Archive for iTunes

Articles of the Day

Posted in Digital Media, News with tags , , , , , , , on October 26, 2008 by Dave Liu

YouTube Adds Affiliate Links To Its Videos; Amazon and iTunes Downloads — And what took so long? YouTube has added a no-brainer: affiliate download links from Amazon and iTunes for music and other kinds of downloads, from any specific video on its site. For instance, if a user is viewing a video of music artist, then links from Amazon and iTunes will appear on the page for song download (see an example here. Another example is video game download for Spore, by EA). The Google-owned company is touting this as a larger e-commerce platform play, and will add music, movies, TV shows, concert tickets and other products down the line. For now on the music side this has only been enabled for EMI and Universal Music artists…hard to see why others would resist. Also this only works in U.S. as YouTube content partners who are using its content ID system (for managing and anti-piracy) can also enable these links on user-generated content.

Slowdown Shows In H108: Online Ad Spend Gained 15.2 Percent; Q2 Up 12.8 Percent: IAB — After the poring over the series of revisions that have gone into the latest ad forecasts this morning, the Interactive Advertising Bureau’s review of ad spending during the first six months of 2008 is beginning to look like the good old days, at least in comparison: for H108, ad revenues reached $11.5 billion for a 15.2 percent increase over the nearly $10 billion during the same period last year, which represented a gain of 26.6 percent over H106. The numbers suggest that online advertising, while still seeing consistent growth, is seeing its gains continuing to slow. That fact was driven home by online advertising’s Q2 numbers. Although Q2 grew 12.8 percent year-over-year, it showed a slight sequential decline of 0.3 percent from Q1.

Local Search Is Hot, Yellow Pages Still Get Used — About 31% of consumers turn to a search engine first when they’re on the hunt for local products and services, according to new stats from TMP Directional Marketing (TMPDM). That’s up just one percentage point from 2007, but still enough to move search engines ahead of print Yellow or White pages in terms of overall usage. About 30% of consumers turned to printed directories first, down from 33% last year.

BT Crash Takes Adzilla Down With It — Adzilla.com has become the latest casualty in the behavioral targeting meltdown, with the company liquidating assets and shutting down operations, Online Media Daily has learned. Well-placed sources say pressure from congressional scrutiny and telecom operators, as well as the sudden departure of Adzilla CEO Toby Gabriner, left the company with few options besides laying off its workforce and shutting down.

Articles of the Day

Posted in Digital Media, News with tags , , , , , , , , , on October 1, 2008 by Dave Liu

AOL Television Thinks ‘Outside The Box’ — AOL Television today is expected to launch a new free on-demand Web series named “Outside the Box.” In it, cast members from television’s most popular programs interview one another using fan-submitted questions. It will be supported by AOL’s digital ad business, Platform-A, which will be expected to identify opportunities for advertisers and provide relevant display advertising and content-targeted links on the sites.

WPP Could Win The Battle For TNS By Week’s End: Report — WPP Group CEO Sir Martin Sorrell’s persistence could finally pay off this week. After months of having its offers rejected again and again by audience monitor TNS Media Intelligence, the ad giant could finally prevail in its bid to take over the company, Ad Age reports. TNS executives have continued to urge shareholders to reject WPP’s 264.2 pence-per-share offer—which values the media researcher at £1.158 billion (about $2 billion). The company says WPP’s offer undervalues it. However, given the calamity in the financial markets, it appears that some shareholders feel that view might not be as true these days. WPP says it has managed to sway the company’s investors to its side, claiming the support of 42.7 percent of TNS shareholders as of Monday.

With Demand For Financial News Surging, Bloomberg Brings Its Online Video To AOL — Just in time for the financial market’s wild ups and downs this week, Bloomberg Television is making a tentative step toward syndicating its videos outside of its own website in a deal with AOL (NYSE: TWX). The business news network will run about 20 videos a day on the AOL Money and Finance channel. The Bloomberg videos will have its own distinct, branded broadband site on AOL’s portal as well. Bloomberg television hasn’t been too active on the online side, but that could be changing. The unit just struck a deal with Google (NSDQ: GOOG) TV Ads, involving audience measurement and targeted ads through satellite company EchoStar’s (NSDQ: DISH) set-top boxes. While that partnership doesn’t have any online applications at the moment, it does represent the beginning of a formal relationship between Bloomberg and the search giant.

Apple Threatens To Shut Down iTunes Store (Really) If Forced To Pay Higher Rates — While we’re on the subject of music royalty rates… Apple (NSDQ: AAPL) says it might pull the plug on its uber-popular iTunes store if the Copyright Royalty Board jacks up the amount it owes per track that it sells. Yep, the company made the “don’t come near me or I’ll jump” threat in a statement submitted to the board last year, now being reported by Fortune’s David Leonard. He notes that the CRB is set to resolve a price dispute between online music retailers and the National Music Publishers Association, which wants to collect 15 cents per track, up from 9 cents, currently. Apple, represented by the Digital Media Association, would actually like the rate lowered to 4.6 cents or 6 percent of “applicable revenue.”

