Media Business News and Trends

Google is overhauling its web-search formula: Over the next few months, Google will water down the number of web links that a query returns in favor of more direct answers, which would appear at the top of the search results page, in an effort to yield more relevant results.

Posted Mar 15, 2012

An erotic novel (with BD/SM and a whole lot of sex) titled Fifty Shades of Grey, by E.L. James, is sweeping the suburbs, the cities, red and blue states alike just like Peyton Place and The Story of O did 60 years ago. On the Amazon paid Kindle bestseller lists, as of the first week of March, Fifty Shades of Grey is No. 1 in both Erotica and Romance and No. 5 overall. Not bad for a self-published book by a first-time author. The TODAY Show estimated that over 120,000 copies have been sold, most of them ebooks. (Amazon is being characteristically tight-lipped on copies actually sold, so only Amazon and Ms. James really know for sure.) A paperback is available by print-on-demand but the ebook version is what's really flying off the e-shelves.

Posted Mar 15, 2012

Following up on its threat, Yahoo! has filed a patent infringement lawsuit against Facebook. The complaint was filed in San Jose, Calif., federal court. In it, Yahoo! cited 10 patents related to web-based advertising and privacy.

Posted Mar 13, 2012

Reporters Without Borders released its latest "Enemies of the Internet" list, in which it classifies "enemies" as countries that severely curtail freedom of expression on and access to the web. The annual report also includes a list of states "under surveillance."

Posted Mar 12, 2012

FremantleMedia Enterprises, from FremantleMedia Ltd., and Hulu have announced a global first look deal. The agreement enables Fremantle to distribute Hulu original series globally across all platforms, including traditional media.

Posted Mar 12, 2012

CNN is expected to purchase Mashable -- the title digital culture, social media, and technology blog from Mashable, Inc. -- for $200 million, according to Reuters blogger Felix Salmon. CNN is expected to announce the deal on Tuesday, March 13.

Posted Mar 12, 2012

Apple has sold out of initial supplies of the new iPad in every country where the tablet is slated to launch Friday. New orders will not ship for up to 3 weeks, the company told buyers. In the U.S. and Canada, pre-orders placed through Apple will ship March 19.

Posted Mar 12, 2012

Chris Hughes, Facebook co-founder and founder of social action site Jumo, bought online magazine The New Republic. Hughes has purchased a majority stake in TNR but terms of the sale were not disclosed.

Posted Mar 12, 2012

This week marked the fourth annual Exceptional Women in Publishing Women's Leadership Conference in San Francisco, with a theme of "Taking Our Next Step: Content, Community, and Collaboration." The 225 attendees, primarily women, gathered to talk about hot issues in publishing and media, from building sales across digital channels to publishing by and for women.

Posted Mar 09, 2012

Gametek, LLC is seeking legal action against Facebook, Zynga, and other like companies with a lawuist that claims rights to in-game payments -- the process by which players can buy and sell virtual items within a game.

Posted Mar 08, 2012

Though many newspaper executives report struggling to find a digital revenue model, there are some papers that are succeeding, a new study by the Pew Research Center's Project for Excellence in Journalism.

Posted Mar 06, 2012

As it neared a milestone, Apple opened the Countdown to 25 Billion Apps competition, announcing that the person to download the 25-billionth app could win a $10,000 iTunes gift card. The free version of Where's My Water? set the record.

Posted Mar 06, 2012

Ebook and audiobook distributor OverDrive, Inc. acquired ebook company Booki.sh, from Inventive Labs, in a deal of which terms were not disclosed. OverDrive plans to integrate Booki.sh's cloud-based, web-accessible platform.

Posted Mar 06, 2012

EPiServer AB acquired Mediachase Ltd. for an undisclosed amount. The move merges EPiServer's existing digital marketing capabilities and Mediachase's ecommerce framework. New and existing customers have access to EPiServer's Commerce solution.

Posted Mar 02, 2012

At the Morgan Stanley Technology, Media & Telecom Conference in San Francisco, Netflix CEO Reed Hastings said that cable will eventually become an on-demand internet platform, leaving room for Netflix to become another programming provider.

Posted Feb 29, 2012

When it comes to defining old media, you don't get much older or stodgier than The Associated Press (AP), which has been delivering the news for 165 years. In December 2011, it decided to finally join us in the 21st century by defining a new policy that would go beyond merely breaking a story first and go so far as to add value to it with analysis, video, and more.

Posted Feb 28, 2012

Covario, Inc. hosted a webinar for more than 100 digital marketers across the U.S. They discussed social media, content syndication, and search engine optimization (SEO). During the session, attendees were polled on their favorite social media and sharing sites.

Posted Feb 27, 2012

After moving toward digital subscription models, Centaur Media, PLC and Informa, PLC have reported improved digital revenues. Centaur's digital revenue comprised 32% of overall 2011 revenue; Informa saw digital make up 74% of its total.

Posted Feb 23, 2012

When it comes to digital content, we always seem to be looking for the next big thing-from websites to social networking to apps. In that quest to be the next big thing, many technology startups come and go, while others strike with that magical combination of the right technology for the right device at the right time. Still others quickly grab our attention, only to reveal a lack of staying power over time. For example, "We saw a big pop a year or so ago around funding mobile companies based on location-based [technology], such as Foursquare, and those companies are not too hot right now," says Richard Hull, a former film and TV producer who advises many of the nation's largest media and entertainment companies on content strategy, finance, and distribution.

Posted Feb 22, 2012

Getty Images, Inc., released Connect by Getty Images, a content distribution service. Connect users can integrate Getty Images' content and metadata within their publishing tools, products, and services through the company's API.

Posted Feb 21, 2012

Yandex has partnered with Twitter in an agreement that will license the full feed of all public tweets to Yandex's search engine. Tweets in Russian, Ukrainian, Belarusian, or Kazakh will appear in Yandex's Blog Search results in real time.

Posted Feb 21, 2012

News International, part of News Corp., released figures detailing print and digital subscriptions for The Times and The Sunday Times. While print circulation has steadily declined, it has yet to be trounced by digital counterparts.

Posted Feb 16, 2012

Despite heavy competition from tablets and smartphones, Sony will introduce a new hand-held game player to the U.S. market on Feb. 22. The PlayStation Vita is a stand-alone player but can also control a PlayStation console.

Posted Feb 14, 2012

According to IDC (International Data Corp.), the number of U.S. users accessing the internet via mobile devices will exceed those using wireline devices, such as PCs, by 2015. The research firm cites the use of smartphones and enthusiastic adoption of tablets as the force behind this trend. These statistics have long been a source of excitement for publishers looking for new revenue streams, but with the explosion of platforms comes the pressure to be all things to all people. From iPhones to Android devices, from the Kindle Fire to the iPad, from mobile-optimized sites to custom-designed apps, publishers struggle to find the right balance between fiscal responsibility and being on their readers' platforms of choice.

Posted Feb 08, 2012

HitFox, a game distribution website provided by GS Internet GmbH, has acquired Chili Entertainment GmbH. Chili Entertainment's game advertising network, ad2games, will join HitFox's marketing portfolio. HitFox is seeking further gaming partnerships.

Posted Feb 07, 2012

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