Staffing Report: More Yahoo Exits

staffing changesWhen Microsoft set out to buy Yahoo, they acknowledged part of the interest was Yahoo’s talented staff.  Now out of it and sitting on the sidelines, seeing a shareholder revolt, and masses of that talent walking out, some Microsoft execs might be singing along to Garth Brooks “Unanswered Prayers” and counting blessings for the deal that wasn’t.

Over the past few days, a host of high profile Yahoo execs have pulled the ripcord, hit the eject button, or to mix metaphors even more, exited stage left.

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iTunes by the Numbers: Music Sales Break 5billion Songs

apple measurediTunes has long been looked at as the loss leader, the bridge that links Apple’s assorted media products. It drives product sales and helps power iPods, iPhones, Apple TV and Mac multimedia.  But that role of servitude hasn’t stopped it from turning into a significant force. 

Apple announced today, the iTunes store crossed the 5 billion song barrier.  That’s 5 billion songs sold, up a billion from the 4billion announced in January.   

At 99cents a song, that means the store has generated nearly $5billion in music revenue. That’s $3.5billion to artists and labels and $1.5billion to Apple (based on widely estimated revenue sharing splits).  That’s not too shabby for an auxiliary program that helps promote hardware sales.

As this graphic shows, the escalation in pace at which songs are selling isn’t bad either:

itunes sales chart

Even more impressive, however, might be the story surrounding video sales.  Click to Read More

Applevine: Price Changes for Touch? Inside the 3G iPhone and its Profit Margin?

inside iphoneOne of the first things that happens when a product like the iPhone 3G hits the market is someone breaks it.  For curiosity, for insight, to see what’s inside, or simply because they can – someone will crack it open and chronicle all the bits and pieces; who made what and where did they do it.

It won’t be until July 11th that such an official breakdown can happen (and it’ll probably be a couple days after before such a story is published) but that delivery day isn’t stopping insiders from “leaking” news about who won the the iPhone part-age lottery nor is it stopping the press from speculating.

As of Thursday, the Commercial Times, a Chinese language newspaper is claiming they’ve got the scoop on what’s in iPhone 3g.  Per their reports, and translations from Digitimes, the following companies will be inside come July 11: Click to Read More

Metue Deal Diary: EA vs Take Two, Day by Day

ea ttwo deal diaryWith all the back and forth over the last five months, keeping track of Electronic Art’s attempt to acquire Take Two has gotten confusing. At times, it seems like just about anyone you ask is bound to have a different take, or different facts to relay: "The offer is too low and undervalues the company." "It’s just a matter of time." "EA will have to up their offer to $28 to $30." "it’s a stalemate."

In March, we put together a "Deal Diary" to track things. That first effort rapidly became outdated with all the twists and turns. An update was long overdue, so here, covering all the gritty details, even historical stock prices, is the remake. All in one place: The Exhaustive EA and Take Two Deal Diary from

[Note: This Deal Diary will be updated when more news develops. This version was last updated September 14, 2008. For related articles and analysis about the merger please see the links at the end of this Deal Diary].

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EA and Take Two: Delayed Again

ea delayedEA first went public with their offer to buy Take Two Interactive in February.  In March,  they escalated things to hostile.   In the months following it’s been much of the same back and forth: EA spokespeople say their price is “fair” and a “substantial premium.”  Take Two says the offer “significantly undervalues” the company.  Both sides created websites.  EA issues ultimatums and sets deadlines, Take Two fires back.  The dialog is mostly the same, as are the terms.  Only the deadlines change.  Most recently it was June 3rd. Then that deadline was extended to June 16th.  June 16th passed uneventfully.  Now, on Tuesday, Electronic Arts announced a fourth extension.  Now, the new deadline on EA’s tender offer to buy Take Two Interactive will lapse July 18th.   

Will this new date be final?  Or will the scheduling snafus continue?  The answers may hinge partly on regulatory issues.   Click to Read More

Game Gossip: Motion Control from Sony?

sony controller rumorAmong the console makers, Sony and Microsoft have Nintendo beat when it comes to graphic and performance capabilities but Nintendo’s Wii is winning with playability.  Month after month, the sales gap between the companies is clear in the retail data.   But now, Sony may be nearing release on a new controller aimed at narrowing that gap; a product aimed at mixing playability (ease of use) with performance.

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Game Gossip: Red Ring Riddle Resolved?

red ring resolvedInto spring and summer of 2007, Microsoft’s Xbox 360 gaming platform was plagued with an occasional problem: some consoles were freezing up.  Alternatively, heat sinks, design and chips were blamed in the media.  At the source, nobody at Microsoft would give an official diagnosis.  The issue, named after the tell-tale LED light pattern that indicated your console had gone to pasture, became known as the “Red Ring of Death.”   Now, nearly a  year later, the mystery of what caused it may finally be solved. .. and it wasn’t Colonel Mustard in the living room with the screw driver.

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