GOOGLE has been quietly preparing for the upcoming wireless auction by using a license from the FCC to operate an advanced wireless test network on its corporate campus. The network is complete with transmission towers and handsets running Android software. Google is also using game-theory specialists to help orchestrate its auction strategy. Potential spectrum bidders must file with the FCC by December 3rd.
BLOWTORCH is launching with $50 million in funding, the support of Hollywood insiders and the promise of involving the audience in making films. The company will pursue a mixed strategy of acquiring professional feature-length films and allowing users to upload their own short creations. The crowd will also be asked help in casting decisions and soundtrack choices. User-generated videos will compete for a chance to be re-shot by professionals and seen in theaters across the country before a main Blowtorch feature. The company has already cut deals with 600 theaters and acquired the film You Are Here.
MAGNA GLOBAL has compiled a report on the impacts of a drawn-out WGA strike and found that broadcast networks will experience an average viewer decline of 9% between January and May. The decline will increase each month as the strike continues but viewership is projected to return to normal after the strike is resolved. In 1988 networks also saw a 9% decline during that year’s WGA strike.
AMAZON will announce a new e-reader called Kindle that will support e-books, audiobooks and content from up to 100 newspaper publishers, including The New York Times and The Wall Street Journal. The device will offer WiFi access to email and the Amazon store. Kindle will be unveiled during a high-profile event at the W in Union Square on Monday.
THE STRIKE grew contentious as the AMPTP took out full-page ads in major publications saying that the WGA is seeking a greedy 700% increase in pay. The Guild responded by saying that a 700% increase is only 2.1 cents on the dollar. Daily Show writers posted a YouTube video arguing their case while skewering Sumner Redstone and Viacom. Meanwhile, Letterman has vowed to keep paying writers through the end of the year and NBC has decided to keep paying non-writing staff of The Tonight Show for at least two more weeks.