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May 04 2010


Ads on the iPads, Dollars in Your Pockets

Apple said Monday that it sold one million iPads in the first 28 days of release, reaching that milestone for the tablet computer faster than it did for the iPhone.

One of the biggest benefits of the device for advertisers is that it's highly measurable, said Chris Anderson, author of "The Long Tail," when I caught up with him at the recent ad:tech San Francisco conference. (note: a longer interview with Anderson is available here.)

In this week's New Media Minute, I also include brief profiles of two emerging new media start-ups, Coincident TV and AlphaBird, and share insight from a Writer's Guild of America rep on how Web creators can win sponsorships.

Daisy Whitney

Editor's Note:  Daisy's New Media Minute is produced and sponsored separately from Beet.TV.  We are pleased to publish her segment regularly here.  AP

March 13 2010


At South by Southwest and Updates

Today I am at South by Southwest.

Yes, you can tell I’m a noob because I didn’t refer to it as just “South by.” Perhaps when this event is done I’ll write a bit of a contrarian post about SXSW. The quick takeaways are.

1. Spring break for the internet: W000! Show me your A.P.I.!

2. The Ikea of tech conferences.

Regardless of that – it’s always a blast to see folks like Matt Thompson, Patrick Thornton, Sean Blanda, Will Sullivan, Dan Gillmor, Tristan Harris, Joe Edelman, Matt Mireles, Raines Cohen, Scott Rosenberg, Jonathan Berger and more. You’ll just be walking down the hall and boom, there they are. Working on the Internet often means you don’t get face-t0-face time with your colleagues. Even though I don’t directly work with any of these individuals, I consider them allies in a changing media landscape which we are all defining and redefining. Being able to shake a hand or give a hi-five never hurt. I’m sure I’ll run into more good folks tomorrow.

Meanwhile my geek out moment today was seeing Bruce Sterling breeze past me. Almost stopped him while he was walking just to say “thanks” without giving that a qualification.

Tomorrow I’m giving a talk on community funded reporting with Lynn Headley. My quick powerpoint is below. But as I often say: “Power corrupts and PowerPoints corrupt absolutely. Still – they provide me a mental map of things I want to cover.

View more presentations from David Cohn.

From here I’ll be going down to Columbia Missouri to visit the Reynolds Institute of Journalism. No doubt I’ll speak with more interesting journo-media-folk. I’ll try and grab some video/photos to share later. I used to make sure that at every conference I went to I would grab one good interview – even if it was five minutes nonchalant. Lately I’ve let that practice go. I hope to revive it.

There is lots going on in the life of Digidave. I also hope to revamp this website. Spot.Us though remains priority number one!

I have been a bad personal blogger as a result of this priority. I can’t say it will change dramatically anytime soon and I think most folks who follow this blog understand that and support what I’m doing with my work. Still – I owe you more.

Also note: I have started a more quirky personal blog: Digidave’s Quickies. These are mostly cool videos, links, etc. That space will be for personal rants, raves, links and more. I’ll keep this one more professional and of course the MOST professional stuff will be on Spot.Us since – that’s what I do in my day-to-day.

March 12 2010


NBC Local Media Launches "Feast," an Aggregated Restaurant Ratings Tool

SAN FRANCISCO--NBC Local recently launched a beta site called Feast.  It combines ratings from top sources including the NYT.com, Zagat, and Yelp to determine overall rankings of local restaurants.

Brian Buchwald, EVP of NBC's Integrated Local Media, explained the website to Daisy Whitney at Beet.TV's San Francisco roundtable last month. 

He equated Feast to "Rotten Tomatoes for restaurants," but also notes that NBC Local plans to expand the composite ratings function to other categories.  The ratings are determined by weighing each review according to source credibility.

So far, Feast has been debuted in NY, Miami, Chicago, and LA, with ten more markets in the making.  Features on the site include the ability to make lists of "must try" restaurants and share them with friends and up to date blog posts about food news in your city.

Feast is a step towards NBC Local Media's goal to offer more lifestyle content on its websites--Buchwald calls it a "game changer."

News of the launch was reported last month by Mike Shields at Mediaweek.

Allison Salewski, Associate Producer


January 07 2010


Google's Chrome Has 40 Million Active Users, Glide Annouces Extension at CES

MOUNTAIN VIEW, CA--Google's Chrome has reached 40 million active users since the Windows beta release in September 2008.  Beet.TV's Daisy Whitney visited Google headquarters to speak with Google spokesman Eitan Bencuya about developments with the new browser. 

Eitan says Google recently launched beta versions of Chrome for Mac and Linux, which are tailored to the attributes of each platform instead of being merely an adaptation of the Windows version. 

Additionally, Google has just added an extension platform for beta users of Chome on Windows and Linux.  To introduce the 800+ extensions, Google hosted an event that 140 developers attended and spoke at December's Add-On Con.

Today at CES, Glide, a Transmedia company that created a comprehensive Ad-Free cloud computing solution, announces its extension for Chrome that equips Chrome with file synchronization and file format translation features.  It also provides 20GB of free storage without any ads. This will purportedly "one-up" the yet unreleased version of Chrome OS, but TechCrunch.com says it's still fairly clunky.

Allison Salewski, Associate Producer

December 08 2009


"Early Adopters" are Migrating from Social Neteworks to Cool Websites, Hitwise's Bill Tancer

What's the next big thing in new media?To answer that question, I turned to Bill Tancer, author of of Click and the research guru at online audience measurement firm Hitwise.

