Tuesday, 28 September 2010

Benz sold 205 Smart Cars in three and half hours on Taobao

"About two weeks ago on Sep 6 2010, Benz put up its 200 “smart” cars on Taobao‘s Groupon-like website offering 23% discount.
Mediaedge:cia was the agency behind this campaign and the plan was to sell 200 “smart” cars on Taobao in three weeks’ time. Surprisingly, all cars were sold out in three and half hours. The campaign also attracted over 300,000 visitors in less than 24 hours.
69 cars were sold to buyers in Zhejiang province (where Taobao’s HQ is located), 45 in Beijing, and 22 in Guangdong province. According to a salesperson at Benz, on average one Smart car was sold every day"

An average of 80m tweets a day are being posted

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Source:  Chart from Gigatweet, retrieved 28th September 2010
Earier - 60m a day in June 2010

It takes the average person 14 seconds to solve a CAPTCHA, with a 10% error rate

"According to a study recently conducted by UC San Diego researchers, spammers employ many hundreds of people, mostly overseas, to solve CAPTCHAs at the rate of about one dollar per thousand solutions. It takes the average person 14 seconds to solve a CAPTCHA, and the human error rate is ten percent. There are 3600 seconds in an hour, which means roughly 231 solutions per hour per person [(3600/14)(.9)], which means that the foot soldiers of the CAPTCHA-solving army get paid less than 25 cents an hour."
Source:  Data from UC San Diego researchers, reported by GeekOSystem, 13th August 2010
PDF of the full study here

Monday, 27 September 2010

Over half a billion broadband lines are now installed globally

"In the third week of July 2010 the world passed a significant broadband milestone, half a billion lines are now installed in households and businesses globally.
“It’s only taken 11 years to get to half a billion fixed broadband lines. The internet and all that it brings has taken hold like no technology since the invention of fire. It has brought the world closer together. Improved health and education standards and ushered in a new era of research, data-sharing and cooperation.
“Finland recently took a significant step, by making broadband a legal right for its citizens, towards an entirely interconnected world. The benefits the global population will reap from the continued spread of broadband and the services and opportunities presented to them are legion The next 11 years are set to be as exciting as the last with at least another half billion broadband lines due to be added,” says Oliver Johnson, CEO of Point Topic.
At the end of June 2010 there were 498 million broadband lines and the internet service providers are collectively adding just over 1 million new lines a week at the moment."
Source:  PointTopic, 20th September 2010

Groupon is growing at a rate of 1 million subscribers a week

As stated in this interview by Groupon founder and CEO Andrew Mason
Source:  Bloomberg TV, 16th September 2010

Saturday, 18 September 2010

Over 500 million legal music downloads have been made in the UK

"Britain recently passed the 500-million mark for digital music downloads, and figures out this year suggest another record total in 2010, according to the Official Charts Company (OCC).
Industry leaders said the figure was all the more impressive given the level of online music piracy which has robbed record labels and their artists of billions of dollars in recent years.
"There are nearly 70 legal music services, more than any other country, and consumers continue to embrace the choice, value and innovation on offer," said Geoff Taylor, chief executive of music industry body BPI. "
Source:  The Independent / Reuters, 17th September 2010

Friday, 17 September 2010

Gatorade's advertising within EA Sports generated an average ROI of $3.11 in revenue per $1 spent

"Commissioned by Electronic Arts on behalf of the sports drink maker, the study showed that in-game advertising increased household dollars spent on the drink by 24 percent, and offered a return on investment of $3.11 per dollar spent.
Nielsen's study followed at least one of the six EA Sports titles in a given household, including NHL 09, NHL 10, NBA Live 07, NBA Live 08, NBA Live 09 and NBA Street Homecourt. All of the games had Gatorade product placements within them, such as arena signs, water bottles, score updates and other strategic mentions.
The research firm found the results through its barcode-scanning U.S. Homescan panel, which includes 100,000 households.
Nielsen followed a sample of that panel that scanned relevant EA Sports games -- both before and after integration of the Gatorade ads -- and then compared Gatorade buying behavior with households that didn't purchase the games."
Source:  Gamasutra, 14th September 2010

McDonalds Foursquare campaign increased footfall in-store by 33% at a cost of $1,000

