Multimedia Industry in UK Essay

Introduction

The trend towards digital media is nothing new: CDs have virtually replaced vinyl records, and are now being challenged by the mini-disc; computers are widespread; digital mobile phones have replaced the old analogue sets; and Nicam digital stereo sound is on most TVs. The age of DVD is also approaching, which could eventually replace the video player. Thus, as the digital era develops, this poses both threats and opportunities for the entertainment media market. Whilst demand for traditional analogue format such as video and audio tapes is dwindling, new types of optical media such as CD-Rs and DVDs are fast being developed. Most manufacturers of traditional recording media are thus turning their attentions to new technologies in order to remain competitive.

On the other hand, increasing use of the Internet and trends towards networking and multimedia applications are to some extent negating the need for traditional recordable media, as music and video can now be streamed and stored on memory sticks, computer hard disks, or hard disks incorporated into VCRs. Thus, products such as personal MP3 players do not require any separate media. Indeed, the consumer electronics industry is moving towards a networked world, in which all devices seamlessly connect and communicate with each other to allow consumers maximum ease of use. Convergence is the buzz word for manufacturers. The development of hardware capable of performing many functions and using one storage media has been a key feature of 2000 and 2001. Manufacturers have produced combined TV, video and Internet units; mobile phones are being developed to include on-line games, MP3 players and Internet connectivity; digital cameras also have the capability to play digital music; and camcorders can take still pictures and record digital music. This erodes the need for multiple platforms of media storage, and increases the challenge to the producers of such media. The response has been to develop media to be utilised for multi storage functions. Memory sticks/cards are being used in digital cameras, Mpeg players and camcorders, and can be formatted/edited using differing hardware. Sony has also show-cased a camcorder using DVD-R. This means that, whilst editing a home video, other DVD films, digital music and still pictures can be inserted. [1]

The market for portable consumer electronics performed well in 2006, growing by 9.5% in volume terms, while value sales rose by 11% to reach £5.8 billion. The segment with the highest growth in 2006 was portable media players, which rose by 23% in volume terms (and 33% in value terms). This growth was driven mainly by that of portable MP3 players (47% by volume and 46% by value) and portable multimedia players (40% by volume and 30% by value) and is associated with the enormous popularity of the iPod. Sales of portable computers also displayed strong growth in 2006 (25% by volume), which is explained by the strong sales growth of laptops (up 27% by volume), which are overtaking desktops as their average prices have continued to fall. The switch from analogue to digital products is also evident in this sector: while volume sales of analogue cameras registered a fall of 15%, those of digital cameras increased by 16%. Similarly, sales of analogue camcorders fell by 9.5%, while those of digital camcorders rose by 2%. Unit prices of portable consumer electronics have fallen on account of the increased competition from unbranded products. In fact, in order to face this competition, major players have organised massive advertising campaigns that seek to emphasise the quality, design and innovative content of their products. Moreover, after-sales services such as updates of software, maintenance and warranties have also contributed to this performance. The portable consumer electronics sector is forecast to perform very strongly (with growth in unit sales of 32%) during 2006-2011, with particularly strong growth in volume sales of digital cameras (up 139%), photo printers (236%), portable MP3 players (101%), portable multimedia players (319%) and palm and pocket PCs (627%). The sector as a whole is expected to have value sales of £8.2 billion by 2011. The MP3 player is now a “must have” item for UK consumers, and Apple’s iPod is the market leader. Consumers are rapidly replacing their portable cassette, CD and minidisc players with portable MP3 players, whose sales grew substantially in 2006 (up 47% by volume and 46% by value) to reach more than 6.6 million units, accounting for £979 million in revenues. Portable multimedia players registered the second-highest growth rate in the portable consumer electronics market, with unit sales rising by a robust 40.0% to reach 14,000 units in 2006, while value sales increased by 30% to reach £1.8 million. Laptops also performed strongly, with volume sales increasing by 27% to reach 2.4 million units in 2006, while value sales increased by 8% to reach £1.7 million. This reflects the fall in average unit prices (due in part to the switch of demand away from desktops) and consumers’ preference for attributes such as ease of use and portability.

The mobile phone segment had a performance typical for a stagnant or “replacement” market. Volume sales rose by 1.5% in 2006, to reach 17.5 million units. Additionally, the growth of third generation (3G) devices in the UK has not yet had a substantial impact on sales. Under these circumstances, the upgrading of technologies, together with fashionable designs, are important drivers of manufacturers’ sales. Distribution shares have not changed significantly during the review period, and specialist and grocery multiples held the largest shares of 26.5% and 24.5%, respectively, in 2006. The compact size of products of this type, and margins that are more attractive than those normally found for these outlets’ range of food and household products have driven the slight increases in these shares over the review period. Both specialist independents and department/variety stores have correspondingly lost market share (down from 22% to 18% and from 6 % to 1% respectively during 2001-2006). Even though some consumers still require specialist information about product choices, in particular concerning digital cameras and camcorders, before making their purchasing decisions, this sector remains best characterised by strong competition and falling prices.[2]

Background

Sony is the leader of the portable consumer electronics markets, with an overall share of 19%, followed by Nokia (12%) and Samsung (9%). Despite its leadership in segments such as camcorders and portable media players, which was built on premium products with innovative features, Sony has been losing share as several other companies have entered the market and there has been strong price competition from Asian producers. Nokia remains the second player in the market, and its success is largely driven by its mobile phones and the loyalty of its customers, together with a reputation for user friendliness and reliability. Despite these advantages, the company lost market share (around 2 percentage points during 2002-2006). One of Nokia’s problems is its difficulty in competing against Sony and Samsung, on account of their expertise in technologies such as digital photography and LCD displays. The huge success of Apple’s iPod led to an increase in the company’s share of Apple from 0.5% in 2002 to 2% in 2005. Moreover, Apple is also the leader in the MP3 player market on account of its massive advertising campaigns, fashionable product design and the launches of new models such as the iPod Nano and the iPod with video functionality.

Alba has also shown one of the best performances in this market, with an increase in its market share by 1.3 percentage points (from 5% in 2002 to 6% in 2005), which is related with the “organic” growth of the group, through well-known brands such as Alba, Goodmans or Grundig among others, which offer high-quality products that are nevertheless typically cheaper than those produced by Sony or Panasonic. Light weight, ease of transport, greater storage capacity and better sound and image quality are among the key features of products in the portable consumer electronics market. In September 2006, Canon launched the “HV10”, one of the smallest high-definition 1080i camcorders seen on the market to date. In October, LG launched the “KG920”, the first mobile phone in the UK to feature a 5-megapixel camera, with a design that allows the lens to be rotated through 180º. Motorola has also been at the forefront of stylish and fashionable phones, which are very popular, especially among young consumers.

