Thursday 10.9.14: News to Know

/ Oct 9, 2014

Digital video industry news today
Amazon Renews ‘Transparent’ for Season 2
Amazon Studios has ordered a second season of “Transparent,” a dark comedy from “Six Feet Under” writer and producer Jill Soloway, a couple of weeks after the series debuted on its streaming service.
Opinions and Analyses

How MCNs Are Dividing To Conquer

Last weekend, Maker Studios had a little event at Disney Studios, which is not at all odd because Disney now owns them. But the criss-cross of “little” companies (like Maker once was) made big (by companies like Disney, and The Chernin Group and others) is a  sign of online video growing into adult clothing.

Gaming Consoles Become Online Video Hub, Smart TVs Nip At Heels
Keep your eyes on the game console. Well, a lot of consumers are doing just that: watching the gaming console.

About 46% of broadband homes in the U.S. have a gaming console connected to the Web, and more than one quarter use it as their primary connected consumer electronics device.

Experts Project Virtual Reality, Seamless Video For Gigabit Internet

Immersive virtual reality, meeting others via a video “telepresence,” and hyper-personalized interactions are among the innovations predicted for the Internet by 2025, according to a new survey of technology experts.

Opinion: Facebook may want to become your next pay TV provider

While Twitter has been receiving most of the buzz around live television and tune-in, the launch of Facebook’s new video ad serving platform, Atlas, has the potential to radically change that conversation. Atlas gives Facebook the power to index users’ behavior both on and off Facebook, functionality we believe will be a huge boon for the television industry.

Is Instagram Becoming a TV Substitute Like YouTube? Its young users love social clips cut from the tube
For the past several weeks, Ellen’s top-performing Instagram video has regularly blown other TV marketers out of the water when it comes to likes and shares.
ESPN, the New YouTube for Brands? Welcome to The Age of Lifestyle Media Companies
ESPN is not just for us couch potatoes anymore.  It is now a home for those selling those very potatoes from which the chips-we-eat-as-we-watch are made — i.e., major consumer brands.  Huh?  What?
Digital Media Update
Funny or Die Will Mine The News for LOLs
The comedy geniuses at Funny or Die want to make you laugh at the news, according to The Hollywood Reporter. That might seem like a tall order in these days of ISIS and Ebola, but it’s a genre that’s been well mined by the likes of The Onion, Jon Stewart, Stephen Colbert, and most recently John Oliver.
New Media Rockstars
Google Chromecast Is The Top “Connected Device” App
Google’s Chromecast is the most popular “connected device” – or so infers a new report from app analytics firm App Annie, which analyzed the top apps associated with connected devices across both iTunes and Google Play in the U.S. Google’s Chromecast app was in spot #1, in terms of downloads, followed by Fitbit, DirectTV, HP ePrint, Kodak Kiosk Connect, Square Register, GoPro, AT&T U-verse, DISH Anywhere, and HP All In One Printer Remote.
Web Series Wednesday: Really Get to Know Your Characters
This week’s Web Series Wednesday selections focuses on strong characters. The following series take extra pains to introduce their protagonists in ways that ensure you know them inside and out as the true action begins to unfold. You may love them or hate them, but chances are they’ll elicit strong feelings either way.

Deals and Signings
StyleHaul Hires AOL’s Rob DeChiaro to Head Branded-Content Studio (Exclusive)
StyleHaul, the multichannel network focused on young female audiences, has hired former AOL ad exec Rob DeChiaro to run the newly created StyleHaul Studios, charged with delivering branded content for marketers featuring the MCN’s roster of digital talent.
IAC May Buy Korean Video Site DramaFever
DramaFever, a Web video service that specializes in Korean movies and TV shows, is looking to raise money or sell.One potential buyer: Barry Diller’s IAC. Sources say DramaFever, which has raised a reported $11.5 million in debt and equity, has been looking for new money, or a buyer, for several months. It’s one of several video startups that have sold or gone on the market this year, and like many of those it has drawn attention from strategic investors.

Chinese Online Video Giant Youku Tudou Makes Two Key Hires

Chinese online video giant Youku Tudou has made two high-level additions to its executive team.

As the newly minted chief product officer, Teddy Gu will responsible for the company’s product strategy and operations, and lead its direct-to-consumer business. He is the first CPO at Youku Tudou since the company was formed as a result of a merger in 2012.

