Click here to close now.




















Welcome!

Agile Computing Authors: Jim Taylor, Sematext Blog, Ian Khan, Pat Romanski, Adrian Bridgwater

News Feed Item

Psychic Friends Network (PFNI) Readies 'Freemium' Mobile Apps in Bid to Re-Dominate the Nearly $2.5B Psychic Entertainment Market

NEWARK, Delaware, December 12, 2012 /PRNewswire/ --

Psychic Friends Network, the company that single-handedly created the psychic entertainment market in the 1990s and generated over $1 billion in revenue, is developing a mobile smartphone/tablet application (mobile app), a first for the psychic service industry.

"This is a major breakthrough not just for the Psychic Friends Network, but for the entire psychic service industry," said Marc Lasky, CEO of Psychic Friends Network. "Our research indicates that among the under-40 customer base, the new mobile app could quickly become the primary means for seeking psychic services. And among our more traditional customer base, the new app could broadly increase usage with its ease of accessibility."

Make Money by Giving Something Away

According to information and analysis provider IHS, "…the best way to make money in the smartphone apps market is to give away apps for free-and to generate revenue on subsequent sales of in-app purchases." This model of offering apps for free, then charging for content, is known as "freemium." This strategy represents the fastest-growing segment of the global smartphone apps business, and will soon dominate the market.

IHS notes that a whopping 96 percent of all smartphone apps downloaded in 2011 were free and, predicts that in-app purchases will account for 64 percent of total market revenue by 2015, compared to 39 percent in 2011. They further reveal that well over 50 percent of the top-grossing apps on Android and half the top games for iOS are free. It is notable that this trend is largely limited to games, but then again, games are by far the most popular category of all apps.

The company with the greatest success to date with freemium games and who helped to popularize them is Zynga, which rode the popular FarmVille and its other Facebook games to an initial public offering of almost $1 billion. FarmVille is free to play, but players can purchase "farm cash," which can be used to make crops immediately available for harvest. Other top public companies using this strategy with mobile games include Electronic Arts (NASDAQ:EA) with a market cap of $4.5B, Glu Mobile with a cap of $181M, Vringo at $272M, and Renren at $1.2B.

Mobile Growth

The growth of mobile games, paid or freemium, is linked directly to the explosive growth of smartphone use worldwide. A Gartner study states that in the third quarter 2012, smartphones represented almost 40 percent of all mobile units sold worldwide, a 47 percent increase from one year earlier.

The smartphone market is dominated by Apple and Samsung, with both companies together controlling 46.5 percent of the smartphone market. Samsung's mobile phones sales in particular continued to accelerate, totaling almost 98 million units in the third quarter of 2012, up 18.6 percent year-on-year. Nokia continues to sell enough units worldwide to garner attention, but its overall market share has slipped to 19 percent compared to 24 percent for the same period last year.

Adapting the Freemium Strategy to the Psychic Industry

Psychic Friends Network may not produce games, but they are in the entertainment content business. In the past, the company's sizable content offering could only be consumed by customers calling 1-900 numbers and speaking live to psychic readers. In today's mobile-connected world, customers want to enjoy their horoscopes and personalized psychic consultations from anywhere, on the device of their choice and in many forms (text, audio chat, video chat and more).

To address this new reality, the company plans to offer its new branded mobile apps free for download with a special free text psychic reading introductory offer.  

"I expect that the new PFN mobile app will rival, and perhaps even surpass, PFNI TV and more conventional online revenues within a very short order," Lasky said. "And our free-message offers will jumpstart that success."

In addition to branded mobile apps offering daily horoscopes and live connections to psychic readers, PFNI will also offer other mobile services that do not require an app:

  • Premium SMS text services. Through this type of paid service, the company will offer a daily horoscope sent to a customer's mobile phone.
  • Live psychic advice. Customers can send a SMS text to a live psychic, such as, "What do you think about my new job?" They will instantly receive a text reply (at $.99 per text).

