Archive for Netflix

Articles of the Day

Posted in Digital Media, News with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on October 31, 2008 by Dave Liu

Google And Yahoo Appear Ready To Abandon Talks On Pact — While the Google-Yahoo search ad pact seems increasingly headed for rocks, the two sides have continued to insist that they’re talking with the Department of Justice about crafting an agreement that passes regulatory muster. Until now, it seems. Citing unidentified sources, the WSJ says those talks have not moved the ball an inch and suggests that Google (NSDQ: GOOG) and Yahoo (NSDQ: YHOO) may abandon the pact completely. The decision to drop the planned deal could come as soon as next week, the WSJ says—although hedging its bets, the paper adds the two could go the other way and announce a last-minute save. What makes next week so important and why does it seem like such a toss-up? It could have something to do with Tuesday’s presidential election. The thinking could be that an Obama win—which would be at least personally supported by Google CEO Eric Schmidt, an avowed Obama supporter—would probably signal a more jaundiced view of what constitutes anti-competitive partnerships. And a McCain win could mean that antitrust regulation would remain fairly loose.

CBS Swings To Loss On 12.5 Billion Write-Down; Q3 Revs Rise 3 Percent — True to its warnings about lower earnings earlier this month, CBS (NYSE: CBS) Q3 net earnings from continuing operations came in with a loss of $12.46 billion, or a loss of $18.58 per diluted share, versus earnings of $340.2 million, or $.48 per diluted share, for the same prior-year period. The earnings report also highlighted a $56.4 million write-down on items associated with “other-than-temporary declines in the market value” CBS’ investments. Revenues, meanwhile, were up 3 percent to $3.38 billion in Q3, which were driven by the addition of CNET and domestic cable sales of CSI: New York, though offset by lower ad sales. As Les Moonves, president and CEO of CBS Corp., said during the earnings call, “any increase in revenue is welcome in this difficult environment.”

ValueClick Net Income Plummets 88 Percent — Online ad firm ValueClick (NSDQ: VCLK) had previously warned investors that Q3 would be rough and its earnings report on Wednesday clearly bore that out: the company’s GAAP net income was $2 million ($0.02 per diluted common share), down 88.1 from $16.8 million ($0.17 per diluted common share) in Q307. Net income was affected by the completion of an offer to purchase up to 4.9 million stock options with exercise prices ranging from $25.66 to $29.73 per share. It was also impacted by tax adjustments. Excluding those two items, Q3 net income per diluted common share would have been $0.15, ValueClick said. Revenue was down 2.5 percent to $152.9 million compared to $156.9 million for the third quarter of 2007.

Liberty Media’s Interactive Group Income Falls 14 Percent — Liberty Media’s Interactive Group posted slim revenue gains of 2 percent, while adjusted operating income fell 14 percent in Q3. The increase in revenue was primarily driven by the impact of the purchase last December and growth at the other e-commerce companies. The decrease in adjusted OIBDA was due to the results at shopping channel QVC, which is the largest part of the group and has been hurt by the economic downturn. In keeping with the unsteadiness of the market, Greg Maffei, Liberty President and CEO, said the company would concentrate on bringing down its debt. Earlier this month, the company drew down on its QVC bank facilities and retired 87 percent of its senior notes that mature in mid-2009. The company repurchased 13.6 million Liberty Capital shares from Aug. 1 through Oct. 29. Also, Liberty has instituted a hiring fr*eeze, company-wide. Given the uncertainty in the economy, the company is withdrawing its guidance for Q4.’s Weak Q3 Forces Boardroom Shuffle — Wall Street’s losses have turned partly into’s gains, as traffic surged to an all-time high over the course of Q3—and ad revenue tracked upward accordingly. But the company wasn’t completely immune to the market downturn, as it missed analysts’ EPS and revenue expectations (via Tech Trader Daily), and posted a $1.1 million loss in net income. (NSDQ: TSCM) shook up its boardroom as a result, making Jim Cramer Chairman so that former Chairman (and current CEO) Thomas Clarke can focus on navigating the even tougher times ahead.

