Mobile Consumption by the Numbers

Yahoo has recently conducted a big study on the numbers and ways we are using our smartphones for entertainment, specifically how much time we watch mobile video. Check it out!

How many of us are using mobile web?

According to the Yahoo study, 54% are spending more time on mobile web than a year ago.

How are we using mobile web?

  • 38% of mobile consumers used the mobile Web to connect with other users.
  • 16% used mobile Web to search
  • 15% used it for entertainment

And the time spent watching video on mobile has increased nearly 30%

What kinds of entertainment?

  • 42% gaming video content
  • 34% movie clips and trailers
  • 33% full-length TV shows and movies or sports coverage
  • 32% celebrity, beauty or fashion video content on their devices
  • 14% political coverage


The majority of time spent happens before 1 p.m.

Are we satisfied with what we are seeing?

Are you kidding? We’re AMERICANS! 60% of us are still looking for a better user experience and expect more!

So that’s the rundown. You’re welcome to check out the original article but, frankly, it’s a tough read! How about you? Are you using mobile web for entertainment? Has your use increased?

Getting Craft-y with Mobile Coupons

all I need now is a KNITTING app!

It makes sense for a certain type of retailer to keep their brick-and-mortar stores healthy, even as they make a big push into mobile retail. Michaels craft store is one example, and they have introduced a mobile coupon app to get the job done.

Mobile is providing an important alternate means of coupon distribution for Michael’s and other large chains that have traditionally used newspapers for that purpose as more consumers turn toward digital media and away from print.

17% of us used mobile coupons last year, and the number is growing. For Michaels, one key to driving consumer acceptance still lies in the old circular stuffed into your newspaper. It leads people to the mobile site, and promises them that the coupons they find there will be different from the ones in the paper.  Also, while the coupons in the paper are necessarily general in nature, the mobile coupons can be more easily tailored to the consumer.

Hey, as much as I feel like a hostage every time my wife drags me into Michaels, I really can’t imagine that you would get anywhere NEAR the same experience – getting ideas, seeing completed projects on display, etc. – from simply shopping online.

So what do you think? There have to be some Michaels fans among us! Have you tried the app? What do you think? What other retailers would you like to see try this method?

Blackberry Blackout equals Outage Outrage!

Blackberry sends sadface. Millions without service do not receive it.

The longest BlackBerry outage in many years left customers outraged this week, threatening to cost the granddaddy of all smartphones more business when it’s already struggling to keep up in a crowded marketplace.  – Huffington Post

It’s not like things weren’t already going sour at Blackberry. They have seen their market share drop in the past year – from roughly equal worldwide with Android (19% vs. 18%,) to less than a third (12% vs. 43%.)  But last week’s global blackout now has users rethinking their commitment to Blackberry, especially with the big launch of iPhone 4S underway.

The big, three-day hiccup affected millions of users worldwide. Now, to soothe angry subscribers, Blackberry is offering $100 worth of free downloads including SIMS 3, Bejeweled, Photo Editor Ultimate, Vlingo Virtual Assistant and more. For its enterprise customers, Blackberry is offering a free month of tech support.

So, do you use Blackberry or know someone who does? Were you affected? If so, do the free downloads make up for it, or is it too little, too late?

The Kitchen is Closed

We all have a defunct restaurant from yesteryear that we miss – usually some mom and pop diner or local steak house. But who knew we would mourn Bennigan’s or Don Pablo’s? Well, it’s come to this, people.

 There is a school of thought that says the restaurant business is always a good business because people need to eat. A glance at the sales of many of America’s largest restaurant chains over the past decade quickly dispels that myth.             MSN

Here’s the deathwatch:

  1. Bennigan’s: This nationwide, Irish-themed casual-dining restaurant has 87% fewer locations than it did in 2001.
  2. Ground Round: This casual-dining burger and steak chain lost 81% of its locations in the last 10 years.
  3. Bakers Square: Serves breakfast, lunch and dinner, but is best known for its pies. Has 70% fewer locations than 2001.
  4. Damon’s: I always knew it as a rib joint, but later became a sports bar. 72% decline.
  5. Don Pablo’s: Nationwide Tex-Mex chain. 70% decline.
  6. Gloria Jean’s Coffees. In its 30-year history, it has expanded to Australia, where it still thrives. Here? 73% decline.
  7. Big Boy. This one I don’t get. Frisch’s is the Big Boy chain back home in Ohio, and I have seen ZERO decline. Every one of the dilapidated shops from the 60’s has been renovated. But, the overall national chain is down 65%.
  8. Tony Roma’s. Tony still has a large international presence, but here at home is down 72%
  9. Country Kitchen. Buffet place, right? Down 74%.
  10. Black Angus Steakhouse. Primarily out west, there are 46 BA’s today, down from 107 in 2001 – a 57% drop.

So, any of your favorites on the list? Who did they miss? Let us know!

