Daily Marauder



Internet investment group Digital Sky Technologies, based in London and Moscow, is investing $200 million in Facebook for a 1.96% equity stake at a $10 billion valuation. The new investor says it sees “tremendous value” in social networks “as they redefine how people communicate.” (Iwantmedia 5/27, http://www.informationweek.com/news/internet/social_network/showArticle.jhtml?articleID=217700121 5/26)


Conservative political pundit Tucker Carlson is planning to launch a political news competitor to the Huffington Post, reports The Hill today. <!–class=”snap_preview_icon”> The site will be called TheDailyCaller.com and will be focused on reporting news about the Obama Administration but will add “facts to the conversation.” (http://www.techcrunch.com/2009/05/26/political-pundit-tucker-carlson-to-launch-competitor-to-huffington-post 5/26)

Tucker Carlson

Lazard eviscerated Time Warner in 2006 with its report supporting activist investor Carl Icahn’s campaign to break up the media giant. The investment services firm is now said to be vying for a mandate from Time Warner to spin off AOL. The move could make Lazard “millions.” (Iwantmedia 5/27, http://online.wsj.com/article/SB124337772665256101.html 5/27)

Two AOL subscribers are filing a lawsuit against the company for inserting advertising in its email service. Los Angeles residents Rande Bronster and Robert Nachshin allege that such ads are unlawful under the federal Electronic Communications Act and California law. (Iwantmedia 5/27, http://www.mediapost.com/publications/?fa=Articles.showArticle&art_aid=106721 5/26)

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Traditional and new-media companies are getting “creative” out of necessity, as all advertising-driven media are being hit hard by the recession. Later this summer, a major movie studio will pay celebrity blogger Perez Hilton to “tweet” for a week about a forthcoming movie. (Iwantmedia 5/18, http://www.sfgate.com/cgi-bin/article.cgi?file=/c/a/2009/05/17/MNH217LDF5.DTL 5/17)


MySpace is debuting six albums from major acts, including Eminem, Tori Amos, Phoenix, Busta Rhymes, Method Man & Redman, Kate Voegele and Lionel Richie All six albums will be streaming in their entirety on each artist’s respective official MySpace page days before their release. (Iwantmedia 5/18, http://music-mix.ew.com/2009/05/ew-exclusive-my.html 5/15)

MySpace Full Album

Once again, the Internet is shifting before our eyes. Information is increasingly being distributed and presented in real-time streams instead of dedicated Web pages. The shift is palpable, even if it is only in its early stages. Web companies large and small are embracing this stream. It is not just Twitter. It is Facebook and Friendfeed and AOL and Digg and Tweetdeck and Seesmic Desktop and Techmeme and Tweetmeme and Ustream and Qik and Kyte and blogs and Google Reader. The stream is winding its way throughout the Web and organizing it by nowness. (http://www.techcrunch.com/2009/05/17/jump-into-the-stream/ 5/17)

NBC News anchor Brian Williams and ABC News anchor Dan Harris are launching side gigs as music bloggers. Both of their blogs appear to be passion plays, rather than calculated attempts to reach younger audiences. Williams vows not to become “a tragic hipster.” (Iwantmedia 5/18, http://news.yahoo.com/s/ap/20090517/ap_en_mu/ap_on_tv_anchors__tunes 5/17)

Comscore has a fascinating post today talking about the relative decline in paid search ad clicks when compared to search query volume in the U.S. Search queries are up 68% in the last year, but paid clicks are up only 18% in the same period. (http://www.techcrunch.com/2009/05/16/longer-queries-driving-down-ad-impressions-how-about-bankrupt-advertisers/ 5/16)

Paid Search Ads

Rupert Murdoch’s plan to put News Corp. Web sites behind a pay wall is will be “like putting toothpaste back in the tube.” So says Jack Matthews, CEO at Fairfax Digital Media, the online arm of a News Corp. rival in Australia. Matthews says he is “bullish about mobile devices.” (Iwantmedia 5/18, http://edition.cnn.com/2009/BUSINESS/05/18/online.pay/ 5/16)

The FBI is willing to do just about anything when it comes to tracking down bad guys. They did the widgets thing last year. And today they announced that they’ve “set up shop in several social media websites.”  They’ve now got profiles on Facebook, Twitter class=”snap_preview_icon”> and YouTube profiles are highlighted. They even have billboards up in Second Life. (Iwantmedia 5/18, http://www.techcrunch.com/2009/05/15/fbi-adds-facebook-youtube-twitter-profiles-myspace-completely-dissed/ 5/15)

