Instagram Unveils Explore Shopping Tab, Stickers for Stories

Instagram plans to debut a standalone Shopping app, a move that could rival Pinterest and Wish. Ahead of the move, it is adding a shopping tab to the Explore page, which will allow users to look through a dedicated feed of merchandise from a wide range of vendors. Those sellers will be able to add stickers to their Stories for the first time, letting consumers shop from the Stories feed by tapping on the product. With this feature, shoppers will let people consider possible purchases before heading to the seller’s website. Continue reading Instagram Unveils Explore Shopping Tab, Stickers for Stories

Streaming Services, Artists Forge Ties Based on Data, Touring

The deep connection between streaming music services and ticket sales is becoming increasingly clear. Streaming not only introduces an artist’s music to potentially millions more listeners, but makes it easy for fans to learn about upcoming concerts. Some experts believe that in the not-so-distant future, fans will actually be able to purchase tickets to local concerts within the streaming music service. That’s good news for musicians who, although they get a small percentage of record sales, are making real money from touring. Continue reading Streaming Services, Artists Forge Ties Based on Data, Touring

Podcasting Embraces Native Ads, Blends Story and Sponsors

As podcasts continue to grow in popularity, more journalists and major media brands are turning to the format. Behind much of the format’s growth is the embrace of native advertising — ads that reflect the tone of the podcast as hosts discuss products during their show or even report on brands as ad spots. Blurring the line between advertising and news has led to a clash between those coming from public radio and those coming from commercial radio. Regardless, evidence suggests that native advertisements are effective. Continue reading Podcasting Embraces Native Ads, Blends Story and Sponsors

Lawsuit Filed Against Sling Media for Streaming Unwanted Ads

Consumers filed a class action lawsuit against Sling Media, claiming the company streamed ads through its Slingbox device without their permission. Slingbox sends TV, video and other media from home broadcast, cable or satellite devices to consumers’ phones. The plaintiffs allege that as of March 2015, the $300 Slingbox devices embedded advertising in the media streamed to the mobile devices of consumers who never consented to the ads. They claim Slingbox ads violate business law in California and Sling Media engages in unlawful business practices. Continue reading Lawsuit Filed Against Sling Media for Streaming Unwanted Ads

New Slingbox Set-Top Box Shifts Content From Mobile to TVs

Slingbox, a subsidiary of EchoStar, just released its M2 set-top box, priced at $199. The new set-top box enables viewers to watch live, pay TV and DVR content over the Internet, anywhere and from any device. The M2 adds functionalities not available in the M1, which debuted in 2014, including the ability to shift content from mobile devices to TVs via Apple TV, Chromecast, Fire TV or Roku. Users will also be able to download the Slingplayer app on each device for free; the trade-off is viewing short pre-roll ads. Continue reading New Slingbox Set-Top Box Shifts Content From Mobile to TVs

Facebook Tests ‘Watch Later’ Button to Increase Video Views

Facebook has developed a “Watch Later” button for videos that appear in a user’s news feed, so that video content can be saved and viewed at a later time or date. The new button includes a small overlay tab in the upper right hand corner of a video that appears when a mouse scrolls over it, and allows for a simple way to save videos. The feature goes a step beyond Facebook’s current less visible “Save” feature and puts it more on par with YouTube. Video is a growing category for Facebook; the network reported 4 billion daily video views last quarter. Continue reading Facebook Tests ‘Watch Later’ Button to Increase Video Views

Facebook Looking to Expand Media Offerings with Music Videos

Facebook has turned its attention to music videos in its latest move to offer more video content to its users. The social media company began moving into video in the last few years, now showing content from BuzzFeed, Vice and other publishers, in addition to its user-generated content. Music videos would continue the trend and up the competition between Facebook and YouTube. Facebook currently has 1.4 billion worldwide users, and adding video is likely to extend the time that viewers stay on the site. Continue reading Facebook Looking to Expand Media Offerings with Music Videos

Nielsen to Track Audience Demos of Video Ads on Roku Devices

Nielsen and Roku have started working together to measure the audience demographics of ads that play through Roku streaming devices. That means Roku will be the first Internet-connected TV platform that will be able to offer the same audience guarantees as traditional television. Advertisers will already be familiar with the Nielsen audience breakdowns, which will also be integrated into the Roku Ad Framework toolkit. The companies will be testing the new tracking this summer. Continue reading Nielsen to Track Audience Demos of Video Ads on Roku Devices

