New Streams From Old Media Networks

February 08, 2016
As CBS, NBC, HBO, Bravo, Discovery and other “traditional” TV networks unleash their direct-to-consumer streaming video plans, the entire idea of “television” changed. Add in Netflix’s strategy to debut its original programs simultaneously in theaters and online, you know the business is in the midst of an overhaul. Producers and distributors are taking diverse approaches to streaming strategies in these early “over-the-top” (OTT) days. CBS surprised people when it opted to reboot Star Trek on its CBS All Access streaming platform (a $6 per month subscription video-on-demand...

What to Expect in the New Year

February 01, 2016
With 2015 in the books, let’s turn to 2016 and take a look at a few of the things I’m expecting in the year ahead. We enter the New Year with downside risks that have receded somewhat, but remain pronounced. The sharp decline in global equities this past summer, rising concerns of a severe slowdown in China and other emerging markets that would precipitate a global slowdown, and the rising value of the dollar were all downside risks to economic growth in the back half of 2015. While somewhat muted, as we enter 2016, these risks remain intact. Global Economies Global economies remain unsettled. China remains of core concern, but broad concern over a global economic slowdown...

CES 2016: The Women's Report

January 08, 2016
Time was, not too long go, where the only advantage of being a woman at CES was a short line at the bathroom. As technology has become life’s sidekick and as CES has morphed from an electronics show to a show that celebrates innovation, all that has changed.  This year women are continuing to make an impact in helping to shape the world of technology. Keynotes from GM’s Mary Barra and IBM’s Ginni Rometty, speakers including Mary Lou Jepsen of Oculus Rift, Megan Smith, the U.S. Chief Technology Officer, and Amy Wilkinson speaking on her new book, The Creators...

A Show Veteran's CES Tips

December 18, 2015
The first time I heard of CES was in December 1981. I was working for a toy industry magazine and was summoned to the publisher’s office to go to Las Vegas in early January 1982 to cover the news about videogame systems (Atari 2600 and Mattel Intellivision) or software, and anyone selling what was then called “children’s videocassettes.” I made travel arrangements in December for CES with a skimpy budget. The result was a flight from LaGuardia in New York with stops in Des Moines, Iowa, Denver; and… eventually… Vegas. It felt like a flying bus. (My first flight to China from New York decades later took around the same amount of time.) As for the...

Five Ways to Lead

December 15, 2015
You’ve got to be clever, nimble and resilient to become future-proof. You also have to be bold, constantly pushing yourself to change your business strategies, and reinvent how you look at both your customers and core value proposition. Happily, doing so isn’t nearly as difficult as it sounds when you are relentlessly persistent and practical, even in the face of setbacks—and where you’re constantly learning. Here are five principles to give you the insights to continue to forge ahead, regardless of what the future brings. 1. Be Courageous Being courageous in business does not equal being without fear. Rather, it means: (1) Being objective about the challenges...

Expectations for the 2015 Holidays

December 11, 2015
After a weak start to 2015 and several speed bumps and roadblocks along the way, I expect us to close out the year on a positive note. My projections have holiday retail sales growing 3.4 percent in 2015— less than last year’s 5.2 percent, but slightly above the average growth rate we’ve experienced since 2002. With production cycles as they are, I’m penning this in October—well in advance of the holiday season. By the time you read it, we’ll already know how the holiday season has started and if there is sufficient momentum to carry us through the end of the year and materialize the growth I anticipate. Here are three developments influencing my...

Ready for Reality, Virtually

December 08, 2015
Have you looked around Henry? It’s the new Oculus Story Studio’s animated movie that puts you into the interactive world of Henry, a hedgehog that senses and reacts to your presence. What about stepping into a 360 degree exploration of SyFy Network’s The Expanse? Or maybe you’re waiting to immerse yourself in Sony’s Project Morpheus when they debut on PlayStation 4 or play in a “real” NHL hockey game?   From top studios and major league sports to tech giants and innovative startups, virtual reality (VR) is the new buzzword for storytelling, thanks to ...

Market Research Update: October-December 2015

December 07, 2015
CTA's Market Research Department has released its bimonthly research update infographic. This edition focuses on consumer purchases, digital imaging and holiday purchase patterns.

The Wacky World of Money (No Cash Included)

November 30, 2015
From trading wampum to gold coins, the history of money is fascinating. And it’s due for disruption. Other than the U.S. laggard, which just moved to EMV chips in credit cards this fall, the last big disruption was the invention of the magnetic stripe card itself. Now, bit by bit, that $5 bill you have in your wallet is going the way of the dinosaur. In its place are a growing number of cash replacements: smarter credit cards, e-wallets and crypto-currencies. Why Now? Cash is dirty and inefficient. Every cash transaction generates fees every time you make a transaction. It’s an easy system to defraud. In a recent speech, Jamie Forese, co-president of Citi Bank declared that...
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