WPP Sales Up In Third Quarter; Expects ‘Very Tough 2009’ — Ad holding company WPP Group reported a 16 percent rise in sales in the third quarter, boosted by the stronger dollar and euro against the pound. Revenues came in at £1.72 billion ($2.8 billion), compared to £1.48 billion ($2.42 billion) a year ago. Adjusting for inflation, revenue was six percent higher; on a like-for-like basis–stripping out acquisitions and currency fluctuations–growth was three percent. As rivals Publicis, Interpublic and Aegis reported earlier this week, WPP expects that the “disintegration in the financial markets” will continue to have a “significant negative effect” on consumer and corporate confidence, with 2009 shaping up to be “a very tough year.” CEO Martin Sorrell told Bloomberg that the “real recovery” will come in 2010, when events such as football’s World Cup and the Winter Olympics games should boost sales.

Conde Nast Scales Back Portfolio, Men’s Vogue; Layoffs Are Coming — The print publishing cuts just keep coming. Condé Nast plans to cut budgets company-wide by 5 percent, including scaling back the number of Portfolio and Men’s Vogue issues it publishes and laying off some staff, NYT (FRB: 066570) reports. Men’s Vogue is taking the biggest hit, shifting to bi-annual production from 10 issues per year, and business-industry last-year-darling Portfolio will go from 12 issues to 10. Most of Men’s Vogue‘s operations will be folded into Vogue, while some of Portfolio’s online components, including ad sales, will be bundled with Wired magazine. While the layoffs will hit various titles, the NYT cites unidentified sources saying that the two aforementioned titles will absorb most of the job cuts. At our FOBM conference Tuesday, Condé Nast group president David Carey was adamant that Portfolio was healthy and wouldn’t be whittled down to a “digital only” publication, and was quite bullish on the magazine’s digital revenue generation potential earlier this year. Condé Nast launched Portfolio amidst much fanfare in April 2007. The news comes just days after Time Inc. and Gannett (NYSE: GCI) both said they were resorting to mass layoffs, and the Christian Science Monitor announced it will shift to printing its paper edition weekly instead of daily.

AOL Opens Up Site To Social Networks — As part of its open strategy, AOL today unveiled a new feature allowing users to access social networks including MySpace, Facebook and Bebo directly from the Web portal’s redesigned home page. The “My Networks” feature lets AOL visitors post status updates to multiple social networks at once, as well as provide profile activity information such as new friend requests and mail notifications from third-party social sites. The move follows AOL’s step last month to offer direct access to outside e-mail services including Gmail, Hotmail and Yahoo Mail via prominent links on its home page.

Marchex Adhere Adds 23 Publishers To Roster — Pushing to give media buyers more options as budgets tighten, Marchex Adhere has signed on 23 publishers in the past 90 days, upping the lineup to more than 200. Marchex Adhere for Publishers is a white-label ad platform that publishers use to run their own performance-based advertising marketplaces. The expanded roster gives advertisers a method to target a specific audience, said Sloan Seymour, VP of Seattle-based Marchex.

Netflix and TiVo to Partner on Movies — Netflix will place its Watch Instantly streaming-movie service on TiVo’s HD-compatible set-top boxes, furthering the technology industry’s goal of sending television shows and movies over the Internet — instead of over traditional cable and satellite networks — to ordinary TVs. Netflix, based in Los Gatos, Calif., is more widely known for its DVD subscription service that mails discs in familiar red envelopes. But it has lately been expanding its digital offerings, and now has 12,000 movies and television shows that subscribers can view instantly over the Web on their PCs without charge. Netflix and TiVo said they would begin testing the service on Thursday and expected to make it available to all owners of TiVo set-top boxes in December. There will be no extra charge for TiVo subscribers who also have one of Netflix’s unlimited subscription plans, which start at $8.99 a month.

Gorilla Nation Lands Reuters Canada — Los Angeles-based publisher rep firm Gorilla Nation has been selected to represent advertising inventory for all traffic coming from Canada to ( and ( GN also recently signed the Economic Times ( and the Times of India ( These properties will also contribute to an aggregated market of business professionals for the company’s new financial vertical market offering, in addition to its current 35 vertical markets.

