The Digital Future In Focus, A New Report
March 2, 2012
"I hear YouTube, Twitter and Facebook are merging to form a super Social Media site - YouTwitFace."
-- Conan O'Brien
Sparked by a wave of innovation in digital device hardware and technology software platforms, accompanied by consumers' rapidly increasing digital consumption habits, 2011 signaled a momentous year ahead, says the comScore 2012 'U.S. Digital Future in Focus' report.
The report examines how the prevailing trends in social media, search, online video, digital advertising, mobile and e-commerce define the current U.S. marketplace and what these trends mean for the year ahead.
Linda Abraham, comScore CMO and EVP of Global Product Development, says "... 2012 promises to be an exciting year for the digital media industry ... the explosion of available content and proliferation of web-enabled devices drives the evolution of the digital consumer... "
Key insights from the 2012 U.S. Digital Future in Focus include:
* Facebook-led social media market is redefining communication in the digital and physical worlds and social networking accounted for 16.6% of all online minutes at the end of 2011, and is on track to surpass portals as the most engaging online activity in 2012. Facebook continues to lead as the driving force behind this shift in consumer behavior, accounting for the largest share of online minutes across the entire web in 2011.
* Online video viewing witnessed impressive gains across a variety of measures in 2011, signaling a behavioral shift in how Americans are consuming video content. More than 100 million Americans watched online video content on an average day to close out 2011, representing a 43% increase versus year ago.
* In 2011, Americans viewed more online video content than ever before, as evidenced by strong increases across several key viewing metrics. In addition to more daily viewers, the number of video streams jumped 44% to 43.5 billion in December 2011. One of the key behavioral shifts in online video continues to be the increasing adoption of long-form video content viewing, as Americans watch shows and movies on-demand over the Internet. The average number of minutes per video view rose from 5.0 minutes to 5.8 minutes by the end of 2011 with the average viewer watching 239 videos (up 37%).
* Total U.S. e-commerce spending reached $256 billion in 2011, up 12% from 2010. Travel e-commerce spending grew 11% to $94.5 billion, while retail (non-travel) e-commerce spending jumped 13% to $161.5 billion for the year.
There's a wealth of more information in the report, and you can download it as a PDF file and read more about it here: http://tiny.cc/7nxlc
THE 'A-SIDE' - TRACK 2
GOOGLE MUSIC AND GOOGLE+ HAVE PROBLEMS
From CNET comes news that "Google Music was supposed to have an inside track marketing music to the 200 million Android users, but performance so far is not what was expected. Three months after launching, Google Music hasn't lived up to expectations."
Read that story here: http://tinyurl.com/75uab6n
Citing new comScore data, The Wall Street Journal calls Google+ "a virtual ghost town" compared with Facebook. Sure, consumers are signing up for Google's social network -- about 90 million since the service launched in June. Yet, they don't seem to be a very active community. "Visitors using personal computers spent an average of about three minutes a month on Google+ between last September and January, versus six to seven hours on Facebook each month over the same period," reports WSJ, citing comScore.
What explains Google's engagement problem? For one, its inability to differentiate Google+ from Facebook. Despite a few original features, like "Hangouts" and "Circles," consumer don't seem motivated enough to make a coordinated switch with the friends and family they already interact with on Facebook.
"Nobody wants another social network right now," Brian Solis, an analyst at social-media advisory firm Altimeter Group, tells WSJ. For those who already use Facebook, "Google hasn't communicated what the value of Google+ is," he said.
Read the rest on The Wall Street Journal here: http://tinyurl.com/7mv33ck
THE 'A-SIDE' - TRACK 3
AS EXPECTED, APPLE WILL UNVEIL NEW iPAD NEXT MONTH
This week a shipping document revealed on a Chinese website apparently pointed to iPad 3 units leaving China for U.S. airports.
Now it's confirmed, Apple's iPad3 will arrive in a few weeks. Apple's stock has climbed 31% this year and the new iPad will likely keep the increase going.
