• TiVo To Catalog TV Ads Into Searchable Index For Subscribers
    The Wall Street Journal reports that TiVo is introducing a new feature that induces users to search for ads. The controversial company, which founded the digital video recorder--a service many predicted signaled the end of the 30-second TV spot-- is now partnering with several major advertising firms including Interpublic's Interpublic Group, Omnicom Group's OMD, Publicis' Starcom MediaVest Group, Dallas agency Richards Group, and Comcast Corp.'s Comcast Spotlight ad sales division, to allow its users to search for commercials centered around a specific topic. TiVo users will be able to set up a profile of products on their TV screens ...
  • Cyber Monday Kicks Off Online Holiday Shopping Season
    Happy holiday season everyone, and welcome to Cyber Monday, one of the biggest online shopping days of the year. Named for the Monday after Thanksgiving, and coming just after "Black Friday," "Cyber Monday" has become a big day because many online retailers launch major sales this week. Online shoppers also tend to begin their holiday shopping today. In fact, analysts note that most people who shop online do it at work, not at home, due to higher-speed Internet connections. According to Internet research firm comScore Networks, U.S. online holiday sales are expected to hit $20 billion this year, up 24 ...
  • The Online Travel Search Glut
    Analysts are saying that online travel search is an overcrowded market. They say that younger start-ups, in particular, have little to no chance of survival without making significant partner deals. The problem is that these sites, which all claim to lead consumers to the cheapest fares and the best hotel package deals, do not actually sell tickets or make reservations like established aggregators Expedia and Orbitz. These online meta-search sites, which present users with a composite of ticketing options from different providers, are failing to gain any traction with consumers, analysts say. Industry executives say the key to survival in ...
  • Europe Running into Similar Internet TV Problems
    At a conference in France, Internet media executives said they are finding it difficult to come up with a viable business model for broadband video on demand, which is the ability to download a movie or TV program via the Web. As in the U.S., Internet TV is a potential goldmine for European telecom and media companies, but squabbling about revenue models is hindering progress. Vivendi Universal Chief Executive Jean-Bernard Levy notes that telecoms and media companies are actually in direct competition with one another over video on demand. France was one of the first countries in Europe to adopt ...
  • Weighing In On The Dark Side Of America's Favorite Company
    The New York Times offers a composite of recent news columns and on-the-record statements from industry observers about Google conspiracy theories. Among those considered are columns appearing in London's The Register, The Washington Post, and Cnet's News.com , the point being that anti-Google sentiment is on the rise and Big Brother whispers are getting louder. The Register's column, entitled "Big Google is Much Worse Than Big Oil," asserts that Google's success is more about mesmerizing investors and consumers than providing any real value. The columnist warns us that once Google has a total monopoly on online advertising and content, the ...
  • Visa Reports Big Online Sales Increases On Thanksgiving Weekend
    DM News reports that e-commerce sales were huge for Visa on Black Friday and the day after: in all, there were 7.78 million online Visa transactions totaling $544 million over the two days, up 32 percent from last year. These figures come from Visa USA's SpendTrak report, which said that fast food sales was the only category recording a higher percent year-over-year increase in sales. On Black Friday alone, online Visa sales were $297 million, 33 percent higher than 2004. Thanksgiving Day sales were surprisingly high: up 41.4 percent to $205 million. Over the two days, Visa reported sales of ...
  • Google Base, Giant Porn Index?
    Earlier this week, a technical glitch let pornographic results seep into Google Base, Google's free index of classified listings and other user-generated content. The post-anything database allows adult content but lets users filter these results through its SafeSearch feature, which wasn't working Tuesday, according to a Google spokesperson. With the filter turned off, seemingly innocuous search terms like people's names would return sexual material. Cnet said it searched terms like "XXX" and received more than 14,000 results--a staggeringly high number for a database that's only a week old. One blogger, impressed by the amount of adult content, said Google Base ...
  • Google Testing Pay-Per-Call
    Google is now testing a new form of pay-per-call on its search results pages. When searchers see a phone icon next to a company's sponsored listing, they can enter their phone number and have Google connect them to the company for free. The system dials the search user first and then the merchant. This means that Google, in addition to having your entire search history on file, now has your phone number, too. In its FAQ, Google attempts to address privacy concerns by saying it stores phone call information for less than four months, and blocks users' numbers from advertisers. ...
  • XM Signs Yankee Shortstop As Spokesperson
    Not to be outdone by Sirius, which has received considerable press for a new celebrity line-up that includes Howard Stern and Martha Stewart, pay radio rival XM has enlisted the services of New York Yankees Shortstop Derek Jeter. Jeter will promote the satellite radio provider's baseball broadcasts and appear regularly on its baseball channel. In turn, XM has become a partner in Jeter's Turn 2 Foundation, a nonprofit promoting healthy, drug-free lifestyles for young people. The agreement comes on the heels of a media blitz being orchestrated by New York-based Sirius, XM's one and only rival in pay-for satellite radio, ...
  • Verizon Wireless Suing for Mobile Spam
    Verizon Wireless is suing an Ormond, Fla-based company for sending mobile spam to 98,000 of its customers. The wireless carrier says that Passport Holidays used illegal dialing equipment to send large numbers of text messages to its customers, telling them they had won cruises to the Bahamas. It claims further that Passport, which employs "currently unknown individuals," tried to avoid Verizon's spam filters, successfully sending about a quarter of the messages to customers with sequential phone numbers. Verizon Wireless says it is suing the Florida-based travel company not only to stamp out mobile spam but also to figure out how ...
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