Saturday, May 30, 2009

Online Celebrity Helps: From Gag Writer to Host in 5 Years

Article Source: New York Times

LOS ANGELES — A little over five years ago Andy Samberg gave up his unemployment checks to take a job writing a few gags for a television special, the MTV Movie Awards. He took a pay cut.

Still, it turned out to be a good career move. The assignment led to an audition at “Saturday Night Live,” a job on that show and growing fame for a series of short digital comedy films, some of which have been downloaded tens of millions of times. And now, in a scene right out of one of the popcorn movies that the awards celebrate, Mr. Samberg is back as the host of the ceremony. (It will be broadcast live on Sunday at 9 p.m. Eastern time.)

“It’s the American dream,” said the reality-television maestro Mark Burnett, who is producing the awards show for MTV. “Junior writer becomes host of the show he used to write for.”

Beyond the usual monologue, Mr. Samberg said, he will season his host duties with as many as five new short films. “I’m a pretape Charlie,” he said. He has recruited a mix of talent to accompany him in the films, from Will Ferrell to the singer Taylor Swift to J. J. Abrams, who usually works on the other side of filmmaking (as a creator of ABC’s “Lost” and director of the new “Star Trek” movie.)

Mr. Samberg said, with a sprinkling of nervous laughter, “This is a big show; it’s a spectacle.” He might have been looking at the lineup of guests and presenters, which includes Ben Stiller, Denzel Washington, Cameron Diaz and other Hollywood film names interested in getting in front of the mostly young, mostly movie-oriented and mostly large audience that MTV attracts for the event (as many as 3.6 million viewers for the live show and 20 million for all its showings on the channel).

Or the music lineup, headlined this year by Eminem and Kings of Leon. The show also has enough cachet with the Hollywood studios that three of them have contributed clips from coming movie sequels to “Twilight,” “Transformers” and the “Harry Potter” series, all of which will be seen for the first time. Last year’s host was Mike Myers, who has had a few hit movies of his own. Mr. Samberg has no blockbusters to his credit.

But Mr. Samberg, who is 30, has something else that MTV is most interested in: a sizable following among young viewers of much smaller screens, namely TV sets and computer monitors.

“I guess I reached some point where I got on the radar,” he said. “My name seems to come up on things on the Internet.”

It comes up with some frequency. Several of Mr. Samberg’s more than 60 digital shorts for “SNL,” produced with his writing partners, Jorma Taccone and Akiva Schaffer (the three form the comedy group the Lonely Island, which earlier this year released its first album, “Incredibad”), have become phenomena online. One, “I’m on a Boat,” featuring Mr. Samberg and the rap artist T-Pain, has been viewed more than 25 million times on YouTube — and that isn’t even Mr. Samberg’s biggest hit.

Two of his other short films, with titles that can’t be printed here with impunity, one about trouser accidents (with Molly Sims), the other about unusual gift ideas (with Justin Timberlake), have racked up more than 48 million and 35 million views.

All of this has made Mr. Samberg a desirable choice for an awards show intended to find new categories for nominations in movies that people actually wanted to see — rather than the ones usually honored for more ethereal qualities. The most nominated entries this year are “Twilight,” “Slumdog Millionaire” (an award winner and crowd pleaser) and “The Dark Knight.”

The winners, based on fan votes online, come in some rather contrived-sounding categories, like best fight, best kiss and best moment of cognitive dissonance. (That one also has a different formal title.)

“That award I still don’t totally understand,” Mr. Samberg said. Van Toffler, the president of MTV, said Mr. Samberg had gotten the nod as host because he is “the comedian for the digital age.”

Even with all his Internet exposure, Mr. Samberg said he recognized that this assignment was a significant career opportunity. “Certainly after doing this, it will introduce me to a lot more people that didn’t otherwise know me — or maybe thought my name was Adam and not Andy,” Mr. Samberg said.


Pangea Media Survey Finds Most Tween/Teens Say They Have A Good Relationship With Their Parents

Survey Finds Tweens/Teens Hide Online Activities and Relationship Status from Parents


Pangea Media, a leader in online quizzes and quiz technology, has released the results of its latest "Pangea Pulse," which tracked the attitudes and preferences of more than 3,100 of its tween/teen users regarding how they communicate with their parents.

The recent survey on Quibblo found that teens are most likely to hide their online activities from their parents (44 percent) versus the time they spend with their boyfriend/girlfriend (21 percent) or how they are doing in school (15 percent). Most tweens/teens (56 percent) said their parents do not know that they have a boyfriend or girlfriend and 34 percent said they've snuck out of the house without their parents knowing.

The survey also found that tweens/teens are more likely to turn to friends if they have a problem with their boyfriend/girlfriend (81 percent) and for advice about bullying (51 percent). Most (71 percent) tweens/teens would not take advice from a parent about fitting in at school; likewise 54 percent wouldn't take their parents' advice on a relationship. In fact, 45 percent of tweens/teens say relationships are the hardest thing to talk to their parents about.

