Monthly Archives: September 2011

$500 Billion TV Market New Battlefield For Internet Companies


The Internet is finally upending the mother of all content markets, the $500 billion TV market. Cigar-chomping East Coast incumbents like Comcast and Time Warner Cable pitted against left coast tech giants like Google, Apple and intrepid TV mogul wannabes.

We’ve seen this in other content markets (see books and music). Distribution usually dies first. Borders and Tower Records died in the books and music battles. However the stakes in this battle are bigger, a lot bigger. Incumbents are better prepared, bring more to the table, and are more aggressive.

It’s unclear that if or which distributors in the TV battle will be victimized as easily. Yet clearly companies are going to die. People are going to get hurt. It’s going to be great.

The Battlefield

Couch potatoes now watch 5 hours of TV a day. $500 billion worth of staring. Sure Facebook and the Internet are making inroads but TV viewing just keeps growing. And now it’s going digital.

Digital means distribution becomes diffused. You can get a drink of True Blood on your computer, through a game box, on your tablet, through a satellite, from the phone company (they just won’t die), and of course from the cable guys. Cable guys had a lock but their choke hold is breaking. (The fact that the cable and telco guys are also now your ISP might extend the choke hold through the rest of the decade via control of data.) This diffusion of distribution gives players like Google and Netflix a shot at the market and the customer relationship.


The TV business is getting upended due to a number of trends. Here are a few big ones.

1. Users are acclimating to movies and television outside of their cable box as distribution of digital video breaks out.

2. Tablets and Internet connected TV do a better job of merging traditional video and the Internet. Watching movies at your desk wasn’t cool or fun. Web-based movies really didn’t take off until Netflix broke into the living room via game boxes. But now that Netflix has blazed a trail the big guys will pile on.

3. With multiple sources and modes of viewing, consumers will expect a unified experience across TV, mobile, and the web. This puts Verizon, AT&T, Google, and Apple in interesting if slightly different positions. They are the only players who span all three arenas. (more…)

The Business Of Michael Jordan Is Booming

Kurt Badenhausen, Forbes Staff

More than 50 million kids have been born in the U.S. since Michael Jordan won his sixth championship with the Chicago Bulls before retiring for a second time after the 1997-98 season. It has been eight years since Jordan took his last shot for the Washington Wizards and retired from the NBA for a third time.

Picture of Michael Jordan at a basketball game.
Image via Wikipedia

Yet even out of the spotlight, the business of Michael Jordan has never been better. We estimate that Jordan earned $60 million over the past year mainly through his endorsement deals with Nike, Gatorade, Hanes, Upper Deck, 2K Sports and Five Star Fragrances. He also owns five restaurants and a car dealership in North Carolina. His annual earnings are greater than any other sports figure save Tiger Woods who topped our world’s highest-paid athletes this year.

At Jordan’s peak during his playing career, he was making $50 million off the court through sponsorships. He also banked $63 million in combined salary during his last two years with the Bulls.

Gatorade, Hanes and Upper Deck have been long-time Jordan sponsors. 2K Sports signed up Jordan last year to be the cover athlete of NBA 2K11. It sold five million copies making it the No. 1 selling NBA videogame. Jordan is back on the cover of this year’s game and recently inked a multi-year deal with 2K Sports.

When it comes to Jordan’s annual earnings, Nike is his meal ticket and why his endorsement earnings are now higher than when he played. Jordan signed a five-year, $2.5 million pact with Nike in 1984 out of college. The Jordan Brand exploded and now has annual revenues of more than $1 billion with MJ getting a piece of the action. Athletes in the Jordan stable include Derek Jeter, Dwyane Wade, Carmelo Anthony and Denny Hamlin. The Jordan Brand’s market share of the U.S. basketball shoe market is 71% according to SportsOneSource. The rest of Nike holds 22%, while Adidas and Reebok account for just 3% and 2% respectively.

A decade worth of athletes has had the chance to eclipse Michael Jordan in the minds of the consumer. Yet even out of the spotlight Jordan remains the sports personality with the greatest endorsement chops in the U.S.

Nielsen and E-Poll Market Research produce an N-Score for celebrities that measures appeal, likability and awareness. No athlete comes close to matching MJ’s stats who has an N-Score of 682, nearly 300 points higher than any other sports figure. His 71% awareness is among the highest in sports (only Tiger Woods, OJ Simpson and Mike Tyson rank higher and not necessarily for the right reasons). His personality attributes score off the charts and he rates as being liked by 93% of people surveyed. Compare that to LeBron James who 49% of respondents say they dislike.

