Saturday, October 25, 2014

US$51 million in Four Months for Kim Kardashian Hollywood – YouTubers and TV Celebrity Games Coming in Social Media Gaming Comeback

Kim Kardashian West has certainly struck gold with her latest Cash Cow that has E-List Blogger’s tongues wagging in the App Design Community. Peeps, queue the song, This is How We do by Katy Perry!

Her App, Kim Kardashian: Hollywood, which launched on Wednesday July 25th 2014 has now made some US$51 million over a four (4) month period according to industry-intelligence firm SuperData Research as stated in the article “Mobile megahit Kim Kardashian: Hollywood has made around $50M in 4 months”, published October 16, 2014 10:30 AM by Jeffrey Grubb, Venturebeat.

With that kinda cash rolling in, App Developer Glu Mobile, developers of Kim Kardashian: Hollywood Game that available on both the Google Play Store as well as the Apple iTunes Store, has recently launched a version of the game on Facebook on Monday October 6th 2014 as reported in the article “Kim Kardashian: Hollywood’s leap to Facebook puts it in front of the right audience”, published October 6, 2014 12:00 PM by Jeffrey Grubb, Venturebeat.

It's already garnered 4.3 Stars on the Google Play Store and some 4.5 Stars on the Apple iTunes Store, with the main comments being of course, the cost of K-Stars. Fans will definitely love this though, chalking it up to being a facsimile of the price of fame.

With the Facebook Game, instead of an App, Kim Kardashian: Hollywood Game is gonna be like Farmville, only you're farmin' K-Stars and popping Energy Pills just to Keep Up with the Kardashians, their main source on in-App purchase revenue as explained in my blog article entitled “Glu Mobile's Kim Kardashian: Hollywood App - Anatomy of How an A-List Celebrity based App propels In-App Purchases”.

Kim Kardashian Hollywood on Facebook – US$200 million for 2014 as More Love for her Fans

At US$51 million in four (4) months suggest that the game makes US$417,000 per day or US$12,510,000 per month! At that rate Kim Kardashian: Hollywood will make and additional US$37,530,000 in the next three (3) months up to December 2014, for a grand total earning of US$88,530,000.

Certainly fits with prediction that Kim Kardashian: Hollywood will make some US$200 million by the end of 2014 as predicted by Cowen and Company analyst Doug Creutz, which is a bit overzealous on the part of the analyst.

Already in October 2014, the game has added in the much-expected Wedding feature that mimics her recent marriage to Kanye West in Italy, with your in lacy dresses in a crib of Kim K's Givenchy Haute Couture gown as noted in the article “Get married just like Kim! Kim Kardashian: Hollywood game adds wedding feature with Kimye style wall of flowers”, published 3 October 2014 15:59 GMT By ELEANOR GOWER FOR MAILONLINE, UK DailyMail Online.

And a day after the launch of the Facebook version of the game, Kim Kardashian West formally recognized Homosexual and Lesbian relationships with an image posted on her Instagram as reported in the article “Kim Kardashian: Hollywood Now Recognizes Same Sex Marriage”, published Oct 11, 2014, by Sarah Buhr, TechCrunch.

For Kim Kardashian West it's all about the fans, as per her statement on the Facebook Game launch, quote: “I really enjoy engaging with my fans through Facebook and Instagram, that’s why I’m so excited that Kim Kardashian: Hollywood is now available on Facebook. I continue to be so proud of this project and hope my fans enjoy the fun updates coming soon.”

Folks, lets break it down by the Numbers!

Kim Kardashian Hollywood – Social Media Gaming is making a comeback

It means that Social Gaming is making a comeback but in an unlikely way, thanks to Reality Television Celebrities to quote SuperData CEO Joost van Dreunen: “As the mobile games market begins to saturate, marketing costs have increased,” said van Dreunen. “Celebrities play an increasingly important role both in terms of driving marketing and monetization for mobile games, and we expect more celebrities to lend their name and Social media prowess to mobile titles in the foreseeable future”.

