Posts Tagged ‘people’

Earnings and Revenue Down — Yahoo Delivers on Expected Lackluster Quarter

October 15, 2013  |  All Things Digital  |  No Comments

Yahoo met weak financial expectations, turning in what can only be described as lackluster performance in its third-quarter earnings today. The Silicon Valley Internet giant said it earned 34 cents, a 13 percent decline, on revenues of $1.08 billion, a one percent decline from the same period a year ago. Analysts had been estimating that the Sunnyvale, Calif.-based company would report a profit of 33 cents a share, so it’s slightly better on profits, but hardly anything to crow about given how strongly the sector is growing. Still, Yahoo CEO Marissa Mayer gamely tried to, pushing user growth (as I predicted she would). “I’m very pleased with our execution, especially as we’ve continued to invest in and strengthen our core business,” said Yahoo CEO Marissa Mayer. “Now with more than 800 million monthly users on Yahoo — up 20 percent over the past 15 months — we’re achieving meaningful increases in user engagement and traffic.” Still, it was hard to argue with other poor numbers on the board for display advertising, where Yahoo has struggled over recent years: Display advertising revenue was down seven percent. The number of ads sold increased only one percent. Price per ad declined seven percent. Still, search advertising showed some encouraging gains, after last quarter’s declines: Search revenue, minus traffic acquisition costs, was up three percent, though GAAP revenue was down eight percent. Paid clicks rose 21 percent. Bit price-per-click dropped four percent. On the plus side, there was more good news from its large stake China’s Alibaba Group, which is pretty much responsible for Yahoo’s recent stock surge. Yahoo said that it now does not have to sell as much of its 23 percent stake in Alibaba’s upcoming IPO as has been required in previous agreements. It now has to sell 39.7 percent of its assets, instead of nearly half. That means, it can ride the gains expected in the much anticipated public offering.

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Netflix Pursues Cable TV Deals

October 14, 2013  |  All Things Digital  |  No Comments

Netflix Inc. is in talks with several U.S. pay-television providers including Comcast Corp. and Suddenlink Communications to make its online video service available as an app on their set-top boxes, people familiar with the matter say. A deal would mark the online video service’s first such tie-up with a U.S. cable provider and would come after a similar agreement it recently announced with U.K. cable operator Virgin Media Inc. The talks are in early stages and no deal is imminent, the people cautioned. Read the rest of this post on the original site »

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Here’s What a Twitter News Service Might Look Like

October 10, 2013  |  All Things Digital  |  No Comments

Many of Twitter’s 215 million users have turned the service into their own personal newspaper, by following people and publishers that bring them news (or trivia, or whatever) of the day. But what if Twitter started delivering that news itself? That’s what appears to be going on with @eventparrot , a Twitter account that delivers links to news stories from outside publishers. It popped up yesterday, and now has several thousand followers, who are getting notifications like this, via Twitter’s Direct Message feature: Event Parrot describes itself as a “Twitter experiment”, and while Twitter hasn’t officially identified the account as one of its own, I’m quite comfortable assuming that is. For starters, it looks very similar to @MagicRecs , another “Twitter Experiment” that Twitter eventually turned into a full-fledged feature . Other clues include nudges and winks from Twitter employees. Let’s also assume that if Event Parrot ends up becoming an official Twitter feature, the company will move it out of the Direct Message backwater and find a way to showcase it that’s more mainstream. Magic Recs has now been turned into a push notification, and you could imagine the same happening to Event Parrot. Or the company could simply find some dedicated space for it in users’ main feeds, which would make even more sense to the new users Twitter is trying to find . The big question: Does Twitter users need a Twitter-run news service? Magic Recs, which points out Twitter accounts my Twitter friends have started following (Basically: People who work at Apple  or  used to work at Apple ) is cool because it gives me a peek at what the people in my filter bubble were interested in, even when they’re not Tweeting about it. And while I can’t tell if Event Parrot is personalized for me based on what other people in my feed are sharing (I seem to have gotten the same news alerts that everyone else who’s written about Event Parrot has received), I’m not sure that I care. Either Event Parrot is telling me about stories people in my feed are already sharing, which means I’m already seeing them. Or it’s telling me about news people aren’t sharing

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‘Carrie’ Promotional Video Punks Coffee Shop Customers

