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August 19 2012

06:15

Jeff Jarvis: Mobile's not the next big thing, just a path to it

Buzzmachine :: Google views content — our content — as a tool that generates signals about their users, building relationships, data, and value. Google views mobile as a tool that also generates signals and provides opportunities to target content and services to the individual, where she is, and what she’s doing now (thus Android’s Google Now).

[Jeff Jarvis:] We in news and media should bring those strands together to knit a mobile strategy around learning about people and serving them better as a result — not just serving content on smaller screens.

Continue to read here Jeff Jarvis, buzzmachine.com

Tags: Google Mobile

August 18 2012

12:30

Oracle, Google file list of paid journalists

paidContent :: Concerned that Google and Oracle were paying authors and journalists to influence a highly-publicized trial, a federal judge asked them to name names. Today, the parties filed their lists – Oracle names FOSS Patents blogger Florian Müller and Google names no one.

A report by Jeff John Roberts, paidcontent.org

12:08

U.S. video viewing statistics: Facebook second largest video site in July

comScore :: Google Sites, driven primarily by video viewing at YouTube.com, ranked as the top online video content property in July with 157 million unique viewers, followed by Facebook.com with 53 million, Yahoo! Sites with 48.7 million, VEVO with 44.8 million and Microsoft Sites with 42.7 million.

A report by www.comscore.com

August 17 2012

09:33

Google updates Android Voice Search to support 13 additional languages

The Next Web :: As the battle over voice continues to unfold, Google has today announced it has updated Voice Search for Android devices to support an additional 13 languages, bringing the total to 42 languages and regional accents in 46 countries.

A review by Matt Brian, thenextweb.com

Tags: Android Google
05:59

Newspaper ad: You know who needs a haircut? A print ad for Google ads

Canada’s Globe and Mail newspaper ran a print ad for Google Adwords on Thursday. "People are searching for a haircut," the ad reads. The ad continues and concludes, that "maybe that's why ads on Google work."  It shows that print ads work, tweeted Steve Ladurantaye, a Globe and Mail media reporter.

An ad for Google ads in today's Globe demonstrates the value of print ads, yes? twitter.com/syladurantaye/…

— Steve Ladurantaye (@sladurantaye) August 14, 2012

Lauren Indvik, mashable.com called it "a nice bit of multi-faceted irony" to use print ads to market Google's "directly competitive" Adwords. From her point of view the print ad shows "Why Newspaper Ads Don’t Work".

I would say both is true: print ads work (or do you believe that Google's wasting money?) and Google ads work both in their specific context.

01:07

HTML5, Apps and JavaScript Wrap-Up

The first TimesOpen event of 2012 was a big success and a lot of fun.

August 16 2012

17:38

Google’s Richard Gingras: Perspectives on the 'Future of News'

AEJMC :: I started my career decades ago in the comparatively simplistic world of television programming and counter-programming. We are now combining the use of computer programs along with the basic concepts of media programming to drive discovery over the full matrix of the social graph, the interest graph, the functional graph, the geo-graph. Yes, these are interesting times. They are exciting times. Yes, there has been tremendous and painful disruption but let’s consider the huge positives that underlie that disruption.

[Richard Gingras:] I have never reported a story or worked deeply enough in the journalism trenches to ever be comfortable using that label. I am a technologist. I develop and architect products.

Opening keynote by Richard Gingras, www.aejmc.org

Tags: Google

August 15 2012

20:28

The newsonomics of breakthrough digital TV, from Aereo to Dyle and MundoFox to Google Fiber

In 1998, when Rupert Murdoch’s News Corp. bought the Los Angeles Dodgers, the storied franchise was worth $380 million. News Corp. sold the team in 2003 for $430 million. After winning the ability to negotiate a new multi-billion sports TV contract this fall, they sold earlier this year for $2 billion, blowing the lid off sports property values.

In 1994, the San Diego Padres were worth $80 million. After recently signing a 20-year deal with Fox Sports for $1.2 billion, they sold (pending league approval) for $800 million.

