Some on Wall Street and in Hollywood wonder: Can Sumner Redstone afford not to reunite Viacom and CBS? CBS' core television and radio may not be able to generate new digital revenues fast enough to offset an inevitable revenue fall in 2009.
The uproar over suggestive photos of "Hannah Montana" star Miley Cyrus in Vanity Fair underscores the Walt Disney Co.'s ongoing struggle and success with the lucrative tween audience.
If mastering consumer behavior means financial prosperity in the digital age, then marketers and media companies may need to learn a new language. Especially if they hope to reach the lucrative youth demo.
What does Rupert Murdoch know that everyone else is missing? That question is vexing News Corp. investors, news purists and media peers.
What began as an enterprising interface between politics and new media this election year has collapsed into a more pedestrian relationship. There is a stubborn disconnect between the presidential primary election process now unfolding across the media spectrum and the electorate's wild enthusiasm for all things interactive. The issues and sentiments flooding chat rooms, blogs, social networks and alternative Web news sites run parallel to--rather than in concert with--mainstream media coverage.
The long tail could be online advertising's undoing. A recessionary economy and intense confusion over ad networks will make it difficult to assess their effectiveness in attracting advertising support for the Web. There seems to be too much of everything, from online ad inventory and Web content, to ad networks and other aggregators. The law of large numbers dictates an eventual shakeout.
Paramount's decision to channel its movies into a new premium TV, VOD and online joint venture rather than continue supplying CBS' Showtime is more a survival tactic than a case of sibling rivalry. The creation of the unnamed premium service represents a devastating blow to CBS, whose pure broadcasting fortunes have been failing. Showtime has succeeded in large part with its own original television production ("Dexter" and syndicated gems like "The Sopranos"), but also pays as much as $400 million annually for outside studio film rights.
It's time to hose the Wall Street and Silicon Valley exuberance over Google's quarterly earnings and regained stock-price momentum. Soon, they will be gnashing their teeth over how to assign valuations to Google's ambitious cloud computing endeavors and its reinvention of media ad models. Google's cyberfollies have only just begun.
Social networks and search engines may both deliver online video referrals (according to Hitwise), but they remain worlds apart in their user monetization--the critical economic stumbling block for the bulging social food chain led by MySpace and Facebook.
As tech titans such as Google and Microsoft prepare to take their fierce rivalries into cloud computing, the sky is the limit on the ways that interactive connections, applications and data will be used. Getting there will be an epic battle.