Media Business News and Trends

Andrew Sullivan is taking The Dish and going it alone. In a post made on the first workday of the 2013, Sullivan announced he was taking The Dish and leaving The Daily Beast. When the contract expired at the end of 2012, Sullivan says he started mulling over his options:"As usual, we sought your input and the blogosphere's - hence the not-terribly subtle thread that explored whether online readers will ever pay for content, and how. The answer is: no one really knows. But as we debated and discussed that unknowable future, we felt more and more that getting readers to pay a small amount for content was the only truly solid future for online journalism..."

Posted Jan 02, 2013

Barnes & Noble is kicking off the new year by selling a five percent stake in Nook Media to Person, according to Fierce Content Management. For $89.5 million, Pearson now has the right to publish its education content on the Nook and perhaps even distribute devices.

Posted Jan 02, 2013

The naming of Ray Kurzweil as Google's new director of engineering in late 2012 may not have registered as even a blip on the radar of many digital content companies (DCCs). But this simple hiring announcement concerning the famous futurist, author, and inventor may, in fact, represent a symbolic milestone in the rapidly changing information age. Because it's yet another sign that smart DCCs-including Google-value the promise and potential of artificial intelligence (AI), which Kurzweil has long preached has the capacity to greatly enhance our lives.

Posted Jan 02, 2013

The Tribune Company closed out 2012 by emerging from bankruptcy ready to sell off much of its holdings, according to The Chicago Tribune. The company's new board has plans to eventually sell off its eight newspapers, 23 television stations, and stakes in other companies according to the article.

Posted Jan 01, 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 21, 2012

Every week, EContentmag.com highlights hot stories and links on digital content and digital media. Here are the latest links for the week of December 17, 2012, with stories on Random House, mobile entertainment revenues, and more.

Posted Dec 20, 2012

Amazon Studios, the original film and series production arm of Amazon.com, announced that it plans to produce pilots for six original comedy series. The series come from a diverse set of writers including newcomers to Hollywood and industry veterans. This marks the studios' first pilot production since expanding into original programming development earlier this year.

Posted Dec 20, 2012

IBM announced it has entered into a definitive agreement to acquire StoredIQ Inc., a privately held company based in Austin, Texas. Financial terms of the deal were not disclosed.

Posted Dec 19, 2012

With its generous use of color and graphics--and its emphasis on shorter news stories--USA TODAY, the self-described "nation's newspaper," made a big splash when it stepped onto the national news scene 30 years ago in September 1982."USA TODAY sort of imagined what web publishing, web content would look like before we knew there was going to be a web," says Alan D. Mutter, a consultant specializing in corporate initiatives and new media ventures involving journalism and technology.

Posted Dec 19, 2012

Even the most die-hard digital aficionado surely can't help but have a sneaky regard for the hard men of the 19th and 20th centuries arts and letters, such as van Gogh, Hemingway, and Picasso-who were all, allegedly, users of Moleskine notebooks with their iconic waxy black covers and elastic closures. It's been well-documented, however, that this impressive heritage is, in fact, marketing chutzpah, since the Moleskine brand was only invented (by an Italian company) in 1997.

Posted Dec 18, 2012

Every week, EContentmag.com highlights hot stories and links on digital content and digital media. Here are the latest links for the week of December 13, 2012, with stories on Random House, mobile entertainment revenues, and more.

Posted Dec 13, 2012

Perfect Sense Digital announced it has acquired KickApps, a social media application. This is the first acquisition by Perfect Sense Digital, a full-service product development company based in Reston, VA. Perfect Sense Digital will integrate key social features into their Brightspot CMS, including identity management, social graph sharing and user-generated content tools in early 2013.

Posted Dec 13, 2012

According to one Huffington Post writer, Facebook's 1 billion user figures may be vastly overstated. Janet Tavakoli says that due to duplicate accounts, straight out fakes, and identity fraud, she estimates the social media giant's use base to be more around the 500 million mark.

Posted Dec 11, 2012

Content marketing has had quite a run. After an interesting battle with terms such as branded content, custom media, brand journalism, and custom publishing, Google searches tell us that content marketing is now the de facto term for nonmedia companies creating relevant content to attract and retain customers.

Posted Dec 10, 2012

North Plains, announced it has acquired VYRE, a UK-based leading provider of marketing resource management (MRM) and brand asset management (BAM) software. This acquisition will enable North Plains and VYRE customers to optimize the entire creative marketing lifecycle to create, manage and share rich media, improving marketing agility and profitability.

Posted Dec 06, 2012

Wondering why the picture you just took of your lunch and promptly Instagram'd isn't displaying properly on you Twitter feed? Well, according to The New York Times it isn't just a glitch. Instagram - and by extension, Facebook - disabled the ability for photos to display properly on the Twitter site and applications.

Posted Dec 05, 2012

Posted Dec 05, 2012

IBM announced the closing of its acquisition of Kenexa. Kenexa allows IBM to help clients embrace social business capabilities while gaining actionable insights from the streams of information generated from social networks every day. The net purchase price is approximately $1.3 billion.

Posted Dec 04, 2012

It seems that News Corp.'s foray into the world of iPad-only newspapers is coming to an end - at least for now. With a reported annual operating cost of $30 million dollars, The Daily will be closing its virtual newsroom on December 15, according to Good Ereader.

Posted Dec 04, 2012

In my last column, I discussed some fundamental rules that remain in place even as journalism is changing before our eyes. But as the role of journalism changes, we are still bringing new generations of journalists into the fold--and I happen to have one in my own house.

Posted Dec 04, 2012

By all measures, 2012 was a boom year for social media. From big acquisitions and huge IPOs to increasing engagement on every screen, social media was omnipresent-growing bigger at every turn.

Posted Dec 03, 2012

For every brave soul that posts a comment on a website or blog there are likely hundreds of others simply lurking in the background. Content providers crave interaction and want to encourage discussion, yet many find themselves faced with a dearth of comments, save for perhaps those spammy postings that pop up every once in a while. What can they do?

Posted Nov 30, 2012

"Cyber Monday" may have come and gone, but that doesn't mean America is done with its online holiday shopping. In fact, a recent LivePerson survey found that 63% of shoppers plan to do 50% or more of their holiday shopping online. And this holiday season retailers have relatively new tool at their disposal with sites like the wildly-popular Pinterest.

Posted Nov 28, 2012

Digital publishing house Vertical Media has obtained a €600,000 from investors. The funding will be used to introduce new products and expand existing business portfolios. The Berlin publishing house produces online magazines: Gründerszene.de and VentureVillage.eu and hosting the Heureka! conference, along with networking events and seminars.

Posted Nov 27, 2012

For electronic content providers and digital publishers, the age-old question remains: fee or free? Today, the answer for many lies somewhere in between-in other words, freemium. As a business model, freemium-offering a completely gratis but possibly feature-limited product or service that also allows options for premium upgrades/options that users can pay for-is increasingly in vogue, as evidenced by the popularity of Facebook, Twitter, Skype, LinkedIn, Dropbox, Google, and countless other businesses offering free versions of products used by millions today. (Case in point: IHS recently revealed that an astounding 96% of all smartphone apps downloaded in 2011 were free.)

Posted Nov 26, 2012

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