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YouTube to Run Series Based on Patterson's Books
New York Times
James Patterson has struck a deal with Collective Digital Studio to turn his best-selling young adult fantasy series "Maximum Ride" into an online series for YouTube. Collective is a production company and multichannel network with nearly 700 YouTube channels.
Netflix Acquires U.S. Rights for New CBS Drama 'Zoo'
Netflix has acquired the exclusive U.S. video-on-demand rights for the CBS drama "Zoo," set to release next summer. The full season will be available to U.S. Netflix members immediately after its broadcast on CBS. "Zoo" is based on the best-selling novel by James Patterson.
Google Exec's Death Turns Torrid with Call Girl Arrest
San Jose Mercury News
It was a camera-caught crime of callousness an unconscious Google Glass exec left to die on his luxury yacht with a fatal fix of heroin coursing through his veins. Police said the woman who injected the drug stepped over his body and finished a glass of wine before fleeing.
Google Promises to Fix Search Results for 'America'
Google has responded to charges that it has been dragging its heels while failing to fix a search problem that has made it difficult for users to locate theaters playing the new movie "America." "Our systems have unfortunately confused the title of the movie because it's a common term."
Yahoo Veteran Levinsohn Joins Board of DramaFever
Wall Street Journal
Ross Levinsohn, former interim CEO of Yahoo, has been named to the board of DramaFever, a video website offering subtitled Korean dramas. DramaFever is enjoying explosive growth in the United States. And its viewers aren't just Korean Americans or expats, the company said.
YouTube in Effort to Add 12,000 Live Concert Videos
YouTube said it has worked with Music Vault, which hosts live music videos, to bring 12,000 concert clips to users of the video-sharing site. Included in the collection are 50 years of music that encompass legendary artists like Bob Dylan, the Grateful Dead and James Brown.
Netflix Hires Nickelodeon Veteran for Kid Programs
Netflix has brought in Brian Wright, most recently senior VP of live-action development at Nickelodeon, to spearhead its efforts with kids' and family programming. Wright will have oversight of exclusive live-action, animated and preschool series for Netflix and Netflix Kids.
Amazon Aims to Attract Hachette's Authors in Dispute
New York Times
The confrontation between Amazon and Hachette has grown meaner, as the combatants drop all pretense that this is a reasonable dispute. Amazon has proposed giving Hachette's authors all the revenue from their e-book sales on Amazon as the parties continue to negotiate a new contract.
Twitter Sets Sports Match Record with Germany-Brazil
Germany's 7-1 victory over soccer World Cup hosts Brazil triggered the highest-ever number of tweets during a sports match, according to the messaging service. "With 35.6 million tweets, #BRA v #GER is the most-discussed single sports game ever on Twitter."
Google Founders Brin, Page Speculate on the Future
Sergey Brin and Larry Page have given a rare interview, during which the Google co-founders discussed their company's early days and current projects. The duo were asked to speculate on Google's future, as the Internet giant moves into self-driving cars, healthcare and other areas.
Amazon Studios Chief Says TV Networks Will Evolve
Wall Street Journal
Roy Price, director of Amazon Studios: "Even as on-demand TV viewing grows, there will always be a way to tune into a channel. But in 10 or 20 years I'm not convinced that the flow of content when I tune in is going to be the same as your flow. It could be customized for you, Pandora-style."
Microsoft, Alibaba Chiefs Aren't Expected at Sun Valley
New York Post
Alibaba chief Jack Ma was invited to Allen & Co.'s retreat of media and tech bigwigs in Sun Valley, Idaho, but has not confirmed his attendance. The confab has skewed more heavily toward tech than media in recent years. Even so, there will be some notable absences in the tech world.
Google, ABC Build 'Unique' Programmatic Ad Exchange
Google's private programmatic exchanges can now book premium ad space like mastheads for brands. It is working with ABC to promote the show "Rising Star" using an exchange that only places ads in prominent positions, ones that are not typically associated with automated buying.
YouTube Revenue Seen Below Estimates at $3.5 Billion
YouTube brought in $3.5 billion in 2013, according to a new report, a number that comes in below many estimates by analysts. The Google-owned, user-generated video site is profitable, but its overall income isn't quite as high as the $5 billion number that had been widely floated.
Twitter Names New VP to Liaison with Media Industries
Less than a month after the departure of Twitter media chief Chloe Sladden, the social media giant has found her replacement. Katie Jacobs Stanton, previously VP of international market development, will step into a new role as VP of global media. Stanton steps into a highly visible role.
Twitter's Ad Team Sees No Turmoil as Revenue Roars
New York Times
Twitter's management team overseeing revenue, led by Adam Bain, has thrived as top execs running other parts of the company have resigned or been pushed out. Twitter said it expects to post up to $1.25 billion in revenue this year, nearly double the amount it took in last year.
Aereo Moves FilmOn to Become a 'Cable Company'
The U.S. Supreme Court decided on June 25 that Aereo and, thus, Alki David's FilmOn violated copyright laws by transmitting free broadcast-TV signals over the Internet. David said he has no plans to shutter his FilmOn operation, quickly registering it as a "cable company."
YouTube Shames Internet Providers for Slow Videos
YouTube has begun pinning the blame of blurring and buffering online videos on Internet service providers, much like Netflix. "Experiencing interruptions?" reads the message underneath a choppy YouTube video. Clicking "find out why" takes users to information about ISPs.
Netflix Outpaces Amazon for Top Movies, TV Shows
Netflix has continued to outpace Amazon's subscription-video service in content licensing, delivering substantially more of the top 50 movies and top 75 TV shows from the last few years, according to an analysis by Piper Jaffray & Co. "Netflix is still leading by a wide margin."
Amazon Pushes McDonald's Off Top 10 Retailer List
Amazon has cracked the top 10 in Stores magazine's annual ranking of the 100 largest U.S. retailers, a first for an online-only company. Amazon muscled its way from the No. 11 spot to No. 9, pushing past Safeway, which dropped to No. 10, and McDonald's, which fell to No. 11.
Apple Hires Swiss Watch Exec for Launch of iWatch
Apple is said to have hired the sales director of luxury Swiss watch maker TAG Heuer to help with the launch of its new iWatch, as the tech giant intends on using the prestigious "Swiss made" label to market its new gadget. Apple is expected to release the iWatch later this year.
Samsung, Apple Phones Eyed Amid Terrorism Fears
The United States has declared that it will not allow mobile phones especially Apple iPhones and Samsung's Galaxy onto U.S. bound planes from some airports in Europe, the Middle East and Africa if they are not charged. The new measure comes amid terrorism concerns.
Nielsen: Music Downloads Drop as Streaming Soars
New York Times
The rapid growth of streaming music services appears to have come at the expense of traditional sales, with downloads now joining CDs as a format in decline. According to Nielsen, 53.8 million digital downloads have been sold so far this year, down 11.6% from the first half of 2013.
YouTube in U-Turn Over Blocking Indie Music Labels
YouTube has postponed a plan to block certain record labels from its video platform, following an outcry and growing scrutiny from European regulators. Two weeks ago, the company warned it would start taking down videos from labels that refused to sign its new licensing terms.
Google Reinstates Deleted Links to Newspaper Stories
Google has reversed its decision to remove several links to articles from the U.K.'s Guardian following action it took under a new process for dealing with European "right to be forgotten" requests. According to a Guardian spokeswoman: "It remains an unclear situation."
Report: World Cup Sets U.S. Live Streaming Record
The World Cup has become the most streamed live sporting event in the U.S., as Americans tuned in to this year's tournament on smartphones, tablets and computers in record numbers. With most matches airing during business hours, fans are increasingly turning to devices to keep up.
Study: Millennials Spend More Time on Smartphones
Wall Street Journal
Some 77% of adult millennials own a smartphone and the average owner spends 14.5 hours a week using his or her device texting, talking and on social media, according to a study from Experian Marketing Services. Marketers are already increasing their spending on mobile ads.
Twitter's Vine Faces World Cup Video-Clip Takedowns
Vine, the Twitter-owned, six-second video loop service, allows for lightning-fast creation of sports highlights. However, soccer's governing body, FIFA, and its rights-holding partners ESPN and Univision, are firing off takedown notices over World Cup clips as quickly as they can find them.
Google Bans Adult Ad Content with 'Intent to Arouse'
Google plans to exit the adult-content advertising business. News rules prohibit any promotion of websites that feature "graphic acts with intent to arouse." Some observers wonder if the move could foreshadow bigger changes: "Will they block adult content from search results?"
Take-Two's 'Grand Theft Auto' Sued by Actress Lohan
Lindsay Lohan has sued the makers of the "Grand Theft Auto" video games. The actress said the latest installment used her image and created a character based on her without permission. Game maker Take-Two Interactive and subsidiary Rockstar Games decline to comment.
Facebook to Acquire Video Ad Tech Company LiveRail
Facebook has acquired video advertising company LiveRail, in the social network's latest step to make video ads a bigger part of its business. LiveRail's technology pairs video ads with the videos that appear on many websites, such as the sites for the ABC and A&E networks.
Yahoo to Ax Writers, Delete Thousands of Web Articles
Yahoo plans to shut down its Contributor Network website, resulting in articles by hundreds of writers from over the last two-and-a-half years being deleted from the Internet. One affected writer said: "This is the work of hundreds of writers going up in smoke. It's hugely disrespectful."
Google Alerts British News Outlets About Deleting Links
New York Times
A week after Google started to remove links to online content in Europe, some examples of the type of information that is to be taken down have emerged. A number of British media outlets say Google has informed them of articles that will no longer turn up in European searches.
Apple, AOL CEOs Among Attendees Set for Sun Valley
The annual Sun Valley conference is shaping up to be a heavy-duty gathering this year, with industry leaders such as AOL CEO Tim Armstrong, Amazon boss Jeff Bezos, Apple CEO Tim Cook and Facebook chief Mark Zuckerberg among those scheduled to attend.
Aereo CEO Calls Fans to Action After Big Court Loss
Aereo couldn't win in the U.S. Supreme Court, but it could still succeed in the court of public opinion. Just days after saying it would temporarily pause operations, the startup's CEO, Chet Kanojia, called on fans to speak out for the service, telling them to contact elected officials.
Netflix Hits Record High Amid Viewer Gain Prediction
Netflix shares rose to a record high after Goldman Sachs recommended the stock, saying profit margins will expand as the Internet service signs up new customers. "Netflix could reach 62 million international subs by 2017, driving over 20% margins in that business."
Google Adds to Musical Chops with Deal for Songza
Google is fine-tuning its digital music strategy with the acquisition of Songza, a service that creates soundtracks tailored for people's changing moods. The deal come as more people listen to music through Internet connections on their smartphones, tablets and personal computers.
Twitter Names Former Goldman Exec Financial Chief
Twitter has named Anthony Noto as CFO, putting the well-regarded former Goldman Sachs exec who led its successful November IPO in charge of finances. Twitter shares rose as much as 4.8% after the messaging service announced its latest upper-management shakeup.
Facebook's User Test Faces Probe by UK Regulators
Facebook is being investigated by the U.K. Information Commissioner's Office after a study showed a psychological experiment influenced what users saw in their news feeds, raising fresh privacy concerns. A company researcher apologized for the test in January 2012.
Yahoo's Tumblr in Shakeup as CEO Takes Bigger Role
Tumblr chief David Karp plans to take a more active role in managing the company's product teams, an internal email has revealed. As a result, former VP of product Derek Gottfrid is out of the company. Gottfrid "was a key part" of the Tumblr's deal with Yahoo.
Amazon Denies E-Book Clout in Dispute with Hachette
Wall Street Journal
A senior Amazon exec has defended the company against criticism that it is using its clout in e-books to bully publisher Hachette into onerous contractual terms, saying the online retailer is fighting for better prices for customers. Amazon's dispute with Hachette is in its third month.
IAC Suspends Tinder Exec After Claim of Harassment
IAC/InterActiveCorp has suspended a co-founder of its popular dating app Tinder in the wake of a lawsuit accusing him of harassing a female exec of the West Hollywood, Calif.-based company. The lawsuit claims that Tinder's founders engaged in "atrocious" discrimination.
Google, Disney Top Global List for Brand Perception
Google is on top of the global top 100 companies when rated by brand perception, research from FutureBrand has found, up from third place when listed by financial worth. Apple, which was first on the list by financial worth, fell to fourth place when rated by perception.
Apple CEO Marches with Staffers in Gay Pride Parade
Tim Cook joined more than 4,000 of his Apple employees marching in the San Francisco Gay Pride Parade on Sunday. Apple's showing, under the slogan "Apple Pride," was one of the strongest corporate presences at the march. The tech giant has long sided with the LGBT community.
Yahoo Revives NBC's Cancelled Sitcom 'Community'
Yahoo said it is giving the sitcom "Community" a sixth season online. The Internet company and Sony Pictures Television announced that cast members including Joel McHale and Gillian Jacobs will come along, as the axed NBC series moves to Yahoo Screen this fall.
Facebook's Apologies Add Up as It Squeezes Users
New York Times
Facebook apologized after it came to light that the social network manipulated users' news feeds. But this is hardly the first time the company has apologized. Over its 10-year history, Facebook has repeatedly pushed users to share more data, then publicly conceded it overstepped.
Google to Shutter Social Network Orkut in September
Google has announced plans to shut down social network Orkut at the end of September. The service launched in 2004, the same year as Facebook, and is a hub for online interactions and photo sharing. The site never quite won over U.S. users, but found success in India and Brazil.
Twitter to Buy Mobile Ad Tech Firm Tap Commerce
Twitter is said to be acquiring Tap Commerce, a New York-based mobile advertising technology firm. The purchase price is believed to be about $100 million. Tap is in the business of "re-targeting" convincing customers to reopen all those mobile apps they have downloaded.
Rdio Acquires Recommendation Firm TastemakerX
Rdio, after announcing that it would "transition away" from the Spotify-owned Echo Nest for its algorithmic recommendations, has announced the acquisition of the consumer-facing TastemakerX, a recommendation platform founded in 2011. Rdio will absorb the firm's entire team.
NowThisNews Buys Video Distributor Cliptamatic
NowThisNews, a startup looking to reinvent video journalism for the mobile and social era, has acquired a company in a similar space, Cliptamatic, a platform that helps content owners distribute video to social media in real-time. Cliptamatic raised north of $2 million a few years prior.
Apple CEO Cook 'Outed' as Gay by CNBC Show Host
A CNBC segment about gay CEOs turned awkward after one of the show's hosts seemingly outed Apple chief Tim Cook. "I think Tim Cook is fairly open about the fact that he is gay at the head of Apple, isn't he?" said host Simon Hobbs. He quickly followed with "Oh dear, was that an error?"
Google Glass Faces Ban at Movie Theaters in Britain
If you've just acquired a Google Glass headset, don't show it off at the movies. U.K. cinemas are to ban the headsets over fears that the gadgets can be used to make pirate copies of Hollywood blockbusters. Google made a prototype of its hi-tech eyewear available in Britain just last week.
Facebook Under Fire Over Psychology Study of Users
Facebook angered users after a report revealed that a psychology study was conducted on hundreds of thousands of its members without their awareness or consent. The 2012 study found that those who were exposed to fewer positive stories were more likely to write negative posts.
Akamai: World Cup Hits Record for Online Streaming
Thursday's concurrent U.S. vs. Germany and Portugal vs. Ghana World Cup games hit a peak of 6.8 terabits per second in online streaming traffic, according to Akamai Technologies. That rate of consumption is a new high for a live-streamed sporting event, Akamai said.
YouTube Stars Mull Transition to Traditional Media
Los Angeles Times
YouTube stars need the deep pockets of the TV industry to create costly long-form content, according to performers speaking at a VidCon panel discussion. "Long-form content on a sustained basis requires traditional media." The Internet and TV "will merge at some point."
Yahoo Target Fullscreen Network in No Rush to Sell
Yahoo is said to have submitted a bid to buy Fullscreen, a company that creates content for YouTube channels. But Fullscreen CEO George Strompolos is in no hurry to sell. "The goal was always to create the next great media company and not to sell to the last great media company."
Apple Testing New iWatch with Professional Athletes
Apple's forthcoming iWatch is expected to monitor the sweat of its wearers as they exercise. It has also been claimed that Apple is recruiting sports stars to try the wearable device, including basketball's Kobe Bryant, who was recently spotted at the tech giant's Cupertino campus.
Xinhua's Digital Arm Preps $241 Million Public Offering
Wall Street Journal
China's state-run Xinhua News Agency is on track for an initial public offering of its digital arm, as Beijing seeks to transform its staid propaganda organs into modernized entities. Xinhuanet plans to use the proceeds to fund new-media tech development and other projects.
Aereo Buys Broadcasters Time Amid Service 'Pause'
In ruling against Aereo, the Supreme Court may have bought broadcasters more time. Even with Aereo announcing that it would "pause" operations, questions linger as to what similar but legal alternatives will come to consumers who want to divorce cable and still get reliable local TV.
IAC Near Deal to Acquire Dating Startup HowAboutWe
Barry Diller's IAC, which owns dating properties Match.com, OkCupid and a majority stake in Tinder, is said to be close to acquiring HowAboutWe, a New York startup for singles. The deal is expected to close on Monday, at which point a number of HowAboutWe employees could lose their jobs.
Apple, Google Regarded as Media Stocks by Investors
Investor's Business Daily
The media industry is in constant flux. But no doubt the biggest change is that Apple and Google have become an accepted part of the media industry. "As media companies, they're undervalued. They're both doing revolutionary things in the 'delivery' definition of media."
Yahoo Bids $250 Million to Buy YouTube's Fullscreen
Yahoo is said to have submitted a bid of about $250 million to acquire Fullscreen, a company that creates content for thousands of YouTube channels. Yahoo is believed to be facing competition to buy Fullscreen from the Chernin Group. Also, Comcast and AOL have expressed interest.
Google's YouTube Unveils New Features at Confab
YouTube CEO Susan Wojcicki has announced a series of new features for both fans and creators at Vidcon, including a massive crowd-sourced translation effort, a virtual tip-jar that supports contributions up to $500 and a mobile app from which YouTubers can manage their videos.
Hulu's Talks to Resurrect Sitcom 'Community' Collapse
It's looking less likely that "Community's" six-seasons-and-a-movie destiny will be fulfilled. Hulu is said to have abandoned talks to acquire the cult comedy, which was cancelled by NBC last month after five seasons. The streaming video service was reportedly the only viable suitor.
Aereo's TV Alternatives Require More Money, Savvy
For cord cutters who want to ditch their cable service, watching broadcast TV on a computer or tablet is still possible even if Aereo disappears. Companies like TiVo and SiliconDust USA make products that work with TV antennas to turn live programs into digital bits and bytes.
TiVo Report Sees Growth of 'Super-Binging' Viewers
Binge-viewing is the "preferred method of consuming entertainment content," according to a new survey of TiVo subscribers. TiVo's survey also found that many people are engaging in "super-binges," where an entire TV season or more is watched over multiple days.
Report: Tablets Are 'Go To' Device for TV, YouTube
Almost half of all British adults now have a tablet, compared to 32% only a year ago, according to research from Kantar Media. The device is often used for catching up on TV programs, films, YouTube or gaming. "Tablets have rapidly become part of our digital lives."
Study: Users Spend Most Digital Time on Mobile Apps
Time spent on mobile apps is at an all-time high, according to comScore. For the first time ever, time spent on mobile apps is higher than any other digital medium, coming in at 51%. Plus, of all the app categories, digital radio is where people spend the most amount of time.
Google Starts Scrubbing Search Results in Europe
Google has started removing results from its search engine under Europe's new "right to be forgotten," implementing a landmark ruling by the European Union's top court that gives individuals the right to request removal of results that turn up in Internet searches for their own names.
Barnes & Noble to Spin off Struggling Nook Reader
Barnes & Noble said it will break apart into two companies, separating its retail bookstore unit from its struggling Nook Media business. "We have determined that these businesses will have the best chance of optimizing shareholder value if they are operated separately."
AOL On Track For Its Own 'House of Cards' Moment
AOL could be on track for its own "'House of Cards' moment," as the Internet company continues to drive its original content strategy. "We are doing a long-form series of 20 episodes. Thats the first time we have done it. AOL has never invested so much in original production."
YouTube Seeking to Become (a Little) More Like TV
How do you take the best parts of the traditional TV process and apply them to the Internet? YouTube chief Susan Wojcicki explains: "If you look at traditional media, they spend a lot of time selecting who is successful on their platform. The process that we have is much more open."
Google Showcases Android TV, Smartwatches, Cars
Google has unveiled a new watch, as well as ways for Android to be used for TV and cars at its annual I/O conference. The company, as widely expected, showcased its new smartwatch-ready "Android Wear" software. Google said there are now 1 billion monthly users of Android globally.
Yahoo to Charge Only for Ads People Actually See
Yahoo's adoption of viewable-only impressions is notable amid industry efforts to hold the floor under online ad rates and undo the reality that most online display ads are never seen. But the company's new viewability product is limited compared to others already available.
