Friday 9.19: News to Know

/ Sep 19, 2014

Digital video industry news today

YouTube Confirms Plans to Fund Original Content from Top Creators

As we reported back in July, YouTube has decided to re-enter the original programming game in an effort to attract more premium ad dollars to the site.

But, as we said then, this isn’t just another instance of YouTube courting “outsiders” — famous names and faces from the traditional-media world — to create high-quality content for the site. Instead, YouTube is now more interested in giving some of its top talent money to create new content across a variety of formats, from web series to feature-length films.


Business Insider







Opinions & Analysis

I Witnessed The New Beatlemania At A YouTube Stars Convention, And It Was Insane

This year has been marked by the rise of the YouTube star.

People are noticing that YouTube is creating the next generation of mega media stars, who are making millions.

Business Insider


Russia’s OTT VoD Industry to Grow by 70% in 2014

As Russia’s OTT VoD industry is forecasted to more than double in 2014, boosted by the wide spread of mobile devices and stricter copyright protection of online video, there are more opportunities for Hollywood to generate revenues from online video services in Russia.



Deep Thinking On Second Screens And TV Everywhere

There really are a lot of controversial things about how video is delivered and displayed, but here’s a real PR headline that would never get my attention except to laugh at it: “Consumers Still Prefer Televisions over Tablets and Smartphones for Video Content.”

Media Post


Digital Video Views On Rise

Digital TV-video viewing continues to climb — but it’s still way behind traditional TV consumption.

Parks Associates says U.S. broadband households spend on average 1.3 hours per week watching video on a tablet and 1.6 hours per week watching video on a smartphone. But this compares to almost 20 hours per week on the television.

Media Post


Yahoo! Finally Buys Hulu? What It Should Do with Its $8.3 Billion Alibaba Windfall

Ready, get set, GO!  It is Alibaba IPO time … right now.  Set to be the biggest IPO in US history (that’s $22 billion).  And, prescient Yahoo! is set to get $8.3 billion of it.

Digital Media Update


What Yahoo Should Do with Billions from Alibaba IPO: Invest in Video, Ad Tech

Yahoo stands to reap a windfall of $8 billion or more in cash after selling part of its stake in China’s Alibaba Group, which is launching the biggest U.S. initial public offering in history — and with the bigger kitty, Yahoo should pour more money into video and advertising technology, analysts say.



Even If You Want To Cut The Cord, Sports Is Strapping You To Your TV

Chances are, if you’re reading this, you watch video in one form or the other via computer or smartphone.


Deals & Signings

Lionsgate Nabs Worldwide Distribution Rights to ‘The Smosh Movie’

Lionsgate has acquired worldwide distribution rights for “The Smosh Movie,” a new feature-length comedy film starring Anthony Padilla and Ian Hecox, better known on YouTube as Smosh.


Fast Company



Business Insider





Magnet Media Hires Director of Business Development

Magnet Media has hired Rachel Steinberg as the company’s director of business development. In this role, Steinberg will lead the content studio’s business development team as it focuses on strategic sales and video content creation/distribution.



Native Exchange Sharethrough Acquires UK-Based Content Platform VAN

Sharethrough, a native ad exchange headquartered in San Francisco, on Thursday announced it has acquired VAN, a UK-based content distribution platform.

Financial terms of the deal were not disclosed.

Business Insider

Streaming Video News

Netflix Is Huge in Canada, Too

Netflix is a giant in the US online video industry, but how does the service fare North of the Border?

Even better, according to data from broadband networking company Sandvine, which reports that on select networks, Netflix “can account for between 30%-40% of downstream traffic in the peak evening hours.” Netflix, which launched in Canada in 2010, has witnessed staggering growth from even three years ago, when it accounted for 13.5% of evening traffic in the country.



A+E Networks TV Everywhere App Now on Amazon Fire TV

A+E Networks’ TV Everywhere apps are now available on the Amazon Fire TV, just as the apps crossed the 22 million download milestone. The ad-supported apps now operate on iOS, Android, Roku, Xbox, Apple TV, and Kindle Fire/Amazon Fire TV.



DramaFever Unveils Fall Lineup of International TV Shows

DramaFever is celebrating its fifth anniversary with four exclusive series premieres as part of a larger fall lineup. Bringing Korean dramas to the other side of the world since 2009, the network now claims a global monthly audience of more 20 million viewers across its owned-and-operated platforms and syndication outlets like Hulu and YouTube.



Santana Films to Release ‘This Last Lonely Place’ via VHX and Indiegogo (Exclusive)

Fans of Humphrey Bogart-style noir will soon have a few ways to get their movie fix.

Santana Films is releasing This Last Lonely Place via Indiegogo for fans wanting to see it early — and then will make it available online for streaming or download at via VHX, The Hollywood Reporter has learned exclusively.



Ian Sander & Kim Moses Ink First-Look Deal With 20th TV, Set Biblical Drama At Amazon

Ian Sander and Kim Moses have signed a first-look deal with 20th  Century Fox Television Studios to develop and produce new series for the studio through their Sander/Moses Prods. The deal stems from Sander and Moses’ collaboration with 20th TV on the drama Runner.


YouTube News

Michelle Phan Strikes Back at Ultra Records with Countersuit

Back in July, Ultra Records sued YouTube beauty guru Michelle Phan for using the label’s music without a license. Now, Phan is striking back against the copyright suit with a countersuit.






Canada’s Corus Entertainment Leads $12M Round in Kin (Formerly Deca)

Kin, the digital media company and multi-channel network operator formerly known as Deca, has raised $12 million in a Series C financing round led by Canadian broadcaster Corus Entertainment.



Maria Menounos’ AfterBuzz TV Signs with Collective Digital Studio

Maria Menounos’ online video-broadcast network AfterBuzz TV is now a part of the Collective Digital Studio multi-channel network.




YouTube CEO Susan Wojcicki Explains How Harvard’s Popular Computer Science Class Changed Her Life

Among the long list of tech luminaries who have passed through Harvard’s introductory computer science course CS50 is YouTube CEO Susan Wojcicki, who recently recorded a video for the college expressing her affection for the class she says “changed how I think about everything.”

Business Insider

Media News

Microsoft Layoffs Hit Xbox Entertainment Studios Ahead of Closure

Microsoft is saying goodbye to about 2,100 of its employees, including a whole bunch from the Xbox Entertainment Studios division, which faces a complete closure in the near future.




Screens Entertainment Association Launches For Multi-Multi-Platform Executives

The Screens Entertainment Association has launched, designed to help top industry executives navigate the proliferating distribution platforms for entertainment. The SEA is planning a conference called the Vidify Market and Summit. The conference likely will occur in the second half of the year, somewhere in Southern California.



Digital Audience Ratings: ‘Mockingjay’ Massacres Competition, While ‘Wick’ Wins Trending

Each week Variety publishes ListenFirst Digital Audience Ratings (DAR), a measurement of fan engagement across all the major digital platforms as it relates to film


Industry Highlights

Media Agency OMD Hosts Tinder-Like Meetup for Brands and Content Publishers

For the second year, media agency Omnicom Media Group has inserted itself as a leader in the charge to move digital dollars to emerging platforms. This year, OMD, a subsidiary of the OMG global parent and the team overseeing the event, centered on the theme of convergence, a fitting focus for an event that exists to help bring digital-first content ideas to brands for collaboration, and ultimately, transaction.



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