BEBO unveiled “Open Media,” a new video service offering free content from Turner, CBS, BBC, MTV and others. Broadcasters will create channels on the system using their own players, which allows them to sell advertising and retain control of the user experience. Bebo will not take any advertising money from in-video spots but will offer to sell ads for producers and will run ads alongside videos. The site will use its social network to recommend videos to users and generate viral activity. Bebo is the top social-networking site in the UK and the third largest in the US.
KEVIN MARTIN announced his plans for relaxing media ownership rules, proposing that a company be allowed to own one newspaper and either a radio or TV station in top 20 markets. The proposal would require the market to contain 8 other “media voices” (including newspaper or TV) and the co-owned TV station could not be one of the four largest in that market. Under Martin’s plan, Sam Zell’s pending bid for Tribune Co. would be approved.
RUPERT MURDOCH definitively stated his plan to make WSJ.com free to all users. The mogul believes that an open Journal will boost readership from 1 million to as high as 15 million and generate significantly increased advertising revenue. The Journal took a step in that direction last night by adding DIGG buttons to its articles, allowing them to be submitted to the popular social-news site. DIGG readers will have full, free access to any article submitted to DIGG.
MOVE NETWORKS has released viewer data that shows evidence of long-form online viewing on the players it has created for ABC, Fox, ESPN360 and others. 6 million people watched long-form online content on Move technology during October. The company is also seeing an impressive 100,000 new viewers of long-form content every single day. Move believes consumers react to a higher-quality experience with longer viewing times.
AT&T has invested in Vobile Inc., the company behind the “VideoDNA” video-tracking technology. AT&T is testing Vobile technology and other anti-piracy solutions as part of its effort to help Hollywood reduce illegal distribution and file-sharing. Disney’s Steamboat Ventures is also a Vobile investor.