Facebook Hires Time Inc Veteran for Influencer Post
John Cantarella used to run high-profile websites for Time Inc. Now he has a new job: Getting high-profile people to post on Facebook. Cantarella is going to be Facebook's head of global influencer partnerships. The big idea: Convince famous people to use Facebook more.
Aereo Loses Supreme Court Battle with Broadcasters
The U.S. Supreme Court has ruled TV startup Aereo violates copyright law by using tiny antennas to provide subscribers with broadcast network content via the Internet. The 6-3 vote cast Aereo's immediate future into doubt. "We did try but now it's over," said key investor Barry Diller.
Apple TV Adds Channels Led by ABC News, AOL
Apple TV owners are getting a few new options for content, led by ABC News and AOL. The former offers both live and on-demand news feeds, mixing in original programming and live hourly updates. AOL is bringing 900,000 videos, including clips from the Huffington Post.
Netflix Users in Europe Won't See 'House of Cards'
Netflix, which plans to launch in six new countries in the fall, won't be able to provide access to some of the buzz-generating U.S. shows it counts on to drive subscriptions. Sky Deutschland and CanalPlus already hold some exclusive rights to Netflix's signature show "House of Cards."
Hulu Former CEO Preps Video-Focused Firm Vessel
Jason Kilar, the former CEO of Hulu, has announced his next venture: Vessel, a startup building a multimedia service with a strong focus on video, whose investors include Amazon's Jeff Bezos. Other backers will include Benchmark and Greylock Partners.
CBS Interactive Former Execs Land Funds for Startup
Former CBS Interactive execs Fouad ElNaggar, Peter Yared, and Charles Christolini have attracted $3 million in funding for their startup, Sapho, which aims to "reinvent how employees access information." The firm, still in stealth mode, touts itself as "built by a CIO, for CIOs."
Google to Unveil TV Set-Top Box at Developer Confab
Wall Street Journal
Google is said to be planning to unveil a new TV set-top box as it races Amazon, Apple and others to control digital content in the home. During its developer conference Wednesday, the Internet search giant is expected to show off at least one set-top device.
YouTube Contract with Indie Record Labels Is Leaked
The contract at the center of a disagreement between YouTube and independent record labels has been published online, confirming that the massive video site requested the smaller labels automatically give up their royalty rate if a major label agrees to something lower.
Facebook Building At-Work Version of Social Network
Facebook is said to be building an at-work version of the social network, currently referred to as FB@Work. The goal, according to a source, is to make work "more fun and efficient." A spokesperson for Facebook said the company has "nothing to add at this point."
Yahoo's Mayer Says Sleep Blunder Was 'Unfortunate'
Yahoo CEO Marissa Mayer said she apologized and did "feel really badly" for being late to a dinner with advertisers last week in Cannes, France, in her first public comments since facing criticism over the incident. "I think the dinner is unfortunate how much attention it's gotten."
Twitter Tests Ways to Add Commentary to Retweets
Twitter has been testing a new feature that will give users more space to comment when they are retweeting another user. "Retweet with Comment" surfaces the retweeted message as an image, leaving users with just under 140-characters to share their own thoughts.
Facebook Still Popular Among Teens, Survey Says
Wall Street Journal
Not long ago, the conventional wisdom about Facebook was that the youngest users were using it less. But a new survey by Forrester Research suggests the opposite. Nearly half of teenage respondents said they are using Facebook more than they were a year ago.
Yahoo's Mayer Among Invited Guests to Sun Valley
Yahoo CEO Marissa Mayer is said to be among the invited guests at this year's Allen & Co. conference in Sun Valley, Idaho. Yahoo has a 23% stake in Alibaba, whose planned IPO in August is likely to be a major topic of discussion at the retreat of media, entertainment and tech execs.
Google's Search Updates Devastate Some Websites
Whether you're a startup or publicly traded, there could be a danger in letting your business rely too heavily on Google search for website traffic. The Internet giant periodically and without notice upgrades its search algorithm, which can be unintentionally devastating to some sites.
Upworthy Releases Tool to Tackle Website Clickbait
Upworthy excels at getting readers to click on headlines and share articles. Now, the viral-with-a-purpose publisher aims to cleanse the web of content that exists primarily to be clicked on or shared. Upworthy is releasing an open-source code to measure "attention minutes."
Yahoo CEO Leaves Ad Execs Cold by Late Arrival
Wall Street Journal
Yahoo CEO Marissa Mayer reportedly showed up nearly two hours late to a dinner with top advertisers at the Cannes Lions ad festival last week. Mayer told attendees that she had fallen asleep, some of the people said. Several dinner attendees "ended up leaving before she arrived."
Twitter Poaches People.com Editor for Social News
Five months after Vivian Schiller left NBC for Twitter, the social media company has hired away another exec from a traditional outlet. Janice Morris, People.com's editor in chief, revealed in a tweet that she is leaving to team up with Schiller to build Twitter's news operation.
Yahoo Hires Daily Newser for Breaking News Desk
Capital New York
Yahoo has been poaching talent from legacy media outlets for much of the past year, and in its latest grab, the online portal turned content producer took a dip into New York's tabloid pool. Daily News digital editorial director Lauren Johnston has been hired as a managing editor.
Aereo Decision Could Be Turning Point in Cord Cutting
The U.S. Supreme Court's ruling on the legality of the Aereo streaming service could drive more people to cut the cord. The court is expected to rule before the end of the month and as early as Monday on whether Aereo is breaking the rules by streaming live network TV stations.
Netflix Globe-Spanning Series 'Sense8' Reveals Cast
Daryl Hannah and "Lost" alum Naveen Andrews will be among the 14-member international cast members of "Sense8," a sci-fi drama series due next year from Netflix. The ambitious project will match the global nature of its story with a production spanning nine locations and four continents.
YouTube Coming to TV Set-Top Boxes via the Cloud
Cable TV subscribers have started to get access to YouTube and other online video services, thanks to cloud-based technology that has brought apps to legacy set-top boxes. A new partnership with a local cable provider in Hungary is bringing a YouTube app to cable boxes.
Google Eyes New Screens at I/O Developer Confab
Wall Street Journal
Three weeks after software programmers converged on San Francisco for Apple's developer conference, a similar crowd will descend this week for Google's version. Google's I/O confab will touch on TVs, cars, watches and thermostats, all of which host some version of Google's software.
Apple Plans Multiple Designs for Smartwatch Debut
Wall Street Journal
Apple is said to be planning multiple versions of its smartwatch, likely to be launched in the fall, as the company tries to counter wearable devices from rivals such as Google and Samsung. The new wrist device from Apple is expected to include health and fitness-tracking sensors.
Facebook, Twitter, Google Score During World Cup
Twitter and Facebook lit up in a World Cup frenzy last week as millions of people around the world turned to social media services to share in the ups and downs of the matches in the global event. Google, meanwhile, tracked more than 641 million searches related to the World Cup.
Twitter CEO to Pursue 'In-the-Moment' E-Commerce
Social media websites and their media partners should explore new methods of e-commerce if they are to thrive in an evolving market, according to Twitter CEO Dick Costolo. Twitter is "media in the moment," he said. "So if you want immediacy, we are the best platform."
LinkedIn Aims to Be Definitive Professional Publisher
LinkedIn will become the "definitive professional publishing platform," according to CEO Jeff Weiner. The social network for business people sees video as an increasingly important component of its content strategy. "Video is a natural extension of LinkedIn as a publisher platform."
Amazon's Bezos Hopes to Create Digital Newspaper
Jeff Bezos, founder of Amazon and owner of the Washington Post, reportedly wants to create a worldwide digital newspaper that readers can access on their Kindle e-readers. "Bezos has invested significantly in the Post's newsroom budget, as well as in research and development."
Yahoo Building Digital Magazines; Hires NBC Newser
New York Times
Yahoo has begun developing digital magazines on topics like food, beauty, movies and travel, in an effort to attract more advertising. In some cases, the editors even help write native ads. Also: Yahoo has hired NBC News veteran Michael Isikoff as chief investigative correspondent.
Google, Facebook Nab TV Dollars at Cannes Ad Fest
New York Post
Silicon Valley's courting of top advertising execs at the annual Cannes Lions festival is paying off. Tech players are said to be getting attendees who control the big bucks to shift their ad dollars from TV to digital. "This year is the tipping point," said AOL CEO Tim Armstrong.
Netflix Inches Closer to TV Network with Handler Deal
Netflix has taken its push for original content in a new direction, signing a deal with Chelsea Handler to debut a talk show in 2016 on the online video service. The category of a "late night"-style talk show shifts Netflix into a territory more akin to a typical TV network.
YouTube Latino Video Network MiTu Raises $10 Million
MiTu, a Latino-focused YouTube network, has raised $10 million in a round led by Upfront Ventures. Some of the investors who had previously put $3 million into the company, including Shari Redstone's Advancit Capital, are back as well. MiTu aggregates videos aimed primarily at Latinos.
Twitter Snaps Up Video-Sharing Startup SnappyTV
Twitter has acquired real-time video-sharing service SnappyTV. The startup works with broadcasters and organizations to clip, edit and distribute video across a variety of digital platforms, including social networks and mobile devices, in near real time.
Google Buys Ad, Wireless Firms in Fresh Deals Surge
Google has bought two firms to boost its advertising and wireless activities, as part of an acquisition binge. The Internet giant has acquired video-advertising provider MDialog, as well as wireless startup Alpental Technologies. Google disclosed at least five purchases last month.
Apple iWatch Production Expected to Kick Off in July
Taiwan's Quanta Computer is said to be starting production of Apple's first smartwatch in July. The watch, which company followers have dubbed the iWatch, will be Apple's first foray into a niche category that many remain skeptical about, especially as to whether it can drive profits.
Facebook, YouTube Lead Media Habits of Teenagers
Facebook still reigns at No. 1 in both total adoption and daily usage among teenagers, according to a new survey by Niche of high-school graduates' media use. Also, 73% of teens surveyed don't read BuzzFeed, 84% don't read Reddit, and 96% don't read Mashable or Gawker.
Yo One-Word Mobile Messaging App Raises $1 Million
A new mobile app called Yo lets users interact with friends in zero characters. In place of a message, users send and receive push notifications with one simple greeting: "Yo." If you don't get it, don't worry. "In the beginning, I didn't get it either," said creator Or Arbel.
Snapchat Lures Brands with Customized Photo Filters
Snapchat has discovered a new way to entice brands to its service customizable photo filters. The ephemeral messaging app is testing a new feature that allows brands to add their logo to images or videos they send out. The ability to add a logo could convey legitimacy.
Netflix Signs Handler for 'Updated' Talk Show, Specials
Chelsea Handler, who will end her E! late-night comedy talk show "Chelsea Lately" in August, has signed a deal with Netflix for stand-up specials and, in 2016, a new talk show with a format to be decided. "I wanted to sit with the cool kids at lunch," said Handler, explaining her move.
Tumblr Expands Ad Presence Across Owner Yahoo
Tumblr has taken a big step toward boosting its advertising revenue. The Yahoo-owned blogging website will promote sponsored posts across Yahoo properties, including content streams, article pages, image galleries and digital magazines. Tumblr was acquired by Yahoo in May 2013.
Amazon Unveils Shopping-Ready 'Fire' Smartphone
Amazon's new smartphone seeks to offer shoppers instant gratification by recognizing thousands of products, TV shows and songs and allowing users to immediately buy them on the e-commerce giant's own website. The phone joins Amazon's "Fire" lineup of devices.
Google to Reveal Operating System for Automobiles
Google is said to be planning to unveil its first in-car operating system at its software developer conference in San Francisco next week, intensifying its race with Apple to become the leader in dashboard computing. The Internet giant's system is known internally as Google Auto Link.
Facebook Goes Down After 'Something Went Wrong'
Facebook went down for around half an hour early Thursday morning, frustrating would-be users of the social network around the world. "We experienced an issue that prevented people from posting to Facebook for a brief period of time. We resolved the issue quickly."
Apple's Beat Headphones Banned at the World Cup
Beats headphones are a favorite among top soccer players. But soccer world governing body FIFA's licensing deal with Sony means players can't wear the headphones when they are in World Cup stadiums for matches. Marketing experts say that only amplifies their appeal.
YouTube: The Dominant Media Platform in Five Years
YouTube will be the dominant platform in which we consume media in half a decade, dwarfing current TV giants, said Jeffrey Katzenberg, CEO of DreamWorks Animation, speaking at Cannes Lions. "The barrier of entry into the business is lower than ever before, and that is a great thing."
Yahoo's Mayer Takes Heat for Presentation at Cannes
Spinning and selling is expected at Cannes Lions. Yet, a presentation from Yahoo CEO Marissa Mayer was flagged by some attendees as an excessively hard sell. Audience members took to social media to criticize Mayer: "Am I at a sales pitch??" She should "know your audience."
Twitter: We're Impacting TV Viewing, Ad Campaigns
Twitter and Starcom MediaVest Group have unveiled the first results from their Social TV Lab initiative, which finds that the microblogging service is impacting the way consumers watch TV. Using Twitter along with a TV advertising campaign "increases brand awareness."
Facebook Exec: We're All About Creativity, Branding
Wall Street Journal
Facebook's message to advertisers at Cannes is clear: It's a great platform for creativity and branding. The social network shipped its creative team off to the festival this week to create campaigns live on-site with various partners, including Nestlι, JWT, 360i and FCB Brazil.
BuzzFeed CEO: Legacy Ad Effectiveness is Declining
BuzzFeed CEO Jonah Peretti, speaking on a panel at Cannes Lions: "We are seeing the decline of effectiveness in legacy advertising where banner ads, TV and print ads are having to charge more and deliver less because the attention is shifting to social and mobile."
AOL's Armstrong Sees Arianna Reupping at HuffPost
AOL CEO Tim Armstrong: "Huffington Post has turned into a mega media brand. It now has tentacles in multiple areas of media." Founder Arianna Huffington "is really visionary about where the world's going. I think her contract is up next year. My expectation is that she will renew."
Amazon Phone to Provide Direct Line to Consumers
Amazon CEO Jeff Bezos wants control of the smartphone home screen so he can put more of the company's music, movies, games and other offerings squarely in front of consumers. Amazon will unveil its first foray into the handset market at an event in Seattle.
YouTube to Launch Music Service Amid Indie Dispute
Google's YouTube will launch a new subscription music service, the company has acknowledged after being dragged into a public dispute over royalties that will result in the blockade of some independent artists' music videos. Independent labels are "not happy, obviously."
YouTube's Top Draw Plays Games, Earns $4 Million
Wall Street Journal
Felix Kjellberg, a 24-year-old better known as PewDiePie, is by far YouTube's biggest draw. He has built a base of 27 million subscribers using an unorthodox approach to playing video and mobile games. In 2013, his operation pulled in the equivalent of $4 million in advertising sales.
Facebook Threat Appeal Heading to Supreme Court
The U.S. Supreme Court has agreed to hear the appeal of a Pennsylvania man sentenced to nearly four years in prison for threatening remarks he made online toward his wife, an FBI agent and former coworkers. The case is likely to have broad implications for social media.
TheDirty Gossip Site Wins Cheerleader Lawsuit Appeal
A former Cincinnati Bengals cheerleader should not have been allowed to sue the gossip website TheDirty over online posts about her history, an appeals court has ruled. The ruling further strengthens broad immunities enjoyed by Internet providers for content posted by third parties.
Hot Or Not Returns to Overheated Online Dating Market
Hot or Not, the once massively popular and cruel website for rating strangers' "aesthetic" accomplishments, is relaunching in the U.S. after getting a mobile makeover. The rating game, owned by U.K.-based Badoo, helped spawn services ranging from Facebook to Tinder.
Netflix Orders Animated Children's Series from Mattel
Netflix has ordered a film and accompanying animated series based on the popular Mattel doll franchise Ever After High. The 12-episode kids series, which will be preceded by a movie titled "Ever After High Spring Unsprung," is set to roll out in all Netflix territories in early 2015.
Twitter Reimagines the Selfie at Cannes with 'Dronie'
Twitter took the selfie to new heights with the premier of its drone-mounted camera "Dronie" at the Cannes Lions International Festival of Creativity. The drone recorded several zoom-out self-videos with Twitter employees and celebrities before publishing them on Vine.
Apple Settles E-Books Pricing with States, Consumers
Apple has reached a settlement with U.S. states and consumers seeking damages over the company's fixing of electronic book prices, avoiding a trial in which it faced as much as $840 million in claims. The trial set for July involved cases related to a ruling last year.
YouTube to Block Indie Labels Amid Music Launch
YouTube is about to begin a mass cull of music videos, after a number of independent record labels refused to sign up to the licensing terms for its new subscription service. The Google-owned company will start blocking videos "in a matter of days," said content head Robert Kyncl.
Aereo: We Use 'Beautiful Symphony' of Technologies
Broadcasting & Cable
Aereo continues to take its arguments to the public as the U.S. Supreme Court weighs allowing the company to charge for access to free TV-station signals without having to pay broadcasters. Aereo said it uses a "symphony" of technologies to provide "seamless access."
Apple's Beats Ad to Be Talk of Cannes Lions Festival
When Beats by Dr. Dre wanted to promote its headphones in time for the World Cup, it didn't rely on a 30-second TV spot. Instead, it created a mini-movie, "The Game Before the Game," featuring top soccer players. The film racked up 9 million views on YouTube in just one week.
Google Puts ESPN World Cup Highlights in Search
Google and ESPN have teamed up to pair World Cup highlights with search queries related to the tourney. ESPN clips will appear whenever you search for a particular team, match ("Brazil vs. Croatia") or the World Cup itself. The clips won't require cable credentials or any authentication.
Netflix-Verizon Spat Faces Probe by U.S. Regulators
Verizon and Netflix have been feuding over which company is to blame for slow streaming speeds. Now, U.S. government regulators are stepping in. Federal Communications Commission chair Tom Wheeler said he has directed his staff to gather information on the dispute.
Yahoo Beauty to Go Live with Text, Video Content
Yahoo Beauty is ready for its close-up. The web giant is relaunching its beauty vertical Monday as part of its digital relaunch. Helmed by Bobbi Brown, the digital beauty magazine will "go live" with 100 to 150 "tiles," which is Yahoo-speak for content that ranges from written to video.
YouTube Runs World Cup TV Ads Touting Vice, Maker
YouTube is taking its latest marketing push to the world's stage. Two months after debuting its first TV spots promoting YouTube creators, Google's video service will air ads during every World Cup match. The ads will promote channels for Vice News and Maker Studios.
Facebook Will Use Browsing History to Target Ads
Facebook will now use personal data gathered from your activities elsewhere on the web to more precisely target advertisements on the social network. Given Facebook's extensive reach, the move has alarmed privacy advocates who want regulators to review the matter.
Google to Collect User Health Data with 'Google Fit'
Google is said to be planning to launch a new health service called Google Fit to collect and aggregate data from popular fitness trackers and health-related apps. The Internet giant is expected to launch the service later this month at the Google I/O conference for developers.
Twitter Sees Two Top Execs Resign as Growth Lags
Twitter has announced the abrupt departure of two execs, including the COO who was responsible for the social media company's efforts to revive flagging user growth. Ali Rowghani departed after clashing with CEO Dick Costolo. Hours later, VP of media Chloe Sladden also resigned.
Apple Bringing Split-Screen Multitasking to the iPad
Apple is said to be planning to supercharge the functionality of its iPad device with a new split-screen multitasking feature. The feature is expected to allow users to run and interact with two apps at once. Up until now, each iPad app is only usable individually in full-screen view.
Netflix Unveils New Logo with Redesign of Website
Click onto Netflix on your mobile and you won't notice anything is off. Log on with your laptop, however, and you will be met with a new color palette or, rather, a mostly desaturation of colors. Gone is the old logo, and in its place stands one that is subtly different, if not more modern.
YouTube's Honda Channel is Bad News for Cable
Wall Street Journal
Honda plans to build a new YouTube channel that it hopes will become a destination for young music fans, using money it previously devoted to advertising on cable TV. Honda will pack the channel with music content, signing up Clear Channel's iHeart Radio, Vevo and others.
Google Exec: Computers Will Become Like Humans
Thanks to artificial intelligence, computers will be able to read at human levels by 2029 and will also begin to have human characteristics, according to Ray Kurzweil, Google director of engineering. "The ability to tell a joke, to be funny, to be romantic, to be loving, to be sexy."
Alibaba Rivals Amazon with U.S. Shopping Website
Alibaba is increasing its presence in the U.S. market by launching an online shopping website called 11 Main, aiming to take on Amazon, Etsy and eBay. The site has already invited 1,000 upscale specialty stores as it looks to bring the "main street" shopping experience online.
Amazon Launches Prime Music Streaming Service
Amazon is adding music to the mix. On Thursday, after much speculation, the online retailer is launching a streaming service called Prime Music, at no additional cost for Amazon Prime members who pay $99 a year. Those members will gain access to more than 1 million songs.
