DirecTV To Increase Rates in 2014 While Subscriptions Fall

DirecTV is increasing its rates in 2014 due to the rising costs of television programming. In addition to programming costs, sports broadcasting prices have risen, while DirecTV subscriptions have fallen. The pay TV company is considering more focused, over-the-top options, but not a broad video-on-demand service. However, some are questioning claims of rising programming costs and suggest there are actually increases in premium channel subscribers. Continue reading DirecTV To Increase Rates in 2014 While Subscriptions Fall

Year-Long New York Sting Operation Snares Fake Reviewers

Nineteen companies charged with writing fake online reviews were uncovered as the result of a year-long sting operation by the New York Attorney General. Offenders who posted fake reviews on Yelp, Google Local and CitySearch will be forced to pay upwards of $350,000 in penalties. As part of Operation Clean Turf, the AG’s office established a yogurt shop in Brooklyn and sought assistance from companies that boost online search results to combat negative reviews. Continue reading Year-Long New York Sting Operation Snares Fake Reviewers

Court Rules That Facebook “Like” is Constitutionally Protected

The U.S. Court of Appeals in Richmond, Virginia issued a ruling that utilizing the “Like” feature on Facebook to show support for a political candidate is protected by the Constitution. The ruling is in light of a lawsuit brought by former employees of a sheriff’s office who claim they lost their jobs after supporting their boss’s opponent, which involved a campaign on Facebook. The Virginia Court’s decision reversed an earlier decision from a lower court. Continue reading Court Rules That Facebook “Like” is Constitutionally Protected

Microsoft Now Offers Xbox Music Service on More Devices

Microsoft is now offering its Xbox Music service on more devices and via the Web. This is an expansion of the limited compatibility that the service offered at its initial release about a year ago. It brings familiar digital music services and software into a combined, single service. Xbox Music’s new platform support comes as Google, Apple and others are entering the music-streaming marketplace, with Amazon developing its own music-streaming devices. Continue reading Microsoft Now Offers Xbox Music Service on More Devices

New Getty Policy Allows Everyone to Access Digital Images

The Getty Museum announced that its former policy banning access to digital images has been amended. Digital images are now available for free on the Getty website for anyone who is interested. Previously, the Getty granted access to an image for a fee and with special terms and conditions. While the Getty still asks for the reason an individual is requesting an image, the process of obtaining a digital image is now made simple for everyone. Continue reading New Getty Policy Allows Everyone to Access Digital Images

Broadband Adoption and How it Relates to Smartphone Usage

According to a new report from the Pew Research Center’s Internet & American Life Project, 70 percent of Americans 18 and older have high-speed broadband connections in their homes. Results of the survey, released yesterday, indicate that 20 percent of adults in the U.S. are still without broadband or smartphones for Internet access, while 3 percent are still using dial-up connections. Broadband adoption — still influenced by age, education, income, location and race — may also now be impacted by mobile substitution. Continue reading Broadband Adoption and How it Relates to Smartphone Usage

Yahoo Edges Out Google in U.S. Internet Traffic During July

According to comScore’s monthly ranking of the top 50 U.S. Web properties, Yahoo sites stole Google’s lead in July with 196,564,000 unique visitors. Google sites, which have led in Internet traffic for the past two years, came in a close second for the month, with 192,251,000 visitors. Yahoo’s recent jump in traffic follows the company’s $1.1 billion acquisition of Tumblr in May. Yahoo has not found itself in comScore’s top position since May of 2011. Continue reading Yahoo Edges Out Google in U.S. Internet Traffic During July

Interpublic Joins Broadcasters in Automated Ad-Buying System

Advertising giant Interpublic Group is joining television and radio companies to build and test an automated ad-buying system for TV and radio. The new system will take advantage of new technologies and give traditional advertising equal footing with digital advertising. Despite concerns regarding effects on pricing, the approach may also make ads more effective and more valuable. Some companies have already begun using similar systems in their advertising. Continue reading Interpublic Joins Broadcasters in Automated Ad-Buying System

Facebook Launches New Features to Influence Offline Spending

Facebook recently announced two new features for its mobile Web and iOS and Android mobile apps that will allow users to book restaurants and access TV and movie listings without ever leaving the world of Facebook. These features could help the social network compete with services offered by the likes of Fandango, Yelp and GroupOn. Ultimately, by influencing offline spending, Facebook hopes to generate more revenue and draw more advertisers. Continue reading Facebook Launches New Features to Influence Offline Spending

Twitter Facing Free Speech Challenges in Global Markets

Twitter promotes itself as a protector of over 200 million people who publicly share their lives online. But increasingly, carefree tweets are conflicting with differing global laws and standards in new markets for the microblogger. The company’s hands-off approach is being tested as it enters markets in France, Germany, China and Brazil. As it is increasingly subject to local laws, Twitter is facing challenges regarding free speech and censorship. Continue reading Twitter Facing Free Speech Challenges in Global Markets

People to Spend More Time with Digital Media Than TV in 2013

According to a new report from eMarketer estimating the media consumption of adults in the U.S., the average amount of time spent with digital media per day will surpass television viewing for the first time this year. This is due largely to the shift in smartphone and tablet usage now that most consumers lead increasingly mobile lives. Since 2010, mobile activity has grown from a mere 24 minutes per day on average to 2 hours and 21 minutes per day. Continue reading People to Spend More Time with Digital Media Than TV in 2013

Google Chromecast Could Be Challenge to Pay TV Providers

Google’s Chromecast, which wirelessly connects mobile devices and computers to television, is the latest potential challenge to pay TV. While it may not immediately disrupt the current business model, it offers a glimpse of Google’s vision to make the Internet a platform for TV. The TV industry has dealt with the disruption of Internet TV despite mounting pressure. However, media companies, broadcasters, pay TV providers and advertisers may need to redefine how they interact with one another. Continue reading Google Chromecast Could Be Challenge to Pay TV Providers

Netflix Hopes to Bring Increased Intelligence to Smart TVs

Netflix has started a quiet effort to address problems with smart TVs. The company is in talks with tech companies and consumer electronics manufacturers in order to find improvements to user interfaces, remote controls and other smart TV components. The idea of Internet content combined with TVs began in the mid 1990s, but some believe progress has been slow. New apps, services and compelling content are needed to engage viewers to purchase and use smart TVs. Continue reading Netflix Hopes to Bring Increased Intelligence to Smart TVs

Tech and Pay TV Companies Are Changing How We Watch TV

Intel is one of many companies currently developing home entertainment technologies that could significantly change how viewers interact with TV. Tech companies are integrating advanced features and controls in TV connected devices, from voice activation, DVR and cloud storage sync. Other companies such as cable providers and manufacturers are also introducing advanced TV technologies as well. However, obstacles will come from content licensing. Continue reading Tech and Pay TV Companies Are Changing How We Watch TV

Unused TV Spectrum Provides Broadband for Rural America

Technology leveraging unused TV spectrum is being positioned for commercialization, three years after approval by the FCC. This technology can be used to provide wireless broadband Internet in rural areas in the U.S. and in developing countries. In the U.S., there are at least 40 experimental installations operating, in addition to others in Singapore, Vietnam and African countries. These programs involve Google, Microsoft and local telecom companies. Continue reading Unused TV Spectrum Provides Broadband for Rural America

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