Verizon Wireless to Launch Live TV
Verizon Wireless will announce its long-awaited live TV service for
mobile phones Jan. 7, although it will launch with fewer than
one-dozen channels, according to executives at companies involved in
The announcement is expected at a press conference
Sunday at the Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas. Executives
scheduled to speak are Denny Stringl, president and chief operating
officer of Verizon Communications; John Stratton, Verizon's
executive vice president and chief marketing officer; and Bob
Ingalls, executive VP and CMO of the Verizon Telecom business unit.
The live-TV service, provided through Qualcomm’s MediaFLO
USA subsidiary, will have channels provided by at least three
broadcast networks, according to an executive familiar with the
announcement. Until now, Verizon Wireless’ V CAST video service has
consisted of only on-demand clips.
NEW YORK (Reuters) - Viacom Inc. (NYSE:VIAB
news) on Friday demanded that Google Inc.'s (Nasdaq:GOOG
news) online video service YouTube remove more than 100,000
video clips after they failed to reach a distribution agreement.
Viacom said it sent a notice to YouTube on Friday morning asking
the popular video-sharing site to remove clips from Viacom-owned
properties including MTV Networks and BET.
The media company controlled by Sumner Redstone said its pirated
programs on YouTube have generated about 1.2 billion video streams,
based on a study by an outside consultant.
A YouTube spokeswoman said it would comply with the request and
added, "It's unfortunate that Viacom will no longer be able to
benefit from YouTube's passionate audience, which has helped to
promote many of Viacom's shows."
Hit New All-Time Highs
U.S. digital track sales hit a new all-time high in the week after
Christmas with 30.1 million sold, according to Nielsen SoundScan. The
flurry of downloading in the final week of the year marks a 51% jump
from the 19.9 million digital tracks sold during the same seven-day span
a year ago. Additionally, sales of digital albums were up, with volume
of just over 1 million bundles - the first time digital album volume has
crossed the million plateau for a single week.
If you can't stand to miss one night of Randy and Frances on Channel 7,
Internet Protocol Television (or IPTV) may be able to deliver the news
anchors to your hotel room. A number of devices use compression
technology to relay whatever your set receives at home (via cable or
over the air) to other PCs in your home or over the Internet.
Honest Technology Co. ( honestech.com) recently released the My-IPTV
& Cam Anywhere Deluxe, a small box that doubles as a security camera and
a home TV tuner for playback on PCs.
FIRMS NOW LOOKING AT MP3 FORMAT, ONCE
ANATHEMA, FOR DISTRIBUTION
For years, the recording industry has fought the popular MP3 music
Because consumers can potentially make unlimited copies of MP3 songs,
the major record labels have seen the format as a threat to their
business. But instead of continuing a battle that many think the
industry is losing, some analysts believe the labels are about to
embrace the technology and figure out how to make money off of it.
``The record labels recognize that it's tremendously important to
protect content from unauthorized distribution,'' said Eric Garland, CEO
of BigChampagne, a market research firm focusing on digital media. ``The
one goal . . . that trumps that is to sell the legitimate consumer
popular music in the form he wants it.''
Some in the music industry have already embraced the popularity of
MP3. EMusic, for instance, which focuses on the independent labels that
typically handle less popular artists and albums, offers some 1.5
million songs, all in MP3.
And there are indications that the Big Four record labels are
starting to come around. This year, Yahoo's music store ran four
promotions offering MP3-encoded songs from major artists including
Jessica Simpson and Norah Jones.
Toshiba, HD-DVD's biggest
supporter, has been preparing to aggressively push the format at the
International CES 2007. In addition, HD-DVD backers will hold a news
conference the night before the exhibition, Toshiba executive Yoshihide
A group of companies supporting the HD DVD
format will hold a news conference on January 7 on the eve of the
massive consumer electronics exhibition to announce their plans for
2007, Yoshihide Fujii, president and chief executive officer of
Toshiba's digital media network company, said Thursday.
Toshiba, which is the biggest backer of the
format, will join the news conference and plans an announcement, but
Fujii wouldn't disclose what it will be.
Amazon breaks one-day holiday sales record
Amazon.com logged more than 4 million orders on Dec. 11, which bested
the online retailer's previous one-day holiday record of 3.6 million a
year ago. Online orders ranged from Xbox 360 consoles and iPods to
cold-fighting supplements and DVDs. 12/06
DVD SALES ON THE DECLINE
Persistent year-over-year declining sales of DVDs at
Best Buy and Circuit City stores might portend trouble for the movie
industry, according to a Wall Street analyst report released Wednesday.
Pali Research analyst Richard Greenfield, who raised concerns about the
home video industry in October with a report titled "DVD Party is Over"
and again last week, said Wednesday that "2007 appears even more ominous
for film studios."
His latest beef comes courtesy of Circuit City Stores Inc., which
reported a $16 million quarterly loss Tuesday, sending its shares
tumbling 17.5% that day.
PBS EXECUTIVES HAVE humbly figured out
they don't know what you want to watch. They have an easier way: You
It's hard enough to figure out what TV viewers want and
then gain buzz for new shows. That's especially true for new programs
that seemingly fly under the radar on PBS.
So, PBS has decided to premiere three science series
pilots on New Year's Day via streaming video on pbs.org. Then PBS
television stations will run those pilots starting on
Jan. 3. Viewers will then vote for their
favorite, which will move on to become a new 10-week series projected to
debut in fall 2007.
It's kind of smart for PBS, forming its own public focus
group online while shows are more or less in their development stage.
This is the kind of TV interactivity the industry has always talked
Commercial broadcast networks currently don't let viewers have this kind
of public input. That's what high-paying TV executives get paid
for--those who make big, tough, and potential career-winning moves on a
"Kidnapped" on NBC or a "3 Lbs" on CBS.
Back Talk From YouTubers
NEW YORK (AdAge.com)
-- CBS is quite happy with its director's channel on YouTube. So happy
that it sent out a press release touting its 29.2 million views for its
more than 300-plus video clips it has uploaded to the video-sharing site
and the viewers its brought to its late night shows.
FROM THE department of
I-didn’t-see-it-coming: CBS is getting back into the record business and
Oprah Winfrey will start up two prime-time reality series.
CBS had been in the record business for decades until it
sold the Columbia Records name to Sony in the late ‘80s. Now the music
business is very different, with low start-up fees for developing
artists, thanks to the low start-up fees in the digital music space.
CBS feels it can make some money. It certainly has the
platform as a marketing tool for those musicians--via television, radio,
or on CBS’s broadband channel. CBS doesn’t even need to make a complete
CD or albums. It can just release a couple of songs on iTunes, for
example. It won’t need the massive overhead of other established record
Leads Advertising Growth In 2007
The New York Times
The ad forecast season is well underway. Yesterday, a flood of forecasts
came across our desks from industry analysts and research and consulting
firms. Their numbers and prognostications vary, but all point to one
glaring fact: 2007 should be a poor year for traditional media.
We don't worry about that here, because the online forecast continues to
be rosy. Indeed, in a big way, the Internet will help carry the ad
industry's overall growth next year to be between 2% and 5%, according
to an average compiled by the New York Times. While this is a
lower number than the projected 3% to 6% this year, 2006 was a World
Cup, Olympics and election year--all bumped up advertising.
The forecasters peg the percentage gain in Web growth in the high-double
digits for next year, while TV, radio and newspapers will either see
slowing growth or flat year-to-year ad revenue and, most likely,
on-going audience declines. Zenith Optimedia expects Internet ad
spending to grow 29% from 2006.
For User-Generated Video
The user-generated content movement (or at least the ethics of it) is
making its way to the silver screen. A startup called InDplay, which is
backed by Google CEO Eric Schmidt, seeks to be the middle ground between
sites like YouTube and the select world of theater distribution.
For the little-guy filmmakers, the traditional methods of licensing
films are too expensive, exclusive and inefficient for almost everyone
but major players. InDplay aims to solve that problem by being part
eBay, part IMDb (the online movie database). It allows anyone who owns
rights to video to register as a seller and upload their content to a
database where buyers, representing theaters, DVD, TV, cable Internet
sites and wireless channels, bid against one another for the right to
distribute their film. They bid via email and purchases are made via
PayPal or wire transfer. InDplay makes money by taking an 8% commission.
When you think about the licensing mess that is Hollywood, it seems
inevitable that the Web, through digital brokers, should help simplify
the process of connecting buyers and sellers of film. In other areas of
content distribution, startups like Pump Audio, Zattoo and Lulu are
jumping into the digital brokerage market to help niche providers of
music, video and book content with audiences online.
Biggest China Problem Isn't Censorship
For News Corp., success in China for MySpace will have a lot less to do
with the fact that the Chinese government censors content than the
reality that the social network doesn't come from there. None of the
major U.S. Internet companies dominate their respective sectors in the
Chinese market. Even after Google officially set up shop in the country,
censoring its content at the behest of Beijing, Baidu.com lengthened its
lead as China's top search engine.
Moreover, online advertising isn't the big business in China that it's
become in the U.S. and the EU. The investment bank UBS estimates that
the country's online ad sales will reach about $3.6 billion in 2010, up
from just $538 million last year. UBS also expects search advertising to
be the key driver of online sales during that time, growing at a
compounded annual rate of 60% in the next three years.
While Google, Yahoo, and eBay have all stumbled in China, the other
difficulty facing MySpace is that other social networks already exist.
MySpace may be a powerful brand in the U.S. and certain EU countries,
but in China, MSN Spaces does very well, as do video-sharing and social
networking startups Tudou, Rox, Wangyou, Uume and Mop.
Reuters: Now Accepting Citizen Journalist Submissions
The New York Times
A new demand for citizen journalism has come right on the heels of the
user-generated video boom. Just yesterday, Reuters and Yahoo announced
that anyone with a digital camera or a camera phone could submit
pictures and video of news events, to be placed throughout Reuters.com
and Yahoo News.
Reuters said it would also start to distribute some of the submissions
to the thousands of print, online and broadcast media outlets that
subscribe to its news service. It also hopes to develop a site comprised
completely of user-submitted photographs and video.
"There is an ongoing demand for interesting and iconic images," said
Chris Ahearn, president of the Reuters media group. Reuters and many
other news organizations have always bought newsworthy pictures from
"stringers," individuals and part-time contributors, but as Ahearn
said,this is like seeing the whole world as potential stringers. The
Yahoo-Reuters program is called "You Witness News."
Clear Channel Sold for $26.7 Billion
Thomas H. Lee and Bain Capital Win Auction for Radio
November 16, 2006
NEW YORK (AdAge.com) -- Clear Channel Radio's days of trying to get Wall
Street's respect are over. The radio giant announced today its sale to a
group led by Thomas H. Lee Partners and Bain Capital Partners, in a deal
worth approximately $26.7 billion, which includes the company's $8
billion of net debt repayments.
Cos.' 2007 media plans call for significant increases in marketing
spending, but network TV shouldn't expect to see any of the No. 1
brewer's expanding largesse.
"We will be significantly increasing our total spent, with revisions
in our media mix to reflect the viewing habits of our consumers," Chief
Financial Officer Randy Baker told investors in New York this morning.
Those revisions, Mr. Baker went on to explain, include a "significant
shift into cable," and a doubling of digital spending.
CHICAGO (Adage.com) --
Clear Channel, Google Join Web Forces
By Ken Tucker, Nashville
Two media giants are teaming up to capture bigger shares of the online
As expected, Clear Channel Radio’s online unit will exclusively use the
search engine Google to provide search and advertising services on its
network of more than 1,100 station Web sites.
The advantage to users, according to a Clear Channel release, is that
they will be able to run Google searches without leaving station sites.
The bonus for Clear Channel’s local advertisers is that they will be
able to have their ads appear first, ahead of ads generated by Google
and before users' search results.
MySpace Enters Japan
and Tokyo-based Internet service provider SoftBank confirmed widespread
speculation Tuesday (Nov. 7) by announcing the launch of MySpace Japan.
As previously reported, Tokyo-based MySpace Japan is owned 50-50 by the
two companies and is MySpace's first joint venture, as well as its first
entry into Asia.
New Comedy Central Tool Lets Users Syndicate Content
The Hollywood Reporter via Reuters
Viacom on Wednesday announced that its Comedy Central network is
refining its broadband strategy, in light of the uncertainty over the
presence of its material on video sites like YouTube.
Motherload, Comedy Central's Web site, is now adding a video player that
allows users to grab and embed their favorite clips from its shows on
their own Web pages. The new video player is part of a broader effort to
make over the channel's Web site. The player uses Macromedia Flash, the
same format as YouTube, and the clips will be ad-supported. This, by the
way, could become a trend for media companies wanting to circumvent the
problem of online video copyright infringement: Let users control where
your clips end up, as long as you can sell an ad on it.
At present, Viacom's policy with respect to YouTube is unclear. A month
ago, the media giant asked YouTube to remove all its Comedy Central
clips from the site; later, it mysteriously relented. Sources say a deal
between YouTube and Viacom is imminent.
THE LATEST NEW TECHNOLOGY COMING down the path of
change is called switched broadcast. This new bandwidth-expanding
technology, hotly pursued by MSOs and telecos, makes it unnecessary to
deliver hundreds of channels simultaneously to a subscriber's home.
Instead, switched broadcast uses the two-way digital plant to deliver
digital content toward addressable nodes. The effect is that only one
channel at a time is delivered to a digital set-top box (and TV), not
the hundreds of channels we receive today.
This dramatic change in distribution technology, which
is largely invisible to the consumer, allows operators to free up
valuable bandwidth behind the scenes for (what else) additional digital
Switched broadcast is presently being deployed by a
number of MSOs--and yes, the telecos have likewise been very keen on
this from day one. The benefits to bandwidth are obvious when calculated
in the "bits moved" savings realized by the operators, but consumers
will also benefit by virtue of faster broadband delivery, more telephony
services, improvements in on-demand services, etc. So what's the big
deal? All this accomplishes is to bring more profitability to the MSOs
and telecos, right? Not exactly.
Free AOL Smells Like Bubble 2.0
The New York Times
Yes, it's 1999 all over again. Web start-ups are cropping up with names
like Bebo, Squidoo and Moblabber. Start-ups like YouTube, less than 1
year old and unprofitable, are being sold for $1.65 billion. And the
business plan known as Free has returned.
But the difference these days is established companies like News Corp.,
Google and Yahoo are taking the gamble on startups that don't make any
money--not investors--although they will lose if the gambles turn out to
be ill-advised. The most surprising participant in "Web Bubble 2.0," is
Time Warner's AOL. Still, shareholders have applauded the company's
decision to phase out of the ISP market to offer content for free.
For a small number of Web newbies, the model of trying to be all things
to all people is great, but if you know how to find your IP address,
subscribe to RSS feeds, or know what "FWIW" stands for, AOL, Yahoo et.
al., are too mass-market for your tastes
Social networking goes mobile
In a new twist on social networking, the startup known as loopt will
team with Boost Mobile to offer the company's 3.8 million users, mostly
aged under 25, the ability to track their friends through text, photos
and GPS technology. "Historically, that MySpace generation has been
connected to the personal computer and the personal computer only," said
James Brehm, wireless analyst with Frost & Sullivan. "This is the next
step and it's a giant leap -- it allows you to do it on the move." The
to offer wireless banking service
Cingular Wireless plans to launch a mobile-phone banking service
early next year in a deal with Firethorn Holdings LLC. Cingular said the
wireless banking service will work on most handsets and will allow users
to check account balances, transfer funds and pay bills. Reuters
(11/15), The Wall Street Journal
Six airlines, including Continental Airlines, Delta Air Lines and United
Airlines, will offer passengers iPod seat connections by the middle of
next year. The connections will power and charge iPods during flight and
allow travelers to view the video content on seat-back displays.
The growth potential of Internet advertising has been
underestimated because the predictions did not include advertising on
video, social media or mobiles, Terry Semel, CEO of Yahoo, said Tuesday.
In a speech in London, Semel said predictions for online advertising
had covered only graphical and search advertising.
"Video, as you all know, will become a major factor on the Internet,"
he told the Internet Advertising Bureau Engage 2006 conference.