Diet for Dudes, Dude!

The ad opens with a laser-gun battle in the jungle between the good guys and evil motorcycle ninjas. Our hero rushes in and asks, “Ladies, are you enjoying the movie? Of course not – this is OUR movie,  and OUR soda!” He punches a cobra – which explodes – and then he jumps off a cliff into a speeding ATV.

My favorite part...

So begins the saga of Dr. Pepper 10, the new diet soft drink being marketed to men, man!

According to

Dr Pepper Ten is not the first diet soda aimed at men. (Think: Coke Zero and Pepsi Max.) But Ten’s ad campaign is the first to be so overt about courting men who want to drink a soda with fewer calories. The ads come at a time when overall sales in the $74 billon soft drink industry are slowing as more Americans buy healthier options like juice and bottled water.

So what do you think? Dudes, are you buying it? Lady-bros, do you get the joke, or do you feel left out and/or offended? Is there some stigma about drinking diet soda, or is it 2011 already? Let us know, brochacho! And check out the commercial HERE.

A Heist Indeed!

An odd movie experiment is underway:

If you live in Atlanta GA or Portland OR, you’ll be able to watch the new Eddie Murphy/Ben Stiller movie in your house for $59.99 — while the movie is still in theaters and months before it would normally be available for video-on-demand rentals. Wall Street Journal

You might be thinking it sounds like a cool concept, while simultaneously thinking that nobody would pay $60 for it. And by you I mean me.

Anyway, Universal Studios is using its new release “Tower Heist” to tinker with the concept of “windows” in movie releases and pricing. We are accustomed to paying different prices for a new release in theaters, a video-on-demand rental, a DVD from Redbox, Netflix by mail, etc. It’s just a matter of how bad we wish to see something, how soon, and how much we want to pay.

To which you might say “yeah, but sixty bucks?”

Time Warner, Sony, Comcast and Fox tried this a while back. Their experiment cost $30, which might conceivably be a bargain for the typical movie night when you think about gas, parking, babysitter, two tickets, etc.

But sixty? What do YOU think? I think it’s ironic that an experiment that comes into your home and takes a lot of money involves a movie about going into a home and taking a lot of money. Here’s the trailer for Tower Heist.

UPDATE: Trouble’s brewin’… not surprisingly, theater owners are pitching a fit.

Further Update: Idea already dead?

15K Facebook Fans!

Just a quick note… MindField Online crossed another threshold yesterday: 15,000 Facebook fans! We saved the announcement because yesterday was officially Steve Jobs day on the internet (and rightly so.) Anyway, as always, thanks to everybody for your support and for spreading the news. You’re the BEST!

Steve Jobs 1955-2011

It was just a couple of weeks ago that we were discussing Apple impresario Steve Jobs’ retirement. Now we have learned of his passing.

By no means am I in the die-hard Steve Jobs Admiration Society. Not until recently, when I worked for a company whose entire business was making accessories for Apple products, did I give Mr. Jobs much thought. But I have to say that he was a trailblazer. He didn’t just make awesome products to satisfy our needs – he anticipated our needs and invented an entire industry to meet them. In this way, he has been (rightly, I believe) likened to a modern-day Thomas Edison.

So today, that’s what I would like to focus upon, as opposed to speculating on the effect on Apple’s shares. Just yesterday, we had the first big Apple teleconference without him, and many were under-whelmed. Who knows? Maybe they were anticipating the news.

So what do you think?

The Return of Layaway

Until recently, layaway was on the “endangered strategies list,” replaced by increased use of credit and gift cards. So why bring back this dinosaur of a payment practice? It’s simple…our economy. With banks being more cautious, consumer credit lines are withering.       Harvard Business Review

Everybody remembers layaway, back in the days before they gave out credit cards to anybody with a pulse. I remember layaway as that cruddy window in the back of the store, where you stood in line with your mom and all the other bored kids and their moms, sweating to death in your big old parka and getting nauseous from all the cigarette smoke. Good times.

Anyway, layaway is back in a lot of stores, but Wal-Mart is really making some noise. Their plan is probably pretty typical. Specifically…

 it kicks off on 10/17 and runs through 12/16. …an item has to cost at least $15, and the total minimum order is $50. [It is] limited to toys and electronics (and most cell phones aren’t eligible), and it applies only to in-store purchases. You have to put down at least 10 percent of the cost of the total order when you put the items on layaway…you don’t get charged interest on deferred purchases, [but] the layaway program isn’t free: Walmart is charging a one-time non-refundable $5 service fee for the service, and you’ll get hit with a $10 fee if the layaway order isn’t paid in full and picked up or canceled by the end of the day on December 16.  Consumer Reports

So, what do you think? Will you be taking advantage of this or other layaway programs? If you do, put me down for a Lost in Space robot, a Six Million Dollar Man doll action figure and an Evel Knievel dirtbike!