This column brings you the most interesting and useful business and financial commentary on media every week, and it gives us here at Minyanville a half-decent excuse to catch up on celebrity gossip.
Link: Mark Zuckerberg, Tear Down This Wall
"The Web was created to knock down walls. You could create a page on a Unix workstation in Switzerland that could be viewed perfectly on a Windows
(NASDAQ:MSFT) laptop in California, all thanks to the miracle of common formats and open standards. But lately it seems like the big social networks are doing their best to undermine this sort of compatibility and to integrate products vertically much as behemoths like IBM
(NYSE:IBM) and DEC did 40 years ago.
"The latest evidence of this came in a series of striking announcements over the past week, as Facebook
(NASDAQ:FB), Twitter and Google+
(NASDAQ:GOOG) took steps to fortify their own photo apps and features at the cost of competitors'."
Link: The Market's Watching TV for Apple's Next Big Thing
(AAPL) isn’t working on some sort of television product — be it a set-top box or integrated 4K TV
— perhaps it ought to be. Because the company’s slipping stock price could use a little bump right now. And a TV offering might be just the sort of 'one more thing' that could improve investor sentiment towards its shares.
"The issue here is not so much that investors worry that Apple might fail to meet the competitive threat posed by companies like Google and Samsung
(PINK:SSNLF), though that is clearly a concern. It’s the fear that Apple may not have any more disruptive innovations left in it."
Link: Amazon Integrates With Facebook to Launch Social Gifting Feature
(NASDAQ:AMZN) just got a little more social.
"The e-commerce giant launched a new gift feature Wednesday that lets your connect your Facebook
account to Amazon in order to keep track of your friends' birthdays and anniversaries, as well as their shopping wish lists.
"Amazon is billing the new Friends and Family Gifting
feature as a central hub for your gift ideas throughout the year. Once you connect your Facebook account, you'll be able to see the wish lists that your connections have created on Amazon as well as information about things they may have Liked through Facebook. You can also opt to receive e-mail reminders about upcoming birthdays and anniversaries."
Link: Beyonce's $50 Million Pepsi Deal Takes Creative Cues From Jay-Z
"A $50 million deal reported by the New York Times today between Pepsi
(NYSE:PEP) and Power Woman Beyoncé Knowles
could be a portent of what’s coming in the advertising arena of celebrity endorsements as artists angle for more creative control. Or she could just have taken a page from her own husband’s handbook.
"The unconventional multi-year deal is said to include standard advertising like commercials and print ads as well as a 'fund to support the singer’s chosen creative projects.' These projects, according to the Times
’ sources, are as of yet undefined but could include events, photo shoots or 'almost anything else' that Beyoncé, the actress, songstress and entrepreneur who last year pulled in $40 million, deems a creative partnership opportunity."
New York Times Media Decoder
Link: Don Imus Signs a 3-Year Extension for His Radio Show
"On his syndicated radio show, 'Imus in the Morning,' the 72-year-old Don Imus
sometimes talks about retiring to his ranch in New Mexico. And maybe he will someday, but not for at least three years.
"Mr. Imus has signed a deal with Cumulus Media
(NASDAQ:CMLS), the owner of his home station, WABC-AM in New York, to extend the show through 2015, Cumulus announced. The terms were not announced. The Fox
(NASDAQ:NWSA) Business Network, which simulcasts the show, said it had also extended its deal with Mr. Imus."
No positions in stocks mentioned.