Archive for February 12th, 2013

As Ex-Partners Vie for Movie Deals, Netflix Expands Originals

February 12, 2013  |  Media Week  |  No Comments

It's got to be bitter to lose a contract to your old business partner. That's what happened to Netflix yesterday when Starz won a deal over the streaming-and-delivery service with Sony Pictures to distribute the studio's new product. It's a deal that was one analyst pegged

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Why Twitter Dropped Close to $90 Million on Bluefin Labs

February 12, 2013  |  All Things Digital  |  No Comments

Twitter just paid a lot of money for Bluefin Labs (around $90 million, we hear), a social analytics startup that marries two key streams of data to Twitter in its pitch to advertisers: What’s happening on TV, and what’s happening on Twitter. That price alone lets us know how important Bluefin is to Twitter, a burgeoning media company. But Bluefin’s demo at our D: Dive Into Media conference on Tuesday gave better insight into just exactly why Twitter was willing to spend that much on the social network’s largest acquisition to date. “This whole thing is about taking common sense and making it scale and making it quantative,” Deb Roy, co-founder of Bluefin, said at the conference. “If you can take [our analytics service] and not just do it about [one event like] the Super Bowl but do it for all TV shows … now you have this comprehensive view into how TV is driving engagement.” Example: Bluefin drills down into specific moments on television, be they advertisements, actual shows or what have you. And Roy says it can grab a larger, more representative slice of the Twitter users tweeting about a specific moment than, say, a hashtag can (as many people may be talking about an event without using a hashtag). From there, Bluefin runs what’s called an affinity analysis, which lets the company figure out “preexisting affinities between TV program audiences and brands.” Moreover, Bluefin can flesh out a profile of a particular Twitter user tweeting in a specific moment based on that person’s tweeting history. That’s crucial and now can be part of Twitter’s way of marrying data to its ad sales pitch.

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Will ABC and Univision’s Cable News Channel Sell?

February 12, 2013  |  Media Week  |  No Comments

If you’re looking to buy time on Fusion, ABC and Univision’s new joint venture English-language news channel, you’ll need to look up ABC’s president of sales and marketing, Geri Wang . Reps for the new cable network say that Fusion will eventually boast its own dedicated sales organization, but in the near term Wang’s team will handle the heavy lifting. Already, ABC sales execs are briefing clients on the network, which is slated to launch in the second half of 2013. Whether Fusion will be take part in a formal upfront presentation remains to be seen.

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Intel to Shake Up TV Landscape This Year

February 12, 2013  |  Media Week  |  No Comments

Intel has a sizable presence in the consumer electronics market, but outside of those old "Intel Inside" ads, consumers don't consider the chip maker on the level of an Apple , Samsung or Sony. That's about to change. Intel is planning to launch an Internet TV this year that will distribute live TV, on-demand programming and an app platform, said Intel Media vp/gm Eric Huggers on Tuesday during All Things D's D: Dive Into Media event. "I believe we can bring an incredible television experience via the Internet to consumers," he said. Huggers said that his team has been working directly with TV programmers on the product, though he wouldn't say whether any companies have signed content distribution agreements. The hang-up may be the product's business model. Customers would pay Intel instead of the cable companies, he said. However Intel's hardware comes with a carrot that might attract programmers' interest. The TV will feature a front-facing camera that will be able to detect who is watching it. Huggers didn't detail the level of recognition technology, but suggested that it could distinguish between a child and an adult. That could be a boon for programmers looking to know who's watching their shows and advertisers aiming to target their ads to specific audiences. The camera could also creep out consumers, but Huggers said they would have the option to close its shutter. If consumers can get past the camera's creep factor, they may like Intel's plans for bundling content

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‘Bachelor’ up, ‘Following’ down Monday

February 12, 2013  |  Variety  |  No Comments

NBC's 'Deception' also rises; CBS wins the night

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Exploratorium App Explores the World of Sound

