The common statistic was that last year, 1 out of 8 people
married someone they met online.
DENVER (Billboard) - In the two months since MTV Networks and
Harmonix released the music-based videogame "Rock Band," players
have purchased and downloaded more than 2.5 million additional
songs made available after the game's initial distribution.
Activision, meanwhile, said it has sold more than 5
million new songs via download for "Guitar
Hero III: Legends of Rock" since it began adding
downloadable content in early November.
By comparison, it took wireless operator Sprint four months
to sell 1 million songs on its over-the-air full-song download
service. While new digital music services competing with
iTunes and free peer-to-peer services have struggled to
convince music fans to pay $1 for a single, downloadable tracks
for games like "Rock Band" and "Guitar
Hero" are flying off the digital shelves.
Wal-Mart Ends Its Online Video
Download Service Dec
31, 2007 8:00 AM ETLESS THAN A YEAR SINCE
its launch, Wal-Mart has scrapped its online video download
service. In February, Wal-Mart became the first major retailer
to align with the major Hollywood movie studios and TV networks
to offer consumers downloads the same day that titles were
released on DVD.
Its online video venture was expected by
some to popularize video downloading among the mainstream. The
decision to end its downloading operation resulted from
Hewlett-Packard discontinuing the technology that powered the
Wal-Mart will continue to offer physical
DVDs for sale at its stores and online. Videos purchased on
Walmart.com can be played using the Microsoft Windows Media
Player or the Wal-Mart Video Download Manager, but cannot be
transferred to other computers.
In another blow to Wal-Mart, News Corp.'s
Twentieth Century Fox last week reportedly reached a deal with
Apple to offer the first movies for rental at the iTunes store.
Consumers Who Watch TV Online More
Engaged Than TV-Set Watchers, Simmons Finds
by Mark Walsh, Monday, Dec 24, 2007 7:00 AM ET
CONSUMERS ARE 47% MORE ENGAGED in ads that run with
television programs that they view online than those watched on
a TV set, according to new research findings. A cross-media
study by Simmons, a unit of Experian Research Services, also
found that viewers are 25% more engaged in the content of TV
shows that they watch online than on a TV.
The study defines "engagement" according
to six characteristics that respondents identify with media:
"inspirational," "trustworthy," "life-enhancing," "social
interaction," "personal time-out" and ad receptivity.
Survey participants were asked, for
instance, to rate TV shows, magazines and Web sites based on how
"inspiring" they were or how much they provided fodder for
conversation. Ad "receptivity" was gauged on how willing people
were to view or read advertising in a given medium because of
John Fetto, product manager for Experian
Research Services, said that the research suggests that TV ads
online are especially effective at reaching consumers.
Among Teens, a Content Creation Revolution
San Francisco Chronicle
Social networking sites are inciting more teens to create
content online. According to the Pew Internet & American Life
Project, nearly two-thirds of online teens have created
something, from personal Web pages to online videos. The study
credits social networks like
Facebook with furthering the trend. More than half of the
survey's respondents said they have a social networking profile.
Other results: 39 percent of online teens said they've shared
content, up from 33 in 2004. Almost 30 percent have their own
online journal or blog, up from 19 percent in 2004, and a
whopping 26 percent have remixed content through mashups, up
from 19 percent.
"Social networking is this fabulous opportunity to share
content," said Amanda Lenhart, who co-authored the report.
"You're not just posting it in a vacuum. You're also getting
feedback from people." Fred Stuzman, co-founder of
added, "there's going to come a day when most teens have
information online, and it's not a bad thing. It's the norm.
Continues Content Push in '08
MySpace is sitting pretty at the top of the
social-networking pile. It has more than twice the traffic of
Facebook and has improved revenue by 10 times since
News Corp. purchased it for $650 million in 2005. In
MySpace will do nearly that much in ad revenue this year,
expecting $525 million worth of sales, which represents about
58% of the social-networking industry's total, according to
Facebook, meanwhile, is expected to make $30 million on
revenue of $140 million, according to
Bear Stearns analyst Robert Peck.
MySpace, with more than 120 million users worldwide, will
turn four this year. The company's next challenge is to get its
monthly user base--around 60 million--to spend more time there.
As a result,
MySpace is turning into more of a content provider,
offering everything from music to professionally produced
videos. Next year, the company plans to offer members the chance
to create multiple profiles tailored to different groups of
people: family, friends, work, etc.
Other new services include a gaming section, Internet calling
through a new partnership with Skype, and Transmissions, a new
program that lets musicians showcase and then sell music videos.
Its membership with
Google's OpenSocial should help the company's
relationship with third-party developers, whose programs the
company once tried to purge from the site.
Microsoft Co-founder Challenges For FCC Spectrum
Wall Street Journal
Microsoft co-founder Paul Allen is one of many competitors
Google faces in its quest to win a portion of the 700 MHz
spectrum that goes up for auction next month. His holding firm,
Vulcan Spectrum LLC, stated its intention to bid at the Jan. 24
auction in a filing with the
Federal Communications Commission last week. Vulcan
already owns twenty-four 700 MHz licenses acquired through an
FCC auction in 2003; these are based entirely in
Oregon. The question now is what Allen plans to do with
his spectrum holdings.
Analyst Tim Sanders believes Vulcan is holding onto the airwaves
for cable operator
Charter Communications, another company in which Allen
has a controlling stake. He says Vulcan, a private holding
company, would save Charter money on taxes and reduce the amount
of public information about what it plans to do with the
spectrum. "There are tons of spectrum in the U.S. just sitting
there waiting for somebody to do something with it," Sanders
The Wall Street Journal. "In the cellular
frequencies, it is very well utilized and nearing capacity, but
in other spectrum ranges it is barely deployed."
This raises the prospect of video broadcasting--an area into
which telecom giant
Qualcomm, another bidder in the upcoming auction, is
devoting considerable resources. Or, the Journal says,
Vulcan could simply be hoarding away spectrum with the hope of
selling it for a profit
Microsoft, Viacom Forge $500M Ad
Thursday, Dec 20, 2007 7:00 AM ET
MAKING FURTHER INROADS AGAINST INTERNET rivals Google and
Yahoo, Microsoft Corp. has entered into a broad advertising
agreement with Viacom valued at $500 million over five years.
Under the deal, Viacom will license TV and movie content to
Microsoft--while the software giant will serve display ads on
Viacom's entertainment sites including MTV.com via its Atlas
advertising platform. Microsoft also gains the exclusive right
to handle Viacom's remnant display ad inventory.
The wide-ranging alliance will allow
Microsoft to use content from MTV and BET shows and Paramount
Pictures films in properties such as MSN.com and the Xbox 360
game system. Viacom will also work with Microsoft to develop
downloadable casual games on MSN and Windows.
Will Move Online
The Hollywood union strike between the Writers Guild of America
and the Alliance of Motion Picture and Television Producers is
turning into an all-out war. Last week, the WGA made more
threatening demands, but the Alliance refused to budge, choosing
instead to reply with rhetoric aimed at turning rank-and-file
writers against the union's "power-hungry" leaders. With the
strike now in its second month, the talks--which involve writer
compensation for new media revenues, among other things--don't
look any closer to a resolution. Which is fine, says Patric
Verrone, president of the WGA West, because the stalemate is
only creating "entrepreneurial possibilities for the talent
community to go directly into production and distribution." Who
needs big media nowadays? Production costs are low, and the
Internet provides ready access to a massive audience, right?
"With every day that goes by, our members are exploring Internet
TV," Verrone warned the Alliance. "The ability to explore this
business without media conglomerates is becoming a real
Following up on a recent Research Brief on the trust placed in
word of mouth marketing, a timely release from Nielsen Online
provides October's top U.S. social networking sites and blogs,
which shows that
MySpace.com had 49.5 million unique visitors in
October 2007, growing 19 percent over October 2006.
Top 10 Social
Networking Sites for October 2007(U.S.,
Home and Work)
Google to tackle Wikipedia with new
Google is to go head-to-head with Wikipedia, the web’s largest
reference work, in a clash of two of the internet’s most powerful
A new Google service, dubbed knol, will invite “people who know a
particular subject to write an authoritative article about it”, Udi
Manber, a Google engineer, said.
Like Wikipedia, articles in knol (the name derives from “knowledge”)
will be free to read online. In a departure from the nonprofit Wikipedia
model, however, knol’s authors will be able to attach advertising to
their work and take a share of revenues.
“The goal is for knols [individual articles] to cover all topics,
from scientific concepts to entertainment,” Mr Manber said. The project
is the latest to distance Google from its roots in internet search and
pitch it against well-established rivals in a new sector. The company
recently squared up to the mobile phone industry by unveiling its own
operating system for hand-held devices. It is also set to bid for a
portion of America’s airwaves that it could use to build a wireless
After weeks of criticism,
Mark Zuckerberg Wednesday finally apologized for the
controversial Beacon program, which publishes information about members'
off-site purchases to their friends. The company also changed the
program so that people can now opt-out once and for all.
But yesterday's developments might prove to be too little, too late
to satisfy privacy advocates and/or disgruntled users of the site. At launch, the program publicized information about people's
purchases unless they specifically told
Facebook not to do so. In other words, the program shared
information by default. This idea is so staggeringly bad that even now, four weeks later,
it's still astounding that
Facebook ever went ahead with it.
And now that
Facebook seems to have realized the mistake, it's not clear what
the long-term effects will be. While
Facebook's members show no signs of abandoning the site, the
company clearly has squandered at least some goodwill.
Red Ink Forecast For Newspapers Next Year
Retreating somewhat from earlier optimistic predictions, newspaper
publishers and analysts now say next year will probably be just as tough
for the troubled industry as 2007. With shareholders staking their hopes
on a turnaround in 2008, this is bad news for newspaper stocks--and may
also torpedo major deals like the planned buyout of
Tribune Co. by real estate billionaire Sam Zell.
You Positioned For Permanent Advertising Contraction
cycles are a fact of life in the advertising business. It's been true
since the beginning. But perhaps more predictable than advertising
cycles are advertising forecasts. Hey, there goes another one!
The latest significant advertising forecast is from media agency
ZenithOptimedia. According to Ad Age's
coverage of the
report, marketers will spend $195 billion on North American advertising
next year, 4.1% more than in 2007, while ad spending worldwide will near
$486 billion in 2008 for a 6.7% gain. However, U.S. ad-spending growth
this year will reach just 2.5%, far below the 3.7% growth it forecasted
last summer and well under 3.6% inflation so far this year. That means
that the respective growth of the entire pie is happening elsewhere,
particularly in less developed advertising economies.
But that 6.7% growth for 2008 is not so significant when you consider
three of advertising's most important catalysts are colliding that year:
the U.S. presidential election, the
Olympics and a European soccer championship. Once that's over,
you can bet all eyes will be on early 2009, seen in many industry
circles as a likely peak for the inevitable advertising cycle to begin
its downward trend.
Not surprisingly, the Internet is seen as the bright light in this
ultimately mediocre forecast. While newspapers, magazines and radio
advertising are expected to lose share, "Worldwide Internet ad spending
will climb to $44.6 billion from about $36 billion, increasing its share
of the market to 9.4% from 8.1%," according to the ZenithOptimedia
report. Dec 07 www.mediapost.com
Google Stock Price Heads For $900
Bloomberg Nov 07
Financial analysts continue to raise their target price for high-flying
Credit Suisse Group
on Tuesday became the latest firm to push its valuation of the
search giant closer to $1,000 per share, saying it expects
Google to surpass $900 per share next year. According to
Bloomberg data, Credit Suisse's valuation is the highest among the 37
brokerages that rate its stock. As of
Google was trading at $647.85 per share, which means a jump to
$900 would represent a 40 percent increase.
Google's stock has risen 31 percent so far in 2007.
Analyst Heath Terry says
Google's stock will be boosted by the continued shift of media
spending toward the Internet. "Tremendous value will be created for
Google shareholders as all advertising goes digital, including
television, radio, and outdoor, and
Google becomes the de facto 'operating system' for advertisers."
next? Content orbiting is coming. I think that we are very soon going to
see massively scaled content, social and Web service networks spring up
much in the same mold as today's online ad networks. They will take over
parts of the pages of widely distributed networks of thousands and
millions of sites and "orbit" content around users, just as ad networks
"orbit" ads around users. We are already seeing
Google and other large players get into the content syndication
business. We will very soon see the syndication players become "content
orbiters," shifting their models from placing content on pages to
targeting highly relevant content to users, on whatever pages they
happen to be surfing.
Blu-ray outsells HD-DVD in Europe
Tue Nov 27, 2007
LONDON (Reuters) - High definition movie DVDs in the Blu-ray format
have outsold the rival HD DVD standard in Europe this year, breaking the
1 million barrier and constituting 73 percent of all HD movie discs
Citing industry sales data, the Blu-ray disc association said in a
statement on Tuesday Blu-ray movie disc sales had topped 1 million units
and when counting Blu-ray gaming discs the total number produced for
sale in Europe exceeded 21 million units.
Sony's PlayStation 3 game console includes a Blu-ray Disc drive.
Hollywood and electronics manufacturers are hoping that new
high-definition DVDs, with better picture quality and more capacity,
will revive the slowing home DVD market.
But the launch of the next-generation DVD players has been
complicated by the fact that there are two competing technologies
available, Blu-ray and HD DVD.
Newspapers And Local Home Magazines Losing
Real Estate Advertising To Web
According to a new release from Borrell Associates, real estate
agents, who initially tried to appease home sellers by advertising more
on traditional channels, this year cut their print budgets and pushed
more money into the Web. Total ad spending on real estate has declined 3
percent this year, while spending on the online segment has grown 25.8
percent, hitting $2.6 billion. Borrell projects online
real estate advertising to grow at 12.4 percent next year while
real estate advertising continues to compress. In three years,
says the report, agents and brokers will be spending more ad dollars
with online media than with the newspaper.
Online Revenue Grew 21% In 3Q For Newspapers by Erik Sass
Advertising revenue for newspapers' online operations grew 21% in the
third quarter to $773 million, according to figures released Tuesday by
the Newspaper Association of America. Overall, online now accounts for
7.1% of total advertising revenue in the newspaper industry, up from
5.4% in the third quarter of 2006.
Threaten To Put Majority Of Budget Online
BRAND MARKETERS ARE FED up with traditional media channels and
are threatening to shift the lion's share of their budgets online,
according to Nick Brien, worldwide CEO of Universal McCann.
"If this happens for another year, significant
clients will want to walk," Brien said at an Interactive Advertising
Bureau conference on Monday in reference to a general climate of
discontent due to increasing viewer fragmentation, disruptive
technologies, and the resulting decrease in ROI.
Without naming any specific clients, Brien added
they are "just waiting to increase their online spend to 50% or 60% [of
their total budgets]."
Is User-Produced Video Losing its Appeal?
The explosion of online video on the Web used to be all about amateurs.
Not anymore. Apparently, the average Web user has become bored with
clips of lip-syncing 7-year-olds and kittens falling asleep.
Professionally produced programming surpasses amateur video as the
hottest trend in online video. VideoEgg co-founder Matt Sanchez. z would
know: Video Egg provides producers with tools for making and delivering
ads to online videos.
His sentiments are underscored by recent moves made by
Bebo, a social media site, Sony, and ManiaTV, a video destination
with more than 3,000 user-generated video channels.
Bebo last week decided to open its pages to traditional media
providers to boost its online video offerings. A few weeks ago, ManiaTV
scrapped its user-generated channels altogether due. Earlier in July,
Sony relaunched Grouper, its online video property, as a
professional-grade content site only.
What does that say about user-produced video? The market has reached a
saturation point, as sites like
YouTube continue to pull in the bulk of user-generated video
content. Also, the newness of being able to broadcast yourself online is
starting to wear off. Professionals tend to do it better, and more often
With the Writers Guild of America strike dragging on into its third
NBC has apparently come up with a contingency plan: Come January,
the network will start running the new Web show "Quarterlife" on TV.
The show, created by Marshall Herskovitz and Edward Zwick of "thirtysomething"
fame, debuted last week on
The show is touted for bringing TV-like production values to the Web,
but three years ago ABC passed on the series. Of course, the strike has
obviously given TV execs reason to rethink what shows are ready for
Still, "Quarterlife" was drawing buzz even before the strike started.
What's more, the quality of Web shows has steadily increased in the last
few years and, with start-ups like Joost promising TV-like images, the
viewer experience is likely to continue to improve. Even
YouTube, already the most trafficked Web video site, is taking
steps to up the quality of its clips, according to recent press reports.
It shouldn't really be a surprise that Web video is migrating to TV.
In many ways, it's similar to the trend that began years ago with text,
when broadband wasn't as widespread as it is now. Just as bloggers
became book authors and magazine writers, it makes sense that video
created for the Web will surface on television -- with or without a
Microsoft Deal Values Facebook At $15
WEDNESDAY SAID IT is investing $240 million for a 1.6% stake in
Facebook--a deal that values the hot social network at a staggering $15
billion. Beating out Google, Microsoft also won exclusive global rights
to sell third-party banner ads on Facebook.
Microsoft has had an agreement to sell ads on
Facebook in the U.S. since August of last year. Expanding the deal
internationally was seen as critical because 60% of Facebook's nearly 50
million registered users are abroad.
Microsoft believes that user base is on track to
exceed 200 million and eventually 300 million members, said Kevin
Johnson, president of Microsoft's platforms and services division,
during a conference call Wednesday.
CBS Decides Not To Roll Dice With
NATPE In Vegas
THERE GOES THE NEIGHBORHOOD: CBS
Television Distribution, the dominant player in the syndication
business, has decided
not to attend the annual NATPE syndication conference this year in
In recent years a number of major studios have
downgraded their presence at the event, electing to avoid expensive
convention floor positions for less costly, more intimate suites at the
Las Vegas hotels.
CBS this will be a shutout of sorts: no floor, no suites, no CBS
executives anywhere at the event -- except for its international TV
What does it say about CBS, a company that on any given
week offers up eight or nine of the top-10 -rated syndicated shows
(including the likes of "Wheel of Fortune," "Oprah Winfrey" and "Dr.
Phil") and probably controls 35% of all national syndication ad revenue?
Digital Album Sales Through iTunes
Friday, Nov 9
TICKETMASTER HAS ANNOUNCED PLANS to expand its relationship with
Apple's iTunes Store, in order to integrate digital album sales
alongside concert ticket sales on Ticketmaster.com. At launch, more than
700 acts who sell tickets through Ticketmaster are participating in the
service. Through the end of the year, the companies will offer ticket
purchasers $1 off every digital album sold on Ticketmaster.com through
the iTunes Store. The companies have also teamed to offer Ticketmaster +
iTunes gift card packs at Target retail stores; the $50 package includes
two $25 cards redeemable at Ticketmaster.com and the iTunes Store,
MySpace Debuts 'Quarterlife'
MONTHS OF DEVELOPMENT AND preparation, MySpace plans to debut its
first original series "quarterlife" this Sunday. Toyota has signed on
the premiere--and will continue to be featured prominently on the "quarterlife"
profile, along with in-stream advertising, for months to come.
Earlier this year, MySpace signed Marshall
Herskovitz and Edward Zwick, the creators of "My So-Called Life" and "thirtysomething,"
to produce the new series--exclusively, at first, for MySpaceTV.
The Emmy-winning producers agreed to create 36
eight-minute episodes of "quarterlife," which focuses on six creative
twentysomethings with tendencies toward highly revealing video blogging.
The deal represents an ongoing effort by MySpace--still
the most popular social networking site online--to attract more ad
dollars with sponsor-friendly programming.
Time Warner Income Falls On AOL Lossesby
Wayne Friedman, Thursday, Nov 8, 2007 7:45 AM ETTIME WARNER
IS STILL GETTING itself adjusted to AOL now being an
advertising-supported portal Web site.
