The UpStream

Consumers Thinking Outside the Box for Online Software Purchases

posted Saturday May 29, 2010 by Nicholas DiMeo

Consumers Thinking Outside the Box for Online Software Purchases

Research firm NPD Group has released a report this week that indicates consumers aren't buying boxed software online anymore. Digital downloads made up over 66 percent of the total online software purchases in 2009, which is up just a little from last year.

NPD broke the numbers down into new purchases, software subscription rentals and trial-to-paid conversions, among other categories. The largest of online software purchasing was in subscription renewals, at 34 percent, with new purchases coming in at 23 percent and trial-to-paid at 8 percent.

A large reason subscription renewals were down this year can be attributed to consumers not trusting online merchants as much as they have in the past. Over 40 percent of those surveryed said they did not renew specifically because of spam of unsolicited offers from merchants or their affiliates, while 5 percent said they did not renew because they felt the merchant would not renew their service correctly. 33 percent were misinformed, however, and stated they did not trust merchants with their credit card information, even though merchants have this information at one point or another prior to renewal.

Internet Disconnections Actually Happening in Ireland

posted Friday May 28, 2010 by Nicholas DiMeo

Internet Disconnections Actually Happening in Ireland

Earlier this month, I talked about how the music industry is on the rise, yet countries like South Korea and Sweden are taking copyright infringement crimes to the max. This week, we can add Ireland to the list.

Ireland has decided to enforce their rendition of the "three strikes" rule when it comes to media piracy. One of the country's largest ISPs, Eircom, has committed to processing over 50 content complaints each week and will turn off the Internets of those accounts who reach three complaints.

The company has planned to do this for several months now, ever since Eircom was sued by several large music labels and challenged on their data privacy practices.

Nokia and Yahoo! Team Up to Launch 'Project Nike'

posted Sunday May 23, 2010 by Nicholas DiMeo

Nokia and Yahoo! Team Up to Launch 'Project Nike'

This came across our desk a few days ago:

Please join us for a Yahoo! press conference

Please join Yahoo! CEO Carol Bartz for an exciting announcement about providing global consumers with rich online and mobile experiences, and bringing forward a new era in keeping consumers connected.

Because of that, we went and reached out to our sources, who have informed us that Nokia plans to build Yahoo e-mail, search and several other of their applications into a selection of their devices. This, however, is unrelated to a previous discussion these two companies had about creating a Yahoo-orientated phone.

30th Anniversary of The Empire Strikes Back Brings Surprises

posted Sunday May 23, 2010 by Josh Henry

30th Anniversary of <i>The Empire Strikes Back</i> Brings Surprises

If you are like me, you may know that the 30th anniversary of Star Wars Episode V: The Empire Strikes Back was yesterday May 22nd. It's amazing to think that it has been 30 years since, in my opinion, the best Star Wars movie was released. For 30 years Star Wars has captured the imagination and hearts of over 3 generation. The media decided to celebrate the occasion in multiple ways, one being a Marathon of the original trilogy on SPIKE TV all day. That being said this anniversary didn't just spell happiness for fans of the movie franchise but also the community of BioWare's MMO Star Wars: The Old Republic.

In case all the articles I have written about this game haven't gotten you excited yet, maybe this will get you a little more interested. Last Friday, May 21st, BioWare announced that in order to pay tribute to Episode V, that the game would contain that planet upon which one of the most memorable battles in the Star Wars movies occurred, Hoth. If you are familiar with the planet Hoth you are probably having the same reaction as most of the community of TOR, and saying things like "But it's just a planet of snow! We have a planet of only sand (Tatooine) and now we have a planet of snow!?!?"

Geometry Just Became Fun

posted Sunday May 23, 2010 by Josh Henry

Geometry Just Became Fun

Some of us here at the show have been playing the multiplayer open beta of Bizarre Creations' wonderfully addictive racing game known as Blur, and it turns out that Steam and Bizarre Creations are giving computer gamers more incentive to buy the game. Their bargaining chip? Offering every person who pre orders the game on steam a free copy of the just as addictive game Geometry Wars: Retro Evolution.

Blur goes on sale this Tuesday, so if you're hoping to grab Bizarre's twin-stick time sink at no charge, you should probably pre-order the game ASAP.

Portal Downloaded 1.5 Million Times

posted Sunday May 23, 2010 by Josh Henry

<i>Portal</i> Downloaded 1.5 Million Times

If you release it for free, they will download it. Valve has revealed that its free download of Portal, offered as part of the launch for Steam on Mac, has been anxiously grabbed by 1.5 million users. If you have yet to acquire your own free copy of Portal, get on it. You've only got until May 24.

Valve also released some interesting figures on Mac user habits on Steam. According to their findings, two-thirds of Steam for Mac users are running the service through a laptop. Also, more than 11% of purchases made on Steam have been by Mac owners. No word on whether one of those upcoming Mac title sets will feature the Valve catalog, with games such as Left 4 Dead, Counter-Strike and Half-Life. When making their announcement in March, Valve had said their titles would be available in April along with Steam for Mac.

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