Part of Jordan’s lasting appeal rests on his ability to skirt anything controversial which is something LeBron has not mastered. “Jordan stayed above the fray,” says Stephen Master, who heads Nielsen’s sports practice. “Republicans buy shoes, too,” Jordan reportedly quipped to a friend on why he wouldn’t endorse a black Democratic candidate, Harvey Gantt, in a 1990 North Carolina Senate race against Republican Jesse Helms. (more…)

What Makes Russell Simmons So Successful?

By Tiffany Black
Sep 21, 2011

Russell Simmons is recognized globally for his influence and entrepreneurial approach to both business and philanthropy. As co-founder of Def Jam Recordings, founder of the Phat Farm clothing line, and author of the best-selling book, Do You! 12 Laws to Access the Power in You to Achieve Happiness and Success, Simmons is the quintessential serial entrepreneur. He spoke with‘s Tiffany Black about his controversial financial services business, the return of Def Comedy, and how he finds balance through meditation.

You have started a lot of businesses. How did you know when it was time to sell or to walk away?
I start a business and no one understands it. I work the hardest and then somebody else comes along and they start to get it. Eventually there are a few people that share the vision, then a whole team who get it. Usually a few people on the team emerge and they are much smarter in that business than me, which is exciting. My attention or focus may change a bit and then I have those guys telling me what to do more than me telling them. And that’s usually about the time I start making phone calls to set them up because they are really doing a better job at it than me or they have a handle on it. It doesn’t necessarily mean that I’m going to sell, it just means I’m less attached.

I’m attached when I’m really building something. I am attached to my financial services company. I see all kinds of creative things that have to be done. I wish I had 10 times the development team. I’m always looking to hire people to help develop programs for my financial services company [UniRush Financial Services], which is my virtual bank and financial well-being business. (more…)

Report: The Power of the African-American Consumer

September 22, 2011

African-Americans’ buying power is expected to reach $1.1 trillion by 2015, according to The State of the African-American Consumer from Nielsen and the National Newspaper Publishers Association (NNPA), a federation of more than 200 Black community newspapers across the U.S. This growing economic potential presents an opportunity for Fortune 500 companies to examine and further understand this important, flourishing market segment. Likewise, when consumers are more aware of their buying power, it can help them make informed decisions about the companies they choose to support.

“Too often, companies don’t realize the inherent differences of our community, are not aware of the market size impact and have not optimized efforts to develop messages beyond those that coincide with Black History Month,” said Cloves Campbell, chairman, NNPA. (more…)

Univision Finishes 2010-11 Season As the Only Top Five network to Deliver Audience Increases in Key Demos while ABC, CBS, NBC and FOX Reported Audience Declines

Posted on: September 22nd, 2011

Top Spanish-Language Network is #1 Broadcaster, Regardless of Language, for Summer 2011, and #2 Year-to-Date Among Adults 18-34

Univision last week was the #1 network for the third consecutive Friday among Adults 18-49 and for the 25th consecutive Friday night among Adults 18-34

Univision Broadcast Prime Highlights – Week of September 12, 2011 to September 18, 2011

•For the complete 2010-11 Season, Univision posts the highest year-to-year primetime audience increases among Adults 18-49 (+6%) while the English-language broadcast networks are reporting audience declines (ABC -8%, CBS -8%, NBC -10%, and FOX -6%); Univision also delivered the largest audience increase among Total Viewers 2+ (+5%) and Adults 18-34 (+4%). (more…)

How Many Apps Are Too Many?

SEPTEMBER 22, 2011

80% of tablet apps are discovered through app stores

The tablet app marketplace is expanding quickly—the Apple App Store alone has more than 90,000 apps for the iPad. Although many marketers are rushing to get their tablet apps to market, usage data indicates that consumers regularly use a limited number of apps.

Moreover, the number of apps a mobile device owner has downloaded does not necessarily reflect app usage. Among tablet owners who have downloaded just a few apps, 95% said they use them on a regular basis, according to GfK MRI. Only 37% of tablet owners who have downloaded 10 or more apps regularly use them, and that percentage shrinks further when users own more than 20 apps.

Regular Tablet App Usage Among US Tablet Owners, by Apps Installed, 2011 (% of respondents)

Tablet app usage largely mirrors smartphone app usage. According to a study by IDG Global Solutions (IGS), the majority of mobile phone owners use fewer than 7 apps on a regular basis. Only 17% of respondents said they regularly use more than 10 apps. (more…)

UAE plans to world media destination

    United Arab Emirates: Tuesday, September 20 – 2011

A top media official in Dubai has said the UAE is exerting all efforts to become a major destination for world media, Gulf News has reported. Ahmad Abdullah Al Shaikh, Director-General of Dubai Government Media Office and Managing Director of Dubai Media Incorporated has added, during a meeting with Russell Haworth, general manager, Thomson Reuters Foundation for the Middle East and Africa, that the Gulf country is keen to support media institutions to operate transparently as it believes in having an open media.

