Former CBS DJ Adam Carolla Gets a New Gig: CBS Podcast Host

carolla-shotEarlier this year, I wrote about Adam Carolla, who used to be a popular DJ for CBS Radio and now hosts his own popular podcast. My take: Carolla is even better on the Web than he is on the air, but I worried that he’d have a hard time turning his talent and Internet audience into money.

Turns out he’s figured out how to do it: By going back to work for CBS.

The broadcaster, which canned Carolla from his radio job earlier in the year, is now going to sponsor his podcast. It will promote the show, handle ad sales and let Carolla program his own Web radio station.

The press release announcing the deal describes it as a “partnership.” I’m trying to figure out if that means Carolla will become an employee again or if it’s a real partnership, whereby, say, he retains ownership of his show and shares revenue with CBS (CBS).

I’m guessing it’s the former, since selling ads for podcasts still requires a lot of work and not that much return. It’s much easier for CBS to sell ads against a local radio station with an audience of a million or more than for Carolla’s show, which reaches an average of 130,000 people at a time.

Still, Carolla’s show is frequently in Apple (AAPL) iTunes’s Top 10 podcast list, and someday, someone will figure out how to take advantage of its (relatively) small but dedicated audience. And the show already has one sponsor–Carolla has started doing a “live read” for Adam & Eve Stores, the “the nation’s number one source for all things erotic.”

Here’s an interview I conducted with Carolla in March, where he explains his not-entirely voluntary move to the Web and his attempts to turn it into a money-making venture.

And here’s the release:

CBS RADIO FORGES ONLINE PARTNERSHIP WITH ADAM CAROLLA

Popular Entertainer’s Podcast To Be Featured Across CBS RADIO Properties;
Carolla To Also Program His Own Streaming Radio Station, K-ACE

CBS RADIO today announced it has partnered with Adam Carolla, comedian, TV star, radio host, actor and entertainer to present his successful podcast to legions of listeners and fans nationwide.  “THE ADAM CAROLLA PODCAST” can be heard for free on-demand at www.adamcarolla.com and is additionally available for download on iTunes.

Promotion for Adam Carolla will appear across CBS RADIO’s portfolio of station properties with direct links to the entertainer’s dedicated website.  Once there, fans can listen to the latest audio rant from Adam, as well as sample archived podcasts.  Ad sales for the podcast will be handled by CBS RADIO.  Pre-roll, in-stream audio and live reads are available for local and national clients looking to reach Adam’s target audience of Men 18-49, among others.

In addition, an Adam Carolla focused radio station, called K-ACE, debuts on Monday, September 28, and will offer fans segments from Carolla’s popular podcasts interspersed with rock music and programming selected by Carolla, “The Aceman,” himself.  K-ACE can be heard via CBS RADIO’s streaming platform, Yahoo! Music Radio, AOL Radio, and on select mobile devices such as the iPhone, iPod Touch and the Blackberry.

“THE ADAM CAROLLA PODCAST” began in February 2009 and currently reaches over 130,000 listeners per show.  The podcast remains a constant in the Top 10 of iTunes’ Top Podcasts chart.  Carolla, famous for his rants on various outrageous topics, uses his podcast to broadcast his opinions, while hosting an assortment of influential and popular celebrities and friends, as he charms guests and listeners alike with his witty sense of humor and biting sarcasm.

“I’m thrilled to be back in business with my friends at CBS RADIO and feel like I’m at the vanguard of an exciting new technology,” says Carolla.  ”Now, if somebody could just tell me what the hell a POD is!”

“We are excited to once again be working with Adam Carolla providing our listeners with the same Adam that so many fans have come to know and love over the years,” says Chris Oliviero, Vice President of Programming, CBS RADIO.  “Adam has an uncanny ability to relate to everyday people in a funny and engaging manner, and the popularity of his podcast is a testament to that.

“This distinctive partnership showcases CBS RADIO’s commitment to growth in the digital space and highlights the accessibility, portability and cutting edge programming available on radio.”

