A soon-to-be published University of Wisconsin-Madison meta-analysis of data on more than 10,000 children in 15 countries is expected to show viewing international co-productions of Sesame Street has a positive impact on learning in children around the world. According to the University of Wisconsin, the study will show an average 11.6 percentile difference between viewers and non-viewers on “cognitive outcomes (including literacy and numeracy), learning about the world (including health and safety knowledge), and social reasoning and attitudes.” An NTI/PBS study recently showed PBS Kids’ TV and online media outlets attract a higher proportion of African American, Hispanic and low-income households, compared to their proportion of the overall population. A 2010 study of 600 pre-school children showed children who viewed PBS’ Sesame Street increased their ability to articulate scientific concepts by 100%.
Media Matters for America released Diversity of Evening Cable News in 13 Charts. The report looked at the race, ethnicity and gender of 1,677 guests and found that women did not make up more than 33% of guests on any of the cable news channels. Media Matters also found that Fox News had the highest proportion of white guests (83%), with MSNBC having the lowest (73%), and that African Americans were the “largest non-white group on all of the networks,” as 19% of the non-white guests Media Matters reviewed were African American.
Netflix released its ranking of the Internet Service Providers (ISPs) with the fastest speeds. Google Fiber ranked first with an average speed of 3.45 Mbps, with Cablevision, Cox, Suddenlink, Charter, Verizon-FIOS, MediaCom, Comcast, Time Warner Cable, and Bright House, rounding out the Top 10.
NTIA reported that 18% of rural areas continue to lack access to download speeds of at least 6 Mbps, compared to 100% of urban residents.
The Center for Democracy and Technology has released a report explaining the technical reasons why the report’s authors believe the Federal Bureau of Investigation’s effort to step up Internet surveillance poses serious national security risks. Currently, the Communications Assistance for Law Enforcement Act (CALEA) enables law enforcement officials to wiretap phone lines. The authority for tapping communications conducted via instant messaging platforms and VOIP platforms such as Skype is not as clear since these services rely on the Internet, rather than phone lines, to function. Among other things, the report concludes that requiring these service providers to build in intercept capabilities at endpoints exposes the United States to “serious consequences for the economic well-being and national security of the United States.”
A record year in political spending on local TV stations has led to a spate of broadcast mergers and acquisitions (M&A) activity in the US TV broadcast industry. The revenues generated by local TV stations during the 2012 election cycle allowed them to make their balance sheets more attractive for investors. LIN Television, Nexstar Broadcasting, Sinclair Broadcast Group, and Tribune are among the largest groups leading this new wave of consolidation, the value of which could exceed $6 billion through 2014, according to Moody’s.
Clear Channel reports its iHeartRadio service has reached 30 million registered users. This is compared to 200 million registered users for Pandora, the Internet radio market leader. Clear Channel also reported 60 million unique users per month, compared to 67 million active Pandora users. Clear Channel attributes this difference to the fact that Clear Channel users can always turn to local FM radio stations for local content.
A Grunwald Associates report commissioned by AT&T concluded that parents’ level of education correlated with their level of enthusiasm about the benefits of mobile technology in their children’s education. The report concluded that most parents whose children did not use mobile devices or who were less believing of the benefits of using devices to enhance learning do not have college degrees. According to the National Center for Education Statistics, 30.4% of all U.S. adults aged 25+ have earned a Bachelor’s degree, which breaks down to 50.8% of Asians, 34% of Whites, 20.2% of Blacks, and 14.1% of Hispanics. Seventy-eight percent of parents surveyed in the Grunwald/AT&T report indicated that someone in the family owns a “personal or portable computer” with 52% saying their children use these devices. Forty-six percent of parents surveyed own a tablet, with 34% of their children using it. Additionally, in a recent Pew Research study, 62% of parents believed libraries should offer access to a wider selection of e-books.
Disney’s media networks business is enjoying its most profitable year ever, generating $5 billion in revenues in 1Q13, which grew by 6% since last year. ESPN led Disney’s growth, with its ad revenue up 10% in 1Q13. However, ABC – the company’s broadcasting unit – continues to struggle, with operating income down 40%, even though Shonda Rhimes‘ Scandal is breaking ratings barriers and is on track to become the #1 drama on TV for the second time in 3 weeks. Last Thursday, Scandal was up in ratings by 68% among 18-49 year olds, compared to the same night last year. Scandal also outperformed Fox’s American Idol for the first time ever last Thursday night, according to Nielsen.
The White House released new open data rules to make data the federal government collects more accessible by the public.
Nielsen reported that the number of TV Households are up 1.2% since 2012 to 115.6 million. Further, the Leichtman Research Group (LRG) report found that more than 1/4 of U.S. adults watch video daily on devices other than TVs. Nielsen will begin including Internet viewers in its ratings estimates later this year.