"At the Mobile Social Communications conference yesterday, [Rick] Wion shared that McDonald’s was able to increase foot traffic to stores by 33% in one day with a little Foursquare ingenuity. McDonald’s total cost for the successful campaign was a measly $1,000.
[Note - it seems that they boosted the number of checkins by 33%, rather than the total footfall]
Econsultanty reports that McDonald’s, with Wion driving campaign direction and strategy, opted to try and take advantage of Foursquare Day (4/16) to bring in more business. The company used 100 randomly awarded $5 and $10 giftcards as checkin bait to lure in potential diners. The bait also worked to attract the media’s attention and resulted in more than 50 articles covering McDonald’s Foursquare special.
The campaign worked in both digital and real world capacities. Patrons flocked to McDonald’s restaurants for the chance to win giftcards in exchange for checkins, and 600,000 online denizens opted to follow and fan the brand on social media sites.
“I was able to go to some of our marketing people — some of whom had never heard of Foursquare — and say, ‘Guess what. With this one little effort, we were able to get a 33% increase in foot traffic to the stores’,” Wion explained to conference attendees."
Source:  Rick Wion of McDonalds, speaking at the Mobile Social Communications conference, reported by Mashable, 17th September 2010
Note - Always treat company's own pronouncement of effectiveness (especially at conferences) with a degree of caution!

Halo: Reach generated $200 in sales in the first 24 hours

""Halo: Reach," the new installment in the blockbuster Xbox 360 series, topped $200 million in sales in the U.S. and Europe in its first 24 hours, according to data released by Microsoft tonight.
It's "the biggest game Microsoft has ever released," said Phil Spencer, the corporate vice president of Microsoft Game Studios, in a statement. “Every major installment has grown in scope and popularity, firmly cementing the ‘Halo’ franchise as one of the most popular entertainment properties in the world over the past decade.”
"Halo 3," released in 2007, pulled in $170 million in its first 24 hours.
As is the tradition with these things, Microsoft made the obligatory comparisons to Hollywood movies, sizing up the initial "Halo: Reach" sales against the three-day opening weekends of “Iron Man 2,” “Alice in Wonderland” and “Toy Story 3,” and declaring the video game "the biggest entertainment launch of 2010 in the U.S.""
Source:  Figures from Microsoft, reported by Techflash, 15th September 2010
Note - Both GTA IV ($310m) and Call of Duty:  Modern Warfare 2 ($402m) generated more in the first 24 hours.

Thursday, 16 September 2010

Groupon (Est. 2008) has 230 websites in 29 countries and 15m subscribers

"The most successful is Groupon (a combination of the words “group” and “coupon”, which buyers print out to pay for their service). Although the firm launched only in late 2008, it already operates some 230 local websites in 29 countries and boasts 15m subscribers. Flush with money from investors, it has embarked on a global land-grab, buying Groupon clones in other countries, such as Germany’s CityDeal.
Groupon is more about people than technology. It grew out of The Point, a Chicago-based website that offers tools to organise collective action. The firm employs a worldwide sales force of nearly 2,000 to identify interesting local merchants and 150 writers to describe the offers. It wants to be the company that finally allows small businesses to participate in e-commerce, explains Rob Solomon, its president."
Source:  The Economist, 9th September 2010

Wednesday, 15 September 2010

Chinese eCommerce sales hit 3.6 trillion RMB (USD $530 billion) in 2009

""Qian Xiaoqian, deputy director of the State Council Information Office, said online shopping is become more and more popular in the nation as more people have started using the service.
"E-commerce sales volumes surged to 3.6 trillion yuan ($530 billion) last year," said Qian. He said the Internet industry is also changing from an entertainment-oriented approach to a more balanced structure offering diversified services.
China e-Business Research Center said in a recent report that the nation's e-commerce sales volume surged by 60 percent in the first half of the year to 2.25 trillion yuan. Business-to-business (B2B) transactions accounted for 2.05 trillion yuan, while business-to-consumer (B2C) and consumer-to-consumer (C2C) sales volume was around 200 billion yuan.
"China's B2B market will continue to witness rapid growth in the next few years along with the nation's economic growth and rising e-commerce penetration," said the report, adding that online shopping was one of the few markets that was largely unaffected by the economic crisis.
There were 20,700 e-business websites in China as of June this year and more companies have started setting up online stores to cut costs and improve efficiency. The number of e-commerce websites is expected to reach 23,000 by the end of the year. More users are expected to use mobile e-commerce as it will gain ground soon, said the report.
Mobile e-commerce sales of real objects, like electronics, daily necessities and clothes, reached 1.3 billion yuan in the first half, and had nearly 55.3 million users."
Source:  Chinese State Council Information Office, reported by China Daily, 18th August 2010