Adam Carolla, who is best known for his work in television and radio, has previously hosted CBS RADIO’s “The Adam Carolla Show,” was co-host of the nationally syndicated radio call-in show “Loveline,” co-created, and executive produced and co-hosted Comedy Central’s ”The Man Show,” co-created, executive produced and was a character on “Crank Yankers,” as well as was a contestant on ABC’s popular series “Dancing With The Stars.” Carolla also starred, wrote and produced the award-winning indie film “The Hammer.”  He is currently writing his first book to be published by Crown in Fall 2010.  In addition to “THE ADAM CAROLLA PODCAST,” Carolla is host of “Carcast,” a podcast devoted to those who share Carolla’s passion and pastime of all things automobiles.

Apple Kills 40GB Apple TV, Lowers Price of 160GB Model

Apple TVLike a ninja assassin, Apple sneakily killed off the 40 GB model of its Apple TV set-top box and shaved a hundred bucks off the price of its 160GB model last night, reports MacRumors.com. The bulkier 160GB flavor is now $229 (the price of the old 40GB model). But will this stimulus package for the Apple TV be enough?

Getting rid of the low-end model isn’t too much of a surprise. As our sister site The Apple Blog writes:

At the beginning of the month, AppleInsider reported Piper Jaffray analyst Gene Munster noting long wait times for the 40GB model, resulting in predictions of a minor upgrade at the then rumored Apple event.

In today’s high-definition world, 40GB just isn’t a lot of storage, especially when Apple still requires you to purchase (not rent) TV programs. An entire season of Mad Men in HD ain’t teeny. And if you’re into buying movies as well…fuggedaboutit. But between powerhouses like Netflix and Amazon popping up on your Blu-ray players and TV sets, the future seems to belong to streaming — not downloading.

Apple has continually referred to its set-top box as a “hobby,” and the lack of innovation/care given to the platform has had us scratching our heads over what the heck was going on with the Apple TV. As we’ve written before, Steve Jobs & Co. aren’t stupid. They must see the changes happening in the living room (and the potential dollar signs that go along with it), but Apple’s inaction has opened the door for other rivals to get a foothold in the living room.

Hopefully this cleaning house is paving the way for something much bigger/better/faster/stronger.

If you are interested in seeing what the future of set-top boxes are, be sure to attend our upcoming NewTeeVee Live conference in November. Roku CEO Anthony Wood is speaking along with Matt McRae, the VP and GM of Advanced Platforms for Vizio, and many more to be announced. Get your early bird discount tickets now.


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Hands-On: iPod Nano vs. Flip SD

We were intrigued and excited about the addition of a video camera to the iPod nano this week. Apple threw the gauntlet down against the Flip in the battle to get stupidly simple video cameras into the hands of consumers. But how do the two compare when used literally side-by-side? We got our hands on the nano to find out.

First, Liz walks you through the basics of the new nano. In a nutshell: odd camera placements ruin the otherwise svelte package that’s perfect for any pocket.

We got the new nano while at our sold-out GigaOM Mobilize conference earlier this week. I always have my Flip on me, so we pressed the two next to each other and shot some outdoor, indoor, quiet, noisy footage. (Note: the audio from this comparison is only from the nano, not from the Flip, mixing the two was getting too complicated in the editing). Overall — the Flip offered a MUCH better picture both indoor and out, providing way more detail in the image. The Flip microphone was also a little more discerning in our test, able to distinguish our subject’s voice in a crowded room much better than the Nano.


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Cool Video Apps Abound in the Android Market

I had high hopes when I started scouring the Android Market for cool mobile video apps. After all, Android is known for being one of the most (if not the most) cutting-edge mobile platforms available today. And I was not disappointed — here’s what I found:

vlc remoteVLC Remote

This app, which is available in the Android Market as a free beta, is also available in both paid ($2.99) and free versions in the iPhone’s App Store. It lets you control the VLC Media Player software running on your Windows, Mac or Linux computer from your Android phone as if it were a remote control. (And, by the way, if you’re not using VLC for video playback on your computer, you should be. It’s one of the best media players around.) You just install the app on your phone and then download the setup utility, which allows the mobile software to talk to your computer’s desktop software. VLC Remote automatically finds VLC players on your home network for you and establishes the connection over your Wi-Fi network.

