Vivendi Q2 Earnings

vivendi earningsVivendi SA, the French-based entertainment conglomerate and owner of Universal Music, reported second quarter earnings earlier today.  They results were mixed. 

Second quarter earnings were reported at $813m (594m Euros). (Down heavily from last years $1.5b (1.1b Euros) largely due to gains from selling shares in DuPont).  Per share, the company earned 67c a share for the quarter.

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NBC abandoning iTunes

NBC Universal accounts for roughly forty percent of the videos downloaded on iTunes and they’re ready to walk. 

itunes split

Echoing a similar story with Universal Music in July (expanded on three weeks ago), unable to come to terms on a new agreement with  Apple, news wires are buzzing that NBC will not renew its long term contract with Apple.  Neither side has issued a public comment. 

Is this negotiating brinkmanship?  The end of partnership? A consequence of Hulu?   Theories abound.

At issue, and often reported, are a combination of factors.   For one, major media companies have been increasingly vocal about their frustration with Apple’s fixed pricing model.  They want more leeway to bundle products together or premium price new releases.  Apple, fearing such structures would complicate the user-experience and alienate customers has refused.

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Dailymotion: another video site, another huge financing

dailymotionJust a week ago, I wrote, half in jest that 8 figure deals were becoming increasingly common and frighteningly familiar Internet video startups.  I didn’t think I’d be reiterating the point again so soon.  But, turns out, another round of extreme funding has already come down the pipeline. I thought wrong.

Besting Veoh’s $25m and Metacafe’s recent $30m but shy of Joost’s $45m and Brightcove’s $59.5m, French-based video sharing site Dailymotion has raised a $34m second round.   The round was led by European firms Advent Venture Partners (London) and AGF Private Equity (Paris).  On top of $9.5m contributed last October, it brings the total funding raised for the site in one year to $43.5. 

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CNN and Reuters Divorce: money an issue

News Corp and NBC. Conde Nast with MSNBC.  CBS joins with the Washington Post.  Across the media industry, partnerships to syndicate and share content are becoming the norm.  CNN is bucking the trend and going the other way.

brokenAfter a 27 year partnership, CNN announced yesterday that it would no longer use news feeds and content from Reuters (one of the world’s biggest news and data syndication/wire services).   CNN said they would immediately stop using still, video and text from Reuters in all of their news pieces.  Additionally, old stock footage from “B rolls” or in archives, or content on,  anything which includes licensed Reuters video or content will be edited to remove the material before being publicly displayed. 

Coming from the P.R. machines, the spin put on the divorce was that CNN wants to focus more on its own news gathering sources. Emphasize “spin.” Click to Read More

Sonys MP3 Revamp

If at first you don’t succeed … try again or move on?  For Sony, the answers are all relative. 

sony walkmanToday, in unrelated announcements, the electronics giant announced both that they would disconnect (e.g. shut down) their struggling Connect Music music store and also, that they will be introducing two new video-capable Walkman MP3 players.

It’s a tale of missed opportunities, bad choices, and the struggle to correct them.   As far back as 1997, Sony was poised to try and take the dominance they developed with the original Walkman into the digital MP3 world.   Back then, Sony had a joint venture with IBM for electronic music distribution.  The plan was to create both portable music players and a digital music store. 

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TiVo Q2 Earnings

tivo stockUsually when a company’s name or product becomes a verb, or otherwise enters the vocabulary of pop culture lexicon, it means the company created something pioneering (and usually lucrative) or utterly atrocious.  For Tivo (Nasdaq:TIVO), the pioneering title is an unquestionable fit but the moniker of lucrative is more elusive.  People may be "Tivo-ing" shows but TiVo isn’t making a lot of money. Wednesday after the close of Market, Tivo reported earnings for their second fiscal quarter.  The numbers were uninspired. Click to Read More

What’s in a name? – Newco becomes Hulu

huluShakespeare asked “What’s in a name.”  JFK quipped “Forgive your enemies but never forget their name.”   Barry Bonds said “It’s not the name that makes the player it’s the player.”  

However wide the sources one looks to  for wisdom, in a media world, it’s almost universal,  and hard to ignore, that there is something in a name.  Today, now, finally, NBC Universal and News Corporation have named their upcoming, and much hyped,  Internet video site.

The most famous John Doe of the Internet video world had been  known only as NewCo (or Clown Co to pundits.) Today, it was branded as Hulu

The site, which aims to be a YouTube rival, has been generously funded with monies from Click to Read More

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