Methodology

Field surveillance was conducted experiments since the study question addresses multimedia industry in UK. Like all field explanation, this study was investigative, with not as much of generalizable and less specific results as could have been reached with further methods. I engaged Silverman’s (1993) tactic for qualitative research, by several diverse methods centering on conference observation to ‘triangulate’ on the results. To Silverman’s post hoc counting workout, which holds up conclusions reached by straightforward surveillance, the authors added quantitative methods centering on proper, pre-determined data coding.

Method 1Facilitated Discussion

Four study participants attended a half-day facilitated conversation concerning working in non-collocated teams. The conversation, organized about strengths, weaknesses, opportunities, and threats using a structure general in industry, addressed organization needs and obstacles to technology opening, ? number of deliberations were held unconnectedly by the company in ? order to allow conflicts to emerge. The facilitators posed prepared questions but did not interfere with ? discussion except to sketch in less dynamic participants.

Method 2 Questionnaire

Six study participants filled out ? questionnaire after the facilitated discussion but before the meeting observation. The questionnaire asked about previous knowledge of industry and information technology in order to evaluate multimedia industry in UK. It consisted of easy tick list questions about kinds of computers and applications the respondent used frequently, plus an appraisal of contact time; questions about the teams of which the respondent was a member; and space for free text responses detailing the expected advantages and a disadvantages of new communication technologies.

Method 3 Interviews

Semi-structured interviews were conducted with a five team members quite a few months following the meeting surveillance. Questions concentrated on a already existed functioning practice, the meetings observed, the technology and a Multimedia industry in UK The interviewer asked a prearranged ordered of questions, but eliminated questions which had already been given and a explored other issues that may stand on a research if they came up.

Structure

In retail distribution, multiple stores are very important in carbonates sales, with nearly 57% of sales going through supermarkets/hypermarkets. The share accounted for by independent food stores declined from 18% in 2002 to12% in 2004. The independents cannot compete with retail multiples on assortment offer, price promotions and availability of discount brands and private label products. Training was the largest sector, accounting for almost 30% of sales in 2004, worth £246 million (US$447 million). The role of discounters, offering a range of products at low discount prices, also grew; reaching a 15% share of carbonates volume sales in 2004.[3]

The most dynamic sector was education, which achieved 139% growth over the review period. The share of on-trade sales was on the rise, mainly due to the expected growth in on-trade volume consumption in 2004. The steady growth is explained firstly by the increasing disposable incomes of Czechs, as more people visit restaurants and pubs. Secondly, the younger generation likes carbonates and drinking them became part of their image, influenced by major advertising campaigns led by multinational companies. Finally, the development of tourism encouraged by the country’s entry into the EU drove sales. Tourism flourished again in 2004, compared to 2002 and 2003 when visits by foreign tourists declined. Education software offers an interactive and easy, fun way for pupils to learn and access knowledge without seeming to work hard for it. The education sector reached £184 million (US$335 million) in 2004. Increasing penetration of mobile phones and interactive TV has a direct impact on the infotainment sector. Fountain sales in the Czech Republic remain quite small accounting for 2% of total carbonates volume sales in 2004. Though fountain sales of carbonates continue to face a healthy yearly growth mainly due to further development of fast foods and the popularity of draft Kofola, consumers began to favour bottled water for its healthier features and significant changes towards a stronger demand for fountain carbonates are not expected. Details of market structure is attach in appendix, table 1, 2, 3, 4, 5.[4]

Products and Services

Manufacturers will increasingly focus on three major product areas: visual displays (which are becoming increasingly interconnected), entertainment hubs (network multimedia devices and WI-FI), and infotainment (mobile audio, video and communications products). The details are given in appendix in table 6, 7, 8, 9, 10, 11, 12, 13, 14, 15, 16.

Markets in Particular

The UK market for multimedia software has grown by 16.2% since 2003 to reach a value of £825 million (US$1.5 billion) in 2004. Over the 5-year review period, value sales increased by 92%. There were over 24 million households in the UK of which 52% had internet access in 2004. Greater penetration of PC and Internet connections are increasingly driving multimedia sales up. Hardware penetration has risen significantly over the review period offering increased access to multimedia.  Hardware prices vary significantly depending on whether technology has been around for a while or more recently arrived on the market, opening up access from the average consumer looking for something affordable to professionals, early adopters and a great number of technophiles who are ready to invest in the latest technology. Multimedia offers are numerous and accessible to many different consumers’ budgets. Smartphone sales reached nearly 28 million units in 2004. The growing mobile phone industry as whole, high-end and low-end smartphones as well as Bluetooth smartphones illustrates the huge opportunity for the multimedia market. The four main market areas of multimedia are entertainment, education, business and society as whole.

Education

Education plays a vital role in today’s modern world, a world with no boundaries and no limitations just because of multimedia role in every aspect of education. Either it is virtual classes, use of internet libraries, and even electronic books. Multimedia has eminent role to play in education, in late 90’s it was just a dream for scholars to arrange virtual classes and online education bust today thanks to the multimedia industry that boost the field of education and knowledge become easier to gain for every individual. In 2004, Microsoft remained by far the leader of the multimedia software market in the UK with a 52% share. As a consequence of major companies acquiring smaller ones, both Microsoft and IBM have gained 0.5 percentage points in market share. Adobe has distributed more than half a billion copies of Adobe Reader since its 1993 introduction. The introduction of its Adobe Acrobat upgraded version 7.0 has contributed to its gain of 0.2 percentage point in market shares. The market is extremely concentrated as to enter this market an enormous investment is needed for developing and licensing multimedia software applications. Corel, being a small company compared to the leaders, managed to maintain its share as it offers a good user interface. For instance, CorelDraw is said to be a good compromise between the low-end Microsoft Publisher and high-end Adobe’s Creative Suite. Microsoft dominance with Internet Explorer is being seriously challenged by the huge success of Mozilla Firefox, the open source web browser.

