Facebook Inks Video Deals with Media Brands and Celebrities

In a bid to fill the Facebook Live pipeline with high quality video, Facebook has inked deals with almost 140 media companies including CNN, The New York Times, Vox Media, Tastemade, Mashable and The Huffington Post, and celebrities including Kevin Hart, Gordon Ramsay, Deepak Chopra and NFL quarterback Russell Wilson. With these high-profile media contracts, Facebook plans to tap into a potentially lucrative advertising market, as well as more deeply engage its 1.65 billion monthly users. Continue reading Facebook Inks Video Deals with Media Brands and Celebrities

Twitter Reaches Out to Music Fans with its SoundCloud Deal

Twitter chief exec Jack Dorsey confirmed that his company invested about $70 million in streaming music service SoundCloud through Twitter Ventures earlier this year. SoundCloud is a popular online outlet for new music and “a favorite of musicians and fans, attracting what it says are 175 million users worldwide,” reports The New York Times. The site struggled earlier with copyright issues, but has since signed licensing deals with publishers and record companies. In March, SoundCloud debuted “subscription service SoundCloud Go, making a catalog of more than 125 million songs available to people at $10 a month, with a free version supported by advertising,” notes NYT. Continue reading Twitter Reaches Out to Music Fans with its SoundCloud Deal

Time Inc. and Wochit Partner to Help Publishers Create Videos

Time Inc., which purchased ad tech network and Myspace owner Viant earlier this year, is planning to publish 40,000 pieces of video content in 2016. To help achieve this ambitious goal, Time has partnered with New York City-based Wochit, a startup that helps online publishers produce short videos. Wochit provides pre-licensed content, editing tools and publishing options for social media and mobile platforms. The service analyzes article text and finds related graphics, photos and videos to build a video. Publishers can then add voice-over, music and more. Continue reading Time Inc. and Wochit Partner to Help Publishers Create Videos

Adblock Plus Reaches One Billion Downloads, Spars with IAB

Adblock Plus, from German firm Eyeo, is now on 100 million active devices and close to a billion downloads, says Eyeo co-founder/chief executive Till Faida. That’s significant growth from the beginning of the year, when the company reported 500 million downloads and 50 million active users. Adblock Plus also launched its “Acceptable Ads” program targeting larger websites; by whitelisting ads, Adblock Plus receives 30 percent of the additional revenue. Faida reports that 40 out of the top 100 U.S. websites are participating. Continue reading Adblock Plus Reaches One Billion Downloads, Spars with IAB

YouTube Gaming Focuses on Live, Mobile Capture, 360 VR

YouTube’s gaming video site draws hundreds of millions of gamers watching 144 billion minutes of game videos every month, half of which are on mobile devices. YouTube Gaming content creators have posted videos on more than 25,000 games. The channel’s fans are 30 percent women, 30 percent over 34 years old and 47 percent parents. Now 11 years old, YouTube continues to evolve its gaming ecosystem, with a push to do more livestreaming of games, a new “mobile capture” feature and an emphasis on 360-degree VR game videos. Continue reading YouTube Gaming Focuses on Live, Mobile Capture, 360 VR

Instagram Debuts New Algorithm, Bumps Video to 60 Seconds

Facebook-owned Instagram is testing a new algorithm, which will choose which posts users see in their feed and in what order. Brands are worried, afraid that means their posts won’t be seen. That’s essentially what happened when Facebook changed its algorithm, and the Pages that businesses and brands built to reach fans for free, slowly but surely disappeared from their followers’ feeds. Instagram also announced that it is rolling out a new cap for videos, bumping the limit from 15 seconds to 60 seconds. Continue reading Instagram Debuts New Algorithm, Bumps Video to 60 Seconds

With Sony Music Deal, SoundCloud Reaches 18 Million Artists

Streaming music service SoundCloud finalized a deal with Sony Music to increase the number of songs listeners can access via SoundCloud and also allow Sony Music Entertainment artists to make money from their tracks hosted on its service. The deal with Sony Music is just the latest in several that SoundCloud has inked with other music publishers including Merlin (representing 20,000 indie labels) in June 2015, Universal Music Group earlier this year, and Warner Music in 2014. Continue reading With Sony Music Deal, SoundCloud Reaches 18 Million Artists