A University of Montreal discussion paper showed a positive correlation between broadband adoption and marriage rates among 21-30 year olds.
A Park Associates report found that 78% of U.S. broadband households have a home network. This rate is expected to increase to 95% by 2016.
The Federal Communications Commission released its quarterly report on consumer inquiries and informal complaints. Telephone Consumer Protection Act (TCPA) matters comprised more than half (58%) of inquiries. Radio and television complaints increased by 104% and cable and satellite services complaints increased by 67% in the 4th quarter of 2012, compared to the 3rd quarter of 2012. The FCC attributed most of the increase in complaints in these two categories to programming.
Fortune: Glenn Beck’s TheBlaze Media Network generates between $35 and $45 million in annual revenues.
Join the Joint Center (an endorsing organization) and over 300 attendees for the 2013 Energy Efficiency Global Forum, the Alliance to Save Energy’s robust, high-level energy efficiency gathering held May 20 and 21, 2013, in Washington, DC.
EE Global is encourages candid conversation on energy issues with discussion-based executive dialogue sessions and plenary sessions led by an impressive roster of thought leaders. The traditional exposition has been replaced with a Connections Club where attendees and sponsors can network and build relationships in an informal and relaxed atmosphere. Attendees can also venture out of the Convention Center and straight to Capitol Hill for an opportunity to mingle with U.S. policymakers at the Energy 2030 Reception.
EE Global allows for collaboration with highly-credentialed energy efficiency influencers, including leaders and policymakers from government, NGOs, universities, and industry in over 25 countries. It also offers the opportunity to hear from such distinguished speakers as Senator Mark Warner (D-Va.); Helen Burt, SVP & Chief Consumer Officer, PG&E; Odon de Buen, Director General, CONUEE; Jeff Drees, EVP, Professional Services Division, Schneider Electric; Dr. Naoko Ishii, CEO & Chairperson, The GEF; John Norris, Commissioner, FERC; and Govenor Bill Ritter, Director, Center for the New Energy Economy, Colorado State University.
The Joint Center for Political and Economic Studies is pleased to announce its endorsement of EE Global, the 2013 Energy Efficiency Global Forum, which will be held in Washington, DC, on May 20 and 21, 2013. Hosted by the Alliance to Save Energy, EE Global is the premier gathering of energy efficiency influencers from around the world, an interactive event designed for debate, partnership-building, and idea-sharing to drive the next generation of energy efficiency.
The EE Global agenda includes discussion topics ranging from the role of energy efficiency in a changing climate to the challenges of achieving net-zero to creating profitable emerging markets in developing countries. Twenty Executive Dialogue Sessions and two Plenary Sessions will feature such experts as U.S. Navy Secretary Ray Mabus, UNIDO Director-general Kandeh Yumkella, Whirlpool Corporation Chairman and CEO Jeff Fettig, and countless other Thought Leaders.
Several civil rights groups urged the FCC to complete its diversity studies before departing Chairman Julius Genachowski leaves office. The Chairman delayed the release of long-awaited rule changes, pending the release of a separate study being conducted by the Minority Media and Telecommunications Council (MMTC), which MMTC has said would evaluate the effect a proposed rule to relax the newspaper-broadcast cross-ownership rule would have on female and minority broadcasters. The civil rights groups noted that the MMTC study is much narrower in scope than the diversity studies the FCC is required to conduct before changing any of its media ownership rules and that the MMTC study alone would not provide a sufficient basis for relaxing the rules. The Joint Center for Political and Economic Studies filed a letter with the FCC in December urging the agency to delay relaxing the media ownership rules before developing a robust empirical basis for doing so.
President Obama released his 2014 budget proposal containing, among other items, provisions for increased investments in education. If approved by Congress, the budget would increase the Department of Education’s discretionary spending budget by 4.6% to $71.2 billion. The budget contains a number of proposals aimed at addressing STEM achievement gaps, including a proposal to streamline existing STEM programs, funds for expanding access to pre-school to all four-year-olds, improving high schools, encouraging public-private partnerships between schools and employers, and rewarding states for making public higher education more affordable.
The Corporation for Public Broadcasting lauded President Obama for including in his budget proposal full advance funding for CPB through 2016. CPB CEO Patricia Harrison said the $445 million appropriation proposal for CPB funding “reinforces the value of public media’s in-depth news reporting, our commitment to providing a safe place where children can learn, on-air, online, and in the community, and our commitment to lifelong learning through initiatives such as ‘American Graduate’ helping to keep America’s young people on the path to a high school diploma.” An NTI/PBS study recently showed PBS Kids’ TV and online media outlets attract a higher proportion of African American, Hispanic, and low-income households compared to their proportion of the overall population. A 2010 study of 600 pre-school children showed children who viewed PBS’ Sesame Street increased their ability to articulate scientific concepts by 100%.
