CBS will announce a new experimental mobile advertising venture, which provides customized ads depending on a user’s location. The targeted ads will appear on the mobile versions of CBS News and CBS Sports using GPS technology from Loopt. Users with GPS-capable phones will be asked to opt-in to the service to ease concerns over privacy.
GOOGLE is planning a joint venture with a Chinese online music company to offer free music downloads in China. Universal is on board, while EMI, SONY BMG and about 100 smaller labels are in discussions to join the service. The move is an attempt to compete with Baidu.com, which dominates the Chinese search market and provides links to free (unlicensed) music downloads.
MICROSOFT unveiled several early-stage digital advertising products that may become part of its online strategy. The company presented a tool that can analyze a video clip and find the best spot to place an on-screen “bug” without interfering with the clip’s content. Another tool analyzes a clip’s audio track and serves a contextually related ad. Microsoft also unveiled multiple tools meant to make keyword advertising more successful but downplayed the importance of search in favor of targeted display and in-video advertising. In related news, Microsoft has reached a deal that will bring European users of MSN Video clips and music videos from MTV Networks.
THE WGA has scheduled membership meetings on both coasts this Saturday to update members on the status of negotiations. The Guild will solicit feedback on the pending terms for a new contract with the AMPTP, which are said to be similar to those accepted by the DGA.
BOB IGER expressed doubts that the upfront would continue, calling the practice “an anachronism.”
VERIZON said it will not comply with Hollywood requests to begin policing its network for pirated material, citing cost and privacy issues.
THE FCC has moved the 700 MHz spectrum auction into Phase 2, reducing the amount required to outbid a competitor. Bid frequency is expected to increase.
AOL has purchased buy.at, an online affiliate marketing network.
NOKIA has launched gaming service N-Gage and a new media sharing site as part of the company’s attempt to shift into the software services market.