"It will be ever present throughout the Internet, and it will find its
proper way to advertise," he said. "So whether it's mobile or whether
it's video or whether it's more and more community (social-networking
sites), these factors have not gone into those numbers, so we think the
actual growth potential of advertising online is really being
Semel said sponsorship, different forms of advertising, and more
innovative and clever ways to integrate advertising with video online
would all develop quickly.
Media-buying and -planning firm ZenithOptimedia has said the Internet
will receive a greater share of global advertising spending this year
than outdoor outlets such as billboards, and it is set to overtake radio
soon. Reuters Nov/06
TV Execs View YouTube as Friend, Not Foe
At the 'Future of Television Forum'
NEW YORK (AdAge.com) -- Here's one group of people you wouldn't expect
to be big fans of YouTube: network TV executives. In a panel discussion
at the Future of Television Forum at New York University's Stern School
of Business, David Poltrack, CBS's chief research officer, said YouTube
has yet to do anything to adversely affect his network's programming.
No one wants to take [their content] off YouTube,' said CBS
chief research officer David Poltrack.
What consumers want
"We're in a position right now where no one wants to take [content off
YouTube]," he said. "When you have something the public really wants,
the economic value in that is to come up with a way to satisfy the
rights holders and serve the consumers."
While iTunes put a legal spin on music piracy, Mr. Poltrack said TV
thrives better online if users can still stream content for free from
the networks' ad-supported models.
"If they're [consumers] going to steal it, give it to them anyway," he
said. "But also make it easier to access and present it better than
YouTube or BitTorrent or anywhere else."
With TV moving into iPods and cellphones with varying levels of
features, the mobility vs. quality debate is one that is increasingly
shaking up the TV business, said David Del Beccaro, president-CEO and
founder of Music Choice.
High-def and high-tech
"When we survey consumers, the No. 1 technology they want is
high-definition TV," he said. "So there's two things going on
simultaneously -- the experience is getting more and more interactive
while it expands in its distribution on small screens. But what's ideal
for consumers right now is surround sound with a high-definition TV
predict boom in USB drives for data storage
USB drives, capable of backing up data from virtually any kind of
operating system, are proving to be "one of the most useful and
affordable tools anyone can have," one user says. Although the drives
have been around for a while, big jumps in storage capacities and sharp
drops in prices could lead to widespread adoption
A new study from Kagan Research predicts that the
video on demand business is still a "major" potential revenue
stream, predicting that VOD will become a $1 billion-plus business by
the end of the year.
That comes despite acknowledgment of various potential hurdles,
including bandwidth constraints--cable is pushing hard to convert
bandwdith-hungry analog customers to digital--competition from DVRs, and
digital rights management issues.
But Kagan says that the growth will come primarily from sub growth in
existing VOD operations, rather than systems adding VOD.
Kagan estimates there were 26.2 million VOD homes through the first
six months of 2006, or about 86% of all digital cable homes, with that
VOD component growing to as much as 65 million homes within 10 years, it
The study says subscription VOD accounted for about 10.5 million
homes in 2005, projected to grow to 16.3 million by the end of 2006.
As video sites like YouTube and Revver continue to surge with Web
users, traditional media outlets are struggling to transform their Web
sites into video platforms.
This morning, Jonathan Klein, president of CNN in the United States,
told an audience at the Ad:Tech conference in New York that CNN streams
50 million short videos a month. YouTube, by contrast, streams more than
100 million videos a day.
"There are tricks to converting users into viewers," Klein said,
implying that traditional media hasn't quite figured those tricks out.
But, realistically, it's hard to imagine any tricks that will work to
increase TV viewer ship online during the day. The most obvious reason:
It's a lot easier for people to quietly read text at a cubicle than try
to watch--and listen to--TV-like clips on CNN.com. If publishers like
CNN are counting on people accessing the content from home, they're
going to have to give the audience something beyond typical TV content.
After all, when people want to watch Anderson Cooper, they can do so at
home on a big screen, without the bandwidth-related glitches that still
Can Daily Motion Challenge YouTube?
The French video-sharing site already has 16 million page-views a day.
Can it resist its giant U.S. rival by going international?
As the video-sharing phenomenon spreads worldwide, one of the few
local sites to tackle the YouTube behemoth has emerged in the heart of
Old Europe. With 9,000 new videos pouring in each day and daily page
views surpassing the 16 million mark, Paris-based site Daily Motion
looks poised to grab a piece of Europe's fastest-growing online
It's not surprising that France, with its strong cultural and
linguistic identity, should give rise to a non-English video-sharing
site. In fact, Daily Motion (www.dailymotion.com) actually was online
before YouTube, which formally became a part of Google on Nov. 14. "Any
country that has its own language is absolutely ripe for specialized
content," says Mark Mulligan, an analyst with Jupiter Research in
London. "There's a clear opportunity for the competition to steal a
chunk of the French market."
The question is, how much? Despite its late entry into France,
YouTube already has managed to grab 9.1% reach there, compared with
10.3% for Daily Motion, according to figures from market tracker
comScore. Across Europe, YouTube has around 10% to 12% reach, vs. 2% for
Daily Motion. About half the video clips on Daily Motion are in French,
with many of the rest in English.
Of course, Daily Motion dreams of big growth. But in recognition of
YouTube's clout, it is also adjusting its strategy to exploit other
opportunities. That includes enabling uploads to the site directly from
Webcams (something YouTube hasn't done yet), and drawing heavily on
local content—say, highlights of the latest Perpignan-Béziers rugby
match, or presidential hopeful Ségolène Royal's most recent TV
Online Video Poised For Big Growth
In a recent poll, the American Association of Advertising Agencies said
overwhelmingly that online video would show the greatest growth among
new media in 2006. Some 50% of the group's ad agency reps said online
video would show the most growth--followed by podcasting, with 30%, and
blogs, the remaining 20%.
Stats from eMarketer back those claims: According to the research
aggregator, spending on online video will reach $410 million this
year--an 82% gain over last year's $225 million. In two years, eMarketer
says spending should top $1 billion--and by 2010, as bandwidth becomes
cheaper and content delivery speeds are even faster, Internet video
advertising will be a nearly $3 billion business.
In a new eMarketer report, analyst David Hallerman points out that this
still represents a small percentage of overall online spending. This
year's $410 million contributes just 2.6 percent to the $16 billion
total. Although the vast majority of dollars go to the biggest players,
YouTube and other viral providers should increase their share of online
Adinterax is bought by Yahoo.com
Amid criticism that
is has missed out on some of the larger recent deals in the online media
space due to its slow moving nature, Yahoo has announced a pair of
smaller investments in companies that should help bolster its own
First, the Sunnyvale, Calif.-based company has acquired a 20 percent
investment in Right Media, a company that operates an automated
Web-based exchange for the buying and selling on online advertising
through an open auction. According to the company, more than two billion
impressions are traded each day on the exchange, with more than 11,000
buyers and seller participating.
As part of the deal, Yahoo says it will begin selling some of its own
remnant ad inventory within the Right Media Exchange, which mostly
features inventory from second tier publishers, such as Looksmart. Yahoo
said it does not plan to sell its premium ad units through the exchange.
"Yahoo believes an open and transparent ad exchange is an innovative new
distribution channel for non-premium inventory and encourages
competition in the market," said Greg Coleman, Yahoo's executive vp,
global media sales. "Participating in Right Media's leading exchange is
consistent with our strategy to extend Yahoo's audience to additional
marketers, and to help them deliver the right ad to the right person at
the right time."
Secondly, Yahoo said it has struck a deal to acquire AdInterax, a
company that produces rich media advertising technology and tools, in
its entirety for an undisclosed amount. Going forward, Yahoo said it
plans to offer its graphical advertisers access to set of AdInterax
tools which will enable them to produce more dynamic creative executions
that boast of more sight sound and motion - free of charge.
October 23, 2006
AOL To Offer Movie, TV Show
Movies and television shows from Paramount Pictures will be available
for sale through AOL's new video portal under a deal announced Monday.
Classics such as "Breakfast at Tiffany's" and "Chinatown" and newer
releases like "Mission: Impossible III" will be sold for US$9.99 to
$19.99 each, comparable to fees at online services CinemaNow, MovieLink
and Guba as well as sites operated by MySpace owner News Corp.
Consumers will own the movies and can transfer them to as many as three
other computers or portable devices that support Microsoft's Windows
Media Player technology.
As more Americans get high-speed broadband connections at home, studios
and television networks have been experimenting with ways to distribute
their programs over the Internet. Some show programs for free on their
Web sites or at AOL with ads, while others sell them outright through
Apple Computer's iTunes Music Store, Amazon.com's Unbox and others.
The Paramount offerings, which include television specials, are for sale
GOOGLE BUYS YOUTUBE.COM
(Reuters) - Web search leader Google Inc. on Monday said it agreed to
acquire top video entertainment site YouTube Inc. for $1.65 billion in
stock, putting a lofty new value on consumer-generated media sites.
The deal, the first to value one of the new crop of
user-participation Web sites at more than $1 billion, combines two of
the most popular Internet brands: Google, synonymous with Web search and
rapid innovation, and YouTube, a Silicon Valley upstart that has
spearheaded the video-sharing craze.
In anticipation of the acquisition, investors pushed shares of Google
up $8.50, or 2 percent, on Nasdaq on Monday to a closing price of
$429.00 -- a level not seen since late April. In extended-hours trade
following the announcement of the deal, Google stock dipped to $427.63.
AOL Needs To Narrow Focus
As AOL's identity crisis persists, what can Time Warner do to bring its
limping Internet division back to prominence? The move to gradually dump
its dinosaur Internet service was a good one, but now the company needs
a content strategy to keep customers. Video, of course, has to somehow
figure into that mix, and while AOL has forged some nice content deals
with TV studios, music labels and parent Time Warner, its myriad
competitors have done the same thing. Why should users go to AOL to see
video content when you can find the highlights (however illegally) on
Besides, content deals just aren't that big a deal anymore. Yesterday,
the Time Warner company announced it would offer Paramount Studios'
movies and television shows on its site, but you can already do that at
Movielink. And many Web users will just continue to download content
So how does Time Warner right the ship? Some experts think the future of
Web content is about specialization. For example, YouTube is the
destination for user-generated video. Yahoo! Finance and MarketWatch are
places you go for stock quotes and company news. Facebook is the social
destination for college kids. You gotta be "relevant to me," says David
Martin of Interbrand. In other words, pick a career path, and stick to
it. Then fight to get to the top. - Read the whole story...
Yahoo Sees Social-Networking Sites Competing For Ads
There is big-time pressure now on Yahoo to make a purchase after
Google's assumption of YouTube and poor third-quarter earnings. Its Web
audience--Yahoo's core currency--is moving away from its portal service
and spending more time on social media sites like MySpace, YouTube, and
Facebook. In fact, it blames its weak fourth-quarter outlook on a glut
of competing social networking sites.
Speculation is rife that Yahoo might still be trying to buy Facebook--as
MySpace and YouTube are no longer for sale--but both parties appear to
be deadlocked over price. "Facebook is only of value if Yahoo pays the
right price," says Jim Friedland, analyst with Cowen & Co., referring to
the $1 billion price tag that's been floated.
Broadens Google's Reach, Adds Customization For Publishers
The New York Times
Google copies Yahoo? How's that for a change? On Monday, the world's No.
1 search engine rolled out a new tool that lets Web sites and blogs
offer visitors a customized version of Google Web search. The new
product lets Web site owners control search results, choosing which
pages they want to include in their index and ranking them accordingly.
It's also free.
To build a custom index, users fill out a Web-based form, and are then
given a code for a search box that they cut and paste into their own Web
pages. The ease is astounding, and should help drive Google's reach and
Andrew Frank, a research director with market research group Gartner,
also likes the move. "This definitely helps improve the relevance and
skip the noise."
Pictures, With Map and Pushpin Included
KATHLEEN BENNETT recently bought a device that keeps track of her
location with help from the satellites of the Global Positioning
System. But unlike many other people in Seattle, Ms. Bennett is not,
by her own description, “an outdoor person” and will not be using it
to find her way through the wilderness.
Instead, the new gadget is
an accessory for Ms. Bennett’s personal passion, photography. She is
one of many people who have taken up geotagging, which, broadly
speaking, is the practice of posting photos online that are linked
to Web-based maps, showing just where in the world the shutter was
“It’s kind of a geek obsession,” said Ms. Bennett, who is a
software engineer. “But it’s also a combination of the geek aspect,
the community aspect and the love of good old-fashioned travel
Somewhat like geocaching, the G.P.S.-based twist on treasure
hunts, geotagging could be viewed as something that was invented so
people would have some use for their hand-held satellite-based
But advocates of geotagging, like Stewart Butterfield, co-founder
of the photo-sharing Web site Flickr, contend that linking pictures
to maps can lend a new dimension to photography. For one thing, it
can help people make some sense of the mounds of photos accumulating
on their hard drives.
“The value may not be immediately apparent. But 10 years from
now, nobody who’s geotagging their photos is going to regret it,”
Mr. Butterfield said. “Most people have just one or two or three
iconic photos of their grandparents. Now people are going to have
tens of thousands of photos, and when that happens, every little bit
of context helps.”
GoogTube Deal to Change Media Economics
The Hollywood Reporter
Together, Google and YouTube present the first viable new-media
successor to broadcast and cable television, which has "squandered the
ad-supported critical mass they have enjoyed" for decades, says the
trade press. There is no going back from a Web-based, on-demand media
future, and the Google-YouTube infrastructure will offer the tools
needed to manage and monetize that future.
The implications are twofold: One, the cost of content creation will
fall rapidly; two, the best content from consumers and professional
producers alike will rise to the top, lessening the studios' influence
over media consumption.
YouTube is a brilliant buy for Google, because viral video sites reflect
the demands of a younger, first-mover consumer base that, like MySpace,
will broaden in age as it matures. Once you combine Google's unmatched
searching technology with YouTube's 100 million-plus videos, and add the
ability to charge consumers a fee to access or charge advertisers for
accessing quantifiable targeted consumers, you get an efficient,
lucrative new-media model.
NBC Restructuring, Looking For
Fewer And Better Light Bulbs
Thursday, October 19, 2006
IT DOES WITH ITS light bulbs, General
Electric wants better brightness and efficiency
from NBC. The network is now focusing first on
effectiveness, hoping illumination comes soon
Thus GE's NBC Universal Television Group has finally
gotten around to focusing on layoffs--of perhaps as many as 700 NBC
employees. In 2001, with NBC still No. 1, the network cut almost 600
jobs. Now that it's in fourth place--though some programming conditions
are improving--sizable layoffs will be a lot easier to understand, like
throwing a light switch.
An obvious problem area is NBC's news operations--
targeting its still-in-last-place cable network MSNBC. But that's not
all. Jeff Zucker, chief executive of NBC Universal Television Group, has
said that scripted programming is too expensive, and not enough
advertisers are interested. So for scripted shows, expect cheaper
deals--or no deals.
NBC Universal Chairman Bob Wright said the company
instead would move increasingly toward digital media as a way to restore
the company to double-digit growth next year. GE's earnings showed NBC
profitability sinking 10% in the last couple of quarters--though the
company promised better profits in the fourth quarter.
Bertelsmann Establishes Venture Capital Fund for
Bertelsmann has established a venture
capital fund for digital media investments and created a company to
execute these investments. With an initial funding of Euros 50 million
($62.8 million), the mission of the new Bertelsmann Digital Media
Investments (BDMI) is to tap into new technologies and digital media
innovations to support Bertelsmann's divisions across the media
Richard Sarnoff, president of Random House's corporate development group
and its venture arm, Random House Ventures, will also serve as president
of BDMI. He will report to Bertelsmann's CFO Thomas Rabe in this
capacity and will continue to be based in New York.
