The media tracking firm NPD Group announced today that it has acquired In-Stat, a research company that specializes in tracking digital entertainment. In-Stat will work with DisplaySearch, a subsidiary of NPD that tracks digital and technology trends.
The NPD Group has come under fire recently for only reporting retail sales, as digital distribution takes a larger chunk of the sales market. EA sharply criticized the company a few weeks ago, calling it "a misrepresentation of the entire industry." At first, NPD countered that it does track digital sales in a quarterly report, but later announced plans to report digital sales on a monthly basis.
In-Stat will keep its name and it seems it will be allowed to operate independently. The advantage for the NPD Group should be more detailed reports and statistic tracking regarding digital sales. Partnering with DisplaySearch will let In-Stat tap Asian and European research and contacts.
"With the acquisition of In-Stat, NPD is offering unique information on the intersection of hardware, content, and distribution," said NPD general manager Tim Bush. "In-Stat's world-class team of analysts brings deep industry knowledge that will enable us to help our clients understand and identify business opportunities."
Comment on NPD acquires digital entertainment tracking firm, by Steve Watts.
All this sudden and abrupt change with regards to NPD suggests to me that EA was right on the money and NPD knew it. Else, why would they change their policy on reporting digital sales to monthly and then buy a firm that will help enable that?
Perhaps they should apologize to EA for arguing when internally it would seem they completely agreed with the company's assessment of their accuracy.