Alphabet: Search is Strong, Future Bets on YouTube, Pixel, IoT

Alphabet’s Q4 revenue increased almost three times faster than profit, leading the tech titan to look for new growth areas. The company says that a one-time tax adjustment accounted for the missed Wall Street expectation. Google’s largest global advertising business and the very popular YouTube account for most of the revenue, but Alphabet is looking to mobile search, YouTube and automated ad buying as newer forms of advertising; its new smartphone Pixel and digital assistant-powered Google Home also show promise. Continue reading Alphabet: Search is Strong, Future Bets on YouTube, Pixel, IoT

With Gains in Cloud Computing, Microsoft Achieves No. 2 Spot

In fiscal Q2, Microsoft posted gains for its Intelligent Cloud segment, which includes Azure, showing an uptick of 8 percent — or 10 percent accounting for currency fluctuations — to $6.9 billion. Azure revenue has increased 93 percent, more than doubling from the same period a year ago. Microsoft is now firmly in second place, behind Amazon, in cloud computing. Microsoft also enjoyed a 5 percent increase in revenue from licensing Windows software to PC manufacturers and another 5 percent uptick from corporate agreements. Continue reading With Gains in Cloud Computing, Microsoft Achieves No. 2 Spot

Facebook Pushes Longer Video, Offers Snapchat-Like Feature

Facebook has decided it wants longer videos, and will reward videographers who create them. That’s quite a turnabout for the company that counts three seconds as a “view,” and the many publishers reporting that few viewers watch their videos to completion. Facebook still plans to count three seconds as a view, but is changing its News Feed algorithm to favor longer videos, especially those that keep viewers watching. With the new algorithm, the longer a video holds its audience, the more Facebook will promote it. The social network is also adding a feature similar to Snapchat Stories. Continue reading Facebook Pushes Longer Video, Offers Snapchat-Like Feature

Google, Facebook in Earliest Stages of Combatting Fake News

Although both Google and Facebook have declared they will fight fake news, the two companies are still in the early stages of acting on that pledge. Google says that, as of the end of 2016, it had permanently banned almost 200 publishers from its AdSense advertising network. Facebook took aim at its Trending Topics feature, blamed by some for spreading fake news, introducing changes intended to showcase only reliable news articles. But these actions are miniscule in context of the immense problem at hand. Continue reading Google, Facebook in Earliest Stages of Combatting Fake News

Twitter Partners with DCP to Live-Stream More Awards Shows

Twitter will again partner with Dick Clark Productions to live-stream three major awards shows: the 52nd Academy of Country Music Awards on April 2, the Billboard Music Awards on May 21, and the American Music Awards in November. Later in the year, Twitter also plans to live-stream the 7th annual Streamy Awards. The social media platform first teamed up with Dick Clark Productions for the Golden Globe Awards red-carpet pre-show on January 8, which drew in 2.7 million viewers and was deemed a success by the two companies. Continue reading Twitter Partners with DCP to Live-Stream More Awards Shows

Publishers Rethink Sharing Content on Social Media Platforms

The trade group Digital Content Next just released a report that details how some publishers of newspapers and other media outlets are pulling back on their use of Facebook’s Instant Articles program. The change comes as publishers re-examine their business models, especially vis-à-vis social media platforms. Publishers have hosted stories on Facebook, rather than their own websites, so they load more quickly on mobile phones. But these publishers also chafe against Facebook restrictions on the number and types of ads in Instant Articles. Continue reading Publishers Rethink Sharing Content on Social Media Platforms

Fox Plans to Live-Stream Super Bowl, Will Include Local Ads

On February 5, the Super Bowl will be available for free online as a live stream (with no need for pay-TV credentials) and will include dynamically-inserted local advertising based on the viewer’s location. More than 170 affiliates will team with Fox Sports to deliver the digital ads. “The national ads will be the same on both TV and online, and the live-stream will include the halftime show featuring Lady Gaga,” reports Variety. Coverage “will be available live on Fox Sports Go, the broadcaster’s streaming platform … on iOS, Android, Windows and Amazon tablets; and through connected devices including Apple TV, Roku, Android TV, Google Chromecast, Amazon Fire TV and Microsoft Xbox One.” Continue reading Fox Plans to Live-Stream Super Bowl, Will Include Local Ads

Facebook Journalism Project Aims to Improve Ties with Media

Facebook’s Journalism Project is creating stronger connections to media companies, the result of the company’s unwelcomed limelight regarding fake news, and founder Mark Zuckerberg’s reluctant admission that the company is, at least in part, a media company. Facebook is also reaching out to support local news and making more efforts to educate users about hoaxes. Facebook plans to offer training for journalists and keep media updated on its efforts. This is the latest chapter in a historically complicated relationship. Continue reading Facebook Journalism Project Aims to Improve Ties with Media

