Media Business News and Trends

AOL has focused, almost pathologically, on local news over the past few years. The center piece of that strategy has been Patch, which is now getting a makeover. The new look focuses on social networking, and according to paidContent it will debut on five Long Island Patch sites, and slowly roll out to more - and that Patch CEO Jon Brod says the site is focusing on "content, conversation, and commerce."

Posted Sep 25, 2012

It appears that the battle of the retail behemoths is in full swing. Last week Wal-Mart announced it would no longer carry Kindles. Wal-Mart has long been one of the biggest book sellers in America. Amazon, of course, is not only known for being the largest online book retailer, it's now one of the leaders in the e-reader market and is leading Wal-Mart in the online and mobile commerce world.

Posted Sep 24, 2012

Announced to the public in April of 2012, the Department of Justice (DOJ) filed an Antitrust lawsuit against Apple and publishers Hachette, HarperCollins, Macmillan, Penguin Group (USA), and Simon & Schuster. The Justice Department alleged that Apple and the aforementioned publishing companies conspired together in an attempt to curb competitive pricing for e-books, namely in the wake of Amazon's offerings of $9.99 or less.

Posted Sep 21, 2012

While the DOJ's lawsuit against Apple and several publishers - which accuses them of price-fixing - has gotten most of our attention, a similar lawsuit has been working its way through the European legal system. While three publishers settled here in the States, Apple and the other publishers have vowed to fight on. In Europe, however, it's been a different story.

Posted Sep 20, 2012

Those of us who have come to rely on Amazon reviews in our buying decisions will no doubt find recent study results from Gartner truly disturbing. According to the research firm, by 2014 users can expect about 10%-15% of social media reviews to be paid by the companies selling the products being reviewed.

Posted Sep 18, 2012

Founded by Christian Puricelli, former CEO of Onrest Web Services, and Filmon Ghirmai, MyNews.is began a quest to transform how people discover and read news articles. MyNews.is is a personalized discovery magazine, that let's people discover news that is of interest to them. Users choose their categories and sources that interest them and then rate these sources. MyNews.is then selects news stories that may interest the user.

Posted Sep 17, 2012

You're probably most familiar with Buzzfeed as the site you visits for adorable pictures of kittens, but according to GigaOm, the company recently purchased Kingfish Labs for an undisclosed amount of money. Kingfish works in the natural language processing field, and aimed to use Facebook profiles to match up users for online dating.

Posted Sep 17, 2012

According to InfoDocket, OverDrive-which delivers ebooks to libraries for publishers-has warned library customers that Hachette will be raising its prices by 220%. Hachette allows libraries to purchase some 3,500 backlist titles in digital format.

Posted Sep 17, 2012

Amazon is notorious for intentionally vague sales figures. "The Kindle is the top selling item on Amazon.com," it is always boasting, but never really offers concrete figures about what that means. So paidContent's "unearthing" of an email from Amazon Publishing VP Jeff Belle to literary agents is more interesting than it might seem on the surface.

Posted Sep 14, 2012

TheStreet, Inc. a digital financial media company, announced that it has completed the acquisition of The Deal LLC from Wasserstein & Co. Founded in 1999 as The Daily Deal print newspaper, The Deal LLC transformed its business into a digital subscription platform that delivers coverage of the deal economy, primarily through The Deal Pipeline, a leading provider of transactional information and services.

Posted Sep 13, 2012

Alacra, Inc., a provider of online business information solutions, announced the release of the Alacra Authority File, a database of core legal entity data attributes for over 170,000 global business entities, delivered to clients daily. The Alacra Authority File is a comprehensive source of entity reference data which expands, enriches, and enhances publicly available data from the CFTC's Interim Compliant Identifier (CICI) and helps financial institutions prepare for the upcoming release of the global Legal Entity Identifier (LEI).

Posted Sep 13, 2012

Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg has been doing more than his share to help his company's faltering stock prices. First he announced that he wouldn't be selling his shares, and then, in a public appearance, he tried to assuage Wall Street's fears.

Posted Sep 12, 2012

The Hive, a new community on Boston.com, launched today as a one-stop destination for news, information, and resources on Massachusetts' innovation economy. The section, , will explore technology, start-ups, the venture community, and the exciting growth of Boston's innovation sectors through local reporting, video series, and a curated feed of the best news and ideas on entrepreneurship from around the web.