THE 'A-SIDE' - TRACK 4
According to a recent post by Experian Hitwise, by Margot Bonner, Analyst on the Strategic Services team, Facebook.com captures one in every 11 Internet visits in the U.S. Additional specs on Facebook success include: 1 in every 5 page views occurs on Facebook.com; the average visit time on Facebook.com is 20 minutes; Facebook.com's audience skews slightly more female than the online population as a whole; the ages of Facebook.com visitors are indicative of the website's strength in the marketplace, with relative parity in distribution of its visit share by age vs. the online population.
More performance measurements include:
* Facebook.com became the #1 ranked website in the U.S. on March 9, 2010.
* "Facebook" is the most searched term in the U.S. and Facebook-related terms account for 14% of the top search clicks.
* Facebook.com users are highly loyal to the website; 96% of visitors to Facebook.com were returning visitors in January 2012.
Read more on Hitwise here: http://tiny.cc/9jfbw
THE 'A-SIDE' - TRACK 5
E-COMMERCE WILL JUMP TO $327 BILLION BY 2016
By 2016, nearly 10% of consumer spending will be done online, according to new estimates from Forrester.
By then, the research group expects U.S. ecommerce sales to reach $327 billion -- up from roughly $200 billion in 2011. Key growth drivers include consumers' greater familiarity with the Web, along with rapid mobile and tablet adoption.
Read the rest here: http://tiny.cc/i5h2t
THE 'A-SIDE' - TRACK 6
IS IT MICHAEL OR ISN'T IT?
When the first posthumous Michael Jackson album, "Michael," was released there was a storm of controversy about whether all the vocals on it were really Michael Jackson.
That controversy was online again this week when Paris Jackson (Michael's daughter) allegedly said to TMZ "It's not him ... the whole album isn't him! Go online ... Go on YouTube and look up Jason Malachi. It's him! ... I should know if it's him or not because he would sing to me all the time."
But in an update on the Huffington Post, Paris then denies she said all that. Read about it al here: http://tiny.cc/omfyn
THE 'A-SIDE' - TRACK 7
HATE THAT NEW UPCOMING FACEBOOK REDESIGN? READ ON,,,
Facebook is forcing its big redesign on everyone -- all 845 million of you. And from the comments, it appears that 844 million Facebook users absolutely despise it.
But with these 5 tricks, you might find it a little less onerous. Check them out here: http://tinyurl.com/6mvubcz
THE 'A-SIDE' - TRACK 8
THE PIRATE BAY DROPS TORRENTS, BUT OF COURSE THERE'S ALWAYS ANOTHER WAY
One of the Internet's largest torrent-downloading sites is no longer offering torrents, but that doesn't mean the site is being shuttered.
Now users can access files with magnet links. Read about that here: http://tiny.cc/zvv83
THE 'A-SIDE' - TRACK 9
JOHN PEEL'S LEGENDARY MUSIC COLLECTION WILL BECOME AN INTERACTIVE MUSEUM
The legendary music collection of British radio pioneer and icon John Peel is being turned into an interactive online museum accessible by the public.
Read about it here: http://tiny.cc/zk4we
THE 'A-SIDE' - TRACK 10
HBO AUDIENCE PREFERS ORIGINAL SHOWS OVER MOVIES
When a ton of mediocre movies are being made every year it's no surprise that people look for quality elsewhere, and many are finding it on their televisions.
That's a big reason why series like PBS' "Downton Abbey," AMC's "Mad Men," "Walking Dead" and "Breaking ," and FX's "Justified" are all success stories.
It's probably the same reason that although HBO still has a library of recent movies available, 75% of subscribers using its streaming service, HBO Go, are watching its original TV shows instead, according to HBO Co-President Eric Kessler.
Read more here: http://tiny.cc/1mft6
THE 'A-SIDE' - BONUS TRACKS
* If you are a Pink Floyd fan, don't miss footage from throughout Pink Floyd's career in the video for "A Pink Floyd Miscellany: 1967-2005," now on VEVO.com. A new box set for 'The Wall' brings us five videos, including a terrific live performance of "Comfortably Numb." There are timelines and notes as each video plays as well. Check it out here: http://tiny.cc/814xm
* If digital audio sounds too sterile and flat to you, the AirVinyl app from Sir George Martin's studio is available to add retro harmonics and ambiance to music played on the iPhone. Check it out here: http://tiny.cc/s37im
* Does your subwoofer suffer from bloated, boomy bass? Or does it sound undernourished and weak? CNET has the cure for your bass blues. http://tiny.cc/wq2bf
Short News Items ...