When asked which parent they are most likely to talk to, 68 percent of tweens/teens said they were more likely to share with their mother than their father (17 percent were more likely to share with their father). The majority (72 percent) of respondents said that they've talked with their parents about drugs and alcohol. However, only 53 percent have talked with their parents about sex.

Overall, 36 percent of teens stated that they believe their parents try harder than they do to build a relationship; only 13 percent said they believe that they try harder; meanwhile 33 percent believe that both they and their parents try equally hard to build a relationship; while 18 percent said they believe neither they nor their parents try. Ultimately, most (77 percent) believe they have a good relationship with their parents.


New Teen Sex Documentary: “Oral Sex Is the New Goodnight Kiss”

Article Source: Chattah Box

(ChattahBox)—A new disturbing documentary and accompanying book by Canadian filmmaker Sharlene Azam, exposes the secret sex lives of a group of well-off suburban Canadian teen girls who frequently engage in oral sex, casual intercourse and even sell their services for money or a new handbag.

The white pre-teen and teen girls, aged 11 to 15, don’t treat oral sex like that big of a deal and don’t even consider the practice sex at all, as evidenced in the title of the documentary, “Oral Sex Is the New Goodnight Kiss.”

The girls’ parents are blissfully unaware of their daughters’ casual prostitution and frequent efforts to keep a relationship going, by offering their boyfriends BJs whenever the young lads request one. The usual good night kiss in a boy’s car in front of his date’s house, now seems to be supplanted by a quickie act of oral sex in the front seat, before saying goodnight.

The prevalence of teen girls engaging in oral sex at a young age is a growing phenomenon. According to the 2005 study by the Centers for Disease Control’s National Center for Health Statistics, more than half of all teens 15 to 19 years old have engaged in oral sex.

The archaic concept of a girl “putting out” is no longer relevant in this new age where teens don’t consider oral sex to be well, sex. The girls in Azam’s documentary used “real sex” to obtain money, clothes and other consumer goodies.

“Five minutes and I got $100,” one girl said. “If I’m going to sleep with them, anyway, because they’re good-looking, might as well get paid for it, right?”

Some girls, recognizing they had a valuable commodity to sell to older men, gave up their virginity for $1000.

In years past, a few young girls “put out” to hang on to their boyfriends at any cost. Nowadays it seems young girls put so much emphasis on having a boyfriend, they will do whatever it takes to get a boyfriend and keep him.

Whenever this writer reads about teen girls engaging in casual oral sex, it makes me wonder, What’s in it for them, really? Does it work both ways in teen circles? Do their boyfriends perform oral sex on the girls as well? I don’t think so.

After researching and interviewing dozens of teen girls for her documentary, Azam believes the girls’ behavior all comes down to a defense mechanism to protect themselves from having their hearts broken.

Casually hooking up and engaging in both oral sex and casual intercourse, just like the guys do, presents a front of “no big deal,” but many of the girls care more than they let on.


Friday, May 29, 2009


Article Source: NY Post

Blondes have more fun, but brunettes get the world's oldest teenager.

Archie is spurning longtime love Betty and proposing to Veronica in August's "Archie" No. 600.

"Yes!" Veronica Lodge yells on the cover of the comic as Archie Andrews slips a diamond ring on her finger and Betty Cooper looks on in tears.

"I am so sad, I don't even know what to say," the blonde says on the Archie Comics Web site in a blog post titled "Saddest Girl in the World!"

The self-involved Veronica, meanwhile, writes: "I am so excited, I am getting married to Archie . . . I wonder if Betty wants to be my maid of honor? I bet she is so happy for me!"

The proposal appears to end the longest-running love triangle -- 67 years -- in comic-book history, with the perpetual Riverdale teen settling down with the rich heiress instead of the girl next door.

Archie Comics Editor in Chief Victor Gorelick insisted Riverdale's most sought-after bachelor isn't after the Lodge fortune.

"Veronica's had Archie wrapped around her finger for years. He does really love her -- he's not marrying her for her money," Gorelick said.

And while Veronica's initial interest in Archie was sparked by trying to beat out Betty, "she really loves him."

The six-issue story line centers around Archie taking a walk up "Memory Lane" and getting a glimpse five years in the future.

"At the end of the third issue, they've been engaged, got married, and they're at home with a couple of kids," Gorelick said.

But there may be hope for Betty fans yet.

Gorelick refused to divulge what happens in the next three issues, except to say Archie takes another trip up Memory Lane. "You think you've seen it all, but there's more to come."


