Comcast: The Big Bad Wolf Of Media

By Nicole Sims TV’s biggest cable networks and programmers have had nothing to say regarding Comcast’s $45.2 billion takeover of Time Warner. The trend continued at a Senate pannel Wednesday where you could hear a pin drop when it came time for them to testify against the industry changing deal. Although networks like CBS, Century Fox, and  Discovery have kept quiet, it’s clear that they don’t want and tension between them, and a company that’s become a serious source of revenue. Programming accounts are the largest portion of Comcast’s expenses. Last year alone it was about $9.1 billion. This enormous amont of money is mostly paid out to the six major networks, some of which outspoken CEO’s suddenly have lost their tongues. To put this figure in perspective, Viacom’s total revenue for 2013 was 13.8 billion, and 9.7 billion came from cable networks. More power quite literally means paying more money for Comcast. The amount of money Comcast paid Viacom was based on the number of TV subscribers, and Comcast’s 21 million subscribers amounted to quite a large paycheck. So a majority of  Viacom’s revenue came from none other than Comcast. A pretty paycheck isn’t the only thing keeping other networks quiet. Comcast also has some serious leverage over programmers when it comes to negotiating carriage agreements. If the Comcast-Time Warner deal is approved the company will serve as an even bigger threat. As Senator Amy Klobucher said at the hearing, “many programmers are afraid to go public with concerns” because it’s become “increasingly hard to negotiate agreements.” An example of this fact can be shown by DirectTV dropped The Weather Channel in January, only to restore it weeks after when the network forced the program into major concessions. When it all boils down, networks and programmers seem to have a lot more to lose than gain. So who’s afraid of the bug bad wolf?...

FireTV Places Amazon’s In A New Market

By Nicole Sims  Jeff Bezos has just opened the floodgates for further branding Amazon as a tech company. Amazon’s new product, FireTV, puts the retail turned content provider among the competition of Apple TV and Xbox One. This new technology helps to further brand Amazon as a serious contender for consumers in the overcrowded market of set-top boxes, and competitive streaming industry. The small .7-inch box connects to the TV by an HDMI cable, is run on Wi-Fi and streams at 1080p high definition broadcasts. The box can be purchased at Amazon for $99, and in a statement made by Bezos, he calls it a “tiny box [with] huge specs, tons of content [at an] incredible price.” Among the list of pre-loaded content, the box comes equipped with Hulu, Pandora, YouTube, Showtime, WatchESPN, and even a 30 day free-trial of Netflix and Amazon Prime. Compared to competitors, FireTV operates on a quad core processor, as oppose to Roku’s dual-core, and Apple TV’s single-core processor. Although larger processors don’t always mean faster content, according to tweets made by BTIG analyst, Rich Greenfield, FireTV will deliver on being three times as fast as its competitors. For consumers, this means faster streaming of programs, apps, and software. Users will no longer have to wait for content to load or buffer, providing seamless streaming of movies, games, and even photos. FireTV also comes equipped with 2 GB of memory which is somewhere between two times, to four times as much memory of competitors. The box also comes with an X-ray feature, which makes it possible to recall metadata for whatever you’re watching. This feature can be used on movies, television shows, and even music . The box’s remote even has voice search capabilities, which as Bezos said, “means no more typing on an alphabet grid,” which can be pretty redundant to type in on a TV remote. The FireTV is an attempt to bring simplicity into the living room’s across the nation, and based on the size, speed and software, it’s likely consumers will be willing to give Amazon a chance....