According to  SuperData CEO Joost van Dreunen, the Digital Games segment of the market, which includes downloaded and Streamed Video Games on Console and Handheld, which are defined as Portable Gaming units i.e. PSP, Nintendo 3DS. smartphone and Tablets, are on an upswing in September 2014 when compared to September 2013:

1.      US$873 million in after-tax revenue
2.      8.6% increase from the same period in September 2013

Overall the Mobile Gaming segment of Digital Game is doing just fine:

1.      US$20 billion in estimated revenues in 2014
2.      US$300 million per month for Social Gaming segment of Mobile Gaming 

To quote SuperData CEO Joost van Dreunen: “After a slowdown during the summer months, consumer spending is picking up momentum as we close in on the holiday season. Most notably, Social gaming revenues were up month-over-month, and mobile gaming is approaching $300 million in monthly spending in the United States”.

So what of the success of Kim Kardashian: Hollywood on Facebook?

SuperData CEO Joost van Dreunen has this to say, quote: “Glu Mobile announced it is expanding the title to Facebook. Hoping to maximize its appeal to a female gamer demographic, the company also extended its licensing agreement, including Ms. Kardashian West’s continued support in promoting the game via both Social media channels and real-life appearances”.

In short, more reason for us Independent Jamaican Video Game Developers and the GOJ (Government of Jamaica) to get into making Video games. This as suggested by founder and CEO of Entertainment Arts Research Incorporated, Professor Joseph Saulter during the launch of his Digital Game Design and Development Conference as reported in my blog article entitled “Prof. Joseph Saulter's Digital Game Design and Development Conference - US$112 Billion Video Gaming Industry may be Jamaicans Next BPO”.

But what does this mean for the Gaming Industry as a whole?

Social Gaming Resurgence - Rush on Celebrity endorsed Games featuring YouTubers and TV Celebrity

Other developers are noticing the earning figures from Kim Kardashian: Hollywood and already may be attempting to replicate its success. But it's not as simple as a Celebrity having their image placed in a Game.

That Celebrity has to be on Television all the time, not just whenever there is a movie and they have to be accessible to the public as pointed out by SuperData CEO Joost van Dreunen to would-be copycats: “[Kim Kardashian: Hollywood] is expected to trigger a run on Celebrity-based mobile and Social games. So far, publishers like Zynga have been aggressively licensing slots games that feature well-known television series and films, like Sex and the City and Terminator. Instead of this blanketed approach, however, a targeted strategy and support of a single Celebrity is proving highly effective”.

Social Media contact is also gonna be a big pull; imagine being able to contact the Celebrity in real time while playing the Game. To this end YouTubers already would have an advantage, as Video game, be it and downloadable App for Portable Gaming units i.e. PSP, Nintendo 3DS, smartphone and Tablets  as well as consoles would be a hot commodity.

Especially as YouTubers are more popular than Hollywood Celebrities as noted in my blog article entitled “Variety Survey says YouTubers more popular than Hollywood Celebrities – Popularity driven by Teenage Fandoms and iCarly Effect”.

Next in line would be Reality Stars of a similar ilk and following like Kim Kardashian and her sisters Khloe and Kourtney on their hit Show KUWTK (Keeping Up With the Kardashians) such as those listed in Website under the category Reality Shows. Heck, maybe they should also make their own Gaming Apps as well, as Kim Kardashian’s sisters are famous in their own right!

This suggests that Morning Show hosts on Television programs and Radio Disk jockeys and Personalities across the US of A would also be hot commodities, being as their faces are always on Local and Cable TV and voices always on Radio with the occasional live outside broadcast that gives them some airtime on Television and even YouTube exposure.

Best and most important of all, their personalities are well known based on the strength of their Social Media postings and followings i.e. Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, Pinterest, etc.

Even local Television personalities from Television Jamaica morning program, Smile Jamaica in the guise of as Dahlia Harris, Neville Bell O.D Simone Clarke-Cooper, Yendi Phillipps etc can copy Kim Kardashian’s success by making their own Gaming App. 

Those Celebrity Video Gaming Apps can be made on contract by Jamaica's one-man Developer for Pandosoft, 24 year old Stephen Williams, Developer of the Google Android Game TapKat Fiesta as I'd pointed out in my blog article entitled “Stephen Williams' Android Game TapKat Fiesta - Social Media Marketing even as VoIP for Corporate and Enterprise untapped Telecoms Opportunity”.

Celebrities, be they Local or Cable Reality Hosts or Television or Radio Personalities, can copy Kim Kardashian success, but only if they are on TV, Radio or all the time and already have a strong Social Media following. Note however, YouTubers are already ahead of the pack on that list, as it's their time to shine.

