publisher

Source: http://feeds.gawker.com/~r/gizmodo/vip/~3/8wpGGRzhLC0/one-dmca-notice-took-down-145-million-education-blogs

One DMCA Notice Took Down 1.45 Million Education BlogsWe all know that DMCA notices are kinda dumb, but this is ridiculous: a single takedown request from Pearson, a textbook publisher, took down 1.45 million education blogs in one fell swoop.

Ars Technica reports that Pearson targeted a single page from 2007 that was using copyrighted material. Some form of miscommunication ensued, though, as EduBlogs, the host of the blog in question, found that all of its 1.45 million sites were taken down.

EduBlogs insists it was never given the chance to solve the problem itself—rather, the blogs were taken down by the overarching provider ServerBeach, to whom EduBlogs is a client. The whole problem was sorted in around 60 minutes, but that’s not really the point: rather, it highlights how dumb DMCA notices are and how badly they work. [Ars Technica]

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Tuesday, October 16th, 2012 news No Comments

The App Store Era’s Real Success Story

Source: https://intelligence.businessinsider.com/welcome

Mobile gaming is one of the fastest-growing categories in the sector, led by Apple’s iOS platform and Google’s Android. In particular, social mobile gaming, enabled by always-connected smartphones and the “freemium” revenue model, is particularly strong.

Huge opportunities exist both for small, independent developers and large, established gaming companies. But despite recent momentum, it could be many years before mobile gaming overtakes console gaming in revenue.

The Big Picture

Videogaming is a large and growing industry. Global revenue from videogame software is expected to reach $70 billion worldwide, up from $52 billion in 2011, according to research firm DFC Intelligence. Mobile is expected to contribute 25 percent of that revenue, with PCs generating 39 percent and console-based gaming generating 35 percent.

State Of The Art

Gaming dominates today’s smartphone app economy. In a recent check of Apple’s iPhone App Store, games represented 55 percent of the top 200 paid apps, 33 percent of the top 200 free apps, and 70 percent of the top 200 highest-grossing apps—by far the biggest category. Similarly, in a recent check of Google’s Play store for Android, games represented about 75 percent of the top 200 highest-grossing apps.

iPhone games charts

Of these highest-grossing games, the majority are free, generating revenue through in-app commerce of virtual goods. On the iPhone, for instance, almost 75 percent of the top 140 highest-grossing games were totally f! ree to d ownload, generating all of their revenue through in-app purchases. (Note: Apple does not include advertising revenue and non-iTunes revenue in its calculations.)

The precise amount these apps earn varies by app and by day, but top-10-grossing iPhone apps regularly generate $50,000 to $200,000 in sales per day, a leading app publisher tells us. For more, see the BII report, “How In-App Commerce Drives App Store Success.”

Top-grossing games in each store cover many genres, including collectible virtual cards (Mobage’s Rage of Bahamut), simulations (EA’s The Simpsons: Tapped Out), cards/casino gaming (Poker and Slots by Zynga), social turned-based games (Zynga’s Matching With Friends and Scramble With Friends) and car racing (NaturalMotion’s CSR Racing). Minecraft, a popular computer game, also has top-20 grossing apps in both the iPhone and Android app stores.

Who’s Playing?

One of the driving forces behind mobile gaming is that its audience is broader than hardcore PC or console gaming: It’s attracting a younger and more female audience than traditional gaming, according to a 2011 report from Flurry, a mobile analytics company. That said, the average mobile social gamer also earns over 50 percent more money than the average American, is more than twice as likely to have a college degree, and is more likely to be white or Asian, according to Flurry’s research. The mass-market appeal means mobile gaming has a larger potential audience than PC or console gaming. (More demographic info here from Moco! Space. Also, see this BII chart.)

A Challenge And Opportunity For Incumbents

Mobile gaming has already proven to be a big opportunity for new players like Rovio (of Angry Birds fame) and established gaming firms.

Many of the big videogame firms, including Electronic Arts and Zynga, already have a solid foothold in mobile. But despite a larger potential audience and relative success in the form of multiple hits in the top-grossing lists, mobile still lags in revenue. That’s partially because mobile games cost less, and partially because social games monetize worse on mobile than on the web.

Electronic Arts, for example, generated just 7 percent of its overall revenue from mobile last quarter. But that represented 21 percent year-over-year growth, EA’s second-fastest-growing category after PC gaming. (EA overall declined 4 percent year-over-year. All figures citing GAAP revenue.) Still, the majority of EA’s revenue still comes from Xbox and PlayStation games sold in retail boxes.

