Posts Tagged ‘online’

ESPN Sales Chief Ed Erhardt Wants to Make Sports Even Better

November 11, 2013  |  Media Week  |  No Comments

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Michelle Trachtenberg Is Well Prepared for Her Role as Marina Oswald

November 8, 2013  |  Media Week  |  No Comments

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Scandal’s Tony Goldwyn Is a Real-Life Political Junkie

October 25, 2013  |  Media Week  |  No Comments

Specs Who Tony Goldwyn Age 53 Accomplishments

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QOTD: Silver on Perception

October 21, 2013  |  All Things Digital  |  No Comments

I think, editorially, a big decision is the stories you don’t cover. The things you don’t say is just as important as what you do. Because when you lend a weight of authority to a story just by covering it, that affects the way people perceive that story and the way it sometimes even plays out. – Nate Silver , speaking at the Online News Association’s annual conference in Atlanta

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PayPal Brings Amazon Prime-Like Shipping to Levi’s and Other Retailers

October 3, 2013  |  All Things Digital  |  No Comments

Online shoppers who pay with PayPal will be able to get free two-day shipping on purchases from Levi.com, Aeropostale.com, SportsAuthority.com, and a handful of other online retail shops, PayPal announced today. The test, as PayPal is calling it, will run for a limited time, with program duration varying by merchant.

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Brad Schwartz Discusses the Upcoming Challenges for the Fastest Growing Network in the Country

September 30, 2013  |  Media Week  |  No Comments

Specs Who Brad Schwartz New gig president, entertainment and media, TVGN Old gig svp, programming and operations, Fuse Age 42 So what’s your mission at TVGN? We are still in the early days of our evolution and we’re working very hard to define our “why?” so I will have to get back to you on the mission. Our goals, though, are easy. We want to build a strong and differentiated brand. Build a team of crusaders. Inspire bold content and creative. Create an emotional attachment to audiences, deliver an engaging environment for advertisers and build a successful business and have a blast doing it. Will you be changing the network’s name? We have a wonderful brand project. We have 83 million homes, we have two great owners, we’re the fastest growing network in the country. We have to package all that up into a personality that makes an emotional connection with audiences. That’s the first thing you do. What you’re called, what you look like—that’s the window dressing once you know who you are. I can’t say definitively that we’ll be changing the name, but if we do it will be the very last thing that happens. Will the ubiquitous TVGN programming grid continue to be part of the schedule? No. By the end of this year we’ll be a full-screen entertainment destination in 95 percent of our homes. Who’s your target audience? We have a very dedicated female audience and roots in celebrity, entertainment and pop culture. Those are two anchors of the brand’s future and the basis of our content strategy

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A Kids’ App That Entertains With Talk, Not Taps

September 26, 2013  |  All Things Digital  |  No Comments

For the past week, I’ve been talking out loud to my iPad — a lot. My conversing with inanimate objects might not come as a complete surprise to those who know me well, but even they might be shocked (concerned?) at the things I was yelling at my tablet. “Fruit bat!” “Pickup truck!” “Corn!” But I haven’t gone off the deep end just yet. Instead, I’ve been testing a new interactive kids’ app called The Winston Show by ToyTalk . [ See post to watch video ] Created by former Pixar employees, The Winston Show is an entertainment-focused app for children ages four and up, though there is a small educational aspect to it. It centers around a variety show hosted by a friendly yellow blob named Winston, and your child gets to be the star of the show. The app is free, but it requires a Wi-Fi or cellular connection, and is currently only available for the iPad. Since many kids today interact with smartphones and tablets, the main goal behind The Winston Show is to engage children through conversation and not just through a series of taps and swipes on a screen. The app does so by using a combination of speech-recognition technology and artificial intelligence to get Winston to listen and reply to your child’s responses. Overall, I found The Winston Show to be an amusing and captivating app that’s much more personal than some other interactive kid’s toys I’ve tested, like Talking Friends Superstar . When I let a couple of my friends’ kids play with it, they enjoyed telling Winston about their favorite sports, participating in quiz shows, and helping with story time. But it wasn’t all fun and games

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The Web Is a Lab for Marketable TV Content, and Vice Versa