Business

Time management is the huge part in today’s business industries, that was the time when industries use to do hold paper records, but multimedia has changed all around. Today through multimedia data is being stored in computers and other storage devices that make a strong growth for our business world. Figures shown are for 2003 as 2004 data was unavailable at the time of writing. Advertising expenditure amounted to a total of £40 million in 2003. Microsoft continued to invest heavily on advertising in 2003 investing £7 million. IBM spent £0.7million on advertising in 2003 of which 32% is spent on press advertisements. The rapidly expanding market for multimedia software is of an extremely high profile nature and, thus advertising budgets are high. Professional sectors like education or training are targeted via the specialist press aimed at HR and training departments. Microsoft’s R&D activities in 2003 amounted to a huge US$28.4 billion up 12% on the previous year. See table 19 in appendix.[5]

Entertainment

Multimedia has very old history and that starts from motion pictures, entertainment play a huge role in today’s society, either it is through movies, music or news. Movies like matrix, and other science fiction movies were because a significant developments in multimedia industry especially in UK. The main threat facing the consumer market for entertainment media is the increasing use of the Internet for downloading both music and videos. This will have a severely negative effect on the market for software such as blank and pre-recorded audio and video cassettes, as consumers are replacing these with formats such as MP3. The huge interest demonstrated by Internet users in MP3, and proliferation of websites catering to this interest, marks a paradigmatic shift in the evolution of the music industry. Rapid adoption was driven by the Internet, with the evolution of MP3 equipment following a fundamentally different trajectory to other consumer electronics technologies. The network effects associated with software apply to this market, and are quicker to take effect than hardware. Most importantly, the appearance and take-up of MP3 players was driven by consumer pull as opposed to industry push. The word MP3 became one of the most used search terms on Internet search engines, as consumers aim to source legal or pirated recordings. Bearing in mind the lack of promotion placed behind the format on the part of the major players in the music industry, the international popularity of MP3 clearly illustrates the profound potential held by web audio. Copyright concerns continue to pose the major obstacle to the music industry embracing web audio. Litigation involving major recording labels and Internet start-ups proliferated during 1999 and 2000, notably the cases brought against the websites MP3.com and Napster by a host of the leading recording companies in the US. Furthermore, the appearance of several web audio formats that cater to the concerns of the music industry indicates further delays in the adoption of a single standard. However, the music industry will continue to lose huge potential revenues by failing to take the initiative in actively promoting a single web audio standard. While it is highly debatable how successful MP3 has been in creating new bands and winning sales from existing music labels, the format demonstrated the consummate suitability of the Internet for music distribution. Napster has stressed that it will follow the court order and block the sharing of specific music files after appropriate notice from the copyright holders (in most cases, the record companies). As it receives notice from copyright holders, it will take every step to exclude copyrighted material from being shared. Napster will, however, continue to seek a settlement with the record companies and to prepare new membership-based service that will make payments to artists, songwriters and other rights’ holders. As the court’s ruling puts an onus on the record companies to request that their copyrighted music (and prove ownership of such copyright) be removed from Napster’s site, the growth of other similar sites continues. Record companies will continue having to gain court rulings against these sites until they come to an agreement on the sharing of music files. Therefore, the leading record labels are about to try something that few in the on-line world have accomplished – to get consumers to pay for media “content” they take from the web then transfer the music from their PCs onto portable digital players. Prices are said to be comparable with those of CD singles. By offering music in digital formats that they control, the labels hope to start laying down the law in the anarchic world of Internet music. One MP3 devotee, asked in a chat room how much BMG should charge for a download, responded: “If they do the math, they’ll have to charge US$10 million for each (download), “cause they are only gonna sell one”. After that, the chatter suggested, copies would spread like a virus. The record companies plan to fight back by using encryption technologies that make it more difficult to spread music illegally and a campaign to change attitudes about paying for their product. Indeed, it is so early that only one digital player, from Sony, complies with the industry’s alternative to the MP3 standard. Other players are expected later this year, and it is anticipated that there will be more than five million users of digital players by 2003. Ultimately, industry executives hope music stores will have kiosks where shoppers pay to download music onto either a portable player or a blank compact disc. According to industry sources, revenue from downloaded music could reach US$227 million by 2001, and escalate to some US$1 billion by 2004. For now, however, it is still not clear which technology standard, if any, will come to dominate the distribution of music on-line – or whether it will give the music companies the protection from piracy that they crave. The recording industry’s Secure Digital Music Initiative, created to develop an alternative to MP3, has spawned a race by a number of companies – Microsoft, IBM and Intertrust, chief among them – to develop the dominant software for securing the digital rights of both artist and publisher. None of these, though, may prove powerful enough to change the habits of MP3 devotees.  Market size details are given in table 17 in appendix. [6]

Types of Clients

Today’s modern client has inclinations towards new multimedia technologies, which he or she adopt not just for holding new trends, but he or she adopt new technologies to improve the quality of work  and life. The major clients for multimedia technologies are below:

DVD-Audio

A major hope for the future of the audio media industry is the development of DVD-Audio, or DVD-A. DVD-A offers twice the fidelity of a standard CD and will bring consumers the highest quality audio ever available in the home, including increased resolution and multi-channel surround-sound. DVD-audio offers audio and stereo sampling rates of up to 192 kHz, compared with 44.1 kHz for an ordinary CD, which will bring the listener close to the master recording.

It is possible that DVD-audio will eventually replace CDs as the dominant music format, although it is unclear how quickly the take-up of this market will be. At present, there are very few machines available for playing DVD-audio, and DVD-A discs are not compatible with DVD-V players.  Matsushita launched two players under the Panasonic and Techniques brands in summer 2000, which were aimed at the high-end audiophile. However, it is likely that a universal format will soon be developed that will play both DVD-Vs and DVD-As. In addition, manufacturers have plans to develop a simple DVD-A player that plays both DVD-As and CDs, for use in cars and portables, and a DVD-A player that plays audio with minimal visuals.

