Microsoft spent $70 million to buy video search provider VideoSurf to add more information when users search its Xbox Live platform, "providing more granular data about what’s happening on screen than traditional search technology," writes Ryan Lawler. That's important, as Microsoft is "aggressively adding new content sources to Xbox Live, bringing in video content from cable providers and TV networks."
And another OWN exec leaves the struggling network. This time it's SVP programming and development Rod Aissa, set to join OWN rival Oxygen as head of programming. This is the first such defection since Oprah Winfrey herself took over as CEO in July, notes Nellie Andreeva.
eBay moves into TV commerce with a mobile app launched yesterday that will allow TV viewers to buy products they're watching on TV -- like a dress worn by Christina Hendricks on "Mad Men," say. However, while the technology is already there, it seems eBay must do more relationship-building before the ecommerce giant can provide a sizable inventory of merchandise. "Getting cooperation from Hollywood may be the biggest challenge for eBay," writes Danielle Kucera. "To succeed in the TV commerce market, it will need access to wardrobe and prop data, said Ken Sena, an analyst at Evercore Partners Inc.
Here's a man bites dog story, the opposite of many of today's ATN items about about digital overtaking print: Conde Nast's Style.com just "reverse-published a glossy magazine, Style.com/Print," writes Lucia Moses. The 218-page issue dissects the spring fashion shows. "It’s absolutely for fashion insiders, and I don’t necessarily mean people in the fashion industry... It’s really for those people who are absolutely obsessed with fashion," notes Style.com editor Dirk Standen in this Q&A.
In October, the 154-year-old print monthly Atlantic tracked a milestone: its digital/print split of advertising revenue shifted, with digital for the first time having a slightly larger percentage (51) than print (49). "For any magazine publisher to take in the bulk of its advertising revenue from online sources is incredibly rare," writes Jeremy W. Peters. "Publishing industry executives said they were not aware of any examples of a brand as prominent as the Atlantic doing so." Peters then discusses the Atlantic's evolution "from a magazine publisher to a multimedia company."
Are you a media buyer who likes receiving freebies like "manis/pedis" from salespeople? Hmmm... your secret may be out on the site Sellercrowd.com, created so digital salespeople can quietly trade info on media buyers. Clients are banned, and kept out through the use of LinkedIn profiles to vigorously vet users' identity -- though many media buyers are so intrigued they keep trying to get in, notes site founder Clayton Gran. "Gran is hoping to eventually roll the site out to all kinds of different sales people, in any industry where there is an increasing number of sellers but a static …
Grands, Rapids, Mich.-based Booth Newspapers, which is transitioning to a much more digitally centered news service, MLive Media Group, is laying off more than 550 employees at eight of its companies, including such newspapers as the Kalamazoo Gazette and The Saginaw News. Those employees are also being urged to apply for new jobs at MLive Media Group, which will handle news and advertising, and the recently created Advance Central Services Michigan, which will handle production, distribution and human resources duties. The new companies recently posted info about 200 new positions, including sales, editing and reporting jobs.
The new editor in chief of AMI's Muscle & Fitness Hers, Mona Muresan, is "a Romanian beauty [and] competitive bodybuilder" who "learned English working in a bar and talking to people,” and says she picked up editing skills "hanging out with editors for five or six years," according to this piece by Keith Kelly. Hmm.... Looks like she's going to be the pub's figurehead -- or, as a company spokesperson says, “There are 12 professional editors there. She will be the face and the spokesperson representing the magazine.”
Behind-the-scenes dish here about all the mishegoss at Newsweek, which earlier this month marked the one-year anniversary of the merger between the Daily Beast and Newsweek, and Tina Brown's taking on the post of editor The piece includes many anonymous quotes about the unstable atmosphere and all the staff defections. Here's a typical one: “'There was never a discussion at any point about what Newsweek was going to be after she took it over,' said a Newsweek source. 'Was it going to be Tina’s New Yorker? Was it going to be Mark Whitaker’s Newsweek? Was it going to be The …
Dennis Publishing's new iPad app for The Week magazine went live today. It will be free for four weeks, sponsored by advertiser Rolex. After that, non print- subscribers will have to pay £2.99 (about $4.75) per issue or £24.99 (around $40) per quarter. Subscribers will get the app for free for 12 weeks and will then be able to upgrade to a print/app subscription priced at what the mag calls a "nominal increment."