Big Changes: AOL Acquires Gravity, Beats Music Launches

Big Changes: AOL Acquires Gravity, Beats Music Launches

Don’t miss the important news for your business this week. The Small Business Trends editorial team has this roundup to keep you informed

Web Business

AOL acquires Gravity for more personalized content. Gravity helps publishers personalize or customize their content. The company already works for AOL properties like TechCrunch. But it also provides plugins for other online businesses to do the same.

TechMedia buys BuyerZone. TechMedia is a content oriented digital network. BuyerZone is a commerce site that specializes in lead-generation. Together the two offer an integration of two of the most important things an online business needs to thrive. So is this a good match?

DrawQuest shuts down. Of course, no one likes failure. But even when a business doesn’t work, things can be learned. CEO Chris Poole and his team certainly made some mistakes. But one good decision was to share his experiences.

Business Insider is ready to raise more funding. The news site gets about 20 million unique visitors a month. And its founders raised about $5 million in venture funding last year from people like the CEO of Amazon.

Entrepreneurs pick their favorite .net sites. Those who reported the data insist .net sites are growing in popularity. Whatever your opinion, it’s interesting to see the sites that got picked.

Digital Services

Beats Music promotes paid music streaming. Independent musicians are small business people too. And Beats Music seems dedicated to the idea of working with these small businesses to make sure they receive the payment they are due for their hard work.

Spotify introduces merchandise sales. From T-shirts to vinyl records and special box sets, there are many products indie musicians can sell. And now they can promote them on Spotify — even though some of the music is provided for free.

Skype is gaining major ground on traditional phone services. The platform has become a major tool for entrepreneurs and small business people. Without it, many valuable overseas partnerships would probably be too expensive to maintain.

Local University launches Local U Forums. Local University provides in-person information across the country to show local businesses how to promote themselves in the online world. The organization has now launched its own online forum to help participants stay connected.

Social Media

Facebook is testing an app ad network. The social media giant has announced it is working with a limited number of advertisers and publishers on this. The ads won’t be labeled with the Facebook brand but will be served via Facebook technology.

Bloggers are protected by the first amendment. The ruling takes away any ambiguity that may have existed about the rights of bloggers in our society. You may think this only matters to those who ply the journalistic trade online, but there are wider implications.

Smart Devices

Appliances may be trying to hack your business. Does this sound like something out of a science fiction story? It shouldn’t. A security company now says it has proof smart appliances have become weapons in the cyber security war.

Apple has started fixing iPhone 5c displays in the store. Here’s what to expect if you go to have your phone screen fixed or replaced. This isn’t the first time Apple has offered these kinds of services.

Reading with friends photo via Shutterstock

Joshua Sophy Joshua Sophy is the Editor for Small Business Trends and has been a member of the team for 16 years. A professional journalist with 20 years of experience in traditional media and online media, he attended Waynesburg University and is a member of the Society of Professional Journalists. He has held roles of reporter, editor and publisher, having founded his own local newspaper, the Pottsville Free Press.