Digital Daily Dozen: 4/4/16

Even in a Mobile World, Retailers Aren’t Convinced Social Media Can Sell (Ad Week) 

While retailers have long fretted over whether social media sites drive adequate sales, major players in the category seem to have no intention of backing away from Facebook, Twitter and Instagram. But a new study might change their minds. 

Republicans Fight for Cap on ObamaPhone Spending at FCC (Inside Sources) 

House Republicans will take action on a bill to cap the FCC’s newly expanded Lifeline program in April, after a compromise between partisan commissioners fell through at the last minute. The FCC’s March open meeting was pushed back after Commissioners spent Wednesday night hammering together a bipartisan proposal.   

Why Spotify Needs To Invest In Visual Along With Audio (Media Post- Commentary)   

The streaming music space is increasingly crowded, and unfortunately for most of the services, differentiating their offerings is difficult. Everyone now has more or less the same catalog, and there are only so many different playlists one can post. Additionally, there are only a limited handful of artists who can provide services.   

FTC To Tackle Privacy Concerns Raised By Smart TVs (Media Post) 

The FTC plans to explore consumer protection issues raised by new technologies, including “smart TVs,” the agency announced. “In 2016, virtually all television delivery systems — smart TVs, streaming devices, game consoles, apps, and even old-fashioned set-top boxes — track consumers’ viewing habits.”  

Technology slaves missing out on the real experience  (Financial Times- Commentary)  

Robert Colville, author of a book on the increasing speed of modern life, The Great Acceleration, refers to people’s behavior with mobile devices as less multitasking than hummingbird-like. While sitting in a park taking in the first sun I’d seen in ages, every intelligent face nearby was focused on the black oblong in front of it.   

FBI will help US agencies with tools to unlock encrypted devices (Network World)  

The FBI has promised to help local law enforcement authorities crack encrypted devices, in a letter that refers to the federal agency’s success in accessing the data on an iPhone 5c running iOS 9 that was used by one of the San Bernardino terrorists.   

Media Freedom At Risk Across Europe (Politico)    

The independence and diversity of Europe’s media is under threat from political interference and concentrated ownership, according to a report from the Centre for Media Pluralism and Media Freedom at the European University Institute in Florence, released after the group conducted a detailed examination of media plurality.    


House Commerce Committee Republican Reps are vowing to take up a bill that would set a budget cap on a program aimed at offering phone and Internet subsidies to the poor. They made the announcement shortly after the FCC voted to overhaul and expand the program known as Lifeline in a dramatic meeting March 31.    


Indications are that Congress is likely to take up net neutrality once the court rules on whether the FCC overstepped in its 2015 Open Internet Order. The intent at least on the Senate side is to have strong net neutrality provisions. The House seems less likely to take that position. Are there ways to have our cake and eat it too?    


Egypt blocked Facebook Free Basics Internet service at the end of 2015 after the US company refused to give the Egyptian government the ability to spy on users, apparently. Free Basics, launched in Egypt in October, is aimed at low-income customers, allowing anyone with a cheap computer or smartphone to create a Facebook account.   

DraftKings, FanDuel to stop offering college fantasy games (ESPN)   

Leading daily fantasy sports operators DraftKings and FanDuel are suspending contests on college sports indefinitely in all states as part of a deal with the NCAA. The voluntary decision by DraftKings and FanDuel comes after months of discussions between the daily fantasy sites, the NCAA, member institutions and various states.  

How Gawker Will Appeal Hulk Hogan’s $140M Trial Win (Hollywood Reporter)    

Can Gawker pull off a reverse pile driver in its battle with Hulk Hogan over the posting of a sex tape? On the heels of a Florida jury’s $140 million invasion-of-privacy verdict against the gossip website, several legal experts believe Gawker stands a solid chance at winning an appeal or at least reducing the outsize award.   

Here Are the Ways Companies Have Failed to Market to Millennials (Bloomberg)  

Companies bending over backward to sell to millennials are doing the one thing the cohort hates most: trying too hard. Attempts at wooing the emoji generation are often rewarded with a deafening ho-hum. It’s hard to blame companies for trying. The 83 million American millennials have become prime targets for consumer brands.