Facebook FBI

Epix, the online movie service being developed by MGM, Paramount and Lionsgate, has selected video-streaming systems from Akamai Technologies. EpixHD.com will use a dynamic-streaming feature from Akamai that uses Adobe Flash Media Server 3.5 and adjusts its performance based on the capabilities of a user’s computer. Multichannel News (5/18)

NBC Universal, Applebee’s and agency Starcom are working together to develop a research model that will more precisely quantify the relative effectiveness of on-air and online video ads. The test, which will play out during the next three months, will include a number of NBCU’s assets, including NBC and MSNBC. Mediaweek (5/17)

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May 1, 2009, 3:56 PM
Filed under: ONLINE SERVICES/INTERACTIVE MEDIA | Tags: , , , , , , ,


Twitter handles are fast becoming as desirable as buying domains and Tweexchange hopes to be a marketplace for Twitter members to exchange, buy or find Twitter usernames from other existing members. Tweexchange also lets you easily find what Twitter handles have been taken and recommends alternate usernames for your desired Twitter handle. (http://www.techcrunch.com/2009/05/01/tweexchange-is-the-ultimate-twitter-name-marketplace 5/1)


The White House finally got around to setting up a MySpace page. It is spare and tasteful and doesn’t say MySpace anywhere on the page, unlike the White House page on Facebook which is clearly a Facebook page. The page is dominated by the most recent White House blog post, which currently features a YouTube video of Obama shooting hoops with the UCONN Huskies women’s basketball champs. (http://www.techcrunch.com/2009/05/01/the-white-house-gets-a-myspace-page-to-show-off-obamas-hoop-skills 5/1)

It was the last part of the advertising sector to fall and may be the first to recover, but online advertising is now in a recession. With the four largest Web advertising companies (Google, Yahoo, Microsoft, and AOL) having reported March quarter financials, we can get a pretty good sense of how the sector did as a whole. If you add up the online advertising revenues of these four online advertising bellwethers, the total online advertising revenues for the quarter came to $7.9 billion, a 2 percent decline from a year ago and a 7 percent decline from the fourth quarter. (http://www.techcrunch.com/2009/05/01/the-online-ad-recession-is-officially-here-first-quarterly-decline-in-revenues/ 5/1)


Hulu has just released the latest in its series of star-studded ads, this time featuring Dennis Leary in a spot called ‘The Leary Mission’. He plays an alien trying to turn humans’ brains to mush by watching TV online. (http://www.techcrunch.com/2009/05/01/new-hulu-spot-the-leary-mission 5/1)


CBS is now the lone Hulu holdout among the big four broadcast networks. CBS, which runs its own video site, TV.com, issued a statement following Disney’s announcement: “Controlling our own rights for [our] content — in all media — preserves its value.” (Iwantmedia 5/1, http://www.broadcastingcable.com/article/230979-ANALYSIS_All_Eyes_on_CBS_Digital_Strategy.php 4/30)

Disney’s deal to put ABC television shows on Hulu suggests Google’s YouTube may have to rethink its revenue-sharing business model. Content creators may start seeking payments from Google. (Iwantmedia 5/1, http://www.smartmoney.com/news/ON/?story=ON-20090430-001097-1959 4/30)

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Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg is said to have rejected a fresh round of funding that would have valued the company at $4 billion. Another source says that one potential investor submitted a term sheet for a valuation of around $2 billion. Facebook is declining to comment. (Iwantmedia 4/17, http://news.cnet.com/8301-13577_3-10220845-36.html 4/16)


Time Warner’s bondholders have agreed to change the terms of their debt contracts, removing restrictions on a sale or spin-off of its beleaguered Internet unit AOL. Time Warner CEO Jeff Bewkes has said he is examining options for the future structure of AOL. (Iwantmedia 4/17, http://www.reuters.com/article/industryNews/idUSTRE53F73S20090416 4/16)

While eBay prepares to unload Skype via a sale or IPO next year, it is busy looking for new ways to make money off its 405 million global users. They already account for an estimated 8 percent class=”snap_preview_icon”> of international calls, and many of them are increasingly paying for SkypeOut calls to regular phones. Its revenues last year were $551 million, but it wants to get to $1 billion by 2011. To get there, it might have to start thinking local. (http://www.techcrunch.com/2009/04/17/a-new-business-model-for-skype-turning-phone-numbers-on-the-web-into-paid-ads/ 4/17)


Ashton Kutcher has surpassed CNN to become the first person with a million followers on Twitter. (http://www.techcrunch.com/2009/04/16/kutcher-plays-his-pied-piper-flute-and-gets-a-million-twitter-followers/ 4/16)


Not sure who else to add to that group email? Gmail Labs now has a useful “suggest more recipients” <!—->class=”snap_preview_icon”> feature that suggests contacts that you might want to include in a group email based on the people you’ve grouped together as email recipients in the past. (http://www.techcrunch.com/2009/04/17/gmail-now-suggests-extra-recipients-for-group-emails/ 4/17)

SUPER helpful.  Maybe now I won’t get yelled at for accidentally not inviting that person for cocktails.