These premium SMS services can be directly added to the customer's mobile phone bill (also known as carrier billing). This lowers the barrier to purchase, as the customer does not have to key in a credit card on their phone.

Freemium Is Not for Every Company

Dropbox, LinkedIn, Pandora and Skype are notable companies that gained success by giving away their products and services free to build a customer base. Skype was acquired by Microsoft for $8.5B, LinkedIn was worth over $9B after its first day of trading, Pandora debuted with a $3B IPO, and pre-IPO Dropbox raised a whopping $250 million on a $4 billion valuation.

According to Simon Hill at Digital Trends, the big freemium successes have managed to combine good conversion rates with high retention, so that people continue to play and purchase content for weeks, months or even longer.

The freemium approach, however, doesn't make sense for any business that can't eventually reach millions of users. Typically only 1% or 2% of users will upgrade to a paid product, according to David Cohen, founder and CEO of TechStars, a start-up accelerator since 2007.

Psychic Friends Network is no stranger to large customer volumes with high conversion and customer retention rates. At the peak in the 1990s, PFNI had more than 10 million unique customers, with an impressive 25% conversion rate over 1-900 phone numbers and an even more impressive 75% retention. The average PFNI customer spent $350 per year, with 80% spent in the first six months.

PFNI is about to re-launch with a newly developed "version 2.0" technology platform. The centerpiece of this re-launch are the company's new mobile apps, which combine the best of PFNI's past proven conversion methods with the latest freemium revenue strategy. Given their past track record, the company is fully expecting to re-dominate the nearly $2.5B psychic market.

About the Psychic Friends Network, Inc.

The Psychic Friends Network, Inc. (PFNI) is a marketing and entertainment company providing on-demand psychic advice as well as daily and weekly horoscopes. PFNI connects professional live psychic readers with customers via telephone (mobile and landline) and through their newly developed state-of-the-art online platform enabling interaction with video chat, voice or text chat. During the 1990s, PFNI pioneered the psychic industry with memorable television/radio marketing and infomercials. PFNI is re-launching the original brand on a new technology platform that will capitalize on the latest social media and video technologies to connect psychics with consumers.

To learn more about PFNI, visit PsychicFriendsNetwork.com

About Stocks Digest

Stocks Digest monitors the best stock ideas and stock recommendations from Wall Street's top advisors - with expert analysts identifying today's bull-market leaders and tomorrow's top stock ideas. The review process includes hundreds of the finest financial newsletters and research publications, before screening to deliver the ideas with superior profit potential.

To sign up for a free Stocks Digest subscription, visit http://www.StocksDigest.com.

Disclosure: StocksDigest.com is not a registered investment advisor and nothing contained in any materials should be construed as a recommendation to buy or sell any securities. This is a compensated press release. Please visit our website for complete risks and disclosures: http://www.StocksDigest.com.

Forward Looking Statements

This press release may be deemed to contain forward-looking statements, which may be subject to the safe harbor provisions of the Private Securities Litigation Reform Act of 1995, including statements regarding the re-launch of the Psychic Friends Network brand, PFNI's business plan, website and mobile applications. Readers are cautioned that these forward-looking statements are only predictions and may differ materially from actual future events or results due to a variety of factors, including, among other things, PFNI's ability to successfully re-launch its brand and operations and other risk factors set forth in PFNI's current report on Form 8-K dated March 30, 2012. Any forward-looking statements in this release are based on limited information currently available to PFNI, which is subject to change, and PFNI will not necessarily update the information.

http://www.stocksdigest.com

SOURCE Stocks Digest

More Stories By PR Newswire

Copyright © 2007 PR Newswire. All rights reserved. Republication or redistribution of PRNewswire content is expressly prohibited without the prior written consent of PRNewswire. PRNewswire shall not be liable for any errors or delays in the content, or for any actions taken in reliance thereon.

