Archive for July, 2013

Is Twitter Small or Large?

Is Twitter Small or Large?

July 30, 2013  |  Blog  |  No Comments

With Twitter's supposed IPO coming up "by the end of year" its size and sustainability have become a point of much debate. Today a study from Columbia Business School and the University of Pittsburgh gives us a pseudo answer on the question, alleging that Twitter has 500 million users and therefore is big. Twitter, said Columbia Business School professor Olivier Toubia, "isn't just going to disappear. It's just going to become a new way to follow celebrities, corporations, and the like." Arguably that's already Twitters purpose for a lot of people. But let's get back to that 500 million number:

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Sprint Sold 1.4 Million iPhones Last Quarter But Lost 2 Million Subscribers Amid Nextel Shutdown

July 30, 2013  |  All Things Digital  |  No Comments

Sprint said late Monday that it lost nearly 2 million customers last quarter, largely due to the shutdown of its Nextel network. It has been a busy time for Sprint, which has also acquired spectrum from U.S. Cellular and closed a deal to sell a majority stake of itself to SoftBank and a separate deal to acquire the remainder of network provider Clearwire . And Sprint is also in the midst of playing catch-up to AT&T and Verizon in rolling out 4G LTE service. Sprint said it has now launched 4G LTE in 151 cities, including 41 markets announced on Monday. Sprint added that it expects its network to cover 200 million people by the end of this year. As for its quarterly results, Sprint said it posted an $874 million operating loss amid charges related to the Nextel shutdown. Its net loss was net loss of $1.6 billion or 43 cents per share. That compares to a year-ago operating loss of $629 million and a net loss of $1.4 billion, or 46 cents per share. Revenue of $8.8 billion was roughly flat from a year earlier. On the plus side, the company said the number of contract customers on the Sprint network as well as revenue per customer and total Sprint-brand revenue all reached best-ever levels for the quarter. The company said that, of its contract Sprint platform phones, 86 percent of devices were smartphones including 1.4 million iPhones.

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Toronto Announces Midnight Madness Lineup

July 30, 2013  |  Variety  |  No Comments

“All Cheerleaders Must Die,” helmer Lucky McKee and Chris Sivertson’s supernatural thrill-ride, will open the 2013 Toronto International Film Festival’s Midnight Madness, it was announced Monday (July 29, 2013) at midnight along with the popular strand’s slate. This year marks the 25th anniversary edition of the fest’s sidebar program that has, in the past decade,... Read more

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Time Warner Cable Drops CBS Stations, Cable Networks in Clash Over Fees

July 30, 2013  |  Variety  |  No Comments

Time Warner Cable said it will drop local CBS stations in New York, L.A. and Dallas and will remove Showtime and three other CBS cable channels from lineups nationwide shortly after midnight Monday, after the two sides failed to reach a distribution pact despite weeks at the bargaining table. “The outrageous demands for fees by... Read more

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Qwilt, Maker of Super-Caching Gear for Video, Lands $16 Million Series C Round

July 30, 2013  |  All Things Digital  |  No Comments

It’s been awhile since I’ve thought of Qwilt, the company behind a line of video infrastructure that helps service providers like cable networks handle the growing demand for Internet video. It first came out of stealth mode in the fall of 2011, and when I learned that flash memory was used at the heart of its gear, I naturally added Qwilt to the “Flash Madness” club, that includes so many companies using the ubiquitous chip-based storage technology. A lot has happened since then. Tuesday the company will announce that it has landed a $16 million Series C round of venture capital funding led by Bessemer Venture Partners. Previous investors Accel Partners, Redpoint Ventures and Marker LLC are also participating. The new round brings Qwilt’s total capital raised to $40 million. Qwilt’ mission is essentially the same since we talked back in 2011. The idea is to give service providers like Time Warner, Comcast and others the means to put popular Internet video content close to the users who want to watch it, thus making it easier to deliver. According to the reckoning of networking giant Cisco Sytems , consumer video accounted for about 57 percent of all Internet traffic around the world last year and will in time swell to about 70 percent by 2017. Therein lies the opportunity that Qwilt is going after. “It’s probably one of the biggest challenges that network operators are going to face in the next decade,” says Qwilt CEO Alan Maor. And that’s not just Netflix and YouTube and Hulu. Give it a few years — Chromecast anyone? – there will be a many more services, including a lot of live streaming of sports and news and probably a bunch of things we haven’t thought of yet. Qwilt’s software runs on commodity hardware which gets deployed at the neighborhood level. It grabs the popular stuff that consumers like the most, and maintains a local copy that that can be easily streamed from that location without taking up bandwidth on the carrier’s main network infrastructure. It’s now also starting to help improve the not only the load on the network but the quality of the viewing experience. For example, in the US, the average bit-rate on a YouTube video is improving by 58 percent. Since 2011, the Qwilt product has started shipping and the company has landed 25 deployments with customers.

