Top YouTube Stars Using Online Success to Launch Careers

Forbes has compiled its first-ever list of the world’s highest-paid YouTube stars. To appear in the ranking, Internet celebrities had to make at least $2.5 million in earnings for the year ending June 1, 2015. The top 13 DIY videomakers, most under the age of 30, have earned a combined total of $54.5 million. The group includes gamers, singers, comedy teams, pranksters, a beauty blogger and a dancing violinist. While most make their revenue from online advertising, some are also branching out into traditional media such as film, TV, music and publishing. Continue reading Top YouTube Stars Using Online Success to Launch Careers

Companies Develop Tools for Sifting Through Online Images

Internet users are typically more engaged when accessing websites and social platforms that include photos and videos. Marketing firm Shift, for example, notes that readers are five times more likely to click an embedded link if a tweet includes an image. As a result, companies are now developing software solutions for sifting through the millions of online images in an effort to help brands, advertisers and e-commerce players identify what draws viewers. EyeEm Mobile and Neon Labs are among those looking to enhance the power of online visuals. Continue reading Companies Develop Tools for Sifting Through Online Images

Twitter May Lift 140-Character Limit, Aimed at Mainstream Use

In an effort to build its user base, Twitter is thinking about tweaking one of its signature features: the 140-character limit on tweets. Although the new feature is in the planning stages and no Twitter executive would comment on any new plan, the idea of going beyond 140 characters is no surprise, having been debated for many years. In June, the company overrode the 140-character limit on private messages, signaling an openness to new rules. Interim chief executive Jack Dorsey is seen as likely to endorse change. Continue reading Twitter May Lift 140-Character Limit, Aimed at Mainstream Use

Publishers Raise Amazon Kindle E-Book Prices, Sales Plummet

Three big publishers that inked new pacts with Amazon to be able to set prices for their titles are now scratching their heads. The prices went up, but the sales went down. Lagardere SCA’s Hachette Book Group, News Corp’s HarperCollins Publishers and CBS Corporation’s Simon & Schuster all reported declining e-book revenues, despite the “win” of setting their own, considerably higher prices. Although the correlation between the two facts might seem obvious, some publishers insist lackluster books are to blame. Continue reading Publishers Raise Amazon Kindle E-Book Prices, Sales Plummet

Facebook Rolls Out Live Streaming Video Feature for Celebs

Facebook has been developing a tool that would enable public figures to broadcast live to their fans. The social network launched “Live” this week, as a feature in its Mentions app exclusively available to celebrities with verified Pages. The launch kicked off with streams from stars such as Luke Bryan, The Rock and Serena Williams. It is not known whether the feature will be made available to ordinary users to compete with the likes of Periscope and Meerkat, but the company plans to gather feedback from celebs and viewers to “evolve the product.” Continue reading Facebook Rolls Out Live Streaming Video Feature for Celebs

Pew Research: Facebook, Twitter Are Preferred News Sources

While social networks such as Facebook and Twitter prefer to describe themselves as content distribution platforms rather than content publishing platforms, denying any involvement in the editorial reshaping of what users see (despite their editorial ability to remove content from their sites), a recent study conducted by the Pew Research Center reveals that Facebook and Twitter users across multiple demographics in the United States are increasingly turning to the two services to access external news. Continue reading Pew Research: Facebook, Twitter Are Preferred News Sources

Appeals Court Agrees That Apple Conspired on E-Book Pricing

A federal appeals court has upheld an earlier ruling that determined Apple conspired with publishers to raise digital book prices. The U.S. Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit voted 2-to-1 in agreement of Judge Denise Cote’s 2013 decision when the case originally played out in the U.S. District Court in Manhattan. Apple and five publishers had been accused by the Justice Department of conspiring to increase prices above Amazon’s standard for new e-books through an ‘agency pricing’ model. The publishers settled prior to the trial, but Apple opted to fight the accusation. Continue reading Appeals Court Agrees That Apple Conspired on E-Book Pricing

