Media Business News and Trends

Last December, I was at the Gilbane Conference in Boston, and, toward the end of my 2 days there, I headed into a session about the Internet of Things. It had been a while since I'd thought about the idea of my refrigerator and stove talking to each other, so I thought it was time to get an update from the experts. I'd always thought the idea was a little creepy, but, after the session, I left wondering if it wasn't both incredibly useful and a bit impractical. And, of course, I was thinking about what this all means for content creators.

Posted Feb 04, 2014

Glam Media, Inc., a vertical social media company with a large online global reach in lifestyle, announced an exclusive partnership with Hubert Burda Media, to launch and operate Glam Media in Russia, Ukraine, and Kazakhstan. Samir Arora, Glam Media chairman and CEO, and Fabrizio D'Angelo, CEO of Burda International, made the announcement at the annual DLD Conference in Munich.

Posted Jan 21, 2014

Products and services from ProQuest's Seattle-based technologies business unit will now carry the ProQuest brand as the "Serials Solutions" name is retired. The change is effective immediately and customers will see the ProQuest name on business cards, email addresses, product information, and in connection with products such as the Summon discovery service and the new Intota library management service.

Posted Jan 21, 2014

Verizon Communications Inc. and Intel Corporation announced an agreement for Verizon to purchase from Intel the assets of Intel Media, a business division dedicated to the development of Cloud TV products and services. The transaction will accelerate the availability of next-generation video services, both integrated with Verizon FiOS fiber-optic networks and delivered OTT to any device.

Posted Jan 21, 2014

If you needed further proof that the Internet of Things is taking off, now you have it. Google bought Nest Labs, maker of the Nest Learning Thermostat and Protect smoke detector, for a whopping $3.2 billion on January 13, 2014.

Posted Jan 13, 2014

You may not be familiar with the name Automattic, but you're almost certainly familiar with its flagship product: WordPress. What started out as a simple blogging platform is now behind some of the biggest sites on the web, and there is a bit of a shake-up at the top of the Automattic tree. Founder Matt Mullenweg is taking over as CEO and announced the change on his blog.

Posted Jan 13, 2014

VisualGraph announced on its site that it is now part of Pinterest. VisualGraph is a machine-driven search platform that specializes in visual content. According to the post from founder Kevin Jing, "Our approach is to combine the state-of-the-art machine vision tools, such as object recognition (e.g. shoes, faces), with large-scale distributed search and machine learning infrastructures."

Posted Jan 09, 2014

As I sat down to write this column, Anonymous was in the news again--this time for its vow to help bring about justice in yet another depressingly mishandled sexual assault case. This time the news was coming out of Maryville, Mo. Anonymous, known for its internet vigilantism, called for further investigation into the Daisy Coleman case. It wrote: "Mayor Jim Fall, your hands are dirty. Maryville, expect us." And it wasn't long before Anonymous got exactly what it wanted. The case was reopened.

Posted Dec 30, 2013

In my December 2012 column, I discussed the importance of real world/virtual world connections and the way in which digital sales of Fifty Shades of Grey had seeded and driven massive print sales. Fast-forward 12 months, and charity shops in the U.K. are grappling with a glut of donated unwanted copies of Fifty Shades, which cannot be recycled and which no one wants to buy.

Posted Dec 24, 2013

Did you miss your chance to grab up Facebook shares during its initial public offering - or during the stock dump that happened shortly after? Well, you may have another chance...sort of. Facebook, Inc. announced that it is commencing an underwritten registered public offering of 70,000,000 shares of its Class A common stock. Gigom estimates this to be valued at approximately $3.9 billion.

Posted Dec 19, 2013

The EContent team suggests some sites, projects, and resources that, while outside the scope of the EContent 100 list, are well-worth a closer look.

Posted Dec 06, 2013

Amazon Publishing announced the launch of StoryFront, a new imprint offering short fiction across genres and home of the digital literary journal Day One, a weekly publication dedicated to short fiction and poetry from emerging writers.

