Wow, its March already. Today’s brief covers how much money the virtual goods space is really making, Starbucks goes Indian, Foursquare parts with Google Maps, Tasted Menu – Foodspotting’s newest competitor, a digital marketing industry infographic, and more. Read on!
1. The virtual goods space is heating up. $2.3 billion worth of virtual goods were sold in 2011. Those Farmville farms sure are swanky. The study also shows that more men than women are purchasing virtual goods. Check out the entire report here. [TechCrunch]
2. Foursquare has parted ways with Google Maps and is going open-source. Foursquare will be working with MapBox, which allows it more flexibility, control over design, and better pricing than Google Maps. This will not, however, affects maps on your phone because the mapping components on iPhone and Android are connected to Google Maps. [Foursquare Blog]
3. Designer Anton Repponen takes us back to the 1986 Mac with this cool design of what the iPhone would look like with the original Mac design. You know, I kind of like it. [FastCoDesign]
4. Ben Parr, most recently known as Editor at Mashable, is working on a new stealth start-up called the Peep Project. While there aren’t too many details yet, the idea is to change how we consume information online. This looks pretty interesting so far, so keep tabs on it. [Angel List]
5. Foodspotting has some competition. Tasted Menu has just launched their iPhone app today, and aims to provide a better user experience for food and dish discovery at restaurants. While Foodspotting focuses on taking photos of food, Tasted Menu focuses on tagging every single dish at a restaurant. They have what they call “culinary taxonomy”, based on Pandora’s music genome project. The app is live today, just in time for SXSW next week. [TechCrunch]
6. The Martha Stewart brand made over $1 billion in retail sales in 2011. If you ask 10 people what the Martha Stewart brand represents, you’ll probably get 10 different answers. Stewart has truly licensed her name to everything, which makes it difficult to build any true brand recognition. While some argue that she’s all over the place, others within the organization maintain that she is a lifestyle brand, and consistently that. What do you think? [USA Today]
7. Starbucks has crossed the pond, flown over the desert, and made its way into India. Starbucks’ joint venture with the Tata Group will bring 50 cafes to cities across India over the next 8 months. Cafe Coffee Day is currently the biggest chain in India, with over 1,000 locations. It will be interesting to see if this coffee behemoth can topple the Indian market. [Daily Beast]
8. The Shahs of Sunset are coming to Bravo TV. Featuring a Persian family, the show is brought to you by Ryan Seacrest, the same guy who brought us the Kardashians in all their reality TV glory. Based on the initial reviews, this show is going to bring new light to Iranian-Americans, good or bad. [Daily Beast]
9. Charlie Sheen’s got a new job; starring in a Fiat commercial. The ad concept plays up Sheen’s “bad boy” image, even poking fun at his house arrest situation. Personally, I’m a little tired of the Charlie Sheen jokes, but you be the judge. [AdAge]
10. Think digital marketing is a fad? This infographic will prove you wrong. For example, mobile marketing advertising spend increased 75% from 2009 to 2010. [Visual.ly]
That’s all from me today. Submissions and comments below please!