Monday 6.24: News to Know

/ Jun 24, 2013


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AwesomenessTV Gives MCN Members Chance to Be on TV

During Nickelodeon’s upfront presentation to advertisers in February, the kids network announced a deal with AwesomenessTV for a half-hour sketch comedy TV show that would feature a mix of new and existing content from the YouTube channel. This deal came before DreamWorks Animation’s acquisition of AwesomenessTV, which was announced on the day of the YouTube “Brandcast” event during this year’s Digital Content NewFronts.




Opinions & Analysis

I Can Haz No Exploitation: Why We Should Keep an Eye on the Internet’s Most Famous Cats

Going viral can be intense for even an adult human. Famous Internet cats are well-cared-for by their owners, but as their success booms, it’ll be more important to make sure they’re not being exploited.


Is Television a Human Right?

A jailed politician in Georgia recently went on a hunger strike for the right to watch the tube. And it’s not the craziest thing prisoners have successfully lobbied for.

The Atlantic

If Tech Goes Hollywood, Get Ready for Even More Lame Sequels
The connection between the Tech and Entertainment industries has always been close, and not just because Hollywood and Silicon Valley are the two most reliable West Coast stops on President Obama’s fundraising trips. Both industries rely on creativity as the lifeblood to commercial success. And it seems, to me at least, that both industries have a tendency to stifle that creativity in much the same way.

Digital Trends

Creator Profiles

Erin McPherson Dishes on Future of Yahoo! Video

At Cannes Lions 2013, Erin McPherson, Yahoo! vice president and head of video, expressed excitement the company’s new direction: “We’ve been almost a year with Marissa Mayer at the helm of the company and the energy is palpable. We’re moving at such a rapid pace. We’re innovating. We’ve launched more products in the last six months than we have in the previous six years.”



Digital Disruptions

Sony and Disney Begin Streaming Movies Still in Theaters in a Bold Move Against Piracy

In a bid to limit movie piracy in Asia, Disney and Sony have quietly begun testing a bold new on-demand service in South Korea which offers movies to rent while they are still playing in theaters. As noted by the Wall Street Journal, the two companies are the first US studios to provide consumers anywhere with the option to buy a ticket to see a movie or watch it in their own home using their cable, internet, or satellite-TV subscription. Django Unchained, Wreck-it Ralph, and Brave had all been made available as part of the trial.


Digital Distribution, a Complex Way to Make Money 

“The digital market can no longer be ignored,” said Sparke. “Over the past two years, those distributors who have schooled themselves on the complexities of the market, balancing digital against traditional and experimenting with creative windowing, have seen good returns.”

Truly Free Film

Swedish Court Backs TV License Fees for Computers, Mobile Devices

A Swedish court on Monday ruled that the state broadcaster could charge a fee for accessing television via the Internet on laptops, tablets, smartphones and other devices. Sweden has for decades had a mandatory television license fee, now 173 crowns ($25.90) a month, to pay for public service broadcasting in a similar system to that of the Britain’s BBC.


Broadcasters Are Missing Out on a Ton of Data – It’s Time to Take TV Online

Steven Spielberg and George Lucas made a big commotion at a talk recently when the two predicted the imminent “implosion” of the film industry due to the changing nature of theatrical distribution.  I believe a similar phenomenon awaits the broadcast TV industry, unless companies start making aggressive moves. Rather than fighting cord-cutting and unbundling and making a weak effort with TV Everywhere, the top brass should be looking at putting their full broadcast TV channels online – with no restrictions. 


Cord Cutters Alert: 60 Million Americans Now Use an Antenna to Watch Free TV

Antennas aren’t just for grandma’s boob tube anymore: 19.3 percent of all US TV households get their TV fix from free over-the-air broadcasts, according to a new GfK study released this week. This means that 22.4 million households representing 59.7 million Americans get their TV for free, the market research firm estimates.


Media News

Spoiler Alert! Machinima’s Seth Bardelas Teases Ridley Scott Projects

Seth Bardelas, Machinima’s vice president of global brand strategy, said “The idea is to incubate the next great sci-fi franchise” of Machinima’s partnership with Ridley Scott’s RSA. Twelve RSA directors will create shorts, Machinima will “develop those shorts, see what bubbles up, what doesn’t, and actually turn that into the next web series, the next movie, the next TV show with the goal, certainly, to launch one of Ridley’s next big movie series.”


Industry Highlights

Web Video Crashes Comic-Con

It’s been a long time since Comic-Con was just about comic books. Hollywood has been a huge presence there for years. But in the past couple of years, creators from the Web video world have started to crash the show. This July in San Diego, amidst the various Wolverines, Watchmen and Wonder Women, attendees might see Hulu touting its new Seth Meyers series The Awesomes. YouTube will be there for the second year in a row, and may be joined by Alloy’s Smosh this time around (last year Alloy’s Shut Up Cartoons made an appearance). AOL is sending its newest creator partner, Web video vet iJustine, to cover the geekfest.