UMG Enters The Media Biz
The New York Post
Universal Music Group, which just filed a copyright-infringement suit
against video-sharing sites Grouper and Bolt, is launching a new
Internet service that will give consumers legal access to the record
label's catalog of artists. The move may be an assault on YouTube, since
UMG just signed a deal last week. Rob Wells, the senior vice president
of UMG International, described the subscription-based service, which
launches in the UK today, as "a direct-to-consumer broadcast network
which is completely under Universal Music's control."
Wells might want to note that "control" isn't the future of media, which
is precisely why YouTube and MySpace are dominating media headlines
while pundits continue to forecast the death of "old" media companies
that are unwilling or unable to adapt to a Web-based,
Video-sharing Web site
YouTube Inc. struck content deals Monday (Oct. 9) with Universal Music
Group, Sony BMG Music Entertainment and CBS Corp.
Vivendi's Universal Music Group said Monday it agreed to give YouTube
viewers access to thousands of music videos. The company said it and its
artists will be compensated not just for the official videos, but also
for user-generated content that incorporates Universal's music.
Financial details of the deal were not disclosed.
Universal Music Group said it will also use technology to filter out
copyrighted content not authorized to appear on the YouTube site.
Sony BMG Music Entertainment, a joint venture between Sony Corp. and
Bertelsmann AG, also said Monday it will make video content available on
YouTube -- and will also let YouTube users include some catalog songs in
their own amateur video uploads.
Sony BMG said it will share advertising revenue with YouTube for all
music videos that incorporate audio or video works from the Sony BMG
CBS and yahoo cut a deal
It's clear that TV networks are still experimenting to come up with
the best way to place programs on the Web.
This morning, CBS and Yahoo unveiled yet another variation. A new
deal between the companies calls for Yahoo to start offering news clips
from 16 local CBS affiliates. Each will offer between 10 and 20 news
video clips per day, while Yahoo will sell ads and share the revenue
This deal marks the latest in a myriad of different strategies TV
companies employ to distribute content on the Web. Consider, TV networks
now sell entire shows on iTunes, stream programs from their own Web
sites, distribute series on social networking sites, debut programs on
portals, place short clips on YouTube and cut deals with Google.
McCollum: TV industry latching on to evolving
Mercury News October 2006
Just about this time last year, Apple and the Walt Disney Co. dropped
a bomb on the television industry: the announcement that series episodes
from Disney-owned ABC and the Disney Channel would be available to
download on Apple's new video iPod.
At the time, television executives were more than a bit skittish
about new technology and delivery systems for their products. That was
particularly true regarding Web-based formats, which generated fears of
piracy and of diluting the viewership numbers that networks and
non-premium cable channels use to sell advertising.
But the Apple-Disney deal jump-started a rush to alternative ways of
bringing TV shows into American homes. Just 12 months later, the major
networks and cable channels are making a growing amount of their product
available for free or for nominal charges on a wide range of platforms:
iTunes, Google, Yahoo, Amazon, AOL, their own Web sites and cable's
video on demand (VOD).
You even can get video clips -- although rarely full episodes of
shows -- via still-nascent cell-phone technology being used by Cingular,
Sprint Nextel and Verizon.
The changes are taking place so rapidly that Leslie Moonves, CEO of
CBS, has said, ``We are changing our tires on a car going 80 miles an
Interview: Eric Schmidt, Google CEO
Financial Times Oct 2006
In an interview with Eric Schmidt, Google's CEO, post-YouTube, the
British paper wanted to know how the company justified paying $1.65
billion for a company that had yet to earn a dime. Schmidt's answer: We
have the best advertising system in the world--and soon, we'll be able
to apply it to video, too. "The real reason," he added, "was not the
money, and not even the advertising--it was because we believe that
video is going to be, and is sort of already, one of the most important
new media types on the Internet."
But isn't everyone trying to move into online video? Media companies are
clamoring to find an online business model, and most would prefer to
drive consumers to their Web sites rather than license it to other sites
and settle for a smaller cut of the revenue. Schmidt stressed: "We see
ourselves as a technology provider and a distribution network. We're not
in the content business... We want those media partners to put their
media content ... into this emergent new and much larger system as a
result of the YouTube acquisition." In other words, Google wants to
force everyone to make friends so everyone benefits, but Google most of
iTunes Offers PBS Shows
Wednesday, Oct 11, 2006
PBS IS MAKING ITS POPULAR shows,
including "Nova," available on Apple's iTunes download store. New
additions to iTunes include "Antiques Roadshow," "Now," and "Scientific
American Frontiers," plus kids' shows "Arthur," "Cyberchase," and
The Emmy’s Come to CES
The Technology & Engineering
Cocktails: 6 p.m.
Dinner: 7 p.m. after Opening Ceremonies
Monday, January 8, 2007, The Venetian
The prestigious Technology & Engineering Emmy® Awards will for the first
time be presented at CES. The Technology & Engineering Emmy Awards honor
achievements in two areas: Science & Technology for Television, which
includes broadcast, cable and satellite distribution, and secondly,
Advanced Media Technology encompassing interactive television, gaming
technology, and for the first time, the Internet, cellphones, private
networks and personal media players. In addition, for the first time,
Emmy Awards will be presented for the best use of Advanced Media
Technology by commercials as well as programmers.
Tower Records, the music
industry's most famous retail brand, will be liquidated
After a 30-hour auction, the process was won by the lead-bidder, Great
American, who put together a consortium of other suitors who were
bidding on different components of the retailer. The winning bid was
“It's a sad day for the music business and I feel badly for all Tower
employees," says Jim Urie, president of Universal Music Group
Distribution. "Tower was probably the greatest brand that will ever
exist in music retail.”
Fox Streams Prime-time Shows On MySpace.com
by Wendy Davis
Aiming to build momentum for its Fall TV programs, News Corp. Tuesday
expanded the roster of Fox shows available online for free. Fox has
placed episodes from the current season of "Bones," "Prison Break,"
"Standoff," "Vanished," "Justice," "Talk Show With Spike Feresten," "'Til
Death," and "The Loop" on MySpace.com and Web sites of 24 local
When MySpace first launched, it had a strong following among
youngsters, especially young musicians and their friends. But now, the
over-35s have joined the bandwagon.
New data released this week by comScore
shows the majority of MySpace visitors now are over 35. As the
presence of boomers and Gen-Xers has grown, the share of visits from
younger users has decreased. The proportion of MySpace's audience
between the ages of 12 and 24 dropped to 30 percent from 44.3 percent
over the last year, per comScore.
These numbers don't signify that teens are abandoning MySpace, but do
show the site is skewing older than in the past. And for MySpace, this
shift likely is welcome news, as it gives the company an opportunity to
broaden its marketing efforts. After all, how many 15-year-olds are
going to look at ads about mortgages?
In fact, Fox itself seems to be encouraging this demographic shift,
with moves such as placing a "Simpsons" clip on the site. Considering
the show is in its 18th season, Fox has reason to think a good number of
fans are older than 35.
MySpace Founder Seeks
Wendy Davis, Friday, Oct 6, 2006 8:45 AM ET
GREENSPAN, FOUNDER OF FORMER MySpace parent company Intermix
Media Inc., Thursday asked the federal authorities to investigate the
company's $580 million acquisition by News Corp.
In a report posted at the site
www.freemyspace.com, he claims that MySpace is actually worth somewhere
around $20 billion--or around 35 times what News Corp. paid for the
company. "News Corp.'s market valuation has increased by approximately
$12 billion dollars since the transaction occurred less than a year
ago," states the report. "As a publicly traded company, Myspace would
likely command an even greater valuation which was the path Myspace was
going down for the benefit of Intermix shareholders and Myspace users in
the early summer of 2005."
Greenspan is asking that News Corp.'s purchase of
MySpace be undone and MySpace restored as "an independent online network
owned by the public." In addition, he's asking that Intermix
shareholders be compensated.
Apple Computer Inc. has
partnered with Starbucks Entertainment and launched today (Oct. 5) a
Starbucks-branded area in the iTunes Music Store.
The area features the coffee retailer's entire Hear Music catalog, which
includes albums by new and classic artists, plus compilations and
playlists chosen by the Starbucks music staff. Customers can purchase
either an entire playlist or individual tracks from the Starbucks Hear
No specific marketing plans or cross promotions were revealed, but
Starbucks president Ken Lombard tells Billboard.biz the retailer's
stores will carry "significant signage" marketing the partnership.
Apple's vice president of iTunes, Eddy Cue, offered no forthcoming
marketing plans exploiting the reach of the two brands.
ACQUISITION ACTIVITY IN online media grew dramatically in the
first three quarters of this year, compared to 2005, according to media
investment bank Jordan, Edmiston Group Inc.
The online media industry saw 131 deals in the
first nine months of this year--up from 72 in the same time frame of
2005, according to Jordan, Edmiston. But without any blockbuster deals
this year, the total value of online media mergers and acquisitions came
to only $5.17 billion--down from $8.14 billion last year.
"In 2005 we had a wave of large acquisitions,
from MySpace to AskJeeves to MarketWatch, and now there's a lot more
middle-market deals," said Adam Gross, vice president of marketing and
communications for Jordan, Edmiston. "But these are very, very dynamic
businesses, in the forefront of where online businesses are going."
Starbucks Harnesses Social
Networking For Book Club
by Wendy Davis
Starbucks this week started running a promotion for its nascent book
club at the social networking site Gather.com. The site Tuesday debuted
a Starbucks-sponsored page on Gather.com touting Mitch Albom's "For One
More Day," which Starbucks is promoting as part of its foray into
Will Murdoch Swap MySpace For DirecTV?
DirecTV, once the cornerstone of News Corporation's media strategy, no
longer means what it once did to chairman Rupert Murdoch. Now, he's
considering swapping his $9 billion stake in the satellite operator with
rival John Malone. Liberty Media Chairman Malone actually owns a 19
percent voting stake in News Corp., 11 percent less than the Murdoch
family. In 2004, Murdoch introduced a poison pill to curtail Malone from
acquiring more shares. The result was that the Murdoch family could not
increase their stake, either. Since then, the media moguls have gone
back and forth as allies and enemies, but the most recent round of
negotiations would swap Malone's stake in News Corp. for Murdoch's stake
in Liberty Media Group, the owner of DirecTV. People close to the talks
say a deal looked likely, although nothing is expected for several
weeks. "News Corp., and Rupert Murdoch in particular, would prefer that
Liberty and John Malone not control 19 percent of News Corp
Nathan Weinberg at Inside Google is claiming that YouTube has moved
ahead of Google Video in terms of popularity. I totally agree. But it’s
not just Google - these guys have moved ahead of everybody!
This week, I caught a roundup of the “Flickrs of video” - here’s the
YouTube is way ahead of many of these services - YouTube videos are
appearing on blogs and websites all over the place. OurMedia is also
excellent, but it’s a non-profit and I’m more interested in startups
right now. I’m also a fan of Grouper - it’s definitely one to watch.
UNLAWFUL INTERNET GAMBLING ENFORCEMENT ACT
In an unexpected turn of events, Congress early Saturday morning
passed the Unlawful Internet Gambling Enforcement Act, which bars banks
and credit-card companies from processing payments for Internet
There had been rumblings about shutting down the $12 billion online
gambling industry for months, but it didn't seem likely that the House
and Senate would agree on wording. Until last weekend, that is, when
last-minute maneuvers resulted in the bill's passage in both chambers of
Congress. The act hasn't been signed into law yet, but that's expected
within the next two weeks.
The law's effects are already being felt. Stock of the major Web
gambling companies traded in London plummeted yesterday. Additionally,
three companies--Gibraltar-based PartyGaming PLC (which runs
PartyPoker.com) and 888 Holdings PLC and London-based Sportingbet--said
they would stop doing business with U.S. gamblers.
Napster too had copyright issues. Mark Cuban warns that
YouTube is going to have its own copyright issues--ones that have kept
big media buyers at bay--or perhaps have angered them. (NBC did have an
early tussle with YouTube because of a "Saturday Night Live" clip, but
are now good friends and marketing partners with them.)
Cuban was speaking during last week's Advertising Week festivities,
as was NBC Universal chairman Bob Wright. Wright talked about YouTube
but didn't focus on its copyright issues. He was more concerned about
the type of success YouTube had.
Wright called YouTube and MySpace "hits"--akin to what
comes, and, unfortunately, goes, in the prime-time TV business. More
stable players seem to be those like Google and Yahoo--companies more
akin to what a "network" is.
For his own company, NBC Universal takes a
wait-and-prove approach when it comes to Internet properties--thus the
purchase of the long-time stable Web area, iVillage. Of course, that's
what ex-Viacom chairman Tom Freston was trying to do--go after a proven,
longtime performer--all because he had a looming boss ready to pounce on
any over-priced Internet deal. MySpace, was the company, and he let it
go to News Corp. Freston's boss pounced anyway--on him.
That said, even News Corp. chairman Rupert Murdoch has
been shocked at the success of MySpace. News Corp. paid $580 million for
Analysts say in a few years it could be worth $15 billion to $20
billion. Yeah, that's right. Someone made a mistake at News Corp.;
MySpace was supposed to be a more modest player.
MSN To Stream Live Concerts
Shankar Gupta, Thursday, Sep 28, 2006 6:00 AM ET
THE COMPANY THAT produced Live 8, has discontinued its
relationships with AOL and signed a new distribution deal with MSN to
produce live concerts for Webcast. Network Live also has rebranded under
the new name Control Room.
For the deal, Control Room will provide 36
concerts in the next year, starting with a Webcast of pianist John
Legend's upcoming concert in London on Oct. 2.
AOL, XM Satellite and live event presenting
company AEG previously worked with Network Live to produce Webcasts.
That deal was entered into after last year's successful Live 8 Webcast.
A spokeswoman for Network Live said that the new partnership with MSN
provided global reach in its distribution network, greater than what AOL
Christine Andrews, lead product manager for MSN,
said that the deal was part of the portal's push toward offering more
original content. "They have the relationships with the labels and the
people in the music industry to bring concerts online," she said. "We
will be the distribution partners for them, offering the concerts live
and on demand."
Andrews added that MSN would be responsible for
monetizing the live video content with ads, and the company will sell
the space through its newly formed Digital Advertising Solutions team.
The U.S. government is loosening its grip on the domain name
system and the Internet
ICANN -- the Internet Corporation for
Assigned Names and Numbers -- a greater measure of autonomy in making
decisions about the future of the Internet.
ICANN described the organization's new pact with the U.S. Department
of Commerce as "a dramatic step forward."
ICANN, a private, nonprofit international organization, currently
oversees the domain name system under a contract that was to expire on
September 30. The organization has been the target of much criticism in
the U.S. and abroad for conducting its business in private and for
keeping the domain name system within U.S. control.
Microsoft Consolidates Ad
Shankar Gupta, Monday, Sep 25, 2006 6:00 AM ET
STREAMLINE ITS AD sales, Microsoft Corp. is launching a new
division, Microsoft Digital Advertising Solutions, that will allow
marketers to purchase ad inventory across all of the company's various
properties--including MSN, the adCenter paid search platform, PCs, Xbox
Live, and Web-enabled mobile phones--from one sales rep.
The company is aiming to help advertisers save
time and effort when buying across multiple media in an increasingly
fragmented marketplace, according to Joanne Bradford, corporate vice
president of global sales and marketing. "We're addressing the reality
of media fragmentation and enabling advertisers to get back to what they
do best: creating engaging and creative ads," she said in a statement.
The group also will handle sales into Windows
Live, Office Online, and Windows Mobile, as well as through Massive
Incorporated, a video game ad network that Microsoft purchased in April.
Microsoft says its MSN properties garner 465 million visitors worldwide.
====================================================Yahoo Buys Online
Wendy Davis, Thursday, Sep 28, 2006 6:00 AM ET
YAHOO HAS ACQUIRED Jumpcut, a San Francisco video-sharing
start-up that offers consumers the ability to not only upload clips, but
also to edit them online. Terms of the deal weren't disclosed.
Jumpcut, which launched in April, has done
promotional deals with several entertainment companies, including Warner
Bros., Starz Entertainment, Fox Atomic and New Line Cinema. For the
initiatives, studios have made their own videos available and then
invited consumers to use Jumpcut's editor to re-mix the clips by
incorporating their own videos.
