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"I believe that I will never shoot another film... on film."
George Lucas

 

2014 & 2013

HIGH TECH NEWS

Well, blog, blog, blog, blog, blog...

Have no doubt that we are seeing a great Paradigm Shift...in fact the past few years the

pace of the evolution of the new technologies and how they are going to change the entertainment business as we know it make the invent of the wireless (radio), the flickers (movies), TV and black and white TV to color and MTV look like snail pace evolution...

to see some of the present and future of the Internet...visit our coverage of CES...

the Consumer Electronic Show

 

Marshall McLuhan said about  Paradigm Shifts...
 "By the time one notices a cultural

 phenomenon, it has already happened."

 

CONSUMER ELECTRONIC SHOW

see you there in 2014

Tom Hanks with Sir Howard Stringer

CEO of Sony Corp Stringer at CES

Where it is all going folks...

CONSUMER ELECTRONIC SHOW

 

 

----------------------------

Americans Are Crazy For Digital Devices, Time Consumption Is Up

by Mark Walsh, Monday, February 10, 2014 2:14 PM

Americans own an average of four digital devices (including high-definition TVs) and spend 60 hours a week consuming media across them collectively. 

“The number of digital devices and platforms available to today’s consumers has exploded in recent years. As a result, today’s consumer is more connected than ever, with more access to and deeper engagement with content and brands,” stated a Nielsen blog post today on its Digital Consumer report.

-The majority of U.S. households now own high-definition televisions (83%), Internet-connected computers (80%) and smartphones (65%). Nearly half also own digital video recorders (49%) and gaming consoles (46%).

-Average monthly time spent using the browser and/or apps on their smartphones has also grown by nearly 10 hours, ranking second only to live television in the amount of time spent on media. Consumers have increased their monthly time spent viewing time-shifted TV content by almost two hours.

http://www.mediapost.com/publications/article/219233/americans-are-crazy-for-digital-devices-time-cons.html?print

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Mobile Video To Grow 14 Times By 2018

 

Marketers, you do have a mobile video strategy, right? If not, consider this your notice. Cisco said in its latest Internet traffic report that mobile video traffic will grow 14 times by 2018, when it will comprise 69% of global mobile data traffic, up from about half last year. Much of that growth will be centered in the Middle and Africa, but video will account for 67% of mobile data traffic in this region by 2018.

Cisco also reported that mobile video use peaks in the evening, which is something most advertisers know already. What’s noteworthy is that the busiest mobile video times are growing at a faster rate than other dayparts. Advertisers can use this insight to target their mobile video campaigns by time of day.

These findings dovetail with  Nielsen’s just-released report on digital consumer habits. Nielsen said Americans own four digital devices on average and spend 60 hours a week consuming content on those devices. About 65% of homes own a smartphone, and in the past year consumers have upped the time they spend on apps and browsers by about 10 hours more a month, making phones second only to TVs for media consumption.

 

http://www.mediapost.com/publications/article/219586/mobile-video-to-grow-14-times-by-2018.html

-----------------

Comcast To Buy Time Warner Cable For $45.2 Billion

Comcast Corp., the largest U.S. cable operator, has bought Time Warner Cable, the second-biggest cable operator, in a deal worth $45.2 billion, the company confirmed late Wednesday.  The all-stock offer is valued at $158.82 a share for Time Warner Cable's stock. Previously, Charter Communications had made a cash and stock offer for Time Warner Cable of $132.50, which Time Warner Cable said was “grossly inadequate.”

Looking to avoid regulatory issues, Comcast would be willing to divest three million subscribers, according to Comcast's CNBC, which broke the story. Comcast Corp. currently has around 22 million video subscribers; Time Warner Cable has 12.5 million video customers in major markets such as New York, Los Angeles and Dallas.  http://www.mediapost.com/publications/article/219471/comcast-to-buy-time-warner-cable-for-452-billion.html?edition=69897

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Connected Devices To Surpass 6 Billion

Growing faster than ever, the market for Web-connected gadgets is set to surpass 6 billion units this year, per new estimates.

That’s 6.18 billion units, to be precise -- up 6% from the 5.82 billion gadgets that connected users to media and marketers, in 2013. If accurate, the jump will represent the market’s biggest increase in four years -- when it saw a 10% hike in production in 2010 -- according to IHS Technology.
 
“The improved growth this year of the connected devices industry marks the return of higher production as manufacturers deliver all sorts of connectivity equipment to users,” Jagdish Rebello, Ph.D. and senior director for information technology at IHS, explained in the new report.
 
“Given the voracious appetite of consumers for social media and their yen for always-on connectivity, it’s little surprise that makers will continue to turn out such devices to keep buyers engaged,” Rebello added.  

http://www.mediapost.com/publications/article/219518/connected-devices-to-surpass-6-billion.html?edition=69918

---------------------

Second screen recognized as permanent part of viewing experience

 

The second part of the NATPE/ CEA survey into second-screen usage has revealed 'tremendous potential' in content designed for synchronous viewing and the simultaneous usage of both a primary screen and second device.

The first part of the report from Research from the US Consumer Electronics Association and National Association of Television Program Executives found that broadcasters have some way to go to fully realise the potential of second-screen services, with synchronised content available for TV programmes not generating strong positive perceptions, and only 13% indicating that it makes their viewing experience "much more enjoyable." In addition it showed that despite four-fifths of second-screen users accessing their connected device while watching TV programming, only 42% tried synchronising their content experience to live TV and almost

Part two has revealed a more positive view of the second screen, with a general consensus that it is as an inevitable part of the future. Even though some believe there are strong opportunities for synchronous viewing going forward, producers were found to be still searching for the best solutions to optimise technology to create a seamless experience for the viewer.


Read more: Second screen recognised as permanent part of viewing experience | Rapid TV News http://www.rapidtvnews.com/index.php/2014012832006/second-screen-recognised-as-permanent-part-of-viewing-experience.html#ixzz2tTAussK7

 

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US connected TV penetration passes 60%

 

Driven by services such as Netflix and Pandora becoming commonplace, more than three-fifths of US households now have at least one net-connected TV in their home, according to data from The Diffusion Group (TDG).

The universe of connected TV devices surveyed in Benchmarking the Connected Consumer, 2014 includes TVs connected to the Internet either directly as in a smart TV, or indirectly via ancillary net-to-TV devices like game consoles or Internet sticks such as Google Chromecast.

The 63% penetration revealed represents significant year-on-year growth from the 53% at the same period in 2013. Furthermore, among broadband households with a net-connected TV, average ownership is 1.6 units, meaning a large portion of users own multiple net-connected TVs. In fact, 42% of connected TV owners were found to have two or more such configurations.


Read more: US connected TV penetration passes 60% | Rapid TV News http://www.rapidtvnews.com/index.php/2014021432320/us-connected-tv-penetration-passes-60.html#ixzz2tTA6kq1n

------------------------

Google overtakes Intel as world's biggest 'dealmaker'

Google has made more deals than any company in the world over the past three years, according to Bloomberg

From buying a digital thermostat developer to selling a mobile phone business, Google has executed more deals than any company in the world over the past three years.

Including acquisitions, investments and divestments, Google has been involved with 127 deals in the past three years -- more than double the number from January 2008 to 2011, according to data complied byBloomberg. Intel, which led the previous three-year period with 104 deals, fell to third with 121 transactions.

Google has ramped up its acquisition process since the appointment of Larry Page as chief executive in 2011. Under his leadership, the company has used its vast cash resources, which totalled $58.7bn (35.4bn) in the company's most recent financial results, to invest in connected devices, business services and mobile applications.

The mergers and acquisitions group, led by Don Harrison, has reportedly expanded by at least 50pc in the past two years, and Google Ventures has become a big start-up spender, while a new group called Google Capital backs later-stage companies.

http://www.telegraph.co.uk/technology/google/10635692/Google-overtakes-Intel-as-worlds-biggest-dealmaker.html

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China’s hi-tech emperors

From a global online 'anything store’ to high-end smartphones challenging Apple, a generation of billionaire entrepreneurs is rising in the East

A new generation is taking power in China. Not the grey graduates of Communist Party committees. But aggressive, entrepreneurial and often colourful internet billionaires.

As well as influencing domestic politics, several plan to break out on to the world stage in 2014.

They will be following a trail blazed by Huawei, the telecoms equipment maker. But with products and services that have much less to do with the critical infrastructure and ownership structures more familiar in the West, China’s internet giants are unlikely to hit similar trade and national security barriers.

Leading the charge is Jack Ma, the founder of Alibaba, an online bazaar that allows a business to sell almost any item to any other business.

http://www.telegraph.co.uk/technology/news/10550932/Chinas-hi-tech-emperors.html?utm_source=dlvr.it&utm_medium=twitter

-----------------------

Comcast to buy Time-Warner Cable for $45 b

 

LOS ANGELES -- Comcast will buy Time Warner Cable for about $45.2 billion in a deal that would combine the nation's top two cable TV companies and create a dominant force in creating and delivering entertainment.

The all-stock deal, which was approved by the boards of both companies, trumps a proposal from Charter Communications to buy Time Warner Cable for about $38 billion. It is expected to close by the end of the year, pending shareholder and regulatory approvals.

The combined entity will end up with about 30 million subscribers, as the two companies already have strongholds in major markets like New York, Chicago and Los Angeles. Comcast has 22 million pay TV customers but plans to divest 3 million after the deal closes. Time Warner Cable will contribute 11.2 million customers.

http://www.siliconvalley.com/news/ci_25129305/comcast-buy-time-warner-cable-45-billion

-------------------

Silicon Valley Economy Back at Dot-Com Era Highs

The annual Silicon Valley Index report shows a sizzling economy that will only get hotter, thanks to high-tech companies, but perils coexist with prosperity. Silicon Valley boasts the highest growth sectors, but "rising tides do not lift all boats." A growing divide between rich and poor is driven by an overwhelming demand for housing.

 Jobs, income and investment keep soaring in Silicon Valley, but the growth is also driving up housing costs and widening the gap between the rich and poor, a report released Tuesday says.

"The economy is sizzling any way you slice it and it's about to get hotter, but having said that, we are quick to point out there are perils with our prosperity," said Russell Hancock, president of Joint Venture Silicon Valley, which released its annual Silicon Valley Index in conjunction with the philanthropic Silicon Valley Community Foundation.

The region added nearly 47,000 jobs in 2013, up 3 percent over the previous year, and the total number of jobs has surpassed pre-recession levels. Many are high wage jobs -- 45 percent of households now earn more than $100,000, and per capita income is above $70,000 a year, much higher than the state average of about $44,000.   http://www.newsfactor.com/story.xhtml?story_id=01200000NIQC

-------------------------

Hollywood urged to match content with tech innovation

Hollywood has been urged to ramp up the pace and redesign its content strategy to keep up with technology. Addressing the annual Society of Motion Picture and Television Engineers (SMPTE) technical conference and exhibition in Hollywood, Thomas Gewecke, chief digital officer and executive VP for strategy and business development at Warner Bros. Entertainment, said: “this is no longer science fiction. The technology is there; the product is not.”

Echoing an emerging theme of the conference, Gewecke called for urgent action, stating, “the change is measured in months and quarters, not in years. The challenge for a company of our size is to move fast enough.”

A key factor for the industry to consider, Gewecke suggested, was to put content distribution at the top of the agenda including defining what the product actually is and how to best find its target audiences. “We need to make our content as ubiquitous as possible. It needs to be in as many places as possible so consumers have a legitimate way to access it,” he said.    http://www.whatech.com/iptv/18415-cbt407-hollywood-urged-to-match-content-with-tech-innovation

--------------------------------

Stop Putting About Tech's Next Big Thing, It's Here

It's easy to get jaded when you cover the technology industry. Silicon Valley's giants are constantly belching wisps of marshmallow-thick hype, and any reporter looking to cover the beat has to be constantly on guard against unproven claims about this or that algorithmically-abetted amazing advance.

So when Christopher Mims of Quartz recently declared 2013 to be a "lost year for tech"—one in which, he says, the industry produced nothing of great value—I could see where he was coming from. I feel the same way some days; when I'm covering some new me-too social-media product or a great new way to target ads, I hang my head in despair.

But then I read a couple of rebuttals to Mims by Daring Fireball's John Gruber and Om Malik, of Gigaom. They argued that the industry's biggest advances have occurred beneath the media's radar, and that the industry, as a whole, is anything but stagnant.  I side with these more positive takes. Here's my roundup of reasons to break out of your tech funk and be optimistic about tech in 2014

---------------

Hollywood urged to match content with tech innovation

Hollywood has been urged to ramp up the pace and redesign its content strategy to keep up with technology. Addressing the annual Society of Motion Picture and Television Engineers (SMPTE) technical conference and exhibition in Hollywood, Thomas Gewecke, chief digital officer and executive VP for strategy and business development at Warner Bros. Entertainment, said: “this is no longer science fiction. The technology is there; the product is not.”

Echoing an emerging theme of the conference, Gewecke called for urgent action, stating, “the change is measured in months and quarters, not in years. The challenge for a company of our size is to move fast enough.”

A key factor for the industry to consider, Gewecke suggested, was to put content distribution at the top of the agenda including defining what the product actually is and how to best find its target audiences. “We need to make our content as ubiquitous as possible. It needs to be in as many places as possible so consumers have a legitimate way to access it,” he said.    http://www.whatech.com/iptv/18415-cbt407-hollywood-urged-to-match-content-with-tech-innovation

--------------------------------

Stop Putting About Tech's Next Big Thing, It's Here

It's easy to get jaded when you cover the technology industry. Silicon Valley's giants are constantly belching wisps of marshmallow-thick hype, and any reporter looking to cover the beat has to be constantly on guard against unproven claims about this or that algorithmically-abetted amazing advance.

So when Christopher Mims of Quartz recently declared 2013 to be a "lost year for tech"—one in which, he says, the industry produced nothing of great value—I could see where he was coming from. I feel the same way some days; when I'm covering some new me-too social-media product or a great new way to target ads, I hang my head in despair.

But then I read a couple of rebuttals to Mims by Daring Fireball's John Gruber and Om Malik, of Gigaom. They argued that the industry's biggest advances have occurred beneath the media's radar, and that the industry, as a whole, is anything but stagnant.  I side with these more positive takes. Here's my roundup of reasons to break out of your tech funk and be optimistic about tech in 2014.

----------------------

Spotify streaming surge boosts record labels

A surge in online music streaming via Spotify and rival services provided a bright spot in a mixed 2013 for the record industry.  Figures released today by the BPI, the record labels’ trade body, show Britons streamed 7.4bn songs, double the 2012 total.

Music specialists such as Spotify and Deezer, as well as web giants including Google, collected 103m in subscriptions for their unlimited services, a tenth of the total music market. The revenues compared with 77m in 2012 and do not include the money they make from offering free access supported by advertising breaks every few tracks.

Mark Foster, Deezer's UK MD, said: "We’ve witnessed a surge in demand in the UK as people have caught on to the fact that they can enjoy a huge catalogue of music, anywhere and on whatever device suits their lifestyle."

http://www.telegraph.co.uk/finance/newsbysector/mediatechnologyandtelecoms/digital-media/10544587/Spotify-streaming-surge-boosts-record-labels.html

------------------

Change is good - just look at the entertainment industry

This year, spending on digital music, films and video games could well surpass physical sales

New figures from the Entertainment Retailers Association (ERA) are proof that the internet has been anything but the curse many in the music and film industries feared it would be.  Spending on music, film and video games in the UK rose last year for the first time since 2009, thanks to big increases in digital sales and streaming services such as Netflix and Spotify.

It has taken too long for the music and film industries to embrace the internet. For many years it was seen as the enemy; record labels pursued file-sharers and resisted putting their songs online. Meanwhile, revenues declined year after year.

Consumers were always going to value the internet’s convenience, and many who were unable to buy what they wanted turned to piracy. Now, with the exception of a few outspoken musicians, the music and film industries have entered the 21st century. People can access movies and songs at the touch of the button, and are willing to pay for it.

Looking at the ERA’s figures, which show a 34pc rise in music streaming revenues and a 40pc rise in digital film sales, it is clear that the industry’s obstinance was foolish.

http://www.telegraph.co.uk/finance/newsbysector/mediatechnologyandtelecoms/digital-media/10546191/Change-is-good-just-look-at-the-entertainment-industry.html

------------------

Young users see Facebook as 'dead and buried'

A study of how teenagers use social media has found that Facebook is “not just on the slide, it is basically dead and buried”, but that the network is morphing into a tool for keeping in touch with older family members

A study of how older teenagers use social media has found that Facebook is “not just on the slide, it is basically dead and buried” and is being replaced by simpler social networks such as Twitter and Snapchat.

Young people now see the site as “uncool” and keep their profiles live purely to stay in touch with older relatives, among whom it remains popular.

Professor Daniel Miller of University College London, an anthropologist who worked on the research, wrote in an article for academic news website The Conversation: “Mostly they feel embarrassed even to be associated with it.

“This year marked the start of what looks likely to be a sustained decline of what had been the most pervasive of all social networking sites. Young people are turning away in their droves and adopting other social networks instead, while the worst people of all, their parents, continue to use the service.

http://www.telegraph.co.uk/technology/facebook/10539274/Young-users-see-Facebook-as-dead-and-buried.html

-----------

Facebook Becomes No. 2 Digital Ad Seller, Google Still Reigns

Fueled by its push into mobile advertising, Facebook this year will account for 7.4% of U.S. digital ad spending, making it second only to Google in market share. 
Facebook jumped ahead of Microsoft and Yahoo in 2013 in its share of digital ad dollars, but remains well behind Google’s hefty 40.9% slice of spending, according anupdated eMarketer forecast.

The research firm had previously forecast that Facebook would remain slightly behind Yahoo this year, but the rapid expansion of its mobile business -- which in the third quarter amounted to half of its total ad revenue -- changed the outlook. Yahoo’s share is projected to fall to 5.8% from 6.8% last year.

Microsoft won’t see as steep a decline, dipping from a 6.2% to a 5.9% share. Its $2.53 billion in ad revenue includes not only sales related to its Web properties, but also from its Xbox and Skype services. Twitter may have garnered much attention because of its IPO this year, but the microblogging service this year will account for only 1% of digital ad spend.

Looking ahead, Google is expected to maintain its digital ad dominance through 2015, when it will claim 42.3% of U.S. digital ad revenues -- across desktop computers, smartphones and tablets -- while Facebook will take in 9%, Microsoft 5.4%, Yahoo, 5% and IAC, 2.2%. One looming question is how much additional revenue the rollout of video advertising will drive for Facebook in 2014 and after.

http://www.mediapost.com/publications/article/215942/facebook-becomes-no-2-digital-ad-seller-google-s.html?print

-----------

Advertisers Have a Better Idea About Online Video Than Many Content Creators

There’s so much about 2014 to figure out, and in the video business so much is sometimes delightfully transitory. What has happened in 2013 was old news as soon as it happened. But here’s where we are now as 2014 comes into view: Video is now becoming the focal point of the Internet, and at the same time, the people who create it and sell it are still close to clueless about the way it's all going to shake out. They aren't sure how to make it work for consumers or advertisers, or I guess, the betterment of mankind.  

The business still doesn’t know the best  ways to present advertising, or to make sure it's actually viewable. It doesn’t know how to monetize “quality” content. And there is the content: The Internet is filled with amateur content that at once gives it its largest audience, creates its image of cute kitties and novelty musical videos--and keeps it imprisoned in unimportance. It also gives the world unexpected gems, but a lot of what is on the Web is there to capture eyeballs and with no greater purpose than that. And, as a pretty brilliant piece on The Washington Post's Wonkblog points out, the Quest for Virality can result in lots of page views of ...nothing. 

http://www.mediapost.com/publications/article/215994/advertisers-have-a-better-idea-about-online-video.html?print

-----------------------

Media Devices Hit 140 Million, Smart TVs Push Increase

Internet-enabled TV devices will witness rapid growth over the next year -- but a huge portion of those devices will not be online connections.   U.S. homes will see a 44% rise to 202 million media devices -- up from 140 million at the end of 2013, per NPD Group's Connected Home Forecast. Home devices include connected TV, all streaming media players, Blu-Ray players and gaming consoles.   Not all Internet-enabled devices sold will be connected to the Internet.

The NPD study says 65% of those Internet-enabled devices will get connections by 2015 (131 million connected; 71 million unconnected) -- up from 56% of those devices in 2013 (78 million connected; 62 million unconnected).  Smart TVs will help push this activity. NPD estimates that by 2015, there will be 23 million smart TV sets installed and connected in homes. In addition, the introduction of add-on TV devices such as Chromecast will help push connected media players to 31 million by 2015.

