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Jan 11 2006
MySpace Plans to Get More Interactive
Rupert Murdoch has announced the integration of downloadable video, VoIP and IM to MySpace, which News Corp. acquired for $580 million in July. These moves are intended to drive use of the wildly popular social networking site and boost ad revenues (its main revenue stream).

Murdoch announced the new services Monday at a Citigroup media conference in Phoenix. He also outlined plans to offer wireless broadband Internet service through News Corp.-owned DirecTV. The company�s push into online media is evident through the launch of Fox Interactive Media (FIM) in July, not to mention Murdoch�s outspoken opinion on the maturation of newspaper and other brick-and-mortar media businesses.

Free video, IM and voice are hoped to create more stickiness among MySpace users, in addition to increasing traffic and driving ad revenues. The site has a total of 47 million users and is adding about a million per week. Its average user age is 20, a demographic projected to be heavy users of video, IM and voice. Indeed, MySpace users already have a proven interest in music content and social networking, which these new offerings will each address in some way.

The video content will likely come from News Corp. content assets including the Fox TV network, Fox News Channel and Twentieth Century Fox movie studio. Fox News Channel might not �speak� to the MySpace generation as much as the others. But we�ll have to wait and see.

In fact, since News Corp. acquired MySpace, I�ve been waiting to see what it will do to screw up the site. In other words, an arguably anticorporate MySpace generation could quickly sniff out any commercialization strategies put in front of them. FIM seems to be doing OK so far, and these new offerings, if they aren�t perceived as an advertising Trojan horse, should be well-accepted by the MySpace crowd.

But don�t forget the site�s name. Users have developed a strong and widespread affinity that it is their space. So if Murdoch & Co. wish to keep these users around, they should be careful what they do with it.

Blog: Local Media Blog
posted by  Mike Boland at  08:00 | permalink | comments [1] | trackbacks [0]

Jan 10 2006
IAC Launches Comparison Shopping Engine
SEW reports that IAC/InterActiveCorp has launched a comparison shopping service called Pronto. Check it out and let us know what you think. We�ll do the same.

More on this later.
Blog: Local Media Blog
posted by  Mike Boland at  21:01 | permalink | comments [1] | trackbacks [0]

Jan 9 2006
2006 Looks to be the Year of Web + TV II
PaidContent has an exclusive interview with Marco Boerries, SVP-Connected Life, Yahoo!. With the recent media storm over content and online video (stepped up even further by last week�s CES conference and this week�s Macworld expo), an important question is: When will the moving parts come together to make online video become a pervasive medium? In other words, when will the hype turn into mainstream adoption reality. (In this discussion, it�s important to make the distinction between online video and IPTV.)

Boerries is emphatic that online video will reach a tipping point in �06:

I think we�re going to see the first critical mass in �06. I think with Intel�s Viiv, we�re going to see that. We�re going to start seeing it happening; it�s going to need some ramp-up time. That was the reason we partnered with Intel�see what they�ve done with Centrino, right? Five years ago, less than five percent of the notebooks had WiFi in them and it was not always working ... Now, 99 percent of the notebooks have WiFi and it works most of the time. That�s the leadership that Intel can provide to the industry ... in terms of technology, standardization and investment dollars in marketing and getting the digital home opened up ... We don�t have a million users today in the U.S who connect the TV and the PC. This is to me always a critical threshold (one million) and we�re going to pass this threshold this year.

Read the rest here.

A good comparison chart of the current video offerings of the four main portals (and Apple) is here.