JOBRO News!: “JONAS” is Tuesday’s No. 1 TV Program Among Kids 6-11 and Tweens 9-14, Towering Over its Closest Time Period Competitor, Nickelodeon

by Robert Seidman
Article Source: TV By The Numbers

Ratings Highlights For Tuesday, May 26, 2009 -
Final National Ratings

“JONAS” is Tuesday’s No. 1 TV Program Among Kids 6-11 and Tweens 9-14, Towering Over its Closest Time Period Competitor, Nickelodeon,

by Impressive Double-Digit Percent Margins

In Total Viewers, “JONAS” Ranks as Cable’s No. 1 Telecast at 6 O’Clock

“JONAS” Lifts Disney Channel to its Best Time Period Ratings in 6 Weeks

in Kids 6-11, and Second-Best on Record in Nearly 18 Months

“JONAS” Hits a Series High Among Boys 6-11 and Delivers

the Series’ Second-Best Ratings to Date Among Tween Boys


On Tuesday, May 26, 2009, Disney Channel’s original series “JONAS” stood as TV’s No. 1 telecast for the day in Kids 6-11 (1.3 million/5.4 rating) and Tweens 9-14 (1.1 million/4.6 rating), driving the network to a No. 1 rank in Total Day in the key demos.

At 6 o’clock “JONAS” delivered a commanding victory, ranking as TV’s No. 1 program in Kids 6-11 (1.3 million/5.4 rating) and Tweens 9-14 (1.1 million/4.6 rating), overshadowing runner-up Nickelodeon by 41% in Kids 6-11 (1.3 million vs. 919,000) and by 79% in Tweens 9-14 (1.1 million vs. 615,000). In Total Viewers “JONAS” was cable’s No. 1 telecast in the half-hour (2.8 million).

  • JONAS” recorded Disney Channel’s highest delivery in the time slot in 6 weeks in Kids 6-11 (1.2 million) and second-highest in nearly 18 months - since 4/14/09 and 1/1/08, respectively.
  • JONASsurged over year-ago time period levels (05/27/08), increasing by 56% in Total Viewers (2.8 million vs. 1.8 million), by 47% in Kids 6-11 (1.3 million vs. 882,000) and by 40% in Tweens 9-14 (1.1 million vs. 786,000).
  • JONAShit a series high in Boys 6-11 (495,000/4.0 rating) and delivered at second-best levels in Tween Boys (363,000/2.9 rating), increasing by a solid 71% (289,000) and 59% (229,000), respectively, over year-ago time period averages (5/27/08).

(Source: Nielsen Media Research (preliminary, Live + Same Day, 5/26/09). Ratings based on national rating unless otherwise noted.


Her Prince Has Come. Critics, Too. (Disney's First Black Princess)

Article Source: The New York Times

“THE Princess and the Frog” does not open nationwide until December, but the buzz is already breathless: For the first time in Walt Disney animation history, the fairest of them all is black.

Princess Tiana, a hand-drawn throwback to classic Disney characters like Cinderella and Snow White, has a dazzling green gown, a classy upsweep hairdo and a diamond tiara. Like her predecessors, she is a strong-willed songbird (courtesy of the Tony-winning actress Anika Noni Rose) who finds her muscle-bound boyfriend against all odds.

“Finally, here is something that all little girls, especially young black girls, can embrace,” Cori Murray, an entertainment director at Essence magazine, recently told CNN.

To the dismay of Disney executives — along with the African-American bloggers and others who side with the company — the film is also attracting chatter of an uglier nature. Is “The Princess and the Frog,” set in New Orleans in the 1920s, about to vaporize stereotypes or promote them?

The film, directed by Ron Clements and John Musker, two of the men behind “The Little Mermaid,” unfolds against a raucous backdrop of voodoo and jazz. Tiana, a waitress and budding chef who dreams of owning a restaurant, is persuaded to kiss a frog who is really a prince.

The spell backfires and — poof! — she is also an amphibian. Accompanied by a Cajun firefly and a folksy alligator, the couple search for a cure.....

Walt Disney Company, via Everett Collection

HEY YOU! "Dumbo" depicted black stereotypes in 1941 with its uneducated, pimp-hat-clad crows.

Thursday, May 28, 2009

Three Young NBA Stars Connect With Fans Online

by Laurie Sullivan, T

When Dwight Howard, basketball player for the Orlando Magic, wants to thank fans for supporting the games he gets on Twitter and tweets to followers.

Howard, who has about 115,115 followers (and counting) as of Saturday evening, continually updates fans both on and off the court. Suspended from a recent National Basketball Association (NBA) game, he sat on the sidelines and tweeted to followers, providing updates throughout the game.

"He drew in about 60,000 followers that day," says Eric Goodwin, president at Goodwin Sports Management (GSM), which represents Howard. "It also allowed him to introduce the followers to virtual goods and social networks."

Goodwin says his sports management firm represents progressive athletes, many of who are young and practically live on the Internet and in social networks. "Eventually the lines will blur between reality and virtual goods and sales," he says. "We want to be on the front of that. These athletes are excited about being part of the culture."

Howard, 24; Kevin Durant, 20; and Candace Parker, 23; are the youngest stars in the NBA. The trio become the first professional athletes to launch virtual images and associated virtual goods for purchase through Virtual Greats. The group joins stars such as Justin Timberlake, Snoop Dogg, Raven-Symone and Elvis Presley. Virtual merchandise from the three players became available in WeeWorld, which focuses on tweens and teens

The virtual goods could tie into brands that the three athletes support. Howard is the spokesman for nine sponsors including McDonald's and T-Mobile, Parker supports McDonald's and Gatorade; and Durant, the spokesman for Nike.

