Hulu will add social networking features to its streaming video site. The NBCU-Fox joint venture plans to use social networking to boost consumer loyalty, as well as to mine data in hopes of attracting more advertisers. Dubbed "Hulu Friends", the feature will allow users to create profiles, as well as share specific videos with other users.
Yesterday Apple unveiled a new iPod shuffle. Half the size of the old shuffle, the 4 giga-byte iPod can hold 1,000 songs. The new iPod shuffle is so small that the actual device has no buttons on it, rather the controls are on a plastic cord attached to the headphones.
Tom Hanks is getting into the SAG-AMPTP contract mix, urging both sides to get back to the negotiating table. SAG and the Studios nearly had a deal a few weeks back, however, talks came to a stalemate over the when the contract would expire. Currently, SAG will not sign a full three-year deal, as it wants the opportunity to renegotiate in 2011.
eBay plans to retreat from web retail, in order to focus on used and overstocked goods. The online auction house noted that the web retail market is dominated by companies like Amazon, with whom it can't compete with. CEO John Donahoe noted "We aren't a retailer" and that eBay will "focus where we can win."
Mad Money's Jim Cramer will appear on the Daily Show with Jon Stewart tonight. The appearance comes days after Stewart berated Cramer for remarks about Bear Sterns days before the company collapsed. While cynics would note the appearance as a publicity stunt, since both shows are owned by different media companies, it is less than likely, though, both shows are sure to receive high ratings.
Shelly Palmer is a consultant and the host of MediaBytes a daily show featuring news you can use about technology, media & entertainment. He is Managing Director of Advanced Media Ventures Group LLC and the author of Television Disrupted: The Transition from Network to Networked TV (2008, York House Press). Shelly is also President of the National Academy of Television Arts & Sciences, NY (the organization that bestows the coveted Emmy® Awards). You can join the MediaBytes mailing list here. Shelly can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.