Comcast’s Prepares For Battle

By Nicole Sims The $45.2 billion takeover of Time Warner Cable is seeming more like an uphill, but still winnable battle for Comcast. When it comes to competition in the industry, Comcast has already agreed to sell three of the 12 million Time Warner subscribers they stand to gain, but by law they aren’t required to. However, instead of selling these subscribers to another media company to even the playing field, Comcast has recently considered pacing those 3 million subscribers into a spinoff company. A customer base of that magnitude will automatically place this proposed company among the ranks of the top cable companies in the industry, which is already toppled by Comcast. Despite the fact that this would do little to promote competition among cable providers, the FCC has never established a regulatory gap for the number of subscribers a cable company can have. This fact is a contributing factor of why Comcast has continued to expand and conquer over the past five decades, and has never had a single deal rejected by the FCC. The lack of government regulation regarding subscribers is not Comcast’s only advantage when it comes to making this deal happen. Time Warner’s top executives have a $135 million incentive to make sure this deal is approved by March 12 of next year. Time Warner calls the payoff the “Golden Parachute Compensation,” in which Comcast has offered Time Warner’s top four executives money to step down if the deal is successful. Time Warner’s CEO Robert Marcus could possibly receive $80 million alone, making his payout the largest “golden parachute” award since 2011. When it comes to making deals, Comcast is a steady force to be reckoned with. This deal is far from being accepted, but Comcast may have an advantage from the lack of the FCC’s regulation, and support of Time Warner executives. Those are some pretty powerful allies....

BuzzFeed: Perfecting The Art Of Attracting Views

By Nicole Sims It may be easy for some to pass off BuzzFeed as a site that specializes in funny top 10 lists, but this is a company that’s taking all those laughs to the bank. The company predicts it will make more than 120 million dollars in revenue by the end of 2014. BuzzFeed’s founder, Jonah Peretti, has succeeded in providing free content to readers while still making his company profitable. So what’s the secret to his success? The answer is found in these two simple words: building traffic. It’s pretty hard to find a trustworthy site that has headlines like “The 29 most Important Twerking Moments Of 2013,” while having the most recent information on the missing Malaysia Airlines Flight. BuzzFeed provides premium content that’s free for all to read because of how easy it is to share these stories among our social network friends. In an interview with Fortune, Peretti describes the business model best by saying “BuzzFeed [is a] platform that enables us to understand how people are sharing and distributing things like entertainment content, journalism, [and] branded content…on this platform that we built.” In the past year, the site’s traffic that has nearly quadrupled, and since first being founded in 2006, has peaked at 130 million unique site visits in one month. According to the media sharing tracker Scanvine,  BuzzFeed’s 2013 sharing figures places it in competition with top news sites like The New York Times and BBC News. Advertiser’s have taken notice. At first glance, a reader may be surprised that there isn’t an obnoxious amount to advertisements plastered all over the page. Look again. BuzzFeed uniquely incorporates it’s use of lists and pictures into sponsored ads that are posted on the site like regular content that isn’t distracting, or overwhelming for readers. So far Peretti’s vision has landed the company in liquid gold, and based off it’s rapid success, a 120 million dollar profit isn’t an...

Digital Media: Who Comes Out Ahead?

By Nicole Sims  The younger generation is the driving force behind the digital age. Digital technology, like computer and cellphones, have basically been embedded in the culture of people aged 18-29. Most kids today grow up learning how to operate these technologies. According to a study done by the Pew Research Center,  71 percent of young adults say the internet is their main source of news. Right behind them are people aged 30-49, and 63 percent admit to the same thing. Although television news remains the number on source for news, it has been on a slow decline over the past decade. This means that the future of the news business is dependent on keeping the attention a younger audience.This includes adapting to their changing opinions. In 2009, Time Magazine published an article titled “The 10 most Endangered Newspapers in America.” This list predicted 10 publications around the country that would either fold, or no longer be in print form if they chose not to go digital on the internet. News companies must recognize that less people are willing to pay for news when it can be accessed for free online. The publications that are smart will learn to use the internet as a tool, not a roadblock. In a letter address to readers, publisher Terry Egger and editor Adams Simmons  of the Cleveland Pain Dealer recognized “the way people can and want to receive news and information is changing rapidly.”  They have addressed this issue by hiring a “digitally-focused company,” called the the Northeast Ohio Media Group to become more digitally friendly. Even though the internet was at one point not perceived as a threat to the news business, its impact has been devastating. The print industry of news can no longer blame ignorance as an excuse for not adapting. For those that do, going bankrupt or closing altogether are their only...

