Digital Media News (week 19)
30 April 2012
Weekly bulletin collating public sector, industry and company news for creative industries by David Hartley.
"The European Commission has extended the deal which granted French developers a 20 percent tax rebate, provided that they can prove that the games in questions are culturally significant. A previous deal, fought for by the EGDF, and Guillaume de Fondaumière in particular, extended the offer only until 31 December 2011. The new agreement extends that privilege until the end of 2017 at the earliest."
Local industry news
From the BBC
"An app to help mark the 200th anniversary of the Highland Clearances in a part of Sutherland will be launched next month. Museum Without Walls: Scotland's Clearances Trail App has been developed by Timespan Museum in Helmsdale. The smartphone and tablet app will form part of efforts to commemorate the Clearances in Strath of Kildonan." You can learn more from this Digital2012 presentation which also featured the developer Bluemungus.
From The Scotsman
"Private equity investors IQ Capital, New Wave Ventures and Par Equity have pumped £1.6 million in second-round funding into Edinburgh-based software firm MiiCard, which has developed a "digital passport" for online shopping. The funding will be used to fuel the company's expansion in the United States and help to develop its work in financial services, online dating and social networks."
From langtech news
"The partnership between speech-technology company CereProc, Fanchinima AB and KTH Centre for Speech Technology is set to create the most realistic movie process simulation solution on the market. It will blend innovative technologies to deliver an advanced animated film making toolkit. Creating opportunities for filmmakers - both amateur and professional - by enabling the cost effective creation of compelling animated films featuring realistic avatars with natural and characterful voices, the recently announced dynamic partnership between CereProc and Fanchinima is set to challenge the creative industries’ current animated film making processes."
"… while many people recognise the company, it has evolved hugely since it was founded and is now working at the cutting edge of interactive entertainment… Which makes WeeWorld a 'social entertainment' company, which exists in the sweet spot between social networking, casual gaming and online communities. To start with, WeeWorld runs WeeWorld.com which has, quite literally, millions of teens hanging out every month".
More information also in this accompanying article, A Pocket Full Of Wee – Games, Gab & Griffins."
From The Scotsman
"An internet tycoon, who as a teenager set up a website that now attracts 20 million visitors, has joined a growing list of Scots among the UK's richest people. The aptly named Pete Cashmore, 26, from Aberdeenshire set up the website Mashable at the age of 19, tracking developments in gadgets and computer technology. Now he is worth £60 million – although that only makes him the 84th wealthiest person in Scotland, and the seventh richest person under the age of 30 in the UK."
"InformationWeek business publisher and events organiser UBM on Wednesday became the latest to report what, for some, is now becoming a trend: "As expected, UBM's online marketing services revenues exceeded print revenues for a full reporting period for the first time."… Warner Music Group, Axel Springer and Future all recently reported digital revenue gains had made up for declines in sales of analogue content."
From Tech Crunch
"Apple’s iPhone 4 has made a splash in China, bringing the company's phone sales there up by fivefold from a year ago. The device didn't debut there until this last quarter, months after it had been released in the US … China is the company's second biggest market in terms of revenue behind the U.S. Now the market’s rising importance means that Asia-Pacific revenue has surpassed European revenue for the first time."
From the Guardian
"Smartphone app, which aims to simplify online shopping and money transfers, is open to mobile users across all networks. Following in the footsteps of Barclay's Pingit and Barclaycard's PayTag, the telecoms firm has launched O2 Wallet, which is open to all mobile users irrespective of which network they are on."
From The BBC
"Gamers may soon be able to buy games for their 3DS handheld console digitally on the same day they are released in stores. With the move, the Japanese game giant joins its rivals Microsoft and Sony in a combined retail and digital approach. Analysts say the firm hopes the push into the digital space could boost its revenues, as figures show Nintendo lost 43.2 billion yen (£330 million) last year."
"Mobile media content is going centre-stage. So much so that, in 2012, global revenue from mobile advertising and content will hit $67 billion, according to a new Strategy Analytics forecast…App downloads will grow 38 percent to 23 billion. App spend will grow 30.7 percent to $26.1 billion. Apps will make up 18.9 percent of mobile media outlay."
"The study by ComScore found 51 percent of owners of mobiles such as iPhone, Android, Windows and Blackberry devices accessed travel-related products, services and other related content on their mobiles in the three-month period ending February 2012. Furthermore, one in five made a hotel or air ticket booking on their mobiles over the same period."
"App developers looking to make some cash might want to ditch paid titles for free offerings that include in-app purchases, according to a new study. After downloading an upgradable freemium game in a mobile app store, 40 percent of consumers decided to make an in-game purchase, according to research firm NPD."
From The Telegraph
"Fifty-four per cent of all Android tablets are Amazon Kindle Fires, according to research from ComScore. The second most popular tablet, Samsung's Galaxy Tab, has 15.4 percent of the market. Although Amazon's Kindle Fire runs on the Android operating system, it uses a 'forked' version of the OS, meaning that it has been customised by Amazon and looks very different from a standard Android installation."
Compiled by David Hartley