FCC won’t punish Verizon and T-Mobile for exaggerating their coverage maps

FCC Officials Testify Before House Energy And Commerce CommitteeThe Federal Communications Commission (FCC) conducted an investigation on Verizon, T-Mobile, and US Cellular. The FCC staff ran speed and coverage tests in rural areas around the country to assess whether consumers in these areas were receiving sufficient download speeds. The FCC concluded that Verizon and T-Mobile over-exaggerated their 4G coverage maps to trick current customers as well as potential customers into believing 4G and fast downloading speeds were available in their area. Staff were unable to receive any 4G signal in 21.3% of T-Mobile’s tests and 16.2% of Verizon’s tests.

In the report the FCC said “Overstating mobile broadband coverage misleads the public and can misallocate our limited universal service funds, and thus it must be met with meaningful consequences.” They also recommended that they assemble a team to ensure the accuracy of mobile broadband maps. T-Mobile stood by its maps but said that they agree with the fact that there is room to improve their procedures and coverage maps.

The FCC will not be punishing the mobile carriers at all because they could not find a “sufficiently clear violation”. Instead, they will send out an advisory reminder to the entire industry that they could be punished for exaggerating their coverage maps. The commission also decided to drop it’s $4.5 billion Mobility Fund due to the overstated coverage maps discovered.



How to win the attention wars by Converging Creative and Media

Image result for creative and mediaNowadays, consumer attention is very important to the media landscape. The most successful companies get their creative, media, technology and data teams to work together to create a seamless user experience with no inconsistencies. This increases the likelihood consumers that something will catch and keep a consumer’s attention.

The article basically explains what influences consumers’ buying decisions. The writer brings up several important points. No one has ever bought as sweater because the ad they saw it in enticed them to do so. An ad isn’t directly going to make a human want to purchase something, there’s a lot more behind it. The way a brand makes the potential buyer/consumer feel is the main factor that drives people to purchase. This is an important fact for marketers and businesses. Companies should be focusing on how their brand makes potential and current feel. For this reason, figuring out your target market as a business is important so you can provide a tailored experience for consumer’s.

The author of the articles says that individuals in the industry often forget how important adding creative aspects is in guaranteeing the effectiveness of media. He says that brands should be looking for ways to create personal, meaningful connections with their current and potential customers. Delta Airlines, for example, used to have a customer service phone line that would frequently have long wait times. Delta turned this experience into a positive one by integrating a chatbot that texts you when an agent becomes available. The alerts also let travelers on their journey know where the nearest airport lounge is and notifies them if there are any changes to their flight. experience uses technology to understand who and where the customer is and then seamlessly serve the right message at the right time. This made customers feel like they were being heard and it resonated with how they feel.



Disney Reports 10M ‘Sign-Ups’ For Disney+ One Day After Launch


Disney has announced that their highly-anticipated streaming service app Disney+ has already racked up about 10m+ subscribers after its launch this Tuesday. Although Disney has not stated whether or not this number includes pre-sales or the company’s 7-day free trial. It is very possible that most of these subscribers are from Fios, since they are offering their customers a free year of the Disney+ to their new and existing Verizon Wireless unlimited customers, new Fios home internet customers and new 5G home internet customers. Once customers get the free trial and utilize it for a year, they will probably want to keep the service and buy it after the free trial is up. Either way, the numbers are amazing and Disney has forecast that Disney+ will have 60 to 90 million subscribers by the end of 2024.

Disney has no plans to release the platform outside of the company, and debuted in 3 countries Tuesday– United States, Canada and the Netherlands. The streaming service is slated to be released in more countries in the coming weeks. It will debut in European markets on March 31, 2020 which should bring in a huge amount of subscribers and revenue.

I found it interesting that Disney warns subscribers streaming content on Disney+. that they may encounter “outdated cultural depictions” while watching some older Disney content. Some of Disney’s classics such as Dumbo, The Aristocats, The Jungle Book, and Lady and the Tramp. Disney warns their customers that they are about to see content that will trigger some people due to its negative depictions of minority races. In my opinion, Disney is making sure to keep a close eye on its content now that it is presenting it on a single streaming platform to a 2019 audience who is a lot more racially aware.


Americans Trust Local News. That Belief Is Being Exploited.

Americans express greater trust in news from local television and newspapers than national outlets, research shows.

The high amount of trust that Americans have in the local news has long been exploited. Now, this problem is changing in nature due to Americans’ increase skepticism about the national news they consume.

