Parks Associates Blog

Tuesday, June 30, 2009

Personalization and unique value of smartphones to push global sales to 310 million units in 2013

Consumer demand leads to almost 20% annual growth between 2008 and 2013--

The consumer appetite for smartphones is skyrocketing and will push annual sales worldwide from 131 million units in 2008 to over 300 million by 2013, according to international market research company Parks Associates.

The firm’s new report Mobile Services: Global Outlook finds consumers are attracted to these converged devices because they combine practical and entertainment applications into a mobile platform, which can then be expanded incrementally with new and unique add-ons and applications like Breadcrumbz from the Google Android Market.

Consumers have a personal connection to their phones. Apps like T-Mobile’s Sherpa will learn from its user’s preferences in order to make personalized, location-based recommendations on restaurants and shops. The latest iPhone release is making a strong case for mobile video, and with a little help from the Apple App Store, users can turn their phone into a lightsaber.

Smartphone users worldwide will top 1.1 billion in 2013, creating a lucrative market for mobile carriers and mobile application developers.

The success of the iPhone, Pre, and Blackberry shows the strength of consumer demand for an intelligent, multifunctional device. The appeal of the smartphone will create significant new revenue streams for carriers and developers, who should strive to create new service bundles that build off this mobile platform with converged video, voice, and data applications.

Parks Associates is launching a new consumer study Mobile Convergence: Platforms, Applications, and Services to explore smartphone users’ service and application usage patterns, handset feature and function requirements, and expectations for new mobile content and service experience.

This study will uncover hidden consumer needs and help carriers, handset manufacturers, and application developers identify and quantify business opportunities in this fast-growing market segment.

Mobile Services: Global Outlook is Parks Associates’ latest industry report on global mobile market intelligence. It provides market trends in global carrier subscriber growth and handset sales and analyzes carriers’ voice and data service strategies.

For the full press release, click here.

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Thursday, June 25, 2009

The Wii to offer video downloads in Japan

Sonic Solutions’ Roxio CinemaNow announced today a partnership with Japan’s Fujisoft Inc. to deliver Hollywood movies through the Wii in the Japanese market. Instant-streaming downloads will be available through Fujisoft’s video-on-demand service "Minna no Theater Wii" (Everyone's Theater Wii), which debuted earlier this year in Japan.

Sonic has signed Paramount Pictures as the first major studio to sell new release and catalog downloads through the service.

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Tuesday, June 23, 2009

Consumer demand, technical innovations to push U.S. revenues for Remote Technical Support Services to $2.6 Billion by 2013

Retailers and broadband service providers to drive market for remote tech support to over 10 million U.S. households --

Annual U.S. revenues for remote technical support services will grow to $2.6 billion by 2013, according to a new report from Parks Associates. Digital Home Tech Support: Analysis and Forecasts finds that increased demand and technical innovations will allow retailers, broadband service providers, and third-party providers to grow their customer base and increase revenues across an array of support areas, including PC setup and troubleshooting, home networking setup and support, and PC tune-up services.

On-site and in-facility repair services once dominated consumer technical support. Today, remote support services allow consumers to keep equipment at home while still giving them access to expert assistance. People are already looking for something to solve their digital challenges and are very interested in these offerings.

The creation and use of automated and deep-diagnostic tools are creating greater efficiency and scale. These tools are especially important as retailers and service providers integrate enhanced support services into new products and subscriptions, which will help grow the number of U.S. households with remote support to over 10 million by 2013.

Given this increase in adoption, providers will have to manage service delivery to scale their businesses. In particular, the use of diagnostic tools and automated software will help providers increase profitability and deliver more proactive services that can help boost recurring subscription revenues.

Digital Home Tech Support: Analysis and Forecasts analyzes the market for U.S. consumer technical support services and software solutions, with forecasts and briefings from more than 30 companies.

For the full press release, click here.

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Monday, June 22, 2009

Parks Associates supports Americas Com, Brazil

Parks Associates is a media partner for Americas Com from June 30-July 1, 2009 in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil.

Known for 12 years as GSM Americas, Americas Com acts as the annual forum for senior decision-makers from every kind of service provider to discuss the exceptional opportunities in this dynamic and growing telecoms market. Our top-flight panel of speakers incorporates 7 CxOs and 25 operator speakers covering the full range of technologies and perspectives: 3G; Mobile Broadband; Fixed-Mobile Convergence; MVNOs and IPTV.

