Spike in Takedown Requests Questions Effectiveness of DMCA

In the first 12 weeks this year, Google received takedown requests for 213 million links, representing a 125 percent increase over the same period in 2015, to remove copyright infringing sites, as per the Digital Millennium Copyright Act. The spike does not represent a dramatic increase in piracy but, rather, new automated tools for finding copyright violators as well as more copyright holders actively looking for infringers. The MPAA and Recording Industry Association of America say it’s proof that the DMCA isn’t working. Continue reading Spike in Takedown Requests Questions Effectiveness of DMCA

Starboard Suggests Replacements for Yahoo Board Members

As Yahoo’s global online ad revenue is forecast to drop by 14 percent this year, and scrutiny of the embattled Internet company’s leadership continues, Starboard Value has initiated a shareholder revolt. Yesterday, in a letter to investors, the activist hedge fund introduced nine candidates to run for the Yahoo board (including Starboard chief exec Jeffrey Smith). Starboard, which holds a 1.7 percent stake in Yahoo, has called into question the leadership of Yahoo CEO Marissa Mayer and is looking to oust the company’s current board. Starboard hopes that such pressure will encourage the sale of Yahoo’s core businesses. Continue reading Starboard Suggests Replacements for Yahoo Board Members

New Daily Talk Show from E! Now Livestreaming on Facebook

On March 21, the NBCUniversal-owned cable network E! debuted a daily live talk show — “Live From E!” — on Facebook Live. The show, which runs 15 to 20 minutes each weekday at 12:30 pm Eastern time, is shot with an Apple iPhone 6s Plus smartphone, and is also available on eonline.com and the E! Online app. The show represents a success for Facebook, which has been pitching TV networks, media companies, sports leagues (including the NFL) and celebrities to bring premium live content to its streaming service. Continue reading New Daily Talk Show from E! Now Livestreaming on Facebook

Media Companies Turn to A La Carte Sales in Foreign Markets

Viacom, 21st Century Fox and The Walt Disney Company are among the numerous entertainment companies offering their content a la carte — in Europe, Latin America and Asia. In the U.S., these networks are still parts of more expensive bundles proffered by Comcast, DirecTV and other pay TV services. That reflects a much lower penetration of homes outside the U.S. that have a cable or satellite subscription, which makes it possible for media companies to make a la carte offers without running afoul of pay TV providers. Continue reading Media Companies Turn to A La Carte Sales in Foreign Markets

AT&T, with Videology, to Sell Programmatic Ads on Linear TV

AT&T has partnered with ad technology company Videology to introduce a “private marketplace” for a handful of select advertisers, who will be able to buy linear TV ads reaching 26 million households. Beginning in Q3, advertisers can use their own data and data from third parties to reach targeted audiences on cable networks on AT&T’s U-verse service or DirecTV, which AT&T acquired last year for $49 billion. Advertisers will be able to purchase ads via a self-serve website, although the back-end will operate manually. Continue reading AT&T, with Videology, to Sell Programmatic Ads on Linear TV

Networks Test Sponsored Content and Fewer 30-Second Ads

On Monday, NBC tested out a new concept: airing more content and fewer ads. Sponsored by American Express, the additional content included “Blindspot” interviews with the show’s creator and stars, and a segment with Kathie Lee Gifford and Hoda Kotb of the “Today” show. NBC isn’t alone; Vice Media has embraced a similar advertising strategy for its new Viceland cable channel. TV networks hurting from ratings declines and cord cutting are taking a serious look at swapping out 30-second spots for sponsored content. Continue reading Networks Test Sponsored Content and Fewer 30-Second Ads

NBCU Adds First-Time Sales of TV Ads via Programmatic Tools

There’s a sea change at NBCUniversal, which will, for the first time, begin selling some linear TV ad space to advertisers using programmatic tools and advanced data targeting. But the move isn’t as broad as it sounds and requires some parsing. Starting this fall, advertisers will be able to use their own data sets and ad-buying technology to buy on NBC, USA and Syfy. But this isn’t the “real-time bidding” found in digital advertising and marketers won’t be able to cherry-pick individual shows. Continue reading NBCU Adds First-Time Sales of TV Ads via Programmatic Tools

