Daily Marauder



A battle has been brewing for months now: Google and Facebook both want to be the social layer that sits on top of every site on the Internet. So far, at least in mindshare, Facebook has been winning this battle with Facebook Connect. Google’s offering, Friend Connect is the sibling that gets no respect. But that could change starting today with some new features and functionality. (Techcrunch11/4(

Google Social


Yahoo Inc, looking to match rivals in providing up-to-the-minute Internet search results, is running tests with several real-time search partners, sources familiar with the matter said on Tuesday. (Reuters11/3)

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There is a perception that Google’s Chrome is a rounding error when it comes to browsers. And maybe it still is, but Google is now fighting that perception in a very public way. Today, it announcedthat the Chrome Team won a Founder’s Award for their achievements so far, and for the first time revealed how many people are using the Chrome browser: 30 million active users. (http://www.techcrunch.com/2009/11/02/google-says-chrome-browser-now-has-30-million-active-users/11/2)


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Since launching in late 2007, Hulu has done one one thing very well: it lets you watch your favorite TV shows and movies from your computer, free of charge. But aside from improving the user experience with assorted niceties like smart thumbnails and a few social features, the site hasn’t really done much to expand its functionality. That changes today. (http://www.techcrunch.com/2009/05/28/so-long-cable-hulu-desktop-lets-you-browse-the-site-from-the-comfort-of-your-couch 5/28)

Hulu desktop

Today, Microsoft publicly unveiled its soon-to-launch search engine Bing. It will become available over the next few days, and be fully launched by June 3. (http://www.techcrunch.com/2009/05/28/bing-microsoft-prepares-for-war-with-a-revamped-search-engine-screenshots 5/28)


Yahoo CEO Carol Bartz says she would sell the company’s Internet-search business to Microsoft for “boatloads of money.” She adds that she would agree to sell the entire company as well, though only for “big boatloads of money.” Yahoo is in talks with Microsoft now, she says. (Iwantmedia 5/28, http://www.bloomberg.com/apps/news?pid=newsarchive&sid=auVKgc4EweDY 5/27)


News Corp. hopes to sell Google access to a greater swathe of its media properties, say senior execs Jon Miller and Owen Van Natta. An advertising deal between Google and News Corp.’s MySpace is coming up for renewal. News Corp. assets encompass television, print and online. (Iwantmedia 5/28, http://www.reuters.com/article/industryNews/idUSTRE54R0EY20090528 5/28)

HDNet chief Mark Cuban says that despite the growth of YouTube, the Internet video market is a disappointment. The problem, he says, is that when Google bought YouTube it focused on ubiquity rather than making money. The result is that the market “can’t sustain itself.” (Iwantmedia 5/28, http://news.cnet.com/8301-13860_3-10250739-56.html 5/27)

Internet-based content providers cannot make sufficient revenues from advertising, says Liberty Media chief John Malone, and they must find novel approaches to get consumers to pay. “The world is evolving. Whether it’s fast enough or big enough to save CBS, I don’t know.” (Iwantmedia 5/28, http://www.forbes.com/2009/05/27/john-malone-media-technology-enterprise-tech-malone.html 5/27)

U.K. royalties collection agency PRS for Music is cutting the rates it charges music sites for artists’ music, potentially paving the way for YouTube to start carrying premium music videos again. YouTube pulled thousands of music videos in March after failing to agree terms with PRS. (Iwantmedia 5/28, http://www.mediaweek.co.uk/news/908802/YouTube-restore-music-videos-following-royalties-cut/ 5/27)

Best Buy is creating an investment fund that will concentrate on digital media opportunities. The fund, managed by existing and former News Corp. employees, is expected to help the retailer delve more deeply into the digital business world in sectors such as music, video and games. Financial Times (free registration) (5/28) , Dealerscope (5/28)