For instance, New Line Cinema is sponsoring a
contest inviting users to create videos of their own worst nightmare
using footage from "Friday the 13th." Because Jumpcut has a flash-based
editor, users don't have to leave their browsers to create the mash-ups.
Earlier this summer, Jumpcut posted a trailer for
the Warner Bros. film "A Scanner Darkly," and then offered users the
chance to compete to make the best re-mix.
Jumpcut will continue to reside on its own site,
Jumpcut.com, but Yahoo also intends to integrate the feature into its
other verticals, said Jason Zajac, vice president, general manager of
Yahoo's Social Media Group.
Yahoo Music's digital subscription service
is now offering a complete album in unprotected MP3 format—Jesse
McCartney's "Right Where You Want Me." The service's customers can
choose to buy the full album in either unprotected MP3 or in the
traditional Windows Media DRM format, both for the same price of $9.99.
This is a much bigger step in the unprotected sales experiment from
Yahoo's original foray—a personalized single from Jessica Simpson. Both
Yahoo Music and Sony BMG downplayed the DRM-free track, saying it was a
result of the track's customization feature that adds buyer's names into
the lyrics of the song.
Microsoft Corp. will start testing on Tuesday (Sept. 19) an Internet
video-sharing service called Soapbox, the software company's answer to
Web sensation YouTube.
Soapbox (http://soapbox.msn.com) is one facet of Microsoft's strategy to
create attractive Internet content to lure away billions of Web
advertising dollars from market leaders Google Inc. and Yahoo Inc.
Offering everything from funny home videos made by users to clips from
old TV shows, YouTube sprung out of nowhere late last year as an
entertainment break for millions of broadband Web surfers. In August,
the site had 34 million visitors, according to Nielsen NetRatings.
Soapbox will be offered to a limited number of users during an
invitation-only test phase, but Microsoft said on Monday it will go
fully live as a part of MSN Video within six months.
"We're definitely not blind to the fact that YouTube has a big lead
right now," said Rob Bennett, general manager of MSN's entertainment and
video services. "It's really early days in online video. This is still
AT&T Moves Into Web TV
Reuters Sept 06
It was expected that AT&T would take a stab at Web TV, following in the
footsteps of competitors like Sprint Nextel and Comcast. Today, the
telecom giant is unveiling AT&T Broadband TV, which will be available to
high-speed Web users for $20 per month. Subscribers get access to 20
channels, which they can watch on a computer, laptop or mobile device,
provided that their Web connection is at least 500 kilobits per second.
The idea is that AT&T will eventually be able to offer Web and TV
service from the same place for one combined price, but their big
problem is competition from all sides of the media and technology
sector. The Web enables content providers to circumvent the need for
distributors, allowing them to publish their content on the Web
themselves. ABC is the best early example of this, showing hits like
"Desperate Housewives" on its site, along with long-form ads. Then there
are movie download and online video services, which are popping up all
over the Web at a dime a dozen. But the biggest potential Web TV killer
is Sling Media's Sling Box, which at $200 lets viewers watch their cable
channels on Web-connected devices with no monthly fee. AT&T is teaming
with streaming services provider MobiTV to offer the service, which
supplies programming from the Food Network, the History Channel and
Bloomberg TV, among others.
YOUTUBE MAKES DEAL WITH WARNER MUSIC
YouTube might be facing the threat of litigation from Universal, but
another record label, Warner Music, has forged an agreement with the
video sharing site.
The deal calls for YouTube to deploy a new technology to flag videos
running on the site that are owned by Warner Music, and then pay Warner
a cut of any ad revenue for ads displayed in conjunction with those
With the agreement, the companies appear to have forestalled a thorny
copyright battle; the deal allows both YouTube and Warner to profit from
the videos, while not depriving fans of access.
Of course, so far Warner has been a major brand supporter of YouTube,
so it makes sense that Warner's invested in seeing the video sharing
site succeed. Warner earlier this summer promoted "Pirates of the
Caribbean" on YouTube, becoming the first major brand advertiser to run
display ads on the site. Additionally, last month Warner became one of
the first record companies to use a new YouTube ad platform to promote
an upcoming album--"Paris," the debut effort from the socialite-singer
Just as MySpace prepares to start selling music downloads,
Universal Music Group is hinting that it will sue the social networking
site for copyright infringement.
Speaking at a Merrill Lynch conference Tuesday, Universal Music CEO
Doug Morris complained that YouTube and MySpace owed Universal "tens of
millions of dollars" for copyright infringement.
Universal is in negotiations with the sites, but indicated yesterday
that it will sue should talks fall through. "This could be the first
salvo from a content player against business models based on
user-generated content, much of which relies on copyrighted material,"
wrote Merrill Lynch analyst Jessica Reif Cohen in a report about the
conference. Morris's remarks, she wrote, "strongly suggested the company
was planning to take legal action in the near-term to either prevent the
illegal use of their content on these Web sites or to ensure the company
is compensated for the use of its content."
MediaPost.com Sept 06
iTunes to Sell Movies
Apple Computer Inc. said on Tuesday (Sept.
12) its iTunes online music store would begin selling movies from
Disney, Pixar, and Touchstone as the company makes its most aggressive
move yet into the digital home.
Chief Executive Steve Jobs said newly released movies would initially
cost $12.99 if pre-ordered or bought during the first week available.
Library titles would cost $9.99, Jobs said at an event in San Francisco
where the company also introduced new versions of its iPod digital music
He said there are about 75 films now available for purchase on iTunes
and that they would take about 30 minutes to download for those using a
high-speed Internet connection.
The new iPods include one with the most capacity to date and sport video
games such as Pac-Man and Tetris.
sales -- including those sold via digital download -- amounted to 8.91
million copies for the week ended July 23.
That's the first time Nielsen SoundScan has tallied fewer than 9
million units since 1996, when the week that closed February 4 marked
The numbers in The Billboard 200's top 10 echo this weak week.
Were it not for the chart-leading "Now 22," no title on the list would
surpass 70,000 copies.
NBC Chief: The Future Is iVillage
Despite a spate of new online initiatives--including online video deals
with AOL and Apple's iTunes--NBC Universal plans to center its online
activities around iVillage, the women's portal the GE-controlled group
bought for $600 million in March. This comes straight from Bob Wright,
NBC Universal's chief executive. Wright's assertion comes in
anticipation of the relaunch of iVillage's Web site, which attracts
about 15 million users a month, mostly women between the ages of 30 and
50. Wright says the redesigned site will feature video and community
tools, highlighting the opportunity for cross-branding with NBC
programs, like the "Today" show. "You're going to see a lot more
editorial combinations. It may be as common to see iVillage bringing
material to the "Today" show as the "Today" show bringing material to
iVillage," he says. The new iVillage will also feature original
programming, like iVillage Live, a television show that will be
available both on the site and on the NBC TV network
Tower Records files Chapter 11 Bankruptcy
MTS Inc. and all of its subsidiaries,
including Tower Records and Bayside Entertainment Distribution, filed a
Chapter 11 petition in federal bankruptcy court yesterday (Aug. 20) in
Delaware. The owners want the court to facilitate a prompt sale of their
business "as a going concern" so that a buyer could take control prior
to the 2006 holiday season.
According to the filing, eight entities own and operate the 89-store
chain of music and entertainment retail stores plus a direct sales
network and warehouse distribution facility under the Tower Records
name. They are Three A's Holdings, Jeremy's Holdings, Tower Direct, 33rd
Street Records, Pipernick, MTS, Columbus Bay and R.T. Records.
Tower Records intends to conduct an asset sale under Section 363 of the
Bankrupcty Code, according to a company statement. “The process, which
is subject to court approval, sets in motion a timeline of events that
will ultimately insure a sale of the company within 60 days of the
filing date,” the company said.
AOL Premieres 'Studio 60,' 'Twenty Good
Shankar Gupta, Monday, Sep 11, 2006 6:00 AM ET
TWO NEW NBC
FALL SHOWS, the sitcom "Twenty Good Years" and Aaron Sorkin's
"Studio 60 on the Sunset Strip," will debut on AOL one week before their
first air dates.
Both shows will run online without ads. 'Studio
60' will go live on AOL on today, while 'Twenty Good Years' debuts
online on Oct. 4.
With AOL's entry, all three major portals are now
streaming episodes of this fall's new TV shows before their broadcast
debuts. Yahoo will offer streams of the new CBS show "Jericho" and NBC's
"Heroes" before their air dates, while MSN will debut three shows from
The CW Network--"Runaway," "Everybody Hates Chris" and "Veronica
Mars"--one week before their air dates.
Along with the online premieres, AOL's television
section will feature information on all 82 prime-time shows in the fall
season, including video previews, spoilers, cast info, galleries,
quizzes, articles and a sortable schedule for the fall lineup.
Separately, Fox also added another TV show to its
online roster Friday, the network began streaming the first seven
minutes of the season premiere of the 18th season of "The Simpsons" on
several of Web sites, including MySpace.com, Fox.com, and IGN TV.
This online TV clip brought to you by:
Google teams with MTV
In an effort to reduce unauthorized use of its TV properties, MTV
Networks has cut a deal with online giant Google to distribute
ad-supported TV clips to bloggers and website publishers.
The deal, the first of its kind, sets up a
syndication network to put four- or five-minute clips of shows like
Nickelodeon's SpongeBob SquarePants and MTV's Laguna Beach
across the Web. Revenue will be split between MTV, Google and the
website or blog publisher.
Google now places ads on websites and blogs as
part of its AdSense network, sharing revenue with anyone from small
companies to big ones like About.com.
The alliance is billed as a test open only to
preselected Google clients. The clips will begin appearing in late
Sites that cater to, say, music fans or
children's programming have been selected to start. "These are niche
sites we think are compatible with our content," says Tom Freston, CEO
of Viacom, which owns MTV Networks, operator of MTV, Nickelodeon and
other cable channels.
USA Today Sept 06
CLASSIFIEDS RATE AS ONE of the Internet's fastest-growing
categories, as traffic to classified ad sites increased 47 percent for
the year ending July 31, according to comScore Media Metrix. The
comScore study found that 37.4 million people, or about 22 percent of
U.S. Web users, now visit online classified sites, with Craigslist the
category king at 13.8 million visitors a month. Craigslist's traffic has
doubled in the last year as the site has expanded to 300 cities
Rounding out the top three were Trader Publishing
Company at 10 million visitors, and AutoTrader, at 6.4 million.
By far, the fastest-growing classified site was
newcomer Oodle.com, which collects summaries of ads from newspapers and
other sources, which shot up to 909,000 visitors from 162,000 a year
ago. LiveDeal, an online marketplace emphasizing big-ticket items,
meanwhile, more than doubled traffic to 1.1 million users.
Vivendi To Buy BMG
September 05, 2006 -
- Vivendi will close a deal to buy BMG Music Publishing from
German publishing company Bertelsmann tomorrow afternoon (Sept. 6)
in Paris, Billboard.biz has learned.
- Sources close to the deal say that BMG Music Publishing will be
folded into Universal Music Publishing, but only after the purchase
receives regulatory approval in the EU, a process that could take
- The combined market share of Universal Music Publishing and
Bertelsmann Music Publishing would make the new Universal the
world's largest publishing company, with roughly a quarter share of
the publishing market.
NEW YORK (AdAge.com) -- More than most industries, pharmaceutical
companies have wised up to the web's ability to target unique audiences
with specific needs. As a result, the industry will increase online
spending by about 25% this year, to $780 million, according to an
eMarketer report released this week. And web publishers are already
lining up to take their money.
CBS to Stream Prime-time Shows Through Innertube
Move Follows ABC's Online Broadcast of First-Run
NEW YORK (AdAge.com) -- Just weeks after ABC touted the success of
its online rebroadcasts of first-run shows, CBS has followed suit and
will offer several of its top prime-time shows online, through the
network's broadband channel, Innertube.
YouTube Inc. said on Tuesday (Aug. 15) it
is talking with record labels to post thousands of music videos online,
aiming to move beyond being a site for sharing home videos to a provider
of mainstream entertainment like Yahoo and others.
YouTube, which sprung out of nowhere a year ago to now claim over 100
millions views a day, is negotiating for rights to post current and
archive music videos on its site, and said any commercial model it
decides on will offer the videos free.
"What we really want to do is in six to 12 months, maybe 18 months, to
have every music video ever created up on YouTube," co-founder Steve
Chen told Reuters. "We're trying to bring in as much of this content as
we can on to the site." postmedia
MTV Ready To Take Its Crown Back
It will come as little surprise that MTV wants its crown back. For
years, Viacom--with brands like MTV, VH1, Comedy Central and
Nickelodeon--completely ruled cool, yet suddenly it has been forced to
take a back seat to sites like MySpace, Facebook and YouTube. The media
conglomerate fought back this past week with two potentially key new
deals: a video distribution partnership with Google in which the
companies share ad revenue in exchange for use of Google's publisher
network, and then the acquisition of Atom Entertainment, a company that
runs an online gaming portal. MTV Networks COO Michael Wolf says that to
help ring in the digital revolution, the company wants to become the
on-ramp for consumer marketers to the Internet--a relatively foreign
place still for many consumer brands, which MTV will work with to help
them get online. He says there will be no restrictions on the Web
syndication deal with Google: it was rumored that sites with less than
100,000 users would not be able to participate. "We want our content to
create a network effect," he says, adding that the deal "promises to be
a groundbreaking way for content to be distributed and monetized on the
Movie Studios To Allow DVD Copying
How about that movie industry? Often accused of being anti-consumer when
it comes to digital media, the movie biz is actually planning to relax
the rules on copying DVDs. Legally downloaded digital movies, which are
offered by companies like CinemaNow and Movielink, have completely
failed to catch on with the general public. The biggest complaint,
perhaps, is that downloaded movies are prevented from being copied to
disc to be watched on TV sets. Consumers like their big TVs and massive
sound systems; they don't want to have to watch movies on their laptops.
Hollywood never allowed the copying of DVDs because they felt movies
could be too easily pirated. They were right. But offering a legal
alternative is one way to goad consumers into doing the right thing. The
idea is to give people what they want, and maybe they won't feel the
need to steal from you. That said, there will be encryption technology,
of course. The movie biz is calling its digital rights management the
Content Scramble System, which is licensed out by the DVD Copy Control
Association to help those in the industry protect content
Shaky Ground, Again
By Ed Christman, N.Y.
Tower Records is facing an imminent Chapter 11. That’s a certainty,
according to top major-label distribution and financial executives, all
speaking on condition of anonymity.
But what kind of filing will it be? A prepackaged Chapter 11 deal with
an equity sponsor in tow to take over ownership of the company that also
has the blessing of the creditors? A Chapter 11, 363 asset-purchase
agreement, with the “stalking horse” bid setting the floor price for
other suitors to bid against?
That kind of filing would leave the creditors to fight over the proceeds
from the asset sale and wrangle with their emotions about whether they
will support a new owner going forward. Or could the filing turn into an
MTV Wants to
Be Marketers' On-Ramp to the Web
Wolf Talks About Google and Atom Film Deals
NEW YORK (AdAge.com) -- It might be Viacom's busiest week since it
split off from CBS, but MTV Networks Chief Operating Officer Michael
Wolf made time and talked to MediaWorks' Abbey Klaassen about its
acquisition of AtomFilms.com, how MTVN sees its digital mission and the
evolution of its deal with Google.
Rejoice: More Broadband Options
Online: TNT's DramaVision, Ripe's OctaneTV
NEW YORK (AdAge.com) -- Looking for new ways to waste time on the
web? You're in luck. TNT has launched DramaVision, a new broadband
channel. Its first big feature is last year's Stephen Spielberg
miniseries "Into the West," but other TNT original series will be
uploaded as well.
August 06, 2006,
Tower Wins At NARM Amidst Bankruptcy Fears
By Ed Christman, Kissimmee, Fla.
In one of the most ironic moments ever at a National Assn. of Recording
Merchandisers annual convention, Tower Records was named the large
retailer of the year on the meeting's closing night (Aug. 5), after the
previous three days of the confab were dominated by fears that the
88-unit chain would be forced into bankruptcy.