AOL, HuffPost in Deal with Messaging App Tango
Tango, the popular mobile messaging app, has struck deals with media companies to distribute content, in a new effort to differentiate itself in mobile messaging. Its content providers so far include Vevo, Spotify, Dailymotion and AOL properties such as Huffington Post.
Twitter Mulls Major Shakeup of Top Management
Twitter is mulling a shakeup of its top execs, including a possible shift in the duties of its COO Ali Rowghani. The company is said to have already made some moves to shift responsibility from Rowghani, who at one point was considered one of Twitter's most valuable assets.
Facebook's News App Struggling to Gain Traction
Facebook's news app Paper appears to have something in common with traditional newspapers not many people are reading it. Facebook has responded to a report of dismal usage numbers: "We've been pleased with Paper's progress so far. We haven't started to focus on growth."
Google Acquires Satellite Maker Skybox for $500 Million
Google is buying Skybox Imaging in a $500 million deal that could serve as a launching pad for the Internet giant to send its own satellites to take aerial pictures and provide online access to remote areas of the world. Google has made some 250 acquisitions in the past decade.
Amazon Stops Advance Orders for Warner Home Videos
New York Times
Amazon customers who want to order new Warner Home Video features, including "The Lego Movie" and "300: Rise of an Empire," are finding it impossible to do so. The retailer's refusal to sell the movies is part of its effort to gain leverage in yet another confrontation with a supplier.
Facebook, Twitter Brace for Global Fever of World Cup
This year's World Cup will play out on Twitter, Facebook, Instagram and messaging apps as it progresses in stadiums from Sao Paulo to Rio De Janeiro. Twitter and Facebook are adding new features to help fans follow the World Cup the planet's most widely viewed sporting event.
Cisco Says TV, Smart Devices Will Take Over Internet
Desktop computers are losing their grip on the Internet and your TV, fridge, car and mobile phone are the future of how we go online, according to Cisco. By 2018, global Internet traffic will be almost evenly split between PCs and "other" gadgets, the network firm claimed.
Netflix Chief Hastings to Join Ranks of Billionaires
Netflix CEO Reed Hastings built a streaming video juggernaut that claims over 48 million subscribers in more than 40 countries. Now he's profiting from it. In Netflix's 2014 surge over $400 a share, Hastings broke through the 10-figure barrier to billionaire status for the first time.
Aereo Online Fans Want Company to Win Court Case
According to a study from research firm Peerless Insights, 46% of online respondents want Aereo to win its court battle with broadcasters, while only 15% said they thought the Supreme Court should rule in favor of broadcasters. The rest of the respondents had no answer.
Netflix Shareholders Reject Split of Chairman, CEO
Netflix shareholders have voted against a nonbinding resolution to split up the company's CEO and chairman positions. "Netflix has demonstrated extraordinary long-term success under the leadership of Reed Hastings and the board," said a company spokesman.
Aereo Pushes 'Access' Definition in YouTube Video
Aereo has launched a YouTube video billing its online TV service as "reinvented TV antennas" that are "smart, incredibly small and remotely located." The Supreme Court is expected to rule in the next three weeks on whether Aereo is violating broadcasters' copyrights.
Amazon Takes On PayPal with New Payment Service
Amazon has launched a service allowing customers to automatically pay recurring charges, like monthly subscription fees or phone bills. The effort represents a new front in the e-commerce giant's assault on eBay, which owns the online payments service PayPal.
PayPal President Marcus to Leave eBay for Facebook
David Marcus, head of eBay's PayPal unit, plans to leave the company on June 27 to join Facebook, where he will lead mobile messaging products. Marcus said his role at PayPal was becoming too much of a management position and he preferred to focus on building products.
Facebook's Instagram to Expand Ads Outside U.S.
Facebook's Instagram will add advertising in Canada, the U.K. and Australia later this year as CEO Mark Zuckerberg seeks to generate more sales from mobile users. The photo-sharing app started to gradually introduce advertising six months ago. "The results have been positive."
Google to Launch 'Nearby' Smart Tracking Feature
Google is said to be preparing a "smart tracking" system that will know if you are near friends, shops or even home appliances. Called Google Nearby, the new feature for Android handsets will even allow stores to send targeted ads depending on which part of store you are in.
Yahoo Mobile Buying Spree About Playing 'Catch-Up'
Yahoo mobile chief Adam Cahan said the company is "rounding the corner" on its mobile and monetization efforts. The Internet giant's mobile moves, which include buying companies, have been about getting up to speed. "We need to catch up." Yahoo is "late to the game."
Sony's PlayStation TV Set for North America, Europe
Sony is bringing its PlayStation TV to North America and Europe this fall. The $99 video- and game-streaming device will let users stream video, older PlayStation titles and games for Sony's PlayStation Vita system to any TV. The "micro-console" debuted last November in Japan.
Microsoft Shifting Emphasis of Xbox One to Games
New York Times
A year ago, Microsoft promoted its Xbox One as a home entertainment system for playing games, watching TV and more. Now, though, the tech giant has shifted the conversation back to games, announcing a lineup of almost two dozen titles to be released on the console this year.
Google in Talks to Buy Music Streaming Firm Songza
New York Post
Larry Page is moving fast to build his search giant's street cred in the rapidly growing music streaming business. Page's Google is said to be in talks to acquire Songza, a 6-year-old Long Island City-based music curation and streaming service with 5.5 million active users.
Apple's Beats Launches Global World Cup Campaign
Beats, the headphone company recently bought by Apple, has launched a global brand campaign starring soccer stars including Cesc Fabregas and Luis Suarez ahead of the World Cup. Beats will roll out several versions of the campaign in nine countries and five different languages.
Netflix Shareholders to Vote on Split of CEO-Chairman
New York Times
At Netflix's annual meeting on Monday, shareholders are due to vote on a proposal by two public pension funds to separate the roles of chairman and CEO. Both positions are held by co-founder Reed Hastings. Separating the two roles has become a popular corporate governance issue.
Hulu Taps MTV Series Developer as Head of Originals
Broadcasting & Cable
Hulu has named Beatrice Springborn as the online video company's new head of originals. Springborn will fill the void left by Charlotte Koh, who departed in April. Springborn previously was with Storyline Entertainment, where she developed the upcoming MTV series "Happyland."
YouTube Stars Take to the Stage, Backed by Old Media
New York Times
As YouTube personalities grow in popularity and prove more than flashes in the pan, traditional media businesses, particularly concert promoters, are rushing to capitalize. DigiTour Media, a Los Angeles startup, last month attracted Ryan Seacrest and Advance Publications as investors.
Vine, Instagram Celebrities Attract Lucrative Ad Deals
New York Times
Popular stars of social media platforms like Vine and Instagram are making advertising deals with companies trying to reach their audiences. "People dont sit around watching prime-time TV waiting for ads to appear anymore. They watch online or even through the Twittersphere."
Social Media 'Threats' Could Head to Supreme Court
When do messages posted on Facebook or sent in emails cross the line from free speech to threats that can be punished as a crime? The Supreme Court has been asked to clarify the First Amendment rights of people who have used violent or threatening language on electronic media.
Netflix, Verizon War of Words Heats Up Over Speed
Verizon's war of words with Netflix has escalated, as what began with a tweet is now pulling in lawyers. The telecom giant sent a cease-and-desist letter to the streaming service, saying Netflix must stop telling customers that Verizon's network is to blame for slow downloads.
Aereo Arrives on Chromecast Ahead of Court Fight
Aereo, the Internet TV streaming upstart currently embroiled in a historic Supreme Court showdown with broadcast companies, is finally available for Google Chromecast. Its arrival on the Internet giant's streaming media dongle comes one week after its intended debut.
Samsung, Barnes & Noble Team Up on Tablet Design
Barnes & Noble and Samsung said they will launch co-branded tablets. The Samsung Galaxy Tab 4 Nook will feature Samsung's hardware and customized Nook software from Barnes & Noble. The first of the devices, sporting a 7-inch display, will hit U.S. stores in August.
Twitter Acquires Namo Media to Bolster Mobile Ads
Twitter has agreed to buy San Francisco-based Namo Media as the microblogging website seeks to bolster its reach in mobile advertising. As Twitter competes with Facebook and Google in the market for mobile ad dollars, the purchase of Namo brings technology for native ads.
Pinterest Takes on Google, Facebook with Ad Tool
Wall Street Journal
Pinterest is rolling out a marketing tool that could help it take advertising dollars from Google and Facebook. A new ad system will let marketers bid to display "promoted pin" messages. The system is geared toward small businesses that will pay when someone clicks on an ad.
Tumblr to Hold Q&A Interview with President Obama
The White House has held Q&A sessions on Twitter and Facebook, and President Obama has even sat down for a Reddit AMA. But on June 10, for the first time ever, Obama will answer user questions on Tumblr. CEO David Karp will forward questions to the president.
Google in the Market for Streaming Music Service
New York Post
Google is said to be in the market for a streaming music service and has been quietly surveying the landscape as the sector explodes. Although there are no official talks, "they've been having discussions with banks about how they're shaping their future music strategy."
Twitter Weighs Acquisition of Online Music Service
Twitter has considered buying Spotify and Soundcloud in recent months a move that suggests the company is willing to attempt its largest acquisition to secure new sources of growth. Twitter has "weighed deals worth billions of dollars" as it seeks to add a music service.
Vevo Goes on Sale After Failed Bid for Independence
Vevo, the leading purveyor of online music videos, is for sale. The company and its bankers have begun taking meetings with a veritable who's who of media and tech companies that have signaled they could be buyers. Vevo hired Goldman Sachs and Raine Group earlier this spring.
YouTube Dispute Leads Music Labels to Seek Help
New York Times
Indie music groups, angry with YouTube's demands over licensing terms for a planned subscription music service, have asked regulators in Europe and the United States to intervene. YouTube is "shooting themselves in the foot with their attempt to strong-arm independent labels."
U.S. Mulls Updating Music Accords for Internet Age
The Justice Department is considering changing or scrapping agreements it reached with music licensing giants ASCAP and BMI more than 70 years ago to freshen them up for the Internet age. Publishers and songwriters typically use the two not-for-profits to collectively license works.
Amazon to Hold Launch Event Amid Phone Rumors
Amazon said it will hold a launch event on June 18 in Seattle, amid ongoing speculation that the company is preparing its own smartphone. A website for requesting invitations displayed a close-up of a device with Amazon branding. However, the size of the device was not clear.
Google Introduces Ad Exchange for Premium Video
Wall Street Journal
Google plans to build a marketplace for top web video publishers to sell their advertising inventory. The new venture, Google Partner Select, comes as more marketers shift their ad dollars from TV to the web. The big question is, do media companies want or need Google's help?
YouTube Network The Whistle Buys Sports Service
The Whistle, a sports multichannel network on YouTube, has acquired the Lacrosse Network in another instance of consolidation in the space. The Whistle has raised $10 million from investors including Clear Channel CEO Bob Pittman and former Oxygen Media head Gerry Laybourne.
Microsoft Xbox Adds HBO Go, Dozens of Other Apps
Microsoft has announced dozens of apps that will soon make their way to Xbox One and Xbox 360 consoles globally. The list includes Twitter, Vine, HBO Go, ShowTime Anytime, and Comedy Central. The new apps 45 in total are scheduled to launch by the end of the holiday season.
Kohlberg Kravis Buys Internet Brands for $1.1 Billion
New York Times
Kohlberg Kravis Roberts has agreed to buy Internet Brands, which operates a portfolio of websites and software, in a bet that it can help the company expand its services. Internet Brands owns websites like Lawyers.com, CarsDirect.com and ApartmentRatings.com.
Facebook Acquires Mobile Data Plan Outfit Pryte
Facebook is acquiring Pryte, a Finnish company that aims to make it easier for mobile phone users in under-developed parts of the world to use wireless Internet apps. The world's largest social network is primarily interested in the team behind Pryte, led by CEO Markku Makelainen.
Netflix Blames Verizon for Slow Streaming Speeds
In April, Netflix signed a web traffic deal with Verizon. Now it is telling customers that Verizon's pipes and, presumably, other Internet providers' as well aren't up to snuff. Netflix has posted a message blaming Verizon for slow speeds: "The Verizon network is crowded."
Netflix Nabs Pulitzer-Winner for Communications Post
Broadcasting & Cable
Anne Marie Squeo, a former exec with 30 Point Communications, has joined Netflix as director of corporate communications. Earlier in her career, Squeo was a journalist with Bloomberg and the Wall Street Journal, where she shared a Pulitzer Prize for national reporting.
Apple Takes On Snapchat with Disappearing Messages
New York Post
Apple said it will start offering disappearing texts just like those of popular messaging app Snapchat. The next version of Apple's operating system for mobile devices, due this fall, will let users send pictures, audio snippets and even videos through its iMessage texting app.
Google Glass Unveils Fancy Designer Frames, Shades
Google has announced a new collection of frames and shades for Google Glass, created in a collaboration with fashion designer Diane von Furstenberg. Five new frames and eight new shades will be available through the Google Glass website and Net-a-Porter starting June 23.
MySpace Uses 'Blackmail' in Effort to Win Back Users
MySpace wants you back even if it requires a little blackmail. The social network has emailed users old photos of themselves in hopes of enticing them to return to MySpace. The emails include one or two old photos and a line that reads, "The good, the rad and the what were you thinking ..."
Spotify in Talks with Vodacom Over Music Deal in Africa
Spotify is said to be in talks with Vodacom on a partnership that would mark the music-streaming service's first foray into the African continent. Vodacom plans to offer its wireless customers subscriptions that include a limited amount of free data to access Spotify's music library.
Twitter Investor Sentiment Sours as Growth Slows
Twitter shares are a little more than $6 from their IPO price after its fourth monthly loss. Investor sentiment has soured after the company reported disappointing user-growth numbers, though some analysts have argued that worries about the social network's base may be overblown.
Google to Announce Android TV at I/O Conference
Google is said to be planning to announce the launch of Android TV at its developer conference in San Francisco in June. Android TV won't be another device, but rather a platform that manufacturers of TVs and set-top boxes can use to bring streaming services to the television.
YouTube: Psy's 'Gangnam Style' Hits 2 Billion Views
It's 2 billion and counting for Psy and his irrepressible "Gangnam Style." The South Korean pop star's surprise hit has become the first YouTube video to surpass 2 billion views. No other video comes close to "Gangnam" on the streaming service's list of top videos.
Instagram Breaks Record for 'Kimye' Wedding Photo
A photo of reality-TV star Kim Kardashian kissing rapper Kanye West on their wedding day has set a record for the most likes on Instagram. The picture, shared from Kardashian's account, received 1.96 million likes, becoming the most popular post on the photo-sharing site.
Amazon, Mattel Unit Plan 'Content Hub' for Children
New York Times
Amazon will team up with Mattel's Hit Entertainment to offer episodes of the children's TV show "Fireman Sam" and the opportunity to buy tie-in toys, books and games, side by side. Until now, Amazon has kept the video streaming and retail sides of its business separate.
EA in $40 Million Video-Game Settlement with Athletes
A $40 million settlement has been completed that will pay college football and basketball players dating to 2003 for the use of their likenesses in NCAA-branded video games made by Electronic Arts. The payouts could go to more than 100,000 athletes, including current players.
Google Gets 12,000 Take-Down Requests in Europe
Wall Street Journal
Google is said to have received more than 12,000 requests in Europe from individuals looking to delete certain Internet search results linked to their own name in the initial hours after posting an online form to take the requests. The request rate reportedly hit 20 per minute.
Apple-Beats Deal Gives Optimism to Music Industry
Music industry execs have been abuzz about what Apple's $3 billion acquisition of Beats might mean for a business thought to be in irreversible decline. Industry execs expect changes that are generally positive though maybe not for every artist trying to make a living.
Pirate Bay Founder Arrested for Copyright Violations
Peter Sunde, one of the founders of Pirate Bay, has been arrested in Sweden to serve a sentence for copyright violations after being on the run for two years. Launched in 2003, the file-sharing website provided links to music and movie files stored on other users' computers.
Microsoft Former CEO Wins Bidding War for Clippers
Los Angeles Times
Steve Ballmer is said to have won a bidding war for ownership of the Los Angeles Clippers, with a $2-billion offer that would set a record price for an NBA team. The former Microsoft CEO's bid was higher than one from a group that included David Geffen and Guggenheim Group execs.
Apple to Pay Less for Beats Music Streaming Service
Wall Street Journal
Apple is said to be paying slightly less than $500 million for the Beats Music streaming service, and more than $2.5 billion for Beats Electronics in its $3 billion deal. The breakdown offers insight into Apple's thinking for the most expensive acquisition in its history.
Hulu, Netflix Seen as 'Good Value' by Consumers
According to Hub Entertainment Research, 64% of users say free, ad-supported websites such as Hulu either are of excellent or good value. The study also said Netflix is growing as an alternative to DVR usage. Now, 18% say DVRs are a "default" when it comes to TV programming.
Netflix Slams Comcast's Bid for Time Warner Cable
Netflix CEO Reed Hastings said the video streaming service should not have to pay Internet providers to deliver its content and criticized Comcast's $45 billion deal for Time Warner Cable. "Comcast would love to be the post office and be a monopoly and collect on everything."
YouTube Challenges ISPs by Rating Their Speeds
YouTube has launched the latest challenge to Internet service providers by rating their performance in different cities. The Google online video service's "Video Quality Report" gave users a look at which providers in their area offered the best speeds for streaming video.
Vimeo Joins Netflix, Amazon with Original Series
"High Maintenance," a popular web series that launched in 2013, will become the first original show available exclusively on Vimeo. The series has already aired 13 episodes on the video website. Vimeo has ordered another six episodes to premiere later this year.
Netflix Picks Up More 'Dragon' from DreamWorks
Netflix has furthered its relationship with DreamWorks Animation, picking up two new seasons of the children's TV show based on the "How to Train Your Dragon" film franchise. The deal comes a year after DreamWorks committed to bring 300 hours worth of programming to Netflix.
Amazon Preps Music Service with 'Newish' Songs
Amazon is said to be planning expand its Prime membership offerings by adding a music service made up of old and newish songs for subscribers to stream on demand. The service, due to debut in June or July, will restrict its catalog to songs that are "six months old and older."
Spotify Debuts in Brazil Amid Talk of Public Offering
Spotify is now available in Brazil, the music streaming service's 57th market. The news comes shortly after Spotify revealed a paying subscription base of 10 million out of 40 million monthly active users. There has been much speculation of a possible Spotify IPO.
Google Bows to European Union Ruling on Privacy
A "right to be forgotten" ruling against Google risks damaging Internet startups, said CEO Larry Page. His remark comes as Google bows to a European Court of Justice decision, introducing an online form to give anyone in Europe a way to ask the company to censor links.
WhatsApp Emerges as Big Share Driver for Publishers
Publishers tend to focus their social media strategies around Facebook and Twitter. But perhaps they are ignoring WhatsApp at their own peril. WhatsApp has 400 million users who send 50 billion messages a day, according to the State of the Internet report from Mary Meeker.
Twitter Co-Founder Dorsey Says He is Still a 'Punk'
Before he was a billionaire, Twitter co-founder Jack Dorsey was a blue-haired punk with a tattoo on his forearm and a pierced ear. Dorsey has taken out the earring and the blue hair is gone, but don't call him corporate. "I'm still a punk," said Dorsey. The punk scene is "amazing."
Apple Still on the Prowl for Acquisitions After Beats
Even before the ink was dry on his $3 billion acquisition of Beats Electronics, Apple chief Tim Cook said he was "on the prowl" for more deals. "We look for companies with great people, and we certainly found that in Beats. These guys bring us an incredible set of knowhow and skills."
Hulu in Talks to Revive Cancelled Sitcom 'Community'
Hulu is said to be in talks with "Community" producer Sony Pictures Television for a sixth season of the sitcom, which was cancelled by NBC this month. Sources stress that conversations are preliminary. Such a high-profile deal would make a statement for the video website.
Amazon Defends Its Tactics in Battle with Hachette
Amid rising social-media clamor about Amazon's face-off with Hachette, the notoriously shy online retailer has confirmed via press release that it was indeed playing hardball with the publisher. "Unfortunately, we have been unable to reach mutually-acceptable agreement on terms."
Google Reveals Lack of Diversity Among Employees
In a rare glimpse behind the tech curtain, Google has released its diversity figures. Some 83% of the Internet giant's tech workers internationally are male. In terms of racial makeup, the company overall is 61% white. "We're not where we want to be when it comes to diversity."
Snapchat CEO 'Mortified' by Leaked Fraternity Emails
Los Angeles Times
Evan Spiegel found himself in the middle of a PR nightmare after Valleywag, a Gawker blog, published the Snapchat CEO's fraternity emails from his days as a Stanford University student. The emails featured graphic language. They "no way reflect who I am today," said Spiegel.
Twitter CEO Explores Possibility of Entering China
Dick Costolo doesn't expect Twitter's service to be unblocked in China anytime soon, but he admitted that the company is working on figuring out what kind of service it could launch there down the road. The CEO said Twitter is in the "very beginning stages of conversations."