DVD-Video

One of the most important digital developments in the consumer electronics market to date has been that of DVD-video. This is likely to lead to a long-term decline in the market for VCRs and their associated software, but will create vast opportunities for recordable and prerecorded DVDs. There has, however, been a long-term disagreement over finding a universal DVD format. However, eventual industry agreement over standards led to a strong global marketing drive and rapid penetration of the mass market. In 1997, DVD swept the US market, with adoption rates exceeding those registered for VCRs in the previous decade. Major sales in Europe followed in 1998 and 1999. The technology benefited from the backing of major content owners and low costs of production. In future, the format is likely to be driven by the development of DVD players with Internet access capability, based on technologies such as iDVD and Nuon. These will offer users the chance to play games and shop on-line. The development of the Xbox and Playstation2 has both incorporated DVD players into their gaming machines and on-line gaming capabilities.[7]

Hard Disk Video Recorders

An example of the move towards digital technology can be seen in the video recorders market, where manufacturers are switching from tape to disk as a storage medium. Sony, JVC and Toshiba all released new hard disk models in 2000. These allow simultaneous playback and recording, and even enable viewers to go back to a part already recorded – while continuing to record – view it and then catch up to where the recording is in real time. The random access feature has replaced conventional fast forward and rewind features and can instantly display any particular frame as a noise-free still image. The hard disks on video recorders have overcome the problem that computer hard disks have had in handling streaming data. For the moment, there is still a demand for old-style VHS machines, if the consumer wishes to store video over a long period. For example, Sony’s commercial HD video recorder, the Clip-on, which was introduced in August 2000, can record up to 20 hours in VHS-quality long-play mode, 10 hours in standard short-play mode and five hours in high-quality mode. However, as the hard disk is designed to automatically delete recordings in order of the oldest recording date to create space for new recordings, storing recordings long term requires a second machine to hold copies. This problem is already being addressed by other manufacturers: JVC has developed the S-VHS hybrid model, which has a smaller hard disk (20GB), but can copy images to S-VHS tape, without involving another machine.

Toshiba released a video recorder with a 30GB hard disk combined with a recordable 4.7GB DVD RAM disk. The hard disk can record up to 12 hours in short-play mode or 26.5 hours in long-play mode. There is also a manual mode that allows setting the recording resolution, in 0.2-megabit increments, from two to 9.8 mbps. It is fixed at 4.6 mbps in short-play mode. This makes it possible to record up to 29 hours on the hard disk and 33.5 hours when combined with the DVD. Toshiba, Sony, Matsushita Electric Industrial Co. and Hitachi, Ltd. are jointly developing a recording-oriented digital broadcast receiver for commercial release in 2001. This will allow users to record and retrieve content from a variety of sources, from TV to e-commerce websites.

The development of such hardware, and of DVD recorders, also offers those with a technical ability, the opportunity to produce pirate copies of films in a digital format. This therefore poses a threat to the providers of pre recorded video.[8]

D-VHS

Parallel to the range of DVD systems currently on offer, JVC, in conjunction with Matsushita, Hitachi and Philips, developed a new high-definition pre recorded format called D-VHS, which is based on the existing VHS home video system. The major advantage of the D-VHS system is its VHS compatibility; both the widely used VHS tapes and S-VHS tapes can still be used in the D-VHS system. This allows consumers to change over gradually from analogue to digital, whilst still remaining familiar with the system that they know. The D-VHS system also has seven different recording methods for analogue video signals, depending on whether long playing time or good quality is most important. Almost 10 times the amount of data fits on to a DF420 cassette as on a DVD (44GB instead of 4.7GB). The data transmission rate is much higher than the rate of between two and 10 mbps provided by the DVD video variants that are soon to appear. JVC launched its own product under the new digital format at the end of 1999, accompanied by high-definition blank tapes for use with the machine. The future success of JVC’s new D-VHS pre recorded digital format is uncertain. One of the advantages of the format is that it is high-definition, and is fully compatible with the US HDTV standard (DVD is based on the current resolution standards for UK TVs and will not be compatible with HDTV receivers). As a recordable format, however, D-VHS is still subject to copy-protection rules for digital recording. Until those are resolved, JVC will not be able to sell fully functional D-VHS machines in the UK.

Interactive TV

Less than two years after the digital TV revolution, television is now beginning to enter the interactive world, which will allow people to carry out a variety of activities via the TV, such as sending e-mails and playing sophisticated games without the need for consoles, using auction channels; and pay per view services, interactive advertising, holiday bookings. The impact of this on the entertainment media market could be severe; for example, it will reduce the need for video tapes, and for console and computer game software. Although the replacement of analogue by digital services is a long-term process, set-top box penetration is being driven by aggressive subscriber recruitment strategies employed by leading service providers such as the Canal Group and BSkyB, which offer “free” hardware as part of a bundled package.

Consumer uptake of interactive digital TV indicates that digital set-top boxes will become key gateway devices to the Internet. The development of interactive services by service providers such as British Interactive Broadcasting in the UK demonstrated the potential for set-top boxes to deliver home shopping, banking and e-mail.

In many cases, digital set-top boxes attain penetration in homes without PCs, bringing Internet access to new demographic groups. In addition, the low cost of set-top boxes led industry analysts to predict great potential in countries with low levels of disposable income, such as India. However, most digital set-top boxes currently in circulation only give access to proprietary services. A key requirement for rapid deployment of set-top boxes in the mass market is a move towards equipment based on open standards and the development of broadband access. This is already transpiring, with the development of hardware by manufacturers such as Matsushita, Sony and Philips that will utilise the DVB-MHP standard.[9]

Overview of Clients

The launch of PlayStation2 in Japan overcame minor glitches to record a huge burst of initial sales. Sony employed a number of innovative strategies with the debut of the console, notably the processing of orders through the Internet and the use of bricks-and-mortar retailers as collection points. The PlayStation2 also includes the ability to play pre recorded DVDs and, with an add-on, connect to the Internet. This may have a positive effect on demand for pre recorded DVDs as gamers can watch films without having to purchase another piece of hardware. The potential for game consoles to become a central hub of the living room did not escape the attention of companies outside the industry. In spring 2000, Microsoft announced it would enter the video games console market with the provisionally named Xbox in autumn 2001. Intel will supply the 600 megahertz processor, based on the Pentium III. Xbox will be able to play films, possess an 8 B hard drive and have a high-power 3D graphics chip developed by Nvidia. The Xbox will run a derivative of the PC Windows operating system. The launch price is expected to be under US$300. Thomson is likely to manufacture Xbox, among other companies. Sega has expressed an interest in extending its partnership with Microsoft to collaborate on the development of Xbox.

