Global CE Sales Rose 4.5% in 2014 – The total amount at factory level for 2014 was $707 billion, and it was driven by a 24% growth in cellphones and tablets. CE business is ecpected to grow to $733 billion by 2018. The TV segment will continue to grow, and emerging markets accounted for more than half of CE spending. Home automation will also be a key driver of growth in 2015.
The Sony Cave-In on “The Interview” – While some of us may feel this bizarre situation was as serious as if the U.S. suddenly paid all hostage holders the money they ask for, John Rice of the Komedia Group blogged a different way to see this: “Anything – I’ll say that again, anything — that has even the slightest impact on a consumer engaging in a transaction for entertainment purposes impacts what we are about.” The movie wasn’t getting very good advance reviews anyway.
Amazon Begins One-Hour Manhattan Deliveries – The No. 1 e-tailer will now provide one-to-two-hour deliveries of over 25,000 items to Prime-tier customers in Manhattan, for $7.99. Delivery is made by bicycle, and the service will be expanded to additional cities next year.
OTT Market Expands – Over-The-Top streaming (Internet delivery of material without subscriptions or a TV cable contract) now offers a huge number of options and capabilities. The HBO Go OTT streaming app is now available on the Fire TV and Fire TV Stick, giving Prime subscribers access to HBO movies and original TV programs. Users can make per-program purchases, not just subscribers who already pay for HBO on a cable or satellite TV service. Roku and Comcast have cut a deal to make HBO Go available to Comcast subscribers with Roku media players. Walmart now gaves customers who make a $4.99 credit purchase to Walmart online access to their digital movie service Vudo, which can be accessed on nearly every connected device. Vudo now has Disney’s digital movie service. Roku now produces the Roku Recommends channel, which looks at the latest streaming movies and TV shows.
Vinyl Reissue Schedule from Rush – Last April the band’s debut album was reissued on vinyl and over the course of 2015 the band’s other 13 albums will come out in chronological order, with Fly By Night, their second album, on January 27. Each remastered vinyl comes with a download code to obtain hi-res digital audio editions in either 96/24 or 192/24 form. Their upcoming July release, Moving Pictures, was one of the first discs to receive the RIAA’s first multi-platinum designation, and scored four million sales to date in the U.S.