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Tuesday, July 23, 2013

News, Views, Links, Updates and More

News, Views, Links, Industry updates...

SAG-AFTRA In The News 7/22/13

[Rita Moreno to Receive 2013 SAG Life Achievement Award
Hollywood Reporter

By Hilary Lewis
Rita Moreno will receive SAG-AFTRA's Life Achievement Award at the 2014 SAG Awards, the union announced today. Moreno, 81, will be the 50th recipient of the award designed to recognize career achievement and humanitarian accomplishment. 

Butte hosts one-of-a kind labor school: Labor union experts, historians come for course in Mining
The Montana Standard

By Renata Birkenbuel
Even while in the throes of labor, Butte union stalwarts can have some fun while networking among similar souls this week at Montana Tech.
For the first time since 2006, historically union top-heavy Butte plays host to the 57th Grace Carroll Rocky Mountain Labor School at Tech all week, from July 21 to 26. 

Music Biz: Today’s Tech Era Is Gonna Run Out of Gas
Daily Variery

By Bob Lefsetz
I recently watched the film “Downloaded” (pictured), the story of Napster. Which seems like ancient history, even though it occurred little over a decade ago. 

It's Official: Paid Downloads Are Down 2.3 Percent In the US...
Digital Music News

By Paul Resnikoff
This is officially the year that downloads stopped accelerating, and potentially, gave way to conditional ownership and streaming models. According to half-year stats shared by Nielsen Soundscan with Digital Music News this weekend, paid downloads are slumping 2.3 percent at the half-point, meaning the period from January 1st through June 30th. 

CBS Releases TV Data Cross-Platform
Media Post

By Wayne Friedman
In an effort to provide a more complete picture of all TV viewing, CBS now says it will periodically release audience data across all platforms for its TV shows -- including video on demand and online streaming.

Single-sponsor station takeovers spread.
Inside Radio

By Un-credited
Listeners to “Hot 97” WQHT, New York heard a lot more music and way less commercials in afternoon drive one day last week.   It’s the latest example of how advertisers are coming to radio with new ideas to reach consumers and — at least in this case — it can mean a lot less clutter for stations and listeners.

The White House’s Toothless Anti-Piracy Agreement

By Alex Kantrowitz
When Washington gathers some of the biggest companies in digital advertising to combat online piracy, one would think the combined influence of the players involved could effect real change. But a partnership announced Monday between the White House and eight ad networks – including those run by AOL, Google and Microsoft – may do little to change the status quo, say the very people involved.

Why Apple, Google and Intel May Not Disrupt the TV Business After All
Daily Variety

By Ted Johnson
As speculation centers on the ways that Google, Apple and Intel could disrupt the cable TV business, there’s also a fair degree of pessimism that the new players will lead to something consumers crave: Lower monthly bills.

Aereo as Bargaining Chip in Broadcast Fees Battle
New York Times

By Brian Stelter
As another television programming blackout looms, this time because of a high-stakes negotiation between the CBS Corporation and Time.

TV Foresees Its Future. Netflix Is There
New York Times

By David Carr
Apple and Google were back making waves in the television world last week, with reports suggesting they were renewing efforts to use technology to transform the box in your living room. But Nexflix already has.

Netflix Users Favor TV Over Movie Content
Media Post

By David Goetzi
Networks looking to capture more dollars from Netflix and Amazon Prime appear to have a lot of runway ahead, according to new research. GfK data shows Netflix users preferred TV content to movies by a 77% to 23% margin. Amazon Prime had a greater spread at 79% to 21%.

Advertising: Pushing the Right Buttons; Apple’s Move Into TV Relies on Cooperation With Industry Leaders
New York Times

By Brian Stetler
When Apple wanted to revolutionize cellphones, it held hands with AT&T. The partners fought endlessly, but the public loved the finished product: the iPhone.

In One Year, Nearly Double the Number of Ads Streamed Online
Media Post

By PJ Bednarski
Last June, you’ll recall, we were just getting pretend excited by the prospect of the presidential race, and if I’m not mistaken, most of us were not even aware of Psy or “Gangnam Style.”

