Wednesday, May 31, 2006

Net Neutrality: The Short Story

Techdirt breaks down the net neutrality issue.

From the post:

"For most of us, when we buy internet access, we assume that we're buying access to the entire internet -- from our own computers all the way out to everyone else's connected computers. That is, we're paying to connect the endpoints. After all, it's what's available at all those end points that makes the internet valuable.

The telcos have a different idea in mind. True to their traditional centralized service view of the world, they think we're only paying to connect back to the central backbone that they control. The other half of the connectivity (from the middle out to the other endpoints) is a free ride. This ignores, of course, the fact that if we were only getting the first half of the connection, the whole thing is pretty much useless.

It doesn't matter who's in the center. What the telcos are talking about doing is trying to insert themselves in the middle of this and add an extra, unnecessary, toll road from the middle out to the endpoint -- effectively adding fees for the connectivity that's already been paid for. The telcos are simply adding an extra tollbooth halfway up the route for some content or service providers, to try to squeeze extra money for no real value."

Tuesday, May 30, 2006

Robert Young on Social Networks

Robert Young has another guest post at GigaOM, this time on social networks being the new media.

From his post:

"It seems that nearly every media company and venture capital fund on the planet is out on the dance floor stumbling over one another to see if they can identify the next breathless social networking beauty.

Yet in all this craziness, it would behoove those looking into this space to step back for a moment, take a deep breath, and realize something fundamental… social networking is a micro-phenomenon of a much larger macro-trend that the Internet has spawned since its birth… digital self-expression.

In many ways, the art-form of self-expression has become the “new media”, and social networks are their distribution channels.

So for any player who seeks to enter this industry and become the next social networking phenom, the key is to look at self-expression and social networks as a new medium and to view the audience itself as a new generation of “cultural products”.

Robert Young: Future TV


Marketers Not Ready for Social Networks and Video Games

Not a surprising situation for marketers to be wary of emerging media. Forrester shows us the numbers.

From AdWeek:

"While professing interest in new Web channels like social networks and video games, most marketers have no plans to use the venues in the next year. Forrester Research, in a survey of 253 interactive marketers, found a reluctance to shift from more tried-and-true online channels like search and e-mail marketing.

While in-game advertising and advergaming has received much attention, 72 percent of marketers do not plan to use it in the next year. The story is the same for mobile marketing, which is used by 11 percent of respondents and 57 percent of whom say they do not plan to try it in the next year. Just 13 percent reported using blogs or social networks in marketing, and 49 percent said they had no plans to do so in the next year.

"There's curiosity but not a lot of activity," Shar VanBoskirk, a Forrester analyst, said. "At this point, they're not ready or don't have the resources or haven't thought through how it works for their business."

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MTV's Short Attention Span Programming

The New York Times has a huge article about MTV's play for mobile content.

From the article:

"If anybody says they've figured this out right now," Christina Norman, MTV's president and Sirulnick's boss, told me, "they haven't."

Assuming that producers can figure out how to make the creative leap to original cellphone programming, the biggest question for their companies is how they're going to make money.

"I certainly think that we've had to be honest with ourselves that our expertise in television may not automatically be expertise in these other areas," Dave Sirulnick, executive vice president for multiplatform production, news and music, says. "But again, I think because of the kinds of television we've made for years that we feel pretty good about it, as good as anybody can."


Friday, May 26, 2006

BIA Local Broadcast Revenue Numbers

The BIA released its report on local broadcasting revenue.

From the press release:

"Television market revenues in 2006 will increase by more than seven percent, generating an estimated total $22.2 billion in revenues for the year, according to projections by BIA Financial Network (BIAfn), a leading financial and strategic advisory firm serving the media and communications industries.

This rebound from last year’s almost eight percent slump is expected to come primarily from markets in states with competitive Senate and gubernatorial races, consistent with the two-year pattern that BIAfn has observed for several years. Of the top five ownership groups Fox Television Broadcasting continues to be the leader with $2.3 billion in 2005 revenue from 37 stations, followed by CBS TV, NBC/GE, Tribune Company, and ABC/Disney.

The new media environment is placing tremendous challenges on local television stations. Many stations are focusing on providing local content to distinguish them from national services.

“Local television stations are in precarious positions and must think creatively to drum up new revenue streams,” Mark R. Fratrik, Ph.D., Vice President, BIA Financial Network said. “We believe there will always be a strong desire from the public to have access to local community and regional news. It is just a matter of the stations themselvesidentifying a mode in which consumers will be receptive to receiving it, and a method that can be profitable.”


Bambi Francisco Reviews Google Video

Bambi takes a look at Google's new Adwords video option.

Highlights of her impressions:
  • I expected more. When I heard that Google had a video-ad product, I expected it to be a sophisticated self-service video-ad auction service, whereby advertisers could bid against each other to place their ads on videos. Think of it as AdWords for video. But Google doesn't have such a product.
  • Nonetheless, video ads will be popular with advertisers. They're another vehicle in which a marketer -- large or small -- can get a message or its brand in front of an audience.
  • Video ads will also be popular with publishers. Will video ads be clicked on less, thus resulting in lower payments to publishers, who make more money when click-through rates and cost-per-clicks are high? It doesn't matter.
  • Google is adding liquidity to the marketplace for video advertisements by allowing advertisers place their video commercials on the blogosphere, where there is inventory. The production of entertaining and news-related videos is in its early stages. For now, video inventory is scarce. That's why the cost to advertise on videos produced by professional media can be anywhere between $20 and $100 per CPM. It's cheap relative to TV prices, but higher relative to other advertising options on the Web. Google is charging between $5 and low-double-digits per CPM for video ads.
  • Google will no doubt jump onto good emerging ideas -- even yours -- that involve video too. Rajaram excitedly talked about the possibilities around the aforementioned video resumes. is already doing just that. It's a job hiring site where candidates can upload video resumes. In many ways, HireVue can be more successful in this marketplace than Google since it's far more focused on the employment service and this one business.

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danah boyd and Henry Jenkins: MySpace and the DOPA

In a recent interview with Sarah Wright of the MIT News Office, Henry Jenkins and danah boyd talk about MySpace and the Deleting Online Preditors Act (DOPA.)