Now in its 13th year, Americas Com is one of the longest-established and most respected annual meeting places for companies seeking to profit from the growth of the telecoms sector in Latin America. More Info

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Friday, June 19, 2009

Households in Western Europe with TV services to top 180 million in 2013

CONNECTIONS™ Europe announces call for papers to address new challenges, opportunities in changing product and service landscape --

CONNECTIONS™ Europe has announced the call for papers for its upcoming Summit, November 4, 2009, in Amsterdam, Netherlands. CONNECTIONS™ Europe Summit, hosted by international research firm Parks Associates, is dedicated to the discussion and analysis of new business models for emerging services, applications, and advanced digital technologies. The event will take place at the Mövenpick Hotel Amsterdam City Centre.

CONNECTIONS™ Europe is accepting speaker submissions within five main topic categories.
Adding Value to Access Services examines the impact of broadband value-added services and the role and design of connected CE enabling these services.

Digital Home Tech Services examines consumer demand and new revenue opportunities for installation, troubleshooting, and service plans.

Residential Gateways – Devices Enabling New Services examines hardware requirements and service opportunities as these devices enable enhanced bundled services and home connectivity applications.

Video Devices & Entertainment Platforms examines the new roles and functions for the television, the set-top, the game console, the PC, portable devices, and mobile phones as well as the software enabling these technologies.

Television, Digital Media Services, & Advanced Video examines next-generation entertainment applications and “go-to-TV” services and products.

CONNECTIONS™ Global Sponsors include HD-PLC Alliance, DSC, Macrovision, MoCA, Radialpoint, ActiveVideo Networks, Affinegy, Icron, Irdeto, NXP, ProVision Communications, Telcordia, and Zilog. CONNECTIONS™ Europe Advisory Sponsor is Eyecon Technologies.
Visit for sponsorship information or to submit a speaking proposal. Deadline for submission is August 15, 2009.

For the full press release, click here.

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Introducing Canal Plus Week-End

French pay TV provider Canal Plus is offering a half-price weekend-only service starting this fall, says Variety. The Friday-to-Sunday night service will cost subscribers €15, about half of a normal monthly subscription.

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Wednesday, June 17, 2009

Syabas Unveils the C-200

Syabas has introduced their next-generation Internet set-top box, the C-200. A key differentiator between this and the many other set-tops, the company notes, is its support of more than 30 audio and video types, including MPEG 1, 2, 4, AVI, H.264, Xvid, MKV, Windows Media and others.

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AT&T U-verse Upgrades

AT&T announced some new U-verse features yesterday. The ability to schedule and manage recordings from any receiver sounds cool. I wish that Verizon had that with the Home Media DVR. Here are the specific upgrades announced:
  • A new Total Home DVR feature: Includes the ability to schedule and manage recordings from any U-verse receiver. This adds more convenience and control over recorded shows by allowing customers to set or delete recordings from any room in their home.
  • On Demand Top Picks application. Enables U-verse TV customers to view personal On Demand recommendations based on their past video rental history and view a list of the top ten On Demand titles U-verse TV customers are renting.
  • Web Remote Access to DVR enhancements. Enhances the experience for Web Remote Access to the DVR by updating the user interface and enabling better navigation within the application.

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Tuesday, June 16, 2009

Smartphones, Data Plans, New Apps to drive Mobile Advertising Revenues to $1.5 billion in 2013

Revenues for mobile advertising in the U.S. and Canada will grow from $208 million in 2009 to approximately $1.5 billion by 2013, according to the new Parks Associates report Mobile Advertising: Analysis and Forecasts. Adoption of smartphones, 3G network data plans (or newer wireless services), and downloadable applications will spur this growth in ad revenues, with significant increases beginning in 2010.

Parks Associates estimates there were 62 million smartphone users in North America in 2008, with user penetration to reach 239 million in 2013. Parks Associates projects U.S. 3G network data plans will reach 95% penetration by 2013, with Canada achieving 70% penetration.

Mobile advertising is poised to take advantage of opportunities presented by the diffusion of 3G networks and devices such as the smartphone. Advertisers will begin to incorporate mobile into their media campaigns as this medium matures into a viable marketing space.

Way cautions that advertisers could encounter early resistance from consumers. Parks Associates’ Mobile Entertainment (Second Edition) found 38% of respondents do not want to receive mobile ads, while 37% remain neutral to the idea of ads on their mobile phone.

