Archive for the ‘Uncategorized’ Category

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Music Industry: Vinyl Sales

Posted: November 7, 2017 in Uncategorized

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Vinyl album sales in the United States increased by 1,200 percent over the past ten years. That’s a fact. It is also the basis for many reports celebrating the comeback of the LP as a counterpart to the soulless bits and bytes music is often reduced to these days. But how big is the comeback of the big black disc really? Should we all dust off our old record players to prepare for the future of music?

Not really. According to Nielsen’s 2016 year-end music report, LPs accounted for no more (but also no less) than 6.5 percent of album sales in the United States. When accounting for streaming and downloads of single tracks, that number drops to 2.3 percent of total music consumption – not exactly the lion’s share.

However small the impact of rising LP sales on the music industry’s bottom line may be, it’s still interesting to witness a hundred year-old technology come back from near extinction. Let’s hope the video cassette stays buried in the back rooms of (probably out of business) video rental stores.

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The top iPhone app in America at the moment is called #TBH, teenspeak for “To Be Honest”. The app, used by teenagers to compliment one another, is so popular that Facebook just bought it. For more on TBH, see this story, “Facebook just bought THB, an app teens are obsessed with”. 

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American newspapers have shed nearly half of their staffs in the past decade. How can they survive? Some have been successful selling digital descriptions. More good new came with the “Trump bump”. See this article in The Economist: “How leading American newspapers got people to pay for news”.  For the New York times as a case study, see “The New York Times is nearing its goal of $800 million digital business”.

Also see this article in the New Yorker: “Journalism’s broken business model won’t be solved by billionaires”. 

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Merchandising: Netflix Next?

Posted: October 18, 2017 in Uncategorized

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Netflix added 5.3 million subscribers in the past three months, bringing its total to 109 million subscribers. Netflix currently generates most of its revenue from streaming, but it recently entered into a partnership with Target that could mark the birth of an important new business for the company: licensed merchandise. As Netflix continues to invest heavily into original content, it creates immensely popular brands that might as well be monetized in every possible way. During an interview CEO Reed Hastings changed into an “ugly Christmas sweater” that was immediately recognizable for fans of the hit show “Stranger Things”. “We’re learning how to do merchandising”, Hastings noted and, as the chart above illustrates, that lesson could prove very worthwhile in the long run. Licensed merchandise is a billion-dollar business and Netflix’s growing portfolio of cult shows and characters should be easily marketable.

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