Articles of the Day

Posted in Digital Media, News with tags , , , , , , , , , , on October 21, 2008 by Dave Liu

HLTH Corp. and WebMD Cancel Merger Agreement, Citing Market Turmoil — The wildly fluctuating financial markets have doomed a long-planned merger between HLTH Corp. and its majority-owned subsidiary, WebMD. HLTH said the companies’ boards, which both agreed to the termination, felt both sides would benefit from WebMD remaining as a publicly-traded unit, citing its approximately $340 million in cash and inv*stm*nts and no long-term debt as evidence of a strong balance sheet. Given the particular struggles in the credit market these days, WebMD’s growth would have been constrained by HLTH’s $650 million in long-term debt that would be coming due in 18 to 36 months. HLTH owns approximately 84 percent of WebMD. Separately, HLTH said it was buying back 50 million shares of its common stock at a price per share of $9.20.

Analysts Disappointed By Yahoo’s Q3, Low Expectations For The Future — Yahoo’s struggles are nothing new, and yesterday’s Q3 reconfirmed that the tough times will only continue. Aside from plans to lay off 10 percent of its workforce, Yahoo reported anemic 1 percent growth in revenue—$1.786 billion—and a 19.6 drop in net income to $153 million. Also, affiliate revs continued their series of quarterly declines, dropping 10 percent over last year; and while O&O display was up 3 percent, it represented a significant slowdown in growth. As for how some of the analysts who follow Yahoo saw it, most continue to believe that the company’s stock, which was trading around $12.60—less than a third of where it was back in June when Microsoft was trying to acquire it—is still worth holding. But most remain skeptical about a turnaround before the end of 2009.

Netflix Q3 Revs Rise 16 Percent; Net Income Gains 30 Percent — Netflix Q3 revenues came in at $341 million, up 16 percent year-over-year from Q307’s $294 million. Meanwhile, GAAP net income for the same period was $20.4 million ($0.33 per diluted share), compared to $15.6 million ($0.23 per diluted share) the year before—a 30 percent gain. Gross profit also grew, rising 8.4 percent to $116 million from Q307’s $107 million. The movie rental company also beat analysts’ estimates, Reuters reported. As a result, Netflix shares gained roughly 3 percent to end $24.53 a share in after-hours trading on Monday after closing at $23.80 a share.

FIM Partners With Lin TV To Build Local Broadcast Sites — Fox Interactive Media is working with digital publishing company Lin TV to build up parent News Corp.’s local broadcast sites. So far, the FIM and Lin TV have launched two sites, for Rhode Island’s and Florida’s Over the next few weeks, an unspecified number of other local TV sites will be rolled out. As part of the arrangement, FIM is delivering both back-end and front-end publishing services to LIN TV’s stable of web properties, including content management, video, contextual search and social networking. On its end, Lin TV is creating customized video players, weather map and social net tools.

Fox Creates Mobile Group After Buying Jamba Stake; Will Launch U.S. Brand — News Corp is overhauling its mobile operations after paying VeriSign (NSDQ: VRSN) $200 million for its remaining 49 percent state in Jamba, the mobile content company. This marks the end to the company’s whirlwind history, which succeeded with the rise of ringtones, only to struggle as it faced controversies over billing practices and waning ringtone sales. Going forward, the company known as Jamba will be gone, but the brand will continue under the newly formed Fox Mobile Group, which will be led by Jamba’s CEO Mauro Montanaro. Under the new leadership and business structure, the group will enter its next phase, which includes significant investments by launching a new mobile brand in the U.S. and by opening up a new studio to create made-for-mobile content. To understand what’s going on, we talked to Fox Mobile Group’s new CEO Mauro Montanaro, Jamba’s former CEO.

Articles of the Day

Posted in Digital Media, News with tags , , , , , , , , , , on October 7, 2008 by Dave Liu

Microsoft Raises Stakes With Search Perks — Microsoft continues to offer incentives to searchers to boost usage (and eventually market share) of its Live Search engine, the latest of which is called Search Perks. Some detractors call it bribery, and others say that it’s yet another desperate attempt to attract users– but according to stats from Hitwise, if Search Perks performs as well as Cashback, then the promotion should actually be called a success. The software giant launched Cashback, which gives shoppers money back for every product they search for (and eventually buy) through Live Search in late May. Although the program boosted search volume by 15% a month later (per comScore), the question has been whether it would cause Microsoft’s search share to continue to rise.