Netflix to Purchase Rights for Sony Animated Films
Netflix has agreed to buy the earliest home-video rights to Sony's animated films, transferring ownership from pay-TV network Starz. Netflix's deal is the latest in a series of high-profile content acquisitions the video streaming company has made to attract new subscribers.
Apple Cutting Purchase Price of Beats to $3 Billion
New York Post
Apple's biggest deal in the company's history just got a little cheaper. The tech titan is expected to announce its acquisition of Beats Electronics this week at the slightly reduced price of $3 billion. Reports earlier this month about the deal had put the price at $3.2 billion.
Facebook's WhatsApp Deal Faces Review in Europe
Wall Street Journal
Facebook's acquisition of WhatsApp faces a potential antitrust review in Europe, an unexpected twist to a $19 billion deal that has been approved in the U.S. but raised concerns among European telecoms. The deal is the biggest acquisition of any startup in recent years.
Microsoft Former CEO Eyes Los Angeles Clippers
New York Times
Steve Ballmer is said to have had a weekend meeting with Rochelle Sterling, who co-owns the Los Angeles Clippers. The former Microsoft CEO has joined a growing list of people who have expressed an interest in buying the basketball team, which could sell for $1 billion or more.
Yahoo Plots YouTube Rival for Launch This Summer
Is there room for another YouTube? Yahoo is said to be ramping up talks with video producers and plans to launch a rival to Google's video service this summer. For video creators dissatisfied with YouTube, Yahoo has a compelling pitch: more generous revenue-sharing deals.
YouTube Network Fullscreen Preps Subscription Site
Fullscreen is said to be building a subscription-based, premium video-on-demand service, targeting a millennial audience. The destination will be a kind of competitor to Hulu and Netflix, comprised of programming from creators both inside and outside of Fullscreen's network.
Google Unveils Prototype of Its Own Self-Driving Car
Google has unveiled its first ever self-driving car. The automobile has neither a steering wheel nor pedals. The Internet giant said it will construct around 100 prototypes with on-road testing beginning by fall. The car will "take you where you want to go at the push of a button."
Apple iPhones Frozen by Hackers Seeking Ransom
Owners of Apple iPhones and iPads have been targeted by hackers who are freezing the devices and demanding ransoms of up to $100 to unlock them. The majority of the attacks have taken place in Australia, although there are reports of users in Britain being affected.
Spotify Asks Users to Change Passwords After Attack
Spotify will ask some of its 40 million users to re-enter their passwords and upgrade their software in coming days after detecting unauthorized access to its internal systems and data. The music streaming service said it found evidence of attackers accessing one user's data.
Twitter, Omnicom Strike $230 Million Mobile Ad Deal
Wall Street Journal
Omnicom has announced a mobile-focused deal with Twitter, worth $230 million over the next two years. The deal will integrate Omnicom's programmatic ad buying unit Accuen with Twitter's ad exchange MoPub. It will also give Omnicom a "first look" at "new opportunities" from Twitter.
Twitter's Users Are in Asia While Revenue is in U.S.
Twitter's user growth will drop below 10% in the U.S. next year, and more than 40% of the service's users will live in Asia in five years, according to a report by eMarketer. "It's much easier to make money from advertising in the U.S. than in the countries where Twitter is growing fastest."
Google's YouTube Removes Video After Shootings
New York Times
As news spread of shootings in California that left seven people dead, YouTube removed a video that the police have connected to the rampage. The website was seemingly caught between making information available to all and spreading material that could be dangerous.
Twitter OKs Block of Tweets Seen as 'Blasphemous'
Twitter has agreed to block tweets in Pakistan that were regarded as "blasphemous" or "unethical." Five requests were made by Abdul Batin, from Pakistan's Telecommunication Authority, who wants the microblogging website to censor accounts and tweets.
Yahoo Unhappy with Couric's Low-Wattage Interviews
Katie Couric's role as global news anchor at Yahoo is said to be under scrutiny by the Internet company's honchos, including CEO Marissa Mayer, who are wondering why the star journalist host isn't bringing in big-name interviews. Couric's TV talk show ends in June.
AOL Preps Project for Investing in Startups in Israel
AOL plans to start a program in Israel to help startups, and will invest at least $100,000 in as many as 10 projects at a time. The Internet giant's new Nautilus project is meant to give "maximum freedom to entrepreneurs" and "grant them access to all the tools of a global company."
Apple in Push for Jetsons-Style Home Automation
Apple is said to be readying a new software platform that would turn the iPhone into a remote control for lights, security systems and other household appliances. The tech giant plans to take on Google and Samsung and make a "big play" in smart-home technology.
Hulu Near Deal with CTC to Air Russian TV Shows
CTC Media, the largest publicly traded TV company in Russia, said it is near a deal for Hulu to carry its shows online, helping it expand to more devices and markets. A deal with Hulu would give Moscow-based CTC access to millions of potential U.S. viewers.
Netflix in Talks for 'Wet Hot American' TV Series
Cult classic "Wet Hot American Summer" could finally make its long-awaited resurrection, courtesy of Netflix. The 2001 comedy, which boasted a who's who of up-and-coming comedic stars playing campers at a fictional camp, may be turned into a prequel for the streaming service.
Google Backs Netflix in Battle with Comcast, Verizon
Netflix is paying Comcast for a direct connection to the Internet service provider, and it is doing much the same with Verizon. But Google believes this kind of arrangement shouldn't involve money. The tech giant lets Netflix inside its ISP, Google Fiber, and it doesn't charge a penny.
Netflix in Talks for Series on Life of Queen Elizabeth II
Netflix and Sony Pictures Television are in negotiations over a new exclusive series, "The Crown," focusing on the 60-year reign of Queen Elizabeth II. The series would span over 20 hours and be split into two seasons on the streaming network, similar to "House of Cards."
Facebook Exec Rants About Current State of Media
Facebook product management exec Mike Hudack has posted a 461-word teardown of the current state of media. CNN has become "the network of kidnapped white girls," he wrote. "Our nation's newspapers have been almost entirely hollowed out. It's hard to tell who's to blame ... "
Amazon Escalates Battle Against Publisher Hachette
New York Times
Amazon, under fire for discouraging customers from buying books from Hachette, has escalated the battle. The retailer has begun refusing orders for coming Hachette books, including J.K. Rowling's new novel. The paperback of Brad Stone's Jeff Bezos book is now "unavailable."
Google Developing Tablet with Advanced 3D Imaging
Wall Street Journal
Google is said to be developing a new, cutting-edge tablet as it continues to experiment with advanced vision capabilities for mobile devices. The device is expected to be equipped with advanced software that can capture precise three-dimensional images of objects.
Twitter Experiments with New Video-Sharing Feature
Twitter appears to be experimenting with a new product that could encourage more people to use it as a video platform a feature that makes it easy to embed, display and play clips on phones. It is possible for Twitter to even create a YouTube-like video-sharing platform.
AOL Pushes Into Linear TV with PrecisionDemand Buy
AOL is pushing to become a player in the "programmatic TV" buying space, announcing yet another acquisition advanced TV audience targeting platform PrecisionDemand which will be integrated into its Adap.tv system. The deal is seen as significant for several reasons.
Amazon Prime Adds HBO Shows Including 'Sopranos'
Amazon Prime members in the United States can now catch a full lineup of HBO shows, films, miniseries and specials at no extra cost. Amazon has even cooked up a special page called the HBO Collection through which Prime subscribers can stream their favorite HBO selections.
YouTube Stars Enter Book Deal with Simon & Schuster
New York Times
A division of Simon & Schuster, the Atria Publishing Group, has teamed with Hollywood's United Talent Agency to create an imprint to publish books by Internet-based entertainers. Five deals have already been made with YouTube stars like Shane Dawson and Justine Ezarik.
Facebook to Recognize, Share User Music, TV Shows
Facebook will add technology to its mobile apps that recognizes the music, movies or TV shows its users are enjoying, in the company's latest move to give prominence to media and entertainment on its social network. The new feature must be activated by the user and is off by default.
Twitter Shareholders Share Worries at Annual Meeting
Wall Street Journal
Twitter execs tried to assuage investors at the company's first shareholder meeting that employees still believe in the business despite its stock tumbling more than 50%. "I'm very worried," said one shareholder. "The message is the employees don't believe in the company."
Google's Shopping List May Include Music, Messaging
Music and messaging companies may make the most sense for Google as it gets ready to go on a potential global buying spree. The Internet giant has said it will need as much as $30 billion of overseas profits to help pay for acquisitions. One buy that could make sense is Spotify.
Spotify Widens Lead with 10 Million Paid Subscribers
Spotify said it has topped 40 million active users, and the number of users paying for a monthly subscription has topped 10 million. The music streaming service's users have streamed 12 billion hours of music. "We're widening our lead in the digital music space," said CEO Daniel Ek.
EBay Asks Users to Change Passwords After Breach
EBay has asked users to change their passwords after a cyberattack compromised a company database containing customer names, passwords, email addresses and other data. The company said that there is no evidence that any financial or credit card info was stolen.
Yelp Allowing Users to Add Video Clips to Reviews
Yelp will add a video feature to its app that will let users upload short clips in the same way that they would upload photos. The idea is to help reviewers fully capture the atmosphere of a restaurant, store or other small business, better than they could with photos alone.
Netflix Set to Expand in Six More European Countries
Netflix will launch in six European countries by the end of 2014. The expansion will extend the streaming service to France, Germany, Austria, Switzerland, Belgium and Luxembourg. Netflix is already available in 40 countries and boasts some 48 million members worldwide.
Samsung to Launch Video-Streaming Service in Asia
Samsung has unveiled plans to launch a video-on-demand streaming app in Southeast Asia. The mobile app will let users rent an entire season of curated TV shows, but is limited to U.S. and U.K. programs at launch. The service will cost $6.50 per season for 30 days.
Redbox Sales Plateau Amid Rise of Online Streaming
Wall Street Journal
Redbox is the nation's largest DVD rental business, with more than 40 million customers. But after years of expansion, the company is slowing its kiosk installations. "There are no more good locations left." Plus, Redbox is contending with the growing popularity of online streaming.
Google Beats Out Apple Among Most Valuable Brands
Google, Apple, IBM and Microsoft are the highest rated companies in terms of brand value, according to a study commissioned by WPP. After three years of owning the top spot, Apple slipped to No. 2. Its brand value fell due in large part to its recent lack of innovation.
Twitter Walks Away from Possible Buy of SoundCloud
It looks like Twitter wont be buying SoundCloud, after all. The messaging service is said to have let an exclusive negotiating period with the music-sharing service expire, and is no longer in discussions. Multiple news outlets have reported that the talks are now off.
Yahoo Near Deal to Buy Video-Streaming Firm RayV
Wall Street Journal
Yahoo is said to be close to finalizing an acquisition of video-streaming startup RayV. An acquisition would be one of several web-video deals negotiated by Yahoo CEO Marissa Mayer in recent months as she aims to turn her video site, Screen, into a viable rival to Google's YouTube.
Google Eyeing Up to $30 Billion in Foreign Buyouts
Google has revealed that it has earmarked $20 billion to $30 billion for the acquisition of foreign companies and technology rights held outside the United States. The Internet giant nearly pulled off a major acquisition late last year, according to the letter to U.S. regulators.
Microsoft Says Latest Tablet Will Replace Laptops
Microsoft CEO Satya Nadella has unveiled the latest version of the company's tablet, the Surface Pro 3. Microsoft claims it is the first true laptop replacement. Regarding specs, the 12-inch screen is larger than previous versions, while weighing less, coming in at 1.76 pounds.
Pinterest Opening Up Data Firehose for Marketers
Wall Street Journal
Following Twitter and Facebook, Pinterest will now allow marketers to ingest data from its service to help them better understand and interpret user activity on the site. The company will give a handful of third-party marketing providers access to data on how its users interact.
Shutterstock Expands Into Music Licensing Services
Crain's New York
Shutterstock, the stock image marketplace that has been expanding into video, has launched a music licensing business. It aims to take advantage of growth in video production by helping producers add soundtracks. "Everything from Kickstarter video campaigns to motion pictures."
Amazon Creates Section Devoted to E-Book Singles
Amazon has quietly developed a new section on its website called Short Reads that could spark a surge in consumption of e-book singles. Short Reads appears to be dedicated to short fiction and nonfiction, with most pieces priced from 99 cents to $1.99. "This could be a big deal."
Simon & Schuster Strikes Deal with E-Book Services
Wall Street Journal
Simon & Schuster has agreed to make available some 10,000 older titles to e-book subscription businesses Oyster and Scribd. Both upstarts extend to books the all-you-can-eat subscription-style offerings that have proved popular through services such as Netflix and Spotify.
Apple Predicted to Tap Iovine to Run Content Business
Apple is expected to buy Beats Electronics, with Jimmy Iovine and Dr. Dre said to be taking senior roles at the company. Steve Jobs biographer Walter Isaacson has speculated that Iovine could be tapped to run Apple's content business and help the company launch a TV product.
Netflix Exec Predicts What TV Will Look Like in 2025
In the future, Netflix will know exactly what you want to watch, even before you do. You won't have to spend time browsing through lists of shows on your television. That's according to Neil Hunt, Netflix chief product officer. It's one of the many predictions he laid out for the future of TV.
Hulu Plus to Run Classic Anime Series 'Sailor Moon'
"Sailor Moon," a '90s Japanese anime series about teen girls who use their superpowers to save the world from evil, is coming to Hulu Plus. Customers will be treated to all 200 of the show's episodes, and Hulu will make an entirely new "Sailor Moon" series starting this fall.
Facebook to Roll Out 'I'm a Voter' Feature Worldwide
When Americans voted to renew President Obama's lease on the White House in 2012, more than 9 million citizens took to Facebook to click the "I'm a Voter" button. The social media site plans to offer versions of the feature worldwide for a slate of national elections this year.
Twitter Mulls Buying Audio-Sharing Firm SoundCloud
Twitter may try to buy its way out of its growth problem by making another move into music. The company is said to be considering a deal to acquire SoundCloud, a free service that lets users upload and share audio files. SoundCloud describes itself as the "YouTube for audio."
Google Buys Corporate Mobile-Device Manager Divide
Google has acquired Divide, a startup that helps companies manage the mobile devices that employees increasingly rely upon to get their work done. The deal is part of Google's effort to widen corporate usage of smartphones and tablets running on its Android operating system.
BuzzFeed: What's Next After Turning Down Disney?
After turning down Disney's acquisition offer, BuzzFeed is said to be working on plans to go public. An IPO would likely not happen until 2015, as most companies that want to go public this year have already hired bankers. One thing BuzzFeed has ruled out is selling to another company.
Google in Talks to Buy Video-Streaming Service Twitch
Wall Street Journal
Google is said to be in talks about a possible acquisition of Twitch, a fast-growing live video-streaming service. Twitch is the most popular Internet destination for watching and broadcasting video-game play. For Google, Twitch would be a potential boost to its YouTube video service.
Apple Expected to Announce Buy of Beats Electronics
Apple is expected to announce as early as this week a $3.2 billion agreement to buy Beats Electronics, the music-streaming service and headphone maker founded by music producer Jimmy Iovine and rapper Dr. Dre. "Apple is about two years late, behind Spotify."
Twitter: Russia's Internet Regulator Threatens Block
Russia's Internet regulator has threatened to block Twitter, in the most detailed warning on the options Moscow is considering in its efforts to tighten restrictions over the Internet. "We can block Twitter or Facebook in Russia tomorrow within a few minutes. We will do what we have to."
Yahoo-AOL Merger Would Be Good Idea, Analyst Says
An AOL merger with Yahoo makes sense, according to CRT Capital Group analyst Neil Doshi. AOL's programmatic advertising platform makes it an enticing takeover target for Yahoo, which is expected to profit handsomely when half of its stake in Alibaba is sold later this year.
Facebook Working on Chat App to Take On Snapchat
Facebook is going head to head with rival Snapchat in the video-chat app market as the social networking group scrambles to win back users from the ephemeral messaging app. Facebook reportedly has been working for several months on the app, known internally as Slingshot.
Internet Week Celebration to Kick Off in New York City
New York mayor Bill de Blasio will give the keynote speech at Internet Week New York, when the convention opens Monday. This year's gathering comes as the city seeks to assert itself as the east coast answer to Silicon Valley. The seventh annual fest features more than 200 events.
Google: Euro Digital Players Demand Anti-Trust Probe
The Open Internet Project, which includes 400 players in Europe's digital markets, has lodged a complaint with the European Commission against alleged anti-competitive abuses by Google. The group accused the Internet giant of abusing its "insurmountable" market share.
Facebook: Unilever Tries Social Network's Video Ads
Wall Street Journal
Facebook users have begun seeing a new video ad depicting girls looking at themselves in a mirror. The ads, by Unilever for Dove products, are the first video spots on Facebook by a consumer-packaged-goods company. Unilever is "convinced" that Facebook is "a great platform."
Amazon to Unveil Three Original Shows for Children
Amazon will launch its first three original TV shows for children this summer, but will offer just the first six episodes of each, with additional installments slated to debut later in 2014. Amazon could benefit from effectively breaking each 13-episode series into two seasons.
Pinterest Raises $200 Million to Help Battle Google
Pinterest has raised $200 million from investors in a deal that values the company at $5 billion. The visual search engine, which raised a $225 million round last fall with the same investors, faces a very well-funded rival in Google. Pinterest could become "the search engine of tomorrow."
Yahoo Movies Relaunches as Magazine with Articles
Yahoo has relaunched its Yahoo Movies website as a digital magazine. Yahoo Movies now features first-look movie trailers, behind-the-scenes scoops and red-carpet galleries. Yahoo is promising articles, interviews with Hollywood stars, exclusive live-stream events and more.
Google Names Time Magazine Veteran New UK Chief
Eileen Naughton has been named managing director of Google's U.K. advertising sales operation. The New York-based Naughton has led the Internet giant's U.S. display ad business, selling space on websites including YouTube. She is a former president of Time magazine.
Pinterest Tests Q&A Feature Among Select Pinners
Pinterest has begun testing a new Q&A feature. "We're always gathering feedback from pinners to make pins more useful," said a spokesperson. Were currently testing the ability to ask and answer questions in a more structured way on pins, with a small group of pinners."
Twitter: Preferred Social Media Platform for Terrorists
While YouTube "has become a significant platform" for terrorist groups, according to a report from the Woodrow Wilson Center think tank, Twitter "has emerged terrorists' favorite Internet service to disseminate propaganda and enable internal communication."
Internet of Things Will Mushroom by 2025, Report Says
If you thought the world was wired today, wait until 2025. Our bodies, homes and workplaces will be sensor-filled, spawning both big leaps in quality of life and questions about privacy, according to a report by the Pew Research Center and Elon University's Imagining the Internet Center.
Hulu Hires Away Netflix Exec as Head of Marketing
Wall Street Journal
Hulu has hired away a top marketing mind from online video rival Netflix. Jenny Wall will become the head of marketing at Hulu. Wall spent a year and a half at Netflix where she helped market high profile original shows like "House of Cards" and "Orange is the New Black."
Amazon Chief: How to Make Good TV for the Web
Amazon Studios director Roy Price: "We've put out 24 pilots in the last year, which is more than a typical broadcast network will do per year. It's all about providing value for customers. Part of the purpose of original content is to get people to really engage with the service."
Google Hit by Hackers in Advanced Phishing Attack
Hackers have targeted Google users' passwords in a new advanced phishing scheme that is difficult to detect and block, security experts said. The attack began a couple of days ago and has managed to spread fast. "We haven't spotted this type of phishing attack. It's enhanced."
Twitter Adding 'Mute' to Silence Annoying Tweeters
Twitter plans to roll out a mute feature that will allow users to control the type of updates moving through their primary feed. When an account is muted, its activity no longer appears on a user's feed. Mute is something of a toned-down version of Twitter's block function.
Yahoo Acquires Snapchat Messaging App Rival Blink
Blink, a messaging app that lets users share self-destructing messages, has been acquired by Yahoo. The app competed in an increasingly crowded space alongside Snapchat, as well as newer entrants. Blink will be shut down and its team members will be joining Yahoo.
Twitter Analytics Firm SocialRank Wins Media Investors
Twitter analytics startup SocialRank has attracted the support of some big-media backers. The New York firm has raised more than $1 million in seed funding from investors that include Shari Redstone's Advancit Capital, which counts News Corp. veteran Jonathan Miller as a partner.
Hulu, Netflix Poised for Changes on Microsoft's Xbox
Microsoft is said to be planning to make a change to the Xbox Live Gold paywall for streaming media services. Users of Xbox 360 and Xbox One reportedly will soon no longer need a paid subscription to Xbox Live Gold to access Netflix, Hulu and other streaming media apps.
Netflix Keeps Getting Faster for Comcast Subscribers
Three months ago, Netflix agreed to pay Comcast for faster and more reliable Internet service. It seems to be working. Comcast customers now get Netflix content faster than customers using most other Internet providers. Only Cox and Cablevision provide faster service.
