September 22, 2016

MichaelHicksAs the Internet’s popularity began to rise in the late 1990s, the music industry had just enjoyed some of their best years to date. Annual sales soared over $14 billion at its peak, driven by an enormous demand for CDs that appeared to be insatiable. After 1999, however, consumer interest shifted online where users could download any song they wanted for free. While the Recording Industry Association of America tried in vain to stop illegal file trading, the practice only Continue reading

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August 12, 2016

Mobile games like Pokemon Go and Clash of Clans have become revenue-generating machines despite being free to download in any app store. So how do these games manage to make money without a set price point? This fascinating video from Vox provides the answer by taking a close look at the optional purchases that drive profits for these apps.

 

Questions:

  1. Is it ethical for freemium gamemakers to earn the bulk of their money from Continue reading
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Two years ago Led Zeppelin made headlines after the band got hit with a lawsuit concerning their most iconic song. According to the complaint, songwriters Robert Plant and Jimmy Page stole the opening guitar riff to “Stairway to Heaven” from a short instrumental called “Taurus” by the American psychedelic band Spirit. While Led Zeppelin’s members denied any wrongdoing, cultural commenters pointed to the band’s history of plagiarism and previous legal battles. What’s more, the lawsuit appeared just months before another Continue reading

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With summer here at last, people across the country will be looking to fill up their free time with some fun. But if your idea of a good time includes trying your hand at a claw machine, you may want to pick up a more reliable hobby. As this video shows, many claw machines are designed to ensure that players continuously lose. So beware, those who frequent arcades and boardwalk midways, Continue reading

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American movie theaters have endured a rough couple of years as more consumers turn to the comfort of their living rooms as venues for entertainment. That’s far from the case in China, however. The Asian nation has become an increasingly important source of revenue for U.S. movie studios that have seen domestic receipts start to dwindle. In February Chinese theaters earned $1.05 billion at the box office, beating the American tally by nearly $250 million.

Still, China isn’t exactly an Continue reading

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April 21, 2016

For many modern Americans, going to the movie theater just doesn’t hold the same appeal as in years past. After all, consumers can easily access thousands of films from the comfort of their couches. Those especially fortunate individuals enjoy their media on 70-inch, surround-sound enabled televisions, further undermining the attraction of the theater experience. With these factors in mind, last week the CEO of AMC Theaters said that the company was considering lifting its ban on texting during screenings. Internet Continue reading

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January 19, 2016

Although vinyl records sales are higher than they have been in decades, companies are having trouble meeting demand due to their reliance on old, antiquated machinery.

https://youtu.be/mHJQJbrvOd0

Questions:

  1. Will demand for vinyl records drop if companies fail to maintain a steady supply?
  2. With music and movie streaming sites now commonplace, do vinyl records and other forms of physical media have a long term future?

 

From The New York Times

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August 3, 2015

For those who don’t have a feline friend of their own, any advertisement for cat food they encounter will probably fall under the radar. That is unless the words “Meow Mix” happen to enter their ears. According to a 2011 survey conducted by the company, more people knew the melody to Meow Mix’s iconic 1970s jingle than the national anthem. This fact is even more incredible considering that the company hadn’t run an ad with the tune since 1996. Throughout Continue reading

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April 30, 2015

In an earlier newsletter, we included a story about how Lego built its mighty block empire on a strong foundation of licensed products. The Danish company continues to make a variety of sets with characters from popular franchises like Star Wars and Harry Potter, accounting for a third of Lego’s sales. As the toy company became more dominant in the last year, however, it started to focus more on promoting its own brand rather than others’. The 2014 The Lego Continue reading

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April 18, 2015

For years Walt Disney Studios thrived by strategically reissuing its catalogue of animated classics on home video. Starting out on VHS and continuing with DVD and Blu-ray, the company rereleased a movie every seven years, updating the special features and packaging into something new for consumers to purchase. With digital downloads rising and DVD sales on the downturn, however, Disney’s longtime cash cow is starting to run dry. As a result, the Mouse has switched focus to reimagining its past Continue reading

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