Digital Daily Dozen: 7/1/16

Rep. Pallone Buoyed By FCC, Industry Set-Top Talks (Broadcasting & Cable) 

Frank Pallone, ranking member of the House Energy & Commerce Committee, has signaled he likes the direction set-top box compromise talks are taking, so long as the final destination is consumer friendly and protects content. Industry players and FCC officials have been meeting all this week about a possible compromise. 

ITIF Report: Government Should Set Stage for 5G (Broadcasting & Cable)   

The FCC should continue freeing up high-band spectrum for next generation 5G mobile broadband rather than control the standards-setting process, and local governments should help streamline the deployment of new infrastructure. Those are the key policy takeaways from the Information Technology & Innovation Foundation.   

Why Brexit could cause data privacy headaches for US companies (Network World)   

The impact of the United Kingdom voting to withdraw from the European Union could have far-reaching implications for international companies who experts say may need to rethink their data management policies as the move could create a network of disparate data sovereignty laws across Europe.    

Mobile Ad Study Finds Interstitials Only Slightly Better Than Banners for Being Seen (Ad Week)    

Interstitial ads might not be much more promising for marketers than banner ads. And it appears neither format has much of an effect on mobile viewers. According to neuroscience research conducted by WPP agency Light Reaction and Spark Experience, users viewing news on smartphones barely pay attention to ads.   


President Barack Obama signed into law a bill to strengthen the government’s open records laws. The legislation to update the Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) made it over the finish line after years of delays, which were partly blamed on behind-the-scenes opposition in the Administration.    


Spotify says Apple is making it harder for the streaming music company to compete by blocking a new version of its iPhone app. In a letter sent to Apple’s top lawyer, Spotify says Apple is “causing grave harm to Spotify and its customers” by rejecting an update to Spotify’s iOS app.   

In search for growth Netflix looks to China (USA Today)    

Netflix may be expanding to China, or at least it’s considering it. As subscriber growth continues to slow in the U.S., Netflix is logically looking at the world’s second largest box office to expand its subscriber base. “Since China is a great opportunity, we continue to look into China,” Ted Sarandos, Netflix’s chief content officer, said.   

How Much Do We Love TV? Let Us Count the Ways (New York Times)    

You still love television. You use your tablet more than ever. And now you are as likely to have paid services like Netflix or Amazon Prime as you are to have a DVR service. Those are some of the findings of a study released by Nielsen that measured how we are consuming media these days.   

Russian Authorities Step Up Information Controls in the Name of National Security (Ad Vox)

A new set of “anti-terrorist” amendments in Russia would expand the state’s powers to control citizens’ rights. The amendments would enable authorities to “revoke the foreign travel rights of people convicted of reposting certain ‘wrong’ content online, and access every single phone conversation and email that crosses Russia’s telecom lines.”  

Netflix User Sues Over Rising Subscription Fees (Hollywood Reporter)     

A Netflix user filed a class-action lawsuit against the streaming giant in a California court, alleging that the company broke its promise of a lifetime-guaranteed subscription fee of $7.99 per month. “Netflix has broken its contract with these subscribers by unilaterally raising monthly subscription prices.”    

NBC to Present 85 Hours of Virtual-Reality Content on Samsung Devices (Variety)    

NBC is leaning into virtual reality — the hot tech flavor of the moment — with plans to pump out some 85 hours of VR programming for the Rio 2016 Summer Olympic Games. The VR content, the first time Olympics coverage will be presented in virtual-reality experiences, will be available exclusively on Samsung devices.    

Play ball! Disney’s deal to buy into Major League Baseball’s video business is on. (Recode) After a long warm-up, Disney is indeed buying a one-third stake in Major League Baseball Advanced Media’s video unit, Bloomberg’s Scott Soshnick reports. The deal reportedly values the firm, BAM Tech, at $3.5 billion, and gives Disney the right to buy another third of the company later.    

Google Daydream VR: Google’s Way of Addressing Virtual Reality (Forbes)    

Google will release a platform called Daydream that it says provides a better-priced headset that offers mobile, high-quality experiences. Daydream is a way for Google to finally reign in many of the VR devices and decisions under one performance profile, and more importantly experience, before there is too much fragmentation.