“As consumers connect TVs to the Internet, they are not only using streaming services such as Netflix, they also switch from linear and on-demand TV programming to TV network apps such as HBO GO or WatchESPN,” said John Buffone, executive director, industry analyst, NPD Connected Intelligence, in a release.

http://www.mediapost.com/publications/article/216063/media-devices-hit-140-million-smart-tvs-push-incr.html?edition=68190

-----------------------

 

---------------------------

Facebook Becomes No. 2 Digital Ad Seller, Google Still Reigns

Fueled by its push into mobile advertising, Facebook this year will account for 7.4% of U.S. digital ad spending, making it second only to Google in market share. 
Facebook jumped ahead of Microsoft and Yahoo in 2013 in its share of digital ad dollars, but remains well behind Google’s hefty 40.9% slice of spending, according anupdated eMarketer forecast.

The research firm had previously forecast that Facebook would remain slightly behind Yahoo this year, but the rapid expansion of its mobile business -- which in the third quarter amounted to half of its total ad revenue -- changed the outlook. Yahoo’s share is projected to fall to 5.8% from 6.8% last year.

Microsoft won’t see as steep a decline, dipping from a 6.2% to a 5.9% share. Its $2.53 billion in ad revenue includes not only sales related to its Web properties, but also from its Xbox and Skype services. Twitter may have garnered much attention because of its IPO this year, but the microblogging service this year will account for only 1% of digital ad spend.

Looking ahead, Google is expected to maintain its digital ad dominance through 2015, when it will claim 42.3% of U.S. digital ad revenues -- across desktop computers, smartphones and tablets -- while Facebook will take in 9%, Microsoft 5.4%, Yahoo, 5% and IAC, 2.2%. One looming question is how much additional revenue the rollout of video advertising will drive for Facebook in 2014 and after.

http://www.mediapost.com/publications/article/215942/facebook-becomes-no-2-digital-ad-seller-google-s.html?print

-----------

Advertisers Have a Better Idea About Online Video Than Many Content Creators

There’s so much about 2014 to figure out, and in the video business so much is sometimes delightfully transitory. What has happened in 2013 was old news as soon as it happened. But here’s where we are now as 2014 comes into view: Video is now becoming the focal point of the Internet, and at the same time, the people who create it and sell it are still close to clueless about the way it's all going to shake out. They aren't sure how to make it work for consumers or advertisers, or I guess, the betterment of mankind.  

The business still doesn’t know the best  ways to present advertising, or to make sure it's actually viewable. It doesn’t know how to monetize “quality” content. And there is the content: The Internet is filled with amateur content that at once gives it its largest audience, creates its image of cute kitties and novelty musical videos--and keeps it imprisoned in unimportance. It also gives the world unexpected gems, but a lot of what is on the Web is there to capture eyeballs and with no greater purpose than that. And, as a pretty brilliant piece on The Washington Post's Wonkblog points out, the Quest for Virality can result in lots of page views of ...nothing. 

http://www.mediapost.com/publications/article/215994/advertisers-have-a-better-idea-about-online-video.html?print

-----------------------

Media Devices Hit 140 Million, Smart TVs Push Increase

Internet-enabled TV devices will witness rapid growth over the next year -- but a huge portion of those devices will not be online connections.   U.S. homes will see a 44% rise to 202 million media devices -- up from 140 million at the end of 2013, per NPD Group's Connected Home Forecast. Home devices include connected TV, all streaming media players, Blu-Ray players and gaming consoles.   Not all Internet-enabled devices sold will be connected to the Internet.

The NPD study says 65% of those Internet-enabled devices will get connections by 2015 (131 million connected; 71 million unconnected) -- up from 56% of those devices in 2013 (78 million connected; 62 million unconnected).  Smart TVs will help push this activity. NPD estimates that by 2015, there will be 23 million smart TV sets installed and connected in homes. In addition, the introduction of add-on TV devices such as Chromecast will help push connected media players to 31 million by 2015.

“As consumers connect TVs to the Internet, they are not only using streaming services such as Netflix, they also switch from linear and on-demand TV programming to TV network apps such as HBO GO or WatchESPN,” said John Buffone, executive director, industry analyst, NPD Connected Intelligence, in a release.

http://www.mediapost.com/publications/article/216063/media-devices-hit-140-million-smart-tvs-push-incr.html?edition=68190

-----------------------

Yahoo Remains Top U.S. Web Site

by , Dec 23, 2013, 6:35 PM

Yahoo remained the No. 1 U.S. Web property in November, extending its lead over Google by about 2 million monthly visitors to 194.6 million, according to the latest comScore data.  Google had 192.7 million visitors, followed by Microsoft with 177.5 million, Facebook (141.4 million) and AOL (120.2 million). Keep in mind that those figures include only desktop activity.

Yahoo overtook Google as the top site in July for the first time since May 2011 and has not yielded the top slot since. The company’s CEO Marissa Mayer has made a point of highlighting audience growth during her tenure -- noting that in September, for example, the number of active monthly users worldwide topped 800 million.

But so far, those gains haven’t translated into revenue growth for Yahoo, which fell further behind Google and Facebook in display ad share this year, according to an eMarketer estimate. While both its main rivals have ramped up their mobile ad businesses, Yahoo’s still doesn’t contribute a significant amount to its overall sales.

http://www.mediapost.com/publications/article/216165/yahoo-remains-top-us-web-site.html?edition=68236

------------------------------

Tribune Buys Gracenote, Expands Music Data

Looking to deepen its entertainment data business, Tribune Company has acquired Sony Corp’s Gracenote -- the big source of music data.
Tribune will purchase the company for around $170 million.  Tribune will look to combine Gracenote with Tribune Media Services (TMS), a major provider of TV and movie metadata, used to provide electronic TV program guides.

Gracenote has data on more than 180 million music tracks, and services 550 million music “look-ups” each day and more than 16 billion every month. Gracenote technology works with thousands of mobile apps; 50 million cars have been equipped with Gracenote. It has data for 1 million movies and TV shows across 30 countries.  Shashi Seth, president of Tribune Digital Ventures, which includes oversight of TMS, stated: "Both companies have substantial digital footprints and are well-respected leaders in their areas globally.  http://www.mediapost.com/publications/article/216139/tribune-buys-gracenote-expands-music-data.html?edition=68226

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Online/Digital Media Growth Lifts Ad Revenues

 

According to the BIA/Kelsey updated Annual U.S. Local Media Forecast, total U.S. local media ad revenues are expected to grow from $132.9 billion in 2013 to $151.5 billion in 2017, representing a 2.8% compound annual growth rate, growing faster than the firm originally forecast earlier this year.

Faster growth in online/digital advertising revenues will drive that faster overall growth, increasing at a 13.8 percent CAGR from $26.5 billion in 2013 to $44.5 billion in 2017. That compares with a CAGR of 0.1 percent during the same period for traditional advertising revenues, which will remain flat, growing slightly from $106.4 billion in 2013 to $107 billion in 2017.

http://www.mediapost.com/publications/article/214162/onlinedigital-media-growth-lifts-ad-revenues.html?edition=67362

--------------------------------

Google Highlights TED 2014 Ad Award Candidates

As the TED 2014 "Ads Worth Spreading" campaign gets under way, Google's YouTube unit is helping showcase the most creative and innovative video advertisements before the award winners are determined and announced in March 2014. The awards, which are in their fourth year, are presented by the group that puts on TED Conferences (Technology, Education, Design), which are devoted to Ideas Worth Spreading, according to the organization, to celebrate creativity and emotional power in advertising. The 2014 TED video ad competition, with the help of YouTube, will make all the contending ad videos available to online viewers so they can see the best of the best before the votes are counted, Tara Levy, managing director of ads marketing for Google and YouTube, wrote in a Nov. 20 post on The Official YouTube Blog. - See more at: http://www.eweek.com/cloud/google-highlights-ted-2014-award-candidates.html/#sthash.NAtMMBk4.dpuf

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Major Newspaper Chains Continue Revenue Slide

Judging the overall health of the newspaper industry became a bit harder in September, when the Newspaper Association of America announced that it would no longer be reporting quarterly results in favor of annual results, in order “to produce a more comprehensive report to properly reflect the evolving nature of the newspaper industry and its revenues.”
 
However, many publicly traded newspaper companies still release quarterly results, and a survey of 10 such companies of varying sizes shows a continued downward trend in line with the industry’s trajectory to date.
 
All 10 publishers surveyed -- A.H. Belo, E.W. Scripps, Gannett Co., Gatehouse Media, Journal Communications, Lee Enterprises, McClatchy Co., New York Times Co., News Corp., and Tribune Co. -- saw total revenues decline at their newspaper publishing divisions, with an average percentage decline of 3.8%.

http://www.mediapost.com/publications/article/213735/major-newspaper-chains-continue-revenue-slide.html?edition=67023

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'Despicable Me 2' Delivered to Mexican Cinemas Via Satellite

Contenido Alternativo, Latin America’s first alternative digital distributor, delivered Despicable Me 2 to 281 Cinepolis theaters ahead of the picture’s Friday release here in Mexico. Contenido Alternativo has previously worked with Cinepolis in distributing live digital content to its theaters via satellite.

The new satellite technology is quicker and more efficient.

“It took only a few hours to deliver the film, compared to three or four days that it usually takes to copy and distribute hard drives to all the theaters,” said Contenido Alternativo head Juan Manuel Borbolla.   Additionally, satellite movie distribution dramatically reduces costs. Cinepolis, Latin America’s leading theater chain, has gone 100 percent digital in preparation for the new cost-efficient technology.

The digital transformation has allowed exhibitors to gradually phase out pricey celluloid copies. Industry experts believe this could be the last year that film prints are distributed in U.S. theaters.             http://www.hollywoodreporter.com/news/despicable-me-2-delivered-mexican-581142

 

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Kutcher taking a gamble on digital media

Ashton Kutcher wants to do for digital media what Robert Redford did for independent film. Google gave Kutcher’s
production company one of YouTube’s 100 new original channels, which he has titled “Thrash Lab.” In an interview with
Bloomberg TV’s Gigi Stone, Kutcher said he thinks, “These new channels are going to be synonymous with ABC, NBC, Fox,
CBS and Bravo.” When asked why he is taking this risk, he responded, “If you’re not trying to replace something that you’re
working on with something that is the future . . . eventually you’ll get replaced.” Sounds like the recent brownface ad furor hasn’t
damaged his confidence.

nypost.com/p/pagesix/kutcher_taking_gamble_on_digital_9k9LkCTQ5m5HlmolMWznlI

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Hollywood urged to match content with tech innovation

Hollywood has been urged to ramp up the pace and redesign its content strategy to keep up with technology. Addressing the annual Society of Motion Picture and Television Engineers (SMPTE) technical conference and exhibition in Hollywood, Thomas Gewecke, chief digital officer and executive VP for strategy and business development at Warner Bros. Entertainment, said: “this is no longer science fiction. The technology is there; the product is not.”

Echoing an emerging theme of the conference, Gewecke called for urgent action, stating, “the change is measured in months and quarters, not in years. The challenge for a company of our size is to move fast enough.”

A key factor for the industry to consider, Gewecke suggested, was to put content distribution at the top of the agenda including defining what the product actually is and how to best find its target audiences. “We need to make our content as ubiquitous as possible. It needs to be in as many places as possible so consumers have a legitimate way to access it,” he said.    http://www.whatech.com/iptv/18415-cbt407-hollywood-urged-to-match-content-with-tech-innovation

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Stop Putting About Tech's Next Big Thing, It's Here

It's easy to get jaded when you cover the technology industry. Silicon Valley's giants are constantly belching wisps of marshmallow-thick hype, and any reporter looking to cover the beat has to be constantly on guard against unproven claims about this or that algorithmically-abetted amazing advance.

So when Christopher Mims of Quartz recently declared 2013 to be a "lost year for tech"—one in which, he says, the industry produced nothing of great value—I could see where he was coming from. I feel the same way some days; when I'm covering some new me-too social-media product or a great new way to target ads, I hang my head in despair.

But then I read a couple of rebuttals to Mims by Daring Fireball's John Gruber and Om Malik, of Gigaom. They argued that the industry's biggest advances have occurred beneath the media's radar, and that the industry, as a whole, is anything but stagnant.  I side with these more positive takes. Here's my roundup of reasons to break out of your tech funk and be optimistic about tech in 2014.

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Spotify streaming surge boosts record labels

A surge in online music streaming via Spotify and rival services provided a bright spot in a mixed 2013 for the record industry.  Figures released today by the BPI, the record labels’ trade body, show Britons streamed 7.4bn songs, double the 2012 total.

Music specialists such as Spotify and Deezer, as well as web giants including Google, collected 103m in subscriptions for their unlimited services, a tenth of the total music market. The revenues compared with 77m in 2012 and do not include the money they make from offering free access supported by advertising breaks every few tracks.

Mark Foster, Deezer's UK MD, said: "We’ve witnessed a surge in demand in the UK as people have caught on to the fact that they can enjoy a huge catalogue of music, anywhere and on whatever device suits their lifestyle."

http://www.telegraph.co.uk/finance/newsbysector/mediatechnologyandtelecoms/digital-media/10544587/Spotify-streaming-surge-boosts-record-labels.html

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Change is good - just look at the entertainment industry

This year, spending on digital music, films and video games could well surpass physical sales

New figures from the Entertainment Retailers Association (ERA) are proof that the internet has been anything but the curse many in the music and film industries feared it would be.  Spending on music, film and video games in the UK rose last year for the first time since 2009, thanks to big increases in digital sales and streaming services such as Netflix and Spotify.

It has taken too long for the music and film industries to embrace the internet. For many years it was seen as the enemy; record labels pursued file-sharers and resisted putting their songs online. Meanwhile, revenues declined year after year.

Consumers were always going to value the internet’s convenience, and many who were unable to buy what they wanted turned to piracy. Now, with the exception of a few outspoken musicians, the music and film industries have entered the 21st century. People can access movies and songs at the touch of the button, and are willing to pay for it.

Looking at the ERA’s figures, which show a 34pc rise in music streaming revenues and a 40pc rise in digital film sales, it is clear that the industry’s obstinance was foolish.

http://www.telegraph.co.uk/finance/newsbysector/mediatechnologyandtelecoms/digital-media/10546191/Change-is-good-just-look-at-the-entertainment-industry.html

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Young users see Facebook as 'dead and buried'

A study of how teenagers use social media has found that Facebook is “not just on the slide, it is basically dead and buried”, but that the network is morphing into a tool for keeping in touch with older family members

A study of how older teenagers use social media has found that Facebook is “not just on the slide, it is basically dead and buried” and is being replaced by simpler social networks such as Twitter and Snapchat.

Young people now see the site as “uncool” and keep their profiles live purely to stay in touch with older relatives, among whom it remains popular.

Professor Daniel Miller of University College London, an anthropologist who worked on the research, wrote in an article for academic news website The Conversation: “Mostly they feel embarrassed even to be associated with it.

“This year marked the start of what looks likely to be a sustained decline of what had been the most pervasive of all social networking sites. Young people are turning away in their droves and adopting other social networks instead, while the worst people of all, their parents, continue to use the service.

http://www.telegraph.co.uk/technology/facebook/10539274/Young-users-see-Facebook-as-dead-and-buried.html

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Facebook Becomes No. 2 Digital Ad Seller, Google Still Reigns

Fueled by its push into mobile advertising, Facebook this year will account for 7.4% of U.S. digital ad spending, making it second only to Google in market share. 
Facebook jumped ahead of Microsoft and Yahoo in 2013 in its share of digital ad dollars, but remains well behind Google’s hefty 40.9% slice of spending, according anupdated eMarketer forecast.

The research firm had previously forecast that Facebook would remain slightly behind Yahoo this year, but the rapid expansion of its mobile business -- which in the third quarter amounted to half of its total ad revenue -- changed the outlook. Yahoo’s share is projected to fall to 5.8% from 6.8% last year.

Microsoft won’t see as steep a decline, dipping from a 6.2% to a 5.9% share. Its $2.53 billion in ad revenue includes not only sales related to its Web properties, but also from its Xbox and Skype services. Twitter may have garnered much attention because of its IPO this year, but the microblogging service this year will account for only 1% of digital ad spend.

Looking ahead, Google is expected to maintain its digital ad dominance through 2015, when it will claim 42.3% of U.S. digital ad revenues -- across desktop computers, smartphones and tablets -- while Facebook will take in 9%, Microsoft 5.4%, Yahoo, 5% and IAC, 2.2%. One looming question is how much additional revenue the rollout of video advertising will drive for Facebook in 2014 and after.

http://www.mediapost.com/publications/article/215942/facebook-becomes-no-2-digital-ad-seller-google-s.html?print

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Advertisers Have a Better Idea About Online Video Than Many Content Creators

There’s so much about 2014 to figure out, and in the video business so much is sometimes delightfully transitory. What has happened in 2013 was old news as soon as it happened. But here’s where we are now as 2014 comes into view: Video is now becoming the focal point of the Internet, and at the same time, the people who create it and sell it are still close to clueless about the way it's all going to shake out. They aren't sure how to make it work for consumers or advertisers, or I guess, the betterment of mankind.  

The business still doesn’t know the best  ways to present advertising, or to make sure it's actually viewable. It doesn’t know how to monetize “quality” content. And there is the content: The Internet is filled with amateur content that at once gives it its largest audience, creates its image of cute kitties and novelty musical videos--and keeps it imprisoned in unimportance. It also gives the world unexpected gems, but a lot of what is on the Web is there to capture eyeballs and with no greater purpose than that. And, as a pretty brilliant piece on The Washington Post's Wonkblog points out, the Quest for Virality can result in lots of page views of ...nothing. 

http://www.mediapost.com/publications/article/215994/advertisers-have-a-better-idea-about-online-video.html?print

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Media Devices Hit 140 Million, Smart TVs Push Increase

 

Internet-enabled TV devices will witness rapid growth over the next year -- but a huge portion of those devices will not be online connections.   U.S. homes will see a 44% rise to 202 million media devices -- up from 140 million at the end of 2013, per NPD Group's Connected Home Forecast. Home devices include connected TV, all streaming media players, Blu-Ray players and gaming consoles.   Not all Internet-enabled devices sold will be connected to the Internet.

The NPD study says 65% of those Internet-enabled devices will get connections by 2015 (131 million connected; 71 million unconnected) -- up from 56% of those devices in 2013 (78 million connected; 62 million unconnected).  Smart TVs will help push this activity. NPD estimates that by 2015, there will be 23 million smart TV sets installed and connected in homes. In addition, the introduction of add-on TV devices such as Chromecast will help push connected media players to 31 million by 2015.

“As consumers connect TVs to the Internet, they are not only using streaming services such as Netflix, they also switch from linear and on-demand TV programming to TV network apps such as HBO GO or WatchESPN,” said John Buffone, executive director, industry analyst, NPD Connected Intelligence, in a release.

http://www.mediapost.com/publications/article/216063/media-devices-hit-140-million-smart-tvs-push-incr.html?edition=68190

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Digital Upgrade Threatens Small Movie Theaters

Dramatic changes are coming to your local movie theater over the next 18 months.  

You won't notice them at the snack bar or the ticket window, but you will if you take a peek into the projection booth.

The industry is doing away with 35mm film and going all-digital and theaters have to purchase expensive new equipment to make the switch.

It's a technological leap forward, but the costs, which can be as high as $100,000 per screen is threatening some small Vermont theaters.The films that screen at the Playhouse Theater in Randolph were made using some very high tech wizardry.  But the 35mm projector used to show them is circa 1940.

As the film industry moves from celluloid to digital, this single screen theater in a town of 5,000 will have to make the switch, too, or shut its doors.  Tammy Tomaszewski who owns the theater with her husband says the cost of a new digital projector is far beyond their means.   "We make enough money to make repairs every year, small ones.  But nothing major like a $100,000 movie projector."

The Tomaszewski's have decided the only way to keep the theater in business is to turn it over to a community run cooperative they hope will be able to raise the money for the digital transition.  Some theaters have already made the change. Fred Bashara and his family own two theaters in Central Vermont. Bashara spent $700,000 for the conversion. He says many big theaters have already made the switch. "Probably 70 percent  or more have already done it."

http://www.vpr.net/news_detail/95304/digital-upgrade-threatens-small-movie-theaters/

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‘House’ Director Greg Yaitanes: Television Must Embrace Silicon Valley

Emmy-Award winning director Greg Yaitanes decried Hollywood’s approach to Silicon Valley in a keynote speech for the Social TV Summit at the Bel-Air Country Club on Wednesday.

