Media Business News and Trends

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

TheHuffingtonPost.com, Inc. has partnered with Spain's national daily newspaper El País, part of Ediciones El País, SL, to produce a Spanish-language local edition, El Huffington Post. The deal closed last Thursday. The Spanish edition will be based out of El País' offices.

Posted Dec 12, 2011

Pearson, PLC is selling its 50-percent stake in the FTSE International Ltd. to the London Stock Exchange, PLC for £450 million ($700 million) in cash. Currently, Pearson and London Stock Exchange Group each own 50 percent of FTSE. The sale is expected to close by 1Q 2012.

Posted Dec 12, 2011

LivingSocial is reportedly in the process of raising $400 million to support its operations, according to Daily Deal Media. This round of funding could bring the daily deals provider's value to about $6 billion. In November, Venture Capital Dispatch reported all of LivingSocial's major investors would contribute to the round.

Posted Dec 12, 2011

Facebook has launched a counter lawsuit against Timelines, Inc., the company that sued Facebook for trademark infringement in September after Facebook announced its new feature called Timeline. Facebook's countersuit argues that "timeline" is not a valid trademark because it is a generic term, one that is used in features on at least 10 other websites, including Google.

Posted Dec 08, 2011

Wolters Kluwer Health acquired Medknow Publications, an open access (OA) STM journal publisher based in India, in a deal that expands its Medical Research business to developing markets. The acquisition also increases Wolters Kluwer Health's offering of locally written content.

Posted Dec 07, 2011

Amazon.com, Inc. and Marshall Cavendish, an educational and consumer book publishers and classroom digital solutions providers, announced that Amazon has signed a deal to acquire over 450 titles of its US Children's trade books business, Marshall Cavendish Children's Books (MCCB).

Posted Dec 06, 2011

Clearwire Corp. will offer $300 million in Class A common stock in a public offering. Clearwire plans to grant underwriters a 30-day option to purchase up to an additional $45 million of the same stock. J.P. Morgan, BofA Merrill Lynch & Co., Inc., and Jefferies & Co., Inc., are acting as joint book-running managers.

Posted Dec 06, 2011

AboutOne, LLC, an online family management system, closed a $1.6-million-dollar deal in Series A financing. The round was led by Golden Seeds, a network of investors dedicated to funding early-stage companies founded and led by women.

Posted Dec 05, 2011

Vringo, Inc., a provider of software platforms for mobile social and mobile video services, completed a $3.35 million round of bridge financing with venture capital firms Benchmark Capital and DAG Ventures. The deal included $850,000 in gross proceeds from over 817,300 shares of common stock.

Posted Dec 05, 2011

On Friday, CNN reported that Facebook bought Gowalla, a location-sharing service. It wasn't until yesterday that both companies confirmed the deal: Facebook released an official statement and Gowalla announced the acquisition on its blog, according to paidContent. Details have not been disclosed.

Posted Dec 05, 2011

A recent Audience Insight Survey from interclick revealed that two-thirds of Americans learn about in-store sales and deals online, and that online "eCirculars" are replacing print circulars that appear in the Sunday paper. interclick found that 42% of consumers preferred online advertising to print sources, and customers who read about deals online were more likely to visit the store.

Posted Dec 01, 2011

Adobe is set to acquire Efficient Frontier, a privately held company that offers an ad buying and optimization platform, according to paidConent. Through the acquisition, Adobe will add options for ad campaign forecasting, execution, and optimization across multiple channels to its Digital Marketing Suite. The transaction is expected to close in the first quarter of Adobe's fiscal year.

Posted Nov 30, 2011

Somewhere between unknown, independent bloggers and traditional publishers with well-respected reputations are the sites known as content farms--websites that generate a large quantity of content specifically designed to rank high in search engine results. They range from local, content-driven sites such as AOL's Patch and Examiner.com to how-to sites such as Howcast and Demand Media's eHow.com to topic-focused sites such as Suite101 and Associated Content.

Posted Nov 30, 2011

I recently jumped on the Mad Men bandwagon. That Jon Hamm sure is handsome, and boy oh boy, did they smoke a lot. There's plenty to gawk at-and cringe at-on that show. The sexism. The debauchery. All those pregnant ladies hitting the bottle and smoking up a storm. As I watch--floating somewhere between awe and disgust--the goings-on of Sterling Cooper Draper Pryce have got me pondering the modern business of advertising.

Posted Nov 29, 2011

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