23 4 / 2014

Vevo Releases New iOS App With A Real-Time Feed And Live Vevo TV Streams | TechCrunch

Reposted from http://ift.tt/1f84pvw on April 23, 2014 at 08:00PM

vevo ios app Music video distributor Vevo just launched an “>update to its iOS app today, providing users a new, regularly updated home page, as well as access to the company’s live, programmed music channels. The new version of the app, which the company showed to some reporters at SXSW, follows a major redesign to its website that Vevo launched last fall. Read More

23 4 / 2014

Beatswitch Raises $345,000 for a Concert and Festival Management Platform… | Digital Music News

Reposted from http://ift.tt/PuTBeG on April 23, 2014 at 08:14PM

Antwerp-based Beatswitch is an event planning platform for artists, booking agencies, and promoters. It is designed to ease the process of scheduling and coordinating festivals and…

The post Beatswitch Raises $345,000 for a Concert and Festival Management Platform… appeared first on Digital Music News.

23 4 / 2014

Facebook Sees A Big Beat On Profits But Desktop Business Is In Decline (FB) | BusinessInsider

Reposted from http://ift.tt/1mAdAF4 on April 23, 2014 at 05:03PM

mark zuckerberg

Two seemingly contradictory things are happening at Facebook right now, we learned from the social network’s Q1 earnings call.

The company is growing really fast — revenues were up 72%, and ad revenue was up 82%.

But growth in key areas is slowing, or about to slow, dramatically. The desktop side of Facebook looks like it may have entered a terminal decline (forgive the pun). And the rate of ad revenue growth is about to decline precipitiously, CFO David Ebersman warned, due to tough comparable numbers from the year before. (Business Insider has been warning about this for a while.)

The new “slow growth” era of Facebook will be compounded by the fact that both CEO Mark Zuckerberg and COO Sheryl Sandberg said that autoplay video ads and ads on Instagram — both sales products that analysts had presumed would add hundreds of millions in new revenue — won’t be happening any time soon. Both those products will be slow to monetize as Facebook is moving very slowly on them, Sandberg said.

The fact that both video ads and Instagram won’t add meaningful revenue any time soon was a surprise. Observers have been expecting ads in those products for more than a year now.

So the takeaway seems to be, that revenue until now has grown really fast. But in the future? Not so much.

Here are the highlights:

  • Revenues: up 72% to $2.5 billion (analysts expected $2.36 billion) that’s a nice beat.
  • Earnings per share: $0.34 (analysts expected $0.24) that’s a huge beat.
  • Revenue from advertising was $2.27 billion, up 82% vs Q1 2013.
  • Mobile advertising revenue was 59% of ad revenue, up from 30% in 2013.
  • Payments revenue was $237 million.
  • MAUs: 1.28 billion
  • CFO David Ebersman stepping down later this year; will be succeeded by David Wehner formerly of Zynga.
  • Cash was $3 billion - looks like those recent acquisitions of WhatsApp and Oculus have yet to hurt the balance sheet.

The stock went up more than 5% on the news after hours.

Now for some charts!

Note that Facebook’s desktop business is essentially stagnant, maybe even in decline.

All its growth is coming from mobile. This chart from analyst Ian Maude shows that:


Maude attributes that mobile revenue growth to mobile app install ads — and we’d agree. These are the poorly understood ads that drive app downloads. Most people just see the non-app ads for brands and local businesses — but app ads, because they monetize instantly, are more valuable.

This chart from Maude backs up the case that on desktop, Facebook is essentially over:


These users are U.S. only. But the U.S. trends ahead of everyone else when it comes to Facebook because the company was born here and its highest percentage of user penetration is here.