Yaitanes, who was one of the main directors on “House” and a director for Cinemax’s upcoming “Banshee,” told the audience of executives and reporters that anti-piracy bill SOPA fostered antagonism where progress was being made.  “We should be working hand-in-hand with Google, Facebook and Twitter,” Yaitanes said. Rather than thinking of Hollywood and Silicon Valley as two separate businesses, Hollywood should recognize "we are in the same business."

Having spoken with the various powers up north, from YouTube to Twitter, Yaitanes has stressed that the process of a new show is similar to that of a start-up in its evolution. Of the two, it is television that has room to improve.  "What TV could learn is the streamlining of trusting the people you hired," Yaitanes said. "On the broadcast side, there is a feeling of a growing group of redundancy -- studios owning networks, networks owning studios."

http://www.thewrap.com/tv/article/house-director-greg-yaitanes-television-must-embrace-silicon-valley-48236

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Hollywood, Silicon Valley At War in Sun Valley

As leaders of Silicon Valley and Hollywood debark from their G6s in Sun Valley, a traitor has brought Bravo to nerdville. And with reality TV invading Palo Alto’s privacy, the competing economic interests of the likes of Facebook (FB) and News Corp. (NWSA) will battle this week on the grounds of Allen & Co.’s summer camp for moguls.

Hollywood producers have shareholders who expect a return on the money they invest. Ironically, reality TV shows — like Silicon Valley — lower the cost since real people don’t get paid as much as actors, if they get paid at all. And writers do much less writing than for scripted shows, but the thing that would really tip Silicon Valley to appreciate what Hollywood is trying to do would be if Silicon Valley started to produce its own content. And in 2012, NPR reported, Google started to spend money for Hollywood and New York writers and producers to create YouTube channels.

If Google decides that the cost of producing original content is so high that it needs to be compensated for it by getting people to pay directly — rather than through advertising — then it might move closer to Hollywood’s position.  But if Google finds that additional advertising more than offsets the cost of producing original content, it is likely that the business model gap between Silicon Valley and Hollywood will persist.

And ultimately, the cultural differences between Hollywood and Silicon Valley remains an unbridgeable chasm — despite Randi Zuckerberg’s effort to bridge the two.        http://www.forbes.com/sites/petercohan/2012/07/10/hollywood-silicon-valley-at-war-in-sun-valley/

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Silicon Valley 'Hacker Hostels' Pack Coders Like Sardines For $40 Per Night

From WeWork Labs to General Assembly, there are a lot of incubators that give entrepreneurs a place to code during the day.  There aren't many that offer sleeping arrangements as well.

Three "hacker hostels" have cropped up in Silicon Valley, The New York Times reports. Coders, designers and scientists can spend the night packed like sardines in rows of bunk beds for $40. The hostels are all run by the same management company, Chez JJ, with accommodations in Menlo Park, Mountain View and San Francisco.

Most of the hostel tenants are 20-somethings who are currently building startups or are in search of inspiration. Every new comer is given a blanket, pillow, towel and sheets. There's no TV. Every once in a while food is cooked for the group.

Not just anyone can stay at the hostels. Like any startup incubator, you actually have to be working on something to be accepted. Tenants are screened by hostel captains, all of whom are women, to make sure they'll contribute to the hacker community. Tenants also have to have a good attitude or they're kicked to the curb.   businessinsider.com/silicon-valley-hacker-hostel-2012-7#ixzz1zuDGamvD

Ah, This Is Where the Real Silicon Valley Hackers Are  theatlanticwire.com/technology/2012/07/ah-where-real-silicon-valley-hackers-are/54247/

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SILICON VALLEY INVESTOR'S TV SPECIAL LOOKS FOR

THE NEXT MARK ZUCKERBERG

Tech investor Peter Thiel is looking for 20 of the biggest innovators in Silicon Valley under the age of 20, offering $100,000 to contestants so they can further develop their projects.  In a CNBC special called “20 Under 20: Transforming Tomorrow,” the two-part series follows the journey of 20 young men and women who aim to become the next Steve Jobs and Mark Zuckerberg.

The show, which airs on August 13 and August 14 at 10:00 p.m. ET on CNBC, will show contestants pitching concepts to a room for of Silicon Valley investors and entrepreneurs, including Sean Parker and Elon Musk. (It was originally scheduled to air in July).

http://mashable.com/2012/07/01/20-under-20-transforming-tomorrow/

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Amazon Cloud Hit by Real Clouds, Downing Netflix, Instagram, Other Sites

Digital cloud services aren't immune to the impact of real clouds, and that meant some bad news this weekend for the folks at Amazon and sites that rely in its web services.

Severe storms that wiped out power to more than 2 million people across the eastern United States Friday night also took down Netflix, Pinterest, Instagram and other sites due to an outage of Amazon's Elastic Compute Cloud in northern Virginia.

According to Amazon Web Services, at 8:21 p.m. PDT it was "investigating connectivity issues for a number of instances" in the East region. By early Saturday morning, Amazon said it was "continuing to work to recover."

pcworld.com/article/258627/amazon_cloud_hit_by_real_clouds_downing_netflix_instagram_other_sites.html#tk.nl_dnx_h_search

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Filmmakers turn to internet to promote films  (India)

As with most things in life, the internet has become the new buzzword for film producers looking at an instant connect with their audiences. From releasing the poster or a trailer of a forthcoming film first online, to raising money for funding films, digital media is the most-sought after platform for filmmakers.

“The views online clearly indicate the Friday-Saturday demand for a film and Sunday onwards, the content takes over,” he reckons.  No wonder, for filmmakers, who are always looking at cutting costs and achieving instant connectivity, the digital media turns out to be the best bet.

http://www.dnaindia.com/entertainment/report_filmmakers-turn-to-internet-to-promote-films_1694390

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RadioShack teams up with firm in China

RadioShack is continuing an expansion into Asia by forming a joint venture with a Chinese company to open consumer electronics stores in China, Taiwan, Hong Kong and Macau.

According to a filing with the Securities and Exchange Commission, the Fort Worth-based retailer will invest $2.94 million and own 49 percent of the venture, with Cybermart owning 51 percent. Cybermart is a wholly owned subsidiary of SMS Marketing Service.

RadioShack spokesman Eric Bruner said it's not known how many stores might be opened. The first store is set to open in July in Shanghai.

"We're focused on testing the business model in Shanghai this year," Bruner said. "We're in the early stages, and the pace of future expansions will be based in part on available real estate and some other factors."

star-telegram.com/2012/06/07/4016502/radioshack-teams-up-with-firm.html

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Streaming video on a budget

If you're not already streaming movies and TV shows straight from the Internet to your TV set, you're running out of excuses. You used to need an expensive videogame console or Blu-Ray player for this sort of thing, or perhaps a $99 Apple TV unit. But you can now buy a good Internet video streamer at the local Walmart for less than $50. For households with broadband Internet connection, it's one of the best bargains in entertainment.

The MovieNite can connect to your broadband service either with an Ethernet cable, or with Wi-Fi wireless networking. Setting it up is a bit of a chore; you must use the little remote control to type all the necessary passwords onto a virtual keyboard that appears on screen. But after that, it's easy. The device has hot buttons that instantly connect you to the free video streams at YouTube and free music at Pandora. Or you can choose the Netflix subscription video service, which offers tens of thousands of movies and TV shows at $8 a month. There's also Vudu, where you can get pay-per-view access to recent Hollywood hits.  boston.com/business/technology/appsampler/2012/06/tech_lab_plus_for_june_4_2012.html

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Longer Internet video viewing -- particularly that of full-length TV shows -- continues to climb at the expense of short-form video content.

During the first quarter of this year, more long-form video content was consumed (longer than 10 minutes) on the Internet than shorter videos, which continue to decline. Research conducted by online video analytics company Ooyala says this is the first time this has occurred.  A dramatic increase in viewers of Web-connected devices is partly responsible for the shift. Jay Fulcher, CEO for Ooyala, stated: “The spike in tablet and smartphone viewing during weekend nights and commutes shows how the living-room experience is fragmenting across devices.”

Ooyala says on a typical weekday, a full third of tablet video plays occur in traditional prime-time viewing time periods -- between 7:00 p.m. and 11:00 p.m., while only about 17% of computer plays take place over that same period. Also, viewers on connected TVs watch nearly a third more video between 4:00 p.m. and 11:00 p.m. on Saturdays than on a typical weekday evening.

Read more: http://www.mediapost.com/publications/article/175809/rise-in-tv-shows-viewed-online-on-mobile.html#ixzz1wnYDBI00

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As TV Viewership and Reach Decline, InStadium Offers Compelling...

Amidst the decline of broadcast network TVs reach and viewership in the digital era, Chicago-based InStadium has launched its first online advertising campaign, offering marketers a larger-than-life TV alternative HD video screens and Dolby surround sound at live sports venues around the country.

Read more: http://www.mediapost.com/publications/article/175782/as-tv-viewership-and-reach-decline-instadium-offe.html#ixzz1woeBcwOf

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Nearly 800 million people consumed Web videos last year -- a total that will close to double in four years to 1.5 billion, according to networking services giant Cisco.

On an individual level, nearly all of those people will be consuming more video than they are today. Meanwhile, online video already accounts for more than half of all Internet traffic. The data comes from the latest installation of Cisco’s annual Visual Networking Index, which claims that by 2016, worldwide data consumption will reach 1.3 zettabytes. One zettabye is equal to 1 billion terabytes.

According to the report, Web connected devices like tablets, phones, game consoles, and TV sets are driving the rampant surge in video consumption. Cisco claims that by 2016, HD streams to TV sets will grow sixfold, accounting for 6 percent of all worldwide consumer Web traffic. 
mediapost.com/publications/article/175887/online-video-users-to-nearly-double-by-2016.html?edition=47455#ixzz1wiQg5W75

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Prime Time Is Mobile Time; Studies Show Mobile Online Video Use Skyrocketing

Everything we thought we knew about mobile video habits -- consumers will only watch mobile video on the go, and they’ll only watch short videos -- is turning out to be wrong.

About half of all videos viewed on mobile phones are watched in the home, according to a just-released study that online video technology firm Tremor Video conducted in partnership with Frank N. Magid Associates. What’s more, smartphone video consumption peaks during prime time, meaning that the TV set itself is not always luring connected consumers away from smaller devices even when consumers have both options. 

Another interesting finding is this one: long-form video viewing accounts for nearly 40% of smartphone video viewing each week. That also runs counter to the conventional wisdom that mobile viewers want “snackable content.”

Online video technology provider Ooyala uncovered similar habits in a separate study. The firm said that online video consumption on mobile devices rose in the first quarter of the year, with a 41% boost on smartphones and a 32% increase on tablets. As with mobile video consumption, tablet use peaks in the evening with about one-third of tablet video viewing taking place between 7 p.m. and 11 p.m. Meanwhile, only 17% of video viewing on computers occurs during those evening hours, suggesting that tablets and other mobile devices may be taking over the evening viewing time.


Read more: http://www.mediapost.com/publications/article/175889/prime-time-is-mobile-time-studies-show-mobile-onl.html?edition=47455#ixzz1wiQ2TOUp

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Twitter Expects “At Least $1B” in Ad Sales in 2014

Twitter is expecting to bring in at least $1 billion in revenue from ad sales in 2014, Bloomberg reports. The estimate is around twice as high as analysts’ and even Bloomberg’s sources are hedging their best, saying “The San Francisco-based company could change or miss the forecasts”.

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Online Film Viewing in U.S. to Top Discs in 2012, IHS Says

Online movie viewing in the U.S. will exceed digital video disc and Blu-ray use for the first time this year, according to researcher IHS Screen Digest.  Legal online viewings of films will more than double to 3.4 billion this year from 1.4 billion in 2011, IHS said today in a statement. Physical viewings of DVDs and Blu-ray discs will shrink to 2.4 billion from 2.6 billion, according to the forecast.

Unlimited-streaming subscription plans, including those offered by Netflix Inc. (NFLX) and online retailer Amazon.com (AMZN)’s Prime service, accounted for 94 percent of all paid online movie consumption in the U.S. last year, Englewood, Colorado-based IHS said. Streamed movies have been replacing video discs, much as streamed music is overtaking compact audio discs.

“We are looking at the beginning of the end of the age of movies on physical media like DVD and Blu-ray,” Dan Cryan, IHS senior principal analyst, said in the statement. “But the transition is likely to take time: almost nine years after the launch of the iTunes Store, CDs are still a vital part of the music business.”           bloomberg.com  March 2012

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Google Chrome Overtakes Internet Explorer

Google’s Chrome is now the most popular Web browser worldwide, surpassing Microsoft’s Internet Explorer for the first time, according to the latest figures from StatCounter. After years of slowly chipping away Internet Explorer’s market share, Chrome took the lead with 32.76 percent share, while IE dipped to 31.94 percent.

Just a year ago, Internet Explorer was leading the Web browser market share with 43 percent, followed by Mozilla Firefox with 29 percent, and Chrome was third with 19 percent. Twelve months later, IE has lost 12 percent of the browser market share while Chrome gained 13 percent to the detriment of IE and Firefox, which also lost about 4 percent of its users and now comes in at just over 25 percent.       pcworld.com/article/255886/google_chrome_overtakes_internet_explorer.html#tk.nl_dnx_h_search

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Time Warner, News Corp. Urge Faster Adoption of TV Everywhere

Earlier this week, Time Warner CEO Jeff Bewkes and News Corp. COO Chase Carey urged their media company peers to roll out TV Everywhere services as urgently as they can. TV Everywhere refers to any service that grants pay-TV subscribers access to TV content on Internet-connected devices. Broadcast and cable networks and pay-TV operators are the purveyors of TV Everywhere services. 

“We’ve just got to do it faster,” Bewkes said. He and Carey were speaking on a panel at The Cable Show in Boston on Wednesday. Carey agreed that “it should go faster,” adding: “we get too hung up on protecting the rules of the past.”

Bewkes also took a swipe at pay-TV operators, suggesting that Silicon Valley companies are better equipped to give consumers the interfaces they want. “We can’t develop the best, world-class interfaces at the scale that a distribution company has. Silicon Valley, the Internet industry, is a global industry and that’s what they do. We should harness that….Don’t try to hold that back. Consumers won’t allow it.”

Read more: http://www.mediapost.com/publications/article/175590/time-warner-news-corp-urge-faster-adoption-of-tv.html?edition=47346#ixzz1w38AlCiq

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Some 181 million U.S. Internet users watched nearly 37 billion online content videos in April, and video ads represented nearly 9.5 billion, about 1 in 5 videos viewed online for the month, according to comScore Video Metrix.

Google Sites generating the highest number of views at 17 billion, followed by Hulu with 901 million and Yahoo Sites with 742 million. The average viewer watched 21.8 hours of online video content, with Google Sites at 7.2 hours and Hulu at 3.8 hours, earning the highest average engagement among the top ten properties, according to comScore.


mediapost.com/publications/article/175195/adobe-primetime-bridges-gap-from-tv-to-online-vide.html?edition=47141#ixzz1vrPD1lRG

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David Armano: The future of digital media

 

CHICAGO, May 16, 2012  David Armano is one of the most respected voices in digital media. Six months ago, he listed the "Six Social Media Trends for 2012" in Harvard Business Review. All six are becoming increasingly more relevant. 

Airing honest feedback in advertising, more awareness of our own digital influence, gamification, social sharing, increased social integration into television and crowdsourcing are all trends that are becoming more prevalent. 

1. What is the future of digital media? What will we be talking about 12 months from now?

At a macro trend level, digital keeps creeping into our lives. It's increasingly mobile and social. At a micro level, I believe we will be talking about things like "social entertainment" in the not so distant future. We've been seeing how social is becoming connected to how we watch TV for example. In fact, "buzz" on social networks generated via programs is essentially a more pure form of ratings. If a program isn't getting a lot of chatter which can be measured via social, it's likely not doing all that well. In fact, we might even have to look at the whole ratings system based upon the potential to measure social data. Nielsen should look out. On that note, it's not just television. Sports and live entertainment events are tied to social media and as people "watch"—they also participate. Social is not a spectator sport, and entertainment will finally reflect this. 

http://communities.washingtontimes.com/neighborhood/status-update/2012/may/16/david-armano-future-digital-media/

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At Network TV’s Gathering, Web Is Central

TWO media rituals took place in New York City last week: the television upfront presentations and the city-sponsored celebration of all things digital, Internet Week.  At times, it was hard to tell which was which.

 

At the upfronts, network TV executives spoke the languages of social media and Web science to a greater degree than ever. ABC spoke about designing great “user experiences” just as a Web designer would; both Fox and CBS showed off how many online fans they had on sites like Facebook and Twitter. (Fox says it has 230 million; CBS, 167 million.) Meanwhile, at Internet Week, much of the focus was on video — specifically the kind of high-quality video that television networks have been producing for decades.

The collision between old and new media was sometimes visible in Manhattan — as when partygoers hopped Thursday night from the CW network’s open bar at Colicchio & Sons to the Internet Week closing party at Barry Diller’s IAC building two blocks away.

nytimes.com/2012/05/21/business/media/at-a-network-tv-gathering-a-new-focus-on-the-web.html?_r=1

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Hollywood, Digital Media Players Unite to Launch L.A. Incubator

 

A new digital incubator and co-working company is targeting the space where the entertainment business and technology converge.

It helps that Hollywood-based io/LA, which opened in April, was founded by a trio of businessmen with strong ties to the two fields: producer-actor Donovan Leitch, who is making a documentary about Megaupload founder Kim Dotcom; MySpace co-founderAber Whitcomb; and actor Chris Gartin (True Blood,Shameless).

Io/LA plans to invest a total of $500,000 in as many as 25 startup companies that are concentrated in areas such as gaming, technology and digital content. The fledgling firms will be given offices at io/LA's 8,800-square-foot headquarters, which separately serves as a co-working facility where members pay a monthly fee for use of the space.

"It is all about the convergence of tech and entertainment and aligning storytellers with technologists," said Leitch, the son of Rock and Roll Hall of Fame singer-songwriter Donovan. Leitch has produced several films, including the 1993 political documentary The Last Party

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Why Facebook Is Killing Silicon Valley

Facebook and Social Media
Facebook has adroitly capitalized on market forces on a scale never seen in the history of commerce. For the first time, startups can today think about a Total Available Market in the billions of users (smart phones, tablets, PCs, etc.) and aim for hundreds of millions of customers. Second, social needs previously done face-to-face, (friends, entertainment, communication, dating, gambling, etc.) are now moving to a computing device. And those customers may be using their devices/apps continuously. This intersection of a customer base of billions of people with applications that are used/needed 24/7 never existed before. The potential revenue and profits from these users (or advertisers who want to reach them) and the speed of scale of the winning companies can be breathtaking.

The Facebook IPO has reinforced the new calculus for investors. In the past, if you were a great VC, you could make $100 million on an investment in 5-7 years. Today, social media startups can return hundreds of millions or even billions in less than three years. Software is truly eating the world.      huffingtonpost.com/steve-blank/venture-capital-tech_b_1533110.html

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TBS, TNT to become “branded video destinations”

Turner-owned nets TBS and TNT are to undergo “a major transformation” over the next two years, execs said at the channels’ upfront presentations in New York, evolving from linear TV networks into “branded video destinations.”

The news came as the nets also unveiled a host of unscripted series in development. Steve Koonin, president of Turner Entertainment Networks, said the transformation strategy “is designed to confront the challenges of an ever-growing media universe by focusing on the strength of our brands, the power of our programming and the ability to deliver branded video content that can be enjoyed anytime, anywhere and on any device.”

Among the TNT unscripted series in development, American Troubadours is a reality competition series from American Idol producer Nigel Lythgoe and actor Matthew McConaughey, which seeks to discover the best unsigned bar band in America, searching out the singer/songwriter bands that represent “the greatest tradition of rock and roll.”


Read more: http://realscreen.com/2012/05/16/upfronts-2012-tbs-tnt-to-become-branded-video-destinations/#ixzz1v45ezqns

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There's Retail Magic in Silicon Dust

For decades, retailers looked to the Big Apple, the international capital of fashion and advertising, for inspiration.

How times have changed.

Nowadays, the industry's axis is shifting west, to Silicon Valley, where the fresh ideas come from edgy start-ups and tech icons such as Apple and Facebook.

The four companies selected by U.S. News as America's "Most Connected" retailers—Walmart, Nordstrom, Lowe's, and Starbucks—embody this westward tilt. In recent years, all four have increased their high-tech investments, scooped up West Coast-based ventures, and made e-commerce or mobile solutions central to their business models.