TV Guide Network Being Sold Separately From Mag; Book Finally Out — Macrovision (NSDQ: MVSN) has finally put the book out for the formal sale of TV Guide Network, according to Variety. The channel includes its flagship TV scrolling IPG, distributed in about 80 million homes in U.S., and the much-smaller TVG Horse Race Network, and the story says could fetch a relatively-small $400 million for the sale due to the financial market and economy turmoil. TVGN had total revenues of about $129 million last year. Among the companies considering the channel are Constellation Ventures, the NYC-based media focused VC firm, the story says. Not much interest from the usual suspects Time Warner (NYSE: TWX), News Corp (NYSE: NWS). and Disney (NYSE: DIS). UBS is running the process for Macrovision.

Depressing Movies: Netflix Cuts Q4 Outlook; Shares Down — So maybe people aren’t watching that many movies during these depressing times, or at least not joining a new service in droves: Netflix (NSDQ: NFLX) has cut its Q4 subscriber outlook, and also said that Q3 ended with fewer subscribers than it anticipated. CFO Barry McCarthy said that net subscriber growth in July was “in line with expectations but August was unusually weak…In September, the business regained momentum with results slightly below original expectations, likely due to the economic climate.” Netflix ended Q3 with about 8.672 million subscribers, just below the low end of its previous guidance of 8.675 million to 8.875 million subscribers. Subscribers grew 23 percent year-over-year and 3 percent sequentially. For Q408, it expects subscribers between 8.95 million to 9.25 million, down from 9.1 million to 9.7 million. Revenues are expected between $353 million and $359 million for the quarter, down from its earlier projection of $357 million to $367 million.

TNS Surrenders To WPP Group, Tells Shareholders To Accept The $2 Billion Deal — After months of repeatedly rebuffing WPP Group’s $2 billion (£1.14 billion) takeover bid, media measurement firm TNS is now telling its shareholders to approve the deal, Reuters reports. WPP made the offer back in July, two months after TNS and its German rival, media audience monitor GfK, announced plans to merge, creating the world’s second largest audience measurement firm after Nielsen. But when WPP muscled in with its offer for TNS, GfK began to get cold feet. GfK began trying to come up with a cash offer for TNS, but those efforts quickly failed, leaving nothing but TNS’ continued rejections of WPP and the ad giant’s unflagging desire to buy it.

Name Change Didn’t Help: Jellycloud Defunct; $50M In Funding Down The Drain, 36 Staffers Out — Adware purveyor turned ad network Jellycloud has had two other aliases during the past eight years, but now you might as well call it dead and buried. Last weekend, the company (fka Gator and, subsequently, Claria) closed up shop and had its furniture repossessed, Valleywag first reported, citing an unidentified tipster. The news was confirmed today by Venturebeat, which cited an unidentified source within the company. Repeated calls to Jellycloud were not returned. About 36 employees lost their jobs. Last month, Scott Vandevelde, Jellycloud’s CEO, was comparing the company’s offerings to both traditional ad nets like AOL’s and the Yahoo (NSDQ: YHOO) ad exchange Right Media.

Sugar Expands E-Commerce, Opens ShopStyle API, Launches New Sites — Blog network Sugar Inc. is opening its ShopStyle API to anyone interested in building apps based on the shopping technology and plans to follow that up with something called ShopSense, which will allow users to share in Sugar’s retailer revenue. CEO Brian Sugar bills it as a way for publishers to make money, especially during the upcoming holiday season. Sites already using ShopStyle, acquired last year, for their e-commerce include Glamour, Elle UK, Bravo and InStyle. Of course, this doesn’t instantly translate into revenue for anyone outside Sugar. That kind of proof will have to come in the form of payments.

