• EA Signs Dynamic Ad Deal
    Electronic Arts, the world's largest publisher of video games, is taking its first big steps in the online ad business. EA has struck deals with in-game advertising providers Massive Inc., a Microsoft subsidiary, and privately held IGA Worldwide. The companies will provide in-game ads for a series of upcoming games. IGA will handle in-game placements for a new game called "Battlefield 2142" and two others, while rival Massive begins its EA partnership with the latest "Need for Speed" title, to be followed by three others. Both confirmed games come out mid- to-late October. Financial terms of the deals were not ...
  • New York Times Blocks British Users From Terror Story
    Earlier this week, The New York Times admitted that it had blocked British Internet users from seeing a story on the investigation into a suspected plot to blow up airliners traveling between Britain and the United States. Why? British courts are required to punish media companies for publishing material that judges say could influence jurors and prevent subjects from receiving a fair trial. It's interesting to think that the Times, an American publication, was worried about being charged with a violation of British law. These are the blurry lines we deal with on the Web today: It's almost impossible to ...
  • Web Talent Shortage, Industry Faces Slowdown
    Where have all the cowboys gone? It's been reported before, but if FT says it's so, it must be a crisis. There's a dearth of experienced talent in Web advertising, a reality that could cool the momentum of Internet ad growth. Ad agencies report a need for more workers who understand how to create, sell and measure Internet ads. The problem, much like the late 1990s, is that there is no ready pool of experienced staff because online media changes at such a rapid pace. The explosion of consumer-generated media is a good example--social networking and video-sharing sites were little ...
  • Brand Mascots Have MySpace Habit
    By all accounts, brand mascots should have a profile page on MySpace. And marketers should deploy their most creative people to come up with something kitschy and fresh to put on it. Wendy's mascot "Smart," for example, has more than 81,000 friends who've linked to his page and posted notes that say "I luv u." Rival Burger King also has a page for its "king." Columbia Pictures posted a profile for Will Ferrell's character "Ricky Bobby," the fictional NASCAR racer from the movie "Talladega Nights." You get the idea. But these profile pages, unlike user profile pages, don't come free ...
  • Under Pressure, Verizon Scraps Plans For DSL Surcharge
    Verizon Communications is scrapping plans to tack on an Internet surcharge for some of its broadband subscribers after pressure from consumer groups and regulators. The decision follows a similar one made by Bell South Corp.--highlighting the sensitivity of major U.S. telecoms to such pressure, as well as an increasingly competitive broadband market. It also raises questions about whether major telecoms would back down from their plan to roll out a two-tiered Internet service to Web publishers. While not directly a public-surcharge, so-called "Net Neutrality" proponents argue that charging Web publishers for greater bandwidth usage would ultimately trickle down to the ...
  • Store Sellers Biggest Losers In eBay Deals
    eBay's store sellers are one of the company's most important assets. They help create the eBay marketplace, bring in a huge chunk of the auctioneer's revenues, and are its most loyal users. (Indeed, they may sell items on eBay for a living.) So it would behoove eBay to treat them well, but that's not what's happening. At the beginning of last year, eBay raised final-value fees for store inventory, a move that caused an uproar in the storefront community. Then eBay tried to appease them by promising more visibility, services to help manage products, and higher referral fees. Finally, eBay ...
  • Engineer Uses YouTube to Highlight Security Flaws
    What do you do when you're privy to sensitive information you think is important, but no one around you is listening? That's right--make a video and put it on YouTube. That's what Lockheed Martin engineer Michael De Kort did. His video reveals what he thinks are startling security flaws in a new fleet of U.S. Coast Guard patrol boats. "It may be very hard for you to believe that our government and the largest defense contractor in the world [are] capable of such alarming incompetence and can make ethical compromises as glaring as what I am going to describe," the ...
  • CNET Jumps Into Online Video
    An already oversaturated online video market is about to add one more late player. CNET Networks, which owns News.com, Gamespot and MP3.com among others, says it will bring online video to its photo-sharing service Webshots. The photo site contains some 420 million different photographs, but page views have dipped at Webshots since last year amid competition from Yahoo's Flickr, News Corp.'s MySpace, and Facebook. CNET's photo-sharing service also received a little bit of a facelift. The design has been improved, navigation is easier, images are clearer, there are more channels, and registered users now receive more storage capacity. However, the ...
  • Google CEO Appointed To Apple Computer's Board
    Eric Schmidt, Google's chief executive, has been newly named to Apple Computer's board of directors--a move that binds the two tech giants closer together and further away from Bill Gates and Microsoft. Most board appointments in the tech world aren't worth mentioning. This one is because it could have massive implications for Internet commerce. First, Apple CEO Steve Jobs and Google's Schmidt are two of the most high-profile executives in business today. Second, Jobs' Disney ties also run deep, as the Apple chief sits on that board too, moonlighting as the CEO of new Disney unit Pixar. Thus, a Google-Apple ...
  • Viacom, MTV Strike Out On Web
    The "I want my MTV" days are long gone. That doesn't mean that MTV Networks is sinking--it's just that teenagers have more options these days than watching a single cable channel geared to their interests. MTV still tries to be everywhere kids are these days--it just hasn't worked. After Viacom and the rest of the world found out that kids are spending more of their time online, MTV followed--opening "MTV Overdrive," a free video Web site featuring music videos, news and MTV programming. But kids didn't bite this time. Overdrive averages less than 4 million unique users per month, compared ...
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