Sure, We Like Spotify--But Thom Yorke Has A Good Point
Fast Colabs

By John Paul Tiltlow
In case your Internet's been down, the Radiohead frontman has joined his creative co-conspirator Nigel Godrich in decrying Spotity and the economics of streaming services like it. He’s not just being grumpy. 

Spotify Research: Holdouts Suffer Far Greater Piracy, Lower Relative Sales...
Digital Music News

By Paul Resnikoff
The research report, authored by well-respected economist Will Page (now an employee of Spotify), comes on the heels of a high-profile pullout from Thom Yorke of Radiohead.  And what it says is this: not only is there no negative correlation between streaming and downloading (ie, 'cannibalization'), but streaming holdouts typically suffer much higher levels of piracy, and far lower relative levels of paid downloads.   

The CEO of Ticketmaster Calls for Musicians to Unionize Immediately
Digital Music News

By Paul Resnikoff
The reason why artists are constantly getting exploited by Spotify, Pandora, labels, promoters, and everyone else is simple: they aren't organized in any fashion.  Which means they are always victims of constant exploitation based on their constant fragmentation, according to the CEO of Ticketmaster and a top executive at Live Nation, Nathan Hubbard.   

Vevo Scores With Unexpected Covers; New series generates views, Miracle Whip sponsor
Ad Week

By Mike Shields
Here's the premise behind Vevo's new original series Unexpected Covers. Take a musical artist or group one end of the musical spectrum, like say Passion Pit, and have them perform a cover of a song from a more popular group, in their own genre-bending style.

Uncommon Content out to make Web shows that click on TV
LA Times

By Ryan Faughnder
In the typical life of a viral video, a reality show mishap becomes a YouTube clip, which then reaches the masses online.
Uncommon Content, a New York filmmaker, is betting it can do the opposite. 

As Legal Battle Continues, N.C.A.A. Ends Tie With Electronic Arts
NY Times

By Steve Eder
For years, the N.C.A.A. heard concerns that the video games bearing its name and logo infringed on the rights of student-athletes. The animated avatars often bore a resemblance to actual players, with similar attributes and physical characteristics, even the same jersey numbers.

Greyhound offering on-board entertainment system

By D. Seyler
The system is called BLUE, and it will be available to inter-city passengers on Greyhound buses, giving them access to a wide variety of entertainment options, plus internet access.

DGA Leader a Rare Win for Hollywood Diversity (Analysis)
Hollywood Reporter

By Jonathan Handel
The first person of color to lead the Directors Guild -- as well as its first openly gay president -- joins a small but growing club of executives like Warner Bros.' Kevin Tsujihara, SAG-AFTRA's David White, CAA's Bryan Lourd and NBC's Bob Greenblatt.

Popular New York Recording Studio Facing Labor Lawsuit
Hollywood Reporter

By Eriq Gardner
A former employee brings a class action lawsuit against Chung King Studios for exploiting cheap labor.Justin Henry's internship allegedly didn't going well.

Tax Lawyer: Hollywood Needs Federal Incentives Now
Hollywood Reporter

By Schuyler M. Moore
When states compete for film and TV productions, writes author and practicing attorney Schuyler M. Moore for THR, everyone loses -- and the U.S. is at risk of more shoots fleeing to foreign shores.

What to Expect From the Next FCC Chairman (Analysis)
Hollywood Reporter

By Alex Ben Block
Partisan maneuvering could delay Obama-nominee Thomas Wheeler's confirmation by months, but the 67-year-old's experience and views have been praised by both sides of the aisle.

Amazon Studios Seeking Concept Videos

Daily Variety

By Dave McNary
Amazon Studios is adding an option for its content development arm to include short concept videos for possible development. The three-year-old studio will begin on Thursday to accept “concept videos” as a way to submit an idea for a commercial theatrical feature film. 

More of the Same on TV: Broadcasters Think Inside the Box

Daily Variety

By Brian Lowry
Not long ago, a producer privately insisted that the major networks were fast approaching a state of panic. Their audience is steadily dwindling, with new technologies encroaching on the ad sales model, shaking their business to its very foundations.