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Google CEO Eric Schmidt hints that a deal with Twitter could be close, although he dampens speculation that he is planning to buy the microblogging phenomenon. “We do not have to buy everyone to work with them.” Google is believed to be seeking real-time search. (Iwantmedia 5/20, http://www.telegraph.co.uk/finance/newsbysector/mediatechnologyandtelecoms/5351937/Google-chief-hints-at-partnership-with-Twitter.html 5/20)

Google twitter

After NBC “unceremoniously” cancelled “My Name Is Earl,” one of the sitcom’s actors, Ethan Suplee, turned to Twitter to complain. His actions helped spark a Twitter-based campaign to resurrect the series. An earlier geek-led campaign purportedly helped save NBC’s “Chuck.” (Iwantmedia 5/20, http://latimesblogs.latimes.com/showtracker/2009/05/my-name-is-earl-creator-greg-garcia-is-a-writer-because-he-has-a-way-with-wordsasked-for-his-take-on-nbcs-unceremonious-canc.html 5/19)

My Name is Earl

U.S. cable giant Comcast climbed the most in customer-satisfaction ratings among its peers by using Twitter to calm disgruntled subscribers, according to the American Customer Satisfaction Index. Comcast employs 10 people to monitor tweets about the company. (Iwantmedia 5/20, http://www.bloomberg.com/apps/news?pid=newsarchive&sid=a71HPbtIMT20 5/19)

ESPN on July 15 will launch the first integrated video player on YouTube and also will be the first network to run pre-roll ads on the Google-owned site, the Walt Disney Co. unit announced at its upfront. “We’re programming dayparts as if ESPN.com was a new network,” said Sean Bratches, ESPN’s executive vice president of sales and marketing. “We want to make ESPN and our partners’ brands available to fans in every conceivable way.” Advertising Age (5/19)

The DVD box set of the just-ended season of “24” on News Corp.’s Fox network became available for sale the day after the airing of the season finale. News Corp. describes the unusually quick DVD release as an “experiment” amid changing viewing habits in the digital age. (Iwantmedia 5/20, http://www.hollywoodreporter.com/hr/content_display/technology/news/e3ic8543054a8a9084dc949c8916b611a54 5/19)


You’d be hard pressed to find someone who tries the online streaming radio service Pandora that doesn’t like it. In fact, some users like it so much that they actually ask for ways to pay the company, to make sure it stays alive (something that has been a question mark given the oppressive Internet radio licensing costs). And while there has been a limited subscription version for some time, Pandora has never proactively promoted it. But starting tomorrow it’s taking the freemium model seriously, with the launch of Pandora One. (http://www.techcrunch.com/2009/05/19/pandora-gives-the-freemium-model-a-thumbs-up-with-pandora-one/ 5/19)

pandora one

Remember TotalMusic, the failed music initiative created by Sony BMG and UMG that was built from the start with the goal of serving as Facebook’s music platform (and was ultimately rejected by the social network)? Its assets were recently acquired by Project Playlist, the troubled music streaming startup that just lost its CEO to MySpace last month and has had lawsuits pending from the major record labels since late last year. (http://www.techcrunch.com/2009/05/19/the-record-industrys-failed-totalmusic-project-finds-a-new-home-at-project-playlist/ 5/19)


A U.S. district judge is ordering YouTube to pay $1.61 million in royalties to the American Society of Composers, Authors and Publishers, the performance rights organization, for streaming music on the video site. YouTube is expected to pay songwriters going forward. (Iwantmedia 5/20, http://www.techdirt.com/articles/20090519/1127454934.shtml 5/19)

Google has released a new version of Reader that’s been tweaked a bit. Google has added a new set of tabs in the trends page called “Friends Trends,” where you can see which friends share the most content and whose shared items you read. (http://www.techcrunch.com/2009/05/19/google-releases-new-version-of-reader/ 5/19)

Friends Google

Following a suit filed by Discovery Communications against Amazon in March alleging infringement on a patent held for e-book technology, Amazon has filed a lawsuit against Discovery alleging infringement on four e-commerce patents held by the company. Discovery has not responded in court to the suits but is in the “process of reviewing those and will respond appropriately in due course.” The Wall Street Journal (5/20)