EA revenue by type charts

Zynga did not disclose its mobile revenue, but said its mobile footprint increased fivefold year-over-year to 33 million daily active users. Executives admitted that its mobile games monetize poorly relative to web games—generally less than half the r! ate. But they also said that game mix plays a role, adding that one game—Zynga Poker—monetizes as well on mobile as on the web. (“We see no structural reason that mobile can’t monetize as well as the web in the long run.”)

Zynga’s March 2012 purchase of Draw Something and its publisher OMGPOP, however, highlights another trait of the mobile gaming ecosystem: The speed at which a game can become a hit and also lose its momentum. A look at Draw Something’s long-term grossing ranks in the iPhone App Store (via App Annie) and Facebook active user charts suggest Zynga purchased the game/company at the very peak of its popularity.

The question is whether established game publishers will be able to grow mobile revenues fast enough to compensate for declines elsewhere, or if they’ll be leapfrogged by newer, mobile-first and mobile-focused rivals. So far, it’s too early to tell.

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Tuesday, September 4th, 2012 Uncategorized No Comments

Rice University And OpenStax Announce First Open-Source Textbooks

Source: http://techcrunch.com/2012/02/07/rice-university-and-openstax-announce-first-open-source-textbooks/

openstax

When we think about the distribution industry being disrupted, we tend to think about music and movies, whose physical media and vast shipment infrastructure have been rendered mostly obsolete over the last decade. To a lesser extent, we hear about print, and the effect of e-readers and web consumption on books and magazines. No one is making the change particularly gracefully, and the same can be said of the textbook business, which does millions of dollars of business every year selling incredibly expensive items to students — who likely consider them anachronisms.

Rice University, which has been pushing alternative distribution mechanisms for scholarly publications for years, has announced a new initiative, by which they hope to publish free, high-quality textbooks in core subjects like physics and biology via a non-profit publisher called OpenStax College. It’s the polar opposite of Apple’s iBooks textbooks, which, while they too help drag this dusty industry into the present, amount more to a new sales vector for the publishers than competition.

Rice and OpenStax aren’t the first people to propose open-source or free textbooks. There are collections here and there, like Flat World Knowledge and Apple’s iTunes U — but they’re decidedly short on the type of books a freshman might have to buy for their year of survey courses: Biology 1, Physics 1, Sociology 1, Psychology 1. And 11 Learning has a similar idea of collaboration producing a book, but their creation model may not be economically feasible.

And of course there are the many companies that want to remove textbooks from the equation entirely. Setting up textbook platforms on new devices like Kno and Inkling, making an environment for meta-curricular activities and non-traditional learning like Khan Academy, or virtualizing the whole education experience, something with which many universities are tinkering.

But textbooks are still big business, and their utility in the education system is difficult to argue with right now. So OpenStax splits the difference: fueled by grant money from a number of private foundations (i.e. not government grants), they’re putting together full-on textbooks, peer-reviewed, professionally laid out, and all that. These textbooks will be provided for free in file form. But supplementary materials — quizzes, videos, presentations, and the like, presumably — cost money.

It would be petty to call this a bait and switch, since the bulk of the material is being provided for free. And a savvy professor or TA can scrape quite a few supplementary materials from the web already, thanks to those post-textbook services already mentioned. Providing the meat for free and the potatoes for a price is perfectly reasonable.

What remains to be seen is the quality of the textbooks. So far OpenStax has signed up “in the low tens” of colleged and universities to use the books. Institutions probably are waiting to see how the next year or so plays out: everything is in flux and to commit to one platform over another when the true costs and benefits are still unclear would be a bad move.

OpenStax’s first textbooks, for physics and sociology, will be coming in March, with others following later in the year. A strange time to make a debut, in a way, as the school year is well underway and many intro courses won’t be offered. But it will give time for the creaking machinery of academia to notice, acknowledge, examine, and judge the OpenStax offering. It may be that they can demonstrate their agility in fixing, improving, and expanding the content on the fly, which could either impress or terrify nodding faculty members who use the same text for a decade at a time.


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Wednesday, February 8th, 2012 news No Comments

Why Google Is The Grinch Who Stole Your Business

Source: http://www.businessinsider.com/the-grinch-who-stole-your-business-2011-12


Google Sign

It’s that time of year when we all reflect on the past, search our souls and determine what we want for the next year. I’ve been reflecting on what it means to work with a company that controls so much of the market, provides such a broad set of capabilities and delivers such a large percentage of monthly revenues to publishers. Of course, I’m thinking of Google and what their dominance in the ad market means for a publisher’s future and its ability to remain relevant to marketers.