This chart, also from Maude, shows that revenue per user is also down on desktop:




Here’s the ad revenue split over a longer timeframe (from BI Intelligence):

bii facebook revenue

Here are the monthly active users:


The mobile monthly active users:


And the mobile-only people:


And here’s how those users split, from Business Insider Intelligence:

bii facebook users

Here’s Zuckerberg’s formal statement on the numbers:

"Facebook’s business is strong and growing, and this quarter was a great start to 2014," said Mark Zuckerberg, Facebook founder and CEO. "We’ve made some long term bets on the future while staying focused on executing and improving our core products and business. We’re in great position to continue making progress towards our mission."

Now some highlights from the Q&A with Wall Street analysts.

(Facebook chose some rather stuffy classical music for those of us on hold for the conference call.)

The call begins …

Zuckerberg: Starts with the user numbers. Then the acquisition of WhatsApp, Oculus and the Internet.org effort.

"These are important efforts that will help us achieve our mission over the long term."

"Our core FB app has an audience of over 1 billion people."

Next set of apps such as Messenger, Instagram and WhatsApp: IG reached 200m MAUs this quarter. “Monetization isn’t our near term priority here.”

Wants 100 million users on each new app before revenues are attached. Paper is an example.

Internet.org: Basic update on progress.

Next, “Understanding the world.” Says FB has unique data that others don’t. More to come at F8 developers conference.

"Our mobile app install ads have been one of our best performing products to date. Launched in January of last year."

"Advertising and the ability to reach people more broadly is one of the most important" things FB does.

He thanks CFO David Ebersman who is stepping down after five years. “I’ve learned a lot from Dave both personally and professionally and I’m grateful for everything he’s done.”

Sandberg: Also thanks Ebersman. “Great people build great teams and that’s what David has done.”

Ad revenue growth 82%, strongest ad rev growth rate in 3 years.

Saw growth from existing advertisers as well. Particular strength with SMB and DR. And packaged goods.

Sandberg touts Canadian advertiser Sport Chek that pulled all its paper coupons in favor of Facebook ads — and saw positive ROI.

Ad targeting will improve. 10 times more advertisers are using custom audiences than last year. Ben & Jerry’s is an example.

Simplifying ad tools: Self-serve ad tools are now available to SMB’s. Buy now and install now buttons improve responses.

Ad network test is positive - but won’t have meaningful results this year.

Ebersman: Made a personal decision to get back into healthcare where he worked before Facebook.

Now we’re into the nitty-gritty numbers. Desktop rev up 8%.

Decrease in ad impressions due to cont’d shift in mobile use. Price per ad went up as fewer ads are seen in mobile.

Shift to desktop is a significant headwind to payments because payments in games business are mostly desktop.

Neither WhatsApp nor Oculus deals are yet closed, and haven’t his FB’s numbers yet.

Bad news! “Our y-o-y comparables will get more challenging from here. Over the rest of 2014 our y-o-y ad revenue growth rates will decline … and be meaningfully lower y-o-y.”



Ebersman says Q1 is lighter on expenses that usual quarters. Benefits from one time events.

Browser tech and native apps, HTML5:

Zuck: “Timing matters a lot. “There’s nothing wrong with the standard of hmtl5 technically. … both Apple and Google have made it easier to build hi quality experiences in their proprietary formats than in open web formats … our bias would have been to push on html5 … we haven’t walked away but a large no. of people have accessed FB on the open web but … we see the best path …. in the native app experience.”


Zuck: People want experiences to be defined to one medium or app. “You’ll see us do more things in private content. … growing.” “The Facebook app by itself is the furthest along. The core of our business.” Messenger, IG, and WA: M and IG are both greater than 200 million MAUs. WA: The immediate priority will be getting them to 1 billion people.

Facebook Creative Lab apps are just getting started. Those are further along than IG was. IG “is a few years away from being an important business for us.”

Re-engaging lapsed users and user overlap:

Zuck: decline to answer … no sign of user fatigue on FB. 63% of MAUs use it every day.

Where will growth in app install ads come from?

Zuck: We saw more diversity in clients now. Not just games. Anyone who needs an app, we’re the no.1 delivery vehicle for that.