Looks like Windows Media Center, that hub for video and audio which I’ve never used, is getting full Netflix streaming support. This is good news for those of you running HTPCs with Vista on them — no need for an extra layer or front-end, just open up WMC, enter your info and you’re on your way. (http://www.crunchgear.com/2009/05/20/windows-media-center-gets-netflixd 5/20)

WMC Netflix

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New Yahoo chief Carol Bartz found a reason to post her first blog entry yesterday – to share some of her future plans including a new management structure she is putting into place that will “make Yahoo! a lot faster on its feet.” She also writes of the elimination of silos and a renewed focus on the customer, mantras familiar to folks on Madison Avenue. The first official management reshuffle involves the just-disclosed departure of CFO Blake Jorgensen, who made news at an investors conference this week when he said that Yahoo isn’t opposed to a search deal with Microsoft in principle. (Cynopsis 2/27)


Turner Sports’ PGATour.com site set a record for traffic on Wednesday for its hole-by-hole video coverage of the return of Tiger Woods. The site streamed 2.5 million videos and recorded nearly 24 million page views. (Cynopsis 2/27)

Google is launching its own feed on Twitter, the increasingly popular microblogging site. Will the Internet giant “pull a YouTube” and swoop in to make a bid for Twitter’s growing search capabilities? Would a tie-up with Google finally give Twitter access to a revenue stream? (Iwantmedia 2/27, http://www.pcworld.com/article/160311/google_joins_twitter_playing_around_or_preparing_to_purchase.html 2/26)

Microsoft has struck a deal with NBC Universal to bring about 30 movies for rent to the software giant’s Xbox 360 console in the U.K. and Ireland. The original content includes movies such as “Scarface” and “The Mummy Returns,” but plans are in the works to update the list and, possibly, include some of NBC Universal’s TV series. The Guardian (London) (2/26)

The New York Times is rolling out local neighborhood blogs, in areas such as Fort Greene and Clinton Hill, which will cover cultural events, restaurant openings and more. Each site will be helmed by a Times journalist with free labor from the CUNY journalism program. (Iwantmedia 2/27, http://www.brownstoner.com/brownstoner/archives/2009/02/the_times_to_st.php 2/27)

Not surprisingly traffic to job search and career development sites spiked by 20% overall in Jan. according to Nielsen Online with the category reaching nearly 50 million uniques. Career Builder remained the top job site but several lesser-known brands experienced huge jumps. And while 35-49 year olds remained the biggest demo the 65+ category grew the fastest, attracting 3.5 million unique visitors (a 41% increase). (Cynopsis 2/27)

Top 10 Online Career Development Destinations for January 2009
Site                                         Jan-08 UA (000)   Jan-09 UA (000)  Percent Growth
Career Development Category        41,457                 49,745                20
CareerBuilder Network                  19,667                  20,778                 6
Yahoo! HotJobs 10,968                  11,728                 7
Monster                                    10,697                    9,476               -11
Indeed.com                                 3,259                    5,835                79
USAJOBS                                    2,161                    4,398              104
Simply Hired                                1,232                    3,801              209
Job.com                                     2,408                    2,977                24
Snagajob.com                             1,341                    2,466                84
About.com Jobs & Careers             1,806                    2,356                30
Kenexa                                       1,944                   2,235                15
Source: Nielsen Online

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Google took another step towards ingesting all the world’s printed knowledge. In addition to books and newspapers, Google Book Search now archives millions of pages of magazines from New York Magazineand Ebony to Popular Mechanics. (http://www.techcrunch.com/2008/12/09/google-adds-print-magazines-to-book-search 12/9)


Kosmix, a new Internet search site by Indian entrepreneurs that aims to compete with Google, has won $20 million in funding led by Time Warner. Kosmix’s “innovations around the traditional online publishing model could represent a paradigm shift,” said TW exec Rachel Lam. (Iwantmedia 12/9, http://www.telegraph.co.uk/finance/3687748/Search-engine-to-rival-Google-gets-20m-from-Time-Warner.html 12/9)

As a search engine, is it a requirement to have a whack ass name?  Hey, you should ‘kosmix’ that.  Without knowing anything about this search engine, that certainly doesn’t roll off the tongue in verb form.  And frankly, when I tried to open the site several times, it froze my computer.  Hmmm. . .