@ThingsExpo Stories
SYS-CON Events announced today that HPM Networks will exhibit at the 17th International Cloud Expo®, which will take place on November 3–5, 2015, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA. For 20 years, HPM Networks has been integrating technology solutions that solve complex business challenges. HPM Networks has designed solutions for both SMB and enterprise customers throughout the San Francisco Bay Area.
For IoT to grow as quickly as analyst firms’ project, a lot is going to fall on developers to quickly bring applications to market. But the lack of a standard development platform threatens to slow growth and make application development more time consuming and costly, much like we’ve seen in the mobile space. In his session at @ThingsExpo, Mike Weiner, Product Manager of the Omega DevCloud with KORE Telematics Inc., discussed the evolving requirements for developers as IoT matures and conducted a live demonstration of how quickly application development can happen when the need to comply wit...
The Internet of Everything (IoE) brings together people, process, data and things to make networked connections more relevant and valuable than ever before – transforming information into knowledge and knowledge into wisdom. IoE creates new capabilities, richer experiences, and unprecedented opportunities to improve business and government operations, decision making and mission support capabilities.
Explosive growth in connected devices. Enormous amounts of data for collection and analysis. Critical use of data for split-second decision making and actionable information. All three are factors in making the Internet of Things a reality. Yet, any one factor would have an IT organization pondering its infrastructure strategy. How should your organization enhance its IT framework to enable an Internet of Things implementation? In his session at @ThingsExpo, James Kirkland, Red Hat's Chief Architect for the Internet of Things and Intelligent Systems, described how to revolutionize your archit...
MuleSoft has announced the findings of its 2015 Connectivity Benchmark Report on the adoption and business impact of APIs. The findings suggest traditional businesses are quickly evolving into "composable enterprises" built out of hundreds of connected software services, applications and devices. Most are embracing the Internet of Things (IoT) and microservices technologies like Docker. A majority are integrating wearables, like smart watches, and more than half plan to generate revenue with APIs within the next year.
Growth hacking is common for startups to make unheard-of progress in building their business. Career Hacks can help Geek Girls and those who support them (yes, that's you too, Dad!) to excel in this typically male-dominated world. Get ready to learn the facts: Is there a bias against women in the tech / developer communities? Why are women 50% of the workforce, but hold only 24% of the STEM or IT positions? Some beginnings of what to do about it! In her Opening Keynote at 16th Cloud Expo, Sandy Carter, IBM General Manager Cloud Ecosystem and Developers, and a Social Business Evangelist, d...
In his keynote at 16th Cloud Expo, Rodney Rogers, CEO of Virtustream, discussed the evolution of the company from inception to its recent acquisition by EMC – including personal insights, lessons learned (and some WTF moments) along the way. Learn how Virtustream’s unique approach of combining the economics and elasticity of the consumer cloud model with proper performance, application automation and security into a platform became a breakout success with enterprise customers and a natural fit for the EMC Federation.
The Internet of Things is not only adding billions of sensors and billions of terabytes to the Internet. It is also forcing a fundamental change in the way we envision Information Technology. For the first time, more data is being created by devices at the edge of the Internet rather than from centralized systems. What does this mean for today's IT professional? In this Power Panel at @ThingsExpo, moderated by Conference Chair Roger Strukhoff, panelists addressed this very serious issue of profound change in the industry.
Discussions about cloud computing are evolving into discussions about enterprise IT in general. As enterprises increasingly migrate toward their own unique clouds, new issues such as the use of containers and microservices emerge to keep things interesting. In this Power Panel at 16th Cloud Expo, moderated by Conference Chair Roger Strukhoff, panelists addressed the state of cloud computing today, and what enterprise IT professionals need to know about how the latest topics and trends affect their organization.
It is one thing to build single industrial IoT applications, but what will it take to build the Smart Cities and truly society-changing applications of the future? The technology won’t be the problem, it will be the number of parties that need to work together and be aligned in their motivation to succeed. In his session at @ThingsExpo, Jason Mondanaro, Director, Product Management at Metanga, discussed how you can plan to cooperate, partner, and form lasting all-star teams to change the world and it starts with business models and monetization strategies.