Jivox Unveils New Online Video Ad Platform — Jivox is expected to announce today a new version of its DIY online video ad platform that helps connect small and medium-sized businesses reach local customers via viral and local search campaigns. While big brands are seeking to capitalize on short-form video content and the transition of traditional media to the internet, San Mateo, Calif.-based Jivox aims to help small advertisers find online video success with local video on established Web properties that are proven to reach customers at a local level via Jivox AdSlate 3.0.

Articles of the Day

Posted in Digital Media, News with tags , , , , , , , , , , on July 28, 2008 by Dave Liu

Yahoo Not Only Shutting Music Store, But Orphaning DRM Buyers — We knew Yahoo Music was shutting down but not that it was planning to take down its DRM servers at the same time. Ars Technica reports that Yahoo has notified customers the license servers will shut down Sept. 30. Yahoo had already said its music subscribers would be migrated to Rhapsody. Microsoft eventually took another approach when it stopped MSN Music, promising after a fuss that the DRM-protected music will work through 2011. What does this mean? Unlike subscription music users, who are leasing music and have no reason to expect it will be available after a service closes, buyers of DRM-protected music think they have acquired the rights in perpetuity.

NBCU Unscathed (So Far) In GE Slimdown — NBC Universal will be one of four “segments” in the slimmed-down General Electric announced today after the market closed today. CEO Jeff Immelt, under fire for the company’s poor stock performance during his tenure, is downsizing from six to four “core” segments, creating “infrastructure” businesses for technology and energy and consolidating all financial services into GE Capital. GE already had announced a possible Consumer & Industrial spin-off. As for NBCU, it puts the “media” in Immelt’s definition of GE as “a global infrastructure, finance and media company.” From the release: “Led by Jeff Zucker this segment is unchanged and will continue to focus on its strategic evolution through globalization and diversification.”

Netflix Q2 Revs Up 11 Percent; Beats On EPS; Ups FY Guidance; Stock Jumps — Netflix reported Q2 revenue of $337.6 million, an 11 percent increase from $303.7 million a year ago. Net income was up just 3 percent to $26.6 million. A significant reduction in shares outstanding, however, meant that EPS rose 13.5 percent to $.42 per share from $.37 per share. That surpassed analyst estimates of $.40 per share, and the company raised its full year outlook slightly. Total subscribers now stand at 8.4 million, a 25 percent year-over-year gain. Net subscriber adds for the quarter were 168,000, compared to a decline of 55,000 a year ago.

Clear Channel And Katz Launch Big Online Network — Clear Channel Radio and Katz Media Group are launching what they say is the largest online radio advertising network ever, the companies revealed today. The new Katz Online Network will combine over 1,200 Clear Channel stations and Katz affiliates with a number of independent online radio stations, with a total unique audience of about 5 million listeners per week.

Ex-Google Execs Debut ‘Cuil’ Search Engine — Several ex-Google engineers will unveil a new search engine today, according to The Associated Press. Cuil, pronounced “cool,” is backed by $33 million in venture capital and is the brainchild of Anna Patterson, her husband, Tom Costello, and two other former Google engineers: Russell Power and Louis Monier. Cuil’s search index spans 120 billion Web pages.

Wayward Microsoft — Let’s not underestimate the significance of the botched Microhoo deal on the future of Microsoft’s business, says Ars Technica contributor Don Reisinger. Microsoft thinks its future is online, but without Yahoo, the software giant has very little to stand on, on the Web. It’s a pitiful third in search advertising, with just a 9% share, and its overall online business operated at a deficit of $1.2 billion this year. Now, how can Microsoft move forward when it’s back to square one? Still, CEO Steve Ballmer pipes on: “There is this huge, huge, huge new opportunity around the Internet and online and we have to embrace that opportunity and invest in that opportunity,” he told analysts and shareholders last week, adding that the company would now invest another $500 million in the company’s online business.

