Dennis Haarsager's rolling environmental scan for electronic media. "Somebody has to do something, and it's just incredibly pathetic that it has to be us." --Jerry Garcia "Wish I didn't know now what I didn't know then." --Bob Seger
The past year saw immense growth in the search sector. Search is bigger today than it was twelve months ago in every respect. With the Internet becoming a larger part of people's lives and broadband access becoming the norm around the world, 2004 was the year that big-business fully recognized the full impact of search. ¶ The search sector drives web-traffic by providing each web user with the dynamic roadmaps and signposts that make the web usable. This fact has finally become staggeringly obvious to anyone with an interest in the web. That these roadmaps are self-generating and are increasingly influenced by the interests of the individual user makes search the most powerful medium in the world. The largest of the search firms have found a stable business model in paid contextually-delivered advertising that promotes growth while providing unequaled opportunities for advertisers. ... Link: Internet Search Engine News.
I posted "Cablevision may abandon satellite TV plan" this morning. Om Malik's weblog has an interesting follow-up. His Wall Street Journal link requires a paid subscription. --Dennis. Malik writes, "... Following up on that news, I have learnt from those familiar with the whole situation, that Cablevision and Echostar are in advanced talks and the price tag for the deal is in the $250 million region.I tried calling Cablevision, Voom and Echostar, and obviously have not heard back from them. I spun the wheels most of the day trying to nail down more details … oh well. Just spoke to the Echostar spokesperson and he offered the boiler plate - we don’t comment on rumor and speculation, and this certainly has both.I think Voom is one of those ill-fated experiments, that came to market 24-months too soon. ... Link: Om Malik on Broadband.
Cablevision Systems Corp., a Long Island-based cable TV provider, said Tuesday it is suspending plans for a spinoff of its money-losing satellite broadcasting business and will consider other alternatives for the unit. ¶ The high-definition satellite venture, which is marketed under the brand name VOOM, has had a tough start since being launched more than a year ago and has been a source of major concern among Cablevision's investors. ... Link: AP via Seattle Post-Intelligencer.
As prices dropped over the past year, broadband use at home has surpassed that of dial-up in the United States, reaching 53% of residential Web users in October, according to Nielsen/NetRatings. ... Link: USA Today.
Music Choice and Sprint are launching a music service that allows mobile phone users to view short videoclips and listen to radio-like programming on their handsets. ¶ The service, Music Choice Today, bows Monday (Dec. 20) and offers Sprint subscribers streaming access to Music Choice audio channels via their cell phones. For $5.99 per month, users can listen to a range of genres and formats, including R&B/hip-hop, pop, country and rock. The service also features music news and daily video snippets of artist interviews and performances originally produced by Music Choice. ... Link: Reuters via MSNBC. Tip from Radio and Internet Newsletter --Dennis.
... The podcast version of ''Morning Stories," five-minute human-interest segments, has posted numbers that people in the radio business would envy. ¶ In the past two months, the audience for the podcast segments of the show has grown 12,000-fold, from a grand total of five downloads for the entire month of September to 60,000 in November, according to producer Tony Kahn. ¶ As a public station that doesn't have ads to skip, WGBH has nothing to lose by making broadcasts available for free. Bob Lyons, director of radio and new media initiatives for WGBH, said that technologically, ''it's trivial" to reformat a broadcast for podcast downloads. ¶ Lyons said WGBH has been impressed by the rapidly growing demand for ''Morning Stories" podcasts but will move slowly on adding more programs. ''We could pretty much just shovel everything in there, but I think that would be foolish," Lyons said. ''We need to focus on stuff that is suitable for this particular delivery pipe," in particular broadcasts that have a long shelf life and will be appealing to people days or weeks after they've gone out over the airwaves. ... Link: Boston.com. General interest article on podcasting features WGBH's Morning Stories. --Dennis