Monday 10.27.14: News to Know

/ Oct 27, 2014

Digital video industry news today
Amazon Comes Out with Fire TV Stick to Challenge Chromecast
Amazon has come out with its own take on Google’s Chromecast. Called the Fire TV Stick, it’s going for $39 (but won’t be available until November 19) and plugs directly into users’ TVs.

Business Insider
Venture Beat
The Next Web
Opinions and Analyses
StyleHauls It In from Euro-Based RTL Group — Here’s Why
Luxembourg-based RTL Group has reportedly swooped in to buy leading fashion and beauty-focused StyleHaul (I just recently exclusively profiled StyleHaul and its charismatic CEO Stephanie Horbaczewski here on my blog). Terms undisclosed (although I am confident that the final price-tag is well north of $100 million).
Digital Media Update

The PlayStation TV Might Not Be An Apple TV Killer, But That’s Not The Point

The PlayStation TV, which was released last week, is a small set-top box that you can hold in your hand. It allows you to play PS3, PlayStation One, PS Vita, and PSP games through Sony’s streaming-game service, PlayStation Now.

Business Insider

Why publishers are flocking to explainer videos

The world is complicated, and it’s increasingly being explained in video clips.In recent weeks, the “Vox Explains” video series broke down the Ebola outbreak, the 2014 midterm elections and the importance of flu shots. “Mashable Explains” videos tackled Uber, 4chan and stop-motion animation. Mental Floss videos addressed common food misconceptions, tortoises’ laggardly speed and the origin of April Fools’ Day.


Nate Silver’s model shows digital video winning for FiveThirtyEight

Seven months after launching FiveThirtyEight as an standalone site under ESPN, founder Nate Silver is bringing his data-flavored journalism to video.


Why Watch Online TV? It Makes Life Easier

The option to watch TV shows online means no more rushing home to catch the latest episode of a favorite series or staying up later than one wants. And that flexibility is the primary reason for internet television viewing, based on August 2014 research by comScore.


Notes From The Front On Netflix, Vine and Amazon

Bulletins from the online front: I miss the Netflix red envelope a little bit, a flimsy little mail piece that always reminded me of the quarterly mailing of my college grades. My envelope was a book marker, a beverage coaster and just something I lost, and for all those good times, well, the writing is on the wall.


SVOD Cos. To Spend Nearly $7B In 2015

Big TV producers/networks will see revenue from subscription video-on-demand services rise by 31% next year.A report from David Bank, media analyst for RBC Capital Markets, says SVOD companies — Netflix, Hulu, and Amazon Prime will spend $6.8 billion in 2015, up from $5.2 billion this year.


Despite Twitch’s Huge Audience, Advertisers Still Favor Sports

One of the popular genres of video content on Twitch, the video game-centric website Amazon acquired for close to $1 billion in August–is the speedrun. In these videos, gaming fans can watch top players race through difficult, elaborate games until they complete them as fast as possible.

Zoe Saldana on Her New AOL Series and Celebrating the People Behind the Stars
Fans are used to hearing entertainers thank those important to them in acceptance speech or perhaps even show a photo or short video of them on their social media channels, but what about actually rewarding those who helped them become the people they are today? In the new AOL Series, “My Hero” executive producer Zoe Saldana and others like Julianne Hough, Maria Menounos, Nick Cannon and Tyler Posey offer surprise rewards to those closest to them or who mentored them.
Deals and Singings


Roku, Video Streaming Service, Is Said to Consider I.P.O.
Roku, the popular video streaming device maker, is preparing a potential filing for an initial public offering, people briefed on the matter saidFriday.


Shakira To Release Baby Toys With Fisher-Price

Shakira is partnering with Fisher-Price to launch a line of baby toys as well as a web series for moms.


Yahoo, Live Nation, Citi Debut Interview Series with Katie Couric

Yahoo has teamed up with Live Nation Entertainment and Citi on a new music interview series called “Backstage with Citi.”


NYTVF Awards 20 Development Deals, Including Digital Projects with Tiny Riot, The Orchard

Twenty development deals were handed out at this year’s New York Television Festival, including straight-to-series orders from The Orchard and Travel Channel/Ulive.

Happs with Apps


Vine Star Curtis Lepore Exits Rainn Wilson Comedy

When on Monday we broke the story of a new scripted comedy series projectproduced by Rainn Wilson and his SoulPancake banner featuring five of the most popular personalities on short-form video platform Vine, there was immediate online backlash against one of the stars, Curtis Lepore.


Headphones maker JBL wins with user-generated #cordfail Vines

We’ve all had annoying, frustrating and downright comical stories involving entangled headphone wires. And now, JBL wants to bring them to life.


