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...

The Revenue Reality of Fantasy

September 26, 2014
Football season is in full swing, which means we’ll be cheering for our teams on Sundays while constantly sneaking peeks at our fantasy football matchup.Fantasy football is a booming market and, according to the Fantasy Sports Trade Association (FSTA), its 32 million players spend about $15 billion participating in leagues ($5 billion more than the NFL’s annual revenue). As the industry progresses, technology has helped make life easier for fantasy owners. Technology is the primary way for owners to manage their teams. Mobile platforms from CBSSports.com and ESPN have made it easier for users to check on their team on-the-go. This also opens the door for app developers to...

Five Ways to Attract Funding

September 19, 2014
Small businesses that want to raise funds frequently face a chicken-and-egg scenario: How do they secure investment dollars when they often need those same dollars to prove just how successful their business can be? Luckily, even with so many firms vying for a limited share of financiers’ attention and wallets, securing potential patrons doesn’t have to be a difficult process. The following are five tips that firms of every size can use to pique investors’ attention and gain the leverage they need to broker better deals. 1. Build recurring revenue. Businesses that can create reliable income streams (e.g. via subscriptions, licenses and renewable agreements) instantly...

A Developing Divergence

September 18, 2014
U.S. households finally appear to be recovering from the recession. After dipping during the recession, average annual income and average annual expenditures are now above 2008 levels. But beneath a promising surface, average annual income and spending have significant implications for consumer electronics (CE) manufacturers and retailers.We know that average household incomes are not actually even distributions across all households. The top quintile—or top 20 percent—of household incomes represents about 50 percent of total U.S. household income while the bottom quintile is roughly just three percent, and the bottom two quintiles are only 11.5 percent. The difference between...

Cents or Nonsense?

September 05, 2014
We are fortunate to be time traveling through this creative gale of global innovative risk takers shaking up our senses through a multitude of glowing glass pylons in different flavors, sizes and shapes. Our robust electronics business climate—polarized by fresh competitive technology enhancements—fuels the great digital divide, creating nail biting losses for some, while ensuring wealthy success stories for others. Welcome to the world of cents and nonsense where consumers cannot resist another piece of glowing, cloud-connected glass at the right price and place, with the right...

2014 CE Hall of Fame: C.W. Conn

September 03, 2014
(1930-2004) President and Chairman of the Board, Conn’sWhen C.W. Conn took over the reins from his father of their eponymous Texas-based appliance stores, Conn’s had four stores and $4 million in sales volume. Under Conn’s leadership, and despite the growth of national big box competitors, Conn’s grew exponentially; at its peak, the regional chain consisted of more than five dozen stores in five states generating nearly $500 million in annual sales revenue.   The business that became Conn’s was a Beaumont, Texas, plumbing and heating company founded in 1890. Early in the Depression, the business failed and it was taken over by a local bank. It was...

Jack Wayman (1922-2014)

September 02, 2014

Digital Interactivity in Publications

August 28, 2014
By Denny WhiteThe magazine publishing industry has had more innovation and change in the last ten years than in the previous 100 years. Driving this change has been the threat and opportunity offered by the Internet. As more eyeballs and advertising transition to the digital landscape, the traditional magazine print business model has been disrupted. Many magazines with a digital edition use formats that largely replicate a print edition, however, some enhanced digital editions, use the full creative power of the Internet to produce an immersive, personal experience for a reader that is different from print. Last year, the American Society of Business Publication Editors chose the...
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