Ecommerce: Increasingly The Real Deal
-- U.S. retail ecommerce reached $43.4 billion in the fourth quarter of 2010, according to comScore. That makes for an 11% increase over the fourth quarter of 2009. It was the second time in 2010 a quarter had double-digit growth. Year-over-year retail ecommerce rose 10% in the first quarter of 2010 and then posted 9% gains in the second and third quarters of the year. For the 2010 full year, according to comScore's numbers, U.S. retail ecommerce stood at $142.5 billion.
A small group of retailers took an even bigger share of those fourth quarter sales. The top 25 online retailers increased their share 5.6 percentage points to 68.4%. However, that was slightly lower than the top 25's 69.9% share in the previous quarter.
Digital music download sales made up less than 2% of those sales. Using Nielsen SoundScan figures for 2010 digital sales and rough estimates of average retail prices, Billboard estimates the U.S. digital download market was worth about $2.1 billion last year, which is about 1.5% of the $142.5 billion ecommerce pie.
Mojo Rising: Warner Music Group Shares On Upswing
-- Shares of Warner Music Group rose 9.3% on Thursday. Shares opened at $5.64 and rose to as high as $6.13 before closing at $6.10. Volume was 592,000 shares, about 20% above average daily volume. Shares of Warner are on an upswing. Warner's shares are trading above their 50-day moving average of $5.34 and above their 200-day moving average of $5.22.
On Tursday, Needham & Co. retained its "buy" rating on Warner with a target price of $8.50. According to Thomson/First Call, Warner has an average target price of $7.00 from four brokers. $8.50 is the high target while $4.00 is the low target.
Sartorial Record Label Splendor: Sony Create Three T-Shirt Lines
-- Sony Music is creating three T-shirt lines for sale in the U.K. and Europe this fall. Deconstruction is a line of men's shirts created by graphic designer Mark Farrow. Felder + Felder for Deconstruction is a line of women's shirts by Annette and Daniela Felder, the twins behind the rock-inspired label Felder + Felder. The third line, Archive 1887, is for both men and women and is already on sale in North America. Wholesale prices for the shirts range start at £14. The lines will be launched at the upcoming Stitch fashion show in London.
Controversial Piracy Law Firm Closes Up Shop
-- Controversial law firm ACS:Law has shut on Monday, according to TorrentFreak, and its only client, MediaCAT, has stopped paying its invoices. The UK-based law firm created a high-volume business model that targeted suspected copyright infringers. ACS:Law received IP addresses of suspected file sharers from firms hired by copyright owners, received a court order to force ISPs to hand over the suspects' names and addresses, and then threatened to sue. It has been reported that between 40% and 60% of people who received letters agreed to settle for roughly $1,000 or less.