Media Business News and Trends

Corbis Images, a visual media provider for the creative community, announced its acquisition of Splash News for an undisclosed amount. The Los Angeles-based company provides candid celebrity photography and video content to entertainment print, online, and broadcast media outlets. Founded in 1990, Splash News has more than 3,000 active photographers worldwide in entertainment hubs throughout North America, Europe, Latin America and Asia Pacific.

Posted Jul 21, 2011

TigerSpike, a provider of multi-platform personal media technology, closed an $11 million minority equity financing from Aegis Media. According to the company, the funding will help accelerate TigerSpike's future growth plans, as well as expand its product group and extend its reach into new markets. The company's personal media technology solutions help organizations build closer relationships with their content users.

Posted Jul 19, 2011

Netflix Inc. announced that it is separating its unlimited streaming and unlimited DVD plans in the U.S., allowing customers to choose between a streaming-only plan, a DVD-only plan, or a combination of the two. The changes will be effective immediately for new Netflix members, while existing subscribers will be affected following September 1. The company stated that it is making the changes to reflect the true costs of each service.

Posted Jul 14, 2011

Jason Heller, who co-founded and later sold Mass Transit Interactive, is launching AGILITI, a consultant group focused on digital marketing operations management. The firm plans to work with marketers to audit, review, and align digital marketing operations to build better relationships with digital agencies and maximize digital marketing investments.

Posted Jul 14, 2011

American music enthusiasts can now use Spotify, a European digital music service - if they have an invite. After months of negotiating with record companies, the service is now available on a limited, invitation-only basis for free-or you can choose to pay-and provides mobile and offline access to music, and also makes it possible to share content.

Posted Jul 14, 2011

Acquia, a provider of commercial solutions for Drupal, announced today that Twitter selected a Drupal-based community solution for its new Twitter developer website at dev.twitter.com. The site, which was developed with support and guidance from Acquia, launched July 11, 2011.

Posted Jul 12, 2011

Econsultancy published a 60-page report that details best practices for using online video as a marketing tool, titled Online Video Best Practice Guide. Written by Staffan Aquarone, the report contains technical insights, tips, and case studies for marketers looking to use online video.

Posted Jul 12, 2011

PriceGrabber, a part of Experian, released results from its recent Local Deals Survey which reveal that 59% of respondents plan to use daily deal websites for holiday or special occasion gift purchases this year. When asked which occasions they would be shopping for, 60% said Christmas or Hanukkah, 56% said a birthday, and 23% said an anniversary.

Posted Jul 12, 2011

LivingSocial announced that it would celebrate the launch of LivingSocial Instant Deals in San Francisco on July 13 by offering diners $1 lunch. Instant Deals helps consumers find immediate deals at local restaurants and attractions. San Francisco is the third LivingSocial Instant Deals launch this year.

Posted Jul 12, 2011

Social media analytics firm DataSift earned $6 million in a Series A round of funding led by IA Ventures and GRP Partners. DataSift says that the funds will be used to expand sales and marketing efforts, specifically in North America, where its real-time feed is in high demand. The U.K.-based company will also continue to develop its platform.

Posted Jul 12, 2011

As the popularity of daily deal sites surges, Local.com Corp. acquired Screamin' Media Group, Inc., a firm that operates daily deals websites, including Screamin' Daily Deals, which launched in February 2010, and a related travel site. Screamin' Media generated $4.4 million in revenue during the first half of 2011.

Posted Jul 12, 2011

Springer signed an agreement for a publishing partnership with Asia Briefing Ltd. for technical and business guides. Springer will take over the backlist of around 15 books from Asia Briefing, and reissue them in updated editions, as well as publish five new books each year. The books are written exclusively by legal, accounting, and auditing professionals at Dezan Shira & Associates.

Posted Jul 07, 2011

A research report from Informa Telecoms & Media found that telecoms and pay TV operators will increasingly need to add new services such as Spotify and YouView to service bundles in order to retain subscribers and attract new customers. According to Informa, telecom and TV operators are not attracting significant enough numbers of first-time customers for their core services, encouraging them to add new services to their bundles to maintain existing subscription levels.