Articles of the Day

Posted in Digital Media, News with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on August 29, 2008 by Dave Liu

Microsoft Beats Quadrangle To Buy Research Firm Greenfield For $486 Million; Selling Off Most Of It — In a complex and slightly confusing transaction, Greenfield Online, the online market research and surveys company, which earlier this week rejected a bid by media PE firm Quadrangle, is now being bought by an unlikely buyer: Microsoft (NSDQ: MSFT), for about $486 million, $60 million more than the previous bid. MSFT is paying through a cash tender offer for $17.50 per share for the Wilton, Conn-based firm, as opposed to Quadrangle’s $15.50 a share bid.  BUT, as part of this buyout, Microsoft will sell off what Greenfield is best known: its online surveys division, and will only retain its European comparison shopping services part. Greenfield, through its Greenfield Online and its European Ciao comparison shopping websites and affiliate networks, collects, organizes and sells consumer opinions in the form of survey responses to marketing research firms and end users. It was founded in 1994, among the first such online survey firms, and current CEO Albert Angrisan is the former COO and president of survey biggie Harris Interactive.

MySpace Passes Yahoo In Display Impressions — MySpace owner Fox Interactive Media has overtaken Yahoo as the top display advertising property in the U.S., according to new data from comScore. In June, 56.8 billion display ads were viewed on the News Corp. company’s sites, giving it a 15.2% share of the total U.S. display market. Yahoo, meanwhile, served 53.1 billion display ads in the same time period, accumulating a 14.2% share. The data represents a rather big change from May, when Yahoo was still top of the display pile with a 15.9% share, compared to FIM’s 13.5%. Dow Jones points out that the June data will raise fresh concerns about Yahoo’s ability to grow its online advertising business. “It’s a continuation of this trend that eyeballs are going to other places on the Internet, and advertisers are recognizing that,” Piper Jaffray analyst Gene Munster said. “It’s a step in the wrong direction for where Yahoo wants things to go.”

Veoh Decision A Boon for YouTube — Analysts and legal eagles watched with a keen eye as Judge Howard Lloyd of the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of California ruled on Wednesday that Veoh did its part to protect copyright holders, thus qualifying for “safe harbor” protections under the Digital Millennium Copyright Act (DMCA). Adult entertainment company Io Group alleged that the online video provider had not done enough to stop users from uploading unauthorized clips of its adult sex films. “The DMCA was intended to facilitate the growth of electronic commerce, not squelch it,” Judge Lloyd said. The DMCA protects publishers from being held accountable for the content uploaded by their users, as long as they make it clear that uploading copyrighted material is prohibited, and swiftly comply with official takedown notices. TechCrunch’s Michael Arrington noted that it’s also helpful to have fingerprinting technology in place to detect copyrighted material, in addition to lots of non-infringing content (Veoh only received takedown notices on 7% of its content).

U.S. News’ College Report Online Revenues in Seven Figures — So says U.S. News & World Report president Bill Holiber, talking about the relaunch of its America’s Best Colleges online portal, in an interview with Folio. Its flagship franchise list saw about 15 million page views in the last one week, and online revenue around the story is up 500 percent. “We’re well into seven figures just online for this story,” he said. The publisher has sold major online ad packages on the site to Dell and Microsoft (NSDQ: MSFT) Office Student. Meanwhile, the print edition of the mag is still bleeding: ad pages fell 30.2 percent and estimated ad revenue drop 26.1 percent, according to Publishers Information Bureau figures. It is dropping its weekly frequency to a bi-weekly by next year, and recently formed a new U.S. News Media Group, in an effort to develop more franchises beyond the weekly under it.

WPP Digital Leverages Global Production System — WPP’s digital investment and operating arm WPP Digital has established a global digital production hub to distribute work among its stable of digital agencies. The objective of the new outfit, Deliver, is to better leverage WPP’s existing production capabilities in Asia, Eastern Europe, Latin America and South Africa in a “distributed model,” according to Neal Prescott, CEO of Deliver.

Wikileaks To The Highest Bidder — The initial idea behind Wikileaks was to publish secretive documents from “oppressive regimes in Asia, the former Soviet bloc, Sub-Saharan Africa and the Middle East,” but the reality has been exposing Swiss banks, Mormons and Scientologists. However, now that the site has started selling secrets at auction, the bigger fish are swimming closer to the harbor. Apparently, a senior official inside Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez’s administration has some dirt for sale. But the documents aren’t really for sale, per se. Whoever wins the right to the information will only have a set period of time to make use of it before it becomes public. In this case, the leak in question is a series of emails from a senior aide to Chavez, which may or may not contain incriminating information.

Google Android App Store: Like iTunes, With One Big Difference — Google has unveiled its long-awaited answer to the iTunes app store for the iPhone: The Android Market, which will sell programs for the upcoming “Gphone” from T-Mobile, and every other handset that runs on Google’s mobile OS. The big difference: Apple runs it own store with a pretty firm hand. If you want in, you’ve got play by their rules. But Google has an open door policy: Developers who want to put their program on the market just register, upload, and they’re in business.