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Jan 5 2006
Small but Venerable Independent Sells to YB
Clarke Directory Publishers, an established and well-regarded niche independent publisher operating in Southern California, apparently has decided the time is right to cash in. Yellow Book issued a press release today saying it has acquired Clarke for an undisclosed sum. Clarke was established in 1950 and produces four directories with distribution topping 800,000.
Blog: Global Yellow Pages Blog
 
posted by  Charles Laughlin at  16:09 | permalink | comments [0] | trackbacks [0]



Jan 5 2006
2006 Tech Resolutions
There has been no shortage of 2005 recaps and 2006 predictions and recommendations for tech and media companies. However Business 2.0�s �Futureboy� Erick Schonfeld penned one yesterday that caught my attention. It�s a series of resolutions for Google, Apple, Microsoft, Amazon and Disney. Mobile devices and applications take center stage in his recommendations, as does video�a theme we are seeing everywhere, including CES, where the curtain is being pulled back on many such products as I type.

Interestingly, Schonfeld�s recommendations for Yahoo! mirror our own thoughts on the company�s trajectory, and the comments of Bradley Horowitz, Yahoo!�s director of media and desktop search, when I spoke to him in the fall.

From Schonfeld:

Yahoo (Research) helped make 2005 the Year of RSS (Really Simple Syndication) by incorporating it into MyYahoo, Yahoo News and even Yahoo Mail. Yahoo also championed the Media RSS format for video, which helps video producers upload content into Yahoo�s video search engine. With those pieces in place, Yahoo should now take the next step and turn My Yahoo into a hub for Internet TV. Just like an RSS reader pulls together blogs and news feeds, My Yahoo could be a single place to find, subscribe to and watch video (or listen to audio podcasts) from anywhere on the Web, whether it�s the most-viewed clips on YouTube, Saturday Night Live skits or Yahoo�s own Kevin Sites in the Hot Zone.


Or as Horowitz put it to me:

You might have different categories on the page, so at the top of the page you might have �What�s Hot� kind of things that we�re bringing to you because they are general popular interest and most people want to watch them. You might also have �My Subscription,� so you might subscribe to various shows like �Six Feet Under� and you want to see when a new episode is available for viewing.

Sounds an awful lot like RSS and My Yahoo!, which Horowitz agreed with. This brings the personalization strategy that Yahoo! is pushing across its network to yet another place. Such a video hub for users will also create valuable ad inventory that can be tied to Yahoo!�s already existing local ad network, and targeted acutely based on content pulled in and location.

Schonfeld agrees that a user-friendly video hub�akin to My Yahoo!�is what we need to ignite �the Internet TV era.� Yahoo! could be just the company to do it. But we�ll hold off on that prediction until tomorrow, when we see what type of video product Google�s Larry Page unveils during his CES keynote.

Blog: Local Media Blog
 
posted by  Mike Boland at  15:13 | permalink | comments [0] | trackbacks [0]



Jan 5 2006
Listen to Live CES Keynotes Online II
As promised, SEW has a link to listen to Terry Semel�s Keynote at CES tomorrow. They also cover Bill Gates� keynote last night. A further roundup of keynote coverage and other CES news is posted below by my colleague Greg Sterling, and there will surely be lots more CES news to come� has a link to listen to Terry Semel�s Keynote at CES tomorrow. They also cover Bill Gates� keynote last night. A further roundup of keynote coverage and other CES news is posted below by my colleague Greg Sterling, and there will surely be lots more CES news to come�
Blog: Local Media Blog
 
posted by  Mike Boland at  15:03 | permalink | comments [0] | trackbacks [0]



Jan 5 2006
Reported Google Video Announcement
Here�s what the WSJ (sub. req�d) has to say re Larry Page�s forthcoming CES keynote:

Google Inc. plans to announce Friday that it will begin allowing consumers to buy videos from major content partners through the Google site and will also roll out a new downloadable bundle of software for consumers that could heighten Google�s competition with Microsoft Corp., according to people familiar with the matter.

Under the major upgrade to Google�s video-search service, consumers will be able to pay to download and view videos, such as television shows, on their computers from Google content partners such as TV companies, people familiar with the matter say. Google plans to announce partnerships with some major players tomorrow, including CBS Corp. and the National Basketball Association, these people say. By virtue of Google�s huge presence online, the move could place Google in competition with other emerging powers in Internet distribution of video such as Apple Computer Inc.

More later ...

Blog: Local Media Blog
 
posted by  Greg Sterling at  09:27 | permalink | comments [0] | trackbacks [0]



Jan 5 2006
CES News Frenzy
Lots of news and releases are coming out of CES. Among the many news items worth noting is the Skype-Netgear Wi-Fi phone�no PC required.

The phone will work:

� ... in a home, office, cafe, open public hotspot, or any open municipal wireless access point being deployed worldwide. The Skype experience remains the same, in that users can make free domestic and international calls, as well as host conference calls and chat, with other Skype users anywhere in the world, and to non-Skype users for a small fee. With this device, headphones or USB phones plugged into a laptop or PC are not required."

We wrote about VoIP and its potential impact on the directory listings database, PPCall and other related subjects here.

There are other such devices that enable consumers to use VoIP without going through a PC. Commoca offers one such device. AOL TotalTalk offers calling with an adapter on users� current phones. These are just two examples of ways that consumers can tap VoIP without having to use a USB mic/headset to make calls via IM (which is a barrier to mainstream adoption).

What�s particularly interesting about the Skype-Netgear phone is that it�s wireless and will work at home, Starbucks or anywhere there�s a high-speed connection. (Now think about municipal Wi-Fi and it starts to get really interesting.)

The next generation of traditional cellphones will have Wi-Fi embedded (they�ll have to). Consumers won�t want to carry multiple phones. But what if there were one phone�maybe with a handset I could take with me and one that I left at home�that worked anywhere there was a Wi-Fi connection and on the wireless networks of the major carriers?

You start to get the picture.

In late 2006 or early 2007, the stars will start to align for VoIP and more U.S. consumers will begin adopting�unless PSTN telcos start lowering prices to prevent it. But Wi-Fi calling is where cable may have an advantage over telcos in the TV-data-voice-wireless bundled features war ("triple-quadruple play").

More to come. Here�s a roundup of VoIP-related announcements (so far) at CES.

_______________

Related:

Coverage of Gates� �digital lifestyle"/IPTV/Vista discussion and announcements here and here and here.

Blog: Local Media Blog
 
posted by  Greg Sterling at  08:17 | permalink | comments [0] | trackbacks [0]










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