The company took a 53% hit in its third-quarter
net income--falling to $1.1 billion from $2.3 billion, partly because of
AOL's revenues dropping 38% to $1.2 billion.
AOL has been mounting losses due to losing
dial-up subscribers as the company moves from an Internet access
provider to a business supported by advertising revenue. Advertising
revenue grew 13% during the period, but operating income at the division
fell 24% to $295 million.
Alibaba: Biggest IPO Since Google
Forbes.com November 2007
Shares of Chinese Web firm Alibaba.com skyrocketed in its first day of
trading, opening at more than double the B2B firm's initial public
offering price and making it the largest technology debut since Google
in 2004. Alibaba's IPO raised $1.5 billion at $1.73 per share; yesterday
its stock soared to $4.58 per share and figures to go even higher today.
The B2B portal is now trading at 281.5 times its 2007 earnings per
share, making it far pricier--pound for pound--than, say, Google, whose
shares trade at 58.8 times this year's earnings.
So what does Alibaba.com do? Simply put, the company links small to
mid-size manufacturers with overseas buyers, which makes it a popular
place for eBay sellers, for example, to buy wholesale goods direct from
manufacturers. Clearly, the market sees massive potential for this kind
of business. However, one of the key criticisms of the company is the
lack of trust between buyers and sellers, who sometimes take the money
Los Angeles Leads Nation in HD-Capable Homes
Nielsen Co. said Tuesday that 13.7% of TV households in the U.S. are
equipped with an HDTV and HD tuner capable of receiving signals in HD,
while 11.3% are equipped with an HD television and HD tuner and receive
at least one HD network or station.
Los Angeles has the highest penetration of HD-capable homes, or
20.4%, and New York has the highest penetration of HD-receivable homes,
Nielsen also reported that among U.S. Hispanic or Latino households,
10.4% are HD capable and 8.2% are HD receivable. Among African-American
households, 8.1% are HD capable and 6.9% are HD receivable.
Microsoft Bets On Big Future For Facebook The Wall Street Journal 10.07
Microsoft's hard-fought victory for a 1.6% stake in
Facebook has been laughed at by some critics, but not only is
$240 million (the amount the software giant paid for the stake) a mere
pittance for a company the size of Microsoft, but the risk reward for
investing in an upstart with
Facebook's potential is very high.
The opportunity is highly targeted online advertising.
Facebook is unique to other content providers because it collects
very detailed information about its users: their hobbies, favorite
books, movies, music, what schools they went to, etc., in addition to
basic age, gender and location information. Perhaps most important,
social networks link together people and their friends, dividing them
into groups centered around common interests or affiliations. The social
networking has become so powerful that some industry watchers believe
Facebook could eventually become "the central window consumers
use to access the Web."
Report: Facebook Set to Collect $260 Million More
The Wall Street Journal Ocober 07
Facebook apparently isn't done collecting money from third-party
investors: the Internet upstart is in talks with hedge funds and private
equity firms to raise as mnts, like the Microsoft deal, would also value
the companuch as $260 million. The news comes just two days after the
company completed the sale of 1.6% of its equity to Microsoft for $240
Nothing has been signed yet, but an announcement should be forthcoming,
unless the talks, which are preliminary, collapse in the next week or
so. The investmey at $15 billion.
What, exactly, does
Facebook plan to do with the money? An international expansion is
the most likely scenario, as is a new round of hiring, particularly as
the company prepares to roll out its new targeted advertising system in
the next couple of weeks.
Blu-ray outsells HD DVD in U.S. for first nine months
Blu-ray DVD titles outsold rival HD DVD titles by almost 2-to-1 in
the first nine months of the year, but analysts expect additional HD DVD
support and new hit releases to "transform" the high-definition DVD
battle score in the fourth quarter.
Home Media Research, a division of Home Media Magazine, said on
Tuesday total U.S. sales of Blu-ray discs, using a Sony-backed
technology, totaled 2.6 million units from January 1 through September
30, versus 1.4 million HD DVD discs sold. HD DVD was developed by
Toshiba. It is backed by Microsoft as well as film studios like Time
Warner's Warner Bros. The division in Hollywood grew deeper in
August when Paramount Pictures and DreamWorks Animation signed
exclusivity deals to distribute their next-generation discs on HD DVD
format for the next 18 months. Walt Disney, Sony, News Corp.'s 20th
Century Fox, and Lions Gate Entertainment are exclusively in the Blu-ray
"It's going to be 2008 before the dust will really start to settle.
For now, it's like watching a yacht race," said Kaufhold, who expects
the standards battle will lead more consumers to dual DVD players such
as those made by South Korea's LG Electronics, which supports both Blu-ray
and HD DVD.
Samsung Electronics is expected to market a dual format player later
this year, ahead of the holiday shopping season.
NBC Removes YouTube Content Before Hulu Launch
In anticipation of next week's launch of Hulu, the joint online media
News Corp. and NBC Universal,
on Monday removed content from
YouTube, including licensed video clips and a promotional channel
that were part of a deal signed by the companies almost nine months ago.
A company spokesperson confirmed that
NBC was removing its content from
YouTube, but said the decision was intended to provide a boost to
Hulu, not to spite
YouTube, meanwhile, isn't taking the decision personally.
NBC was one of the few media companies to agree to a distribution
YouTube. The decision can also be seen as a failure of
YouTube's promotional channel strategy, which has attracted
little attention since its unveiling more than six months ago. Since
then, media companies' ire over
Google's lax attitude about copyright violation has grown (Viacom
is still suing the search giant for $1 billion in damages), which is
seen as a major reason why
News Corp. announced a rival video service of their own.
ITS OWN TERMS, VIACOM has decided to give fans of "The Daily
Show" on-demand access to every minute of every episode since Jon
Stewart took over in 1999.
Also accompanying the launch of the show's own
site is a host of new features intended to further enmesh "Daily Show"
fare into the present Web culture of mashed-up, shared, and appropriated
Until now, the show's online home,
ComedyCentral.com, has offered viewers samplings of recently aired
"Daily Show" episodes. "We thought it was time to change the way
the 'Daily Show' relates to the world by making every topic and every
theme ever mentioned instantly retrievable," explained Paul Beddoe-Stephens,
vice president for digital media at Comedy Central.
Not Enough Web Dollars to Go Around?
As Web spending continues to hit new records each year, media execs are
wondering whether the growth is sustainable. Are advertising
expectations out of control? Some say that new media companies are
taking advertising for granted, worrying that there may not be enough ad
dollars to go around.
Advertisers will go after the winners, the ones with the highest usage
and the most desirable demos. And don't forget that each user has a
finite amount of time to spend consuming content, too. Like any ad
medium, the cream will rise to the top, but ad formats need to be sorted
out first, particularly Web 2.0 sites like
YouTube, and content needs to be developed with the Web user in
mind. On the Web, the networks' half-hour sitcoms and hour-long dramas
aren't simply competing with themselves, but also news outlets, blogs
and social networks, too. That said, a hefty chunk of TV, print and
radio dollars are still set to crossover to the Web. Many firms expect
Web spending to double by 2009.
Why Google Fears Facebook
By even the highest valuation,
Google is still more than 15 times the size of
Facebook. With a market capitalization of $190 billion,
Google could eat the social network for lunch, and yet it's
Facebook that's got the Web giant running scared.
Google understands that it needs to grab a foothold in social
Facebook, frustratingly, isn't for sale. And given its ad
ambitions, Mark Zuckerburg's
Facebook reminds one of a pre-IPO
Google, circa 2003.
Now, many analysts believe
Facebook is planning an IPO sometime in 2008. The evidence: in
July, Gideon Yu, finance chief of
Google's video site
YouTube, left to become
Facebook CFO; Google Checkout engineer Benjamin Ling is the
latest defector, heading to
Facebook to oversee its software platform.
Social networking represents the future of the Internet--and
that's where the next great Internet fortune resides, he says
Universal To Challenge iTunes
Its relationship with
Apple in tatters, Universal Music Group has decided to pool
together other big music companies independent record labels to create
iTunes competitor. UMG already has Sony BMG and Warner Music
Group on board, which together would represent 75% of the music market.
UMG's plan is to supply iPod competitors like Microsoft's Zune with the
fodder it needs to compete with
Apple. The service would be called Total Music. No comment yet
The move is partly about UMG's souring relationship with
Apple, but also about boosting a business in decline. CD sales
are falling, while rising digital sales aren't picking up the slack.
Apple, meanwhile, dominates the digital music market through its
iPod music players and the
WHAT DO YOU WANT TO PAY?
The disruption to the music industry that started with the original
Napster continued this week, as Radiohead announced it would make its
new album available online at whatever price consumers wished to pay.
Much like the policy at the New York's Metropolitan Museum of Art,
consumers can donate as much or as little as they like for the new
album, "In Rainbows," slated for release Oct. 10.
The announcement, made on its Web site, has shaken the embattled
record industry. "Radiohead is the best band in the world; if you can
pay whatever you want for music by the best band in the world, why would
you pay $13 dollars or $.99 cents for music by somebody less talented?
Once you open that door and start giving music away legally, I'm not
sure there's any going back," one producer told Time magazine.
Pay-what-you-wish is certainly an intriguing idea -- one that
reflects many artists' own conflict between wanting the listening public
to hear their work and needing to earn enough money to continue making
music for a living. mediapost.com 10/07
It looks like Facebook is readying a new feature that will let
musicians create pages for their bands and promote their tracks and
upcoming concerts on the site. News of the service surfaced late last
week on PaidContent.
With this initiative, aimed at capturing a bigger share of the indie
music crowd, Facebook will challenge rival social networking site
MySpace in one of its oldest core strengths.
In MySpace's early days, the site grew a big following of independent
musicians, who posted MP3s, concert dates and the like online. Even now,
the site continues to leverage its strong ties to the music world, by
promoting record labels, bands and concerts. Additionally, last year,
MySpace forged a deal with Snocap to allow musicians to sell downloads
from the site.
News of Facebook's upcoming musician-oriented service also comes just
several days after it was revealed that Facebook also is planning to
challenge Linked In by offering members the ability to separate their
friends from business contacts and show different information to the
Google to Hit $600 on Strong Web Spending
Unrealistic valuations in the blogosphere haven't hurt Google shares in
early morning trading on Wednesday, which continue their upward
trajectory towards $600 per share. Reaching that milestone would be in
line with Wall Street's thinking, as 33 of 36 analysts recommended
buying Google shares.
However, price forecasts indicate that Google's bull run should stop
around $625--20 of 28 analysts with estimates pegged its price below
that mark over the next 12 months. Google's market value is currently
more than $180 billion, third among U.S. technology companies, behind
Microsoft and Cisco Systems. It has the sixth-highest stock price in the
"Google is still dominating" Web advertising, said Piper Jaffray & Co.
Web analysts in an Oct. 1 report. Its sales growth in its core business
has been 70% in each of the last three years, and figures to continue
its remarkable growth, boosted by the introduction of display and rich
media ads to its search engine. EMarketer believes that Web advertising
will fall somewhere in the $21 billion range this year and more than
double by 2011--Web search is expected to account for 40% of that.
Google Valuation Sparks Blog War
Silicon Valley Insider Henry Blodget, a former Wall Street analyst who
was banned from the securities industry for life for giving Web
companies' valuations he knew were outrageous, started a blog war on
Tuesday. He outlandishly predicted that Google, nearing $600 per share,
could be on its way to $2,000. According to Blodget, "$2,000 a share
would mean a market cap of about $750 billion, which-given a reasonable
time horizon-just isn't that far-fetched."
Both Kara Swisher of D: All Things Digital and Michael Arrington
of TechCrunch had strong reactions to his post. "Um, Henry, it is
far-fetched, as to be borderline fanciful," said Swisher, while
Arrington called the post irresponsible.
Indeed, Google has plenty of problems, says Swisher, including the
possibility of the DoubleClick deal not going through, what to do with
YouTube, high employee and R&D costs, the specter of a recession and the
emergence of social networking.
It's one thing to peg a privately owned company like Facebook with a $20
billion valuation, but it's another to say the sky's the limit for a
publicly traded company like Google, especially when a blog is read by
thousands. This calls into question the ethics (or lack) of blogging.
Many people read blogs for their amusing hyperbole, but should those
that cover specific industries be held to a higher standard?
Microsoft Sees Future In Media
Thirty-two year old Microsoft Corp. has been a software company for most
of its life, but media is its future, CEO Steve Ballmer said at a media
event in Paris on Tuesday. As growth in operating system and desktop
software slows, Microsoft expects that within four to 10 years, 25% of
its revenues will come from advertising.
Part of the reason for the change is the growth of free, ad-supported
Web services offered by Google; consumers no longer need desktop
software to write documents and create spreadsheets, which has left the
technology giant searching for new sources of revenue. The other reason
is opportunity: "All marketing will be digital sometime in the next 10
years," said Ballmer.
The Microsoft of the future will be a triumvirate of software, ad
serving and media content. Thanks to its $6 billion acquisition of
aQuantive, the company has become an instant player in ad delivery and
marketing services. Other acquisitions, like the in-game advertising
company Massive, give Microsoft the ability to deliver ads in media its
competitors cannot reach. Mobile advertising, too, figures to be a huge
area of expansion for the software giant, which continues to go toe to
toe with Google.
Microsoft Aims to Outgun Google in
The Wall Street Journal
Microsoft Corp. is in talks to buy a minority stake in social network
Facebook, a sign of a new urgency to jump-start its online business at a
time when Google Inc. is leading the Internet-advertising business.
Microsoft proposals could value the fast-growing site at $10 billion or
higher. If those talks bear fruit, Microsoft could purchase a stake of
up to 5% in the closely held startup, at a cost in the range of $300
million to $500 million. But Microsoft must first muscle out Google,
which has also expressed strong interest in a Facebook stake.
Along with Google, Time Warner Inc.'s America Online unit, Yahoo! Inc.
and others, Microsoft is racing to establish a "platform" -- in this
case, a single system through which advertisers can buy ads that appear
on sites and Web publishers can tap for ads to appear on their sites.
That approach has taken on added importance as users and advertisers
increasingly spend time and dollars on sites other than the big,
established Web portals.
The existing deal is expected to bring in about $75 million for Facebook
this year and a total of at least $200 million to $300 million through
2011. The actual numbers will depend on Facebook's traffic growth and
other factors. The existing agreement covers only the U.S. and expires
in 2011, but the companies are discussing whether to extend it for a
longer period and expand it beyond the U.S.
BY NEXT YEAR FULLY 25% of U.S. TV
households will have some way to time-shift their TV viewing. That
number might climb to 33% or 50% in two years. Yet TV pressure groups keep talking about the family
hour of TV programming, the 8 p.m. to 9 p.m. time slot, as if it was the
most important part of families' TV and entertainment lives.
Since when can anyone say the family hour was important
anyway? Not since Milton Berle was on TV -- or maybe some godawful
Western in the '60s. Not since most fathers of families consisting of a
wife and two or three kids could easily work to pay for their entire
existence -- and get home by 7 p.m. mediapost.com
NBC Universal, acknowledging that viewers are increasingly moving
away from traditional television viewing, announced plans today for
a service that will make popular NBC programs available to download
free to personal computers and other devices.
The programs, including “Heroes” and “The Tonight Show With Jay
Leno,” will be offered for a week immediately after their initial
broadcasts. Commercials will be embedded in the programs and viewers
will not be able to skip through them.
The move comes less than three weeks after NBC Universal
announced it was severing ties with Apple Inc. after a dispute over
how Apple was selling NBC programs on its popular iTunes service.
NBC first contracted with Amazon to offer its programs for sale
to downloading devices like MP3 players. Now it is establishing its
own downloading service, which NBC executives say they expect to
become a viable competitor to iTunes.
“With the creation of this new service, we are acknowledging that
now, more than ever, viewers want to be in control of how, when and
where they consume their favorite entertainment,” said Vivi Zigler,
the executive vice president of NBC Digital Entertainment. “Not only
does this feature give them more control, but it also gives them a
higher quality video experience.” newyorktimes.com
CBS Gets Digital Makeover
Los Angeles Times
On the same day that NBC announced free ad-supported downloads of its TV
shows, the L.A. Times had a story about the ambitious Web
strategy of NBC rival CBS Corp. Reporter Dawn Chmielewski calls CBS'
approach to Web distribution "promiscuous," in that the company seeks as
many open, nonexclusive partnerships it can get.
In many ways, CBS' strategy comes from the "Web know-how" its executives
accrued from a meeting with 16 next-generation Internet companies in
Silicon Valley last year. Among other things, they discussed social
media and Web 2.0 distribution. "The key lesson from Silicon Valley is
respect for the audience," said Jonathan Barzilay, senior vice president
and GM of entertainment at CBS Interactive.
The executives' learning is reflected in the media giant's revamped
homepage, which is no longer merely "regurgitated television," as a CBS
executive once described it. The report says the new site, launched in
conjunction with the network's fall season, has less clutter and added
social networking touches to attract public discourse.
NEW YORK -- Personal time that consumers spend on the Internet is
rivaling their TV time, with user-generated content and networking
sites among the most popular destinations for entertainment seekers.
Plus, people seem more open to mobile content and are looking for
more traditional entertainment offerings on their mobile devices
than previously thought.
These are among the findings of a new IBM survey of consumer
behavior in the digital age, which suggests that studios,
advertisers, ad agencies, content distributors and other industry
players must continue to adjust their business strategies amid
changes in media usage and consumers' increased expectations for
control and community.
Among key lessons for studios: Make your content available
everywhere, but don't expect to get paid for every platform. And
keep an eye on key influencers on the Web to succeed in creating
One in five homes now has a DVR
According to a new survey from Leichtman Research Group, more than 20%
of homes now have a DVR, up from just 1 in 13 homes two years ago.
Leichtman's survey also revealed that 53% of DVR owners reported owning
an HDTV set.
Viacom Opens Micro Social Network
While some big media firms try to create high-trafficked online
destinations to rival MySpace and Facebook, Viacom's strategy has been
to create hundreds of microsites for its many brands. However, critics
have wondered how the MTV parent plans to tie it all together.
The answer, it seems is, Flux, a social media system that allows MTV
users to personalize pages with social networking tools like blogs,
photos, videos and friends. The personalized pages will appear when
users sign into any MTV or third-party site in the Flux network. Most
importantly, users will be able to save to material from the network's
20 launch partners to their Flux page. Users will also be able to post
Flux network material to their MySpace and Facebook pages, too.
One in four adults say they read no books at all in
the past year, according to an Associated Press-Ipsos poll released
Tuesday. Of those who did read, women and seniors were most avid, and
religious works and popular fiction were the top choices.
If you ever read about the music industry in
Rolling Stone or Billboard, you hear all about the ways
that digital media is killing the record industry -- but when you surf
around the Web, all the cool stuff you see is being embraced and taken
advantage of by fans of music and the musicians themselves. This sounds
like a pickle if I've ever heard one!
The music industry contends that digital music
sales have cut into the revenues they were used to making through album
sales. But what digital music sales have actually done is expose the
fact that the majority of what the labels issue are filler: albums with
a couple of great songs and a bunch of mediocre ones. Digital music
sales allow the consumer to buy only what they like, thereby forcing the
musicians to put out the best of their work, or all of it regardless of
quality, just to make sure they see revenue somewhere!
research from Leichtman Research Group, Inc. based on a survey of 1,300
households throughout the United States, found that over one in every
five households in the United States now have a Digital Video Recorder,
up from about one in every thirteen households just two years ago.
