Archive for November, 2011

‘Best Man’ nominates lead

November 30, 2011  |  Variety  |  No Comments

Legit News: Eric McCormack to star in Broadway revival -- Eric McCormack has signed on to play the central politican in the upcoming Broadway revival of "Gore Vidal's The Best Man."

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AT&T, T-Mobile Mull Plan B

November 30, 2011  |  All Things Digital  |  No Comments

AT&T Inc. and Deutsche Telekom AG, the parent of T-Mobile USA, have discussed forming a joint venture that would pool network assets from the two U.S. wireless carriers as an alternative transaction if their current acquisition deal falls apart, people familiar with the matter said. These discussions are not advanced and were described by the people more as a plan the two companies have on the backburner. Still, AT&T and Deutsche Telekom are likely to take a closer look at a joint venture as AT&T’s planned $39 billion purchase of T-Mobile USA faces mounting opposition, they added. Read the rest of this post on the original site »

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LivingSocial Hires Dickson Chu of Citi to Head Up Local Merchant Initiatives

November 30, 2011  |  All Things Digital  |  No Comments

LivingSocial, the second-largest daily deals company, has hired Dickson Chu as SVP of Merchant Solutions. Chu was Managing Director of Digital Networks at Citi’s Global Enterprise Payments unit and before that a VP at PayPal. In addition, LivingSocial promoted Jake Maas to SVP of Consumer Businesses and Eric Eichmann to President of International.

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Clogged Pipes: Viewers Not Turned Off by Online Ads

November 30, 2011  |  Media Week  |  No Comments

Viewers of online and mobile video are being bombarded by a seemingly endless fusillade of ads, and while clutter does no one any favors, completion rates are holding steady. According to a new report from the video monetization firm FreeWheel ,

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Buble edges Nickelback on chart

November 30, 2011  |  Variety  |  No Comments

Music News: Eight albums sell more than 100,000 -- In a virtual dead heat, Michael Buble's "Christmas" snuck past Nickelback's new "Here and Now" to take No. 1 on a U.S. album chart reflecting hearty Black Friday sales.

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Brian Pokorny: Why Pick Just One Photo When You Can Share Batches? (Video)

November 30, 2011  |  All Things Digital  |  No Comments

Where in the past, people might have printed out entire rolls of film, or kept on snapping as many pictures as their memory card would hold, mobile photo-sharing today often seems to be a more choosy sport. We carefully share only the very best photos from our camera phones — one at a time — via email, Facebook, Twitter or a dedicated app like Instagram. Granted, this probably has something to do with how hard and expensive it has historically been to get our photos off of phones. But a new iOS app called Batch is aimed at bringing back profligate photo sharing. It encourages users to take as many photos as they want, and share them all. Batch makes photo sharing less about the past, and more about real-time storytelling, said Brian Pokorny, the CEO of photo-a-day site DailyBooth . (Pokorny was an early-stage investor with Ron Conway’s SV Angel, until he left to lead DailyBooth last year. DailyBooth is a relatively small photo-sharing site that’s especially popular with young users.) Unsatisfied with just building mobile versions of DailyBooth, Pokorny’s team came up with the idea of Batch as a “mobile-first” product separate from the main site, he said. Pokorny said his friend Jack Dorsey, of Twitter and Square, helped inspire the app by suggesting that Pokorny try to distill the joy of photo booths and bring them to phones. On Batch, users can create albums (“Batches”) and then continue to add to them as they snap more photos. Their friends can then tag along and see an event unfolding as it happens. Each Batch is like a living photo album. There are also all the normal social features, like a feed of most-recent albums and a feed of new comments and uploads, with tight Facebook integration to alert friends about new photos being added, and to encourage them to join Batch. “We’re changing from using the camera to archive to using the camera to communicate,” explained Pokorny.

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BBC3 eyes U.S version of ‘The Voice’

November 30, 2011  |  Variety  |  No Comments

International News: American show to complement U.K. version -- The BBC is poised to finalize a deal to buy the U.S version of "The Voice," the Endemol talent show.

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VeriFone’s CEO Explains Why It Spent $1 Billion on Acquisitions for a New Payments Strategy

November 30, 2011  |  All Things Digital  |  No Comments

VeriFone, the largest maker of cash registers and other payment devices, has spent more than $1 billion on acquisitions to expand internationally and to go after new opportunities, such as mobile payments. In an interview, Doug Bergeron explained to All Things D the reasoning behind spending spree, saying that the company is undertaking a major transformation that requires selling software and services — not just hardware. Only two weeks ago, VeriFone agreed to  acquire Point , a major retail payment provider in Europe, for $817 million (not including $230 million in debt). Two weeks before that,  it picked up Global Bay , a smaller company that helps retailers connect its e-commerce assets to physical stores through the use of iPads. Terms of the deal were not disclosed. Additionally, a year ago, it agreed to buy payment security provider, Hypercom, in an all-stock transaction valued at about $485 million, including debt. The three acquisitions easily push the company’s investment above $1 billion. A bet of this kind represents a substantial risk, but Bergeron believes the decision to turn into a services company was a no-brainer, even calling it “obvious.” The San Jose company, which has about 3,000 employees globally, has a long history of growing through acquisitions stretching back to 2005, so maybe it can pull it off. In its fiscal 2012, the publicly held company is projecting it will make a profit of up to $2.50 a share on revenues of up to $1.72 billion before the Point merger is taken into account. Earlier this year, VeriFone appeared on the defensive after Bergeron attacked San Francisco-based Square for not providing encryption in its mobile card readers. Since then, Square has promised to add another layer of protection, although the roll-out is still pending. Now, VeriFone seems to be on the offensive, having figured out what role it will play as mobile payments come increasingly into play. And despite Bergeron’s earlier outcry about Square, he says the company will act like Switzerland and will be neutral about which technology will win. In particular, VeriFone wants to be the software developer that makes all the new innovations, including the Google Wallet, PayPal, ISIS, the carrier-led initiative and others, work with with a retailer’s existing systems

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GFI to hone ‘Craft’ in N. America

November 30, 2011  |  Variety  |  No Comments

Film News: FiGa adds 'Thursday,' 'Look' to slate -- BUENOS AIRES --- Non-profit org Global Film Initiative has taken North American rights from FiGa Films to Brazilian helmer Gustavo Pizzi's "Riscado" (Craft).

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Vimeo Goes Its Own Way

November 30, 2011  |  Media Week  |  No Comments

As the online video space grows ever more cutthroat, companies like YouTube , Netflix , and Hulu are all looking for a competitive edge in roughly the same way: through big-budget investments in professional content. But one company, Vimeo, has decided to take a different path, betting it can grow its audience by sticking to its original playbook. Vimeo could have been as big as YouTube. It was founded in 2004, a few months before YouTube, with financial backing from Barry Diller and startup expertise from co-founders who'd been key players in CollegeHumor.com. The site had real potential. And it has had some success, cementing itself as the go-to hub for talented independent video producers. It's become a favorite among indie bands and makers of short films from Brooklyn to Portland. Along the way, it's amassed an impressively sized audience of 55 million worldwide unique users. (IAC, which owns Vimeo, doesn't break out data on the profits of its individual properties, and neither IAC nor Vimeo would discuss the company's revenue.) But YouTube it is not.

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