From the interview: (printer friendly PDF)

"Q: What is the direction of your current research on new media, and how does it relate to the controversy?

danah: For my doctoral dissertation, I am investigating why and how youth are engaging in digital publics like MySpace, how this affects identity development and how youth socialization has changed over the last century. This work is being funded by the MacArthur Foundation to help understand the nature of informal learning. Understanding why moral panics emerge when youth socialize is central to my research.

Henry: I am currently finishing up a white paper, commissioned by the MacArthur Foundation, which seeks to identify the core social skills and cultural competencies young people need in order to become full participants in the cultural, political, economic, and social life of the 21st century. In doing this research, we are reviewing the current state of educational research surrounding participatory culture and examining how teachers are currently deploying these technologies through schools. We want in the long term to develop new curricular materials which help parents and teachers build a more constructive relationship with new media.

Q: What is the essence of the proposed legislation? If passed, how would it affect students? Teachers? Librarians? Parents?

danah: Recent federal legislation, Deleting Online Predators Act (DOPA) would require schools and libraries that receive federal aid “to protect minors from commercial social networking websites and chat rooms.” The proposed law would extend current regulations that require all federally funded schools and libraries to deploy internet filters. The law is so broadly defined that it would limit access to any commercial site that allows users to create a profile and communicate with strangers. This legislation is targeting MySpace, but it would also block numerous other sites, including blogging tools, mailing lists, video and podcast sites, photo sharing sites, and educational sites like NeoPets.

Henry: In theory, the bill would allow schools to disable these filters for use in educationally specified contexts, yet in practice, most schools will simply lock down their computers and walk away. Teachers who wanted to exploit the educational benefits of these tools would face increased scrutiny and pressure to discontinue these practices. And students would lack the ability to explore these resources through independent research or social activities. Teens who lack access to the Internet at home would be cut off from their extended sphere of social contacts."


Net Neutrality For a While Longer

From CNET:

"By a 20-13 vote Thursday that partially followed party lines, the House Judiciary Committee approved a bill that would require broadband providers to abide by strict Net neutrality principles, meaning that their networks must be operated in a "nondiscriminatory" manner."

A good debate on the issue here at the WSJ between Craig "Craig's List" Newmark and Michael McCurry.

"Mr. Newmark responds: Mike says "let the current rules govern" and that's what we're trying to do, trying to stop the big guys from changing the rules via the Federal Communications Commission. We're trying to preserve the level playing field. It's just fairness. Americans want to play fair, work hard and get ahead. That's what net neutrality is about.

Mr. McCurry: Look, the Internet is not a free public good. We all pay something to make it work right and that's the issue here. We pay federal taxes for interstate freeways but we charge 18-wheel semi-trailers higher taxes because they put a heavy burden on the road."

Qualcomm Universal Broadcast Modem

From MocoNews, Qualcomm has developed a multi-standard chip for mobile TV.

From MocoNews:

"This is a shocker: Qualcomm, which has plunked down $800 million in developing and pushing its own mobile TV format (MediaFlo), has also launched a single-chip Universal Broadcast Modem (UBM) solution, supporting all of the three main mobile broadcast standards. It integrates/supports MediaFlo, DVB-H and Integrated Services Digital Broadcasting — Terrestrial (ISDB-T).

If I understand this right, in U.S., the chip will be optimized for MediaFlo and outside U.S. would be for other standards. Designed to be compatible with both CDMA2000 and WCDMA/UMTS devices, the UBM solution is expected to sample in the first quarter of 2007.
I am not sure of the implications of this (does that mean Qcom has admitted that MediaFlo will be impossible outside U.S. and it makes sense to make any which way, even if it means co-opting competing standards?)…or is this standard Qcom practice?"

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Thursday, May 25, 2006

Robert Young: Future TV

Though I am not sure exactly which Robert Young this is, he writes a guest post on GigaOM about the coming shake up in broadcast TV. These are not the usual "TV is dead" points either.

From the post:

"Five years from now, the TV market will no longer be segmented solely by major broadcast network vs. cable network viewership. Instead, the market will be further subdivided among viewers of linear broadcast programming vs. that of non-linear on-demand formats.

To be specific, it is likely that most of the hundreds of channels we get today via our cable & satellite subscriptions will disappear and there will be only 10 to 20 “broadcast channels” left standing.

The players that will get hit first and hardest will be the weakest of the cable channels. In other words, as on-demand programming takes share away from linear broadcast, it will be at the expense of all those niche-oriented channels that came into existence over the past few decades with the advent of cable… not the major broadcast & cable networks.

The disappearance of a large swath of cable channels will also have the secondary effect of disrupting the underlying business model of the cable & satellite providers. As cable channels are forced to shift away from linear programming, the only way cablecos will be able to preserve their content offerings will be through video-on-demand relationships."

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Terry Heaton's "The On-Demand Trap"

Terry's got a new essay up in his "TV News in a Postmodern World" series.


"Clearly, it's smart strategy to offer content in an unbundled fashion. There's money to be made and multiple platforms to explore. But it is foolish strategy to assume that such a position is all that's required for local stations (local media in general) to survive online in the long term. There are three profoundly important reasons for this.

Energized by discontent with institutional media, very low barriers to entry, the simple joy of creating media, a profound sense of community, a deep weariness with hyperbole, and many other forces, people are taking matters into their own hands and having a ball doing it.

Involving yourself with real people in a real online community setting takes a skillset and values that most broadcasters don't seem to possess.

One of Umiar Haque's most important concepts is that of "the edge" — the place at the end of one's "reach" where new media meets end user. If the greatest value is at the point of use, then distancing oneself from that point by becoming only a content provider reduces one's value.

The tools available to everyday people that are turning the media world on its head are also available to professional organizations."


Next-Gen Mobile Services

Garry Barker from The Age takes a look at next generation mobile phone services.

From the article:

"Voice will remain the "killer application" on the phone but, increasingly, the handset will provide a multitude of internet-based services, most of which have not yet come on to the market.

The mobile phone will become your ticket on the train and tram, it will pay for your breakfast muffin and coffee and, according to Visa and MasterCard, it could even take over the functions of your credit card.

You can already buy tickets over the phone, but we will see the phone becoming a payment method itself, according to Vodafone's Victorian general manager Edward Goff. The phone will hold the credit so the Visas and the MasterCards will be doing deals to make the payment method fully integrated with the phone.

For small purchases the system would debit a "wallet" carried in the phone's memory that can be topped up by making a call to the bank, tapping in a PIN number and specifying the amount to be transferred - your own portable ATM.

