Daily Marauder

May 12, 2009, 12:15 AM


Hulu.com has experienced meteoric growth among the top destinations for online video. But some analysts, such as Laura Martin of Soleil-Media Metrics, are beginning to wonder if it’s really a smart move in the long-term to be giving away all that content for free: "If you give away your premium content for free, you are basically hastening your own demise. There is a choice that companies have to make." Los Angeles Times (5/11)

Couple of thoughts on this one.

I love Hulu.  But Snag Films, for example, offers a bit of a twist on that business model which seems to offer at least the possibility of transactional revenue.  But at the end of the day, Hulu is quickly becoming Google for video.  And once that happens, vertical sites like NBC.com and ABC.com become less important for consumers.  42 million viewers on Hulu in March.  Hulu has become the elephant in the room but at least with commercials like those, they’re not pretending to be anything less.


Google is in talks with some of the biggest U.S. newspapers, including the New York Times and the Washington Post, according to various reports. While the subject of the talks is not clear, "every Web publisher realizes that Google can direct a firehose of traffic to their content." (Iwantmedia 5/11, http://mediamemo.allthingsd.com/20090511/google-talking-to-new-york-times-washington-post-about-something/  5/11)

Search-engine Goliath Google is preparing to run its first TV ads. The spots, for its new Chrome Web browser, will begin running next month on a number of platforms, including NBC Universal cable channels such as CNBC, Sleuth and Chiller. Advertising Age (5/8)

The Obama Administration’s new chief antitrust enforcer at the Department of Justice, Christine Varney, is making it very clearclip_image002 that she is going to be much more aggressive in bringing antitrust actions against large, American corporations. The Bush Administration took a hands-off approach to antitrust enforcement, and that is about to change. Varney needs a high-profile case to make her name, and all indications are that she is eying Google. After all she needs to make an example out of a big powerful corporate “predator” and in this limping econmy there simply aren’t that many powerful companies to chose from.

(http://www.techcrunch.com/2009/05/11/watch-out-google-obamas-antitrust-chief-is-looking-to-make-a-big-case/  5/11)



ABC’s late-night news show "Nightline" is expanding its relationship with Twitter to develop "NightTline," a half-hour digital program hosted by the show’s anchors and correspondents that provides a forum for viewers to simultaneously discuss the news of the day through Twitter. (Iwantmedia 5/11, http://abcnews.go.com/Nightline/story?id=7558877  5/11)



Tim Armstrong, the former advertising chief at Google, will be hard-pressed to make substantial improvements in his new job as CEO of AOL, analysts say. If he succeeds in turning around the floundering Time Warner unit, "he’s a genius." However, if he fails, "no one can blame him (Iwantmedia 5/11, http://www.crainsnewyork.com/article/20090510/FREE/305109973#  5/9)

MySpace has let go of as many as 45 employees in the last week, we’ve confirmed. Sources close to the company say that the exact figure may be smaller, but that MySpace has definitely laid off a significant number of people. MySpace has refused to comment on the matter, so it isn’t clear if this was the result of a canceled project, general layoffs, or performance-based cuts. A source says that early signs indicate that the open positions will not be filled by other employees. (http://www.techcrunch.com/2009/05/09/layoffs-hit-myspace/  5/9)



ESPN Chicago, a new Web site for sports fanatics in the Windy City, may set off a digital war in regional sports. The ESPN local sports site raises questions about whether the network one day might bid for local sports television rights now secured by Fox and Comcast. (Iwantmedia 5/11, http://www.businessweek.com/bwdaily/dnflash/content/may2009/db2009058_229025.htm  5/8)

Rio Caraeff, an exec with Universal Music’s eLabs, is expected to be named president of Vevo, the new music video site formed by Universal Music and YouTube, due to launch later this year. Universal and YouTube unveiled Vevo in April, saying it will be a showcase for music videos. (Iwantmedia 5/11, http://news.cnet.com/8301-1023_3-10236773-93.html  5/8)

Comedy Central and its digital network Atom.com are co-funding the new online cop series The Fuzz produced by Waverly Films. Five webisodes have been approved featuring humans and puppets teaming to fight crime in a corrupt city. Cynopsis 5/11


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