Articles of the Day

Posted in Digital Media, News with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , on July 23, 2008 by Dave Liu

Yahoo Q2 Weak; Revenue, Income Below Estimates — Maybe the bar was still too high… Here’s the quick read on Yahoo’s just-released Q2 numbers. Revenue ex-TAC came in at $1.34 billion, up 8 percent from last year, but a little behind analyst estimates of $1.37 billion. Adjusted net income was $139 million, just shy of the $140 million analysts had been expecting. It’s also down from $163 million in the year-ago quarter. Revenue on Yahoo’s O&O network was up 14 percent to $1.01 billion, again, a little shy of the 15 percent some analysts had been anticipating. Why the miss? Not totally clear yet. CFO Blake Jorgensen touted the company’s “solid results” despite the weak economy.

Netflix Backs Off Original Content Investment; Closes Red Envelope Unit — This falls into the Casablanca category as in the police captain being “shocked” to find gambling going on at Rick’s … Netflix is closing its nascent Red Envelope Entertainment unit because it competes with the studios it relies on for its main business. Red Envelope invested in more than 100 films and had four employees who are leaving the company as a result of the closure, according to a spokesman, who said the original staff count published by Bloomberg and others was wrong. The departures include Liesl Copland, who joined as head of acquisitions in 2006.

Omnicom Group Says It’s Finally In Buying Mode — After reporting that Omnicom Group’s Q2 net income and worldwide revenue both rose 11 percent, the ad holding company’s CEO John Wren told listeners to the company’s earnings call that the company was finally ready to get serious about acquisitions. As Omnicom expects to do more deals, its rivals’ acquisitive streak has weakened their balance sheets because they “aggressively paid, in our opinion, uneconomic prices.” Therefore, they will be hard-pressed to challenge the company for the independents that are still left.

ESPN Rolls Out New Search Platform This Week; Foundation Of Forthcoming Site Redesign — is planning a major site revamp, but first, it wants to get search right and will then build around some of its new functions. On Thursday, the Disney-owned sports news franchise will begin beta testing its ESPN Sports Search. The platform was about a year in the making. Those with an ESPN Insider account, which includes a magazine subscription and access to special online content, will be invited to begin testing the new search features on Thursday. ESPN wouldn’t say how many “insiders” there are—only that they number in the “hundreds of thousands.” A wider beta test is planned sometime in August.

BSkyB, Universal Form JV To Launch Subscription Music Service — Pretty soon, everybody will be offering a subscription music service. Latest is UK satcaster and ISP BSkyB, 39 percent owned by News Corp. it’s secured Universal’s Total Music repertoire (which includes Amy Winehouse) for a new launch that will allow unlimited MP3 downloading and on-demand streaming for a monthly subscription in the UK and Ireland. And it’s starting a new joint venture company for the purpose, in which it will be the majority partner. Universal is becoming a shareholder.

Comcast Unit Cuts Web Deals To Handle Online Video — The Seattle-based subsidiary of Comcast, thePlatform, has reached deals to deliver video to Web sites aimed at subscribers to the high-speed Internet services of Time Warner Cable Inc., Cablevision Systems Corp. and Cox Communications Inc. Cable operators are increasingly seeking to become destinations for online video, as consumers spend more time watching television shows, movies and other clips that they download from Apple Inc.’s iTunes, Google Inc.’s YouTube and other Internet sources. ThePlatform provides a service that functions as a management system for converting TV shows into the latest online-video formats, inserting promotions from online-advertising networks and transmitting the content to distribution networks that speed up the delivery of Web video to consumers. The company earns money like a utility, charging clients an undisclosed fee for the amount of video they store online and a usage fee every time a user clicks on the clients’ videos.

AOL’s Propeller News Site Launches 2.0 Today — Propeller , AOL’s Digg-like news site, launches version 2.0 later this morning. The site sports a new design and logo and now has a mascot. But the biggest feature change is the removal of a pure Digg-like vote count. In its place is an algorithm based popularity ranking of 1-10, which takes into account “many more aspects of participation” when determining popularity.

TiVo And Amazon Team Up — TiVo will introduce a “product purchase” feature today in partnership with the Internet retailer Owners of TiVo video recorders will see, in TiVo’s various onscreen menus, links to buy products like CDs, DVDs and books that guests are promoting on talk shows like “The Oprah Winfrey Show,” “The Late Show With David Letterman” and “The Daily Show.”