"It's exciting to be one of the first professional athletes to team up with Virtual Greats," says Candace Parker, 2008 WNBA Most Valuable Player & Rookie of the Year. "Being on the forefront of this partnership gives me the opportunity to grow my brand and increase my fan base through online communities and social networks."

Dan Jansen, Virtual Greats CEO, said the company will sell the athletes likeness and goods into virtual worlds, social networks, application and widget developers, causal games, and massively multiplayer online games (MMOG), about 10 platforms total.

Jansen said Virtual Greats want to start developing virtual goods that enhance game play such as tennis shoes that can jump higher. "You can customize goods in a game similar to the way you customize avatars in virtual worlds," he says. "It's about giving goods custom functions that let players wear a pair of tennis shoes that let them dunk better like Dwight."

BYU Study: Teen Movies Contain Fewer Dirty Words Than in the Past

By Wendy Leonard

Article Source: Deseret News

Teens may see more actors kicking the crap out of each other in movies this summer, but they'll hear half as many swear words than they would have 25 years ago at the theater.

Trends are showing that movies directed at teenagers, though more violent, thrust fewer dirty words in their direction, according to a study by three BYU communications professors. The trio analyzed 90 top-grossing movies from 1980 to 2006, coding a myriad of words — from the Federal Communication Commission's "seven dirty words" to sexual, excretory, mild and strong words — and found that today's movies contain half the bad language.

"We were quite surprised at the findings," said Mark Callister, one of the authors of the study. "When you consider that profanity is increasing on television, especially during the 9 to 10 p.m. hour, and in music lyrics, you often expect to find similar trends in other media."

Box office performance was used because it suggests the movie's popularity and indicates the strength of the film's distribution outside theaters, such as home rentals and downloads. The genre of teen films was selected based on whether the story line centered on teens and the film featured actors ages 12 to 17 and teens in major and minor roles. Only G-, PG- and PG-13-rated films were included because teens aren't supposed to see R-rated movies without a parent or guardian.

In the 90 films surveyed, there were 2,311 instances of profanity.

The 1980s movies, including "Back to the Future," "Honey I Shrunk the Kids" and "Karate Kid," averaged 35 instances of profanity per film, while that figure dropped to 25 profanities in the 1990s in movies like "Clueless," "The Brady Bunch Movie" and "Little Big League," and dropped again to 16 instances per show in the 2000s in movies including "Spider Man", "Harry Potter" and "Remember the Titans."

Most commonly used profanities are classified as mild words, including "damn" and "hell," and they constitute 57 percent of the coded bad words.

The FCC's dirty seven — words not suitable for public broadcast or print in a family newspaper — showed up 508 times in the movies or 22 percent, while strong, sexual and excretory words accounted for 21 percent.....


Wednesday, May 27, 2009

Disney Superstars Hit The Stages this Summer

By Dave Schlenker
Entertainment Editor
Amid the more-fire-than-brimstone fervor of Green Day’s tour, two other acts venturing into Florida this summer stand to be just as, if not more, bankable.

If you haven’t heard — or heard of — the Jonas Brothers or Demi Lovato, ask your kids. If you do not have kids, consult your neighbor’s kids. If they are not around, they likely are holed up somewhere listening or watching the Jonas Brothers or Demi Lovato.

These are Disney Channel-launched pop-rock acts that are the closest things to Beatlemania the 21st century has seen outside of fellow Disney star Miley Cyrus. Lovato and the Jonas Brothers are both top-rated TV stars on the Disney Channel, which has found a massively successful niche with pop-rock programming aimed at children and tweens.

Both acts represent multimillion-dollar industries. The Jonas Brothers alone ranked No. 89 on Forbes power listings last year. They were worth $12 million last summer, and that was before their last No. 1 album, 3-D concert movie, Disney Channel sitcom and kazillions of dolls, posters and lunchboxes....


Sexting: Just a modern version of spin-the-bottle?

BY Rosemary Black

Is sexting the new spin-the-bottle?

At a conference this week, an associate professor at York University in Toronto defended sexting (where teens exchange nude and seminude photos of themselves over their cell phones) as a modern day “playing doctor or spin the bottle,” according to an AFP article.

The professor, Peter Cumming, presented a paper on children’s sexuality at the 78th Congress of the Humanities and Social Sciences, reported the AFP. At the conference, held at Ottawa’s Carleton University for about 8,000 researchers from around the globe, attendees heard that youths who sexted should not face child pornography charges, according to the AFP.

In the United States, some teens have faced such charges. In one case, according to the AFP article, a Florida boy was charged after he sent a photo of his genitalia to a female classmate. Another teen, after e-mailing nude photos of his 16-year-old girlfriend to her family, was listed as a sex offender.

Whether or not sexting should warrant criminal charges will remain a hot button issue, says author and Hollywood media expert Michael Levine.

