India are still without broadband. These under-served markets are poised to drive yet another wave of broadband growth -- creating opportunities for service providers and equipment vendors. "Overall the number of net new fixed-broadband subscriptions grew in 2009 to over 480 million, largely as a result of accelerating growth in emerging markets and we expect this number to reach 500 million this year. China, Russia, Mexico, India and Vietnam were among the countries that recorded the greatest leaps in fixed-broadband subscription numbers last year," said Rob Gallagher, Principal Analyst at Infor

New Demand for Internet-enabled CE Devices

In 2009, much of the dialog about plans to incorporate Internet access into all manner of consumer devices was just that, mostly talk and little action. However, this year the increasing popularity of Internet-enabled consumer electronics (CE) is now considered a key growth driver for the digital entertainment industry. Over-the-top (OTT) video services are increasingly offering compelling alternatives to traditional pay-TV services, according to the latest market study by In-Stat . New alternative offerings -- such as Netflix, Amazon, iTunes and Blockbuster -- offer streamed or downloadable TV and movie content. Ad-supported online TV programming portals, such as Hulu, TV.com, and YouTube, have expanded into full-length video content. Web-enabled devices, which are a necessity to access these OTT services, are now proliferating across device categories that include TVs, Blu-ray Players, Digital Media Adapters (DMAs), network attached storage, and set-top boxes. "Most web-enabl

Mobile Internet Access is the New Battlefield

According to the latest market study by Informa , total mobile service revenues will exceed $1 trillion in 2013, despite a projected fall in voice call related revenues. Growth in service revenues will be driven by data related revenues -- rising to over $330 billion, up from an estimated $208 billion in 2008. "The backdrop to this transition in the industry is the fact that the Internet has started to dominate the landscape for new services and applications, and telecoms operators are under increasing pressure to remain valuable and relevant in the eyes of their end-users," says Mark Newman, Chief Research Officer at Informa Telecoms & Media. As this happens, the growth in data revenues is being spurred by the rise in take-up of more advanced technologies and mobile broadband services, as well as new handset interfaces and mobile content strategies based on open application stores rather than closed walled gardens. Illustrating the significance of data services to mob

Blu-ray Players Enabling OTT Video Uptake

Internet video device shipments will experience global growth of 78 percent year-over-year from 2009 to 2010, according to the latest market study by IMS Research . The Internet-enabled device categories that will see the most significant uptake in the short term are connected TVs and connected Blu-ray players. Rebecca Kurlak, author of their report, states "With the Blu-ray Disc Association releasing the Blu-ray 3D specification a month ago, and the continued decline in the device category's average selling price, IMS Research expects consumers to welcome Blu-ray players into their homes." With nearly all Blu-ray players manufactured with IP connectivity enabling access to video on demand (VoD) libraries like Netflix, Amazon, Vudu, and CinemaNow, Blu-ray players are now more compelling for purchase consideration than they have been since their market debut. Adoption of these new consumer electronics (CE) devices will ultimately increase the use of over-the-top IP vid

Music Sales Shift from Downloads to Streams

The U.S. recorded music industry has been challenged. Traditional media companies were slow to embrace the online distribution of digital music. They ignored consumer needs, until CD sales went into a rapid decline -- due partly to P2P file sharing activity. Having moved beyond their prior denial, regarding the shift in market demand, big-media record labels are still attempting to recover from their self-inflicted downturns in revenue and profit. eMarketer forecasts that U.S. consumer spending on digital music will increase at a compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of 11.04 percent in the next four years, reaching $4.56 billion in 2013, up from $3 billion in 2009. All of this new growth will come from the online segment -- which comprises track downloads, full album downloads, music videos, digital kiosks and subscription services. "eMarketer expects the tipping point between physical and digital formats to occur sometime in 2010," said Paul Verna, senior analyst and aut

Video Subscription versus Pay-per-View Model

Pay-TV Video on Demand (VoD) that's delivered directly to the television is generating consumer interest, but very little revenue for service providers. Free content currently accounts for more than 95 percent of the video being watched. A new pay-TV market study by Futuresource Consulting predicts that some consumers will pay extra for movies on demand. The question that remains is what's the consumer-preferred method -- payment by monthly subscription, or pay-per-view? Futuresource forecasts that by 2013, transactional (pay-per-view) revenues from movies on demand will reach $2.4 billion in the USA and 430 million Euros in the leading five Western European countries. "The rise of on-demand video content that can be accessed through a laptop, PC or mobile phone shows no signs of stopping," says Carl Hibbert, Business Consultant, Futuresource, "and with so much competition out there, the consumer is in the driving seat, demanding entertainment be delivered on