However, teens and young adults are more receptive to ad-supported mobile content, particularly in entertainment genres. Advertisers need to develop innovative ways to reach these consumers.

Mobile Advertising: Analysis and Forecasts examines the current mobile advertising market. It includes a market overview and analyzes effective mobile ad formats and current pricing models. The report examines opportunities driving overall growth and inhibitors threatening continued expansion and includes mobile advertising revenue forecasts through 2013.

For the full press release, click here.

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Monday, June 15, 2009

Parks Associates supports the Digital Media Conference

Parks Associates is supporting the Digital Media Conference on June 25th in Washington, D.C.

With 500+ participants, Digital Media Conference at the Ritz-Carlton in Tysons Corner attracts the best and brightest from the DC region and beyond for a packed day of in-depth discussions and networking focused on the top business issues impacting digital media companies. The 2009 event includes two tracks - one on online media and the other on mobile media - keynotes, panels, breakfast, networking breaks, lunch and reception at the beautiful Ritz-Carlton in Tysons Corner.

Join leading executives and the press for the premier executive forum focused on digital media developments in the Greater Washington, DC area! More Info

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Managed Copy Coming to Blu-ray Discs

Consumers will be able to make one full-resolution digital copy of Blu-ray discs, thanks to a licensing agreement that was made on June 5, reports Video Business. Hardware that supports copies, however, won't be available until the first or second quarter of 2010.

Initially, managed copies can be made to recordable Blu-ray or DVD discs, as a download to a Windows Media DRM-compatible portable player or hard drive, on a memory stick, SD card or as a bound copy, such as a digital copy file on the disc.

Downloads to iPods, iPhones and other Apple devices are not approved, and the AACS-LA has not received a submission from Apple to make Blu-ray copies to Apple devices, though Ayers said Apple could apply at any time. The final AACS license allows for additional copying formats to be added.

The AACS is the Advanced Access Content System License Administrator, a consortium of studios, hardware manufacturers and technology companies that licenses the AACS copy protection used on Blu-ray Discs.

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Friday, June 12, 2009

Following up with Icron after CONNECTIONS

In reflecting on some of the highlights of an outstanding CONNECTIONS™ 2009 event June 2-June 4, the introduction of new solutions to enhance the way in which entertainment content is enjoyed was a significant theme. I moderated a panel titled Extending the Reach of Wired Networks and Interfaces that showcased recent efforts in powerline networking, developing extensions to HDMI over twisted-pair, and Icron’s PC-on-TV solution. Rick Merritt at EE Times attended that session and wrote an article discussing the potential fit for the solutions offered by Icron Technologies, Silicon Image, Synerchip, and Valens Semiconductor.

When I was introduced to the Icron solution last September, I was intrigued by the solution that can basically extend a home computer desktop onto a high-definition TV using different types of standard networking solutions (be they Ethernet, “no-new-wires,” or wireless). I think that there’s good potential for products that allow consumers to access Web content on their TVs without going through devices like the digital media adapter or expensive solutions that don’t seem to work quite right.

Brian Donnelly, Icron’s vice president of sales and marketing, who walked me through a demonstration at CONNECTIONS last week, followed up on that article with some notes he wanted to clarify. Brian notes that Icron would be complementary to Valens or Synerchip, as their customers might implement Icron’s solution for whole-home video+USB-type of extensions. He also notes that Icron uses other company’s video chipsets (uncompressed and H.264 encoders/decoders) as part of their solution. So, they’re not looking to create a new video compression chip, but rather work with the solutions that are out there already and add remote USB functionality to enable a true PC on TV experience.

Icron’s “special sauce” – in wonky parlance – they multiplex all the data channels together (video, audio, USB) and perform various QoS and flow control optimizations as well as overall system optimization – this means that Icron has figured out how to ensure priority of the different data types so that your keyboard and mouse (and other USB I/O devices) are immediately recognized and processed as well as ensuring that video/audio are delivered in a very high quality format.

I’m told that products using the Icron PC-on-TV solution will be available in Q1 of 2010. I’ll look forward to seeing how the solution gets implemented.

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Thursday, June 11, 2009

DLNA Flunks Best Buy Tests? Some Controversy Brewing at CONNECTIONS

We're glad to see that the CONNECTIONS conference last week brought out some interesting insight on the home networking space. Rick Merrit at EE Times writes that DLNA may have some interoperability issues, based on tests conducted by Best Buy. We had both Best Buy and VIZIO represented on different panels last week, and we got some interesting comments from them regarding DLNA's issues.

