Facebook Beats Google On Christmas

Facebook unseated Google as the number one visited web site over the Christmas holiday, reports media blog Read Write Web.  Data from researcher Hitwise shows the social net was the top site in the U.S. on Christmas Eve and Christmas Day.  Facebook was number two behind Google during the holiday last year, and lagged behind Google and Yahoo Mail for most of 2009.   Read Write Web says that the Facebook-Google battle for web traffic is shaping up to be one to watch in the coming years.  Read more at Read Write Web {link no longer active}.

USA Today’s Game Industry Review 2009

Writing for USA Today, Mike Snider recaps a year in which he says the game industry grew but managed fewer sales.  The growth came from number of people who call themselves game players, both with increasing numbers of households with game systems and the boom in casual players drawn to Nintendo Wii and social net games.  Snider looks at areas where games made strides or hit a flat note, getting input throughout from game industry opinion leaders.

Read more at USA Today {link no longer active}.

Top Product Placements

Writing for Ad Age, Andrew Hampp looks at five of the highest profile product placement deals of 2009.  Covered are such corporatized fare as the George Clooney vehicle Up In The Air, the Michael Bay helmed Transformers 2: Revenge of the Fallen, and Microsoft’s Bing-branded hour long comedy show Bing-a-Thon on Hulu.  Also named are subtler brand placements in the film (500) Days of Summer and the NBC TV comedy Chuck.

Read more at Ad Age {link no longer active}.

Pirates Hoard ‘Modern Warfare 2’

Like bounty hunters to bullion, game pirates were drawn to Activision s 2009 blockbuster  Modern Warfare 2.   IGN is reporting that the PC version of the game has become the most pirated title of the year, citing data provided by digital download service TorrentFreak.  The game is estimated to have been downloaded illegally more than 4 million times.  IGN says the number could translate into loss of sales to Activision of more than $245 million, assuming that inside of every pirate is a premium price paying consumer waiting to get out.

TorrentFreak also provided their top legally downloaded games for the year.  They are EA titles The Sims 3 and Need for Speed Shift, Activision’s Prototype, and Capcom’s Street Fighter IV.   The company’s tallies for the year show total torrent downloads doubled those of last year.

Read more at IGN.

Ad Age Viral Video Chart For Week Of Dec. 14

Ad Age lists the top 10 viral videos for the week of Dec. 14.

New entries this week are topped by the Michael Bay helmed spot for Victoria’s Secret, a long form ad with the extravaganza expected from the big budget film director.  It made number two with just under a million views.  A couple new spots noteworthy for their creativity are a nearly scandalous yet hilarious Australia TV spot for Toyota Yaris, with about 408,000 views, and a choose-your-own adventure video for Canada mobile carrier Koodoo that just made the chart with a little over 245,000 views.  Holiday-themed videos are surprisingly lacking on the mid-December chart.  A new video from Gap is the only one on the list, though it placed high at number three with about 586,000 views.  The final new entry is a public service announcement from NYC Health that goes the complete gross-out route to send the message that sugary drinks are fattening.  It s in the middle of the pack with just more than 436,000 views.

There s a trend worth noting as one that s been ongoing nearly every week since the[a]listdaily began posting Ad Age s chart.  It s Evian s rollerblading babies near the top (at number one this week), Microsoft’s Natal video somewhere in the middle, and Ken Burns drift racing spot for DC Shoes floating up and down the chart.  Whatever formula they re using to keep their videos in circulation and on this chart, it’s working.

Ad Age’s chart includes number of views for the week and percentage change in views for videos that stayed on the chart.  The list is compiled by Visible Measures.

Check out the full list and watch the videos at Ad Age {link no longer active}.

Videogames Surpass Film Sales In UK

Videogame sales surpassed film revenues in the UK for the first time, reports Daily Telegraph.  Research over a twelve month period ending September 2009 shows Britons spent more money on games than on movie tickets and films on DVD.  Data for the period from GFK Chart-Track shows British consumers spent 1.73 billion GBP on games.  Meanwhile the UK Film Council says people spent 1 billion GBP at the British box office and an additional 198 million GBP on film titles released on DVD.  The Telegraph also cites industry figures showing game console ownership surged from 13.5 million systems in the UK in 2008 to more than 25 million in 2009.  The number of consoles represents enough systems to put one into nine out of ten British households.

The Telegraph says that while games have surpassed films, the biggest forms of entertainment in the UK remain television, accounting for money spent on DVDs of TV programs along with cable and satellite subscriptions, and music.

Read more at Telegraph UK.

Digital Marketing In 2010, Continued

Writing for Ad Age, Dynamic Logic’s Ken Mallon and Millward Brown’s Duncan Southgate have put together their rundown of digital marketing trends in the coming year.  Part one of their rundown looked at the evolution of digital tools and platforms through 2010.  In part two the pair forecasts five more coming trends.  Among topics covered are effects of social media and other trends on search marketing, online video’s migration away from the web, and both the benefits and challenges to marketers in harnessing the mountain of data consumers will generate on various platforms in the digital landscape.

Read more at Ad Age {link no longer active}.

No Baggage Fees, Yahoo!

Yahoo picked up baggage fees for travelers at two San Francisco area airports as part of a marketing stunt, reports Ad Age.  The company sent representatives to San Francisco International and San Jose International airports to execute the stunt and managed to get coverage on local TV.  Yahoo called the move one small act of kindness.   Ad Age sees brilliance in a marketing stunt based on messaging that Yahoo is making “navigating the world simpler and cheaper.”

Read more at Ad Age {link no longer active}.

The Decade’s Game Changers

Yahoo Games says where science has come short with what we expected by 2010 ( flying cars ), videogames have managed to make the 2000s their greatest decade.  The site has picked their top ten games of the decade, basing the list on quality, influence and sales, among other considerations.  The list is as noteworthy for its thoughtful selections as it is for its inconsiderate omissions.  (Editor s note: the task of picking ten games over ten years, in every genre and on every platform, is not an enviable one.)

Check out the game changers at Yahoo! Games {link no longer active}.