The Screen Actors Guild has asked its members to authorize a strike, saying there is no other way to force film and television studios to restart contract talks over Internet pay. A strike by SAG’s 120,000 members would have a “bigger impact” than the recent writers’ strike, some believe. (Iwantmedia 12/9, http://www.bloomberg.com/apps/news?pid=20601204&sid=a0jMvZOPIcOA 12/9)

Sundance Channel announced that award winning documentary Crazy Love, directed by Dan Klores (The Boys of Second Street Park) will debut on the network’s YouTube channel on Jan. 5, five days prior to its premiere on The Sundance Channel. Crazy Love won Film Independent Spirit Award for Best Documentary in 2008. (Cynopsis 12/9)


MySpace, in an all out war with Facebook over this year’s prize (socializing the web), is relaunching their Data Availability product today under a new name and announcing some snazzy new partners.  MySpaceID is roughly analogous to Facebook Connect, which had their own coming out party last week. Sites can add various elements of MySpace ID to allow their users to log in via their MySpace credentials, display their profile information, and find MySpace friends who are using those sites. (http://www.techcrunch.com/2008/12/08/myspace-data-availability-now-has-a-catchier-name-and-two-new-partners 12/8)


It’s hard for computers to give good recommendations for movies or music. That is why the recommendation systems that tend to work on the Web include a human or social element (see eMusic). ClerkDogs is trying to do that for movie recommendations. Its database includes about 5,000 movies, all categorized by film buffs, including some former video store clerks. (http://www.techcrunch.com/2008/12/09/clerk-dogs-takes-a-curated-approach-to-movie-recommendations 12/9)


Online advertising growth at Hulu, the NBC Universal-News Corp. online video venture, had proved disappointing recently, said Jeff Zucker. “That marketplace has really, really slowed dramatically. It’s still a growth area, but I don’t think it’s what we thought it would be.” (Iwantmedia 12/9, http://www.mediapost.com/publications/?fa=Articles.showArticleHomePage&art_aid=96264 12/8)

Hearst Magazines Digital Media and MTV Networks Program Enterprises Group launched the first-ever virtual issue of Seventeen magazine, tying together Seventeen’s print edition and Seventeen.com with an interactive program within MTV’s virtual world. Readers who pick up the print edition will be invited into a closed-beta, sneak peek of MTV’s new web-based 2D virtual environment (no client download required.) The full Virtual MTV is required for goodies such as digital hand-held version of the magazine along with Seventeen-branded virtual T-shirts, bags and other accessories. (Cynopsis 12/9)

Just because Twitter won’t place advertising on its pages doesn’t mean others aren’t trying. Third-party services such as Twittad allow users to embed ads into the backgrounds of their Twitter pages. The service has attracted 170 advertisers since it launched in August. (Iwantmedia 12/9, http://latimesblogs.latimes.com/technology/2008/12/twitter-ads.html 12/8)


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ComScore released its October search-engine market share figures for the U.S. last night. Overall search volume grew 20.1 percent year-over-year to 12.6 billion queries, a decline in growth from the 25.5 percent pace we saw in September, but still quite healthy. Correspondingly, the annual growth in Google’s U.S. search volume slowed from 38.6 percent in September to 29.6 percent in October. Google still managed to eke out an overall market share gain of 0.2 point to 63.1 percent. (http://www.techcrunch.com/2008/11/25/google-gains-us-search-market-share-in-october-but-growth-slows 11/25)


