Thursday, April 10, 2008 Launches Daily Online TV Show

We are curious to see what it looks like in terms of content and production values...


From Media Post - SHEKNOWS.COM, AN ONLINE DESTINATION for women, announced the kick off of "Daily Dish" (, an originally produced daily TV show focused on women's interest topics related to entertainment, sex, style, food, home, parenting, pregnancy and health.

SheKnows is currently one of the top 10 properties for women online and joins a select few as one of the only women's sites (such as iVillage, with an online daily TV show. Each daily video segment is 3-5 minutes in length and coincides with full-length editorial coverage within the site.

Tuesday, April 8, 2008

Rumor: Has Vudu raised more than $40M?

From Venture Beat - We’ve heard a rumor that Vudu, a startup seeking to bring internet video to your television, has raised more than $40 million of funding. Our source says hedge funds are the likely backers.

I emailed the Santa Clara, Calif.-based company a few minutes ago, and I’ll update if they get back to us.

We haven’t heard of too many other fundings in this area, mainly because the market seems dominated by big players like Apple and Comcast. Vudu already raised $21 million back in 2005, so if the rumors are true, the company will have a pretty big war chest.

We’ve heard good things about the company — whose big selling point appears to be the speed of its peer-to-peer technology, and whose service launched last September — but it will definitely need all the money it can get to take on challengers such as Apple TV and Netflix (which later this summer is releasing a living room box in conjunction with LG). Earlier this year, Vudu dropped the price of its set-top box from $399 to $295 in a pre-emptive move to take on the newcomers.

The company may also be looking to expand its offerings soon: Recently, chief executive Mark Jung said he’s willing to “experiment with everything, save just two core things: the user interface and the ability to transmit high-quality video on the turn of a dime,” and that Vudu will be trying out ad-supported content soon, according to NewTeeVee.

Online Sales to Grow 17 Percent in '08

Nine years ago, companies like invested heavily in the idea that people would do a huge amount of shopping online. Unfortunately, the time for e-commerce going mainstream had yet to come. This study, however, indicates that not only are consumers comfortable making purchases online, they are increasingly changing their purchasing behaviors in unprecedented ways.


From The New York Times - Online spending is expected to rise a robust 17 percent this year, despite a sluggish economy that has bruised many brick-based retailers, according to an annual survey to be released Tuesday.

Retail sales online, excluding travel purchases, are set to grow to $204 billion in 2008 from $174.5 billion last year, fueled by sales of apparel, computers and autos, according to a survey conducted by Internet analysis firm Forrester Research for, the online arm of the National Retail Federation trade group. That projection is below the 21 percent increase seen in the prior year, but industry officials attribute it to the maturing of the business, not the sluggish economy.

E-commerce ''is clearly the bright spot in retailing,'' said Scott Silverman, executive director of

The upbeat report contrasts with the outlook for many traditional retailers, which have been paring down store growth and closing shops as they struggle with consumers who don't feel like spending amid higher gas and food costs, a housing slump and a weaker job market. The exceptions are discounters and wholesale clubs, as shoppers turn to less expensive stores. | Read full article

Monday, April 7, 2008

Xbox 360's Wiimote Accessory Is Already In Development, Coming This Generation

This is hardly a surprise. Kudos to Nintendo!

From Gizmodo - Microsoft's been working on a Wiimote-esque controller due to come out late this year—development started on it all the way back in Summer '07—but the whole process has been "a colossal clusterfuck." Here's what MTV news knows courtesy of their exclusive source, who sketched out what it looks like above.

The 360 Wiimote shaped very much like the Nintendo Wii's Wiimote and has a speaker, microphone, four LED lights, A/B/X/Y face buttons, an analog stick and an underside trigger. The Wiimote, on the other hand, doesn't have a Microphone and has a D-pad instead of an analog stick. It's being worked on by Rare, who are trying to come up with a "unified interface and look for the controller." The current problem Microsoft's having is between marketers and designers. The former wants it just about exactly like the Wiimote so they can match them on spec sheets and lure game developers into porting over Wii games onto the 360. The designers want it to be even more feature-rich than just the Wii, and describe it as Halo, Gears and Forza "in waggle form." | Read full article

Joost faces TV squeeze

From The Times Online - JOOST, the online television service launched with a fanfare last year by the founders of internet telephony firm Skype, is preparing for a major retrenchment after failing to attract enough users and top-flight broadcasting rights.

The company is expected to rein in its global ambitions to focus solely on the US market.

Set up as an antidote to YouTube by Niklas Zennstrom and Janus Friis after they sold Skype to online auctioneer Ebay, Joost has been overshadowed by the success of the BBC’s iPlayer, and in America, Hulu, a collaboration between NBC and News Corporation, the ultimate owner of The Sunday Times.

It has struggled to convince media and sports companies to sell it global rights, which are normally parcelled out to broadcasters country by country. | Read full article

Sunday, April 6, 2008

Amazon Accelerates Its Move to Digital

As the digital media marketplace grows (the one pay-per access/download model, not the Bit Torrent world), Amazon is a viable option. Having tried the Amazon MP3 store, I can say it doesn't compare to the simplicity of iTunes, but it has huge potential. With interface and functionality tweaks, it could be very easy to use. Why don't companies put the effort into product development that they should? It's the digital marketplace equivalent of going into a store and not being able to find the checkout.

From The New York Times - Over the last 14 years, has mastered the art of getting physical copies of books, music and movies to customers through the mail. Now it is trying to add to its repertoire in a hurry.

The overall market for entertainment and information is inexorably going digital. One day, most music, movies and perhaps even printed words will be sent as bits over the Internet instead of in bulky boxes. More than half of the company’s $15 billion in sales last year came from CDs, DVDs and books, shipped from Amazon’s 30 cavernous distribution centers around the world. | Read full article

"Free" is Killing Us--Blame The VCs

This posting is right on the money. So - digital entrepreneurs, how can you make money online if ads only work for larger sites? Go free and hope to be acquired?

From The Silicon Alley Insider - I believe it should be possible to start a small business and to have a small number of profitable customers, and to earn a living. From there, it should be possible to work hard, and to grow your business into something substantial. Until recently, this was the American way, and it applied to technology as much as to any other business. But no more.

In today’s “free” world, in most online business categories, it is inherently impossible to start a small self-sustaining business and to grow it. This is because in the digital world, advertising, the only real revenue stream, cannot support a small digital business. If businesses were based on the idea that people paid for services then small companies could succeed at a small scale and grow. But it is very hard to charge when your competition is free.

The economic problem with advertising businesses is that advertising businesses do not work without really significant scale. In the past, a good product or service could address a niche and succeed without being a home run. Today, a home run is required because if you do not reach a massive scale, advertisers are uninterested. And even if advertisers could be attracted, CPMs are so low that the revenue would be inconsequential. Small Internet businesses don’t work. | Read full article