Sheryl: Mobile app install ads prices are up. No specifics.

Where the heck are the premium video ads?!

Sheryl: Really big opportunity … also a lot more video from consumers in news feed … we have a current product in the mkt it’s a click to play video ad … going really well … we’re in early conversations for a cpm autoplay video ad … we want to see autoplay videos be pretty common in the news feed before we push hard in the ad biz … we won’t see a material contribution from it this year.

Another Q about app ads:

Sheryl: Our mobile ad rev is v. broad based. DR, brands, SMB, developers … we’re pretty distributed there.

When will IG be monetized?

Sheryl: Passing 200m, it’s also a great ad product, tons of demand because pictures themselves are so visually appealing … we’ve seen some great results …. Levi’s running beautiful pics targeting 18-34 in U.S., reached over 7m people. drove 24% lift in ad recall, which was 3X control group. “We’re v focused on consumer growth and we’re moving v slowly on monetization … we really want to grow it slowly and deliberately.”

Sheryl: Nearby Friends is being rolled out slowly.

Did an analyst just suggest that WhatsApp was based in Russia? It’s based in Mountain View, Calif.! So no, turmoil in Russia won’t affect that app. [Analyst may be confused that Russian Facebook clone VK was recently taken over by Putin allies.]

Payments, whats happening?

Sheryl: We’ve had a payments biz for a while … nothing new to announce there.

How low will this y-o-y decline in ad rev growth be?

Ebersman: 82% growth caused by ramp in news feed ads … meaningfully different … newsfeed ads really ramped in Q2 … but there are lots of things that will drive growth: users, more mktr demand.

And we are out!

The context:

It was a huge quarter for Facebook. In the last three (fiscal) months the company has bought messaging app WhatsApp for $19 billion and virtual reality headset maker Oculus VR for $2 billion. It has opened the door for video advertisers, and begun carving out its messaging business into a separate app, Messenger. Lastly, the company has begun rolling out an off-Facebook advertising network.

At the same time, Zuckerberg has begun to outline his vision for the future of Facebook, “unbundling the big blue app.”

SEE ALSO: 7 Questions Mark Zuckerberg Must Answer On Facebook’s Earnings Call Tonight

Join the conversation about this story »

23 4 / 2014

Why The Cable Companies Have Reason To Fear Amazon | Read/WriteWeb

Reposted from http://ift.tt/1mAxTlL on April 23, 2014 at 05:02PM

The Platform is a regular column by mobile editor Dan Rowinski. Ubiquitous computing, ambient intelligence and pervasive networks are changing the way humans interact with everything.

HBO programming is among the most coveted in all of television. Its catalog includes some of the best produced and most critically acclaimed comedy and drama series ever created. Millions of people want to watch those shows. They just have to pay the piper first.

Until today, that piper was your cable or satellite provider, who will only provide you with HBO if you also sign up for a whole bunch of other channels as well. While HBO offers its own streaming service, HBO Go, you can’t get it without a cable subscription.

In this world of cord cutters—people who forsake cable and use the Internet for their content needs—HBO’s reliance on the cable companies is problematic for its would-be viewers and even for the company itself. (Small wonder that HBO shows are the most pirated of all time.)

Today’s Quick Thought: Supreme Court, Aereo & Cloud Computing

If you haven’t been paying attention to the Aereo TV Supreme Court case, you probably should. Aereo, a service that repackages network TV broadcasts for consumers over the Intenret, has been sued by cable companies and TV networks over copyright violation. But the case has as much to do with the nature of cloud computing as it does the future of TV.

The legal issue turns on whether the network TV shows that Aereo records and stores in the cloud for its users should be considered a “public” performance or a private one. If public, then Aereo is presumably committing copyright infringement—exactly the outcome the TV networks and cable companies are looking for. But there’s a deeper questions here: If the Aereo data stored in the cloud counts as a forbidden public performance of copyrighted material, then what about everything else stored in the cloud? That could be a huge can of worms for the Supremes to open.

