The New York Times is launching the "first installable third-party app that's been made available to [Google] Glass owners," writes Seth Rosenblatt. "Features include breaking-news alerts and hourly news updates, and you can navigate stories and photos by tilting your head up."
Here's a first: ABC News' Social Soundtracker, launching on Saturday, aims to translate "viewer sentiment into sound," simulating the sense that you're watching TV with others, like the laugh tracks of old. Viewers hit a button that represents how they're feeling during a certain show, and "if there’s a critical mass behind a certain type of emotion, then the Social Soundtracker will translate that emotion into sounds like applause or laughter," writes Anthony Ha. According to Maya Baratz, ABC News’ head of new products, it’s a “very beta” product, which could look “very different a year from now.”
SpinMedia has bought Vibe, reuniting two former print magazines – Spin and Vibe – which last had the same parentage over a decade ago. SpinMedia was spun out of Buzz Media, which bought Spin magazine last summer and promptly shut down its print version. The new owners of Vibe say its print edition will probably also be phased out soon. SpinMedia’s online properties now include Vibe, Vibevixen, Spin Celebuzz, Idolator and JustJared.
To increase enrollment, Peru’s University of Engineering and Technology in Lima teamed up with the Mayo Publicidad ad agency to erect a billboard that not only solicits more students – but uses the school’s know-how to produce potable water out of humid air for the arid area. The billboard went up last December at a cost of $1,200. Since then, the school has since seen a 28% increase in enrollment – while the ad had produced 2,500 gallons of water by March. Other efforts to create water out of the air’s humidity have proven costly, said this article, so ad-funded …
How did Bravo build its Facebook fan base up to be the most loyal of any TV brand's? For one, "91 percent of Bravo viewers say the network offers an outlet to voice their opinions and thoughts on Bravo and its shows, again ranking first among its competitors" in a LoudDoor/Bravo study, writes Natan Edelsburg.
Next up in Amazon's master plot to take over the media world: a TV set-top box. "The e-commerce giant is planning to introduce a device this fall dedicated to streaming video over the Internet and into its customers’ living rooms, according to three people familiar with the project who aren’t authorized to discuss it," writes Brad Stone.
DirecTV Voice, just launched by the satellite TV company, allows viewers to access TV content through a voiced query using their iPhones. "It's unquestionably easier than browsing through a giant channel guide, but it's still not a great aimless-surfing tool," writes David Pierce. Next up: "a 'very public beta' when it's first released this summer for iOS and Android."
The New York Times is no longer restricting non-subscriber access to its videos -- "part of a plan by the Times to increase its overall video investment and to develop video franchises around its writers and columns," writes Jeff John Roberts. "The Times’ decision to offer unlimited video is intriguing because it will test the paper’s ability to master the format, but also because it contrasts with the company’s recent efforts to make its paywall less porous" by blocking ways readers have found to get around the 10-free-article limit.
For the first time in almost a decade, Fox News Channel had more viewers than any other cable network last week, due to its coverage of the Boston bombings. "Excluding election coverage last year, the last time Fox News was in the top position was August 2005, when Hurricane Katrina hit the Gulf Coast," writes Dominic Patten.
Meredith’s Better Homes and Gardens is on track to become a major e-commerce player, writes Internet Retailer editor Allison Enright. More than 500,000 products are now available for sale through BHG.com’s “Shop” section. They include a mix of items recommended or featured in the magazine, plus other products from retailers and brands found in the magazine’s pages. BH&G gets revenues via both a per-click fee and a per-sale share. Those numbers are unknown, but the average sales price is said to be $125. Enright notes that while many other magazines like Lucky, Esquire, and Harper’s Bazaar have also …