The growth of online retail and wider use of smartphones as shopping tools are among the drivers forcing brick-and-mortar stores to revamp their businesses, experts say. In today's topsy-turvy retail world, sites such as Amazon and eBay now compete directly with Walmart, Macy's, and other industry stalwarts. Mobile apps, online marketing, and social media are as essential to sales strategies as print ads, direct mail, and in-store sales.

"Retail is facing a paradigm-shift moment the likes of which it hasn't seen since scanning reached mass adoption [in the mid-80s]", observes Brian Kilcourse, managing partner at the Miami-based Retail Systems Research. Consumers now routinely use multiple channels—the Web, mobile, social media, and stores—to conduct transactions, he explains. "The big challenge for retail in the next year or two is going to be how to blend the digital and the physical selling experiences into one harmonious experience for the consumer," he says.

http://money.usnews.com/money/business-economy/articles/2012/05/15/theres-retail-magic-in-silicon-dust

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NATIONAL ASSOCIATION OF BROADCASTERS KEYNOTE ADDRESS

"A Change is Going to Come: In Fact it is Here"

http://link.brightcove.com/services/player/bcpid1585847158001?bckey=AQ~~,AAABXG87S8E~,XU0wOj1cIkoasYOAORPYDIXbqEC7gKqj&bclid=1579594037001&bctid=1565542220001

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A recent poll by The Hollywood Reporter and found that 90% of Facebook and Twitter users (13-

49) surveyed see social media as “a new form of entertainment.” Given the slant of THR, the questions focused on social media as a multi-tasking activity during the watching of TV and movies, but I think it’s fair to say that for many people, social media and the web have become more than a companion to traditional media—they are how we consume media altogether.

forbes.com/sites/anthonykosner/2012/05/12/social-media-vs-entertainment-will-tech-companies-band-together-like-the-avengers/

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China Open-Minded towards New Media
   2012-05-09 23:40:36    Xinhua      Web Editor: luodan
A senior official of the Communist Party of China (CPC) said Wednesday that the CPC and Chinese government insist on an open-minded and inclusive attitude in coping with new media.

Li Yuanchao, a member of the Political Bureau of the Communist Party of China (CPC) Central Committee and head of the Organizational Department of the CPC Central Committee, made the remarks when addressing the third China-Singapore Forum on Leadership. 

Li said the rapid growth of new media is an important part of the current information society, and has brought both opportunities and challenges for ruling parties and governments around the world. 

Efforts have been made by the CPC and Chinese government to guide officials to treat new media in a scientific and correct way, help them better harness new media and strengthen guidance of public opinion in the network, Li said. 

He also said China continued to take a positive approach in its handling of new media. 
 

http://english.cri.cn/6909/2012/05/09/191s698343.htm

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Kevin Spacey Is Producing a TV Show For E! About ‘Silicon Valley’s Digital Gold Rush’

Randi Zuckerberg isn’t the only enterprising producer trying to bring Startupland to the small screen. Over the weekend, Deadline Hollywood reported that Kevin Spacey will be executive producing a new drama on E! Entertainment Television called “Upstarts” about “Silicon Valley’s digital gold rush.” Michael De Luca, the Oscar-nominated executive producer behind The Social Network will also be executive producing the show. Considering that film was Patient Zero for startup fever, we expect a similar outbreak from the TV version.

But before area bloggers start wagging their fingers–warning! entrepreneurial life may be more dramatized than it appears–”Upstarts” isn’t trying to fan the flames of “whether we’re currently in a tech bubble” by calling it a gold rush. Rather, the go-go billion dollar valuations “Upstarts” will be covering are set in the late nineties dotcombubble. “Fueled by power, money, sex and politics, these three will stop at nothing to earn a spot atop the digital food chain,” goes the pitch. Hmm, we sense some subversive tactics a foot. They say the greatest trick the devil ever pulled was to convince the world it was in a bubble by televising the last one.

betabeat.com/2012/05/02/kevin-spacey-e-entertainment-television-show-upstarts-silicon-valley-05022012/

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Upfronts 2012: YouTube Announces New Channels

 

YouTube has announced the launch of three new channels devoted to original content about the lives of women, a spotlight on U.S. Olympians and one that comes from the organizers of the Tribeca Film Festival.

The announcements came ahead of YouTube's participation in Digital Newfronts, a new two-week event where big online giants hold TV industry-style pitches to ad buyers. YouTube's event, which it is calling "Brandcast," is being held at the Beacon Theater in New York City and will feature the company's top content and sales executives as well as performances by Jay-Z, Pharrell Williams, Flo Rida, and the Neon Trees.

YouTube, which counts more than 800 million visitors watching 3 billion hours of video per month, is extending the channels initiative it introduced last autumn. On top of the some 50 niche channels the company has already launched on its platform, the video hub is rolling out at least three new channels, saying that by the end of July, there will be 25 hours of new original content on the website. The company also announced at the Brandcast that it would be spending $200 million to promote the channels.

http://www.hollywoodreporter.com/news/upfronts-2012-youtube-google-319445

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YouTube Buys Company That Processes Music Royalties

In an effort to streamline its often complex relations with music publishers, YouTube has acquired RightsFlow, an upstart company in New York that processes royalties for the music industry.

YouTube, which is owned by Google, announced the deal on a company blog on Friday afternoon. Terms of the purchase were not disclosed.

Through the deal, YouTube will gain a system for processing royalty payments to tens of thousands of publishers — the companies that represent songwriters — whenever music is included in a video that is played on the site. That procedure is often highly complicated because the music industry has no central database for finding publishers and songwriters; the Harry Fox Agency, the largest clearinghouse for this process, issues licenses on behalf of 46,000 publishers, but it does not represent thousands of others.

The revenue a songwriter or record company might earn from any one video is minuscule, but if that video becomes a big hit, the pennies of royalties through YouTube can add up to significant amounts of money. YouTube’s sheer size — it has more than 150 million videos — also means that a popular song could turn up in thousands of videos.

---------------------------------------------247086_Join Netflix this Holiday and Get a $10 Papa John's Gift Card!

Forget 3D, here comes the QD TV Television screens that can be rolled up and

carried in a pocket are to become a reality using technology developed by British

scientists.

Researchers have developed a new form of light-emitting crystals, known as quantum dots, which can be used to produce ultra-thin televisions.

The tiny crystals, which are 100,000 times smaller than the width of a human hair, can be printed onto flexible plastic sheets to produce a paper-thin display that can be easily carried around, or even onto wallpaper to create giant room-size screens.
The scientists hope the first quantum dot televisions – like current flat-screen TVs, but with improved colour and thinner displays – will be available in shops by the end of next year.

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Who the heck knows what the future may bring, right?  Well, with New Year 2012 coming up fast, I’m not going to let that stop me.  I’m going to give you some predictions, all expanding upon trends and developments several other writers and I have been noting in this column throughout the past year.  It will be fun in December of 2012 to take a look back at this piece to see to what extent these prognostications prove to be accurate.

Without further ado, here are some predictions for the New Year in online video:

Online video growth exceeds projections. While some people have dismissed the robust growth predictions for online video as being too Pollyannaish or bullish, I would actually be shocked if the projected spend in online video not only hits the widely discussed eMarketer metric of a 43% increase for 2012, but exceeds this by another 20% of  that percentage once everything is all said and done, showing roughly 50% growth. 

by Daisy Whitney
Video advertising is finally catching up to consumer viewing habits. That's the finding of the latest quarterly report from video technology company FreeWheel, assessing both online video ads and video views. Video ad views are rising at a faster rate than video views in the third quarter, marking the first time that ad views outpaced video views in growth rates, a promising sign for the online video ad economy. Freewheel said the volume of videos views in its data set that reaches across clients including Turner, ESPN, FOX, Univision, Discovery Communications, VEVO and others increased from 6 billion a year ago to 11.8 billion, while video ad views grew from 3.1 billion to 7.2 billion during the same period. That's a growth rate of 128% for video ad views, and 97% for video views, respectively.

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Movie audiences shrink below post-Sept. 11 level

LOS ANGELES (AP) -- Hollywood's holidays are off to a dreadful start: Fewer people went to the movies the last two weekends than during the box-office hush that followed the Sept. 11 attacks 10 years ago.

Domestic revenues tumbled to a 2011 low of about $77 million this weekend, when the star-filled, holiday-themed romance "New Year's Eve" debuted at No. 1 with a weak $13.7 million, according to studio estimates Sunday.

It's the worst weekend in more than three years, since the weekend after Labor Day in 2008, when revenues amounted to $67.6 million, according to box-office tracker Hollywood.com. And it comes after an $81 million total a week earlier that had been this year's previous low.

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Lee Enterprises Declares Bankruptcy

The end of the year isn’t bringing any relief for newspaper publishers as they continue to confront declining ad revenues, and in at least a few cases, bankruptcy. The list of newspaper publishers that have sought legal protection from debtors now includes Lee Enterprises, which publishes 48 daily newspapers around the country, including the St. Louis Post-Dispatch. It disclosed Monday that it is filing for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection.

Lee, which was founded in Iowa in 1890 and has around 6,200 employees, currently carries $994.5 million in debt, compared to total assets valued at about $1.15 billion.  The company hopes to use its bankruptcy reorganization to defer debt payments currently scheduled for April 2012 to 2015 and 2017. The bankruptcy is “prepackaged,” as it already has the support of the company’s creditors, which should allow Lee to leave bankruptcy within a few months.

Like other big newspaper publishers, Lee has seen a dramatic drop in revenues in recent years because of a combination of secular declines attributed to changing technology and broader economic factors. In the company’s fiscal year 2011, which ended in September, total revenues came to $756 million -- down 3.1% from $780.6 million in 2010 and 32.5% from $1.12 billion in 2007.
mediapost.com/publications/article/164106/lee-enterprises-declares-bankruptcy.html?edition=41196#ixzz1gUlmP0SV

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Nielsen, Tremor Bring TV Metrics To Online Video

In another nod to video’s increasing currency, Nielsen and ad network Tremor Video are teaming up to expand their respective footprints. Per the partnership, Tremor’s VideoHub customers will be granted access to Nielsen Online Campaign Ratings’ gross rating points via VideoHub for Advertisers.  According to Nielsen, the deal marks the first time it has integrated its gross rating point (GRP) data with a video ad platform. By marrying the standard GRP metric used in TV advertising to online video performance, the goal is to bring TV dollars online. 

“Marketers want to cleanly compare the reach of online video media to other media -- principally TV,” said Steve Hasker, president of Media Products and Advertiser Solutions at Nielsen. With Nielsen’s online GRPs, advertisers using VideoHub can now see what demographic audiences their campaigns reach online. Then, via the VideoHub ad platform, they can understand how those audiences responded to their campaigns.

mediapost.com/publications/article/163735/nielsen-tremor-bring-tv-metrics-to-online-video.html?edition=41081#ixzz1g11Mlk9y

----------------------------------------------247086_Join Netflix this Holiday and Get a $10 Papa John's Gift Card!

When it comes to online video, music is the single biggest lost opportunity for brands.

It baffles me how a brand can spend $30,000 to $300,000 on product marketing and consumer outreach videos, then not spend another 5% for professional music from either established or unknown artists. After all, in 1928, Warner Bros. saw 5000% profit margins from its first “talkies” -- films that were primarily musical in nature. More recently, Apple turned the tech industry on its ear through music. 

 

DOT ONE While it is difficult to assign an exact number, it’s consensus that several million (that’s million) artists and bands are on MySpace.

 

DOT TWO Even Michelangelo was paid for the Sistine Chapel.

Patronage of the arts is a time-honored tradition -- a tradition brands have the opportunity to carry forward. Michelangelo took money from the Pope to paint the ceiling of his world’s most important religious real estate.  There surely are bands on MySpace that wouldn’t mind moving from “starving” to “slightly well-fed” artists by having their music in a branded product video.

Finding credible artists without high costs isn’t as daunting as it might seem:

  • Check out the lesser-known artists at music festivals like Outside Lands and Coachella.
  • Roam the sidewalks of 6th Street in Austin at SXSW.
  • Or simply watch for who’s coming through town at your smaller music venues.

Here’s the best part: pick the right music, and brands have the opportunity to be labeled as “cool” and “relevant” when the artists make it big. Your brand might even get credit for breaking the band to a wider audience. 

Maybe you should pay a little more attention to that band busking on the street corner or in the farmer’s market.

They could be your ticket to video success.

 

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Too Many Devices for Video? Let Social TV Save the Day!

Social TV is the cat’s meow these days. (Maybe even the cat’s pajamas. Speaking of, which one is better?)

In any case — social TV is purring and networks from HBO to Discovery are regularly rolling out new social TV applications for synched viewing, while social TV startups like GetGlue and Miso are quickly amassing more venture funding and more clients. 

With all this social TV activity, I started wondering — what’s the online video play in social TV? I posed that question to Colin Donald, director of research firm Futurescape, who recently penned a white paper on the market opportunities in social TV.  His take is that as TV and online video blur, social TV matters even more. This is especially the case as connected TVs become more popular because most connected TVs have social apps built into them. “As Internet-connected screens proliferate, viewers will be flipping between TV and online video almost without noticing,” he said in an email interview.

What’s more, consumers are also using Smartphones and tablets to watch video, and those devices make social TV a breeze as well, with apps just a thumb tap away. “By 2015, an estimated 65% of the US population will own a smartphone and/or tablet. Even now, almost 50% of American 18- 24 year-old smartphone or tablet owners frequently discuss TV shows on social networks while viewing,” the Futurescape report said, citing research from In-Stat.

The upshot is that with device proliferation comes social TV proliferation. But, social TV has even greater potential to guide consumers through the confusing mass of videos.                    yahoonews.com   december 2011

---------------------------------------247086_Join Netflix this Holiday and Get a $10 Papa John's Gift Card!

Power in Numbers: China Aims for High-Tech Primacy

BEIJING — In an otherwise nondescript conference room, Wu Jianping stands before a giant wall of frosted glass. He toggles a switch and the glass becomes transparent, looking down on an imposing network operations center full of large computer displays. They show maps of China and the world, pinpointing China’s IPv6 links, the next generation of the Internet.

China already has almost twice the number of Internet users as in the United States, and Dr. Wu, a computer scientist and director of the Chinese Educational and Research Network, points out that his nation is moving more quickly than any other in the world to deploy the new protocol.

IPv6 — Internet Protocol version 6 — offers advanced security and privacy options, but more important, many more I.P. addresses, whose supply on the present Internet (IPv4) is almost exhausted.  “China must move to IPv6,” Dr. Wu said. “In the U.S., some people don’t believe it’s urgent, but we believe it’s urgent.”  If the future of the Internet is already in China, is the future of computing there as well?      NewYork'Times.com

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While our national unemployment rate hovers at around 9%, the rate in our industry is much lower. In fact, some people I speak with now believe that the unemployment rate in media and technology is effectively zero. They may be right. Recruiters inNew York tell me that they are having challenges finding talent across the board, whether it is for sales, analytics or programming positions.

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Most people go online with no specific destination in mind.

The latest study from the Pew Research Center's Internet and American Life Project is in, and it's called "The internet as a diversion and destination." The study was meant to determine what attracts users to the Internet. The answer is: nothing, really.

That's not meant to say that there isn't anything on the Internet that attracts end users to it. Instead, that means that many times, when end users head for the Web, it's not with any specific destination in mind.

The younger the survey participant, the more likely that was the answer. When asked if they ever go online for no particular reason, 81 percent of adults 18 to 29 answered "yes." Overall, 53 percent of all respondents (ranging in age from 18 all the way to 65 and older) answered "yes."

-----------------------------------------------247086_Join Netflix this Holiday and Get a $10 Papa John's Gift Card!

Microsoft XBox Gives Voice To TV Choice

Remote controls for TVs? Who need it when you have a voice.

A new Microsoft Xbox 360 allows users to speak -- using its Kinect controller integrated with Bing search -- to find TV and entertainment choices. This voice-directed update for the gaming system launches Dec. 6. in time for the holiday season.

Don Mattrick, president of the Interactive Entertainment Business at Microsoft, stated the addition makes "your TV and entertainment experiences more social and personal than ever."  James McQuivey of Forrester Research, added it was "the benchmark against which all other living room initiatives should be compared."

The company will also add more TV and video content to Xbox Live via new apps from new entertainment partners, including HBO Go, Epix, UFC and YouTube. Xbox 360 consoles are set to a bigger array deliver live and on-demand TV shows, movies, videos, sports, music and news.

Xbox360 has various global TV service partners, including AT&T U-verse, Telus in Canada, BSkyB in the U.K., Canal+ in France, Vodafone Portugal, VimpelCom in Russia and Foxtel in Australia, Analysts  believe this is a continuing step for Microsoft to use its Xbox as a replacement set-top TV device in U.S. TV homes.       mediapost.com  Dec 2011

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(Reuters) - Verizon Communications Inc plans to launch a standalone service allowing customers to stream movies and television shows over the Web, in a fresh challenge to Netflix Inc and the traditional cable TV business, according to several people briefed on the plan.

The phone company is talking with prospective programming partners about the service, which would be introduced outside of markets where it currently offers its broadband and TV package, known as FiOS, these people said. That would make it available to some 85 million U.S. households.  The new service could be rolled out in 2012, according to one of the people.

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Digital Reshapes China, Aids Booming Ad Economy

The digital media revolution is reshaping Chinese society to help make it one of the fastest-growing advertising economies in the world, according to a new trend report from WPP’s MEC China.

According to MEC parent company GroupM, measured media expenditures in China will grow 15.2% in 2011 to approximately $54 billion. Larger growth is expected in 2012 when expenditures will reach $63 billion, up nearly 17%. Most of the major advertising holding companies are vying for a greater share of those growing expenditures.

Driving that growth in part is China’s new Me Generation, according to the MEC report. Unlike the past, the report states, “The Chinese of today have come to see individualism as something to be pursued and developed. They no longer live by the principle of ‘the bird that shows its head gets shot.’”

Contributing to this new outlook is the rise of personal media, such as blogs and social media like Weibo, a Chinese service akin to Twitter. Blog writers have increased 12% in the last four years, and Weibo users have doubled in the last quarter, per the report. More generally, the social media conversation is expanding. The report indicates that people who participated in discussion on the Internet in China rose from 2.8% in 2009 to 9.4% in 2011. 

Just as technology has altered consumer behavior elsewhere, it is doing so in China, and on a huge scale.    Mediapost.com   Nov 2011

-------------------------------------------------------------------GoDaddy - World's #1 Domain Registrar!

 According to a study by the Association of National Advertisers, nearly two-thirds of client-side advertisers (63%) are planning branded entertainment strategies for 2012.  The most popular channels for branded entertainment include commercial television, the Internet and sporting events, although Internet strategies are growing at the fastest clip by far, and television is trending downward. 

The objectives marketers are trying to achieve with these are what you might expect: making a stronger connection with consumers; aligning the brand with relevant content; and building brand affinity with a desired audience. 

 

They’re searching for information.  Through our research for a large electronics company, we learned that consumers weren’t searching for information about how to choose a camera, but were searching for information on how to use one to take pictures of babies, weddings, kids, etc.  That insight was invaluable in crafting our branded online video strategy for the company, which focused on providing consumers with information on how to take the best pictures -- using their brand of cameras, of course -- rather than a commercial about which of their cameras consumers can buy. 

The funny thing about branded entertainment -- and by funny, I don’t mean “Roller Babies” -- is that it’s not being searched for online. Consumers aren’t looking to brands for entertainment; they download movies or TV shows for that.  What some major brands have realized is that information is much more valuable to consumers than entertainment, and brands have a huge opportunity to own branded information. Hopefully marketers for other brands are starting to realize that while branded information may not make it to “Tosh.O,” it can do wonders for engagement.

 

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DreamWorks sees an Internet future dominated by audio, video

 

Jeffrey Katzenberg, CEO of DreamWorks, the animation studio, thinks the Internet is too text-centric. At the recent Techonomy conference in Tucson, AZ, Katzenberg predicted the dominant communications vehicle on the net would begin changing next year to audio and video clips.

"Text is a learned process, but what we do [at DreamWorks] is intuitive and instinctual, and you do it from the moment you are born," Katzenberg told the conference. "We're trying to see if we can move many of these things we can do today in text but moving up to video and audio … do it with sight and sound."

That push will begin next year, in 2012, when DreamWorks will start to spin out its latest 3-D animation technology into the world of the Web. Dreamworks has been working with Intel for almost four years to create 12-core chips and specialized software able to create photorealistic animation in real time.