Some misinformation in local news comes from foreign governments seeking to meddle in American domestic politics. We have seen this is the 2016 presidential election when Russian bots invaded the likes of Facebook and Twitter, spreading false and extremist views. Things are changing and becoming more trickier, however. Websites are becoming more creative with the way they trick readers. Many fake news websites impersonate real local news outlets with faux-local names. In Michigan, The Lansing State Journal ( a real news outlet) reported the existence of a network of more than 35 faux-local websites across the state of Michigan with names like Battle Creek Times, Detroit City Wire, Lansing Sun and Grand Rapids Reporter. These sites can easily trick someone into believing they’re real.

As this tactic has become more common, some influential political figures have unknowingly promoted these independent local news sites. For example, a website called the California Republican promised to inform its readers with the latest news, sports and analysis in the Central Valley area. However, it was later found out that California Republican congressman Devin Nunes’, campaign committee team had paid for the website. Similarly, Kelli Ward, a Republican representative from Arizona, promoted an election endorsement from a pseudo-local Arizona news site. This could

When it comes down to it, Americans trust local news outlets more than national outlets.  This is especially true of Republicans, who are the most skeptical of national media news. That is why it’s so easy for local news outlets to manipulate readers and be impersonated. These fake local news sights often align with the readers views, which is another reason why the content is likely to be well-trusted and believed..

The NCAA will allow athletes to profit from their name, image and likeness in a major shift for the organization

Alabama quarterback Tua Tagovailoa (13) passes downfield against Texas A&M during the second half of an NCAA college football game, Saturday, Oct. 12, 2019, in College Station, Texas. (AP Photo/Sam Craft)

The NCAA organization’s top governing board voted unanimously to allow college athletes to be compensated which will mark a huge change for student-athletes. This is more sports news, but it is also relevant media news because the athletes will be getting paid mainly for their image and likeness in the media such as product endorsement commercials and advertisements.

The NCAA’s 3 divisions will have to individually decided their own rules and details regarding this change. The NCAA has always previously been strictly against compensating their players, as they believe there should be a clear distinction between an amateur player and a professional player. Last month, California. became the first state to pass and implement a law that would allow student athletes attending college in the state to be compensated for their likeliness in the media.

This new law is very controversial and people believe it should be heavily distinctive. People believe that all of the scholarship money each student-athlete receives should be both treated and taxed like income. I don’t think that scholarship money should be received as income because its not getting spent on personal items for entertainment, it’s spent on educational purposes– which is essentially a necessity nowadays. However, it does make sense that if students are getting paid for their athletic likeliness that the money they receive from this should be considered income– because it is. They are essentially working; playing a sport, and getting paid for it. I agree with this new law, and I think it should have been in effect a long time ago. All the players that played sports in college, were great at their sport and the star of their college, but didn’t go on to be in the Professional league, could have had some sort of financial security due to their play in college.

Article: https://www.cnbc.com/2019/10/29/ncaa-allows-athletes-to-be-compensated-for-names-images.html

Analyst: Disney+ Projected To Hit 8 Million Subscribers In 2019, 18 Million In 2020


Disney’s new streaming service isn’t set to debut until November 12th, however it’s already expected to bring in a huge amount of subscribers. Amongst the growing amount of streaming services, Disney+ will be up against many other services but it’s predicted to come out on top.

Michael Nathanson, senior research analyst at MoffettNathanson Research, predicts that Disney+ will have 8 million subscribers at launch, and 18 million subscribers by the end of 2020. This is a huge turnout and may force some other streaming services out of business and further disrupt the amount of cable subscribers. Verizon will be the cause of many of these subscribers, because they will be giving Disney+ premium video access to their new and existing customers for free for a year. Many of these customers will probably retain their subscription after the year is up.

Even though only about 17.7 million customers out of a total of 33.9 Verizon customers are going to be eligible for a free Disney+ subscription is predicted that by the end pf 2020, just about 9 million of the 18 million Disney+ subscribers will be from Verizon alone. Again, Disney+ is set to launch on November 12th  at an initial price of $6.99 per month or a yearly subscription for $69.99. If you are apart of The official Disney Fan Club, you are privy to some other discounts, including a 3-year plan for only $141 and for Disney Park guest, a 3-year plan will be only $170. It will be interesting to see how much disruption Disney+ will cause, and what this will mean for other streaming services.

Amazon Alexa and Google Home’s voice assistant were vulnerable to hackers

Image result for amazon alexa and google home


Most households nowadays have a least one smart voice assistant product– either Google Home or Amazon Alexa. Researchers are saying that both these products were vulnerable to a major security issue that could have allowed 3rd party apps to eavesdrop on people without their permission.

Security Research Labs said it discovered a flaw within Amazon and Google that allowed hackers to steal user’s information, and reported it to both companies. Amazon and Google give third party apps access to their products to improve them, however, hackers could have inappropriately used this information and customized commands in order to get user’s to reveal sensitive information about themselves.