Articles of the Day

Posted in Digital Media, News with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on July 15, 2008 by Dave Liu

Yahoo Spells Out Latest Rejection; Icahn Goes Back To Proxy Fight, Says Yahoo Misled Investors — In a new slideshow filed with the SEC, Yahoo has put out the exact details of the fresh offer from Microsoft and Icahn, with an explanation of why it was inadequate. The basic details: Microsoft would pay $1 billion upfront for Yahoo’s search assets. That’s the same as before, and Yahoo says it would be too complex to separate these assets, and beyond that, the money is taxable. Microsoft and Yahoo would enter into an exclusive search ad agreement guaranteed for the next five years. It would pay Yahoo at least $2.3 billion. TAC (traffic acquisition costs) for the first three years would be 85 percent, dropping to 70 percent for the two years following. Yahoo still says this is below its own revenue estimates and that TAC is below market. After the first five years are up, Microsoft could renew for another five years at 70 percent TAC if it’s willing to guarantee at least $3 billion in annual revenue. Yahoo has the right to renew for five more years, but with a guarantee of just $1.6 billion.

NBC And Online Olympic Ad Sales: 85 Percent Sold Out — NBC Universal says advertising inventory for the roughly 2,200 hours of online Olympics coverage next month is about 85 percent sold out, according to tells Mediaweek. Although many popular events—like swimming (Gold Medal finals), volleyball, boxing, track and field and gymnastics —won’t be streamed live, Zach Chapman, director, digital sales for NBC Sports and Olympics, is convinced that office workers will be glued to, its dedicated site for showing the Beijing games, which begins on August 8th.

Netflix Without the DVD: Now Integrated Within XBox; Also NBCU Shows on XBox — After its Roku box integration, which received critical acclaim for ease of use, Netflix (NSDQ: NFLX) is continuing on its digital service integration within others: it has just announced a deal with Microsoft, where Xbox 360 will be able to stream thousands (well 10K, compared to its DVD collection of over 100K) of movies/videos onto their TV sets…The service will be free to Xbox Live Gold members who are also Netflix subscribers. Xbox had its own movie collection for streaming and download, but not as many. This surely gives it another boost on its fierce competition with Sony’s PS3. XBox has about 12 million users, so this also give Netflix a big user base, though of course with some duplications. Then of course there’s Apple TV, which competes with these combo services. As an aside, Netflix CEO Reed Hastings is a member of Microsoft’s board, so that helps.

Online Ad Prices Fall For Third Consecutive Month — The average price of online advertising inventory dipped slightly between May and June, marking the third consecutive month that online ad prices have fallen. While June’s decline was modest — just a penny per ad — the downward trend signals that the online medium may be suffering from the same economic malaise as the overall media economy. The latest data from PubMatic’s AdPrice Index shows that overall online ad pricing made a less than 1% change, moving from $0.37 to $0.36, but there were a few surprises. Small Web sites (those with less than 1 million page views per month) in June dropped a significant $0.32 from May, landing at an average CPM of $0.81, down from $1.13. Medium Web sites (those with 1 million to 100 million page views per month), however, made a moderate $0.13 jump from $0.33 in May to $0.46 in June. Large Web sites (those with 100 million-plus page views per moth) also rose, but only slightly, moving from May’s $0.21 to June’s $0.23.

AdTech Strikes Deal With Gannett For Online Ad Service — Significantly increasing its U.S. presence, AOL’s AdTech has won the right to manage online advertising for the Gannett Co.’s entire network of Web assets. The rollout ultimately will include all of Gannett’s local newspaper Web sites, the digital properties for its 19 local broadcast markets, and, along with various targeted-media properties, such as Gannett’s network of mom’s sites. Apart from Gannett’s properties, AdTech is presently delivering about 15 billion monthly ad impressions stateside, and 85 billion worldwide.

Glam Media Launches Daily Email Platform — E-publisher and ad network Glam Media on Monday announced the launch of Glam Today, a daily email newsletter and platform. Glam Today, a part of Glam Publisher Media Services, curates and distills the more than 5,000 articles created daily by its network of some 500 sites, including Bag Snob,, Shake Your Beauty,, to name a few.