Media Business News and Trends

Scandinavian media group Schibsted ASA plans to acquire music streaming provider Aspiro AS for 340 million Swedish kroner ($49 million). Schibsted already owns 18.3% of the company, and Aspiro's board is reportedly recommending that its shareholders accept Schibsted's bid for all shares.

Posted Jan 12, 2012

LogMeIn, Inc. acquired Bold Software, LLC, to expand LogMeIn's portfolio of web-based services aimed at customer care organizations such as call centers, external help desks, and customer service teams. Total cash value of the deal is $16.5 million.

Posted Jan 09, 2012

Copyright Clearance Center, Inc. (CCC) purchased Pubget, Inc., a solutions provider focused on content acquisition and analysis through search, retrieval, and browse capabilities. Financial terms of the deal were not disclosed. Pubget founder Ramy Arnaout will join CCC as a senior advisor.

Posted Jan 09, 2012

Safari Books Online -- a joint venture from O'Reilly Media, Inc., and Pearson Education, Inc. -- has acquired Threepress Consulting, Inc., makers of the Ibis Reader online EPUB reading system. Financial terms of the acquisition, effective Jan. 1, were not disclosed.

Posted Jan 09, 2012

At this week's Consumer Electronics Show (CES) in Las Vegas, Google plans to unveil new Google TV devices and television sets. Google is expected to ship the majority of its TV sets by mid-2012, according to chairman Eric Schmidt; however, no official release dates have been announced.

Posted Jan 09, 2012

Netflix is facing changes to its DVD business with two Time Warner, Inc. programmers: One change is that HBO will no longer sell DVDs to Netflix, instead forcing Netflix to buy DVDs at retail or drop them altogether; it seems Netflix will do the former.

Posted Jan 09, 2012

Japan's Rakuten, Inc. has reported that Kobo, Inc., its recent acquisition, saw a ten-fold increase in its number of ebook customers over the holidays. Kobo has not released official sales numbers yet, but the company says it has had "hundreds of thousands" of new device activations each day since Dec. 24.

Posted Jan 09, 2012

AOL struck a deal with publishing house Bonnier Corp.'s Parenting Group to sell premium ad inventory and promote content from Parenting.com. In turn, the parenting website will have access to some of AOL's ad tech and marketing services. Financial terms of the deal were not disclosed.

Posted Jan 06, 2012

Advantage Business Media, LLC has purchased Vicon Publishing, Inc. Vicon Publishing will be renamed Vicon Business Media, Inc. and will operate as a subsidiary of Advantage. The acquisition expands Advantage's offering of publications concerning laboratory and forensics sciences.

Posted Jan 06, 2012

Barnes & Noble plans to "pursue strategic exploratory work to separate the Nook business" from the rest of the company, as reported on paidContent. In a statement, the company said, "There can be no assurance that the review of a potential separation of the NOOK digital business will result in a separation. There is no timetable for the review...."

Posted Jan 05, 2012

According to court papers filed this week, Amazon has reportedly resolved its lawsuit with Smartphones Technologies, Inc., a subsidiary of Acacia Research Corp., and the companies have asked the court to dismiss the lawsuit. According to an article on paidContent, no terms of the settlement are mentioned in the court filings, nor do they offer further explanation as to why the companies have ended the lawsuit.

Posted Jan 05, 2012

Yahoo! announced the appointment of Scott Thompson as the company's new CEO. Credo Reference appointed Jillian Tweet to the position of account manager.

Posted Jan 04, 2012

From an outsider's perspective, being a professional freelance writer may seem like the dream job. After all, you can make your own hours, work from the comfort of home (or from your local Starbucks), and handpick which projects you want to pursue based on your level of expertise or interest. Those who are active in the field know this is far from true. For many freelancers, finding a job that appropriately compensates their level of skill, and relaying that job into a steady gig takes patience, perseverance, and a whole lot of practice writing query letters. But there's good news for freelancers. The market is changing.

Posted Dec 26, 2011

The United States International Trade Commission (ITC) announced it would grant a limited import ban on certain HTC devices, siding with Apple on its allegations of patent violations. The ban will go into place automatically after April 19, 2012. Though Apple accused HTC of violating four patents, the ITC asserted that only one was violated.

Posted Dec 22, 2011

Speech technology company Nuance Communications, Inc. is set to purchase Vlingo, Inc., a mobile voice software firm. Financial terms have not been disclosed. Nuance was previously suing Vlingo for patent infringement and planned to appeal a jury's ruling after Vlingo was found not guilty.

Posted Dec 20, 2011

Calcalist, a Hebrew-language newspaper, has reported that Apple, Inc. closed on a deal for Anobit, a 200-employee Israeli company that makes flash memory technology. Although the final terms of the acquisition remain unknown, Calcalist places the deal in the $400 million to $500 million range.

Posted Dec 20, 2011

The New York Times Co. is in the process of selling its Regional Media Group, responsible for 16 regional newspapers and other print publications and related businesses, to Halifax Media Group, of Daytona Beach, Fla. The group's average daily circulation is 433,251.

Posted Dec 20, 2011

Skyword, a content farm, secured $6 million in funding from Cox Media Group, Inc., a broadcasting, publishing, direct marketing, and digital media company. Cox is the sole investor in the company, and a Cox representative, not yet publicly named, will join Skyword's board of directors.

Posted Dec 20, 2011

It's been a busy year for U.K. media. It started off with the pomp and ceremony of the Royal Wedding, moved to the embarrassing unravelling of News Corp. over a phone-hacking scandal, and ended with the devastating riots, which started in North London and then inspired copycat lawlessness in cities across the country for a few alarming days in August. When you look at it all written out like that, it's a wonder we survived at all!

Posted Dec 20, 2011

Hot gossip, recipes, cute baby photos and juicy tidbits about office Christmas party shenanigans aren't the only things being shared on Facebook these days. Many folks actually use the social network king to pass on interesting news articles, too. In fact, a look at what made the list of the top 40 most shared articles on Facebook in 2011 can offer some interesting clues to publishers and media outlets as to what makes a story "shareable."

Posted Dec 16, 2011

PayPal will partner with 200 U.S. merchants to start offering coupons for mobile deals in 1Q 2012, according to Daily Deal Media. PayPal, owned by eBay, Inc., plans to enter the daily deals market dominated by Groupon, Inc. and LivingSocial by offering daily coupons tailored to users' buying habits and locations.

Posted Dec 15, 2011

ebrary announced the results of its Download Survey for which it asked more than 1,000 participating librarians about mobile and offline access to ebooks. Patrons value the portability of ebooks, which led 92% of respondents to say that providing offline access to ebooks was at least as important as providing online access to them, if not more so.

Posted Dec 14, 2011

CBS Local Digital Media announced a partnership with Examiner.com that will result in the delivery of original lifestyle content to local audiences, according to paidContent. The collaborative editorial pieces, which will focus on "Best Of" guides and "Top Spots" lists, will be written by local writers and published on CBS's locally targeted properties.

Posted Dec 14, 2011

The Authors Guild filed a motion for class certification in its first step on a new path of litigation after the rejection of the proposed Google Books Settlement, according to paidContent. A procedural step in any class-action lawsuit, the class certification ensures the lawsuit is brought on the behalf of all U.S. authors whose copyrighted work Google has scanned.

Posted Dec 14, 2011

While the Apple App Store was already available in Latin America, the iTunes Store, offering music and movie downloads, has launched in Brazil, according to paidContent. The store brings a catalog of over a thousand movies and 20 million songs by both local and international artists.

Posted Dec 13, 2011

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