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Tuesday, Mar 26

Morning Media Newsfeed: 03.26.13

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Spotify Plans to Take on Netflix and HBO With Streaming Video Service (Business Insider)
Spotify, the on-demand music service, is planning a major change. According to two sources briefed on the company's plans, Spotify intends to become an on-demand music and video service -- one that would invest in original content and compete heads-on with Netflix. CNET "I won't rule it out because we're a company that looks at what we're doing incredibly long term," Spotify CEO Mike Ek said in a recent interview with CNET. "But right now, we're all focused on music." It's a far stretch that Spotify would do anything like this for some time, if ever. The company is laser focused on music, and has such traction that it's beginning to win big support from the major music labels. The Atlantic Wire Perhaps motivated by the (supposed) success Netflix enjoyed with House of Cards, Spotify sounds like it wants to produce some high quality, Internet-only videos on its own -- or at least license them exclusively. And who doesn't want more, better things to watch online, by way of a service you're enjoying at a minimal fee already? Of course, it's unclear if Spotify could make something good, since it doesn't do video.

Hulu Board Contacts Possible Buyers of Video Streaming Site: Sources (Reuters)
Hulu's board has approached potential buyers to gauge their interest in buying the online video service, three sources close to the company told Reuters, as owners News Corp. and Walt Disney weigh what to do with their interests in the five-year-old company. The Wrap / Media Alley Hulu's owners explored selling the company a couple of years ago before pulling back, and one individual with knowledge of the owners' plans said a sale is one of several possibilities on the table. News Corp. could buy Disney's stake, Disney could buy Fox's stake, the two companies could bring in a new partner or the status quo could win out. AllThingsD Disney and News Corp. still haven't agreed on whether the site should focus on an ad-supported model or a subscription one, and while both have talked about buying out the other partner, those discussions are still "fluid," according to people familiar with the negotiations. (Comcast's NBCUniversal also owns a stake in the site, but gave up its management role a few years ago in a concession to federal regulators.) Variety What are the chances that a Hulu board member representing News Corp. like affiliate sales president Mike Hopkins looks deeply into the eyes of a Disney's Hulu rep like executive vice president Kevin Mayer and says, "Hey, let's make this thing work?" Next to zero.

Major Changes at the San Francisco Chronicle Spark Outrage (HuffPost)
The San Francisco Chronicle announced over the weekend that the paper would begin charging for a large portion of its online content by imposing a paywall. But as the Chronicle makes big changes to its business model, its high-profile reporters and columnists are sending a very different message via social media. On Monday, a number of the paper's 275 Pacific Media Workers Guild members took to Facebook and Twitter in a virtual protest decrying the Hearst Corporation's push to have workers contribute more towards their own health care benefits. FishbowlLA The employees suggest that the new health plan is the equivalent of a pay cut amounting to up to $3,000 per year.

Yahoo! to Acquire Mobile News Reader Summly (AllThingsD)
Yahoo! has bought Summly, the mobile news reader app founded by a young British entrepreneur. In a statement, the London-based company said it had bought the tiny outfit, which will close its app. NYT One of Yahoo!'s newest employees is a 17-year-old high school student in Britain. As of Monday, he is one of its richest, too. That student, Nick D'Aloisio, is a programming whiz who wasn't even born when Yahoo! was founded in 1994. AppNewser Last year, D'Aloisio launched the free app, which summarized top headlines for quick reading, allowing users to browse headlines along with concise summaries of the stories. D'Aloisio raised more than $1 million for his app from supporters including Rupert Murdoch and Stephen Fry.

The Roger Ailes of MSNBC: How Phil Griffin Created the Left's Fox News (The New Republic)
To MSNBC president Phil Griffin, news is war. And not one of those fancy modern wars fought by drones and computer hackers, either. "We are in a knife fight for every viewer," he says often, and: "We are on the battleground." TVNewser The takeaways: how Griffin took the network left -- and up -- despite early reservations; his frenemy status with CNN president Jeff Zucker and his plans for the future of MSNBC (Hint: less Lockup, more lifestyle).

Will Portman Column Was Volunteered, Not Solicited (
How did Will Portman's coming out piece come about? The Yale Daily News had planned on doing an interview with Portman, says editor-in chief Tapley Stephenson, "but then he came to us."

New York Times Closes Another Loophole in Its Digital Paywall (paidContent)
A popular trick, called NYClean, to get around the New York Times' article limit no longer works. The development coincides with the Times' ongoing effort to shut down loopholes around its digital subscription.

Trying to Make Paywalls Work, Andrew Sullivan Offers Dish Access for $2 A Month (VentureBeat)
Blogger Andrew Sullivan has changed the pricing model for his popular blog The Dish, now offering access for $2 a month rather than only a $20-a-year option. FishbowlNY Sullivan adds that the site's gross income is currently at $653,000, not too far from the goal of getting $900,000 by Jan. 1, 2014. However, he explains, "Almost all the likeliest subscribers have joined already. It gets tougher from here on out."

BuzzFeed, Sharethrough Battle to Bring Native Ads to the Masses (Ad Age / Digital)
You can have custom content or scale, but can you have both? A pair of players are reigniting the debate.

The Washington Post Integrates Its Print Edition into A New iPad App (Nieman Journalism Lab)
What if you had an old-school newspaper newsroom where the digital producers were at the core of the operation, and the task of putting together the print newspaper was the side job?

NBC's Jerry Sandusky Debacle (The Daily Beast)
The man who brought his controversial jailhouse interviews with Jerry Sandusky to the Today show says he almost pulled the plug on the segment just before it aired. Pittsburgh Post-Gazette There's no doubt that giving a forum to documentary filmmaker Ziegler resulted in a ratings boost for the network. Perhaps that counts as some sort of victory, but with a Roger Maris asterisk. People watched, all right, but they had criticism for Today host Matt Lauer's interview with a man who claims his only goal is to reveal the truth behind the scandal.

Business Insider President: 'We're Taking on the Rest of the World' (Politico / Dylan Byers on Media)
Business Insider president Julie Hansen says the business news website is making plans for "world domination" -- and they're starting with Australia.

Bloomberg Plays Social Media Guru, Says Media Mogul Murdoch 'Should Stop Twittering' (CBS2)
Mayor Michael Bloomberg doesn't understand why people just don't think before they tweet. "Anything you send out is going to be re-tweeted, re-Facebooked, re-this, re-that," Bloomberg said Monday. Bloomberg even brought up Rupert Murdoch's social media behavior to a NY Post reporter. "I've told your boss, I think he should stop Twittering," he said.

BBC Launches Expert Women Database and YouTube Channel (The Telegraph)
The BBC has created a women's expert database and dedicated YouTube channel in an attempt to boost the number of female contributors featured on its TV and radio programs.

Is Netflix Hurting Television Buzz? (Mashable)
We've all been there -- a Sunday afternoon marathoning Lost or some other show that's been aired for years, yet we never got around to watching it.

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