• Report Sees Little Future For YouTube
    It has become a popular debate among media observers: is viral video sensation YouTube just a flash in the pan? Research firm IDC seems to think so. Analyst Josh Martin issued a report Thursday affirming that YouTube will continue to struggle, extracting profits from its video sharing business--primarily because its massive user-base has grown accustomed to not paying anything, and not being forced to view ads either. Any moves by the company in either direction could result in a user backlash, Martin said. "In order to begin addressing its issues, YouTube must implement myriad changes," he wrote in his report. ...
  • Media Companies Ask: Build Or Buy?
    Perhaps the crucial question facing big media firms today as they transform their businesses is whether to build or buy digital media properties. Viacom CFO Michael Dolan discussed the strategy at the Convergence 2.0 Conference, hosted by The Deal--saying his company takes a multi-layered approach, giving first priority to internal projects, focusing on acquiring assets second, and returning money to shareholders third. The return on internal projects is "phenomenal," he said. MTV Networks Overdrive is an example of how the company built instead of bought: the broadband product was built "on a shoestring" budget of $5 million. Other speakers noted ...
  • German Professors Fear Google Power
    In Germany, 70 percent of those looking for information online use Google. That's got a few European media experts worried that the search giant might come to abuse its power by manipulating results, which is ridiculous if you believe Google stands by its user-centric search ethos and "don't be evil" corporate mantra. The big three make up 90 percent of German searches--a troubling sign, says Marcel Machill, a journalism professor at the Leipzig and Dortmund universities in Germany. "In the classic media sector this kind of concentration would be unthinkable," he said Tuesday, after a two-day conference in Berlin. "It ...
  • Report: Google Unaffected By Telecom Pricing System
    The prospect of telecom companies charging Web companies for faster content delivery over their pipes will not significantly affect Google, says a new report from Cowen and Company. Arnie Berman, a Cowen analyst, said Google investors need not fear, because Google's core business--Web search--doesn't command a meaningful amount of bandwidth. However, a song downloaded from iTunes consumes 150 to 200 times the bandwidth of a Google search, while a "Lost" episode consumes about 9,000 times more than a Google search, he said. That may be, but if you thought about it, Google probably performs more than 200 times as many ...
  • Comcast, Time Warner Cable Enter Online Video Fray
    To the chagrin of startups and Web entertainment companies across the country, Time Warner Cable and Comcast Corp. today announced their entrance into the world of online video. Comcast--the biggest of the them all--is spending millions on new technology and accumulating broadband rights to a wide variety of movies, TV programs, and other video stuff it plans to make available on its Web site. Ultimately, the telecom monster wants people to route all its Web-based content to TV sets, expanding its customers' television options. Comcast would also make its content available to anyone, not just its own high-speed subscribers. However, ...
  • Games Drive Awareness For Global Conflict
    Educators wanting to teach young adults about global problems such as world hunger and poverty are turning to video games in an attempt to reach them on their turf. The idea is to use video games to educate, but also to get them to think critically about issues like Middle East peace and surviving war-torn regions like the Sudan. "It's the next generation of activism," said Stephen Friedman, a GM at mtvU, a television network owned by MTV Networks that directs its content at college students. The company created a grant program encouraging educational games. "Given this generation lives online, ...
  • Report: Expect Strong Q2 From Google
    It may be a rocky time for Net stocks, but Google's still got room to grow, investment firm Lehman Brothers said in a report. Analyst Douglas Anmuth gave the Web firm an "overweight" rating and a price target of $530, which at its current price of 407.06 offers an attractive risk-reward. Why so strong? Lehman expects Google to beat second-quarter estimates again on strong search industry fundamentals--including continued market share gains and further improvements to its search monetization model, the analyst said. According to comScore, which monitors Web traffic, search volume this quarter is up a surprising 23 percent quarter-over-quarter. ...
  • Net Neutrality Amendment Fails
    The latest "Net Neutrality" proposal failed in Washington yesterday, the Washington Post reports. The Senate Commerce, Science and Transportation Committee voted along party lines and was split 11-11, signaling that the so-called "Fight for the Internet's Future" has a long way to go. The House, meanwhile, had passed its own telecom bill earlier in the month, which included weaker net-neutrality language requiring FCC oversight. The Post points out that there's no evidence that telecom companies plan to charge Web site operators for faster delivery of their content to consumers, but that's precisely what net neutrality supporters fear will happen. Opponents ...
  • World Cup Brings Record Web Traffic
    As the World Cup continues on toward its conclusion next Sunday, Web traffic at World Cup-related sites is surging. On June 22, the final day of group play for the USA's Groups E and Brazil's Group F, the Yahoo-hosted FIFA World Cup site received a record 5.3 million unique visitors from more than 35 different countries, according to measurement firm comScore. AOL and MSN also recorded traffic spikes on that day. While Italy played the Czech Republic, traffic to Yahoo's Italian Web pages increased from an average 6 million on regular tournament days to more than 20 million. As Japan ...
  • MySpace, Marketing Machine
    You'd think Rupert Murdoch is MySpace's Chief Publicity Officer, granting one lengthy sit-down interview after the next, piping on and on about MySpace, a company that doesn't even represent 1 percent of News Corporation's massive media fortune, and the tremendous value of social networks. Not only that, but given what he says during these lengthy sit-down interviews--that technology is shifting power away from editors, publishers, the establishment, the media elite, etc.--you wouldn't think he's talking about businesses he actually owns and people he actually employs. And he's all-smiles while prognosticating the downfall of traditional media, on which 99 percent of ...
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