Monday 5.19: News to Know

/ May 19, 2014

Digital video industry news today

YouTube Set to Reportedly Buy Twitch for $1B

YouTube is said to be on the cusp of acquiring gaming platform Twitch for $1 billion, a deal which arrives only 8 months following a $20M Series C round  last Fall, bringing Twitch’s total investment to over $35M to date.








USA Today


Business Insider



The Verge


Opinions & Analysis

Why a YouTube-Twitch Marriage Makes Sense

Google may or may not be buying Twitch for a big pile of money. Okay. So what is Twitch, and why would Google want to buy it? Twitch is a fast-growing service that lets people  – mostly men — watch livestreams of other people — mostly men — playing videogames. And it is booming: When Twitch started up in June 2011, it claimed five million users a month. In 2012, it was up to 20 million. By the end of last year, that number had jumped to 45 million. Broadband service provider Sandvine says Twitch now accounts for 1.35 percent of Internet traffic during peak hours in North America. That’s more than HBO Go’s 1.24 percent.

As for the rationale, here’s an easy way to think about it: Facebook’s Instagram deal. That is: Google — specifically YouTube, in this case –  is Facebook.  And Twitch is Instagram.


What Happened When Netflix Paid For Direct Access To Comcast

This chart from Statista adds context to the debate around net neutrality. It shows what happened when Netflix paid for direct access to Comcast. The speed took off. Now, imagine this across the board for many other companies. They’ll be stuck at a slower speed unless they’re willing to pay for a speed boost. Those costs will end up being passed on to you by the companies paying for access to the high speed lane.

Business Insider


Connect The Dots: AT&T/DirecTV Merger Leading To Major Over-The-Top Play?

The media world is just now digesting AT&T’s proposed $49 billion acquisition of DirecTV but people in the online video business may be much more interested in how Peter Chernin fits in the picture. The Chernin Group, led by Peter Chernin, the ex-News Corp. president and COO, joined with AT&T less than a month ago to announce a deal in which both companies committed over $500 million to invest and launch over-the-top,or OTT, video services, with “each bringing significant and complementary strengths.”  The announced goal of that partnership is “to invest in advertising and subscription VOD channels as well as streaming services.”

Media Post


Why MCNs Are The Worst Deal In Town For Hollywood

Want to see Hollywood logic in action? Check out the list (below) of multi-channel networks that have been bought or heavily invested in with Hollywood money. It’s an impressive group and comprehensive too — as only a few of the MCNs that exist remain independent (such as The Young Turks Network). Hollywood clearly wants in the YouTube business, and with good reason: YouTube is fast becoming a cash/cultural behemoth. It’s quickly replacing television as the entertainment medium of choice for young people; it’s taking television’s ad revenue away; and it’s launched several superstars for the key youth demographic (Justin Bieber, Austin Mahone, The Annoying Orange). But while Hollywood isn’t wrong to want to be in YouTube, it’s arguably chosen the worst way to get involved: MCNs.


Deals & Signings

Viral Spiral and Getty Images Enter Licensing Deal to Distribute Online Videos

Mega photo agency Getty Images has caught the viral video bug, freshly penning a licensing deal with UK-based management company Viral Spiral. Specializing in the management and monetization of viral videos, Viral Spiral has acquired a network of thousands of online videos in categories such as comedy, animals, lifestyle, and sports.


Streaming Video News

Hulu to Stream Anime Classic ‘Sailor Moon’

Hulu has gotten its hands on iconic Japanese anime series “Sailor Moon,” bringing it back to U.S. audiences for the first time in almost a decade. The Internet TV service will stream the first four episodes of “Sailor Moon” — uncut and remastered — starting Monday, May 19, through a deal with distribution company Viz Media, which acquired exclusive North American rights to the franchise from Tokyo-based Toei Animation Co.



Netflix Drops Movies Because of Costly Deals, Movie studios are hiking licensing fees and consumers may pay the price

Last October there was a brief (albeit furious) hue and cry over the departure of CBS’ long-running Angela Lansbury mystery series, Murder, She Wrote, from Netflix. It caused, as Jezebel’s Rebecca Rose put it, “a disturbance in the Force.” Normal service was restored a few months later, but the show’s brief departure—and its unexpected resurgence in popularity—point up a new trend in Web video: Content is getting more expensive, and sometimes the stuff IP owners want you to see isn’t the stuff you want to watch.


