Wednesday, June 17, 2009

FACEBOOK has 70.28 million US users, MySpace ? Twitter ?

***The elbow-tossing among the media elite is about to get even sharper, thanks to
Dan Abrams.
We hear certain top-tier advertisers have gotten a sneak preview of the former MSNBC anchor's new Web site, Mediaite, which promises, among other things,
"a proprietary mathematical algorithm (using a host of factors) to rank the relevance of hundreds of top media figures in various categories."
Marketers could use the site to measure Tina Brown versus Arianna Huffington, or Diane Sawyer versus Katie Couric, or Jim Cramer versus Jon Stewart.
So, is it time to start sucking up to Abrams?
He'd only say, "I will not be the one making any of those decisions."
***Eric Hippeau, managing partner of SoftBank Capital and former CEO of Ziff-Davis, will replace current Huffington Post chief executive officer Betsy Morgan as the company's new CEO.
Hippeau has worked with the Huffington Post since SoftBank Capital led a company financing initiative in 2006.
***This year's NBA Finals averaged 14.3 million viewers over the five-game series, down from last year's average of 15 million viewers.
Though Sunday night's Game 5 between the Los Angeles Lakers and Orlando Magic drew the second smallest audience of the series,
the five finals games are the five most watched telecasts since the end of the TV season May 20.
***Americans are spending less time with family members just as social networks like Facebook and Twitter are booming, says a study by the Annenberg Center for the Digital Future.
"It's not like television, where you sit with your family and watch."
The Internet is mostly one-on-one.
***Facebook, after eclipsing News Corp.'s MySpace in global users last year, now leads its social-networking rival in the United States as well, according to ComScore.
Facebook had 70.28 million U.S. users last month, topping MySpace's 70.26 million.
Twitter was third, at 17.6 million.

It was the private voicemail message not meant to be shared and yet ended up being heard by nearly everyone Alec Baldwin's angry April 2007 tirade against his daughter, Ireland,
accusing the then-11-year-old of being a "rude little pig" who needed to have her "ass straightened out" after she had "humiliated me for the last time."
Only now, as the Emmy-winning 30 Rock star admits in a candid interview with Playboy for its July/August issue (on newsstands and online Friday), after the phone message was exposed,
he contemplated killing himself.


***Cue the theme music: Dick Van Dyke is writing a memoir.

The star of "The Dick Van Dyke Show" and such films as "Mary Poppins" and "Bye, Bye Birdie" will tell of his long career in a memoir scheduled to be published in the fall of 2010 by Harmony Books, which announced the release Monday.

***Guerrilla P.R 2.0, the new, updated version of the best-selling P.R. book of all-time, will be released in audio version in September by Blackstone Audio Company.


(Entertainment lawyer; Professor of American Studies at Cornell):

An informative state-of-play piece on contemporary music, Ripped suggests that technology is making it possible for a new generation of artists and fans to mess with the record business.

Hollywood studios don't have much to crow about these days, but they can take some comfort in a new report on the state of their business by consulting giant Pricewaterhouse Coopers.

In an annual survey that will be released Tuesday, the accounting giant projects that worldwide consumer spending in filmed entertainment --

a category that includes how much consumers spend at the box office, on home video rentals and purchases and on movie downloads --

will increase at a compound annual rate of 4% to $102 billion worldwide in 2013 from $83.9 billion in 2008.

That may fall short of the government's bailout of AIG, but it still seems like a lot of clams to us.

The biggest increases -- shouldn't be too surprising -- will occur in Asia Pacific and Latin America markets, which will grow annually at 5.7% and 4.5%, respectively.

North America will grow by a more modest annual rate of 3.4%, the study estimates.

Driving the growth will be an upswing in spending at the box office, which is estimated to grow from to $37.7 billion from $28.3 billion in the next five years,
fueled mainly by a growing number of 3-D releases that generate higher prices and ticket sales than do standard 2-D films.

Although the credit crunch has delayed the rollout of digital screens, there are nearly 50 movies set for release in 3-D in the next two years, the report notes.

Additionally, the authors predict that the much-publicized falloff in DVD sales -- which studios have relied on for years to prop up the movie business --

will be offset by a boost from the sale of Blu-ray high-definition videos.

Still, home video's share of entertainment spending is shrinking in North America and is projected to fall to 53% by 2013 from 61% in 2008.

During the same period, the combined share for video-on-demand, online subscription rentals and digital downloads will double to 20%, a clear sign of long-term shifts in how consumers buy entertainment.

Said Deborah K. Bothun, one of the report's authors:

"As the younger generation spends more time online, studios are going to have to be more agile in how they distribute content."

-- Richard Verrier

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