October 8, 2013  |  Variety  |  No Comments

“There are other people out there like me … .” For unsuspecting customers at a local coffee shop, those words uttered by Stephen King’s telekinetic teen Carrie became all-too real — and judging by some reactions, it was an unwelcome discovery. But not to worry. The video was a prank made to promote Sony-Screen Gems’... Read more

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Newspaper Challenge

October 2, 2013  |  All Things Digital  |  No Comments

I knew the quality of the people would be very high. The business challenges in the newspaper industry have nothing to do with the quality of the people. These are big industry-wide trends. – Jeff Bezos , talking about the Washington Post sale on “Good Morning America” last week

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Ad Agencies Flock to MIPCOM In Search of Branded Content

September 30, 2013  |  Media Week  |  No Comments

Jeffrey Schlesinger, president of Warner Bros. Worldwide Television, first noticed the changing vibe at MIPCOM a few years back. The global programming bazaar held every fall in Cannes, France, had for decades attracted many of the same distributors and content producers—an ocean away from the business-as-usual domestic TV business. But the same tectonic changes in technology and media that disrupted domestic TV have since spilled onto the beaches of the French Riviera, opening all sorts of global business opportunities for the old guard.

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Facebook Tweaks News Feed Algorithm to Show More Relevant Ads

September 27, 2013  |  All Things Digital  |  No Comments

Facebook on Friday announced a slight change to its News Feed algorithm that aims to give greater weight to user feedback on undesirable ads. From now on, Facebook will try to show more relevant advertisements to users inside the News Feed, which may mean fewer ads delivered. Facebook’s goal for marketers, the company said, is to deliver the right ads to the people who want to see them the most, even if it means fewer ads delivered overall.

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Former BlackBerry Co-CEO Lazaridis Has Talked With PE Firms About Bid for Company

September 22, 2013  |  All Things Digital  |  No Comments

Former BlackBerry Ltd. co-Chief Executive Officer Mike Lazaridis has been talking with private-equity firms about possibly mounting a joint bid for the struggling smartphone maker, whose troubles came into even sharper relief Friday, according to people familiar with the matter. Firms Mr. Lazaridis reached out to include Blackstone Group and Carlyle Group, some of the people said. Read the rest of this post on the original site »

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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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CrowdStrike Lands $30 Million Series B Led by Accel Partners

September 9, 2013  |  All Things Digital  |  No Comments

iStockphoto | dny59 In recent weeks or months, you may have heard the following saying: “There are only two kinds of companies; Those that have been hacked, and those who don’t yet know they’ve been hacked.” I’m told that the phrase originated at CrowdStrike, a computer-security firm based in Irvine, Calif. Today, that firm announced that it has raised a $30 million Series B round of venture capital funding led by Accel Partners, with its founding investor, the private equity firm Warburg Pincus, also participating. Accel partner Sameer Gandhi is joining CrowdStrike’s board of directors. Security is obviously a big topic these days, given all the hacking that’s been going on lately, whether it’s attacks on the New York Times by Syrian hackers bent on spreading propaganda, or theft of intellectual property by China’s People’s Liberation Army . iIf you’re running a company of any size, security has to be huge operational consideration. Crowdstrike runs a cloud-based platform that uses advanced analytics and machine learning to analyze attacks in real time as they happen, and to determine who’s carrying out the attack. This problem of attribution is always a huge problem in computer-security circles. Once you know you’ve been attacked, you want to know who did it. Usually, you can find this out after the fact. It’s a little trickier to figure it out while the attack is still going on. “We’ve built a platform that can identity the kind of attack that is being used, but we can also determine who’s behind it and what their motivation is,” says George Kurtz, CEO and co-founder. The firm uses a big data and analytics platform to keep track of hacking groups around the world, and Kurtz says it can usually figure out who’s behind an attack, and shut it down. Security has become a big focus at Accel, and it coincides with its efforts around big data . Its security-related investments include mobile security firm Lookout , Imperva and Tenable Security. “It’s rare that a couple days go by and you don’t see an article about a major computer-security breach somewhere,” says Accel’s Gandi. “The nature and sophistication of the actual attacks has escalated dramatically, and so have the sources. We’ve gone beyond the days when it was splinter groups

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