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The September 10, 2009 Issue Provided by System Dynamics Inc.
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Briefly Noted: Updates, Observations and Trends

Each month, we collect miscellaneous happenings, studies, trends or observations you might have missed. This month's briefs focus on ad-supported online TV, the digital game market, personal hotspots, and the future of the wired phone.

Ad-Supported Online TV Market

The online TV services of the four major US television networks (ABC, CBS, NBC and Fox) together with Hulu, the joint venture between NBC Universal, News Corporation and Disney, accounted for a combined 53% of the ad-supported online TV market in the US, according to a report from UK research firm Screen Digest. The ad-supported US online TV market generated revenues of US $448 million in 2008, according to the report, so it is still dwarfed by broadcast and cable TV ad revenues, which were $69 billion in 2008. ( www.screendigest.com )

Digital Game Market--Not Just for kids

68% of US households now play computer games or video games, according to research done for the Entertainment Software Association (ESA)by Ipsos MediaCT. Survey findings show that the average game player is 35 years old, adult gamers have been playing for 12 years on average and 42% of American homes have a video game console. Networked videogame consoles are currently the most utilized devices for bringing web video to the TV. In-Stat projects that by 2013, 10.7 million consoles will be used as web-to-TV mediation devices in the US. ( www.theESA.com ) ( www.in-stat.com )

Personal Hotspots--Who Needs Starbucks?

An increasing number of mobile service providers are offering devices that let users connect multiple Wi-Fi devices to the internet over their 3G connection. Examples include Sprint and Verizon in the US, and 3 in the UK. The devices go by various names including "personal hotspots", "mobile routers" and brandings like MiFi. The Verizon and Sprint offerings are both based on the Novatel Wireless MiFi 2200. Users no longer have to locate a hotspot to use Wi-Fi because the device creates one for them. Even if I have my hotspot, I'll still take Starbucks for the latte. ( www.novatelwireless.com )

Wireline phones--An Endangered Species?

A story in the August 13th issue of The Economist pointed out that while many articles have been addressing the imperiled status of American print newspapers, wired phones are in a much more tenuous position. The article noted that by one often-quoted calculation, the last printed newspaper in the US will arrive on a doorstep in 2043. That's a long time in the future compared to the projection that the last phone cord will be cut in 2025 if the decline of the landline continues at its current rate. ( www.economist.com )