Wednesday 5.22: News to Know

/ May 21, 2013


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Microsoft Reveals New Xbox One With Live TV Guide, Media Apps and Group Video Skype

Microsoft announced its new Xbox — which will be called Xbox One — at a press event in Redmond, Wash. Tuesday, putting strong emphasis on TV and living room entertainment with a heavy focus on live TV. Don Mattrick, President of Interactive Entertainment at Microsoft, called the new device an “all in one home entertainment system.” Microsoft said that the new device will launch “later this year,” but didn’t give a firm launch date or any information on what the Xbox One will actually cost. The new device will offer direct access to live TV, which users can start with a simple voice command. The console can switch between games, music, live TV and apps through voice commands as well as through new, universal gestures. For example, to leave a full-screen live TV experience users grab an imaginary floating bar with both hands and then pull these hands together along the bar. It looks like the device will always be on and listening for the phrase “Xbox On” to launch into full-blown voice and gesture recognition.





Fast Company





Videos to Watch Now

Anthony Weiner Enters NYC Mayoral Race With YouTube Video

After much speculation, the former congressman — who resigned in 2011 amid a sexting scandal — posted a video on YouTube late Tuesday officially announcing his run for mayor of New York.




Deals & Signings

DPAA Taps Enhanced TV Ad Vet Frey as New Chief

Barry Frey, a long-time cable and interactive television executive who helped pioneer the field of “enhanced television,” has joined the Digital Place-Based Advertising Association as president-CEO. He is the fourth TV sales exec to helm the advertising trade bureau since it was founded six years ago as the Out-of-Home Video Advertising Bureau, and the first that is not a woman. He succeeds Sue Danaher, who resigned from the DPAA to take a senior sales position at DPAA member Adspace Digital Mall Network. Frey’s appointment signals that the DPAA is sticking with the position that it isn’t out-of-home media, so much as it is a new form of out-of-home “video” that competes directly with conventional television and online video, but with the added advantage of proximity. DPAA members range from operators of video programming networks located at gas station fuel pumps to high-rise office building elevators, and generally pitch advertisers and agencies on the notion of reaching audiences with video programming in locations that can directly influence their decisions based on their locations.



Former Yahoo! Shashi Seth to Join Tribune as President of New Digital Ventures Unit

Shashi Seth, former top product exec at Yahoo!, has joined the Tribune Company as president of Tribune Digital Ventures, according to sources.



Streaming Video News

Seinfeld, ‘House of Cards,’ ‘Burning Love,’ Among 2013 Webby Winners

In a year when “House of Cards” dominated the conversation for a couple of weeks in February, and had many people openly discussing if it would lead to a disruption within the linear television distribution model, it was only natural to see the political drama take home The Webby Special Achievement Award. The award was presented by series star Robin Wright to the man who plays her onscreen husband, Kevin Spacey, and show producer Dana Brunetti. In true Webby form, when accepting the award, Spacey’s five-word speech was: “The Oscars should do this.”



Digital Music News

A Month After Launch, Have We Forgotten About Twitter #Music?

A little over a month ago, Twitter launched #Music, its take on what a truly social music discovery service might look like. It was strategic, leveraging Twitter’s enormous user base and vast amount of data, and thanks to a well-timed acquisition, saw some of the best product design the company has ever produced. When it launched, the press flocked to it as the second coming of Vine, a polished way for Twitter to shake up a new space and create an extra source for ad revenue in the bargain. If nothing else, this was bound to shake up the world of mobile music-streaming. By now, that buzz is a distant memory. Last week #Music fell out of iOS’s top 100 free music apps; it currently sits at #113, shoulder-to-shoulder with (Twitter, for their part, did not respond to requests for comment.) Even worse, for a natively social company like Twitter, is the deafening silence. If people are using it, they’re staying very quiet about it. Failure is hardly a taboo in the startup world, but coming this soon after a much-feted launch, it raises the obvious question: can #Music survive in one of the hottest, most competitive spaces in the industry?




Rick Astley rules YouTube comedy?

Who’s winning YouTube Comedy Week? The professionals or the natives? It’s hard to tell so far. But a mix of traditional comedy chops and Rick Astley magic seem to be a winning combination.



Stats to Start

Ad Agencies See Effectiveness in Online Video

The online video advertising ecosystem has gained both prominence and complexity, but that might be because buyers have found that the ads really work. A March 2013 survey of US advertising agency executives conducted by online video ad platform BrightRoll found that the vast majority of respondents (75%) said online video ads were equally or more effective than traditional TV. Nine out of 10 also thought online video ads had equal or greater impact than display ads.



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