March 31, 2020

With movie theaters closed across the country due to coronavirus containment, millions of Americans are streaming video in order to stay entertained. According to analysts, the time spent watching streaming video has steadily increased every week since stay-at-home orders went in place earlier in the month. During a seven-day period in mid-March, viewing sessions on Vizio’s smart TV platform rose by a whopping 40 percent over the previous week. “We’re not just seeing more time spent with streaming and TV, Continue reading

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February 14, 2020

The consumer goods giant Unilever is known for its huge portfolio of major brands like Dove, Lipton, Axe, and many others. The conglomerate also owns several big names in the ice cream aisle such as Breyers, Klondike, Good Humor, Ben & Jerry’s, and more. But while these brands are well-known to many consumers, they’re about to become a lot less familiar to kids. That’s because Unilever recently announced that by the end of the year it would stop airing TV Continue reading

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February 7, 2020

Targeted advertising has become the economic engine of the Internet for big companies like Facebook and Google that collect all sorts of data about their users. This video details how tech giants track people online in order to gather information for advertisers, a widespread practice that is nevertheless hugely controversial. 

Questions:

  1. How has the use of cookies changed from the early days of the Internet to today?
  2. Do you think legislators should regulate how companies track people online for Continue reading
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December 17, 2019

During December, the Hallmark Channel’s schedule is chock full of Christmas movies to keep the holiday spirit strong throughout the month. But last week the usually jolly TV network behaved more like Ebenezer Scrooge in the eyes of many fans and users on social media. The controversy began when Hallmark received a complaint from an advocacy group whose stated mission is to “fight against indecency.” The organization complained about four ads that featured same-sex couples from a wedding planning company Continue reading

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September 26, 2019

In the lucrative world of data analytics, few companies are more prominent than Comscore. The Virginia-based tech firm analyzes much of the country’s web traffic which then serves as a key reference for pricing online ads. Similar to the television ratings tracker Nielsen, Comscore measures how many people visit a website, the amount of time they spend on it, and other important metrics that can determine its popularity. As a result, the company’s data is vital for media companies and Continue reading

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September 20, 2019

This week Netflix announced that it spent $500 million to acquire the streaming rights to Seinfeld, which broadcast its last episode way back in 1998. While it may seem strange to spend so much money on a decades-old show, Netflix is far from the only streaming service to splash cash on a classic sitcom. Along with paying $425 million for Friends, HBO Max also acquired the streaming rights to The Big Bang Theory for $1 billion. Meanwhile, NBC-Universal Continue reading

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September 12, 2019

On Monday, attorneys general for 50 U.S. states and territories announced that Google would face a broad and bipartisan antitrust investigation. Lawmakers said the search giant’s domination of “all aspects of advertising on the Internet and searching on the Internet” could be harmful to consumers as well as the web at large. Google currently captures 75 percent of all spending on search ads in the U.S., leading to more than $48 billion in revenue from ads alone.

According to lawmakers, Continue reading

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August 22, 2019

With more than 1 billion photo-obsessed users, Instagram has become a trusted destination for marketers looking to get their products noticed. According to a recent study, though, people on the picture-sharing platform don’t trust ads that look like “ads.” Instead, they prefer promotional spots that seem like something that their friends would post. For instance, a brand like L’Oreal would likely get more attention with a selfie of an influencer applying makeup rather than a  glamorous, magazine-like ad.

In Continue reading

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February 5, 2019

This past Sunday, the New England Patriots defeated the Los Angeles Rams in one of the most boring Super Bowl matchups of all time. The winning team only managed to score a single touchdown, and even that exciting moment didn’t arrive until the fourth quarter. As a result, ratings for the big game dropped to their lowest point in a decade. While CBS managed to bring in 111.3 million Super Bowl viewers in 2017, two years later that amount fell Continue reading

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January 25, 2019

Since launching in 2016, the group video chat app Houseparty has attracted a dedicated userbase of young people looking to talk with their friends wherever they please. “Houseparty is basically the third place for Generation Z and young millennials,” said co-founder Sima Sistani. “What they’re doing there is hanging out in the way we used to in the backyard, the basement, or in my case — the Waffle House.” And unlike many other Silicon Valley startups, Houseparty doesn’t plan to Continue reading

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