To their credit, several justices asked during oral arguments this week how they could rule against Aereo without impacting cloud computing. Here’s hoping that the Supreme Court finds a way to allow a unique and innovative service like Aereo to remain in operation while protecting cloud storage as we currently use it.

Big Deal, So Not A Big Deal

HBO’s big and famous back catalog—think James Gandolfini as Tony Soprano, Sarah Jessica Parker in Sex And The City, Ron Livingston in Band Of Brothers and Paul Giamatti as John Adams—is the reason Amazon’s deal to bring older HBO programming to its Prime streaming service is a pretty big deal. For the first time, viewers will be able to stream HBO shows without paying for a cable subscription. (Viewers could, of course, already buy the DVDs or pay to download individual episodes from iTunes, Google Play or Amazon.) 

Granted, Amazon isn’t getting the newest and hottest HBO shows. Much like the streaming deals that Netflix, Hulu and Amazon Prime have historically cut with movie and television studios, the Amazon-HBO arrangement only covers series that have been around long enough to be released on DVD—though it doesn’t even include all of those. So don’t look for Game of Thrones or the newest episodes of Girls or Boardwalk Empire on Prime, although you will be able to find earlier seasons of the latter series there.

In that sense, you might conclude that the only novelty here is that HBO has finally stopped holding out and that Amazon beat out rivals like Netflix and Hulu, who would presumably have loved to make this deal. The deal will be good for HBO, which claims it will create new HBO cable subscribers, and for Amazon Prime members (who can now perhaps justify that $20 price hike).

But if you take a step back and look at what Amazon is doing, there is also something much larger going on here.

Over The Top And Onwards Until Dawn

Directionality is the key here. As in, Amazon is now moving in the direction of superseding cable companies.

Quote Of The Day: "No individual has any right to come into the world and go out of it without leaving behind him distinct and legitimate reasons for having passed through it." ~ George Washington Carver, American scientist, botanist and inventor.

Amazon is in a unique position relative to its online entertainment rivals. Apple and Google have streamable and downloadable movies and shows available for a price, but no subscription service for binge watching. Hulu and Netflix are subscription services with big catalogs, but they typically don’t offer newer movies (and, in the case of Netflix, newer shows). Amazon, Netflix and Hulu are all developing original programming, unlike Apple and Google. Neither Netflix nor Hulu have their own hardware for streaming, instead relying on the likes of Google’s Chromecast, Apple TV, Roku and now the Amazon Fire TV.

Only Amazon has the full package:

  • Its Amazon Fire TV set-top box, which delivers both Prime and Amazon Instant Video rentals and purchases, as well as games.
  • More than 200,000 titles to rent, purchase or view via Prime.
  • The Prime subscription service, which cleverly offers streaming video as an add-on to what is, ostensibly, a free-shipping service for Amazon customers.
  • Cross-platform ubiquity with Amazon Instant Video available on devices such as the Xbox One and Roku.
  • Music download and streaming through its Amazon MP3 and Cloud Player services.
  • Its own Android app store for serving the Kindle Fire and Fire TV.

If only Amazon could become its own Internet provider, it might render the cable companies almost completely irrelevant.

23 4 / 2014

Vevo launches a completely redesigned iOS app, emphasizing discovery and playlists | TheNextWeb

Reposted from http://ift.tt/1frHPZv on April 23, 2014 at 08:29PM

Last month we were given an early look at music video service Vevo‘s new iOS app, and now it’s gone live with a complete redesign across iPhone, iPod touch and iPad. It features a feed-based interface to make it easier to discover new videos, a gesture-based interface and a YouTube-esque mini-player for navigating while you continue to watch videos. There’s greater emphasis on playlist creation and users in the US and Canada get access to Vevo TV, the old-school MTV-style linear approach to watching curated music videos. The new app is live in the US, Australia, Brazil, Canada, France, Germany, Ireland,…