Google: EU Says Citizens Have 'Right to Be Forgotten'
In what could turn out to be one of the biggest shake-ups to online privacy legislation, the top European Union court has decided that people can ask Google and other online entities to edit or erase certain online search results, allowing citizens a "right to be forgotten."
Yahoo Unveils Mobile-First Image-Rich Native Ads
Wall Street Journal
Yahoo said in February it planned to give up on banners for mobile advertising, and that it would focus on selling what it called "in-stream" ad units instead. The company has revealed what those ads will actually look like, launching what it called "mobile-first image-rich native ads."
Facebook Mulls China Sales Office Amid Blockade
Wall Street Journal
Facebook said it is considering opening a sales office in China to serve advertisers based there. China, which blocks its 1.35 billion citizens from accessing Facebook, is a strategic hurdle in the way of the social networking giant's long term goal of connecting the world.
Twitter Doesn't Need to Be Facebook to Make Money
Twitter, whose inability to add users at a faster pace has dampened enthusiasm on Wall Street, does not have to be as big as Facebook to make money, according to SunTrust analyst Robert Peck. "Merely narrowing the monetization gap would justify significant stock."
Pinterest Moves to Make Money with Promoted Pins
Pinterest is finally turning on the money spigot. Advertisers can now pay to more prominently display their pins, which are the pictures of products that get shared through the site. Pinterest has been experimenting with the ads, called promoted pins, since October when it raised $225 million.
Netflix Raises Subscription Prices by Extra $1 a Month
Netflix will raise subscription rates for its video streaming service by $1 to $8.99 per month, with the new rates affecting only new subscribers. This is first the price increase since the streaming service's introduction in 2007. "We want to get this done well," said CEO Reed Hastings.
Aereo Case Faces 'Techno-Fogeys' on Supreme Court
One U.S. Supreme Court justice has referred to Netflix as "Netflick." Another seemed not to know that HBO is a cable channel. Critics say the apparent lack of awareness could have real consequences as the court grapples with such issues as the future of the television industry.
FCC Head to Revise Criticized Broadband-Rules Plan
Wall Street Journal
Tom Wheeler, chairman of the Federal Communications Commission, is revising proposed rules for regulating broadband Internet, including offering assurances that the agency won't allow companies to segregate web traffic into fast and slow lanes. The new language aims to address criticism.
Apple's Beats Pursuit 'Opens the Door' to More Buys
Acquiring Beats Electronics could signify CEO Tim Cook's willingness to use Apple's $150 billion in cash more aggressively, analysts say. "This opens the door to do more mergers and acquisitions." Apple's possible targets could include the likes of Yelp, Square and Twitter.
Google Ad Exec Switches Jobs Amid Push Into Mobile
Wall Street Journal
The top engineer at Google's DoubleClick unit is changing jobs as a new exec in charge of the business accelerates its push into mobile advertising. Joerg Heilig, who had been VP of engineering for display and video, recently left that job for a different, but not yet announced, role.
Facebook's Sandberg to Give Away Half Her Fortune
Sheryl Sandberg has pledged to give away at least half of her fortune during her lifetime or upon her death. The Facebook COO has joined the Giving Pledge, a commitment to give away personal wealth, which was started by Warren Buffett and Bill and Melinda Gates.
Apple-Beats Deal All About Red-Hot Music Exec Iovine
New York Post
Apple's expected deal to buy Beats Electronics for $3.2 billion is really about one man Jimmy Iovine. The tech titan is said to be so anxious to snag the 61-year-old music industry veteran that it will make one of its largest acquisitions ever in order to do it.
Alibaba Post-IPO Spending Targets New York Startups
Crain's New York
Alibaba, the Chinese online retailer heading for a mammoth IPO, has experts wondering if some of its anticipated $15 billion windfall will be spent on New York e-commerce companies. "Getting access to Western products is a big part of what Alibaba is about."
Report: Mobile Commerce Sales to Top $100 Billion
Commerce transactions in the United States completed on mobile phones and tablets are expected to total $114 billion in 2014, according to research firm Forrester. Two-thirds of those sales, or about $76 billion, will happen via tablet computers, while the remainder will occur on phones.
Apple Near $3.2 Billion Deal to Buy Beats Electronics
Apple is closing in on its largest ever acquisition with the planned $3.2 billion purchase of Beats Electronics, the headphone maker and music streaming operator founded by music producer Jimmy Iovine and hip-hop star Dr. Dre. The deal could be announced as early as next week.
Apple to Roll Out Next Version of iPhone in August
Apple is said to be unveiling the next version of its popular iPhone in August, one month earlier than industry watchers were generally expecting. A 4.7-inch screen version of the iPhone 6 will reach stores in August, while a 5.5-inch or 5.6-inch model will be released in September.
Yahoo Deal to Buy News Distribution Network Stalls
Yahoo's $350 million deal to buy online-video service News Distribution Network is said to have stalled. Yahoo has been trying to bolster its video platform and has tried various acquisitions that have not panned out. One possible company of interest: YouTube network Fullscreen.
Netflix Makes Deals for Push into Documentary Films
Netflix is making a push into documentaries, with the video service announcing deals to premiere four new films. Netflix has always made non-fiction films available to subscribers, but until recently they have been projects initially made for theatrical release or TV networks.
YouTube Pitches Growing Strength in Beauty Category
Wall Street Journal
Anyone who attended YouTube's NewFront event last week would have seen the company's emphasis on its home grown stars particularly those in the beauty category. Young women who provide beauty tips draw in millennials, particularly young women, in droves, data shows.
Pinterest in Partnership for TV Show on FYI Network
FYI Network, A&E Networks' replacement for the Bio channel, is partnering with Pinterest for a new series. FYI will run a home design show called "We're Moving In," following new housemates using Pinterest as a source of inspiration from paint color to remodeling the kitchen.
'Netflix of Books' Grows with Help from HarperCollins
Crain's New York
There is hope for the "Netflix of e-books." Subscription e-book app Oyster has announced that its selection of titles now numbers more than 500,000 about five times as many titles as it started with in September. More than 10,000 of those titles are from publisher HarperCollins.
Hachette Says Amazon Is Delaying Delivery of Books
New York Times
Amazon has begun discouraging customers from buying books by popular writers, a flexing of its muscle in a battle with Hachette. The Internet retailer, which controls a third of the U.S. book trade, is said to be making many Hachette titles unavailable for at least two or three weeks.
Snapchat to Settle FTC Charge of Deceiving Its Users
Snapchat promised users that the photos and videos they send disappear seconds after they're opened. But others have claimed that that is not always true. Now, the Federal Trade Commission said that the app maker has agreed to settle charges alleging it deceived consumers.
Yahoo's Mayer: 'We're Late, We're Behind' on Mobile
Marissa Mayer has admitted to Yahoo's struggles with mobile. "We're late. We're behind," said the CEO, adding that the Internet company has "made great strides" since she joined nearly two years ago. Getting mobile right is "a really critical issue, and a missed opportunity."
Apple PR Chief to Step Down After Nearly 20 Years
Katie Cotton, VP of worldwide corporate communications at Apple, plans to step down from her role after nearly two decades at the company. "All I will say is that this is very hard for me. Apple is part of my heart and soul." Cotton did not disclose who will succeed her.
Google, Tech Firms Ask FCC to Protect Net Neutrality
Google, Microsoft, Facebook, Amazon, Twitter, Yahoo and others have written a letter to the Federal Communications Commission asking for a "free and open Internet" and rules that protect users and Internet companies. Nearly 150 Internet companies signed the letter.
Netflix Unveils New Logo Design Without Comment
Netflix has quietly debuted new branding on trailers for its original series, replacing the shadowed letters and red backdrop of the streaming media company's iconic logo. Netflix has declined to comment on the new look. But one design blogger said the new logo is "much better."
Heritage Foundation Preps Launch of News Website
The Heritage Foundation, the powerful conservative think tank, plans to launch the Daily Signal, a mobile-first news website, on June 3. "We plan to do political and policy news. Not with a conservative bent, but just true, straight-down-the-middle journalism."
Google Extends Lead on List of World's Media Giants
Google has come in at No. 1 by a wide margin on a ranking of the top 30 global media owners by Zenith Optimedia. Google's revenues are estimated to be 47% higher than the second-ranked company on the list, DirecTV. Disney has overtaken News Corp. to take third place.
Yahoo's Alibaba Moment Finally Arrives with IPO Filing
Alibaba has filed papers for an initial public offering, capping what had been a long process not just for the Chinese Internet powerhouse, but also for Yahoo, which owns a 24% stake. Yahoo's stock has been propelled by the anticipation of a big payday when Alibaba finally goes public.
Netflix Reaches Pact with Cable Provider Suddenlink
Wall Street Journal
Suddenlink, the seventh-largest U.S. cable provider, has reached an agreement with Netflix to make the streaming-video service available as an app on its TiVo set-top boxes. Late last month, three small cable operators said they had reached similar deals with Netflix.
Maker Studios to Help Showcase Disney's 'Star Wars'
Disney CEO Bob Iger has shed more light on what his company plans to do with the newly acquired Maker Studios. The multichannel YouTube network will become a platform for short and long-form programming, especially including anything featuring "Star Wars" characters.
Google, AOL Buy Up Online Ad Attribution Companies
AOL has acquired Convertro, a company that helps marketers figure out which ads lead customers to make purchases, for $101 million. Earlier in the day, Google announced that it had bought Adometry, which also specializes in ad attribution, for an undisclosed amount.
Facebook to 'Friend' Small Businesses in Ad Pursuit
Facebook plans to hold workshops in five cities to show small-business owners the nuts and bolts of using the social network as a marketing tool. "They don't have enough customers," said Facebook COO Sheryl Sandberg. "This is their No. 1 problem and we can help them solve it."
Twitter Shares Drop to Record Low as Growth Slows
Twitter plunged to a record low after lifting restrictions on share sales by insiders and early investors, renewing concerns that Internet stocks are overvalued and sparking a selloff in social-media companies. The microblogging outfit has reported slowing user growth.
LinkedIn to Let Companies Target Users by Language
LinkedIn has rolled out a new feature that allows companies to target audiences by language preference and geographical location as it seeks to grow and retain members across the world. "The entire experience is now customized by geography and language preference."
AOL's Publishing Business Generates Operating Profit
AOL has delivered the first-quarter revenue Wall Street was looking for, but not the earnings. Tim Armstrong's company generated $583 million in sales last quarter. The company's publishing business generated a small operating profit the first time AOL has seen that in four years.
BuzzFeed Hints Possibility of Future Public Offering
New York Business
BuzzFeed chairman Ken Lerer said the growing media powerhouse won't sell itself and strongly hinted at an initial public offering one day, while not denying recent reports of failed acquisition talks with Disney. BuzzFeed could have a "kind of exit or cash out use your imagination."
NowThis News Near Partnership Deal with Snapchat
NowThis News, the mobile news startup, has been working on a partnership with Snapchat, the ephemeral messaging service. Ken Lerer, a partner at Lerer-Hippeau Ventures and the person who helped conceive NowThis News, said there is a "deal to be done shortly."
Spanfeller's Daily Meal Website Developing TV Series
Spanfeller Media Group's largest website, The Daily Meal, plans to launch a TV series in partnership with film and TV producer Ubiquimedia. The show hasn't been sold yet, but Spanfeller is in talks with four networks. The Daily Meal already posts three to five videos each day.
Yahoo Braces for Impact as Alibaba IPO Filing Arrives
The mammoth IPO filing for Chinese e-commerce giant Alibaba is due this week. The public offering is expected to shower investor Yahoo with "a big pile of cash." It is also likely to give Yahoo clarity about the company's future including the possibility of becoming a takeover target.
Vevo Deal Brings Product Placement to Music Videos
Music videos will get an advertising after-life thanks to a partnership between the popular streaming platform Vevo and Mirriad, a company that has previously inserted ads into TV shows. The deal will let marketers retroactively insert their brands into music videos.
Netflix Plans Third Season for 'Orange Is New Black'
Netflix has renewed "Orange Is the New Black" for a third season. The news comes ahead of season 2's premiere on June 6. The streaming media company made a similar move last year when it renewed the women's prison dramedy before any episodes had aired.
Maker Studios to Build Its Own Brand with Maker.TV
Wall Street Journal
Maker Studios, one of the biggest producers of programming on YouTube, is set to unveil Maker.TV, a new consumer video destination. "YouTube is great place to build audiences. It's not necessarily the best place to build a brand." Disney has agreed to buy the online video network.
Pandora Beta Launches Ad Unit 'Promoted Stations'
Pandora is testing a new ad unit in hopes of pumping up revenue at the streaming music service. "Promoted Stations" will allow brands to promote their own stations. Like a branded YouTube channel, these stations are meant to drive the amount of time people are exposed to a brand.
Facebook Gives Brands Tough Screening for Video Ads
Wall Street Journal
Facebook invited just a small group of brands to submit concepts for video ads to run on the social network. The ads have to be approved by Facebook's creative team. Then the ads will be shown to viewers, who will rate them based partly on how "meaningful" they are.
Twitter, Amazon Team Up to Boost 'Now Commerce'
Amazon and Twitter are joining forces to see if consumers want to shop on social media. The two tech giants said that Amazon members can save items to their online shopping carts by replying to any tweet containing a product link and writing the hashtag #AmazonCart.
Apple Hiring Spree Hints of Possible Plans for iWatch
Apple is building a team of senior medical tech execs, offering a hint of what the iPhone maker may be planning for its widely expected iWatch and other wearable technology. Much of the hiring is in sensor technology, an area CEO Tim Cook has singled out as primed "to explode."
WordPress.com Parent Automattic Raises $160 Million
Automattic, the company behind WordPress.com and other web publishing tools, has raised $160 million from investors, including Insight Venture Partners. The round values the nine-year-old company at $1.16 billion, after the investment, which is its first since it raised $12 million in 2008.
Peekster Launches App in U.S. with New York Times
U.K. startup Peekster, an app that links offline reading with online socializing, has arrived in the United States. Its U.S. launch publications include the New York Times, Wall Street Journal and Washington Post. Peekster lets users digitally "clip" print articles for sharing.
Apple-Samsung Patent Fight Receives Mixed Verdict
New York Times
A federal jury said that Apple and Samsung infringed on each other's patents in some mobile devices but awarded most of the damages to Apple, in the latest court fight between the two tech giants. For infringing on the patents, Samsung must pay Apple $119.6 million in damages.
Google Brings Same-Day Deliveries to Manhattan, LA
New York Post
The most heated technology race of 2014 is all about which Silicon Valley giant can deliver diapers or other household non-perishables to your door faster and for less money. Google is jumping into that race by expanding its same-day delivery business to Manhattan and Los Angeles.
AOL, Yahoo Eye Acquisition of YouTube's Fullscreen
Wall Street Journal
AOL and Yahoo are said to be among several companies that have discussed a potential acquisition of Fullscreen, a producer of popular YouTube videos. Fullscreen would likely fetch hundreds of millions of dollars in a sale. The talks are believed to be preliminary.
Microsoft Xbox, Showtime Near Deal on 'Halo' Series
Xbox Entertainment Studios is deep in negotiations with Showtime to develop a live-action "Halo" drama series that is a high priority for the Microsoft production unit headed by Nancy Tellem. Xbox aims to develop "Halo" and other properties in an effort to enhance the platform.
Report: Half of U.S. Broadband Homes Use Netflix
More than half of American broadband homes have a Netflix subscription, but rival Amazon Prime is growing rapidly, according to research by Parks Associates. "While Netflix remains the dominant player, consumers are still open to alternatives with interesting content and business models."
Facebook Ups News Feed Builder to Product Chief
Wall Street Journal
Chris Cox, who joined Facebook in 2005, has been promoted to chief product officer. Cox will continue to be responsible for the social-media website's core products. He previously directed human resources and helped build the first version of what Facebook calls the news feed.
Yahoo Hires Tina Brown's PR Chief for Press Post
Andrew Kirk, who spent nearly a decade heading communications for former Newsweek editor Tina Brown, is joining Yahoo Media as director of press relations. Kirk will be responsible for all Yahoo Media communications, including news personalities like Katie Couric.
Tumblr Founder Has No Regrets After Sale to Yahoo
New York Times
Since Yahoo bought Tumblr for $1.1 billion a year ago, the microblogging platform has more than doubled its staff to 220, and its audience continues to grow. Still, the coupling has not yet solved a major issue: how to generate significant revenue growth from the service.
Twitter, LinkedIn Face Doubts After Latest Results
Social media, social outcast? The once-sizzling sector could be on the outside looking in for investors following a string of disappointing financial results and a sharp slide in stock prices the past two months. Shares of Twitter, Pandora and LinkedIn have sunk more than 30%.
Foursquare Takes On Yelp with Plan to Revise App
Checking into locations just isn't as popular as it once was. Foursquare announced that it will split its app into two apps. The newly rebranded Foursquare app will lose its check-in features and instead compete with reviews website Yelp, focusing solely on local recommendations.
AOL's Moviefone Reinvents Itself as New TV Guide
New York Times
Created 25 years ago to provide film listings, Moviefone has been reinvented as an app-age TV Guide. It will still provide film information and allow for speedy ticket purchases. But Moviefone, a free app and website, now will also be a one-stop navigator for television information.
IAC's Match.com Couples Create 1 Million Children
More than 1 million people in the world are said to have parents who met on Match.com. So, in a competition for a $50,000 scholarship, the IAC-owned online dating website is asking the "#MatchMade" offspring to submit short videos describing their parents' love story.
Yahoo's Mayer Faces Moment of Truth Two Years In
As Marissa Mayer's second anniversary as CEO approaches and one of Yahoo's biggest assets, Alibaba, prepares to go public all eyes are on her. Mayer's biggest problem: The Internet giant's advertising business, which generates four-fifths of its sales, is "a mess."
Netflix Meets with U.S. Regulators Over Net Neutrality
Netflix is said to have brought its concerns about net neutrality to U.S. regulators this week in meetings with Federal Communications Commission staff. The company has been outspoken in its push to do away with fees that content companies pay Internet service providers.
Relativity Media in Talks to Buy YouTube's Fullscreen
Relativity Media is said to be in talks to acquire YouTube network Fullscreen. If completed, the deal would make Relativity the latest Hollywood studio to invest heavily in YouTube as a distribution platform. Relativity lost out on Maker Studios, its first pick.
Vevo, Twitter Team to Help Music Acts Get 'Certified'
Wall Street Journal
Vevo is entering a partnership with Twitter aimed at creating social-media rallies to help music artists surpass 100 million views for their videos on YouTube. The music-video outfit, which will hold its NewFronts presentation on Monday, wants marketers to go along for the ride.
Rdio, Cumulus Unveil Free Music Streaming Service
Cumulus Media and Rdio, the subscription music streaming service, have announced a free ad-supported service set to launch later this year. "We now have a way to participate in the rapidly growing consumer segment for our on-demand music," said Cumulus CEO Lew Dickey.
MySpace Destined to Fail (Again) as Traffic Plummets
More than a year after the relaunch, traffic to MySpace is abysmal, falling to 5.4 million unique U.S. desktop visitors in March. In November, the company laid off 5% of its staff. Another round of layoffs followed in spring. MySpace "suffers from an existential question: What is it?"
Snapchat Adds Chat as Messaging Space Heats Up
Snapchat is adding a chat feature to its ephemeral messaging service. Despite its name, the app has never offered real-time conversation until now. Previously, users were only able to send each other photos and videos that self-destruct a few seconds after they are viewed.
LinkedIn Morphs from Social Into Online Newspaper
LinkedIn has morphed into a content platform over the past three years. The professional online network wants its users to "look at their LinkedIn newsfeed as part of their morning ritual, the same way some people look at Twitter. Ads are probably the largest addressable market."
Poll: Social Media Aren't Replacing Direct Interactions
Wall Street Journal
Social media has exploded over the last 15 years, but it doesn't seem to be replacing direct social connections among neighbors or family members, according to a new Wall Street Journal/NBC News poll. People are still nearly as likely to have frequent family dinners.
BuzzFeed Teams with DigitasLBi for Branded Content
DigitasLBi is partnering with BuzzFeed and Epic Digital to develop digital branded content. The collaboration will produce real-time content aimed at breaking news, trends and pop culture. BuzzFeed has "a formula for connecting with people, the things they want to read."
Google Unveils Ad Tools for Marketers on YouTube
Google's YouTube wants to alleviate any concerns by advertisers that their promotions are reaching the right people. A new offering, called Google Preferred, packages the top 5% of content on YouTube for 14 different areas. Initial partners include Johnson & Johnson and Heineken.
Hulu's New Ads Will Allow Viewers to Order Pizza
Hulu will serve up a Pizza Hut advertisement that will allow viewers to order a pizza right within the ad. The feature combines Pizza Hut's online ordering system with Hulu's interactive ad system. Other advertisers could use the video service's "in-stream purchase unit" in the future.
Vevo Launches in Mexico Amid Talk of Possible Sale
Vevo has launched in Mexico, which becomes the 14th country to offer the service. Mexican viewers will be able to watch over 100,000 official music videos, original music programming and live concert events via Vevo.com and will also be able to tune into the Vevo TV music channel.