Friday, October 24, 2014

Huawei experienced 26% Growth in Shipments for Third Quarter of 2014 - Sapphire Screen Huawei Ascend P7 smartphone coming

Disappointed that Apple didn’t cover the recently launched Apple iPhone 6 with a Sapphire Screen?

I sure knew I was as I’d pined about it for quite awhile, even doing an article predicting a Sapphire Screen for the Apple iPhone 6 in my blog article entitled “Apple iPhone 6 Official Invite sets Tuesday September 9th 2014 - Expect a Gold Standard 128GB Sapphire Screen with iWatch and NFC Mobile Money and BitCoin Wallet”.

Then look no further than Huawei for your Sapphire screen fix with the Huawei Ascend P7 Sapphire Edition that comes with a Sapphire Screen faceplate as announced in the article “Huawei confirms sapphire display for Ascend P7”, published September 4, 2014 6:58 AM PDT by Andrew Hoyle, CNET News and “No sapphire on your new iPhone? China's Huawei has you covered”, published Wed Sep 10, 2014 2:20am EDT BY SE YOUNG LEE AND MICHAEL GOLD, Reuters.

Best of all the Huawei Ascend P7 may be coming to a LIME Store near you in Jamaica!

Huawei experiencing Global Boom – Reports 26% Growth in shipments for the Third Quarter of 2014

Shenzhen, China-based Huawei is definitely on a Boom cycle in the Third Quarter of 2014 as reported by Huawei in a Reuters Interview with Huawei Consumer Business Group Marketing Executive Shao Yang as reported in the article “Huawei says third-quarter smartphone shipments jump 26 percent, strong demand for high-end devices”, published Thu Oct 23, 2014 6:08am EDT BY YIMOU LEE, Reuters.

This was already evident from their progress in expanding their shipments and market share from the IDC Stats for the Second Quarter of 2014 as reported in my blog article entitled “IDC Stats for Second Quarter of 2014 points to Asian Smartphone Rise – How cheaper smartphones are slowly killing BOTH Apple and Samsung marketshare”.

Apple has not fared so well during this Second Quarter of 2014 and their Third Quarter is not so good either as per the article “Apple posts solid Q3 profit, but iPhone sales don't wow”, published July 22, 2014 1:42 PM PDT by Shara Tibken, CNET News, albeit the phenomenal sales of the Apple iPhone 6 and Apple iPhone 6 Plus haven’t been tallied as yet.

Already word on Wall Street suggests that Samsung’s Third Quarter of 2014 may see a dizzying 60% drop in Profits as reported in my blog article entitled “Samsung’s declares 60% Profit and 20% Sales decline - Tizen OS Response needed as India’s Dewali may Light a Path in November towards Future Prosperity”.

Their popular line of smartphone, the Ascend Series, is helping to boost their Global sales in the Third Quarter with some impressive figures:

1.      26% year on year increase in sales
2.      6.8 million smartphones globally
3.      25% of the number accounted for by mid-range and high-end smartphones

Overall, for the First three Quarters of 2014, the outlook is clearly good, making Huawei a stock to bet o for future growth:

1.      51 million smartphones globally
2.      68% of their 80 million target for the year 2014

Good to note that during the Fourth Quarter of 2014:

1.         50% of shipments went to China
2.         Middle East, Africa and Asia-Pacific recorded the strongest growth

Huawei expects 80% year-on-year growth in the Fourth Quarter of 2014, being as the Christmas period is traditional a time when many opt to give a smartphone as a gift. So a Sapphire screen smartphone look just about right; a precious stone to cap off what’s already been a successful year for Huawei.

Jamaica loves Huawei, especially the mid-range JA$4999 Huawei Ascend Y330 sales of which exploded over the Summer of 2014 for Telecom Provider LIME as chronicled in my blog article entitled “JA$4999 Huawei Ascend Y330 vs JA$7599 Digicel DL700 Game of Phones -  Tablets to drop on Emancipation and Independence Day in a Game of Phones”.

JA$8,450 DL700 and JA$1,950 Samsung E1520 on Sale until October 26 2014 - Why DL750 Sale coming by December 2014 with DL800 in 2015

On Thursday October 23rd 2014, the unthinkable happened.