This story continues at The Next Web

23 4 / 2014

Breaking bAd bAd: Steven Tyler’s daughter wants to kill this Bay Area band | PandoDaily

Reposted from http://ift.tt/1iaphSr on April 23, 2014 at 07:00PM

Christian Zamora has had a weird week. On Monday, the 30-year old San Francisco bar manager and local musician received a cease and desist letter from lawyers representing Chelsea Tyler, the 25-year old daughter of well-lipped Aerosmith crooner Steven Tyler, giving him 48-hours to remove all traces of his band bAd bAd from the Internet. Tyler’s legal beef was…

23 4 / 2014

Beatswitch Raises $345,000 for a Concert and Festival Management Platform… | Digital Music News

Reposted from http://ift.tt/PuTBeG on April 23, 2014 at 08:14PM

Antwerp-based Beatswitch is an event planning platform for artists, booking agencies, and promoters. It is designed to ease the process of scheduling and coordinating festivals and…

The post Beatswitch Raises $345,000 for a Concert and Festival Management Platform… appeared first on Digital Music News.

23 4 / 2014

Synchronize Your iTunes Library with Spotify with a Click | Lifehacker

Reposted from http://ift.tt/1frcZAk on April 23, 2014 at 05:30PM

Synchronize Your iTunes Library with Spotify with a Click

Spotify recently introduced a new “My Music” section that allows you to save albums and tracks you find in Spotify to your own personal library. That’s great, but if you want to mesh that library with your local files, you need to do that manually.

Read more…

23 4 / 2014

It’s ‘Game Over’ as Zynga founder Mark Pincus leaves company | LA Times

Reposted from http://ift.tt/1jQ736s on April 23, 2014 at 05:26PM

Zynga’s Mark Pincus will no longer be involved with the day-to-day operations at the company he co-founded seven years ago.

23 4 / 2014

See How Soundrop Helped Raise Demi Lovato’s Spotify Streams… | Digital Music News

Reposted from http://ift.tt/1npyI3n on April 23, 2014 at 05:03PM

I’ve written about Soundrop before, it started as a Spotify app but has since expanded to Deezer. Soundrop allows users to join rooms which usually…

The post See How Soundrop Helped Raise Demi Lovato’s Spotify Streams… appeared first on Digital Music News.

23 4 / 2014

Facebook blows past estimates, reports big gains in revenue and profit | LA Times

Reposted from http://ift.tt/1jQ73TO on April 23, 2014 at 05:05PM

Facebook crushed expectations with its first-quarter financial results.

23 4 / 2014

Apple shares surge as second-quarter revenue tops forecasts | LA Times

Reposted from http://ift.tt/1l3H8uU on April 23, 2014 at 05:14PM

After weeks of anxiety among investors over Apple Inc.’s fiscal second-quarter results, the company delivered a one-two punch of good news Wednesday that sent its stock soaring.

23 4 / 2014

Next Apple TV will come with Siri voice assistant, report says | LA Times

Reposted from http://ift.tt/1jQ72PR on April 23, 2014 at 03:07PM

New code found within Apple’s software seems to indicate the tech giant will be bringing its Siri voice assistant to the next version of the Apple TV, a report Wednesday said.

23 4 / 2014

2 poker buddies, ex-Nvidia worker cited in insider trading scheme | LA Times

Reposted from http://ift.tt/1l3H7XM on April 23, 2014 at 04:58PM

A former accounting manager for a Santa Clara tech company was accused by federal authorities Wednesday of setting in motion an insider trading scheme that reaped millions of dollars for those involved.

23 4 / 2014

'Flappy48' combines 2014's hottest games: 'Flappy Bird' and '2048' | LA Times

Reposted from http://ift.tt/1igafFO on April 23, 2014 at 01:47PM

A game developer has combined two of 2014’s most addictive games — “Flappy Bird” and “2048” — into one addictive mashup called “Flappy48.”