A contactless payments system could double or treble the speed of service in, say, a fast-food outlet. It could also be used to award loyalty points. The company system would recognise your phone, tell it that it has enough points to get a free coffee and beep the happy information to its owner."

More on Mobile Payment:
Mobile Wallets in America
FeliCa Opens the Door
Russell Finds FeliCa
FeliCa on Rails
FeliCa in the Wild
FeliCA Survey
Motorola's M-Wallet
NFC at Giants Stadium
More NFC Payment Talk
Noikia NFC Phones
2006: All About NFC
iPod Payment Terminal
Near Field Payment Comes to Atlanta

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Microsoft to Buy Third Screen Media?

Wow - Carlo at MobHappy points to a WSJ article on Microsoft buying Third Screen Media.


"In addition to already having a good client base, what impressed me about Third Screen was its understanding of what’s needed for ad-supported content to succeed, both in terms of a platform for media buyers and ad agencies to use, as well as the necessity of working in concert with operators.

The move also highlights Microsofts push to get a jump on Google in the online advertising market, and confirms that mobile will play a big part of it. Exciting times for as-supported mobile content."


"Microsoft's interest in Third Screen is the latest indication of the increasing focus on cellphone advertising among content publishers, major brands and advertisers. Mobile ad spending, which was just $45 million in 2005, is expected to swell to $1.3 billion by 2009, according to the technology consultancy Ovum."

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Wednesday, May 24, 2006

More Reaction to Net Neutrality from Tim Berners-Lee

I haven't been posting as much about net neutrality lately but this has some good sound bites.

From the BBC:

"The web should remain neutral and resist attempts to fragment it into different services, web inventor Sir Tim Berners-Lee has said.

Recent attempts in the US to try to charge for different levels of online access web were not "part of the internet model," he said in Edinburgh.

He warned that if the US decided to go ahead with a two-tier internet, the network would enter "a dark period".

"What's very important from my point of view is that there is one web," he said.

"Anyone that tries to chop it into two will find that their piece looks very boring."


Brightcove and Limelight Networks Partnership

Brightcove is on fire this week!

From the press release:

"Internet TV pioneer Brightcove and Limelight Networks, the world's leading Internet content delivery network for digital media, today announced a strategic partnership to bring advanced services and next-generation business models to the growing Internet TV industry.
  • Brightcove will use Limelight's massively scalable, high-performance digital media content delivery network to distribute Internet TV content published through Brightcove to audiences worldwide. Using Brightcove, content owners of any size will automatically have access to Limelight's industry-leading delivery infrastructure--ensuring a high-quality media experience for their audiences.
  • Through the Limelight content delivery network, Brightcove will support distributing broadband video in a variety of formats (including Adobe Flash streaming video, Windows Media video, and MPEG-4) to a wide range of Internet-connected devices, including PCs, handheld devices, and home-networked TV sets.
  • By working together, Brightcove and Limelight will accelerate the adoption of innovative Internet TV business strategies including both pay media sales and the next-generation of broadband video advertising--providing aggregated, targeted audiences to advertisers, great experiences for consumers, and new revenue opportunities for content owners.
Using Limelight's ultra-scalable broadband content delivery services, Brightcove can reliably deliver interactive, rich-media experiences that go well beyond what traditional broadcast and cable TV can offer. To that end, Limelight provides over 200 gigabits per second of Adobe Flash Media streaming delivery capacity online to enable Brightcove to meet the broadband publishing and distribution needs of its growing customer base of video content producers."

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Tuesday, May 23, 2006

Carlo "MobHappy" Longino's Business 2.0 Article

Way to go Carlo! Carlo from MobHappy has an article in Business 2.0 titled, "Your Wireless Future."

From the article:

"Want to get a sense of where wireless technology is headed? Think back to where the Internet stood at a similar point in its development - say, sometime around 1998. Back then the computer had already become a fixture in a majority of American homes, while the Web and e-mail were just beginning to reshape the way people interact, socialize, and shop.

Fast-forward to 2006. Today, 55 percent of U.S. homes have high-speed Internet access, and the industry is experiencing another wave of innovation as entrepreneurs create new products and services to exploit today's faster networks. Meanwhile, though more than half of all Americans now own mobile phones, most handsets are still limited by slow connection speeds.

But this, too, will soon change. Three of the four major U.S. carriers switched on high-speed 3G networks in 2005, and Wi-Fi hotspots continue to proliferate, with places like Philadelphia and San Francisco planning to create citywide Wi-Fi networks.

By clicking on the links below, you'll get an advance look at some of the technologies that promise to make this new era of mobility truly revolutionary.

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Google Adsense Videos: Update

Video ads are here from Google.

From the USA Today story:

"Google will begin distributing online video ads for the first time later this week, continuing the Internet search engine leader's effort to diversify beyond the static written messages that generate most of its profits.

The video expansion, announced late Monday, will affect thousands of websites that rely on Google to post ads related to the surrounding material on a page. For instance, a news story about housing might prompt Google to display an ad for real estate agents.

Google isn't allowing the video ads to appear on its own website — a heavily trafficked destination that produced 58% of its $2.25 billion in revenue during the first three months of this year

"A certain segment of advertisers have told us that they want richer and more engaging messaging capability," said Gokul Rajaram, product management director of Google's AdSense program.

The appeal of Google's video ads might be dampened by controls that will prevent the messages from automatically streaming across a Web page. Google instead will display graphics promoting video ads that won't be played unless a viewer clicks on a play button."

Lost Remote points to The Superficial, which is running Google Video Ads.

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EA's Mitch Lasky

The street has an interview with Mitch Lasky of EA Mobile.

From the interview:

"What have you found out about which games work on mobile phones?

Casual games, broadly distributed. It's as simple as that. It's a mass market, so it's not gamers. And I think that's a mistake that a lot of people have made.

You were talking about 57,000 SKUs. How many copies will any one of those sell?

In this upcoming year, not that many, because the business is very much a catalog business. It's much more like the music business than like the film business or the games business. Gameloft is a good example. They just released their first-quarter results -- 94% of their revenue was catalog in the first quarter."

Labels: , Launches Brightcove Channel

I have another post about Brightcove on the way, but first, launches a Brightcove channel.

