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Super Mario Run Expected to Generate $70 Million in First Month
Nintendo’s Super Mario Run won’t be released until next week on iOS (an Android version will be released at a later date), but the anticipated mobile game is already projected to make more than $70 million in its first month, according to Sensor Tower. That’s roughly half of what Niantic’s Pokémon Go grossed in its first month—but Super Mario Run, although it shares Pokémon Go’s retro appeal, does not have an augmented reality element. Nonetheless, $70 million is $70 million. While Super Mario Run is free to download, users will only have access to a limited portion of it. To unlock the entire game, they will need to pay $9.99, which is likely how Nintendo will make most of their money. GSMA Intelligence data shows that more than one-third of mobile users in the US play mobile phone games every day.
Netflix Drops Subscription Price in India to Offset Tax Hike
Video-on-demand (VOD) giant Netflix recently cut the subscription price of its base offering in India in order to offset a new 15% national service tax on a range of digital products that took effect in November. The service dropped its base price from INR500 to INR435, according to Medianama. Netflix drew a lot of attention in January when it launched its services in some 130 countries, India among them. However, the company faces some headwinds in several Asia-Pacific markets, where it often has to deal with tough regulatory hurdles while also competing with native or regional VOD firms with better localized content offerings.
Marketing Technology Is Top of Mind for 2017 Budgets
As 2016 comes to a close, marketers are planning 2017 budgets and marketing technology is top of mind. Research from Kitewheel, a provider of real-time customer engagement hubs, found that 81% of marketing professionals in Europe and the US expect to invest more in technology in 2017 compared to 2016. The survey, conducted in fall 2016 among 134 respondents, indicates that three-quarters of respondents plan to invest in customer journey and personalization tools/technologies in 2017.
How Will Pandora’s On-Demand Streaming Service Compare to Spotify’s?
News of Pandora’s on-demand streaming service, Pandora Premium, has spread like wildfire across the internet. Although the product will not launch until early 2017, many are wondering how it will compare to Spotify, which has been around in the US since 2011. Verto Analytics, a digital audience measurement company, assessed the current differences between Pandora and Spotify in their November 2016 Verto App Watch panel. While the findings show that Pandora has 31 million monthly unique users compared to Spotify’s 19 million, Spotify users spend almost double the amount of time listening to music on the platform, with almost three hours per session compared to Pandora’s hour and a half.
Michael Jordan Wins Rights to His Chinese Name in China
The Supreme People’s Court, China’s highest court, ruled on Thursday that former basketball star Michael Jordan controlled the rights to the Mandarin transliteration of his own last name in China. Jordan successfully sued the Qiaodan Sports Company (in Mandarin, Qiaodan is pronounced cheow-dahn), which had been selling soft goods using a Chinese transliteration of Jordan’s name that also bore a silhouetted basketball figure with a striking resemblance to Nike’s “Jumpman” logo. Jordan is not the first figure from the US to struggle with copyright issues in China—back in May the Chinese firm Xintong Tiandi won the right to sell a range of leather goods under the iPhone trademark, much to the consternation of Apple.
T-Mobile Introduces “DIGITS”
If not having to juggle several different phones for home, work and your personal life sounds like a good idea, T-Mobile has introduced in beta a new service that allows customers to have multiple numbers on a single device, according to The Verge. The service extends to all connected devices with a T-Mobile phone number. eMarketer predicts that almost three-quarters of US adults will be smartphone users in 2016.
Pokémon Go Teams Up with Starbucks
Pokémon Go has partnered with Starbucks to turn more than 7,800 of the coffee giant’s locations into Gyms and PokéStops—as well as offer a limited edition Frappuccino—as part of a continued effort to drive engagement for the AR game, USA Today reports. Nearly half of US smartphone users between the ages of 18 and 29 said they had downloaded Pokémon Go, and roughly one-quarter of respondents between the ages of 30 and 44 had done so, according to July 2016 data from MGH Inc.
—Rimma Kats, Rebecca Chadwick and Rahul Chadha
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