Blockbuster has started offering customers a small box made by 2Wire that, when attached to a TV set, can play the company’s videos once they’ve been downloaded over a broadband line. The move, according to this report, is an attempt to blunt the success of competitors such as cable companies, with their vast on-demand offerings, and Netflix. The Washington Post/The Associated Press (11/25) , Reuters (11/25)


The production arm of Warner Home VideoWarner Premiere – will produce a series of original live action webisodes with top-shelf Hollywood director Bryan Singer, reports THR. The two parties are in talks to develop the cyberpunk sci-fi thriller “H+,” which picks up after a terrorist fries the brains of a segment of the population “jacking” into the net. (Cynopsis 11/25)

Facebook sees a bleak economy as all the more reason to press ahead with growth plans. The social-networking site is said to be gearing up to make acquisitions. Options could include sites in Brazil, Germany, India or Japan, where Facebook is yet to have a strong presence. (Iwantmedia 11/25, http://www.businessweek.com/magazine/content/08_48/b4110084423202.htm 11/20)

YouTube has apparently changed all videos on its site to play in widescreen format. Because most videos on the site were originally uploaded in a ratio closer to 4:3 (the standard size used on non-HD televisions), most videos are playing with horizontal black bars on the side. Some videos (like this one) are taking advantage of the full space, but are shrunk down to the normal size when they’re embedded elsewhere. (http://www.techcrunch.com/2008/11/24/youtube-goes-wide 11/24)


Online entertainment portal No Good TV christened its own new television production arm with the 8-part VH1 Classic One Hit Wonders. Hosted by NGTV’s own Carrie Keagan, the show re-imagines the well-worn countdown format with irreverent touches, high-end animation and innovative visual effects. VH1 Classic will premiere two new episodes each night beginning Dec. 1. (Cynopsis 11/25)

Fox Interactive Media’s gaming-themed IGN.com announced a series of production and distribution agreements with nearly a dozen publishers to distribute original IGN video productions across their sites including Black20 Digital Studios, Machinima.com, CollegeHumor, ScrewAttack.com, g-NET and Comedy.com. (Cynopsis 11/25)

Video online and on mobile devices remain additive to the overall pie as total viewing hours continue to rise across all available platforms, according to Nielsen‘s Q3 A2/M2 report. Television remained the dominant choice for video consumption as viewers watched more than 142 hours/month – 5 hours more than last year. The amount of hours audiences spent watching timeshifted TV rose by 34% year-over-year as DVR penetration increased to 27%. Major online events such as the Olympics, Major League baseball and political conventions contributed dramatically to the growth of online video usage. (Cynopsis 11/25)

Monthly Time Spent in Hours: Minutes – 3Q 2008
K2-11 T12-17 A18-24 A25-34 A35-44 A45-54 A55-64 A65+
Watching TV in the home*    108:34 110:59 108:36 133:00 134:51 159:23 175:18 196:23
Watching Timeshifted TV*       5:25     4:55    4:36   10:04     8:15     7:19    6:32     3:44
Using the Internet**              5:38    12:48  12:59   28:40   37:56   35:24   35:05   26:39
Watching Video on Internet**  2:05     2:55    3:57    3:21     2:44     2:17     1:37     1:07
Mobile Video Subscribers          n/a      4:20    3:15     4:20    3:37     2:10      2:53      n/a
Watching Video on a
Mobile Phone

Video Audience Composition by Age – 3Q 2008
K2-11 T12-17 A18-24 A25-34 A35-44 A45-54 A55-64 A65+
On TV*                 11%     7%       7%      13%     14%     17%    14%  17%
On the Internet**    7%     9%       8%      15%     19%     20%      6%   7%
On Mobile Phones     n/a   18%     15%      32%     20%     10%       6%  1%

Video Audience Composition by Gender – 3Q 2008
F2+ M2+
On TV*                  54% 46%
On the Internet**   55% 45%
On Mobile Phones    40% 60%
Source for all charts: The Nielsen Company Check the Nielsen blog for footnote references

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