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The NFL’s Favorite iPad Appmaker, PlayerLync Raises Funding

July 30, 2013  |  All Things Digital  |  No Comments

In just two years, one company has become the playbook distributor of choice for half the National Football League. Some 16 teams — including the Denver Broncos, Green Bay Packers and Chicago Bears – use its iPad app to share and annotate digital playbooks and game film. NFL teams pay $20,000 to $50,000 per year for the service. PlayerLync , the unlikely little startup with the flashy customers, hails from Englewood, Colo. and was founded by former telecom execs. It’s just raised “a large Series A round” from the Denver-based Anschutz Investment Co lead by Phil Anschutz, the billionaire who cofounded Major League Soccer and owns stakes in teams like the Los Angeles Lakers and the Los Angeles Kings. PlayerLync co-founder and CEO Bob Paulsen posited in an interview today that his company’s advantage has been focusing on the backend of its collaboration platform, where other competitors — an example is Hudl — have poured their effort into design. (Don’t look now, but I think he just bragged about this product being ugly.) PlayerLync’s tools include automatic content synchronization — so teams can load up everyone’s apps with new tape before they get on the plane after the game — as well as annotation via screen recording, voice and text. There are also extensive security measures. In most cases, the teams are replacing burned DVDs and printed scouting reports. In addition to breaking into other sports, PlayerLync is now starting to sell into retail, media and transportation fields. It’s also expanded from iPad to Windows 8 tablets, and plans to add Android soon.

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The CW Developing ‘Supernatural’ Spinoff

July 30, 2013  |  Variety  |  No Comments

The CW is planning a spinoff for “Supernatural,” and will seed the project in an episode of the long-running drama next spring. From Warner Bros. TV, spinoff will explore the clashing hunter and monster cultures in Chicago. The planted episode will serve as a pilot and introduce new characters, which will anchor the spinoff. CW... Read more

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Logan Lerman, Alexandra Daddario Celebrate ‘Percy Jackson’ Sequel

July 29, 2013  |  Variety  |  No Comments

At the July 28 Southampton premiere of Fox’s “Percy Jackson: Sea of Monsters,” returning cast members went back to their characters’ roots. Literally. “I dyed my hair blond for this one because the fans had an outcry after the first movie,” said brunette Alexandra Daddario. “We stayed close to the book in this one.” Helmer... Read more

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Apple’s Status (Comic)

July 29, 2013  |  All Things Digital  |  No Comments

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What the Publicis-Omnicom Merger Means to Media Owners

July 29, 2013  |  Media Week  |  No Comments

It may be instructive to think of the Publicis-Omnicom merger as a fantastically complex Rube Goldberg device that was triggered by Sunday’s signing ceremony. The convoluted machinations that will be set off by each successive activation (the hopping of regulatory hurdles, the alignment of cultures, the streamlining of clients) will lead to a relatively simple result—a near-exponential increase in the amount of leverage the new entity will bring to bear in its dealings with media owners. Because a latency period will elapse before the two companies are integrated, the impact of the merger isn’t likely to be felt until mid-2016 at the very earliest. But while the resulting superstructure would seem to pose a threat to media holding companies, most of the people who actually touch the money say that the significance of the merger is overblown. If precedent is anything to go by, television ad sales execs in particular aren’t likely to see much upside to the creation of Publicis Omnicom Group . The formation of WPP's

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