Popcorn Time Accounts for One-Ninth of U.S. Torrent Traffic

In less than a year, Popcorn Time has become one of the most popular services to torrent pirated media content online. The slick grid interface looks similar to that of Netflix or Hulu, making the service look more legitimate and easier to navigate to find a TV show or movie. The program is actually an index of other BitTorrent sites. Popcorn Time’s popularity has been growing in the U.S. and abroad, especially in countries where streaming services are less established. Continue reading Popcorn Time Accounts for One-Ninth of U.S. Torrent Traffic

AT&T GigaPower Service Offers Data Privacy for Monthly Fee

GigaPower by AT&T, the company’s 1 gigabit-per-second service, was introduced in 2013 in Austin, Texas — and this week it rolled out in Kansas City, Missouri. While customers can enjoy ultrafast fiber-optic Internet access for $70 per month, AT&T also tracks their online activities. Those who prefer to keep their browsing habits private can pay an additional $29 a month. Since opting out of sharing such data is typically offered free of charge, some are questioning whether AT&T’s model will discourage people from doing so. Continue reading AT&T GigaPower Service Offers Data Privacy for Monthly Fee

Sling TV Benefits Both Advertisers and Multi-Channel Networks

During CES, Dish announced its $20 per month, OTT subscription service that provides access to Adult Swim, Cartoon Network, CNN, Disney Channel, ESPN, Food Network, HGTV, TBS, TNT, and YouTube videos from Maker Studios. Sling TV could finally help position the enormously popular YouTube content at the same advertising value as television. Advertisers would be able to reach the younger demographic that increasingly watches less television, while multi-channel networks like Maker Studios may grow in value. Continue reading Sling TV Benefits Both Advertisers and Multi-Channel Networks

Snapchat Discover Aims to Become Internet Portal for Mobile

Mobile messaging service Snapchat unveiled Snapchat Discover yesterday, a new portal feature that includes articles, music and other media content from 11 new partners such as CNN, Comedy Central, Cosmopolitan, ESPN, National Geographic, Vice and Warner Music. Full-screen video ads from leading brands will run with the content; a portion of the ad revenue will be shared with publishers. In contrast to the user-shared media currently prevalent on Facebook and Twitter, Snapchat will reportedly maintain tighter control over its content. Continue reading Snapchat Discover Aims to Become Internet Portal for Mobile

Facebook Messenger Will Roll Out Voice-to-Text Capabilities

Facebook will continue to improve its Messenger app this year. The standalone app already has more than 500 million monthly users, but the company is hoping to get to a billion users by the end of the year. One attractive new feature will be the voice-to-text transcription. A release date has yet to be announced, but the company is already testing it. Also, Facebook will experiment with ways to generate revenue and give people a way to communicate with businesses on the Messenger app. Continue reading Facebook Messenger Will Roll Out Voice-to-Text Capabilities

Some Brands Wary of Paying Snapchat Top Dollar for Short Ads

Snapchat has reportedly set an asking price of $750,000 per day to advertise on its messaging app, a figure some say is too high for a young app. Companies such as Samsung, McDonalds, Universal Pictures and Macy’s were among the early sponsors who paid for quick videos and photos called “Snaps.” However, the new rate may prove unrealistically high, despite the name recognition of early sponsors. Snapchat says it offers the ability to reach millions of people through its Recent Updates and Our Stories live feed. Continue reading Some Brands Wary of Paying Snapchat Top Dollar for Short Ads

Twitter Introduces its Plan to Sell Ads on Other Apps and Sites

Twitter has plans to generate additional revenue from video ads that may be viewable by inactive participants of the social network. There are millions of people that have access to tweets all over the Web without being registered with their own Twitter accounts. Twitter’s new plans include selling ads within the streams of tweets that appear on other apps and sites. Twitter reportedly detailed its proposed initiative to media buyers at the 2015 International CES in Las Vegas. Continue reading Twitter Introduces its Plan to Sell Ads on Other Apps and Sites

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