NBCUniversal Integrates Data Platforms to Hone Ad Targeting

Comcast’s NBCUniversal opened a new division, Audience Studio, to make it easier for advertisers to use data to target audiences across TV, digital and social media. Headed up by data platforms/strategy executive Denise Colella, Audience Studio brings together four different ad buying products that NBCU has unveiled over the past few years. The company is also debuting a new data management platform, that lets advertisers match their own data with NBCU and third party data to create specifically targeted campaigns. Continue reading NBCUniversal Integrates Data Platforms to Hone Ad Targeting

Nielsen to Face Stiff Competition From comScore and Rentrak

Nielsen has served as the leading name in measuring TV ratings, but now the 93-year old company faces new competition. That’s because media measurement companies comScore and Rentrak have merged in a $768 million deal. ComScore, founded in 1999, specializes in measuring use of digital media, and Rentrak relies on data from set-top boxes to formulate TV ratings. Nielsen has launched new products in an attempt to evolve beyond its paper diary beginnings, but numerous critics in the TV industry are eager for an alternative. Continue reading Nielsen to Face Stiff Competition From comScore and Rentrak

Viacom Teams with Canvs to Track Emotions on Social Media

Assessing and quantifying reaction to content and advertising on social media has been limited to the fuzzy capabilities of “sentiment analysis” tools that capture only generic positive and negative attitudes. Now, Viacom believes it’s found the perfect tool to do better. Media conglomerate Velocity’s marketing and creative content division teamed with tech startup Canvs, whose database of 4 million words and phrases — including millennial slang and social media shorthand — falls into 56 emotional categories. Continue reading Viacom Teams with Canvs to Track Emotions on Social Media

EU Takes Aim at Geo-Blocking, Faces Off Against Hollywood

The European Union is taking on geo-blocking — the practice of restricting access to online content based on location — in a move that pits it against Hollywood studios 20th Century Fox, Disney, Warner Bros., NBCUniversal, Sony Pictures, Paramount Pictures, as well as pay TV’s Sky. EU competition commissioner Margrethe Vestager says she will detail the EU’s concerns by the end of March. Joining the EU in its case is BEUC, the European consumer organization. Both groups are also looking at restrictions related to video games. Continue reading EU Takes Aim at Geo-Blocking, Faces Off Against Hollywood

NBCUniversal’s Burke: Netflix is Friend, Enemy and Frenemy

NBCUniversal chief executive Steve Burke did not anticipate the big impact of time-shifting and over-the-top services such as Netflix and Hulu on the cable business, he said during CES 2016. Instead, he believed cable entertainment ratings would be stronger than they are today. At the same time, he doesn’t consider Netflix to be just an enemy but, rather, a friend and frenemy as well. More puzzling to him is how advertisers discount television in favor of digital outlets, which, he notes, do not have the reach or emotional impact of TV. Continue reading NBCUniversal’s Burke: Netflix is Friend, Enemy and Frenemy

BuzzFeed Introduces Yet Another Top Facebook Video Page

BuzzFeed, already a top Facebook video contributor with four different brands, launched another one in October: Top Knot, which focuses on beauty and fashion. The Top Knot Facebook page already has nearly 1 million fans and has logged almost 200 million views in two months, with a handful of clips generating up to 7 million views each. BuzzFeed and NBCU, which invested $200 million in the company, are looking into ways to collaborate, in addition to an announced plan to jointly cover the 2016 Summer Olympics. Continue reading BuzzFeed Introduces Yet Another Top Facebook Video Page

Hulu Gains Subscribers and Revenue, Plans Original Content

In October, Hulu reached No. 8 on the worldwide iOS Top Revenue chart and No. 10 on the worldwide Top Revenue chart for iOS and Android combined, a gain achieved after it made several moves to attract more subscribers. Among them, Hulu struck a deal with Epix when Netflix declined to renew its deal. It also debuted a commercial-free paid tier, the “No Commercials” plan, in September, priced at $11.99 per month. Pleased with the growth, chief executive Mike Hopkins says the company plans on producing original content. Continue reading Hulu Gains Subscribers and Revenue, Plans Original Content

Comcast’s Stream TV Does Not Affect Subscriber Data Caps

Comcast just launched Stream TV, its live streaming TV service, in the Chicago and Boston areas (including eastern Massachusetts, New Hampshire and Maine), and plans to debut the service in all its territories by early 2016. What makes Stream TV of interest is that its usage does not count against the 300GB data plans available in some Comcast territories or use a customer’s Internet bandwidth measured in bits per second. Stream TV is an IP cable service delivered over Comcast’s managed network rather than the public Internet. Continue reading Comcast’s Stream TV Does Not Affect Subscriber Data Caps