What’s “App” Facebook?

By Nicole Sims Facebook is wasting no expense on trying to stay relevant… and they’re willing to spend 19 billion dollars to prove it. It’s no secret that Facebook’s appeal to a younger audience has been on the  decline.  However, after adding Instagram and WhatsApp to the company’s empire, Facebook is proving that it can quite literally buy them back. Although some are critical of the enormous amount Facebook was willing to spend, WhatsApp’s successful track record in appealing to an audience that’s mostly outside of U.S., the Facebook brand can reach all new heights. This means expansion to a greater number of people at a further distance,  and the potential for this untapped market in developing countries is exactly what Facebook needs.  With over 450 million users, the purchase seems to be a smart move in further enhancing the company’s potential of future users. Mark Zuckerberg’s decision is helping to push the Facebook empire even further into a world dominating company that is a force to be reckoned with.  I must admit, Zuckerberg is a pretty smart guy. His decision to spend billions of dollars on getting companies like Instagram and WhatsApp tells me that despite the company making it to ten years, he’s still thinking about moving towards the future. This means making business decisions that will have  long-term financial returns, even if does cost him a pretty penny. I can admit that my use of Facebook has been on a serious decline, but I can recognize that my use of other technologies such as Instagram indirectly brings me back into the Facebook family. Zuckerberg clearly has his eyes set on the prize, and even though his business decisions seem costly to those like me who couldn’t imagine spending that kind of money, the potential for the company’s growth probably helps cushion the...

The Best Billion Dollars Facebook Ever Spent

When Facebook bought Instagram for 1 billion dollars, it was probably one of the best investment the company could’ve made. It’s undeniable that Facebook has a declining interest from the younger audience it was originally intended for. However, with Instagram’s over 150 million users, most of which are aged 18-29, Facebook has taken a step in the right direction in reacquiring its’ lost audience. As an avid Instagram user, the fact the mobile app has always been so easy to use made me use it more. The  neat layout also allows for easy scrolling  through a constant stream of pictures. Iv’e had an Instagram since it began in 2010, and I can honestly say going on the app has  become an addiction of mine. Seriously, I might need rehab in the foreseeable future! With that being said, I don’t see Instagram loosing any of it’s luster anytime soon, and Facebook can’t deny how much time people like myself spend on it. In the long run, this is a business venture that I think will benefit Facebook greatly. The potential market that Facebook can now appeal to has vastly expanded. Once again they can capitalize on the younger audience they’ve lost over the past few years. So to you I say nice job Facebook! I’m certainly not...

The Struggle Is Real For Facebook

Facebook hit puberty at 10 years, but the struggle to keep young audiences interested is very real. What I see as a trend younger people is the constant move from one popular technology to the next. When the next best thing comes along, the things we used to spend hours doing don’t seem so important.  I made my Facebook in 2007 and remember how much grief I got from my friends for making it 2 years late. However before Facebook, Myspace was the next best thing. Once Facebook blew up with users, Myspace accounts were easily forgotten because it wasn’t “cool”anymore.  It was more of a guilty pleasure that most of  us weren’t willing to admit how many hours we logged on, checking the constant stream of pictures, video’s and status update. These days the hours I spent on Facebook have been replaced by Instagram. In fact, the only posts I make to my Facebook is linked through Twitter and Instagram. I rarely log into Facebook, but when I do, I see constant posts from my MUCH older friends. Although Facebook hit a huge milestone, the audience base for the site seems to be attracting much older users. This is something the company seriously needs to consider when trying to maintain a younger audience, and attract new users....

Skip to toolbar