Blog: Local Media Blog
posted by  Mike Boland at  13:08 | permalink | comments [0] | trackbacks [0]

Jan 6 2006
Google and Monster?
Speculation that Google will move more aggressively into the jobs vertical.
Blog: Local Media Blog
posted by  Mike Boland at  14:41 | permalink | comments [1] | trackbacks [0]

Jan 6 2006
More on Google and Yahoo! Announcements Today
The New York Times (free reg. req�d) has more detail about the expected announcements from Terry Semel and Larry Page today. Semel�s keynote is going on right now, and Page�s is later today. We�ll follow up with recap and analysis later, and you can read more in next week�s issue of Local Media Journal.
Blog: Local Media Blog
posted by  Mike Boland at  11:20 | permalink | comments [0] | trackbacks [0]

Jan 5 2006
2006 Tech Resolutions
There has been no shortage of 2005 recaps and 2006 predictions and recommendations for tech and media companies. However Business 2.0�s �Futureboy� Erick Schonfeld penned one yesterday that caught my attention. It�s a series of resolutions for Google, Apple, Microsoft, Amazon and Disney. Mobile devices and applications take center stage in his recommendations, as does video�a theme we are seeing everywhere, including CES, where the curtain is being pulled back on many such products as I type.

Interestingly, Schonfeld�s recommendations for Yahoo! mirror our own thoughts on the company�s trajectory, and the comments of Bradley Horowitz, Yahoo!�s director of media and desktop search, when I spoke to him in the fall.

From Schonfeld:

Yahoo (Research) helped make 2005 the Year of RSS (Really Simple Syndication) by incorporating it into MyYahoo, Yahoo News and even Yahoo Mail. Yahoo also championed the Media RSS format for video, which helps video producers upload content into Yahoo�s video search engine. With those pieces in place, Yahoo should now take the next step and turn My Yahoo into a hub for Internet TV. Just like an RSS reader pulls together blogs and news feeds, My Yahoo could be a single place to find, subscribe to and watch video (or listen to audio podcasts) from anywhere on the Web, whether it�s the most-viewed clips on YouTube, Saturday Night Live skits or Yahoo�s own Kevin Sites in the Hot Zone.

Or as Horowitz put it to me:

You might have different categories on the page, so at the top of the page you might have �What�s Hot� kind of things that we�re bringing to you because they are general popular interest and most people want to watch them. You might also have �My Subscription,� so you might subscribe to various shows like �Six Feet Under� and you want to see when a new episode is available for viewing.

Sounds an awful lot like RSS and My Yahoo!, which Horowitz agreed with. This brings the personalization strategy that Yahoo! is pushing across its network to yet another place. Such a video hub for users will also create valuable ad inventory that can be tied to Yahoo!�s already existing local ad network, and targeted acutely based on content pulled in and location.

Schonfeld agrees that a user-friendly video hub�akin to My Yahoo!�is what we need to ignite �the Internet TV era.� Yahoo! could be just the company to do it. But we�ll hold off on that prediction until tomorrow, when we see what type of video product Google�s Larry Page unveils during his CES keynote.

Blog: Local Media Blog
posted by  Mike Boland at  15:13 | permalink | comments [0] | trackbacks [0]

Jan 5 2006
Listen to Live CES Keynotes Online II
As promised, SEW has a link to listen to Terry Semel�s Keynote at CES tomorrow. They also cover Bill Gates� keynote last night. A further roundup of keynote coverage and other CES news is posted below by my colleague Greg Sterling, and there will surely be lots more CES news to come� has a link to listen to Terry Semel�s Keynote at CES tomorrow. They also cover Bill Gates� keynote last night. A further roundup of keynote coverage and other CES news is posted below by my colleague Greg Sterling, and there will surely be lots more CES news to come�
Blog: Local Media Blog
posted by  Mike Boland at  15:03 | permalink | comments [0] | trackbacks [0]

Jan 4 2006
Listen to Live CES Keynotes Online
SEW points to a few places online where you will be able to listen to the live CES Keynote from Bill Gates tonight at 6:30 PST (If you aren�t watching the Rose Bowl). We expect that local search will play a part in some way in what he has to say. Yahoo!�s Terry Semel, and Google�s Larry Page speak on Friday and there will likely be live audio casts online somewhere, which SEW is committed to finding. We�ll keep our eyes open as well.
Blog: Local Media Blog
posted by  Mike Boland at  15:45 | permalink | comments [0] | trackbacks [0]

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