Facebook Partners with Disney, Vice and Others on Video Ads

Facebook has launched a new marketing initiative called Anthology that enables advertisers to work with seven media partners to create sponsored videos. The company says that its media partners — The Onion, Vice, Disney, Funny or Die, Tastemade, Vox, and Electus Digital’s CollegeHumor — know how to get the most out of the Facebook platform. These video ads are one way that Facebook may be able to keep advertising, and soon publishing content, under its own roof. Continue reading Facebook Partners with Disney, Vice and Others on Video Ads

Oyster Boosts Subscription Service with Digital eBook Store

Oyster recently announced it plans to start offering customers the option to buy select books that may not otherwise be included as a part of the company’s all-you-can-read subscription service. With its new offering, the company hopes to compete with major e-book retailers such as Amazon and Barnes & Noble. Despite having deals with three major publishers, Oyster’s e-book subscription service has been missing key titles from publishing companies such as Random House and Hachette.  Continue reading Oyster Boosts Subscription Service with Digital eBook Store

ASCAP Turns to Streaming Services for Collection of Royalties

ASCAP (the American Society of Composers, Authors and Publishers) reported having its best year to date in 2014. The not-for-profit performance-rights organization, which collects royalties on behalf of over 500,000 musical artists and more than 10 million songs, collected a little over $1 billion in revenue for 2014. ASCAP said that it had improved its efforts in identifying songs being played via streaming services and in return created opportunities to pay more artists for their work. Continue reading ASCAP Turns to Streaming Services for Collection of Royalties

Digital Newsstand Magzter Offers Unlimited Access to Pubs

Subscription-based app Magzter wants to become the Netflix of the magazine industry by offering customers unlimited access to nearly 2,000 titles. For $10 per month, subscribers can enjoy access to titles such as Maxim, ESPN and Fast Company among other popular publications. Magzter also plans to offer an alternative plan by which customers pay $5 per month to read any five titles on a monthly basis. The company is in competition with two other subscription magazine services: Readily and Next Issue. Continue reading Digital Newsstand Magzter Offers Unlimited Access to Pubs

Hearst Makes a Major Investment in DWA’s AwesomenessTV

Publisher Hearst is paying $81.25 million for a 25 percent interest in DreamWorks Animation’s AwesomenessTV. Announced yesterday, the deal will help Hearst leverage a younger audience, while DWA will use the cash infusion to help develop the fast-growing AwesomenessTV business. The pact plans to help AwesomenessTV expand into new content channels, broaden its audience and expand its geographic reach. AwesomenessTV will also gain access to Hearst’s subscription VOD platform. Continue reading Hearst Makes a Major Investment in DWA’s AwesomenessTV

Hachette Launches Twitter Experiment to Boost its Book Sales

Hachette Book Group, which publishes best-selling authors including Michael Connelly, Malcolm Gladwell and James Patterson, announced on Monday that it is partnering with Gumroad to determine whether author tweets can help push book sales. In today’s social media landscape, authors with significant Twitter followings — such as John Green and Paulo Coelho — have experienced major success. Gumroad enables creators to sell products directly to social media followers without leaving Twitter. Continue reading Hachette Launches Twitter Experiment to Boost its Book Sales

Barnes & Noble and Microsoft Conclude Their Nook Partnership

In 2012, Microsoft invested $300 million in Barnes & Noble’s Nook division, a deal which valued the Nook business at $1.7 billion. The plan was for Microsoft to continue investing, while Barnes & Noble would create content for Microsoft products. Since the initial deal, the Nook business has lost more than half its value (revenue fell 41 percent in the most recent quarter compared to last year). Yesterday, the two companies ended the partnership, with Barnes & Noble buying out Microsoft for $120 million. Continue reading Barnes & Noble and Microsoft Conclude Their Nook Partnership

Amazon Loses Senior Editor as Publishing Struggles Continue

Novelist Ed Park, a senior editor at Amazon’s publishing office, has decided to leave the company and move to Penguin Press as an executive editor. The shift highlights Amazon’s battle with its image as competition grows within the publishing ecosystem. Amazon faces obstacles as bookstores refuse to carry books published by Amazon, and authors and agents are therefore disinclined to join. However, Park explained that such conflict was not the main reason for his departure. Continue reading Amazon Loses Senior Editor as Publishing Struggles Continue

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