Unleashing the Streaming Money Channel

November 21, 2014
On the topic of monetizing online video, two media moguls uttered several words during the recent Goldman Sachs “Communicopia” conference, which could overhaul the revenue model for streaming video and for the media world. The topic was streaming premium cable networks directly to consumers as a subscription service without viewers having to sign up for cable or satellite TV. The chairmen and CEOs of two giant media companies revealed that they were considering it, without committing to any details. Jeff Bewkes of Time Warner, which owns HBO, said “the broadband-only opportunity up until now wasn’t [viable.]” While Les Moonves of CBS, which owns Showtime...

Is Facebook Your Competitive Weapon of Choice?

November 18, 2014
I am often asked for guiding principles to muscle up a company’s sales, marketing and brand offense smartly designed to polarize competitors off their game; forcing them into a bulwark posture of market defense. Easy words to articulate, but in fact rather complicated to business comport based upon so many varying company brand, product, manufacturing, advertising, channel, pricing and market share dynamics. Since your brand is your promise—and no brand stands competitively alone—your sales and brand offense should articulate your proud advantages. In essence, the value of your brand means...

2014 CE Hall of Fame: Walter Mossberg

October 21, 2014
(1947- )Technology Reporter, The Wall Street Journal   Frenemies Steve Job and Bill Gates didn’t make public appearances together. When Microsoft made its famously unexpected $150 million investment in the revived Apple in 1997, Bill Gates showed up at MacWorld via satellite feed rather than live. But after phone call to each of the two pillars of personal computing from Wall Street Journal tech columnist Walt Mossberg, both appeared on stage together for a now legendary joint interview at his fifth All Things Digital 5 conference in May 2007.   Declared by The Washington Post as “one of the most powerful men in the high-tech world” and “a one-man...

HBO Announces Stand-Alone Service

October 17, 2014
HBO recently announced that it will offer an online streaming video service that will not require consumers to have a separate cable subscription. In the past, HBO GO was an additional service for consumers who already had a subscription to HBO through cable, satellite or other, but now they are cutting the cord. HBO Chairman and CEO Richard Pleper announced that this service will begin in 2015 and described it as “a stand-alone, over-the-top, HBO service.” This announcement blossomed from the rise in popularity of Netflix, Amazon Prime, Hulu and over-the-top (OTT) content. In order to compete with these services, HBO decided to expand its service. Not long after HBO...

2014 CE Hall of Fame: Gerald M. “Jerry” McCarthy

October 14, 2014
It probably surprised a lot of people – especially his Jewish customers – but Jerry McCarthy, the son of an Irish immigrant, spoke and understood a little Yiddish. It probably also surprised a lot of people that McCarthy modestly describes himself merely as a “peddler.” But McCarthy was more than just a peddler or a gifted linguist; he was instrumental in launching some of the industry’s most innovative products during his 30-year career at Zenith and helped radically alter the ways consumer electronics products were distributed and sold.   A native of Chicago, McCarthy was born June 13, 1941, and got into sales as soon as he discovered how much he...

What Is Driving Gaming?

October 10, 2014
The eighth generation of video game consoles promises to drive sales through the 2014 holiday season. CEA takes an in-depth look at trends in the gaming industry in the recent study The Future of Gaming. While video game consoles continue to be the most popular option among gamers, the growing popularity of gaming on mobile devices is an area to watch. With smartphone and tablet ownership at their highest rates, they are fast becoming the gaming devices of choice for many consumers.          

Video Games: Power-Up for Retailer Profits

October 10, 2014
Video games are a perennial consumer favorite for holiday tech gifts and a much anticipated power-up for retailer traffic and revenues. Noticeably, the new eighth-generation console platforms lifted annual shipment revenues 16.4 percent to nearly $17 billion last year, according to CEA. This opened an exciting new chapter in the CE market; not only for consumer entertainment, but an opportunity for CE retailers and manufacturers alike. However, 2014 has brought disruption to the gaming sector. Witness the new crop of digital media set-top boxes like Amazon Fire TV and Google’s coming Android ...

2014 CE Hall of Fame: James “Cowboy” Maloney

October 07, 2014
(1911-1976)Founder, Cowboy Maloney’s Electric City Super Stores   “Cowboy” Maloney was not really a cowboy. He actually started out in show business, owned a gas station, did construction work and finally bought a lumber yard in Jackson, Mississippi. But when the TV boom hit in the early 1950s, Maloney discovered a more profitable source of income. Maloney built his eponymous electronics business so successfully that “Cowboy” Maloney’s Electric City was chosen to be the first retailer to launch DirecTV and Sirius Satellite Radio.   James C. Maloney was born in Jackson, Mississippi, on October 30, 1911, the oldest of four brothers. His...

Whirlwind Dealmaking

October 06, 2014
Several big deals for new over-the-top (OTT) content are providing an extra boost for the digital entertainment market. The Microsoft agreement with McDonalds to produce Every Street United, the first Xbox original series (also available on Windows 8 devices), offered a content marketing showcase, tied to the summer World Cup games. At the same time, Yahoo! confirmed plans to pick up the sixth season of the sitcom Community, which NBC had cancelled. And Awesomeness TV now has the rights to create short animated productions based on properties such as Shrek owned by DreamWorks Animation, which acquired Awesomeness for $33 million last year. The breathless pace of content deals has...
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