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Local TV Affiliates Threatened by the Internet

Greg Sandoval looks at the growing fear among local TV stations that their livelihood is at risk in part due to the rise of the Internet.

With the national networks pushing more of their content online, and some, such as NBC, Fox and CBS, involved in building their own online video channels.

“Plenty of people are worried,” said Richard Jones, general manager of Bay City Television in San Diego, which oversees the Fox affiliate in San Diego. “It’s still so new nobody knows for sure what’s going to happen. But there is some real concern about shows that have been seen a lot of times on the Web and whether it will affect ratings.”

Dodgeball Founders the Latest to Quit Google

Be warned, if you decided to sell your company to Google, don’t expect to actually enjoy working for the world’s largest search engine. While the money would be nice, judging by the number of resignations Google gets from its acquired companies, the money may be all you get out of the deal.

Dennis Crowley and Alex Rainert, co-founders of Dodgeball, are the latest acquirees to find out the hard way. Dodgeball’s SMS-social network was ahead of the pack, when acquired, but since then, nothing has really been done with the company, and the founders have had to watch the likes of Twitter and Jaiku pass them by.

Here’s part of Crowley’s announcement to the world

“M-marketing”

No, “m-marketing” isn’t really delicious marketing (yum, link bait!). It’s just one of the latest additions to the alphabet soup of all forms of Internet marketing, short for mobile marketing.

Back to our favorite mobile marketing debate: is the world really ready for mobile marketing?

The E-Commerce Times asks that question. They get one answer from Alfredo Narez, VP of Marketing for Air2Go, a mobile marketing and content provider.

I expect that 2007 will be the year that marks a giant advancement in off-deck content. Publishers, brands, enterprises, and marketers alike have started to see critical mass in the campaigns that they have put together over the last couple of years, and are ready to take advantage of the advancements in mobile technology

Google Voice Local Search Offers Free 411 Service

We already suspected Google might enter the 411 arena, when they were granted a voice recognition patent last year. With Microsoft’s recent acquisition of Tellme, it seemed even more likely that Google would one day launch a mobile voice search service.

That day is now here, with Google launching Google Voice Local Search.

As part of our ongoing effort to make the world’s information universally accessible, we’re testing a free service called Google Voice Local Search. Using this service, you get fast access to the same local information you’d find on Google Maps. But you don’t need a computer, you don’t need an Internet connection, and you don’t even need to use your cell-phone keypad. It’s voice-activated, and you can access it from any phone (mobile or landline), in any location, at any time.

Real Mobile News

When I mentioned eMarketer earlier, I said their story on social and mobile converging was just about social. So I went back to yesterday’s eMarketer to get a real story on mobile marketing.

Yesterday’s story was about a new report on mobile marketing best practices by Forrester Research. In addition to best practices, the study looks at mobile advertising penetration. Unsurprisingly, it’s low: “only 13% of interactive marketers used text messaging to reach consumers in December 2006″ and only 11% advertised on wireless application protocol websites.

So, basically, it’s the same old, same old for mobile marketing: after being hyped beyond belief for months—years—no follow up.

There was one inspiring success story in eMarketer’s story:

Are You Socially Mobile?

I was really excited to read another article from eMarketer Daily (Andy already covered today’s Australia article) on social networks going mobile.

Mostly, though, it was about social networks. But it there was a little new information:

According to a survey of over 1,400 social network members conducted by Compete, social networkers use an average of three sites, and many would visit even more.

In fact, 45% of those surveyed said they would be willing to join four or more social networking sites, with 7% saying they’d be willing to join 10 or more (job seekers?).

Interestingly, because both mobile phones and online social networks keep today’s consumers connected, they seem to be converging.

Viacom Jumps on the Bandwagon

CBS announced it was going mobile earlier this week, and now its former “corporate sibling,” Viacom, is following suit. Shows to be available streaming from Sprint include Nickelodeon’s “Spongebob Squarepants” and Comedy Central’s “The Colbert Report.” I’m sure my sisters will be excited to watch MTV’s “The Hills” on their phones.

Other MTV, Comedy Central and VH1 content will also be available on their mobile websites as well as a new channel, GameTrailers.

Like CBS’s, their mobile video will be ad-supported, with advertisers including Pepsi and Intel. I agree with MediaPost’s Wendy Davis’s conclusion:

It’s understandable that Viacom doesn’t want to get left behind by technology, but curious that the company is wheeling and dealing in the nascent mobile video market at the same time that it’s warring with YouTube — a company that already delivers video in a format that everyone knows consumers want.