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August 09 2012

16:08

April 17 2012

06:54

Google's new tune: Building a music hub with a social media beat

The Wrap :: Indeed, as the Internet has become the dominant platform for music listening and sharing, it has become harder for an artist to get noticed. Artists’ webpages are inconsistent. Labels don’t have brand awareness. Facebook offers a variety of apps, including Spotify, but hasn't focused on developing a music-driven user base. Music services don’t have the scalability or diversity of offering. iTunes is about sales, not about discovery or socialization.

Lucas Shaw: Can Google fill the space and become the next MySpace?

Continue to read Lucas Shaw, www.thewrap.com

January 06 2012

20:25

Google TV getting traction?

TechZone 360° :: Google TV has many of the same goals as Apple TV, namely to provide a simpler interface, a new way to discover great web and TV content. Google TV wants to provide a more TV-like YouTube experience, while Apple TV aims to do the same for iTunes and other content. Google says it now has more than 150 apps which developers have specifically built for TV. Up to this point, Apple TV and Google TV have used an "add a box" approach.

Continue to read Gary Kim, www.techzone360.com

January 05 2012

13:41

Deloitte survey: Where did nine million cable subscribers go?

A substantial market shift: 9% did and 11% are willing to.

AllThingsD :: New year, new chance to talk about cord-cutting/shaving/avoiding. Which is either a big deal that’s going to get bigger, or basically imaginary, depending on who you like to listen to. If you’re in the big deal camp, then you’ll like a new survey from Deloitte, which finds that a staggering one in five U.S. residents say they have either cut the cord or are thinking about doing it. The breakdown: 9% of survey respondents say they’ve recently cut the cord and are getting their shows from Netflix, Hulu, iTunes, etc.. And another 11% say they might do it.

Continue to read Peter Kafka, allthingsd.com

January 04 2012

14:18

UK - Apple want Premier League TV rights

Daily Mail :: Computer giants Apple are showing interest in joining the billion-pound battle for the next set of live Premier League TV rights when the tender goes out before the end of the season. The Premier League is seen as the type of premium content that will help establish Apple TV in the UK and boost iPad sales, while the iTunes subscription service infrastructure is already in place.

Continue to read Charles Sale, www.dailymail.co.uk

Tags: Apple iPad iTunes

January 03 2012

21:04

David Carey: Hearst's target is to reach more than 1m paid digital subscribers per month

paidContent :: In a New Year letter to employees, Hearst president David Carey reiterated that the company’s target this year is to reach over 1 million paid digital subscribers per month.

[David Carey, Hearst:] Our target is to reach more than one million paid digital subscribers per month via iTunes, Zinio, Nook, Amazon and Next Issue Media. We will fast-track the transition to HTML5 for all our sites, which allows for a far better user experience on mobile devices. ...

paidContent.org published the full letter online.

Continue to read Laura Hazard Owen, paidcontent.org

December 08 2011

18:03

Apple TV streaming quietly goes international

paidContent :: Back in August, we wrote about how Apple had started to offer U.S.-based users of its Apple TV device the ability to stream shows purchased from iTunes via Apple’s iCloud. Now it looks as if that service is becoming available internationally. Apple has not made news of its new streaming capabilities official yet, but people have spotted the service working in the UK, Australia, and Canada.

Continue to read Ingrid Lunden, paidcontent.co.uk

August 02 2011

20:28

1.3pc of total print circulation - breaking down Condé Nast's digital sales

AdWeek :: Magazine subscriptions became available on the iPad this spring, and the first meaningful set of results are out, with Condé Nast announcing that it’s drawn 242,000 digital customers through Apple’s iTunes store in the six weeks since it introduced iPad subs. Condé Nast said the results were better than expected in many cases. But a breakdown of the numbers shows it may be too early to pop the Champagne. The digital editions are a tiny amount—1.3 percent—of Condé Nast’s total print circulation, which stood at 18.6 million at the end of 2010.

Lucia Moses on Twitter: @lmoses

Continue to read Lucia Moses, www.adweek.com

July 30 2011

10:54

Digital, iPad & mobile news - success mechanics of the Financial Times

paidContent :: iPad and mobile are becoming of increasing importance to The Financial Times, accounting for 22 percent of web traffic and 15 percent of new subscriptions during the first half of this year. Last year, iPad had been responsible for a tenth of new subs, but the FT appears non-compliant with Apple’s new rules which require all subscription transactions go through iTunes Store, giving Apple 30 percent.

Robert Andrews on Twitter

Continue to read Robert Andrews, paidcontent.org

July 03 2011

07:32

The New York Times enables in-app subscriptions for iPad and iPhone apps

Mac Stories :: The New York Times has today released an update for their iPad (iTunes link) and iPhone apps that now enables users to purchase in-app subscriptions for their content that is behind a paywall. There are three subscriptions available for the content, the first is $15 for website plus iPhone access, then $20 for website plus iPad and finally all digital access (website, iPad and iPhone) for $35 – all of which are charged on a monthly basis.