“We are in unprecedented water,” he says. “We don’t know what the consequences of this will be in 10 years, but we do now that it is much more widespread than people think.”

Levine says that sexting is “extremely widespread and common. If you ask a kid what percentage of her top ten friends sex-texts, they’ll say 100 percent,” he says.

Teens are using technology like cell phones to push the boundaries of flirtation, says Dr. Kathleen Bogle, sociology professor and author of “Hooking Up: Sex, Dating, and Relationships on Campus” (New York University Press).

“To teens, sexting is not some sort of pornographic exchange, but a way to communicate sexual and/or romantic interest in one of their peers,” Bogle says. “Much like spin the bottle games utilized by a previous generation, sexting is something that teens do away from the supervision of adults. However, they believe it is a normal right of passage.”

Some 20 percent of American teenagers said they had participated in sexting, according to a survey by a US family planning organization reported by the AFP.

Bogle says that sexting does not necessarily make kids more promiscuous.

“One mistake adults make is that they assume one means the other,” she says. “Even though sexting is going on, it does not necessarily follow that promiscuity is on the rise.”

Tuesday, May 26, 2009

Now Twitter Has Really Jumped the Shark

by Mike Moody
Article Source: TV Squad

I know the Internet has been harsh on Twitter lately, what with Oprah signing up for an account and that stupid Ashton Kutcher vs. CNN thing. But it's time to prepare yourself for a whole new world of online Twitter bashing.

Why? Because Twitter is coming to TV.

Creating a show based on the popular Web service isn't necessarily a bad idea. I'm sure someone could do something creative with it. But the people developing the upcoming Twitter TV show have other ideas. According to the AP, "The show would harness Twitter to put players on the trail of celebrities in an interactive, competitive format." Ugh.

Really? Twitter is bringing us a celebrity stalking game show?

No more details were made available concerning the format of the show or when/where it would air. And yes, Twitter itself is helping to produce this show, which I'm guessing will end up on MTV or VH1, feature useless C-list celebs or tween sensations, and make most of us feel ashamed while typing our 140 characters or less.

I guess it's time to go back to Tumblr.

Many Teens Who Use Electronic Devices at Night Don't Get Enough Sleep, Study Says

By Caroline Wilbert
Article Source: WebMD

Many Teens Who Use Electronic Devices at Night Don't Get Enough Sleep, Study Says

It's not just about turning off your kid’s television anymore.

A new study shows that many teens are not getting adequate sleep, and this deficiency is especially common among teens who use electronic devices -- such as computers, cell phones, and televisions -- at night.

The study, published in Pediatrics, included 100 participants aged 12 to 18 who were in middle school and high school. Participants were recruited during their wellness exam visits at a pediatrics office in suburban Philadelphia. They filled out a questionnaire on their own, while parents filled out a separate form with demographic information.

Each participant was assigned a multitasking index, based on their answers to questions about how much time after 9 p.m. they spent with various electronic devices. The majority of participants used some form of technology in the nighttime hours.

  • 82% reported watching television after 9 p.m.
  • 55% reported being online
  • 44% reported talking on the phone
  • 42% reported listening to an MP3 player
  • 36% reported watching movies
  • 34% reported text messaging
  • 24% reported playing computer games

On average, participants engaged in four technology activities. The average multitasking rating was the equivalent of a teen doing one activity for 5.3 hours or doing four activities for one hour and 20 minutes each.

Researchers found a significant correlation between the multitasking index and sleep. Teens getting eight to 10 hours of sleep per night tended to have a lower multitasking index. Teens with a high multitasking index also drank more caffeine. Of the 85% of adolescents who reported drinking caffeine, 11% reported drinking the equivalent of four espressos a day.

Across the board, only 20% of the adolescents obtained the recommended eight to 10 hours of sleep. Those getting inadequate sleep were more likely to fall asleep during class. Although caffeine consumption tended to be lower in the group getting a good night’s sleep, that correlation did not reach statistical significance.

In their conclusion, the researchers call for more study on the complex relationship between teen sleep, caffeine consumption, electronics usage, and early school starts.

U.S. Teens Sent 2,272 Text Messages Per Month In 4Q08

Posted by Eric Zeman
Article Source: Information Week

According to a new report by the Nielsen Company, teenagers in the U.S. sent an average of 2,272 text messages per month. That comes out to more than 80 messages per day, representing a more-than 100% increase compared to the year-ago quarter.

It's hard to say if the real winners here are the teens or the wireless companies. Sure, teens are milking the living daylights out of those unlimited messaging plans, but they are doing it at a cost -- at least, so say doctors.

The New York Times posted an in-depth piece today about the health consequences of cosntant messaging. It reports, "The phenomenon is beginning to worry physicians and psychologists, who say it is leading to anxiety, distraction in school, falling grades, repetitive stress injury and sleep deprivation."