Police are working with Craigslist to help track down the killer of masseuse Julissa Brisman, who was shot to death Tuesday in the Marriott Copley Place in Boston. Police believe that a gunman may be targeting escorts and masseuses who advertise on the classifieds site. (http://www.bostonherald.com/news/regional/view.bg?articleid=1165974 4/16)

Despite some early fumbling by the prosecution, a judge in Sweden handed down a guilty verdict class=”snap_preview_icon”> today in the case against The Pirate Bay class=”snap_preview_icon”>, the popular BitTorrent search site. The four founders, who still seem to think this is a big joke, each face one year of jail time and a $3.6 million fine. The site will continue to function for now as they appeal the decision. (http://www.techcrunch.com/2009/04/17/as-court-prepares-shackles-for-the-pirate-bay-other-torrent-sites-are-ready-to-replace-it/ 4/17)


The latest layer to be turned on in Google Maps is one for webcams. Just click on the “More” button on the top right of each map right next to the “Traffic” button. When you do that, it shows you thumbnails from different public Webcams around the world as tracked by Webcams.travel. (http://www.techcrunch.com/2009/04/16/google-maps-now-shows-views-from-webcams 4/16)

What if there was a Billboard Charts for the music people really listened to and talked about on the Web. We Are Hunted wants to be that definitive online music chart. The service monitors the most popular songs on iLike, BitTorrent, Last.fm, MySpace Music, and other Web music services, as well as discussions on Twitter, blogs, and press sites. (http://www.techcrunch.com/2009/04/16/forget-billboard-we-are-hunted-charts-the-music-people-are-listening-to-on-the-web/ 4/16)


About 34% of U.S. e-commerce can be attributed to Amazon, an analyst says. The value of all e-commerce activity on its platform is about $12.5 billion in the U.S., or a little more than a third of the $37 billion the Commerce Department reported in the last quarter of 2008. StorefrontBacktalk (4/16)

ESPN is set to kick off ESPNDB.com (the DB stands for database), a site it hopes will serve as a sports encyclopedia-archive-statistical compendium. Like Wikipedia, ESPNDB will feature some user-generated aspects. The site will be free and supported by advertising. (Iwantmedia 4/17, http://www.mediapost.com/publications/?fa=Articles.showArticle&art_aid=104294 4/17)

NBC.com reached a milestone – its NBC Rewind streaming video player has delivered over one billion full episode streams, just 18 months since the launch of the player in October 2006. NBC also says its mobile website served 2.4 million video streams in Q1 2000 – more than the total number of streams served in all of 2008. (Cynopsis 4/17)

Continuing with its price cutting maneuvers, Yahoo announced it is shuttering video sharing service Jumpcut as of June 15, a company it acquired back in 2006 for its best-in-class photo editing tools. The company is also gearing up for another round of job cuts, according to a report in the NYTimes. Yahoo shed some 2,400 employees last year, beginning 2009 with some 13,600 staffers. (Cynopsis 4/17)

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Time Warner is making moves that could pave the way for a spin-off of its beleaguered AOL unit. Some fund managers speculate that the media giant will try to buy video-game makers Electronic Arts or Take-Two Interactive. Games are “the fastest-growing industry in the media field.” (Iwantmedia 4/07, http://www.variety.com/article/VR1118002186.html?categoryid=10&cs=1 4/6)


Male-targeted online video network Break Media acquired HBOlab per NewTeeVee, HBO’s digital media studio created to incubate original web series such as the 10-part Hooking Up show starring LG15’s Jessica Rose. (Cynopsis 4/7)


Yahoo is launching Artist Pages that allow users to connect to digital music at YouTube, iTunes, Pandora and other sites. Artist Pages are designed to showcase music videos, streaming tunes and more. The online destination eventually will let users publish their own music. (Iwantmedia 4/07, http://tech.yahoo.com/news/afp/20090406/tc_afp/entertainmentusitinternetmusiccompanyyahoo 4/6)

Sugar Inc.’s flagship celebrity news and photo blog, PopSugar, has launched its 3rd annual PopSugar 100 tournament. It’s kind of like the NCAA’s March Madness, except this single-elimination contest is meant to determine who the most popular celebrities are in a given year. (http://www.techcrunch.com/2009/04/07/popsugar-launches-march-madness-for-celebrities-popsugar100 4/7)

So much fun…so much time wasting.