Telecom Provider Digicel extended a very popular sale during the Heroes Day Weekend that began on Saturday October 18th 2014 for the DL700 smartphone and the Samsung E1205 feature phone until Sunday October 26th 2014.

The DL700 is now priced at JA$8,450 on DigiFlex (Postpaid) and free on DigiSelect (Postpaid) or GoSmart postpaid plan or higher as described in my blog article entitled “Digicel Upgrades Smart and Value Postpaid Plans to Smart Postpaid Plans geared towards smartphones - More helpings of Data and International Calling Bundles is How I Live Now”.

The Samsung E1520 is priced at JA$1,950 on DigiFlex (Postpaid) and JA$1,560 on DigiSelect (Postpaid) with the option to get a Free SIM (Subscribed Identification Module) after purchase. As always, you can send the text 62 to 137 for further details on this promotion as shown below. 

Clearly the pricing battle between Digicel and LIME is STILL ongoing as noted in my blog article entitled “Digicel's Operation Bigger Better Value YouTube Ads - LIME Value Comparison with Ity and Fancy Cat as Yendi Phillipps does Somersaults”, as it may be a foretelling of what may come by Christmas 2014!

Toni-Ann Miller receives Badge of Honour for Gallantry – True Hero unlike some of the Awardees

Good to note that Heroes Day, a day on which many courageous Jamaicans receive Awards from the GOJ (Government of Jamaica) was marked more by Acts of Gallantry as noted in the article “Gallantry Steals the Show”, published Tuesday, October 21, 2014 BY RICHARD JOHNSON Observer senior reporter, The Jamaica Observer.

Yes, as hard as it is to believe, football coach and Television personality from Television Jamaica Neville ‘Bertis’ Bell also received an OD (Order of Distinction) for years of service. So too did The Jamaica Observer Lifestyle and Social Content Novia McDonald-Whyte and veteran journalists Franklin McKnight and Owen James of the Owen James Report Fame.

Of particular note was the action of an 11 year old girl, Toni-Ann Miller from Mount Hermon community of St Catherine, who, last year in 2013 at the age of 10 years old, ran into a burning building and rescued two (2) children from the building.

For this act of selfless bravery, she received the Badge of Honour for Gallantry at the National Honours and Awards Ceremony held on the lawns of King’s House as noted in the article “11 Year-Old to be Honoured for Heroic Act”, published October 19, 2014 By Alecia Smith-Edwards, The Jamaica Information Service.

Digicel and the DL700 – Possible Sale coming by December 2014 with DL800 in 2015

But equally heroic is Telecom Provider Digicel extending the Sale of the super popular DL700, which is slowly and ponderously giving way to the DL750, based mainly on increasing traffic on my personal blog to my blog article entitled “JA$13,688 Digicel DL750 Launched – Alcatel One Touch Pop C3 with Free TV App, DL600 issues in X-Men Origins First Class Days of Future Past”.

So does this hint at a possible sale come December 2014? Who will win the War for the Iron Throne come Christmas in this Game of Phones? Will it be the Telecom Provider JA$8,450 Digicel’s DL700 aka Alcatel One Touch Pop C3 or the Telecom Provider LIME’s JA$4999 Huawei Ascend Y330?

Or will Digicel’s DL750 overshadow the previous Budget smartphone completely and ushers in another update in 2015, the DL800?

Socialbakers trend of Facebook Video – YouTube ditched for Facebook’s Social Media Garden and Twitteratti Twitter-verse

“This is not a statistical anomaly. We have specific examples of brands that only shared YouTube Videos and then started only sharing Facebook Videos”

Socialbakers CEO Jan Rezab commenting on the shift from Sharing and interacting with YouTube Videos to Facebook Videos

YouTube’s empire is slowly beginning to show signs of crumbling!

First it’s Yahoo CEO Marissa Mayer making a play for Celebrity YouTubers to move their accounts over to Yahoo owned Tumblr in exchange for higher split of advertising revenue as noted in my blog article entitled “Marissa Mayer's Yahoo Tumblr Partner Program - 30-70 Split to attract YouTube Stars, Value Brands and Grassroots Fans as Youtube's Kingdom Crumbles”.

