Daily Marauder


ONLINE SERVICES/INTERACTIVE MEDIA by Marauder

ONLINE SERVICES/INTERACTIVE MEDIA

Google, long dominant in the Internet search market, is surpassing rival Yahoo for the first time as the most popular Web destination in the United States, according to research firm comScore. Google’s U.S. audience is up to 141.1 million; Yahoo’s comes in at 140.6 million. (Iwantmedia 5/15, http://news.yahoo.com/s/ap/20080514/ap_on_hi_te/google_comscore 5/14)

CBS has struck a partnership with viral web drama studio EQAL to create a slate of multiplatform programming for existing and future CBS television productions. The creators of lonelygirl15 and KateModern – Miles Beckett and Greg Goodfried – will consult with CBS to help create social experiences around traditional shows, working with CBS writers at the script level to tie online narratives in directly with TV plot lines. (Cynopsis 5/15, http://www.hollywoodreporter.com/hr/content_display/news/e3ibb27093a4c288ae2ac6928ec8c1f3ae5 5/14)

CBS is signing an agreement to acquire CNET Networks in a deal valued at $1.8 billion. The acquisition will make CBS one of the 10 most popular Internet companies in the United States, with a combined 54 million unique users per month and about 200 million users worldwide. (http://www.news.com/8301-10784_3-9944882-7.html 5/15)

Amazon has taken a special interest in one of its web service customers: Animoto, the machine-driven music video creator that launched last August and now has over 160,000 users. The online retail giant has decided to fund the startup with an undisclosed amount of money. (http://www.techcrunch.com/2008/05/15/amazon-funds-animoto-music-video-creator 5/15)

Love Animoto.  First got acquainted with them at SXSW earlier this year and have made several stunning videos since.  Great service and one that I continue to pay $3 per video for.  That amount of monetization is pretty interesting.

For an undisclosed sum, Comcast will buy Mountain View, Calif.-based Plaxo, a social-networking Web site that allows users to share contact information and photos. The country’s largest cable company is expected to integrate Plaxo services into its Comcast.net, Fancast.com and Fandango.com sites. (The Wall Street Journal 5/15, Google/Associated Press 5/14)

Twitter, the fledgling microblogging service, is evolving into a social media powerhouse to rival giants like Facebook. The San Francisco-based Twitter, which appears to be aiming for a new round of funding, is starting an “experimental” advertising program on its site in Japan. (Iwantmedia 5/15, http://www.businessweek.com/technology/content/may2008/tc20080514_269697.htm 5/15)

Carl Icahn is said to be moving ahead with plans to run a dissident board slate at Yahoo in a bid to force the Internet company to be sold to Microsoft. The billionaire investor is reportedly lining up at least 12 potential board candidates, including former Viacom head Frank Biondi. (Iwantmedia 5/15, http://www.reuters.com/article/newsOne/idUSN1429522020080514 5/14)

Investor Carl Icahn speaks at the Wall Street Journal Deals & Deal Makers conference, held at the New York Stock Exchange, June 27, 2007.  REUTERS/Chip East

Jaman, the San Mateo-based P2P Web movie service, is about to announce that it will be streaming selected movies for free. The movies play immediately in the browser and are supported by pre/post-roll ads. (The usual download-to-rent option remains available). (http://www.techcrunch.com/2008/05/14/jaman-launches-free-streamed-movies-in-browser 5/14)

Ask.com, owned by Barry Diller’s IAC/InterActiveCorp, is acquiring Lexico, the owner of Dictionary.com, as well as Thesaurus.com and Reference.com. Ask.com, the No. 4 search engine, and Dictionary.com will attempt to cycle traffic between each other. (Iwantmedia 5/15, http://bits.blogs.nytimes.com/2008/05/15/askcom-tries-again-and-not-just-with-women 5/15)

President Bush is the first U.S. president to conduct a video interview for an online audience. In the interview with Politico.com political correspondent Mike Allen, Bush warns that a fast withdrawal of troops from Iraq could “eventually lead to another attack on the United States.” (Iwantmedia 5/15, http://www.prweekus.com/First-online-on-camera-interview-of-US-president/article/110087 5/14)

Advertising on social networking sites like Facebook and MySpace is getting better, but is still not perfect, says Google co-founder Sergey Brin. “People are expecting overnight to wake up to a miracle. But these things take time. It’s hard to predict where social networking will come out.” (Iwantmedia 5/15, http://www.reuters.com/article/marketsNews/idUSL1572456720080515 5/15)

Evidence is piling up that Facebook has lost some of its luster among developers. Competition from dominant players such as Slide and Rock You and the influence of Google’s open API program OpenSocial has dampened some of the enthusiasm to create applications for the platform. Data culled from Facebook developer/blogger Jesse Farmer, who developed the Adonomics Facebook analytics and developer services system, breaks down some compelling tracking numbers. (Cynopsis 5/15)

Monthly Statistics for the Facebook Developer Forum
Month                          Jan. 2008       April 2008     % change
Posts per day                 461                 225               -51%
Signups per day               38                   27               -29%
Threads per day               80                   44               -44%
Active users                 1,606              1,168               -27%
Highly active users          461                 225              -47%
Source: 20bits.com, from data provided by Adonomics




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