Pandora's Westergren Weighs In On Royalties


By Un-credited
So far this week, the members of Pink Floyd and Cracker/Camper Van Beethovan frontman David Lowery have publicly ripped Pandora for its royalty rates. On Wednesday, Pandora issued a response to the allegations, and musicFIRST weighed in as well.

Photo agencies put focus on radio

Inside Radio

By Un-credited
The moral of this story is watch closely which photos are placed on station websites.  In the past week Midwest Communications and Clear Channel were the latest radio groups to be hit with lawsuits by National Photo Group for alleged copyright infringement of its pictures on station websites.  

CNN Radio lives on — in Spanish.

Inside Radio

By Un-credited
While CNN abruptly shut down the remaining remnants of its English-language radio news operation this week, CNN en Espanol Radio is alive and well.  In fact it’s expected Stardome Media Group will expand its offerings under the CNN banner in the coming months.

TV Everywhere Reaches 45% of Homes, Cord-Cutting Still Not Major Factor

Media Post

By Daisy Whitney
So is cord-cutting a thing yet?
That’s been the debate for the last few years.

Time Warner, Dish, Take 2 Opposite Approaches To Television Viewer Ad-Skipping

Media Post

By John R. Osborn
I’m angry. I’m an angry customer of Time Warner Cable because, without warning or explanation, my longtime television provider has removed the automatic “jump-back” function that has always existed as part of my DVR subscription.

Aaron Borns Named Head Of Pop / Rock Marketing At RCA


By Un-credited
Aaron Borns has been named Head of Pop / Rock Marketing for RCA Records. Borns previously held the role of SVP of Marketing at RCA.

English radio picks up Hispanic listeners.

Inside Radio

By Un-credited
As the primary driver of U.S. population growth, young Hispanics present a fertile opportunity for radio.  Hispanics who primarily speak English are growing faster than those who mainly speak Spanish, according to Arbitron data.

How Netflix, HBO May Benefit From Illegal Password-Sharing

Daily Variety

By Andrew Wallenstein
There may be good reason HBO and Netflix have professed little concern over customers who lend subscription passwords to those who don’t pay the monthly fees to access their programming.

Yahoo Unlikely to Stay in Hulu Bidding (Exclusive)

Daily Variety

By Rachel Abrams
When the short list of bidders for Hulu emerges next week, Yahoo is not expected to be among them. Yahoo’s initial bid for Hulu has been described as low, according to one individual with knowledge of the negotiations. 

Court Sends Man to Jail as Spain Steps up Battle Against Piracy

Hollywood Reporter

By Pamela Rolfe
It sentenced the administrator of three web sites linking to pirated content to more than a year and a half in jail. MADRID - A court in the Spanish city of Valencia on Friday sentenced the administrator of three web sites linking to pirated content to more than a year and a half in jail. 

To read the entire article, click here

Nevada Puts $20 Million Down on Film and TV Tax Credits

By Sean J. Miller
Thanks to Nicolas Cage, more film and TV productions could be leaving California. The "Leaving Las Vegas" actor, who lives in Sin City, helped lobby for the passage of the Nevada Motion Picture Jobs Creation Act, which Gov. Brian Sandoval (R) signed into law this week.

Is Pandora ‘radio’? A judge will decide.
Inside Radio

By Un-credited
Broadcasters have been debating whether Pandora is “radio” for years.  That debate will now move to the courtroom where a decision by a federal judge will impact how much Pandora pays to songwriters. 

Justice Department Probing Internet TV Interference (Report)
Hollywood Reporter

By Eriq Gardner
The United States Justice Department is investigating whether cable and satellite distributors are illegally interfering with efforts by companies like Intel to launch virtual cable networks, according to a report in The New York Times.

Apple, Amazon Mulled Deal to Control Content

By Shara Tibken
A high-level Apple executive admitted his company's deal with publishers caused some e-book prices to rise, giving weight to the government's accusation that Apple's machinations hurt consumers.

