Activision Ships $1 Billion Worth of New ‘Call of Duty’ Game

Gamers have opted to hold off on purchasing some high-profile games until Sony and Microsoft release their next-gen consoles. The PlayStation 4 is scheduled to launch November 15 and the Xbox One will be available November 22. Although consumers are showing hesitation ahead of the new hardware launches, Activision Blizzard has shipped $1 billion worth of “Call of Duty: Ghosts” to retailers worldwide. “Call of Duty: Black Ops II” earned $1 billion in 15 days when it was released last year. Continue reading Activision Ships $1 Billion Worth of New ‘Call of Duty’ Game

Amazon to Release First Original Series for Video Streaming

The first of Amazon’s original series will debut this month, and the selection process by the retail giant for determining which shows made the cut is unlike any traditional decision-making most networks go through. Amazon is minimizing risk by assessing data outlining early viewership for a group of pilot episodes, and “Alpha House,” a political comedy written by “Doonesbury” comic strip creator Garry Trudeau and featuring John Goodman and Bill Murray, was the biggest hit. Continue reading Amazon to Release First Original Series for Video Streaming

Musicians Using Pop-Up Stores to Generate Buzz for Albums

Musical acts looking to attract greater attention around the time of an album release are opening “pop-up” stores, which are temporary venues that seem to surface out of nowhere. They most often are constructed in an urban location, typically in an already existing retail store of some kind, and sometimes close after only 24 hours. Various artists, such as One Direction and Bob Dylan, have recently used pop-up stores to promote music and sell merchandise to fans. Continue reading Musicians Using Pop-Up Stores to Generate Buzz for Albums

Twitter Now More Popular Than Facebook Amongst Teenagers

According to Piper Jaffray’s 26th semi-annual teen market research report, Twitter is now a more important social network than Facebook for many teens. The report suggests that 26 percent of teenagers call Twitter their most significant social media site, while 23 percent claim their most important site to be Facebook, down from a high of 42 percent. However, Twitter is not without competition; the photo-sharing site Instagram, for example, is also doing well amongst teens. Continue reading Twitter Now More Popular Than Facebook Amongst Teenagers

Sony Launches Shareable Extras to Inspire Movie Purchases

In an effort to encourage more digital movie sales, Sony’s new initiative, Vudu Extras+, is letting people who buy movies via Walmart’s online video service share extras like behind-the-scenes footage on Facebook and Twitter. The idea is that if added bonus content is available, people will be willing to pay for it — and happy to share. Sony says 40 percent of people who buy Blu-ray discs usually watch the extras, which is reason enough to offer this new option. Continue reading Sony Launches Shareable Extras to Inspire Movie Purchases

New Study: Facebook Ad Profit Higher with iOS than Android

A study by Nanigans, one of the largest buyers of Facebook ads, indicates that mobile ads on Apple’s iPhones generate 1,790 percent more ROI than mobile ads on Android devices. The study, which looked at more than 200 billion ads on Facebook with a focus on retailers, suggests that mobile advertising on Android actually costs more than it returns. The study also notes that Facebook’s desktop ads over the past year experienced a 375 percent increase in click-throughs and 152 percent jump in overall ROI. Continue reading New Study: Facebook Ad Profit Higher with iOS than Android

Login and Pay with Amazon: Potential Competition for PayPal?

Amazon launched a new service this week that helps streamline transactions between online merchants and customers. “Login and Pay with Amazon” allows online businesses to implement a login/pay system using existing Amazon accounts so that customers can easily go from browsing to buying using their Amazon account information. Not to be outdone, PayPal announced an upgrade to its mobile app called Payment Code that interacts with existing barcode scanners and PIN pads. Continue reading Login and Pay with Amazon: Potential Competition for PayPal?

Facebook Targets Neglected Mobile Apps with New Ad Service

Facebook announced a new ad service this week that addresses the problem of neglected mobile apps. The service enables companies and developers to distribute targeted ads that remind consumers to open apps on smartphones that have been downloaded, but are rarely used. Facebook hopes to generate new revenue by targeting mobile app neglect. The company has already built a business to help companies get their apps discovered and downloaded; its app discovery ads have 145 million downloads. Continue reading Facebook Targets Neglected Mobile Apps with New Ad Service

Google Introduces Tokyo to Android Game Vending Machines

Japan has vending machines for a wide array of products — from batteries, beverages and magazines to fresh fruit and vegetables. Google joined the fray this week with the trial introduction of Google Play game-dispensing vending machines. Three different machines will each sell a collection of 18 free-to-play and paid-for titles. Consumers with an NFC-enabled smartphone running Android 4.0 can stop in front of the Parco department store in Tokyo’s Shibuya district to access the games. Continue reading Google Introduces Tokyo to Android Game Vending Machines

Pinterest Service Positioned to Become Advertising Platform

Pinterest users typically use the service for ideas, suggesting that they may be receptive to advertising and branding. In contrast, Google and Amazon users may already have chosen what they wish to purchase and use the sites for price comparisons. The number of Pinterest users continues to rise, and the service is positioned to become a money-making ad platform, gaining more attention from venture capitalists and retail companies. Continue reading Pinterest Service Positioned to Become Advertising Platform

Target Ticket: Online Video Service with the Family in Mind

Target launched its online video store to the public yesterday, designed to provide parents with family-friendly options for their children. The Target Ticket online storefront goes beyond the standard age-based ratings of other electronic sell-through services by enabling parents to create subaccounts for their children based on various criteria. Target Ticket currently has 30,000 movies and TV shows (for viewers of all ages) available to purchase or rent, download or stream. Continue reading Target Ticket: Online Video Service with the Family in Mind

Amazon Pushes its Digital Services with New Kindle Fire HDX

Kindle plans to unveil two new versions of its Kindle Fire tablet today, featuring a faster processor and graphics, improved screen quality and a lighter, slimmer design. The Kindle Fire HDX, available with 7-inch or 8.9-inch screens, will undercut the price of competitors including Apple’s popular iPad and, not surprisingly, focus on sales of services such as digital music and e-books. “We want to make money when people use our devices, not when they buy our devices,” said Amazon CEO Jeff Bezos. Continue reading Amazon Pushes its Digital Services with New Kindle Fire HDX

Target to Launch New TV and Movie Service Early Next Month

Target announced it will enter the Internet video business with a new service that will offer customers the ability to purchase or rent TV shows and movies. The Target Ticket service already has approximately 30,000 movie and TV titles available. Although the retailer is entering the digital video market a bit late in the game, the company is betting that Target Ticket will stand out due to its simplicity, parental controls, and access to next-day TV episodes.   Continue reading Target to Launch New TV and Movie Service Early Next Month

Kids Engage in Disney Infinity, Game Generates Big Numbers

Disney sold 400,000 units of its “Infinity” game system in the two weeks since its debut, generating an estimated $30 million. In its first week of availability, sales for the new game matched sales of Activision Blizzard’s “Skylanders Giants” during its debut week. According to Activision, “Skylanders Giants” was the top children’s game of the 2012 holiday season. Like “Skylanders,” “Infinity” allows kids to combine collectible figures with on screen video game play. Continue reading Kids Engage in Disney Infinity, Game Generates Big Numbers

Instagram to Begin Experimenting with Advertising Service

Since March, Emily White has been leading a team to develop a paid advertising program for Instagram. The photo-sharing service has been ad-free since the start, and may risk losing users when it adopts advertisements, especially from its large, young user base. White is working to establish relationships with brands, and to expand Instagram as a brand marketing platform. Yet it is unclear how advertisers and brands will pay for a service they use for free. Continue reading Instagram to Begin Experimenting with Advertising Service

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