NIELSEN has released the results of a major study of online viewing habits. The study found that women are twice as likely as men to tune into network television on the web. Men 18-34 are twice as likely as women to watch user-generated content on YouTube and other video-sharing sites. The study found that 73% of regular Internet users have watched online video.
GOOGLE said that iPhone users conduct 50 times more Internet searches than other mobile users – underscoring the major revenue potential for mobile advertising on well-designed Internet-capable phones. The company expects to see mobile searches surpass fixed Internet searches within a few years. However, this week Google lost a major contract with T-Mobile, who will now use Yahoo for its mobile searches.
KEVIN MARTIN has issued a letter to the NCTA asking and “strongly encouraging” cable operators to voluntarily carry low power TV stations to help them survive the digital transition. LPTV stations are not required to switch to digital next year, and yet the FCC is hoping that most analog TV’s will have digital-to-analog convertor boxes. If the transition is successful, this would leave LPTV stations broadcasting an analog signal that no one can receive. Martin’s request comes in addition to his plan to grant full-power status to 500 Class A Stations, which would grant them cable carriage rights. The NCTA has asked for help from legislators in fighting off the new regulations.
COMCAST has reportedly bought PLAXO for $175 million, according to Silicon Valley blog ValleyWag. Plaxo is a mixture of an online address book and social network that already provides services to Comcast customers. Rumors had circulated that Google made the acquisition, but ValleyWag claims to have spoken with sources close to the deal. Comcast has been making some major online moves of late, buying Fandango and launching video search tool Fancast.com.
APPLE has released the AppleTV “Take 2” — a software update that brings HD movie rentals to the AppleTV box. HD rentals cost $3.99 for library titles and $4.99 for new releases. Users have 30 days to watch a rental and 24 hours after beginning a movie before it is automatically deleted.
CLEAR CHANNEL‘s sale to two private equity firms for $19 billion has been approved by the Department of Justice. In related news, Clear Channel is backtracking on its experimental new advertising initiative. The “Less is More” program was designed to use incredibly short commercials that, in theory, would bring in higher rates and give listeners a more satisfying listening experience. Since launching the program overall revenue has shrunk and prices for the short ads have been lower than expected. The company has been emphasizing the program less while adding more commercial breaks, which runs counter to its original plan.