35% of US Adults have apps on their phones; only 24% use the apps

"Some 35% of U.S. adults have software applications or “apps” on their phones, yet only 24% of adults use those apps. Many adults who have apps on their phones, particularly older adults, do not use them, and 11% of cell owners are not sure if their phone is equipped with apps.
Among cell phone owners, 29% have downloaded apps to their phone and 13% have paid to download apps.
“An apps culture is clearly emerging among some cell phone users, particularly men and young adults,” said Kristen Purcell, Associate Director for Research at the Pew Internet Project. “Still, it is clear that this is the early stage of adoption when many cell owners do not know what their phone can do. The apps market seems somewhat ahead of a majority of adult cell phone users.” "
Source:  The Rise of Apps Culture, Pew Internet & American Life Project, 14th September 2010

Tuesday, 14 September 2010

Justin Bieber reportedly uses up 3% of all twitter infrastructure

"Would you believe that Justin Bieber and his legion of fans use up 3% of Twitter’s server infrastructure at any given time — such a large amount of activity that “racks of servers” are dedicated to Bieber mania?
So said a Twitter employee, according to web designer and blogger Dustin Curtis. Yesterday he sent out the following tweet:
“At any moment, Justin Bieber uses 3% of our infrastructure. Racks of servers are dedicated to him. – A guy who works at Twitter”
We shot an e-mail Twitter’s way to confirm, and while the Twitter rep we contacted didn’t confirm the figure, she didn’t discourage us from believing it, either. “While we don’t break out metrics like this, everything around and about Justin Bieber is consistently popular on Twitter,” she said.
Curtis also tweeted that “most of the popular users on Twitter have dedicated servers for their accounts.” He believed the Twitter employee and tweeted what he said in part because he thinks the numbers make perfect sense:
“Every time Bieber tweets, his messages have to be delivered to more than five million people who then endlessly retweet it. Apparently, his account receives more than 60 @-replies per second for a while after he tweets, which is something Twitter wasn’t originally designed to handle.”"
Source:  Dustin Curtis, reported by Mashable, 7th September 2010
Note:  It's a fun fact, but it's totally unverified.

58% of social network users play at least one embedded game

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"[...] the latest stats on virtual worlds offer another huge incentive to experiment, perhaps with more tempered expectations.  The survey stats, from Lightspeed Research...
58% of social networkers play at least one embedded game (ie, FarmVille or Mafia Wars).
68% of those started playing within the last year.
29% are playing every day.
14% have spent money in a social game, in some fashion.
17% considered themselves "addicted" to an embedded game.
10% play more than two hours daily.
10% play more than 5 different social games.
And, perhaps most surprisingly: 55-64 year-olds are more active than 18-24 year-olds. "
Source:  Lightspeed Research, reported by DigitalMusicNews, 13th September 12010

There were 9,200 tweets per minute about Lady Gaga during MTV's 2010 VMA ceremony

"Sunday's Video Music Awards became an interactive experience unlike any before it as fans took to Twitter and sent approximately 2.3 million tweets during the East and West Coast runs of the show. Not surprisingly, the woman who swept the awards show was the most talked-about celebrity on Twitter: Lady Gaga was the subject of more than 9,200 tweets per minute, which was more than half of the total tweets being sent about all of the artists being tracked by MTV's Twitter Tracker.
This year's show also saw a significant increase in the tweet volume of last year's VMAs, which is impressive considering Sunday's show didn't have as controversial a surprise moment as Kanye West's interruption of Taylor Swift's acceptance speech last year. The show also marked a big increase from when the Twitter Tracker was used at the MTV Movie Awards earlier this year. There, the most discussed moment of the night — Tom Cruise and Jennifer Lopez's dance onstage — only clocked in at 1,800 tweets per minute.
Overall, the artists tracked generated an average of 15,000 tweets per minute. Following Lady Gaga in popularity were Cher with an average 7,100 tweets per minute, Eminem with 5,000 tweets per minute, and Rihanna with 4,700 tweets per minute. Rounding out the top 10 were Ke$ha, Paramore, Taylor Swift and Kanye West."
Source:  News item on MTV.com, 13th September 2010

