The Third Degree
A magical thing happened at IAC’s headquarters this morning. A startup called Aereo displayed the most compelling argument for cord-cutting we’ve heard in awhile. It came in the form of a thumbnail-sized HD antenna. Sign up with Aereo and users get the right to license their own antenna, which are stored in a local warehouse. Then, log on via any web-enabled device (smartphones, iPads, even AppleTV) and ta-da, members can access major networks like CBS, NBC, FOX, ABC, CW, and PBS, as well as other local channels. Better yet, you also have the ability store up to 40 hours of programming on their remote DVR.
“No cords or cable required,” the company’s press release says pointedly. The service is limited to New York City right now, but only costs $12 a month. Throw in a Netflix account, Hulu, and you’re probably good to go. Happy Valentine’s Day, Dying Cable Industry!
Aereo (formerly called Bamboom Labs) also anounced a $20.5 million series A round led by IAC.
On the heels of IAC’s impressive year-end financials—showing revenues up 26 percent to $2.1 billion and profits up 75 percent to $174 million—the Financial Times decided to profile CEO Greg Blatt.
Mr. Blatt, if you recall, was put in place as Barry Diller’s successor in December, 2010. A former lawyer at Watchell Lipton, he helped take Martha Stewart Omnimedia public in 1994 and helped IAC spin off online properties like Expedia and Ticketmaster during the company’s “disaggregation period.”
Here’s one way to win the tech talent war. Barry Diller’s IAC announced today that it’s committing $250,000 towards the IAC Teaching and Research Fellowship Fund for top post-grad students from ITP.
ITP, or Interactive Telecommunications Program, is a graduate program in interactive media run out of NYU’s Tisch School of the Arts which boasts Internet famous alum like foursquare’s Dennis Crowley. (An ITP mention at most Silicon Alley event is likely to get few whoots from the crowd.) ITP founding chair Red Burns was awarded a Webby this year by Mr. Crowley. “Red Burns has been a seminal leader in creating ITP, long before the activity of interactivity became a prime driver of innovation and commerce in New York,” said Mr. Diller.
It looks like companies like College Humor, Vimeo, Match.com, and Newsweek/Daily Beast could soon be getting business advice from American royalty.
The Financial Times reports that 31-year-old Chelsea Clinton isn’t too busy with her graduate studies at Oxford or work at the Clinton Foundation and Clinton Global Initiative to join the board at digital media powerhouse IAC over at the “big white frosty” building on West 18th. She’ll be the youngest member of IAC’s board by seven years, joining heavyweights like Michael Eisner and Edgar Bronfman Jr., chairman of Warner Music Group or as we like to think of him, MIA’s future father-in-law.
We’d also like to wish the former hedgie, who worked at both McKinsey and Avenue Capital, a warm welcome to startupland–and business caz.
Barry Diller stepped down as CEO of IAC today. The move comes as a surprise, Diller has been very active in IAC business in recent weeks, especially the Newsweek negotiations.
Diller will continue to be involved in major strategic decisions, but will step back from the day to day business. That work will be handled Read More