CBS Adds Affiliates To Audience Network
CBS Corp. is adding its local TV and radio station Web sites to its Web
distribution venture, CBS Interactive Audience Network, which will place
its programming on the Web sites of some 29 CBS owned and operated
affiliates, 144 CBS Radio Web sites and 183 additional sites owned by
CBS affiliates across the U.S. The move will assuage the network's
nervous local affiliates, which feared they would be left behind as CBS
and others move forward into new Web ventures.
The Web sites will host CBS programming, in addition to providing local
news, sports and weather to the CBS Interactive Audience Network,
effectively recreating the TV programming experience on the Web. CBS
claims that its audience network reaches 90 percent of Web users; the
company said that "most" of its new local partners would be ready for
the network's fall season, to boost everyone's efforts for online
ABC In Online Video Distribution Talks
The networks, confused about what to do with their Web distribution
strategy, are trying to make friends with the Web's major audience
holders. News. Corp.'s Fox and GE's NBC partnered with MSN, Yahoo, News
Corp.'s own MySpace and others to create a digital distribution venture
called Hulu. CBS Corp. has also forged distribution deals with many of
the same players for its CBS Interactive Audience Network, and ABC is
now looking to do something in the same vein.
The Walt Disney Co. company is said to be in talks with AOL, Comcast,
MSN, MySpace and Yahoo (nearly the same lineup as CBS and NBC/Fox) about
distribution agreements, but an ABC Television exec said only one deal
would be announced this fall. ABC's approach is to embed its media
player into its publisher partner sites so viewers have the same
experience on Yahoo, for example, as they would on ABC.com. CBS allows
its partners to design the video experience as they see fit, but retains
90 percent of ad revenue.
Internet Displaces Radio As
Fourth Biggest Ad Medium
Erik Sass, Friday, Aug 31, 2007 7:15 AM ETINTERNET AD
REVENUES ARE SET to pass radio's for the first time, according to
eMarketer, a firm that tracks and analyzes spending trends across
various media. EMarketer is pegging Internet ad spending at $21.7
billion, compared to $20.4 billion for radio.
eMarketer's report comes as the Internet already
has surpassed outdoor ad spending, and as a recent report from equity
firm Veronis Suhler Stevenson predicts that the Internet will displace
television as the No. 1 ad medium by 2011.
While this news is unlikely to cheer radio
advertisers, it's more a testament to the feverish rate of Net growth
than any secular downturn in radio. In fact, radio is also expected to
grow modestly in 2007, with a 1.5% increase. Total radio revenues grew
1% in the first quarter of 2007, according to the Radio Advertising
Bureau, due mostly to a 1% increase in local revenues and a 10% increase
in non-spot. Second-quarter figures aren't yet available.
Still, radio's predicted 1.5% growth rate looks
decidedly sluggish next to expected online revenue growth of 22% in
2007. And it's the second major medium to be passed by the Internet.
Newspapers Incorporate Video, Other Web
Offerings Newspapers and Technology
A new study of newspapers' Web offerings shows that online video has
become a nearly ubiquitous feature offered by major U.S. publications.
The Bivings Group study, which analyzed the Web offerings of the top 100
newspapers according to Fas-Fax data from the Audit Bureau of
Circulations, found that 92 of the largest newspaper sites now offer
video, a 31 percent jump from a year ago. Their video sources are
varied: 39 papers offer original video content, 26 use video from the
Associated Press, 13 use video from local news outlets and 10 papers use
at least two types of video content on their site.
The study found that use of other online features increased in nearly
every category, too. Ninety-seven of the 100 papers offer RSS and text
feeds, while 95 have at least one reporter blog. Forty-nine papers have
podcasts, compared with 31 last year, while 44 provide some sort of
bookmarking, compared with just seven last year. The number of sites
requiring users to register also increased to 29, with three requiring
paid subscription after registering. Mobile offerings from U.S.
newspaper publishers are also on the rise, with some 53 papers creating
content specifically for mobile devices.
Newspapers are also adding social media features. The number of papers
permitting user comments rose from 19 to 33, while nearly 25 percent
accept some kind of user-generated content, from videos to photos and
articles. Five papers, including USA Today, The Denver Post
and The Washington Post offer social networking on their site.
Apple's iTunes faces some new competition on at least
two different fronts.
Wal-Mart has started selling some digital downloads without
the much-hated anti-copying restrictions that usually come with iTunes
purchases. Individual tracks are priced at 94 cents - - 5 cents less
The move comes several weeks after Universal Music said it will allow
some songs to be sold free of the digital rights management software
that hinders people from copying the music - - but won't let Apple sell
such DRM-free tracks.
Currently, most iTunes tracks are sold with DRM restrictions that
prevent users from easily playing them on devices other than iPods.
While Apple recently began selling some DRM-free tracks from EMI for
$1.29 each - - 30% more than the usual price - - the program so far has
Additionally, MTV Networks said today it has partnered with
Rhapsody's RealNetworks to launch their own online music store to rival
Apple. Verizon Wireless will handle mobile distribution.
msn.com news report
TELEVISION BUSINESS writing has reached
a new direction in terms of ratings -- true south.
Imagine a lead paragraph in a TV trade talking about the
highest ratings for a particular show -- and that those numbers are a
Nielsen Media Research 0.6 household number.
That's right, less than a 1 rating. And, mind you, it's
the highest ratings for the show. This is how Broadcasting & Cable
described Oxygen's reality series, "Tori & Dean: Inn Love," about the
lives of actress Tori Spelling and her husband Dean McDermott and their
adventures in opening up a bed-and-breakfast in southern California.
Of course, you can't blame Oxygen. Being a midsize cable
network in some 73 million homes, it can't, as yet, offer up big number
of the more established cable networks.
What the 0.6 number really shows is the direction
viewer ship numbers will take in the future, especially when it comes to
video that runs on super-niche digital platforms.
NEW YORK (AdAge.com)
-- Christine Arnholt felt a bit woozy. And anything that conjures up
symptoms of seasickness is not a good thing in cruise marketing, noted
the VP-marketing services for Carnival. But as she leaned in for a
first-person video view of a waterslide trip down churning rapids at
funshipisland.com, it just felt so, well, real.
The new site is a virtual tour of a Carnival cruise, where visitors can
try out everything from the ship's piano bar, sundeck and karaoke lounge
to onshore activities such as 4x4 cruising. The idea is to pique
interest by showing what to expect, since fewer than 18% of North
Americans have been on a cruise. The site is an example of marketers'
increasing sophistication in their use of online video to create not
just linear demonstrations that look like TV commercials, but
interactive, virtual experiences.
It's an evolution enabled by higher broadband penetration,
more-sophisticated web-development technology and a continued rise in
TV-ad skipping, which is leading marketers to question the effectiveness
and efficiency of the medium that has long been at the center of
AOL Plight Highlights Larger Portal Problem
The New York Times
AOL had little option but to overhaul its failing business model, but
despite a positive start to its new life as a free, ad-supported content
provider, the Web portal's ad growth is already narrowing. As a result,
Time Warner shareholders are questioning whether it was a smart move for
the media giant to keep AOL.
The Time Warner unit is still one of the most popular Web destinations,
attracting more than 90 million visits per month, but the name of the
game these days is monetizing your traffic, something AOL, with 16
percent ad growth in the second quarter, isn't doing sufficiently.
Internet ad spending overall is expected to increase 28.5 percent,
according to eMarketer.
AOL's problem highlights one of the great paradoxes of the Web business
today: Web portals, which have some of the largest audiences, are
failing to benefit from the increase in online spending. Yahoo, for
example, reported just 8 percent growth during the latest quarter. The
greater problem for the major portals is that younger audiences don't
need help navigating the Web; they'd rather read blogs and create
customized home pages and social networking profiles. The rise of Web
2.0 firms like Facebook and YouTube has made it harder to keep their
"Traditional" Web Advertising Fails on Social Networks
You can't find a lot of effective advertising on social networks,
according to Forrester Research. The Web research group says that
traditional marketing just doesn't work on sites like MySpace and
Facebook, as evidenced by the ineffectiveness of run-of-site, microsite,
and other "push" advertising tactics.
Forrester says the ROI of the campaigns it studied was very low, which
means marketers have to do better a better job of engaging users by
providing something of value. Social networks are built on
relationships, so, too, should the advertisers' relationship with users.
Social networking pages are meant to be engaging; users will ignore
anything that doesn't draw them in.
According to a recent report by Pew Internet & American Life, 57% of
Internet users have watched videos online and most of them share what
they find with others -- 19% do so in a typical day. Three-quarters of
broadband users (74%) who enjoy high-speed connections at both home and
work watch or download video online.
Pew also released its first major report on online video that shows
how many video viewers have contributed to the viral and social nature
of online video. More than half of online video viewers (57%) share
links to the video they find with others, and three in four say they
receive links to watch video that others have sent to them.
Video viewers who actively exploit the participatory features of
online video by rating content, posting feedback or uploading video,
make up the motivated minority of the online video audience. Young
adults are the most active participants in this realm.
Program Reveals Where Wikipedia Entrees Come From
A new tracing program that reveals where Wikipedia entries come from is
stirring up controversy. People using FBI and CIA computers edited
entries on such topics as the "Iraq war" and the prison at "Guantanamo
Bay," presenting a conflict of interest for the nonprofit online
encyclopedia, according to a company spokesperson.
The so-called Wikiscanner was developed "to create minor public
relations disasters for companies and organizations I dislike (and) to
see what 'interesting organizations' (which I am neutral toward) are up
to," said the program's creator, Virgil Griffith of the Santa Fe
Institute in New Mexico. It reveals the origin of the computer that made
changes to a Wikipedia listing. However, in the case of the FBI or CIA,
changes could have been made by someone with access to the
Home Video may have delayed the launch of its dual-format Total HD disc
until the first part of next year, but in the meantime the studio's
policy of releasing titles on both Blu-ray Disc and HD DVD continues to
The studio Tuesday announced it had sold through to consumers more
than 250,000 high-def disc copies of the epic actioner "300," which was
released on both next-generation formats July 31, the same day as the
Noting that Warner's two-format approach has given the studio six of
the 10 top-selling high-def disc releases of all time, Warner Home Video
president Ron Sanders calls the "300" sales tally "another
high-definition milestone." biz.gamedaily.com
CNN, Economist Take Down Walls Online; WSJ and NYT Could Be Next
NEW YORK (AdAge.com) -- Charging for web content looked pretty
promising back in 1996, when the pioneering new web magazine Slate was
gearing up to try just that. "Our belief is that the medium will prove
itself over time and people will pay for it," said John Williams, the
founding publisher. He never got a chance to test that proposition; he
quit for Starbucks two months after launch. Then Slate made its move --
but lasted only a year before going free again in February 1999. Now
there's a crescendo of similar falling walls at serious news sites --
including The Economist and CNN -- and the likelihood that the websites
of both The New York Times and The Wall Street Journal will soon be
Today the Online Publishers Association issued a new study attempting
to quantify people's changing online media habits. The group
reports that people now devote more online hours to content than e-mail
or other communications, marking a reversal from just four years ago.
Currently, Web users spend 47% of their time online on content sites,
up from 34% in 2003. Communications sites like email, on the other hand,
draw just 33% of people's online time today, down from 46% four years
The OPA attributes the shift to a variety of reasons, including the
ballooning in quality offerings, the growth of Web video, people's
tendency to go online for news, and increased broadband penetration. The
OPA doesn't break out which content sites are benefiting most, but
highlights people's desire to learn more about breaking news as one key
Site Picks Next Mags To Fold
When it comes to predicting print demise, there is an online site that
charts potential victims: "magazinedeathpool.com."
Launched in February of last year, it is a run by an anonymous
well-versed insider who styles himself or herself the Grim Reaper -- and
has a good track record of picking the next books to go down. Among the
site's current favorites for early departures are Business 2.0
and Condé Nast's new Portfolio. So far, the site has forecast
virtually all of this past year's major closings, including Life,
Premiere, Shop Etc., and Jane. All had been
publicly struggling, but that doesn't mean much, since many magazines
are privately held and often divorced from market realities. Many
magazines die; unlike TV shows, they tend to die slowly
Study: Newspapers In Big Trouble
Silicon Alley Insider
As the newspaper industry continues its slow decline, Silicon Alley
blogger Henry Blodget explains why The New York Times cannot
escape a future of downsizing and depreciating returns. Its offline
business accounts for just 13% of monthly readership but generates 90%
of its revenue, while NYTimes.com's 7.5 million monthly uniques covers
the remaining 10.
The reasons? Offline display and classifieds ad sell for more than
online ads, and physical papers are also sold. People spend less time
with NYTimes.com than they do with the physical paper, as competition
for ads comes from other online pubs, blogs, social networks,
classifieds sites, even services like Google News.
The Times print business will one day fold altogether, he
predicts, in which case online readership would receive a boost, perhaps
by 2.5 million. Online inventory and revenue would also receive a boost;
he says 33%. Paper, distribution, printing and other production costs
would be eliminated, along with print ad revenue. However, content
creation costs would stay the same-unless it realizes that cuts must be
made. Indeed, the paper has to produce less and lay people off.
Otherwise, revenue would drop 40% to 50% and the Times Co. will continue
to lose money.
Slide.com Plans Widget Revolution
In just a few months, Slide.com has become the most popular widget maker
on the Web; its embeddable products allow users to easily post video,
pictures and anything sparkles and moves to their Web sites, blogs or
social networking pages. The latest Web 2.0 fad, widget use, continues
to grow apace according to comScore, which says that some 220 million
widgets were consumed in May alone.
What's so special about embedded software apps anyway? For publishers,
they make Web pages stickier. Like a Web page within a Web page, widgets
allow users to customize their content. For example, an NBA fan could
paste a dynamic scoreboard or game tracker on their Google or Yahoo home
page. Theoretically, widgets will enable users to watch live or
previously recorded games some day.
Movielink Is Placebo for Blockbuster
What's the movie download market like? Well, after reviewing
Blockbuster's purchase of Movielink on Thursday-estimated at under $20
million by The Wall Street Journal--not so good. Why? The big
movie studios backing the movie downloading startup (Warner Bros., MGM,
Paramount, Universal and Sony) reportedly dumped more than $100 million
into the joint venture. A cheap Movielink, on the market for well over a
year, underscores the fact that consumers aren't that interested in
purchasing and downloading movies.
Maybe it's the long download times. Maybe it's the ease of movie piracy.
Maybe consumers have gotten used to not paying for Net material.
Blockbuster thinks it now has a three-pronged attack (store, mail and
download) in its war against mail-rental king Netflix, but the
acquisition of Movielink is unlikely to boost Blockbuster's fortunes for
one main reason: The movie download business, far from being an add-on,
actually cannibalizes on its existing in-store and mail rental services.
A recent release by comScore on U.S. e-commerce spending for the
second quarter of 2007 showed that retail e-commerce grew 23 percent
versus year ago to $27.2 billion, while online travel spending increased
14 percent to $20.3 billion. Total U.S. e-commerce spending climbed to
$47.5 billion during the period.
top-gaining e-commerce category in Q2 versus year ago was video games,
consoles & accessories, which jumped 159 percent on the strength of
Nintendo Wii and PlayStation 3 sales. Sport & fitness also saw
substantial gains (up 58 percent), followed by consumer electronics (up
51 percent) and event tickets (up 44 percent).
Gian Fulgoni, chairman of comScore, said "Retail e-commerce rebounded
solidly in the second quarter... matching the growth rates we've seen
during the past couple of years."
Total U.S. online consumer spending reached $170.8 billion in 2006,
with non-travel spending accounting for $102.1 billion and travel
spending accounting for $68.8 billion.
UMG Opens Music To All But Apple
This is a test, this is only a test: Universal Music Group has decided
to experiment with selling digital rights management-free music,
planning a six-month nationwide test in which most of its popular
content will be sold using the universal MP3 format. Music sellers like
Amazon, RealNetworks, BestBuy, Wal-Mart and others will all get a chance
to sell UMG's DRM-free music; conspicuously, Apple's iTunes was left out
of the test, per its contractual issues with the iPod maker.
The six-month trial begins on August 21 and ends on January 31; the
music giant can simply pull the plug if it doesn't like the way the test
is going. What UMG really wants to see is if the initiative adversely
affects the industry's astronomically high piracy rates. If it doesn't
positively affect sales either, the test comes with an out.
But what's with Apple being left out? In a statement, UMG CEO Doug
Morris talks about expanding the online availability of its artists'
music, "offering consumers the most choice in how and where they
purchase and enjoy our music." How do you validate that statement by
conspicuously leaving out the industry's largest seller of online music?
Contractual disputes aside, Apple's iTunes is tops on the online music
pile, responsible for an astonishing 10% of music sales, according to
NPD Group, making it the third-largest seller of music nationwide.
MySpace Launches New Behavior Targeting Program
Silicon Valley Insider
Fox Interactive's Mike Barrett, the News Corp. company's chief revenue
officer, reveals that FIM will report revenue "well in excess" of the
$500 million goal it set for itself last year. The company's new
targeting program is still in beta with 11 behavior segments, but will
soon expand to more than user 100 segments. Barrett says the targeted
ads, which attach behaviors like auto, lifestyle, beauty and health to
user profiles, will command a 20% to 50% premium over its other ad
MySpace attaches a behavior by directing say, someone believed to be a
fashion aficionado to the MySpace fashion channel with a house ad. If
the user goes, then that triggers a related ad to run in front of that
user. Barrett did not mention how often the user would have to go to a
fashion site to retain that behavior segment. Soon, he says, more
granular segments, like "safari travel" instead of just "travel," will
parent considers closing stores
USA TODAY--July, 2007
NEW YORK — Movie Gallery executives return from the July Fourth
holiday looking to close many of its 4,600 Movie Gallery, Hollywood
Video and Game Crazy stores, put the entire company up for sale, or
both after the No. 2 video rental chain failed to meet performance
requirements set by its lenders.
The 2,027 Hollywood Video stores appear most
vulnerable. The majority compete with Blockbuster in urban or suburban
markets with high costs.
"Blockbuster will benefit from the store
closings," says Sterne Agee analyst Arvind Bhatia. By contrast, Movie
Gallery is "in smaller markets without much competition."
The company said this week that it is considering
these and other options as it grapples with surprisingly weak video
rentals. The disclosure sent its shares in a free fall of 65% to 66
cents on Tuesday.
While the year started strong, since March the
company has "experienced a sharp decline in our rental business," CEO
Joe Malugen said in a statement.
MySpace: 29,000 Sex Offenders Were Registered on Site
High Number Likely to Spur Calls for Age Verification for Social
CHICAGO (AdAge.com) -- MySpace has identified more than 29,000
registered sex offenders on its social network -- more than four times
the number it claimed to have found in May, according to the North
Carolina attorney general's office.
Digital cameras, long tethered to the PC, are
increasingly breaking loose.
Nikon Inc., Eastman Kodak Co. and Sony
Corp. have recently introduced new digital cameras with integrated
wireless technology such as Wi-Fi or Bluetooth. Earlier wireless digital
cameras allowed users to transfer their pictures to a nearby PC without
a bulky attachment cord. But the new generation of devices goes further
by wirelessly sending photos to cellphones and other gadgets,
photo-sharing Web sites and email addresses.
In March, Sony introduced its first digital camera that
can wirelessly send and receive photos from other Sony wireless cameras,
as well as upload photos to PCs. Nikon in February launched a camera
that can wirelessly email pictures to Flickr, Yahoo Inc.'s
photo-sharing site, or to an email address, and can also upload them to
a Nikon photo-storage and sharing site. And Kodak last year updated one
digital-camera model that allows users to wirelessly upload photos to
and view photos on Kodak's photo-sharing site and launched another model
that can send photos to Bluetooth-enabled devices such as printers,
BlackBerrys or cellphones.
