Digital Daily Dozen 3/17/16

We’re Finally on the Eve of the Virtual Reality Era, and Here’s Why That Scares Marketers (Ad Week) 

SXSW’s darling this year was not an app, it was virtual reality. The obvious players like Samsung, Google, IBM and Dell were there, as well as the less obvious, like McDonald’s. Some turn up their noses at the mention of VR, already considering it passé, but VR was the catalyst for interesting and terrifying marketing conversations. 

Mini Law Lesson: What Brands Should Know About FTC’s Tough Lord & Taylor Action (Ad Age)   

When Lord & Taylor settled with the FTC over charges that it failed to tell consumers that Instagram posts and a magazine article were paid promotions, it agreed to provisions including a monitoring and review program. The FTC is taking a strong approach because it believes we should have gotten the message by now. 

Imagine, the end of the network as we know it (Media Life) 

Quick, where did you watch the latest episode of “Modern Family?” Perhaps you caught it on ABC, where the show originates. Or maybe you caught it a couple days after the fact on, where the network posts programs after their original airing, or Hulu, which grabs them a day later.   

Turner Plans to Enter Direct-to-Consumer Biz (Broadcasting & Cable)   

Turner Broadcasting said it plans to jump into the direct-to-consumer business with a couple of products by the end of the year. Turner CEO John Martin offered few details about the product. He said it might be an offshoot of one of the companies network or a brand extension aimed at superfan willing to pay for a subscription service.    

Smartphone Boost Seen Coming From Internet Of Things (The National) 

These days, everyone only seems to want to look forward, without ever stopping to look back. And nowhere is this more keenly felt right now than in the smartphone industry, where everyone is eagerly awaiting the next big breakthrough in mobile technology.    

Are 3D TVs Totally Dead? (Reviewed) 

Televisions with 3D functionality were doomed from the start. In a product category where the goal is to get bigger and brighter every year, a video format that halves resolution and reduces light output (by forcing the viewer to wear what are essentially sunglasses), how could 3D have ever survived?   

Court Turns Down Auction Stay Request (TV News Check)  

The U.S. Court of Appeals denied a request by LPTV advocate group Free Access & Broadcast Telemedia for an emergency stay of the March 29 start date for the FCC’s spectrum incentive auction. Earlier in the day, FAB filed a reply brief supporting its right to participate in the auction and urging a delay until the court reaches a decision.    

Instagram May Change Your Feed, Personalizing It With an Algorithm (NY Times)   

For years, we have been trained to view web postings from our friends in a certain order. Refresh the top of your various “feeds” — the running column of content on some versions of Facebook, Twitter and Instagram — and you will see the latest news at the top. The further back you scroll, the older the material gets.   

European Pay TV Giant Sky Unveils Virtual Reality Production Unit (Hollywood Reporter)   

Pan-European pay TV giant Sky unveiled the launch of a virtual reality production unit and a major commitment to VR content. To step up the production of VR content across all its European markets, the newly launched Sky VR Studio, a dedicated in-house VR production unit, will help the company offer more than 20 VR productions.   


Despite a last-ditch effort, Tennessee State Rep Kevin Brooks’ effort to salvage his municipal broadband expansion bill by scaling it down to a demonstration project failed to win support in a key House panel. State Rep Brooks and other proponents later blasted powerful investor-owned telecom providers such as AT&T and Comcast for the loss.   

CUTTING US TIES TO THE NET  (LA Times- Commentary) 

No government or interest group should control the Internet. On that point you’ll find broad agreement, particularly among the world’s democracies. The US, however, has final say over one small but important aspect of the net: keeping track of the list of “top level domains,” such as .com and .org.    


Several major civil rights groups signed on to a letter asking the FCC to consider the way privacy issues affect traditionally marginalized communities while crafting privacy rules for Internet providers. “The Commission should carefully examine the privacy interests of historically disadvantaged communities,” the groups said.    

Facebook Hate Speech Probe Dropped in Germany (Wall Street Journal)   

German prosecutors dropped an investigation of Facebook managers on allegations the social network failed to remove hate speech from its platform. Prosecutors had been investigating whether Facebook managers may have infringed criminal law after users posted hateful comments against specific groups or people.