Tuesday, 7 September 2010

The Plants Vs. Zombies iPhone game generated $1m in the first 9 days

"PopCap, which also makes "Bejeweled," said PvZ is the fastest-selling game in the company's history, with totals "in the millions of units" across all platforms. PopCap was mum on specific sales figures, but did disclose that when the PvZ iPhone app debuted in February, it sold 300,000 copies to rake in $1 million in just nine days, setting an App Store record at the time. Last week, the game was still No. 20 in the iPhone App Store. The iPad PvZ app was, and still is, featured on iPad demo units in all 300 of Apple's retail stores, said PopCap VP-Marketing Ben Rotholtz."
Source:  AdAge, 6th September 2010

More than one million people joined Ping, Apple's music-based social network, in less than 48 hours

"Apple® today announced that in less than 48 hours since its launch on Wednesday, more than one million users have joined Ping, its new social network for music which lets users follow their favorite artists and friends to discover what music they’re talking about, listening to and downloading.
“One-third of the people who have downloaded iTunes 10 have joined Ping,“ said Eddy Cue, Apple’s vice president of Internet Services. “As many more people download iTunes 10 in the coming weeks, we expect the Ping community to continue growing.“"
Source:  Apple press release, 3rd September 2010

Monday, 6 September 2010

Groupon's promotion with Gap generated $11m in revenue

"[The] success story belongs to Groupon whose national promotion for Gap last week resulted in income of $11 million from sales of a $25 coupon worth $50 of store merchandise to over 440,000 shoppers, according to AdAge. While Gap has yet to see how many coupons are actually redeemed, Rob Solomon, Groupon’s president said,
“I’m pretty sure if they ran a national TV campaign, they wouldn’t have gotten nearly 500,000 paying buyers in the store.”
Less than two years old Groupon began as a locally-oriented service offering a “deal a day” to subscribers in particular cities who give Groupon their email addresses. The twist is that an offer is only redeemable if enough people express interest in it. With redemption rates exceeding 80 percent on average, Groupon’s growth is easy to understand since it often splits the value of the offer as part of its revenue."
Source:  Rob Solomon of Gap, reported by AdAge and ReveNews, 26th August 2010

Age and gender of the internet users in China

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"At present, the proportion of male to female among net citizens in China is 54.8:45.2. The percentage of male net citizens is nearly 10% larger than the female and thepopularization of internet for female is relatively low."

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"The age structure of net citizens continues to develop towards maturity. The proportion of net citizens at the age of 30 or above has increased from 38.6% in the end of 2009 to 41% in 2010 in general. It is mainly because the threshold of internet is lowered and the focus of network penetration has been transited from low aged groups to high and middle aged groups."
Source:  Statistical Report on Internet Development in China, July 2010, CNNIC, Translated August 2010

277m people in China access the internet through a mobile device

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"The number of mobile net citizens in China has reached 277 million. The number of newly added mobile net citizens in the first half year of 2010 was 43,340,000, with an increase of 18.6%. The ones who surf the internet only using mobile have increased to 11.7% of the overall net citizens."
Source:  Statistical Report on Internet Development in China, July 2010, CNNIC, Translated August 2010

There are 420m people online in China (updated)

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"Up to June, 2010, the number of net citizens in China has reached 420 million, exceeding the point of 400 million, with an increase of 36 million compared to the end of 2009. The popularity rate of internet has climbed up to 31.8%, with an increase of 2.9% compared to the end of 2009.
The number of broadband net citizens has reached 363,810,000, and the popularity rate of broadband for users who surf the internet using computer has arrived at 98.1%."
Source:  Statistical Report on Internet Development in China, July 2010, CNNIC, Translated August 2010

Thursday, 2 September 2010

450m episodes of TV shows have been downloaded from iTunes

"275 million iPods now sold.
More than 11.7 billion songs downloaded from the iTunes Store.
Plus: 450 million TV episodes, 35 million books, 100 million movies."
Source:  Steve Jobs, talking on 1st September 2010, reported by DigitalMusicNews, 1st September 2010