let's make a deal
Posted by Sheila Shayon on May 10, 2013 12:45 PM
Shares of Barnes & Noble soared 24 percent after it was reported Thursday that Microsoft is considering a bid for the retailer’s Nook e-book business.
Microsoft is reportedly offering $1 billion for the Nook brand and the digital assets of Nook Media on top of their $300 million investment last year to develop Nook content for Windows 8 tablets. "Our complementary assets will accelerate e-reading innovation across a broad range of Windows devices, enabling people to not just read stories, but to be part of them,” said Microsoft president Andy Lees at the time. "We're on the cusp of a revolution in reading."
But the revolution stalled as the Android-based Nook has been a money-loser for B&N, not helping America's biggest bookseller compete against Amazon’s Kindle e-book reader.Continue reading...
Posted by Mark J. Miller on May 9, 2013 01:37 PM
A generation of women crowed about Jennifer Aniston’s hair back in the days when she was on NBC’s Friends. Now Aniston is hoping her hair still looks good enough to inspire the buying habits of another generation. "I used to bring a picture of Valerie Bertinelli with me to my hairdresser to get that look,” Aniston told ModernSalon.com. “She had amazing hair, big, beautiful, very Farrah."
Now Aniston, the co-owner of Living Proof hair care products, is starring in a new show all about hair: a three-part web series, “The Good Hair Day,” about women’s stresses about their tresses. "We created this web series to show the very complex—and sometimes comical—relationship women have with their hair," Aniston stated, ModernSalon.com reports. "Having a good hair day shouldn't be so hard."Continue reading...
Posted by Mark J. Miller on May 7, 2013 03:35 PM
Since last year’s launch of Aereo, the disruptive streaming service that allows consumers to watch TV online as well as on mobile devices for a small monthly fee, there has been a lot of legal wrangling between the company and broadcasters of every stripe.
Two of the major players in the fight have been Barry Diller, whose IAC unit backs Aereo, and Rupert Murdoch, whose U.S. broadcast network FOX has threatened to move to cable to avoid losing out on streaming fees.
CBS head Les Moonves has also said his network could go the cable route if Aereo is allowed to continue unchecked. While CBS has previously taken legal action against Aereo, the tables have now turned as the streaming site moves to block future suits from CBS and its affiliates.Continue reading...
video killed the _____ star
Posted by Sheila Shayon on May 6, 2013 05:41 PM
Continuing its aggressive push to convince the world that YouTube video content is better than TV, the online video giant is rumored to be launching paid subscriptions for specialist video channels as soon as this week, the Financial Times reports.
YouTube has said it was “looking into creating a subscription platform that could bring even more great content to YouTube for our users to enjoy and provide our creators with another vehicle to generate revenue from their content, beyond the rental and ad-supported models we offer.”
The preeminent global video site has long-since evolved from its user-generated roots into a platform that every major company and marketer is looking to leverage with professional-grade content. With an audience of one billion, YouTube and its content partners are looking to create another revenue stream besides the site's burgeoning ad platform. "This is a whole new form of content, content delivery and content consumption," said DreamWorks CEO Jeffery Katzenberg in Business Insider. "It's the medium of the future and the future has already arrived. Video is becoming the global shared experience."Continue reading...
brands under fire
Posted by Dale Buss on April 25, 2013 07:01 PM
The recent, cartoonish prospective print ads by Ford's agency in India—depicting Silvio Berlusconi and Paris Hilton as heartless kidnappers—turned out to be mere child's play in the modern universe of tin-eared automotive marketing. Hyundai has just set the bar at a new low with an online ad in Europe for its iX35 fuel-cell car, which depicts a suicide attempt in the car—which eventually fails because of the vehicles clean emissions.
The spot by Innocean, Hyundai's agency of record because it is owned by Hyundai, shows a man sitting in the driver's seat of a Hyundai in his garage, having made all the necessary preparations for offing himself by breathing in carbon monoxide. But, despite the foreboding music, it doesn't work. The commercial shows a tube—run into the passenger compartment from the exhaust pipe—emitting what looks like smoke but turns out to be vapor, as the car runs on "100-percent water emissions," a tagline informs the viewer. The guy is out of luck.
Hyundai today pulled the ad (which was posted last week) from YouTube, but it has gone wildly viral and enraged the brand's fans and non-fans the world over. "Hyundai understands the video has caused offense," Hyundai Europe said in a statement (update: scroll down for additional statements). "We apologize unreservedly. The video has been taken down and will not be used in any of our advertising or marketing."Continue reading...
Posted by Sheila Shayon on April 25, 2013 03:34 PM
Yahoo just scored the rights to nearly four decades of Saturday Night Live episodes in a deal with Broadway Video Entertainment. Starting in September, the best clips since 1975 will be available on the web portal, exclusively, for one year.
CEO Marissa Mayer’s move is a video content coup for Yahoo, securing a foothold and media buzz for the brand looking to capture cultural zeitgeist and marketer mindshare.
"As a fan, I couldn't be more excited," wrote Mayer in a blog post. "Blues Brothers, the Coneheads, Church Chat, Wayne’s World, Coffee Talk, Pat, the Hanukkah Song, the list of tremendous clips goes on and on. Saturday Night Live has pervaded and defined our culture for decades."Continue reading...
brand vs. brand
Posted by Sheila Shayon on April 23, 2013 01:52 PM
Reed Hastings has thrown down the gauntlet to the gold-standard of pay-tv and on-demand as a new model emerges, largely defined by consumers.
Netflix has officially surpassed HBO in subscribers, reporting 29.17 million domestic subscribers in the first quarter of 2013, while HBO ended 2012 with 28.7 million, according to SNL Kagan. The company’s stock passed $200 a share for the first time since 2011 after reporting its quarterly earnings.
Ted Sarandos, chief content officer for Netflix told GQ that, "The goal is to become HBO faster than HBO can become us.” It looks like they're well on their way.
Aside from subscribers and revenue, Netflix is now competing with HBO for talent and creative ideas. The streaming company recently launched a new original series, Hemlock Grove, while it's slated to capitalize on the Arrested Development series in May. "This is the direction that storytelling is evolving, where you're going to have the most interesting story lines, the most interesting characters," Kevin Spacey, star and executive producer of the Netflix original series House of Cards. "What a company like Netflix is doing is the ultimate expression of individual control, proof of what people's attention span really is."
Of Netflix’s subscriber increase in Q1, more than two million in the US are attributed to the success of its first original series. Those who checked in to Netflix for House of Cards stayed for the most part, with fewer than 8,000 who paid the $7.99 monthly fee to watch the show choosing to cancel.Continue reading...
Posted by Sheila Shayon on April 18, 2013 07:04 PM
In its latest bid to become a multimedia platform, Twitter has officially announced Twitter #music, a web and app-based platform that allows users to stream trending music from the site.
The company Jack Dorsey founded in 2006 now has over 200 million monthly users tweeting over 400 million time a day. After announcing multiple improvements to its API earlier this year, Twitter’s ad revenue is projected to generate $583 million this year and $1 billion in 2014, according to eMarketer. Now, as it builds channels to stream video content and music, the microblogger is setting itself up to become the golden-child of the emerging dual-screen media phenomenon.
Rumored to have been soft-launched at California's Coachella festival, the Twitter #Music app is now available for download in the Apple App Store and can also be accessed on the web. “It uses Twitter activity, including Tweets and engagement, to detect and surface the most popular tracks and emerging artists," according to Twitter's blog. "It also brings artists’ music-related Twitter activity front and center: go to their profiles to see which music artists they follow and listen to songs by those artists. And, of course, you can tweet songs right from the app.”Continue reading...