Rev New Media Launches Productions Studio for Its Web and TV Properties

Rev New Media, a producer and publisher of entertainment and lifestyle content, is launching a new digital studio, Rev Studios, based in Hollywood, CA. Rev Studios will produce an array of original online video content, which will be made available across RNM’s web properties, including Hollyscoop, ModaMob, and Stereotude, as well as newly-launched sports humor site, The Fumble.


‘Game of Thrones’ Tops List of Most Pirated TV Shows

HBO’s Game of Thrones has topped the list of the 10 most downloaded shows for the spring, as ranked by TorrentFreak.



The Haps With Apps

Facebook Takes on Twitter with Video

If “60 Minutes” were being dreamed up today, its producers might very well have ditched the idea and gone with “6 Seconds” instead. That’s the maximum length of the videos on Vine, a mobile application owned by Twitter that has grown like one of those creeping plants, to close to 20 million users since it sprouted five months ago. On Thursday, Facebook introduced its own short-video service, built into Instagram, the popular photo-sharing app that Facebook bought last year. The new feature allows users to record as much as 15 seconds of video, enhance it with image filters and post it immediately.



Video Killed Instagram Star

Instagram, an app best known for photo-sharing, added video last week, as it (and parent Facebook) sought to defend against the advance of Twitter’s fast-growing video-sharing app, Vine. The hope was to give its users a whole new way to share what is happening around them with friends. But while it was an ambitious new feature for the company to add, the end result has been that Instagram has sacrificed the user experience for those consuming content. 


Fakeblock Launches on iOS and Android

There are three Fakeblock apps in the Apple App Store, but only one comes from Zuckerberg-ian software developer tycoon George Maharis. What’s Fakeblock, you ask? Oh it’s just the hottest new app/startup to take Silicon Valley and Southern California by storm. What does it do? Well, per the launch announcement, it allows you to entertain guests by playing life-like wood percussion sounds and appeal to potential dates with high-definition woodgrain imagery.



How Instagram Remade Photography (And Could Do the Same for Video)

Now, as Instagram brings its signature filters to video, too, will cinematographers bring a similar critique to the capturing of everyday life and the democratization of the moving image? And will Instagram persuade its users that it’s capable of more than just photos? Ultimately, Instagram is just taking the tension between the everyday and the extraordinary, between amateur and professional, to a whole new medium.



Streaming Video New

Hulu Faces a Nebulous Future as it Seeks a New Owner

This year Hulu reached a milestone: viewers streamed more than one billion videos on the site in a single three-month period. But the valedictory lap did not last long. Even as the number of views were adding up, so were concerns within the company about the site’s future. That’s because Hulu, the Web streaming service that is jointly owned by the Walt Disney Company, NBCUniversal, and News Corporation, is up for sale. And each of the potential buyers brings with it a different vision of what Hulu should become.



Stats to Start

Digital Ad Spend Rising, Twitter Up 95%

Ad spending soared at Twitter and YouTube in May, while they dropped slightly at Yahoo and Facebook. Twitter dollars jumped 95%, while YouTube was up 43% compared to May 2012. Yahoo fell 4% and Facebook was down 1%. The figures come from combined spending by four large holding companies — Aegis, Havas, Interpublic and Publicis — representing about 60% of total agency spend. Total digital dollars for the top-20 digital vendors in May were up 42% versus last year, according to Standard Media Index (SMI), which monitors actual booking data at the four large groups. Digital had its largest one-month year-over-year gain since August 2010.



YouTube News

Whiskey-Swilling Crime Fighters “Scottish Ninjas” Animated Series Return for Season 2

The most famous haggis-eating, whiskey-swilling, crime-fighting team on YouTube is back for another season. “Scottish Ninjas” season two will premiere next Saturday. The second season will mark the return of Aidan, Lachlan, Finn and their mentor, the Drunken Master as they fight crime in America. Co-creator Rob Mullin explained the premise of season two to NMR: “We’re pushing some of the characters into much darker and even twisted places. Everyone has a good sense of who they are and what they do, so we thought it would be a good time to explore that a little further. We’re going to learn more about philosophy and practice of Kilt-Fu … but in a funny way.”


Videos to Watch Right Now

Richard Dawkins Starred in a Really Freaky Video About Internet Memes

To kick off the event, the professor created an auto-tuned song about Internet memes, which concluded with him playing the the electronic clarinet. The video, of course, has all the ingredients to become its own Internet meme.

Business Insider

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YouTube Fights Back Against Social Media Rivals with Community Feature

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