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.