From the press release:

" today announced the launch of a new streaming video player that will support expansion of the amount of high-quality broadband video content offered and enhance the viewing experience on the site. The new player developed by Brightcove - an Internet TV pioneer - offers advertisers new opportunities via contextual advertising and bundled syndication packages targeting niche audiences.

"Our partnership with Brightcove is an important aspect of our strategy to extend our deep text and pictures content into the broadband arena," said Scott Meyer, president and chief executive officer of "'s new player marks our latest move to scale our high-quality online video offering and to offer advertisers unique and compelling ways to reach our consumers."

" is a leading new media company that is creating the type of content that is in demand, and it's innovating to take advantage of the new opportunities being shaped by Internet TV and broadband channels," said Jeremy Allaire, founder and chief executive officer of Brightcove.

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Thursday, May 18, 2006

Making Money in Second Life

A host of articles about Second Life and the real business opportunities it presents.

My Virtual Life:

"We can and should view synthetic worlds as essentially unregulated playgrounds for economic organization," notes Edward Castronova, an associate professor in telecommunications at Indiana University at Bloomington and author of the 2005 book Synthetic Worlds: The Business and Culture of Online Games.

That's the mission of a secretive Palo Alto (Calif.) startup, Seriosity, backed by venture firm Alloy Ventures Inc. Seriosity is exploring whether routine real-world responsibilities might be assigned to a custom online game. Workers having fun, after all, likely will be more productive. "We want to use the power of these games to transform information work," says Seriosity CEO Byron B. Reeves, a Stanford professor of communications.

There's no denying the explosion of media, products, and services produced by users of these virtual worlds. IGE Ltd., an independent online gaming services firm, estimates that players spent about $1 billion in real money last year on virtual goods and services at all these games combined, and predicts that could rise to $1.5 billion this year. One brave (or crazy) player in the online game Project Entropia last fall paid $100,000 in real money for a virtual space station, from which he hopes to earn money charging other players rent and taxes. In January inside Second Life alone, people spent nearly $5 million in some 4.2 million transactions buying or selling clothes, buildings, and the like."

From CNN Money:

"Anshe Chung buys up Second Life land, paying Linden Lab roughly $200 a month for each 16-acre plot, plus a one-time fee of $1,250. Then she develops the land, using Photoshop to add rivers, mountains, and forests. Sometimes she hires subcontractors to improve the acreage by designing or building houses. Then she sells or rents to other Second Lifers, who pay good money to inhabit her creations. As in the real world, prices vary by location. But often someone will pay Anshe $100 up front to buy a one-acre plot, plus $20 a month in land tax. In a case like that, Anshe makes $112 in her first year. She's done more than 10,000 various real estate deals. "I'm like Wal-Mart," she says. "The margins are small, but the volume isn't."

Second Life is still an emerging nation, and Anshe believes it's rife with moneymaking opportunities."

Wired "Making Money in Second Life":

One they've perfected their look, Second Life immigrants who want to build virtual homes often purchase or rent land from entrepreneurs like Tony De Louise, from Long Island, New York, who gave up the meatspace rat race to become an online landlord. "I've worked two to three jobs most of my life," said De Louise. Now, "instead of coming home at 10:30 at night, I'm home and can help my wife put our new baby to bed."

De Louise and business partner Alice McKeon own d'Alliez Island Rentals, and now lease land on a chain of in-world islands they own. They pay Linden Labs $1,250 for each island, plus a $195 monthly maintenance fee. Renters in turn pay from $15 to $75 for average-size land parcels."

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Online Gaming Revolution

A New York Times article highlight the increasing importance of online games.

US Console Video Gaming Hits Online Era

"An online revolution is happening ... It's an important piece of the economic puzzle going forward,'' said Gartner research vice president Van Baker.

EA, the world's biggest video game publisher, is making big investments to prepare for the coming transformation. Frank Gibeau, EA's executive vice president of North American publishing, said that move is based in part on the thought that online-connected consoles will alter the business.

EA, which is experimenting with download pricing, has said its digital download sales were a relatively small $10 million. But those sales are quickly becoming a meaningful contributor to EA's PC gaming business, said Gibeau.

Gibeau expects that around 40 percent of people who buy the Xbox 360, PS3 and Wii will tap the consoles' online services.

Microsoft has 3 million paying Xbox Live subscribers and aims to have 6 million by next year's E3. When you consider that analysts expect next-generation console units to hit around 150 million in this product cycle, it's easy to understand why the ranks of console-connected online gamers could explode."


BBC's Kamaelia Macro

Nat at O'Rielly Radar writes about a R&D effort underway at the BBC.

From Nat:

"When I visited BBC R&D labs last year after EuroOSCON, I saw an absolutely astonishing system. Macro is a few PCs with video capture cards recording a pile of domestic British channels and storing the encoded files for later playback.

Macro is gorgeous. It consumes the BBC's electronic program guide to determine when shows begin and end, who's in them, etc. There was a way sexy PHP interface (written, I think, by the fantastic Phil Gyford) to the archived programs that let you subscribe to shows, actors, keywords, etc. (I don't recognize the current UI, so I think the cool social software is still inside the R&D firewall). It's social software, so you can see what your friends are watching, your friends can recommend shows, and shows can simply bubble up to your attention because a lot of your friends are watching them. When I saw it I immediately thought, "this is the way my TiVo should be."

comScore Gamers and Online Advertising

comScore "The Players" study examines the attitudes of online gamers and the emergence of in-game advertising.

From the press release:

"comScore Media Metrix data show that Game sites reach almost 50% of the Internet universe, representing 76.9 million consumers in April 2006, up from 71.6 million in April 2005.
  • The Players research found that 25% of Gamers are Heavy Gamers, playing 16 or more hours per week across any gaming platform, or playing 11 hours or more per week and playing on two or more platforms.
  • Light/Medium Gamers - those that play less than 16 hours per week on one platform - represent 75 percent of Gamers.
  • Approximately 17 percent of Gamers are in the hard-to-reach age group of 18-24 years old, while another 23% are in the advertising sweet-spot age segment aged 35 to 44 years old.
  • One-in-five (20 percent) have an annual income over $75,000 per year, and the typical Gamer has been gaming for about 9 years, has been online for about 8 years.
  • Gamers are equally split along gender lines.
Specifically, when asked about their attitudes towards games with advertisements, only 15 percent of Heavy Gamers claimed they would be “unlikely” to play games that included such product placements. In contrast, more than twice as many Heavy Gamers (33 percent), said they would be “likely” to play those games, while fully 52% of Heavy Gamers and 56% of Light/Medium Gamers stated that the inclusion of advertising would have no impact on their likelihood of playing a game.

