Massively Multiplayer Online Games Explosive Growth

In the past, we’ve looked at how Video Games were stealing away consumer time and money from the recording industry, impacting sales; we’ve also noted how DVDs were cannibalizing CD sales.

It is part of a general trend of Americans listening to less recorded music.    

Now, the Recording Industry has another digital nightmare to begin worrying about: Massively Multi-player Online Games.

As the chart below (courtesy of reveals, subscriber growth in this area is simply explosive:

Enormous Growth of MMOG
click for larger graphic
courtesy of

From almost zero participants in 1998, MMOG growth picked up speed in 2002, and really accelerated over the past two years. observes that "immediately obvious from the charts is that MMOG populations tend to follow hyperbolic or parabolic curves. They also found that there are now well over 4 million subscribers to these online gaming communities.


Another Long Tail Distribution?
click for larger graphics




courtesy of


Not coincidentally, around the same time as MMOG playing took off, CD sales began to falter.

Its yet another example of a new internet based digital media successfully competing with an older media format.

And, this a zero-sum game: consumers have finite time, money and attention spans. As this community increases, it will continue to eat into music sales.

UPDATE JUNE 3, 2005 8:12 am

Chris Anderson informs us that:  "not all exponentials are long tails. I suspect that this is simply a case of network effects (and Metcalfe’s law in particular) at work, which is a different phenomena."

We stand corrected.


Category: Finance, Music, Web/Tech

Short term Frothiness could lead to an Intermediate Top

Category: Markets, Trading

MPAA does the heavy lifting RIAA refused to do

Category: Film, Music, Politics

More Gadgetry: Archos 700

Category: Film, Music, Television

Turn Your iPod into a video player

Category: Film, Music

I picked Deep Throat!

Category: Media, Politics

Looking for the Next Catalysts

Category: Markets, Trading

Chart of the Week: A/D with Volume 2 x 21-day MA

Category: Markets

Don’t Buy Housing Bubble Propaganda

UPDATE: The original version of this is still available on Real Money (subscription only). The 2005 article details was a pushback against the gloomers predicting a Nasdaq like collapse in RE prices. Instead, we detailed why this was a CREDIT (not a HOUSING) Bubble, and that while we should expect a 25-35% peak to trough drop in prices, it would not be a Nasdaq like 80% debacle. (35% was bad enough). We also noted that an extended period of high unemployment might make those numbers even worse.


The latest subscription only Real Money column, Don’t Buy Housing Bubble Propaganda, is now available on Yahoo (no subscription required).

In writing it, I decided to forget everything I thought I knew, and look at housing from scratch.  Consider the factors that make Real Estate very different than stocks. Lose the assumptions, check out the numbers driving Real Estate, and see if Housing is truly the bubble everyone claims it to be.

Turns out there’s much less of a bubble than commonly believed by many people believe. While anecdotal evidence of regional excesses are interesting,
they doesn’t mean we are about to see home prices get cut in half (or worse) over the next few years.

There are three key drivers hardly discussed by pundits opining on the U.S. housing market “bubble”:

1)  Purchase prices don’t matter to buyers — monthly payments do;
2)  US has the fastest growing population of industrialized nations;
3)  “Only 3% of all buyers sell their home in a year or less,” a survey found.

These issues, taken together, suggest that while Real Estate may be an extended asset class (i.e., two  standard price deviations above historical trend) that doesn’t maeke it a bubble.

Of course, its interesting to note that a Playboy bunny gave up her modeling career to go into real estate speculation (mentioned previously here), it doesn’t mean the end is nigh.

Now if I can only figure out how these columns end up at Yahoo . . .


Don’t Buy Housing Bubble Propaganda
Barry Ritholtz
RealMoney by, Thursday May 26, 2:04 pm ET


UPDATE June 12, 2006 9:39am

I just noticed that the Yahoo page expired; The full RM article is after the jump . . .


Read More

Category: Real Estate

Summer’s almost here!

Category: Finance