Why You Couldn’t Escape Weird Al’s Marketing Blitz

People with internet connections have probably noticed a lot of Weird Al Yankovic songs popping up in their feeds lately. Every day for the past seven days, the reigning king of pop parody has released a new music video, each produced in partnership with a different content studio or artist, to promote "Mandatory Fun," his first album in three years. Some videos were produced with some of the largest content portals on the Internet, including College Humor, Funny or Die, Yahoo Screen and Nerdist, which worked on "Tacky," the star-studded parody of Pharrell's "Happy." Others, like "Word Crimes," were produced by independent artists like Jarrett Heather, whose work Mr. [...]

For Auto Shopping Sites, Bots Are the True Decepticons site analysts knew something was up about seven years ago when they saw traffic suddenly surge on BMW listings in Albany, N.Y. A little digging found that the activity was no cause for celebration. It wasn't coveted in-market car shoppers who were driving up page views on dealers' inventory listings but rather Internet bots -- snippets of nefarious software code masquerading as human web users -- that had invaded the site and skewed its traffic metrics [...]

YouTube to Block Music Videos From Smaller Labels

Google's YouTube is poised to start blocking music videos from independent labels that haven't agreed to be part of a planned subscription service. About 5% of the music labels Google works with haven't signed up to participate in the paid service, YouTube said today in a statement. [...]

How Tech Took a Bite Out of the Ad Industry

The best content: ad-free While 35% of content was viewed without ads through subscription services in 1994, today it's 60% to 65%, said Rishad Tobaccowala, chairman of Publicis Groupe's DigitasLBi and Razorfish. For $60 a month, people are paying for access to "the best content in the world without ever seeing an ad," he said, totaling the cost of subscribing to Netflix, HBO, Showtime, Hulu and Spotify or Pandora. If anything, technology has advertising in its teeth, keeps shaking it, and won't let go [...]
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