Thursday 3.19.15: News to Know
Sony Starts Internet-TV Rollout with a $50 Bundle and Three Cities
Sony has finally launched its cloud-based online TV service, called the PlayStation Vue, which offers live and on-demand programming from a bundle of broadcast and cable TV channels.
NY Times http://nyti.ms/1FEEPc6
Business Insider http://read.bi/1H5M0Mm
Opinions & Analysis
Yahoo Bets on TV-Style Comedies to Grow Its Video Business
The seeds of Yahoo’s St. Patrick’s Day premiere of season six of “Community” were planted when CEO Marissa Mayer made a critical decision in January 2014 about the future of the Internet media company’s video biz.
Is Meerkat a Potential Next Big Thing? Ask Twitter
Meerkat exploded onto the scene a few weeks ago, allowing users to broadcast live video using only a mobile phone and a Twitter account.
Apple Is Out to Blow Up the Cable TV Model
After years of complaining about having to pay for obscure TV channels they never watch, American consumers might finally be getting their way.
Suddenly, Plenty of Options for Cord Cutters
An exploding number of options are available to viewers who want to ditch their traditional TV subscriptions but not forsake their television-watching habits. With a broadband subscription and a streaming device, people have more freedom to pay for what they want to watch and decide how they want to watch it.
Review: Can you Really Save Money by Cutting the Cord?
There are more ways to watch television online than ever. Even HBO and ESPN – two channels often cited as reasons people keep expensive cable or satellite TV packages – will be available for streaming on their own.
The Verge http://bit.ly/1O6TYqt
Streaming TV Services: What you Get, What it Costs
Sony jumped into the pay-television business Wednesday with an online package of more than 50 channels starting at $50 a month. It’s the most complete of the Internet-only offerings, but also the most expensive.
Deals & Signings
Discovery Channel Founder John Hendricks Launches CuriosityStream SVOD Service
Focusing on factual and non-fiction content, the ad-free service is initially available in the US, with a global rollout planned over the next five years. It’s available at three different price points, all based on streaming quality: $2.99 per month for standard resolution; $5.99 per month for HD resolution; and soon a 4K option, for which pricing has not yet been set. A free one-month trial comes with the service.
CNE Partners with Rapt Media for Interactive Videos
Videos using Rapt’s interactive video tech will appear on CNE’s video site, The Scene, across various series already on the platform (though CNE didn’t specify which). The technology is supposed to let viewers have more control over the content they’re watching by creating their own viewing “paths.”
Streaming Video News
Con TV Sets Premiere Date for First Original Movie
The film is actually part of a three-movie “Mythica” series, with the following two called “Mythica: The Darkspore” and “Mythica: The Necromancer,” both of which will come out on Con TV later in 2015. The first installment follows a character named Marek (played by Melanie Stone) who escapes being an indentured servant to “hone her own mysterious powers,” eventually embarking on a princess-saving quest with a team of, you guessed it, misfit heroes.
Web Series Wednesday: See Dead People
Feel like seeing dead people? This week’s web series selection will provide you with plenty, from green goo à la “Ghostbusters” to a graveyard caretaker’s undead childhood best friend…and a few paranormal incarnations in between. It’s not difficult to makes spoofs of this genre, and the following series do it well. Either that, or they manage to take the genre seriously to the point of success.
Netflix update: What’s coming and going in April?
Netflix has revealed its latest list of updates for April 2015. Nothing says spring like a Netflix binge before bed.
The Next Web http://tnw.co/1ExpOqT
USA Today http://usat.ly/1CugEw2
‘Project Greenlight’ Producer Teams with YouTubers on Online Short-Film Contest
“Project Greenlight” producer Adaptive Studios is launching a short-film contest called “The Greenies,” which will award some of the up-and-coming filmmakers who submitted for the “Project Greenlight” reboot.
Publishers test the waters with Meerkat
South by Southwest darling Meerkat may turn out to be this year’s Highlight, but 2012’s cautionary tale isn’t preventing publishers from jumping on the bandwagon
The Next Web http://tnw.co/1MN0T6w
Jukin Media: Building an empire on other people’s viral videos
As other digital video companies move toward creator partnerships and snazzy original content, Jukin Media is determined to build a scalable media business based on wacky animal videos and other viral fare.
HBO Now Finally Breaks Up the Pay-TV Bundle (Analysis)
The pay-TV bundle is facing new threats to its existence. Two of the industry’s anchors, HBO and Showtime, are planning to cut the cord, launching over-the-top Internet services that don’t require subscriptions to a cable or satellite service — with HBO setting a date for its new offering with a powerful partner: Apple.