Hulu Relaunches with Live TV and UI, Home Screen Redesign

Hulu’s relaunch will feature a home screen with a personalized lineup that will be determined by the user’s set preferences and past viewing behavior. Among the options for that lineup are current TV shows, Hulu’s streaming exclusives and partner networks’ on-demand offerings. What won’t be there is a live TV feed or a traditional grid guide that allows the user to scroll through channels. In 2017, Hulu will offer live TV to its users for less than $40, while retaining its ad-supported and ad-free on-demand subscription plans. Continue reading Hulu Relaunches with Live TV and UI, Home Screen Redesign

Facebook to Show Video Ads, Share Revenue with Publishers

Facebook is planning tests of a new mid-roll ad format that would enable participating video publishers to insert ads at least 20 seconds into video clips on the social platform. To start, Facebook plans to sell the ads and share 55 percent of revenue with publishers (the same deal offered by online video ad leader YouTube). According to Facebook, its users watch 100 million hours of video per day. However, publishers have seen little or no revenue from their clips since Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg has not allowed pre-roll video ads. Continue reading Facebook to Show Video Ads, Share Revenue with Publishers

Industry Vets Discuss Goals of Producing Immersive Content

Niko Chauls, director of emerging technology for the USA Today Network, and David Hamlin, executive producer of the “VRtually There” series, sat with ETC’s Phil Lelyveld for a one-hour conversation at CES. USA Today Network has the largest newsgathering force in the U.S., comprised of 109 local properties plus USA Today. Chauls has a near-term goal of delivering 360-degree segments reliably on a weekly basis. He sees a reliable flow of quality 360-degree content as the key to both growing the audience and attracting advertising sponsors. Hamlin would like to gear his team up to deliver three stories per week. He reiterated that it is good storytelling that builds the audience and attracts advertisers. Continue reading Industry Vets Discuss Goals of Producing Immersive Content

Broadcasters Embrace ATSC 3.0 and the Mobile TV Business

ATSC 3.0 is on the horizon, and Sinclair Broadcast Group chief executive/president Chris Ripley is excited. At CES 2017 in Las Vegas, he described the “five key new tenets” of ATSC 3.0 that will allow his company to do business differently. First and foremost, he said, is that “it’s a mobile-first standard” that is compatible with existing mobile technology. “Mobile is predicted to expand dramatically,” he enthused. Second, ATSC 3.0 is IP end-to-end, which will enable his stations to seamlessly integrate “content from broadband and IP perspectives.” Continue reading Broadcasters Embrace ATSC 3.0 and the Mobile TV Business

The Binge TV Model and Its Impact on Advertising and Search

The metrics that define binge viewing of television are astounding. According to Deloitte Consulting’s U.S. media & entertainment leader Kevin Westcott, 70 percent of the population binge-views TV, watching an average of five episodes at a time of any given series. At a Digital Hollywood session at CES 2017, Westcott quizzed industry leaders on how binge viewing has impacted advertising, viewers and content creators. Also highlighted was the need for a new kind of EPG (electronic programming guide) to enable search and discovery in a binge TV environment. Continue reading The Binge TV Model and Its Impact on Advertising and Search

Snap Preps for IPO Roadshow, Touting Spiegel as a Visionary

This year Snap Inc. will go on a roadshow to market its expected IPO, and founder Evan Spiegel is expected to play an out-sized role, with the company’s IPO bankers and executives depicting him as a Steve Jobs-like visionary for millennial products. The goal is to portray Snap as a company that will become a media/content behemoth that can meet and exceed its hoped-for $20 billion to $25 billion IPO valuation, in a class with Apple and Facebook, rather than Twitter, which has deflated since its 2013 IPO. Continue reading Snap Preps for IPO Roadshow, Touting Spiegel as a Visionary

Twitter Scores Another Live Event: Golden Globes Red Carpet

Twitter is collaborating with the Hollywood Foreign Press to live-stream the Golden Globes’ red carpet pre-show event and source questions from fans’ tweets. “The HFPA Presents: Globes Red Carpet Live” will be live-streamed on Jan. 8 from 6:00 to 8:00 pm ET, and will include exclusive interviews with celebrities and other “celebrity content” from Twitter in addition to the live video feed. The interview hosts, who have not yet been determined, will ask celebrities some questions chosen from among those posted by Twitter users. Continue reading Twitter Scores Another Live Event: Golden Globes Red Carpet

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