Continue to read Graham Spencer, www.macstories.net

May 28 2011

20:58

Apple’s App Store: more than 500,000 apps, Android marketplace only 294,000

CultofMac :: Apple’s iTunes can boast a half-million apps. That figure likely will get an official stamp of approval when CEO Steve Jobs speaks June 9 before developers at the annual WWDC in San Francisco. The figure, apparently passed earlier Tuesday morning, places the Cupertino, Calif. company well ahead of its rival Google, which can claim 294,000 Android Marketplace apps for the open-source mobile operating system.

148apps has published further interesting data (latest update 2011-05-23): The application approval process has an average delay of 7.30 days (worst case: maximum delay 46 days). Apple receives 523 non-games applications per day. The count for total apps seen in US app stores alone: 499,170.

Continue to read Ed Sutherland, www.cultofmac.com

App store metrics by 148apps.biz/app-store-metrics

May 18 2011

19:00

Video: Civic Media Session, "Civic Disobedience"

(For great detail about the "Civic Disobedience" session, check out moderator Ethan Zuckerman's write-up.)

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May 04 2011

20:08

Video: Civic Media Session, "Design for Vulnerable Populations"

Designers often want to help people that they perceive as being in need -- whether those affected by natural or human-caused disasters, the economically or physically disadvantaged, or those who are on the losing end of a cultural power dynamic. However, naive attempts to "help" through simplistic techno-centric design can be at best ineffective, and at worst counter-productive.

What can designers do to better connect with the communities and individuals they wish to serve? How can design projects avoid patronizing attitudes and economic colonialization? How can a designer be effective in promoting social change while following their conscience?

This panel brings together designers who have worked in the mental health industry, international development, the prison system, and community environmental action to discuss what has worked and what hasn't, and what approaches designers can take to increase their chances of success.

  • Charlie DeTar (Moderator) Co-founder of Between the Bars, a blogging platform for prisoners. Fellow at the Center for Future Civic Media, and PhD student at the MIT Media Lab.
  • Patricia Deegan Creator of the CommonGround web application which supports shared decision making in psychopharmacology consultation. Adjunct Professor at the Dartmouth College School of Medicine and at Boston University, Sargent College of Health and Rehabilitation Sciences.
  • Liz Barry Director of Urban Environment at Public Laboratory for Open Technology and Science, a collaborative developing inexpensive and community-led means to explore environmental and social issues; Co-founder of TreeKIT, an initiative to collaboratively measure, map, and manage urban forests.
  • Nathan Cooke Born and raised in California, USA, Cooke works at MIT’s D-Lab documenting technologies and working with students on design projects. He has previous experience working for Frog Design in San Francisco and at Autodesk as part of their Sustainability division.

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April 25 2011

18:30

Video: "Steve Kurtz: Cultural Resistance"

A Civic Media Session about models and techniques for public interventions and soft subversions aimed at undermining authoritarian tendencies in a time of neo-liberal domination.

Known for his work in Electronic Civil Disobedience and BioArt, Steve Kurtz is a founding member of the Critical Art Ensemble, a collective of five tactical media practitioners of various specializations including computer graphics and web design, film/video, photography, text art, book art, and performance.

Formed in 1987, Critical Art Ensemble’s focus has been on the exploration of the intersections between art, critical theory, technology, and political activism.

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March 28 2011

12:06

Civic Tools Video: "Hero Reports / Crónicas de Héroes"

Lorrie LeJeune describes Hero Reports/Crónicas de Héroes, a project currently deployed in Juárez, Mexico, to help residents report and map incidents of heroism, large and small.

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March 25 2011

14:48

Civic Tools Video: "Tool for Consensus-Based Decision Making"

Charlie DeTar walks us through prototype software to aid medium-to-large groups in consensus-based decision making.

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February 17 2011

18:50

Video: From Cities, Code, and Civics: "Enhanced serendipity"

Max Ogden of Code for America discusses taking "treasure troves" of government datasets to bring citizens and friends together.

From "Cities, Code, and Civics", a Civic Media Session of the MIT Center for Future Civic Media.

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18:47

Video: From Cities, Code, and Civics, "Customizing tools from city to city?"

Nick Grossman of OpenPlans, Nigel Jacob of the City of Boston Mayor's Office of New Urban Mechanics, and Max Ogden of Code for America respond to questions about how civic tools do (or need to) vary from city to city.

From "Cities, Code, and Civics", a Civic Media Session of the MIT Center for Future Civic Media.

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18:40

Video: Civic Media Session, "Bustling with Information: Cities, Code, and Civics"

Nick Grossman, Nigel Jacob, and Max Ogden

Moderator: Center director Chris Csikszentmihályi

Cities are vibrant, complicated organisms. A still-working 200 year old water pipe might rest underground next to a brand new fiber optic cable, and citizens blithely ignore both if they are working well. Cities are constantly rewriting themselves, redeveloping neighborhoods and replacing infrastructure, but deliberative structures like school boards and city council meetings continue to run much the way they have for generations. In what ways can information systems rewrite our understanding of civics, governance, and communication, to solve old problems and create new opportunities in our communities?