Now comes word that YouTube is getting a challenge for Video supremacy within the confines of Facebook’s Social Network Garden. This as more Facebook members are choosing to share and interact with Videos uploaded to Facebook than with YouTube links embedded within Facebook based on the statistical analysis of Social media analytics company, Socialbakers, as noted in the article “Facebook Is Challenging YouTube For Video Supremacy (On Facebook)”, published 10/16/2014 @ 2:48PM by Jeff Bercovici, Forbes.

What’s more, Facebook seems to be encouraging this trend, having recently in September 2014 added a Video counter so that Facebook Video uploaders can know how many people have interacted with their Video as noted in the article “Facebook Videos gain a counter, just like on YouTube”, published September 8, 2014 10:36 AM PDT by Don Reisinger, CNET News.

Socialbakers trend of increasing Facebook Video – YouTube getting ditched for Homegrown Facebook Content

Socialbakers first spotted the trend after studying some 180,000 Video Posts across 20,000 Facebook pages over a twelve (12) month period. What they noticed can be represented using two (2) graphs:

1.      Share of number of Video Posts i.e. how many persons share the Videos that they post to their Facebook Wall
2.      Share of Interactions i.e. how many people actually click and watch these Videos

The results are shocking, especially when you consider the scope ouf YouTube’s offering and the ease with which YouTube makes it possible to share hyperlinks to their Videos to Facebook.

First the Socialbakers Graph showing the Share of number of Video Posts:

If that's a shocker, and I'm sure it must be if you knew how popular YouTube Content is, then the increasing percentage share of interactions for Facebook Videos as opposed to YouTube Videos should stun you into stony silence. Enter the Socialbakers Graph showing the Share of Interactions:

Facebook Videos easier to share - YouTube losing big to Walled Social Media Garden

The reason? Easier interaction. To share a YouTube Video on Facebook requires that you get the shortened hyperlink to share that Video as noted in my blog article entitled “How to use Dropbox, Google Drive and Sound File Sharing Websites to Share and Promote your Content online - Sharing is Caring”.  

Believe it or not, despite my graphics-laden article, not everyone is that technically adept. Worse, in order to share some Videos, you have to be a member of YouTube, forcing you to have a Google+ Account. Many Facebook faithful loath the lack of true Social interaction within Google+ pristine Social Media Wilderness!

A Facebook Video i.e. Video Content that is uploaded to Facebook directly is fairly easy to share by just clicking the Share Button and choosing who can see your shared post.

If you want to share your Facebook Pictures or Videos on other Social Media Websites via a hyperlink or even embed your Facebook pictures of Videos from your Timeline, Facebook makes that easy to do as well as noted in my blog article entitled “How to share and embed Facebook Photos, Albums and Videos to Share and Promote your Content Online - Sharing is Caring”.

According to Facebook, 65% of their Facebook Videos are viewed on Mobile devices as declared in their Facebook Newsroom post entitled “The Latest on Facebook Video”, published September 7, 2014 By Fidji Simo, Product Management Director, Facebook Newsroom.

Interestingly YouTube’s own statistics state that only 40% of their Videos are viewed on Mobile Devices. Very interesting indeed, considering that YouTube is practically baked into Google Android OS on smartphones, which should makes it easier for a smartphone users to just slip over to their YouTube App to view a Video.

Apparently that’s not the case, as they may be locked into Facebook or Twitter, making opening up a new app seem unnecessary when the videos are right there in your Facebook Timeline.

Looks like Facebook's got an edge in the Mobile world ever since they’ve launched Nearby Friends in April 2014 as chronicled in my blog articles entitled “Facebook launches Nearby Friends feature - WhatsApp VoIP and Oculus Rift VR Wearable Computing Takes flight as FB look towards the Future in the Year of the Horse”.

Facebook also has good luck too, as the increasing 4G LTE deployments by Telecom Providers globally means that, Streaming, be it Video or Audio from any source and not just YouTube via a smartphone of Tablet, is now the growing Trend as pointed out in my blog article entitled “RIAA Stats on Music Streaming – Why 4G LTE and Cheaper Cloud Storage means downloads extinct”.

Facebook monetizing Video Uploading - Facebook’s Social Media Garden and Twitteratti Twitter-verse

Just remember to use a URL shortening service such as TinyURL or to compress and share on Twitter. Even better, sing allows you to monetize your Facebook Pictures and Videos whenever you share them outside of Facebook.