Customers are prepared to pay between US$50 and US$100 more for games which are compatible with the new technology, and the European games market is set to explode as real time on-line interactive games playing becomes widely available.[10]

On-line Gaming

On-line gaming has become a multimillion-dollar industry, with the potential to become far bigger still. At present, the market is limited to hard-core gamers, but is attracting an ever-wider audience. On-line game sales reportedly rose from US$70 million in 1997 to US$277 million in 1998, and could exceed US$1.9 billion by 2002. SegaSoft’s flagship on-line network, Heat.net, claims to be the world’s largest core on-line-PC-gaming community of 2.5 million players. So far, on-line gaming has not taken advantage of broadband technology. As broadband is still not widely available, games developers are not able to justify spending resources to author games for a high-speed-data line. However, several fairly sophisticated technologies have been developed to make on-line playing a better experience at low data rates. For example, most game publishers overcome the problem of the high latency of dial-up connections by inserting a “predictive algorithm” into action games, which predicts future moves based on a player’s prior moves. Included in on-line gaming revenues are on-line advertising and sponsorships, sales of CD-ROMs and fees charged by sites with premium games. It is therefore likely that games manufacturers will focus on developing this lucrative business in the future, and devote fewer resources to producing games software. This could lead to a slowdown in sales of console and computer games in the future. At present, however, most titles offered on-line can also be found on the shelves of any computer store in CD-ROM format. With regard to video game consoles, Sega’s Dreamcast is so far the only games machine which can provide on-line access including the Internet. Sega recently announced an alliance with cable television networks to introduce high-speed Internet-based services through its Dreamcast game console.[11]

Gaming via Mobile Phones

Another threat to the future of the console and computer games market is that of gaming via mobile phones. Some of the games console manufacturers are developing this niche in response to growing use of wireless technologies, and increasing demand for the Internet. Video games manufacturers in Japan are developing the concept of mobile phone gaming by forming alliances with telecommunication companies. In 2000, one of Japan’s leading home game software producers Square Co Ltd announced that it would tie up with Japanese telecom giant Nippon Telegraph and Telephone Corp (NTT) to provide on-line games software. This came a week after its rival software maker, Capcom Co Ltd, announced an alliance with major Japanese telecom group KDD Corp to offer real-time on-line video games.[12] In 2000, Sega established partnership with Motorola to include Dreamcast-based technology in a Motorola handset for the North American market. The company also formed a joint venture with Innomedia Inc, to incorporate the firm’s telephony technology into the Dreamcast, allowing users to talk to each other while playing games.

In August 2000, it was announced that Sony had formed an alliance with NTT DoCoMo Inc, Japan’s leading mobile phone operator, to develop services linking DoCoMo’s “i-mode” Internet access cell phone and Sony’s PlayStation game console.

The two companies were to offer an initial batch of new services in December 2000 which would allow i-mode users play with a popular character game now available with the PocketStation handheld device. This would enable i-mode users to play games with mobile phones outside and also play the same game with PlayStation at home.

The alliance of DoCoMo and Sony also aimed to connect the PlayStation to the upcoming W-CDMA (wideband code division multiple access) broadband technology, which would allow faster data transmission and permit the display of video images and other multimedia applications on mobile devices. Sony said that it had no plans to offer the service to any other cell phone company other than DoCoMo. However, the future is likely to see more such alliances between game console manufacturers and telecoms companies to develop mobile phone gaming services.

Conclusion

The Multimedia  sector as a whole is forecast to display robust growth during 2006-2011, as new, digital, packaged-product formats with high technological content (such as blu-ray) are launched into a very dynamic market. Volume sales are expected to grow by 32%, while value sales are forecast to increase by 42% (at an average annual growth rate of 7%). The value sales of the sector are expected to reach £8.2 billion in total in 2011. The market for portable MP3 players is forecast to increase by 96% during the period 2006-2011, reflecting improvements in these products’ technological content (for example, MP3 players with hard disks) and more attractive designs, together with the consequent fall in prices as this product becomes available to the mass market. Moreover, massive marketing and advertising campaigns, together with investments in public relations, will boost the growth of this sector. Digital cameras will maintain their strong performance, with volume sales supported by the fall in average unit prices, promotions and marketing campaigns. In addition, continual improvements to technical performance (such as wide LCD displays) and in image resolution are also important factors that consumers find attractive. Volume sales of photo printers are therefore expected to increase by 236% over the forecast period. Portable multimedia players, like palm and pocket PCs, are also expected to record very strong growth in volume sales (319% and 627%, respectively), as consumers are increasingly attracted by features such as ease of transport, network connectivity and falling prices.[13]
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EGIDO, C. Possibilities and limitations of teleconferencing, in J. Galegher, R. E. Kraut and C. Egido (eds), Intellectual Teamwork: 2003, Social and Technological Foundations of Cooperative Work (Hillsdale, NJ: Lawrence Erlbaum), 351-371.

 

GUZZO, R. A. and DICKSON, M. W. Teams in organizations: 2006, recent research on performance and effectiveness, Annual Review of Psychology, 47, 307-338.

 

KRAUT, R. E., FISH, R. S., Root, R. W. and CHALFONTE, B. L. Informal communication in organizations: 2005, form, function, and technology, in S. Oskamp and S. Scapapan (eds), People’s Reactions to Technology in Factories, Offices, and Aerospace: The Claremont Symposium on Applied Social Psychology (Beverly Hills, CA: Sage), 145-199.

 

Kubicek, H., Schmid, U., and Beckert, B. The development of multimedia in UK: 2006, A national study of the SLIM research project, Working Paper No. 4/97. Bremen: University of Bremen.

 

LIM, L.-H. and BENBASAT, I. The debiasing role of group support systems: 2006, an experimental investigation of the representativeness bias, International Journal of Human-Computer Studies, 47, 453-471.

 

Namur/Brussels: 2007, Cahiers de la CITA/SMIT publications, SLIM Belgium Working Paper No. 1. December.

 

RANKY, P.G. A comparative analysis of tool management systems for flexible machining and assembly systems: 2006, 23-25 May, Troy, New York, USA, Proc. Publ. IEEE (USA, Comp. Soc. Press), pp. 36-43.

 

Van Bastelaer, B., Lobet-Maris, C., and Pierson, J., in collaboration with Burgelman, Jean-Claude, Punie, Yves, and Neuckens, Frank. The development of multimedia in UK.

 

 

WHITTAKER, S. Rethinking video as a technology for interpersonal communications: 2005, theory and design implications, International Journal of Human-Computer Studies, 42, 501-529.

 

Williams, R. The social shaping of multimedia: In The social shaping of information highways: 2006, European and American roads to the information society, eds. Herbert Kubicek, William H. Dutton, and Robin Williams, pp. 299-337. New York: St. Martin’s Press.

