Digital Daily Dozen: 11/17/15

Pandora Bought Rdio Because Ads Aren’t Enough to Offset Content Costs (Ad Age)  

Pandora plans to open a subscription-based, on-demand version of its music-streaming service because advertising revenue may not be enough to offset its ballooning content acquisition costs. Pandora announced that it has agreed to acquire technology from streaming music service Rdio for $75 million in cash.   

Cross-Device Tracking Creates New Level of Privacy Concerns, FTC Says (Ad Age)    

An  FTC workshop that tackled privacy amid tracking consumers across devices suggested that regulators are struggling to keep up with emerging marketing tech. “While tracking itself is not new, the ways in which data is collected, compiled stored and analyzed certainly is,” FTC Chairwoman Edith Ramirez said at the workshop. 

Paris Attacks Reignite Debate Over Encryption Practices by All Tech Companies (Recode)

The terrorist attacks on Paris have reignited the debate over the use of encryption in everyday communications, pitting companies like Apple, Google and Facebook against efforts by law enforcement agencies to detect terrorist threats and track down possible attackers.  

How Islamic State Teaches Tech Savvy to Evade Detection (Wall Street Journal)  

Terror groups have for years waged a technical battle with Western intelligence services that have sought to constrain them through a web of surveillance. The Paris attacks, apparently planned under the noses of French and Belgian authorities, raise the possibility that Islamic State adherents have found ways around the dragnet.   

Anonymous hackers declare war on Islamic State after Paris attacks (Reuters)

Anonymous, a loose-knit international network of activist hackers, is preparing to unleash waves of cyber attacks on Islamic State following the attacks in Paris last week that killed 129 people, a self-described member said in a video. A man wearing a Guy Fawkes mask appeared on a video posted to YouTube.    

Apple and Amazon in German investigation over audiobooks (FT)   

German antitrust authorities are investigating Amazon and Apple for an agreement about selling audiobooks, targeting two companies that usually find themselves on opposing sides of competition battles. Amazon, through its subsidiary Audible, is the exclusive provider of audiobooks to Apple’s iTunes store in Germany.    

NYT Quietly Pulls Article Blaming Encryption in Paris Attacks (Inside Sources) 

Questions about how the terrorists behind Friday’s attacks in Paris managed to evade electronic surveillance have fueled speculation in Europe and in the US from intelligence experts, lawmakers and the press — including the NY Times, which quietly pulled from its website a story alleging the attackers used encrypted technology. 


In its latest release of funding for rural broadband experiments, the FCC awarded $16 million to four carriers for rural broadband deployments in territories previously served by price cap carriers. The $16 million will bring broadband service to 2,451 census blocks across five states, reports the FCC.   

DORGAN ON USF REFORM  (The Hill- Commentary)

A generation ago, sparse population, high costs and rough terrain presented challenges for connecting small towns, farms and outlying areas to traditional telephone landlines. Today, we see many of the same barriers in deploying and operating robust, high-speed broadband networks. But we don’t have a choice.   


There is a Regulatory Revival underway at the FCC, a revival which one leading industry executive described as a “war on infrastructure investment.” Indeed, over the past 7 years the FCC either has reversed, or is threatening to reverse, many of the most significant bi-partisan deregulatory accomplishments of the past two decades. 

Brands Look Far and Wide for a Niche in Virtual Reality (NY Times)

Even in virtual reality, it seems, there will be no escape from advertising. As more devices come to market with the aim of making virtual reality more commonplace, advertisers and agencies hope virtual reality will be the next great medium for persuading consumers to buy stuff.  

Next phase for billboards: Eye tracking (Media Life)

Out of home ratings can tell you what billboards have been seen. But they can’t tell you which ones actually resonated with passersby, an insight that would be incredibly useful for media people in creating responsive billboards. Just imagine being able to predict what would engage people.   

Study: Streaming Penetration ‘On Par’ With Cable  (Multichannel)

Offering another view of the impact being felt by over-the-top video services, a new study from multiscreen video tech company Clearleap found that the penetration of streaming services is “on par” with traditional cable TV.