Not everyone is sharing in the enthusiasm over Ezra Klein’s decision to launch a new online property under Vox Media. “The Web -- so elemental in making Ezra Klein a big and sudden success -- is also his biggest threat,” Jack Shafer opines on Reuters.com. “Had Klein housed his new operation in a place like ESPN, where Nate Silver’s FiveThirtyEight now resides, I would be expressing more optimism about his future,” he adds. “ESPN occupies the safest moat in all of media, and as long as Silver anchors his enterprise in its waters, he will be safe.”
Some videogame companies were paying to be featured in Conan O'Brien's "Clueless Gamer" reviews during his TBS late-night talk show, but that fact was not disclosed to the audience because the segments "are not serious reviews nor endorsements — they are strictly comedic sketches,” according to a "Conan" spokesperson questioned by Eric Johnson. In this post, Johnson delves into the ramifications of this finding, concluding that because TBS is owned by Time Warner Inc, which is not a cable operator per se, "it’s not clear how the FCC could take action, even if it got a complaint."
"The world needs a new way of publishing and distributing longform journalism," writes Hamish McKenzie. He suggests that "publishers need to shift their emphasis to individual story units," with stories themselves becoming "platforms. Once the story is realized as the central force for reader attention, you can build an experience around it. That experience might include ads, but it might also include software applications, shopping opportunities, financial transactions, and donations."
The New York Post’s Grade-A gossip has never been more popular online. In fact, "[It] was a record month for nypost.com and pagesix.com," the Post’s publisher Jesse Angelo told staff in a new memo obtained by Capital. “We saw 14.4 million unique users across desktop and mobile for the month -- up from the previous record of 12.1 million.” The revelation was included in Angelo’s announcement that he is bringing on digital strategist David Brinker as president of the newspaper.
Representing a real coup for Vox Media, the publisher of SB Nation and The Verge is bringing on The Washington Post wunderkind Ezra Klein to launch a new title. David Carr sees the move as a “parable of Old Media cluelessness -- allowing a journalism asset to escape who will come back to haunt them.” After years of second-class citizenship, Carr suggests that pure digital media companies like Vox are finally earning the respect of the media establishment.
Ads for Sunday's Grammys telecast sold for a record high of almost $1 million for a 30-second spot. (OK, that sounds low compared to the $4 million average for a Super Bowl spot -- but still, not exactly chicken feed.) "CBS sold 90% of the ad inventory during its upfront marketplace over the summer to advertisers for an average of $800,000 to $850,000, according to five executives familiar with this year’s buying market," writes Andrew Hampp.
A Kantar Media report estimates overall ad sales revenue from the Sochi Olympics could add up to a record $1.05 billion, but several factors need to pan out first. First off, "that as many as 11,000 30-second units [are] carved out of the Sochi coverage," writes Anthony Crupi. Current sales numbers? NBC recently "said that it has sold north of $800 million in Olympic ads, adding that it will hold back an undisclosed percentage of available inventory as a hedge against make-goods."
While the tech world awaits word of an actual Apple television set, the company is reportedly readying a new Apple TV set-top-box. “We are led to believe that the new device, which is said to be a set-top box rather than a full-fledged TV set, will likely be introduced in the first half of 2014,” 9To5Mac reports. “Our sources previously indicated that Apple is experimenting with new input methods for TV-related products, such as motion controls, but it is unclear if that Kinect-like interface is in the cards for this year’s Apple TV product.”
Partnering with Adobe, USA Today is "adding a layer of analysis" to its Super Bowl Ad Meter program, created in 1989 "to gauge consumers’ responses to TV’s most expensive ads," writes Lucia Moses. This year, results from the viewer voting pool "will be sliced and diced by characteristics including gender, age, geography and household income," writes Moses.
Super Bowl XLVIII will be the first such game to be streamed through an app, available as a mobile feature of FoxSportsGo.com. "Like prior Super Bowl streaming efforts by NBC and CBS, Fox will run separate commercials during the live game stream while also offering digital replays of the televised ads," writes Eric Fisher. "Network officials declined to specify ad rates for the digital ads."