Archive for the ‘Digital Media’ category

Lilliputian Systems and MicroOptical get recognised as WEF Tech Pioneers 2007

December 14, 2006

Congratulations to two of our portfolio companies, who were nominated recently for the World Economic Forum Tech Pioneer Award 2007:

Lilliputian Systems, one of our Cleantech investments, developing micro-fuel cells for portable devices, Interview with Ken Lazarus, and

MicroOptical, providing a new “viewing” experience for digital content, Interview with Kip Kokinakis – No wonder, Paris Hilton love this product!

Congrats and well deserved to both companies!


Video copyright – A recent Update!

November 20, 2006

Two recent cases in the online video market, “EMI shuns YouTube for Gotuit“, and “Universal Music sues MySpace“, highlight the fact, that online video copyright is still a huge, unsolved issue out there to be tackled.

Gotuit, an Atlas Venture portfolio company, has succeeded to sign up EMI. Although three other major labels have licensed their music-video catalogs to YouTube in exchange for a slice of the ad revenues, EMI said in an article “that it still had concerns about YouTube’s ability to combat illicit uploads of copyrighted music videos“.

In another case, Universal Music sues MySpace for infringing on the copyrights of its artists. “The world’s largest record company followed through on that threat today, filing a copyright infringement lawsuit against MySpace and its parent company, News Corp. The suit claims that MySpace allows its users to upload videos illegally and encourages that infringement by re-formatting the videos to be played back or sent to others.”

Takeaway: Copyright, and due to the recent video portal hype – video copyright, is still a huge issue out there. A solution, which might entail better licensing deals, further legislation as well as technological innovation in order to not infringe right holders, does not seem to be in place any time soon.

Otherwise Google would not have reserved $500M according to SpiegelOnline against possible copyright lawsuits against its video services. Less than 1/3 it paid for YouTube recently….

Microsoft launches Zune – Initial feedback disappointing

November 15, 2006

Microsoft today launched its “IPod-Killer” – ZUNE. The initial feedback from US Bloggers and the High-Tech Press is disappointing.

A real-time poll done by readers on SpiegelOnline shows a gloomy pictures for Zune. Asked whether Zune will have a chance against iPod, the majority of readers seems to be very sceptical.


Takeaway: Good try, but still a long way to go before they might be able to successfully compete with Apple on their home turf!

1st TrendSlam a great success!

October 20, 2006

TrendSlam LogoCongratulations to Monty and his team for organizing the 1st TrendSlam in history. A well attended event of top media experts and entrepreneurs was challenged to present in exactly 5min their ideas, trends and thoughts about the future in “new media”. Top speakers at this well attended event were i.e. Felix Petersen from Plazes, Anina and Florian Forster from Fon (have you seen their recent announcement to give away routers free-of-charge?), who all presented a compelling story and value proposition. The next TrendSlam is supposed to take place in New York with a focus on US trends. Well done all together!

Local advertising – next generation!

July 24, 2006

Local advertising has been around for quite some time now, especially around internet and Web 2.0. The success of this model still seems to take more time than expected, as local SMEs are still hesitent to consider local internet advertising. This “delay” in internet local ad uptake has been anticipate by a few interesting start-ups, which are trying to uncover the next (or the) big thing for local advertising and SMBs

Start-ups such as spotrunner Spot Runner(advertising / video for local cable operators), MerchantCircle (directory assistance) or Jingle Networks (also directory assistance) are doing some cool things with local advertisers.

Takeways: I wonder if this is a trend we will be seeing here in Europe as well. At the moment, the US start-ups seem to have a quick-start over their European peers.

Recommendation: I am sure Google wouldn’t mind acquiring one of these trendy start-ups, which leverage new technology and new trends around SMB / local advertising.

Debitel launches Mobile TV offering for €9.95 per month

June 2, 2006

According to various sources, Debitel has launched a mobile TV offering in cooperation with MFD. MFD, a young German start-up has managed to secure a nationwide DMB license earlier this year. Now, Debitel is on air with a €9.95 / month package with four channels (Pro7Sat1 Channel, MTV, N24 and ZDF) in Berlin, Cologne, Frankfurt, Munich and Stuttgart. Other cities to follow during the Worldcup.

Takeaway: A new, exciting area has started for German consumers! At least for some – for the time being! As the only commercial handset available in the market currently is the SGH-P900 from Samsung which requires a €199 contract with Debitel.

Recommendation: This major milestone in the history of mobile TV will provide a lot of opportunities for young, nimble start-ups which will fill the various promising niches between the two major parties (mobile operators; content providers). MFD is a very good example of a young start-up challenging the traditional contenders. I am sure, we will see more of these in other related mobile TV areas….

German MNO Alliance for Mobile TV

May 29, 2006

What a big bang announcement! T-Mobile, Vodafone, O2 and e-Plus have announced a cooperation to deliver 14 TV Channels and 2 Radio Channels based on the DVB-H Standard.

Takeaway: This is a big move in the overall mobile TV landscape. So far, only young and motivated start-ups (MFD, etc.) have started to set-up their own programs and channels on i.e. DMB. This recent German alliance of the four leading MNOs is a big move, which could change the still nascent mobile TV landscape dramatically here. It remains to be seen, if this alliance is flexible enough to deliver on its promises or if small start-ups are more nimble than the big ones.