Podcasting App Swell Shutters Following Acquisition by Apple

Earlier this week we reported that Apple would acquire recommendation startup BookLamp, often referred to as “the Pandora for books.” In related news, Apple has purchased podcasting app Swell, described as “the Pandora of talk radio.” Following the acquisition, Swell announced that its service is no longer available. Disappointed users may be hoping that Apple will somehow integrate Swell into its offerings. Meanwhile, NPR just launched its NPR One app, which offers similar functionality. Continue reading Podcasting App Swell Shutters Following Acquisition by Apple

Kumo Aims to Break TV Bundle by Offering Specific Channels

Kumo, a startup that hopes to offer consumers access to individual channels rather than entire bundles, has raised $50 million in financing. The company may face significant hurdles, since content creators and owners have historically avoided this type of model, fearing a negative impact to their revenue streams. Unlike Aereo’s failed attempt at pairing an antenna with a cloud storage service, however, Kumo is reportedly working to license content for its a la carte approach. Continue reading Kumo Aims to Break TV Bundle by Offering Specific Channels

Google to Purchase Live Game Streamer Twitch for $1 Billion

Google has signed a $1 billion deal to acquire popular streaming platform Twitch.tv, according to sources familiar with the matter. Google’s YouTube division is in charge of the deal, which reflects the popularity of live Internet streaming and, in particular, the rapidly evolving interest in competitive gaming as a spectator sport. San Francisco-based Twitch currently touts more than 50 million monthly users. In addition, more than 1.1 million of its members broadcast videos each month. Continue reading Google to Purchase Live Game Streamer Twitch for $1 Billion

Yahoo Targets Mobile Advertising Market with Flurry Purchase

Yahoo is purchasing mobile app analytics firm Flurry, a company that collects data from some 540,000 apps to help marketers identify which mobile ads work the best for Android and iPhone users. While financial specifics have not been released, insiders suggest the deal is valued at more than $200 million, one of the largest under CEO Marissa Mayer. The acquisition is another step by Mayer to pursue mobile advertising revenue, a market largely dominated by Google and Facebook. Continue reading Yahoo Targets Mobile Advertising Market with Flurry Purchase

Apple and IBM Tackle Mobile Enterprise with Exclusive Venture

Apple and IBM announced a joint venture that the tech giants have been working on for several months. The exclusive partnership will focus on mobile and data analysis tech in the corporate world by developing more than 100 business software programs intended for use on iPhones and iPads. Applications will be tailored for banking, healthcare, insurance, retail, telecommunications and transportation. Apple CEO Tim Cook described the venture as “a landmark partnership.” Continue reading Apple and IBM Tackle Mobile Enterprise with Exclusive Venture

EU and South Korea Team Up for Faster Mobile Internet Access

South Korea and the European Union announced a new pact today to develop 5G networks for faster mobile Internet service. The two will launch a joint group with plans to develop systems, set standards and ready radio frequencies in order to help establish a global vision on 5G by the end of next year. According to EU data, the six minutes required to download a one-hour HD movie on a 4G mobile Internet would only take six seconds on a superfast 5G network. Continue reading EU and South Korea Team Up for Faster Mobile Internet Access

Satellite-Imaging: Google to Acquire Skybox for $500 Million

Google is purchasing satellite startup Skybox Imaging for $500 million in cash. Founded in 2009, Skybox designs lightweight, affordable satellites that record photos and video of Earth. Skybox employees will initially work with Google’s Maps unit. While Google says it is purchasing Skybox for its imaging capabilities, the search giant is also trying to provide the planet with fast Internet access via balloons, drones and satellites. The acquisition may be part of these larger efforts. Continue reading Satellite-Imaging: Google to Acquire Skybox for $500 Million

AT&T Could Offer its Customers DirecTV’s NFL Sunday Ticket

With AT&T’s $49 billion planned acquisition of DirecTV, the phone company may offer NFL Sunday Ticket programming to its wireless customers. Sunday Ticket, a premium service that allows DirecTV customers to watch out-of-market NFL games, also allows users to stream to mobile devices at an extra cost. If AT&T is able to extend Sunday Ticket to its customers, it would further compete with Verizon, which already has streaming rights to Sunday, Monday and Thursday night football games. Continue reading AT&T Could Offer its Customers DirecTV’s NFL Sunday Ticket