Familiarity with In-Game Advertising

February 13 – 27, 2006

Source: comScore Networks

Heavy Gamers

Light/ Medium Gamers

Very Familiar



Somewhat Familiar



Vaguely Familiar



Never Heard Of



Importantly, nearly half of heavy Gamers felt that in-game advertising was an inevitable part of the future of their play. When asked if the ads would make them consider buying the product or service, heavy Gamers were actually more receptive (17 percent) than light/medium Gamers (9 percent).

“Advertisers are quickly learning that Gamers are a highly desirable consumer target,” said Erin Hunter, senior vice president of comScore entertainment solutions. “Gamers are networked and vocal about what they like and don’t like, and the results of comScore’s study reveal that the vast majority of Gamers are not bothered by in-game advertising.”

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Arbitron Internet and Multimedia 2006

Terry Heaton points to the new study from Arbitron.

From the report: (PDF)
  • There was a sharp increase in the number of Heavy on-demand media consumers compared with last year. In 2005, we classified 11% of consumers age 12 and older as Heavy on-demand media consumers, With advances in technology and increased changes in on-demand behavior this figure increased to 21% in 2006.
  • Consumers find cell phones and braodband Internet access the most "life changing" new technologies.
  • Given a choice between never using the Internet or never watching TV, four in 10 would choose to keep the Internet and eliminate television.
From the power point: (PDF)


Wednesday, May 17, 2006

WaveMetrics Mobile TV Survey Results

WaveMetrics has the April mobile user survey online. (PDF) Users commented on Mobile TV.

From the Survey:

"As a relatively new product, consumers were excited by all aspects of mobile TV. Quality and value for money were foremost in consumer's minds, between them capturing nearly all of the buzz. Overall, however, there was an even spread of opinions across all catagories. Consumers beleive mobile TV is an exciting prospect, but aren't convined of its usability.

Analysis of mobile TV buzz revealed a neutral overall score. Consumers feel mobile TV is an exciting prospect allowing them to watch TV at a moment's notice wherever they are. It was also seen as particularly useful for those who travel frequently.

The most discussed topic, quality, achieved a neutral score, with consumers reporting mixed opinions as to picture and audio quality. Usability was seen as a particular problem, with consumers citing heavy battery usage and frequent connection problems.

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AOL Fights Back: UnCut Video and AIMPages

Mashable has some information on AOL's YouTube play, UnCut Video as well as some thoughts on AIMPages.

From the AOL site:

"UnCut Video is the place to come for videos on the Web. Upload videos from your web camera or camcorder. Watch videos from your home state, from Europe, Asia, Africa, Australia and the Middle East. Share videos with your friends over AIM and email. News, sports, pets, music, personals, short films, autos, the odd and the absurd — it’s all here. See it! Shoot it! Share it! Rate and comment on videos, and add them to your AOL Journal."

From Mashable:

"Just like AIMPages, this feels like an early release (too early, as far as I’m concerned) that’s seriously lacking in functionality. However, strategically speaking they might be in a good position right now. The AIM demographic is broadly similar the MySpace demographic - this also happens to be the key demo for online video.

The user experience is poor at the moment, and UnCut definitely needs its own domain (presumably I also expect to see them leveraging AIM (you can send videos over AIM, which is a start) and adding more social features like tagging.

On the upside, they went with Flash for the videos (good choice), and didn’t forget about the importance of commenting. AOL is in a great position to capitalize on the AIM brand with web-based social software, but its latest ventures still have a long way to go."

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MyNetworkTV Upfront News

PaidContent has some news about teh unfront presentation from MyNetworkTV.

From PaidContent:

"MNT, which has 82% distribution as of today, hopes to bank on English-language telenovelas–”short dramatic series” to push the network. Each serial will have a 13-week story arc with a new story starting every three months.

The online side involves News Corp-owned The site will showcase the show characters doing everything from explaining the latest storylines to offering fashion tips and cooking hints.

On the site, the network plans to feature 3,000 original video clips related to its dramas, as well as related content such as fashion tips from a fashion-themed drama and recipes from a novela star who is a chef. Also on its site, MNT execs say there will be ample opportunities for sponsorships and advertisements."

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Tuesday, May 16, 2006

Harvard Virtual Worlds

The Berkman Island is a project in Second Life.

From the beyond broadcast blog:

"In an attempt to explore novel ways of broadcasting information over the Internet, we are experimenting with Second Life, a 3D multi-user platform.

Second Life has demonstrated great potential as medium for presenting data in audio and video streams to an inworld audience throughout the world. Notable meetings that have aired live events include State of Play and the Game Developers Conference.

Our virtual location within the Second Life world, Berkman Island, is the product of a fruitful collaboration with Second Life citizens. Members of the community have helped landscape, enrich, and create unique content. For the purpose of this conference, we have built an inworld broadcasting center and a 3D replica of the Ames Courtroom at the Harvard Law School."

You can also send post cards of Second Life Berkman events.

An overview of the event in Second Life:

"Throughout the day, we have gotten fleeting glimpses of a replica of Beyond Broadcast — a virtual Ames Courtroom filled with virtual people. This replica conference is taking place in Second Life; a world where every character is controlled by a real person. All objects, buildings, trees, cars and light poles are also created by users.

John Lester, working for the creators of Second Life, Linden Lab, explained the founding principle behind Second Life. John says, “We [at Linden] don’t want to make content, we want to give people tools to make their dreams and shape their world.”

Every resident, Linden’s term for user, has a powerful 3d modeling kit and scripting language, which enables them to build their fantasy. Lester further describes Second Life as a, “Waking dream environment — not completely surreal or mundane, but smack dab in the middle.”

He illustrates this point with a slide of a concert taking place inside Second Life. The musicians are streaming their live (real world) music into a virtual club; the band member’s avatars play their instruments to a virtual crowd. John points out that there is something cohesive about a bunch of people hanging out in a club listening to music, but, he says, you realize something is up when a member of the crowd seamlessly hovers into the air.

