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Wednesday, November 9, 2011

Apple's Founder was right..HTLM5 Format wins (partial) victory over Adobe Flash

From the Wall Street Journal (click here for this and other news).

Adobe Systems Inc. said it plans to stop development of its Flash Player software for mobile browsers, saying it will focus its efforts on HTML5, another media presentation standard.

The move follows criticism, including a series of high-profile attacks by late Apple Inc. co-founder Steve Jobs, that Flash media streaming technology isn't suited for use on low-power mobile devices.
Adobe said Wednesday it will continue to provide bug fixes and security updates and help app developers. It also will continue to develop Flash in other areas such as advanced gaming and premium video for personal computers.

Adobe Drops Flash for Phones, in Reversal

The iPhone 4S. Adobe has said Flash doesn't compete with HTML5, a group of new, open source standards for delivering Web content that has been embraced by Apple and others.

"We will no longer continue to develop Flash Player in the browser to work with new mobile device configurations (chipset, browser, OS version, etc.) following the upcoming release of Flash Player 11.1 for Android and BlackBerry PlayBook," the company said in a blog post Wednesday.
The news marks an about-face for Adobe, which has long touted the benefits of Flash over HTML5. The company at its recent annual developers conference made the case that its Flash media streaming technology is critical for mobile communication. At that time, Adobe introduced Flash Player 11.
Adobe has said Flash doesn't compete with HTML5, a group of new, open-source standards for delivering Web content that has been embraced by Apple and others. Rather, it has said Flash can be used to create content, including games, that HTML5 cannot. The company also has said that when Flash is used in combination with another Adobe product, AIR3, content can be packaged into applications for smartphones and tablets, including Apple's popular iPhone and iPad.
Adobe on Wednesday said it will continue enabling Flash developers to package mobile apps with AIR. But it also will be increasing its investment in HTML5.
"HTML is now universally supported on major mobile devices, in some cases exclusively," Adobe said in a blog post Wednesday. "This makes HTML5 the best solution for creating and deploying content in the browser across mobile platforms."
Adobe doesn't break out Flash in its earnings reports, but the Flash media player is woven throughout Adobe's creative tools for Web professionals. The software is a core part of Adobe's Creative Suite software.
Adobe late Tuesday said it would restructure its business to focus on digital media and marketing software, resulting in 750 job cuts and slower-than-expected revenue growth next year. The company said that by focusing on the two areas, it would drive faster growth in future years.
"We now believe it's time to double down to accelerate growth in the two areas where we see the largest market opportunities, digital media and digital marketing," Adobe President and Chief Executive Shantanu Narayen said at an analyst conference Wednesday.

Nov. 8, 2011: Ohio Voters Repeal Anti-Worker Law

J Edgar DiCaprio, Women and TV, World of Warcraft loses its steam, Discovery changes

Discovering the door. Discovery Communications Chief Operating Officer Peter Liguori is leaving the cable programming giant at the end of the year, the company announced Wednesday morning. This comes about two years after he took the job. Liguori, who previously held senior positions at News Corp.'s FX and Fox Broadcasting, had been unhappy at Discovery for some time, people close to the situation said. While there, he got stuck with the dirty job of trying to manage Discovery's assorted partnerships, including OWN -- the cable network the company started with Oprah Winfrey that has struggled to build an audience. Discovery is not planning to replace him.

This entire post is from the LA Times Company Town here for the latest in entertainment industry news and information from the LA Times.

Backstage drama. After making a joke about rehearsing that included an anti-gay slur, director Brett Ratner has stepped down as producer of next year's Oscar awards. Although Ratner had apologized and the Academy of Motion Picture Arts & Sciences said it wanted to move on, the heat over the crack did not die down. Of course, Ratner also didn't help himself by going on Howard Stern's radio show and engaging in a raunchy conversation. The next question is whether Oscar host Eddie Murphy -- who was a package deal with Ratner -- will stick around or go too. More from the Los Angeles Times, Hollywood Reporter, Variety and Deadline Hollywood.

Merger mania. There has been a new round of consolidation in the  local television industry, spearheaded by Baltimore-based Sinclair Broadcast Group, one of the nation's largest operators of TV stations.The local TV station business has struggled in the last few years. However, the development of new revenue streams for stations in the form of retransmission consent fees from cable and satellite operators and anticipation over big ad dollars from politicians next year, has heated up the industry. Details from the New York Times.