 
Appendix

 

Table 1On-Trade vs Off-Trade Sales of Carbonates: Volume 1999-2004
Million litres
1999
2000
2001
2002
2003
2004
Off-trade
770.6
802.6
823.3
867.4
910.7
952.0
On-trade
143.7
157.6
171.2
182.6
192.8
202.6
Fountain on-trade volume through c-store
10.6
11.6
12.2
12.8
13.3
13.8
Fountain on-trade volume through food store
15.2
16.7
18.0
19.5
21.1
22.7
Total fountain on-trade volume
25.8
28.3
30.2
32.3
34.4
36.5
TOTAL
914.2
960.2
994.5
1,050.0
1,103.5
1,154.7
Source: Trade associations (Svaz Vyrobcu Mineralnich Vod, Svaz Vyrobcu Nealkoholickych Napoju), trade press (Vyber, Zbozi & Prodej, Hospodarske Noviny, Moderni Obchod, Ekonom, Mlada Fronta Dnes), company research, store checks, trade interviews, Euromonitor International estimates
Table 2 On-Trade vs Off-Trade Sales of Carbonates: Value 1999-2004
CK million
1999
2000
2001
2002
2003
2004
Off-trade
7,153.1
7,270.7
7,382.4
7,633.5
7,761.0
8,220.2
On-trade
8,832.9
9,872.5
10,941.2
11,832.1
12,753.9
13,857.3
TOTAL
15,986.0
17,143.1
18,323.6
19,465.6
20,514.9
22,077.5
Source: Trade associations (Svaz Vyrobcu Mineralnich Vod, Svaz Vyrobcu Nealkoholickych Napoju), trade press (Vyber, Zbozi & Prodej, Hospodarske Noviny, Moderni Obchod, Ekonom, Mlada Fronta Dnes), company research, store checks, trade interviews, Euromonitor International estimates
Table 3 On-Trade vs Off-Trade Sales of Carbonates: % Volume Growth 1999-2004
% fountain volume growth
2003/04
1999-04 CAGR
1999/04 TOTAL
Off-trade
4.5
4.3
23.5
On-trade
5.1
7.1
41.1
Fountain on-trade volume through c-store
3.8
5.4
30.2
Fountain on-trade volume through food store
7.8
8.4
49.3
Total fountain on-trade volume
6.3
7.2
41.5
TOTAL
4.6
4.8
26.3
Source: Trade associations (Svaz Vyrobcu Mineralnich Vod, Svaz Vyrobcu Nealkoholickych Napoju), trade press (Vyber, Zbozi & Prodej, Hospodarske Noviny, Moderni Obchod, Ekonom, Mlada Fronta Dnes), company research, store checks, trade interviews, Euromonitor International estimates
Table 4 On-Trade vs Off-Trade Sales of Carbonates: % Value Growth 1999-2004
% current value growth
2003/04
1999-04 CAGR
1999/04 TOTAL
Off-trade
5.9
2.8
14.9
On-trade
8.7
9.4
56.9
TOTAL
7.6
6.7
38.1
Source: Trade associations (Svaz Vyrobcu Mineralnich Vod, Svaz Vyrobcu Nealkoholickych Napoju), trade press (Vyber, Zbozi & Prodej, Hospodarske Noviny, Moderni Obchod, Ekonom, Mlada Fronta Dnes), company research, store checks, trade interviews, Euromonitor International estimates
TABLE 5 MARKET SECTORS 2000 AND 2004
£ million

Sectors
2000
2004

Education
77.0
184.0
Infotainment
103.0
219.0
Others
79.0
107.0
Presentation and Advertising
51.0
69.0
Training
119.5
246.0
 

Table 6 Sales of Portable Consumer Electronics by Sector: Volume 2001-2006
‘000 units
2001
2002
2003
2004
2005
2006
Portable consumer electronics
25,369.2
25,458.8
28,680.5
32,474.4
35,288.6
38,640.8
Cameras
5,056.4
5,584.0
6,234.1
7,315.0
7,358.0
8,181.0
Camcorders
680.0
720.0
750.0
802.0
808.0
799.0
Portable media players
3,512.8
3,857.8
4,574.4
6,398.4
7,749.6
9,503.8
Mobile phones
15,421.0
14,486.0
15,942.0
16,541.0
17,278.0
17,531.0
Portable computers
699.0
811.0
1,180.0
1,418.0
2,095.0
2,626.0
Source: Official statistics, Trade associations, Trade press, Company research, Store checks, Trade interviews, Euromonitor International estimates
 

Table 7 Sales of Portable Consumer Electronics by Sector: % Volume Growth 2001-2006
% volume growth
2005/06
2001-06 CAGR
2001/06 TOTAL
Portable consumer electronics
9.5
8.8
52.3
Cameras
11.2
10.1
61.8
Camcorders
-1.1
3.3
17.5
Portable media players
22.6
22.0
170.5
Mobile phones
1.5
2.6
13.7
Portable computers
25.3
30.3
275.7
Source: Official statistics, Trade associations, Trade press, Company research, Store checks, Trade interviews, Euromonitor International estimates
 

Table 8 Sales of Portable Consumer Electronics by Sector: Value 2001-2006
£ million
2001
2002
2003
2004
2005
2006
Portable consumer electronics
3,164.7
3,190.8
3,549.2
4,368.5
5,210.1
5,782.8
Cameras
598.1
763.4
960.9
1,361.0
1,452.0
1,643.5
Camcorders
286.0
284.0
279.0
286.0
307.0
299.0
Portable media players
249.6
269.4
308.3
579.5
838.1
1,113.3
Mobile phones
1,447.0
1,204.0
1,082.0
1,046.0
1,008.0
997.0
Portable computers
584.0
670.0
919.0
1,096.0
1,605.0
1,730.0
Source: Official statistics, Trade associations, Trade press, Company research, Store checks, Trade interviews, Euromonitor International estimates
 