Second Life is set apart from most online games and simulations, in that residents retain intellectual property rights to all their virtual creations. Some residents release their creations as open source, while others retain their rights and make money off their work. Residents earn L$ (Linden dollars), which can be converted to $US on Second Life’s currency exchange. The exchange works just like a real market, where residents post offers to buy and sell money. Residents can even resell their Second Life creations back into the real world.

The most entertaining portion of John’s presentation unfolded behind him, on the projector screen, as he spoke; it was the virtual conference watching the real conference talk about the virtual conference. More than 25 avatars were chatting, watching, sitting, standing and floating in the virtual version of Ames. "

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Interpublic Makes Tivo's Upfront

Interpublic and Tivo strike an deal at the upfront.

From Clickz:

"The multi-million dollar upfront arrangement affords the media agency holding company preferred pricing and ad opportunities on the DVR service for all its clients including Sony, Intel, Johnson & Johnson and Microsoft.

"As we looked around at our client base, and shifting media especially, it made sense for us to lock in some preferential pricing for our clients," explained David Cohen, EVP and U.S. director of digital communication at Interpublic's Universal McCann.

He did point to TiVo's broadband and commerce capabilities as possible campaign components. Cohen also noted that Interpublic expects to develop customized advertising opportunities for its clients as a result of the deal.

TiVo said in a statement that the Interpublic deal is its first upfront arrangement with a major advertising holding company. Interpublic's new Emerging Media Lab division organized the deal. Cohen described the new unit as "the nexus of digital communication and innovation for [Interpublic Group]."

Through the Emerging Media Lab, the firm's agencies, including Universal McCann, Initiative, and MAGNA Global, share best practices across clients and conduct proprietary trials, according to Cohen."

Bolt Media Teen Poll

Bolt Media did an online survey of people age 16-34 about thier online and TV viewing habits.

From the press release:

"A vast majority - 85% - said they spend their free time surfing the Internet - compared to only 69% who say their free time was spent watching TV.

Bolt surveyed its members online between the ages of 16-34. Select findings included:

  • Only 25% of all polled could name the Big Four television networks. 1 out of every 3 people under 34 could not name ANY of these networks.
  • TV even falls slightly short of movie watching with 71% saying they spend their free time watching movies compared to 69% watching TV.
  • 4 in 10 16-34 year olds have created a music CD from an mp3 file in the last month.
  • 4% of 16-34 year olds have downloaded music from a free site in the last week, while 26% have paid to download music.
"TV audiences are declining because there are so many more new and creative ways to spend your time online. Viewers are shifting away from TV faster than the advertisers, but we certainly expect that trend to change as companies like Bolt, MySpace and YouTube become the place to create, collect and consume content," said Aaron Cohen, CEO of Bolt Media.

"People who grew up in the past 20 years are used to being part of the online media mix. Almost every milestone of their lives - ballet recitals, soccer practices, weddings, and birthday parties - has been videotaped, and they're used to being a part of the content. So it's not surprising that these same people would prefer to partake in the "Creation Generation" rather than turn on the television."

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Doppelganger Launches

From GigaOm:

"Doppelganger, a San Francisco-based startup is launching a virtual world today that’s part nightclub, part billboard. And it could have figured out an online advertising model that could become common place over next few years.

The steady shift of advertising dollars online has entrepreneurs scrambling to come up with business models that will help them capture part of the bounty. So far, most of the attention has been on the search advertising gold-rush that propelled Google from puny startup into a behemoth worth $115 billion.

Online community, Bolt, just released a research report which says that 80% of 16-18 year olds can’t name all four top TV networks - NBC, ABC, CBS and FOX. Admittedly, this is a small smaple size - about 417 odd people, but still the data is pretty stunning.

But there are other forms of advertising besides search, and for its virtual world, The Lounge, Doppelganger has settled on a product-placement model popularized by Hollywood, where advertisers pay up to have their products featured in movies and TV shows. Music label Interscope Records has already signed up for a trial to have Doppelganger build a virtual club for its Pussycat Dolls band within The Lounge."

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First Avenue and FiberTower Merge

From Daily Wirelss:

"Cellular/broadcast tower operators Crown Castle and American Tower, which previously created a joint venture in FiberTower, said Monday that they will merge with First Avenue Networks. First Avenue operates a "last mile" broadband wireless system in the 24/39 GHz bands.

The First Avenue/FiberTower merger is valued at approximately $1.5 billion.

First Avenue will issue 73.7 million shares worth about $873 million, reports The Street. It will bring FiberTower public under the First Avenue Networks' ticker, FRNS. FiberTower will own 51 percent of the combined entity. It would have an installed base in 12 markets with more than 1000 sites.

First Avenue Networks (above) bought out the radio spectrum assets of bankrupt of Advanced Radio Telecom (at 39GHz) and Teligent (at 24 GHz) and now has 24/39 GHz licenses throughout the United States with deep coverage in 77 metropolitan areas."

Friday, May 12, 2006

Video Games Critical for U.S. Economy

From the Financial Times:

"The Entertainment Software Association commissioned two leading economists – Dr Robert Crandall of the Brookings Institution and Prof. J. Gregory Sidak of the Georgetown University Law Center – to study the stimulative effect of entertainment software on high-technology sectors.

As well as calculating a total impact of $18bn on the US economy in 2004, they forecast the industry would support 265,000 jobs by 2009, up from 144,000 in 2004. “Clearly, the entertainment software industry is not just about fun and games,” their report concludes. “It is a serious business that improves training, efficiency, and productivity in a variety of industries and has led to innovation in other high-technology industries.”

The report also says that about $73m in high-definition television sales can be directly attributed to sales of the Xbox 360 game console."

The full report: (PDF)


Nokia 5500 Swapable Interface Modes

mobiface points out that Nokia's 5500 phone has a button dedicated to switching between three user interfacec modes: music, sports and phone. What a great idea.


Mashable on Google Co-op

I haven't tried Trends yet so I really haven't gotten Co-op. Lucky for me, Mashable took the time to go through it.

From Google Co-Op:

"Google Co-op is about sharing expertise. You can contribute your expertise and benefit when others do the same. Help other users find information more easily by creating “subscribed links” for your services and labeling webpages around the topics you know best. This is a work in progress, but even in its early stages, Google Co-op has the potential to let you contribute your expertise to the overall goal of making information more discoverable for everyone."