L.A. City Council and film industry again clash over green bike lanes
LA Times

By Richard Verrier
The L.A. City Council and the film industry are once again on a collision course over a green-colored bike lane downtown.
City officials painted a 1.5-mile strip of Spring Street neon green in 2011 for a bike lane as part of a larger effort pushed by Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa to make streets safer and more inviting to cyclists.... 

Land a Role by Appearing on a Reality TV Show

By Sean J. Miller
From Broadway to Hollywood to Beijing,  a growing list of productions are turning their casting calls into a talent show. Stunt casting used to mean well-known actors shoehorned into unlikely roles (think Marlon Brando playing Jor-El in the original “Superman”).

Trailer Fatigue: Moviegoers Less Thrilled With In-Theater Previews
Daily Variety

By Todd Spangler
American movie auds are substantially less likely to watch trailers in theaters than they were two years ago, while trailer viewing online and on mobile devices has jumped over the same time period, a Nielsen National Research Group study found.

Magna Forecasts Slower Ad Growth in 2013
Broadcasting and Cable

By Jon Lafayette
Global TV advertising growth is expected to slow to 2% in 2013, according to leading media buying agency MagnaGlobal.
Magna's new forecast puts total TV ad dollars for 2013 at $196.5 million, making it the leading media category with a 40% share. 

Forecast sees big payoff for Google's mobile ads
Associated Press

By Michael Liedtke
Google will sell more mobile advertising than the rest of its rivals combined for the second straight year, according to a new forecast that highlights the expansion of the Internet search leader's moneymaking prowess from personal computers to smartphones and tablets.

3 Ways Broadcast Networks Will Try to Survive Summer (Analysis)
Hollywood Reporter

By Lacey Rose
When CBS unveils its high-concept drama Under the Dome on June 24, viewers will get an opportunity to feast their eyes on something they rarely, if ever, see. The Steven Spielberg-Stephen King drama not only is a scripted original available during a period historically reserved for broadcast repeats and reality, but it's being made at a price point on par with an in-season show rather than at a slashed summer budget.

NBC Executive: Network Has Two Years To Turn Things Around
Wall Street Journal

By Kathy Shwiff
NBC’s new executive team has about two years to turn around the network’s primetime schedule, NBC Entertainment president Jennifer Salke said Thursday.

Sources: DirecTV will acquire Hulu by month’s end, and why the deal makes sense
Pano Daily

By Michael Carney
Several sources with knowledge of the ongoing Hulu acquisition talks tell PandoDaily that a deal is imminent and that DirecTV is the likely victor. The acquisition price will be written with a “B,” according to our sources, but just barely.

Cameras in Your Cable Box?
Ad Week

By Katy Bachman
Cameras in your cable box? No way, said Rep. Michael Capuano (D-Mass.), who has introduced a new bill that would stop technology and TV video services from monitoring viewing using cameras or microphones built-in to set-top boxes or DVRs in order to analyze viewing behavior and serve up targeted ads.

The Future of 3D TV and Why ESPN Dropped Its Pioneering Channel (Analysis)
June 13 – Hollywood Reporter

By Carolyn Giardina, Adrian Pennington
When ESPN officially announced on Wednesday that it would discontinue its pioneering 24/7 3D channel before the end of the year, it hardly came as a surprise.
The decision had been rumored, and ESPN acknowledged in a statement that there was “limited viewer adoption of 3D services to the home.” 

America’s changing face has radio ramifications.
Inside Radio

By Un-credited
In a Census milestone, the government says there are now more white Americans dying that being born.  At the same time populations of blacks, Hispanics and Asians continue to grow –

Radio part of Myspace relaunch.
 Inside Radio

By Un-credited
As the pioneering social networking site Myspace attempts to come back from the dead, music and streaming radio are part of its revival strategy.  Myspace will offer genre and artist-specific music channels created by users from a catalog of 53 million songs then shared among members on its desktop website and mobile app.

