Digital Daily Dozen: 2/22/16

Is a Mobile-First Approach Really Best? (Ad Age)

“The Year of Mobile” has given way to another rallying cry: “mobile-first.” But not only is it easier said than done, it’s not always advisable. Putting mobile at the forefront of your strategy bears careful consideration over whether it is actually right for your brand. The screens are limiting and small; your marketing must be less interruptive. 

The Federal Government Must Have Serious Apple Envy  (Ad Age- Commentary) 

For now, Apple and the others do sort of live in a moral universe of their own creation. Because we, the consumers, let them do so in exchange for all they bestow upon us: phones, entertainment, cheap goods quickly shipped and knowledge of where our children are at all times. They give us peace of mind. 

5G Is a New Frontier for Mobile Carriers and Tech Companies  (NY Times) 

Fed by users’ appetite for watching videos, the world’s largest carriers are rushing to offer ultrafast wireless technology first. Some of their efforts will be on display this week at the Mobile World Congress.    

Antonin Scalia’s telecommunications legacy  (Commentary by Stuart Brotman)   

Before there was U.S. Supreme Court Associate Justice Antonin Scalia, or federal Judge Antonin Scalia of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit, there was a young lawyer in the Nixon administration by that same name. He was more commonly called Nino, and those he worked with knew he had a bright future.   

FBI director says take deep breath on iPhone spat (USA Today)

In a surprisingly plain spoken open letter on the issues of privacy and safety swirling around the FBI’s demand that Apple help it unlock a smart phone used by one of the killers in the San Bernardino massacre, the agency’s director is asking that everyone “take a deep breath and stop saying the world is ending.” 

Mark Zuckerberg: Virtual reality can become the most social platform (USA Today)

Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg made a surprise appearance at Samsung’s Mobile World Congress to talk up progress in virtual reality and to promote VR in the future as “the most social platform.” Facebook, of course, paid some $2 billion in 2014 to buy Oculus which has been working with Samsung on its Gear VR consumer headsets.   

Verizon Revamps ‘Skinny’ FiOS TV Bundles After Spats With ESPN, Others (Variety)

Verizon is overhauling its lower-priced FiOS Custom TV bundles, and will now offer two basic packages — one with sports channels, and one without them. The new “skinny” TV packages come almost a year after ESPN and other programmers objected to the initial Custom TV packaging.     

Forget the hype: ESPN will be fine (Media Life)  

ESPN is not in any more trouble than other networks, it’s just in a period of flux. If its owner, Disney, can find ways to redress these problems of a changing media ecosystem quickly, it will be fine. Cord shaving, or subscribing to skinny cable bundles with lower price tags, represents a bigger challenge to the sports network than cord cutting. 

Turning TV Shows Into Empires (Pro Max BDA)

The most successful TV shows are no longer just TV shows, they are brands to be exploited across platforms. Taking a look at just one show — Fox’s Sunday night animated comedy Bob’s Burgers — demonstrates how many ways Fox Consumer Products has found to promote the show and exploit the brand, creating plenty of new fans.  


Apple said Congress should form a committee to discuss privacy and personal freedoms. Apple would “gladly participate” in such an effort. “We feel the best way forward would be for the government to withdraw its demands under the All Writs Act and, as some in Congress have proposed, form a commission or other panel.”  


Communications technology is playing a tremendous role in the 2016 election, from debate coverage and the influence of social media to “voter surveillance” in campaigning. What voices are being amplified in this environment? And what does this mean to those who have not adopted these technologies?   


Contrary to the common argument that the digital access divide is quickly closing and that the focus should shift to skills and usage, this article shows that access to digital communication is a moving target unlikely to ever be solved. While the number of subscriptions reaches population saturation levels, the bandwidth divide continues.   

AT&T and Intel team up to test drone technology (Reuters) 

AT&T said it will partner with chipmaker Intel Corp to test the functionality of drones on its high-speed LTE wireless network. AT&T will work with Intel to examine the efficiency of drones on its LTE network at higher altitudes and potential interference with airwaves related to areas such as video streaming and flight info.