MarketLine Blog

Posts written in December 2014

Recovery based on more debt: is it worth it?

MarketLine

Government authorities in the United States (US) have been given an indirect go-ahead for American consumers to splash out their borrowed dollars in an attempt to push the demand for manufacturing goods produced in the US. The result couldn’t have been more predictable. Americans consumers promptly responded in a very positive fashion. The total volume of their outstanding debt reached $13tn in the first quarter of 2014. As we learned from the recent crisis, this pile of debt could potentially drag the entire economic system to a standby for years… Read more

All gone Kim Jong? Both Sony and Paramount withdraw satirical films following hack and cyber threats

MarketLine

Two major studios have cancelled plans to screen films critical of North Korea following a major hack of Sony Pictures, prompting concerns that other companies may be susceptible to cybercrime to force a change in behaviour. Sony cancelled the Christmas Day release of The Interview on Wednesday, shortly after it was confirmed by US intelligence officials that North Korea was behind a recent cyber-attack on the Hollywood studio. Several cinema chains cancelled the screenings forcing the company to pull the picture altogether. In another twist, Paramount studios has reportedly banned… Read more

Supermarket price wars: A race to the bottom?

MarketLine

Grocery retailers in the UK have been experiencing the effects of a noticeable shift in consumer behavior in recent years. The recession, and the accompanying squeeze on incomes, has led to many consumers becoming shrewd in their purchases and increasingly looking to find the cheapest option. This has led to a climate in which discounters, and in particular Aldi and Lidl, have been able to thrive. Loyalty to supermarkets has been affected, with consumers more willing to shop around for their goods. This has had a detrimental impact on the… Read more

Have the British been bulldogged? WWE Network still fails to launch in company’s second largest market

MarketLine

The launch of World Wrestling Entertainment (WWE’s) online video streaming service was postponed indefinitely in October 2014, with still no sight of a resolution. The network stalled in WWE’s largest international market, the UK. Accounting for $36m (7.1%) of 2013 revenues, it should be one of the company’s prime targets for the network and a source of reliable subscription growth. However, in November 2014 the company announced that the UK launch had been delayed indefinitely 20 minutes prior to the launch date with no explanation given. This could be the… Read more

Vitamins and minerals sales have witnessed strong growth in recent years

MarketLine

The number of households purchasing vitamins grew in 2014 A survey into dietary supplement use has shown that the number of consumers buying these products has grown consecutively between 2012 and 2014. The survey found that growth was largely driven by male consumers, and that children’s multivitamin sales had experienced decline. TABS Group’s survey looked at 1,000 consumers’ purchases over a number of channels in the previous year ending April or May 2014. It was found that 75% of households purchased vitamins at least once in the year ending April… Read more

The open source and graph database revolutions

MarketLine

The Oracle relational database is the world’s most popular enterprise database software and makes up a substantial part of the company’s software and cloud revenue segment. The revenues for this segment in the financial year ended June 2014 were $29.2bn. Improving on the relational database format is therefore likely to create high levels of income for those companies able to develop and distribute such a product. Graph databases have the potential to disrupt the dominance of relational databases. Large organizations are increasingly concerned with the ways in which the information… Read more

Fade to Black? Black Friday US sales dip while UK adopts the retail frenzy

MarketLine

Retail sales on Black Friday declined considerably in the US compared to last year while Amazon reported that the UK’s sales had surpassed its expectations. The National Retail Federation (NRF) estimated on Sunday that spending over the four-day weekend would fall to $57.4bn, down 2.3% from $59.0bn in 2013. Although the number of consumers out over the Black Friday weekend has increased to 141 million from 139 million, their average spend is lower at $407, -4% on last year. Although consumer confidence in the country is at a seven year… Read more