Because every American
should have access
to broadband Internet.

The Internet Innovation Alliance is a broad-based coalition of business and non-profit organizations that aim to ensure every American, regardless of race, income or geography, has access to the critical tool that is broadband Internet. The IIA seeks to promote public policies that support equal opportunity for universal broadband availability and adoption so that everyone, everywhere can seize the benefits of the Internet - from education to health care, employment to community building, civic engagement and beyond.

The Podium

Blog posts tagged with 'Content'

Friday, May 17

Keeping Up With the Bingers

By Brad

As people are increasingly wanting to consume their entertainment at any time and in any way, content creators are experimenting with ways to deliver it. At paidContent, Laura Hazard Owen writes about an unexpected issue one content provider is facing since taking their product online:

The original idea behind soap operas was that daily episodes would keep viewers hooked and advertisers happy. But few people have time to devote to mid-day TV any more, and as TV viewing shifts online, the model is changing.

It’s been just two and a half weeks weeks since popular soap operas One Life to Live and All My Children were reborn as online-only shows — but production company Prospect Park has already decided to cut back on the number of new episodes released online each week. The change in schedule, the company claims, is due to the fact that viewers are “binge-watching” instead of watching one episode a day, and this makes it too hard for them to keep up.

Wednesday, February 27

The Arrival of “Six Strikes”

By Brad

Yesterday, the Copyright Alert System (also known as “six strikes”) went into effect, which is aimed at curbing illegal sharing of content online. The new rules give ISPs the power to slow — but not outright sever — the Internet connections of repeat offenders. But as Alex Wilhelm of The Next Web reports, at least one provider won’t be slowing Internet speeds:

AT&T… is taking a different route, and will not slow customer Internet connections. Instead, through its later ‘strikes’ the company will require users “to take an extra step to review materials on an online portal that will educate them on the distribution of copyrighted content online,” according to a statement provided to TNW by AT&T.

Wilhelm goes on to note that Verizon plans to slow speeds for infringers to 256Kbps. Comcast, the nation’s largest Internet provider, has yet to announce its plans.

Monday, June 18

Government & Google

By Brad

Via Brendan Sasso of The Hill comes new data from Google on the number of government requests the company is receiving to censor online content worldwide:

The latest report shows that Google received more than 467 court orders to take down more than 7,000 items in the second half of last year. The company said it complied with about 65 percent of the court orders.

Google also received more than 561 informal requests, such as calls from police officers, to take down more than 4,979 items. It complied with 47 percent of the informal requests.

Monday, June 11

Ratings & Streaming

By Brad

In yet another example of just how big streaming video has become, The Hill‘s Brendan Sasso reports the major networks have agreed to bring their content rating system to online content:

ABC, CBS, Fox, NBC, Telemundo, Telefutara and Univision agreed to begin displaying the rating information on their websites by December.

The ratings, which range from TV-Y for “all children” to TV-MA for “mature audiences only,” typically appear in a black box in the first few seconds of an episode.

As Sasso notes, over 60 percent of kids watch shows away from the TV.

Friday, March 09

New Media & Old Media

By Brad

There have been two interesting collisions between old media and new media this week. First up, Amy Chozick of the New York Times reports that Netflix —  the overwhelming leader when it comes to streaming content online — is thinking about partnering a traditional cable provider:

Over the last several weeks, [Netflix CEO Reed] Hastings and his top lieutenants have met with major cable operators to discuss a way for Netflix to appear on monthly cable bills, according to people who are familiar with the meetings but are not authorized to discuss negotiations publicly.

A partnership with cable providers, along with an ambitious slate of original series, would put Netflix one step closer to competing with premium cable channels, like HBO, Showtime and Starz, that offer original series and movies for a monthly fee.

Meanwhile, NPR’s Mark Memmott reports that one of the co-founders of the Internet’s major players has taken over one of Washington D.C.‘s oldest players:

Saying that he’s convinced “the demand for long-form, quality journalism is strong in our country,” Facebook co-founder Chris Hughes tells NPR’s Steve Inskeep that he’s buying The New Republic.

That’s a magazine, as Steve says, which is four times older than its new owner. Hughes is 28.

Friday, March 02

Growing Pains

By Brad

In the latest battle between traditional content providers and the Internet, a streaming video startup has quickly hit a major roadblock. As paidContent’s Jeff Roberts reports:

Two weeks ago, media mogul Barry Diller announced an ambitious cloud-based TV service that streams over-the-air channels to internet devices for $12 a month. This week, broadcasters offered their opinion in the form of a lawsuit that seeks to shut off the service which is set to go live on March 14.

Fox, Univision and PBS filed a complaint in Manhattan federal court that claims Aereo infringes their copyright and that the upstart’s technology fails to qualify for a legal loophole.

Aereo works by taking over the air signals that are free to everyone and retransmitting them to individual “dime-sized antennas” that let consumers watch the content on internet devices.

With more and more people viewing video online — and cutting their cable cords in the process — there are sure to be a lot more scrimmages like this in the future.

Wednesday, March 16

A Netflix Production

By Brad

According to new data from research firm the NPD Group, a whopping 61% of all online video is now being served by Netflix.

But even though Netflix is outright dominating the streaming video market, Brian Stelter of the New York Times reports the company is branching out — specifically, helping create content of its own:

Netflix may be on the verge of acquiring its first original television series, “House of Cards,” a drama to be directed by David Fincher.

The negotiations were first reported Tuesday afternoon by Deadline.com, which said that the two-season, 26-episode commitment would be valued at more than $100 million.

