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CHART OF THE DAY: The Microsoft Online Money Pit (MSFT)


Microsoft‘s money pit is not nearly as nasty as it used to be!

This quarter it reported a $262 million loss. For most companies this would be terrifying. For Microsoft, it’s good news. It means Microsoft’s online division is getting much better.

The last time Microsoft’s online operation looked like this was five years ago.

Microsoft’s head of investor relations noted in a call with us that revenue was up 18% on a year-over-year basis, with online advertising growing 22%.

We asked when this loss would be zero. He dodged the question saying Microsoft will continue to be responsible, but it might have to make investments in cloud and service infrastructure.

Chart of the day shows microsoft online operating income, april 2013


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Thursday, April 18th, 2013 news No Comments

Roku passes 5 million players sold in the US, shows off with a few more stats


Roku passes 5 million players sold

Five years after the original Roku launched and just weeks after the release of the Roku 3, the company has announced lifetime US sales of 5 million units. The proclamation comes attached to a detailed infographic (linked below) that breaks down its last five years of progress, plus stats like where it’s most popular (Lexington, KY) and the most minutes streamed by one player in one week (10,080.) That’s quite a marathon session — Lost plus House of Cards doesn’t even get you halfway — but its stats claim 25 percent of players stream more than 35 hours per week.

The last time we checked in on Roku sales, it was chasing the million unit mark alongside Apple’s hobby. The Apple TV has since risen to 5 million sold in the last fiscal year, buoyed by the AirPlay feature that makes it an attractive accessory for the company’s other devices. To Roku’s favor, it claims 43 percent of owners say it’s their preferred source of video for their TV. It’s come a long way from its start as a Netflix Player with more than 750 channels available including Time Warner Cable and HBO Go, which makes CEO Anthony Wood’s claim that the “future of TV is streaming” look closer than ever.

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Source: Roku Blog, Roku 5 Million

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Wednesday, April 10th, 2013 news No Comments

Groupon Is Crushing Its Closest Rival (GRPN)


Groupon is still the dominant daily deals company by a long shot, says analytics company Forsee. It surveyed 10,000 visitors to the top 40 retail sites to find out if they use Daily Deal sites, and if so, which ones.

Of those that subscribe to daily deals, 50% bought a Groupon in the last 90 days versus 25% for LivingSocial. The survey was done over the holiday period. Both sites are up from the last time Forsee did similar research.

That’s good for them, because the daily deal business as a whole is getting smaller.

chart grpn

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Friday, March 9th, 2012 news No Comments

Google+ Grows Worldwide Users From 65 Million In October To 67 Million In November



There are lots of third-party guesstimates floating around about Google+ traffic. Are users losing interest like search trends seem to show? Has the service grown to 150 million active users like this research firm thinks? I’ve gotten new numbers from comScore, which is arguably the best third-party measurement firm for web traffic in the world.

It shows that Google+ grew from 65 million unique visitors in October to nearly 67 million in November. This is purely based on traffic to the subdomain, comScore’s Andrew Lipsman tells me today. So it doesn’t include the many Google+ feature injections that the search company has administered to its other properties over the last months. Some people have suggested that Google+ is as barren as a desert — this is at least an oasis.

Here’s how the service stacked up against competitors last month.

The depressing significance for those people out there wishing for Google+ to either die off or kill their rivals is that neither appears to be happening. Just some slow and steady growth, which is overall good for Google considering the vast resources and focus that it’s bringing to bear on the effort. Ultimately, Google+ doesn’t have to dominate now, it just needs to keep growing and getting better over the coming years in order to be a real alternative to Facebook and everyone else.

And now, the usual data caveat: Obviously comScore, like any other third-party, doesn’t have the same access to data as Google itself, so don’t assume these numbers are 100% right. But still they’re worth paying attention to, since Google doesn’t share much about how it’s doing. The last time the company released anything, it said it had 40 million registered users during its earnings call in October. That’s not directly comparable to this, but could indicate that there’s been more significant growth over the fall. Also, for more on worldwide social networking trends, check out our coverage of comScore’s 2011 social report from yesterday.

[Oasis image via Freshpics]

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Friday, December 23rd, 2011 news No Comments

Dr. Augustine Fou is Digital Consigliere to marketing executives, advising them on digital strategy and Unified Marketing(tm). Dr Fou has over 17 years of in-the-trenches, hands-on experience, which enables him to provide objective, in-depth assessments of their current marketing programs and recommendations for improving business impact and ROI using digital insights.

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