September 25, 2013  |  Media Week  |  No Comments

The lines between digital and linear distribution are a lot less blurry than advertised when it comes to the business models of cable television and the online space, but content is a different animal altogether. Take Drunk History, for example, which has evolved from a YouTube sensation to a full-blown half-hour on Comedy Central , averaging a serviceable 0.5 rating in the 18-49 demo over the course of its debut season. That platform shift is a neat reversal for showrunner Jeremy Konner, who saw his Web comedy Ghost Ghirls optioned and then scuttled by Syfy before the show was revived by Yahoo. Konner wasn’t available for this article, but a source close to the deals said the network didn’t ditch Ghost Ghirls because the show wasn’t funny. “It was something that Syfy had developed and then … they decided not to go in that direction, from a programming standpoint,” the insider said. (According to Syfy president of programming Mark Stern, the network changed course on developing original comedies.) Another project Syfy passed on was Seth Meyers’ The Awesomes , which last week was renewed for a second season on Hulu. Stern said the network assessed what sort of nontraditional fare clicked with its audience; turns out, viewers were more interested in unscripted content about the paranormal. Hulu, which has embraced a model similar to that of a linear TV network, also has become a haven for the soap operas All My Children and One Life to Live, both of which were canceled by ABC. Hulu declined to comment, but it’s clear what prompted the acquisitions: per its in-house rankings, episodes of NBC’s venerable soap Days of Our Lives are a big draw. Jason Krebs, president of sales and marketing for Blip , said he thinks the notion of digital sites subsisting on the dregs of TV is ill-informed. “There are the producers who say, ‘I want to do this out of the traditional system,’” Krebs said. “We’re not getting scraps.” Wrong-headed stigmas about Web video aside, it’s certainly true that it’s easier than ever to cheaply create a show with high-production values. “The cost of these things is coming down, and the sophistication is increasing,” said Krebs, who added that digital video equipment is of a greater quality than ever, and cheaper to boot. (For just $30, you can build an iPhone Steadicam.) On the network side, Stern said Syfy is interested in the same business model

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Intuit Overhauls QuickBooks Online as Competition for Small Businesses Ramps Up

September 23, 2013  |  All Things Digital  |  No Comments

Intuit today is unveiling a drastic overhaul of its QuickBooks Online accounting software for small businesses. The redesign takes visual cues from Mint.com, the personal finance website that Intuit acquired in 2009, and lets business owners toggle on Intuit’s payments and payroll tools with essentially one click. The redesign was critical for Intuit since it expects by the end of this fiscal year to have more new customers sign up for the online version of QuickBooks than the desktop version. It also comes at a time in which the market to serve small businesses with software has heated up, with young companies such as Square, Belly and Shopify competing for increasingly overlapping parts of the market. Essentially, many different categories of companies serving small businesses are zeroing in on a handful of goals: To help small businesses accept all kinds of payment methods, bring in new customers, manage those customer relationships, communicate with them easily and retain them for a low cost. To this end, Intuit said its goal is to build an operation system for small businesses that other developers and companies can plug into rather easily. It wants small businesses to be able to pick and choose technologies to manage their operations, with Intuit software tying it all together at the core. But it has also exhibited a desire to own more of the ecosystem. Last year, for example, it purchased marketing software company Demandforce for more than $400 million. And as more small-business-focused companies expand their reach, it’ll be interesting to watch how Intuit’s approach may change. Square, for example, started off by serving one-person businesses who wanted to accept credit cards, and has since moved to target small retail shops with software tools and then to help those businesses sell online. So this summer, I asked Square CEO Jack Dorsey if he could envision a day in which his company would expand its services to the point that it would challenge QuickBooks head on. He said, in short, that Square would continue to look for gaps in the small business market where innovation was needed. Translation: Don’t rule it out.

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Klout Quietly Launches Cinch, a Companion Q&A App

September 20, 2013  |  All Things Digital  |  No Comments

Klout really wants to make you care about your online influence. That’s in part why the company has, with little fanfare, pushed out Cinch , an iOS application that pairs questions asked by users with other “experts” on certain topics, based on their amount of knowledge of the area in question. The idea is basically leveraging the value of Klout’s flagship product, which purports to rank people in terms their influence in certain areas. I, for instance, tweet a whole bunch about Facebook and Twitter as companies, so it would make sense for a product like Cinch to pair a person’s Facebook-related questions with my answers. I can’t tell you how well Klout’s pairing abilities are, because I haven’t seen it done yet. But in The Next Web’s initial testing it seems to work well enough. The whole point, it seems, is to prove to consumers that, yes, Klout does indeed have a consumer value outside of know how “cool” you are online. As I’ve long argued, Klout’s justification as a business intelligence service seems like an easy argument; if a brand can identify the people who matter that tweet and share about a product, that brand will be able to monitor and ultimately court these high-profile users. I’m not sure how well this whole Cinch thing will go, and it seems to still be in an early testing phase, just as Klout’s “Experts” program was when it launched in a limited capacity in May. I’ll be keeping an eye on it for a wider release.

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