Tuesday, March 2, 2010

Graphic: The State of the Internet

Here’s a look at exactly who is using the Internet the most, how they are using it and how much the amount of usage is increasing. At a glance, there are the same number of men and women who use the Internet. However, their age, educational background and level of income may influence how much time they spend online.

View graphic at: http://bit.ly/aqA2Gi

Research Report: The comScore Data Passport

This data passport offers a glimpse into Internet use around the world. Offers some great insights as to how the US compares and where future trends may be heading.

Download report at: http://bit.ly/d7h6o3

App Store Rules Changed To Allow Sweepstakes And Contests

February 19, 2010: summarized from The Unofficial Apple Weblog -- The prospect of an always-on, portable and discreet e-lottery ticket in your pocket may thrill some and horrify others, but as far as Apple is concerned it looks like it's A-OK for the App Store. The particular adjustment is in section 3.3.17 of the agreement:

3.3.17 Your Application may include promotional sweepstake or contest functionality provided that You are the sole sponsor of the promotion and that You and Your Application comply with any applicable laws.

This opens the door to all sorts of games, prizes and payoffs -- not to mention the possibility of intriguing legal battles, as games of chance and contests are subject to all sorts of differing rules in different jurisdictions. Comm's company's latest app, KaChing Button, will be offering users the chance to win cash prizes in a monthlong sweepstakes that kicks off next Monday. He predicts -- and I concur -- that a massive wave of payoff apps is just over the horizon.

Read more at: http://bit.ly/8XDEYI

New Survey Reveals Social Gaming Phenomenon in U.S. and U.K.

February 17, 2010: summarized from PRNewswire -- PopCap Games, maker of some of the world's most popular video games unveiled the results of a survey targeting "social gamers": Consumers in the U.S. and UK who play games on social networking platforms such as Facebook® and MySpace®. More than 24% of respondents said they play social games regularly, indicating a total social gamer population of approximately 100 million in America and the United Kingdom alone. And contrary to prevailing stereotypes, the average social gamer is a 43-year old woman.

The survey identified a number of differences between U.S. and UK social gamers, and revealed trends and tendencies which establish the social gamer audience as unique from traditional video game playing audiences. While still in its infancy compared to the traditional video game industry, the social games sector represents a huge opportunity to reach hundreds of millions of consumers who historically have not played video games. The social games sector is projected by industry analysts and researchers to generate revenues of more than US$1 billion in 2010.

Among the nearly 5,000 consumers who responded to the survey, more than 1,200 play games on social networking sites and platforms at least once a week, qualifying them as "social gamers" for the purposes of the survey. Two-thirds of all qualified survey respondents are U.S.-based. 55% of all social gamers are female and 45% are male — with the disparity being even larger among UK consumers (58% vs. 42%). The average age of social gamers is 43, with U.S.-based social gamers averaging 48 years of age compared to 38 for those based in the UK. Further, 46% of American social gamers are 50 or older, compared to just 23% in the UK. Only 6% of all social gamers are age 21 or younger.

Download report at: http://bit.ly/daA3kJ

Virginia Lottery Moves To Internet Drawings For Savings

February 17, 2010: summarized from Business Week -- The Virginia Lottery has scrapped its daily televised drawings in favor of the Internet, in a move to cut costs and recognize a shift in the way customers check their lottery numbers.

Last month, the lottery started Internet-only video streams of its daily and twice-a-week Win For Life drawings. The switch is expected to save more than $1 million next fiscal year in programming costs at a time when the state is seeking to overcome a $4 billion budget deficit, said Paula Otto, the lottery's executive director.

While the move was mostly a cost-saving measure, it's also a recognition that many players now look to the Internet to check their daily numbers.

"The Internet is actually a more popular way of people getting their numbers now," said Otto, who expects other states may follow Virginia's lead as they grapple with growing budget deficits.

So far, lottery officials say they've received a few complaints about the switch, mostly from older people who have no access to a computer.

Most states currently use a combination of TV broadcasts and Internet feeds for afternoon and evening drawings, according to an informal survey conducted by the Virginia Lottery. Most lotteries also have telephone hot lines and provide e-mail updates.

Viewers, especially younger viewers, are shifting from television to Web-based programming, said Robert Thompson, a professor of television and popular culture at Syracuse University.

The number of people viewing online video increased 19 percent in 2009, according to comScore, an Internet marketing research firm. And nearly 86 percent of U.S. Internet users viewed online video in recent months.

Read more at: http://bit.ly/aE2Sjg