NBC is in talks to acquire Quarterlife, the “TV-quality” series that debuts this Sunday on MySpace. The pending deal has been spurred by the Writers Guild strike and may bring the show to NBC as early as February. Quarterlife is currently scheduled to run for 36 eight-minute episodes online. Show creator Marshall Herskovitz recently expressed an interest in seeing the show delivered on multiple platforms and said that MySpace only has the rights to the first four hours of programming.
DISNEY CEO Bob Iger told analysts that the company will soon expand its online distribution to outlets beyond ABC.com, AOL, and iTunes. The company is looking for other online venues that offer high-quality user interfaces. Iger revealed that 160 million streams had been initiated since ABC.com began offering full-length episodes and that users have downloaded 33 million shows via iTunes. He also said that a virtual world for “Cars” is in the works.
FACEBOOK may face legal challenges to its new social advertising system. The new service uses members of the social network to promote the products of advertisers. However, a 100-year old New York privacy law says that if a person’s name, portrait, picture, or voice is used for purposes of trade without written consent that person can sue for damages. In response to the allegations, Facebook’s chief privacy officer said the system merely offers a “representation” of action a user has taken with an advertiser and that online consent is now an acceptable form of written consent.
IBM Global Business Services has predicted that within five years online ad exchanges will take 30% of the money currently spent on traditional advertising. In a report titled “The End of Advertising as We Know It” the group offers guidance for companies dealing with the upheaval and an analysis of how the industry will change. The study found that mobile ads will have the highest growth rate — expanding at 41% between 2006 and 2010.
SONY CEO Howard Stringer admitted that the Blu-ray format had reached a stalemate in its battle with HD-DVD. Calling the competition “a difficult fight,” Stringer said Blu-ray was winning the format war until Paramount Pictures dropped Blu-ray support and decided to release its movies exclusively on HD-DVD. He also expressed regret that the two sides hadn’t initially settled on a single industry standard.
APPLE releases the iPhone in the UK today. In Germany it will be available on the T-Mobile network while the UK carrier is O2.