Meanwhile, in 2000, the Los Angeles Times was worth at least $1.5 billion when it was sold as part of Times Mirror to Tribune Company. Today, as it is newly readied for market out of the Tribune bankruptcy, it would go for something less than $250 million. The San Diego Union-Tribune, once valued near a billion dollars, sold for about $35 million in 2009 and about $110 million in 2011.

It’s a reversal of fortune: Newspaper franchises that once outvalued baseball teams by 3-1 or 5-1 or 10-1 now see the inverse of that ratio. Why?

Two letters: TV.

Those numbers tell us a lot about the continuing power of television, in worth, in value creation, and in the news business itself. If we look just at recent events in the ongoing transformation of broadcast and cable to digital, we now see multiple breakthroughs on their path to digital. They give us indications of what the news business, video and text, will look like in the coming years. While we can argue endlessly about the relative virtues and vices of print and TV news, we must acknowledge the relative ascendance of TV and think about what that means for the news business overall.

TV’s revenues are holding up far better than newspaper companies’, and TV is better positioned to survive the great digital disruption.

TV has continued to have great audience. Nearly three in four Americans tune in to local TV news at least weekly, surpassing newspaper penetration, even as Pew Research points out they mainly do it for three topics: breaking news, weather, and traffic. Further, it retains great ad strength — 42 percent of national ad spending, matching the actual number of minutes Americans spend with the medium and making it the only medium still ahead of digital spending as digital has surpassed print (newspapers + magazines this year, both in the U.S. and globally). Yes, TV remains a gorilla. While Netflix won headlines when it announced it had streamed one billion hours of TV and movies in a single month, that huge number compared to about 43 billion hours of U.S. TV consumption, according to Nielsen’s 4Q 2011 Cross-Platform report.

In a nutshell, that’s the difference between TV and video, circa 2012. Video is the next wave — incorporating TV perhaps, but still the very young kid on the block.

Today, TV is no longer a box. Sure, even with all the Rokus, Boxees, and Apple TVs, it seems like TV isn’t yet an out-of-the-box experience. But with Hulu, Netflix, and Comcast’s Xfinity, it’s emerging quickly, escaping our fixed idea of what it once was — the boob tube in the living room. If it’s not just a box anymore, it’s a platform. From that platform, we see both the disruptors and the incumbents doubling down their bets. As in most things digital, few of these launches will be huge winners — but some will drive big breakthroughs. Some of the iconic legacy companies we’ve long known will be absorbed in the woodwork as new brands supplant them. Consider the spate of recent innovation, as we quickly assess the newsonomics going forward:

  • NBC, bashed up and down Twitter, nonetheless proved out a new business model with its multi-platform approach to Olympics coverage. Whatever you think of the tape delays or the suspended reality of Bob Costas’ gaze, NBC made the economics work, surprising itself and others. Its live streaming has ratified the development of cable- and satellite-authenticated, all-access digital delivery. That reinforces cable/satellite value. Further, it whetted prime-time viewing appetites, boosting ratings and earning NBC more ad revenue than it had projected. That’s icing on the cake for NBC, which, under Comcast ownership, has rocketed forward in digital strategy. The network has made a number of moves to transform itself into a global, video-forward, digital news company, joining the Digital Dozen global news pack. Recently, it bought out Microsoft’s share of msnbc.com, a leading Internet news portal. It immediately rechristened it NBCNews.com. In short order, it appointed Patricia Fili-Krushel as the new head of NBCUniversal News Group, an entity made up of NBC News, CNBC, MSNBC, and the Weather Channel. A former president of ABC, with 10 years of experience at Time Warner, she heads a growing news operation. Earlier this year, NBC combined its sports properties into a unified NBC Sports Group, merging NBC’s broadcast sports unit and Comcast’s regional sports networks. NBC is growing out of its digital adolescence. (See “One year after she was hired, Vivian Schiller’s ‘wild ride’ at NBC is just beginning.”)
  • Aereo, the TV startup funded by media magnate Barry Diller, is expanding its footprint from its current New York City base, and starting to offer multiple promotional deals. Diller’s in-your-face challenge to over-the-air broadcasters (CBS, NBC, Fox, ABC, CW, PBS) takes their signals and delivers that programming via the Internet. It charges consumers $12 a month, or as little as a dollar a day. They can then watch those TV stations on up to five devices; in addition, they can deliver these signals to a TV via Apple TV or Roku. Aereo also offers DVR capability, with 40 hours of storage. It’s classic disruption, with Aereo upping the pressure on the cable bundle and messing with the “retrans” fees that broadcasters get from cable companies to run their programming. Is it really legal, as a court recently found? It may be as legal as Google presenting snippets from every publisher and directory provider.
  • Local broadcasters — representing a broad swath of ownership groups organized in a newer company called Pearl — are bringing local TV to our mobile devices themselves. Just a week ago, Metro PCS started selling a Samsung Galaxy S phone with a TV receiver chip in 12 markets. That’s just the first push of Mobile Content Ventures, a collection of Pearl, NBC, Fox, and others. Expect mobile TV, marketed as Dyle, to be available for other phones and tablets, either with built-in chips or after-market accessories — although price points are an issue, with $100-plus premiums likely over the next year. So what does this innovation mean? Simply, that broadcasters are going direct to mobile consumers — no Internet needed, no data charges applying, and maybe providing more consistent video connectivity — with live programming; whatever is on TV at that moment is also on your phone or tablet. Broadcasters just use part of their digital signal to, uh, broadcast to us on our phones. It’s that antenna, and its cost, that’s the issue. Business questions abound. Given the timing of the launch, Dyle seems like an aspiring Aereo killer, and certainly broadcasters would like to see it do that, if further court action doesn’t. More deeply, though, broadcasters want to maintain their direct-to-consumer brand identity as they do a balancing act and try to keep those retrans fees from cable and satellite companies. They don’t want to be left out of the digital party.
  • Social TV pulls up a chair. First it was startup Second Screen, matching tablet ads to real-time TV viewing. Now ConnecTV, partnered with Pearl, is trying to corner the activity as it takes off. Its promise: “synchronization of local news, weather, sports, and entertainment programming along with social polls.” Ah, synchronicity, a Holy Grail of our digital aspirations. Last week, Cory Bergman (a man of at least three full-time digital lives, with MSNBC, Next Door Media, and Lost Remote) sold his Last Remote social-TV site to Mediabistro.
  • Then there’s the disruptor of everything on planet Earth, Google. The company recently announced it is putting another $200 million into YouTube Channels, building on its initial $150 million investment. The move emphasizes how quickly YouTube is growing beyond its homegrown, user-generated roots. Now partnering with dozens of prime video producers, creating more than 100 new channels, it is trying to establish itself in viewers’ lives as a go-to video aggregation source. Major video producers are still wary of Google getting between them and their customers, both ad and viewer, but many others are signed on. Meanwhile, in Kansas City, Google Fiber TV (TV that’s healthier for you?) launches. It’s a rocket shot at the cable, telco, and satellite incumbents. It’s also a demonstration project: providing more, cheaper. The more: interactive search for TV that combs your DVR and third-party services such as Netflix. (Yes, The Singularity ["The newsonomics of Google ad singularity"] marches on.) Google Fiber TV combines DVR and third-party (Netflix-plus) search. Its DVR holds 500 hours of storage of shows in 1080p and the ability to record eight TV shows simultaneously. Bandwidthpalooza. Google’s goal: Toss a hand grenade among the TV-as-usual business models, and pick up some of the pieces, adding new significant revenue lines.
  • CNN moves to break out of its identity funk, figuring out what that powerful global brand means in this fast-changing digital news world. CNN President Jim Walton recently stepped down, clearly acknowledging that his 10-year run had reached an end. “CNN needs new thinking,” he said in a farewell note. On TV, CNN has been beaten up badly both both Fox News and MSNBC. In 2Q, CNN showed its worst numbers in 20 years, down 35 percent year-over-year. On the web, it’a a top-three news player. But overall, it’s become the Rodney Dangerfield of news entities, getting little respect. Its cable fees — the strength of its revenues — could be challenged by low ratings. Going forward and competing against other global news brands — many of which are transitioning their own businesses to gain far greater digital reader revenue — it is, at this moment, caught betwixt and between. How it brings together a single — and global — digital/TV identity is at the core of its continuing journalistic importance and financial performance.