Converging digital disruptions is creating a major sea change - Cisco calls this the Internet of Everything (IoE). IoE is the network connection of People, Process, Data and Things, fueled by Cloud, Mobile, Social, Analytics and Security, and it represents a $19Trillion value-at-stake over the next 10 years. In her keynote at @ThingsExpo, Manjula Talreja, VP of Cisco Consulting Services, discussed IoE and the enormous opportunities it provides to public and private firms alike. She will share what businesses must do to thrive in the IoE economy, citing examples from several industry sectors.
There will be 150 billion connected devices by 2020. New digital businesses have already disrupted value chains across every industry. APIs are at the center of the digital business. You need to understand what assets you have that can be exposed digitally, what their digital value chain is, and how to create an effective business model around that value chain to compete in this economy. No enterprise can be complacent and not engage in the digital economy. Learn how to be the disruptor and not the disruptee.
Akana has released Envision, an enhanced API analytics platform that helps enterprises mine critical insights across their digital eco-systems, understand their customers and partners and offer value-added personalized services. “In today’s digital economy, data-driven insights are proving to be a key differentiator for businesses. Understanding the data that is being tunneled through their APIs and how it can be used to optimize their business and operations is of paramount importance,” said Alistair Farquharson, CTO of Akana.
Business as usual for IT is evolving into a "Make or Buy" decision on a service-by-service conversation with input from the LOBs. How does your organization move forward with cloud? In his general session at 16th Cloud Expo, Paul Maravei, Regional Sales Manager, Hybrid Cloud and Managed Services at Cisco, discusses how Cisco and its partners offer a market-leading portfolio and ecosystem of cloud infrastructure and application services that allow you to uniquely and securely combine cloud business applications and services across multiple cloud delivery models.
The enterprise market will drive IoT device adoption over the next five years. In his session at @ThingsExpo, John Greenough, an analyst at BI Intelligence, division of Business Insider, analyzed how companies will adopt IoT products and the associated cost of adopting those products. John Greenough is the lead analyst covering the Internet of Things for BI Intelligence- Business Insider’s paid research service. Numerous IoT companies have cited his analysis of the IoT. Prior to joining BI Intelligence, he worked analyzing bank technology for Corporate Insight and The Clearing House Payment...
"Optimal Design is a technology integration and product development firm that specializes in connecting devices to the cloud," stated Joe Wascow, Co-Founder & CMO of Optimal Design, in this SYS-CON.tv interview at @ThingsExpo, held June 9-11, 2015, at the Javits Center in New York City.
SYS-CON Events announced today that CommVault has been named “Bronze Sponsor” of SYS-CON's 17th International Cloud Expo®, which will take place on November 3–5, 2015, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA. A singular vision – a belief in a better way to address current and future data management needs – guides CommVault in the development of Singular Information Management® solutions for high-performance data protection, universal availability and simplified management of data on complex storage networks. CommVault's exclusive single-platform architecture gives companies unp...
Electric Cloud and Arynga have announced a product integration partnership that will bring Continuous Delivery solutions to the automotive Internet-of-Things (IoT) market. The joint solution will help automotive manufacturers, OEMs and system integrators adopt DevOps automation and Continuous Delivery practices that reduce software build and release cycle times within the complex and specific parameters of embedded and IoT software systems.
"ciqada is a combined platform of hardware modules and server products that lets people take their existing devices or new devices and lets them be accessible over the Internet for their users," noted Geoff Engelstein of ciqada, a division of Mars International, in this SYS-CON.tv interview at @ThingsExpo, held June 9-11, 2015, at the Javits Center in New York City.
Internet of Things is moving from being a hype to a reality. Experts estimate that internet connected cars will grow to 152 million, while over 100 million internet connected wireless light bulbs and lamps will be operational by 2020. These and many other intriguing statistics highlight the importance of Internet powered devices and how market penetration is going to multiply many times over in the next few years.