Bravo Media Promotes Robert Mancini to VP of Digital Content

Bravo Media has promoted Robert Mancini to vice president of content for the company’s digital division.

Herman Cain Joins Sarah Palin with His Own Channel on Tapp

Tapp is moving further to the political right as Herman Cain joins Sarah Palin on the celebrity-focused digital video network. Cain’s new channel, which launched October 6, goes by the name The Herman Cain Channel and can be found at

Streaming Video News

Amazon Studios Wants Big Comedies, Ready to Pay $4 Million for Pilots: Sources

Amazon Studios, its appetite whetted for half-hour comedies, is now looking to fund a big-budget, high-profile laffer to anchor its next wave of original series — and rival Netflix for attention-grabbing properties.

Hispanic Digital-Media Company ‘Latin Everywhere’ Formed via GoTV, Latin Anywhere Merger
GoTV, the Spanish-language digital entertainment company headed by Jorge Granier, has merged with Rich Hull’s Latin Anywhere to form Latin Everywhere, which brings together digital rights to a large library of Hispanic TV and feature film content with webseries and other short-form content.
Next up for Netflix: An expansion to South Korea, Italy or the Middle East?
Netflix is looking for people who can speak Korean, Arabic and a number of other languages. The job offer could give us clues about the company’s international plans.
AOL’s new video head: We’re doubling down
AOL wants to be a new type of TV network.To do so, the company has tapped Dermot McCormack, who previously led Viacom’s connected content group for brands like MTV and VH1, as its new president of video and studios. McCormack succeeds Ron Harnevo, who joined the company 2010 when AOL acquired his video startup 5min.

Moroccanoil’s Web Series Will Leave You ‘Inspired’ by Women

Back in September, women’s beauty brand Moroccanoil launched an ad campaign and online platform called Inspired by Women. As part of the campaign, the brand also started a short-form series, “Inspired,” which showcase women who have made a difference.

YouTube News

YouTube App Gains Even Without Critical Acclaim

YouTube is moving into the mobile spotlight. The latest comScore figures for mobile apps released Tuesday show that the video hub in August had 55% reach among U.S. smartphone users — second only to Facebook, at 72.4%. YouTube’s share of reach is up from about 48% six months ago, highlighting the growing audience for video on smartphones.

ABC Revamps YouTube Marketing to Better Reach Digital Viewers
How TV Networks Should Promote Their Shows on YouTube, According to Google
Media News

The New York Times’ Op-Docs Makes Peace Documentary Public

The New York Times’ documentary division, Op-Docs, just released “Three Short Films About Peace” on Errol Morris created the three-part documentary, which marks his fifth time working with Op-Docs.

Martha Stewart Halloween Fashion Competition Debuts on AOL

A new reality-competition series on AOL pits three emerging fashion designers against each other as they compete to create the perfect Halloween costume for Martha Stewart.

JW Player Makes It Easier for Publishers to Bring Video to Android Apps

Video tech company JW Player has launched a new software development kit (SDK) for Android devices, allowing publishers to build the company’s video player and ad features into their native Android apps.

Omnicom Advises Marketers to Move Some Dollars to Online Video
Daryl Simm, CEO of Omnicom Group’s media operations, is at the frontline of the shift from traditional to digital media, while overseeing more than $54 billion in advertising and advising the likes of Apple, PepsiCo, Visa, and more. Now, Simm is recommending his clients shift a significant portion of their ad dollars from TV to digital video.

Jukin Media Raises Money from Bertelsmann, Allen DeBevoise, Others

Jukin Media has raised $1.2 million in a new “strategic” round of financing that includes existing investor Bertelsmann Digital Media, and new investors Peter Guber (chairman and CEO of Mandalay Entertainment), Allen DeBevoise* (chairman of Machinima), Canyon Creek Capital, Karlin Ventures, and Kevin Gould of Kombo Ventures.

Creator Profile
NMR Spotlight: Jack Howard
Jack Howard is another funny funny UK YouTuber. Besides his main vlogging channel, he’s also got a sketch comedy channel with his friend Dean Dobbs.
New Media Rockstars
NMR Spotlight: Chad Neidt
In his five plus years on YouTube Chad Neidt has accumulated over 64,000 subscribers and more than eight million views. What’s his secret? A little bit everything all done really well.
New Media Rockstars
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