Music labels increasingly are bundling extra content with high-profile albums on Apple’s iTunes service in an attempt to boost flagging album sales. The companies are selling the additional material on a subscription basis, parceling content over time to help justify premium pricing. Labels also are going to begin using a variable price structure on iTunes, charging more for new hits and less for older catalog tracks. The Wall Street Journal (4/7) , Reuters (4/6)

A $17 iTunes “pass” for the Fray, above, buys songs, video footage and photos.

Photo Credit: Getty Images


Web TV Network KoldCast TV signed a deal with Emerging Artist Productions to distribute a 13-episode theatrical themed web series EXIT Stage Left, about an off-Broadway theatre troupe staging a new play. The web series is produced in high-definition by creator Sinohui Hinojosa with a cast of Bay Area actors and crew members. (Cynopsis 4/7)


Nearly anyone who has watched TV in the last twenty years is familiar with The Simpson’s intro, which always features a different brief segment at the end as the family rushes to sit together on their couch. Even after 436 episodes it’s a gag that still hasn’t gotten old. Today The Simpsons is teaming with MySpace to launch a contest that invites users to create their own Simpsons couch gags. (http://www.techcrunch.com/2009/04/06/myspace-wants-you-to-make-your-own-simpsons-couch-gag/ 4/6)

Facebook is working together with the American Foundation for the Blind (AFB) to make its social networking service more accessible to users who are blind or visually impaired. In a company blog post, the non-profit organization’s President, Carl Augusto, explains which problems visually challenged users encounter when surfing the web and how they’re able to overcome these issues with the help of website publishers, developers and designers. (http://www.techcrunch.com/2009/04/07/facebook-commits-to-making-social-networking-more-accessible-for-visually-challenged-users/ 4/7)


Free entertainment hub Boxee keeps on getting better and better. A couple of hours ago, the venture-backed startup released a full API that allows developers to build applications for the open-source platform using a set of API calls in Python and writing the GUI using XML. At the same time, the company is laying the groundwork for a richer App Box, which it refers to as an open application store where they are not the gatekeeper (like Apple for its iPhone App Store) but rather a facilitator. (http://www.techcrunch.com/2009/04/07/boxee-continues-to-innovate-with-api-and-new-alpha-version-for-mac-apple-tv 4/7)


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Jonathan Miller, the former CEO of AOL, is taking over the digital assets of News Corp., we’ve confirmed – his new title will be CEO of Digital Media. This will include Fox Interactive Media and other duties. Peter Levinsohn, the current president of Fox Interactive, will be leaving his current position but will remain at News Corp. (http://www.techcrunch.com/2009/03/27/breaking-former-aol-chief-jonathn-miller-new-fox-interactive-chief/ 3/27)


Disney is entering a deal to put video clips from ABC and ESPN on Google’s YouTube video site in an advertising-revenue sharing arrangement. Disney also is near an agreement to take a stake in rival video portal Hulu, whose owners include NBC Universal and News Corp. (Iwantmedia 3/30, http://www.bloomberg.com/apps/news?pid=newsarchive&sid=afGDz3LXeq8I 3/30)

YouTube will soon unveil a redesign that separates its professional content from amateur videos. YouTube is also redesigning its video player to resemble the video experience on NBC Universal-News Corp.’s increasingly popular Hulu. “It’s totally a Hulu approach.” (Iwantmedia 3/30, http://www.clickz.com/3633218 3/30)

Time Warner Cable has started testing a subscription service in Milwaukee that enables viewers to watch shows on cable networks such as HBO on their computers. According to these reports, the test could lead to a dramatic game-changer for the TV landscape. The New York Times (3/29) , The Hollywood Reporter (3/27)