Fullscreen Looks Tasty to Some Big Media Companies
Disney is buying Maker Studios. Who wants to buy Fullscreen? In the wake of the Disney/Maker deal, industry sources say that lots of would-be investors and acquirers are circling the video startup that sort of looks like Maker. Fullscreen has billions of video views on YouTube.
Study: Democrats Prefer Twitter, GOPers Like Pinterest
New York Times
Democrats prefer Google Plus and Twitter, while Republicans are more interested in sharing on Pinterest, according to a new survey on the use of social media by the Harvard Institute of Politics. Democrats and Republicans used Facebook the same amount, at 87%.
Facebook Unveils Mobile Ad Network at Conference
Facebook launched a mobile advertising network at its F8 developer conference, giving it the ability to target users across the apps they use while targeting them based on the data they have shared with the social network. The new product is called Facebook Audience Network.
BuzzFeed: Is Viral News Site Really Worth $1 Billion?
Murmurs were heard across web when the rumor came out that Disney attempted to buy BuzzFeed earlier this year, but then backed away after the viral purveyor asked for about $1 billion. But does BuzzFeed belong in the billionaires club? The figure, said one analyst, isn't "outrageous."
Tinder Dating App Gets Ready to Hook Up With Ads
Tinder is the hottest company in Barry Diller's portfolio. But the free dating app doesn't generate any revenue for Diller's IAC conglomerate. That will change this year, IAC execs said. The company said it will begin experimenting with monetization ideas "soon."
IAC's Diller Blasts Broadcasters for Stifling Innovation
Barry Diller said broadcasters are seeking to stifle innovation for their own financial gain by suing to shut down Aereo, the streaming-video company he is backing. "I'm really tired of being accused of stealing anyone else's programming when we're not. It's kind of obnoxious."
Google 'Well-Positioned' In Mobile War, Schmidt Says
Now that Google has transformed the way content is consumed and distributed, it hopes to win the race toward mobile, said chief Eric Schmidt. "The industry is organized around this mobile transition, and who gets there first is going to be both the economic winner and the influence winner."
YouTube Video Inspires Big Summer Movie from Sony
Sony Pictures plans to make the film "Pixels" a tentpole of next summer's releases. The film will star Adam Sandler and Kevin James as friends fighting invading aliens who have misinterpreted video-game violence as a declaration of war. "Pixels" is based on a two-minute viral video.
Google Accused of 'Stealing Money' from Publishers
An anonymous individual claiming to be a former Google employee has posted allegations claiming that the search giant's managers ordered staffers to "steal money" from publishers through AdSense, its ad placement service. Google called the charges "complete fiction."
Yahoo Relaunches Yahoo Travel as Digital Magazine
Yahoo has relaunched Yahoo Travel as an "immersive digital magazine" with lots of light and inspirational editorial content, and plenty of sponsored material, including stories and video. Yahoo Travel is often in the top 10 in traffic rankings among travel websites globally.
Twitter Beats Estimates But Growth Fails to Impress
Wall Street has sent a direct message to Twitter: Get more followers. The social-network giant beat financial estimates for its first-quarter earnings, but fell short of expected growth in number of people using the popular social-media platform. Key metrics "were below expectations."
Study: Instagram Beats Twitter in Brand Engagement
Brand ads on social networks don't work that well, except those on Instagram. A new Forrester study, based on 3 million user interactions with more than 2,500 brands, said it confirmed what marketers have long suspected: People don't engage with branded with social very often.
Spotify Aims for U.S. Expansion Through Sprint Deal
Spotify has finally nailed down a key partnership that could help it reach a larger audience in the United States. The music-streaming service announced that it is offering extended free trials and discounted subscriptions to all of Sprint's nearly 30 million customers.
Microsoft Introducing Xbox One to China in September
In a "significant milestone," Microsoft plans to sell the Xbox One in China. It will be the first video-game system to be introduced into China in more than a decade. A ban has kept Western console systems from being sold in the country. Microsoft will begin offering the system there this fall.
Netflix, Chelsea Handler 'Haven't Made Any Decisions'
Chelsea Handler has dismissed a report that she landed a deal with Netflix, with the late-night host saying that she will be keeping all her options open. "I haven't made any decisions about what I'm doing. Everything that's printed about me is a lie. Everything's an option."
Sony's Crackle to Unveil Show with Bryan Cranston
Sony's Crackle is tapping some A-list TV talent to help pull TV ad dollars online. The streaming video service is expected to announce a new program called "Tightrope" from Emmy-winning "Breaking Bad" star Bryan Cranston during its NewFronts presentation on Wednesday.
AOL, Nielsen to Test TV Metrics for Internet Video
Nielsen stole the spotlight at AOL's digital NewFronts presentation in New York. Execs announced that the audience-measurement company would work with AOL to test for the first time a one-to-one "TV-comparable" metric for measuring the audience of original web videos.
Glam Media to Change Its Name in Pursuit of Dudes
Glam Media is no longer just for the ladies. The 10-year-old digital lifestyle publisher is changing its name and focus in a bid to capture the 49% of the market it has been missing out on: men. Under the new corporate brand Mode Media, it will expand into new male-centric verticals.
Netflix to Enter Streaming Traffic Deal with Verizon
Netflix and Verizon have reached an agreement to provide a direct connection from the video service to broadband customers. The deal is similar to a "paid peering" deal Netflix struck with Comcast in February. Netflix said it hopes the deal will help "improve performance."
Alibaba Buys $1.2 Billion Stake in Chinese Video Site
Alibaba and founder Jack Ma's Yunfeng Capital plan to buy a $1.22 billion stake in video website Youku Tudou, as China's biggest e-commerce company prepares for a U.S. IPO. The deal gives Alibaba 24% owned by Yahoo access to Chinas biggest online video operator.
Vevo Owners Close to Hiring Goldman to Explore Sale
Vevo's four owners are said to be close to hiring Goldman Sachs to explore sale options for the music video-hosting service. "We're starting that ball rolling. Vevo is believed to be weighing offers from DreamWorks Animation, Liberty Media and an AT&T-Chernin joint venture.
Yahoo to Stream a Daily Concert From Live Nation
Live Nation and Yahoo plan to let couch potatoes watch live concerts every day, without a ticket. Starting in July, a new Yahoo channel will feature one live show a day for several years, plus behind-the-scenes footage and interviews. Live Nation will sell sponsorship rights.
YouTube Personality to Host Yahoo TV Recap Show
Yahoo will combine three of its popular web series recapping the previous day's television into one show, "TV in No Time," hosted by YouTube personality Lisa Schwartz. YouTuber Schwartz is well known for her video blogs. This is one of several new shows Yahoo will commission.
Microsoft to Roll Out 12 Original TV Shows for Xbox
Microsoft aims to serve up 12 original series for its Xbox audience. Its new slate of Xbox originals includes a "Halo" series produced by Steven Spielberg, a "Halo" digital feature produced by Ridley Scott and "Humans," an English version of a Swedish series about robotic servants.
Google, Jay Z Among 2014 Webby Award Winners
Google, Jay Z and Kickstarter are among the winners of this year's Webby Awards, a celebration of Internet achievement. The awards are presented by the International Academy of Digital Arts and Sciences. Judges included Tumblr's David Karp and Kevin Spacey of "House of Cards."
AOL Says Security Breach Impacted User Accounts
AOL said it is investigating a security breach related to a spike in spoofed emails from user accounts. Information that may have been exposed included user email addresses, postal addresses, contact data, encrypted passwords and encrypted answers to security questions.
LinkedIn CEO's Compensation Soars as Stock Gains
LinkedIn CEO Jeff Weiner's compensation rose about 42-fold last year amid big gains in the professional networking service's stock price. Weiner received a compensation package valued at $49.1 million, according to a regulatory filing. That's up from some $1.2 million in 2012.
Google Wants to Add Wi-Fi to Google Fiber Rollout
Wall Street Journal
Google wants to add Wi-Fi to its Google Fiber high-speed Internet service and perhaps offer wireless-phone service. When Google Fiber started in 2011 in Kansas City, it was seen as an experiment. But earlier this year, Google identified 34 U.S. cities as possible expansion sites.
Aereo Like the Early Days of Telephone, Diller Says
Barry Diller feels optimistic about the chances for the upstart Internet TV service Aereo, which he compared to the early days of video cassettes or the telephone. It could be as damaging to shut down Aereo as it would be to end those technologies before they got off the ground, he said.
Twitter, Facebook 'Not Game Changers' for TV Ratings
Twitter and Facebook have been trumpeting a virtuous cycle between people watching TV and using social media. But NBCUniversal research head Alan Wurtzel has said that social media "is not a game changer yet" in influencing TV viewing. "The emperor wears no clothes."
Microsoft to Unveil Xbox TV Shows Amid Video Glut
Microsoft plans to reveal hints of its original video programming for the Xbox. But 19 months after it hired TV veteran Nancy Tellem to start a mini-Hollywood production arm, original programming has become unoriginal. Netflix, Amazon, Hulu Yahoo now produce their own shows.
Netflix Close to Deal for Show with Chelsea Handler
New York Post
Netflix is said to be close to a deal with E! talk-show host Chelsea Handler for a new show. "Handler has a deal with Netflix, but the format is to be decided," said one source. The streaming video giant has been making a name for itself with edgy, original programming.
Hulu CEO Helps Digital Video Get Respect It Wants
Mike Hopkins has the two hardest jobs in online video. The first is as CEO of Hulu, where he is responsible for a growing video business that competes with Netflix. And his other job is, well, as CEO of Hulu, where he looks out for the interests of owners Fox, Disney and NBCUniversal.
Vimeo CEO Seeking Revenue Growth Without Ads
Vimeo, a video-sharing hub popular among independent filmmakers, is embarking on an expansion while shunning the lifeblood of many websites: advertising revenue. One way the site plans to grow is by charging uploaders who want more storage for high-definition video.
Amazon's Fire TV Sued by Adult-Content Website
The owner of an adult-content website that shares the name as Amazon's Fire TV set-top box are turning up the heat. WREAL is suing Amazon for alleged trademark infringement, seeking to force the company to change the product's name and to hand over Fire TV's profits.
Groupon Teams with Brad Pitt for Charity Deal Offer
It's not every day you see a Groupon deal that is for a good cause. Actor Brad Pitt's Make It Right charity, which builds homes for people in need, is teaming up with the deals service. People who donate are entered in a sweepstakes to win a trip to attend a Make It Right gala.
Milq Curated Media Service Lures Big-Name Backers
New York Times
Milq, a new website and app debuting Monday, lets users organize songs, video clips and other bits of media around common themes, resulting in something like collaborative mixtapes. Investors include Tom Freston and Michael Dolan; Conde Nast is an early media partner.
Report: Teens Drifting from 'Traditional' Social Media
Teenagers are moving away from "traditional" social networking sites like Facebook and Twitter in favor of mobile messaging apps like WhatsApp and WeChat. According to a report by GlobalWebIndex, the percentage of teens active on Facebook dropped by 9% during 2013.
Netflix Makes Deals to Appear on U.S. Cable Boxes
Netflix's streaming video service will be integrated into TiVo set-top boxes for customers of three of the smaller U.S. cable operators. The deals with Atlantic Broadband, Grande Communications and RCN Telecom Services are the first in the United States to bring Netflix to cable boxes.
YouTube Content Faces Regulation in Saudi Arabia
Saudi Arabia plans tighter regulation of local video content for YouTube after an explosion of news, satire and comedy has made the country a leading global consumer of Google's video platform. Viewers in Saudi Arabia watch three times as much YouTube as their U.S. peers.
Hulu Releases Remote Control for Game Consoles
Hulu doesn't yet have a set-top box, but the online video service has unveiled a new remote control. The company announced that its app for iOS and Android phones and tablets can now be used to control Hulu Plus running on the Xbox One and PlayStation 3 and 4 game consoles.
AOL, Microsoft Strike Web Video Distribution Deal
AOL and Microsoft compete for advertisers' dollars. But they've figured out a way to cooperate, too: The two rivals have struck a deal to let Microsoft distribute AOL's videos on some of its properties. The deal includes clips AOL distributes for other video-makers, like ESPN and TMZ.
Apple, Google Pay Up to Settle Conspiracy Lawsuit
Apple, Google, Intel and Adobe Systems have agreed to pay $324 million to settle a lawsuit accusing them of conspiring to hold down salaries in Silicon Valley, just weeks before a high-profile trial was scheduled to begin. The tech giants were said to be seeking to avert a salary war.
Google's Top Social Networking Executive Departs
Google's top social networking exec is leaving the Internet company after a nearly eight-year stint highlighted by an audacious challenge to Facebook. Vic Gundotra fittingly announced his departure in a post on Google Plus, the social network that debuted nearly three years ago.
Amazon to Test Its Own Package Delivery Network
Amazon has begun to test its own delivery network for "the last mile," the final leg of a package's journey to consumers' doorsteps, in San Francisco, Los Angeles and New York. Delivering its own packages will give the online retailer more control over the shopping experience.
Pandora Sees Big Revenue Boost from Mobile Ads
Pandora Media posted stronger than expected revenue of $194.3 million its first quarter, up 69% from a year ago. Riding on the crest of a mobile advertising wave, the company said revenue from ads shown on smartphones and tablets generated $147 million in the quarter.
Pinterest Builds Search Engine for 30 Billion 'Pins'
San Francisco Business
Users of Pinterest have collected 30 billion image-centered items since the service launched four years ago. To help "pinners" make use of all that data, the company unveiled what it called new search technology designed to shepherd people through countless photos and other objects.
Facebook to Acquire Fitness-Tracking App Moves
Facebook has acquired mobile-fitness app Moves, as the social network jumps into the popular fitness-tracking market. Moves lets people gather data from a smartphone's accelerometer to determine whether a user is walking, running or doing other physical activities.
Apple CEO: We're on the Prowl for More Acquisitions
Apple's Tim Cook told analysts that the company has made 24 deals in the last 18 months. "We're on the prowl, I suppose you could say. ... You can bet that you will continue to see acquisitions some of which we'll try to keep quiet and some of which seems to be impossible to keep quiet."
Amazon Deal with HBO Leapfrogs Streaming Rivals
For Internet TV companies, HBO has become something of a holy grail. Amazon's new deal to run classic HBO programming puts the tech giant ahead of other Internet TV outfits that make devices. It also constitutes a big coup as Amazon distinguishes itself from Netflix.
Netflix to Debut Original Spanish-Language Series
Netflix has announced its first original Spanish-language TV series, a bid by the video-streaming company to attract subscribers in Latin America and U.S. Spanish speakers. The series, a 13-episode comedy about a family feud among the heirs to a soccer club, will debut in 2015.
Yahoo to Host Global Hub for New Fox Film 'X-Men'
Yahoo has partnered with 20th Century Fox to create a global content hub for the new release "X-Men: Days of Future Past." The hub will showcase behind-the-scenes interviews with the cast and screen an exclusive video series. Yahoo will also live-stream the film's global premiere.
Vevo Sees Big Rise in Streaming of Music Videos
Vevo has seen a nearly 50% increase in the number of music videos streamed each month, said CEO Rio Caraeff. The online music video hub hit a monthly average of nearly 6 billion views in December. "Mobile, tablet and television are where the views are happening."
FCC: Net Neutrality Death Reports 'Flat Out Wrong'
The Federal Communications Commission will propose new rules that will reportedly destroy the concept of net neutrality, making it OK for Internet service providers to establish a "fast lane" and charge additional tolls. But the FCC has called those reports "flat out wrong."
Facebook Finance Chief to Depart as Revenue Jumps
Facebook CFO David Ebersman is leaving the social networking giant on a high note, as the company's first-quarter sales and profit blew past estimates. The company said that Ebersman will depart by year-end, to be succeeded by former Zynga CFO David Wehner.
TechCrunch Adds 'Galleries' in Move Like BuzzFeed
TechCrunch has added online "galleries" to its website, admitting that "there is a stigma around these types of media formats, because they optimize for the advertiser." According to the tech news site's community manager, "everyone's going in the direction" of BuzzFeed.
Study: 'Social Deviance' Helps News Go Viral Online
A new study completed at the Columbia University J-school said there is a strong relationship between the "social deviance" of the event or topic in a headline and the number of retweets it gets on Twitter. Words like "arrest," "shooting" and "attack" all boosted retweets.
Facebook Hints Oculus Rift May Expand to Movies
Cory Ondrejka, Facebook's VP of mobile engineering, has addressed his company's pending relationship with Oculus Rift. Ondrejka said he believes the virtual reality firm will focus not only on video games but also expand into films. "I am thrilled to imagine what's going to happen."
AOL to Stream Free Movies in Pact with Miramax
AOL has inked a deal with Miramax to deliver a selection of its full-length films to U.S. users, available to watch for free (with ads) across a range of devices. The pact will lead up to the launch of a new movies section that will be featured across the AOL On Network for video.
Netflix Plans Expansion of Web Service to France
Netflix, pressing ahead with its international expansion, is said to be planning to introduce its online video service in France by year-end. The subscription service has reportedly concluded talks with French regulators about how to pay for content and comply with streaming rules.
Amazon, HBO in Online Deal for Classic TV Shows
Amazon has teamed up with HBO, the first streaming arrangement agreed to by the cable network, in a deal that will make available to its prime members classic shows like "The Sopranos." Prior seasons of other HBO shows will become available about three years after airing on HBO.
YouTube Product Head Expected to Exit Company
Shishir Mehrotra, YouTube's head of product, is expected to depart the company, and has moved to an advisory role at the online video giant. The move is seen as significant. Mehrotra is "a very big deal," responsible for engineering, user experience and monetization.
Tumblr Says Its Social-TV Activity Bests Twitter's
Twitter got its advertising business off the ground by selling marketers on the premise that its service complements TV. Now, Tumblr appears to be treading a similar path. The Yahoo-owned blogging platform commissioned a study that says its social-TV activity surpasses Twitter's.
Aereo to Justices: Kill Us, and You'll Kill the Cloud
The U.S. Supreme Court heard arguments on Tuesday about the legality of Aereo. While the case has been largely framed as a fight over the future of television, Aereo argues that it is also vital to the world of cloud computing. The notion seemed to resonate with some of the justices.
AOL's Top Communications Exec Departs Company
AOL and Peter Land, its head of communications, have parted ways. Land, who joined AOL from Pepsico in April 2013, did not have it easy in his year at the company. Over the past 12 months, AOL CEO Tim Armstrong had a number of public miscues that gained national attention.
Facebook, Google, Twitter Vie for Mobile App Ads
Facebook is expected to present plans for a mobile advertising network, and in so doing turn on an additional revenue stream that could mint it billions more in ad revenue but not if Google and Twitter have a say in the matter. The app business, however, "is not super gigantic."
LinkedIn Wooing Brands to Become Publishers
LinkedIn has begun ramping up efforts to attract marketers to embrace "always-on" publishing on the platform. The business network hopes to encourage companies to create their own brand journalism initiatives and then pay it to promote and target their stories.
Yahoo Hires Conde Nast Veteran for Digital Mags
Yahoo has tapped Susan Kittenplan as executive editor of media initiatives. Kittenplan will oversee editorial strategy and work with editors to develop Yahoo's new digital magazines. Kittenplan comes to Yahoo from her own company, Catalyst. She was previously with Conde Nast.
Amazon's Bezos Sees Net Worth Take a Big Dive
Jeff Bezos will have lost more money than anyone else on earth in 2014 if his net worth declines by just $200 million, according to the Bloomberg Billionaires Index. The Amazon founder, who has most of his wealth tied up in company stock, has lost $6.3 billion so far this year.
Facebook, Twitter Top Actors in Dialogue with Fans
These days, a performer's social media footprint is strongly considered when marketers start strategizing campaigns for films and TV shows. Vin Diesel is the current king of social, almost entirely because of his monster presence on Facebook. Justin Timberlake is tops on Twitter.
Netflix Preps Price Hike, Opposes Comcast Merger
Netflix reported first-quarter earnings that beat analyst expectations. But the bigger news was that the company said it plans to raise prices for subscribers and opposes Comcast's proposed merger with Time Warner Cable. "Comcast could control high-speed broadband."
Pandora Unleashes Sales Force on Local Ad Markets
Crain's New York
Pandora Media stands out in the streaming-music field in an important way: It's better than anyone else at siphoning off the billions of advertising dollars that flow to AM/FM radio. And it's gunning for more. Pandora has sales teams in 35 markets and plans to enter even more.
AOL Users Complaining of Hacked Email Accounts
Los Angeles Times
AOL users have complained that their email accounts have been hacked and are being used to send out spam. AOL said it is working on resolving the issue. The company "takes the safety and security of consumers very seriously, and we are actively addressing consumer complaints."
Twitter Veteran Dorsey Finds Square a Harder Sale
Wall Street Journal
Jack Dorsey co-founded Twitter, one of the world's most valuable social media companies. His second act, Square, is proving tougher. Losses have eaten up a big chunk of the money the mobile-payments startup has raised. Square reps recently held acquisition talks.