What do we know about Google? They are this great company that gives consumers some of the best digital products available on the Web: search, email, maps, Android, apps and more. This has catapulted Google to the rank of second most valuable brand, behind only Apple, according to Millward Brown. This seems to be great for consumers, but what about the businesses who are now reliant on Google for search and display revenue, advertising technology and various business applications like Google docs, Android OS, Chrome, etc.?

Many of the businesses I meet with hold Google in high regard because of the products they represent and the amount of revenue they provide. However, these businesses are equally concerned about Google’s consumer stranglehold, their influence over the ad ecosystem and their focus on automation, all of which lessens the publishers’ worth in the value chain as a whole. Google’s market dominance stretches well beyond search, which in itself is obviously enormous. This expansive dominance should be alarming for every marketing-related business, including publishers, advertisers and agency and marketing services technologies.  Here are a few stats on Google by category that will likely frighten even the largest of these businesses:

  • 65.38% Share of Search, Oct-11 Hitwise
  • 44.1% Share of Ad revenue, Oct-11 PCMag
  • 43.8% Share for Video, Oct-11 Comsccore
  • 30.03% Share for Travel, Oct-11 Comscore
  • 22.38% Share for Automotive, Oct-11 Comscore
  • 18.69% Share for Shopping, Oct-11 Comscore
  • 16.29% Share for Health, Oct-11 Comscore

If these stats weren’t enough to dampen your holiday spirit, Google now is even prioritizing their own products above the paid search listings on their search engine. This creates a major conflict for the advertisers that have made Google what it is today and may force those clients to pay even more if their advertising is to remain competitive in this new bidding landscape. Google clearly is leveraging its position of power with consumers to launch new products and ensure their own success. The latest example of this is the promotion of their Chrome browser on the Google homepage. As you can see from the chart below, Chrome is rocketing to the position of #1 browser, a rank it is projected to achieve by June 2012.

Google is now a major threat to every business in the publishing and advertising marketplace. In the short term, while they may appear to be a superior partner that provides revenue and marketing innovation, I believe that over the long term they are eroding the value of each and every business in the media sales and publishing value chain. And, worst of all, they are charging heavily for the privilege. I’d estimate that for every dollar spent by an advertiser in the media buying process, Google captures upwards of 25% in tolls (via their various ad services, DFA, Invite, DFP, AdX, Motif, Admeld, etc.), thereby minimizing revenue and profits for publishers and other vendors along the way

So as you reflect on 2011 and consider whom you want to partner with in 2012, give some thought to the short versus the long term. What is your value proposition to clients? And who do you ultimately want to run your business … the Grinch or You?

Have a great holiday and Happy New Year!

The views expressed here reflect the views of the author alone, and do not necessarily reflect the views of 24/7 Real Media, its affiliates, subsidiaries or its parent company, WPP plc

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Tuesday, December 27th, 2011 news No Comments

Facebook Owns 95% Of Social Networking Time

Source: http://www.businessinsider.com/chart-of-the-day-facebook-owns-95-of-social-networking-time-2011-12


Facebook accounts for 95% of social networking time on the web in the U.S. according to an analysis of comScore data provided to us by web publisher Ben Elowitz of Wetpaint.

(We would think this holds for mobile, but it’s possible Twitter has more of a hold there than on the desktop.)

Elowitz’s takeaway from the data: “There’s now no question that ‘social’ means ‘Facebook.'” And if you want to be in front of consumers, you have to figure out a way to be in their Facebook news feed.

This is important for Facebook, since it just announced plans to insert ads into users news feeds. If publishers agree with Elowitz, then it could be the big revenue generator Facebook needs to sustain itself for the next ten years.

chart of the day, minutes spent on social newtworking sites, dec 20 2011

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Tuesday, December 20th, 2011 news No Comments

Here’s How Traders Did Flipping Groupon, LinkedIn, And Pandora Stock On IPO Day (GRPN, LNKD, P)

Source: http://www.businessinsider.com/chart-of-the-day-heres-how-traders-did-flipping-groupon-linkedin-and-pandora-stock-on-ipo-day-2011-11

IPOs are rigged. They’re set up so that the banks who underwrite them can get their best clients in before the stock inevitably pops.

This reality does not, however, keep traders from trying to take advantage of that pop. It doesn’t always work out.

For example, according to SigFig, most people who bought and then sold Groupon stock during its IPO lost money.  Just more than 1.16% of them got a 10% return.

Traders who played the IPO game with LinkedIn were more likely to be winners. Only ~5% of them lost money. A tiny slice of them – 0.76% – actually doubled their investment.

SigFig made a cool chart to illustrate all this:

COTD Groupon

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Thursday, November 17th, 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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