Thursday 4.3: News to Know

/ Apr 3, 2014

Digital video industry news today

Amazon Unpacks ‘Faster, Open’ Streaming Set-Top

Amazon has finally unveiled how it plans to play in the home-entertainment business. The company showed off the new Fire TV device this morning, which Amazon VP Peter Larsen said is faster, simpler, and more open than rival products from Roku, Apple, and Google.



Pando Daily



The Verge




LA Times








Business Insider 

Media Post


NY Times

Hollywood Reporter

Streaming Video News

Hulu Plans to Go ‘Bigger and Brasher’ with Originals, Says CEO

When Hulu named Mike Hopkins its new chief executive officer last October, one concern was how important original programming would be for the video service going forward. Hopkins, a longtime TV distribution executive at Fox Networks, was now in charge, and the company was still owned by a trio of TV networks. So no one would have been surprised if Hulu pivoted away from its original fare and embedded itself deeper into its TV roots.





Media Post

How Microsoft Is Positioning The Xbox To Take On Amazon, Roku And The Apple TV

Microsoft is latching onto its one reliably cool brand, Xbox, to gain a foothold in the next emerging arena in tech: TV. Since 2001, the Xbox has been gaining a foothold in the living room thanks to millions of hard-core gamers attracted to series like “Halo” and “Call of Duty.”

Business Insider

The state of digital streaming video in 5 charts

Jeff Bezos’s announcement on Wednesday that Amazon will be releasing its own set-top box called Fire TV has vaulted the “everything store” into the battle for consumers’ living rooms. And with Apple, Google, Microsoft, Netflix and upstarts like Roku to contend with, Amazon will have to make a pretty compelling pitch to consumers if it hopes to control their TVs.


John David Coles Joins ‘House Of Cards’ As Executive Producer

After directing three episodes of the second season of House Of Cards, director-producer John David Coles (The West Wing) is joining the Netflix drama series full time for Season 3 as executive producer/director.


Xbox Developing ‘Halo’ Digital Series

Xbox Entertainment Studios, 343 Industries and Scott Free Productions are developing a Halo digital feature that will be released later this year. Ridley Scott and Scott Free TV president David Zuckerwill executive produce the project and Sergio Mimica-Gezzan (Heroes) will direct.

Hollywood Reporter

Aereo Updates

Aereo is “finished” if Supreme Court sides with broadcasters, says Barry Diller

As Aereo gets ready to go before the Supreme Court in the biggest TV-related case in a decade, its biggest investor made clear it’s all or nothing.




YouTube News

The House of Machinima: Inside Gaming

With a staggering 2 billion views monthly, the Machinima network of in-house and partner channels has become a prominent hub for the gaming community. One of the first MCNs to break ou, Machinima has been producing content since the mid-2000s, and has grown past its initial machinima (lower-case “m,” indicating a hybrid of “machine” and “cinema”) output into a vast programming network of live action, animation, news shows, and more.


SoulPancake and Kid President Jump to TV via Series Deal with Hub Network

The Hub Network, a cable channel jointly run by Discovery Communications and Hasbro, has greenlit a variety show starring Kid President, the 10-year-old viral star from Rainn Wilson’s SoulPancake.


Hacking the YouTube ‘Playbook for Brands’: Know Thy Viewers

You have a rudimentary strategy in place for your brand’s YouTube debut. Now you have to learn about your audience. Here’s some help for getting into the minds of your YouTube viewers, so that your strategy can reflect their video-seeking behaviors.


Music To YouTube’s Ears: Video Site Beats Spotify for Listeners

Research by the just-released “Infinite Dial 2014: Radio Format P1s” study, which breaks out Edison Research’s influential “The Infinite Dial” survey results by P1 listeners to ten major format groups – begs to disagree. The research reveals that over a third of Americans age 12+ used YouTube to watch music videos or listen to music in the last week. For listeners to most current-based formats, those numbers are significantly higher. 57% of Top 40 P1s have used YouTube for music in the last week, followed by 53% of Urban P1s and 48% of Rock P1s.


Media News

AOL Slides Next to Steve Buscemi on New Series ‘Park Bench’

AOL is beginning to roll out its 2014 original programming slate. A day after announcing its first long-form show, “Connected,” the company has unveiled “Park Bench,” an unscripted series that provides actor Steve Buscemi’s take on what makes New York New York.


Dive into New Toon Series ‘Swimming Lessons’ on Above Average

Online comedy network Above Average has premiered “Swimming Lessons,” a new toon series about a swimming instructor who finds himself having to teach a group of seven-year-olds in dire need of reality checks.


Net2TV Inks Three-Show Deal with Bonnier for Portico TV

Net2TV, the company behind the Portico TV service, has inked a three-show deal with Bonnier Publishing.


Adobe Creative Cloud: New Features for Premiere Pro Video App

Adobe has announced new features for what has grown to become the most popular Non-Linear Editing (NLE) system, Premiere Pro CC. Improved native 4K support, the Master Clip Effect and Live Text are my favorite new features in the next major update, to be released in the coming months to Creative Cloud users.


Live Video Beats VOD Hands Down in Per Play Viewing Time

Live video viewing times are far, far longer than VOD times according the Ooyala’s Q4 2013 Video Index. On connected TVs, no surprise, times reach more than 42 minutes while VOD on the same platform is just 5.1 minutes per play. So live sports, breaking news and live linear streaming of things like special events are pulling down a lot of viewing time.


Yahoo Could Finally Bring Local TV News to the Internet

The internet overturned the print news business. And, thanks to services like YouTube, NetFlix, and Hulu, it’s upending the television world as well. But even as the pillars around it fall, the local TV newscast has hung on strong; its mix of crime, politics, weather, and pets-in-distress is charming and unique.


Fired Executive Accuses Netflix And Amazon Of ‘Cutthroat And Unlawful Campaign’ To Blacklist Him In Million-Dollar Lawsuit

A former Netflix executive has filed a $1 million lawsuit claiming the company engaged in a vicious campaign to get him fired from his new job at Amazon by falsely accusing him of stealing trade secrets. Netflix’s former director of content acquisition, Jerry Kowal, filed the lawsuit, which also names Amazon as a defendant.

Business Insider

Industry Highlights

Ron Howard, Brian Grazer, and Discovery Form New Digital Studio

Ron Howard and Brian Grazer, the producing team behind “24,” “Arrested Development,” “Apollo 13,” and “A Beautiful Mind,” have launched New Form, a joint venture with Discovery Communications to produce digital programming.


Hollywood Reporter

NY Times

A look inside publishers’ content studios

With digital ad rates tugging revenue downwards, many publishers have turned to content studios to pick up the slack. The studios, which publishers use to create content for brands, can net publishers significant sums. This is why so many of them — including industry stalwarts like The New York Times and The Wall Street Journal — are staffing their custom content studios with marketers, designers, videographers and, in many cases, seasoned reporters. (Full disclosure, Digiday has its own content studio, too).



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