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CNN, NYT, Fox News & Others Slapped With Patent Infringement Suits

By | Thursday December 6, 2012 @ 10:17am PST

Some of the nation’s largest media companies were simultaneously hit with patent lawsuits over cloud technology this week. In virtually identically worded complaints against Time Warner’s CNN Interactive and Time, News Corp’s Fox News and Dow Jones — plus The New York Times, Reuters, USA Today owners Gannett and AOL’s the Huffington Post (read CNN complaint here)patent owner Clouding claims the organizations are infringing two of their patents on mobile phone apps and websites.
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YouTube Gives Itself A Makeover To Prepare For New Channels

The new look for Google’s popular video site is part of the preparation for the upcoming introduction of services featuring professionally produced content from providers such as Disney, Lionsgate, Madonna, Jay-Z, Slate, The Wall Street Journal, Thomson Reuters — and our parent company, which will have a channel called PMC Entertainment. YouTube says that its revamped home page will make it “easier to find and follow great channels when you arrive.” There’ll be three columns: one on the left has the visitor’s favorite channels, the one in the center has the channels’ latest videos, and on the right YouTube will offer options that it figures the visitor might like. For the system to work, YouTube is encouraging people to sign in. There’ll also be integration with Google services including Google+ and Gmail, as well as Facebook. The goal is to encourage people to spend more time with the site, and make it more appealing to advertisers. Here’s YouTube’s video describing the redesign:

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Can Yahoo Become The Leading Destination For Politics Junkies In 2012?

By | Tuesday November 8, 2011 @ 6:16am PST

That’s what the struggling Internet search and content company hopes to accomplish as it unveils today what it calls “the first stage of an ambitious yearlong program” to build on its partnership with ABC News and cover 2012 campaign issues — and especially the presidential horse race. The effort includes a “TV-quality web show” called Remake America that will launch in January and track how eight families perceive the unfolding national debate. (People who want to be considered for the show can apply here.) Yahoo also plans to create social networks for groups such as mothers and young voters who want to discuss common interests. The Internet company has beefed up its political reporting and analysis staff under Washington Bureau Chief David Chalian, who used to oversee political coverage at ABC and the PBS NewsHour. In addition to its original content, the company will tap reporting and analysis from The Atlantic, The Blaze, FactCheck.org, Forbes, National Journal, Reuters, and This Week. Yahoo promises “deep integration” with ABC News, including lots of newsmaker interviews based on questions solicited from Yahoo users. But the most intriguing — and potentially scary — change is the planned launch of a blog called The Signal. Yahoo says it will use its “planet-scale cloud technology and research resources” to “capture the national mood and project what is likely to happen” in the campaign with “up-to-the minute predictions, sentiment, games, and commentary.”

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Spin Cycle: Who Says Netflix Is Paying DreamWorks Animation $30M Per Picture?

Something always seems to be a little weird when Netflix announces big news about itself — and today’s unveiling of its streaming deal with DreamWorks Animation is no exception. The news appeared to have been handed to The New York Times; it had the first story as well as interviews with executives from both companies. But that’s not the problem: What’s curious is why The Times felt confident enough to say that unnamed “analysts estimate (the deal) is worth $30 million per picture to DreamWorks.” Although there were no details to support that estimate, it quickly became perceived as a fact. For example, a Reuters story stated that the deal is “worth $30 million per picture to DreamWorks over a number of years.” If that’s true, then it’s a big deal; HBO currently pays the studio about $20M per picture. If the $30M figure for the Netflix deal is accurate, then Caris & Co analyst David Miller says his 2013 earnings estimate for DreamWorks “would therefore improve from $1.58 (per share) to $1.70.”

OK, so is it true? The companies don’t say: Many hours after the Times story ran, Netflix and DreamWorks jointly filed a press release that said “financial terms of the agreement were not disclosed.” But some analysts find the $30M figure hard to believe. Susquehana Financial Group’s Vasily Karasyov writes this morning that “we would be surprised if the terms for (DreamWorks Animation) are more favorable than those of their current deal with HBO. We think the change in pay TV partners was due to HBO shifting away from animation and not because (Netflix) offered significantly superior terms.” Janney Capital Markets’ Tony Wible also says that “it appears (DreamWorks) was kicked out of HBO and that (Netflix) was the buyer of last resort.” Read More »

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