Tuesday 10.28.14: News to Know

/ Oct 28, 2014

Digital video industry news today
Opinions and Analyses

How Amazon’s Fire TV Stick Compares to Other Streaming Dongles

Today, Amazon got into the streaming-stick game with the announcement of the $39 Fire TV Stick, an HDMI-port plugin for your HDTV that will replicate much of the functionality of the full-size Fire TV. Existing Amazon Prime members can preorder the stick for just $19 in the next couple of days, but it won’t ship until November 19, according to Amazon’s site.


Why Video Marketing Needs to Be a Priority for Every Single Brand

SEO should be an essential part of any brands marketing agenda if they want to reach their target audience, but by contrast, video SEO, and video marketing are too often seen as a sideline venture. Search Engine Optimization strategies will include goals such as aiming to secure X% of the search space, however, the internet’s 2nd biggest search engine – YouTube – is often overlooked, or given too little marketing resources.


RTL Group Close to ‘Hauling’ in StyleHaul — Here’s Why

The MCN world rests for no one. While the LA-based digital media was readying itself for the weekend this past Friday, Variety reported that Luxembourg-based RTL Group is nearing an acquisition of leading fashion- and beauty-focused network StyleHaul, which I just recently profiled for my blog. Terms remain undisclosed — although I am confident that the final price-tag is well north of $100 million.

‘Alpha House’ Creator Garry Trudeau: Amazon Wants to Rival HBO Originals
Trudeau’s “Alpha House,” a political satire starring John Goodman as a senator rooming with three other U.S. senators in a D.C. townhouse, was one of the first originals greenlit by Amazon Studios. The comedy was renewed after the first run hit last fall, and season two premiered Friday, Oct. 24, with Amazon releasing all 10 episodes.
Deals and Signings
Vimeo Inks Distribution Pact with Cinedigm, Beginning with ‘My Little Pony’ Films
Vimeo and Cinedigm have agreed to an ongoing distribution partnership, under which the film and TV distributor will sell some of its titles on Vimeo On Demand.


CineSport Will Curate, Distribute Sports Content For Anthem Media’s Fight, Fantasy Properties

Major sports-targeted content creator and distributor CineSport has partnered with Anthem Media Group’s Fantasy Sports Network, Fight Network and SportsGrid.com to curate, produce and distribute those sites and content across the Web.


‘Big Brother’ To Set Up House In China Via Endemol, Youku Tudou Partnership

Fifteen years after it first aired in the Netherlands, Big Brother is getting its first-ever Chinese version. The Endemol property will debut in early 2015 on digital video platform Youku Tudou which reaches 500M active users, the companies said today. The project is a collaboration between Youku Tudou and Endemol China, a new operation the Dutch giant has established in Beijing. The reality format’s local take will run for ten weeks.

Amazon’s Audible Buys Comedy Service Rooftop Media
Amazon-owned audiobook provider Audible has agreed to purchase comedy service Rooftop Media for an undisclosed price, the companies announced Monday. 
Rooftop Media, which operates website Rooftop Comedy, records comedy performances and licenses the content for live or on-demand streaming. Audible agreed to acquire the San Francisco-based company in September to bolster its comedy offerings. 

Conde Nast Reshuffles Digital and Video Teams
Fred Santarpia, the former Vevo executive who was hired by Conde Nast to help build its digital video business, is transitioning to a new role at the company. Executive vice president and chief digital officer of the company’s Conde Nast Entertainment division since 2012, Santarpia will now serve as EVP and chief digital officer of all of Conde Nast.


Tim Hincks Named President of New Endemol-Shine-Core Group

Tim Hincks, president of Endemol Group since 2012, has been named president of a new production joint venture created as a result of the merger between reality-TV heavyweights Endemol, Shine Group, and Core Media Group.

Streaming Video News

Watch a Sneak Peek of Chelsea Peretti’s Netflix Comedy Special

Following another comedic Chelsea on Netflix, Chelsea Peretti will release her stand-up special on the streaming service Friday, November 14. Called “Chelsea Peretti: One of the Greats,” the special, which was filmed at the Palace of Fine Arts in San Francisco, will run for an hour (like theother comedy specials rolling out on Netflix).

Tiny Riot Options Brooklyn-Based Digital Comedy Series

As previously announced, Tiny Riot, FremantleMedia North America’s digital content studio, handed out a development award to a couple of independent artists at this year’s New York Television Festival. 


American Express Launches Video Series

American Express is launching two new content marketing programs centered on service that support the Amex EveryDay Credit Card.


‘New Timers’: Watch the Post-Apocalyptic Comedy’s First Episode

The apocalypse has never looked so comfortable as in “New Timers,” the new CC Studios web series from Matt Porter and Charlie Hankin.
It doesn’t feel right to call these guys self-obsessed in the way characters in shows like “Girls” or “Portlandia” are…maybe just comfortable in their bubble? Either way, the apocalypse doesn’t seem to have changed their lives much — they still get bummed over girls and would rather use a rare working electrical outlet to play video games than get a radio working.