Table 9 Sales of Portable Consumer Electronics by Sector: % Value Growth 2001-2006
% current value growth
2005/06
2001-06 CAGR
2001/06 TOTAL
Portable consumer electronics
11.0
12.8
82.7
Cameras
13.2
22.4
174.8
Camcorders
-2.6
0.9
4.5
Portable media players
32.8
34.9
346.1
Mobile phones
-1.1
-7.2
-31.1
Portable computers
7.8
24.3
196.2
Source: Official statistics, Trade associations, Trade press, Company research, Store checks, Trade interviews, Euromonitor International estimates
Table 10 Portable Consumer Electronics Company Shares 2002-2005
% retail volume
2002
2003
2004
2005
Sony United Kingdom Ltd
20.4
19.8
19.6
18.9
Nokia (UK) Ltd
14.3
14.1
12.9
12.4
Samsung Electronics (UK) Ltd
9.9
9.7
9.0
8.8
Alba Plc
4.6
4.6
5.7
5.9
Canon (UK) Ltd
3.5
3.7
3.9
3.6
Motorola UK Ltd
3.8
3.8
3.5
3.4
Panasonic UK Ltd
2.8
2.8
3.1
3.3
Hewlett-Packard (UK) Ltd
1.2
1.5
1.6
2.2
Apple Computer UK Ltd
0.5
1.2
1.6
2.2
LG Electronics UK Ltd
1.9
1.9
1.9
1.9
Hitachi Europe Ltd
1.3
1.4
1.5
1.5
Philips Consumer Electronics UK Ltd
1.1
1.1
1.3
1.4
Casio Electronics Co Ltd
1.4
1.4
1.4
1.4
Nikon UK Ltd
1.4
1.4
1.4
1.4
Pentax UK Ltd
1.3
1.3
1.3
1.3
Fuji Photo Film (UK) Ltd
1.1
1.1
1.1
1.1
Benq UK Ltd
0.9
0.9
0.9
0.9
JVC (UK) Ltd
0.6
0.5
0.6
0.6
Sagem Communication UK Ltd
0.3
0.4
0.4
0.4
Olympus UK (Holding) Ltd
0.4
0.4
0.4
0.4
Packard Bell UK Ltd
0.2
0.3
0.3
0.4
Toshiba (UK) Ltd
0.2
0.3
0.3
0.4
Fujitsu Europe Ltd
0.2
0.2
0.3
0.4
Acer UK Ltd
0.2
0.2
0.2
0.3
Pure Digital Ltd
0.1
0.1
0.2
0.3
Sharp Electronics (UK) Ltd
0.1
0.2
0.2
0.2
Sanyo Industries (UK) Ltd
0.2
0.2
0.2
0.2
NEC Technologies UK Ltd
0.1
0.1
0.2
0.2
Virgin Mobile Holdings (UK) plc
0.1
0.1
0.1
0.2
IAG UK Ltd
0.1
0.1
0.1
0.2
Goodmans Industries Ltd
0.0
0.0
0.1
0.2
Venturer Electronics Europe Ltd
0.0
0.0
0.1
0.2
Lenovo Group
0.1
0.1
0.1
0.1
Bush Radio Plc
0.0
0.1
0.1
0.1
Polaroid (UK) Ltd
0.1
0.1
0.1
0.1
Praktica UK Ltd
0.1
0.1
0.1
0.1
Others
25.8
24.9
24.0
23.6
Total
100.0
100.0
100.0
100.0
Source: Trade associations, Trade press, Company research, Trade interviews, Euromonitor International estimates
 

 

Table 11 Portable Consumer Electronics Brand Shares 2002-2005
% retail volume
Company
2002
2003
2004
2005
Nokia
Nokia (UK) Ltd
14.3
14.1
12.9
12.4
Sony Ericsson
Sony United Kingdom Ltd
11.3
11.1
10.1
9.8
Samsung
Samsung Electronics (UK) Ltd
9.9
9.7
9.0
8.8
Sony
Sony United Kingdom Ltd
8.4
7.8
8.4
8.2
Alba
Alba Plc
4.6
4.6
5.7
5.9
Canon
Canon (UK) Ltd
3.5
3.7
3.9
3.6
Motorola
Motorola UK Ltd
3.8
3.8
3.5
3.4
Panasonic
Panasonic UK Ltd
2.8
2.8
3.1
3.3
HP
Hewlett-Packard (UK) Ltd
1.2
1.5
1.6
2.2
LG
LG Electronics UK Ltd
1.9
1.9
1.9
1.9
iPod
Apple Computer UK Ltd
0.3
0.9
1.3
1.7
Hitachi
Hitachi Europe Ltd
1.3
1.4
1.5
1.5
Philips
Philips Consumer Electronics UK Ltd
1.1
1.1
1.3
1.4
Casio
Casio Electronics Co Ltd
1.4
1.4
1.4
1.4
Nikon
Nikon UK Ltd
1.4
1.4
1.4
1.4
Pentax
Pentax UK Ltd
1.3
1.3
1.3
1.3
FujiFilm
Fuji Photo Film (UK) Ltd
1.1
1.1
1.1
1.1
Aiwa
Sony United Kingdom Ltd
0.7
1.0
1.0
0.9
BenQ-Siemens
Benq UK Ltd
0.9
0.9
0.9
0.9
JVC
JVC (UK) Ltd
0.6
0.5
0.6
0.6
Sagem
Sagem Communication UK Ltd
0.3
0.4
0.4
0.4
Apple
Apple Computer UK Ltd
0.2
0.3
0.3
0.4
Olympus
Olympus UK (Holding) Ltd
0.4
0.4
0.4
0.4
Packard Bell
Packard Bell UK Ltd
0.2
0.3
0.3
0.4
Toshiba
Toshiba (UK) Ltd
0.2
0.3
0.3
0.4
Fujitsu
Fujitsu Europe Ltd
0.2
0.2
0.3
0.4
Acer
Acer UK Ltd
0.2
0.2
0.2
0.3
Pure Digital
Pure Digital Ltd
0.1
0.1
0.2
0.3
Sharp
Sharp Electronics (UK) Ltd
0.1
0.2
0.2
0.2
Sanyo
Sanyo Industries (UK) Ltd
0.2
0.2
0.2
0.2
Lobster
Virgin Mobile Holdings (UK) plc
0.1
0.1
0.1
0.2
NEC
NEC Technologies UK Ltd
0.1
0.1
0.2
0.2
Wharfedale
IAG UK Ltd
0.1
0.1
0.1
0.2
Goodmans
Goodmans Industries Ltd
0.0
0.0
0.1
0.2
Venturer
Venturer Electronics Europe Ltd
0.0
0.0
0.1
0.2
Lenovo
Lenovo Group
0.1
0.1
0.1
0.1
Bush Radio
Bush Radio Plc
0.0
0.1
0.1
0.1
Polaroid
Polaroid (UK) Ltd
0.1
0.1
0.1
0.1
Praktica
Praktica UK Ltd
0.1
0.1
0.1
0.1
Others

