• Ratings Woes For Top Basic Cable Nets
    The top tier of basic cable networks took a hit in November with only two of the bigs -- TBS and MTV - showing any real household ratings gains in the Oct.29 to Nov. 25 period, according to a Disney ABC Cable Networks analysis of Nielsen research. Of the 15 networks in or sharing a place in the top 10 for Nielsen's November period, only six advanced, while seven were down and six were flat. While ESPN finished first with a 2.3 household average in prime time, helped by football, that is down 12% from last November. Disney Channel ...
  • Pros and Cons Of "Open" Verizon
    Perhaps the most surprising news this week is the decision by Verizon Wireless--one of the old-guard cellular carriers--to open its network and platform to third-party handset makers and software developers. From a pessimist's perspective, Verizon decided to do this because it doesn't want to make open network concessions at the upcoming 700 MHz FCC auction. Opening up now means the company would be able to say "we're already open," even though third parties would be forced to use the telecom's proprietary software development kit to create and run programs on its CDMA-based network. Other potential downers: the CDMA-based ...
  • Social Media Bubble Poised to Burst
    Bubble, bubble, toil and trouble: with the "R" word looming over the greater U.S. economy, the "B" word is once again being tied to Silicon Valley. Over the past few years, private equity and Silicon Valley VC firms have poured millions into social media startups aiming for a slice of the growing online advertising pie, but some analysts fear that to avoid another bubble burst, that pie has to be big. Their concern: investors over-estimating its size. Long-time industry analyst Jim Nail, now chief strategy officer of Web analytics firm Cymphony, agrees. Nail worries that advertisers have placed ...
  • Imagine: MySpace As Ad Network
    Fox Interactive Media, News Corp.'s Internet division that oversees the social network MySpace, announced a plan to sell advertising across its online network with the ultimate goal of allowing other media companies to join. "We're well down the path in terms of discussions with some of the other News Corp properties to do ad serving," FIM CEO Ross Levinsohn said. "Ultimately, we'll take the company off network and become an ad network for assets outside of the News Corporation empire." The plan could take effect as early as the first half 2008. In effect, News Corp. wants ...
  • A Micro-Yahoo Google Competitor In 3 Easy Steps
    As a follow-up to his post about why perennial Google chaser Microsoft might have to buy Yahoo, Silicon Alley Insider's Henry Blodget explores how such a deal might unfold--and why it would be bad for Yahoo. This is mostly because Microsoft's online division "will always play second-fiddle to the Windows and Office monopolies," meaning that any strategy for the combined company would deign to preserve those monopolies. This is why he says Microsoft has "failed so miserably online for the past 12 years: internal politics and competing priorities." Microsoft's failure to efficiently evolve its software business is one ...
  • Google Goes Green
    Proof that green really is the new black: Google, one of the world's most recognizable companies, pledged to spend hundreds of millions on discovering, creating and using renewable sources of energy. The Web giant's extensive plans include investing in clean technology startups as well as putting tens of millions toward renewable energy research and development. The investment could potentially be a huge money saver for Google, whose data centers consume massive amounts of electricity. The search giant wants to promote broad adoption of renewable energy sources by selling the electricity it produces or licensing the technology. Google founders Sergey ...
  • Google To Launch Service That Stores Users' Data
    In an effort to turn up the heat with its battle with Microsoft, Google plans to launch a service that lets users store on its computers essentially all of the files they might keep on their personal-computer hard drives: word-processing documents, digital music, video clips and images. Some storage space would be available for free and users would pay for additional room. Google will likely face matters such as privacy matters and copyright issues before this service takes flight. Google's market power and focus on providing easy-to-use services make it likely to have an impact. The company wants to ...
  • Facebook, ABC News Forge Election Pact
    Facebook has teamed with ABC News to launch a new tool that will facilitate political debate coverage on the social-network site for the '08 election. Via the new "U.S. Politics" application, Facebook's user base can form debate groups to express opinions about the presidential race. To supplement these discussion, ABC News political content will be available on the site for the duration of the campaign, including video footage and dispatches from top political correspondents.
  • NBC Offers Interactive Ads
    NBC Universal will begin offering nteractive advertising services and subscribe to a ratings service from TiVo, the companies said on Tuesday. The agreement covers GE's 14 networks -- including NBC, Telemundo and Bravo -- as well as its 10 NBC-owned TV stations. Advertisers that buy television commercials on those networks and television stations will have the option of adding an interactive component to those spots.
  • British TV Rivals Join For Online Venture
    British TV networks the BBC, ITV and Channel 4 will launch a new joint online TV on-demand service that will provide a one-stop shop of content from all channels. The new service launches in 2008 and will include free downloads, streaming, show rental and purchase via the Internet, with possible future expansion onto other platforms. Shows available will include locally produced content and possibly U.S. and other non-British content. The significance of the service has been described by the BBC as "historic." The deal is akin to CBS, ABC, NBC and Fox coming together for a joint portal.
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