The Chapter 11 fears were prompted by the news that a pending sale of
the chain had unraveled. Additionally, Tower missed a payment to one of
the majors and then told all four majors it wouldn't make August
payments, which are due beginning Aug. 10. The major labels—EMI Music,
Sony BMG Music Ent., Universal Music Group and Warner Music Group—have
stopped shipping to the chain, and every independent supplier approached
by Billboard at NARM confirmed they also placed the West Sacramento,
Calif.-based merchant on "hold," once news of the majors had leaked out.
Sirius Satellite Radio Tuesday (Aug. 1)
raised its year-end subscriber forecast to 6.3 million, from 6.2
million. Early in the year, the radio service forecast it would have 6
million subscribers by the end of 2006, raising it to 6.2 million in
The guidance, made during the company’s second quarter earnings
conference call, was in stark contrast to XM Satellite Radio, which cut
its year-end subscriber forecast last week to between 8.2 and 7.7
In second quarter, Sirius added 600,460 subscribers for a total of 4.6
million. Despite a larger loss of $237.8 million, compared to $177.5
million a year ago, revenue tripled to more than $150 million. The
company also raised its year-end revenue guidance to $615 million, from
$600 million. BillboadBiz.com August 2006
$900 Million Search Deal Moves Google Onto MySpace
News Corp. Partnership Includes Most Fox Interactive
WASHINGTON (AdAge.com) -- News Corp. is partnering with Google in a
$900 million interactive advertising and search deal that will make
Google the search engine for most Fox Interactive websites -- including
MySpace.com, the companies said yesterday. Under the deal, Google also
becomes the prime seller for Fox web ads that Fox itself doesn't sell.
Why Murdoch Won't Buy YouTube
Many felt that YouTube CEO Chad Hurley's stirring performance at Herb
Allen's annual Sun Valley media conference signaled that his company
would soon be acquired by the bigger fish circling the pond at the media
mogul-fest. Of course, many believe it will be Rupert Murdoch and News
Corp., thereby bringing together MySpace and its 80 percent share of the
social networking with YouTube's 60 percent share of the online video
market. But Robert Young of GigaOM says no way. At $1 billion, YouTube
has priced itself out of Murdoch's bargain-hunting range. Young,
speaking from his experience of selling Delphi to News Corp., says
Murdoch prefers to use cash as his deal currency, not stock. That means
the prospect of laying out $1 billion for a money-losing
operation--particularly after shelling out $600 million for MySpace--is
GenY (people between the ages of 18 and 28) spends 12.2 hours online
each week, or 28 percent longer than GenXers (27- to 40-year-olds), and
almost twice as long as 51- to 61-year-old Baby Boomers. The finding
comes from a new study by Forrester Research assessing consumer
The survey finds that GenY is also much more likely to engage in
social activities while online--for example, GenYers are 50 percent more
likely than GenXers to send instant messages, twice as likely to read
blogs, and three times as likely to use social networking sites like
"All generations adopt devices and Internet technologies, but younger
consumers are Net natives who spend more time online than watching
television," said Ted Schadler, Forrester Research vice president and
co-author of the study, in a statement. "Younger generations live
online, reading blogs, downloading podcasts, checking prices before
buying, and trading recommendations."
Additional findings from the study: Forty-one percent of North
American households now have broadband Internet access at home--up from
29 percent at the end of 2004. Forester Research 8/06
YouTube's market value at around $1 billion.
Will the company stay private, go public, become acquired, or acquire
another company? Shaw seems reasonably certain that YouTube will be
scooped up by one of six Internet media majors. In order of their
suitability from least to most suitable: First, Adobe systems. The
biggest stretch on his list makes sense. YouTube uses its Flash format
for most of its videos. This would be a huge promotional platform for
Flash, which lacks the distribution of other major video formats. Time
Warner-AOL is next. AOL would be a great distribution channel for
YouTube. Its new services-based business model would benefit greatly
from the added traffic and integration with its other video offerings.
Third is Sony. It's perhaps the premiere company in content distribution
and video hardware. Sony also owns a movie studio. Fourth, Google. It
has plenty of cash, and needs to do something if it's serious about
competing in online video. Search integration would be interesting, too.
Fifth, News Corp.'s MySpace and YouTube are already natural allies, and
to add a video dimension to the world's largest social network means
that people could spend consecutive days at its sites. Finally, Shaw
says Yahoo would be the most suitable for YouTube. It owns Flickr, the
best photo-sharing site. Yahoo could also syndicate YouTube content; it
needs something like a key acquisition to boost its share price
Russell Shaw of ZDNet pegs
longtime foe of all digital downloading services, this week began
offering its music--including some newly released live tracks--on iTunes.
The heavy-metal band, which sued Napster in 2000 for encouraging piracy,
posted a statement online explaining its change of heart: "We will begin
offering our music on the iTunes Music Store, a Cupertino, CA-based
upstart outfit, who we feel may very well have a bright future," the
And today, The Rolling Stones, who surely remember when the music
industry believed mixed tapes posed a piracy threat, is embracing a
cutting-edge technology. Reuters reports the group will use a new
service, "Listen Live Now," in which fans pay to hear telephone
broadcasts of live concerts. The cost is $1.99 for seven minutes--and
the first effort kicks off today at their concert in Paris.
Reuters says the broadcast will be interrupted at the six-minute mark
with a voice warning--which theoretically hinders consumers from later
selling the tape. As an anti-piracy device, this system sounds far from
foolproof. Still, the Stones are willing to take the risk that new
technologies will ultimately serve their fans, even if those
technologies also increase the risk of copyright violations.
Wendy Davis onlinemedia.com
to new consumer research from Leichtman Research Group (LRG), 69% of all
US households now subscribe to an online service at home, and high-speed
Internet services now account for about 60% of all online subscribers.
Overall, cable remains the most common source for residential
broadband driven by its strength among higher income households. But DSL
now has a greater market share than cable among middle income
households. Based on a telephone survey of 1,600 randomly selected U.S.
- Thirty-seven percent of all households with annual household
incomes over $75,000 subscribe to cable broadband and 27% subscribe
- Among all households earning $30,000-$75,000 per year, 21%
subscribe to DSL and 18% to cable
Sixty Percent of Wired Homes Now Use Broadband
First Quarter Saw Addition of 3 Million Cable and DSL Subscribers
NEW YORK (AdAge.com) -- Nearly 70% of all U.S. households now pay for
an online connection, and 60% of those homes connect via broadband,
according to new research from Leichtman Research Group. Leichtman also
points to a market with plenty of room for growth, which should be
welcome news for marketers betting on better web service to keep the
online-ad market booming. ADWIRE.com
YouTube: More Than 100 Million Videos Served Daily
YouTube has surpassed 100 million videos served per day, says Hitwise,
the traffic-measurement firm that last week announced MySpace had the
greatest share of Internet visits. The viral video site is the runaway
leader in online video, which refers to "snack-sized video fare" lasting
two to five minutes. YouTube commands 29 percent of that market, says
Hitwise--and its videos account for 60 percent of all video watched
online. Like MySpace, YouTube is the latest social sensation to grow,
with little to no money to show for its efforts. Compared to the News
Corp. site, the Web's other disproportionate underachiever, YouTube is
in dire straits. It has yet to create a comprehensive ad model, and
continues to subsist on venture capital funding. MySpace lies second
behind YouTube in the online video market, with a 19 percent share. In
June, 2.5 billion videos were watched on YouTube. More than 65,000
videos are uploaded to the site daily, says Hitwise, while about 20
million unique users visit the site each month, according to Nielsen//NetRatings
MTV Wants Its Own YouTube
MTV President Judy McGrath said the company is going after YouTube,
looking to either build or acquire a global service that would bring
Viacom to the forefront of online video, says Ad Age. "Video is
our expertise," McGrath says, alluding to the days when MTV programming
was mostly a collection of music videos. YouTube is the undisputed
leader in online video, which she says has marked the single biggest
shift in the media landscape in the last six months. In the next few
weeks, VH1, another MTV property, is set to launch a collection of
broadband channels; other multi-platform deals are likely to follow.
Affiliate sales associates worry that offering similar programming on
the Web might cannibalize their revenues; McGrath offered little to
assuage their fears, pointing out that several cable companies want to
provide Internet service, which is the future of direct-to-consumer
BIG ADVERTISERS ARE PAYING ATTENTION
to podcasts. According to The Economics of Podcasting, a
report released Thursday by Nielsen Analytics, the most successful
podcasts get as many as 2 million downloads a month. Podcast advertisers
include Sony Pictures, Shell Oil, EarthLink, Warner Bros., HP, HBO, and
GoDaddy. More than 6 percent of U.S. adults--about 9 million Web
users--have downloaded podcasts in the past 30 days, the report
concluded, echoing estimates released last week by Nielsen//NetRatings.
Most podcast users are male--more than 75 percent. To reach consumers,
advertisers are putting their messages within the program or using
endorsements from podcast hosts. yahoo.com
WEEK BECAME THE most popular site on the Web in the United
States, commanding 4.46 percent of all visits, according to new research
by Hitwise. That's a greater market share than Yahoo's email service
(4.42 percent), Yahoo's home page (4.25 percent), and Google (3.89
percent). Within the social networking sphere, MySpace's dominance is
uncontested with fully 79.9 percent of the total number of visits. The
next biggest network is Facebook (7.5 percent share), followed by Xanga
But these kinds of rankings don't always tell the
whole story, according to Jon Gibs, Nielsen//NetRatings director of
media analytics. Nielsen//NetRatings figures for individuals' average
monthly visits to various sites show a surprising range of repeat
visits, from a high of 63.9 visits for del.icio.us, to 31.2 for Flickr,
to a surprisingly low 19.1 for MySpace; those wide swings suggest
varying degrees of engagement, Gibs said. july 06
AND IT EXECUTIVES INCREASINGLY turn to podcasts, according to a
new joint study by Universal McCann and KnowledgeStorm. The study, based
on a survey of more than 3,900 executives, found that 41 percent have
listened to podcasts more than once and 13 percent frequently download
or listen to them. Additionally, almost 60 percent of respondents said
that white papers or analyst reports would be more interesting as
podcasts. More than half of respondents--57 percent--said the
biggest challenge facing podcasts is that they don't have enough
PQ Media: Online Ad Spend To Surpass $19B This
Spending on online advertising will climb to around $19.96 billion this
year--marking a 26 percent increase from last year's $15.83 billion,
according to new research by PQ Media. National ads will account for the
largest single proportion of online ad dollars--$13.57 billion, up 24
percent from last year's $10.92 billion, according to the report.
As Microsoft prepares its second (or third?) entry into digital music,
the trade journal Digital Trends asks, what would it take for
Microsoft to kill the iPod? The answer? Three things: better design,
better ease of use, and a better marketing plan. First, the specifics.
Rumor has it that Microsoft's iPod killer will utilize Wi-Fi as the
syncing link between its new iTunes-like service and the new device.
Wi-Fi would enable Microsoft to provide streaming music--something the
iPod can't do. It would also allow consumers to buy music directly from
the device--as you could with a cell phone. It would be very tough to
design something cooler looking than the iPod. Apple seems to nail this
with each new installment. Microsoft does have a history of creating
cool looking products--the XBOX 360, for example, comes to mind. It
would be equally difficult to trump Apple on ease of use. All of its
products just seem to work. There have been a number of quality issues,
as in defective iPods, but all in all, it's an easy device to use.
Again, the XBOX is another indicator that Microsoft can compete here,
but the difference is that Apple is a market leader, so Microsoft has to
be that much better to give people a reason to cross over. When it comes
to marketing, Apple is both the market leader in spending and execution.
MTV To Simulcast 'Whistler'
On Web, TV
David Goetzl, Wednesday, Jun 28, 2006 CONTINUING
THE TREND OF NETWORKS airing full episodes online as a
promotional vehicle, MTV Networks' teen-targeted The N will look to
broaden sampling of new drama "Whistler" with an online/on-air
simulcast. The online version of the drama about life in the
eponymous upper-class Canadian ski resort will run on The N's broadband
channel "The Click" as it debuts on the network. The simulcast takes
place June 30 at 9:00 p.m. Ads that appear on-air won't make it
into the online version. The broadband episode will be available in two
content blocks and will run commercial-free, unless MTVN opts to sell
advertising in the "bridge" space.
Networks are increasingly dabbling in online
distribution of on-air products: This spring, ABC placed multiple
episodes of hit shows on ABC.com, while FX made the premiere of reality
show "Black. White." available on MSN, and Fox offered the opening
episode of short-lived comedy "Free Ride" on MySpace.com. This fall, NBC
is launching what will arguably be the most ambitious initiative in the
arena--Web site NBCFirstLook.com, which will offer premieres of up to
four episodes of an NBC series each year.
Web Video, Brought To You By Flash
The San Jose Mercury News
Adobe Systems' acquisition of Macromedia and Flash late last year could
be one of the best tech deals since News Corp. and MySpace parent
Intermix. Macromedia's Flash is poised to become the de facto Web site
development software of the new entertainment industry. Adobe acquired
Macromedia in December for $3.4 billion in stock; since then,
consumer-generated media in the form of videos and mash-ups on sites
like YouTube has exploded, as has interest in online video advertising.
Online video looks set to be the next frontier in Internet
entertainment, and many of the biggies--including YouTube and Google
Video--use Flash as their technology. Microsoft's Windows Media is still
the number 1 video format, handling 60 percent of streaming video, but
Flash has soared from nowhere to number two (19 percent of the market)
in two years. The San Jose Mercury News attributes the widespread
Flash adoption to the proliferation of high-speed Web access and the
rise of social networks. It's the easiest format to use--you can embed
Flash inside Web sites very easily, and as a streaming technology, it
involves no downloads, so its popularity has taken off. As such, it has
quickly become the favored format of creative agencies
The one-to-one relationship between the two parties has in the past few
years been nonexistent, at best, and downright ugly at its worst, thanks
to reams of file-sharing lawsuits and clumsy digital-rights-management
Sony BMG is working with Brightcove to enable consumers to place
music videos on their own Web spaces.
But this week Sony BMG is going directly to consumers with an internet
TV play it has created through Brightcove. The service, called Musicbox
Video, distributes music videos from Sony BMG artists -- from Shakira to
the Dixie Chicks to Nick Lachey -- across its fan sites and even down to
the MySpace pages of music-obsessed fans.
"They're using syndication services to make it possible for fans to take
players and put them into blogs or MySpace pages," said Adam Berrey,
VP-marketing and strategy at Brightcove, which creates, distributes and
sells advertising in internet TV channels for media companies and
The flash-based video player features several "channels" -- top 20,
rock, pop and R&B -- and can be found at the artists' websites. Fans can
e-mail a video link to a friend or copy the HTML code to post the video
in blogs or on their MySpace pages.
Mr. Berry said future advertising applications might include deeper
sponsorships within the player, a sponsorship that takes over the player
or some other kind of sponsorship integrated into the lineup of videos.
"It turns the video play into a revenue stream," he said.
Simon Renshaw, principal at Strategic Artist Management and manager of
the Dixie Chicks, has been an outspoken advocate of a more
direct-to-consumer approach in the music industry and said the increase
in broadband penetration is driving the potential of such one-to-one
relationships between artists and fans. The Dixie Chicks, for example,
struck a deal with MSN to stream their first concert in two years -- a
June 15 show at Shepherds Bush Empire in London.
Google is poised this week to launch an online electronic payment
service similar to eBay's PayPal, according to a report in today's
Wall Street Journal. Rumors of the service, GBuy, have
surfaced before, but today's report includes new details about pricing
and integration with Google's core search business.
The product reportedly will work in conjunction with AdWords, so that
consumers who visit a merchant's site after doing a Google search will
have the option of going to a separate, GBuy checkout site. Google plans
to charge merchants a 2.2 percent commission, in addition to a fee of 30
cents per transaction--but will also offer a discount to AdWords
GBuy, an obvious challenge to eBay, is expected to come just several
weeks after Google took on Microsoft in the software realm with a
Web-based spreadsheet application. June 06
SONY BMG HAS
UNVEILED A new ad-supported Internet broadband channel that will
host a library of music videos from artists including Shakira, Franz
Ferdinand, and Bon Jovi.
