Starz Plans Its Own Stand-Alone Service to Compete With HBO and Showtime (Ad Week)
After previously insisting that it was “far away” from developing a stand-alone service to reach viewers without a cable subscription, Starz has reversed course. The premium cable network is now following HBO and Showtime’s lead in preparing its own OTT app.
How Quartz is Bringing Storytelling, Interactive Design to Sponsored Content (Media Shift)
Quartz’s popularity and digital-first design is a model for 21st century news distribution and coverage. But so is its revenue model. Quartz is known in the industry for charging exceptionally high advertising rates to its clients, which represent mostly luxury brands like Rolex and Lexus, as well as companies like United Airlines.
New AT&T “unlimited” mobile data deal targets DirecTV crowd (USA Today)
Unlimited wireless data plans are an endangered species, but an unlimited plan is at the center of a new offering from AT&T, which is trying to knit its TV and wireless offerings. Under the plan, you can pay $100 a month for unlimited data, talk and text on a single smartphone if you have or sign up for DirecTV or AT&T U-Verse TV.
LIBRARIES’ INCREASING ROLE IN BROADBAND ADOPTION (Benton)
With library systems increasingly prioritizing equitable access to the Internet and digital literacy training, the role 21st century libraries serve in promoting digital inclusion has become more prominent. The focus on increasing broadband access and use is happening locally and nationally with libraries increasing digital equity.
NEW NETWORK NEUTRALITY BILL (The Hill)
House Republicans will resume their nearly yearlong effort to nibble away at the edges of the FCC’s Internet rules. The House Commerce Committee’s technology subcommittee is slated to debate two bills regarding net neutrality — one that would prevent the government from regulating Internet service prices.
ONLINE SALES TAX EFFORT (The Hill)
Lawmakers and industry groups who support online sales tax legislation are hopeful that they can get it passed despite a setback in Congress. Advocates for the sales tax measure had wanted to link it to a ban on taxing Internet access. But lawmakers did not take that step, instead crafting a conference report for a customs bill.
Cordillera Stations Restored On Dish Network (TV News Check)
Cordillera Communications announced that its stations have been returned to Dish Network following a three-day blackout. The contract impasse followed months of negotiations over carriage terms, including the fees the satellite company must pay Cordillera to retransmit its signals.
FCC Bullish On Airwave Auction (The Hill)
Television stations face a Tuesday deadline to apply to participate and FCC officials have been aggressive in trying to shore up broadcaster confidence in the auction’s never-before-tried model to reallocate their spectrum to the wireless industry.
FCC Reports More Than 30 Million Americans Have No Access to Acceptable Internet Speeds (Inside Sources)
According to the FCC’s latest “Broadband Progress Report,” 34 million Americans still lack access to high-speed, wired Internet connectivity. That number accounts for 10 percent of all Americans nationwide, primarily in rural areas, compared to only 4 percent who lack access to a wired broadband service provider in urban areas.
Malware alone didn’t cause Ukraine power station outage (Network World)
A new study of a cyberattack last month against Ukrainian power companies suggests malware didn’t directly cause the outages that affected at least 80,000 customers. Instead, the malware provided a foothold for key access to networks that allowed the hackers to then open circuit breakers that cut power.
CRB Kicks Off Three Ratemaking Proceedings (Comm Law Blog)
A lot of attention has been devoted to the Webcasting IV decision which the Copyright Royalty Board announced on Dec. 16 (and promptly revised on Dec. 24). (Don’t be embarrassed if you’re not up to speed on all this; it was the middle of the holidays, after all.) The ink on that decision isn’t even dry. And yet, the CRB is back at it again.
Apple Music Tops 10 Million Subscribers (Recode)
Apple Music has surpassed the 10 million subscriber mark. Rival Spotify said last June that it has 20 million paid subscribers for its streaming music service. Apple launched its service in June with a free trial. In October, Chief Executive Tim Cook announced that it had converted 6.5 million people to paying subscribers.
Can Twitter ‘Police the Madness’ on Its Platform? The Fallout From the Yiannopoulos Controversy Suggests Not. (Recode)
Milo Yiannopoulos is a British writer who works for the right-wing online tabloid Breitbart. And until Friday evening, his Twitter account was verified. That night, the social network revoked his blue check, because of — according to an email it sent Yiannopoulos that he posted on Twitter — “recent violations of the Twitter rules.”