Groupon Eyed by PETA to Pressure Circus Deals
PETA has purchased 359 Groupon shares for $2,000 in hopes that it can influence what circus companies are allowed to run deals on the site. The animal rights activist group plans to address the Groupon annual meeting about setting strict standards for circus ads.
Reddit Downgrades Tech Category After Censorship
Social news site Reddit has downgraded the status of its technology section after a censorship dispute. The category is no longer a "default subreddit." The move follows a report that revealed headlines posted to the area had been secretly deleted if they featured certain words.
Aereo Court Brawl with Broadcasters Begins Tuesday
New York Times
Should Aereo win its Supreme Court battle, the $3.3 billion in retransmission fees broadcasters now receive from cable companies will be in doubt, and broadcasters might become cable networks. "No business is immune to disruption, but TV is particularly ripe."
Netflix Uses 'Secret Sauce' to Predict Show Success
Netflix has projected reaching 48 million subscribers when it reports first-quarter earnings Monday. The technology company used a "secret sauce" to predict which programs would have the best chance of success the data it gathers from its members' viewing habits.
Report: Digital Video Making Leap from Tablet to TVs
A growing number of U.S. homes are utilizing streaming devices, such as the Apple TV box, Google's Chromecast and Roku, or Internet connected televisions to watch online video, according to Frank N. Magid Associates. "We have a belief that television is becoming unboxed."
Google Says YouTube Users Watch Less Television
Looking to shift more media execs' minds to digital from TV, Google has said that nearly one-fifth of those watching YouTube are watching less television. A U.K. study found 19% of YouTube viewers are paying less attention to TV and that 17% are watching less TV overall.
Apple, Google Vie to Offer Exclusive Videogame Apps
Wall Street Journal
The battle between Apple and Google for mobile dominance has spread to the most lucrative genre of apps: videogames. The two tech giants have been wooing developers to ensure that top-tier game titles arrive first on devices powered by their respective operating systems.
Facebook to Launch Mobile Ad Network This Month
Facebook is expected to unveil plans for a mobile advertising network at its F8 developer conference, which kicks off in San Francisco on April 30. The social network will pitch the ads to publishers and developers as a way to leverage its vast database of user data for ad targeting.
LinkedIn Growing as Rival Social Networks Sputter
LinkedIn's announcement on Friday that it now has more than 300 million users suggests the professional social network is growing its base at a faster rate. In contrast, two other social media giants, Facebook and Twitter, have struggled with slower user growth rates.
Twitter, Selfies Fuelling U.S. College Campus Riots
Wall Street Journal
At least 10 riots have rocked colleges in the past two months, resulting in hundreds of arrests and dozens of injuries amid a growing sense that social media are helping to fuel student misbehavior. "This is new as far as I can tell. We don't even have a name for this yet."
YouTube, Instagram Creating New World of Celebrity
The Internet has created a parallel universe of celebrity via YouTube, Instagram, Twitter, Vine, Tumblr and other platforms. "For teenagers, there exists a whole other set of idols," such as King Bach, Michelle Phan and Lohanthony. "It's a total rethinking of how to be a celebrity."
Netflix Linked with Rise in Cord-Cutting, Report Says
A report by consumer data firm Experian has shown a direct link between the availability of the likes of Netflix and Hulu and an increase in consumers cutting the cable cord. More cord-cutting is expected "as devices like Roku, Apple TV and Google Chromecast become more common."
Aereo CEO Speaks on Future of Company, Industry
Chet Kanojia: "The Internet is happening to everybody, whether you like it or not. It happened to books, it happened to music people, it happened to Blockbuster. There is nothing in our Constitution that says there is a sacred set of companies that will never be affected by new technology."
Amazon Should Acquire Sears, Retail Expert Says
Amazon excels in the digital forum, but faces limitations in terms of its physical footprint. Meanwhile, Sears is struggling to stay relevant in an era of online shopping and low-cost fashion. To solve these issues, retail expert Robin Lewis suggests Amazon should buy Sears.
Pandora Sued by Record Labels for Infringement
New York Times
The music industry has opened a new front in its war against Pandora Media: royalties for songs made before 1972. Several major record companies have accused Pandora of violating copyright protections by using recordings of older songs without permission.
Yahoo's Couric Sees the Web as 'Step Up' from TV
Katie Couric, Yahoo's global anchor: "A lot of people are intrigued by the prospect of doing something on Yahoo. I think they appreciate the fact that they would be talking to someone who's experienced. So I think that may balance any discomfort they feel about the web."
YouTube Adds 85,000 Newsreels from British Pathe
Before YouTube, before even TV, the way people got their news presented visually was through newsreels shown at movie theaters. British Pathe, the premier archive of these newsreels, has brought things full circle by bringing its 80-year collection to YouTube for free.
Twitter Broadens Ad Reach Through App-Install Ads
Twitter has taken a significant step towards broadening its advertising business by offering mobile ads urging people to install apps on its social network, as well as through MoPub, the mobile-ad network the microblogging firm acquired last year for some $350 million.
Facebook to Roll Out Feature for Sharing Location
U.S. Facebook users will soon be able to see which of their friends are nearby using a new feature. The "Nearby Friends" offering must be turned on by the user, so people won't broadcast their location unknowingly. It will use a smartphone's GPS to tell friends you are close by.
IAC's About.com Plots Comeback Amid Challenges
When About.com was launched in 1997, Google didn't exist. Now part of IAC, the once-iconic Internet brand has become a rehabilitation project and a case study in whether an Internet 1.0 "explainer" site can find its footing again in a vastly different world of digital media.
Facebook's Zuckerberg Talks Apps, Teen Audience
New York Times
Mark Zuckerberg: "I think the age thing is probably not the biggest one I worry about. I'm focused on Internet.org and how to connect all these people. But my life is so different from the person who's going to be getting Internet in two years. ... On mobile, people want different things."
Hulu Questioned by Hollywood as Landscape Shifts
Continued executive turmoil and mixed messages about Hulu's direction have left some in Hollywood wondering whether the company has enough stability to follow through on its original programming plans. Recent events suggest the company still hasn't worked out a clear strategy.
YouTube's Young Turks Raises $4 Million in Funding
Many people have come to love The Young Turks for its progressive politics and news commentary on cable TV and online. Now that it is completely digital, the company behind the show is looking to expand to more platforms and devices, with $4 million in new funding.
Netflix to Bow in Germany Amid European Expansion
Netflix is said to be planning to open up shop in Germany in September. The company has reportedly been working on an advertising campaign to run in major German cities to introduce its service to prospective customers. A Netflix spokesperson declined to comment.
Twitter Dispute Leads to Suspension of 'James Dean'
Twitter has finished being a rebel, at least when it comes to standing up for a James Dean fan who is being sued by a celebrity licensing company that wants to claim the @jamesdean account. Twitter quietly suspended the account, raising questions of who can use dead celebrity images.
Groupon Offering Epic Deal to Meet Actor Brad Pitt
Groupon has introduced an "epic deal" with a little help from Brad Pitt and Make It Right, an organization founded by the movie star that builds homes for people in need. The deal includes a trip for two to the Make It Right gala in New Orleans and a meet-and-greet with Pitt himself.
Yahoo Nominates Directors as Pay Drops for CEO
Yahoo has proposed three new directors to shore up its dwindling board, as CEO Marissa Mayer continues to revamp the web portal. Yahoo will nominate co-founder David Filo, Charles Schwab chief Charles Schwab and former Wal-Mart Stores CEO Lee Scott to its board.
Apple Mulls Opening Retail Outlet in Williamsburg
Crain's New York
Two years ago, Whole Foods became one of the first major retailers to open a location in Williamsburg, in a deal that appeared to presage the once-gritty neighborhood's transition into a shopping hub. J.Crew and Apple are now said to be interested in opening stores in the area.
Facebook to Make Mobile Users Download Messenger
Facebook has begun notifying mobile users that they will no longer be able to text via its core app. Instead, they will need to download Messenger, the dedicated texting app Facebook rolled out in 2011. "People get replies 20% faster on Messenger than on Facebook."
Yahoo's Fired Exec Gets $58 Million After 15 Months
Yahoo's recently fired COO Henrique de Castro left the company with a severance package of $58 million even though he lasted just 15 months on the job. The disclosure may lead to more second-guessing about Yahoo CEO Marissa Mayer's decision to hire de Castro as her No. 2.
Google's Growth in Mobile Ads Hurts Firm's Results
Google has reported disappointing quarterly results, with lower-than-expected growth in paid clicks. One issue is that most consumers are not following up on mobile ads with purchases. Analysts voiced concerns about the disparity of paid clicks for the desktop and ads for devices.
Reddit Boosts News Capabilities to Attract Users, Ads
Reddit has started to allow members of its passionate community post their own news more quickly and easily. The community-generated news website, majority owned by Conde Nast parent Advanced Publications, rolled out a new feature that lets users report in real time.
IAC's Diller Goes Big in Gamble on Aereo's Future
Broadcasters say an Aereo victory in the Supreme Court might create a blueprint that would let cable and satellite providers stop paying billions of dollars in retransmission fees. IAC chief Barry Diller said his goal is nothing short of upending the TV distribution system.
Yahoo CEO Seeking Growth as Alibaba Help Fades
Yahoo's Marissa Mayer can't rely on Alibaba to bail her out much longer, putting the onus on her to accelerate a sales rebound that is only getting started. "We believe we have moved from our core business being in decline to a point of stable to modest growth," she said.
Google Unveils 'Modular' Smartphone Project Ara
Google plans to release a "modular" smartphone that consumers can configure with different features. Google envisions hardware modules, such as a camera or blood-sugar monitor, that would be available in an "app store," like its own Google Play store for software apps.
Twitter to Acquire Data Analytics Company Gnip
Twitter has bought its data partner Gnip, which provides analysis of tweets to advertisers, academic institutions, politicians and other customers. Gnip has already played a "crucial role" in collecting and digesting the public data that people share on its short messaging service.
WordPress Creator Seeking Valuation of $1 Billion
Automattic, the firm that runs blogging platforms WordPress and WordPress VIP, is said to be raising between $100 million and $150 million in venture capital funding. The round values the company at some $1 billion. WordPress powers 22% of the world's websites.
Google Pressured to Curb Illegal Drug Websites
Wall Street Journal
Several state attorneys general have pressed Google to make it harder for users to find counterfeit prescription medicine and illegal drugs online, marking the second time in the past three years that the firm has drawn scrutiny for its policies on rogue Internet pharmacies.
Aereo Battle Moves Broadcasters to Seek a 'Plan B'
Wall Street Journal
TV broadcasters have begun to consider contingency plans in case they lose their Supreme Court battle against online video startup Aereo. CBS is said to have the ability to launch a service that would stream programming over the web simultaneous with its TV broadcasts.
Netflix Speeds Surge for Comcast Users After Deal
Netflix's deal with Comcast has paid off. Streaming speeds for Comcast users jumped nearly 50% last month after Netflix reluctantly agreed to pay up for a direct connection to the Internet service provider's network. Netflix has been engaged in similar talks with Verizon and others.
Google to Buy Drone-Maker Startup Titan Aerospace
Google has agreed to acquire Titan Aerospace, a 2-year-old startup maker of high-altitude drones, to help the Internet giant collect aerial images. Google's gain comes at the expense of Facebook, which earlier this year was in talks to buy the company for a reported $60 million.
Yahoo, Vevo Expand Tie-Up in Video, Programming
Yahoo and Vevo have expanded their partnership through a deal that will bring Vevo's videos, live concert events and other original programming to Yahoo's own video streaming service, Yahoo Screen. "Yahoo has the potential to be one of our largest partners," said Vevo.
AOL Rejiggers Website with Video Front and Center
AOL has reformatted its website to highlight video from owned properties like Huffington Post and a bunch of content partners, including ESPN, the Wall Street Journal and Vogue. The move is the Internet company's latest gambit to become a video-advertising leader online.
YouTube Plans to Make Its 'Stars' Real-Life Famous
YouTube has plenty of "stars" some even have audiences that rival cable TV in the young demo advertisers covet. But can you name any of them? YouTube's new CEO Susan Wojcicki aims to fix that problem with TV ads, billboards, subway wraps and magazine pages.
Google Seeks New York Offices to Hold 3,000 Workers
Wall Street Journal
Google is said to be doing a search to expand further in New York City for enough space to hold more than 3,000 employees. The Internet firm has been in talks with landlords about leasing as much as 600,000 square feet in Manhattan about half the size of the Chrysler Building.
Yahoo Under Pressure as Alibaba Prepares for IPO
Yahoo will report Tuesday on a quarter in which the big news for its investors was not about Yahoo, but Alibaba, the Chinese Internet giant of which the web portal owns a big stake, and is preparing to go public. The view of Yahoo's core business remains downbeat.
Twitter Founders, CEO Say They Aren't Cashing Out
Twitter's founding fathers became billionaires on paper when the social media company went public. But Jack Dorsey and Evan Williams said they have no plans to turn those paper gains into cash once they have the chance in May. CEO Dick Costolo has no plans to sell either.
Google Patents Contact Lens with Built-In Camera
Google has patented a smart contact lens that could see its Glass wearable computer fit inside a smart lens. The move opens the possibility of its Glass system being shrunk down significantly, offering features such as "super zoom" to wearers and even helping the blind to see.
PonoMusic Startup Raises Big Bucks on Kickstarter
Neil Young turned to the people to help fund his PonoMusic project, via the crowdfunding platform Kickstarter. And they have definitely responded, making the music service one of the most successful campaigns in Kickstarter history, raising some $5.75 million.
IAC Buys Back Stake in Mobile Dating App Tinder
IAC/InterActiveCorp has bought back 10% of mobile-dating site Tinder. The company purchased the stake from venture capitalist Chamath Palihapitiya. IAC had $3.02 billion in sales last year, with more than a quarter of that coming from its primary dating site Match.com.
Aereo Expands Ahead of Date with Supreme Court
Aereo is just days away from a decisive Supreme Court battle against the major broadcasters, but that's not stopping the company from expanding. Said CEO Chet Kanojia: "I am 100% convinced that if you look at it as a matter of law and as a matter of policy we are dead right."
Amazon Preps Release of Smartphone for Holidays
Wall Street Journal
Amazon is said to be preparing to release a smartphone in the second half of this year, part of a push into hardware that would pit it against Apple and Samsung. The retailer reportedly aims to begin shipping phones by the end of September, ahead of the holiday shopping season.
Facebook Readying Service to Provide 'E-Money'
Facebook is said to be seeking authorization to become an "e-money" institution. The social network is reportedly weeks away from obtaining regulatory approval in Ireland for a service allowing users to store money and use it to pay and exchange money with others.
Report: 44% of Twitter Accounts Never Send a Tweet
Wall Street Journal
A report from Twopcharts, a website that monitors Twitter account activity, has stated that about 44% of Twitter accounts have never sent a tweet. The report also said that 30% of existing accounts have sent 1-10 tweets. Only 13% of the accounts have written at least 100 tweets.
Groupon Adds In-Store Coupons to Freebie Offers
Groupon has expanded its e-commerce offering with the addition of in-store coupons to the freebies section of its website. The move gives national retailers and marketers a "programmatic way to reach millions of potential customers with targeted promotions."
YouTube's Maker Studios Attracts Bid from Relativity
Wall Street Journal
Relativity Media has made a bid to buy Maker Studios, the online-video producer that is preparing to vote Tuesday on a separate bid from Disney. The offer is a last-minute attempt to spoil the Disney deal. Maker is seen as one of the hottest commodities in YouTube entertainment.
Google Becomes a Master of Washington Influence
Nine years ago, Google opened a one-man lobbying shop, disdainful of Washington, D.C.'s pay-to-play culture. Since then, the company has soared to near the top of the capital's lobbying ranks, placing second to General Electric in corporate lobbying expenditures in 2012.
Yahoo Board Seat Vacated by Tribune CEO Liguori
Peter Liguori has told Yahoo that he won't seek re-election at the next annual meeting, when his term expires. The Tribune CEO joined the board in 2012. Yahoo had hoped that the appointment of an independent director would help to derail a planned proxy fight by Daniel Loeb.
Vevo Music Video Investment Eyed by DreamWorks
DreamWorks Animation, which has been looking to expand its business beyond movies, is said to be interested in acquiring a stake in Vevo, the online music video service. Liberty Media and the Chernin Group are also said to be in early talks with Vevo's owners.
Aereo Coming to Google's Chromecast Next Month
Aereo is coming to the Chromecast. An upcoming update to the Aereo for Android app will add support for Google's $35 dongle. This will let subscribers of the streaming TV service fling their live TV or cloud DVR programs from a phone or tablet to Aereo with the tap of a button.
Twitter, Facebook Wield Little Impact on TV Watching
New York Times
A study by the Council for Research Excellence, a Nielsen-funded group, has contradicted the notion that Twitter and Facebook conversations are a big factor driving people to TV shows. Social media impact "was still relatively small compared to traditional promotion."
Google, YouTube Try to Prove TV Needs Their Help
Google has published a white paper demonstrating the popularity of TV-related videos and stories on Google and YouTube. The Internet giant believes TV networks should view YouTube as an indispensable tool and a cornerstone of their marketing campaigns.
BuzzFeed's Pitch to TV Networks: Use Our Brand
Wall Street Journal
BuzzFeed has offered to let TV networks use its brand name for on-air and digital promotions for their shows. Cable channels IFC and Bravo have signed on as launch partners. The service is part of an expansion of an existing BuzzFeed marketing offering to TV networks.
Apple's iWatch Expected to Cost More Than $1,000
New York Post
Apple's long-rumored iWatch could come with an eye-popping price. One company watcher has predicted that the tech giant will sell the device as a luxury accessory. "The most expensive model of the iWatch line will carry a price tag of several thousand U.S. dollars."
Google Glass Eyewear Going on Sale for One Day
Google plans to make its biggest push yet to get Glass in the hands of as many people as possible. The company will open up its "Explorer Program" and make the eyewear available for purchase on one day only. Next Tuesday's limited-time offer is for U.S. residents.
Amazon Acquires Digital-Comics Hub ComiXology
Amazon has made a big move in the growing world of digital comic books. The online retail titan is acquiring ComiXology, the top platform in digital comics, for an undisclosed amount. The new deal will allow Amazon to "corner the market" on digital comics.
Yahoo to Poach Zee from Hearst's Elle Magazine
Joe Zee appears to be getting closer to the exit at Hearst Tower. While it has been widely reported Zee has been in talks with Yahoo to head up its fashion website, Elle's creative director is said to have accepted an offer from the web giant. For Elle, Zee's exit would be a big blow.
Electus Revives 'Candid Camera' with Funt, TV Land
"Candid Camera" plans to return to TV with a new incarnation at cable network TV Land from the hidden-camera series' longtime host, Peter Funt, son of creator and original host Allen Funt, and Electus's Ben Silverman. TV Land has ordered 10 episodes to air this summer.
Hulu Development Head Exits Ahead of NewFronts
Hulu's head of original programming development, Charlotte Koh, is leaving the company. No details around the departure were provided by the digital video service, and the exit is puzzling given the timing. Hulu's NewFronts presentation is scheduled for later this month.
Aereo Eyes Aggressive Expansion as Case Looms
Even as Aereo faces a potentially crippling U.S. Supreme Court fight, the streaming TV startup is getting ready for expansion to 50 cities across the country. "We're trying to line up a bunch of things in hope of a positive decision," said CEO and founder Chet Kanojia.
YouTube Hurts Music Album Sales, Research Says
Researchers from Fairfield University and the University of Colorado have suggested that YouTube may have played a role in the decline in music sales. Based on Warner Music's YouTube blackout, researchers concluded that the video portal cost the label up to $40 million per year.
Google, Facebook Add Creative Verve to Their Mix
Facebook and Google make a combined $60 billion a year selling advertising space on their sites. In an effort to increase that figure, the two tech companies are building "internal creative agencies" to design campaigns for brands such as Budweiser and Ford.
Yahoo Hires Make-Up Maker to Edit Beauty Coverage
Yahoo has named Bobbi Brown, a leading name in cosmetics, as editor in chief of beauty coverage, boosting its push into new content. Brown will lead the "re-imagination" of Yahoo Beauty as she continues as COO of Bobbi Brown Cosmetics, which is owned by Estee Lauder.
Facebook Exec Sandberg Leans Away from Politics
Sheryl Sandberg, the Facebook exec who taught thousands of working women how to "lean in" to their careers, has dismissed rumors that she plans to run for political office. "I have ruled it out. I don't think that's for me. I really love my job. I have no plans to make any changes."
Twitter, Amazon Seen as 'Dirty' Internet Energy Users
Greenpeace has named Twitter and Amazon among the "dirtiest" Internet companies when it comes to energy use. The group noted that Twitter, which rents data space from others, "has remained silent about the type and amount of electricity that is powering those centers."
