In the world of the HBO series “Game of Thrones,” it’s not just the fire-breathing dragons which drive the plot, but gold dragon coins.» Read More
Facebook founder Mark Zuckerberg dropped out of Harvard. But now his startup is back in class, at Stanford University. Apparently the university has a new class called "Create Engaging Web applications Using Metrics and Learning on Facebook.
Media companies have a pretty clear model--they create TV and movie content, and they try to monetize that content over a number of platforms, from video-on-demand, to most notably, the Internet. Now media companies are fostering creative divisions to create significant amounts of content designed entirely for distribution online.
News Corp. will not pull its television shows from Apple's iTunes as rival media group NBC Universal has done over a pricing dispute, President Peter Chernin said in an interview on Tuesday.
With the superior fire power of Russell Crowe and Christian Bale, the Western "3:10 to Yuma" was the big shot at the weekend box office in North America, according to studio estimates issued Sunday.
I'm here at the Toronto Film Festival, a key market for Hollywood studios to buy indie films to fill out their slates. Everyone's looking for the next 'Crash' or 'Thank you for Smoking', two low-budget, high-grossing films that both sold here in Toronto in previous years. It's these low budget acquisitions that can, if you're lucky, yield the highest margins for the media...
So you're back from vacation and culling through piles of e-mails. Don't be surprised if you find invitations to join the latest slew of social networking sites. There are a couple of trends emerging--social networking niches, if you will.
Americans are being subjected to more sex, violence and profane language during the traditional, early-evening "family hour" of broadcast television viewing, a U.S. watchdog group said Wednesday.
The TV networks are really good at looking overseas for ideas--they remake "The Office" and endless gameshows and reality TV concepts. In fact, European shows are on every time you turn on the TV, just with American accents. (Plus, plenty of companies like Ben Silverman's Reveille and Fremantle make fortunes selling U.S. shows back overseas).
Newspapers are performing even worse than expected according to Fitch Ratings. Wasn't the outlook already grim? Well, it's even worse than it was in January. Needless to say, Fitch has a negative outlook on the newspaper industry. They think declines are likely permanent, not cyclical. Who will hurt the most? Well markets in California and Florida, where the housing bubble was really huge, will see particularly outsized declines.
From Wall Street to Madison Avenue to Silicon Valley--the subprime credit crunch is taking its toll. Mortgage and lending companies are among the biggest online advertisers, so if they start cutting back on their ad spending, then it'll be noticed. Financial services comprised 16% of the total $17 billion in Internet ad spending in 2006, and that percentage was likely even larger this year.
NBC Universal (owned by GE, which is parent company of CNBC) and News Corp are collaborating on a online video site to compete with YouTube, and today we learned its name: Hulu. (Go to hulu.com) to check out some of the video the on-demand service will be providing--you'll see that Fox's "24" and NBC's "My Name is Earl") are prominently featured.
All this buzz about social networking and the Facebook craze has sparked a backlash. No surprise, I suppose--I find it amusing that there's been a backlash in both directions. Nosoproject.com is an anti-social networking site, which is also pretty anti-social. The site says it wants to help people "temporarily disengage" from the online social networking phenomenon.
On Friday, I reported about Nielsen's upcoming social networking site, 'Hey! Nielsen.' The idea is to mine online buzz to find out what movies, music, tv, and online video people are talking about online, with the idea to eventually turn that buzz into relevant numbers for advertisers. Nielsen won't be the first to look to social networks for insight.
Bawdy comedy "Superbad" proved to be super good at the North American movie boxoffices, holding onto the No. 1 slot for the second straight weekend, according to studio estimates Sunday.
Social Networking is so hot right now, Nielsen is launching a social network to FIND OUT what's hot. It's all very meta. Nielsen is launching 'Hey! Nielsen,' a social network to act as a buzztracker for what in the entertainment world is hot on the web. The idea is to tap into the wisdom of crowds--or more specifically the wisdom of the "IN crowd" who wants to be webchatting about all the hottest TV, music, movies and web videos.
There's this new Fox reality TV show called 'Anchorwoman' in which an inappropriately-dressing blonde model and WWE spokeswoman is hired to anchor the news. Swimsuit model drives in her convertible (painting her toenails as she drives) to host a local newscast. Her clothes are too revealing, the previous anchorwoman is livid, and hilarity ensues.
Disney Music Group dominates the Billboard 200 chart with eight titles in the top 50. High School Musical 2 Soundtrack (Walt Disney Records) is #1, Hannah Montana 2/Meet Miley Cyrus (Walt Disney Records/Hollywood Records) is #2 and Jonas Brothers (Hollywood Records) is #8. The Disney Music Group is managing to top the charts while the rest of the music industry suffers thanks to the power of the Disney Channel.
Since Google bought YouTube last fall it's attracted a ton of eyeballs--51 million users in June alone--but not so much revenue. Google is just now starting to roll out its new ads to try to capitalize on YouTube's loyal audience. Here's how it works. Hit play on a YouTube video, and an ad will pop up in the lower fifth of the screen.
After Michael Bay declared on his blog that he was refusing to direct "Transformers 2" because he was so upset about Paramount ditching the Blu-ray format to be exclusive to HD DVD, Bay has changed his tune. He followed it up with a post saying he'd overreacted, had been convinced by some Blu-ray fans. He says he was convinced to support HD because he learned that HD had cheaper players--around that $200 magic number.
Today, Tribune Company shareholders met in Chicago and approved the $8.2 billion takeover bid led by Sam Zell. They're getting a sweet premium--about 20% over the current stock price Zell is offering, so shareholder approval was never really a big challenge to the deal. But even with shareholder approval, Zell still has plenty of problems on his hands.