Katzenberg pointed to Apple's talkative virtual assistant, Siri, as evidence that "whether we do it or somebody else does it, we will move from a text world into an audiovisual one."    broadcastengineering.com    Nov 2011

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Video is Evolving -- Don't Get Left Behind 

Consumer usage of video is increasing at an astonishing rate. Cisco has estimated that video will increase from 30% of Internet traffic in 2010 to 90% by 2013. Online retailers are already using video, and service companies, manufacturing, and many others are also hopping on board. The scope of businesses that employ video and the different uses for video are expanding.

The message is clear: Consumers expect online video as a central element of a company’s communications strategy. No matter what sector of business you are in, incorporating video is an essential step in preparing yourself for the future of marketing.

73% of online retailers use video on product pages, which means that if you’re a retailer and you don’t have video on your site, you are officially in the minority, according to eMarketer. Other sectors of business are beginning to follow suit. A recent survey by Industrial Marketing Today  found that 50% of B2B manufacturers use YouTube as a channel to connect with their customers. Even service companies such as Charles Schwab are starting  to include videos on their websites.        yahoo.news.com  nov 2011

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Fox Negotiating Streaming Pact With Warner Bros.

Fox network is close to a deal that would allow the network to stream current Warner Bros. programs on Web sites and mobile devices, reports Bloomberg, citing sources. Warner Bros, which produces Fox show 'Fringe," would be permitted to sell reruns to cable and other broadcast outlets sooner. The terms Fox reached are similar to the terms of the deal secured by Warner and ABC. The ABC deal allows Disney to distribute any WB series produced for the network in the current TV season and next online and on Hulu's ad-supported platforms.             mediapost.com

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by Joe Mandese
Nielsen has begun informing clients of yet another significant data processing glitch -- one that has been overstating estimates since 2007, the longest misstatement of Nielsen data disclosed to date. Nielsen executives say the data that was impacted -- the sum of so-called "non-HUT" viewing sources -- is rarely used by clients, but the fact that it took Nielsen so long to uncover the problem, and coming on the heels of other recent high-profile data glitches, raises serious questions about the researcher's quality controls. 

"Personally I think that Nielsen is a fraud...they over report for TV just to make the advertisers think anybody of any rating at all is even watching the crap that is on television.  The program stinks and there is no doubt that tens of millions of people are not even watching TV anymore.  Yet the conspiracy between television and Hollywood executives and the Nielsen are putting out the lie so that to keep their advertising dollars coming in..."   Benford Standley

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Local Social Media Ad Spending To Hit 2.3 Billion In 2015

Locally focused advertising in social media is expected to grow at annual rate of 33% from $400 million in 2010 to $2.3 billion by 2015, according to a new forecast from BIA/Kelsey. That would make local advertising roughly a third of the total of $8.1 billion in U.S. social media ad revenue that the research firm projects in four years.

Social media ad sales this year will reach $3.7 billion, of which $700 million will be local ad dollars.

BIA/Kelsey released the local social advertising forecast as part of the fall update to its U.S. local media forecast released in April. The firm defines local advertising broadly as spending by national, regional and small and medium-sized businesses on any form of targeted messaging specific to a geographic market.

Within social media, it defines local advertising as money spent on geotargeted ad formats across social networks, but excluding virtual goods and rewards, social gaming, social commerce or social marketing. Think paid media, not earned or owned media.

 

----------------------------------------------------------------------Nov 2011

Disney Movies To Run On YouTube

With all the talk about Netflix being a cable killer, some have forgotten about what is still the biggest digital video platform: YouTube.

In a somewhat quiet move, Walt Disney joins other studios in announcing that hundreds of its movies will soon be available in the YouTube Movies digital area. Disney brings a total of four major studios -- Sony Pictures Entertainment, Universal Pictures and Warner Bros. -- and one minor studio, Lionsgate -- which have made deals where consumers can rent their movies.

For YouTube, this brings its major studio a total of 3,000 big movies available for rent, costing viewers between $1 and $4 with a general time frame of those movies that have to be watched within 24 or 48 hours.

The Disney and Pixar deal will include "Cars 2" and "Alice in Wonderland," among others. Just like other deals, the most recent movies that have been theatrically released will go for a higher price tag. For example, customers would be charged from $3.99 for newer releases, such as "Pirates of the Caribbean: On Stranger Tides."

Recently, YouTube announced plans for original video content from a number of partners, including performers/producers Jay-Z and Ashton Kutcher.            yahoo.news.com
 

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Sen. Jay Rockefeller said today he intended to summon Facebook to a hearing to answer questions about its ability to track users as they surf the Web.

“No company should track customers without their knowledge or consent, especially a company with 800 million users and a trove of unique personal data on its users,” the Senate Commerce Committee said in a statement. “If Facebook or any other company is falsely leading people to believe that they can log out of the site and not be tracked, that is alarming,” the Democrat from West Virginia continued.

He added that he intends to hold a hearing and invite Facebook and other tech companies to testify about how they use people's “personal information.”

Rockefeller's statement was prompted by a front-page article in USA Today that examined Facebook's ability to track people even after they had logged out. The paper summarized recent concerns about Facebook's ability to track people when they visit sites with the “like” button or other social plug-ins.

 

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Sony to launch Internet-based TV network

If you can't beat 'em, join 'em.

With sales margins down on traditional television sets, Sony is considering launching its own television network over the Internet. It's a subscription-based model that many consumer electronics companies are trying — some with success like Apple — as consumer electronics companies try to navigate a challenging economic environment. In Sony's case, it owns a number of popular TV shows and TV and movie production studios and is negotiating to acquire the rights to others, so, the new strategy just might be what the struggling technology giant needs to stay profitable.

Executives at the company say they are experimenting with a new OTT television service that would bring content from providers like NBC, News Corp. and various cable channels directly to viewers. Sony CEO Howard Stringer told the "Wall Street Journal" that the new IPTV network that will compete with traditional pay television platforms.

"I spent the last five years building a platform so I can compete against Steve Jobs," Stringer told the newspaper. "It's finished, and it's launching now."

 broadcastengineering.com 

==============================================

by Daisy Whitney
Just as work expands to fill the time available, so does video. In its annual survey of cross-platform video consumption, Frank N. Magid found that while half of online consumers are watching TV shows and movies via the Internet, they are also upping what they spend on traditional subscriptions. The study found that consumers who watch video programming on alternate devices aren't changing the amount of time they spend watching traditional TV. In fact, the more we watch, the more we watch - there is still plenty of growth in VOD, DVR and DVD usage even among those consumers who watch online content, Magid said.

==============================Nov 2011

Setting up its broader digital TV strategy, Microsoft just announced the acquisition of video discovery technology provider VideoSurf.

Per the deal, Microsoft plans to integrate the technology into its entertainment platform, including its Xbox 360 ecosystem, while evolving search and discovery of entertainment content on Xbox LIVE.

“VideoSurf’s content analytics technology will enhance the search and discovery of entertainment content across our platform,” said Alex Garden, director of Xbox LIVE for the Interactive Entertainment Business at Microsoft.

In the coming months, Microsoft plans to bring about 40 TV and entertainment providers to Xbox LIVE, including Bravo, Comcast, HBO GO, Verizon FiOS and Syfy in the United States. 

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YouTube

YouTube’s sheer dominance presents an interesting challenge to content owners -- but net-net, it gives producers an ability to target the most captive video audience with relatively zero technology costs.  Yes, with over 48 hours of content uploaded each minute and 3 billions daily streams, it’s hard to cut through the clutter, but the fact remains that YouTube has done a lot to bring video to the mainstream.  Last but not least, by forking over $250 million to content producers for original programming, YouTube is also ushering in a new era of video online (disclosure: YouTube is one of our largest distribution partners).

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Sundance Channel Debuts TV Show on Twitter, Hulu... and Then TV.

When Sundance Channel premieres the first episode of the second season of Girls Who Like Boys Who Like Boys on PerezHilton.com today, it’ll be a full 24 hours before the on-air debut of the show on Nov. 18. What’s more, the blogger’s unveiling of the show follows a Twitter premiere earlier in the week, as well as a Hulu debut of the episode. The Twitter debut marked one of the first time a network has leveraged the social platform to bow a show, and while the Twitter-cast only generated 2,000 views, it’s a start to using social video to drive early buzz in a TV show.

Networks and brands alike are eagerly hunting for ways to pivot off of social chatter and online word-of-mouth, and actual sneak peeks on social venues are a new strategy. Sundance is also offering the new episode on Facebook this week, potentially reaching the show's 237,000 Facebook fans. The PerezHilton.com online premiere kicks off a series of PSAs with Hilton exploring issues like tolerance and bullying.           mediapost.com

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Content Remains King 
by Sam Vasisht , Friday, Nov. 25, 2011

If the recent gyrations of Netflix and Hulu demonstrate anything, it is that content still rules.  We can talk about the new forms of services, devices and formats, but at the end of the day content dictates the business. 

Hulu’s rapid growth was primarily the result of its access to content from its owners who were major broadcasters.  It was an attractive acquisition target for some because of these content rights.  It posed inherent risks to its potential acquirers because of the content rights.  Finally, it was taken off the block by its owners in no small part because of where their content could end up. 

Simply stated, Hulu's attractiveness to consumers and potential acquirers is and has been the availability of content.

 

Technological forces and shifting consumer demands are stretching the seams of everyone’s business models.  I see UltraViolet and TVEverywhere first and foremost as business models to maintain status quo to access of content by established players while opening themselves to new forms of distribution and mediums at the same time.  The amazing new technologies and systems being developed for these are to ensure that the king does not leave the castle walls without sufficient safeguards.

As a technology marketer it is not that hard pill to swallow as it may seem that good old fashioned content still rules.  After all what it is leading to is amazing technology innovation in video that we have not seen in more than half a century, no matter what part of the industry you’re in.

 

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Video Ad Revs Up 20%, TV Services Drive Growth

Four major countries will see a collective 20% rise in online video revenues this year -- much of this coming from advertising-supported platforms.  U.K.-based Futuresource Consulting says revenues from the USA, UK, France and Germany will hit a total of $3 billion this year. Another study says revenues in the U.S. alone were on track to secure around $1.5 billion. In Europe, in particular, catch-up TV services have been the key driver of free online TV and movie growth. Free online TV views are forecast to grow by 36% in 2011 across the four key countries combined.

Advertising-funded video is a major contributor, says the study, growing 50% this year. In four years, the entire online video revenues in these four countries could more than double to $6.8 billion by 2015.         meidapost.com  Nov 2011

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Video is Evolving -- Don't Get Left Behind

Consumer usage of video is increasing at an astonishing rate. Cisco has estimated that video will increase from 30% of Internet traffic in 2010 to 90% by 2013. Online retailers are already using video, and service companies, manufacturing, and many others are also hopping on board. The scope of businesses that employ video and the different uses for video are expanding.

The message is clear: Consumers expect online video as a central element of a company’s communications strategy. No matter what sector of business you are in, incorporating video is an essential step in preparing yourself for the future of marketing.

73% of online retailers use video on product pages, which means that if you’re a retailer and you don’t have video on your site, you are officially in the minority, according to eMarketer. Other sectors of business are beginning to follow suit. A recent survey by Industrial Marketing Today  found that 50% of B2B manufacturers use YouTube as a channel to connect with their customers. Even service companies such as Charles Schwab are starting  to include videos on their websites.

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Samsung Electronics, the world's top TV maker, is in last-stage talks with Google to roll out its Google TVs, the head of Samsung's TV division told reporters on Tuesday.

Google TV -- which currently comes built-in on certain Sony Corp television models and on Logitech International set-top boxes -- allows consumers to access online videos and websites on their TVs, as well as specialized apps such as video games.

Samsung in January displayed a new Google TV-enabled Blu-ray player and companion box at the Consumer Electronics Show (CES), but did not commercialize the offerings.

Yoon Boo-keun, president of Samsung's TV division, said the company planned to unveil its Google TV at an event next year without elaborating on the schedule, saying only the firm was working with Google on the rollout.

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ABC is continuing its emphasis on free music as a promotional platform. Starting Sunday, a gratis download of the “episodic score” in drama “Once Upon a Time” became available on ABC.com for 24 hours.

That followed a free download opportunity for the tune “Hold On” by Alabama Shakes used Wednesday in “Revenge.” Both became available on ABC.com’s “music lounge,” which has a 24/7 streaming radio station with songs from ABC hits from “Dancing with the Stars” to “Desperate Housewives.” 

The music lounge also is offering an interview with Mark Isham, who composed the “Once Upon A Time” score, speaking about the show’s music inspiration.

The “music lounge” microsite was launched in May 2009, offering frequent music downloads, artist information about ABC prime-time series, music videos and the radio network.

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Local Social Media Ad Spending To Hit 2.3 Billion In 2015

Locally focused advertising in social media is expected to grow at annual rate of 33% from $400 million in 2010 to $2.3 billion by 2015, according to a new forecast from BIA/Kelsey. That would make local advertising roughly a third of the total of $8.1 billion in U.S. social media ad revenue that the research firm projects in four years.

Social media ad sales this year will reach $3.7 billion, of which $700 million will be local ad dollars.

BIA/Kelsey released the local social advertising forecast as part of the fall update to its U.S. local media forecast released in April. The firm defines local advertising broadly as spending by national, regional and small and medium-sized businesses on any form of targeted messaging specific to a geographic market. Within social media, it defines local advertising as money spent on geotargeted ad formats across social networks, but excluding virtual goods and rewards, social gaming, social commerce or social marketing. Think paid media, not earned or owned media.

==========================

Akamai Report: U.S. Still Slowpoke Compared To 11 Other Countries

Residents of the U.S. now surf the Web at an average speed of 5.8 Mbps, up from last year's 4.6 Mbps, according to Akamai's latest State of the Internet report.

That's the good news. But the bad news is that the average U.S. Web connection is slower than average speeds in 11 other countries, includingSouth Korea (13.8 Mbps), Japan (8.9 Mbps) and Denmark (6.4 Mbps). 

The fastest U.S. city was Silicon Valley's San Jose, Calif., which boasted average connections of 13.7 Mbps and also was ranked 9th for speed worldwide. But San Jose was the only U.S. city to appear among the 50 cities in the world with the fastest Web connections. The next speediest U.S. city was Fredericksburg, Va., with average connections of 8.5 Mbps.

Despite the relatively speedy connections available in Silicon Valley, manyCalifornia residents surf the Web at slower speeds. Statewide, the average connection was 6.7 Mbps -- faster than New York's 6.4 Mbps but slower than Rhode Island's 8.2 Mbps.

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The World’s Movie Camera Makers Have All Quietly Stopped Production Of Film Cameras

Most people reading this website will not be surprised to hear that the era of film is coming to an end. Even those of you who, like me, spent days in darkrooms perfecting your dodge technique, are likely unruffled at the notion. But in Hollywood film has been clinging tenaciously to life, if only out of a sort of traditionalist inertia. But this last year was marked by a sort of quiet final surrender by the film cadre: Arri, Panavision, and Aaton have all ceased production of film cameras. These companies have been driving the film industry for decades, and for them all to throw in the towel at once suggests that the end truly is approaching.

Practically speaking, there has been pressure for years on these film camera companies to switch entirely to digital, and a few things finally put them past the point of no return. While they have been doing good business in a way, the number of productions using film has been steadily declining, and the need for new film cameras hasn’t been strong in years.  techcrunch.com

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Retail Digital Search Spending Healthy
 

According to a recent release from IgnitionOne, online advertising saw strong spend growth globally in the third quarter, in spite of global economic challenges worldwide, with spend up 10% YOY, excluding Asia.

In Q3, total search spend was up 7.2% YOY driven in part by more consumer search activity (impressions up 22%). Europesaw 20% spend growth YOY compared with 7% for the US. Growth in retail, finance and auto was partially offset by modestly lower YOY spends in travel. Retailer spend was particularly strong, growing 22% year-over-year.

US paid search advertising spend grew 7% year-over-year in Q3 2011 and 4% quarter-over-quarter. This compares with 6% year-over-year growth and 3.5% quarter-over-quarter growth in the same quarter last year. .

=======================

by Melanie Shreffler
It's no secret that Millennials are watching streaming video online, whether via YouTube, Hulu, Netflix, Facebook, or any number of other sites (legal and illegal). And some are streaming online video via a box connected to their TV, like Roku, Boxee, and even some video game consoles. This generation is tech-savvy and poised to revolutionize the TV industry, particularly cable, just as it did the music industry.

=====================Save 20% on Business Bundles

Big business awaits as TV content owners worldwide increasingly move online during the next five years.

Global online TV and video revenues will grow five times their current size to reach $21.52 billion in 2016 from $3.48 billion in 2010, according to London-based media research company Digital TV Research.  One big mover will be so-called "Over-The-Top" (OTT) alternative TV/video providers that use the Internet to act like terrestrial cable operators and/or satellite programming services.

The report says: “The OTT television and video sector is on the brink of a huge take-off as the key players expand internationally, companies consolidat[ing] (with Hulu about to be sold to one of existing major players) and as new partnerships are announced on a daily basis.”  Skyrocketing growth will also result as more global homes watch TV and video via the internet. By 2016, 415 million homes in 40 countries will watch online television and video, up from 177 million in 2010.

The report says the U.S. will continue to have the dominant share of the market -- now 54%, but dropping to 36%. But online TV/video revenues will grow four times their current size to $7.7 billion in five years, from $1.9 billion in 2010. China will have even more rapid growth -- leaping to $1.4 billion in 2016 from $50 million in 2010.    mediapost.com 

=====================

Chinese Digital Revolution Impacts Media Choice, Brand Engagement

A new study by Starcom MediaVest Group, the Publicis media agency network, reveals that Chinese consumers spend significantly more time online each day than they do watching TV.

According to the study, the average Chinese consumer spends 3.25 hours a day online compared to 2.21 hours watching TV. And the heaviest online activity was seen in so-called “tier three” zones in the country, or medium-sized cities, where online consumption averaged close to 3.6 hours a day.  “What we are witnessing now is the biggest digital evolution on Earth taking place right here in China, stated Jeffrey Tan, SMG China's national research and insights director.

Video content viewing accounts for more than half of the online activity, the study found, with consumers watching about 1.76 hours of video a day on their computers. The study concluded that it is highly possible that online will become the most-used vehicle for accessing video content for consumers living in all but the most rural sections of China.

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(Reuters) - Facebook executive and eBay Inc board member Katie Mitic unveiled a partnership between the two companies designed to create a new crop of e-commerce applications with

social networking features.

Mitic said on Wednesday that Facebook's so-called Open Graph -- the map of connections that Facebook users create with friends and online content -- will be integrated "seamlessly" into applications developed with certain eBay services and technologies.

EBay is trying to encourage outside developers to create applications for its e-commerce platforms and is making a particularly strong push in mobile commerce.

The company launched X.commerce, its new division aimed at software developers, at a conference in San Francisco on Wednesday.

Weaving Facebook features into e-commerce products has the potential to make online shopping a more personalized experience, by displaying people's thoughts about products on the virtual store shelves.

Speaking at the conference, Mitic said Facebook's Open Graph would be integrated into applications developed with eBay services such as Magento, a service for building online storefronts, and GSI, which handles order fulfillment.

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HELP THE KIDS

ABC News, Yahoo! News Announce Online Alliance

New Venture Will Reach more than 100 Million Monthly, Includes Original Online Video Series

Yahoo!, the premier digital media company, and ABC News today announced they will join forces to launch a strategic online news alliance that will deliver content to more than 100 million U.S. users each month.
 
This new venture blends ABC News' global newsgathering operation and unrivaled lineup of trusted anchors and reporters with Yahoo! News' unmatched audience, depth and breadth of content. Beginning today, GoodMorningAmerica.com, launches on Yahoo! along with three new online-first video series hosted by the award-winning, trusted anchors of ABC News. 

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Google+ went public, Facebook announced Timeline, Amazon debuted its tablet, Fire, and its cloud-based browser, Silk, and the IAB reported ad spending on the Internet grew by 23% in the first half of 2011 compared to last year. The pace and scale of change in media we are witnessing is difficult to fathom...

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Mobile Media -- A Game Changer for Marketers

Consumers are mobile. 58% of US smartphone users access the mobile web from their phones, often a number of times a day, according to research from Google#. The mobile device - whether smartphone or 'simple' feature phone - has become one of the most used mass media channels available today. But more than that, it has become the most powerful because it is unique, combining a number of benefits that cannot be replicated by others such as television, radio, print or even the Internet. Due to mobile's personal, always-on nature through to the fact that mobile can capture social context and make action at the point of inspiration possible while providing the most accurate audience measurement tools of any channel, mobile is changing the way in which consumers interact with the world around them.