In an upbeat report this morning, the Interactive Advertising Bureau reported that internet advertising in the U.S. grew 10.6 percent to $23.4 billion. And the $6.1 billion fourth quarter (up 2.6 percent) was the first time Internet advertising surpassed the $6 billion mark. That said, the rate of growth declined both on an annual and quarterly basis. Even the 4.5 percent sequential growth over the third quarter was the lowest since 2002 (as was the annual growth rate). But the sequential growth showed a promising uptick in the fourth quarter compared to the previous three quarters, as the chart above shows. This rebound is also in line with what the four big Web advertising companies (Google, Yahoo, Microsoft, and AOL) saw in the fourth quarter. (http://www.techcrunch.com/2009/03/30/iab-reports-internet-advertising-grew-10-percent-last-year-outpacing-tv/ 3/30)


Two Microsoft-related announcements coming from social networking giant MySpace today: the portal is adding support for Windows Mobile-run phones to its new mobile application, due this summer, and bringing the Silverlight runtime to its developer program thanks to a jointly developed Open Source kit. (http://www.techcrunch.com/2009/03/30/myspace-embraces-microsoft-platforms-for-mobile-and-web-applications/ 3/30)


All you Twitter addicts stuck in traffic, some good news. You might not have to risk your life any longer sending out one-handed Tweets on your Blackberry or iPhone, while trying to hide the fact that you are doing so under the dashboard. If you have OnStar in your car, you may soon be able to send and receive hands-free Tweets through OnStar’s voice-activated calling system. (http://www.techcrunch.com/2009/03/27/omg-onstar-may-soon-let-you-twitter-from-your-car/ 3/27)


Online music may be a treacherous space right now, but there are still a handful of music startups that may be coming close to getting it right. One of our favorites is Lala, a streaming music site that allows users to put their digital music library in the cloud, which can then be accessed from any computer. And soon, they’ll be able to access every song they own from their iPhones too, without having to worry about storage capacity or syncing. (http://www.techcrunch.com/2009/03/28/an-exclusive-first-look-at-lalas-iphone-app/ 3/28)


Google is launching a music search service in China that offers free downloads of songs supported by advertising. Through a partnership with China’s Top100.cn, Google is offering more than 1.1 million songs from record labels including Warner, Sony, Universal and EMI. (Iwantmedia 3/30, http://news.yahoo.com/s/afp/20090330/ennew_afp/lifestylechinausinternetmusiccopyright 3/30)


Fox News Channel hopes to leverage its conservative news brand online with The Fox Nation, a new Web site built around its on-air personalities. The site will emulate parent News Corp.’s MySpace by encouraging readers to post comments and argue with one another. (Iwantmedia 3/30, http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2009/03/29/AR2009032902102.html 3/30)

Flickr founder Caterina Fake revealed her latest creation, Hunch, a new ad supported social networking/decision making engine that allows users to pose questions that are answered using data culled from like-minded users. (Cynopsis 3/30)

IAC property CollegeHumor is acquiring the sports satire site SportsPickle for an undisclosed sum. The purchase puts the popular CollegeHumor portfolio of comedy content into the sports vertical. Barry Diller’s IAC already encompasses 35 Internet businesses. (Iwantmedia 3/30, http://www.minonline.com/news/10458.html 3/27)

In a world where everything is being jammed into 140 characters or less, shorter is better. That goes double (or is it half?) for lengthy URLs. So-called URL shortening services are increasingly becoming indispensable to anyone who uses Twitter. It is the only practical way to share links on the service. Today, one of these URL shortening services, bit.ly, raised $2 million, sparking the question: How much are these things actually worth? ) (http://www.techcrunch.com/2009/03/30/if-bitly-is-worth-8-million-tinyurl-is-worth-at-least-46-million/ 3/30)


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Comedy Central‘s digital properties benefited greatly this week from Jon Stewart‘s 8+ minute rant against CNBC after network reporter Rick Santelli “bailed out” on his scheduled appearance on The Daily Show. (Jon took issue with some of Jim Cramer‘s infamous stock misses, among other things.) Traffic to TheDailyShow.com had its best week ever with a 65% spike in weekly uniques, total video streams for comedy central video were 18% higher than average and embedded video views increased more than 3 times from the first week of March. (Cynopsis 3/12)


Movie trailers continue to drive huge web traffic. The new trailer for J.J. Abrams’ Star Trek, featured on Heroes on Monday night, had more than 1.8 million downloads during its first 24 hours as an exclusive on Apple.com. It has gone on to be the most popular HD download ever on the site with more than five million downloads in its first five days. (Cynopsis 3/12)


Major media companies may no longer need to operate separate digital divisions. Digital revenues at Disney, Viacom, NBC, and News Corp. are now spread across many different businesses. Digital operations are said to be “transitioning to the business-building mode.” (Iwantmedia 3/12, http://www.techcrunch.com/2009/03/11/the-digital-divisions-are-dead-at-big-media 3/11)