Broadband video firm Brightcove will provide the
technology platform for the channel and also will be responsible for ad
sales, said Adam Berry, Brightcove's vice president for marketing and
strategy. He added that Sony BMG is the first "major" publisher that
Brightcove will handle ad sales for. The advertisers at
launch are Dreamworks and Hewlett-Packard, which are jointly promoting
the animated film "Over the Hedge."
The channel, dubbed Musicbox Video, will include
videos from multiple labels, including Sony BMG, Columbia Records, Epic
Records, and RCA Recordings. The players will reside on the Sony BMG
main site, as well as the sites of individual labels and artists. All
the players are powered by flash, and all the videos are streaming.
The new site will be in direct competition with
other online music destinations--including those of Viacom Online, which
includes MTV Networks and drew 29.5 million unique users last month,
according to comScore; Yahoo Music, with 24.3 million unique users; and
AOL Music, which claimed 19.4 million uniques.
Leading marketers believe in the benefits of digital marketing--but
are having trouble keeping up with the escalating pace of online
advances, according to a survey released last week by the American
Advertising Federation. In fact, 63 percent of those surveyed said that
Fortune 500 companies are "generally behind the curve when it comes to
online ad strategy." And 58 percent said that they personally are
"struggling simply to manage existing online efforts, let alone stay
ahead of the curve."
The study also found that an overwhelming majority of those surveyed
recognize the effectiveness of digital marketing, with 91 percent citing
the online media environment as "empowering to advertisers, allowing the
ad industry to shape its own development." And 42 percent cited online
media as offering the highest return on investment of any form of media.
mediapost.com June 06
NEW YORK (AdAge.com) -- Microsoft Chairman Bill Gates is leaving
his day-to-day post at Microsoft in two years to work
the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation, he announced this evening from
the company's Redmond, Wash., headquarters.
Bill Gates at a press conference today announced he is
relinquishing day-to-day operations, calling it a 'reordering of
The news follows a gradual passing of the torch at Microsoft that
began in January 2000, when Mr. Gates relinquished the role of
Steve Ballmer, although Microsoft insiders say he continues to have a
consistent presence at the company.
Mr. Gates told a press conference that the day's news was not so much a
retirement as a "reordering of my priorities."
Internet & American Life Project recently issued its Home Broadband
Adoption 2006 report, which rightly devoted significant attention to
consumer-generated media (CGM). Based on two U.S. telephone tracking
surveys, the report estimated that:
At the end of March 2006, 42 percent of Americans had high-speed
connections at home, up from 30 percent in March 2005, or a 40 percent
Overall, 35 percent of all Internet users--or 48 million--have
posted content to the internet (CGM), and this included having one's own
blog; having one's own Web page; working on a blog or Web page for work
or a group; or sharing self-created content such as a story, artwork, or
An even higher percentage of home broadband users--42 percent or
about 31 million people--have posted content to the Internet. This group
accounts for 73 percent of all home Internet users who were the source
of online content.
Yahoo Bolsters Photo
Wendy Davis, Thursday, Jun 8
YAHOO TODAY WILL BEGIN ROLLING
out an upgrade of its Internet-based photo service by making it easier
for users to organize their photo collections and share digital pictures
with other Web users.
The enhancements, set to launch in a closed beta
test, are the first major upgrade to Yahoo Photos since the company
launched the service six years ago.
With the upgrade, Yahoo Photos will include some
of the most popular features of Flickr, the photo-sharing site Yahoo
purchased last year. New functions include the ability to tag photos,
making them easier to view and search; "smart albums" that, like iTunes
"playlists," automatically organize new photos based on their tags; and
point-and-click caption editing. june 2006
Wendy Davis, Friday, Jun 2, 2006 6:00 AM ET
HAS STRUCK A deal with Bruce Springsteen to stream live video
footage from the rock star's tour this summer. AOL is offering one song
per concert, selected by the musician, with new tracks going live the
morning after each of the 18 stops on Springsteen's tour.
AOL has previously Webcast entire concerts live,
but hasn't yet followed an act throughout a tour. Erik Flannigan, vice
president and general manager of AOL Music, said the deal's format is
particularly well-suited to Springsteen--now on tour with the Seeger
Sessions Ban--because the musician is known for surprising audiences by
varying his set lists as well as inviting unexpected guest artists on
"If you're a fan, especially a fan of someone
like Springsteen--where the show changes every single night--this is
something you'd dream about," Flannigan said.
The first track went live on AOL Sunday,
following Springsteen's concert the night before in Boston. Footage will
be available until at least 30 days after the tour ends on June 25.
Takes On YouTube
Shankar Gupta, Friday, Jun 2, 2006 6:00 AM ET
UPGRADED ITS VIDEO offerings with a new uploading
and sharing offering designed to rival market leader YouTube. Yahoo's
product--unlike YouTube--offers video clips from established publishers,
and can search the Web for content.
"We're truly crawling the Web, and
receiving feeds from tens or hundreds of thousands of sites that allow
us to index their content," said Jason Zajac, Yahoo's general manager of
social media. "Whether you're looking for content that's looking for
premium news sources, or you're looking for music content that may be on
Yahoo Music, or AOL Music, or content that users upload to us directly
as well--it's all under one umbrella, in a consistent user experience
that allows you to watch it, rate it, and share it."
YouTube's momentum comes from a
42.94 percent share of all video search engine visits--compared to
Yahoo's 9.58 percent, MSN's 9.21 percent, and Google's 6.48 percent,
according to a Hitwise report released in May. The site's market share
increased 160 percent between February and May, while Yahoo's search
site remained relatively stagnant.
"No one is denying that YouTube
has created momentum for themselves in a unique way," said Zajac. "What
we're trying to do is put together all the assets that Yahoo has in
video, including core search." 5/06
More than one billion people globally
now have access to the Internet, and a
quarter of them have broadband access,
according to a new report from eMarketer.
The U.S. continues to lead the world
in terms of sheer numbers of Internet
users and broadband households, with 175
million Web users and 43.7 million
broadband households. The eMarketer
report, "Worldwide Online Access
2004-2010," projects that there will be
78.3 million online households in the
U.S. this year, and 66.7 percent of them
will have broadband service. By 2010,
nearly 90 percent (88.3 percent of
online households) will be
broadband-enabled, according to the
The report estimates that 845 million
of the 1 billion Internet users are
active users (accessing the Internet
more than once a month), and 195 million
households worldwide have a broadband
694 Million People
Used the Internet in March
In the recent announcement of the launch
of comScore World Metrix, by comScore,
they included data representing 694
million people, age 15+, from countries
that comprise 99 percent of the global
Internet population. This 14 percent of
the world's total population in this age
group used the Internet worldwide from
all locations in March 2006.
The comScore World Metrix includes
measurement of the major Asian
countries, including China, Japan, India
and Korea, which represent nearly 25
percent of the total worldwide online
population (or 168.1 million users), and
which, in the aggregate, are 11 percent
larger than the U.S. (152 million
AT&T Sets Target For
Web-based TV Service
By year's end, telecom giant AT&T
expects to be offering Web TV service in
15-20 US markets, but the decision to
aggressively move into TV leaves
skeptics wondering whether the Internet
technology AT&T will use can work on a
massive scale. By deploying Web-based
technology, the company formerly known
as SBC is trying to bypass the enormous
expense of wiring fiber-optic cables to
homes so it can compete with cable
operators providing TV, phone and
high-speed Internet service. AT&T is
spending $4.6 billion to make TV
available to 19 million homes in 41
markets by 2008, but analysts say the
telecom giant won't reach its goal.
Verizon, which has already entered the
triple play market, has spent the extra
billions upgrading its network with a
different technology because it didn't
feel a Web-based back-end would be
sufficient. Its TV service reaches 50
communities in 7 states.
Google Beware of MySpace
Google should be wary of MySpace, says
Motley Fool columnist Stephen Ellis.
Since the next generation of pay-per
click-advertising is going to come from
content (as Google knows with AdSense)
the search giant should consider that
News Corp. "has both the content and the
online properties to build an online
powerhouse." This makes the "stodgy
company" one to watch, he says. To be
sure, MySpace is still a tiny part of
News Corp, though it represents most of
the company's opportunity for growth:
it's already generated $2 billion in
cash this financial year, about four
times what News Corp paid for it nearly
a year ago; it also averaged 30 billion
page views in April, placing it second
among all Web sites, according to
Nielsen/NetRatings. Ellis says recent
moves like making Fox content available
on its network are smart, and while the
sex offender stuff may leave some
advertisers cringing, they will be sure
to keep one eye firmly affixed on the
company for the right opportunity,
Friday, May 26, 2006
Trading Banners For
Sight, Sound And Motion
By Dave Morgan
Online advertising is hot. So hot in
fact, that pundits lately have increased
projections for the potential size of
the online ad market, some now
predicting that U.S. online ad
expenditures could hit $35-50 billion by
the end of this decade, up from $12.5
billion last year, according to IAB/PWC.
How could that be? Is it even possible?
Even if advertisers wanted to spend that
much money online, where could they put
it? Is there likely to be enough quality
inventory for all of those ads? This has
been a topic of debate ever since the
online ad market began its resurgence
two year ago.
While the demand for online advertising
is growing fast, the supply of quality
online ad inventory has been lagging.
The key word here is "quality." Online
ad spend is growing at more than 30
percent per year, but most Web sites
have audience and page view growth rates
that are closer to 10 percent to 20
percent per year. The latter is not
keeping pace with the former. Since much
of the online ad growth is from
traditional brand advertisers, the
explosion of new inventory from social
networks, where the content is riskier,
has not helped much. The shortage of
enough high quality and easily
accessible inventory is already starting
to drive up pricing, which undercuts
some of the economic advantages of
online versus offline mass media. Tight
inventory and higher prices are forcing
advertisers to make buys on more sites
and on smaller sites, which makes both
their buys and their lives much more
complex and much less satisfying.
TV Viewing Fourth Most-Popular
Activity, Behind Web, Friends, Movies
NEW YORK (AdAge.com) -- For the week of
the broadcast network upfront
presentations, Bolt Media hopes this
stat delivers a bullet to TV: Only one
in four 12- to 34-year-olds can name all
four major broadcast networks: ABC, NBC,
CBS and Fox.
The most popular
activity? That would be surfing the
Internet, which 84% said they did during
their idle periods. Hanging out with
friends came in second at 76%, watching
movies third at 71% and TV viewing
fourth at 69%. The five most-watched TV
networks were Fox, Comedy Central, ABC,
MTV and Cartoon Network.
"There's a massive movement going on in
people under 30 and how they spend their
media time," said Bolt President Lou
Kerner, who once upon a time was a cable
analyst on Wall Street before leaving to
run TV.com and then Bolt. "Our audience
spends lots of time on net, creating
their own media."
AOL Bows YouTube
When AOL comes late to the party, it
often brings along some solid products,
but they don't tend to add anything new.
Most recently, the Time Warner company
has launched AIM Pages, which expands on
AOL Instant Messenger, its 43
million-strong instant messaging
network. This will directly compete with
MySpace and its mammoth 70 million user
base. Today the company is quietly
unveiling a user-generated video service
called UnCut, which takes a stab at
YouTube and its 13 million user base.
UnCut users will need an AOL or AIM
screen name, but kids under 18 will not
be invited to use the service. Looks
like AOL is looking to create an online
video personals section for AIM Pages.
That said, the site will be monitored
for piracy and "illegal and offensive
postings" by LiveWorld, a company that
builds and operates online communities.
UnCut, which already has thousands of
beta users, will launch as part of AOL's
larger video service offering, In2TV, a
joint streaming TV venture with Warner
Bros. introduced in March. UnCut will
integrate with both AIM and AOL
Journals, its blogging service. Videos
will be rated, searchable, and
Launches Broadband Entertainment Channel
Launches Broadband Entertainment Channel
O'Malley, Friday, May 5, 2006 6:00 AM
CBS THURSDAY LAUNCHED THE THIRD and
final part of its sweeping broadband
initiative, adding to its news and
sports properties a page for streaming
As an extension
of CBS.com, the new section, "innertube,"
is home to original short-form programs
aimed at younger audiences, as well as
extensions of CBS shows like "Survivor."
In time, it will also house entire
prime-time episodes after they have
aired on TV--and, in all likelihood, CBS
classics like "I Love Lucy"--currently
available on a pay-per-download basis on
"CBS is literally
bursting with entertainment content,"
boasted Nancy Tellem, president of the
CBS Paramount Network Television
Entertainment Group, adding that viewers
"can expect archive classics at some
initially stream three shows daily, a
new program being posted each day,
Monday through Friday. Programming will
then be archived for on-demand viewing.
NEW YORK - Newspaper circulation
fell 2.5 percent in the six-month
period ending in March, according to
data released Monday, as more people
turned to the Internet and other media
outlets for news and information.
The decline in average paid weekday
circulation was about the same as the
previous six-month reporting cycle for
the period ending last September,
according to the Newspaper Association
of America, a trade group.
Average paid circulation at Sunday
newspapers fell 3.1 percent versus the
same period a year ago, also a
comparable decline with the last time
circulation tallies were reported, the
MTV Differ In Timing Of Online Offerings
THE WORLD OF THE YOUNG
is immediate, while that of the older TV
viewer is about a week late.
making a couple of shows available
simultaneously online and on TV. "MTV
Video Music Awards," and "Total Request
Live" will run on the broadband channel
MTV Overdrive as a test this summer,
with traditional TV airings on MTV.
Warner Bros is starting a new way of
selling off-network syndication shows to
stations. Its plans for "Two and a Half
Men" will sell stations not just the
rights to air on shows on traditional TV
airwaves---but also, in a
syndication-industry first--on the
Internet. yahoo.com news
ACCORDING TO A PEW INTERNET &
American Life Project survey, 45 percent
of Internet users--about 60 million
Americans--say that the Web helped them
make big decisions or deal with major
episodes in their lives in the previous
two years. The survey also found that
only 5 percent said the information they
found was misleading.
The obvious implication
here is that people are searching to
find critical information. And
remarkably, their satisfaction is very
high. Recently I conducted a highly
informal study, tracking a colleague's
search habits for one week, to confirm
or refute what the survey is telling us.
To protect his privacy and pride, I'll
refer to him as "Subject 20-Something."
It's important to note that he does not
work in the search industry, and would
be considered a moderate search user who
owns a connected PDA. May
|Movie Makers Show Marketers How to Use YouTube
The Hollywood Reporter April 26, 06
YouTube is like one big marketing experiment: the site attracts massive
numbers and is run by a couple of starry-eyed kids looking for all
kinds of ways to rake in the marketing dollars--so long as they don't
piss off their young user base. In its latest marketing venture,
Weinstein Co. is paying the short-form viral video site to put the
first eight minutes of its new thriller "Lucky Number Slevin" on the
site. The collaboration marks the first time a studio has put
sequential film content on YouTube, and it may not be the last, should
the experiment prove to be a success. One exec noted that putting film
content on YouTube is the best possible way to create buzz for a film,
calling it "the No. 1 word of mouth Web site out there today." To date,
several movie trailers have successfully made their way to YouTube:
"Scary Movie 4," for example, was viewed 1.5 million times. At a huge
site like YouTube, which delivers more than 40 million video views a
day, with 35,000 new videos uploaded daily, it makes sense to go the
extra mile and pay for some front page face time, cause it's easy for
your content to get lost in there.
studios will start selling digital versions of films such as "Brokeback
Mountain" and "King Kong" on the Internet this week, the first time
major movies have been available online to own.
The films can't be burned onto a disc for viewing on a DVD player.
Still, the move is seen as a step toward full digital distribution of
movies over the Internet.
Six studios said they would announce Monday that sales will begin
through the download Web site Movielink. The site is jointly owned by
five of the seven major studios.