Posted Dec 05, 2013

blinkx plc, an internet media platform that connects audiences with brands through professionally generated content, announced that it has entered into an agreement to acquire Rhythm NewMedia Inc. Rhythm, a premium mobile video advertising technology platform focused exclusively on smartphones and tablets, for a total consideration of $65.0 million.

Posted Dec 05, 2013

The fact that I don't read a newspaper isn't at all shocking. I read the news on websites like CNN, MSNBC, NPR, and so on, like many, many other people. Recently, though, something about the way I get my news has changed, and it's all because of Facebook.

Posted Dec 05, 2013

The Internet of Things is already here, though we aren't all plugged in just yet. But in the "Have You Talked to Your Refrigerator Today?" session at the Gilbane Conference in Boston, attendees were treated to a plethora of fun -- and mostly useful -- examples of the way the Internet of Things is coming to life.

Posted Dec 04, 2013

Keeping up with new startups is almost impossible. While we sleep tonight, there are thousands of caffeine-infused individuals hammering away on keyboards creating the next great thing. With a polished slide deck, a few thousand loyal alpha users, and a code repository secret sauce, anyone can take his or her idea from stealth mode to global success overnight. And while some of the companies mentioned in this article will go on to success, others will fall by the wayside, burning through cash and users similar to a summer camp bonfire. The interesting threads to follow through these few successes and myriad failures are the trends that add value to the end user. And the current crop of products and services being launched offers a great list of features to keep our eyes on.

Posted Dec 04, 2013

Regular Gilbane Conference attendees will know that the first day keynotes set the stage for the rest of the conference. If the 2013 keynotes are any indication, attendees can expect to be hearing a lot about context this year. As Meghan Walsh, senior director, e-commerce platform system management at Marriott International, put it, "Content is King but distribution is queen, and she wears the pants."

Posted Dec 03, 2013

Topsy has been keeping an archive of all the tweets ever tweeted since the 2006 launch of Twitter -- and now Apple has bought the company for over $200 million, according to the Wall Street Journal. With the acquisition, Apple will have access to the constant stream of real-time data being created by Twitter users.

Posted Dec 03, 2013

Earlier this year, news came out that Congress was trying to write a shield law to "protect" journalists. This probably sounds reasonable to you, even altruistic, but the question remains: Why shield journalists at all? We have a shield law that covers all speech. It's called the First Amendment.

Posted Dec 03, 2013

Meet the EContent 100 judging team, and get a more in-depth look at the category definitions.

Posted Dec 02, 2013

Katie Couric has come a long way since her days on The Today Show. Yahoo CEO Marissa Mayer announced in a blog post that Couric will be the new Global Anchor for Yahoo News.

Posted Nov 26, 2013

Chill.com will shut down its service on December 15, disappointing cord-cutters everywhere. Originally a social discovery service for video, Chill eventually started selling DRM-free video content, including original programming. That move didn't pay off.

Posted Nov 26, 2013

Did you miss our latest EContent Live Hangout on Google+? You can still watch it here! Join Jose Castillo, Kipp Bodnar, and David Hobbs to discuss The Financial Times' gift articles; great content marketing from Microsfot and Coca-Cola; and our panelists' upcoming appearances at the Gilbane Conference.

Posted Nov 22, 2013

After years of explosive growth, ebook sales have leveled off according to a recent report by the Book Industry Study Group, a book trade association. Ebook industry observers are split on the meaning of the leveling off of sales and what it means for the future of ebooks, with some saying that a new Netflix-like rental model is needed while others claim that the decline in sales growth is a blip in the technology's adoption due to tablet usage trends and favorable demographics.

Posted Nov 15, 2013

OneSpot, a content advertising company that combines content marketing with online advertising, announced it has completed a $5.3 million Series A round of financing. Mohr Davidow Ventures led the investment round with participation from existing and new investors Mack Capital, RSL Ventures, Capital Factory, and Bazaarvoice co-founder Brett Hurt. The investment brings OneSpot's total funding to $6.8 million and will help the company aggressively expand its sales and marketing efforts, as well as broaden and accelerate product development.

Posted Nov 14, 2013

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