It’s a challenging time for the mobile web. Apps are dominating consumers’ time on the devices they carry, and ad blockers are spreading as people try to speed up the mobile web browsing they must do. But later this month, Google will try to hit reset on all that. It is finally ready to go wide with its Accelerated Mobile Page initiative.
Newsweek Is Dropping Its Paywall (Ad Age)
For some publishers, such as The New York Times, metered paywalls have provided a much-needed revenue stream by converting free, loyal readers into paying digital subscribers. But Newsweek is going in the other direction, opting to drop its paywall Wednesday morning.
Hill Looks Into Altered Ad Images (Broadcasting & Cable)
A new bipartisan bill has been referred to the House Energy & Commerce Committee that would require the Federal Trade Commission to study the impact of photoshopping or otherwise altering images in ads to evaluate whether it should constitute an unfair or deceptive practice, then report back to Congress.
Thune Signals Return of MOBILE NOW Act (Broadcasting & Cable)
Senate Commerce Committee chair John Thune says that, in concert with ranking member Bill Nelson, he is putting the finishing touches on his bill to boost development of 5G wireless broadband service at potentially multiple-gigabit speeds in competition to cable broadband.
YouTube takes on Netflix with originals (USA Today)
Look out Netflix. YouTube, the world’s most popular video network, launches its big bet Wednesday on whether young viewers will pay a monthly subscription to see online stars. YouTube’s Red subscription service, which offers ad-free usage plus a Spotify-like music service for $9.99 a month, launched in the fall.
When TBS premieres its inaugural eSports competition on May 27, advertisers and programmers will be watching closely to see if the nascent world of organized multiplayer video gaming is ready to become a television juggernaut.
NTIA UPDATES $4B BROADBAND STIMULUS PROGRAM RESULTS (Telecompetitor)
The Broadband Technology Opportunities Program is winding towards a close, according to the latest quarterly update from National Telecommunications & Information Administration, which highlights broadband stimulus program results. The report was dated October 2015 but only released publicly during the week of Feb 1.
THE ’96 ACT AND THE INTERNET: THE MYTH OF THE CONSENSUS LIGHT-TOUCH (Commentary by Blair Levin)
Many hold the common but mistaken view that the successful Clinton era telecommunications/Internet policies reflected a bipartisan consensus that light-touch regulation was all that was necessary for the Internet to thrive. True, communications policy was more bipartisan in those days.
FIVE IDEAS FOR THE ROAD TO 5G (FCC- Remarks of COMMISSIONER JESSICA ROSENWORCEL)
If we want our wireless future to be bold, we need to do more than rest on our 4G laurels. 5G service is poised to bring higher speed, lower latency services and a new world of wireless everything. Get ready for the Internet of Things. Get ready for a potent mix of licensed and unlicensed uses. Get ready for Gigabit service.
Chamath Palihapitiya is following through on his pledge to launch an upstart bid in the upcoming spectrum auction as part of an effort to take on established wireless carriers. The government licenses various chunks of spectrum, or airwaves, to cellular providers that need that bandwidth to deliver service in a particular region.
Disney says skinny bundles have hurt ESPN. Disney says skinny bundles will help ESPN. No, that’s not a typo. That’s a summation of Disney’s earnings call, when company officials repeatedly argued that the move to smaller pay TV packages had hurt ESPN — and that ESPN would grow by embracing smaller pay TV packages.
FBI Director James Comey told the Senate Intelligence Committee he doesn’t want government-mandated “backdoor” access to secure devices — he just wants companies to turn over encrypted messages. Comey testified that investigators have been unable to access info on the smartphone of one of the San Bernardino shooters.
After years of debate and months of user testing, Twitter is rolling out a new version of its timeline that ranks tweets by quality in addition to timeliness. The feature is based on the algorithms that power Twitter’s “while you were away” feature, which show you a selection of tweets based on how popular they are.