The platform is facing questions from lawmakers and others looking to rein in its enormous power, and speculation is high that its top execs, including CEO Mark Zuckerberg, could be called to testify before Congress. New regulations could be in the cards for the company.
Comcast’s streaming platform Watchable launched two years ago with original programming from a slate of estimable producers and digital publishers. Now OTT’s crowded elevator has pushed Comcast out of the original content business, and the company is mulling killing off the service altogether given its small viewership.
A new Google survey of over 900 journalists in North America and Europe found 42% of journalists use data to tell stories twice or more per week; 51% of all news organizations now have dedicated data journalists; and 33% of journalists use data for political stories.
Craig Ferguson is at the helm of a new talk show with no commercial breaks, but the entire show is a kind of commercial itself. The six-episode series, “Couple Thinkers,” is sponsored entirely by clothier Gant and will feature Ferguson and his wife interviewing high-minded guests like Neil deGrasse Tyson. It will appear on YouTube and other digital sites.
Entertainment Studios Inc. has unveiled a new, direct-to-consumer global streaming OTT subscription platform, SPORTS.TV. The company projects 50 million subs over the next five years.
Facebook isn’t going to let chief rivals Amazon and Google go unchallenged on the voice interface front. Luke Woods, its head of design, wouldn’t cop to any details at a conference on Monday, but he “came out bullish on the promise of voice commands” and didn’t disavow speculation that Facebook was working on a video chat device and smart speaker.
Public documents including job offers suggest that streaming device maker Roku is accelerating its voice control technology efforts and it may be developing a smart speaker like Amazon’s Echo. The company won’t confirm these ambitions, however.
ESPN Public Editor Jim Brady looks at how anchor Jemele Hill’s tweets about President Trump — and the fallout that followed them — reflect the network’s difficult navigation of sports, politics and culture. “Media companies are simultaneously asking many of their personalities to be active and engaging on social media but not partisan or opinionated,” he writes. “It’s a line that is, at best, blurry and, at worst, nonexistent.”
Uber-producer Shonda Rimes of “Grey’s Anatomy” and “Scandal” fame has joined with Hearst on a new lifestyle website, Shondaland.com, to expand her brand in the digital space. The site’s content will also have syndication opportunities in Hearst titles like Cosmopolitan and ELLE and will create custom programs for advertisers.
Dave Chappelle, Ellen DeGeneres, Chris Rock and Jerry Seinfeld all crashed scenes from Netflix original programming as the streaming service debuted its “Netflix Is A Joke” TV campaign on Emmy night. Each of the comedians has upcoming Netflix specials.
Facebook is now in the weather business, automatically putting current conditions along with severe weather alerts the extended forecast into users’ news feeds. How can local TV stations push back against this encroachment into their crucial territory? Sending plenty of push alerts is a start.
Watching TV sports in virtual reality is currently a neat idea marred by uneven and distant-feeling execution. Anick Jesdanun says viewers should look to what’s coming, not necessarily what’s in their headsets now. Viewers would do best to think of VR as a supplement, rather than replacement, to regular TV sports viewing. And tech developments are promising better views and better immersive replays on the way.
An Adobe Digital Insights survey of 1,500 U.S. consumers found that more than a quarter under age 35 prefer to watch TV exclusively by streaming online. Thirty percent expect to switch to streaming services in the next two years.
The POTUS hit Twitter hard Friday morning with a salvo aimed at ESPN and its anchor Jemele Hill, who called Trump a white supremacist earlier on the platform. “ESPN is paying a really big price for its politics (and bad programming). People are dumping it in RECORD numbers,” Trump exclaimed.
Facebook enabled advertisers to target users with an anti-Semitic bent, a ProPublica investigation has found. An algorithm — not people — created the anti-Semitic categories, and Facebook removed them as soon as they became aware of them.
Hulu CEO Mike Hopkins says his service’s bid for an Emmy via “The Handmaid’s Tale” could help draw new subscribers and hold on to current ones. Hulu will spend about $2.5 billion on content this year, part of an arms race that includes fellow streaming services Netflix and Amazon.
A new survey of nearly 50 WAN-IFRA members finds Facebook is responsible for an average of just 7% of their digital revenue, and a quarter of publishers queried said they received no direct revenue from the platform at all. The report estimates that puts Facebook lower than other platforms including Google, YouTube and Spotify in terms of how much revenue is shared back with publishers.
There’s a growing push by traditional TV companies to launch direct-to-consumer apps and services, with Disney the latest to announce plans. The subscriber numbers for these services are growing nicely, but the contribution they’re making to overall revenues for their parent companies are still pretty marginal — for now.
CBS Corp. intends to launch a streaming-video sports outlet that will be more newsy and less focused on commentary programs, the company’s CEO Leslie Moonves said Thursday, while taking pains to demonstrate CBS’s business acumen compared to that of rivals like Walt Disney, Comcast, Netflix and 21st Century Fox.