Facebook Drops Trending Topics, Tests Other News Features

Facebook is removing Trending Topics next week, saying that the feature has become “less useful” over time and that pulling the plug on it will “make way for future news experiences.” The feature accounted for an average of less than 1.5 percent of clicks to publishers from Facebook. Conservatives also decried the feature saying it proved Facebook’s liberal bias, an accusation the company is still trying to get out from under. Facebook now plans to pay some news outlets to produce daily and weekly news show for Watch. Continue reading Facebook Drops Trending Topics, Tests Other News Features

Mary Meeker Delivers Her Annual State of the Internet Report

Kleiner Perkins Caufield & Byers partner Mary Meeker delivered her annual Internet trends report at last week’s Code Conference in California. This year’s presentation featured 355 slides and a new section on healthcare. Among the key takeaways: global Internet users reached 3.4 billion in 2016 (46 percent of the world’s population, more than double the number from 2009); digital advertising jumped 22 percent to $73 billion; worldwide smartphone growth is slowing; China is the new leading market for interactive gaming; Apple, Alphabet, Amazon and Facebook are collectively worth $2.4 trillion, while seven of the next 16 top tech firms are Chinese companies such as Alibaba and Tencent. Continue reading Mary Meeker Delivers Her Annual State of the Internet Report

New Study Points to Increase in Social Media as News Source

According to a Pew Research study, 62 percent of U.S. adults now get their news from social media platforms such as Facebook, Twitter, YouTube and Reddit. Atop the list is Facebook, reaching about 44 percent of the population, while Twitter and YouTube hold second place. The study found that the social media sites with the most growth to their news audiences since 2013 include Facebook, Instagram and LinkedIn. Pew also found that 20-30 percent of users across the top five social platforms still get additional news from local and nightly network television. Continue reading New Study Points to Increase in Social Media as News Source

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

Survey: Stigma Associated with TV Binge Viewing is Declining

Binge-watching television shows is becoming a less shameful activity, according to a March survey of TiVo users. While 53 percent of respondents in 2013 characterized the activity in a negative light, only 30 percent of recent respondents felt the same. “People who are binge-viewing are feeling better about themselves,” said Jonathan Steuer, chief research officer for TiVo. Interestingly, 92 percent of respondents indicated that they have engaged in binge-viewing at some point, and 32 percent said they often wait to watch an entire season at once. Continue reading Survey: Stigma Associated with TV Binge Viewing is Declining

Android Dominated in Global Smartphone Shipments Last Year

According to recent figures released by Strategy Analytics, 2014 marked significant milestones for the mobile industry. Global annual shipments reached 1.28 billion devices from OEMs to retailers and carriers for sale, and Android-based smartphones captured 81 percent of the worldwide market, accounting for more than one billion handsets. Android has become the first platform to surpass the one billion mark for shipments. Apple captured 15 percent of the market last year, shipping 193 million units. Continue reading Android Dominated in Global Smartphone Shipments Last Year

Gaming Trend: Adult Women Steal Lead from Under-18 Males

The adult female gaming demographic now doubles the under-18 male gaming demographic, according to The Entertainment Software Association’s annual sales, demographics and usage data report. While 17 percent of video game users are males under the age of 18, women over the age of 18 now account for 36 percent. In total, males account for 52 percent of the total gaming population, a three percent drop from last year. However, there has also been a 32 percent increase in female gamers over 50 years old. Continue reading Gaming Trend: Adult Women Steal Lead from Under-18 Males

Report Predicts Continued Growth of Streaming Media Players

Parks Associates predicts that more than 25 percent of U.S. households will have a streaming media player by 2015. Worldwide sales for streaming media players are expected to reach nearly 50 million by 2017. According to “The Evolving Market For Streaming Media Devices” report, Roku accounted for 46 percent of streaming players purchased in the U.S. last year, and Apple accounted for 26 percent. While Roku leads the U.S. market, Apple holds the worldwide lead. Continue reading Report Predicts Continued Growth of Streaming Media Players