Bad News: Gannett, McClatchy and Dow
Jones Report 2Q Earnings by Erik Sass in mediapost.com
Three leading newspaper companies reported their second-quarter results
this week, and the news was bad--more or less--across the board.
Declines in real-estate advertising are slamming U.S. newspapers.
Digital Ad Boost: CBS
Audience Net Pushes TV Content
Wayne Friedman, Friday, Jul CBS'
NEW INTERACTIVE ADVERTISING AND programming platform, CBS
Audience Network, which has signed up two dozen sites to run CBS
content, could add one more: News Corp.-NBC Internet video venture.
"I've love to work something out with them," says
Quincy Smith, president of CBS Interactive, "especially if the
destination starts to work. We were honored to be considered in the
initial conversations. But a big piece of that is building a big
destination site--which we don't think there is use for."
CBS backed out of preliminary talks because of
its firm belief that already established video sites--with strong unique
user bases--would be duplicating efforts. Starting a new Internet site
would require big start-up costs--something CBS is opposed to.
"You have to syndicate your content," says Smith.
"You don't always have to go to CBS.com." Smith adds, jokingly: "CBS is
about open, non-exclusive sponsorships--sort of like [the new CBS show]
CBS has grown from 13% reach of unique Internet
users to 90%, hitting some 134 million unique monthly users. It has
struck deals with a number of major video sites--MSN, AOL, Google,
YouTube, Veoh, Joost, and cnettv.com, among others. "You can expect to
see another 400 more in the fall," says Smith.
Court Kills Web Radio Appeal
The Hollywood Reporter
Mark Thursday July 12th as the day the music died. A federal appeals
court rejected Webcaster's requests to postpone the implementation of
new royalty rates for music broadcast over the Web. That means Monday,
July 16, will stand as the day Webcasters will have to pay copyright
holders a new, higher royalty payment for digitally delivered music.
"This is a major victory for recording artists and record labels whose
hard work and creativity provides the music around which the Internet
radio business is built," SoundExchange executive director John Simson
said. SoundExchange is the federal organization created to set and
distribute royalty rates in 1995, following the Digital Performance
Right in Sound Recording Act. Royalties are split 50-50 between the
copyright holder and either the label, the artist or sometimes other
Many Webcasters believe Web radio will die now. Says Digital Media
Association executive director Jonathan Potter after the court's
decision: "The result will certainly be fewer outlets for independent
music, less diversity on the Internet airwaves, and far fewer listening
choices for consumer.
This week, one of Hollywood's top digital agents
looked to help Tinseltown cash in on the web: United Talent Agency
digital head Brent Weinstein is leaving the shop that represents movie
stars such as Vince Vaughn and Johnny Depp to become the CEO of 60Frames
Entertainment, a new company dedicated to handling the financing, ad
sales and syndication of "professionally produced online content." The
company, in other words, will help established movie and film talent
create content specifically for the web.
Spot Runner involved
The 60Frames venture is backed by $3.5 million in institutional and
individual investors, including Tudor Investment Corp. and the Pilot
Group, the latter of which was co-founded by former AOL Chairman Bob
Pittman. The new venture has also got the support of the Los
Angeles-based online-ad agency Spot Runner, which will handle ad sales
for the company's projects. (CBS Corp., along with WPP Group and
Interpublic Group of Cos., also have investments in Spot Runner.)
"We wanted to make it so that artists who are busy with film and TV
careers can get in and get out, easily," said Mr. Weinstein, adding that
"it shouldn't be as hard to make an internet deal as it is to make a
film or TV deal."
Mr. Weinstein touts 60Frames as providing content creators with "speed
to market" -- an alacrity that comes in part from its being
"distribution agnostic," or willing to syndicate its content through
"top video portals, social-network websites, mobile and emerging
Where Will YouTube Be in Five Years?
Like many of
my nerdy counterparts over the last two weeks, I stood in line last week
to pick up my new Apple iPhone -- but rest easy knowing that while this
phone is cool and probably my favorite gadget ever, I'm not going to be
writing about it today. Nope; I'm here to ask about YouTube, because the
iPhone is outfitted with a YouTube player built into the interface, and
last week LG also announced plans to create a YouTube-enabled mobile
phone that allows users to watch, create and upload videos directly from
is becoming its own brand, far beyond the reaches of the PC. I was at
the Grand Canyon three weeks ago and I happened to have on my YouTube
T-shirt, which caught its fair number of points and murmurs from the
many younger folks running around that big crack in the ground. People
were taking videos of their trip, and I heard some mumblings about
uploading their videos to the Web. I knew they had only one primary site
in mind for that purpose !
Google to Aggregate Social
Red Herring ---July 07
Given the resurgence of Facebook and social networking, you may be
wondering where Google stands on social media. YouTube is really the
only social media site in the Web giant's vast catalog of services, but
it's hardly a social network. But Google is creating a social networking
technology -- and it heavily leverages the company's industry-leading
The prototype, called "Socialstream," is being developed by Carnegie
Mellon University's Human Computer Interaction Institute, and has been
billed as an aggregator service of social networks that interacts with
and draws data from users' existing social networks.
Newspaper Ad Dollars Moving
Fastest To Web
Editor & Publisher
Newspapers are losing ad dollars to the Internet at a faster pace than
other media, according to a report from Wachovia Equity Research. Of 55
advertisers in automotive, retail, telecommunications, financial
services, general services, media, and tech/Internet only one category
-- financial services -- actually increased its newspaper spend.
In total, newspapers lost 14.3% in ad dollars last year among those
seven, while TV gained 4.4% and the Internet jumped 17.8%. Telcos moved
the most out of print, from spending 31.6% in newspapers in 2005 and
just 24% in 2006. And an auto shift hurt as well, with the category
spending just 4.6% in newspapers last year -- half the 2005 total.
Nielsen//NetRatings said today it's going to start ranking sites
based on how much time users spend at them, rather than how many page
views they garner.
The move comes as Web publishers have upped their use
of video; Ajax, which updates information on page without requiring
users to reload; and streaming video, which also doesn't require people
to navigate to separate pages. With the new time-based rankings, Nielsen
joins the camp of those who've
said for months that the new site designs require a ratings system
based on something other than page views.
One result of the new methodology: video-rich sites
will see a boost in ratings. Consider, MySpace attracts 10.4 times the
number of page views as YouTube (around 28.7 million to 2.8 million),
but users spend only 3.6 times as long on MySpace as YouTube (around 7.5
million minutes to 2.1 million minutes).
Meanwhile Google, which draws the biggest unique
audience (110.2 million) ranks fifth in terms of minutes spent on the
site (7.4 billion).
Americans consumed more than 7 billion video streams online, led by
Google Sites with 1.2 billion.
YouTube.com drove the lion's share of the video streaming activity at
the Google Sites property, with 53.5 million unique streamers and 1.1
billion streams initiated, Yahoo Sites ranked second, with 434 million
streams, followed by Fox Interactive, with 421 million, and Viacom
Digital, with 260 million.
Online viewers watched an average of 145 minutes of online video.
According to the Online Publishers Association's "Frames of
Reference: Online Video Advertising, Content and Consumer Behavior"
report, conducted in partnership with OTX, of
the 80% of viewers who had watched an online video ad, just over half
had taken some sort of action. Nearly a third had checked out a Web
site, while 22% had searched for more information, 15% had gone into a
store and 12% had actually made a purchase. July 2007
As the market for HDTV increases, most households in the U.S. are
buying into the benefits of a significantly higher resolution and
"theater-quality" audio capabilities for their entertainment
This is what new research from The Consumer Electronics Association
The study "HDTV: You Have the Set, But Do You Have the Content,"
reveals that thirty percent of U.S households have HDTV and 44
percent of owners receive HD programming.
Universal Music Group might not re-up with Apple's iTunes,
according to press reports. Instead of signing another two-year contract
allowing iTunes to sell Universal tracks for 99 cents each, the music
company whose roster includes U2 and Amy Winehouse, apparently is
mulling forging a shorter-term deal with Apple.
Why would Universal consider this step? The Wall Street Journal
speculates that the music company wants the option of offering exclusive
digital downloads to other online stores. Additionally, Apple's new
iPhone might have prompted Universal to reconsider its relationship with
the company. That's because, according to the Journal, Universal
and other record labels are afraid that Apple might come to command too
large a share of the mobile download market.
Execs Extend Trust to Social Media in Making Purchase Decisions
A new study by ITtoolbox confirms that today's Information Technology
decision-makers and influencers not only turn to traditional vendor Web
sites and editorial media Web sites for research, but also join
peer-driven communities and participate in user-generated content to
help in the decision process. And, the advertisers as well are seeking
out these user-generated content sites to more strategically target the
George Krautzel, ITtoolbox president and co-founder, says "This
convergence of the purchaser and advertiser within the social media
space... reveals the role social media can play in today's business
world, and sheds light on new opportunities for advertisers."
And Mike O'Toole, Executive Vice President of PJA, partner in the
study, notes that . "... the IT community now spends as much or more
time consuming social media as they do consuming editorial media or
vendor content... this is the first study to link IT executives' (use
of) social media and user-generated content to make better purchasing
Goldman Cuts Newspaper Growth Forecast
Editor & Publisher
A Goldman Sachs analyst has slashed his growth forecast for the
newspaper sector after indications from publishers that no relief is in
sight for the industry's woes. "The magnitude of the recent declines is
extraordinary for a non-recession period and provides concrete evidence,
in our view, that the share shift from print to online in the publishing
industry is accelerating," says Peter Appert.
Among the companies most at risk are McClatchy and The New York Times
Co., both rated by Goldman as "sells," due to the pure-play nature of
their businesses. Among the other downers Appert points out: newspapers
no longer rule the classified section; margins are under pressure; and
the transition period from print to online will be both "painful" and
Youtube, SKorea's LG agree to develop mobile phone
South Korea's LG Electronics said Tuesday it has signed an agrement
with YouTube, the world's biggest video-sharing website, to develop a
mobile phone which can operate the service. LG Electronics
said the proposed model will enable users to upload, view and share
video clips or user-created content (UCC) online freely without using
"LG Electronics will unveil the mobile handset that fully supports
the YouTube service for the first time in Europe in the second half of
this year," the South Korean firm said in a statement. YouTube is
the world's most popular online video-sharing website (www.youtube.com)
where computer users can upload, view and share video clips.
Industry data shows YouTube has some 70,000 UCCs posted and more than
100 million people logging on to its website every day. LG
Electronics, the world's fifth-largest mobile phone manufacturer, is
also stepping up its partnership with Google, the world's largest
Internet serach engine which owns YouTube.
Yahoo's Terry Semel Steps Down As CEO June 18 By Michael Liedtke, AP Business Writer
SAN FRANCISCO (AP) -- Yahoo Inc. Chairman Terry Semel stepped down
as chief executive in a surprise move Monday, ending his
increasingly ineffectual pursuit of online search leader Google Inc.
-- a losing battle that had demoralized Yahoo's shareholders and
The Sunnyvale-based company appointed co-founder Jerry
Yang as its new CEO and named Susan Decker as its president. Decker,
who had been touted as Semel's heir apparent, was recently promoted
from Yahoo's chief financial officer to oversee the company's
Semel, 64, will remain chairman in a non-executive role after
spending the past six years running the company.
Monday's shake-up unfolded less than a week after Semel faced off
with shareholders disillusioned with a nearly 30 percent drop in
Yahoo's stock price during the past 18 months as the company's
financial growth fell further behind Google's torrid pace.
"The company is in good hands," Semel said in an interview
Monday. "I felt like it was time for me to move more into a coach's
role than a player's role."
For 60 years, the guiding
principles of network television have been twofold: mass appeal and
program exclusivity. "Watch 'Friends' tonight at 8, only on NBC!"
endgame was to draw as large an audience as possible to a program that
could only be found at one place on the dial, at one predetermined time
Come fall, three of the Big Four networks are turning those precepts
inside out with the launch of ambitious online syndication services
designed to distribute their top shows into cyberspace, shotgun style.
Contempo net execs see it as a bold effort to piece together the mass
audience of old -- one Web site, one blog and one cellphone screen at a
With the initiatives unveiled during the past two months, net execs
say they realize the need to be more aggressive in getting their shows
out in front of the 80 million-100 million users who flock to such Web
titans as Yahoo, MSN and AOL each month. And as online sources continue
to pull ad dollars away from traditional TV, it's an expand-or-die bid
by broadcasters to grab more of the $15 billion-$17 billion in domestic
online advertising spending, which is projected to balloon to $26
billion by 2011, according to Jupiter Research.
Nielsen Weighs Plan To Make Internet Measurement Mandatory In TV
Households by Joe Mandese
The Nielsen Co. is considering a radical and potentially controversial
plan to integrate measurement of online audience measurement with its
conventional TV household ratings system. The plan, which comes as
Nielsen prepares to merge with online audience measurement firm
NetRatings later this month, is part of Nielsen's so-called A2/M2
(Anytime/Anywhere) measurement initiative, and would call for installing
new meters and software in its existing TV ratings panel that would
enable Nielsen to simultaneously track online usage in those households.
Shareholder Unrest, Executive Departures Plague Yahoo
The New York Times via mediapost.com
What's wrong with Yahoo? That question has unfortunately been asked one
too many times in the last 18 months. Yesterday, the company held an
angry shareholder meeting during which CEO Terry Semel was chided for
his massive pay package and inability to improve the company's
under-performing stock price. Indeed, since the infamous Jerry
Maguire-like "Peanut Butter Manifesto" last fall, Yahoo has gone from
being spread too thin to, well, utter confusion as the company struggles
to figure out where its core business units are headed.
The "Peanut Butter" memo was spread (sorry) internally, but the latest
call to task has come directly from Yahoo shareholders. Using YouTube as
his mouthpiece, shareholder Eric Jackson mounted a grassroots campaign
calling for, among other things, the removal of Semel. "The company has
tremendous assets," Jackson told The New York Times. "But there
needs to be new blood and new direction." The Times says Jackson
won't change much with his campaign, but his discontent underscores the
greater theme of shareholder discontent, made evident at the meeting
And he's right: Yahoo has great assets and very poor monetization. The
Times says the most troubling sign of all is the defection of its
long-time and higher-up employees; most of them had lived through better
times. The most high-profile departure was 11-year veteran Farzad Nazem,
the head of its audience group, in December. Yahoo has yet to name a
replacement. In all, 17 executives at the vice president level or above
have left since Yahoo planned its three-pronged restructuring program in
Facebook's Feeding Frenzy
Legions of dreamy-eyed entrepreneurs gathered at the Facebook
Developer's Meetup, looking to develop the next big thing for the social
network. The mood could best be summed up by the appearance of one
entrepreneur who wrote, "I NEED an APP" on his nametag. Existing Web
companies were also looking to develop Facebook apps, hoping to
capitalize on the social network's 25 million-plus user base.
All this made talented Web developers a particularly hot commodity.
"It's fantastic," said developer Nathan Freitas. Freitas is far from
alone in his enthusiasm of Facebook's decision to completely open its
social network to third-party application development. Still, the
Facebook Platform is already reaching a saturation point less than a
month after its debut.
More than 40,000 developers have requested to be part of the project so
far, some 1,500 applications have been created, and some of the most
popular ones are rapidly approaching 1 million users. "People are
initially going to run into 'app fatigue,'" said Amit Gupta, developer
and host of Wednesday's developer event. He and others warned that too
many apps could overwhelm the site with clutter. Facebook founder Mark
Zuckerberg countered that "decentralized systems...tend to be more
efficient," meaning the Facebook application "market" would work itself
70 Percent of U.S. Web Users Streamed Video in March
comScore released its comScore Video Metrix rankings for March 2007,
showing Google Sites as the top U.S. streaming video property with 57.4
million unique people streaming ("streamers") and 1.2 billion video
streams initiated. YouTube.com drove the lion's share of the video
streaming activity at the Google Sites property with 53.5 million unique
streamers and 1.1 billion streams initiated.
In March, Americans consumed more than 7 billion video streams
online, led by Google Sites with 1.2 billion. Yahoo! Sites ranked
second with 434 million streams, followed by Fox Interactive with 421
million and Viacom Digital with 260 million.
Sun block. Beach umbrella. Laptop. One in five people toted laptop
computers on their most recent vacations, an AP-Ipsos poll released
Friday said. Along with the 80 percent who said they brought along their
cell phones, the survey shows going on vacation no longer means being
out of the electronic loop. Sizable numbers are interrupting their
unwinding time to check in at the office and, even more so, to keep up
with the social buzz.
CEA PRESIDENT AND CEO GARY SHAPIRO TO
DELIVER KEYNOTE ADDRESS AT SINOCES 2007
Arlington, Va., June 14, 2007 – The Consumer
Electronics Association (CEA)® announced today that its
president and CEO, Gary Shapiro, will deliver a keynote address at the
China International Consumer Electronics Show (SINOCES), China’s largest
exhibition of consumer electronics technology. Sponsored by CEA, SINOCES
is scheduled for July 6-9, 2007 in Qingdao, China.
“The Chinese consumer electronics market is expected to grow to
nearly $100 billion by 2009. This explosive growth provides incredible
opportunities for U.S. companies to expand their products and technology
into the Chinese marketplace,” said Shapiro. “CEA is thrilled to partner
with the China Electronic Chamber of Commerce (CECC) and SINOCES, as
SINOCES enables our members to explore new international business
opportunities and allows CEA to promote our tradeshow, the International
CES, to an international audience.”
Shapiro’s keynote address is slated for 2:15 p.m. Friday, July 6, at
the Shangri-La Hotel in Qingdao. Shapiro will discuss the future of the
worldwide consumer electronics industry and the global growth of the
International CES, CEA’s flagship event and the world’s largest
tradeshow for consumer technology.
China overtaking US for fast internet access as Africa gets left
One in five people in
the world has high-speed lines but the gap is growing Richard Wray,
Thursday June 14, 2007
Almost 300 million people worldwide are now accessing the internet
using fast broadband connections, fuelling the growth of social
networking services such as MySpace and generating thousands of
hours of video through websites such as YouTube.
There are more
than 1.1 billion of the world's estimated 6.6 billion people online
and almost a third of them are now accessing the internet on
high-speed lines. According to the internet consultancy Point Topic,
298 million people had broadband at the end of March and that is
already estimated to have shot over 300 million. The statistics,
however, paint a picture of a divided digital world.
How Far Can the iPhone Take Apple?
Business Week via media post.com
Apple, Inc.'s market capitalization recently passed $100 billion for the
first time in its 27-year history; it's stock doubled in the last year
to $122 per share. Apple's share price -- like Google's -- trades highly
on emotion, as in how investors' rate the company's product innovations
and their capacity for success.
Apple shares have boomed in the days since Steve Jobs and co. announced
the Apple iPhone, the company's first cellular phone product, set to be
released on June 29. Apple's most recent release, the Web-synced set-top
box Apple TV, has so far been perceived as a flop, which is OK, but the
iPhone, seens as a multipurpose media inevitablity, needs to be a hit.
Who better to make that happen than Apple, with the demonstrated success
of its iPod video and music player? The potential market is huge: $10
billion in just a few years. That's precisely what has many analysts
calling for Apple shares at upward of $160.
Should We Fear For Kids "Public" Lives?
The Wall Street Journal
Parents are more reticent about revealing personal information on the
Web, but teenagers and 20somethings seem to have no problem growing up
in public. A report claims that nearly one-quarter of human-resources
decision makers had rejected job candidates because of personal
information found online. One of the most important background checks an
employer can do these days is to Google prospective job candidates, and
then scour the social-networking universe for their personal profiles.