Posted Jul 07, 2011

Access Intelligence, LLC, publisher of min and CableFAX Daily, acquired Cynopsis Media, a producer of daily and weekly e-letters for the television, digital media, kids marketing, and sports media markets. Cynopsis was founded by TV business veteran Cynthia Turner in 1997, and publishes the daily flagship Cynopsis, which covers the TV industry, as well as Cynopsis Digital, Cynopsis Kids and Cynopsis Sports, with nearly 150,000 subscribers in 53 countries.

Posted Jul 07, 2011

Sitecore acquired the development team and the intellectual property of Pectora, a long-standing Sitecore technology partner that provides web publishing solutions for deep integration with print-based projects. According to Sitecore, the combined offering is designed to unify print and web design teams to deliver more dynamic and personalized print media, including brochures, catalogs, and magazines.

Posted Jul 07, 2011

Ingram Content Group Inc. announced that Vital Source is expanding its e-textbook offering with the acquisition of VPG Integrated Media (VPG), a developer of enhanced e-textbook applications, interactive learning objects, and e-whiteboard content, as well as video, audio, and animation production services for educational publishers.

Posted Jul 07, 2011

According to a report in the New York Observer, digital retail giant Amazon.com is coming under scrutiny by some in the publishing world for a system by which it offers extra promotion as an incentive for published authors to provide review blurbs for books on its Amazon Publishing imprint.

Posted Jun 30, 2011

Consumer Watchdog filed a complaint with the Federal Trade Commission charging that a virtual currency system called Facebook Credits used to play games on Facebook's social network violates antitrust law. According to the organization, Facebook controls well over 50% of the $2 billion market for virtual goods in social gaming.

Posted Jun 30, 2011

Cloud-based video creator Animoto closed a $25 million round of funding through the participation of Spectrum Equity Investors and Madrona Venture Group. Animoto's service is a free service, with subscription options, that lets users create slideshows of graphical content on a computer or a mobile phone. Subscription options unlock additional features, such as custom templates or the ability to produce longer videos.

Posted Jun 30, 2011

News Corp. announced that it has found a buyer for ailing social network Myspace. The network will be acquired by Specific Media, a digital media and advertising agency, for a rumored $35mil. The network was placed up for sale earlier this year by owner News Corp., which purchased the network in 2006 for approximately $580 million. As part of the deal, News Corp. has also taken a minority equity stake in Specific Media.

Posted Jun 30, 2011

Google released details of its Google+ project, a far-reaching social networking initiative that comprises a number of individual projects and services, including Circles, Sparks, and Hangouts. According to the search company, the project is designed to add nuance and depth to online interaction by adding more options and individual control to the process.

Posted Jun 30, 2011

Elsevier expanded its offering to researchers by adding full text from its SciVerse ScienceDirect database to EBSCO Discovery Service (EDS) as well as the Ex Libris Primo Central Index. In other Elsevier news, the company expanded its SciVal Funding tool to users in Canada, U.K., and European Union, with plans to expand to Australia, Singapore, South Africa, India, New Zealand, and Ireland by the end of 2011.

Posted Jun 28, 2011

Cengage Learning announced an expanded partnership with the National Geographic Society through which it will acquire the National Geographic Society's digital and print school publishing unit. The new agreement also allows Cengage Learning a wider use of the National Geographic Society brand and content.

Posted Jun 28, 2011

GSV Capital Corp. invested $6,587,500 into Facebook as it acquired 225,000 shares in the social networking company at an average price of $29.28 for each share. The investment represents about 15% of GSV Capital's total portfolio.

Posted Jun 28, 2011

Hulu may be up for sale, if the owners can make up their minds. The free TV-streaming site is co-owned by Disney, NBCUniversal, News Corporation, and Providence Equity Partners, the parent corporations of major TV networks ABC, NBC, and Fox. Hulu began to look into options for its sale last week after an unsolicited overture from Yahoo!, and the company is expected to meet with potential buyers in the coming weeks.

Posted Jun 28, 2011

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