February 12, 2013  |  All Things Digital  |  No Comments

The folks at the Exploratorium in San Francisco are some of the best in the world at designing participatory exhibits that teach visitors about their own perception and the world around them through direct experience. The Exploratorium has long had a website — it was the world’s 600th (or so) in 1993 — but the tablet is perhaps a more fitting venue for its craft, given that the devices are by their nature social because they can be easily shared, and that touch provides a less abstract method of interaction. The Exploratorium’s first free iPad app, Color Uncovered , has been downloaded one million times since late 2011. Today, it’s launching a second, called Sound Uncovered , with a set of fun and mind-bending audio illusions, manipulations and tests. Jean Cheng, who led the team that built the app, took me through a series of mini-iPad exhibits on a recent visit to the still-under-construction new Exploratorium building on the water at Pier 15 in San Francisco. For instance, there’s a Mobius strip kind of demo of a chord progression, where it’s impossible to find the highest note. There’s another one where you move a slider until you can hear a high-pitched sound, and the app estimates your age. There’s another that plays your voice backward so you can teach yourself audio palindromes. They’re not necessarily things you’d do over and over again, but they’re pretty neat in the moment, with explanations of what phenomena are occurring. Asked what ages Sound Uncovered is appropriate for, Cheng declined to say

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Dish’s Bostonians Celebrate Tiny Beer, Recliners and the Death of the TV Spot

February 12, 2013  |  Media Week  |  No Comments

The Boston Guys return and local accents abound in Dish's cute campaign for its "Hopper" DVR with Sling, which lets users skip commercial blocks. That functionality has caused some controversy, and it's the focus of "In Memoriam," a commercial about a funeral for commercials. That ad's getting the most attention owing to its intentional meta-irony, but I prefer the other two new spots in the series, which play up the fact that Hopper lets users watch live TV and access their DVR from anywhere. In "Footrest," as members of a family enjoy their favorite shows on various wireless devices, everything in their house turns into a recliner, including a kitchen counter, a bed, a staircase and a toilet. "Tiny Beer," set on a sunny day in the park, finds the cast accessing their Hopper via a smartphone propped up like a wide-screen TV in a fancy dollhouse wall-unit, complete with miniature bookshelves. They pound down thimble-sized brews kept cold in a mini-mini-mini fridge. All three ads are quirky, memorable and manage to entertain while touting specific product attributes. Most ad reviewers couldn't resist peppering their appraisals with representations of Boston-speak. Blame the chowderheads at the New York agency that created the spots, Baaahton F. Graaahf 9000.

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Broadcom Readying Its First LTE Chip, Which It Claims Will Be Smaller Than Rivals’

February 12, 2013  |  All Things Digital  |  No Comments

After being stuck in 3G land for a while now, Broadcom said it is getting closer to having a modem chip that supports faster LTE networks. The chip, which it is sampling now and is set for volume production next year, is said to be a third smaller than many rival chips, while supporting all the key standards and technologies. Among its features is support for voice calls over LTE, as well as a feature to bond together different frequencies that a carrier has into one faster pipeline onto the Internet. “We think it is going to be a winner,” Broadcom CEO Scott McGregor said in an interview. Thus far, Qualcomm has dominated the LTE market with its chips, though other chipmakers are starting to enter the market. “Other people have announced some chips that maybe nibble away at the low end of the market,” McGregor said. By contrast, Broadcom’s goal is to have a product that can go in the highest-end products. “The real goal here is to create a product that really is a world chip for the flagship smartphones and tablets,” he said.

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Twitter's Promoted Trends Fee Soars To $200,000 A Day

Twitter’s Promoted Trends Fee Soars To $200,000 A Day

February 12, 2013  |  Blog  |  No Comments

Twitter, AllThingsD reports, has been steadily increasing the price it charges for a company to sponsor a "promoted trend" in users' Twitter webpages and inside mobile apps on top of the real chatter-driven trends sourced in tweet streams. The service cost went up earlier in 2013, and it now costs $200,000 per day (and per territory, though where territories start and stop appears to be unclear)--up from $150,000 in 2012 and $80,000 at launch in 2010. Those are like NYC subway fare spikes! Trends provide a very simple but reliable type of brand exposure. The price hike is a sign that

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WGA looks ahead to talks on anniversary of strike’s end

February 12, 2013  |  Variety  |  No Comments

As congloms' digital revenues grow, scribes will want a bigger slice

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