Warner Bros., Universal Pictures, Sony Pictures, Paramount Pictures,
Twentieth Century Fox and MGM will offer some first-run and older
titles on Movielink. New films will be priced similar to DVDs — between
$20 and $30 — while older titles will sell for $10 to $20.
In a separate announcement, Sony and Lionsgate said they will sell
films through the CinemaNow site. BILLBOARDBIZ.COM
YouTube Attracts Marketers
YouTube has finally found a way to make money. Surprise! It's
advertising. Nike, Warner Bros., MTV2 and Dimension Films are among the
first set of marketers littering the site with commercial clips. Again,
this is no surprise given the site's almost unbelievable growth. In
December 3 million videos streamed daily. Today: 40 million. For those
unfamiliar with YouTube, it's a huge destination for any kind of video
content. Users can stream any video uploaded to the site and made
available to the public. The most popular clips get shared virally and
the number of plays can increase exponentially in a short period of
time, which makes it particularly compelling for advertisers. USA Today
spoke with a number of marketers, agencies and media buying firms, who
highlighted the viral nature of the site and the low cost of entry:
it's, um, free. For example, Nike recently uploaded a gritty clip of
Brazil's FIFA World Football (soccer) Player of the Year Ronaldinho
performing various moves with the ball. Since then, the clip has been
watched 3 million times, as consumers e-mailed it to each other and
posted it on their social networking profiles. YouTube won't disclose
the financial details of this and other formal arrangements the site
has with marketers, but those companies generally get preferential
treatment on the home page, next to their brand image.
Recent Activity Shows Social Networks Still Red-Hot
Business Week 04/06
Social networks just a fad, eh? Well, not if you ask the venture
capital firms that just pumped $25 million more into college-level
social networking phenomenon Facebook.com. While critics still wonder
when young consumers will get bored with the likes of MySpace and
Facebook, moving on to the next coolest thing, investors, media
companies and advertisers are left to mull over the opportunities--and
the potential pitfalls--of this red-hot sector of the Internet. Can
they have a viable long-term business model? Maybe so, maybe not, but
the fact is, these sites are getting tremendous usage that should be
taken advantage of now. Facebook just got more funding, News Corp. just
scooped up a job hunting/social network site called SimplyHired, and
Visible Path, the new kid on the sector block, just received $17
million in funding itself. Facebook will settle for the new infusion of
cash, although the company had been looking into a possible sale for
around $2 billion.
Eisner Invests In Online Video Firm
Michael Eisner is joining forces with the venture capital arm of Time
Warner, his former media nemesis when he was head of The Mouse House.
Together, he and Time Warner Investments have contributed to a $12.5
million round of funding for Web TV startup Veoh Networks. Veoh calls
itself "the first Internet television peer casting network." It creates
peer to peer software that helps content publishers and consumers share
published content that has been approved by a team of editors, in an
attempt to sidestep piracy. Veoh is differentiating itself from the
likes of YouTube by not limiting the length of videos, letting content
providers choose whether to charge or integrate ads, and allowing
viewers to create their own virtual channels. T he company was founded
in 2004 by Dmitry Shapiro, a renowned security software developer.
Eisner will be joining the company's board of directors.
April 29, 2006
WEB RADIO STARTS TO CAST A WIDE NET
BY ANTONY BRUNO billboard.com
radio may not be heard nearly as much as its terrestrial counterpart.
But it is becoming a bigger player, for music fans and labels alike.
In the last year, the use of Internet radio has spiked noticeably.
According to data unveiled by Arbitron and Edison Media Research, the
monthly audience for Internet radio among listeners 12 or older jumped
71% last year, from 37 million to 52 million. The weekly Internet radio
audience jumped 50% to 30 million, after growing only 8% a year for the
preceding three years.
"This is one of the biggest year-over-year increases ever," says Bill
Rose, Arbitron senior VP of marketing and business development. "At
this stage of the game, to see that kind of growth is noteworthy."
According to Arbitron's most recent figures as of press time, Yahoo
remains the largest Internet radio destination with 2.6 million weekly
listeners. America Online Radio places second at 1.9 million, with
Clear Channel's collective stations trailing with 880,000
listeners—just edging out MSN, but growing more rapidly than its
During the past four months, Apple iPods, Macs and other products have been featured 250 times on
38 different network primetime shows, including such hits as "CSI: NY" and "The O.C."
adds up to 26 minutes of free exposure for one of Hollywood's biggest
brand stars, according to Nielsen's Place Views tracking service.
its cultural cachet and storied history of giving away tens of
thousands of Apple computers to the Hollywood creative community, Apple
has had perhaps the greatest success of any brand in embedding its
products into film and TV without paying for the integrations, even
amid Hollywood's rush to cash in on branded entertainment deals over
the past several years.
Bertelsmann Targets Older Demos With Social Network
The array of social networking choices on the Web for kids these days
is exhausting: MySpace, Facebook, Friendster, Connexion, MSN Spaces,
etc. etc, but what about social networking for older folks? According
to a Reuters report, German media group Bertelsmann is planning to
transform its Direct Group of book, CD, and DVD clubs into an Internet
networking destination for older people. The media conglomerate aims to
unify Direct Group's aging customer base of around 35 million users in
22 countries by changing its traditional clubs into little Internet
communities organized by cultural interests. The initiative would have
to be supported by advertising, but analysts warn that it could be
difficult to persuade the older set to use these kinds of social
networking tools. As Jupiter analyst David Card said, "It may not be a
natural thing, but it could work if they do a good job data mining and
finding people with like passions." If they can find the audience, and
that's a big if, then advertisers will surely follow.
number of U.S. subscribers to broadband high-speed Internet service
jumped 32.3 percent to 42.9 million lines for the year ended June 2005,
according to the Federal Communications Commission. This was an
increase of 10.4 million lines over the 12-month period, with 5 million
added during the second half of that period.
United States ranks 12th in the world for broadband subscribers,
according to the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development.
Part of the reason for the low ranking of the U.S. is that other
countries have subsidized broadband service, and their populations live
in areas that are easier to serve.
FCC found that the majority of broadband connections in the U.S., 61
percent, were via cable modem service offered by companies like Comcast
Corp. More than 37 percent of the connections were digital subscriber
lines (DSL) offered by telephone companies like AT&T.
MTV President Discusses Viacom's Mobile Push
RCR Wireless News
Viacom's MTV Networks unit is zeroing in on the wireless content market
in a big way, according to Van Toffler, the company's president, who
said its customers "love, praise and worship at the altar of their
wireless device at the expense of all others, frankly." This, of
course, includes mobile phones, Blackberrys, iPods, and portable gaming
devices. As a result, MTV continues its march into mobile content,
recently unveiling a video content deal with mobile virtual network
operator Amp'd Mobile for its gay and lesbian channel, Logo. VH-1,
Viacom's older-skewing music brand, is now producing a mobile reality
series called "Dingo Ate My Video," and Comedy Central, one of its most
successful brands, is teaming with mobile software developer
Nellymoser, Inc. to deliver streaming video of "The Daily Show with Jon
Stewart." Other deals are in the pipe for SpikeTV, which produces
content specifically for 18-34 males. The company is backing the effort
with a $50 million investment in Amp'd Mobile; the deal sees the
companies combining to create both original and repurposed mobile clips
as well as ringtones, ringbacks and wallpapers for its 10 different
brands. Recently, MTV and Amp'd teamed up to deliver a live streaming
concert from punk rockers Fall Out Boy, and the companies are also
planning to break new music via ringtones before the release of certain
singles. Despite its heavy interest in the mobile market, MTV will not
be moving into the MVNO business, Toffler said, preferring instead to
partner with networks in delivering content. -
MySpace Spawns its Own Virtual Economy
Unless you're in the cold like Ted Williams, you know about MySpace,
but did you know about the MySpace economy? As tens of millions show up
regularly at News Corp.'s virtual hangout, ambitious entrepreneurs have
figured out how to make some money off the site's considerable clout
among younger consumers. Forbes
points out that MySpace, like other mega-sites Google, eBay and
Craigslist, is becoming its own economic ecosystem. Some youngsters are
propping up Web sites that offer MySpace users free tools to upgrade
and spruce up their profiles with colors and images, others will do
whole personal page redesigns for a fee. Within the network, some are
creating and selling software designed to automate tasks within the
MySpace network, like friend confirmations and message postings.
Entrepreneurs who spoke with Forbes said some of the most
successful initiatives have attracted interest from bigger companies
looking to take them over. Other successful MySpace spinoff businesses
are being auctioned off for thousands of dollars.
YouTube: The Next Napster?
YouTube is definitely the Internet's flavor of the month, but some
critics wonder if the video sharing site is walking the same thin line
Napster, the first peer-to-peer file sharing service, once walked and
fell off. Just as Napster made it easy for users to download free
music, YouTube makes it easy to download free video, and often, that
video belongs to copyright holders. So far, YouTube doesn't police the
site for copyrighted content, but it has adhered to requests from media
companies to remove clips belonging to them. The company also hasn't
been sued yet; in fact, many Hollywood studios have described YouTube
as a "good corporate citizen." For the time being, advertisers might
want to steer clear of the video sharing service, as there is an
abundance of pornographic material on the site, despite that being a
violation of the site's policy. At the beginning of this month, the
company's founders, a pair of 20-somethings, said users were posting
35,000 new videos daily at the site and watching more than 35 million
videos per day. Thus far, the young site's growth is due to two
phenomena: the proliferation of high speed Web access and word of mouth.
YouTube: The Next Napster?
YouTube is definitely the Internet's flavor of the month, but some
critics wonder if the video sharing site is walking the same thin line
Napster, the first peer-to-peer file sharing service, once walked and
fell off. Just as Napster made it easy for users to download free
music, YouTube makes it easy to download free video, and often, that
video belongs to copyright holders. So far, YouTube doesn't police the
site for copyrighted content, but it has adhered to requests from media
companies to remove clips belonging to them. The company also hasn't
been sued yet; in fact, many Hollywood studios have described YouTube
as a "good corporate citizen." For the time being, advertisers might
want to steer clear of the video sharing service, as there is an
abundance of pornographic material on the site, despite that being a
violation of the site's policy. At the beginning of this month, the
company's founders, a pair of 20-somethings, said users were posting
35,000 new videos daily at the site and watching more than 35 million
videos per day. Thus far, the young site's growth is due to two
phenomena: the proliferation of high speed Web access and word of mouth.
|Media Deals Gain Steam
|by Wendy Davis, Friday, Apr 7, 2006 6:00 AM EST
|CONSOLIDATIONS AMONG ONLINE MEDIA COMPANIES accelerated in the first quarter, according to a new report by the Jordan, Edmiston Group, Inc.
by NBC Universal's purchase last month of women's network iVillage for
$550 million, the first quarter saw 37 online media mergers and
acquisitions, which totaled $2.36 billion. In the first three months of
last year, by contrast, 24 deals transpired in the online media space;
the total value of the deals last year came to $2.7 billion, but that
figure included IAC/InterActive's $1.9 billion acquisition of Ask
the Ask Jeeves purchase, the merger and acquisition market looks more
robust than in 2005, said Adam Gross, vice president-marketing at
Jordan, Edmiston. The activity so far this year shows "a very, very
strong return trend for the online media industry, in terms of value
and number of deals," Gross said.
|Online Music, Music, Music
Guza, Industry Analyst, summarizing In-Stat's most recent online music
report, says that the Internet is now a key distribution channel for
legitimate digital music sales, and the mobile phone is also evolving
into an important channel for digital music.
Other conclusions, excerpted from her report, include such things as:
sales of digital music represented almost 6% of the total worldwide
music market in 2005. This figure is up from virtually zero in 2003.
to the International Federation of the Phonographic Industry (IFPI),
paid-for digital single downloads reached 420 million in 2005, which is
more than double the number of digital singles downloaded in 2004.
method is subscription-based services, with the overall subscriber base
reaching 2.8 million, up from 1.5 million in 2004.
song catalogues doubled to nearly 2 million songs on all major online
music services. In addition, the number of legitimate music sites
reached 335 worldwide, up from 50 in 2003.
phones have evolved from basic voice-based handsets to multimedia
handsets used for different functions such as voice, data, music, music
distribution and video.
Broadband Video Forces Marketers, Agencies To Rename TV Divisions
It's like the advertising equivalent to the Berlin Wall coming down:
major marketers like American Express are dismantling their TV silos,
replacing them with the more flexible notion of "video." The shift is
forcing them to rethink and reshuffle the way they organize their
various TV and Internet buying, planning and selling units. Agencies
like Publicis Groupe's MediaVest are right in-step with AmEx,
announcing that they've renamed their TV-buying teams as "video
investment and activation units." The reorganization is not just in
name: MediaVest is also placing digital experts alongside broadcast
buyers. AmEx calls its new video marketing department "rolling stock
video," which may sound lame but is broad-sounding enough to include
cinema, pre-roll online video and podcasts. AmEx and MediaVest may be
leading the way, but every marketer and agency out there is now buffing
up its digital strategy, which is particularly interesting as the
upfront season for TV approaches.
Google and Clear Channel make deal
a further shift towards control over “old media” outlets, Google has
partnered with Clear Channel to implement its AdSense network in over
1,100 radio station websites. Clear Channel announced Wednesday that
Google will exclusively power search engines in all of its local radio
sites and give local advertisers top billing in the search results
pages. The sites combine to give advertisers the ability to reach over
7 million online radio listeners a month.
Channel plans to immediately launch AdSense for Search, Google’s
pay-per-search term service, and Websearch, its search tool, on all of
the partner sites. AdSense for Content, a program which offers
sponsored links targeted to the contents of news articles, will be
employed in coming weeks.
our on-air audience continues to turn to our station sites for
broadcast streams and on-demand programming, we will continue to build
mutually beneficial partnerships with those who are best in breed,”
said Evan Harrison, Executive Vice President of Clear Channel Radio and
head of the company’s Online Music & Radio unit.
Bill Gates is recorded saying...
historically has been a broadcast medium in which everybody's picking
from a finite number of channels," Gates told an audience of several
dozen people in New York, at the annual meeting of Corbis--which he
But in the
future, watching TV will be a matter of "seeing what you're interested
in, having ads targeted to you," Gates said. "That's becoming the
standard way video will be delivered," he added.
from the 30th floor of the Reuters building in Times Square, he also
forecast other changes to the media world. Print will be consumed on
foldable electronic tablets; textbooks not only will be digitized and
interactive, but also will include video. As for mobile, agencies will
need to quickly create "new types of advertising that can fit into that
experience in the small screen."
now, nearly half of all Internet homes, about 34 million, have watched
streaming video online. The ease of posting video content on the Web
and the possibility of 15 seconds of fame has given rise to a new
generation of wannabe stars, but now that interest in video clips has
exploded, Hollywood and media companies are starting to notice: MTV is
starting to make videos available on YouTube, and NBC, after yanking
several clips from the video site, is now reusing them on NBC.com. CBS
and Yahoo have teamed up to stream the NCAA tournament live for free
but ad-supported. As Internet TV marches on, it is expected to hit 29
billion streams by 2007, according to AccuStream iMedia Research.
Online Ad Spending Soars 66% In U.K.
by Wendy Davis
ad spending in the United Kingdom climbed to £1.36 billion, or about
$2.4 billion, last year--marking a 65.5 percent increase from 2004.
according to a new report by the Interactive Advertising Bureau U.K.
and PricewaterhouseCoopers. The proportion of online ad dollars last
year soared to around 8 percent--almost double the 5 percent spent
online in 2004.
|AS PART OF A REDESIGN that
went live Wednesday, Atom Films' video directory site,
AddictingClips.com, began accepting user-created clips. If those clips
gain in popularity, Atom Films will move them to the main site,
AtomFilms.com, where they can be monetized through pre-roll ads.
a ton of content that we get submitted to AtomFilms that, for whatever
reason, doesn't end up on the site." said Dave Williams, chief
marketing officer at Atom Entertainment. "AtomFilms is much more
tightly controlled editorially. We want to use AddictingClips as a
place to get a lot of other filmmakers up online."
program, dubbed "Cash For Clips," will pay content creators if their
content gains an audience and gets moved to the AtomFilms Web site. "If
they get some attention, we'll take note and start to promote that
pretty heavily on AtomFilms.com," said Williams. "The plan right now is
to take the content that is really good enough to develop an audience,
put it up on AtomFilms.com, and get it promoted and put a preroll ahead
of it, and pay the content
AtomFilms.com March 2006
Viacom to Monetize User-Generated Video Clips
yet another example of media companies experimenting with
user-generated content, Viacom is allowing users to play with its
content on The N, a new teen channel Web site, to create video montages
they can send to their friends. They've hired an unnamed technology
company to develop a video mixer that lets users create so-called video
mashups of clips from different shows, according to an entry on the
Business 2.0 blog. The blogger reports that it's simple, but provides
enough functionality to be fun. Users can pick music tracks, put in
transitions between scenes and add graphics. They even sell ads; once
an e-mail is sent with your clip, an ad appears before the mashup plays.