GRAMMY BEATS OSCAR:
With a crop of films that most of the public hasn't seen, it's no surprise that this year's Grammy Awards telecast on CBS (the best Grammy show in years loaded with great talent) attracted an average of 41.6 million viewers, topped the Academy Awards on ABC, which garnered 37.9 million.
THAT WAS FAST, NEXT!
Madonna bestowed her new single, "Give Me All Your Luvin'," on us during the Super Bowl halftime show, and then Clear Channel radio blasted it. The single dropped to No. 39 on last week's Hot 100 after briefly climbing into the Top 10 the week before. So, despite all the hoopla, it wasn't a hit, So this past Monday, Madonna released "Girl Gone Wild," as the second single from her forthcoming studio album, "MDNA."
MAYER MUSIC INFO:
It's been two years since John Mayer last toured the U.S., but this April the singer/songwriter will be hitting the road in support of his upcoming album, "Born and Raised."
Teen heartthrob for millions of young girls, Justin Bieber, turned 18 on March 1st.
BRUCE ON NPR:
NPR announced it will be offering a webcast and broadcast of Springsteen's SXSW keynote, live and to a worldwide audience on March 15th.
TOTO JOINS IN AND SUES OVER ROYALTIES:
Toto is the latest band to sue their label over unpaid digital royalties. Lawyers representing the group have filed a lawsuit in the U.S. District Court for Southern New York, alleging that Sony has failed to account for and pay 50% of net receipts from licensing the band's music to third parties selling downloads of their work. Similar lawsuits by Kenny Rogers, Peter Frampton and Chuck D of Public Enemy, and now Toto's attorneys are hinging their argument on a precedent set by an Eminem royalty dispute last year establishing that digital sales represent a license, and as such, artists are entitled to 50% of receipts,
IT WAS 19 YEARS AGO THIS WEEK:
Whitney Houston's cover of "I Will Always Love You" sets the record for weeks atop the Billboard charts back on February 27, 1993 after 14 weeks at the top of the Billboard charts, it set the record for the longest run at #1 on the charts.
Chuck Berry was honored alongside Leonard Cohen as the first two recipients of PEN New England's Song Lyrics of Literary Excellence Award Sunday at the John F. Kennedy Library in Boston.
ON THE ROAD AGAIN:
Phish announced that they will return to the road this summer with a tour that includes a special three-night stand in Atlantic City (June 15th-17th) at Bader Field -- the site of Metallica's upcoming festival -- as well as a headlining spot at this year's Bonnaroo in Manchester, TN.
BOSS SHOW AT SWSX FOR A SPECIAL FEW:
The organizers of the SXSW music conference in Austin, TX have announced a special drawing for tickets to an exclusive performance by Bruce Springsteen and the E Street Band at an intimate venue on March 15th. Badge holders, registered artists and SXSW wristband holders who have already obtained their wristbands online are eligible for the drawing.
BUFFALO SPRINGFIELD ON HOLD:
Richie Furay told the audience on WBAI that "Neil (Young) is just fickle ... without the three of us, really there can't be anything that would even resemble a Buffalo Springfield ... I gotta say that we probably lost a little bit of our momentum. That isn't to say it couldn't be picked up again, but I certainly don't see anything happening this year."
CELINE'S HEART WILL GO ON, BUT HER VOICE NEEDS A REST:
Celine Dion has announced the cancellation of 10 shows at The Colosseum at Caesars Palace in Las Vegas through March 18th, due to weakness in her right vocal chord.
SIGNS OF INTELLIGENT LIFE IN THE UNIVERSE ... AT LEAST HERE ON EARTH:
The CBS sitcom "Two and a Half Men" was down 14% in the demo with a 3.6/9, and had 11.8 million total viewers this past week. "Two and a Half Men" and two other CBS comedies hit series lows, according to preliminary numbers. (Source: http://tiny.cc/muf11)
GAGA'S GOOD DOINGS:
Lady Gaga and Oprah Winfrey appeared at an event at Harvard University this week to celebrate the launch of the GaGa's Born This Way Foundation which deals with bullying in schools.
