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News Corner July 10, 2013

10 Jul, 2013 By: Doug McPherson

In another sign that broadcast TV is moving away from the free model, ABC will make live streams of its owned stations available to customers who pay for a TV subscription. The "Watch ABC" service, offering access on digital platforms on the go, is being offered to customers of AT&T U-Verse, Comcast, Charter and other providers.

YuMe, a top digital ad network, files for a $65 million initial public offering, following rival Tremor Video’s mediocre debut on the New York Stock Exchange two weeks ago. YuMe recorded a $3.3 million net loss in the first quarter of this year, and carries $25.3 million in accumulated deficit, Ad Age reports.

According to Nielsen’s SocialGuide, 20 million people produced more than 300 million tweets about TV programming in first-quarter 2013. The user interactions reflected engagement with more than 9,000 programs. Most tweeted programs tended to be live events and reality programming, including “WWE Monday Night RAW” (USA), “Big Brother” (CBS) and “The Bachelorette” (ABC). ABC Family’s “Pretty Little Liars,” Showtime’s “Dexter” and MTV’s “Teen Wolf” were the only scripted shows to make the top 10.

By May, 141 million U.S. consumers counted themselves as smartphone owners, which represents a significant 6-percent increase since February, comScore reports. As such, nearly 60 percent of the U.S. population (59 percent) now owns a Web-friendly smartphone. Apple ranked as the top original equipment manufacturer for phone makers, with 39.2 percent of U.S. smartphone subscribers in May. Samsung ranked second with a 23-percent market share, followed by HTC with 8.7 percent, Motorola with 7.8 percent and LG with 6.7 percent.

News Corp., the newly devolved publishing division in Rupert Murdoch's global empire starts, looks to dominate the smartphone market for news, entertainment and information. Robert Thomson, News Corp’s CEO, told investors in Australia the company would retain "Murdochian magic" and would have "a permanent startup sensibility" with globalization and digitization as its biggest opportunities for growth.

Bing and Facebook are working on ad formats that will allow social site members to "like" an ad. Microsoft says it will run a pilot for up to 60 days with a select number of advertisers. The goal for Microsoft becomes integrating Bing ads into all types of media and devices. The company will enable advertisers to target Windows 8.1 operating system users, not just on Web search query results, but inside Windows Smart Search. The ads support previews – snapshots of the advertisers' landing pages in the search results.

Yahoo announces it is acquiring Qwiki, the start-up behind the iPhone app that automatically turns a user’s pictures, music and videos into slideshow videos. Terms of the transaction were not disclosed, but the deal has been estimated in the $40 million to $50 million range. The Qwiki acquisition follows a string of other mobile start-ups Yahoo has purchased during the past year to expand the company’s mobile offerings as users shift from the desktop to devices.

AT&T, BBDO and the Chernin Group have developed an unscripted mobile drama series, @SummerBreak, with a group of Southern California teenagers at the heart of the narrative action. The teens will share their experiences in real-time on Twitter, Tumblr, Instagram and YouTube in daily episodes, with social input from the audience. “Today’s kids are master storytellers, crafting and sharing their own realities through social media,” says producer Billy Parks.

A recent eMarketer report, “Seniors Still Lukewarm on Web Activity,” highlights that TV is still the medium that matters most, stating: “Marketers regard the 65-and-older population as a sleeping giant when it comes to digital usage. And for now, at least, the giant still mostly dozes. For media usage, TV is still the medium that matters most for seniors, far more so than for younger generations.” In fourth-quarter 2012, seniors averaged almost 221 hours per month watching traditional TV – approximately 40 percent more than the total population average.

Walmart Canada partners with Procter & Gamble to launch 50 “mobile stores” at bus stops in Toronto. The artwork on signs at the stops promotes specific P&G products and offers a QR code that connects the mobile user directly to Walmart’s M-commerce store for select P&G products. Shipping on these mobile store orders is free. It allows consumers to buy on the spot everything from diapers to toothpaste and mascara.

Staples, the office supplies retail chain, launches two new "omnichannel stores." They're smaller than standard Staples stores, encourage shoppers to access online inventory from kiosks, and give employees mobile devices they can use to close orders in store aisles.

Facebook announces a new policy barring advertising from sections of the site with controversial content. The social network says it will undertake a new review process to determine which pages and groups should feature ads alongside their content under a broader set of guidelines.

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