Sprint Edges Closer to a $32 Billion Deal for Rival T-Mobile

SoftBank’s Sprint unit is reportedly poised to make a $32 billion offer to acquire T-Mobile that could take place early this summer. According to people familiar with the matter, the two telecoms have agreed on the broad outlines of a merger, but are still working on a formal contract. If completed and approved, the deal would combine the country’s third- and fourth-largest wireless operators, and potentially establish stronger competition for industry leaders Verizon and AT&T. Continue reading Sprint Edges Closer to a $32 Billion Deal for Rival T-Mobile

Apple to Buy Beats for $3 Billion: Largest Deal in its History

Apple announced yesterday that it has agreed to purchase Beats Electronics for $3 billion, in a deal that is expected to help the tech giant better compete with subscription-based music services. As anticipated based on earlier reports, Apple will offer the Beats streaming music service, built on curated playlists, and its premium headphones under a separate Beats brand, while the iTunes music store and streaming radio platform will be offered alongside the Beats music service. The Beats deal marks the largest acquisition in Apple’s history. Continue reading Apple to Buy Beats for $3 Billion: Largest Deal in its History

Yahoo’s New Video Platform Plans to Compete with YouTube

After a few months of delays, Yahoo plans to launch its new video service this summer. Like YouTube, the service will allow users to post videos, create their own channels, and embed the Yahoo video player into other sites. Yahoo’s video service is different in its more generous revenue-sharing deals with video creators. Content producers with a Yahoo contract will also have the ability to publish their videos on Yahoo properties including the homepage and Tumblr. Continue reading Yahoo’s New Video Platform Plans to Compete with YouTube

Omnicom Media, Twitter Agree to $230 Million Mobile Ad Pact

Omnicom Media Group and Twitter announced a mobile-advertising deal yesterday that is said to be valued at $230 million over the next two years. The agreement will integrate Accuen, Omnicom’s ad buying unit, with MoPub, the ad exchange that Twitter acquired in September for $350 million. The deal will lock in advertising rates and access to inventory for Omnicom agencies, while also providing a first look at new ad units and related opportunities being developed by Twitter. Continue reading Omnicom Media, Twitter Agree to $230 Million Mobile Ad Pact

AT&T-DirecTV Deal May Hinge on NFL Sunday Games Rights

Telecom giant AT&T is poised to acquire DirecTV for $49 billion, but that deal could fall through if DirecTV fails to renew its “Sunday Ticket” offering with the NFL. The current DirecTV deal with the NFL, which allows the satellite company to broadcast all out-of-market NFL football games on Sunday afternoons to TVs and mobile devices, expires at the end of the 2014 football season. AT&T hopes to become a major broadcasting partner of the NFL with the acquisition of DirecTV. Continue reading AT&T-DirecTV Deal May Hinge on NFL Sunday Games Rights

Publicis Groupe and Facebook Announce New Ad Partnership

Facebook and Publicis Groupe, the advertising holding company with clients such as Procter & Gamble, Verizon and Coca-Cola, have struck an advertising deal reportedly worth “hundreds of millions of dollars.” The partnership will give Publicis increased access to Facebook’s user data, ad inventory, and opportunities to advertise on Instagram and to utilize video ads. The deal is the largest to-date between an agency holding company and a tech company. Continue reading Publicis Groupe and Facebook Announce New Ad Partnership

FCC Faces Busy Year of Acquisitions, Auctions and Regulation

The following is on the schedule for the Federal Communications Commission: whether to approve or block AT&T’s newly announced $49 billion acquisition of DirecTV, whether to allow Comcast’s proposed $45 billion purchase of Time Warner Cable, establish rules for next year’s auction of TV airwaves to wireless carriers, and determine whether and/or how to regulate the way broadband providers treat traffic over networks (and possibly face a busier calendar if Sprint makes a bid for T-Mobile). Continue reading FCC Faces Busy Year of Acquisitions, Auctions and Regulation

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