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The outlook for print advertising remains particularly gloomy, at least in the U.S., with ZenithOptimedia predicting continuing declines in 2011, 2012 and 2013.  

Newspapers will undoubtedly get the worst of it, with ZO forecasting consecutive annual revenue declines of 8.5%, 8% and 8% in 2011, 2012 and 2013, respectively.

Combining these predictions with print advertising data from the Newspaper Association of America, that implies that total print newspaper ad revenues will fall from $22.8 billion in 2010 to $20.9 billion in 2011, $19.2 billion in 2012, and $17.7 billion in 2013. That represents just 37% of the peak print ad revenue figure of $47.4 billion in 2005, also per the NAA.

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Hollywood downloads a post-DVD future

The movie studio business model is poised for its biggest shift in years as Hollywood turns to Internet delivery as the only way to boost home entertainment revenues.

Across Hollywood, a quiet revolution is brewing that's about to transform living rooms around the world.   After desperate attempts to prop up the industry's once-thriving DVD business, studio executives now believe the only hope of turning around a 40% decline in home entertainment revenue lies in rapidly accelerating the delivery of movies over the Internet.

In the next few years, the growing number of consumers with Internet-connected televisions, tablets and smartphones will face a dizzying array of options designed to make digital movie consumption a lot more convenient and to entice users to spend more money.

With films that can be accessed on any digital device, downloaded as iPhone apps or shared on Facebook as easily as a photo, it may be the biggest shift in Hollywood's business model since the explosion of the DVD in the late 1990s.

"The days of baby steps on the Internet are over," said David Bishop, president of Sony Pictures' home entertainment unit. "It's now critical that we experiment as much as possible and determine how to build a vibrant market for collecting digital movies."  LA Times

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Future of Media - Consumer Choice 
by Fran Maier

The future will be the era of consumer choice and consumer voice. Online media is being transformed by consumer choice. As traditional broad-based online media platforms struggle, niche media - including blogs and vertical interest-based sites - are flourishing. Social media platforms - such as Facebook, Twitter and LinkedIn - are contributing to this trend by further driving and enabling more personal content creation and curation. Consumers are demanding what they want, and - if it's not available - they're creating it themselves. Consumers choose and that choice will continue to be increasingly broad, niche, varied, instant, and personal. In exchange for this content, consumers will continue to share their personal data, their interests, demographics, device usage, location and more with advertisers and publishers. Media companies will attempt to aid this personalization with finely-tuned algorithms to serve up ever more desired content and relevant advertising. At the same time, though, consumers will exercise - in fact they will be required to exercise - choice.

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Around the Net In Media: DVDs Heading For Dinosaur Status Faster Than Ever

Movie studios are beginning to make video digital delivery a serious priority, meaning DVDs will become obsolete that much sooner, according to an article by Ben Fritz that lays out what this trend will mean for the consumer as well as the industry.

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Publishers Take Note: The Future of Media is Content, Not Ads

The future of media will be content, not ads. That's because even with the many innovations around traditional online advertising units such as banner and pre-roll, consumers have developed a knack for ignoring interruptive advertising experiences that deliver standard, unwanted ads. And as I recently noted in this MediaPost article about online ad spending, brands have recognized this dynamic and are now making major investments in long-form and viral video content that has the potential to engage and inspire audiences. Top agencies are now even hiring directors of earned media to amplify the reach and impact of this content. As brands continue to open their minds and wallets to new types of entertaining video content, many social sites have responded by creating innovative new ad experiences to accommodate this content. But the vast majority of online publishers are still making money through the web's earliest incarnations of advertising inventory: interruptive video and display ads.      mediapost.com

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Web's Rise Forces Cable Unbundling

Long feared by programmers -- and dreamed of by consumers -- cable unbundling is finally coming, reports Reuters. "U.S. cable operators are privately working on a plan to force programmers to unbundle their networks and allow customers to subscribe to channels on an individual basis," the news service writes. "The plan represents a complete reversal from cable operators' long-held opposition to what is known as 'a la carte' programming." 

What sparked the shift? Executives now seem to believe that unbundling is a necessary response to shifting market forces like higher carriage costs, a weak economy, and, of course, the Web's increasing prominence. 

Representative of the industry's woes, Comcast and Time Warner Cable -- the two largest operators -- collectively lost 1.2 million video customers over the past year (as of June, according to Reuters).             reuters news

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DVDs Heading For Dinosaur Status Faster Than Ever
Los Angeles Times
It's not just cable TV that's hurting from the likes of online streaming (as in the item about Dreamworks and Netflix). Movie studios are beginning to make video digital delivery a serious priority, meaning DVDs will become obsolete that much sooner, according to an article by Ben Fritz that lays out what this trend will mean for the consumer as well as the industry. 

Because digital delivery is far from standardized and studios are experimenting with many different formats and price points, "people who connect their TVs to the Internet or buy iPads will face a vastly expanded but potentially confusing menu of options to access films from different sources in various ways," writes Fritz.

But "one thing is certain: People who like inexpensive movie rentals are going to have to get used to waiting longer than they do now. Studios are beginning to use the Internet to slice up the market so that people who are willing to buy a movie or pay more to rent it can get it sooner." 

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Facebook plans to roll out a major redesign of user profiles at its f8...

Details about the redesign are sparse, but two sources familiar with Facebook’s plans (who have asked to remain anonymous) have told us that the redesign is “major” and will make Facebook profiles nexuses for consuming content.

The profile changes will be part of a wider launch, one that will include launch of a music and media platform.

Here’s what we know so far about the profile redesign:

  • The redesigned profiles will be more “sticky,” says one source. One of the goals of the new profiles is to get users to stay on them for longer.
  • We already knew Facebook is launching a media platform at f8. However, we’ve also learned that the platform — which will include music and video from partner sites — will display the media content a user is watching or listening to on their profiles. Essentially, when you’re listening to Lady Gaga on Spotify, your friends can see and access that on your Facebook profile. This confirms a recent New York Times report.
  • The redesigned profiles are part of a larger push into social ecommerce. We don’t exactly know what that means, but we’ve heard whispers that Facebook intends to give Facebook Credits more prominence. We’ve also heard that a Facebook app store may emerge at f8.
  • Facebook’s push into ecommerce may be related Project Spartan, an HTML5-based mobile platform rumored to be launching soon.

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VEVO Launches Upgraded Facebook Tools for Talent

Today we are likely to hear a lot about media integration with Facebook as the highly anticipated f8 conference kicks off. Facebook's main challenge has been incorporating more of people's media sharing and media consumption on the social network itself. As we have been seeing in recent weeks with pay-per-view video models on the site and WSJ's new content-rich app, making that otherwise fugly Facebook screen into a palatable platform for media use is the new direction for Zuckerberg's crew.

But how will smaller and independent media leverage Facebook's broader embrace of content? Music video service VEVO is trying to do its part by upgrading its VEVO for Artists app on Facebook to accommodate a host of new media experiences and back end management. Previous versions let an artists add a tab to their fan page to contain a page of music videos. The new version ups the ante and gives the artist a way to put up music tracks, even live event streams. But they also get greater control over the page banner, a store through which the band can sell merchandise, a tour calendar, contest creation and administration, email collection and CRM, and back end analytics to track performance on that VEVO tab.

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Future digital TV/video consumption will shift to tablets from PCs.

Scottsdale, Ar.-based media researcher In-Stat says 65% of the U.S. population will own a smartphone and/or tablet by 2015 -- that comes to over 200 million people in total. The survey says this estimate will have an impact on how video entertainment is acquired and consumed.

Other surveys suggest that laptops and PC business have already taken a hit because of new portable tablets.  The In-Stat survey says 86% of smartphone/tablet users will view video on their mobile devices -- and that 60% of smartphone/tablet owners will also be viewing so-called over-the-top (OTT) video services at home.

The survey also says there will be nearly two smartphone/tablet owners per OTT household. The dominant brand in homes in this context: Apple. The average Apple household will have four Apple devices, while the average Google Android household will have over two Android devices.     wiredmagazine.com

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Hulu had 1 mln paying subs at end of summer - CEO

* Will spend $375 million on content this year - CEO

* Hulu sale still being evaluated - News Corp COO Carey

NEW YORK, Sept 21 (Reuters) - Hulu, the popular online video service which has been put up for sale by its joint owners, now has more than 1 million paying subscribers, Chief Executive Jason Kilar said on Wednesday.

Earlier this year Kilar forecast that Hulu would have 1 million subscribers by the end of the year. He confirmed that it reached that milestone at the end of the summer and the site is now on its way to easily exceed that number by year's end.

The site made its name as a free service for popular broadcast TV shows like The Office and Modern Family soon after the shows had been aired.

The shows and movies it initially featured were supplied by its joint equity owners News Corp, Walt Disney Co and Comcast Corp's  NBC Universal. Its fourth co-owner is private equity firm Providence Equity Partners.     reuters.com

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Netflix Lures Dreamworks From HBO

Dreamworks Animation's films -- which include the likes of "Shrek" -- will be streaming on Netflix starting 2013, the company announced.   That means Dreamworks is leaving Time Warner's HBO a year early -- and moving from cable TV to the Web.

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Netflix says it's sorry, then creates new uproar

Red envelopes and red faces: Netflix apologizes after price hike, then causes another uproar 

SAN FRANCISCO (AP) -- The CEO of Netflix said he was sorry for mishandling a recent price increase that caused customers to cancel the service in droves. But the apology was drowned out by a decision that angered subscribers all over again.

The company will split into two services -- one with an odd new name that offers the familiar discs in red envelopes and another for online streaming of TV shows and movies.

The DVD service will be called Qwikster, a name that is supposed to signify a commitment to fast service but quickly became an object of ridicule Monday on the Internet. The streaming service will keep the Netflix name.

Netflix, which had 24.6 million U.S. subscribers at the end of June and is the nation's largest video subscription service, redefined home entertainment over the past decade with its DVDs by mail. Now it's trying to prepare for the day when watching movies on a disc goes the way of driving to the video store to pick up a VHS tape.

But lately, it has bungled the transition. The company has lost half its market value since July, when it announced that customers who wanted DVDs and streaming had to pay for them separately -- and pay up to 60 percent more.

The decision to rebrand the best-known part of Netflix's business left some experts wondering whether CEO Reed Hastings is losing the touch that established him as an influential figure in technology and entertainment.              finance.yahoo.com

=============================

 

 

 

Future digital TV/video consumption will shift to tablets from PCs.

Scottsdale, Ar.-based media researcher In-Stat says 65% of the U.S. population will own a smartphone and/or tablet by 2015 -- that comes to over 200 million people in total. The survey says this estimate will have an impact on how video entertainment is acquired and consumed.

Other surveys suggest that laptops and PC business have already taken a hit because of new portable tablets.  The In-Stat survey says 86% of smartphone/tablet users will view video on their mobile devices -- and that 60% of smartphone/tablet owners will also be viewing so-called over-the-top (OTT) video services at home.

The survey also says there will be nearly two smartphone/tablet owners per OTT household. The dominant brand in homes in this context: Apple. The average Apple household will have four Apple devices, while the average Google Android household will have over two Android devices.     wiredmagazine.com

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What Does The Term 'Television' Mean These Days? 

Let's put one thing behind us right away -- the integration of Internet features with the conventional television set and set-top boxes (often referred to as Connected TV and Smart TV) speaks to the technological marriage between computers and these devices. Real "convergence," however, speaks to the seamless combination of multiple services, such as interactive media, Internet TV, over-the-top-content and on-demand streaming media, which enable viewers to conveniently access both broadcast and web-based multimedia content on a television set using a single remote control and a single on-screen interface. Convergence is well under way and accelerating at fiber optic transmission speed. Nothing can stop it. 

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"There is clearly an over-the-top service on the horizon" that would use Blockbuster content and compete with Netflix, says Wells Fargo's Marci Ryvicker after a Monday filing with the FCC.

NEW YORK - The master plan behind the recent acquisitions of Charlie Ergen's Dish Network, including video rental firm Blockbuster and a broadband network provider, is only slowly becoming clearer, but there are some latest clues, according to analysts.

The satellite TV operator on Monday filed a joint application with previously acquired mobile broadband network operator TerreStar with the FCC requesting the transfer of the latter's licenses to Dish and a waiver of the FCC's so-called "integrated service" rule.

"This would allow Dish to offer a fully terrestrial broadband service in addition to an integrated terrestrial-satellite broadband service to at least some consumers," said Credit Suisse analyst Stefan Anninger

 

Analysts expect Dish will use he network to provide video services, including mobile video services.

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More consumers with cable, satellite or telco TV services have downgraded their services in the last year -- and more are on the way.

Dallas-based researcher Parks Associates says 13% of consumers who have broadband connections have made cutbacks within the last 12 months -- with another 9% to come. The study says this includes some 3.9 million people who regularly watch Internet video.

These "downgraders" or "cord shavers," who typically spend $20 or less on monthly video services, are heavy TV users. They watch, on average, 4.2 hours of Internet video on their TV each week. Parks Associates says the growth of downgraders is more closely linked to the growth of broadband adoption than watching more Internet video.

It recommends that providers of pay TV improve their video on demand selections -- especially to compete with Netflix and Redbox.

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More Mobile Campaigns Embracing Video

The appetite for watching video on mobile devices continues to grow. New findings from Rhythm NewMedia out this week show views of full-length TV episodes on smartphones and tablets jumped 200% during the second quarter. The rise of video on mobile devices extends to advertising as well, according to the latest monthly SMART report from mobile ad network Millennial Media.

Ad campaigns on the network that allowed users to watch a video after clicking on an ad increased 69% in July, making up 31% of all campaigns on phones and tablets. (Think movie trailers.) Along with downloading an app and signing up for a subscription, watching a video is now the top post-click action that advertisers try to entice consumers with.

Ad efforts that feature some type of social media activity as a call-to-action are also rapidly growing, increasing 34% in July to comprise nearly a quarter (24%) of campaigns. Entertainment, telecom, and CPG advertisers employed social tools in ads to drum up fans and followers on sites like Facebook and Twitter as well as gather feedback on movie releases and new product launches.  yahoonews.com

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Social media magazine Flipboard reportedly plans to add television shows and films to its existing cache of online articles. As such, "Internet video is getting even more crowded," Reuters concludes. Flipboard, which boasts high-profile backers like Ashton Kutcher, apparently hopes to cut deals with studios to carry movies and episodes of TV shows -- "getting into territory staked out by Netflix, Hulu and Facebook," Reuters writes.

Flipboard CEO Mike McCue tells Reuters that he plans to tackle the video project at the end of the year, although he declined to say which studio partners he has approached. McCue also said he hopes to ultimately cut deals with publishers to sell e-books through Flipboard.

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Sina Invests In Video Heavy Tudou

In Shanghai, Sina Corp. -- owner of China's third-most-popular Web site -- has put down $66.4 million for a stake in Tudou Holdings, Bloomberg reports. "Sina is adding video, social-networking and electronic commerce services to attract users in the world's biggest Internet market. The investment in Tudou, China's second-biggest video Website, follows Sina's acquisition of a minority stake in online apparel retailer Mecox Lane Ltd. this year." 

Per the deal, Sina has acquired 1.075 million American depositary receipts at Shanghai-based Tudou's IPO in the U.S. for $31.2 million, according to a filing with the Securities and Exchanges Commission. In addition, Sina said it spent $35.2 million for another 1.49 million Tudou ADRs, after the listing -- taking its total holding to 9.05%. 

Sina recently said that it planned to spend $100 million to develop its Weibo microblogging service to attract social-networking users. Tudou, Bloomberg adds, "said it plans to use proceeds from its listing to acquire video content and upgrade technology, as competition with bigger rival Youku.com intensifies."            around the net

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Online Video Evolves

According to a recently released Yahoo! Study with Interpret (following up on a similar 2009 study) Online Video continues to grow significantly, specifically full-length movies and TV shows. In a given day 57% watched an online video, a 33% increase from 2009. However, short clips still represent the majority of videos watched.

Yahoo! observed a change in online video that signals a maturation of this media format, says the report. Phase 1 of online video in 2009 was a revolution, but phase 2 in 2011 is an evolution. This evolution is happening on video consumption habits, the sharing of video content and the video content itself.          yahoo.com     sept 7th

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Must-Tweet TV: Yahoo! And EW Gauge Fall Multi-Screen Fever

Almost half (46%) of TV viewers surveyed in a new poll from Yahoo! TV And Entertainment Weekly of 2,000 people say they check email while watching the tube, second only to snacking (56%). In fact the need to use digital channels to communicate with others during TV watching is pretty much epidemic at this point, with 34% posting to Facebook, 28% texting to friends and family and 7% checking other people's online posts about a show.

The synergy across screens is becoming a central concern to TV programmers as both smartphones and tablets become de facto second screens in the prime time experience. Cable companies like BravoTV and ABC are issuing apps that work in tandem with on-screen programming. Third party entertainment check-ins like Getglue try to use foursquare like badges to award brand loyalists. And not coincidentally Yahoo! Itself has gotten into the game with its recent acquisition of IntoNow, which actually can detect what you are watching in order to facilitate connections among fellow viewers. The portal company is chattering a lot lately about the TV-to-mobile connection.             mediapost.com 

 

 

 

 

"TV will be based on the Internet; it will be an utterly different thing."   Bill Gates told Capitol Hill

 

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A new report says small- and medium-sized businesses will continue to shift marketing dollars away from traditional outlets to more

 measured and emerging media. By 2015, the group will be spending 30% of their budgets in the so-called traditional realm -- down

from 52% last year, according to BIA/Kelsey.

The bulk of their dollars will be spent in the digital arena -- stretching from mobile platforms to social media to online directories, as

well as performance-based commerce such as couponing and customer-retention marketing such as email.

The report focuses on local-market spending, where BIA/Kelsey projects overall "media, marketing and business solutions"

 investment to grow from $22.4 billion in 2010 to $40.2 billion in 2015, a 12% compound annual growth rate.

Traditional ad spending over the period should be largely flat -- from $11.8 billion to $12.1 billion, a compound annual growth rate

 (CAGR) of 0.6%.

 

========================

by Erik Sass
Newspapers aren't seeing any economic rebound, judging by the latest figures from the Newspaper Association of America. They show total newspaper advertising revenues (including print and online) decreasing 6.9% to nearly $6B.

======================

 

Add comScore and Nielsen tracking at the producer level.

 

This, my friends, is the nuclear option that will change everything.  YouTube has already opened up its platform to content partners.  It can go one step further and outline individual producer metrics on comScore or Nielsen.  This is not fundamentally different from how:   an ad rep firm like Gorilla Nation or Glam Media can get a website it represents to assign them their traffic, or you see sub-domain traffic on large portals.

 

In other words, if comScore and Nielsen could display what a content producer's reach is on YouTube, then it would open up a whole new stream of RFPs from the larger ad agencies and marketers.  This, we believe, is a holy grail for both producers and YouTube.

 

Last week, YouTube and comScore announced a beta program with a few dozen content owners which did just that.  Sure, I was a bit disappointed that my company wasn't included in the initial beta test, but as a content producer, video entrepreneur and digital media executive, it was easy to  get excited about the big picture (our data will appear as of next month).         Understanding How Audiences are Measured Online

 

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China is now the fastest growing film market in the world, Mr. Murdoch noted, with box office takings expanding from $150m in 2005 to $1.5bn in 2010.

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As Reuters reports and Apple has confirmed, Apple CEO Steve Jobs is stepping down from his leadership position. Apple's Board of Directors has named Tim Cook the company's new CEO. Jobs has been elected Chairman of the Board.

"I have made some of the best friends of my life at Apple, and I thank you all for the many years of being able to work alongside you," Jobs wrote in his resignation letter.

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Motorola Doesn't Just Do Android - It Can Also Make Google TV

Excerpted from Business Insider Report by Pascal-Emmanuel Gobry

The main story in Google buying Motorola is Android. Another big one is patents--Motorola actually invented the cellphone 30 years ago, as our friend Dan Frommer points out at SplatF.

But there's another titillating thing Google notes in the blog post explaining the move: "Motorola is also a market leader in the home devices and video solutions business."

That sounds like something that could help Google TV.

Google TV is Google's attempt to remake the TV and turn TVs into Internet devices (that way it can get a piece of the TV advertising market, which is still bigger than the Internet ad market).

The problem with Google TV, which has also frustrated Apple, is the go to market strategy. With a free, excellent OS, it's relatively easy for Google to get carriers and OEMs to buy into Android. And so consumers follow.

