• Comedy Central Brings Web Content To TV
    Comedy Central, whose parent Viacom pulled its content from YouTube, is introducing original Web content to TV. The new offerings include a half-hour series called "Web Shows," which premieres this Monday at 2 a.m. ET/PT and features a variety of content from Comedy Central's Web site Motherload, as well as an AtomFilms Webisode called "The Punk Group: Fat Girls on Bicycles." The latter marks the first collaboration between new property AtomFilms and its Viacom cousins. Comedy Central has ordered six episodes of "Web Shows," which will include animation, live-action narratives and comedy programming. The idea, says ...
  • How To Fight P2P: Join 'Em
    Where history is an immovable force, change is inevitable -- but try telling that to major media companies. Short of total Web censorship (a la China), illegal file-sharing won't go away. Companies facilitating the free exchange of files between consumers can be brought before the Supreme Court; new ones will always sprout up. While it continues to fight against piracy, Big Media is now showing signs of trying to adapt. We're not talking about doing away with DRM, , but rather smart partnerships with a new breed of P2P sting operators like ARTISTDirect's MediaDefender and Skyrider. These companies ...
  • Court Ruling: Big Search Can Refuse Ads
    The Web's major search providers won a big victory in a U.S. District Court in Wilmington, Del., on Wednesday, when Judge Joseph Farnan ruled that the Web giants could refuse to run ads from certain advertisers. Stephen Langdon, a North Carolina resident who oversees Web sites claiming to expose corruption by U.S. and Chinese government officials, sued Google for refusing to run his ads. Microsoft's MSN also ignored his ad request, and Yahoo refused because Langdon's sites weren't part of its ad network. Google cited a breach of policy in declining to run the ads; the search leader ...
  • Too Early To Talk Local Video?
    Local video advertising will soon become a reality, as the Web brings down the cost of producing video, while providing marketers with better-targeted audiences. But the effective deployment of video for local merchants could be years away. Remember, we talked about media convergence for nearly seven years before it became a reality. The same could be true with online video, especially as a jittery world market stares down the barrel of an economic correction. As an ad technique, video holds tremendous promise, but it's still only a blip in online spending, and tiny in the overall ad market. ...
  • Mob Mentality: Silicon Valley VC Firms
    Call them the Silicon Valley mob, at least that's what the news mag is calling the area's biggest venture-capital firms. The going wisdom in Silicon Valley dictates that as long as your startup operates with the triple-A business model of "Ajax, AdSense and arrogance" you don't need VC money. The three As may provide an economic base and a spirit of independence, but they don't offer an insurance policy. As with any business, things could go wrong; you can't get that kind of protection anywhere but from the area's biggest VC firms. Business 2.0 came to that ...
  • Building Is Big Business In Second Life
    Real-world real estate might be suffering, but there's a building boom happening in the virtual world Second Life -- in the commercial sector. Whether it's a marketing/advertising thing, a way to gauge word of mouth by engaging consumers, or a way to find and talk to potential recruits, building a second home in Second Life is hot with real-world companies. The boom is a good thing for companies like Electric Sheep, which specialize in constructing virtual products. Launched by a handful of people about two years, Electric Sheep now employs over 50 -- and it needs more."There's an ...
  • Piper: Online Spending To Hit $80 Billion By 2011
    Ever-bullish on Internet media, the financial-services firm Piper Jaffray now predicts that online ad spending will surge to $80 billion by 2011. Most research firms peg online ad spending at around $20 billion this year -- eMarketer, for example, expects growth to slow. The report "User Revolution" points to shifting Web habits as the catalyst for greatly increased Web consumption overall. Several factors will contribute to this, Safa Rashtchy, the research firm's managing director and senior Internet analyst said. By 2011, the firm expects the Web to almost completely assume the TV market, it anticipates Google, as the world's ...
  • Joost Founders: We're Going After Cable TV, Not YouTube
    In a past life, Niklas Zennstrom and Janus Friis made a habit out of producing disruptive technologies. Co-founders of the controversial software programs Skype, a free Web-based phone service they sold to eBay for $2.6 billion, and KaZaa, the peer-to-peer service that enabled millions of users to trade music and other media files illegally, Zennstrom and Friis have decided to play it safe with their latest creation: the Web TV service Joost. Why? "We don't want to be in a long, multiyear litigation battle," Friis said. Still in its infancy, Joost aims to take the best elements of ...
  • Over-Aggressive Filtering Snags Video Producers
    It's the online video takedown smackdown: the consumer backlash to video clips removed that appear to violate copyrights, but do not. Mere weeks into the widespread regulation of Viacom content on YouTube, producers are complaining that perfectly legitimate content is being farmed out by over-aggressive filtering from the Google video site. Among the peeved is amateur filmmaker Matt Hawes, whose video spoof of MTV's "The Real World" (a Viacom property), was removed from YouTube for alleged copyright infringement. "It was a parody of reality television in general," Hawes explains. "No one bothered to watch it." Hawes wrote emails ...
  • Apple Delays Web TV Device
    Apple has confirmed that its new Apple TV device will be delayed, although the company gives no explanation. The Web-based set-top box, code-named iTV, was officially unveiled by the computer giant at its Macworld conference on Jan. 9; it is designed to play content downloaded through Apple's iTunes media store on a TV set. How delayed? "A few weeks longer than expected" is the official word from Apple, which had expected to ship the product by now. Most guess the device will hit stores by mid-March. Why the delay? A regulatory snag is possible, meaning, ...
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