Nick Grossman is Director of Civic Works at OpenPlans. He oversees development of new products around smart transportation, open municipal IT infrastructure, participatory planning, and local civic engagement.

Nigel Jacob serves as the Co-Chair of the Mayor's Office of New Urban Mechanics, a group within City Hall focused on delivering transformative services to Boston's residents. Nigel also serves as Mayor Menino's advisor on emerging technologies. In both of these roles Nigel works to develop new models of innovation for cities in the 21st century.

Max Ogden is a fellow at Code for America and develops mapping tools and social software aimed at improving civic participation and communication. This year Max is working with Nigel and the Office of New Urban Mechanics to create technologies that better enable education in Boston's Public Schools.

Civic Media Sessions
Hosted by the MIT Center for Future Civic Media, these open sessions highlight cutting-edge media research and tools for community and political engagement.

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September 23 2010

15:00

The Newsonomics of Apple’s “digital circulation” share

[Each week, our friend Ken Doctor — author of Newsonomics and longtime watcher of the business side of digital news — writes about the economics of the news business for the Lab.]

So the newspaper business is now figuring out how to deal with a new middleman, Apple. The last decade has been about moaning and groaning about The Google, how it has become the mass medium, leaving newspapers in the niche, and how it has gotten the big share of digital ad revenue as an aggregator while news creators have gotten the short end of the hockey stick. The new decade looks like it’s bringing up a suite of similar questions, with Apple first in focus (and maybe Facebook coming next).

Just when newspaper companies thought they’d seen a big, new opportunity to establish strong new reader revenue lines on the tablet, their dreams have hit the pause button. Apple says it wants 30 percent of that emerging reader revenue — including ongoing digital subscription streams — telling publishers that they, like everyone else, have to go through the App Store to do the transaction, giving Apple its due cut. Publishers are now figuring outhow to respond, and as they do, let’s look, briefly, at four sets of numbers that tell us why this Apple/newspaper company tiff matters so much. Within those four sets, we can see the emerging newsonomics of tablet reader revenue.

  • Let’s start with a global number: $34 billion. That’s the amount of circulation revenue — almost all of it print-based — that newspaper companies around the world took in last year, according to research I do annually for Outsell. That number is about 34 percent of total newspaper company revenue, which came in at $99.8 billion. So if it is newspapers’ strategy to transition paying readers to digital devices, charging them along the way, some part of that $34 billion will move to tablets, ereaders, iPads, Streaks, and whatever the next generation of devices are called. If Apple snapped its fingers and transformed the print industry tomorrow, its 30-percent take would be $10.2 billion. That’s a fantastical number, of course: No fingers can be snapped, not all print readers will transition, pricing will change, and so on. But we can see globally how much money may be in play over time.
  • Let’s move to a real-life example, The Wall Street Journal’s $17.29 monthly iPad subscription rate. It’s reportedly sold well, though we don’t have good numbers on it. It’s the major standalone, separately priced news app, and that got it a lot of attention when it was announced. While we can debate the merits of standalone iPad pricing vs. bundling the price with print/web/smartphone access, the pricing itself is of interest. The Journal understands that some readers will abandon print for the iPad. When they do, the Journal doesn’t want to exchange print circulation dollars for iPad pennies. An annual iPad subscription costs $207.48. That compares to $249 for the print edition, although the Journal’s been doing a lot of heavy discounting of its flagship paper. The Journal’s iPad pricing, which itself can be discounted over time as print is, is intended to ease that circulation revenue transition. At $208 a year, Apple would presumably take $62. Overall, the Journal counts more than 2 million in circulation, with more than 400,000 of those online-only and Kindle subs. Pricing will change over time, but just take those 400,000. If they all wanted tablet access, that could amount to $24.8 million a year for Apple.
  • Let’s move on to the New York Times, the company that is going “paid” early next year, and has the best chance of any U.S. general (non-financial) newspaper to pull it off. For the first six months of the year, the Times itself (not the other newspapers the company owns) took in $346 million in circulation revenue. Currently, its web content is free. Let’s say that it prices in a similar fashion to the Journal, keeping about the same amount of revenue as it goes digital and that 10 percent of its sales are on an Apple tablet a couple of years from now. That would mean about $35 million in iPad circulation revenue for a half a year, or $70 million for a full year. Apple’s take of that: $21 million.
  • Finally, let’s look at Apple and the music industry. Today, Apple’s iTunes pulls in about 28 percent of all music sales in the U.S., or seven-tenths of the total 40 percent of U.S. music sales that are now digital. It took Apple seven years to get there, from a dead start. Of course, the music and news businesses are completely different, right? We can name the differences, but let’s concentrate on the main thing they have in common: Many consumers love digital delivery. So that migration — from analog medium (CD, newspaper) to a suitable, finally-it’s-arrived digital device (iPod, iPhone, tablet) — may be another guide that’s useful.

Those 40 percent (of total U.S. music sales) and 28 percent (Apple’s share of overall music sales) numbers are ones to note. If they held true for news reading, then by 2017, we can be assured of one thing: Apple’s share of news “circulation” revenue would be mind-bending.

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