Google Takes On Facebook with Faster Mobile News Delivery

Google has updated its mobile search with a fast-loading format, developed with input from various publishers, so that smartphone users can access news articles more quickly. Conducting a Google search will now bring users to a horizontal carousel of articles where each news item will feature a lightning bolt icon and the letters ‘AMP’ (Accelerated Mobile Pages). Clicking on an article will bring it up almost immediately. The new format comes as Facebook is expanding its Instant Articles program in an effort to speed the delivery of news articles and videos. Continue reading Google Takes On Facebook with Faster Mobile News Delivery

Few Publishers Trying to Recover Revenue Lost to Ad Blockers

More than a third of Americans reportedly use an ad blocker on their Internet browsers, and many of them probably have no idea that they are costing publishers billions in lost advertising revenue. Randall Rothenberg, president of the Interactive Advertising Bureau, urged publishers to develop their own technology and methods to stop ad blocking software. Meanwhile, Samsung is following Apple in enabling an ad blocking plugin for the Internet browser on its mobile phones. Continue reading Few Publishers Trying to Recover Revenue Lost to Ad Blockers

Apple News App Glitch Causes Underreporting of Readership

Apple announced that it has been underestimating the number of readers using the Apple News app to read news from more than 100 publishing partners. The company is working on fixing the problem, but for now, neither the publishing partners nor Apple know how popular the app has become. Publishers need an accurate number to manage their advertising strategies. Executives at the publishing partners have been underwhelmed by the reported traffic from the Apple News app so far. Continue reading Apple News App Glitch Causes Underreporting of Readership

Pandora Ends Long Fight with ASCAP, BMI Over Royalty Rates

Pandora Media has ended its ongoing legal battles with the American Society of Composers, Authors and Publishers (ASCAP) and Broadcast Music Inc. (BMI) over royalty rights, without disclosing the details of their new licensing agreement. Pandora previously licensed both performing-rights group’s catalogs based on rates that had been determined by the U.S. District Court in Manhattan that sets music royalty fees when the parties can’t agree. ASCAP and BMI currently represent a combined collection of 20 million songs. Continue reading Pandora Ends Long Fight with ASCAP, BMI Over Royalty Rates

Facebook Boosts Ad Revenue for Publishers of Instant Articles

In response to feedback, Facebook has changed its advertising policies for Instant Articles, to help publishers generate more revenue. Publishers can now include more advertising in each article and control the links to other articles at the end of theirs. Instant Articles, which debuted in October, allows media companies to publish content directly to Facebook instead of posting links to their sites. Meanwhile, Amazon has been developing and testing Expert Articles on topics of interest to the site’s consumers. Continue reading Facebook Boosts Ad Revenue for Publishers of Instant Articles

Facebook’s Beta Shopping Feed Reveals Weakness, Potential

Since it debuted in October, Facebook’s Shopping feed has been in beta among a handful of U.S. users. So far, the new feature can help a user track down something found in his or her News Feed. Although there are few products and no reviews, the potential lies in Facebook’s key strength — its knowledge about its users. That would allow the company to curate more accurately than any other shopping service out there. A Facebook survey reports that 50 percent of its users come to the site looking for products. Continue reading Facebook’s Beta Shopping Feed Reveals Weakness, Potential

Pandora, Spotify Explore On-Demand Music and Ticket Sales

Pandora just acquired Rdio for its technology and talent, and Spotify is unrolling Fan Insights to offer its musicians a way to research its fan base and plan smarter tours. In both cases, these popular streaming music services are expanding beyond their core expertise — and their unstable revenue — by uniting radio, on demand and even live shows. As bigger players such as Apple, Google and Amazon create music services, Pandora and Spotify must offer more services to survive. Continue reading Pandora, Spotify Explore On-Demand Music and Ticket Sales

Facebook Introduces Notify, Customizable Push Notifications

Facebook just launched Notify, an iOS mobile app for push notifications of customizable news, information and entertainment. Posted directly on the lock screen, Notify lets the user choose which cities, sports teams, music genres he wants to follow, from among 70 publishers. The feed features a link to the associated site for a 24-hour period. The user can save the content to read later or share through Facebook or other social media platforms. Notify does not, however, offer real-time discussion or feature ads. Continue reading Facebook Introduces Notify, Customizable Push Notifications

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