Call of Duty Modern Warfare 3
World of Warcraft is on the decline...may lose its crown. Activision Blizzard Inc. on Tuesday raised its financial projections for the entire year, based largely on the strength of a single game: Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 3. But a sharp drop in subscribers for the game publisher’s other marquee title, World of Warcraft, knocked the wind out of the company’s stock.

The Santa Monica company announced Tuesday that subscribers for its World of Warcraft online game had fallen to 10.3 million, down from 11.4 million at the end of March.

“The magnitude of the decline was surprising,” said Michael Pachter, an analyst with Wedbush Securities. “The vast majority of Activision’s revenue and profit comes from World of Warcraft and Call of Duty. And if one of those shows a decline, investor confidence is shaken.”

Activision Blizzard’s shares slipped as much as 48 cents, or 3.5%, to $13.45 shortly after the company updated analysts on the game’s subscribers. Prior to the announcement, it had gained 19 cents to close at $13.93.
“World of Warcraft is the most profitable game of all time,” said Evan Wilson, an analyst with Pacific Crest Securities. “It would be tough to replace that size of profit stream.”

Stunning discovery. The key audience for television programming has always been women and many of those women are in fact also mothers. Apparently though this fact escaped Viacom's Nickelodeon, which spent months doing research on what anyone whose covered television for three days learns in 20 minutes. It is launching a new programming block from 9 p.m. to 1 a.m. aimed at mothers. Fortunately for Nickelodeon, The Wall Street Journal found all this fascinating. Sorry, guess I'm feeling particularly snarky today.

The world according to Ryan. Relativity Media's Ryan Kavanaugh says there is than box office performance when it comes to judging a movie. He better be right given that every move Hollywood makes with regards to when movies go to DVD or video-on-demand seems designed to reduce box office. Variety on Kavanaugh.

Prince James in a can? On Thursday, News Corp. Deputy Chief Operating Officer James Murdoch is to appear before Britain's Parliament to again address his handling of the phone-hacking scandal at the company's now-closed News of the World tabloid. Murdoch, son of News Corp. Chairman Rupert Murdoch, had oversight of the unit that housed the paper and has been accused of not coming completely clean with Parliament in his first appearance last summer. How he does could determine whether he remains the leading candidate to succeed his father at the top of the global media giant. A curtain-raiser from the Los Angeles Times. Meanwhile, the company took another hit when it was revealed that it had also spied on the lawyers of phone-hacking victims. More on that from the Guardian.

Passing? Endemol, the reality show production giant, is likely to pass on a $1.4-billion offer for the company from Time Warner Inc., according to the Financial Times. The offer, made last week, came as Endemol tries to restructure its debt. Endemol is keeping silent for now on whether it will say thanks, but no thanks to Time Warner.

A simple plan. Doug Morris, the new head of Sony Music, tells the New York Times he wants to "create the pre-eminent record company in the world." The 72-year-old will have his work cut out for him as Sony Music has struggled for the last several years, in part due to the challenges that grew out of its merger with BMG. His first big deal, unveiled last week, was to sign Katy Perry producer Dr. Luke.

Tales of a G-Man. "J. Edgar," the Clint Eastwood-directed biopic about FBI Director J. Edgar Hoover, starring Leonardo DiCaprio, is generating lots of attention, but how will it stand up to history? The Daily Beast talks to some folks who worked for Hoover.

Talk about spin. Viacom has tapped public relations veteran Kassie Canter to oversee communications strategy for its entertainment cable networks, Comedy Central, Spike and TV Land. Variety wrote up Canter's announcement but couldn't be bothered to report that the guy who had that job for decades -- Tony Fox -- was cleared out to make way for her. With reporting like that media companies don't even need to hire PR people to spin.

We can. Having beaten back investor Carl Icahn's effort to take over Lions Gate, the movie and television production company now has to show investors it is prepared to grow. Bloomberg looks at Lions Gate and what's ahead.

Inside the Los Angeles Times:
Pioneering television producer Hal Kanter died at the age of 92. Patrick Goldstein talks politics with Clint Eastwood. Kenneth Turan on "J. Edgar."

-- Joe Flint
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This entire post is from the LA Times Company Town here for the latest in entertainment industry news and information from the LA Times.