Posts Tagged ‘internet’

5 Digital Shows Created by Grown-Ups

November 21, 2013  |  Media Week  |  No Comments

Silicon Valley has a lot of things going for it: advancing technology, an attractive environment for whiz kids, a (weak) stab at meritocracy among its residents, gobs and gobs of cash. But as anybody who's ever worked in the arts will tell you, money cannot buy taste. Frequently it buys whatever the opposite of taste is . Thus, the learning curve has been incredibly steep for video companies desperate to produce the elusive "premium content" that will command the kind of money that TV advertising moves every season, or, in the case of subscriber-only services, the kind of buzz that generates subscribers to pay-TV networks. At first, video services seemed to believe that "premium" meant "not cat videos," but after wave after wave of unbearable vanity projects

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Southwest to Be First With Gate-to-Gate Wi-Fi Service

November 21, 2013  |  All Things Digital  |  No Comments

Frequent fliers have been quick to note which airlines are allowing passengers to use their electronics during takeoff and landing, but Southwest Airlines is upping the ante. In addition to already allowing use of the gadgets themselves, the carrier is the first U.S. airline (and likely the only one for some time) to provide the option of gate-to-gate Wi-Fi Internet service. That’s because it uses a satellite technology that differs from the air-to-ground technology used by Gogo, which powers the inflight Wi-Fi for most other airlines. Southwest has Wi-Fi on 435 of its planes, using a satellite-based system from Global Eagle Entertainment’s inflight subsidiary Row 44. Gogo, for its part, is upgrading the speed of its Internet service and also plans to add talking and texting capabilities (though no U.S. airlines are likely to enable the talk feature). The FAA paved the way for the use of phones and tablets during takeoff and landing with an Oct. 31 ruling allowing the use of such electronics , following years of kvetching from gadget-loving travellers.

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Prada Spends a Bunch of Money on a Wes Anderson Ad, and Then a Bunch More to Advertise Its Wes Anderson Ad

November 15, 2013  |  All Things Digital  |  No Comments

A long, long time ago, if a famous director made a mini-movie for an advertiser, designed specifically to be watched on the Internet, it was news. If you’re really old, you may remember waiting many minutes to stream John Woo’s BMW caper flick starring Clive Owen .* Now this stuff is NBD. Or, at least, it’s no PewDiePie . So if you’re Prada, and you hire Wes Anderson to make a seven-minute, 45-second film for you, you can’t just put it on YouTube , where it went up yesterday and has not taken the world by storm (again: It’s no PewDiePie ). You’ve got to advertise your advertisement, which is what the company is doing with a seizure-inducing half-takeover of the New York Times’ homepage today. You can get a sense of that here, but if you want the full effect, you need to shade your eyes and head to the NYT . And here’s the movie itself, which you’ll like if you like Wes Anderson: And here’s what YouTube’s core demo is watching instead: * Depending on your age, this may have been when you signed on for an AOL dial-up account, which you still have .

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NetEase 23% Revenue Gain Boosted by Games

November 14, 2013  |  Variety  |  No Comments

NetEase, the Chinese Internet giant, unveiled third quarter net profits of 173 million, a gain of more than 23% compared with last year, powered by its strength in online games. But earnings per share came in some 3% below market estimates.

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In Data-Speed Race, Who Is the Fastest in LTE?

November 13, 2013  |  All Things Digital  |  No Comments

As smartphone usage has surged, so has the demand for reliable, fast cellular data. Sure, your smartphone can use Wi-Fi to surf the Web, watch video, stream music and download documents. But Wi-Fi isn’t always available or costs extra in some public places. In the U.S., the fast cellular technology of choice is called 4G LTE. The 4G just means we’re on the fourth generation of cellular data systems and LTE stands for Long Term Evolution, which is the fastest and most consistent form of 4G cellular data. It’s the one that U.S. wireless carriers are competing to offer in as many cities as possible, as quickly as possible. Verizon Wireless got the jump on deploying LTE and I reported my first tests of its nascent service in January 2011. But now AT&T claims it has almost caught up, and Sprint and T-Mobile are racing to build out their LTE networks. So I decided to test the availability and speed of the four major U.S. carriers’ LTE coverage in three metro areas where I happened to be in the past month or so. I focused on download speeds because the average consumer is still downloading much more than uploading

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And Then There Was One, as Disney Picks Single Digital Leader

November 12, 2013  |  All Things Digital  |  No Comments

Earlier today, Disney said — what is likely not much of a shock to anyone — that it was handing over the reins of its interactive division to one of its two co-presidents, Jimmy Pitaro. That means John Pleasants, who was the other co-president and was located in Silicon Valley, is leaving the kingdom, merging the games and media units under one leader in Los Angeles. Pleasants, as happens in these kinds of things, will be a strategic consultant to Disney Interactive. The reorganization of the unit comes three years after the Pitaro, a former Yahoo media exec, and Pleasants, who came to Disney via its acquisition of Playdom, were paired . Disney Interactive recently reported its second quarterly profit of $16 million on sales of $396 million, in what has been an uphill effort over the past decade for the the entertainment giant. Under the regime of former CEO Michael Eisner — many digital moons ago and which I covered since I am so dang old — Disney bought search engine Infoseek and tried to create a portal called Go.com. That failed, and was one of many efforts to define the media company’s Web goals. More recently, in 2008, Disney gathered most of its Internet properties under Steve Wadsworth. Then came the pairing of Pitaro and Pleasants. And now, just Pitaro. Disney said it “will move forward with a singular strategy for driving revenue and advertising across key platforms and franchises,” such as Disney Infinity — a big Pleasants project — and Club Penguin.