Demand for Next-Generation Video Advertising

The world of advertising is changing dramatically with shifts in consumer behavior and growing online and pay TV video-on-demand (VOD) services, according to the latest market study by In-Stat . These shifts among others are creating a growing market for advanced video advertising, which In-Stat forecasts will approach $5 billion by 2013. Online VoD services, such as Hulu, CBS Interactive and ABC.com, are already driving growing advanced advertising revenue across their platforms. During the next five years, Pay-TV approaches to advanced advertising tied to popular TV shows, videos, movies and music content will come into their own. "The online VoD industry has the early lead for delivering Advanced Video Advertising, but the Pay-TV industry is moving quickly and will surpass broadband VOD by 2012," says Gerry Kaufhold, In-Stat analyst. Because Pay-TV services deliver qualified, repeatable audiences, we can expect them to be able to negotiate higher Cost per Thousand (CPM

Compelling Business Case for 4G Coexistence

The number of WiMAX network deployments -- currently more than 500 across 145 countries -- is greater than that of any conventional 3G network technology and more than 50 percent greater than the number of HSPA network commitments. However, most 4G WiMAX deployments to date have been small. According to the latest market study by Pyramid Research , we should anticipate that coverage will increase. Many of the larger WiMAX deployments are still underway, and large countries -- such as India, Indonesia and Vietnam -- are just beginning to issue WiMAX licenses. Highlights from the Pyramid market study include: - Markets with the lowest broadband penetration rates represent the most upside, and they estimate that roughly 70 percent of WiMAX deployments are in emerging markets, led by the Africa and Middle East region with more than a quarter of global deployments. - WiMAX volumes are dependent on the success of only a handful of large operators, while LTE has the backing of a substan

3D Video Entertainment is Going Mainstream

There were numerous announcements about 3D technology during CES. The basic concept has been with us for many years, but had never reached common use. The popularity of Avatar and other 3D movies, however, will put 3D TV into the mainstream, according to the latest study by In-Stat . 2010 will be a big year for 3D entertainment, as movie studios release more 3D films shown in a growing number of 3D-equipped theaters. "Exposure to 3D films is important to the debut of 3D TV, because consumers who have seen 3D films are more interested than the general population in being able to view 3D content at home," says Michelle Abraham, In-Stat analyst. In-Stat's 3D consumer survey shows that 64 percent of consumers are at least somewhat interested in 3D in the home. For those who have seen a 3D movie in the last 12 months, the percentage increases to 76 percent. In-Stat's market study found the following: - In-Stat projects worldwide 3D TV shipments will reach 41 million

2010 Consumer Electronics Industry Outlook

Now that CES is over, here's the forward-looking perspective. The consumer electronics (CE) industry will generate more than $165 billion in U.S. shipment revenues this year, according to the semi-annual industry forecast released by the Consumer Electronics Association (CEA). Gary Shapiro, President and CEO of the CEA, announced the forecast in his opening remarks at the 2010 International CES. "2009 is a year none of us wish to repeat and now we look forward to 2010. There is light at the end of the tunnel and it is the bright light of innovation," said Shapiro. "We are seeing more innovation at this show than at any show in our history. There are a record number of new exhibitors, more than 330, among the 2,500 companies showcasing the next generation of technology." The CE industry will see positive revenue growth in 2010 after a revenue decline in 2009. Total industry shipment revenues fell an estimated 7.8 percent in 2009 although unit volume increase

Broadband Wireless Internet-enabled Devices

The portability of content from one digital device to another represents the future of media consumption, according to the latest assessment by eMarketer . The market is constantly shifting, due to changing user preferences and an evolving consumer electronics landscape. Device manufacturers, marketers and content publishers are all challenged to make digital content available anywhere, anytime and on any user preferred device. "Even as the landscape evolves, the market for portable electronics is growing unabated," said Noah Elkin, eMarketer senior analyst. Morgan Stanley expects high-speed wireless Internet-enabled device shipments to more than double worldwide between 2009 and 2013. Other researchers and analysts agree that the mobile device market will continue its upward trajectory. "From their in-home television and entertainment networks, consumers have grown accustomed to an on-demand culture," said Mr. Elkin. The combination of always-on devices and

Mainstream Platforms Enable OTT Adoption

According to the latest market study by The Diffusion Group (TDG), by 2014 more than 360 million households worldwide will be enabled for Over-the-Top (OTT) video services on their TV set -- with more than half actively adopting OTT services. "A key reason why many OTT efforts have failed (and will continue to do so) is their dependence on proprietary single-function hardware paid for by consumers," notes Colin Dixon, managing partner at TDG. "In order to grow a profitable base of service users, OTT operators must either give the hardware away for little to nothing or leverage other Internet-enabled platforms as a conduit." TDG believes that the latter approach is preferable, yet its success hinges on the rate at which these Internet-enabled mainstream platforms multiply. Clearly, that's a factor OTT providers can't easily predict or control. Dixon notes that a number of companies -- including Netflix and the BBC -- have been embedding their service sof