But where it comes to TV, most people have just one box under their TV. And that box comes from their cable company. And cable companies aren't going to buy into Google TV, because its goal is to disrupt them and turn them into a dumb pipe. So Google TV has been a flop.

If Motorola already makes a bunch of TV boxes and other home networking devices, that could be a way to get Google TV devices into people's homes.    yahoonews.com

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NEW YORK (AP) -- The weak economy is hitting Americans where they spend a lot of their free time: at the TV set.

They're canceling or forgoing cable and satellite TV subscriptions in record numbers, according to an analysis by The Associated Press of the companies' quarterly earnings reports.

The U.S. subscription-TV industry first showed a small net loss of subscribers a year ago. This year, that trickle has turned into a stream. The chief cause appears to be persistently high unemployment and a housing market that has many people living with their parents, reducing the need for a separate cable bill.

But it's also possible that people are canceling cable, or never signing up in the first place, because they're watching cheap Internet video. Such a threat has been hanging over the industry. If that's the case, viewers can expect more restrictions on online video, as TV companies and Hollywood studios try to make sure that they get paid for what they produce.              http://finance.yahoo.com

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Twentieth Century Fox International says it will stop shipping film prints to theaters in Hong Kong and Macau at the end of 2011. Starting next year, all Fox movies will be provided exclusively in digital cinema versions.  

By 2012, Fox expects more than 95 percent of theater screens in Hong Kong and Macau will be digital. "The entire Asia-Pacific region has been rapidly deploying digital cinema systems, and over the next two years we expect to be announcing additional markets where supply of 35mm will be phased out," said Fox International executive Sunder Kimatrai in a prepared statement. 

Obviously, the U.S. market is a long way from having 35mm film prints pulled from circulation entirely, but there should be little doubt that the day will eventually come when only certain specialty venues — maybe including old-school IMAX theaters — will still have the needed 35mm equipment up in the projection booth.                  foxnews.com
 

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Stations need to begin streaming their live signals, and to offer streams of past programs, before the future passes them by. The first steps are to fashion a business model and secure the necessary rights from broadcast networks. It's in the networks' interest to extend those rights to affiliates, which are still the strongest distribution platform around.

Streaming video is a big part of today’s television experience and it will only get bigger. It concerns me to see the streaming phenomenon grow without the full participation of TV stations. To be blunt, I worry that local stations could miss out on the future of television.

The broadcast networks have jumped on the streaming bandwagon with their own “.com” sites and through deals with Hulu, Netflix, Amazon and others. That is great, but what about their traditional station partners?  Some networks, like ABC, allow local stations to sell some of the ads in network streams to viewers in the station’s local market. And some stations stream their local news. Unfortunately, these laudable, but fragmented, streaming initiatives are not the same as streaming the station’s entire signal.   tvnewscheck.com

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Facebook's Future: Apps, Video Will Generate Billions

 
Facebook's Skype deal exemplifies new apps and strategic alliances aimed at using the social network to create a marketing and entertainment video-sharing economy worth billions. Much of what Facebook founder Mark Zuckerberg is doing and saying points to solving the expansive online video monetization challenge by logical progression rather than a leap of faith. Facebook's new visual calling and messaging service, through the already broad-based Skype, has implications beyond the obvious threat to wireless voice carriers, especially as premium paid functionality is added.

The move is a quiet disruptor that Innovator's Dilemma author Clayton Christensen says will contribute to the gradual upending of legacy business and thinking -- and help clear the way to new value creation.

The nascent use of video marketing, entertainment and communications on Facebook and elsewhere in the social-media universe is poised to explode.          mediapost.com  July 11

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Facebook's Skype deal exemplifies new apps and strategic alliances aimed at using the social network to create a marketing and entertainment video-sharing economy worth billions.

Much of what Facebook founder Mark Zuckerberg is doing and saying points to solving the expansive online video monetization challenge by logical progression rather than a leap of faith. Facebook's new visual calling and messaging service, through the already broad-based Skype, has implications beyond the obvious threat to wireless voice carriers, especially as premium paid functionality is added.

 

The move is a quiet disruptor that Innovator's Dilemma author Clayton Christensen says will contribute to the gradual upending of legacy business and thinking -- and help clear the way to new value creation.  The nascent use of video marketing, entertainment and communications on Facebook and elsewhere in the social-media universe is poised to explode.

 

In making the Skype announcement, Zuckerberg explained that while the last five years have focused on connecting people, the next five years will be about connecting apps -- more specifically, social apps being used to connect consumers with marketers' video pitches and companies' video content.

As two fertile areas for new revenues, Facebook could use its super-powered distribution platform to create a new dynamic for charging, discounting and providing credits for friends who are sharing marketing and entertainment videos.

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The age of the app is upon us, and it is creeping to the TV set. Even as we wait for Google TV and Apple TV finally to activate Android and iOS app on their respective devices, connected TV sets are picking up momentum and may be capturing viewers' hearts with their built-in apps. According to a new ethnographic study by Strategy Analytics of a dozen owners of connected TVs in the U.S. and UK, app love actually does creep up on you in the living room. None of the people studied in this intensive, in-home research had purchased their new TVs with app-capability in mind. Price, picture quality, screen size and technology all trumped apps as determining factors.               mediapost.com

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Media buyers and planners are embracing digital out-of-home video as a way to reach consumers who are increasingly on the go and less accessible via other, traditional media channels, according to a new study from eMarketer.

That translates into large projected increases in ad spending for the burgeoning new medium over the next couple of years.

The proportion of media planners who said they include digital out-of-home video in their marketing plans jumped from 65.3% in 2010 to 75.5% this year. That's on course to reach 86.3% in 2010, according to survey results from the Digital Place-based Advertising Association cited in the eMarketer study.

Most DO spending is still coming from the broader outdoor category, with 54.2% of respondents saying they shifted money from traditional out-of-home, but DO is making inroads on TV: 43.8% of the respondents said they are shifting spending from TV budgets, compared to 22.9% who said they shifted money from online budgets.

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More On The Success Conundrum At Netflix
by Sam Vasisht , Friday, July 15, 2011

Advertisement

I wrote about the dilemma of being Netflix in an earlier post; this is a sequel.

This week Netflix's announcement of pricing changes has created a stir in the industry.  Netflix issued a seemingly reasonable explanation for the increase.  That is what PR is for. 

However, one has to look at this move in the context of a simultaneously complicated playing field and dynamic industry environment within which Netflix is trying to both survive and shape the future.  In that sense, this price increase should not come as a surprise to anyone, other than those who think that everything on the Internet should be either free or subsidized.  At the end of the day, when most media (if not everything) moves to the Internet, expect more price parity between traditional pay TV services and emerging Internet video services than was typical before. 

 

Netflix is clearly taking a portfolio approach to managing its business.  The (mature) DVD-by-mail is the cash cow funding the (emerging) streaming business. It's not a stretch to see how a profitable, unique service (DVD-by-mail) with a limited future runway should be able to fund the nascent but promising streaming future of Netflix.  Within this pricing change is a tacit testament that the DVD-by-mail service still holds value for subscribers, and that they will not abandon the service en masse.  For one the streaming selection is dwarfed by what is available on DVD as well as the timing of available titles on DVD.  Secondly, if these users were price-sensitive, they would have switched to services like RedBox when the appeared (only the most heaviest user of Netflix makes out better price-wise than (s)he would with renting kiosk DVDs).  As I wrote in the earlier post, Netflix has no direct competitor for its DVD-by-mail service.  Not so for its streaming service, where substitutes and direct competitors abound.

I surmise that Netflix has assessed that the DVD-by-mail users are its least-price sensitive users, and are therefore going to be subsidizing its streaming service.  After all, increasing its streaming pricing is going to throw a big monkey wrench in its subscriber acquisition strategy as well as its competitive position in the streaming market. 

 

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Keeping with TV networks' efforts to spread around its content to different digital video distributors, CBS Corp. and Amazon.com today announced a non-exclusive licensing agreement.

The deal will allow Amazon Prime customers to stream an additional 2,000 episodes of CBS TV shows -- now totaling 8,000 TV episodes and movies. Terms of the CBS-Amazon deal were not disclosed.

Some 18 shows from CBS' library are part of the Amazon agreement. This includes: "The Tudors," which aired on Showtime; CBS' "Numb3rs" and "Medium"; the complete Star Trek franchise; and "Frasier" and "Cheers," both of which aired on NBC. 

In February, CBS also made similar library deal with Netflix under a two-year pact. Reports suggest that deal to be worth $200 million.

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Study: 30% Watch Videos On Emerging Devices

The preferred "can't-live-without" method to view videos and watch and search for entertainment remains for 68% of males ages 18-34, according to a recent Frank N. Magid Associates study sponsored by Metacafe.

Consumer behavior continues to integrate more video in everyday life. It turns out that 23% of survey respondents watch daily, up from 13% in 2010. Overall, 57% of Internet users watch online videos weekly, up from 50% last year.  Males ages 18 to 34 watch 7.8 hours of online video weekly, compared with 5.6 hours per week among all viewers ages 8 to 64. Many participants in the survey expect to watch 10% more online video within the next year.

Short-form video content gets the views. About 66% of online video viewers regularly watch premium short-form content, such as music videos, movies trailers and clips, TV previews and clips, sports highlights, video game content, comedy sketches and original Web series.

The percentage of online video viewers for each genre has remained the same since 2008, except for a few exceptions during the past few years. For example, consumer-generated videos uploaded to sites such as YouTube rose from 33% to 46%. Full-length TV rose from 25% to 30%. Full-length movies rose from 10% to 22%.                mediapost.com

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New York Times Co. posted a net loss of $120 million for the second quarter due to a non-cash write-down stemming from declining value of some of its smaller newspaper properties.

The digital business show momentum, with Times Co. reporting higher Internet ad revenues and significant increases in the number of people paying for access to the New York Times online. Nevertheless, weakness in print advertising persisted.

Print ad revenue at the company's newspapers, which include the New York Times and Boston Globe, declined 6.4% from the year-ago period. Digital ad revenues at the papers increased 15.5%. Executives said they ...                New York Times online report

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Cord-Cutting On Rise, 10% Of Homes By 2015

A new report estimates about 4.5 million, or 4%, of U.S. homes will have only over-the-top delivery of video service by the end of this year. That figure, according to SNL Kagan, is projected to rise to 12.1 million over the ensuing four years, which would be about 10% of homes.  They would rely on Netflix and Amazon for content.

Kagan says over-the-top consumers "impacted the subscriber counts for multichannel service providers in 2010." They are expected to "exert competitive pressure going forward."  Executives at cable providers say there is scant evidence of cord-cutting, and reductions in subscriber rolls are due more to factors such as the economy or slowed household formations.

In 2010, the second and third quarters marked the first declines in subscribers with a multichannel subscription, but the figure did increase for the full year.

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Some 5.3 billion video ads were viewed in June -- 15% more than in May which had 4.6 billion, per comScore Video Metrix.

Video online commercials reached 49.2% of the U.S. population in June, up from 45.4% in May. Total ad minutes climbed to 2.3 billion from 2.01 billion. Video ads per viewer rose to 38.8 from 33.7 a month before.

Looking at the video ad networks, Tremor Media Video Network was first with 753 million ads (and in second place overall to Hulu, which had 1 billion). Other video ad networks: BrightRoll Video Network had 629 million. Specific Media was at 422 million, Undertone was at 322 million, and SpotXchange video ad network was at 282 million.

Ad exchange Adap.tv bested all other exchanges at 678 million, according comScore. In terms of reach for the total U.S. population, Tremor Media was 44.3%, BrightRoll Video Network, 38.5% and Break Media, 37.6%.

Video ads surveyed include streaming-video advertising only and other types of video monetization such as overlays, branded players, matching banner ads, home page ads, etc.

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Google Launches Google+ To Battle Facebook 

Google has finally unveiled Google+, the company’s top secret social layer that turns all of the search engine into one giant social network.

Google+, which begins rolling out a very limited field test on Tuesday, is the culmination of a year-long project led by Vic Gundotra, Google’s senior vice president of social. The project, which has been delayed several times, constitutes Google’s answer to Facebook.

The search giant’s new social project will be omnipresent on its products, thanks to a complete redesign of the navigation bar. The familiar gray strip at the top of every Google page will turn black, and come with several new options for accessing your Google+ profile, viewing notifications and instantly sharing content. The notification system is similar to how Facebook handles notifications, complete with a red number that increases with each additional notice.          yahoo.com news

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More Than 500 Million Connected TVs Worldwide By 2015: Forecast

Category Unit Shipments to Exceed 138 Million Units in 2015, According to DisplaySearch

Television manufacturers will ship 138 million connected TV units worldwide in 2015 -- with more than half-billion connected TVs having shipped by then -- up from about 60 million in 2011, according to an updated forecast from research firm DisplaySearch.

This year, more than 25% of all flat-panel TVs shipped are expected to have some form of Internet connectivity, growing to 47% of all flat-panel TVs shipped in 2015, DisplaySearch said.

In 2015, 35% of 46-inch or larger TVs in North America will be "smart TVs," according to the research firm. DisplaySearch defines "smart TVs" as being able to: retrieve content from the Internet independently of a portal; provide intelligent search and recommendations; let users upgrade them; and network seamlessly with other devices in the home.

An increasing number of connected TVs will include wireless support to be able to deliver content to devices such as smartphones and tablets in the home. According to DisplaySearch's forecast, more than 98 million TV sets with 802.11 wireless networking built-in will ship in 2015.

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Cisco: Video to Exceed 50 Percent of Consumer Internet Traffic by 2012

06.02.2011 

Video of all types will comprise more than half of all data sent over the consumer Internet by the end of 2012, according to Cisco, which made this and other predictions in its annual Visual Networking Index forecast. Overall annual global Internet traffic will reach the zettabyte threshold by the end of 2015 (a zettabyte is a unit of information or computer storage equal to one sextillion—1 followed by 21 zeros).

In 2010, Internet video surpassed P2P as the largest source of Internet video traffic at 40 percent, and will reach 62 percent by the end of 2012. The sum of all types of video, including TV, VOD, streaming and P2P will continue to be approximately 90 percent of global consumer traffic by 2015. By then, it’s expected that 1 million video minutes—the equivalent of 674 days—will traverse the Internet every second.

Internet video to TV (so called “over the top”) will increase 17-fold by 2015 and will comprise over 16 percent of consumer Internet video traffic by 2015, according to the report. VOD traffic by then will be equivalent to 3 billion DVDs per month. Currently much of this comes from Netflix’ streaming service, which, according to a recent report, represents nearly one third of all Internet download traffic. HD video on demand will surpass standard definition by the end of 2011 and by 2015, HD video will comprise 77 percent of VOD. 

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Half of TVs to Have Internet Connectivity by 2015

About 47 percent of total flat-panel televisions shipped in four years will have Internet connectivity, as manufacturers bet on the expansion of Netflix and direct-to-consumer offerings from content producers like Time Warner’s HBO.

This figure, about 138 million units, is up from 25 percent of flat panels with WiFi capability shipped this year, according to a quarterly report by DisplaySearch, a unit of research firm NPD group. By the end of 2015, more than 500 million connected TVs will be shipped, according to DisplaySearch.

It may be no coincidence then that Netflix jumped to an all-time high on Tuesday, the same day as the release of this report. Investors also seemed to cheer the announcement from the leader in Internet streaming that it would be expanding into Latin America. The company had previous success with its first international move into Canada.

“The adoption of connected TV is not just taking place in developed regions,” said Paul Gray, DisplaySearch director of TV electronics research, in the report. “Emerging markets often have good broadband services, and there is a thirst from consumers to get the best content available.”

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Internet-Connect TV Soars, Clicks With Mainstream Audience

Internet-connected television sets have been growing fast, and by the end of the year -- for the first time -- there will be more connected TVs than video game consoles.   By the end of 2011, some 52 million connected TV sets will be sold globally -- from Samsung, LG and Sony versus 37 game consoles in the market from Microsoft, Nintendo and Sony --Xbox, PlayStation and Wii respectively. This is according to U.K.-base Informa Telecoms & Media.

"Until now, many online video services were launched primarily with the game console in mind, mainly because console users innately understand how to connect these devices and demand interactive video services from them," stated Andrew Ladbrook, analyst at Informa Telecoms & Media.  He said this trend is changing as "connected TVs bring these services to a mainstream audience."

Informa projects that in five years -- 2016 -- there will be 1.8 billion in-home video devices -- including tablets -- that will be sold, an 800% increase. That means 70% of all in-home video devices sold will be able to connect to the Internet. But connected TVs might have to undergo a change by then. Informa says new TV set makers will need to build and support platforms that works across both the latest and legacy video devices.           mediapost.com

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Internet Usage, Video Streams Soar

From home and work computers, Google remained the most-visited site in the U.S. in April, with 150 million unique visitors. While 194.8 million Americans went online in April, overall Internet use was down 2.4% from March.

Still, YouTube increased U.S. visitors month-over-month, with average visitors spending 2.9% more time on the video hub in April. The site hit an all-time high that month, as their U.S. viewers consumed 8.7 billion streams: up 7% month-over-month.

Yet despite the slight monthly decline in time spent, Nielsen estimates that Internet access at home and work grew to 244 million individuals in the U.S. in April. Wikipedia managed to leapfrog over Apple to become the eighth-most-visited site in April -- even with questions about the dedication of its contributors.

In addition, Americans streamed 14.7 billion videos in April -- the most streams ever in a month, according to Nielsen. While the number of videos streamed increased, however, total viewing time actually decreased during the period. There were 141.4 million unique U.S. video viewers who spent an average of 4 hours, 31 minutes viewing video over the course of the month, per Nielsen.

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NEW YORK -(Dow Jones)- Time Warner Cable Inc. (TWC) Chief Executive Glenn Britt said Wednesday his company has an opportunity to win more broadband-only customers as broadband replaces TV as the cable industry's anchor product.  At an investor conference in New York City hosted by Sanford C. Bernstein, Britt said Time Warner Cable has been largely focused on selling its "triple-play" bundle, which includes broadband, TV and phone service.

Now, he intends to shift focus to better exploit an opportunity to sell more "single-play" broadband to people who may get video service from a satellite operator or another alternative.  "Broadband is becoming more and more central to people's lives," said Britt. "It has become our primary product. People are telling us that if they were down to their last dollar, they'd drop broadband last."

The comments came as the cable industry continues to grow its broadband subscriber base and gain share in the Internet-access market, while it loses video subscribers to satellite and telecommunications rivals. Economic weakness is also leading lower-income consumers to drop pay-TV service as the price climbs, and the rise of web video has also led to concerns that consumers will drop traditional pay-TV subscriptions in favor of online alternatives.

"We've become less of a TV company than we were previously," said Britt, adding that the company's focus has shifted more toward its role as a provider of infrastructure for the delivery of media.   June 2011  mediapost.com

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The Evolution Of Distribution 
by Chris Young , Thursday, June 2, 2011

 

Once upon a time, television studio executives negotiated with one network to air the first run of their programming. If the show was a success, then the studios would eventually sit down with other distributors for syndication deals. Rinse, repeat, and everyone lived happily ever after.

Oh, how times have changed.

Today, content production houses must take into account streaming deals, VOD deals and other marketing and logistical considerations when looking to launch any form of original programming. And it is just the beginning. All signs point to the explosive growth of the online video world reaching even greater heights. Research released by Singapore-based ABI Research suggests that by 2016 worldwide online viewership will reach over 1.3 billion people.

In a post over at his Forbes blog, Energy Intelligence, Mark P. Mills argues that we're at a point where content and the means by which it is distributed will change forever. "We've just started the biggest physical expansion of the content delivery system in the history of the human race," he says. But how will it change? Say goodbye to an old friend - the couch potato.

Content creators today sit on the verge of an era in which the couch potato no longer just sits on his or her La-Z-Boy and takes in an episode of their favorite program - they'll start watching at home and continue viewing while in transit, while waiting at the doctor's office or during one of the hundreds of other scenarios in which your eyeballs may turn to a tablet or mobile device. You need to be able to provide your users with content that they consume in a manner that appeals to them the most and sometimes that means letting them start and finish viewing content in two different places.

Going forward, viewers will need to be provided compelling content wherever their eyeballs may take them. By having a delivery system in place that satiates a viewer's appetite, you're taking significant steps towards guaranteeing that they'll receive far more value from the original programming. In doing so, you create what we like to refer to as the satellite effect: your ancillary content hubs will drive traffic back to your main venue for distribution. This serves two purposes: it drives traffic to and from your primary viewing hub; and from a monetization standpoint, provides potential advertisers with additional opportunities to attach themselves to your brand.