CBS Corp. said it expects a 30% increase in revenue from online advertising for March Madness On Demand this year, per Bloomberg. Online ad revenue will be about $30 million, up from $23 million a year ago, as internet ad inventory is almost sold out according to Jason Kint, SVP/GM for CBSSports.com. GM, AT&T and Coca-Cola are among the sponsors. (Cynopsis 3/12)

Time Warner is replacing AOL CEO Randy Falco with Google senior VP Tim Armstrong, who will move the Internet company “into the next phase,” says CEO Jeff Bewkes. Falco had joined AOL in 2006 with the mandate of transforming the company into an online advertising business. (Iwantmedia 3/12, http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2009/03/12/AR2009031203090.html 3/13)

Google is eyeing telephony with its introduction of Google Voice, a free IP-based management tool that routes home, office and mobile calls through a single number, retrieves voice mail and allows users to make free domestic calls, according to published reports. Google will roll Voice out today to users of its GrandCentral service and in the coming weeks to the rest of the market. The New York Times (3/12) , Reuters (3/12)


Much is being written today about the value of a large following on Twitter. Jason Calacanis wants to pay $125,000 a year to have Twitter recommend him to other users, for example. He thinks that over time accounts with massive followings will somehow be able to pull in $1 million a year or more in incremental revenue, assuming they then have millions of followers. (http://www.techcrunch.com/2009/03/12/the-amount-and-value-of-twitter-traffic 3/12)


Today Facebook is rolling out the update to user homepages that brings a new look, enhanced filter system, and most importantly, realtime updating. Real-time updates are Facebook’s response to Twitter, which has been able to thrive on offering users immediate updates from their friends and favorite celebrities (Facebook’s original News Feed took hours to update). (http://www.techcrunch.com/2009/03/11/facebooks-real-time-homepage-goes-live-today 3/11)


Over the last few weeks MySpace Music has quietly rolled out a number of new features that should make the service significantly more appealing to consumers. While MySpace Music kicked off to an fairly impressive start when it launched last September, seeing a huge amount of traffic and streamed songs, even its President Courtney Holt has conceded that it wasn’t very user-friendly and didn’t bring many new features to the table. The initial launch of MySpace Music was mostly about laying the groundwork to build a sustainable business. Now, the site is shifting focus to deliver what its consumers want. (http://www.techcrunch.com/2009/03/11/a-look-at-the-improved-myspace-music 3/11)


Widgets integrated into Verizon’s FiOS service in the U.S. will allow viewers to update their Facebook status to reflect what they’re watching and check out Twitter feeds keyed to programming as well as popular Twitter topics. Also on tap are the ability to use a DVR to record clips from YouTube and other video sites, and the inclusion of this Web content on Verizon’s on-screen guide. ReadWriteWeb (3/11)

VERY impressed with this.  Would love to see it in action.  Any live event should take Twitter/Facebook very seriously if they intend to keep appointment viewing appointment viewing.


At least one of eBay‘s big acquisitions is making money. At its annual investors conference the online auction house says its PayPal online payment business continues to grow at an impressive clip and that the division will eventually become bigger than its core auction product. PayPal currently handles about 5% of online payments globally, and its share will more than double by 2011 according to eBay. (Cynopsis 3/12)

CBS Interactive’s TheInsider.com launched Celebrity Agent, a social fantasy game app on Facebook allowing fans to play the role of a celebrity agent by managing and recruiting celebrities. Invite friends to play along so you can chat or steal their talent. (Cynopsis 3/12)


Video entertainment site Metacafe launched a cool mashing app powered by Kaltura – The Last House on the Left Horror Remixer. It features video clips, audio tracks and special effects that enable Metacafe viewers to create their own trailer for the Rogue Pictures’ redux of the Wes Craven horror classic. (Cynopsis 3/12)

Internet users are entering longer search terms, Hitwise data show. Terms of at least four words are up 3% to 20% compared with the year before. Said the CEO of search agency Didit: “Longer queries are a sign of the searchers becoming more educated and savvy and essentially being trained by the fact that results for shorter queries tend to return less relevant results than longer searches.” DMNews (3/10)

The global IPTV subscriber base grew 3.2 million subscribers in the fourth quarter of 2008, to 23 million, according to a report by The Dell’Oro Group. The top regions for IPTV set-top boxes continued to be Europe, the Middle East and Africa while Motorola and Cisco remained the top vendors. Cable360 (3/11)

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