Digital Daily Dozen 2/19/16

Vizio’s smart TVs are snitches, lawsuit alleges (USA Today)

An Indiana man is suing TV manufacturer Vizio for collecting data about his viewing habits and selling it to third parties. He also contends that people did not consent to and or know about Vizio’s practices, which are facing several legal challenges in other states.    

Sony Entertainment Chief Sees Music Moving to Phased Release, Like Movies (Recode- Video)   

Sony Entertainment CEO Michael Lynton said Adele’s decision to withhold her newly released album “25” from free music streaming services may eventually become the industry’s norm. Lynton predicts the music business will one day borrow from the approach film studios have used for years to release movies — “windowing.”    

FCC Advances Proposal to ‘Unlock’ the Set-Top Box (Inside Sources) 

The FCC voted to advance rules mandating pay-TV providers open up their networks to third party set-top boxes, and give subscribers the choice of purchasing third-party boxes instead of renting them monthly from providers themselves. Commissioners voted 3-2 along partisan lines.     

WHAT’S NOT TO LIKE?  (TeleFrieden- Commentary)

Only in this pay to play, partisan world could two out of three FCC members rise in opposition to an overdue initiative to save consumers billions of dollars. Cable and DBS companies will join the opponents along with sponsored researchers who will trot out all sorts of bogus rationales.    

Campaigns see dollar signs in AOL email addresses (USA Today)    

The political world is constantly trying to find cool, new ways to use social media platforms like Snapchat, Facebook and Instagram, but here’s a little secret: The thing that is most valuable to the candidates is still your email address, and most valuable of all is an email address. The reason is simple: money.  

comScore Plans to Make Netflix Numbers Public (Broadcasting & Cable) 

Look out Netflix, comScore has your number. Audience measurement company comScore’s plans to offer cross-media ratings by the fall include letting everyone know how many people are watching Netflix’s shows. As a subscription service, Netflix has refused to divulge any viewership numbers.   

Medium Stands Up for Malaysian Investigative Journalists (Media Shift) 

The Malaysian government is now blocking the blogging platform Medium, in an apparent effort to censor the Sarawak Report, which had been mirroring its articles on Medium since it was blocked in July 2015 for reporting allegations that $700 million linked to a state investment fund ended up in the prime minister’s bank account.    

LINKNYC (Washington Post) 

New York’s futuristic, high-tech pay phones — which are embedded with touchscreen tablets — are finally going live. The name “pay phone” doesn’t quite do it justice, of course. Yes, the city’s LinkNYC terminals will allow you to make domestic phone calls. But they’ll also let you surf the Web, pull up online maps and connect to city services. 

Stations Must Move To A Multi-Screen Mindset (TV News Check)

TV stations and other media providers need to change their sales culture in order to serve clients who have an ever-growing number of ways to reach potential customers. And adopting such a mindset starts with a culture change at the very top.   

Ergen: Retrans rules bigger threat to consumers than new set-top rules (Fierce Cable) 

The FCC’s newly approved rules aimed at unlocking the pay-TV set-top box business have been getting a lot of attention. But Dish Network CEO Charlie Ergen said retrans rules, which are currently being considered for revision by the FCC, are more pertinent to consumers.   

European Carrier Blocks Ads at Network Level   (Ad Age) 

Some European mobile customers are about to be given the option of blocking ads. Israeli ad blocking company Shine is partnering with European carrier Three Group to offer blocking of display ads on the mobile web and in apps. Shine’s technology works by blocking ads at the network level.   

Technical Roadblock Might Shatter Bitcoin Dreams (Technology Review) 

The total value of the digital currency Bitcoin is over $5 billion, reflecting how some people think it will one day become widely useful. But a new analysis of the software that powers the currency concludes that Bitcoin needs a complete redesign if it is to support more than the paltry number of transactions that take place today.   

Zaslav Chews Fat on Skinny Bundles (Broadcasting & Cable)    

While there’s been a lot of talk in the cable industry about skinny bundles lately, it’s not something Discovery CEO David Zaslav seems concerned about. Zaslav said he didn’t expect skinny bundles to take hold in the U.S. He also said that Discovery would like to have a bigger piece of its OWN joint venture with Oprah Winfrey.