And that may be the next thing that Facebook might do; allow Facebook Video posters to make money by placing Ads in their Videos in a manner akin to YouTube. Socialbakers CEO Jan Rezab claiming that he knows of specific brands that have switched from YouTube to uploading and sharing Video directly from Facebook due to the ease of sharing Content on Social Media.

Suddenly, YouTube’s problems may have doubled, as if their offer is attractive enough, then Yahoo CEO Marissa Mayer’s offer of increased Ad revenue on Tumblr may not be the only game in town.

Especially now that Facebook’s close to launching a Buy Button to enable E-Commerce on their Social Media Platform as noted in my blog article entitled “Facebook kills Gifts and presses Buy Button - How Facebook One-Click Purchases will start an Apple-esque Smurfberries-style Scandal”.

Twitter also has plans for a Buy Button as well as noted in my blog article entitled “Twitter’s one-click Buy Button – How One-Click E-Commerce is Twitter’s Great Smurfberry Scam Confessions of a Shopaholic” with an equally obscure date for launch and no confirmation from the company.

Good to note too that Twitter in August 2014 had acquired MadBits, a year-old company that has a Deep Learning Platform that specializes in Artificial Vision i.e. Artificial Intelligence applied to the contextual recognition of photos and Videos as noted in my blog article entitled Twitter buys Madbits – How Torch7 powered Artificial Vision will make Twitter more like Facebook”.

Thus advertising place in pictures or Vine Videos based on the context of the Videos would make for a more targeted approach to advertising and allow them to woo away some major brands advertising on YouTube.

Google's YouTube may start losing big advertisers eager to get a slice of Facebook’s Walled Social Media Garden and the Twitteratti in the Twitter-verse!

Thursday, October 23, 2014

US$199 for the Pebble Steel smartwatch as Update brings Activity Tracking and Sleep Monitoring

Pebble seems to already be gearing up for Black Friday. This as the Best Buy price-drop for the must-have smartwatch dropped as follows:

1.         US$99 (€129, £99) for the Pebble
2.         US$199 (€229, £179) for the Pebble Steel

This represents US$50 off the original price of US$150 for the original Pebble as reported inPEBBLE SMARTWARTCH NOW PRICED AT $100, UPDATE INCLUDES ACTIVITY AND SLEEP TRACKING”, published September 30, 2014 by Williams Pelegrin, DigitalTrends.

The Pebble smartwatch now comes in some fruit-luscious coloured plastic armbands as described in my Geezam blog article entitled “Pebble gets new limited edition Fresh, Hot and Fly colors for the Spy Kids in your life”.

The US$249 Pebble Steel is still James Bond cool as I’d described in my Geezam blog article entitled “US$249 Pebble Steel rocks James Bond Playboy joie de vivre on your Wrist”, now with the grasp of every debonair James Bond aficionado with a similar US$50 price drop.

Also announced on their Pebble Blog, they’ve also issued an update that adds the following functionality to the Pebble smartwatch:

1.      24/7 Activity tracking
2.      24/7 Sleep monitoring
3.      Health and fitness apps from Misfit, Jawbone, and

To get the update, simply follow the instructions on your smartphone:

1.      Open the Pebble smartphone app for iOS or Android.
2.      Select Support
3.      Select Update Your Pebble in the Menu if the update does not begin automatically

This updates doesn’t decrease your Pebble's battery life and gives you the extra perk of displaying your favorite watchface while tracking activity in the background. But it does blur the lines between Fitness Trackers and smartwatches as reported in Pebble upgrades its fitness tracking, drops its price”, published September 30, 2014 01:00 pm By Dan Seifert, The Verge

Especially as the Apple Watch is coming with an improved HealthKit as the article “Pebble's Price-Cutting Defense Against the Apple Watch”, published September 30, 2014 By Joshua Brustein, BusinessWeek strongly suggests!

The update also teaches the Pebble a few new tricks aside from new functionalities and the usual bug fixes:

1.      Quick Launch which allows you to long press Up or Down Buttons to create shortcuts for your favorite Apps
2.      Select Button that dismisses notifications when paired with an Android or iOS 7 or lower device

Nothing has changed about the smartwatches as they're still good underwater at up to 5 ATM. with these new pieces, however, they just came up for Air!