I can sure attest to the repetitive stress injury part of the equation. Back when I was using a BlackBerry, there would be days when the tendons attached to my thumbs would ache and burn. It was known as "BlackBerry Thumb", stress and fatigue of the repetitive motion of typing on a BlackBerry.

In all honesty, I haven't had any problems since I switched to using an iPhone most of the time for messaging. Why? Well, with a physical keyboard, you have to press each key to get it to respond. With the iPhone (and many other touch phones), you simply touch the screen lightly to get the same result. You don't have to exert any real pressure.

I've never sent or received as many messages per month as the average U.S. teen, but I've come awfully close.

The Times article includes a lot of other good information about not only the physical issues that texting can bring up, but also the psychological issues, such as dependence and development. If you're the parent of a teen, I highly suggest you give it a read.

If you're the busy manager of younger employees who you've armed with BlackBerries, you can probably get something out of it, too.

The end story is that anyone in charge of a messaging device needs to keep track of how it is being used.

Survey: Only 8% of Teens Watch TV Online

Article Source: The Hollywood Reporter

Researcher Says Fuss Over Streaming May Be Overblown

By Erik Gruenwedel, Home Media Magazine

As the mainstream media and Wall Street fawn over repurposed television shows streamed for free on, and related network sites, independent analyst Bruce Leichtman wonders what the fuss is about.

In a nationwide survey of 1,250 broadband households and separate sample group of 250 teens aged 12 to 17, Leichtman found that only 8% of respondents watch repurposed TV shows online, compared with 24% who watch news clips, 20% who view user-generated clips on YouTube and 15% who watch sports news or highlights.

"While online video usage is growing, it is shortsighted to think of this primarily as an alternative venue for watching TV shows," Leichtman said in research notes. "In fact, consumer use of video online remains much more about short-form video."

The Durham, N.H.-based analyst said changes in the amount of TV programming consumed online compared to the TV do not portend an emerging "either/or" dichotomy among viewers. The report found that people who watch TV shows online weekly are actually heavier media consumers and less likely to disconnect from subscription-based cable TV.

About 8% of respondents who watch repurposed TV online (18% among teens) said they watch TV less often. Indeed, just 3% of adults (compared to 4% last year) said they would consider disconnecting their TV service to watch exclusively online.

The report said the number of broadband connected homes doubled in the past four years to 68 million at the end of 2008.

Thursday, May 21, 2009

Teen, Pre-teen Migration to Virtual Worlds On the Rise

Over the course of 2008, an estimated 8 million teen and pre-teen kids in the US visited virtual worlds on a regular basis, researchers at eMarketer said today. Calling virtual world usage "strong and getting stronger," eMarketer senior analyst Debra Aho Williamson projects that number will grow to over 15 million by 2013.

The growth, however, does not come without a hiccup or two. "Unfortunately, as with social networks, advertising has not kept pace with usage," Williamson says. "Not surprisingly, the hype and fizzling out of Second Life, combined with the tough economy, have made some marketers skittish for virtual worlds in general."

Skittish marketers notwithstanding, eMarketer estimates that 37% of children ages 3 to 11 who go online will visit a virtual world at least once a month. By 2013, eMarketer projects that percentage will increase to 54%.

Looking at the slightly older teen demographic, kids between the ages of 12 -17, eMarketer projects that 18% of that segment will visit a virtual world on at least a monthly basis in 2009. That percentage is projected to climb to 25% by 2013.

Interesting among the statistics in Williamson's just-released study, Kids and Teens: Growing up Virtual, is the growth among pre-teens between the ages of 3 – 11 who visit virtual worlds. eMarketer expects pre-teen usage to spike from 28% in 2008 to 37% in 2009, then increasing sequentially in 4 and 5 percent point jumps through to 2013. Increased use of virtual worlds among teens is seen as rising as well, but only in spurts of 1 and 2 percentage points sequentially. [see charts]

Emarketer2 In the study, Williamson notes the impact of a slumping global economy on the virtual worlds space: "The rate of development in virtual worlds targeted to the youth audience will slow as economic pressures mean less money for venture capital and for advertising to support new worlds."

Still, says Williamson, "There is no denying that creating avatars and exploring virtual worlds are growing activities for many children and teens."

Virtual Worlds News last spoke with Williamson in 2007 when eMarketer last released a detailed study of teen and pre-teen use of virtual worlds.


The CW Upfront: 3 New Shows, Changes on 4 Nights

The CW Upfront: 3 New Shows, Changes on 4 Nights

-Marc Berman, Mediaweek

Sticking with its theme of targeting young females, The CW will introduce three new series next fall -- all dramas -- with changes impacting four out of its five nights of programming. (Sunday has been handed back to the affiliates.)

Monday will remain intact care of returning dramas Gossip Girl and One Tree Hill. Sophomore 90210 on Tuesday will move back into the 8 p.m. hour, leading into Melrose Place, a revival of the classic Fox drama. Still potent America’s Next Top Model will continue as the Wednesday anchor, leading into compatible-sounding drama The Beautiful Life, which focuses on the trials and tribulations of young models, male and female, in New York City. In a surprise move, veteran Smallville will relocate to Friday at 8 p.m. (and into the traditional America’s Next Top Model encore), opening the Thursday 8 p.m. time period to highly touted The Vampire Diaries, which could be described as a combination of Charmed meets Buffy, the Vampire Slayer (see New Program Descriptions below). The Vampire Diaries leads into returning Supernatural, which heads into season five.