The conventional wisdom is that as those who grew up with the Net get
older, they'll pay the price for their youthful indiscretions that can
never be removed. The big sociological question: Will society simply
adapt to the dichotomy between "public" Web life and one's private
offline life? Will job candidates really be held to task like
politicians for something they wrote on a MySpace page 15 years ago? The
newspaper says it's highly unlikely; the world will adapt.
As for pictures of beer and bong hits on a social-networking profile,
sooner or later applicants will realize it's probably a good idea to
take down those photos before applying for a job.
Friendster Thrives Overseas
The Wall Street Journal
The talk in the Web industry these days is about Facebook, MySpace,
Second Life and the virtual worlds catering to kids. Many may be
wondering what happened to Friendster, the original Web 2.0 social
network? It just moved to Asia (sort of). Incidentally, business is
good, too-very good.
Friendster is still live in the U.S., but nobody over here is taking
much notice (including the company), because some 70% of the social
network's traffic now comes from Southeast Asia. It's the most popular
Web site in the Philippines and the second most popular site in
Indonesia, Malaysia and Singapore. Friendster's growth has been
astonishing. Since 2003, when the company started to lose U.S. users to
MySpace, its registered user base has grown more than 10 times. It now
has 20 times the page views over the same period.
Forget Facebook, Friendster has firmly established itself as the
second-most popular social network worldwide. It has a total 41 million
Internet users in the Philippines, Malaysia, Singapore and Indonesia
alone, according to Internet World Stats.
Net Ad Rev Soars To $5 Billion In 1Q
PwC/IAB Internet Advertising Revenue Report via mediapost.com
The Interactive Advertising Bureau (IAB) and PricewaterhouseCoopers LLP
(PwC) today announced that Internet advertising revenues reached a new
record of $4.9 billion for the first quarter of 2007. The 2007
first-quarter revenues represent a 26% increase over 1Q 2006 at $3.8
billion and a 2% increase over the fourth quarter of 2006 at $4.8
"The recent results are particularly impressive when the size of the
advertising revenue base is taken into account," said Peter Petrusky,
director, PricewaterhouseCoopers. "Given these results, we may expect
continued strong revenue growth buoyed by an expanding broadband
subscriber base, which could translate into more users spending more
time online. [It] offers a platform for rich media and video ads that
dial-up connections can't render.
Virtual Worlds: The Anti-MySpace
The New York Times via mediapost.com
Virtual worlds are hot. The press can't stop talking about their
potential as acquisition targets, which surely means--if the myriad
"unnamed sources" that likely come from VC firms and acquisition-happy
Web companies are to be believed--that some action is in the offing.
Virtual worlds are fast becoming the favorite pastime of kids across the
globe. Parents, advertisers and now media companies, love them, too,
because many are cute and safe. These sites are like Facebook and
MySpace with training wheels. Many of the most successful ones cater to
young girls. As one tyke tells says: "With Barbie, if you want clothes,
it costs money. You can do it on the Internet for free."
Remember these names, because one day they could be sold for untold
millions: Stardoll, Cartoon Doll Emporium, Club Penguin, Cyworld, Habbo
Hotel, Webkinz and WeeWorld. These sites offer everything from
interactive games to chat to full interactive worlds with characters
that need caring. And many are in the midst of booming growth, says Josh
Bernoff, a social media and marketing industry analyst with Forrester
Research. Business models vary from subscriptions to ad revenue. Parents
like the former because it requires that they pay and stay somewhat
Aspiring Rock Stars Love Digital World
Reuters via mediapost.com
Times are certainly tough for the recording industry. Flagging CD sales
and radio usage at the hands of the iPod and Web piracy have backed the
mainstream industry into a corner. For an established rock star
dependent on his or her label, it may be a particularly bad time, too,
but for the aspiring set, it's a bonanza time.
Word-of-mouth has never been so powerful, thanks to online chat rooms
and social networks like MySpace, which means that bands can now make a
name for themselves through self-promotion--whether it be through a
social network profile, email lists, or allowing their music to be used
in user-generated content. Video games--especially sports games from
industry giant Electronic Arts--have also become a particularly
important outlet for aspiring rock stars.
Franz Ferdinand and Avenged Sevenfold owe their fame to EA Sports
series' like "FIFA Soccer" and "NBA Live." Music is so important, in
fact, that EA even employs a worldwide executive of music. "I would much
rather be a young band right now than 10 years ago," says Steve Schnur,
the man occupying the coveted position.
Ironically-given the shifting dynamics of the music business-the goal
for bands is still to secure a lucrative recording contract with a major
label. But Big Music is still on course for a monumental change; music
may one day be free, in which case, the recording companies better learn
how to broker an ad deal.
is on the Web
The New York Times
The future of funny is online. Who needs standup comedy when the layman
can easily produce something more polished and post it to the Web? Who
needs network television and its censorship rules when a guy like Will
Ferrell can reach 30 million people with a video clip that took 45
minutes to produce?
Of course, it helps that Ferrell, who commands about $20 million a
picture, is a huge celebrity, but video-sharing sites like YouTube and
MySpace have shown that anyone who creates something generally appealing
can have success. Web video production is easy to do, quick and cheap.
It can also catch like wildfire. Perfect for starving comedians.
The Times speaks with comedy director and producer Adam McKay, whose
2-year-old daughter starred in the Will Ferrell clip "The Landlord."
This being Hollywood, success usually means a sequel, and McKay and co.
already have the next installment, "Good Cop, Baby Cop," in the pipe.
Americans Spend Half of Their Spare Time Online
MediaPost.com May 2007
According to Netpop I Play, a new
report from Media-Screen, broadband users spend an hour and 40 minutes
(48% of their spare time) online in a typical weekday, and more than
half of that is spent accessing activities related to entertainment and
Josh Crandall, managing director of Media-Screen, says "Many
broadband consumers go online for entertainment, and to talk about
entertainment with other fans. Marketers need to leverage that
Search engines and social networking sites are gaining in popularity,
says the report, influencing an equal number of people as magazines and
newspapers. 48% of younger users say they learn about new entertainment
through community, review and video sharing sites and blogs. Only 25%
say they learn about new entertainment through television.
Crandall goes on to say "Currently, the proportion of advertising
resources devoted to the Internet (about seven percent according to
ZenithOptimedia) is nominal relative to the value it generates... among
fans... consumers, on a typical weekday, spend more than 40% of their
time consuming media online..."
Two online media activities - sending email and visiting Web sites
for personal reasons - are more popular than watching television, says
YouTube Shot In Arm For Apple TV
A day after Fortune canned Apple TV as "a dud," it announced a
landmark deal with Google to show YouTube videos on the interactive TV
device. Business Week wrote that by joining forces, "the
electronics maker and search giant just extended their lead" in bringing
Internet entertainment from the PC to the TV.
For Apple, the obvious upside is that Google content could help sell
more Apple TVs. While no official numbers have been released recently,
the response so far to Apple TV is understood to be tepid. Tim Bajarin,
president of technology consultant Creative Strategies, says that
YouTube clips should help Apple sell more of the iTunes-compatible
devices. "With YouTube, [Jobs] might have struck a new nerve and in the
process gotten more interest," he says.
Future cooperation between Google and Apple, the two hottest stocks in
the media and technology sector today, is a definite possibility. Also,
as the quality of video from YouTube improves, the partnership will
become even more valuable. Imagine on-demand sports highlights from the
NBA. Now imagine it in HD. The deal will no doubt get the attention of
other content owners. If sales are good enough, Web-based TV services
like Joost, the NBC-News Corp. joint venture, or the CBS Interactive
Network might be tempted to partner, too. That would create an instant
leader in the nascent Web TV field
EMI has joined the other three major record labels in distributing
music videos on YouTube, the companies announced today.
In addition to making available clips from acts like Coldplay and
Norah Jones, EMI and YouTube plan to develop a system that provides for
consumer-created content that uses EMI music and video. Additionally,
thanks to some new Apple software, the clips won't just be available
online but also on Apple TV -- the device that lets people watch
Internet video on TV screens.
Financial details of the YouTube-EMI deal are vague, other than a
statement that YouTube's content management tools will help EMI "track
and monetize its content and compensate its artists."
mediapost.com May 07
CBS Acquires Social Music Site
Continuing its digital push, CBS Corp. today announced the acquisition
of the UK-based Last.fm for $280 million. Last.fm is a social music site
that connects users with similar music tastes, helping them find new
music, build their own collaborative radio stations and watch music
video clips. It was founded in the UK five years ago, and now has more
than 15 million active users.
Last.fm founding member Martin Stiksel said an alliance with such a
major media player would help the site put "every track ever recorded
and every music video ever made onto Last.fm." As part of the deal, the
Last.fm management team will remain in place, and the site will retain
its brand--although CBS might want to think about a new name.
What does the move do for CBS? CEO Les Moonves said Last.fm figures
largely into the company's push to syndicate content. The company's demo
also hit the media giant's target audience. CBS could make its new
social network into a MySpace competitor by integrating CBS media
content (like radio broadcasting) with its existing offerings.
CNN, CBS, NBC, Joost Make New Web Moves
Les Luchter, Wednesday, May 23, 2007 6:00 AM ETTV NETWORKS
WERE BUSY WITH Web expansions yesterday, as CNN bought an equity
stake in Internet Broadcasting, CBS Interactive bought Wallstrip, and
NBC Universal adopted a new ad format from Unicast. Also, soon-to-launch
Internet TV service Joost signed up with Creative Artists Agency (CAA).
CNN joined Hearst-Argyle Television,
Post-Newsweek Stations, McGraw-Hill Broadcasting and Split Rock Partners
as investors in Internet Broadcasting, which runs a network of more than
70 news and information sites for local TV stations nationwide. In
addition to stations owned by the parent companies, the company also
publishes sites for NBC, Cox, Meredith, Scripps and Morgan stations.
CNN and Internet Broadcasting said they will now
allow advertisers to combine CNN.com's national reach with the regional
reach of the local news sites; Internet Broadcasting will offer select
CNN.com ad placements as part of its nationwide, regional or
market-by-market ad packages. On the editorial side, the companies will
share local, national and international news content.
Microsoft Buys aQuantive For $6 Billion
The big news of the day is that Microsoft Corp. is acquiring the
Internet ad services firm aQuantive Inc. for the hefty price of $6
billion--it's biggest-ever acquisition. AQuantive owns two giants of the
Internet advertising world: the marketing advertising services firm
Avenue A/Razorfish and ad-management technology provider Atlas. The
offer is 85% higher than aQuantive's closing price yesterday and more
than 80 times its anticipated earnings this year.
The move comes in direct response to Google's $3.1 billion acquisition
of DoubleClick last month. Atlas is an advertising management company
similar to DoubleClick, meaning it provides management tools and
services for agencies and an ad-serving platform for publishers. Avenue
A/Razorfish offers a variety of digital services for marketers,
including advertising, Web design and development.
Digital Media Empire
death of print news is inevitable. Even with the timeline still very
much in question, news printed on dead trees with ink that will come off
on your hands, containing stories you'll never read, or interesting ones
that were restricted by arbitrary print deadlines, already out of date
in an age of instantaneous digital information access, sooner or later
will go the way of the VHS. So what? If traditional media empires were
really only differentiated by their logistical ability to distribute a
physical good by a certain time every morning, then FedEx and UPS would
have put News Corp. and Time Warner out of business a long time ago.
Delivering the news means infinitely more than pushing paper.
currently being experienced by print news media are merely a result of
massive economic misalignments as people adopt new methods of consuming
news media -- while the appropriation of advertising dollars to new news
media lags woefully behind. There are two main reasons for this. First,
the development of advertising distribution technologies significantly
trails news media distribution technologies. It's not advertising
technologies' fault; even the most creative people need to see what new
media distribution and consumption look like before they can invent
methods for monetizing the medium. How long was search around before
search advertising hit its stride?
CNN will build out its local news offerings through a deal with
Internet Broadcasting, which runs Web sites for 70 local TV stations,
the companies said today.
The alliance will allow CNN to run stories from those sites while
also making CNN content available to them. CNN also will take an equity
stake in Internet Broadcasting, which already counts Hearst-Argyle
Television, Post-Newsweek Stations, McGraw-Hill Broadcasting and Split
Rock Partners among its investors.
The move isn't the first time a large national/global Web publisher
has used its site to distribute local TV news. Last year, for instance,
Yahoo forged an agreement with CBS to add news clips from 16 local
television stations. Fox, meanwhile, has tried to boost its local sites
with video clips from prime-time TV shows.
Still, local TV stations haven't been able so far to gain as much
traction online as large newspaper sites, portals or national TV news
sites. Local TV stations' online ad revenue also lags, but shows signs
of picking up. In February, Borrell Associates predicted that local TV
broadcast stations will increase their total local online video ad
takings by 178%, to $89 million, by the end of 2007. Almost all, 94%, of
the 176 local TV stations surveyed by Borrell said they intend to sell
video ads this year.
U2 goes 3D for new film
By Mike Collett-WhiteSat May
Irish band U2 gets the digital 3D treatment in a new
film that its makers say is a pioneering recreation of a
live concert. "U2 3D," shot in South America
during the band's "Vertigo" tour, seeks to recreate the
atmosphere of a gig and take fans on a thrilling visual
The film combines camera angles that soar over the
audience of up to 80,000, zoom in to within inches of
the performers, join them on stage and look back into
the stadium. At one point, U2's lead singer Bono
reaches out towards the 3D camera and looks as if he is
about to step into the cinema.
Journalists at a preview screening of a 55-minute
version of what will eventually be an 80-90 minute
picture, were given glasses through which to view the
film and were generally impressed with the authenticity
of the images and sound. The film's backers say
"U2 3D" is part of a revolution in the industry leading
to more 3D productions and ever more elaborate
What's Next For Yahoo?
Yahoo Chairman and Chief Executive Terry Semel has the backing of
company board members to continue Yahoo's "transformation" into a more
competitive rival against Google. The picture painted on Wall Street,
however, is that Semel has been one step behind the behemoth, out-Googled
on potential acquisitions that would have narrowed the gap between Yahoo
and Google. Semel balked at buying Google in 2002 for a price in the
single billions, but the company's stock value is now $145 billion --
three times that of Yahoo's. In addition, when Semel took an interest in
buying YouTube and DoubleClick, well, we know how that turned out:
Google swooped in and purchased them both, leaving Yahoo to acquire
similar, but smaller companies. Insiders named Microsoft and eBay as
viable partners for Yahoo to lessen Google's lead.
Long-Time Yahoos Seeking Greener Pastures
Yahoo's got a sizable turnaround task on its hand, but it's not about
the company's corporate directive this time; it's about rallying the
troops. After a sustained period of disappointment on Wall Street,
morale at the Sunnyvale, Calif. Web giant is low, and long-time
employees are leaving.
Even the good news that CEO Terry Semel had finally hired a new chief
financial officer in Blake Jorgensen, the co-founder of the investment
bank Thomas Weisel Partners, was construed negatively on Wall Street:
Investors sent the stock down 1.7% on fears that Jorgensen's appointment
precedes the shedding of assets or even an outright sale.
The fact that the May 4 speculation that Microsoft might buy Yahoo sent
the company's shares soaring is symbolic of the overall climate at the
Web giant recently. The report says resumes are "flying" to Google and
Silicon Valley Web startups in the wake of the uncertainty; employees
clearly expect the company to either be sold or undergo drastic changes
Social Media Marketing Aids Online
Visibility by Ryan Buchanan,
Thursday, May 17, 2007
IN THE REAL WORLD WE turn
to colleagues and friends for advice on what
products and services to buy; generally
trying to avoid the salesperson.
Understandably this is why social media is
so effective and can facilitate an increase
in a marketer's bottom line. No longer do we
have to rely only on mass media for our
information and advice. Social media (and
Web 2.0 technologies) allow us to create
innovative targeted campaigns to promote
brand and product awareness and can provide
us with valuable feedback.
In our 2007 Online Marketing Predictions report, we
concluded that social networking will continue growing strong but will
become very niche-like, based around unique user personalities. This
trend changes the way marketers reach out to their targets. It's no
longer the company that is looking for the customers. Potential
customers are online, actively searching for the best place to find the
product or service they want.
From blogs to podcasts, and RSS feeds to text messaging,
online communities enable marketers to have a direct connection with
highly targeted individuals. Understanding this niche aspect and
communicating with users in a way that is non-disruptive is vital for a
successful social media marketing campaign. Additionally, this shift is
also enabling a new class of autonomous newsmakers and brand influencers
to emerge, many wielding the word-of-mouth influence and reach of
traditional media, but to smaller and more qualitative audiences.
This transformation of the media landscape creates both
opportunities and challenges for corporate marketers. It takes exactness
to successfully navigate and execute social media programs.
Google's Radical Change
Make no mistake, yesterday's unveiling of Google Universal Search was a
massive announcement for the Mountain View, Calif. Web giant.
Information Week says the bigness of the press event was underscored
by the appearance of so many senior company officials, including Elliot
Schrage, vice president of global communications and public affairs; and
Craig Silverstein, Google's technology director (and first employee).
Google now has integrated each of its search products into its core
results, a process which began several months ago, but today received a
major upgrade with the addition of video, maps, news and book results.
Search executives were mixed on the news, but just about everyone agrees
this is a monumental change. Greg Sterling, principal of consultancy
Sterling Market Intelligence, says the move encourages users to spend
more time in the "Google Universe," and will more than likely result in
greater usage of underutilized products like Video and Book Search.
Indeed, with multimedia results on Google.com, the Web giant has turned
into something of a search portal--its goal is no longer to send users
elsewhere quickly. But the biggest bomb of all, Sterling said, was
Mayer's hint that display ads would soon show up in Google search
results. There's big ad revenue there
AOL's Global Expansion Underway
AOL's global expansion is well underway. The Time Warner Company in the
18 months will launch a retooled Web portal in 14 countries, many of
them new. AOL India, Austria and the Netherlands have launched this
year, while revamped versions in Germany, France and UK are set to
follow. The move is interesting, considering that the Times Warner unit
sold its AOL Europe business last year.As part of the retooled site, AOL
is adding AOL Instant Messenger to its email service, a la Gmail and
Google Talk, and social media services.
"I want to move as fast as we can," CEO Randy Falco told the Reuters
Global Technology, Media and Telecoms Summit in New York.
Rivals would agree that nimbleness-or rather, versatility-is essential
but moving quickly doesn't equal success. AOL maintains that its
unveiling a steady stream of new products, and if they are, is anyone
paying attention? The news media certainly isn't: short of a big
announcement, little has been said about AOL's success with its new
content offerings. However, the company's decision to sell ads on its
email service was a smart one: the Reuters report says some 52% of its
user page views come from email. That's also a bit worrying, especially
when you consider that search accounts for a big chunk of page views,
too. So how much belongs to the content?
Rumors are swirling that
Microsoft and Yahoo are again contemplating a merger.
The Wall Street Journal and New York Post both reported that
executives at the two companies are talking about Microsoft acquiring
Yahoo; the Post pegged the price at around $50 billion.
It's not surprising that talks have started again, given the recent
moves by Google to increase its share of both eyeballs and ad dollars.
In addition to acquiring the largest video-sharing site last year for
$1.65 billion, Google also just agreed to pay $3.1 billion for
DoubleClick, outbidding Microsoft in the process.
Yahoo, also, has lost ground to Google, which has far surpassed
everyone else in search revenue. Consider, Google currently accounts for
about 65% of the paid search market, while Microsoft and Yahoo together
draw only 27% of search ad dollars, according to the Post.
The Journal, which collected the data on the companies' online ad
revenue, reported that the 9-year-old Google took $7.3 billion, while
13-year-old Yahoo garnered $4.56 billion and Microsoft, founded in 1975,
drew just $2.29 billion in Web ad dollars last year.