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"Because Marissa Said So" — Yahoos Bristle at Mayer’s QPR Ranking System and "Silent Layoffs"

November 8, 2013  |  All Things Digital  |  No Comments

According to a multitude of top-ranking posts on an anonymous internal message board used by Yahoo to vent their frustrations to top staff, employees there are becoming increasingly upset by an evaluation system instituted by CEO Marissa Mayer that has apparently resulted in the firings of more than 600 people in recent weeks. A key point: The fact that some staffers are being let go is not the core issue — many inside agree that the Silicon Valley Internet giant has long needed to prune its employees and upgrade its talent base. Mayer has been aggressively doing that, even adding to overall employee numbers at Yahoo, largely via an incessant series of acquisitions. Instead, some inside the company are incensed that the “Quarterly Performance Review” system forces managers to rank some of their staff with designations of “Occasionally Misses” and “Misses,” even if it is not the case, via what is essentially a modified bell curve. Those fired recently had gotten lower scores at least two times in recent quarters, said multiple sources, as I reported last week . Mayer denied that the rankings were forced at a staff meeting this week, noting that they were more guidelines or the process was not being deployed correctly. But some employees disagree that is the case in the anonymous postings. In fact, dozens of perturbed Yahoos are sending me emails complaining that managers perceive it as required, in missives that are similar in tone to when Mayer suspended work-from-home privileges for Yahoos last year. Most point the finger for the bad rollout of the system at HR head Jackie Reses, who penned the awkward and poorly communicated internal explanation of that controversial plan to bring employees to the office. At issue now is the QPR process within Yahoo that Mayer introduced last year and that Reses manages. On an internal message board for anonymous feedback, the posts voted up in recent days all center on QPR, and there have been many more since then.

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A Blueprint for a Massive Mobile Company

November 5, 2013  |  All Things Digital  |  No Comments

Image copyright Abraham Williams It sounds cliche, but mobile is the single-biggest secular technology platform shift of our time. It’s so big, it bears repeating, and for entrepreneurs (and investors like me), presents edge-of-our-seats opportunities waiting to be unlocked. This is no surprise, of course, as every big company and small startup is trying to focus on mobile. With so much competition in the mobile world, entrepreneurs could benefit by knowing a secret, and in this post, I will share one secret I’ve uncovered through my years of being a mobile entrepreneur and working on the “Facebook Home” team at the social network. This secret, I believe, could unlock an ever-lasting, durable, mobile technology company, not just an app someone launches on their phones and forgets about. I’ll cut to the chase: The secret is that there’s an opportunity for a mobile-focused startup to build the equivalent of Google’s Chrome Browser

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VC Chamath Palihapitiya Says He Has Cracked the Code for Making Startups Grow

November 1, 2013  |  All Things Digital  |  No Comments

All startups want growth. They want more eyeballs, more traction, more signs that what they are doing is working. They worship at the foot of the mythical hockey stick graph. But growth is a fickle, unpredictable thing — sometimes great products die before reaching an audience. Sometimes companies find tricks to get tons of users, but after the tricks fade away, everybody leaves. You can’t count on growth. Not according to Chamath Palihapitiya. The venture capitalist, whose claim to fame was starting the growth team at Facebook, said his Social+Capital Partnership now has a crew of growth experts that it deploys to portfolio companies.

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Radio Isn’t Going Away

October 31, 2013  |  All Things Digital  |  No Comments

photo credit: Un ragazzo chiamato Bi via photo pin cc A few days ago a column ran in this space — “ Seismic Shifts Remake the Radio Industry ” — written by Paul Goldstein, a consultant for new media companies. While there truly is a seismic shift in perception of broadcast radio and the facts surrounding it, it’s not the one that Goldstein claims, and the facts — and the research — bear that out. Scarborough USA Plus data shows radio has actually increased its reach of adults 18-54, 25-54 and 18-34 over the past five years. Radio accounts for more than 90 percent of almost any demographic segment of the consumer market every week. And many are surprised to discover that radio is the leading source of reach among media entertainment. In one example, two separate — and current — well-respected sources, Scarborough and USA Touchpoints, show that more than 95 percent of the people who used Pandora in the past month also listened to broadcast radio in the past week. The statistics are nearly identical in both sources and extend to other Internet music players in addition to Pandora. USA Touchpoints also shows that while consumers have shifted some of their audio entertainment time, it has been away from CDs and iPods, not radio.

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