I've said it before, and I'll say it again. In today's emerging content production and distribution market, it's critical to be everywhere your consumers find themselves -remaining top of mind with potential viewers is more important than ever before.    videoinsider.com

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Black, White and Red All Over: Newspaper Ads Dive

The first quarter of 2011 brought no relief for the newspaper industry, which suffered another round of declines in print advertising revenues.  The first-quarter results from the Newspaper Association of America stand out against a general recovery in ad spending for other media, and suggest that newspaper print ad revenues are locked into a permanent, long-term decline.

Total print advertising revenues fell 9.5% from $5.25 billion in the first quarter of 2010 to $4.75 billion in the first quarter of 2011, according to the NAA -- the lowest first-quarter revenue figure since 1983.  Those stats are down 55% from 2006, when total first-quarter print revenues came to $10.5 billion. This marks the 20th straight quarter of year-over-year print revenue declines.

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Study: Online Video Ads Beat TV Ads In Viewer Recall

Viewers pay more attention to online video ads than to traditional TV commercials and also recall them better, according to new research that utilized Affectiva's facial tracking algorithms and second-by-second biometric modeling of cognition, excitement and stress levels.

The research measured the reactions of 48 viewers watching one hour of programming in Interpublic Group's West Coast IPG Media Lab.  Conducted by the Media Lab during March in conjunction with video ad network YuMe, the study determined that on average, online viewers pay more attention to the screen than do traditional TV viewers -- and the greater attention levels carry over to advertising.

Online video ads received 18.3% more viewer attention in the study than TV commercials -- a much higher disparity than the 8.5% greater viewer attention garnered by online video content over TV content.

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Connected TVs seen as change agent for CE makers
With the number of Web-connected TVs expected to grow significantly in the next few years, experts in the field already are looking at how the devices will alter the TV industry. One development, according to this report, is that smart TVs will change the playing field for CE manufacturers, which will be able to strike content deals with cable TV companies and over-the-top providers.

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Net Broadband Subscribers Continue to Grow

 
In a new release from the Leichtman Research Group, the nineteen largest cable and telephone providers in the US, representing about 93% of the market, acquired nearly 1.3 million net additional high-speed Internet subscribers in the first quarter of 2011.  These top broadband providers now account for 76.6 million subscribers, with cable companies having 42.6 million broadband subscribers, and telephone companies having almost 34 million subscribers.

Other broadband findings for the quarter include:

  • Overall, broadband additions in 1Q 2011 amounted to 90% of those in 1Q 2010, with cable having 91% as many additions as a year ago, and Telcos 87% as many additions as a year ago
  • The top cable companies added over 850,000 subscribers, representing 67% of the net broadband additions for the quarter versus the top telephone companies
  • Comcast added 418,000 broadband subscribers in 1Q 2011, the most in any quarter since 1Q 2008
  • The top cable broadband providers have a 56% share of the overall market, with over 8.6 million more subscribers than the top telephone companies, compared to 7.4 million a year ago

 

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Viewers pay more attention to online video ads than to traditional TV commercials and also recall them better, according to new research that utilized Affectiva's facial tracking algorithms and second-by-second biometric modeling of cognition, excitement and stress levels.  The research measured the reactions of 48 viewers watching one hour of programming in Interpublic Group's West Coast IPG Media Lab.

Conducted by the Media Lab during March in conjunction with video ad network YuMe, the study determined that on average, online viewers pay more attention to the screen than do traditional TV viewers -- and the greater attention levels carry over to advertising.Online video ads received 18.3% more viewer attention in the study than TV commercials -- a much higher disparity than the 8.5% greater viewer attention garnered by online video content over TV content.

This was largely due to the finding that when transitioning from program content to ads, the attention of TV viewers dropped off three times faster than that of online viewers.     mediapost.com

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For Microsoft, Skype Opens Vast New Market in Telecom

By buying Skype, Microsoft would immediately become a leader in online voice and video calls.

In agreeing Tuesday to pay $8.5 billion to buy Skype, the pioneer in Internet phone calls, Microsoft is embracing a technology that is transforming the way people communicate at home and at work. And by stitching Skype technology into Microsoft products, used by hundreds of millions of people, the software giant could hasten the mainstream adoption of video communications, especially in businesses.

The Microsoft-Skype deal, analysts suggest, also points to a rising wave of digital disruption in the telecommunications industry, as low-cost Internet-based communications put pressure on traditional carriers, especially their landline phone service. Says Mark R. Anderson, chief executive of the Strategic News Service, a technology newsletter, “The computer guys are going to teach the telecom carriers about the future of communications.”

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Time Warner Boosts VOD, Banks On BlackArrow

Time Warner Cable, which is interested in boosting ad revenues for its video-on-demand offerings, has made an investment in BlackArrow, a firm that powers dynamic ad insertion in VOD.  With the investment, Joan Gillman, Time Warner Cable president, media sales, will join BlackArrow's board of directors.

Other investors include Comcast Interactive Capital, Intel Capital and Motorola Mobility. The Time Warner Cable investment completes a funding round that has raised up to $27 million.     mediaone.com

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Given a choice, the largest marketers want to spend a lot more money online and around video than they currently do, Still, all factors being equal, they would choose to advertise alongside content from Traditional Media Companies (TMCs) -- not just networks (NBC, FOX, ABC and CBS) -- but cable companies too (ESPN, VH1, etc) -- content creators that I've long categorized as "super premium" content providers. These companies happen to fear the cannibalization of offline revenues, the proverbial trading of analog dollars for online change, be it pennies, nickels, dimes or quarters (in every sense of the word, there is a wide chasm between a quarter and a dollar, I guess)

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DirecTV started up its controversial "premium VOD" film service on April 21 with a marketing campaign for Sony Pictures Entertainment's "Just Go With It."

The plan, with the backing of four studios -- Sony, Warner, Fox and Universal -- is to release movies 60 days after their theatrical debut. It would cost consumers $29.99, significantly more than the current price tag for DVD rentals or video on demand, which start up 120 days after theatrical release, with a price tag of around $4.

Under its "Home Premiere" service, the new campaign theme line: "From the Big Screen to Your Screen. First." Messaging is airing on DirecTV's site.

The new plan has received a massive outcry from the National Association of Theater Owners, given that it would overlap the distribution of movies to theaters where typical distribution deals are for 120 days. Some theater owners have threatened to potentially cut back on in-theater trailers from some films and studios.

Analysts feel the revolutionary move could dramatically upset studio-theater owner business relations.

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Given a choice, the largest marketers want to spend a lot more money online and around video than they currently do, Still, all factors being equal, they would choose to advertise alongside content from Traditional Media Companies (TMCs) -- not just networks (NBC, FOX, ABC and CBS) -- but cable companies too (ESPN, VH1, etc) -- content creators that I've long categorized as "super premium" content providers. These companies happen to fear the cannibalization of offline revenues, the proverbial trading of analog dollars for online change, be it pennies, nickels, dimes or quarters (in every sense of the word, there is a wide chasm between a quarter and a dollar, I guess). 

Balancing Reach with Quality

But of course, marketers don't only want quality, they also seek reach.  To reach scale, marketers have stratified ad buying since the advent of the World Wide Web.     yahoonews.com

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Fast forward: the DVR is still a threat to marketers, but cord-cutting and Netflix subscriptions seem to have eclipsed it. Yet, even with the boom in social media, TV is apparently roaring, at least according to one analyst’s report Tuesday forecasting a healthy upfront market.

One reason: a certain synergy has developed, where TV brand-building is driving Internet deep-diving. The dynamic has an element of direct response to it, with advertisers eager to drive people to the Web to make a purchase, get more information about a product, watch an added video, or become a Facebook friend and, if exceedingly lucky, become a brand evangelist.

Chris Geraci, a managing director at OMD, noted Wednesday how the link is propelling TV spending --  which was hard to forecast during the second Bush administration. 

“I don think back then any of us really envisioned  this reciprocal relationship that’s going on right now, where television is actually better because of the Internet," he said. "Not just online viewing -- that ability to get more information and get more involved in what you’re seeing.”            the tech news  April 2011

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Yahoo has acquired the fledgling IntoNow, a company with a mobile platform that functions much like interactive TV. IntoNow, which went live in January, recently inked its first advertising deal with Pepsi.

IntoNow has built a database that allows users to point an Apple mobile device -- an iPhone, iTouch or iPad -- at a TV screen and use the app to relay information about what they are watching to a Facebook page or Twitter feed. The system recognizes five years' worth of episodes across 130 networks.

The system -- based on audio signals -- also can be set up to recognize particular ads, which is powering the Pepsi deal. There, users that point when watching a particular Major League Baseball-themed spot can have a barcode beamed back to their devices. They can take it to a retailer and get a free Pepsi Max bottle.

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“I don think back then any of us really envisioned  this reciprocal relationship that’s going on right now, where television is actually better because of the Internet," he said. "Not just online viewing -- that ability to get more information and get more involved in what you’re seeing.” 

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Advertising-dependent television may have dodged one bullet this year only to be crippled later by an intensifying barrage of economic and tech threats that will alter its fragile status quo.  Just this week, the Internet Advertising Bureau confirmed that $26.4 billion in Internet media spending in 2010 handily beat $22.8 billion in newspapers. It's just a matter of time before it matches TV's dominant $28.6 billion in revenues last year, $16 billion of which is from broadcast and the remainder from cable.

 

After all, the online ad market grew 15% during the heart of the recession from 2009 to 2010. Why wouldn't it pick up more steam with increased consumer and enterprise digital adoption? Nascent mobile advertising has nowhere to go but up.

 

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Arbitron/Edison say smartphones, social media, online radio among factors behind 20% increase in audio and video consumption 

- Mike Shields

Rather than killing traditional media, the preponderance of digital media and Web-connected devices has only spurred America’s media addiction, as the average person now squeezes media into seemingly every free moment of their lives.

At least that’s according to a recent study conducted by Arbitron and Edison Research, which found that Americans are spending close to 20 percent more time consuming both the Internet as well as not-quite-dead-yet broadcast media like radio and TV, than they were 10 years ago. Amazingly, per the report—The Infinite Dial 2011: Navigating Digital Platforms—Americans are spending an hour and 21 minutes more time per day with media than in 2001. 

Obviously the rise of the Internet and the fact that 51 percent of households now have two computers (versus just 24 percent in 2002) has a lot to do with that increase. But The New York Times notes that the explosion in smartphones over the past few years, buoyed by Apple’s iPhone, is expanding the average person’s engaged-with-some-sort-of-screen time, as every moment spent waiting in line, riding on a plane, or taking the train to work can be better endured nowadays with media. 

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Supplanting search engines and other traffic drivers, social networks are sending an increasing share of readers to Web publishers.  

During the first quarter of the year, Facebook and smaller social players drove 11% of all external referrals -- compared to the 41% sent by search engines -- according to new research by recommendation engine Outbrain.

Not too shabby, considering that "most of the traffic sources we identify as 'social' have existed in a meaningful way for less than five years," says David Sasson, Outbrain COO.

Of the six content verticals examined, stories in the news, entertainment and lifestyle categories were the most likely to receive traffic from social sources.

"We assume that since these categories are heavily influenced by breaking news or what is happening in the zeitgeist, they are more likely to be shared among people's social circle," Sasson said.

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Major growth of U.S. online television has pushed the business to $1.6 billion in all revenue in 2010.

The online revenue rise -- a strong 34.2% gain over 2009 -- came from both advertising and consumer fee revenues, according to IHS Screen Digest. One highlight of this growth was in advertising sales, which climbed 64.7% to reach $719 million in 2010, up from $436.8 million in 2009. Other surveys note that all U.S. digital video advertising was over the $1 billion mark for 2010.

Still, the analyst says the big TV networks are moving slowly.

IHS Screen Digest notes that Hulu -- a partnership that includes three of the four big TV networks, Comcast's NBC, News Corp's Fox, and Walt Disney's ABC -- doubled its advertising revenue growth in 2010 to $200 million.

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OMG: ABC Kills 'All My Children' and 'One Life to Live.' Check Out What the Replacements Will BeTVWeek

ABC has announced that it is killing two of the most famous, longest-running shows on TV--the daytime soap operas "All My Children" and "One Life to Live." The shows will have their final episodes in September and next January, respectively.

In their place ABC will launch two new shows.

One is "The Chew," which will "focus on food from every angle--as a source of joy, health, family ritual, friendship, breaking news, dating, fitness, weight loss, travel adventures and life's moments," the network said in a statement. "The Chew" will premiere in September.

The other new show will be "The Revolution," which ABC says is a working title. This program will be "about health and lifestyle transformations," the statement said, adding that the program will be "hosted by a team of experts and rotating guest contributors who help viewers transform all areas of their lives."           tvweek.com  April

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Theater owners fuming over studios' VOD plan

LAS VEGAS (Hollywood Reporter) – Feeling blindsided, theater owners were furious Thursday that four Hollywood studios didn't brief them on plans to launch a new premium video-on-demand (VOD) service on DirecTV late next month, followed swiftly by Comcast and VUDU.

Exhibitors could respond by changing how they book films and play trailers.

Adding to their ire, word of the service broke just as exhibitors and studios were together in Las Vegas for CinemaCon, the annual convention of theater owners. Throughout Caesars Palace, home of the show, meetings between distributors and exhibitors ended abruptly as theater owners scrambled to make sense of the news.

Warner Bros., Fox, Sony and Universal are all on board, according to insiders. The movies will be available 60 days after their release in theaters for $29.99. Fox Searchlight titles will be offered 60 days from the date that they go wide.

Theater owners say the shortening of the theatrical window could damage their business. Today, the average window is 120 days, although exhibitors have been amenable to a 90-day window in some cases.       YAHOO NEWS  March 2011

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Longer-form digital entertainment content destinations continue to gain popularity among U.S. TV viewers.

In March, Netflix remained the biggest digital platform when it comes to the most time spent per viewer, coming in at just under 10 hours a month. Netflix was up 6.6% in March over February, to 9 hours and 53 minutes -- much of this coming from its longer movie content.

Tudou.com, a big China-based video site that is similar to YouTube but offers far more full-length movie and TV content, picked up 4.5% month to month to 8 hours and 30 minutes. U.S.-based premium TV content site, Hulu, which runs full-length TV episodes, now averages 5 hours and 13 minutes a month, a 3.3% improvement.

Broadcast TV network The CW witnessed its CWTV digital area drop 16.4% to 2 hours and 58 minutes. The CW typically gains or loses because it can be in heavy rerun mode, versus the big four broadcast networks, which tend to run more original TV episodes.

YouTube, still the biggest video destination by far in terms of uniques and total video streams, sits in sixth place when it comes to time per viewer, now at 2 hours and 17 minutes -- a 5.2% hike. Shorter user-generated videos are being complemented with longer videos, including some full-length TV episodes.          mediapost.com

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VideoNuze has learned that Netflix has struck a deal to acquire HBO from Time Warner and intends to dissolve HBO's linear cable channels, with its programs to be incorporated into Netflix's streaming library, available solely on the iPad. Terms of the deal are not yet known, but it is expected to be for stock only, with Time Warner becoming the biggest shareholder in Netflix. VideoNuze interviewed all the key participants late last night.

From Netflix's standpoint, gaining access to HBO's massive library of popular original shows is an enormous coup, and is sure to accelerate its subscriber growth. The dissolution of HBO's popular cable channels however seems to fly in the face of conventional wisdom, given the billions of dollars the channels generate in annual fees. 

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The cellphone has been more than a cellphone for years, but soon it could take on an entirely new role — standing in for all of the credit and debit cards crammed into wallets.  Instead of swiping a plastic card at the checkout counter, consumers would merely wave their phones.

There’s just one hitch: While the technology is already being installed in millions of phones — and is used overseas — wide adoption of the so-called mobile wallets is being slowed by a major behind-the-scenes battle among corporate giants.

Mobile phone carriers, banks, credit card issuers, payment networks and technology companies are all vying to control these wallets. But first, they need to sort out what role each will play and how each will get paid.

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Web Shows Get Ambitious

Tech, Media Companies Race to Create Video Hits That Look, Feel More Like TV

Technology and media companies are racing to create Internet-video hits closer to the scale of traditional TV, as consumers start to watch more video on Internet-connected televisions and tablet computers.

Netflix Inc. on Friday made the most expensive entry in the gold rush, saying it had cut a deal to produce a new drama starring Oscar winner Kevin Spacey on its Internet service. But companies like Yahoo Inc., AOL Inc. and Hulu LLC are also ramping up their efforts to secure original Web productions, investing more dollars in Web shows.

Hulu, an Internet venture focused on distributing traditional TV shows, ...



 

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Mobile cloud-based music streaming services to become mainstream by 2016, says ABI Research

 

3/20/2011 9:51 AM EDT

Mass consumption of recorded music continues to evolve, as ownership continues to diminish in importance. A new study from ABI Research forecasts that by 2016 streaming (cloud-based) services will become a more important form of access to music than owning albums, songs or tracks. This shift will primarily be driven by the growing use of mobile handsets, especially smartphones, as listening devices.

"The number of subscribers to mobile music streaming services is expected to approach 5.9 million by the end of this year," says industry analyst Aapo Markkanen. "ABI Research believes that number will exceed 161 million subscribers in 2016, meaning a compound annual growth rate of nearly 95%. Sometime in 2012 the Asia-Pacific area will become the largest regional market for mobile music streaming."

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Digital advertising will push local media advertising to double in five years' time to some $42.5 billion. 

BIA/Kelsey says that means a 14.4% compounded growth rate every year until 2015. At the end of 2010, the media research company said local media was at $21.7 billion.

One major reason is digital advertising -- which will represent 23.6% of all local advertising, or around $10 billion.

BIA/Kelsey says all this growth coincides with anticipated improvement in the U.S. economy, which includes a continued rise in overall local advertising. U.S. advertising will see a 2.1% compounded growth through the next five years, reaching $153.5 billion in 2015 -- up from $136.3 billion at the end of last year.

Also, consumer marketing "deal-of-the-day" deals through social sites -- Facebook and Twitter -- will contribute to a rapid digital advertising rise, climbing to some $3.9 billion by 2015.  mediapost.com  March 2011

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The comScore 2010 U.S. Digital Year in review finds that the average number of people in our market who watched video online each day skyrocketed 32% to 88.6 million between December 2009 and December 2010. All other key metrics grew as well: number of viewing sessions per person (+13%), hours spent (+12% or 14 hours in December 2010), and number of streams per person (+8%).

Time-shifted TV viewing online continues to be a key driver of these metrics, with both Hulu and individual on-air brands being the main beneficiaries. ComScore finds that in the last quarter of 2010 Hulu accounted for 323 million hours of viewing (+17%, year-over-year) while the combined viewing at the major network sites (ABC, CBS, NBC, Fox, CW) attracted about half of that (162 million hours). But it was the rate of growth among the indivi dual networks that proves most interesting. Direct viewing of TV from the TV brands' own sites had increased at a much higher rate than Hulu, up 82%. In other words, the networks are succeeding in pulling viewers over to their online hubs.   mediapost.com

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Broadcast ratings erosion continues to tug at the big networks -- down double-digit percentages, while cable networks are up slightly -- through roughly three-quarters of the 2010-2011 TV season.

Fox is again the leader among the big four broadcast networks in the key 18-49 audience -- making a rapid improvement from its disastrous start in the fall, when it was down double-digit percentages versus a year ago.

This data comes from Turner Research via Nielsen, looking at the broadest measure of TV viewing -- live program plus seven days of time-shifted viewing -- from September 20, 2010 through March 20, 2011.

The top-rated original cable series in the first quarter: MTV's "Jersey Shore," at 9.04 million viewers; followed by History's "Pawn Stars," at 7.62 million; History's "American Pickers," at 6.52 million; USA Network's "Royal Pains," with 5.47 million; BET's "The Game," at 5.31 million; and USA's "White Collar," with 4.88 million.

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Barry Diller Says Internet TV Will Transform TV Biz 

Diller said the Internet still has enormous potential to transform the distribution chain in the media and entertainment business, including the TV business. He said emerging online video services such as Google TV could bring about the end of the pay-TV industry's ability to bundle channels together, allowing consumers to access just the content they want.

"The Internet's ability to put you, without any filter, straight to the consumer, is going to have a huge effect on video producers," said Diller. "The 'a la carting of life' becomes possible for the first time once you have a screen of sufficient size that connects you to this world of possibilities that is the Internet."    WallStreetJournal.com

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