Amazon spills (some) beans on the Google phone

google.jpgThanks Amazon! The online retailer put out a release this morning with some juicy details about Google’s new mobile phone — even as we’re still waiting for the official unveiling later today.

So, here’s what they say about the phone…

“The T-Mobile G1 is the world’s first Android-powered mobile phone in an exclusive partnership with Google. The T-Mobile G1 combines full touch-screen functionality and a QWERTY keyboard with a mobile Web experience that includes the popular Google services that millions have enjoyed on the desktop, including Google Maps with StreetView, Gmail, YouTube and others. ”

Amazon, which has a deal with Google related to the phone, also says that the phone will have “one-touch access” to Google Search and will allow access to Android Market, “where customers can find and download unique applications to expand and personalize their phone to fit their lifestyle.”

More details will be coming, including pictures. So stay tuned. While you do, read why some experts say the phone won’t be a game changer.

Keep an eye on:

    NBC Universal will present a sweeping new study this week showing that audiences recall advertisements far more clearly when they are run on both TV and the Internet, findings that could change the way commercial time is bought (Reuters) Online movie rental company Netflix has signed agreements with the CBS Corp and Walt Disney Co’s Disney Channel that will allow current season episodes of a number of TV shows to be streamed at Netflix (Reuters) Time Inc’s “Life” magazine is being brought back as part of a joint venture that will launch a Web site offering photos (NY Post)

(Photo: Reuters)

Financial upheaval keeps ad men jumping

wallstreet.jpg The turmoil of Wall Street is keep Madison Avenue’s creative types on their toes.

As the New York Times points out, “The biggest challenge, executives say, is trying to keep up with the stunning economic and financial events and the resulting mood swings, as evidenced by the roller-coaster ride from the despair of Wednesday to the euphoria of Friday. All that makes it difficult to determine how to best persuade shoppers to open their wallets.”

The newspaper reports that New York Life, an insurance company, last week asked their agency, Taxi, to create a new round of ads to play up the company’s reliability in the aftermath of the AIG meltdown.

Yahoo! Yahoo gets a makeover

yahoo1.jpg Yahoo is about to make a radical change to its home page — mostly trying to make it a more personal experience. It begins testing the page, on a small basis, today, Reuters reports.

For any of you out there who get a chance to play around with it, let us know what you think.

For the moment, here’s what were looking at…

The new home page relies on slick personalization technology that allows users who have signed into their Yahoo account to see when new information arrives not just on Yahoo sites, like e-mail or news, but off-Yahoo on sites such as eBay Inc’s auctions or Google Inc’s Gmail service.

So what’s the outlook for media?


For the media business, the next couple of days will likely set the tone for the remainder of the year. Why? Because just about everyone who is anyone will be speaking at a Merrill Lynch conference out in California.

We’re talking about CBS, News Corp, Liberty Media, Time Warner, NBC Universal, etc. You get the picture.

We suspect the catchphrase of the conference will be something like “cautious.” It’s highly unlikely that executives will tell us the media industry is awful, terrible, or horrible.

Hold off on the eulogy for Motorola

moto.jpgWhat in the world has gotten into Motorola? For more than a year, Wall Street has lamented its fate. Just this week, industry forecasters predicted the handset maker would have nothing to show for the second quarter other than a hefty net loss and a drop to fourth place in the global phone market after losing share to LG Electronics.

So imagine the surprise when Motorola emerged with a small profit, sold nearly 2 million more phones than analysts had expected, and held on to its No. 3 ranking? Company shares jumped 13 percent as it also outlined an expected profit from continuing operations for the full year.

Motorola executives lost no momentum in describing ambitious plans to analysts either, saying they expected to launch 50 new devices this year, many more of them equipped for high-speed wireless networks. They are also looking more closely at the best ways to split the company, with a final separation due in the third quarter next year.

Online viewing won’t kill TV – CBS

copbaby.jpgNot hugely surprising, but CBS commissioned a study showing that watching full-length shows online won’t destroy television viewership, and it will attract a younger audience.

The study of 50,000 people, commissioned by the network and conducted by Magid Media Labs, polled viewers who have watched full episodes of CBS shows across the company’s partners in the CBS Audience Network.

The findings:

    Median age of online viewers: 38 35 percent of online watchers say they are now more likely to watch CBS on TV after finding shows online. About 46 percent say they only or mostly watch online. Half of respondents recalled the brand of an ad they saw during the online show. About 18 percent of those who remembered an ad that they saw during the online show said it played a role in their choosing to buy something. That number rose to 31 percent for consumer packaged goods.

In other words, TV networks have nothing to lose. The cable networks, which rely on affiliate fees from cable operators, on the other hand …

‘How do you like the weather in Jordan, Senator?’

barackThe big three networks — and their big three evening news anchors — are all over Barack Obama’s trip to the Middle East. Extensive coverage is planned, interviews will be touted, and ABC, NBC and CBS are sure to document his every more.

So is this attention on his trip just more evidence that the media plays favorites with Obama, as some have argued? (Who can forget the SNL skit?)

One evening news anchor, CBS’ Katie Couric,  made her feelings on the subject quite clear in a talk with TV critics. She believes there are “a number of really critical questions” Obama needs to answer about foreign policy.

Television totally rules!

dollars.jpgWhat’s all this talk about the struggles of the TV industry?

Sure, ratings were down again last season. Screenwriters walked off the job, and while they eventually settled, the actors may be next to strike. No new shows really caught fire, and that Web thing sure does seem to be stealing advertising dollars. Then there’s $4/gallon gasoline, a housing slump, job losses — which all adds up to a generally lousy economy.

And yet… the upfront market looked pretty strong. Last week, NBC gave an early indication that the market was healthy and moving more quickly than expected as reports surfaced that it had booked deals worth about $1.9 billion, with prices up by mid-single digits to high-single digits on a percentage basis.

Yesterday, word spread that ABC’s prices were up about 9 percent and CBS landed gains of 7 percent to 9 percent. Fox is believed to have done even better.

Another big weekend for Paramount Pix

indyjones.jpgTip your fedora to Viacom’s Paramount Pictures.

Summer’s not yet in full swing, but the studio already has two big hits, “Iron Man,” which has banked nearly $500 million worldwide and now “Indiana Jones and the Kingdom of the Crystal Skull,” which brought in more than $300 million this weekend, Reuters reports.

The tally marked the second-highest U.S. Memorial Day holiday weekend opening in history, despite some mixed reviews for the film starring Harrison Ford as the eponymous archeologist.

Paramount’s success could extend over the coming weeks with the release of “Kung Fu Panda.” But the Wall Street Journal points out that because major studios are laying off risk in many movie projects, they are also limiting the amount of money the can take in. Such is the case with both “Iron Man” and “Kung Fu Panda.”

Fox: King of the world!

strike.jpgTV strike? What TV strike?

Seems that Fox survived the 14-week writers strike, and arguably thrived if you stack its prime-time ratings up against major broadcast networks. It has  finished the season as the undisputed ratings leader for the first time, thanks to a combination of the Super Bowl and that little talent show known as “American Idol.”

Sure, “American Idol” ended its latest run with year-to-year declines in both overall audience and ratings for viewers aged 18 to 49 – and the show notched some record ratings lows this season. But let’s be honest here, it’s coming off pretty tough comparisons.

Even if the talent show is fading a bit, the network has built a strong supporting cast around “American Idol,” one that includes “House,” “Bones,” and “24,” which will be back next year after the strike kept it off the schedule this season.