TARGET PULLS GREETING CARD WITH WHITNEY HOUSTON REFERENCE:
A greeting card that pokes fun at Whitney Houston's relationship with bad boy singer Bobby Brown has been removed from Target store shelves after Houston's death earlier this month. The card, which was in stores prior to Houston's Grammy-weekend death, reads: "Next time you think of dating the bad boy, consider Whitney Houston. That's all I'm going to say."
Davy Jones of the Monkees died of an apparent heart attack this week at age 66. Jones had been on a solo tour this month, complained of chest pains on Tuesday evening and was admitted to a hospital in Stuart, Florida on Wednesday morning.
The Music Industry Past, Present & Future, And The Internet I answer questions on EconTalk
I did an interview about the industry and the Internet at EconTalk with host Russ Roberts. Russ is also a professor of economics at George Mason University, blogs at Cafe Hayek, and has written three novels that teach economics. He's also the co-creator of the Keynes-Hayek rap video. (And if your understanding of the economic meltdown that occurred needs to be enlightened, this video will do it)
In the interview we talk about the evolution of the music industry, the impact of the digital revolution, and I give my reasons for believing in the virtues and potential of the Internet in enhancing the music industry. I point out, as I have many times here in the newsletter, that the internet allows numerous artists to make money from their music and it can enhance revenues from live performances by expanding an artist's base. We also discuss the challenges facing record companies and I suggest that the full potential of the Internet as a distribution channel has yet to be fully exploited. There's a lot of ground covered, but based on the comments already posted of those who have tuned in, they've enjoyed it.
Read more about it by clicking here.
Quotes of the week
"What's powerful about this offering is that the music feels free. That's important, because no one wants to pay for music."
-- Muve Music senior director of product John in the Guardian
"Consumers are getting music in a way that feels free, because that's the next best alternative for them anyways - which is to go to a computer, download it and get it illegally. So we need to give them music that feels free and we need to be able to pay the industry and ultimately pay the artists and the writers for the creation of their craft. In other words, forget about selling recorded music by itself, at least outside of niche plays like vinyl and collector's items. The big question has always been how you make money with digital music. The answer is you don't: You do it with other things like a wireless service, and voice, data and text messaging. We feel we've stumbled on something that's a real breakthrough."
-- Muve founder Jeff Toig two weeks ago at SF MusicTech
"You can literally beat the s**t out of a nominee and they'll ask you to perform twice at the Grammys."
-- Seth Rogen, talking about Chris Brown while hosting the Independent Spirit Awards this past Saturday
"The show was so devoid of actual entertainment that bored wags began to follow instant Twitter accounts based on JLosNipple and AngiesRightLeg (nods to celebrity body parts creating a stir from the stage)."
-- TV Guide's Matt Roush commenting on the Oscars
"We're gonna have a vintage sound, 'cause we're going to tape and a lot of good things like that. We're keeping tracks lean, not a lot of overdubs, and like I said, we're using Jack to his fullest. So you're gonna hear some stuff where you might think Aerosmith's back."
-- Steven Tyler, talking about Aerosmith's recording their new album with producer Jack Douglas (Toys in the Attic, Draw the Line) to Rolling Stone
The B-Side - 'Blips'
THE ONION (www.theonion.com) STORY OF THE WEEK:
Intelligent, Condescending Life Discovered In Distant Galaxy
HOUSTON-Marking a momentous leap forward in humankind's understanding of the universe, NASA scientists announced today they had received a radio transmission confirming the existence of intelligent, extremely condescending life in a galaxy nearly 13.8 billion light-years away.
According to officials at the Lyndon B. Johnson Space Center, the message arrived several days after researchers sent a signal to the recently discovered URFy-32924369 galaxy. Members of a highly arrogant alien species responded, saying it was "nice to finally hear from [our] quaint planet" and that it "certainly took [humanity] long enough."
Read the rest here and laugh: Click Here.
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