Business Bytes

Apple News helps drive online news subscriptions

Apple News helps drive online news subscriptions

Business Bytes, Future of Media
It's too early to tell if publishers can make meaningful ad revenue from Apple News. Right now, most say they don’t. But Apple is nonetheless emerging as a more important channel for publishers looking for an alternative to Facebook—particularly now that it is putting less emphasis on news articles in News Feed. Apple is already helping drive subscriptions. The Washington Post, for instance, gets hundreds of people subscribing every day through Apple News, at a slightly reduced rate to the website’s price, according to head of product Shailesh Prakash. Apple takes a 30% cut of each subscription payment, in line with its share of sales in the App Store. More from The Information: "Inside Apple’s Courtship of News Publishers"

Main Street businesses embrace mobile marketing

Business Bytes, Mobile
The amount local advertisers spendon mobile advertising and promotions is forecasted to double every year for the next five years, according to a new report for Borrell Associates. If that occurs, local mobile marketing expenditures would surpass $18 billion for advertising and $4 billion for promotions – more than Main Street businesses currently spend on traditional web-based advertising today. (more…)

AOL Time Warner limits magazines online

Business Bytes
Starting today, AOL Time Warner Inc. has ended free online access to People and Entertainment Weekly magazines. The magazines will only be available on the Web to America Online subscribers or people who buy the magazine. A dozen other Time Inc. publications, including Real Simple and In Style, are scheduled to follow by mid-May. Sports Illustrated and Time magazines are not on the initial list. The goal is to boost AOL's value by giving subscribers something non-subscribers can't get.

Streaming video hits prime time

Business Bytes
Online publishers have been fielding unprecedented demand from visitors for streaming video feeds related to the conflict in Iraq since it began about two weeks ago, Cnet reports. "The confluence of live war coverage and a bevy of new streaming video services online is thrusting Webcasting back into the limelight after years of failed efforts or false starts."

Salon secures more financing

Business Bytes
Salon, which was struggling so much it couldn't pay its rent in December and recently said it might not survive much longer, received another life preserver, getting another $800,000 from existing investors. It now has more than 60,000 subscribers -- impressive, but at $30 a pop still a long way from what the site will need to survive long-term.

ABC to Broadcast 24-hour Web News

Business Bytes, Convergence
For years ABC has been wanting to get into the 24-hour news broadcasting game, toying both with partnering with CNN and with starting a stand-alone 24-hour Internet broadcast to compete with the cable news networks. Now that the CNN partnership idea is dead, ABC has launched a new service called "ABC News Live" that will only be available to subscribers of ABC News on Demand (which costs $4.95 a month) or RealNetworks's RealOne SuperPass (which costs $9.95 month and includes CNN video). The site will be a mix of press conference broadcasts, headlines and replays of ABC News shows. Perhaps most interesting, the service will let viewers use a "virtual control room" to watch feeds and headlines from four screens simultaneously. "At a time when more people are getting their news online during ...