With Netflix’s runaway success not going unnoticed by other players — including the very content providers the company currently pays a hefty sum to stream movies and TV shows — this could prove to be a very smart move.

Friday, February 25

Overhauling the Algorithm

By Brad

Last night, Google announced it was changing its search algorithm. While the company tweaks their search results all the time, this one seems like a substantial overhaul. From the official Google blog:

Many of the changes we make are so subtle that very few people notice them. But in the last day or so we launched a pretty big algorithmic improvement to our ranking—a change that noticeably impacts 11.8% of our queries—and we wanted to let people know what’s going on.

At GigaOm, Mathew Ingram says the changes are in an attempt to limit search results from so-called “Content Farms” — sites that generate a ton of low-quality content to generate advertising revenue:

Google hasn’t specifically said that the changes are aimed at content farmers — in fact, the term doesn’t appear anywhere in its blog post, which simply refers to “low-quality sites” — but Search Engine Land says the rollout is almost certainly aimed in that direction. According to Google, the changes affect about 12 percent of the company’s search results, which is a fairly large proportion for such a change, and an earlier revision last month targeted so-called “scraper” sites, which simply copy content verbatim from other sites.

Wednesday, February 16

The Problem of Competing With Free

By Brad

PricewaterhouseCoopers has released a new study on online privacy. At GigaOm, Janko Roettgers digs into the findings:

Respondents signaled some willingness to pay, but not much — and the vast majority said that they’re going to continue to hunt for free loot. However, people don’t seem to mind ads, so the Hulu model might actually working to curb piracy.

Streaming clearly dominates video piracy, with 82 percent of respondents saying that they get their TV fare as streams, and 69 percent streaming pirated movies online. 62 percent admitted to downloading TV show episodes, and 52 percent do so with movie titles.

The full study is available at PricewaterhouseCoopers.

Friday, January 14

A Fight on the Horizon

By Brad

The fight between Comcast and Level 3 Communications over content delivery fees may turn out to be the first major tech battle post the net neutrality war. From Todd Spangler of Multichannel News:

The dispute has implications for all Internet network providers and content companies. If Level 3 prevails in convincing regulators that Comcast shouldn’t be allowed levy fees on networks that offload a disproportionate amount of data, it would change the economic model for how traffic is exchanged on the Internet.

Level 3 argues that the FCC’s network neutrality rules, adopted Dec. 21 in a 3-2 vote, explicitly forbid Comcast and other residential broadband providers from charging anyone a “toll” to reach consumers.

In its fight with Comcast, “we may decide to proceed under the Open Internet Order, or we may decide to proceed otherwise,” Level 3 executive vice president and assistant chief legal officer John Ryan said in an interview. “Our objective is to get to the point where the parties have agreed on a fair and reasonable interconnection regime that doesn’t require a toll for the delivery of content to Comcast eyeballs.”

Monday, October 25

“A Blind Spot”

By Brad

Recently, Cablevision and the FOX Network have been duking it out over “carriage rates,” and as a result of the fight, FOX has blocked all of its content from the cable provider’s customers.

These types of disputes aren’t rare, but in this case, FOX took an extra step and blocked all of its content from Cablevision customers trying to access it on the online video site Hulu (of which FOX is part owner). The move has garnered the attention of the FCC, and as Farhad Manjoo of Slate writes, it also highlights just how murky the entire net neutrality debate really is:

For a host of legal and economic reasons, we haven’t traditionally regulated content companies—a category that includes not just studios like Fox but also record labels, newspapers, and Web sites like Google and Facebook (not to mention Slate) . In general, content creators are allowed to distribute their products however they want—it would be absurd for the government to force the Washington Post to sell its paper on newsstands in Boston, say, or for the Feds to require the Beatles to offer their music on the iTunes store.

Online media outlets already impose a host of restrictions on who can get what, when. If you live outside of the United States, you can’t get Hulu. If you live in the United States, you can’t get Spotify. The novel thing about Fox’s Hulu block was that it was aimed at a particular ISP, not a whole country. But what’s wrong with that? Fox’s entire corporate mission, after all, consists of selling content to people who pay for it. Shouldn’t it have the right to block its shows from a set of customers it believes aren’t paying enough?

All of this suggests a blind spot in the neutrality debate. Activists worry that if broadband companies begin charging content companies for access to Internet lines, only big, established sites with deep pockets will be able to afford a place online. But the Fox incident suggests that we should probably be just as concerned about the opposite problem—that content companies might start charging broadband companies to access their content. This would turn the Internet into something like cable TV—your ISP would carry, say, Hulu so long as it paid the site’s owners a carriage fee. The cost of those fees, of course, would be passed along to every one of the ISP’s subscribers, whether they watch Hulu or not.

Thursday, August 06

Download Your Daily (For a Price)

By Brad

As traditional journalism models continue to crumble, giants in the industry are scrambling to make up lost revenue. Now one of the biggest giants of all, Rupert Murdoch—owner of the New York Post and the Wall Street Journal, among other publications—is declaring the era of free online reading is coming to an end. Reports Business Spectator:

News Corp chairman Rupert Murdoch told analysts in a conference call after News Corp released its full-year results that the traditional newspaper business model has to change.

“The digital revolution has opened many new and inexpensive methods of distribution,” Mr Murdoch said.

But it has not made content free. Accordingly we intend to charge for all our news websites,” he said.

The Wall Street Journal already charges users to read online content, but while the paper may seem like a good blueprint moving forward, there’s a catch. People are okay paying to read the WSJ online because it’s been that way since the beginning. Convincing readers to start paying for content they’ve traditionally received for free is a whole different ball game.

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