Over 60% of US connected TV homes use apps

Broadband TV News
September 27, 2011

08.09 Europe/London, September 15, 2011 By Robert Briel

US consumers who own smart TVs are now rapidly adopting online TV applications that are integrated into their connected TVs. A new In-Stat survey estimates that over 60% of these connected households will use a TV app at least once per week.

“As expected, Netflix and YouTube currently dominate the TV application space,” said Keith Nissen, research director. “But as Netflix competitors become more numerous and as applications are optimized for the big screen, TV apps will become part of the mainstream TV viewing experience.”

Updated research found the following: shipments of connected TVs with integrated TV applications will grow by an average 36% over the next five years; 22% of US broadband households already own an HDTV with integrated TV apps.

TV apps are not the primary reason for purchasing connected TVs; adoption of online video streaming services, such as Netflix, does not increase the propensity to purchase online video content.

The viewing of PVR recorded TV programming does not lead to the adoption of free VOD services from a pay TV operator.Consumers favouring subscriptions to both pay-TV and online video services rose from 18% to 30% during 2010, contributing to the continued growth of Netflix.

7 Things You Need to Know About ‘Social TV’ Right Now


The State of the Art — and Science — of Monitoring Social-Media Chatter About TV

Bluefin Labs mapped social chatter about Mountain Dew to TV that Dew fans also buzzed about. Click here for details.

1. TV owns social
For more than two years now, has had an editorial partnership with Trendrr, the social-media-monitoring company. Trendrr, which was born in 2006 as Infofilter, grew out of Wiredset, a Manhattan digital-marketing agency founded by Mark Ghuneim and Tom Donohue in 2004 (the same year Mark Zuckerberg was launching what was then out of his Harvard dorm room, and two years before Twitter fluttered to life). Ad Age partnered with Trendrr to create weekly online EKG charts of rising and falling tweet volume surrounding memes that were dominating Twitter conversations. Back in the summer of 2009, we tracked everything from Sonia Sotomayor (then a nominee for the Supreme Court) to “Glee” to Major League Baseball to “True Blood.”

Over time, it dawned on us that more than anything else, TV was driving social. Sotomayor would trend on Twitter only when her confirmation hearings were being televised; a specific team would trend because it was doing great (or sucking) in the game being broadcast at that very moment on ESPN; during prime-time hours in the U.S. and the U.K., Twitter’s trending topics list would be all but taken over by TV-related chatter. You could get a real-time take on “Glee” viewers’ level of delight over the most deliciously nasty things uttered by Jane Lynch’s Sue Sylvester character because fans would dutifully thumb-type their favorite bits of dialogue right into their Twitter streams. (In fact, it started to seem like “Glee” writers were writing as much for Twitter as for TV.) (more…)

31% of U.S. Adults Prefer to Be Reached by Text Message [STUDY]

September 19, 2011

Almost one-third of U.S. adults prefer to be reached by text message rather than a voice call on their mobile phone, according to a study by the Pew Research Center’s Internet and American Life Project.

Three-quarters (73%) of U.S. adults text and 83% of U.S. adults are mobile phone owners.


The study found that when it comes to a preferred method of contact, 31% of adults would choose a text message, 51% would choose a voice call and 14% say it depends on the situation. Fifty-five percent of heavy texters — those who exchange 50 messages or more a day — prefer texting to talking. This is the first year Pew has polled the preferred contact method, says the study’s lead researcher Aaron Smith.

“It’s fun to collect a trend but asking new stuff is always really exciting, because we never really know what to expect.” Smith says, admitting he prefers to receive text messages.

Young adults between 18-24 text most frequently, sending on average 109.5 messages each day or 3,200 texts each month. The average mobile phone user in that group sends or receives 50 texts each day or 1,500 texts each month.

The findings also reveal that mobile usage has leveled off among the U.S. adult population. These statistics are very similar to 2010′s results. On average, 41.5 texts are sent or received on a given day. The average adult sends or receives 10 texts each day. Cellphone users make or receive 12 calls on average each day.

The survey polled 2,277 adults over age 18, between April 26 and May 22. The margin of error for the survey is plus or minus 2.3% and plus or minus 2.7% among mobile phone users.

How do you prefer for people to contact you on your mobile phone? Let us know in the comments.