Category Archives: Comcast

Nielsen meets with big clients to discuss TV and Internet measurement solution

Nielsen Co. has wrapped an important meeting with 80 clients from companies that included CBS, NBC, ABC, Microsoft, Time Warner, Comcast and Hulu where the topic was how best to move ahead with developing a single-source system that will measure both television and Internet media consumption in the home.

The push from some clients is to get such a system up and running by late 2010. Nielsen has been pushing for the middle of 2011. Putting the squeeze on to move up the timeline are cable giants Comcast and Time Warner Cable, according to a person at the meeting. Both are pushing new online viewing services and have lined up several major cable networks to provide content.

Currently, Nielsen has people meters in about 18,000 homes. It’s those meters that provide the ratings responsible for billions of dollars’ worth of ad sales. As more and more people start to watch content online on sites such as Hulu or YouTube, content providers and distributors want solid numbers to sell advertising. Nielsen has been testing measuring for both TV and Internet viewing in about 395 homes. Nielsen measures online usage in a separate sample that tracks about 200,000 people. If you are wondering, like I was, why the Internet sample is so big, that’s because while Nielsen only tracks about 100 channels, it follows 20,000 websites.

There was a “broad agreement” of adding Internet measurement in the households that already have people meters,” said Sara Erichson, Nielsen’s president of Media Client Services, who ran the get-together at the Harvard Club in midtown Manhattan.

The challenge, Erichson said, is finding homes that will allow for both the people meter and the software that goes inside the computer to measure Web watching.

“Tens of billions of dollars are transacted off of these numbers; we want to make sure that by asking people to do both, you don’t have fewer people saying yes,” she said. “Can we do it faster without negatively impacting quality” is the issue, she added

Magazines seek clever social media ‘community’ route to market – create an online virtual kiosk

Time Inc is gathering U.S. magazine publishers to start a jointly run digital newsstand next year that would deliver their titles to mobile devices like increasingly popular electronic book readers.

Time Warner is leading the effort, and has approached other big U.S. magazine publishers including Conde Nast and Hearst Corp, a source with knowledge of the joint venture but no authorization to speak about it told Reuters.

Users of the service would get a digital newsstand where they could buy subscriptions, potentially by the month or year or in other forms, the source said.

The venture would let magazines that have been hurt by a sharp decline in advertising in revenue in recent years get their titles in front of people who increasingly are turning to devices like’s Kindle and Apple’s planned tablet device to read books, magazines and newspapers.

It also would charge readers for their content, something that newspaper and magazine publishers have found nearly impossible to do after more than a decade of being on the Web.

The stakes are high for publishers to find more ways to make money online. Print ad revenue is falling across their titles, forcing some to close and putting the long-term futures of others in doubt. Many reports have speculated that Time Warner could even sell its magazine division, though nothing is imminent, sources have previously told Reuters.

A formal announcement of the venture could come within a month, and the service is expected to launch sometime next year, the source said, adding that many financial details still must be worked out.

The idea originated under John Squires, a Time Inc executive who earlier this year was charged with coming up with ways to help Time Inc and its titles such as Time magazine, Sports Illustrated, People and Fortune make money online as the print business declines.

Parent company Time Warner has been trying to do this in other ways, including the ambitious effort with Comcast Corp to work on “TV Everywhere,” a program to extend cable programming to the Internet.

The idea bears some resemblance to the Hulu online TV project run by General Electric’s NBC-Universal, News Corp and Walt Disney’s ABC, as well as private equity company Providence Equity Partners.

Officials at the publishers were not immediately available for comment. The Media Memo and blogs and the Financial Times newspaper reported the news earlier on Friday.

People already can use the Kindle to read periodicals, but many newspaper publishers do not like the arrangement because Amazon in many cases claims 70 percent of the revenue from those subscriptions.

The joint venture would let publishers set their own terms for dealing with their readers, increasing their leverage with device makers.

Time has held conversations with publishers, and the publishers in turn have had conversations with several device makers to see what kinds of technology would be most attractive for the publishers, the source said.

One important element, the source said, is finding ways to make the act of turning pages on an electronic device as easy as it is with paper. Another is finding ways to present photographs in ways that are as attractive as they appear in many glossy magazines. Yet another would be adding video.

It is unknown whether newspaper publishers would be involved. If they are not they bloody well should be – this might be the only way to get away for charging for online content without alienating the billion people who are currently online

FCC To Go Ahead With Net Neutrality Rules?

The Head of the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) has given the clearest signal yet that the concept of Net Neutrality will be fully adopted by the current Obama Administration much to the chagrin of the telecommunications companies.

The chairman of the FCC, Julius Genachowsk, has reaffirmed in a speech at a prominent Washington think tank that “There are few goals more essential in the communications landscape than preserving and maintaining an open and robust internet”.

Opponents of Net Neutrality want the web traffic to be treated differently like a toll road, depending on whether the traffic has been paid for or not and on the type as well. 

The debate which raged back in 2007 in the US is likely to spill over in the UK as the popularity online video on demand services explode, putting even more pressure on internet infrastructure here.

The head of the US Internet Regulator was adamant that the internet not only needs to be fostered but also, and perhaps more importantly, protected. Central to the debate will be the extension of the four current broadband principles known as the four Freedoms, to wireless internet

Two new rules will be proposed for adoption by the five members currently sitting on the FCC panel; the first one would prevent internet service providers from traffic managing bandwidth either by slowing the content or blocking it altogether.

Then there’s the fact that ISPs across the pond will need to become more transparent about how they manage their networks traffic. President Obama openly supported the concept of Net Neutrality and has the backing of major web companies like Google, Ebay and Amazon.

However, expect the battle to be fierce and merciless as big telecommunications companies like Comcast or AT&T will deploy all their arguments and lobbying machinery to defend their rights to do business as they want.
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