For example, in one instance, a user asked their Amazon Alexa product a question. Unbeknownst to the user, after the product was finished answering the question, it continued to run in the background and listen to the user. After a few minutes, the device announced that the company had released a new update and asked the user to say their password.

Amazon and Google assistant products never ask user’s to reveal their password through voice when they’re working properly and not hacked and manipulated by third party softwares and developers. Google and Amazon both said they have since fixed the issue, but it’s still very alarming.

AT&T bought DirecTV for $49 billion. It’s still paying a price for the deal

Image result for AT&T bought DirecTV‘When AT&T bought the direct broadcast service provider DirecTV four years ago , we can only guess they didn’t expect people were going to get rid of their cable and streaming would take off. Or maybe they knew, but thought the benefits of buying DirecTV outweighed the risks. AT&T bought DirecTV in 2015 for $49 billion + DirecTV’s. debt which came to a combined total of $67.1 billion. Since then, DirecTV has been on a downwards spiral, and its not exactly doing nearly as well as AT&T would like them to be doing.

AT&T originally acquired DirecTV because they wanted to expand their offerings and differentiate themselves in on the market and stand out more. However AT&T bought the company right around the time when the pay TV market began to change dramatically. Shareholders are revolting, with most feeling like AT&T’s acquisition of  DirecTV has had “damaging results” to the company. Amazon Prime, Netflix, Hulu, etc. have made cord-cutting (getting rid of cable and utilizing streaming services exclusively) a feasible option for many cable customers. People can easily access their favorite TV shows online, eliminating the need for live and appointment TV. On the other hand, streaming services such as Sling, YouTube TV, and Philo deliver live TV with tons of other features such as cloud DVR– all at a way lower price than cable providers such as DirecTV. The cable service also doesn’t provide internet like their competitors VerizonFios and Comcast Xfinity. These companies have retained customers in a way DirecTV can’t.

When AT&T bought DirecTV, they had approximately 20.3 million customers and AT&T’s own U-verse cable had about 5.7 million customers. As of the second quarter of this year they are down 17% in customers in the last 4 years. Experts believe that this number in customers will only continue to decrease.

Now it seems DirecTV is relying on Sunday Ticket, which lets subscribers watch out-of-market NFL games every Sunday. This has become the centerpiece of the satellite cable company.

The Big Number: 3 or more hours a day of social media use hurts youths’ mental health

It’s no secret that the amount of time we spend consuming media has increased dramatically and is still currently increasing. A recent study by JAMA Psychiatry revealed that children and teens who spend more than 3 hours using social media such as Youtube, Instagram, Twitter, and Facebook, are more likely to experience anxiety, depression, loneliness and aggression than children who don’t. The survey was done nationally, on about 6,595 adolescents living in the United States.The finding wasn’t surprising, but thinking about the amount of children in this age range who definitely use these applications more than 3 hours a day this observation really puts things into perspective.

 Heavy social media use can lead to sleep problems and an increase the risk for cyberbullying, which has been tied to symptoms of depression, and result in unrealistic comparisons of yourself and your life to those of others seen on social media. Children who spend more than 6 hours a day on social media are 4 times more likely to suffer these problems.

Social media is proven to be detrimental to children and pre teens because they’re in a very fragile transitional period. Social media can be a very hostile, judgmental environment and it’s not for children of this age. Pediatrics suggest that parents have a media plan for their children so that they can monitor and control the amount of media their kids consume daily and what exactly they’re consuming. 


We Need a PBS for Social Media

This article was in the ‘opinion’ section of nytimes.com, but I thought it was interesting. All social media outlets have the same basic model: Create a product that maximizes attention and gets users hooked, then collect as much data from possible from then in order to sell it. The author of the article, Mark Coatney argues that social media is toxic to children, racial relations, and essentially society itself. The pressure to impose regulations and breaking up big companies.

Coatney suggests that the problem can’t be solved by current for-profit media outlets and that we need to create non profit outlet that aims to create a less toxic environment online. 50 years ago when Lydon B. Johnson signed the Public Broadcasting Act, which allowed a portion of funds in order to create public television and radio that would be “responsive to the interests of people”. Why can’t this be done for social media? After all, the definition of “media” has changed a lot in the last 50 years.

The non profit social media application would be explicitly non commercial among other things, and it would collect minimal data from the user.

“An account on a public media platform would be tied to a real-world, local identity, like a driver’s license or library card. Anonymity online has real benefits, and a user name doesn’t have to be your real name” (Coatney, 2019).

There are certainly downfalls to Coatley’s idea, but he makes a great point throughout the article. Despite the massive amount of people that have existing social media accounts on for profit platforms, people might be happier and feel less stress and anxiety on a pbs-like social media platform.