Venerable Format of ‘NewsHour’ Struggles With New Era of Media
June 13 – NY Times

By Elizabeth Jensen
For many of its 38 years, the sober studio-interview format of the “PBS NewsHour” has served the program well, drawing viewers and corporate underwriters alike. But with a deep financing crisis forcing layoffs and other cutbacks this week, some public television employees believe that format — and a general unwillingness to embrace the digital realities facing journalism — may be jeopardizing the program’s future.

Can Local News Take On Watchdog Role?
Daily Variety

By Michelle Salemi
Can local TV news really fill the watchdog role in the 21st century that local newspapers did in the 20th? CBS news anchor Bob Schieffer advanced the theory at this year’s National Assn. of Broadcasters conference in Las Vegas, but other media analysts are skeptical. 

ABC News Suffers Setback in 'Pink Slime' Defamation Lawsuit
Hollywood Reporter

By Eriq Gardner
Beef Products Inc., the South Dakota-based boneless-lean-beef giant that is suing ABC News for $1.2 billion over "pink slime" reports that allegedly have caused the company harm, has experienced a small legal success.

ABC News to seek dismissal of 'pink slime' lawsuit
Associated Press

By Un-credited
ABC News says it intends to ask a circuit court to dismiss a South Dakota beef processing company's defamation lawsuit now that it has been moved from federal court.

Gannett's TV deal for Belo worries media watchdogs
LA Times

By Joe Flint
Gannett Co.'s proposed acquisition of Belo Corp. is the latest in a slew of deals in the television industry. Last week, Media General acquired Young Broadcasting to create a company that will own 30 TV stations in 27 markets. In April, Sinclair Broadcast Group acquired ... 

Gannett/Belo: Station Consolidation Nation
Broadcasting and Cable

By Michael Malone
While Sinclair has been getting all the ink for its intense M&A strategy of late, racking up around $2 billion in TV stations over the last year and a half, Gannett's acquisition of Belo, with its $2.2 billion price tag, eclipses Sinclair's staggering run of deals.

Gannett Now a Broadcast Company, More or Less

By Ken Doctor
Today, you’d rather be a broadcasting company than a newspaper company. For Gannett, the Belo purchase —$1.5 billion in cash (plus assuming debt of  $715 million) for 20 largely geographically complementary properties that makes it the fourth largest local broadcast company in the country — changes Wall Street’s perception of what kind of company it is.

Largest Newspaper Owner In Nation Apparently Doesn’t Want To Be In Newspaper Business
Buzz Feed

By Peter Lauria
Gannett, which owns the USA Today, Detroit Free Press and 80 other daily newspapers, spent $2.2 billion to buy a TV station company Thursday. Gannett now owns 43 TV stations and gets more revenue from broadcasting than newspapers.

Here’s How Even Veteran Performers Can Stage a Digital Revival
Daily Variety

By Bob Lefsetz
John Fogerty has a new album out, “Wrote a Song for Everyone.” Here’s the way he should have done it.

Apple Is Now Sending Non-Negotiable iTunes Radio Contracts to Indie Labels...
Digital Music News

By Paul Resnikoff
That's according to several indie label sources, all of whom have agreed to share top-level contract details with Digital Music News.  These are bigger labels you've definitely heard of, along with a number of smaller labels and indie distributors.

A New Legal Battle: Who Owns ‘Happy Birthday to You’?
Daily Variety

By Ted Johnson
It may come as a surprise to many that “Happy Birthday to You,” perhaps the most popular song in the English language, falls under copyright, or at least Warner/Chappell Music claims that they own it.

Ad crowd-sourcing start-up Tongal will now do music videos
LA Times

By Ryan Faughnder
Tongal will now use its platform ... and production for music videos as online streaming ... James DeJulio, Tongal’s co ... officer, argues this will be a big opportunity

Sources: FCC Won't Require Video Captioning of Internet Clips
Broadcasting and Cable

By John Eggerton
The FCC won't require programmers to close-caption video clips from TV shows when they play on the Internet, but it will encourage them to do so, and it will delay implementation of the captioning requirement for playback devices like DVD and Blu-Ray players.

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