From Mashable:

"Sounds simple? It’s not. I just spent a full hour trying to grok the service and I’m still not sure how to describe it. From what I can see, there appear to be two important features. The first is subscribed links: you can subscribe to any site and have its results appear above the organic Google results.

In the same way that Google Finance data appears at the top of a search for AAPL, you might choose to have news stories from Digg appear first. There’s a directory of sites to choose from, or you can try to add your own (good luck!). The second part is tagging - contributors can “label” results and create a vertical search engine of sorts (like this one on Autos). Once again, contributing your own work is a real challenge - and even the smartest geeks are struggling."


Daily Wireless: Best of Friday

If you like the stories I pull here and you have a bent for even more techie type information, you really need to be reading Daily Wireless.

Great posts today:
"Om Malik says Clearwire has filed to go public and is looking to raise as much as $400 million. Merrill Lynch, Morgan Stanley, J.P. Morgan Securities, Bear Sterns, and Wachovia Capital Markets are the underwriters. Clearwire has raised nearly $360 million so far from backers that include McCaw, Intel Corp., and Bell Canada."
And the winner is!!!"USA Today reports that the National Spy Agency has collected billions of records of domestic telephone calls. AT&T, Verizon and BellSouth have turned over records of calls. It is the NSA's goal "to create a database of every call ever made", reports the paper."

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Thursday, May 11, 2006

AT&T and MobiTV

From Daily Wireless:

"AT&T and MobiTV today announced they will deliver mobile television content over AT&T's nationwide Wi-Fi network. The service will enable AT&T customers to view live television while connected to one of AT&T's/SBC's Wi-Fi hot spots.

The MobiTV service includes 15 channels spanning national news, sports, entertainment and full-length music videos. The service will be available this month at nearly 7,000 AT&T owned and operated Wi-Fi hot spots, which includes airports, coffee shops and book stores, with plans to expand to additional locations.

Users will have a basic channel line-up available through a monthly $11.99 subscription or for each 24-hour session for $5.99. Additional premium television channels will be offered soon.

"Having topped 1,000,000 subscribers and growing faster than ever, we've proved MobiTV's technology, business model, and profitability on mobile networks across international markets on three continents," said Dr. Phillip Alvelda, chairman and chief executive officer for MobiTV. "Now, in partnership with AT&T, the nation's leading DSL provider, we are proving that the MobiTV service can deliver premium quality content seamlessly across any of the latest broadband networks."

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Two Factor Authentication for Gamers

Nick at the WiKID blog points to a recent article in Information Week about the rise of trojans targeting World of Warcraft gamers.

From WiKID:

"Now that you can sell virtual items for real cash, attackers are targeting online gamers. According to Information Week, there is now a trojan targeting World of Warcracft passwords, PWS.Win32.WOW.x .

There are over 3.5 million WoW gamers out there, which is bigger than most US banks in terms of number of users."

From Information Week:

"Win32.WOW is a clear indication that malware writers are targeting anything that involves money," said MicroWorld chief executive Govind Rammurthy in a statement. "Bucks may be smaller compared to a Trojan that steals bank accounts or credit card numbers...[but] cyber criminals are not complaining as long as the target is soft and numbers are high."

News Corp. COO Peter Chernin

Paid Content give us another earnings call run down.

From the post:

"COO Peter Chernin listed the recent Fox affiliates’ agreement as one example, stressing that Fox chose to partner with affiliates first “rather than taking unilateral action” as have some competitors.

MySpace: Chernin: “In terms of branded advertisers, we’re actually very pleased with how we’ve done and how we continue to do.” He added that he thinks it’s accelerating because the new video and comedy sections are proving to be attractive to branded advertisers.

Multiplatform: “We continue to participate in the migration of what we think is some of the best content in the world to new media platforms … We see tremendous enthusiasm. We’ll have announcements to make frequently in weeks and months ahead.”

MyNetwork TV: Chernin said the new network would have a “highly integrated web presence.” He mentioned seeing plans for the first-generation of the web site today and said there would be digital sales, integrated opportunities with the shows and that some sponsor discussion already have been held.

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Unlimited Data on Cell Phones

MocoNews reports on an article behind registration at the WSJ about cellular companies reactions to users of thier "unlimited" data plans.

From MocoNews:

"WSJ has a good story collecting stories about operators asking users to stop using Internet on their mobile phones if the usage becomes high (individual stories have surfaced on various personal blogs before). The unlimited data/internet plans has some operators worried, and they are taking steps to make sure subscribers don’t use them too much.

Verizon Wireless has sent service-cancellation notices to customers it says are using excessive network capacity. Sprint and Cingular Wireless, meanwhile, have moved to charge people for the amount of data bits they wirelessly transfer to their computers each month.

Dick Lynch, Verizon CTO says that the company is developing technology to sense what applications consumers are using so that violations can be detected more precisely (ah, borderline privacy violation, they mean).

But some technology consultants and analysts say wireless companies will need to make their services more similar to those offered by phone and cable companies if they want more consumers to adopt them (read unlimited)."

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Dear Blogger: Please Come Home

If you have a blog on blogger or if you regularly read blogspot blogs you know its been bad. I hope things change soon

Wednesday, May 10, 2006

TiVo and Brightcove Partner for Broadband Content

This is a fairly big move for both companies.

From the press release:

"TiVo Inc. (NASDAQ: TIVO), the creator of and a leader in television services for digital video recorders (DVR), and Brightcove, an Internet TV pioneer, today announced an agreement that will enable broadband video published through Brightcove to be distributed directly to TiVo subscriber set top boxes.

"TiVo has revolutionized television viewing and Brightcove is bringing about major changes in consumer viewing of broadband-delivered video," said Tom Rogers, President and CEO of TiVo. "Through this new partnership the process of delivering Internet based video to TiVo users will be significantly facilitated."

The partnership will provide a method for almost any publisher of broadband video using Brightcove's Internet TV services to distribute content to TiVo subscribers. It also opens the possibility of monetizing the distribution through advertising, subscription plans, or pay-per-view. Initially, all content will be offered for free to TiVo subscribers and may carry advertising within the content.

"TiVo has been a powerful factor increasing consumer choice and control over television viewing experiences. The Brightcove partnership will further empower consumers by allowing TiVo subscribers to find broadband video content via their TiVo or PC and send that content directly to their TiVo box where they can view it whenever they choose," said Jeremy Allaire, founder and CEO of Brightcove. "TiVo subscribers will gain access to the largest, most powerful content platform ever offered - the Internet. If it's on Brightcove, you'll be able to watch it on your TV using your TiVo box."