Qik

Qik seems to be turning into a staple in mobile video software. This free app, which I mentioned in my recent roundup of video apps in Nokia’s Ovi Store, is also available for the iPhone. Qik lets you stream live video from your Android-based phone to the web. I haven’t fully tested Qik’s Android version yet, but it was updated in August in order to iron out some of the bugs (such as inconsistent video performance) that were reported in the first iteration, an alpha released in June. 

Gmote

gmote_logoGmote is another app that allows you to use your Android-based phone as a remote control for your Windows, Mac or Linux-based computer. (At this rate, I may never get off my couch again.) You install the free app on your phone, then install the Gmote software on your computer. Like VLC Remote, it connects to your computer over your Wi-Fi network, and can also be configured to connect via your cellular data network if Wi-Fi is unavailable.) From your phone, you can browse a list of all the music and video files on your computer, and launch them remotely. Gmote worked almost instantly in my tests; one tap on the screen of my Android phone, and by the time I looked at my Vista-based laptop, my videos were playing. A beta feature allows you to play the files on your phone, too, but this seemed rather buggy to me, as it frequently told me that my Android phone did not have a player capable of playing back most of my video files. 

SPB TV

spb_tvSPB TV has plenty of promise, but one big drawback: You have to pay to get any of the features worth using. This mobile TV application offers access to an interesting mix of more than 100 TV channels, including C-SPAN, ABC News Now and Weather Plus; and a mix of local news stations, such as KNBC 4 Los Angeles, Fox 12 Oregon, Access Sarasota 12 and others from across the country; plus international stations from 17 more countries. You get an easy-to-read program guide, and a simple — if small — video player. Unfortunately, the free (or “Lite”) version offers the channel list and program guide only; if you want to watch any content, you have to pony up $10 for the full-featured application. I understand the need to charge for content, but with such an eclectic mix of stations (not to mention a teeny-tiny viewing window), I’m not sure I’m willing to pay.

These are just a few of the video apps available in the Android Market, which is growing quickly. That means we can expect more cool video tools added, and soon.

Vid-Biz: Apple, Stream5, Silverlight

Apple TV Won’t Be Your Cable Box; Apple CFO Peter Oppenheimer says adding cable tuning to its set-top box “just doesn’t fit Apple’s business.” (Business Insider)

Stream5 Raises Funds; Munich-based online video company gets “seven-figure sum” from new investors KfW and angel Klaud Wecken and existing funders DuMont Ventures and Tiburon Partners. (peHUB)

Microsoft Officially Launches Live Smooth HTTP Streaming; also previews offline digital rights management in Silverlight 4 at IBC in Amsterdam today. (release)

Magnify.net Signs Mediaite; service will collect videos based on keywords for the media news site and its sister pub GossipCop.com. (TechCrunch)

Rob Zombie’s Movie Goes VOD Before Theatrical; Starz Media to debut The Haunted World of El Superbeasto on pay TV VOD platforms on Sept.7, a week before the film’s release in theaters. (Multichannel News)

Cable Cos Lose Bid to Get Satellite Tax in California; the rush to get the 5 percent tax instituted ran out of time, will get postponed at least until next year. (The LA Times)

More than 99 Percent of U.S. Homes Able to Receive DTV; at the end of August, only 710,000 homes could not receive digital signals. (Nielsen)

Kindle to Dwindle with Release of Apple Tablet?

p-apple_tablet1_1467396cPretty much everyone – from Politics Daily to BusinessWeek to the LA Times to textbook companies and every techie publication known to man – is anticipating the release of a Kindle-esque Apple tablet, or at least an announcement of it. Perhaps Steve Jobs spoke too soon last year when he told the New York Times that the Kindle would inevitably fail because Americans just don’t read anymore.