Test: Perceived Value of High-Quality Content

Recently, Nielsen conducted a global survey of more than 27,000 consumers in 54 countries to examine attitudes about paying for online content -- and to determine which content types people were most willing to buy. The study findings uncovered that consumers are either "willing to pay" for online content, or are "open to increased advertising" by content sponsors -- but that attitudes vary greatly by geography, demographics and content type. Nielsen believes that people have therefore shown a higher propensity to pay for music, movies, games and "professionally produced" video -- in contrast to podcasts, blogs or consumer generated video. Nielsen says this now validates that people still place more value on content produced by "professionals" than by others. Likewise, people are more inclined to buy what they already pay for, rather than on what they currently get for free. Moreover, Nielsen concludes that while people are more willing to p

Internet-enabled TV Drives IP Video Adoption

According to the latest market study by comScore , more than 170 million U.S. Internet users watched online video during November 2009. Nearly 31 billion videos were viewed during the month, and Google Web sites accounting for 39 percent of all videos viewed online in the U.S. market. Google continued to rank as the top U.S. video property in November -- as it delivered 12.2 billion videos viewed with YouTube.com, accounting for nearly 99 percent of all videos viewed. Hulu ranked second with 924 million videos viewed (3.0 percent) followed by Viacom Digital with 500 million (1.6 percent) and Microsoft Sites with 480 million (1.5 percent). More than 170 million viewers watched an average of 182 videos per viewer during the month of November. Google attracted 129 million unique viewers during the month (94.7 videos per viewer), followed by Yahoo! with more than 55 million viewers (8.5 videos per viewer) and Fox Interactive Media with 50 million viewers (8.9 videos per viewer). The aver

Apps Availability is part of Smartphone Choice

Google announced the most anticipated mobile phone since the Apple iPhone launch. The Nexus One is based on Google's open source mobile operating system (Android), and their OS has clearly received strong support from manufacturers and mobile operators. In-Stat says that it believes the smartphone stakes are high. Gone are the days when the basis of competition was solely defined by hardware. Software is becoming the key in defining the user experience. However, the focus is now shifting from the OS to the device application software. In fact, enabling third-party applications has increased importance in the competitive mobile OS landscape. In-stat believes that when independent software developers create or port-over applications, that can greatly impact the success of the handset platform and the market opportunity for the carrier. If, however, a particular mobile phone OS does not garner enough independent developer support, then the result could be disastrous. In fact, as

Handheld Device Convergence Slow Progress

Despite the increasing overlap between mobile phone functionality and other handheld devices, people are still purchasing standalone cameras, satellite navigation, personal media and handheld gaming devices, according to the latest market study by Futuresource Consulting . "Right now, the functionality and quality of dedicated products can far exceed that of multi-function gadgets," says David Luu, Senior Market Analyst at Futuresource. Features like optical zoom and image stabilization in cameras or embedded maps in personal navigation devices are seen as key value-add differentiators, and still drive consumers to make that purchase. However, it won't be long before the continued rise of the smartphone will have a major impact on the handheld device landscape. Last year, mobile phone ownership exceeded four billion users -- which equates to nearly 60 percent of the world's population. And in the face of a handset market which is slowing on the whole, smartphone sa

Regional Differences in Social Network Activity

eMarketer reports that recent worldwide survey results data from Trendstream and Lightspeed Research highlights the regional market differences between various user-generated content activities of Internet users. In the U.S., managing a social network profile was the top online user-generated content activity, participated in by 44.2 percent of Web users. This was followed closely by uploading photos. Uploading video, blogging and microblogging were significantly less popular. By comparison, Web users in the UK and Canada had similar rates of social network use and photo-sharing, and also tapered off dramatically when comparing more advanced user-generated content activities. In contrast, Japan has very different participation characteristics in user-generated content activities. Much lower percentages of Web users manage social network profiles or upload photos, for example. The Global Web Index report notes that this is actually a sign of advanced user behavior. The survey meas

U.S. Smartphone Market Segmentation Shifts

According to a comScore market study, consumer awareness of Google's Android is growing rapidly. Seventeen percent of American consumers in the market for a smartphone are considering the purchase of an android-supported device in next three months, compared to 20 percent indicating they plan to purchase an iPhone. "With handsets on multiple carriers, from multiple manufacturers, and numerous Android device models expected to be in the U.S. market by January, the Android platform is rapidly shaking up the smartphone market," said Mark Donovan, comScore senior vice president of mobile. While iPhone continues to set the bar with its App Store and passionate user base, and Blackberry remains the leader among the business set, Android is clearly gaining momentum among developers and consumers. RIM Blackberry Still the Market Leader Overall, however, of those people who said they intend to purchase a smartphone, more chose from the Blackberry family of smartphone devi