That’s a short list. We could easily add HuffPo’s streaming initiative and The Wall Street Journal’s wider video embrace. Or Les Moonves’ digital moves at CBS. And Fox’s new MundoFox, Spanish-language TV network, taking on Telemundo and Impremedia. The new network, at birth, offers a strong digital component, working at launch with advertisers along those lines. Let’s note some quick takeaways here, all of which we’ll be talking about in 2013:

  • Note how much you see the names News Corp. and Fox here. While segregating its text assets (and liabilities), News Corp. is investing greatly in the video future.
  • Cable bundling’s longevity is uncertain. There’s a lot of residual power here, but we know how quickly that can fade in legacy media. Yes, the unbundling of cable and satellite has been overestimated by some, as Peter Kafka pointed out recently. Yet, these multiple digital strategies may still push a tipping point. Clearly, legacy TV media, despite their public protestations, sees that potential and is acting in multiple ways to prepare for it.
  • Though broadcasters are making major digital pushes, they start from a lowly digital position. Many broadcasters can count no more than 5 percent of their total revenues coming from digital. That compares to 15-20 percent or more for newspaper companies. While there are other sources of revenue have been more stable than those of newspapers, they need to grow digital revenues quickly to make up for inevitable erosion of older money streams.
  • TV ≠ newspapers. Much of broadcasters’ revenues are made on non-news programming, as much as one-half to two-thirds for most local broadcasters. While learning from TV experience here is useful, given lots of differences, the learnings must be smartly applied. As news consumers and advertisers move increasingly digital, though, that thick line that separate local TV from local newspapers thins by the day.

The all-access, news-anywhere, entertainment-everywhere era has created a new massive business competition. Which brands will be top of mind? Who will consumers pay? How valuable is news itself in this contest?

Comcast, Time Warner, Verizon, AT&T — pipes companies — are in one corner. CNN, NBC, CBS, ABC, Fox, HBO, Showtime, and other known-to-consumer brands in another. Aggregators like Netflix and Hulu over there. Media marketers like Amazon and Apple holding court. Google. The local broadcasters fighting for their place in this digital ring. This new battle of brands, in and around “TV,” is now joined.

18:34

Google Maps now has schedules for more than one million public transit stops worldwide

Official Google Blog :: Since 2005, we’ve collaborated with hundreds of transit authorities around the world to make a comprehensive resource for millions of riders to find out which bus, train, subway or tram can take them to their next destination. Today, Google Maps has public transportation schedules for more than one million transit stops worldwide, in nearly 500 cities including New York, London, Tokyo and Sydney.

Posted by Christopher Van Der Westhuizen, googleblog.blogspot.de

Tags: Google
16:12

Mobile’s not the next big thing, just a path to it

The Knight Foundation’s News Challenge just announced its next theme: mobile. And that’s a good thing because news organizations have been all-too pokey in figuring out how to serve people in this venue.

When Arthur Sulzberger announced his hiring of a new CEO, the BBC’s Mark Thompson, he said, “Our future is on to video, to social, to mobile.”

With respect, I’m not so sure. Saying that mobile is what comes next means, I fear, that we’re going to take what we do in media — making content, selling audiences — and figure out how to keep doing it on video, in social, and in mobile.

But that’s not what we really do.

Is Google just doing mobile next? Google has a mobile operating system. It has a Google-branded phone and tablet. It bought a phone manufacturer. It made apps for all its services for mobile. Even so, I don’t think Google is becoming a mobile company. For Google, mobile is a tool, a path to improve its real business.

What is its real business? The same as media’s business should be: Relationships — knowing people and serving them better because of what it knows about them.

With newspaper companies, I’ve been arguing that they should abandon page views as a metric because it has been a corrupting influence that carried on the old-media myth that the more “audience” you have the more you can charge advertisers and the more money you’ll make. The pursuit of page views has led news organizations to draw traffic — people — they cannot monetize (because they come from outside the market or come just once from search or Drudge). And the insistence that they remain in the content business has led news organizations to believe they must still sell that content; thus, pay walls.