“It doesn’t matter how good or bad the product is, the fact is that people don’t read anymore,” he said. “Forty percent of the people in the U.S. read one book or less last year. The whole conception is flawed at the top because people don’t read anymore.”

Jobs is apparently feeling less skeptical nowadays, when insiders are receiving tip after tip of the tablet’s expected release in early 2010.

BusinessWeek reported last year that an Apple tablet was “unlikely to be a Kindle killer” for many reasons. Besides the technical reasons that we won’t get into here (LCD vs. E-ink doesn’t sound like much of a thrilling discussion), BusinessWeek has faith in the Kindle’s continued success because of Amazon’s “vast lead in its understanding of the book business.” Books are their niche, and it’ll be hard for Apple to mimic Amazon’s dominance on the digital e-book format. Jobs’ opinion about the demise of books is no real help to Apple either.

On the contrary, the geeks at Wired predict with their headline that “Large-Screen Kindle Won’t Mean Squat if Apple Tablet Arrives”. Despite Jobs’ earlier rejection of the Kindle concept, we also have a hard time foreseeing the awesomeness of Apple failing at any venture they take on.

Naturally, Apple has declined to comment on the rumors, but Slash Gear tells us that Apple is working on two tablets: one six inch, and one larger touchscreen. The textbook company Barron’s is anxious for what they project will be a November release date. And they have much to anticipate: Amazon has already worked out deals with many textbook publishers, and several universities are picking up on replacing heavy, paper-rich textbooks with large screen Kindles. Large screen Kindles could be a “knight in shining digital armor” for the struggling newspaper and magazine industries trying to escape the slump of recession. The momentum this paper-shedding movement will gain from a brand like Apple could mean revolutionary things for media, publishing, the way we read and our daily lives.

Amazon sold half a million Kindles last year, but a multi-purpose tablet from Apple would make awkwardly reading a book from a digital tablet mainstream, and maybe even hip. BusinessWeek insists that criticism of the Kindle as a single-purpose device “misunderstands the passionate readers who are the heart of the Kindle market.” But what Stephen Wildstrom fails to understand is that an Apple tablet would mean an entirely new market of people who aren’t just using the thing to read, but to browse the web and use thousands of applications.

Whether Apple will actually release such a product isn’t known for sure, but perhaps Steve Jobs should bite his tongue for now.

Apple’s Snow Leopard Will Bring Major Video Boosts

The early launch date of Apple’s new Mac OS X Snow Leopard later this week (a $29 upgrade) means we Mac users will have access to improvements in video and capture playback very soon.

newquicktimerecord The new QuickTime X includes support for Apple’s HTTP live streaming protocol, which we’ve covered extensively since it was announced and released first for iPhones in June. The technology has already enabled some early live streams for baseball games and an Apple-produced Underworld concert.

Using HTTP instead of traditional linear streaming technologies can allow content providers to provide more reliable and consistent video experiences. Video can be streamed from normal web servers and dynamically adjusts based on network conditions. That’s especially important on a mobile phone, but as we’re all well-aware, connectivity is never perfect — so this desktop update will provide a more consistent experience across many devices. Though it just came out this summer, some providers already using Apple’s HTTP streaming on iPhones include Major League Baseball (though MLB uses Flash for its premium desktop solution) and the Home Shopping Network. (Other video platform providers such as Microsoft are also putting HTTP streaming to use. For an in-depth piece on the concept of adaptive bitrate streaming, subscribe to GigaOM Pro.)

Other video improvements in QuickTime X include a new player that allows users to capture and edit directly and then share on YouTube, MobileMe and iTunes and export to play them on iPhones and Apple TVs. And Apple promises smoother and quicker video playback of modern formats, as well as a 2.4-times faster launch, and better color reproduction.

Another bonus video feature: Back on the desktop in Snow Leopard proper, users will be able to play and zoom in and out of videos directly from thumbnails, similar to the experience in Microsoft’s Bing video search.


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