Happy Monday everyone! I came across two articles over the weekend that I thought I’d share. One of them I found vastly amusing! The first article regarding how the plush toy industry, which had recently fallen on hard times, has been offered a tremendous shot in the arm by an app game – titled, and you guessed it I’m sure! – Angry Birds! And the second article discusses how young people who are coming of age today, and have grown up with Internet access via portable Wi-Fi devices as a ubiquitous fact of their lives – are going to transform the cable industry in the near future because they won’t subscribe to cable television but instead will access all their video content online. 

How Angry Birds Saved Plush Toys: The Wall Street Journal has a neat article titled How Angry Birds Is Helping Rescue Plush Toys which relays the story of  how the Commonwealth Toy & Novelty Co., a small family business that sells plush toys, found a unique way to entice the public to buy plush toys again. It seems plush toys had fallen out of favor with kids desiring portable electronic devices instead of plush toys; and correspondingly sales of plush toys had fallen dramatically. And then, a new employee at the Commonwealth Toy Company had an idea – the idea was to license the rights to manufacture and sell plush toys made to look like the characters in a very popular game app called Angry Birds. And the far-seeing employee was right! When, Rovio the company that makes the popular Angry Birds game put game related merchandise on its website, the company figured it would sell out in a couple of weeks and instead everything sold out in two hours! So not surprisingly the Commonwealth Toy Company’s licensing of the rights to make and sell plush versions of the pigs and birds seen in the game has really paid off – the sale of the Angry Birds plush toys has become a great boon for the company; they sold around 200 million dollars worth of Angry Birds plush toys last year and are projecting that number will rise to 400 million this year.

And thus plush toys, at least in the form of green pigs and colorful birds, are popular once more!

Here’s a link to a Wall Street Journal article titled How Angry Birds Is Helping Rescue Plush Toys that offers more information on the subject:

http://blogs.wsj.com/digits/2012/08/02/how-angry-birds-is-helping-rescue-plush-toys/?mod=WSJBlog&mod=

How Cord-Nevers Will Help Transform The Way We Watch TV: The Atlantic offers a cool article that sheds light on how growing Internet connectivity, specifically the way people increasingly have more ways to watch video content on portable Wi-Fi devices like smart phones and tablets, will change how we watch television shows and movies in the future. The article makes the point that the switch from watching television on a TV via a cable company connection to watching television on Wi-Fi devices via the Internet is going to be accelerated not just by people who already have cable television subscriptions and do the “Cord-Cutting” thing and drop those subscriptions to stream video content via the web; but also by “Cord-Nevers” a term they’ve coined to describe young adults who have grown up with Internet access and are used to watching video content on the web and will not pay for cable subscriptions in the future.

In fact, the article makes a solid case that cable companies should be more nervous about how the Cord-Nevers will quickly change the cable TV status quo by the simple fact that those young people will not subscribe to cable TV at all and the cable industry will lose its traditional continual influx of new cable subscribers.

The Atlantic article is titled Forget Cord Cutters Cable Companies Should Worry About Cord Nevers, here’s the link:

http://www.theatlanticwire.com/technology/2012/08/forget-cord-cutters-cable-companies-should-worry-about-cord-nevers/55380/

Linda R.

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