Twitter field day: Barack Obama digital media company edition


On December 2, 2016, the internet was gifted the ultimate Friday afternoon Twitter story: Barack Obama has reportedly considered starting a digital media company once he’s no longer president.

This is the Platonic idea of a story for media people to riff on. It is the Breaking-Bad-meth-purity-level of a media riff story.

Is it going to actually happen? Apparently not, as the White House communications director said the president has “no plans to get into the media business after he leaves office.” Read more…

More about Business, Twitter, Digital Media, Barack Obama, and Media

Feds to AT&T and Verizon: Your free data deals violate net neutrality


The government’s most important media regulator just sent a clear message to America’s biggest wireless companies: Your free data streaming programs are a violation of net neutrality. 

The question, though: Will it matter?

In letters to AT&T and Verizon sent Thursday, the Federal Communications Commission made it clear to the telecom giants that their free streaming programs are a violation of the rules put in place to ensure net neutrality. 

It’s the most aggressive stance yet against so-called “zero rating,” in which people can stream certain content over their phone, without it counting against their data plans. While these programs are somewhat popular with consumers, they’ve also created concern that companies could use these programs to favor their own content, and force other companies to pay up.  Read more…

More about Fcc, Net Neutrality, Zero Rating, Streaming Media, and Digital Media

How leading publications can prepare for a tidal wave of citizen reporting


How Leading Publications Can Prepare For A Tidal Wave of Citizen Reporting

During Hurricane Sandy in 2012, CNN made a gaffe when it falsely announced that the New York Stock Exchange was under three feet of water. Chad Mayers and other leading media figures like Piers Morgan were left gasping for breath, after it was revealed that the ‘scoop’ came from an unverified ‘citizen reporter’ on Twitter, but the potential effects on the economy could have been catastrophic. 

Advances in smartphone technology, and increased global access to social networks have evolved ‘citizen reporting’ into an important and increasingly organized branch of the media industry, offering ‘front line’ insights which can be posted much faster than when publications follow normal editorial processes.  Read more…

More about Business, Digital Media, Journalism, and Media

Viral discontent: Daily Mail says Elite Daily is essentially worthless


One of the most popular viral phenoms of the digital media boom is now essentially worthless. 

That’s not the claim of an analyst or disgruntled ex-employees; it’s the conclusion reached by the Daily Mail, the company that bought Elite Daily in January 2015 for around $40 million. 

The publishing company (DMGT) behind the Daily Mail wrote down the value of Elite Daily in its earnings report released on Thursday. In doing so, DMGT is saying that Elite Daily is worth far less than it had previously valued the viral content publisher.

The good news is that Elite Daily is bringing in more money. The bad news is that its losing far more. The company noted that Elite Daily’s “audience retention and revenue growth have been disappointing and losses have exceeded expectations.” Read more…

More about Digital Media, Business, Daily Mail, and Media

Long live cable: Why streaming TV is a fragmented, broken pain-in-the-app


The cord-cutting dream has given way to a stark reality: Streaming TV is a mess. And on Tuesday, it only got messier, as DirecTV rolled out their entry into the category, DirecTV Now, launching Wednesday:

DirecTV Now holes: No DVR yet, no NFL on phone, no local station feed where ABC/NBC/Fox don’t own the station, no NFL Sunday Ticket, no CBS

— Shalini Ramachandran (@shalini) November 28, 2016

Also: It’s not even available on Roku until 2017.

Again and again, we hear that the goal of tech companies is to create a product that “just works,” as Apple’s Steve Jobs might say. 

And even though it’s a bit pricy, cable TV still offers that experience over streaming: You turn it on. You flip the channel. You DVR a show, or you don’t. At its most recent product launch, Apple looked to apply that thinking to its new TV app. Read more…

More about Netflix, Apple, Digital Media, Business, and Cord Cutting

CNN courts the YouTube generation by partnering with Casey Neistat


CNN is preparing its second major effort to appeal to a younger generation of news consumers. And this time it’s tapping one of YouTube’s biggest stars.

CNN is teaming up with Casey Neistat to launch a new standalone company that will  use smartphones to create video content. 

As part of the move, CNN is buying Neistat’s Beme app, which launched in July 2015. CNN did not disclose the terms of the deal.

The Beme app will be shut down in the coming weeks while the rest of the company will fold into the new venture owned by CNN. Matt Hackett, the chief technology officer of Beme and formerly the head of engineering at Tumblr, will help lead the new company. Read more…

More about Digital Media, Media, Business, Casey Neistat, and Cnn