INTERNET COMPANIES WILL INCREASINGLY RELY on
TV networks to provide online content, Yahoo Executive Vice President
Greg Coleman predicted Monday at a panel in New York hosted by the
Advertising Research Foundation.
do have the content," Coleman said of the major TV industry players,
adding: "the answer is going to be partnerships of all different
Barrett, executive vice president of AOL Media, agreed that TV and Web
companies need to work together. He said that online journalism had
flourished, but added: "the stuff that's really early on still is the
entertainment offerings." Seeking an explanation, Barrett pointed to TV
executives' fear of losing control over their content: "There are a lot
of rates issues--a lot of protection issues." Nonetheless, he too
predicted much greater cooperation in the near future.
Yahoo, CBS To Launch '60 Minutes' Site
Yahoo News and CBS Corp. will produce a co-branded Web site dedicated
to "60 Minutes," the companies said Thursday. The full-blown offering
is not expected until September, but Yahoo this Sunday intends to
launch a preview site, sponsored by Buick, which will feature 23 short
clips of footage from Ed Bradley's interviews with Tiger
Woods. Yahoo.com March 06
the Squeeze, Is
firms are in a
mode where they
with new media
or they run of
remaining on the
changing of the
guard in their
the kind of
has become a
these big media
firms, who are
demanding to see
evidence of such
media firms have
become some of
and News Corp.
come to mind for
are investing in
content, such as
CBS Corp., which
this week has
made the NCAA
via live stream
on its Web site,
that in a few
years almost all
media firms will
have their full
body of content
offices, who in
theory will be
able to access
that content via
become the new
that most of its
watchers will be
at work, has
with a "Boss
calls up a fake
spreadsheet at a
Still a Mess
Inc. and Edison
a critical mass,
have started to
but--as in other
been hampered by
a lack of
we all settled
on using [one
set of numbers]
it would be
As in the
is supposed to
industry, but a
CBS Corp. and
Cox Radio Inc.,
from an upstart
Media LLC. Why
are there two
KILLED THE RADIO
(think MTV and
look at the
today). Now it's
doing a number
on the Web. The
rush is on to "videoize"
the Web. Of
course, like any
fad, it's pretty
out their video
The truth is,
what the world
doesn't need is
more video junk.
What we all
yearn for is
video that is
relevant to us
and engaging (a
added that sites like MySpace held some promise for advertisers,
especially corporate-created pages. "There are areas where the content
is generated by MySpace, and is totally sanitized and quite safe," he
said, adding that he might consider recommending the site if marketers
had the ability to pull ads when the surrounding content became too
at a time when advertisers and media companies are looking for ways to
fill the demand for content in myriad micro-niches, the panelists
agreed that sites like MySpace have an indisputable advantage in
attracting user-generated content. On this topic, after noting that
"marketers are not investing time and money to build custom content for
a video-on-demand platform, for example," Cohen observed there is
nonetheless "very high-quality content submitted by consumers."
You might have
guessed that the
was high, but
high: 95 percent
made an online
purchase in the
according to a
featured in the
Time Style and
books were the
68 percent of
in the last
aged18 and over
with a household
income of at
|ALMOST 96 MILLION U.S. WEB users--68
percent--now access the Internet on high-speed lines, up from 74
million one year ago, Nielsen//NetRatings reported Tuesday.
rapid proliferation is fueling the popularity of video sharing sites.
MSN Video, in particular, garnered 9.3 million unique visitors in Feb.
2006--growing 44 percent over the previous year to makeup 9.3 million
uniques, according to Nielsen//NetRatings.
the hugely popular video sharing upstart, trailed MSN just slightly in
Feb. with a unique audience of 9 million. Google Video, which launched
last year, drew 6.2 million unique visitors.
both Yahoo's video search site and Viacom's IFilm saw triple-digit
yearly growth--148 percent and 102 percent, respectively--each drew
about half of MSN's audience last month. Specifically, iFilm saw 4.3
million uniques in February, and Yahoo saw 3.8 million.
rate of broadband adoption among consumers appears to be increasing
incrementally, Nielsen//NetRatings reports. Consumption grew 13
percentage point from Feb. 2005 to last month; 10 percentage points
from February 2004 to February 2005; and 12 percentage points--from 33
percent to 45 percent--from February 2003 to February 2004.
Internet penetration in the United States has stabilized over the past
few years, reaching 74 percent at home last month, according to
|Content Spend Climbs To $2 Billion
|by Wendy Davis, Tuesday, Mar 14, 2006
|PROPELLED BY A BURGEONING MARKET in
downloadable music and videos, U.S. consumer spending on content surged
to $2 billion last year--marking a 15 percent increase from 2004,
according to new research by the Online Publishers Association.
the fourth quarter alone, spending on paid content reached a record
$534 million, up 13 percent from the $472 million spent in the last
three months of 2004.
the first time, consumer spending in the entertainment and lifestyle
category surpassed spending in all other categories--including dating
sites, the former leader. Entertainment and lifestyle spending surged
to $574 million--up from $413 in 2004--while spending for online
personals and dating reached $503 million, compared to 2004's $469.5
Moves To Web
Mar 14, 2006
a new report
on the state
by 1 to 2
because of a
bad news for
only earn 20
to 30 cents
'Adapt to new
technology or die,'
newspaper industry needs to embrace the technological revolution of the
Internet, MP3 players, laptops and mobile phones or face extinction,
media tycoon Rupert Murdoch said. "Societies or companies that
expect a glorious past to shield them from the forces of change driven
by advancing technology will fail and fall," he said in a speech to the
Worshipful Company of Stationers and Newspaper Makers.
applies as much to my own, the media industry, as to every other
business on the planet. Power is moving away from the old elite in our
industry -- the editors, the chief executives and, let's face it, the
proprietors. "A new generation of media consumers has risen
demanding content delivered when they want it, how they want it, and
very much as they want it."
greatest challenge for the traditional media now is to engage with more
demanding, questioning and better educated consumers, adapting their
products for new technology, the Australian-born media mogul said.
"There is only one way. That is by using our skills to create and distribute dynamic, exciting content," he said. yahoo.com news
The New TV
Content on the Web
Times March 06
New York Times
today has a lengthy
There are thousands
of producers focused
in very specific
areas whose content
would never make it
to prime time, but
they have very
Times, in trying
to coin a new buzz
word, calls the
producing TV content
for small dedicated
audiences on the
Fine. But more
to offer an infinite
selection of content
that would never
sell in a store or
on TV. As Discovery
Chief Executive John
Hendricks says, "The
next wave of media
is to unleash the
power of serving
Discovery is taking
some big steps in
that direction. With
a massive archive of
content on a broad
range of topics,
already has 15
channels, is now
delving even deeper
into the world of
tomorrow it will
announce a service
that makes 30,000
excerpted from its
full library of
other materials to
help high school and
homework. In the
future, it plans to
focused on narrow
content, such as
etc. With a steady
to several of
them--the time will
soon come for
someone to seize the
opportunity to match
video commercials to
Google does with
search and Web
cinema is the future
of their medium, but
it's just not ready
taking over media,
we ask: what's the
point of going to
the cinema when the
quality and much
better in terms of
comfort? Not only
that, but producers
make most of their
money from DVD sales
anyway, so really,
what's the point?
met last week at the
to discuss cinema's
looking for answers
as to how digital
technology can help
answers were pretty
lame. One suggestion
stuff, like little
and answer quiz
games, that lets
send in answers via
they will get a
chance to win
something for doing
no point in playing
along. A better
making a 3-D
experience out of
action movies and
movies like sporting
events and concerts.
have only recently
been invited to the
cinema, will be keen
to know how exactly
companies plan to
leverage the digital
future, as their
customers start to
consume more and
more content away
from movie screens.
This Isn’t A Bubble, It’s A Tidal Wave!
I return to Geoff Ramsay and his prediction that we’ve only so far seen
10 percent of the potential of search. Absolutely! It’s like standing
with your feet in a puddle while you watch a tsunami coming your way.
It’s not a question of if you’re going to get wet, but rather, when."
said this before, and I’m saying it again. Search is the key to online
interaction. It is the connector between intent and content online. And
online will soon become the only line. It will be the umbilical cord
through which we interact with everything beyond our immediate physical
have no idea how much our lives will change in the next two decades. It
will be the most rapid assimilation of sociological change in history.
Everything that forms our current reality will be reengineered and
reinvented from the ground up. This includes our definitions of
community, social relationships, family, communication, our work, our
leisure and our very concept of self. The physical and the virtual will
merge, and the simple act of searching will become the synapse that
connects us to the World 2.0.
a big concept, one that’s hard to constrain with talk of quarterly
earnings, bid prices remaining flat and the potential danger of click
fraud. These are all valid concerns, but to me, it’s a bit like
forecasting the demise of the automobile in 1902 because poor roads
caused frequent flat tires and there were no gas stations. Perhaps that
dampened sales of automobiles in the short term, but the fact remained
that a fundamental wave of change was underway, and any restricting
obstacles were eventually swept away by the sheer force of that change.
The same is true of search.
price of broadband Internet service is going down, thanks to price wars
between telco and cable TV providers. According to Leichtman Research
Group, 2005 was the first year that telephone companies added more
broadband Internet subscribers than cable TV providers did.
research found that DSL providers, which are offering broadband service
for as little as $13 a month, added 5.2 million subscribers in 2005.
Cable companies added 4.4 million high-speed Internet subscribers last
year, for a total of 24.3 million. Cable still held the lead over telco
providers' DSL service, which registered 18.5 million customers.
research represents the 20 largest broadband companies in the United
States, with 42.8 million total subscribers and about 94 percent of the
market. Yet Leichtman estimates that nearly 35 million people still use
dial-up access--much to the chagrin of AOL and other providers that are
trying hard to get these slowpokes to upgrade. mediapost.com March 2006
|Online Video Comes Of Age
, Monday, March 6, 2006
I RECENTLY PROMISED MYSELF THAT I
would never again say "tipping point" or "perfect storm." Enough
already. Yet, just as I've slipped on that daily gym workout
resolution, I just can't think of another term to describe what is
happening with online video than to call it a perfect storm.
every major player, from YAHOO to Google to Microsoft, is preparing a
new platform that will make it easier for users to find and view online
video. Companies like Scripps and Viacom have launched broadband
"channels" where nearly all the content is video clips. And suddenly
all of the major traditional offline content companies (OK, let's call
them broadcast networks) have discovered there is a market for paid
downloads of their shows. A perfect storm, indeed.
phone content is poised for big-time growth in the next four years,
says research firm iSuppli Corp. The global market for games, music,
and video on phones is expected to reach $43 billion by 2010, up from
$5.2 billion in 2004, according to a report released by the firm this
week. The combination of ringtones and ringtunes (actual music files
stored on cell phones) is projected to lead the way as the
fastest-growing wireless segment; last year, mobile music revenue was
nearly $4 billion worldwide. March 2006
more than 41
on its search
a 14 percent
about half as
month, but that
represents a 21
when it served
USA Today Feb 2006
AOL is undergoing
some major changes,
readying a host of
new products to help
it keep pace with
Google, Yahoo, and
Microsoft. In an
Jonathan Miller, the
beginning with a big
push in video. This
week, he said, the
search from Truveo,
which AOL bought
late last year. As
part of its In2TV
service, AOL will be
TV shows on its
site. AOL is also in
the process of
service, AIM. The
company will be
offering its 43
million AIM users
the chance to create
a personal Web page
in the same vein as
MySpace and MSN
on a buddy's name
would call up his
personal Web page.
Miller said the new
AIM will also be a
voice over Internet
calls. In short, AOL
is trying to turn
AIM into an
has talked about
doing for a long
time, and something
analysts agree that
it must attempt to
do to compete with
the likes of Yahoo
|ONLINE AD REVENUES IN THE fourth
quarter surged to a record $3.6 billion--up 35 percent from the last
three months of 2004, according to a report released Wednesday by the
Interactive Advertising Bureau and PricewaterhouseCoopers.
IAB also estimates that Internet ad spending totaled $12.5 billion for
the year, representing a 30 percent increase from 2004. While that
growth rate is impressive, it's slightly lower than the 32 percent
growth between 2003 and 2004.
year, growth is likely to decelerate again, although it will probably
be at least 20 percent, predicted Greg Stuart, CEO of the IAB. "There
comes a point where you wouldn't continue to see the same acceleration
year after year after year," Stuart said. In the last five years, the
second quarter of 2004 showed the highest growth, with online ad
spending increasing by 43 percent over the second quarter of 2003.
people online in
equals ipods in
Than Doubles Among
2003, according to a
Pew Internet and
having more than
doubled in rural
a 24 percent rate of
fall, compared with
9 percent in 2003.
Urban households, by
a 39 percent rate of
22 percent in 2003.
In part, lower rural
penetration is due
the survey also
cites a higher
proportion of older,
less educated, and
poorer consumers as
reasons for lower
levels of Internet
use. However, rural
broadband are almost
as likely as urban
consumers to use it
on a given day;
overall, 62 percent
of country dwellers
use the Internet,
compared with 70
iTunes sales it 1
Another milestone as
music goes from CDs
to the Internet...
take on the
domain names? I
just found a
pcNames that had
According to a
the company said
that there are
in the search
lists are made
up of all
.info, .biz, and
word in the
available one is
complete list of
When I looked
around to see
just how many
there are out
there I found,
to no surprise,
that the U.S.
HIGH DEF SUPER
On February 5,
2006 the ABC
Bowl live from
Field. Since the
history have all
Bowls, one can
assume that this
year ABC will
also enjoy a
very large live
year's game was
viewed by 133.7
shoot the event
in HDTV (High
and for the
first time, more
than 50 percent
of the ads will
be presented in
HD as well.
According to a
done by SA and
56 percent of
the people who
bought HDTV sets
(close to 9
in HD. But
that's not the
point! For the
people who can
view the content
in HD, the
To be as
720p HD signal
about 8 mbps
per second). The
1.5 mbps down,
so HD using an
system is not
possible in an
HDTV using an IP
system is only
practical in a
household with a
excess of 10
anybody who has
|ONLINE NEWSPAPERS DREW AN AVERAGE 53.6
million visitors a month during the fourth quarter--up 30 percent from
the previous year's 41.1 million, according to a new report released
Thursday by the Newspaper Association of America.
Visitors to newspapers'
Web sites also remain longer now than in the past. In the fourth
quarter, users visited an average of 42 minutes a month--up 16 percent
from 37 minutes in the fourth quarter of 2004. Nielsen//NetRatings
compiled the data for the NAA.
|20 Million ITunes Users Have Distinct Brand Preferences
recently announced that traffic to Apple's iTunes Web site and use of
the iTunes application has skyrocketed 241 percent over the past year,
from 6.1 million unique visitors in December 2004 to 20.7 million in
December 2005, reaching nearly14 percent of the active Internet
year olds are nearly twice as likely to visit the iTunes Web site
and use the application as the average Internet user. The site's
traffic is 54 percent male and 46 percent female.
Gibs, director of media analytics, Nielsen//NetRatings, said "The rapid
growth of iTunes is an important phenomenon in the online media
marketplace. Consumers have clearly indicated that they are eager
to control their own music libraries, one song at a time."