But even a combination of Yahoo and Microsoft isn't likely to knock
Google off its perch. Weighing the pros and cons of a merger this
morning, Forrester Research analyst Charlene Li concluded that a
Microsoft/Yahoo merger is unlikely to seriously challenge Google in the
near future. "In the very long term (3 years+), there's a chance that a
revitalized company would be in a better position to compete, but this
assumes that Google stands still for them to catch up," Li blogs.
Moonves: CBS Must Tread Smartly In Ditigal Age
With all the Web TV hoopla, we tend to forget that TV is still the big
business. Once the digital transition is complete, TV will likely still
be big business, though in a different form. To that end, offline TV
champ CBS Corp. recently unveiled a bold, broad distribution plan to
cover its bases ahead of the inevitable Web TV shakeout.
CBS may be tops in prime time, but president Les Moonves understands his
legacy will ultimately be judged by the way he led CBS through the
digital transition, which includes rethinking how CBS produces and then
judges its content as much as a distribution plan. Per that plan,
Moonves said CBS decided to opt-out of the so-called YouTube killer
devised by News Corp. and NBC because of its narrow-minded idea of
exclusivity. "We would have had to funnel every piece of content through
that mechanism," he said. "It didn't give us the freedom we wanted to
make partnerships all over the place." It's also uncertain how effective
it would be for the networks to band together demanding that everyone
use their media player. What if consumers flock to more diversified Web
TV programs like Joost?
Regarding the thorny YouTube question, Moonves said it's great
promotional value for CBS if one-minute clips of its shows are uploaded
and shared on the site. It's bad if whole episodes are cut up and then
spliced together for free viewing. Then, CBS doesn't get compensated
Gavin O'Malley, Thursday, May 10, 2007 ALTHOUGH OVERSHADOWED BY MOVIE AND
cable earnings, interactive was still a bright spot for News
Corp. last quarter. The owner of MySpace said Wednesday that fiscal
third-quarter profit rose to $871 million, or 27 cents per share--from
$820 million, or 26 cents per share, a year ago. Revenue, meanwhile,
rose 21% to $7.53 billion. "The popularity of our Internet assets is
translating into improved results, and we have just begun to scrape the
surface of their potential," said Rupert Murdoch, News Corp. chairman
The company expects that it will match or exceed
full-year interactive revenue of $500 million, primarily derived from
MySpace. Other interactive initiatives, however, are now in place as
well, said Murdoch.
Is MySpace The New Microsoft?
Forget Google--News Corporation's MySpace is Microsoft's biggest threat,
PayPal co-founder Max Levchin said at the Software 2007 Conference in
Santa Clara, Calif. on Wednesday. DoubleClick acquisition
notwithstanding, Google doesn't have as much data, he said. In fact, the
search giant's push toward personalization is all about acquiring more,
but MySpace and other social networks already have the leverage.
Levchin believes that social networks are becoming more like operating
systems in the sense that they serve users precisely through the control
of their data. Because of this, he said, social networks will dominate
in the years to come--just as Microsoft dominated the eighties and
nineties through software.
It's all about user lock-in. Whereas Google collects information about
what users search for, its ultimate purpose is to get people off
Google.com as soon as possible. Social networks are all about keeping
users in their network, while encouraging them to reveal as much
information as possible--some of which could be used to sell advertising
Sing Out: USA, Yahoo Ink
Deal, Promote New Artists
David Goetzl, Thursday, May 10, 2007 CALL IT THE "AMERICAN IDOL"
effect. Possibly influenced by the success of contestants in their
post-show ventures, USA Network and Yahoo have inked a deal in which the
two will join forces to promote emerging artists and likely share in
Under the agreement, the Yahoo Music radio
operation will identify unsigned artists who garner particularly high
listenership and send them to USA. The NBC Universal network will then
sign them (in collaboration with Yahoo) and blend their work into its
marketing and programming initiatives.
That, in turn, could open multiple
opportunities--from enhancing USA's on-air product to developing
potential stars in the process. Any hit-making success would also
Fox, MySpace, NFL In Super Bowl Deal
Dow Jones/WSJ via Beurs
Fox Sports will announce today a deal with fellow News Corp. unit
MySpace and the National Football League that could give Super Bowl TV
advertisers a bigger Web presence along with their time in the game.
Fox--set to broadcast Super Bowl XLII on Feb. 3--and MySpace will
promise extras like on-air promotions of the site during the big game.
Meanwhile, advertisers will be able to offer online "calls to action"
after their spots run, with coupons or links. Watching Super Bowl ads on
the Web has already become a popular pastime, with many polls and
viewing sites. Over the last few years, companies that have tried to
leverage the Super Bowl's online cachet include AOL, Google and Viacom.
Gavin O'Malley, Wednesday, May 9, 2007 YESTERDAY'S ANNOUNCEMENT OF MYSPACE'S
PLANS for a $250 million acquisition of the Web's top
photo-sharing service Photobucket came after months of squabbling
between the two companies over usage terms and agreements. Earlier this
year, News Corp.'s MySpace blocked Photobucket--best known for helping
users post images on MySpace members' pages--from doing exactly that.
Photobucket, which launched in 2003, provides a
one-stop shop for uploading pictures and videos all over the Web.
Despite its popularity among MySpace users, Photobucket was on its way
to becoming a formidable destination site of its own. The site is
ad-supported and hosts pictures and videos for free.
Photobucket currently has around 40 million users
sending links pointing back to Photobucket from 300,000 sites in
addition to MySpace, and boasts more than 40% of all online
photo-sharing traffic, according to Hitwise. Furthermore, it serves some
3 billion online images and videos daily for its 41 million members.
Yahoo-Comcast: The Deal Nobody Noticed
Blog Maverick and mediapost.com
Forget DoubleClick and Right Media. Blog maverick and media
billionaire-eccentric Mark Cuban says Yahoo's partnership to sell
display advertising and video ads for Comcast is the deal of the year.
To be sure, Comcast.net is big and its inventory is lucrative, but Cuban
says access to the Comcast network makes this deal really significant.
He says that Yahoo's advertising platform, Panama, will be integrated
into a video platform for the first time. For example, when Comcast
serves video from Comcast.net to its high-speed Internet customers,
these are private network subscribers, not regular Internet subscribers.
Comcast controls its network in a similar manner to how corporations
control their networks.
"The opportunities far exceed what are available on the general
Internet," Cuban says, precisely because it gives Yahoo special access
that Google couldn't get. The cable provider has the unique ability to
deliver vast amounts of data over its network at high speeds--such as
DVD quality video to PCs--without using the Internet. Thus, Yahoo and
Comcast could start working together to develop their own video content
and ad platforms, while leveraging all that customer data. Think of the
possibilities--the move could mark a significant shift in the .net
YouTube Morphs Into Mainstream Media
Blog Maverick's Mark Cuban poses an interesting question about the
future of YouTube, now that the Google video site has begun rewarding
its higher-traffic generating content producers with a cut of ad
revenue. How long before YouTube "corporates" itself out to become the
next Clear Channel for the Web?
A good question, because now that YouTube is also paying for good
content, it behooves Google to promote the best stuff it has to offer.
If a video gains traction fast, don't be surprised if it starts popping
up on the YouTube home page or in promotions on pages where inventory is
unsold. Then, both Google and the content provider would then benefit.
Does the best rise to the top? Cuban says you could ask bands and
artists how they feel about the programming skills of for-profit radio
stations. Wouldn't YouTube then become just another provider of
mainstream media content? How long before videos appear from angry users
slamming YouTube for its Clear Channelization?
May 3, 2007
The last few weeks have been dizzying in the online ad industry.
Google is buying DoubleClick for more than $3 billion. Experian is
buying Hitwise for more than $400 million. Hachette is buying Jumpstart
Automotive Media for approximately $100 million. And, to start off this
week, Yahoo said it is buying the 80% of Right Media that it doesn't
already own for $680 million and will be the primary sales channel and
ad-serving provider for Comcast.net. So, if you are like most folks
inside the industry, or are just an observer, you've been trying to
figure out what this all means. I have, too, and here are my thoughts:
It's game time if you want a seat at the table. It's clear
that companies hoping to be major players in the online ad industry are
starting to make some big moves to try to assure themselves a seat at
the table in online advertising's next round. The companies making big
bets now want to be "consolidators" in the industry, not "be
consolidated." There are probably 15 companies that want to own a seat
at that table, from the search portals to the major media and content
companies to the big ecommerce companies to the major telecommunications
infrastructure companies. Unfortunately, there are not 15 seats
available at the table. The Monitor Group tells us that 92% of gross
online ad spending in the U.S. in 2006 was captured by just four
companies (68% of net ad spend). That tells us that there were really
only four seats at the table here in the U.S. for round one. While the
table might expand a bit over the next few years, it is probably
unlikely that it will grow by more than one or two seats. That is why we
are seeing big valuations for these companies. In most cases, they are
being bought for more than their potential cash flow. They are being
bought for their strategic value in securing a top position in the
User Generated EMedia Content Threatens Traditional Providers'
According to results of a survey released by Accenture, media and
entertainment executives see the ability and eagerness of individuals to
create their own content as one of the biggest threats to their
business. 57 percent of the respondents identified the rapid growth of
user-generated content (amateur digital videos, podcasts, mobile phone
photography, wikis and social-media blogs) as one of the top three
challenges they face today. And, 70 percent of respondents said they
believe that social media, one of the largest segments of user-generated
content, will continue to grow, compared with only 3 percent of
respondents who said they view social media as a fad.
In this survey of senior executives in the media and entertainment
industry in North America and Europe, Accenture identified growth
potential for various media content. The executives surveyed in 2007
showed greater optimism about content driving their revenues than those
surveyed last year, with 32 percent of respondents in this year's survey
stating that content will drive their revenues, compared with only 21
percent of respondents in last year's survey.
Gavin Mann, digital media lead for Accenture's Media & Entertainment
practice, said "This is just the beginning... where the media content
environment grows more fractious and the user gains more control and
power... The key to (traditional, established content providers) success
will be identifying new forms of content that can complement their
According to the study:
68% of the respondents said they believe that within three years
their businesses will be making money on user-generated content
62% said they believe their companies will make money through
advertising and sponsorships of social media
21% anticipate improved profits from subscriptions
18% expect profits from pay-per-play offerings
24% of respondents said they do not yet know how their
businesses will profit from user-generated content.
In anticipation of the changing environment, Roger Faxon, chief
executive of EMI Music Publishing said the music industry is moving
"from a sales model to a consumer consumption model or participation
model, where its economics are predicated on the use patterns of
consumers as opposed to the purchase patterns..."
It seems online dating has become a household name. It has gained
mainstream social acceptance in the States. To no surprise, different
sites tend to attract different "daters." For instance, match.com and
Yahoo personals seem to attract younger crowds looking for fun. Tween,
teen, college and young twentysomethings flock to social media sites
like MySpace and Facebook .
So what about our friend? Well, that was four years ago. The
landscape has surely changed. So I did some digging to find where
boomers are going. According to a recent Newsweek article, 63% of
PerfectMatch.com's traffic is men and women between the ages of 35 to
60. Another popular site targeted to the 50-plus market is
PrimeSingles.net, whose membership grew 39 percent two years ago. "As
people get older, they definitely start dropping a lot of the look
requirements they have in their mind," Joe Tracy, publisher of the
Web-based Online Dating Magazine, told Newsweek. "They're more
successful at finding what they want, and that's why they do well with
personality sites that match them; it's easier for them to skip over the
Many of these sites say boomers are their fastest growing segment
online. According to the Census Bureau, 29% of adults aged 45 to 59 are
now single, compared to 19% in 1980.
According to Match.com, people over age 50
make up the site's fastest-growing segment of users, with a 300%
increase since 2000.
Viral Brand Marketing Fuels
MySpace Ad Mix
Financial Times and mediapost.com May 07
Viral branded marketing is the new way to get noticed on MySpace and
other social networks, according to Marketing Evolution, whose report
stressed the benefits of embedded interactive marketing programs, also
called "widgets," as being more effective than TV advertising. Why?
Embedded marketing messages require user action. Users post them to
their pages, and friends can add them, too. This is engaging, "pull"
What kinds of programs are we talking about? Branded clips (movies,
video-game trailers) wallpaper, even branded user-generated video.
MySpace digital chief Peter Levinsohn says the success of these
"widgets" has helped turn the tables on MySpace's revenue mix. A year
ago, 70 percent of the site's advertising came from click-based direct
response ads, like search engine marketing, the rest from branded
advertising. In the past few months, the trend has reversed, as 70
percent of ad revenue is now coming from branded ads.
Web Giants Shift Focus To Ad Networks
Business Week and Mediapost.com May 07
Display networks are the new online video-for now. Now that Yahoo has
all of Right Media and Google is on the verge of scoring DoubleClick,
everyone's waiting for the next big move. Microsoft is now said to be
after ValueClick Media, one of the Web's largest ad networks, along with
24/7 Real Media and aQuantive, owner of the ad-server AtlasDMT.
Why ad nets? According to eMarketer senior analyst David Hallerman,
display ads are on course to reach $5.5 billion this year. That's about
$3 billion less than the market search-related text ads. And when you
consider that search accounted for just 1.3% of the total online ad pie
seven years ago (nowadays it's roughly half), while display brought in
47%, you might think this is a market in decline.
Not so. Broadband connections and richer content mean people are
spending more time with their computers. This means that ad networks,
which pool together groups of publishers to sell to advertisers, are
ready for prime-time--especially auction-based exchange providers like
Right Media, which let advertisers bid against each other to buy
targeted audiences across the Web. They want to do to display what
Google did for search. If you're a Web giant that owns a search engine,
why not buy a network and merge user data into a package to sell to
advertisers at market-set prices that will grow?
PBS Offers To Create Pitch To Media Buyers
The adventures of a modern media buyer are not usually the standard
children's book fare. An effort to bring in more sponsorship dollars for
its kids shows has Boston PBS affiliate WGBH creating a story book about
a media buyer convincing a client to put ads in shows like "Arthur" and
"Clifford the Big Red Dog."
WGBH sent copies of "The Happy Client" to more than 1,000 industry
contacts and says it is a creative way to keep PBS Kids shows top of
mind. "A lot of media dollars are being spent right now, and our goal
was to find a creative way to get the attention of media buyers," says
Marcia Hertz, managing director of marketing and client services at
WGBH's national sponsorship department.
But Robert Weissman, managing director of the Washington, D.C., activist
group Commercial Alert, claims the book is one more sign that PBS'
mission is going awry: "It sounds like this product is a further
weakening of its noncommercial status." While sponsorship spots for
"Curious George" and "Arthur" are open, Hertz notes there are guidelines
that bar sponsors from showing their products on PBS children's shows or
Yahoo Acquires Right Media The Wall Street Journal
April 30, 07
Not to be outdone by Google, Yahoo this morning announced its purchase
of Right Media, the provider of an online advertising exchange
containing more than 1,000 publishers. Yahoo already owned a 20 percent
stake in the company; today it purchased the rest for $680 million in
cash and stock.
Google, in announcing its intention to acquire DoubleClick, staked its
claim to move into the high-stakes territory of graphical ad-serving,
but Yahoo's new purchase is different. Whereas DoubleClick makes most of
its money selling expensive ads to publishers of premium content, Right
Media provides an open ad exchange for advertisers to bid on publishers'
inventory--mostly nonpremium display ads.
The idea is to create advertising that like DoubleClick to Google would
operate separately from its parent. Yahoo chief Terry Semel thinks its
nonpremium inventory will now sell at higher prices, thanks to the
auction-based market. He noted that the acquisition also greatly expands
Yahoo's ad network. The acquisition of Right Media could help offset
declining revenue growth of Yahoo's premium inventory, which was up just
7 percent in the first quarter. It should be noted that the ad exchange
market is increasing in competition, as DoubleClick, shortly before its
acquisition by Google, announced its entry into the market; eBay, of
course, is powering an exchange in conjunction with the four As.
Weekday Circulation at Daily
Newspapers Falls 2.1 Percent in Latest Reporting Period
NEW YORK (AP) -- Weekday circulation at U.S. daily newspapers fell
2.1 percent in the latest six-month reporting period, according to
figures released Monday, in the latest sign that people are turning
to the Internet and other media for news. Comparable figures
for Sunday newspapers fell 3.1 percent for the six months ended in
March, according to the Newspaper Association of America, an
industry group. The calculations are based on reports that
newspapers deliver to the Audit Bureau of Circulations.
Newspaper circulation has been declining steadily for years amid
changing reader habits and the emergence of other media for news,
particularly 24-hour cable TV news and the Internet. However the
average weekday decline of 2.1 percent in the latest period was not as
steep as the fall of 2.8 percent reported for the six-month period ended
in October, or the six months ended in March 2006, when the decline was
Many newspapers are attracting readers and advertising dollars
through their Web sites, but the growth in online revenues is generally
outweighed by declines in print advertising, which still makes up the
vast majority of newspapers' business.
Online readership of newspaper sites continues to grow. The NAA
pointed to recently released data from Nielsen//NetRatings showing a 5.3
percent increase in the number of people who visited newspaper Web sites
in the first quarter of 2007
Move Into Agency Territory and Marketers Take Notice
New Ad Platforms and
Creative-Services Units Expand Print Brands Published:
April 30, 2007
NEW YORK (AdAge.com) -- Just
don't call them magazine publishers.
The one-time purveyors of ink on print have all but dropped the word
"magazine" in favor of "brand" to talk about their edited bundles of
content. Much of that content isn't even delivered on paper anymore --
just ask Time Inc.'s Life -- showing up online, on TV and on iPods. Now
it looks like the term "publisher" is becoming obsolete too, just
another descriptor that increasingly obscures what's really going on:
Jack Kliger, Hachette
Filipacchi Media: With Jumpstart, he's suddenly running an
online sales network.
It's happened subtly and in spurts, but more and more of the big
magazine publishers have dug into business lines that once belonged
basically to ad agencies alone. Two weeks ago Hachette Filipacchi Media
U.S. -- which has closed ElleGirl and Premiere in print while promising
to continue the brands in other ways -- paid $84 million for Jumpstart
Automotive Media, the San Francisco online ad network. That means
Jumpstart handles internet ad sales for Hachette's Car and Driver and
Road & Track but also -- and more important -- that Hachette is suddenly
running a sales network of primarily non-Hachette sites with five
million unique monthly visitors.
YouTube Goes With Pre- And Post Rolls Red Herring
So the rumors are true: YouTube, which has been frantically searching
for a way to court big advertisers and is set to roll out a series of
new products for advertisers this summer, which are likely to include
pre-, post- and mid-roll video spots. Suzie Reider, YouTube's head of
advertising, said, "We're looking at executions like a very quick little
intro preceding a video, then the video, then a commercial execution on
the backside of the content."
Reider wouldn't elaborate on the company's plans, though ad formats
would vary by video and content provider. It looks like YouTube buys
will require an added degree of customization and strategic planning.
Reider said she expects YouTube to contribute significantly to parent
Google's bottom line in "three or four years." She implied that the
video provider's more than 1,000 "premium" content partners would be the
first to experiment with the new formats.
burning its high-def DVD rival
By Thomas K. Arnold
at HollywoodReporter.com April 23, 2007
Of the high-definition discs bought by consumers in the first
quarter, 70% were in the Blu-ray Disc format and 30% were HD DVD,
according to sales figures provided by Home Media Magazine's market
Blu-ray took the lead in February, and its percentage of total sales
accelerated to the point where it accounted for nearly three out of
every four high-definition discs sold in March.
What's more, when given the choice, consumers are going with Blu-ray.