The CW will, in addition, launch another new drama in midseason, Parental Discretion Advised, the story of a 15-year-old female teen who meets her biological parents for the first time.

Missing from The CW’s fall lineup is sophomore drama Reaper, which may remain alive in first-run syndication, freshman drama Privileged, sitcoms Everybody Hates Chris and The Game, and the nonscripted 13: Fear is Real. Lily, the proposed spinoff from Gossip Girl, did not make the cut as well.


What Does Kris Allen's 'American Idol' Upset Say About the State of the Union? Probably Nothing

by Troy Reimink | The Grand Rapids Press

Throughout the Internet there exists an amazing amount of "American Idol" punditry, both amateur and professional. Looking through the ol' Google feed, they all pretty much agree on one thing about last night's Adam Lambert-Kris Allen finale -- the wrong dude won.

So begins the process of determining what, if anything, it means. Disclosure: I don't watch the show but consider it an interesting sociological exercise. From that perspective, the outcome offered a lot of meat on which to chew.

For instance, what does it say about America when the bland, vanilla coffee-house guy wins over the more talented, stylish, flamboyant (OK, gay, maybe) favorite? Is the country socially regressing? Has the taste of "change" as embodied in President Obama proved too scary for the masses? Does this bode well for the Republicans in 2010 and beyond? All of the above? None?...


Chace Crawford Officially Set for 'Footloose': Let's Hear It for the Bo-oy?

Article Source: Entertainment Weekly

by Margaret Lyons

It's official: Chace Crawford will be starring in the remake of Footloose, the one Zac Efron dropped out of earlier this spring.

I'm trying to separate my feelings about the wisdom of a Footloose remake -- unwise! don't do it! -- from my feelings about Crawford as the lead, but...yeesh. I can't lie, PWers: This whole thing is bumming me out. I like Crawford enough as the snooty, conflicted Nate on Gossip Girl, but Ren is an exuberant character, someone whose youthful energy is explosive, whose need to duh-duh-duh-dance cannot be denied!

I'm guessing the smoking and DUI will be cut from the update, but watch this and tell me you think Crawford can Billy Elliot it up like this:

The polite word for how I feel is skeptical. But maybe Crawford's just never had the chance to move when the spirit said move -- and director Kenny Ortega choreographed Dirty Dancing for crying out loud. The guy knows his way around dance-fueled coming-of-age stories. Maybe my concern is overstated.

What about you, PopWatchers? Are you ready for Chace Crawford to liberate a small town from its puritanical no-dancing policies?

New App Glympse Could Be Teen's Worst Nightmare

Article Source:

(NECN: Ted McEnroe) - You can hear the conversation now.

"Hey Dad, I'm going to stay at the library."

"Are you really there?"

"Of course! What kind of a son/daughter do you think I am?"

"Well, then just send me a Glympse!" (Cue thunder, lightning and scary music)

It's a teenager's worst nightmare. An application for your cell phone that can beam back your exact location on demand - but in a way that resolves some of the privacy concerns of broadcasting your personal location at all times.

It's called Glympse, and it does address the issue that had limited the success of location software like Google Latitude and others. Glympse allows a cell phone user to send their real-time location to someone via e-mail or text message - giving the recipient a web link to a map that shows where you are. But Glympse's real value lies in that the user can control how long the link is active.

That gives it a little more value than just its ability to force your teenager to prove they really are at the library. You could set Glympse to track you en route to a meeting or reservation, in case you get stuck in traffic. Or if you break down, Glympse can make it easier for friends or a tow truck to track you down.

It's only available for Google Android right now, so it's hard to know how well it works, but it is expected to roll out for other phones.

Wednesday, May 20, 2009

Social MTV: Adds YouTube Videos

Article Source:

Social music site added YouTube videos to its music feed today, allowing users to turn its “Twitter for music” service into a social video playlisting site. The free service, which allows users to listen to songs and share them in playlists that resemble Twitter’s interface, now includes a window for watching videos as the songs play. It’s a sort of on-demand, social MTV — at least one that’s reminiscent of the era when MTV actually played music videos.

The move also beefs up’s audio content offering for U.S. users, although recent changes to its content library have left some international users with fewer songs from which to choose. recently began sourcing songs via Imeem but eliminated content from MP3 search engine Skreemr, which scraped the web for songs wherever they were lying around. While that’s generally a boon to U.S. users, many international listeners have reported that their full songs have been replaced by frustrating 30-second clips.

CEO Jeff Yasuda discussed the first round of changes, but not the YouTube additions, in this blog post last Thursday. The post doesn’t say why effected the changes, but it does mention lawyers. The streaming of songs lying around on the web falls into a legal gray area, but Imeem and YouTube content is fully licensed.

