Weekly Review: More new TV gadgets and music services

Another week saw another new TV product released.  This time, it was Google’s turn who announced a forthcoming ‘Android TV’ Set Top Box.  This follows Amazon’s recent Fire TV, of which Android TV will resemble, except the voice-recognition and that it’s Google and likely knows a lot about you.  I do share Steve Smith‘s confusion over Google’s move, given it will run directly against the Google Chromecast, which while only a first generation device has been a game changer in my household. Gigaom go into greater depth here about Google’s ultimate goal with the new TV product.

Sticking with Google, the company announced a surprising used-car dealer tactic by selling its Google Glass for $1,500 for one day only – this Tuesday (April 15th, which maybe coincidentally is US Tax Day).  I am sure these will sell quickly, despite the price.

http://bits.blogs.nytimes.com/2014/04/11/one-day-only-google-offers-glass-to-anyone-in-the-u-s/?

Google hope to attract doctors to test Google Glass this week

On the Music service front, this week was Samsung’s turn with the announcement of a new deal with Deezer, which will be provided for free for six months to Europeans who purchase the new Samsung Galaxy S5 phone.  Of course free music services (from Spotify, Rdio, etc) begs the questions as to how musicians are supposed to make money.

In news that surprised no one in US Radio, Nielsen Audio announced at last week’s NAB conference in Las Vegas that they will integrate broadcast and webcast (streaming) ratings.  Only a few technical details were released, announcing that the listening data will include the device (web player, mobile app, etc), the listener attributes (age, location either in-home or out-of home), and importantly de-duplication between broadcast and webcast.  Triton Ratings have already moved into the local webcast metrics reporting and their monthly reports confirm the gigantic lead in streaming that Pandora has built in recent years.  It will be fascinating to see how Nielsen plays in tandem between traditional broadcast clients and new webcast clients, a topic I had blogged about here a couple of years ago when Arbitron, who were later bought out by Nielsen, first announced its Total Audience Measurement metric.

Finally, I’d like to recommend a thoughtful piece from Medium about how the newspaper industry is thinking how best to archive yesterday’s news.  And if you are history buff with another spare moment, I would wholeheartedly recommend a quick browse at the stunning NewYork TimesMachine.

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The week in review: February 21st

Below is a quick summary of the top media stories from the past seven days, as well as new insights on media usage.

whatsapp

At this rate, no one will regard 2014 as a quiet year for media.

This week,  Facebook announced its acquisition of WhatsApp for a mere $19 billion.  Here’s one explanation as to why Facebook pulled off this surprise and here’s HBR’s perspective, which I think hits the nail on the head when it points out that unless you [Facebook] create an alternative, someone else will do it for you.  The waves created by this acquisition appeared to take some of the media spotlight away from the competitive concerns about Comcast’s plan to purchase Time Warner Cable, which are further magnifying the concerns about a US broadband crisis, something I can testify to myself after this past week on the home-front.

The Sochi Winter Olympics  are reaching their grand finale this weekend, which might be just as well for US audiences as ratings and interest starts to decline.  So far, interest has remained lower than the 2010 Vancouver Winter Olympics.  However, Jimmy Fallon made a strong start as the new host of the iconic Tonight Show.  Mike Bloxham opines that he expects to see the new host perform well at bridging the generation gaps.

If you haven’t seen it already, eMarketer has put out it’s 2014 Key Digital Trends report and PewInternet has identified six types of Twitter conversation with a report to explain it all.  Speaking of Twitter… the most eye-catching stat of the week: half of all tweets about Television are about Sports, yet in the US, Sports makes only 1.2% of all TV programming.

Another top newspaper – the Boston Globe – is moving to a metered pay-wall, which will make their digital traffic, not to mention their future revenues, from this point forward very telling.

For now at least, Brits continue to watch telly on the television.  A new Thinkbox study shows that the average viewer watched only three minutes of TV on mobile devices; it’s hard to envision this number not increasing sharply soon. Meanwhile, the BBC World Service announced plans to launch a teenage news bulletin – similar to BBC Radio 1’s NewsBeat –  to gain younger audiences – they already reach 192 million people globally.

Did I miss any other major stories this week?  I’m sure I did.  If you think so, please do add them in the comments section below.