• How To Use YouTube: Follow Amex's Lead
    Chad Hurley and Steve Chen, co-founders of YouTube, have resisted the temptation to show ads on the viral video site as long as possible. Somewhat like Google, YouTube's strategy has been to amass traffic and usage (it draws 34 million unique visitors in a month and pumps out over 100 million videos each day) first, and worry about making money later. Google, of course, executed this plan perfectly--but for YouTube, later is now. But before YouTube can start wooing advertisers, it has to persuade copyright holders, whose properties are ripped off daily, that YouTube is actually a great promotional ...
  • MySpace Rivals Gaining Steam
    Despite our fascination with MySpace, YouTube and Facebook (barely anyone mentions Google in the news anymore), their young, fickle core user base could evaporate as easily as any of the millions of fads that have fallen by the wayside. That isn't to say that social networking will die or online video will no longer be interesting to consumers in a few years, but there's nothing to keep users tied to a user-generated content site. Conversely, Google's superior technology keeps people coming back to the site to find things on the Web; users can create content and community anywhere where ...
  • Competition, Expansion Problems Plague Skype
    Voice over IP provider Skype, an eBay entity, is having mobility problems. In an interview with a Finnish newspaper, Skype CEO Niklass Zennstrom was quoted as saying the company is having real problems making Skype service available on cell phones. It's been trying to expand its VoIP service onto mobile phones for two years now, yet there is no timetable for when service will be available. That's bad news for the Web's most-popular VoIP service provider, especially since rival Jajah just released a new software program this week that lets mobile users make inexpensive calls using its PC-to-phone technology. Over ...
  • Social Disaster Averted At Facebook
    A Mediaweek blunder threatened to start another social revolution at Facebook this week--but thankfully, several follow-up stories discounted the report's potentially detrimental claims. Mediaweek said Facebook would soon add "sponsored stories" or banner ads to the news feeds on users' front pages. Privacy concerns over the personal information contained in those news feeds caused an uproar among Facebook's members a few weeks ago. The additional advertisements are not the troubling thing, but the trade magazine said that once a user clicked on an ad or a "sponsored story," that person's friends would then be notified of their action and given ...
  • MySpace Valued At $15 Billion
    MySpace, the social networking phenomenon that News Corp. purchased last year for $580 million, could be worth $15 billion in a few years' time, according to RBC Capital analyst Jordan Rohan. But note--that's in terms of the added value the News Corp. site will have created for shareholders. "$15 billion in a few years? It is possible," Rohan wrote in a research note to clients after coming away from a meeting with Fox Interactive, News Corp.'s online unit. Rohan said "media investors may not fully appreciate what has already been done with MySpace or what may lie ahead." Rohan later ...
  • DSL Providers Abandoning Rural Areas
    Believe it or not, you can't get high-speed Internet access in many areas across the country. Several small businesses in Northeast Vermont say productivity is suffering due to lumbering dial-up connections. A pair of dairy farmers who manage their payroll and other aspects of their business online say they can only reliably log on at around 4 a.m., a time when less bandwidth is being used. Instead of looking to upgrade its network in this remote area, Verizon, the local phone company, is looking to sell the 1.6 million phone lines it controls in Vermont. The move to sell ...
  • Disney Shuts Down Mobile ESPN
    Mobile ESPN is the interactive world's other big closing of the day. The cell phone startup, backed by the Walt Disney Co., is closing down operations, hoping to reinvent itself as a content partner of bigger wireless carriers. The company had only been around since the Super Bowl, but was never able to attract enough demand to warrant the added cost per month of sports content. Mobile ESPN operated through an agreement with Sprint Nextel Corp., which it paid for wholesale access to the carrier's network, reselling a premium sports service to its subscribers. The company was one of many ...
  • Warner Bros. Shuts Down Online Unit
    It's a day of closings for the interactive units of certain media properties. Warner Bros., in an effort to slash its costs, is shutting down its online division, among the first ventures backed by a major studio to create original content on the Web. Warner Bros. Online is the latest victim of cost-cutting measures begun by the studio one year ago. As a result, 19 employees from its online unit will be laid off, and 40 people will be moved over to the studio's Digital Distribution units, or into other groups dedicated to emerging technologies. President Kevin Tsujihara tried to ...
  • Cable Companies Stave Off Web Video Threat
    Sure, it's all about video these days--but what about Internet TV? No one is really watching a lot of TV content on the Web yet, but cable and telecom companies, Web portals, movie studios, even electronics providers are taking steps toward offering TV on the Web. Will consumers cut back on their cable and satellite-TV subscriptions as Apple Computer's iTunes, News Corp.'s MySpace and AOL's In2TV ramp up their online offerings? Cable companies are responding to the ITV movement by bulking up on video on demand, putting more content online and giving advertisers better targeting services. A recent report from ...
  • Revised Online Video Hierarchy: MySpace No. 1
    It turns out YouTube isn't the No. 1 video site on the Web after all, according to the most recent comScore figures, which now factor in third-party video providers. And maybe it never was. That honor goes to MySpace, News Corp.'s massive social-networking web within the Web, whose 37.4 million unique users collectively watched 1.4 billion videos in July. That size probably merits its own new paragraph, but we don't do those here. Any guesses for No. 2? No, not YouTube. Not Google Video, either. Yahoo, which had more total unique streamers than MySpace, actually came in second with 812 ...
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