Reading List: Is VC Money Finally Drying Up?


VC Cash Drying Up?: The trick to a good trend story is timing it right. The WSJ ignited a firestorm in the venture-crazy tech world with a story that stitches together a picture of the good times ending after the recent gusher of VC cash to startups. The article paints a bleak picture of startup funding, in stark contrast to the spate of financing reports over the past year. Is there a “cash crunch” for startups? The tech elite certainly don’t think so, at least as evidenced by the tweets The New York Times collected. The truth is the merry-go-round must come to a stop at some point. Far too many companies have gotten funded for there not to be some decline in the rate, whether it’s a “bubble” or not. NYT, WSJ — Brian Morrissey @bmorrissey

Don’t Give Up on Web Series: Good news for original Web series: “HelloGiggles,” the young-women-aimed site launched by actress Zoe Deschanel, isplanning to roll out two original Web shows. For one thing, they actually sound pretty funny: “Internet Dating Disasters,” which will center on, you guessed it, bad Internet dates, and “HelloStranger,” which will look to connect people who have briefly met in real life but lost contact. But what makes these shows all the more promising is that Deschanel is the star of Fox’s new hit “New Girl,” one of several funny female-led comedies this fall. Deschanel’s new-found promotional power, as well as her increasingly popular sensibility, should be a major help in getting these off the ground. Tubefilter — Mike Shields @digitalshields
Pandora’s Mobile Conundrum: Some publishers are investing heavily in building mobile audiences, but the continued lack of marketer investment in the channel is making those properties increasingly difficult to sustain. More than 70 percent of Pandora’s usage now comes from smartphones and tablets, for example, but the firm’s sales efforts can’t keep pace. The upshot? Bigger mobile audience equals bigger losses. BusinessWeek — Jack Marshall @JackMarshall

Real-Time Bidding’s Race to the Bottom: Exchange-based ad spending continues to gain momentum, but publishers are less upbeat about the trend than the advertisers purchasing their inventory at falling prices. Ad technology companies maintain their products can help grow publishers’ ad yield from exchanges, too, but most continue to view the space with disdain. Despite that fact, they’re pressured into taking part, for fear of losing incremental revenue to competitors. PaidContent — Jack Marshall @JackMarshall

Privacy is so Yesterday: While the debate over digital privacy continues in Congress, it turns out that consumers, or at least the next generation of consumers, are not as concerned about the security of their digital universe as you might think. A poll conducted by MTV and the Associated Press suggests that a third of the respondents, aged 18 to 24, have had their Facebook, Twitter or email accounts hacked. And a surprising number of them thought it was no big deal. Forbes — Anne Sherber
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