Digital Daily Dozen: 11/18/15

Here’s a Look at How YouTube Became an Entertainment Powerhouse (Ad Week)

Ten years ago, when YouTube made its debut, the video-sharing site was better known for its mindless cat videos than for hosting slickly produced content teeming with talent. Today, social stars like PewDiePie and Bethany Mota are engaging millions of cord-cutting millennials that Hollywood and marketers are eager to reach.   

End Sought to Fantasy Sites in New York; Yahoo Is Said to Be Added to Inquiry (NY Times)

The New York attorney general sought an injunction to keep DraftKings and FanDuel from operating there and was said to have expanded his investigation to other companies operating daily fantasy sites.   

Facebook Partners With Airtel to Bring More Internet (And Facebook) to Africa (Recode)

Facebook is pushing further into Africa on its quest to bring the world Internet access — and find its next billion users. The social network announced a partnership with Airtel to bring Facebook’s Free Basics app to 17 African countries by March, nine of which will be entirely new territories for the service.   

Tech firm Crowdpac launches new political crowd-funding tool (USA Today)

Convinced you’d do a better job than any of the outsiders now running for political office? On Wednesday, a Silicon Valley company Crowdpac will launch a new platform that allows novices and old political hands alike to gauge whether there is enough financial support for their bids.   

U.S. doctors group calls for drug advertising ban (Indianapolis Business Journal) 

Drug companies should stop advertising directly to consumers, a major U.S. doctors group said, declaring that the ads often push patients to more expensive treatments and inflate demand for therapies. The American Medical Association called for an end to TV commercials and magazine spreads that are used to pitch prescription drugs. 

Lawsuit Targets Big Political Super PAC for Infringing Paul Anka Song (Hollywood Reporter) 

For years, Republican candidates have been targeted by musicians for using songs on the campaign trail without permission. But get ready for a fight where Citizens United meets copyright law because the songwriter behind the Paul Anka 1975 hit, “Times of Your Life,” brought a lawsuit against Club for Growth’s Super PAC.   

Witness Launches Ethical Guidelines for Using Video in Human Rights Reporting (Media Shift) 

A NY Times’ headline of user-generated content reads: “The Videos That Are Putting Race and Policing Into Sharp Relief,” showcasing the power of eyewitness video. On the flip side, some of the tweets that erupted last summer, when the video of ISIS members beheading freelance journalist James Foley surfaced, show the more sinister side.   


If meeting the 39-month deadline to repack spectrum following next year’s auction becomes a problem, Chair Tom Wheeler said, the FCC will “work it out” with stations. “This is not a drop-off-the-edge-of-the-table situation…. I totally agree on the importance of local community broadcasting and why it has to remain after the auction.”   

Broadcasters Fear FCC Vacant-Channel Plan (TV News Check)

The commission’s proposal to reserve up to two UHF channels for unlicensed devices in the shrunken, post-auction TV band could hinder the adoption of ATSC 3.0 and hurt low-power TV stations’ chances of survival, according to NAB and other broadcasters.   

Botnet Siphoning Billions From Digital Ads (Ad Age) 

A newly discovered botnet nicknamed Xindi could cost advertisers nearly $3 billion by the end of 2016, according to a report released today by ad-fraud prevention firm Pixalate. 

Vizio Hit With Privacy Lawsuit Over Connected TVs (Media Post) 

Smart TV manufacturer Vizio was hit with a potential class-action lawsuit alleging it violates a federal video privacy law by sharing information about people’s viewing histories with ad tech companies and data brokers. The complaint comes less than one week after ProPublica reported that Vizio tracks television viewers by default.   


Rep Joe Barton (R-TX) wants the federal government to shut down the Internet — or at least, the parts of it that are being used by the Islamic State. “They are really trying to use the Internet and all the social media to intimidate and beat us psychologically,” he said during a House committee hearing.    

FCC CAN’T SHUT DOWN WEBSITES (Broadcasting & Cable)

FCC Chair Tom Wheeler shot down suggestions that the agency could take down websites used by the Islamic State in Iraq and Syria and other terrorist groups. Rep Joe Barton asked whether the FCC has the authority to block such websites and social media accounts. “We cannot underestimate the challenge,” Wheeler responded.