YouTube News

Twitch chooses Google over Microsoft amid multiple buyout offers

YouTube is indeed close to securing a $1 billion buyout of live-streaming service Twitch, and will have fended off multiple suitors including Microsoft if the deal goes through, according to people with close knowledge of the talks. The two companies have agreed on a price and are working out details such as how independent the Twitch company and brand will remain, said one person close to the deal who asked to remain anonymous. Twitch is said to have evaluated possible bids and decided on Google’s YouTube as the best fit to help the company scale in line with its massive growth over recent years.

The Verge


Sports MCN TheWhistle Nabs $10M Cable and Sports Heavy-hitters

The MCN space just isn’t cooling down – sports MCN TheWhistle, which claims to be the fastest growing sports-focused network on YouTube with 4M subscribers and 550M video views, joins the investment streak having raised another $10M.  The round, led by Philly investors SeventySix Capital, ex-Major League Baseball president Bob DuPuy, ex-Nickelodeon and Disney Cable president Gerry Laybourne, Clear Channel topper Bob Pittman, brings TheWhistle’s total funding to date to $18M. Peyton Manning and Derek Jeter, among other sports celebs, are also investors.



How to Make YouTube Collaborations Actually Work for Brands

Collaborations are an integral part of the YouTuber community and it is via this joint exposure that both parties have the opportunity to grow their audience at an impressive rate. “Collabs”, as they are more commonly known, is a cross-over appearance on someone else’s YouTube channel, which is exposure enough, but may also come with added social media coverage which is always a bonus. And while some of us (aged over 18) may wonder what is so exciting about PewDiePie playing videogames with Zoella and Alfie, it is unquestionably an effective tool for all concerned, including viewers.



18-34 Year-olds LOVE YouTube But Demand Much More From Brands

18-34 year-olds are in love with YouTube. Well, that’s no big surprise, but it doesn’t mean that brands or video creators can throw any old content at them and expect them to watch it. That demographic is passionate, obsessive even, and is in control of its own viewing habits. So how do brands reach that audience and really engage with them? In the latest YouTube Insights report, the site gives creators a heads up when it comes to connecting with their target market.


Media News

Charles Schwab Backs Branded Series on Vimeo via Mediabrands Deal

Investing services brand Charles Schwab has commissioned production for a branded series with Vimeo, set for a release this Summer. The deal, which comes by way of a new strategic partnership between  Mediabrands Publishing – the production arm of IPG MediaBrands – and Vimeo, marks the first brand in Mediabrands Publishing’s rolodex to commission content sourcing Vimeo’s talent pool.



AMC Gets Chris Hardwick’s ‘All-star Celebrity Bowling’

Multi-platform mogul, Chris Hardwick, wins again with AMC Networks, this time with web series “All-star Celebrity Bowling” – Hardwick’s charity-driven bowling showdown between various well-known celebrities.



The Digital Video Advertising Report: Growth Forecasts And Viewability Scandals

Online video ads are one of the fastest-growing ad mediums, far outpacing growth in spending on television and other digital formats. Online video ad viewing exploded in 2013. Over 35 billion video ads were viewed in the U.S. in December.

Business Insider


Facebook Video Analytics: From Subpar To Competitive?

Earlier this month, Facebook announced major changes to come for its video platform metrics. In the past year, Facebook has been pushing hard for its native video platform to be a major player in paid media. There’s undoubtedly a not-so-subtle bias towards the Facebook native player over paid embedded YouTube posts, highlighted by the laughably tiny YouTube thumbnail shown on a user’s News Feed.

Media Post


Samsung is hiring to build a new mobile video service

Samsung is hiring engineers to build a new video service, which could replace the company’s existing transactional video offering. The company also just hired an executive from Vdio, the Rdio-owned video service that at one point was meant to take on Netflix but shut down late last year.


Creator Profiles

Three Reasons Flula Borg Kicks Ass on YouTube via ‘Ear Biscuits’

Flula Borg, aka DJ Flula, is making huge strides in the entertainment world, largely through his YouTube channel. The German native has established himself as a hilarious and talented personality, building on cultural differences he encounters living in America. He now has over 345,000 YouTube subscribers and over 45 million views. But why is he successful? We’ve pegged it to three major reasons: personality, talent, and culture.



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