Verizon CEO Lowell McAdam stated in a speech at the National Association of Broadcasters’ conference last week that 50% of Verizon’s wireless traffic comes from video. Mr. McAdam expects video to make up two-thirds of Verizon’s wireless traffic by 2017.
Video services firm Ooyala reported that consumers watch live video 2.5 times longer than they spend watching Video-on-Demand (VOD).
A neurological study conducted by WPP, Australian TV network 7, and market research firm Neuro-Insight found that dual-screen viewers returned to TV screens 9% more engaged after shifting their attention to their tablets.
Market research firm Canalys reported that, among Google Play, Apple’s App Store, the Microsoft Windows Phone Store, and Research in Motion’s Blackberry World, Google Play showed the highest number of app downloads (51%) with Apple taking 74% of more than $2.2 billion in app revenues among the 4 companies.
The magazine industry has shown sharp declines in ad pages, but data collected by Adobe via its Data Publishing Suite, combined with research from the Pew Research Center, show a few bright spots in the digital edition magazine market which may help offset declines in print revenues. Overall, the number of pages devoted to print advertising in magazines declined 4.8% in the first quarter. However, spending on advertising on digital platforms in magazines grew by 22% ($1.3 billion) last year.
The Utah Legislature has appropriated $10 million to prepare Utah students for Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics (STEM) careers. Hispanics are, by a substantial margin, the most populous minority group in Utah, comprising 13.2% of the state’s population (376,889 persons), compared to Asian and multiracial persons (2.2% each), American Indians (1.5%), and Blacks (1.3%). According to a 2011 ACT report, just 30% of Hispanics nationwide met benchmark high school mathematics requirements for taking the ACT exam, compared to 71% of Asian, 54% of White, 36% of Pacific Islander, 25% of American Indian, and 14% of African American students.
The New York Times reported on several new youth computing programs designed to close the gender gap in the high tech sector. According to the Times, 74% of girls in middle school express an interest in engineering, science, and math. However, once they arrive on college campuses, just .3% end up choosing a computer science major. One program, Girls Who Code, goes beyond teaching basic computer skills and trains girls in computer programming, public speaking, product development, and other higher-level, in-demand tech sector skills.
A Nielsen report found that the amount of time viewers spend watching TV correlates with their educational attainment and income. Those with a 4-year college degree watch an average of 1 hour and 14 minutes of primetime television, compared to 2 hours and 8 minutes per day for those with just a high school diploma. Income levels also correlate in similar ways with daytime TV viewership. However, primetime TV viewing did not differ substantially between those making $100,000 or more per year (1 hour and 52 minutes per day) and those making $30,000 or less (1 hour and 58 minutes per day). People of color, particularly Blacks and Hispanics, are disproportionately more likely to have lower levels of educational attainment and income compared to their White and Asian American counterparts. Many studies have shown minorities continue to be underrepresented in traditional media as compared to their share of the overall population. The Nielsen data suggest the under-representation of people of color in the media may also be disproportionate in relation to the amount of TV they watch, as compared to Caucasians.
The Corporation for Public Broadcasting (CPB) has awarded $444,222 to five PBS stations to test PBS’s new ‘Ready to Learn‘ math- and literacy-based educational programming targeting low-income and at-risk children.
An American Institute for Behavioral Research and Technology study found that the outcome of elections could be altered by manipulating search engine rankings without people being aware of it.
Children who watch more than 3 hours of TV, videos, or DVDs per day have a higher likelihood of developing conduct and emotional problems by age 7, according to a Millennium Cohort study of 11,000 children. However, children who played age-appropriate video games for the same amount of time did not display such behaviors.
An AT&T study found a higher prevalence of adults who admit to texting while driving (49%) compared to 43% of teens.
The FCC adopted the form and content of the survey it will use to determine the minimum rate carriers charge for providing fixed residential voice and broadband in urban areas. The survey data will be used to help the FCC determine the amount providers should receive in federal, Universal Service Fund and Intercarrier Compensation (USF/ICC) subsidies for providing broadband and voice service in remote and underserved areas.
The pirating of TV content cost cable and broadcast networks at least $1.5 billion in revenues in 2012, according to TorrentFreak. The top 5 most pirated shows include HBO’s Game of Thrones (4.3 million illegal downloads), followed by Showtime’s Dexter (3.9 million), CBS’ Big Bang Theory (3.2 million) and How I Met Your Mother (3 million), and AMC’s Breaking Bad (2.58 million). Unauthorized downloads of these 5 shows alone accounted for an estimated $851.1 million in lost revenues.