The 13 Spookiest Horror Flicks Streaming on Netflix This Halloween

As WIRED staffer and former Bloodline correspondent Jay Dayrit recently noted, looking for horror movies on Netflix is a little like “searching through the $5 bargain movie bin at Walmart.” And between selections like Blood Lake andPinocchio’s Revenge, he’s basically right. But, much like that bargain bin, there are treasures to be unearthed for the patient seeker. Luckily for you all, we are an intrepid bunch, willing to walk through the movie desert to find the occasional oasis for your replenishment.


Animal Planet Live Trapped a ‘Zombie’ for Halloween

Animal Planet Live is showcasing a different kind of creature in honor of Halloween. The network’s “Zombie Cam” just went live, featuring constant footage of a “captured zombie” on animalplanet.com/zombie.


Driver Digital Brings Family-Friendly Channels to Roku

Driver Digital’s family-friendly channel Cool School and series, “The Rundown,” have made their way onto Roku, thanks to a new partnership between Driver and Future Today, Inc.

CBS Prepares to Launch 24-hour Digital News Network Aims for early November roll out
CBS is preparing a new 24-hour digital news network with an accompanying marketing campaign, reports Capital New York.
The network—dubbed CBSN—is in the final stages of development, including getting trademarks for the network name and the tagline, “CBS News. Always On.” It’s expected to launch Nov. 4.
YouTube News

Complex courts YouTube creators with its own new network

Over the past few months, men’s entertainment platform Complex Media has been slowly building its own multi-channel network and pitching it to video creators as a way to expand their reach beyond YouTube — and boost their ad revenue.

‘Dredd’ EP Adi Shankar on His New Bootleg ‘Judge Dredd’ Miniseries
Producer Adi Shankar has been making “bootleg” versions of his favorite copyrighted characters since he realized that “the movie business had become more about the business than the movies.” Noting that these characters had become “watered down or downright butchered” in the hands of their owners (who, more often than not, weren’t the characters’ creators), Shankar decided to “rebel” via “Bootleg Universe,” through which he’s put out short films like “Dirty Laundry” and “Truth in Journalism,” the first of which has generated over 5.5 million views on his YouTube channel.


Michelle Phan: From YouTube Star to $84 Million Startup Founder

Do not underestimate the YouTube makeup-tutorial starlet.Do not dismiss her “Barbie Transformation Tutorial;” her “Sailor Moon Transformation,” which includes anime contact lenses; nor her alarming “Zombie Barbie.” 

Business Insider http://read.bi/1zeq65D

Susan Wojcicki Wants to Sell You YouTube Video Subscriptions
YouTube is in the early stages of exploring new subscription services, YouTube CEO Susan Wojcicki told Re/code’s Peter Kafka and Liz Gannes at today’s Code/Mobile conference.


YouTube Considers Paid, Ad-Free Subscriptions

Google Inc.’s YouTube is working on a paid-subscription business model, a big change from the advertising-only approach that turned it into the world’s largest online video website, according to a top executive at the Internet giant.

Business Insider http://read.bi/1wH1phb
Half of YouTube’s Traffic is Now From Mobile

Capping off the first evening of Code/Mobile, YouTube CEO Susan Wojcicki shared some new numbers about the video sharing website, revealing that about 50 percent of views are coming from a mobile phone or tablet. 

ReCode http://on.recode.net/1zDxacV


Media News

NYTimes.com Goes Big On Video

The New York Times Web site is getting into video in a big way — literally, with a video player that is much larger than the previous version on its home page.


Guillermo Del Toro Picks Finalists In YouTube Horror Hunt: Video

Guillermo del Toro and Legendary have narrowed their Halloween talent hunt down to five horror shorts filmed on sets dressed a la Crimson Peak in YouTube Spaces in LA, London, Tokyo and NYC. All five finalists receive creative consultation from del Toro himself — but since just one of these filmmakers will win a development deal with Legendary to expand their short, let’s take a closer look at the contenders. 

Watch While You Tweet: Twitter Now Features Dockable Videos on Mobile
Following the release of the Twitter Audio Card last week, the social network is now bringing a similar video feature to both iOS and Android devices, according to TechCrunch. The Twitter Player lets users view a video while continuing to browse through the app.

YouTube Considering An Ad-Free, Subscription-Based Version
Google’s YouTube online video service might soon provide a way to do away with those increasingly annoying pre-roll ads forever: The network is considering the adoption of a new version, says the Wall Street Journal, that would get rid of ads altogether, and introduce subscription-based billing for customers who want it instead.
The Next Web http://tnw.co/1wIl4xc
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