The big news this week in media is obviously the last issue of the News Of The World published last weekend. Perhaps not entirely unforseeable, but definitely a surprise. The wider impact of recent events on the planned bid for BSkyB will become clearer tomorrow.
While the withdrawal of advertisers from the weekends' edition of the newspaper no doubt played a large part in the decision, whether or not social media played a part in brands' decisions is harder to judge.
But with our weekly focus on the news in digital media and technology, our attention turns to some very interesting developments that have been happening in online video – or more accurately, online video on Facebook. Channel 4 are planning to stream T4 content on Facebook, exclusively to people who have "liked" the T4 page. Meanwhile, Channel 5 plan to use Facebook voting in the next series of Big Brother, with payments being made for voting using the Facebook Credits payment system (at a price yet to be announced.)
Perhaps taking things a step further, BBC Worldwide have started offering remastered episodes of Doctor Who for streaming through Facebook, with Facebook Credits again as the payment system. (Similar to an experiment by Time Warner which we mentioned in March.) A selection of nine stories will be available (one featuring each of the first ten doctors, with the exception of Paul McGann's eighth doctor, who only appeared in a single TV film.)
Meanwhile, Google's apparent reaction to Facebook's growth with the launch of "Google+" last week has taken much of the tech world's attention this week. While a growing number of preview invitations have been sent out (with a recent estimate at ten million), the role that it will play for advertisers is so far unclear. Reports are out that brand pages coming in the next couple of week, while the Google +1 button appears to be proliferating on major websites.
The week also brought news of Google's plans for an online+TV measurement panel coming to light. In partnership with Kantar research, Google aims to establish a panel of 3,000 people by the end of the year, with data and analysis offered to the industry by 2012. This panel will aim to address the complex issues of accurately measuring behaviour across TV and online media with a single-source measurement- something currently very difficult to do in the UK.
This project follows some projects with the GfK Media Efficiency Panel in the UK and Germany to track the efficiency of media spend across different media, based on measuring campaign reach alongside purchase behaviour. Particularly interesting is the possibility of feeding data from the combined panel into the IPA Touchpoints study. Although BARB have similar plans for a single-source, unified TV + PC measurement system, Google's ambitions to bring cross-media measurement sooner looks likely to both provide valuable audience data, as well as create some disruption in the way TV audience viewing is measured.
Finally, the long awaited announcement from Spotify of a US launch finally arrived... kind of. Although this is the first confirmation from the site that there are concrete plans for a launch, at the time of writing there is still no news about when the site will launch in the US, or whether the proposition will be the same as the European service (ie. a combination of ad-funded and subscription based service.)