While providing a visual component to go alongside’s audio stream, the YouTube deal also provides some insurance against the potential eventual loss of Imeem content, although Imeem appears to be staying afloat with a new round of funding. YouTube, meanwhile, still suffers from its loss of Warner Music Group songs last year, but features music from the other three major labels as well as countless indies.

Originally a service from, a now-defunct social network for musicians, reorganized last fall with new funding from insider investors. Stats from show steady growth in recent months, pegging its April 2009 U.S. audience at about 500,000 users, while Quantcast data suggests that more than half of its 1.2 million global users are in the U.S. takes in modest revenue from referrals to online music stores and ticket agencies, as well as advertising.


Teen Vegetarian in the House?

Article Source: The Examiner

Roughly 5 million American adults eat a vegetarian diet, according to a poll from the Vegetarian Resource Group. But have you noticed lately that many teenagers have "gone veg?" A recent study from the Journal of American Dietetic Association says adolescent vegetarians are at increased risk of disordered eating behaviors.

Although most of us think "healthy" when we hear the word vegetarian, the study indicates that many teens choose to eliminate meat from their diet for weight-loss reasons. Research has shown that vegetarians are less likely to be overweight than meat eaters, but this study reports more binge eating and extreme unhealthful weight-control behaviors among adolescent and young adult "former vegetarians" than "never vegetarians." If your teen chooses vegetarianism, talk about the reasons. Some teens profess it's to save and protect animals but may be saying that to cover up unhealthy eating behaviors.....


Tuesday, May 19, 2009

Young Adult Book Authors Embrace Online Video

Article Source:

Publishers and authors are stepping up their game when it comes to online video and book promotion.

The young adult genre is taking the lead with new creative experiments in Web video to promote books like Jay Asher’s “Thirteen Reasons Why,” Alyson Noel’s “Evermore” and Harper Teen’s “The Luxe,”

For more details on what’s working, what’s not and what’s next when it comes to the intersection of the Internet and novels, check out this episode of the New Media Minute.

Daisy Whitney

Editor's Note: We are delighted to publish Daisy's New Media Minute every on Beet.TV. Andy Plesser

New! GIRL NEWS: So What Do Tween Girls Really Think?

NEW YORK, NY--(Marketwire - May 19, 2009) - National Tween Girl Summit founders and the nation's leading tween girl research firm, AK Tweens, and, the country's largest COPPA compliant tween girl social networking site, today announce the first ever National Tween Girl Summit, which was first announced in March 2009, will be held at the historic Capital Hilton Hotel, two blocks from the White House, on October 10, 2009 from 8am - 10:30pm, including evening entertainment.

Two hundred and fifty, nine to 14-year-old tween girls from around the country are expected to attend the National Tween Girl Summit, as well as experts, politicians, celebrities and other persons of note. The goal of the Summit is to examine and understand the minds, motivation and lives of tween girls, giving tween girls a platform to share their thoughts and opinions on a range of subjects, and marketers, policy makers and parents a more thorough understanding of this enigmatic and highly influential demographic.

The final agenda, to be announced, will cover a wide range of topics important to tweens, their families, and to marketers and policy makers including the importance of community service and activism, personal safety online and off, tween pressure and self-image, what's hot and what's not in the world of tweens and much more. The agenda also includes a celebrity filled night of entertainment, especially for tweens...

It's Hip To Be Square: Brand Appeal Among Young Adults

Brand Appeal Among Young Adults

MAY 19, 2009

It’s hip to be square.

If you want your brand to be associated with young people, then image isn’t everything, at least not according to a study by MTV Networks, the long-time arbiter of cool—and what’s hot—among young audiences.

For the study, Internet users ages 12 to 24 in five countries—Germany, India, Japan, the UK and the US—were surveyed.

According to respondents ages 18 to 24, the most popular features of a brand were good quality, trustworthiness and workability—three traits not usually associated with the stereotypical image of free-wheeling youth.

Features that Make a Brand Desirable According to Young Adult Internet Users Worldwide*, September-December 2008 (% of respondents)

Less important were image, history and the brand’s popularity. The approval of friends was at the bottom of the list.

How the brands were discovered was also important.

Sixty-five percent of the teens and young adults surveyed felt seeing a brand on TV created a sense of quality, though how much varied from country to country. Seventy-seven percent of respondents in India thought TV equaled brand quality, followed by residents of the UK, US, Japan and Germany.

Attitudes Toward Brands Among Teen and Young Adult Internet Users in Select Countries, September-December 2008 (% of respondents)

In each country, a majority of respondents reported that the Internet makes choosing brands easier.

The data highlights the “need to engage in comprehensive 360-degree campaigns,” said Jules Robinson of Viacom Brand Solutions International.

In other words, marketers need to advertise brands on both TV and the Internet. Not exactly new news, but it never hurts to reinforce the thought.

Note: Respondents in India are not representative of the country’s general population.