Streaming Video News

Don’t toss that old Android: Turn it into a Chromecast receiver!
With the right cable you can connect an Android device to an HDTV. Add in Cast Receiver software and your Android can act like a Chromecast for many different apps and for screensharing.
Netflix Breaks Barriers in France, Highlights Larger Concern for Exhibitors
Unveiling its pact with the Weinstein Co. to stream “St.Vincent” in France day-and-date with its U.S. theatrical release on Oct. 24, Netflix has sparked concerns over France’s strict windows’ schedule.
Netflix France to Debut ‘St. Vincent’ Starring Bill Murray Day-and-Date with U.S. Theatrical Release
Under deal with Weinstein Co., SVOD service also to exclusively stream ‘Disappearance of Eleanor Rigby’ trilogy in France
Facebook Totally Ups Its Video Game As Brands Embrace Autoplay YouTube clips no longer rule on social network
Brand marketing habits are changing in Facebook’s favor—at least when it comes to posting and playing videos—part of the social giant’s grand video plans. Budweiser, McDonald’s and even Beyoncé are now posting videos directly to the social network—not just sharing YouTube links—and it’s leading to a digital power shift.
Ora.TV Unveils New Reality Series from Tonya Lewis Lee
Ora.TV, the digital video producer and network behind shows like Larry King’s “Larry King Now” and William Shatner’s “Brown Bag Wine Tasting,” is launching a new reality-competition show with Tonya Lewis Lee.


Youko Looks to U.S. for Videos to Stream to Chinese Users

Youku Tudou Inc. (YOKU), China’s most popular video-streaming website, will collaborate with U.S. entertainment companies to produce original content after regulators capped the amount of imported shows on the site.

Qello is quietly building a “Netflix for music films” — and maybe building the future of digital video

So what will be the big buzzword of 2015? I’m placing my bets on “OTT.” OTT stands for “Over-the-top” and it refers to video and audio streaming services that don’t directly involve a cable company. For example, when HBOGO announced its standalone service this week, the savvy set of observers called it “going OTT.”


‘Transparent’ Creator Jill Soloway Envisions Five Seasons For Amazon Series – Updated With Video

The creator of Amazon Studios’ acclaimed Transparent has an endgame timetable planned out for the streaming series, she said today. “In my mind, it’s 5 years It’s 5-years because Six Feet Under went for 5-years, “ Jill Soloway told me after delivering the filmmaker keynote Saturdaymorning at the Film Independent Forum, held at the DGA HQ (UPDATE – 10:15 PM: See video of the speech below).


Where to Watch 10 of the Best Family-Friendly Halloween Movies and TV Shows

Truly scary movies and TV shows might be ideal Halloween fare for grown-ups and horror fans. But for kids and those who don’t like being spooked, there are a number of family-friendly, less chilling but equally entertaining alternatives.


Team Behind ‘Million Dollar Arm’ Launch Multi-Platform Content Studio

Several people involved in the “The Million Dollar Arm” contest and reality show (and most recently, a Jon Hamm-starring Disney movie) are launching a new multi-platform production company called Aspire Entertainment.

YouTube News


Guillermo Del Toro to give aspiring filmmakers advice in YouTube Spaces Halloween-themed event
Guillermo del Toro’s most recent cinematic effort is such a good idea, it’s scary. The “Pan’s Labyrinth” director is teaming up with Legendary Entertainment for a Halloween-themed programming event on YouTube Spaces searching for aspiring filmmakers that can create truly haunting horror shorts.

NY Daily News

How To Start Your Own Cooking Channel on YouTube (Infographic)

Between celebrity chefs and cooking icons who got their start online, the culinary world has carved out its niche on YouTube. If you’re wondering what the steps are between being either a TV chef or an average Jane who likes cooking and having a successful YouTube channel, you’re in luck.


YouTubers Count Down Their Favorite Music Videos in New Vevo Series

Vevo has launched its latest original series, “High Fives,” a weekly program in which popular YouTube stars and comedians count down five of their favorite music videos under a common theme.

Last Night’s “Saturday Night Live” on YouTube: Jim Carrey Sells Lincolns Like Matthew McConaughey
It’s Sunday, so it’s time to watch last night’s “Saturday Night Live” highlight, a genius-level parody of Matthew McConaughey’s Lincoln ads, starring Jim Carrey. Find three minutes in your day for this must-watch.

7 Ways to Help Your Brand’s Audience Help You on YouTube
If you really want to make your brand’s video content work on YouTube, there are two words you need to seriously consider: Social. Media. Because social media is, ahem, social, this is not the kind of promotion you’re supposed to make happen all by yourself. You need your audience’s help, and here’s how you can enlist them to help you, according to theYouTube Playbook for Brands.

Good news for Europeans: embedding YouTube videos is legal after all
Merely embedding a video doesn’t constitute copyright infringement, Europe’s highest court ruled this week, as long as the video was already publicly available.
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