Warner Home Video released "The Departed" the same day, Feb. 13, in
both formats. Between then and March 31, consumers bought 53,640
copies of the film on Blu-ray Disc and 31,590 on HD DVD, according
to Home Media Magazine's market research, based on studio estimates
and Nielsen VideoScan point-of-sale data.
Research also shows that eight of the 10 top-selling high-definition
titles in the first quarter were on Blu-ray Disc. At the top of the
list is Sony Pictures Home Entertainment's "Casino Royale," which
sold through to consumers an estimated 59,680 units in the first
quarter. The Blu-ray Disc edition of "Departed" finished second,
while the HD DVD version of that Oscar-winning film placed third.
Even Vinton Cerf, one of the internet's founding fathers as
co-developer of the key communications techniques, said the exercise was
"generally healthy" because the current technology "does not satisfy all
The National Science Foundation wants to build an experimental
research network known as the Global Environment for Network
Innovations, or GENI, and is funding several projects at universities
and elsewhere through Future Internet Network Design, or FIND.
Rutgers, Stanford, Princeton, Carnegie Mellon and the Massachusetts
Institute of Technology are among the universities pursuing individual
A new network could run parallel with the current internet and
eventually replace it, or perhaps aspects of the research could go into
a major overhaul of the existing architecture.
GoogleClick: A Precedent For Ad
Business Week 4/07 If Google succeeds in buying the graphical ad-server DoubleClick,
pending government approval, the search giant will no longer just be the
search giant. The company's aggressive foray into traditional media,
like print, radio and now, TV, proves that.
Indeed, it would be hard for CEO Eric Schmidt to deny that Google's aim
is to dominate global advertising. Google would corner a big chunk of
online advertising with the addition of DoubleClick. Big G already
accounts for two-thirds of search revenue; with DoubleClick, it would
gain a hefty share of display advertising -- and a lot of new business.
Microsoft and AT&T are complaining that Web advertisers would then be
forced to do business with Google, whether they like it or not.
Going For Scale, AOL
Says 'Amplify Your Buy,' Unveils Five Original Web Programs
Tobi Elkin, Wednesday, Apr 18, 2007 POSITIONING ITSELF AS A CHAMPION
of scale, interactive engagement and high quality content, AOL on
Tuesday debuted five original programs for the Web that build on its
experience with "Gold Rush," -- the interactive/TV series it partnered
on with uber-producer Mark Burnett last year. Media buyers saw promise
in some of them. The online division of Time Warner hopes the five new
franchises will lure viewers and advertisers with new participatory and
interactive features and plenty of promotion.
Microsoft, Adobe Headed For Collision
The Wall Street Journal 4/07
Microsoft and Adobe are on a collision course, as the companies, which
have been partners for a long time, roll out software handling
multimedia functions like video and animation. Today, this is an area
dominated by Adobe's Flash, but Microsoft is now throwing its hat into
the ring with a new software called Silverlight, designed to make the
building of advanced programs easier.
Adobe, meanwhile, is rolling out a new, free product of its own, Adobe
Media Player, which is similar to Windows Media Player or Real Networks'
RealPlayer. Adobe is also readying another desktop technology called
Apollo, which allows companies to build Flash programs that can also
pull information from the Web.
Warner Bros. Records Chooses Musicrypt's DMDS For
Major US Release
Superstar Band Linkin Park Debuts At #1 Following
Exclusive Digital Delivery
Toronto, Canada – April 10, 2007 – Musicrypt Inc, the leader in secure
digital media distribution, today announced that it has successfully
delivered the highly anticipated new single by the multi-platinum
selling band Linkin Park to radio stations across the United States. On
Monday morning April 2, 2007 at 7am ET, DMDS delivered the single “What
I’ve Done” simultaneously to hundreds of radio programmers. This
exclusive, historic delivery marks the first time that a major record
label in the US has released a significant new single entirely by
digital means to radio thereby eliminating the major expense of
producing and shipping physical CDs. Today, the song “What I’ve Done”
debuts at #1 on the BDS and Mediabase Alternative charts.
That’s the beauty of Internet radio,
supporters say, thanks to some computer-savvy users with a couple
hundred bucks to spare on software who go online and create a station.
The range of music options is broadened, and emerging artists are given
And folks are obviously listening. About 70 million people are said
to listen to an estimated 10,000 online stations worldwide, according to
Edison Media Research. Digital music streams are provided by the big
boys - Clear Channel and CBS Radio, for example - as well as the little
Web Radio Loses Copyright Appeal
CNET News.com April 07
Web radio broadcasters were dealt a harsh blow on Monday as a federal
copyright panel upheld its decision to raise the royalty fees Web radio
companies have to pay record labels. The decision comes in the wake of
an appeal filed by National Public Radio and signed by hundreds of small
commercial Webcasters, which complain that significantly raised fees
would put them out of business. The three judges from the U.S. Copyright
Board said the consortium failed to make a "sufficient showing of new
evidence or clear error or manifest injustice that would warrant
Traffic Plummets at Struggling Bud.TV
Brewer's Online Network Sees 40% Drop in Visitors
April 12, 2007
CHICAGO (AdAge.com) -- Traffic at Anheuser-Busch's online TV network
cratered in March following an already underwhelming debut in February.
Bud.TV drew 152,000 unique visitors last month, 40% fewer than
February's 253,000 visitors, according to numbers released today by
ComScore Media Metrix.
A-B executives have said that they hope to draw between 2 million and 3
million visitors per month by early next year to the online network,
which is costing the brewer somewhere between $30 million and $40
Women outnumber men online in United States
Thu Apr 12
A study released on Thursday indicates that more
women than men go online in the United States, defying
the perception of the Internet as a male-dominated
Approximately 97.2 million women use the Internet in
the United States, compared to 90.9 million men,
according to research by eMarketer. Women are
inclined to use the Internet to accomplish tasks instead
of as a diversion, said eMarketer senior analyst Debra
Aho Williamson, author of the "Women Online" report.
"Females, especially adult women, are more likely to
use the Internet to get things done, rather than to have
fun," the eMarketer report states. "Many adult
women, busy juggling work with their relationships and
child-caring responsibilities, don't have time to surf
the Web for video." Seventy-eight percent of male
US Internet users will watch video online this year
while only 66 percent of the female users will,
according to eMarketer.
Google Rumor Goes Into
Orbit: Now It's Talking To DirecTVby
Joe Mandese, Apr 11, 07WEEKS AFTER ANNOUNCING A PARTNERSHIP
to sell TV advertising time for direct satellite TV distributor
EchoStar, Google is rumored to have struck a similar deal with the other
major satellite TV player, DirecTV. "VentureBeat is hearing that Google
is negotiating an advertising deal with DirecTV, the nation's largest
satellite broadcast service with 16 million subscribers," Thor Muller, a
blogger with Silicon Valley venture capital newsletter VentureBeat
posted this morning, sparking following up reports in financial dailies
and industry trade publications.
"The DirecTV deal is taking more time than Dish's
to close because DirecTV is managing the ownership change announced last
year (when News Corp said it would sell its ownership stake to
Liberty)," reported VentureBeat, citing an unnamed source.
News Corp.'s shareholders recently approved a
plan that would give John Malone's Liberty Media Corp. control of
NBC Expands Late-Night
David Goetzl, Monday, Apr 9, 2007NBC IS EXPANDING ITS
LATE-NIGHT broadband suite. The network
will fill NBC.com with more "SNL" content, including some online
originals, in addition to the wealth of "Saturday Night Live" videos
already on its Web site. And it will add new offerings from "The Tonight
Show, "Late Night With Conan O'Brien" and "Last Call with Carson Daly."
Former media titans such as Eisner and Bochco are
finding lots to like as they produce new shows aimed at social
networking's explosive growth
by Ronald Grover BusinessWeek.com
The acting is wooden, the monologue darn near nonexistent. But
there's something mildly addicting about Prom Queen, the
ballyhooed new online series of two-minute episodes that former Walt
Disney Chairman Michael Eisner has brought to the Web. It features hot
chicks, rock-hard guys, and a hint of sex (one kid streaks through a
soccer practice, a girl seductively kisses a guy). And it has a secret:
Someone is out to kill the prom queen, who hasn't been crowned yet.
Better yet, Prom Queen has what every wannabe Internet
mogul wants—a sponsor. Each episode follows a brief plug for the movie
Hairspray, which will be released on July 20 by Warner
Bros.' New Line Cinema unit.
Is this the future of online video? Who knows? But just about every
media mogul worth his reservation at Mr. Chow seems to be trying to find
a way into the world of social networks, blogs, and online video shorts.
Eisner, who left Disney in 2006 and has been building an online media
business that includes a stake in YouTube clone Veoh, has started
his own digital video studio. On Mar. 29, Eisner announced a deal to
distribute Prom Queen through social-networking behemoth
MySpace, owned by News Corp. . Steven Bochco, a mega-TV producer with
such hits as L.A. Law and Hill Street Blues to
his credit, has jumped in and will create a string of videos for
user-generated site Metacafe.com. "TV people know that the future is
changing," says Herb Scannell, former president of Viacom's Nickelodeon
Networks who is co-founder of the Next New Networks, a month-old startup
that intends to program and create 101 specialized social networks over
the next five years.
Edgy on a Micro-Budget
Why all the fuss? Blame it on YouTube, which has proved it can bring
together an audience of more than 30 million sets of eyeballs each month
to watch cats burp and soda bottles explode. That's helped free up
venture money in a hurry. Scannell and co-founder Fred Seibert, a
onetime MTV creative director, had little trouble raising $8 million in
seed money from such media heavyweights as former AOL Time Warner Chief
Operating Officer Robert Pittman, private equity firm Spark Capital, and
Haim Saban, the billionaire entrepreneur who popularized the
Mighty Morphin Power Rangers.
or www.myspace.com/promqueen; 80 episodes, starting April 2)
By BRIAN LOWRY
Variety.com April 07
Michael Eisner's embrace
of the "webisode" format will inspire more curiosity than "Prom Queen"
probably deserves, unless you have the patience to follow what appears
to be a teen murder-mystery told in 90-second installments. Based on the
first two webisodes (out of 80), downloaders ought to have some measure
of closure by Labor Day.
In the opener, the exercise adopts a kind of "Twin Peaks" vibe: A
young woman (Laura Howard) wakes up in her underwear, looks around for
awhile (set to eerie music), and grabs for a cell phone. And that's
pretty much it until next time, webheads.
A semblance of a plot begins to coalesce in part two, but it's still
not clear (other than the eerie music) where any of this is heading,
though I kind of found myself missing the girl-in-underwear part.
Fortunately, there's no shortage of that available on the Internet.
Producers and online distributors are wise to experiment with
different forms (and lengths) of content, but they'll need to be more
addictive than this to inspire people to return day after day and opt-in
on the various tie-ins. Without sounding like a Luddite, there's also
cause for skepticism about the size of the audience hungry for elaborate
serialized storytelling online, as opposed to bite-sized bits of chimps
sniffing their own butts.
Eisner has made a deal with the social networking site MySpace to
carry the installments, and the production values are passable, though
it did require some squinting to read text off a cellphone within the
second chapter on my tiny little computer screen -- an odd throwback, if
you think about it, to television's infancy, when families crowded
around an eight-inch set.
So at this point anyway, for a date with confusion, download "Prom
A New Wireless Player
Hopes to Challenge iPod
By NICK WINGFIELD April 9, 2007
A long and distinguished list of companies -- including
Sony Corp., Microsoft Corp. and Samsung Co. -- have tried and failed to
make deep inroads into the digital music player market dominated by
Apple Inc.'s iPod. Internet giant Yahoo Inc. and its partners don't want
to join that list.
A new wireless MP3 player called the Sansa Connect --
the result of a three-way collaboration among Yahoo, MP3 player and
storage device maker SanDisk Corp. and technology start-up Zing Systems
Inc. -- hit store shelves on Friday. The $250 device, crafted to work
closely with Yahoo's Internet music and other online services, has a
novel twist: It's designed to download music from the Internet
wirelessly when the user isn't necessarily near a personal computer and
wants to get fresh batches of songs.
Boomer Boon: 'Crazy Aunts and Uncles' Spend $1.7
Try Telling That to a 24-year-old Media Planner
The ad business is woefully out of touch with
baby-boomer buying power. Young ad people think older people are stuck
in their ways, so it's a waste of money to try to get them to change
brands. But at the What's Next Boomer Business Summit, AARP's chief
brand officer said 60% of people over 40 research different brands
before making decisions.
The sad fact is that older people aren't worth as much to advertisers as
younger ones. If it weren't for prescription-drug and denture-cleanser
ads, the nightly TV news programs would go broke. Barron's said that
Food Network celebrity chefs didn't want anything to do with its article
on boomers because "the talent doesn't really like to be associated with
an older group" -- it brings in lower ad revenue.
Richest consumer group
Barron's estimates a prime-time TV show with most of its viewers in the
34-to-49 range can get 30% more per ad minute than one that caters to
people 55 and older. Yet consumers age 50 and up already spend more than
$1.7 trillion on goods and services a year, and the 78 million baby
boomers are richer than any group in history. AdAge.com
I predicted here last week, Neokast was the hit of the Video on the
conference in San Jose. The prospect of high-quality
streaming (not downloading) with almost no bandwidth cost whatsoever and
no YouTube ads, either, was compelling to a broad spectrum of conference
attendees," Robert X. Cringely writes for PBS.com.
From Neokast.com: Neokast is the next generation media distribution
network on the Internet offering a fully automated,
deployable, user-generated, real-time streaming broadcast platform.
Through its unrivalled capacity to cheaply and easily broadcast live
media content in HD quality, Neokast will be the most powerful video
distribution service ever offered. Neokast gives anybody the opportunity
to become a professional content provider by streaming continuous live
videos to an unlimited number of viewers, free of charge.
MTV To Move Into Virtual Worlds
CNET News.com March 07
MTV Networks several weeks ago announced that it aims to move
full-throttle into virtual worlds, believing community-oriented 3-D
platforms represent the future of engaging consumers with its popular
brands. Essentially, the Viacom company plans to create communities
around its popular TV shows, allowing users to interact with TV
personalities and create their own content. MTV execs outlined its
strategy during a three-part keynote address on Wednesday at a virtual
Two branded virtual worlds, Virtual Laguna Beach and Virtual Hills, are
already live, while a third, Virtual Pimp My Ride, is on the way. They
were created using the same platform designed by Makena Technologies'
for There.com, one of the original virtual worlds. During his keynote,
MTV's Matt Bostwick, senior vice president for franchise development at
MTV Networks' Music Group, said more than 600,000 users signed up for
its virtual worlds in just six months, and more than 64 percent come
back regularly, meaning 1.4 times per week for an average of 37 minutes.
Bostwick expects to hit 3 million registered users by December.
DoubleClick Sale Could Risk Publisher Exodus › › › ClickZ News
March 29, 2007
The stale world of online ad serving just got interesting again, as a
possible acquisition of ad management firm DoubleClick was floated
yesterday. According to the Wall Street Journal, Microsoft or another
buyer may grab the ad serving colossus soon. If a deal with Microsoft
does become reality, it would boost the firm's online ad capabilities
and make for readymade relationships with advertisers and agencies.
However, it could put DoubleClick in hot water with its publisher
clients, including AOL, which would be loathe to let the company access
user data flowing through DoubleClick's DART ad serving system, and
which compete directly with Microsoft's MSN for ad dollars. Indeed, AOL
could be a potential buyer, some believe.
Photobucket: Powering Social Networks Everywhere
You may not know it, but Photobucket is one of the Web's most
influential sites, says Fortune's David Kirkpatrick.
"Unpretentiously, it has built an essential service that didn't need to
shout out for attention, the way MySpace, YouTube, Facebook, Flickr, or
other related sites have." It's growth numbers are remarkable: 38
million members, up from just 50,000 at the end of 2003, growing at an
average rate of 80,000 new members per day.
What is Photobucket? The place where your photos live-the Web site is a
kind of aggregator that allows you to link your photos to other
user-generated content sites, like a blog, a video sharing site, or a
social networking profile. The most links go to MySpace; other biggies
include Facebook, Xanga and Friendster.
Google Won't Dominate Video Like Text
There's no guarantee Google will continue its domination of the
Internet. A search leader's success comes down to PageRank and AdWords,
a pair of technologies built on text. Searchable, advertizable video
represents the next Internet land grab, which means Google is in trouble
if it can't translate its text success to moving images.
Why? Because with video, Google has to deal with content owners and
strike licensing deals and agreements, something that big media firms
are reluctant to do with a company clearly so bent on Web-wide
domination. The News Corp.-NBC Universal venture, which includes AOL,
MSN, Yahoo and News Corp.'s MySpace as distributors, could be a
potential "checkmate" against Google's pretensions to the video throne
if more traditional media giants decide to join. Success there would
force Google to accept the demands of big media in licensing and
distributing their content.
However, this assertion presumes that big media content is the video
king--though that may change. The argument could be made that media is
rapidly becoming decentralized and democratized. Meanwhile, the big
media venture, which has been hinted at in the press for almost a year,
is already moving too slowly for today's consumer. Also, consumers will
always be able to upload the media content they like, and if YouTube
isn't the place for that, it'll be elsewhere. It's a losing battle for
big media--just have a look at the music biz.
Broadband penetration continues to surge,
according to a new report by Magna Global. As of the end of last year,
an estimated 55.6 million U.S. households, or 74% of all Internet
households, connected to the Web via high-speed lines. That's up
significantly from 2005's 43.9 million households and more than double
2003's 26 million.
As broadband use has surged, the number of dial-up connections has
shrunk. Last year, just 19.7 million, or 26% of all Internet households,
went online via dial-up. What's more, broadband penetration is soon
expected to surpass 90%, with an estimated 81 million U.S. homes
connecting via high-speed connections by 2008.
At the same time, one in three households lacks Internet access
altogether, according to Magna estimates. Even by 2008, when the vast
majority of Internet homes will be on broadband, 18% of all U.S. homes
still won't be online at all. Still, with broadband use continuing to
increase so quickly, it's no surprise that digital efforts are becoming
more important to marketers. After all, broadband users not only tend to
spend more time online, but they are also able to view more pages when
connected. And, of course, broadband users can view video online, which
opens the door to advertise using TV-like techniques.
Consider, The Wall Street Journal reported this week Nike is
looking to move its account from Wieden + Kennedy, its agency since
1982, due to the shop's perceived weakness in digital advertising.
"Despite its top-notch ability in every other department, Wieden has
been slow to adapt to the Internet -- an important arena for a marketer
as focused on the youth audience as Nike," the Journal writes.
Additionally, a recent survey of the Association of National
revealed that integrated marketing communications topped senior
marketing execs' list of the most important issues they currently
confront. Last year, integrated marketing communications ranked as the
fourth most important issue.
Napster Gives Away Free Music A media critique by Wayne Friedman,
Tuesday, March 27, 2007
NO, THIS isn't a headline of a few
years ago. This is news as of yesterday.
Napster has struck a deal to allow AT&T wireless
customers to download music for free, to do with what they want, for a
This may not sound like much -- but it harkens back to
all those mistakes that the music industry made in dealing with the
Internet a few years back. Music execs are still reeling from these
decisions, which caused losses of 10% or more in overall business each
of the last several years.
The Napster deal reflects again the issues that mostly
traditional TV and film content companies are dealing with when it comes
to the Internet and users "sharing" content.
NBC, News Corp. Take on YouTube
NEW YORK (AdAge.com) -- In a major kiss-off to Google, two major
entertainment giants have partnered with some of Google's biggest
competitors to launch an internet-video site full of original,
professionally produced content.
Jeff Zucker, president of NBC Universal, and Peter Chernin,
president-chief operating officer of News Corp
It's an unlikely partnership between two strange bedfellows as NBC
Universal and News Corp. have partnered to team with Yahoo, MSN and AOL.
