Report Says In-Game Purchases Will Rise to $4.8 Billion in 2016

I swore I would never do it. My friend swore she’d never do it. And still, after months of fighting the urge, we both did it. We both spent money in-game in order to advance play. A mighty eagle, here, an extra life there. The question now is, where will it end?

If Juniper Research is right, it may not end until we’re both out on the street begging for change in order to buy Words with Friends tokens.

Juniper says we (all of us, not just my friend and I) spent $2.1 billion on in-game purchases in 2011. They expect that number to rise to $4.8 billion in 2016.

Time to Take Out the Social Media Trash

The average, large company in the US has 178 corporate-owned social media accounts.

I’ll let that sink in for a moment.

Twitter has the highest number with an average of 39.2 accounts per company and Facebook is right in there with 29.9. Here’s the full layout from Altimeter’s new report: “A Strategy for Managing Social Media Proliferation.”

Companies create multiple accounts to split out brands or for a specific marketing campaign and since hosting the accounts is free, why not? Here’s why not.

1. You’re throwing spaghetti at the wall.

The concept here is, if you throw enough spaghetti at the wall, eventually, some of it will stick. Since you don’t know which strands will hang on, you keep on throwing, everything you’ve got, and you hope for the best.

Mobile Commerce Dollars Nearly Double But Not Everyone is Buying

Statistics are a funny thing. 118% growth and 6.7 billion sound like great numbers. But let’s take a look at how things really add up.

This chart from eMarketer shows some amazing growth in the mobile commerce market. Look at that 118.8% increase in 2010. Sounds great, until you realize that prior to 2010, mobile commerce didn’t really exist. It was just people using the internet access on their phones in order to buy something.

The dollar hop from $3.5 billion to $6.7 billion in 2011 is very nice. But folks spent $37.2 billion online just this past holiday season alone. So, it’s still a very small part of overall spending.

I’m not knocking mobile, or the rise in m-commerce. I just want to look at it with glasses that aren’t tinted a rose color.

Consumers Still Don’t Know What to Do with QR Codes

QR codes are popping up everywhere. Not long ago, these mysterious patterned squares could be found in an occasional magazine or on a mailer. Now you can find them on grocery displays, packaging, even on bus shelters.

More QR codes must mean more people are using them! Right? Sort of. A new study from Chadwick Martin Bailey shows that people are scanning, but they don’t know what do with the results.

Here’s a visual from Marketing Charts:

I’m part of that top line, too. When QR codes were new, I scanned them all the time. Now, I rarely bother. I find that most codes just lead me to a website that I could have arrived at more easily by typing in the URL. Other than that, I’ve been led to a few recipes and some behind the scenes videos for movies. Nothing thrilling and certainly nothing worth sharing.

Online Influences Almost Two-Thirds of Toy Purchases

When I was a kid, holiday toy shopping for my mom meant cracking open the Sears Wish Book. She’d chose the items from our lists, call in the order and everything would arrive on the doorstep a few days later. No need to step inside a toy store at all.

Times haven’t changed all that much. Today, parents are still avoiding the aisles by doing a large amount of toy shopping online. Even when they don’t buy online, the internet is influencing their decisions on what to buy. Check out this chart from the new Google study “The Role of Digital in the Toy Shopper’s Journey.”

YouTube and Netflix Share Top Honors in November 2011

Today we ponder the question, if people stopped loading videos on the internet right now, how long would it take to watch everything that’s already been submitted?

These are the kinds of things that keep me up at night. It’s like calculating how long it would take me to watch every minute of every DVD I own. I don’t know that either feat could be accomplished in the time we have on this earth.

According to Nielsen, 166.9 million unique US viewers watched nearly 22 billion videos in November 2011. In January of 2011, the unique viewer number was 143,930 watching almost 15 billion videos. That’s quite a jump in only ten months.

Everything Old is New Again: the Comeback Kids of 2012

People say they want something new and different, but the truth is, we gravitate toward old, familiar images and brands. Sometimes these brands return with a clever, modern update (Can you say, “Old Spice.”) Other times, it’s just the mere reminder of why we loved them in the first place that makes us a fan all over again.

Forbes has just released their list of brands they expect to make a comeback in 2012. Let’s take a look and see if you agree.

The Muppets

This one is a no-brainer, since they’re already on the upswing. Back in November, The Muppets released a new movie which, ironically, was all about them making a comeback. Since then, Kermit and friends have been popping up everywhere, reigniting original fans and bringing in a new, teen audience.