Tancer shared some exclusive insight for New Media Minute viewers into where the online trendsetters who made Facebook, YouTube, and Flickr popular way back when are now hanging out on the Web.

Essentially, they are moving away from crowd sourced content to curated content. Some of their favorite hot spots online are 5Min.com, OVGuide, and VideoJug.com.

Daisy Whitney

Editor's Note:  Daisy's New Media Minute is produced and sponsored separately from Beet.TV.  We are pleased to publish her segment regularly here.  AP

November 25 2009


Video Services Start-up Ooyala Readies Licensing Scheme for Web Video Syndication

MOUNTAIN VIEW, CA  -- First -- the question everyone wants to know when reporting on the video platform company Ooyala. What the heck does Ooyala mean?

It means "cradle" in the Indian language Telegu and the company picked it because it believes in "cradling innovation," Ooyala co-founder Bismarck Lepe told Beet.TV during an interview at the company's Mountain View, Calif. offices last week.

Lepe is a former senior Google executive.

As a newer entrant to the video platform business, Ooyala faces a tough challenge in competing with incumbents like Brightcove and thePlatform.

But Ooyala has been picking up speed lately and just last week inked a deal with video ad network YuMe to let Ooyala customers insert YuMe ad overlays during live streaming. Live streaming has been a tough area to monetize with ads; a deal like this can potentially help. Also, Forrester Research recently cited Ooyala as one of the top online video platforms in a recent report, citing the company's monetization and analytics.

"Ooyala has focused on building the entire stack of technology and services into the publishing platform.  This allows ud to provide a comprehensive platform without the need of additional vendors," Lepe said. "We have benefited from Brightcove's evangelism and investment in the market. Being a fast follower in the video platform space with a technology bent has served us well."

Indeed, Ooyala seems to be gaining ground in a crowded field. Lepe told us Ooyala counts more than 500 media and non-media customers that reach more than 100 million uniques on a monthly basis. That includes Warner Brothers, Endemol, Fremantle and Vice Magazine, along with marketers like Johnson & Johnson and Dell, who use Ooyala for instructional and marketing videos, Lepe said. The company has raised more than $10 million in venture funding and generated "four-digit" revenue and customer growth in the last 12 months, he added.

The growth is coming in large part because of the flexibility of the platform and work the company is doing to support multiple business models. "In 2010, a lot of the innovation will be around better analytic solutions as well as taking all that data and automatically placing the right type of ads and figuring out if the content should be monetized with subscription or pay-per-view."

Ooyala is also testing licensing video for syndication, Lepe said. "We've been experimenting with non ad-supported content distribution models in 2009 and will be making two of them available to our
publishers in the early part of 2010," he told us in a follow-up interview. "This allows anyone to get video out to their constituents and we that is a big and growing business."

Daisy Whitney, Senior Producer

November 24 2009


Comcast's thePlatform Unit Dominates Online Video Services for Cable Operators in North America

SAN JOSE, CA -- Adding another notch to its cable customer belt, online video technology firm thePlatform inked a deal to power broadband video for Rogers Cable. 

The company's VP of marketing Marty Roberts told us thePlatform now delivers online video for five of the seven largest cable operators including Comcast, Time Warner, Cox and Cablevision. thePlatform is owned by Comcast.

That type of exposure with North America's biggest cable companies may help thePlatform extend its reach as a TV Everywhere technology partner. It's already powering Comcast's launch of TV Everywhere, which kicks off next month, Amy Banse told us.

In fact, the company also said it's added new capabilities to its TV Everywhere toolset. The new features are designed to streamline the process of authentication and authorization. Those issues in particular -- verifying who can watch which programs when -- have been cited as some of the biggest hurdles TV Everywhere faces. The company's new "authentication adapter" should help simplify the authentication process, Roberts said.

In addition, thePlatform landed 20 new cable programmers as customers. Several Comcast-owned networks are in that crop including E!, G4 and Style, but the tech firm also nabbed deals with Fox Sports Network.

What's most interesting about that partnership is Fox Sports will use thePlatform's Web tools to deliver clips and highlights from high school games and other sporting events that don't make it to the linear channel but do hold great interest for many fans, Roberts said.

We caught up with him at the Streaming Media West conference in San Jose last week.

Daisy Whitney, Senior Producer

November 21 2009


eBay is a Style Barometer: Plaids, Rocker-Chic and Leather Jackets are Hot, Says Constance White

NEW YORK, NY-- eBay has the pulse of the fashion market because, "It's probably the only place that a person could come to and really see the breadth and depth of style at their fingertips," says Constance White, Style Director for eBay.

Yesterday, Andy met up with White, a former fashion writer for the New York Times,  who explained that eBay is a reflection of real-time fashion trends.  The top trend of the moment according to traffic on eBay plaid, leather jackets, and the rocker-chic look.

In addition, eBay has recently launched a line of mobile boutiques to appear in 13 cities this holiday season.  The 5,500 square feet New York pop-up store will be open today until November 27th and has already been visited by the likes of Kim Kardashian, actress and avid eBay seller. 

In the latter half of the video, White shows us some styles in Kim's eBay store, including some from her own collection.  Some of the proceeds from Kim Kardashian's sales will go to charities, including the Dream Foundation

Online or in store, eBay shoppers can donate to a charity of their choice at checkout and eBay will match the final donation up to $200,000.  At the 57th Street location, it will match every purchase dollar-for-dollar, up to an additional $200,000.

Check here for White's interview with Narciso Rodriguez on his upcoming eBay collection.

Allison Salewski, Associate Producer

You can also find our story on NBC Local Bay Area.

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