Automattic Acquires Content Aggregator Longreads
Automattic has acquired long-form content aggregator Longreads for an undisclosed amount. Longreads, founded in 2009, aims to help readers "find and share the best storytelling in the world." Founder Mark Armstrong said the goals of the two companies are complementary.
Netflix Delivers 'House of Cards' in Super High Def
Months after the premiere of the second season of the hit drama "House of Cards," Netflix has started offering subscribers the option of watching it via a 4K stream. The offering which Netflix calls "Super HD" refers to content that has a horizontal resolution of over 4,000 pixels.
Amazon Says Prime Video Streams Nearly Tripled
Wall Street Journal
Amazon said video streams on its Prime Instant Video service nearly tripled year-over-year, helped by its heavy spending on original shows and new content. "We've invested hundreds of millions of dollars in great TV shows and movies for Prime members and it's working."
Vice Media Targeting More Mainstream TV Deals
Vice Media, the New York-based group whose edgy reportage has proved a hit with young people, plans to sell more content to mainstream TV after signing such a deal with "American Idol" producer Fremantle Media. "We are selling more and more TV to more and more countries."
AOL CEO's Compensation Drops Nearly 50 Percent
AOL said CEO Tim Armstrong was paid $6.48 million last year, a 46% decline from 2012, when he was awarded larger stock options. His pay last year included a salary of $1 million, $3.3 million in stock and option awards, and $2.17 million in non-equity incentive compensation.
Yahoo CEO Seeks Revenue Chief Amid Pressures
Marissa Mayer is said to be in the later stages of hiring a chief revenue officer, in an effort aimed at boosting sales at Yahoo. The Internet giant "has made an offer to a well-known advertising exec." Under the current plan, the new hire would report directly to Mayer.
Survey: Teens Tiring of Facebook, Prefer Instagram
Piper Jaffray analysts have both good news and bad news for the world's largest social network: Teens continue to lose interest in Facebook but are showing an increasing appetite for Instagram, a Facebook property. "Over the last six months, interest in Facebook went from 27% to 23%."
Study: Millennials Trust User-Generated Content
The results of new research by marketing startup Crowdtap and the global research company Ipsos has shed new light on how the connected generation gets its news. When it comes to trust, it turns out, millennials almost always choose their peers over professionals.
Publicis Says Ellen's Oscar Selfie Worth $1 Billion
Publicis Groupe CEO Maurice Levy has valued Ellen DeGeneres' Oscar selfie at between $800 million and $1 billion. Levy's Publicis handles marketing for Samsung. He valued the Oscar photo at the large sum because of its massive sharing on social media.
BuzzFeed, Facebook Team for D.C. Journo Dinner
BuzzFeed has initiated the annual invitation arms race for the White House Correspondents' Dinner, sending out invites for its bash at Jack Rose Saloon. "The delicious irony of the BuzzFeed party, co-hosted this year with Facebook, is like an illustration of the current state of affairs."
WWE Smacked Down as Online Subscribers Fall Short
"WrestleMania" didn't lure enough fans into the ring. After airing the annual slugfest's 30th edition, World Wrestling Entertainment reported 667,287 subscribers for the new $9.99-a-month online service the company is counting on for growth, falling short of expectations.
Vice Media Opens Web Food Channel for Millennials
Vice Media and FremantleMedia have teamed up to launch Munchies, a new online channel that aims to appeal to millennial audiences interested in food and culture. Munchies will offer "an antidote" to "tired" mainstream cooking shows with programs such as "F*ck, That's Delicious."
YouTube: We're the New Battlefield for Late-Night TV
YouTube's entertainment chief has encouraged channel-owners to focus on building "fan bases" rather than audiences. Alex Carloss also cited YouTube as the new "battlefield" between Jimmy Fallon, Jimmy Kimmel and Conan O'Brien, suggesting that their viewerships have peaked.
Arista Founder's Son Starts Digital Media Advisory
Fred Davis, the music-industry lawyer who co-founded Code Advisors, the Silicon Valley investment bank, has gone out on his own with a company focused on digital media opportunities in Europe and the U.S. Spotify is among the first clients of the new Arista Advisors.
Twitter Gets Serious on Android with New Acquisition
Wall Street Journal
Twitter has acquired Cover, an Android lock-screen app that automatically picks which apps are shown on the home screen depending on where you are. Cover is Twitter's first Android-specific acquisition, a kind of investment that it has yet to make for iOS-specific companies.
Apple Admits Consumers Want 'What We Don't Have'
Internal documents about Apple's plans for 2014 have revealed declining growth rates and included the explicit acknowledgment: "Consumers want what we don't have." By that, the company meant that overall smartphone growth was coming from both cheap and large devices.
Yodle Online Ad Startup Plans Public Offering This Year
Wall Street Journal
Yodle, an online advertising service for small businesses, is said to be planning an initial public offering. The New York-based startup's IPO, expected in the second half of the year, could raise around $100 million. Yodle said it generates $163 million in annual revenue.
AOL Unveils UK Edition of Tech-News Site Engadget
AOL has launched a U.K. edition of Engadget, its website covering technology news, which attracts 10 million unique users around the world. Based in London, the new site will focus on U.K. and European tech news. The U.K. version is Engadget's fifth international edition.
Twitter Begins Wide Launch of New Profile Design
Twitter has been testing a new profile design with a more Facebook-like cover photo and overall look, and now that design is rolling out to all users over the coming weeks. New features include larger account headers and profile pics, as well as new ways to interact with tweets.
Apple's Jobs Biographer Writing Book on Digital Age
Walter Isaacson, author of the best-selling biography "Steve Jobs," has a new book due out Oct. 7 about the forces behind the rise of computers and the Internet, "The Innovators: How a Group of Inventors, Hackers, Geniuses and Geeks Created the Digital Revolution."
Groupon Launches Shop to Offer Big Wedding Deals
Groupon has opened a wedding shop, offering couture wedding dresses, engagement rings and wedding jewelry. Among the deals: a 1-carat ring for $999, marked down from $11,300, and a variety of Nicole Miller wedding dresses for $499, originally as much as $1,455.
Study: More Babies Are Using Smartphones, Tablets
According to a study by Common Sense Media, 38% of babies under age 2 use tablets or smartphones, up from 10% in 2011. But child development experts say less early exposure may be best. "The bottom line is that it's so new we don't know if it's good, bad or otherwise."
Google Prepares 'Cinematic, Fun' TV Set-Top Box
Google is said to be preparing a renewed assault on the TV set called Android TV. The new offering will provide "an entertainment interface, not a computing platform." It will "look and feel a lot" like other set-top boxes on the market, including Apple TV, Amazon's Fire TV and Roku.
Yahoo Plans Entry Into Original TV Programming
Wall Street Journal
Yahoo plans to acquire the kind of programming that typically winds up on cable-TV networks or streaming services like Netflix. The company is close to ordering four half-hour web series that would be helmed by talent with experience in TV. "They want to blow it out big time."
Microsoft Xbox in Amazon-Like Programming Push
Microsoft is going Hollywood with a cast including comedians Sarah Silverman and Seth Green, aspiring World Cup players and eerily human robots. All are involved in shows that Microsoft's new Xbox TV studio, helmed by former CBS honcho Nancy Tellem, plans to roll out.
Twitter: 15 New Types of Ads Coming to Your Feed
Wall Street Journal
Twitter will debut 15 types of new ad products and improved ways to target users over the next six months, as it seeks to compete with Facebook to win over e-commerce companies and game advertisers. The first batch will include a product that will coax users to download apps.
Poll: Ambitions of Internet Giants Spook Americans
The personal data gathering abilities of Google, Facebook and other tech companies has sparked growing unease among Americans, according to a new poll by Reuters/Ipsos. "Links between the online world and the offline world are growing tighter. The online world is now following you."
AOL Names WebMD Veteran as Chief Tech Officer
AOL has named a new chief technology officer, William Pence, who it hired away from WebMD, where he was also CTO and EVP. He will replace Curtis Brown, who will stay on "for a number of months" for the transition, according to an internal memo from AOL CEO Tim Armstrong.
YouTube's FailArmy Coming to TV via Dick Clark
Dick Clark Productions International and Jukin Media have partnered to bring the popular YouTube channel FailArmy to TV. FailArmy, one of the top 100 channels on YouTube, highlights funny web videos of people making mistakes and finding themselves in awkward situations.
YouTube to Run TV Ads Promoting Video Creators
Google plans to introduce an advertising campaign to promote three YouTube creators. While YouTube ran spots on TV last year to advertise its comedy- and geek-themed weeks, the new campaign marks the first time YouTube has purchased TV ads to plug specific creators.
Twitter's Vine to Introduce Direct Video Messaging
Twitter's Vine video app has introduced a feature allowing users to message each other directly via video. This adds both a direct messaging channel and video clips to its messages. The new offering allows Twitter to experiment with video messaging in a separate silo.
Google Weighs a Plunge Into Mobile Phone Services
Google is said to have discussed a plan to offer a full-fledged wireless service in markets where it offers Google Fiber Internet and TV services. Such an offering would mean Google customers could get voice and Internet access through their mobile devices.
WikiLeaks 'Meets' Google in Book Due in September
Julian Assange plans to return to the world of publishing with a new book, "When Google Met WikiLeaks," based on conversations the WikiLeaks founder had with Google chief Eric Schmidt. The two met in England after Assange was released on bail following his 2010 arrest.
Twitter Outperforms Facebook in Ads, Report Says
Wall Street Journal
Advertisers are spending a lot more money on Facebook than Twitter, even though Twitter ads deliver better results, according to a research report by social and search agency Resolution. Twitter ads generate clicks at a significantly higher rate than Facebook, the report said.
Groupon's New TV Ads Say 'Check Groupon First'
Groupon has made its first major TV-advertising push to help speed its transition from daily deals and email to a broader e-commerce company. The campaign stresses Groupon's searchable marketplace over its daily deals, featuring the tagline: "Check Groupon first."
Netflix, Amazon Accused of 'Blacklisting' Fired Exec
Jerry Kowal, a former director of content acquisition for Netflix, has accused the company of "blacklisting" him and spreading false claims that he stole confidential data when he left for a job at rival Amazon. Kowal's lawsuit seeks at least $1 million in damages.
Aereo to Reach Every Major City if Backed by Court
Barry Diller said he plans to expand Aereo's streaming-TV service into every major American city if the startup prevails in its fight with broadcasters before the U.S. Supreme Court. An Aereo win "allows technology and innovation to move forward, whoever benefits."
Amazon Unveils $99 Fire TV Streaming Video Device
Amazon has officially entered the streaming video set-top box competition. The tech giant announced its new Amazon Fire TV product at an event in New York. The $99 device is available for order now on Amazon.com. "Tiny box, huge specs, tons of content," said CEO Jeff Bezos.
Yahoo Aims to Bring Local TV News to the Internet
Yahoo is said to be in talks to buy News Distribution Network, an outfit that syndicates clips from U.S. local news affiliates. It appears that Yahoo is looking to make local TV news a big part of the online landscape. "Local TV news and the web is a marriage made in heaven."
YouTube's AwesomenessTV to Buy Rival Big Frame
AwesomenessTV has paid $15 million to acquire Big Frame, a fellow network of YouTube channels that reaches 39 million subscribers. Acquiring Big Frame increases AwesomenessTV's scale on the world's largest video site, bringing its subscriber total to 80 million.
AOL Poaches J&J Exec to Head Global Partnerships
AOL has named Johnson & Johnson exec Kim Kadlec to a new position in charge of distribution partnerships for the Internet company's media properties, such as TechCrunch and the Huffington Post. Kadlec will report to CEO Tim Armstrong and brand group head Susan Lyne.
Outbrain Looks to Raise $100 Million in Public Offering
Israeli startup Outbrain has built a business that earned $100 million in sales last year around providing online recommendations on the websites of publishers like Rolling Stone and Fox News. The company is said to be seeking to raise $100 million in a U.S. initial public offering.
Twitter's Dorsey Asked by U.S. to Fund 'Cuban Twitter'
In 2010, U.S. high-tech contractors put together a secret plan to build a "Cuban Twitter," aimed at undermining Cuba's communist government. Officials even turned to Twitter co-founder Jack Dorsey to seek funding for the project. Dorsey declines to comment on the effort.
Aereo Wins Support of Small Pay-TV Distributors
Small and mid-sized pay-TV distributors represented by the American Cable Association plan to go to bat for Aereo, which is defending a petition filed by major broadcasters at the U.S. Supreme Court aimed at shuttering its TV platform. "ACA will file in support of Aereo."
YouTube Sees Money in Gaming-Video Eyeballs
To imagine how YouTube might one day become a money-spinner for content producers, consider the power of video gamer PewDiePie. Each time the YouTube impresario has donned Razer headphones in one of the videos that show him playing games, the product has sold out.
Google Trying to 'Hang Us Out to Dry,' WPP Says
Martin Sorrell, chief exec of WPP, said that while the marketing group's "frienemies" regularly change, Google is a smart constant in the mix, about which he is regularly told its sales team is trying to "hang us out to dry." The Internet giant, he added, is "not transparent."
Facebook's Big Deals Signal 'Bad News' Coming
Recent M&A deals in Silicon Valley led by Facebook's multibillion-dollar acquisitions of Oculus and WhatsApp have been seen by some venture-capital investors as a sign portending trouble. "There is so much money chasing deals that bad news is around the corner."
Amazon Steals Netflix's Thunder by Scoring 24'
Amazon's video service has become the exclusive online subscription location to stream all 192 episodes of the Fox TV network series "24." The move from Netflix underscores the battle between streaming services to offer exclusives in even previously produced TV series.
Hulu Adds Kardashians to Its 'Binge TV' Catalog
Wall Street Journal
Hulu has struck a deal with NBCUniversal for exclusive rights to past seasons of several popular TV shows, a category needed as the video website tries to compete with Netflix and Amazon. The agreement adds programs including "The Mindy Project" and "Top Chef."
Vevo Claims Millennial Viewers in Bid for Ad Dollars
New York Post
Vevo, which has supplanted MTV as the go-to place for music videos, aims to leverage its growth to persuade Madison Avenue to swing traditional TV dollars to new digital video outlets. Vevo contends that the broadcast networks are losing big chunks of their young audience.
AOL Plans Full-Length Series Seeking Video Ads
First Netflix. Then Hulu and Amazon. Now, AOL is getting into the original series game, producing its first video show, "Connected," adapted from an Israeli series. Video ads are a bull's-eye that CEO Tim Armstrong is aiming for AOL to become the Internet's champ at hitting.
Upworthy Unveils Native Ad Partnership Program
Upworthy has begun a native advertising partnership program that will allow businesses to pay for sponsored posts or commission its viral experts to craft content to be shared on social media. "There are no expandable banner ads, homepage takeovers or garish advertorials."
Google Stock to Split in 'Classic Move' by Founders
Google investors are about to get twice as many shares in a change meant to help Larry Page and Sergey Brin maintain control. The Internet powerhouse's much-awaited 2-for-1 stock split will take place Wednesday. Shareholders will get two shares for every one they own.
Facebook CEO Zuckerberg's Base Salary Falls to $1
Mark Zuckerberg has decided he's a $1-a-year man. Facebook's CEO, whose wealth totals around $27 billion, was paid $1 in salary for 2013, according to a U.S. regulatory filing. That is down from a base salary of $503,205 in 2012, the year that Facebook went public.
Yahoo in Early Talks to Acquire Online-Video Service
Wall Street Journal
Yahoo is in preliminary talks to acquire online-video service News Distribution Network, a deal that would help CEO Marissa Mayer compete with Google's YouTube for viewers and advertising dollars. Yahoo could pay roughly $300 million for NDN, according to sources.
Twitter Buys Two Analytics Firms in Social-TV Boost
Twitter wants to be the definitive place for advertisers and broadcasters to promote their shows, and to that end it has gobbled up TV analytics specialists Mesagraph and SecondSync. "Twitter is the only place that hosts a real-time, public conversation about TV at scale."
YouTube's Machinima Hires Cable TV Exec as CEO
Machinima raised new funding earlier this month. Now it has a new CEO as well. The YouTube network has hired Chad Gutstein, the former COO of cable network Ovation. Gutstein will replace Machinima co-founder Allen DeBevoise, who will stay on as chairman at the company.
Hulu Hires Another High-Level Traditional TV Exec
Hulu is doubling down on originals, if its new hire is anything to go by. The video service has snagged Warner Horizon TV exec Craig Erwich. With former Fox exec Mike Hopkins as CEO and ex-NBCer Peter Naylor running ad sales, this is Hulu's third high-level hire in a year.
Amazon Greenlights Six Original Series, Dumps Two
Amazon has ordered a full season of "The X-Files" creator Chris Carter's new series, "The After," for its original programming lineup, one of six pilots the company is funding. Amazon also picked up the crime drama "Bosch," based on the crime novels by Michael Connelly.
Pluto.tv Delivers 'TV Guide' to Video on the Internet
You know those TV Guide-like channel guides on your cable dial that show hundreds of channel and what's on? Nick Grouf wanted to create one just like it for Internet entertainment, and rounded up several Hollywood heavyweights to help him see his dream become reality.
Google Plus Enlists Hasselhoff for April Fool's Prank
Google is playing an April Fool's Day prank on its users. In the tradition of photo-bombings comes actor David Hasselhoff to infiltrate pics everywhere. Whenever someone uploads a new photo to Google+, the Hoff (and possibly other celebs) will make a surprise appearance.
Facebook's Sandberg Offers 'Lean In' for Graduates
Sheryl Sandberg wants young women to "lean in" from the beginning of their careers. Next week, the Facebook COO is launching an expanded version of her "Lean In" book targeting new graduates entering the workforce. "Lean In: For Graduates" includes additional essays.
AOL's Richie Web Series Heads to Cable-TV's VH1
Nicole Richie's Twitter feed has launched her return to television. The former reality-TV star is heading to VH1. "#CandidlyNicole" is based on her AOL web series, which was adapted from her Twitter feed, made up of her musings about pop culture and random observations.
Yahoo Mulls Launch of Online Lifestyle 'Magazines'
Yahoo's Marissa Mayer is said to be poised to take an ax to the company's women-focused content site Shine. Yahoo is considering chopping it all up and relaunching a series of online lifestyle "magazines," with a similar model to that it has done with Yahoo Tech.
Apple's Next iPhone Expected with Larger Screens
Suppliers for Apple's new iPhone will ramp up production soon, in line with a timetable for a launch as early as September. The new phone, expected to be called the iPhone 6, will likely be offered in 4.7- and 5.5-inch versions, both of which are larger than the current 4-inch screen.
Yahoo Mulls Creating Video Service to Rival YouTube
Yahoo is said to be working on a plan to lure some of YouTube's most popular stars and networks to show their stuff on the web portal. The strategy is aimed at taking advantage of complaints by video creators who think that they don't make enough money on YouTube.
Google's YouTube to Offer Advertisers Guarantees
Wall Street Journal
YouTube has told marketers it will offer audience guarantees to advertisers that make advance commitments. Offering guarantees "will make it easier for chief marketing officers to feel more comfortable about moving ad budgets that weren't earmarked for YouTube to Google."
EBay Founder Eyes $50 Million for News Startup
EBay founder Pierre Omidyar has earmarked $50 million for the digital news company he plans launch. Called Digital First Media, the startup's marquee hire so far is Glenn Greenwald, who led the way in publishing documents revealing U.S. government surveillance leaks.
Wolff: Digital Media 'Pretty Damn Bleak' in 2014
Author and media iconoclast Michael Wolff: "There's going to be a consolidation in digital publishers. From Business Insider to BuzzFeed to Gawker. It looks like everybody is going to try to sell themselves to Yahoo. So that's the question: How dumb is Yahoo?"
Hulu Former CEO Kilar Hints About New Startup
Jason Kilar, the former CEO of Hulu, is starting a new company, referred to as The Fremont Project. Kilar and Rich Tom, his former CTO at Hulu, hint that the new company will be a "consumer-focused venture" and are looking to hire designers and developers.
IAC Mulls Sale of Daily Beast After Tina Brown Exits
IAC chief Barry Diller is said to be considering selling the Daily Beast after the departure of Tina Brown, who helped start the news website in 2008. Brown is leaving the site to start a new venture, Tina Brown Live Media, which will build on her Women in the World conferences.
Aereo CEO Mulls Move Into Personalized TV News
Crain's New York
Aereo is focused on innovation, not lawsuits, according to founder-CEO Chet Kanojia. He talks of a possible move into "individualized" news programming that could make use of Aereo's one-to-one technology. The news product currently on TV "is not compelling."
Apple CEO Says 'Amazing New Products' Coming
Apple reported that it sold 31.2 million iPhones for the three months ending in June, better than Wall Street's expectation amid a competitive market for smart phones. CEO Tim Cook promised "amazing new products that we will introduce in the fall and across 2014."
Twitter: We Won't Rival Old Media or Hire Journalists
CEO Dick Costolo insists that Twitter does not want to compete with traditional media. "Twitter is increasingly breaking the news, but I don't think of us as a news organization because we don't and won't employ journalists. We will partner with existing media companies."
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