• Why Big Fish Are Eyeing Napster
    Napster, Inc. the former poster-child for online piracy, is now one of the Web's biggest legitimate online music services. But, three years after taking the legal route, it's still not making any money. Now it's up for sale. Surprisingly, the service is attracting a swarm of investors. Wall Street expects the company to lose $1.03 per share for the year ending March 2007, and $0.83 cents per share in fiscal 2008. And yet, so far, the stock is up 25 percent this year. What gives? Does anybody really think it can turn Napster into a legitimate iTunes competitor? It's ...
  • Gather.com: MySpace For Public Radio Grownups
    Public radio thought of social networking long before MySpace's Chris DeWolfe and Tom Anderson. Bill King, president of American Public Media Group, one of the largest producers and distributors of public radio programming, says that in April 2000, he and a few Silicon Valley VCs came together to develop a social network based on the common interests of public radio's listeners. Then the Nasdaq crashed. Five years later, King's idea was reborn: Gather.com, a social network for over-35s, who are highly educated and interested in politics and culture, has been live now for about a year. The idea is ...
  • Next Trend in Blogging: Privacy
    The next big trend in blogging, and perhaps the next big trend in communications services, is what you allow people to see. The online platform for big mouths and know-it-alls is now taking a turn to focus on private conversations. Just yesterday, Six Apart Ltd., a supplier of software used to publish blogs, unveiled a new blog-writing tool called Vox, that allows bloggers to publish personal text, photos, audio or video--and control who has access to viewing it. "Not everything has to be published for public consumption," said Mena Trott, co-founder of Six Apart. Vox blogs have ...
  • Survey: One in 10 Watch Online TV
    According to a new survey, one in 10 online consumers in the U.S. now watches television online, a remarkable statistic when you consider that high-speed Internet access really only began to penetrate the U.S. market five years ago. The Conference Board's Consumer Internet Barometer survey of 10,000 households across the country finds that about one-third of households that view TV content online contain multiple viewers. Other notable habits: more than two-thirds of online consumers log on daily for entertainment purposes, and 16% watch entertainment online several times a week. Sixty-two percent of online TV viewers watch video broadcasts at ...
  • Gaming For The Broadband Era
    A new gaming company called Trion is aiming to develop the next "World of Warcraft" on steroids. For those who aren't familiar with Blizzard Entertainment's massively multiplayer online role-playing game (MMORPG), some 7 million gamers around the world pay around $15 per month to play an online game in a virtual world. Players create their own fantastical character, and can choose to do anything--competing with others in quests across the virtual world or just maintaining a shop and selling items and upgrades. It's a serious money-maker for Blizzard, because the use of a single game engine turns out to ...
  • Digg.com In Acquisition Talks
    If Michael Arrington says it's so, it really might be. The man who broke the Google-YouTube news is now saying San Francisco startup Digg.com is holding acquisition discussions with a number of companies, including News Corp. Arrington is quick to point out that these are rumors--and rumor has it that Kevin Rose and company want at least $150 million for the community article tagging site, in which users tag or "digg" articles they deem awesome enough to be read by everyone worldwide. The idea is to let the people tell you which news is best, in a number of ...
  • History Says Google's Dominance Won't Last
    If you take a look at the history of media, Google's dominance isn't so extraordinary. Think TV. NBC, which along with CBS controlled 85% of the airwaves, was ordered by the Federal Communications Commission to sell one of its two broadcast networks, which became ABC. After that, the three networks reigned until News Corp. came along with Fox. Then cable made it possible for more players to enter the TV game. And of course, earlier this decade, cable surpassed broadcast in both ad revenue and prime-time ratings. Google's "dominance" is estimated to be 25 percent of total online ad ...
  • Report: The Black And White Is Going Red All Over
    The online ad business isn't everything newspaper publishers want it to be. A new Merrill Lynch report indicates that many print outfits will fall by the wayside, as the world gets more of its news on the Web. "Even if the rapid [online] growth continues for the next few years, we don't see online representing over 50% of newspaper ad revenues for at least a couple of decades, suggesting that industry profit could stay flat for the foreseeable future," analyst Lauren Rich Fine wrote in a research note. Fine projected that online revenue growth will stay in the ...
  • Brand-Building Through The Blog Community
    Without a doubt, community-building has become the brand strategy of the year. Thanks to the MySpace revolution, traditional media companies, which used to be terrified of leaving their brands vulnerable to scrutiny, are now letting users interact with the writers and producers of their favorite shows. For example, ABC's hit show "Grey's Anatomy" now has a hit blog, "Grey Matter," where writers interact with their hardcore fans. In a recent post, Allan Heinberg, a new writer for the series this season, wrote to fans: "...the way you write about the show, debate it, love and/or hate it carries an ...
  • MySpace, Facebook Lose Traffic, Users
    Both MySpace and Facebook, the Web's largest social networks, lost traffic in September, according to data from Web measurement service Nielsen//NetRatings. The total number of unique visitors to MySpace fell 4% to 47.2 million from 49.2 million in August--while Facebook's traffic fell three times harder to 7.8 million from 8.9 million, or 12%. Nielsen analyst Charles Buchwalter attributes the slowdown in traffic to seasonality, saying both sites lost visitors as students went back to school last year. Isn't Facebook supposed to be for students? Facebook countered by claiming that the total number of registered users rose 9%, and ...
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