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SoftBank's "Speed Freak" CEO Sprints into US

Posted by Sheila Shayon on October 15, 2012 12:53 PM

Japanese firms, fueled by a strong yen and low interest rates, have spent $75bn this year on foreign deals with no evidence of a slowing down. Now Japanese mobile operator SoftBank has agreed to pay $20.1 billion for a 70 percent stake in Sprint, marking the company's largest overseas acquisition to date.

“This transaction provides an excellent opportunity for SoftBank to leverage its expertise in smartphones and next-generation high speed networks, including LTE, to drive the mobile internet revolution in one of the world’s largest markets," stated SoftBank's billionaire founder and chief, Masayoshi Son, in a joint press release

"As we have proven in Japan, we have achieved a v-shaped earnings recovery in the acquired mobile business and grown dramatically by introducing differentiated products to an incumbent-led market. Our track record of innovation, combined with Sprint’s strong brand and local leadership, provides a constructive beginning toward creating a more competitive American wireless market.”Continue reading...

games people play

Is It Game Over for Zynga?

Posted by Sheila Shayon on October 9, 2012 12:06 PM

Back in 2008 it made sense for Zynga to piggyback with Facebook and offer a games portal for the social newcomer on the desktop. But as gaming machines got more powerful and home consoles proliferated, simple click-click games gave way to those more complicated, more easily replicable by other game developers, and clicks got more costly.

Now games like Farmville and Cityville, once Zynga’s bread and butter, are being left in the digital dust as droves of players spend more time on smartphones than on social gaming and paying gamers now comprise less than 5% of Zynga’s user base. 

The billion-lapping Facebook garnered 14% of its revenue in the first six months of 2012 from Zynga, but according to CNBC, analysts are warning that “social gaming on mobile devices is growing at the expense of desktop, which is where FB derives the majority of its payments revenue.”

Its stock price has fallen more than 70 percent this year from its December IPO price of $10, and it's seeing executives such as its head of poker games, CMO, COO and Chief Creative Officer exiting for greener pastures. Is it Game Over for Zynga?Continue reading...

brand news

In the News: Steve Jobs, James Bond Day, Starbucks and more

Posted by Dale Buss on October 5, 2012 09:01 AM

In the News

Adele captures iTunes download record overnight with Skyfall theme song release at 00:07 on global James Bond Day.

Apple pays tribute to Steve Jobs as his legacy celebrated on the one-year anniversary of his death.

Starbucks to allow digital tipping.

American Airlines keeps finding more seat problems.

Arby's fixes TV spot that dissed Subway and angered Iowans.

Chipotle voted favorite Mexican chain in survey.Continue reading...

brand news

In the News: iPhone 5, T-Mobile, Lexus and more

Posted by Dale Buss on September 17, 2012 09:02 AM

In the News

Apple iPhone 5 sets pre-sale record, inspires queues outside stores.

Express Scripts members now can go back to Walgreens.

Ford becomes focus of talks with Canadian Auto Workers ahead of strike deadline at midnight.

Fox says Nicki Minaj and Keith Urban will join American Idol as judges.

GM is getting resistance from U.S. government over proposal for taxpayer exit from ownership.

HP emphasizes design in turnaround hopes.

Heineken makes over its bottle and enlists James Bond for global campaign.Continue reading...

social marketing

Facebook Ups Google Ad Battle With FBX Real-Time Bidding

Posted by Mark J. Miller on September 14, 2012 03:01 PM

When Facebook went public in May at the cost of $38/share, but it has since struggled to get anywhere close to that amount, falling at one point below $18. Analysts and investors have been down on the social-networking site, saying the new more-mobile world is going to make it less relevant. Mark Zuckerberg admitted that mobile needs to be more of a focus during his first post-IPO public remarks, at TechCrunch Disrupt. The stock price has made its way back into the low twenties, partially due to its founder/CEO's remarks over marketing missteps — and also due to some much-needed good news for the company.

According to partners using Facebook’s ad network, the company is doing better than Google in getting its users to click on advertising based on browsing.

Facebook Exchange, or FBX, generates as much as four times the return on ad dollars than other real-time bidding systems, said Triggit Inc., which makes software tools to help Facebook deliver the ads,” Bloomberg reports. “Another partner, AdRoll, said advertisers used to getting $10 for every $1 they spend are making $16 for every dollar spent on FBX.”

The official launch of Facebook Exchange on Sept. 13 sent its share price soaring. The ads come up based on what a consumer has been looking for on the web. So if someone has been searching for shoes online, when he or she goes onto Facebook, shoe advertisements will be served up.Continue reading...

brand news

In the News: United, Chrysler, Burberry and more

Posted by Dale Buss on September 11, 2012 09:02 AM

In the News

American Airlines and United 9/11 lawsuits may finally get resolved.

Andy Murray is poised for endorsement deals after historic U.S. Open win.

Apple will boost carriers and U.S. economy with release of iPhone 5 as Samsung is ready to sue and iPad Mini pictures leak.

Burberry rocks luxury sector with warning of lower sales and profits.

Chevrolet disputes Reuters' Volt report.

Chrysler unveils new models to dealers, prices new Viper around $100,000.

Dallas Morning News launches social-content marketing company.

FedEx and UPS gain ground in China.

GM stops deliveries of several popular 2013 vehicles to fix OnStar glitch.Continue reading...

games people play

Zynga Gets More Visual and Social With FarmVille 2

Posted by Brandchannel Staff on September 5, 2012 02:33 PM

Zynga today released FarmVille 2 on its website and Facebook, described as "Zynga's next-generation social game that delivers a brand new farming experience through stunning visuals, beautiful animations and new ways to visit and interact with friends. FarmVille 2 allows players to create a beautiful farm and express themselves in a world that feels alive and reacts to every touch." More details in the video below.Continue reading...

bubble watch

Groupon, Group-Off: The Demise of Daily Deals?

Posted by Sheila Shayon on August 20, 2012 01:02 PM

Daily deal fatigue is trending. The e-bubble created by Groupon, LivingSocial and Google Offers is springing leaks. Groupon, the granddaddy of the genus, is hitting the proverbial wall in earnest. Some of its early backers are jumping ship, the Wall Street Journal reports, potentially indicative of a larger loss of faith in the business model as a whole. 

Andreessen Horowitz, purchaser of 5.1 million shares at $7.90 each has sold them all; Fidelity sold one-third of its stake (down to 13.2 million) between March 31 and June 30; Maverick Capital retains fewer than 2 million shares as of June 30, down from 6.3 million three months earlier.

Since its November IPO, Groupon shares have dropped 82%, making it now worth $3 billion, about half of Google’s purchase offer in 2010. Groupon is not alone in disappointing expectations for investors and analysts as Facebook and Zynga join a collective memory of the dot-com bust in 2000. Daily Deal Media reports that 798 daily deal sites closed down between July and December, 2011. Continue reading...

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