News Corp.'s MySpace is also a distribution partner. Post-launch, an
announcement from the companies stated, sites affiliated with the
founding companies, including iVillage (NBC) and IGN (News Corp.), will
also have the opportunity to become distribution partners. Notably
absent are other entertainment companies such as CBS, Disney/ABC and
Yep, you guessed it. Latinos are one of the fastest-growing
According to the PEW Hispanic Center/PEW Internet and American Life
56% of Latinos in the U.S. (about 43 million) use the Internet.
Latinos are less likely than non-Hispanics to have an Internet
connection at home.
Some Latinos who do not use the Internet are connecting via mobile
So what does this mean to us? We need to take a look at what seems to
be a generation gap. The study revealed that 75% of U.S.-born Hispanics
were online, as opposed to 43% that were born outside the U.S. One key
to predicting online usage seems to be language: Those who speak English
fluently tend to go online, while only a third of Latinos who just speak
Spanish go online.
The younger U.S.-born Latinos tend to really embrace the Web and all
it has to offer. They consume and embrace online video and audio, mobile
applications, and forms of social media. Sites like
MiGente.com have remained popular and shifted with the times to
provide users with a more modern approach. QuePasa offers bilingual
content. Both seek "members." Go on to either, and it looks something
like a MySpace or Facebook hybrid with a Latin twist.
PHILADELPHIA- Software filters work much
better than a 1998 federal law designed to keep pornography away
from children on the Internet, a federal judge ruled Thursday in
striking down the measure on free-speech grounds.
Senior U.S. District Judge Lowell Reed Jr. also said the Child
Online Protection Act fails to address threats that have emerged
since the law was written, including online predators on
social-networking sites like News Corp.'s MySpace, because it
targets only commercial Web publishers.
"Even defendant's own study shows that all but the worst
performing (software) filters are far more effective than COPA would
be at protecting children from sexually explicit material on the
Web," said Reed, who presided over a monthlong trial in the fall.
NEW YORK (AdAge.com) -- XM Satellite Radio and Sirius Satellite
Radio, after much pushing by Sirius CEO Mel Karmazin, finally arrived at
a deal to combine assets in a tax-free merger worth $13 billion. The
news follows months of rumors and concern that such a partnership could
never be possible under FCC regulations.
"What is the future
of social networks?"
we first have to answer the question "What is a social network?" Brad
Stone of The New York Times raises some very interesting points
on both accounts in his article "Social Networking's Next Phase."
In reality, the Internet itself is THE social network, and what we
call social networks today are simply a new interface for gathering and
displaying social information; albeit incorporating various layers of
additional functionality. These additional layers of functionality allow
a critical mass of individuals to perform tasks previously reserved for
those with programming capabilities. It is because of these layers that,
beyond being an application for personal Web site publishing, today's
social networks are also a Web- based application for networking, people
searching, linking, personal content access control, content
generation/personalization, and incorporation of advanced unique tools
(aka wiki's). And all of these functions require very little, if any,
Laurie Petersen, Wednesday, Mar 14, 2007 6:00 AM ETINTERNET
DISPLAY ADVERTISING REGISTERED A 17.3% increase to $9.76 billion
in 2006, as marketers continue to migrate online, TNS Media Intelligence
reported on Tuesday. Yet it still represents just 6.5% of the total
$149.6 billion in ad spending recorded for the year. Total spending was
up a more modest 4.1%.
Big Internet spenders allocated about 15% of
their total ad budget to Internet display, which is twice the market
average, said Jon Swallen, senior vice president of research for TNS
Internet continues to surge as a platform for music discovery,
with 40% of those surveyed naming the web as the primary place they go
to hear music unavailable on the radio, an increase of 7 percentage
points over last year. MP3 players and downloadable music files also
grew dramatically as an outlet for music discovery, from 16% to 26% over
the past year. Also, over 20% of the Country partisans surveyed “often”
or “sometimes” learned about new music from social networking sites,
such as MySpace.
Over 60% of these Country partisans indicated that they had listened to
their favorite Country radio station over the Internet.
MTV To Build "Thousands" Of Sites Around Brands
MTV Networks, whose TV networks include MTV, Comedy Central, Nickelodeon
and Spike TV, is set to unveil a bold new Web strategy to build
thousands of new Web sites where users could watch, contribute and even
re-edit its television programs. Sites will be built around everything
from personalities to particular aspects of its shows.
The new Web strategy is a brave move for MTV, whose name became almost
synonymous with youth culture in the 1990s. However, the rise of
Internet media and in particular, social networking and video sharing
sites like MySpace and YouTube, loosened its grip on its key market.
The new Web sites are part of a broader effort by MTV parent Viacom to
distribute content from its properties through multiple channels, though
decentralization could dilute corporate branding. "People tend to find
content on the Internet through thousands of front doors, as opposed to
one," said Mika Salmi, president of the media giant's digital unit. MTV
has already constructed interactive virtual worlds around "Laguna
Beach," "Nicktropolis" and "The Hills.
MSN-Produced Content, Take Three
Ad Age in March 07
Microsoft has long pegged "branded entertainment" as a primary focus for
growing MSN, its perennially beleaguered Web portal. After various
efforts were met with modest success, video shows became MSN's new
strategy. For the cost of a low-budget 22-minute TV pilot, MSN has
teamed up with the producer Reveille to create 10 shows. Some, like
"Chef to the Rescue" and "The Big Debate," have been greenlighted right
away; others are still pending.
MSN believes in the Web portal idea: Direct your big audience to content
that sticks. Marketers like Kraft, in the case of "Chef," have jumped on
board and now play a part in creating show concepts.
Other Web giants have largely stayed away from producing broadband
content. Yahoo dabbled for a while, but after it flopped, largely
abandoned the idea, shifting its focus to communications, Web services
and content aggregation. Google never showed an interest in creating
online content, while AOL's strategy, like Yahoo's, has been to
aggregate content through deals with media partners like Warner Bros.
Viacom Strengthens Ties With Microsoft
To the chagrin of Google and YouTube, Viacom on Tuesday strengthened
ties with Google rival Microsoft in an agreement to place more
entertainment programming onto Microsoft's Xbox Live Web service. The
software giant will make available a free, downloadable, HD version of a
popular episode from Comedy Central's "South Park," as part of a
promotion for its HD DVD add-on for the Xbox360. The idea is to spur
more Xbox 360 users into buying shows from Viacom and other media
The move comes as part of Viacom's ongoing strategy to make its content
widely available for purchasing and viewing online. It's also a slap in
the face to Google. On Monday, Reuters published critical comments made
by Microsoft's Associate General Counsel Thomas Rubin about the manner
in which Google "systematically violates copyright." Indeed, big media
agrees: Google has yet to sign an entertainment giant to a broad
distribution deal with YouTube.
Rashtchy: Google Users To Cause Online Ad Surge
Adweek in March 2007
The financial services firm Piper Jaffray raised eyebrows recently with
a new report called "User Revolution," in which it predicted that global
Web advertising would exceed $81 billion in just four years,
representing a 21% compounded annual growth rate.
The shift in user media consumption will drive up ad spending on the
Web, co-author and lead Internet analyst Safa Rashtchy says, as Web
users consume more of what he calls "communtainment." He points to young
people as the driving force of this phenomenon, citing their use of
communication through IM and MySpace. Whereas older consumers keep
talking separate from, say, working or watching a movie or TV, "those
activities are intertwined" for younger consumers. They send media files
to each other via IM, chatting as they listen to music and watch videos.
comScore Networks, in a study of popular film-related Internet sites in
conjunction with the 79th Annual Academy Awards, 139,000 U.S. Internet
users visited Oscar.com on "Oscar Sunday" (February 25, 2007), a one-day
increase of 219-percent versus the 44,000 visitors that visited the site
on February 24, 2007.
executive vice president of comScore Media Metrix, said "For the
audience watching the Academy Awards at home, the Internet has become an
important part of enjoying the festivities. Whether they follow the
action on the red carpet or view clips and trailers of nominated movies,
consumers are supplementing their television viewing experience with Web
Internet Movie Database, IMDB.com, rose 5 percent on Oscar Sunday versus
the Sunday two weeks prior to the event, reaching 1.1 million unique
visitors. Oscar.com saw the biggest one-day increase, while EW.com
posted a 193-percent gain versus the previous Sunday.
February 20, 2007
Social Networks And Politics
As I read this Washington Post piece by Jose Antonio Vargas
about political activism on social network Facebook.com, I had a good
feeling inside. Reading a story about the power of social networks used
to empower the historically disenfranchised youth vote gave me hope that
social networks truly represent an evolution in interpersonal
communication, and are not simply a hedonistic haven for online dating,
gossip and monetizable page views.
In reality, the Internet itself is THE social network, and what we
call social networks today are, in fact, an increased layer of
functionality, aka Internet 2.0 (this distinction is a subject for a
future Spin). As the adoption of Internet 1.0 changed the rules of
information exchange and business communication, Internet 2.0 will
rewrite the rules of interpersonal communication and community. This has
the potential for the Internet to finally cause that societal sea change
in an order of magnitude equal to the proliferation of televisions.
to Become CMO for CBS Interactive Published: February 28,
NEW YORK (AdAge.com) --
Google's former head of ad-sales strategy, Patrick Keane, has left the
Mountain View, Calif., giant to head to CBS. His official title is exec
VP-chief marketing officer of CBS Interactive.
Google exec Patrick
Keane was named exec VP-chief marketing officer of CBS
He's one of several major
hires CBS CEO Leslie Moonves has made on the interactive side, the first
being Quincy Smith, who heads CBS Interactive. Mr. Smith came on board
from Allen & Co. and is considered steeped in Silicon Valley
connections. He was also a close adviser to Google.
Digital Download Revenues
Projected To Surpass Ad Spending
Gavin O'Malley, Feb 2007
DESPITE ALL THE HYPE OVER
ad-supported video models, pay-to-play is poised to dominate the digital
video market over the long term.
forecast comes in a new report from Adams Media Research, which finds
that annual consumer spending on Internet downloads of movies and TV
shows will top $4 billion in 2011--up from just $111 million last
year--while ad spending on Internet video streams to PCs and TVs will
approach a mere $1.7 billion, from $409 million last year.
research group's analysis points to a period of experimentation from now
through 2009, during which the ad-supported model will dominate. But as
significant numbers of homes connect their TVs to the Internet, consumer
spending on downloaded movies and TV shows should expand rapidly and
exceed ad spending substantially by 2011, Adams Media finds.
"The Internet is going to revolutionize the
distribution of video," Adams Media Research President Tom Adams said in
Race to $60 Billion (Or Is It $80 Billion?)
This has been a big week for the advertising and marketing
industries. First, at the 4As Media Conference in Las Vegas, and then at
the DMA Leaders Forum, where industry leaders discussed everything from
PURLs (personal URLs) to variable data printing (massively scaled
personalized printing) to proposed privacy legislation starting to make
its way around Washington. Finally, yesterday, we had the Jefferies &
Company's Internet Conference, in which the company released its latest
report on the online advertising industry, estimating that it was going
to grow to over $60 billion worldwide by 2010. While that number may
seem big, it wasn't too shocking for most watching the industry, since
only days earlier, Piper Jaffray had released a 424-page report (yes, it
took almost a full ream of paper to print) on the online advertising
industry estimating that global online ad spending will exceed $80
billion by 2011.
Microsoft apparently is gearing up to enter the video-sharing
space in a much bigger way. The company, which is testing the video
site "Soapbox," also apparently recently mulled purchasing Revver,
according to a report in CNET's News.com.
Microsoft's general manager of entertainment and video services, Rob
Bennett, confirmed to News.com that a meeting occurred -- but didn't
elaborate. While the article also says it doesn't look like a deal's
going to happen any time soon, Microsoft still appears interested in at
least exploring whether it can hire any Revver staff or harness the
company's ad technology.
THURSDAY UNVEILED GOOGLE APPS Premiere Edition, an enterprise
version of its Web applications including Docs & Spreadsheets, Gmail,
Google Calendar, Google Talk, and a customizable home page builder. The
package includes use of the applications, plus phone support, additional
storage, and a set of administration and business integration tools, for
$50 per user account per year. The move came on the heels of reports
that the company planned to integrate Docs & Spreadsheets into its "Apps
for Your Domain" offering, which allows site owners to customize the
Google Web apps for their own sites.
In the ever-growing field of MySpace-Facebook-teenager data analysis,
the Pew Internet & American Life Project released a survey Sunday that
finds 55 percent of all teenagers online use social networking sites.
According to a special release from The Media
Audit, newspapers are increasing their market penetration beyond 60, 70
and even 80 percent with the help of their websites. Ten daily
newspapers have achieved a net reach of more than 80 percent. The full
report will be available at the Newspaper Association of America
Marketing Convention in Las Vegas, January 28-31.
Bob Jordan, president of International
Demographics, says "To improve the net, newspaper(s) are... making
impressive gains in attracting viewers to (their websites.) As recently
as 2003 just 30 daily newspapers had attracted more than 20 percent of
adults in their immediate market to their websites. Our current numbers
show 49 dailies have attracted more than 25 percent of adults and 30
dailies have attracted 30 percent or more."
Social networking market share was not the only thing MySpace ruled
last year. News Corp.'s Web darling also dominated all search-engine
queries, according to new research released Wednesday by Hitwise. Other
2006 search query leaders included "eBay," which came in third, "Yahoo"
in fourth, "MapQuest" following in fifth, and the only general term,
"lyrics," in 10th place. -
OF ALL U.S. Web users age 12 and older have downloaded music
online--while almost one in five, or 18%, have downloaded movies. That's
according to a new report released Wednesday by Solutions Research
The report, based on a survey last year of more
than 2,600 Americans, found that 30% of respondents said they downloaded
music within a month of participating in the survey, while 11%
downloaded movies during that time. An additional 18% of respondents
downloaded music more than one month in the past, while 7% said the same
for movies. Jan 07
defines "Internet TV" as "television distributed via the Internet the
consists of six primary areas. These areas are:
1. Online VOD: network programming reaired on the Internet.
2. Sliver-Casting: niche programming developed and aired solely online.
3. Shifting Devices: TiVo, Sling Media, and other time/location-shifting
4. UGC: user-generated content, aired and distributed online.
5. Mobile TV: network or other programming re-packaged and aired via
6. Digital Home Video: existing interfaces such as Digital cable,
digital VOD, etc.
that all TV
will eventually be delivered via Internet Protocol, or IPTV. Eventually,
as the speed for broadband continues to increase, we will see that all
content, especially all video content, can be delivered through an
IP-interface, though possibly in a radically different format than it
currently is. The Internet providers and cable providers already know
this, which is why you see Comcast and Time Warner Cable offering
Internet, digital phone and digital cable all under the same package.
These companies know that at some point it will be easy enough to shift
all the cable over to an IP service, cutting their costs for delivery to
Warner Music Group and MobiTV Partner on Original Artist
Company to Bring Content Created and Conceived by Linkin Park and
Artists Directly to All MobiTV Platforms
NEW YORK, NY and
EMERYVILLE, CA – January 9, 2007 – Warner Music Group Corp.
(NYSE: WMG) and MobiTV,
Inc., the global leader in
mobile and broadband television and music services, today announced the
exclusive availability of WMG
artist-branded TV channels
across MobiTV’s vast mobile and broadband platforms.
Beginning in February, MobiTV subscribers in the United States can
view unique video programming conceived and created by their favorite
WMG artists including Linkin
Park are expected to go behind the camera and direct original video
programming to populate their personally branded MobiTV channels.
Content will include original video filmed by and featuring artists, as
well as music videos
from the expansive WMG
catalogue. Videos will be updated on a monthly basis.
NEW YORK (AdAge.com) -- A buzzword as well as a headache
pressing ever more painfully on broadcast and cable TV networks,
consumer-created content is rapidly rising as potentially as sweeping
and transformative a force as the initial emergence of the internet
As this podcast indicates, the issues surrounding consumer-created video
were high on the minds of attendees and speakers such as Wired
magazine editor in chief Chris Anderson at last week's National
Association of Television Programming Executives (NATPE) conference in
SAN JOSE, Calif. (AP) -- So far, when it comes to making money,
the online video explosion is mostly about potential. Studios
selling TV shows and movies for download, and Web sites like YouTube
that link ads to user-generated content, stand to reap billions from
the Internet's hottest trend.
But a select group of companies
whose products exist largely outside the public view are already
profiting handsomely. Led by industry powerhouse Cisco Systems Inc.,
the network equipment makers are seeing their gear snapped up by
service providers who must upgrade their networks to accommodate
surging Internet traffic and booming broadband demand.
''Cisco would like to see video delivered to every device
everywhere,'' said Zeus Kerravala, a network infrastructure analyst
with Yankee Group. ''If you're looking to something to create the
next wave of network upgrades, video is front and center. It drives
bandwidth like we've never seen before.''
Streaming Service; No Downloads Or Burns;
Hours Quota System
Netflix, which has been yo-yoing over its digital movie
delivery strategy for a few years now, has finally decided on
something: it has tied up with movie studios to offer streamed
movies to its DVD service subscribers. The service is called “Watch
Now” and it says will take 10-15 second to start watching. The
studios are: NBC Universal, Sony Pictures, MGM, 20th Century Fox,
Paramount Pictures, Warner Brothers, Lion’s Gate and New Line
Under the program, customers will not own the films and will not be
able to burn them to a DVD or view them on other devices..only PC.
Also, in a rather curious twist, the service won’t cost anything for
subscribers, who will be allotted monthly viewing time according to
their particular plan.
Companies Vie For Ad Dollars On Mobile
A company called AdMob Inc. opened for business in January 2006 as a
middleman for ads displayed on mobile-phone screens. A year later,
it has distributed ads nearly a billion times, attracted big-name
venture-capital funding and enlisted talent from the likes of Yahoo
Inc. and Google Inc.'s YouTube.
It's the next Internet gold rush:
With two billion cellphones around the world, upstarts and
technology giants alike are scrambling to find ways of making money
from cellphone ads. "Everybody's just trying to dip their toes in
the water and figure out what's going to work," says AdMob's
29-year-old boss, Omar Hamoui. New
York Times Jan 07
The founders of the Skype
internet telephony service are launching what they describe
as the world's first
broadcast quality internet TV service.
Following speculation about a
service dubbed The Venice Project, the online television software is now
being unveiled under the
It is designed to enable broadcasters to get their programmes in front
of a global internet audience.
It will allow viewers to
access all kinds of television over the internet.
With TV networks poised to embrace social networking, NBC
Universal reportedly is working on a far-reaching plan to create social
networking communities for its major TV shows.
News of the strategy comes via Techcrunch, which today linked to a
cache file of a now-deleted post by Sab Kanaujia, vice president of
digital innovation at NBC Digital Media. "NBCU is building a core social
networking platform that will provide various tools and functionality on
all our major properties to enable users to self-express and find,
interact and share with other like-minded users," Kanaujia wrote on his
blog. "There is no reason why users should go to/create 'The Office'
community on MySpace when NBCU has the competitive advantage and the
ability to provide a differentiated experience on NBC.com."
of US Households Have High Def Capable Set - Mainly Upscale
New consumer research from Leichtman
Research Group found that the one in six households in the
United States now have at least one high definition-capable TV
(HDTV), an increase from about one out of every fourteen
households just two years ago.
LRG's latest research, based on a survey of
1,300 households throughout the United States, revealed:
With approximately 354.5 billion page views through Nov. 30, Yahoo was
the most trafficked Web property of the year, according to new data
released Wednesday by Nielsen//NetRatings. MySpace garnered the second
highest number of page views (250.7 billion), while Google placed third