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Fox Affiliates: 12.5%

From Lost Remote:

"Following up on yesterday's news item that Fox is now offering TV shows for sale on iTunes, Fox's affiliates will get a 12.5% cut of the download revenues after Apple's take. ABC and NBC affiliates do not get a cut. Meanwhile, CBS says negotiations are ongoing with Apple to offer shows on iTunes. "We are in continual talks with our affiliates about a number of issues, including how we can better work together to leverage our content in the digital world," said a CBS representative."


Daniel Berninger: Net Neutrality and Right-of-Way

Daniel Berninger has a guest post at Om's GigaOm today on how the net neutrality debate could come back to haunt the Bells.

From the post:

"Ed Whitacre might want to pay fair value for the public and private property utilized by the telephone network, before asking “…why should they be allowed to use my pipes…” when explaining to a Business Week reporter why Google, Yahoo, and Vonage should pay new usage based fees. There will be arguments Internet access represents an “incidental use” allowed by state laws, but these arguments will succeed only at the cost of the Bell’s much promised transformation plans. The desire to extinguish net neutrality does not arise from worries about incidental use.

The Bell companies need to stop the neutral Internet from erasing the legacy telephone network’s voice revenues. Price discrimination enables metering of Internet access by keeping per bit price of low bandwidth voice relatively high while offering relatively lower per bit prices to initiate a video revenue stream. Net neutrality stands in the way of their becoming digital economy toll collectors."


Fat Pipe, Always On, Get Out of the Way.

This has been out for a while but I just saw it on BoingBoing. Its a Dr Seussian poem about net neutrality. Go read the whole thing.

From the post:

(a talk at O’Reilly Etel by David S. Isenberg January 26, 2006)

"Freedom to connect,
it’s like every other right.
We’ve got to fight,
Or they’ll come and take it from us
in the middle of the night.

So let’s finish with the words of Tim Bray,
Fat Pipe, Always On, Get Out of the Way.

When we write to our congressman, what do we say?
(audience) Fat Pipe, Always On, Get Out of the Way.

And when Whitaker says “Pay again” what do we say?
(audience) Fat Pipe, Always On, Get Out of the Way.

And when BellSouth blocks our cities from doing WiFi?
(audience) Fat Pipe, Always On, Get Out of the Way.

And when the telcos own your statehouse, what do you say?
(audience) Fat Pipe, Always On, Get Out of the Way. "

E3: Online Game Networks

Daily Wirelss has some tidbits from E3 about the coming console game networks.

From the post:

"When the PlayStation 3 launches, Sony will debut a new online game network that will allow video conferencing, micropayments for items in an online store, trading of game weapons, and much more.

Xbox Live is currently the leading video-game network for consoles. Xbox Live Silver is a free service that ships with all Xbox 360s and allows any Xbox 360 user with a broadband connection to get online. Gamers can use Xbox Live Silver to chat, download content and play certain games but does not allow you to play multiplayer games online.

Sony, unlike Microsoft's multiplayer gaming network, says its online game environment will be free. Many observers say that online gaming will be the key to future growth of the console world."

From the Xbox site:

"Premium Gold Packs include the following:

These Premium Gold Packs are available only at your favorite videogame retailer in a 3-month pack or a 12-month pack."


Bob Iger's Earning Report Call

Paid Content has a summary of the earnings call with Bob Iger.

From Paid Content:

During Tuesday’s earnings call, Iger spoke of watching Sunday’s episode that morning on and being “amazed” by the quality of the video; he described the Tylenol ad as “very effective.” Iger also explained the timing of the streaming trial: he said it was planned to show advertisers “a real demonstration” of what ABC has to offer in the upfront “rather than talking about something that was purely speculative.”

“Well, I think this is an evolving platform, and there are a number of possibilities, but from the early experience that we have had, I think it is safe to assume that some form of free-to-the-consumer experience will continue that is advertiser-supported. … I can tell you that as we see it, this is not an experiment. We are in this for the long run.”

“One of the things that I like about both the ABC business and the Disney Channel business is that these are platforms that generate enough revenue to not only impact the bottom line positively, but fuel our investment in high-quality branded content that we can then use on new platforms like or, or iTunes … or that we can use internationally.”

“In terms of the overall online strategy, the focus of the company is to really build out,, and … to be what I will call networks of the future.

Crown Castle Buys Mountain Union Telecom

From Telephony:

"Crown Castle today said it is buying tower company Mountain Union Telecom for $309 million, gaining the company's 547 sites in California, Nevada, New Jersey, Pennsylvania and Puerto Rico.

Already one of the largest tower operators in the U.S., Crown Castle will bulk up its portfolio with the acquisition, especially in high-value markets like Las Vegas and Los Angeles where Mountain Union runs dozens of towers. Crown Castle currently owns, operates and manages 11,000 towers in the U.S. and 1300 in Australia, and in the U.S. it has coverage in 76 of the top 100 markets, but most of its properties are concentrated east of the Mississippi river."

Telephia Mobile Game Report

A new report (PDF) on mobile games sales is out from Telephia.

From TMCnet:

"Mobile game sales continue to show strong performance during the first quarter of 2006, with wireless consumers buying more than 8.2 million games on their phones in March, up 53 percent from 5.4 million in January 2006 (see Table 1). The number of unique mobile game buyers also jumped significantly, surging 44 percent from nearly 3.5 million in January to five million in March.

The Telephia Mobile Game Report shows that EA Mobile, I-Play, Gameloft, Namco, Hands-On Mobile, Glu Mobile, THQ Wireless, Oasys Mobile, Sony Pictures Mobile, and Mobliss were the top 10 revenue generators, accounting for 75 percent of mobile game industry revenue."

From MocoNews:

I guess it’s possible that the US industry is taking off but other regions are dropping, or that there was a large drop towards the end of last year — there are no year-on-year stats in the article.

Telephia get its data from the bills of 35,000 mobile consumers, which gives it a good idea as to what revenue has been generated. For example, it’s interesting to compare the top 10 games publishers as listed by Telephia based on revenue with the top ten games publishers listed by M:Metrics, based on downloads.

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