Google views content — our content — as a tool that generates signals about their users, building relationships, data, and value. Google views mobile as a tool that also generates signals and provides opportunities to target content and services to the individual, where she is, and what she’s doing now (thus Android’s Google Now).

We in news and media should bring those strands together to knit a mobile strategy around learning about people and serving them better as a result — not just serving content on smaller screens. Mobile=local=me now. We should build a strategy on people over content, on relationships.

That’s what mobile means to me: a path to get us to the real value in our business. For you folks cooking up ideas for the Knight News Challenge (and for you, my new neighbor, Mr. Thompson) I suggest starting there.

07:28

Jeff Sonderman: Google acquires media companies without becoming one

Poynter :: Google is “unarguably a media company” following its acquisition of travel-guide publisher Frommer’s, Jeff Bercovici writes. “The travel-guide publisher is indisputably a content business, not a platform or a network or anything else more quintessentially Google-y.” So, should the rest of The Media think of Google as one of their own? It’s complicated.

A opinion piece by Jeff Sonderman, www.poynter.org

Google acquires media companies without becoming one: journ.us/OWJjhm Why Larry Page is not the next Rupert Murdoch

— Poynter (@Poynter) August 14, 2012
Tags: Google

August 13 2012

20:15

It was once called a search engine: Google to buy frommer's brand from Wiley & Sons

Over and out! Or in the words of Jeff Bercovici, Forbes: "Can We All Just Agree (Google is) A Media Company Now?"

Wall Street Journal :: Google Inc. is acquiring the Frommer's travel-guide business, further thrusting itself into content publishing in a bid to attract more advertising dollars tied to online-travel bookings and local-business information.

A report by [exclusive subscriber content] Jeffrey A. Trachtenberg | Amir Efrati, online.wsj.com

Tags: Google
14:02

August 12 2012

18:54

NCTech4Good Meetup: Google+ and Hangouts for Nonprofits, Aug 15, UNC-TV

Google+ and Hangouts for Nonprofits
Wednesday, August 15, 2012, 6:30 PM to 8:30 PM
UNC-TV : 10 T.W. Alexander Drive, Research Triangle Park, NC
RSVP:  http://www.meetup.com/NCTech4Good/events/75020272/

read more

13:50
13:45

August 09 2012

17:20

Safari tracking: Google has agreed to pay a civil penalty of $22.5m

BGR :: The Federal Trade Commission on Thursday announced that Google has agreed to pay a civil penalty of $22.5 million to settle charges that it misrepresented itself to users of Apple’s Safari Web browser. Earlier this year, it was discovered that the Internet giant had been bypassing the security settings on Safari to install unwanted third-party tracking cookies on computers even when such actions were supposed to be blocked.

A report by Dan Graziano, www.bgr.com

Tags: Apple Google
15:50
13:03

Has social media changed journalism?

No, journalism hasn't changed, but the news ecoysystem has. This change is substantial. It is a radical transformation of processes, players and how we consume news.

Media Update :: Social media has changed the way that people gather, distribute and source their news. As FreshNetworks marketing manager, Jo Stratmann, rightly says, “[news now] emerges from an ecosystem in which journalists, sources, readers and viewers exchange information”.

And today? - A report by Darren Gilbert, mediaupdate.co.za

HT: Steffen Burkhardt, University of Hamburg, Chair in Journalism and Communication Studies, here:

Social media and its transformation of journalism mediaupdate.co.za/Default.aspx?I… @stkonrath

— Steffen Burkhardt (@st_burkhardt) August 9, 2012

August 08 2012

17:23

Judge in Google, Oracle case seeks names of paid reporters, bloggers

Reuters :: Google Inc and Oracle Corp's copyright and patent battle took a strange twist on Tuesday, after a judge ordered the companies to disclose the names of journalists, bloggers and other commentators on their payrolls.

A report by Alexei Oreskovic, www.reuters.com

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