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Lackluster Performance Means 500 Less Blockbuster Stores by End of Q2

posted Sunday Feb 26, 2012 by Jon Wurm

Lackluster Performance Means 500 Less Blockbuster Stores by End of Q2

Blockbuster has found itself in a precarious position since September 2010 when they filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy after previously closing 1000 stores and putting together some failed distribution deals with movie studios. Even after Dish Network came along and potentially saved the day by winning Blockbuster Video's auction last April, Blockbuster can't seem to find it's way out of the horror section. The 1500 locations that survived the Dish Network cutbacks last July are experiencing another round of closings.

In 2011 Blockbuster made $975 million in revenues and retained a positive net income figure of $4 million, which is impressive given all the massive changes the company has undergone. The addition of the Blockbuster Movie Streaming service is starting to make some progress with regards to their churn rate for the service. The churn lowered from 1.76 in 2010 to 1.63 in 2011, which means they are holding on to more new subscribers. In January 2012 Blockbuster had 6,000 new programs added to their 125,000 titles, 25,000 of which are available online, thanks to a deal with Univision. This helps prove that what CEO Joe Clayton said about Dish being committed to making this work is true.

By introducing new Blockbuster-branded services, we've begun to turn the tide in subscriber losses while continuing to face increased competitive pressures. The Blockbuster brand is a significant brand in the marketplace, which focuses on family and movies. And that's clearly what Dish is all about.

Why is Dish continuing to close locations even though the service is making some headway? Find out after the break.

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Groupon VIP Program Starts a Way to Rake in More Dollars

posted Sunday Feb 26, 2012 by Nicholas DiMeo

Groupon VIP Program Starts a Way to Rake in More Dollars

What do you do when you have conned all of your customers, exhausted all of your resources, failed at the "confidence" portion of your IPO and have PayPal breathing down your neck? If you're Groupon, you switch tactics completely and try something entirely different. That's what we're seeing this week, as Groupon is testing a new annual fee platform in the Tampa Bay area.

Is this a case of new name, same great taste? See for yourself after the break.

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Microsoft Waves Goodbye to Windows Live and Zune in Windows 8

posted Sunday Feb 26, 2012 by Nicholas DiMeo

Microsoft Waves Goodbye to Windows Live and Zune in Windows 8

Ever since the //build/windows conference, Microsoft has been showing off all the cool new features you get with Windows 8. We saw things not only from the Developer Preview, but even directly from Ballmer during Dell World. Since December, rumors were flying around that we would see the public beta drop as soon as this month and we now know Leap Day will be the bearer of the riches.

We know Windows 8 will be full of big changes for the better, with things as simple as a logo redesign. However, unfortunately we will also see some things possibly change that I personally do not like. The Zune and Windows Live brands will end their existence upon the release of Windows 8.

What's going on? We have the full story after the break.

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Violent Videogames and The Law

posted Saturday Feb 25, 2012 by Scott Ertz

Violent Videogames and The Law

The state of Oklahoma, or more their House Revenue and Tax Subcommittee, tried to pass a law adding a 1% sales tax to videogames sold within the state that are rated T (Teen) or higher. The bill was defeated in committee, but the fact that they thought about this is concerning. There was some discussion from Representative Pat Owenby (R) which made the committee seem less crazy:

Why just video games? Why not French fries or rap music or movies? We could have a task force on a multitude of reasons children are obese.

The idea that one of the members found it ridiculous that they were singling out videogames is a positive sign. The fact that the law would have affected Mass Effect and Zumba Fitness the same is still a little odd. It is still surprising that the law got even this far considering the now famous California battle that led to a major public defeat in the Supreme Court.

Oklahoma's not the only gaming law in the news. Hit the break to find out what is new in California's battle.

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T-Mobile to Use AT&T's Money to Build 4G LTE

posted Saturday Feb 25, 2012 by Scott Ertz

T-Mobile to Use AT&T's Money to Build 4G LTE

The past 16 months have been interesting for T-Mobile USA. The wireless industry has changed around them and they have fought back with deceptive advertising instead of improvements. In October of 2010, T-Mobile's USA Chief Network Officer Neville Ray said that 4G Networks weren't important, which has certainly explained the company's direction of the last year or so.

At the time, Sprint had launched its Clearwire-powered WiMax 4G service nationwide and Verizon was building out its own LTE network for a tiered launch starting just 2 months in the future. T-Mobile, on the other hand, had just launched its own 3G+ network, the same technology AT&T was running almost its entire network on and was looking to replace. How was T-Mobile, the smallest nationwide carrier, going to compete with the big boys who were all working to abandon the technology they had just switched to? By calling HSPA+ (3G+) 4G, of course. That decision, which helped them for a while, might turn out to be the biggest mistake the company has made to date.

How is this all going to work for T-Mobile USA? Hit the break to find out my thoughts.

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Sprint Almost Bought MetroPCS [Rumor]

posted Saturday Feb 25, 2012 by Scott Ertz

Sprint Almost Bought MetroPCS [Rumor]

We all know that the wireless industry is a cut-throat business, and with everyone competing on who will get to a wide-spread LTE network first, it is no surprise that national carriers are considering purchasing regional carriers, or even smaller national carriers. We've seen AT&T purchase regional carriers like Dobson Cellular and, of course, Verizon's purchase of Alltel. Most recently, there was the failed attempt at an AT&T/T-Mobile merger, but there are always smaller deals in the works.

This week, one of those deals we didn't even know about fell through. Apparently Sprint Nextel and and MetroPCS have been in talks for months about MetroPCS, a smaller regional carrier, becoming part of the Sprint Nextel family. While the deal did not go through, it took right up to the last minute for it to fail. Apparently, within hours of the final signing, the Sprint board of directors decided to veto the buyout.

The decision, against CEO Dan Hesse's already signing off, seems to be surprising. Sprint has made the commitment to transition to LTE, but their original LTE partner, LightSquared has been hit with FCC issues political and their existing WiMax partner, Clearwire, has had nothing but trouble lately. The addition of MetroPCS to its network would have added MetroPCS's existing LTE footprint, as well as their spectrum, into the fold, giving Sprint their first big win in the LTE process.

Of course, Sprint's response to the rumor was, as always, "we never comment on rumors or speculation."

What do you think? Was killing off the deal a good or a bad move for Sprint Nextel and for MetroPCS? Let us know in the comments section.

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