Posts Tagged ‘internet’

We Still Don’t Know Snapchat’s Magic User Numbers (But Here’s a Bunch of Other Interesting New Stats, Including About Norway!)

November 24, 2013  |  All Things Digital  |  No Comments

Asa Mathat / AllThingsD.com Evan Spiegel is certainly enjoying his time in the limelight. The 23-year-old CEO of Snapchat is happy to talk about the success of his ephemeral messaging app, which he said last week at a private investment conference now has more than 400 million messages received every day. But despite all the buzz around Snapchat, we still don’t have a clue about the company’s most important statistic: Just how many people are regularly using the app? That’s one of the deets he did not share at the Goldman Sachs Technology and Internet Conference earlier this week. It was closed to press, but a few insiders slipped us some more info from Spiegel’s talk, to add to some that had been previously reported. Here are a few new tidbits of info from the talk: Monetization is certainly on the near-term horizon, although Spiegel said the startup plans to start “modestly.” First on the list, a number of “value-added services.” Ideally, he said, those could be a subscription service, instead of a la carte, one-off purchases. After that, he said Snapchat could look at how best to insert advertising into the service. As has been reported, in part, the app’s core audience is the age group from 13 to 25 years old, with 70 percent of those members being women . Half of Snapchat’s daily active users are using his new Stories product, which was unveiled last month . About 25 percent of smartphone users in the United Kingdom use Snapchat monthly, he said, although it’s unclear how this number was measured. He also said 50 percent of Norway smartphone owners actively used the app. Go Norway! Snapchat now has 30 employees. Half of those are engineers, 25 percent are dedicated to product and the remaining 25 percent are in other various positions, said Spiegel. Spiegel said he isn’t interested in leveraging his emerging social graph. In that vein, he downplayed the importance of network effects, or the value derived from the number of people using the service — something Facebook cares about and regularly uses to its advantage. Instead, he said, the power is “all about product leadership.” Snap that, Mark Zuckerberg. Spiegel very much admires China’s Tencent , which has seen tremendous success in its WeChat mobile application. (TenCent, by the way, is also a big fan of Snapchat.) Interesting stuff, for sure, but all this should come with one giant caveat: Without an exact active user count, we have zero perspective on how much any of these numbers mean in terms of company scale.

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Pandora Media Posts Q3 Loss

November 22, 2013  |  All Things Digital  |  No Comments

Pandora Media Inc. swung to a fiscal third-quarter loss as the Internet-radio provider spent more on content and sales and marketing, masking a jump in revenue as users listened to more music. For the fourth quarter, Pandora projected adjusted earnings between two cents to four cents a share, compared with the four-cent estimate of analysts surveyed by Thomson Reuters. The company also forecast adjusted fourth-quarter revenue of $185 million to $190 million. Read the rest of this post on the original site »

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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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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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