We'll be updating the CONNECTIONS blog with additional notes about the event. I'm following up with speakers on my panels for some additional comments.

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Tuesday, June 09, 2009

Parks Associates’ Digital Den at ESCA to discuss innovations in digital content delivery and home entertainment

Parks Associates today announced the participants for the second-annual “Digital Den” at the Entertainment Supply Chain Academy (ESCA), June 23-24 at the Luxe Hotel in Los Angeles.

The Digital Den, June 24, 1:30-3:15 p.m., features an introduction from Blair Westlake, Corporate Vice President, Media & Entertainment Group, Microsoft, followed by a short presentation from Parks Associates’ President Stuart Sikes. The Digital Den, hosted by Parks Associates, includes presentations from innovative companies developing new content delivery, management, and access methods for entertainment at home:

  • Olivier Attia, CEO, Audionamix
  • Bryan T. Biniak, CEO, Jacked
  • Alex Castro, CEO and Co-Founder, Delve Networks
  • Brad Gleeson, SVP, Business Development, MOD Systems
  • Tyler Goldman, CEO, BuzzMeda
  • Jonathan Heller, Co-Founder and Co-CEO, Freewheel
  • Eric Morris, VP, Sales, Ooyala
  • Paulette Pantoja, Founder and CEO, BluFocus
  • James Segil, President, Edgecast
  • Russ Schafer, Senior Director, Product Marketing, Yahoo! Connected TV
  • Ron Yekutiel, Chairman and CEO, Kaltura
  • Yangbin Wang, Founder and Chief Executive Officer, Vobile

“The number of households worldwide subscribing to TV services will exceed 1.4 billion by 2013, “ said Stuart Sikes, President, Parks Associates. “This consumer base offers tremendous revenue opportunities for companies deploying innovative services such as local and Web content on the TV as well as place- and time-shifting solutions for different devices throughout the home.”

The Digital Den presentations will focus on the different models developed by companies looking to monetize and establish products and services for the emerging world of digital content delivery and home entertainment.

The fourth-annual ESCA is focused on "Maximizing Home Entertainment Sales & Profits in Turbulent Times." The ESCA hosts over 250 executives from the entertainment studios and has become the home entertainment industry’s annual business conference responsible for driving efficiencies in the delivery of physical and digital entertainment.

For information on attending or participating at ESCA or the Digital Den, please visit or

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Wednesday, June 03, 2009

Parks Associates survey identifies impact of education and income on consumer PC purchase habits

For each $1,000 in income, U.S. households will pay on average $1 more for a PC, according to the Consumer Decision Process Annual Survey, which has quantified the influence of income and education on the amount consumers spend on specific CE products.

International research firm Parks Associates recently completed this survey of over 5,000 U.S. consumers on their 2008 purchases and 2009 purchase intentions. The research, part of the Consumer Decision Process Service, examines ownership and attitudes toward product categories such as PCs, MP3 players, LCD and connected TVs, home networks, and Blu-ray players.

Results from the survey show that consumers with a graduate degree spend, on average, $100 more for a computer than consumers with only a high-school degree. Income levels also affect the final price for computers, as households with $200,000 in annual income spend over $150 more for a laptop compared to households with $50,000 in annual income.

“The prices consumers pay for PCs and laptops are remarkably elastic, especially when compared to products such as DVD players, game consoles, and home networks, where prices are basically flat across different income and educational groups,” said John Barrett, director, research, Parks Associates. “These results allow us to measure the impact of specific consumer attributes, such as level of education, and use that to predict both the products consumers are interested in and how much they’ll pay for certain items.”

For example, Barrett says, higher-income households would be more willing to pay a little extra for a better laptop, whereas they see less value in paying extra for a high-end DVD player. As a result, high- and low-income households pay basically the same for a DVD player.

Tricia Parks, CEO, Parks Associates, and Vipin Jain, CEO, Retrevo, presented research from the Consumer Decision Process Annual Survey on June 3 at CONNECTIONS™: The Digital Living Conference & Showcase. Their presentation, Navigating the Changing CE Purchase Process, discussed the impact of the recession and the need for flexibility in selling CE to consumers, especially as the power of brand has diminished.

For the full press release, click here.

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