Friday 5.31: News to Know

/ May 31, 2013


Smosh Could Be the Next YouTube Channel to Move to TV
First there was Fred, then there was Annoying Orange, and now there may be Smosh. According to VarietyAlloy Digital is talks to cut a TV deal for the top YouTube channel.
Fanhattan Debuts Pint-Size Fan TV Set-Top Box to Simplify the Living Room
Your home theater system can get pretty cluttered even if you have a relatively minimal setup of a cable box, DVR and streaming media device. But what if you could simplify all of that down to one piece of equipment that fits in the palm of your hand? Sounds pretty enticing, no? Well, that’s what Fanhattan has done with its new Fan TV set-top box.
Industry Highlights
AdWeek: Did Machinima just get shafted?
Microsoft announced last week that it plans to collaborate with Steven Spielberg on an original, live-action series based on the massively popular game Halo. The deal is part of the company’s push to bring premium series content to Xbox under the leadership of former CBS programming exec Nancy Tellem. But wait, you might ask. Doesn’t Machinima already have a Halo series? And wasn’t it doing really well? Jay Sampson, Machinima’s evp, global sales & advertiser operations, noted that Forward Unto Dawn was essentially a branded entertainment vehicle developed and timed specifically to promote the launch of Halo 4 last November. And it was never actually Machinima’s to own—the company was just first to stream the Web show, which eventually made its way to Netflix. “We think it’s very exciting on the heels on what we did,” said Sampson. “It validates our show. And Nancy [is] taking it to next level. Maybe over time they turn to us [as a partner]. That’s pure speculation at this point.”
Streaming Video News 
AP: Netflix to Join the Nasdaq-100 Index Next Week
Netflix said that in addition to the Nasdaq 100, it will join the Nasdaq 100 Equal Weighted Index and the Nasdaq 100 Ex-Technology Sector Index before the market opens Thursday.
paidContent: Netflix wants to spend up to 15 percent of its content cash on originals
Netflix wants to spend up to 15 percent of its entire licensing budget on the production of original content within the next few years, according to Chief Content Officer, Ted Sarandos, who said Thursday at the Nomura 3rd Annual U.S. Media & Telecom Summit in New York that the company is going to keep growing its original output over the next few years, with the goal of roughly doubling the number of titles within the next 18 months. The company is currently spending around five percent of its content money on originals like House of Cards, Hemlock Grove and the new season of Arrested Development. Asked about that show, Sarandos said that the company had extremely high expectations about the initial viewership of the show. “And it met our expectations, and we are thrilled,” he said.
Production Notes
Forbes: In the Land of Telenovelas, A YouTube Channel Gives a Glimpse of Scripted Entertainment’s Future
Now that Youtube has officially replaced the MTV generation in terms of cultural heft, production companies from all over the globe are popping up to create content for the video site owned by Google . In Brazil, where the entertainment industry grows at a steady annual rate of 20%, it’s no different. Brazil’s so-called “Youtube moguls” are growing up and attracting big advertisers in direct competition with broadcast and cable TV industries.
Opinion & Analysis
The Atlantic: Why YouTube Was Invented
Ah, the Internet. Yesterday morning I made a throw-away comment about wondering whether hammers or explosives would work better for a preventive strike on leaf blowers. A few hours later, a reader had put together a thoroughgoing strategic analysis about the ethics and practicality of such a move.
YouTube News
WSJ: Philip DeFranco Evolves, Prepares Second Act as DeFranco Creative is Acquired By Discovery Communications’ Revision3
“The sale of DeFranco Creative to Revision3 results in tremendous opportunities for the entire DeFranco team, allowing them access to increased distribution opportunities and providing a bridge for multiple entertainment platforms,” said Michael Bienstock of Semaphore Tax and Business Solutions, who provided business advisory services to DeFranco Creative. “Traditional media companies are increasingly looking at YouTube superstars like Phil as they realize the ever-evolving potential of this industry.”
Wired: Ex-YouTube Man Builds Graphics Card For Entire Internet
“We just couldn’t crunch those images down to a smaller size,” Zacharias remembers. “It would have taken a significant amount of Google’s entire processing power just to do that.” That’s when imgix was born. Zacharias soon left Google and YouTube to found the San Francisco startup, which has built a web service for instantly re-sizing, re-cropping, and re-formatting images.  
CNN Money: YouTube Runs a Reform School For Copyright Violations
And it’s a little like traffic school for the internet. Copyright School has been open for three years, but unless you’re one of the more than 1 million offenders who’ve had to attend, you probably don’t know about it.
TV versus Digital
Stratechery: Why TV Has Resisted Disruption
Pay-TV is a good deal for networks, cable companies, and users. It’s socialism that works. But what about the content? Isn’t that the point? Free the content from the networks, and at last we can pay a nominal fee to watch what we want on any Internet-connected device. Well, yes, it is about the content; in fact, it’s the content that, in my mind, protects the current system from being significantly disrupted.


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