25.8
24.9
24.0
23.6
Total

100.0
100.0
100.0
100.0
Source: Trade associations, Trade press, Company research, Trade interviews, Euromonitor International estimates
 

 

Table 12 Sales of Portable Consumer Electronics by Distribution Format 2001-2006
% retail volume
2001
2002
2003
2004
2005
2006
Specialist multiples
24.8
25.0
25.7
25.8
26.1
26.5
Specialist independents
21.7
21.5
20.0
19.8
19.2
18.1
Grocery multiples
22.9
23.4
23.6
24.1
24.3
24.5
Department/variety stores
5.7
4.9
3.4
2.2
1.5
1.0
Internet sales
0.6
0.8
2.8
3.5
4.2
5.1
Others
24.3
24.4
24.5
24.6
24.7
24.8
Source: Official statistics, Trade associations, Trade press, Company research, Store checks, Trade interviews, Euromonitor International estimates
 

Table 13 Forecast Sales of Portable Consumer Electronics by Sector: Volume 2006-2011
‘000 units
2006
2007
2008
2009
2010
2011
Portable consumer electronics
38,640.8
40,927.6
43,503.7
46,046.0
48,500.4
51,058.3
Cameras
8,181.0
8,216.8
8,526.1
8,977.9
9,543.0
10,310.1
Camcorders
799.0
692.8
662.8
665.0
678.5
697.3
Portable media players
9,503.8
11,057.5
12,521.0
13,764.0
14,687.2
15,340.7
Mobile phones
17,531.0
17,846.6
18,132.1
18,386.0
18,606.6
18,792.7
Portable computers
2,626.0
3,114.0
3,661.6
4,253.2
4,985.2
5,917.5
Source: Official statistics, Trade associations, Trade press, Company research, Trade interviews, Euromonitor International estimates
 

Table 14 Forecast Sales of Portable Consumer Electronics by Sector: % Volume Growth 2006-2011
% volume growth
2010/11
2006-11 CAGR
2006/11 TOTAL
Portable consumer electronics
5.3
5.7
32.1
Cameras
8.0
4.7
26.0
Camcorders
2.8
-2.7
-12.7
Portable media players
4.4
10.0
61.4
Mobile phones
1.0
1.4
7.2
Portable computers
18.7
17.6
125.3
Source: Official statistics, Trade associations, Trade press, Company research, Trade interviews, Euromonitor International estimates
Table 15 Forecast Sales of Portable Consumer Electronics by Sector: Value 2006-2011
£ million
2006
2007
2008
2009
2010
2011
Portable consumer electronics
5,782.8
6,390.0
6,947.1
7,432.6
7,843.7
8,203.7
Cameras
1,643.5
1,711.8
1,748.0
1,779.5
1,798.2
1,820.5
Camcorders
299.0
263.2
243.5
231.3
223.3
218.3
Portable media players
1,113.3
1,376.4
1,599.9
1,774.4
1,900.4
1,988.6
Mobile phones
997.0
1,024.9
1,049.5
1,070.5
1,089.8
1,107.2
Portable computers
1,730.0
2,013.6
2,306.1
2,576.8
2,832.0
3,069.1
Source: Official statistics, Trade associations, Trade press, Company research, Trade interviews, Euromonitor International estimates
 

Table 16 Forecast Sales of Portable Consumer Electronics by Sector: % Value Growth 2006-2011
% constant value growth
2006-11 CAGR
2006/11 TOTAL
Portable consumer electronics
7.2
41.9
Cameras
2.1
10.8
Camcorders
-6.1
-27.0
Portable media players
12.3
78.6
Mobile phones
2.1
11.1
Portable computers
12.1
77.4
Source: Official statistics, Trade associations, Trade press, Company research, Trade interviews, Euromonitor International
TABLE 17 MARKET SIZE 2000-2004
£ million
Market size
2000
429.5
2001
535.0
2002
608.0
2003
710.0
2004

TABLE 18 SHARE OF MARKET 2004
% value

Companies (brands)
2004

Microsoft Corporation
51.5
IBM Corporation
10.5
Adobe Systems Europe
6.4
Corel Software
1.7
 

TABLE 19 MARKETING ACTIVITY 2004
£ million

Companies/type of media
2004

Total advertising expenditure
40.0
 

 

[1] (EGIDO, C. Possibilities and limitations of teleconferencing, in J. Galegher, R. E. Kraut and C. Egido (eds), Intellectual Teamwork: 2003)
[2] (Cronberg, T., and Sorensen, K., eds.  Similar concerns, different styles Technology studies in Western Europe: 2005)
[3] (Williams, R. The social shaping of multimedia: In The social shaping of information highways: 2006, European and American roads to the information society)
[4] (Andersen, I.-E., and Jaeger, B. Involving citizens in assessment and the public debate on information technology: In Technology and democracy: 2005, Technology in the public sphere)
[5] (Van Bastelaer, B., Lobet-Maris, C., and Pierson, J., in collaboration with Burgelman, Jean-Claude, Punie, Yves, and Neuckens, Frank. The development of multimedia in UK: 2007)
[6] (Kubicek, H., Schmid, U., and Beckert, B. The development of multimedia in UK: 2006, A national study of the SLIM research project)
[7] (GUZZO, R. A. and DICKSON, M. W. Teams in organizations: 2006, recent research on performance and effectiveness)
[8] (Cressey, P., and Williams, R. Participation in change: New technology and the role of employee involvement. Luxembourg: 2006, European Foundation for the Improvement of Living and Working Conditions)
[9] (WHITTAKER, S. Rethinking video as a technology for interpersonal communications: 2005, theory and design implications)
[10] (RANKY, P.G. A comparative analysis of tool management systems for flexible machining and assembly systems: 2006)
[11] (Williams, R. The social shaping of multimedia: In The social shaping of information highways: 2006, European and American roads to the information society)
[12] (LIM, L.-H. and BENBASAT, I. The debiasing role of group support systems: 2006, an experimental investigation of the representativeness bias)
[13] (KRAUT, R. E., FISH, R. S., Root, R. W. and CHALFONTE, B. L. Informal communication in organizations: 2005, form, function, and technology)