Digital Daily Dozen: 5/12/15


The Digital Daily Dozen for May 12, 2015.

Cord-cutting accelerates in first three months of 2015 (USA Today) For the first time, cord-cutting accelerated during the first three months of a year, a sign that more consumers are dropping pay TV or sidestepping it altogether. With the release on Monday of satellite TV company Dish Network’s earnings results, all pay-TV providers’ first-quarter reports are in.

With Deadline Looming, The Future of Government Spying is in Flux (Washington Post) The decision ruling the NSA domestic phone records program illegal by the US Court of Appeals raised the stakes on Capitol Hill, where Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY) is advocating for an extension of Section 215 of the Patriot Act through 2020. But that would likely push the issue to the Supreme Court to settle.

AT&T to Fix Internet Congestion Before It Can Be Hit with Complaint [Commentary] (Arstechnica) With a month left before net neutrality complaints can be filed to the FCC, Internet service providers are continuing to sign agreements to prevent network congestion and a potential scolding from regulators. The latest agreement was announced between AT&T and Level 3, an Internet backbone operator.

Sony Would Probably Buy Fast Lanes in a World Without Net Neutrality (The Verge) Sony Pictures executives spent months discussing how they should handle the subject of net neutrality. As revealed in a series of leaked e-mails, executives waffled on whether or not they should file a comment with the FCC to present their view. Ultimately, Sony declined to file.

 Warner Bros. Wins First Amendment Argument in Piracy Hunt (Hollywood Reporter) A federal judge doesn’t see anything wrong with how Rightscorp and its clients are using subpoenas to identify film and TV pirates and has dismissed a claim they are abusing the legal process. Rightscorp clients Warner Bros. and BMG Rights Management are facing a class-action lawsuit from John Blaha and others.

Verizon Buying AOL For $4.4 Billion (TV News Check) Verizon is buying AOL for about $4.4 billion, advancing the telecom’s push in both mobile and advertising fields. The acquisition gives Verizon an entryway into the increasingly competitive online video space. The company is the country’s largest wireless carrier as well as an Internet and TV provider.

Sharing across borders: How BBC News wants to streamline social news across multiple languages (Nieman Lab) BBC Shorts is a group within BBC News that produces square-shaped videos — perfect for Instagram — that can easily be shared by the BBC’s different language services on social networks. It’s part of a larger effort by the BBC to find ways to distribute web and social content across the broadcaster’s 28 different language services.

Fraud Ad List Unveiled At IAB (Mediapost) The threat from bots in online advertising and data breaches in electronic commerce and emerging payment systems continues to grow. While threats and new security challenges seem daunting, the online advertising and payments industries continue to take steps to focus more on security. Some believe that not enough is being done.

NBC Pulls Facebook Post After Sneaking in an Ad for Subway (Ad Week) As Facebook looks to turn itself into a bona fide video platform, it’s tightening its rules on what publishers can and cannot post. Clips with ads not sold by Facebook are not allowed, something NBC learned the hard way. NBC posted a three-minute video from the latest episode of Saturday Night Live using Facebook’s native video player.

‘Game of Thrones’ Breaks All-Time TV Piracy Record (Variety) HBO’s “Game of Thrones” has hit a new high — or low, if you prefer — on the piracy meter with its latest episode: It has been downloaded more than 2.2 million times worldwide in less than 12 hours since airing on TV.

Warner Music Says Streaming Revenue Has Passed Downloads, and It Wants More (Recode) Here’s another sign that the music industry has shifted from selling songs to selling subscriptions: Warner Music Group says that last quarter, streaming music revenue passed revenue from selling downloads. It’s the first time a big music label has hit that milestone.

Super-fast Wi-Fi coming to a public hotspot near you (Network World) Wireless hotspots that can deliver hundreds of megabits per second in real-world bandwidth will become more common as operators increase their investments in Wi-Fi networks. Not much has been announced, but a range of fixed, cable and mobile operators have already started or are planning upgrades to 802.11ac.

Ergen: Advantage Tilting Toward Distribution (Multichannel) Dish Network chairman and CEO Charlie Ergen said as the programming bundle loosens, distributors are beginning to gain more leverage in carriage negotiations. “In general I think the tilt has moved a little more in the distributor’s favor,” Ergen said on a conference call with media after Dish’s first quarter results.