Posted Sep 12, 2012

If you visited your favorite website yesterday and found that it was out of commission you probably have Anonymous to blame. The hacktivist group - or at least Twitter accounts believed to be associated with the group - took credit for problems with GoDaddy hosted sites. Small businesses experienced outages, and eventually GoDaddy had to take down its own site and replace it with a statement.

Posted Sep 11, 2012

After last week's ruling that upheld the DOJ's settlement with publishers Hachette, Simon & Schuster, and HarperCollins things have heated up. Many were expecting ebook prices to fall this week, now that publishers have been forced to cancel their contracts with Apple, but lawyer Bob Kohn filed documents that ask Judge Denise Cote to stay her ruling.

Posted Sep 10, 2012

In a report summarizing "major changes" in news media ownership in the past year, the Pew Research Center's Project for Excellence in Journalism (PEJ) touched on a variety of topics, ranging from a busy year for newspaper transactions to the struggles of AOL's hyperlocal Patch websites.Along with the report, which was published on June 26, PEJ launched a new interactive database, dubbed Who Owns the News Media, to help people "make sense of the changes at the highest levels." The database "provides detailed statistics on the companies that now own our nation's news media outlets, from newspapers to local television news stations to radio to digital."

Posted Sep 10, 2012

The DOJ's lawsuit against Apple and several ebook publishers is settled, at least in part. After the settlement agreement was initially rejected for not being specific enough about how the figure was reached, a judge approved a new settlement between the DOJ and three of the five publishers named in the suit. The companies were accused of colluding to keep ebook prices high by employing the agency pricing model.

Posted Sep 07, 2012

The New York Times will be selling its About Group for $300 million, according to paidContent. Barry Diller's IAC/Interactive swooped in and added $30 million to the $270 million that Answers.com was reportedly willing to pay for the property.

Posted Sep 04, 2012

It's a digital world out there, and keeping up with the latest trends and developments would be nearly impossible for most of us without the help of the professionals. Just like the rest of us, digital content executives need guidance when it comes to staying on top of industry news while weeding out the extraneous information. From relatively widely known sources to the more niche-focused, there is no shortage of information for content producers. In truth, every day new options enter the market representing the best thinking from myriad minds around the globe.

Posted Sep 03, 2012

Independent bookstores have long relied on Google to enable ebook sales at mom-and-pop shops, but that's all changing now. Kobo, a Canadian company, has struck a deal with the American Booksellers Association, according to Digital Book World, to sell its e-readers and ebooks through the websites of independent booksellers.

Posted Aug 29, 2012

Ebooks have long been accused of cannibalizing publishers' other sales. While those ebooks have started flying off the shelves (or over the internet) those same publishers have struggled to figure out how to make the new-fangled digital books profitable. Now HarperCollins UK's CEO Victoria Barnsley says that, within the next 18 months, half her company's fiction sales will come from ebooks.

Posted Aug 29, 2012

Is there a better fit for digital media than the punk scene with its DIY ethic? Probably not. So BUZZMEDIA's acquisition of several punk rock publications which it will roll together to form AbsoluteVoices.Joining BUZZMEDIA's own AbsolutePunk is Under the Gun Review, Alter the Press, Property of Zack, and PunkNews, according to the Sacramento Bee.

Posted Aug 27, 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 August 20, 2012, with stories on Random House, mobile entertainment revenues, and more.

Posted Aug 23, 2012

Last week it looked like Facebook might be able to settle a lawsuit regarding its "Sponsored Stories" which used users "likes" to match ads that would then appear in users' newsfeeds. Both sides agreed to a settlement but a judge rejected it on Friday, saying it did not explain well enough how the two sides came to the figures described in the settlement.Meanwhile, the FTC has finally given the OK to the social media giant's acquisition of Instagram.

Posted Aug 23, 2012

Apparently the number of copies sold is no longer a good enough indicator of bestsellers. With more inexpensive indie books hitting the ebook "shelves" and, eventually, the best seller lists, Digital Book World decided to take on the task of coming up with a more accurate picture of how the books are selling.

Posted Aug 22, 2012

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