PwC Study: Electronic Home Video to Top Physical by 2016

According to new report from PricewaterhouseCoopers, box office and digital revenue is expected to steadily increase over the next five years, while rentals and sales of discs are projected to sharply decline. PwC predicts that electronic home video revenue will exceed revenue of physical home video by 2016. Not surprisingly, DVDs are facing a questionable future. PwC estimates that physical home entertainment revenue will decline from $12.2 billion in 2013 to $8.7 billion in 2018. Continue reading PwC Study: Electronic Home Video to Top Physical by 2016

YouTube in Talks to Acquire Video Game Streaming Site Twitch

Google-owned YouTube is reportedly in active discussions to purchase live video-game streaming service Twitch. While Variety indicates a deal has already been reached for more than $1 billion, The Wall Street Journal more conservatively reports that the two companies are in talks, but in the early stages of a potential deal. Twitch was launched in 2011 by Justin Kan and Emmett Shear, the co-founders of Justin.tv, which was one of the first sites to live-stream user-generated video. Continue reading YouTube in Talks to Acquire Video Game Streaming Site Twitch

Pandora Points to Royalty Costs for Jump in Subscription Rate

Pandora announced that it plans to increase the monthly subscription rate to its premium, ad-free Pandora One service by 25 percent for new subscribers starting in May (an increase from $3.99-a-month to $4.99-a-month). “The costs of delivering this service have grown considerably,” explains the Pandora Blog. “For example, the royalty rates Pandora pays to performers via SoundExchange for subscription listening have increased 53 percent in the last five years and will increase another 9 percent in 2015.” Continue reading Pandora Points to Royalty Costs for Jump in Subscription Rate

News Reader Flipboard Strikes Deal with CNN to Acquire Zite

Digital magazine platform Flipboard has acquired rival app Zite from CNN for an undisclosed amount. Flipboard, a popular cross-platform news reader app, is expected to launch custom magazines linked to a number of CNN shows. It also announced a new advertising partnership with CNN to help monetize combined coverage. CNN bought Zite in 2011 for a rumored $20 million. Flipboard, which generates 2.5 billion page views per month, launched on iOS in 2010 and landed on Android in 2012. Continue reading News Reader Flipboard Strikes Deal with CNN to Acquire Zite

Trends to Watch: CEA Chief Economist Points to Ultra HDTV

Shawn DuBravac, chief economist for the Consumer Electronics Association, delivered his pre-CES press briefing, “2014 CES Trends to Watch.” DuBravac said he “wouldn’t be surprised to see 75 UHDTV announcements” this week, which could climb to about 150, when including hardware rollouts, distribution deals and related news. According to DuBravac, the big picture emerging trends this year will center on mass customization, multidimensional screen expansion, the age of autonomy, and curation and context. Continue reading Trends to Watch: CEA Chief Economist Points to Ultra HDTV

CES 2014: ETC Coverage Begins with Preview Series, Key Trends

In anticipation of the upcoming 2014 International CES, January 6-10, the ETC@USC will have a team of more than a dozen writers, reporters and support staff onsite in Las Vegas to provide comprehensive coverage throughout the show on emerging products and trends in the consumer electronic space that are relevant to ETC member companies, and to the entertainment industry as a whole. ETCentric will publish articles, updates via social media, and video content throughout the show. Continue reading CES 2014: ETC Coverage Begins with Preview Series, Key Trends

Intel Makes its Case: There is No Better Time to Buy a PC

In a survey conducted by Intel, it was revealed that 97 percent of participants consider their PC to be their primary computing device. The survey also found that participants consider their PCs to be vital to their daily existence, and of the 43 hours per week spent on computing devices, about half of that time is spent in front of a PC. Intel suggests that it may be the perfect time to buy a new PC, and despite competition from tablets, the PC is not a thing of the past. Continue reading Intel Makes its Case: There is No Better Time to Buy a PC

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