Wednesday 1.7.15: News to Know

/ Jan 7, 2015

Digital video industry news today

VHX Raises $5 Million to Help Movie Makers Sell Their Stuff Online

Did you hear? It turns out people like to watch movies online. That’s the takeaway from the newest statistics from Sony, which says people have spent more than $31 million to watch the “The Interview” at home, via outlets like iTunes and Google Play.



CES 2015

CES 2015: YouTube Goes 360, Martial Arts Flicks Find New Home, and More

The first official day of CES brought forth a bunch of announcements. Here are a few more that you might have missed, but should certainly be aware of.


CES 2015: Verizon Will Launch Its Internet-TV Service in Late 2015

Verizon (VZ) CEO Lowell McAdam reiterated the telecommunications giant’s interest in launching an alternative pay-TV service that would be delivered via the internet.




CES 2015: Samsung’s Gear VR Will Get Content from ‘The Walking Dead”s David Alpert

Samsung’s beefing up the content available on its Gear virtual-reality headset.



Updates From CES 2015 LIVE

Live coverage of the Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas from CNET



CES 2015: Razer console will stream PC games, play mobile games on TV

If a new gaming console running on Google software succeeds, people who play computer games locked up in their rooms should find themselves spending more time in the living room, and mobile game players should become less isolated.

LA Times

Opinions & Analysis

The Cord-Cutter’s Guide To 2015

While the cord-cutting phenomenon has yet to lead the pay-TV industry asunder, 2015 will be a streamer’s delight.



Verizon Eyes Launch of Internet TV Service with 20-30 Channels This Year

Verizon Communications expects to roll out a “mobile-first” Internet pay-TV service in the second half of 2015, likely with between 20 and 30 channels, aimed at younger consumers who aren’t interested in full-blown cable, CEO Lowell McAdam said.



U.S. home video spending falls 1.8% in 2014 while digital sales surge

Increased interest in digital movies and Netflix weren’t enough to make up for broader declines in the home entertainment market in 2014.

LA Times


Brands on YouTube: The Keys to Success in 2015

You can’t buy your way to success on YouTube the same way you can buy a community of “likes’” or “followers” on other social networks. You can’t by engagement through promoted posts (and even when you pay for views, its obvious when the content is terrible—millions of views and only a dozen or so comments). Only a few brands (Nike, Red Bull, GoPro and a handful of others) and the native YouTube celebrities themselves have been successful on the platform.


Deals & Signings

Meredith Buys Native Video-Ad Firm Selectable Media

Meredith (MDP) has acquired Selectable Media, a provider of engagement-based and “native” video ad solutions. Financial terms of the deal were not disclosed.


Google Nabs Media Partners Including CBS Interactive and Fox News For Premium Video Exchange

Last summer Google introduced Google Partner Select, a service allowing marketers to buy ads in “premium” online video content.


Vimeo Inks Exclusive Deal for 4 Series from Digital Studio Backed by Discovery, Brian Grazer and Ron Howard

First two 10-episode series, ‘Oscar’s Hotel’ and ‘Parallax,’ come from YouTube creators PJ Liguori and Sawyer Hartman


Streaming Video News

Stage17 Sets Premiere Date for Comedy Series ‘What’s Your Emergency’

Stage17, a video platform dedicated to distributing original videos and series created by theatre artists, will debut its latest comedy series, “What’s Your Emergency,” on January 27.



Amazon Studios to Release 13 New Pilots in January

Amazon Studios has unveiled the full list of pilots coming to its Prime Instant Video streaming service in January. It features seven previously announced drama, comedy, and docu-series pilots, and six new kids pilots.



Fandango to Debut Movie-Focused Channel on Hulu

Fandango is coming to Hulu. The movie service, owned by NBCUniversal, plans to launch a new “movie discovery” channel on the video site, which is partially owned by NBCUniversal parent Comcast.


LA Times

Bravo Sets Companion Web Series for ‘Best New Restaurant’

Bravo is making a habit out of launching companion online programming for its TV series. The network has just announced “Secret Service,” a web series tied to its new food competition series “Best New Restaurant.”


Ustream’s Brad Hunstable Wants Everyone To Connect Through Livestream Video

Ustream founder and CEO Brad Hunstable initially created his livestream video platform for a very niche market, and in the seven years since its launch, has seen the online video site explode to momentous proportions all around the world.


Netflix exec: company hasn’t changed policy on blocking VPN users

Netflix isn’t cracking down on foreign users utilizing VPNs to access the company’s streaming service, or at least not more than it has always done, according to Netflix’s Chief  Product Officer Neil Hunt.


TV vs Digital

US DVD Sales (Continue to) Drop as Digital Breaks Records

Digital continues to displace traditional distribution for Hollywood studios, and data released by the industry continues to reflect that.


Videos to Watch Right Now

Viral Video of the Week: New Year’s Wishes from Fisher-Price

Fisher-Price welcomed the New Year with a video capturing mothers’ warm wishes for their newborn babies, among the first children to be born in 2015.


YouTube News

YouTube Stars KickThePj, Sawyer Hartman To Launch Vimeo Series On Demand

YouTube stars KickThePj (a.k.a. PJ Liguori) and Sawyer Hartman will each launch an online-video series exclusively on Vimeo On Demand through a deal announced this morning with New Form Digital Studios. Two more series will be developed later this year as part of the New Form-Vimeo deal.



Media News

Sony’s Online and VOD Sales for ‘The Interview’ Hit $31M

“The Interview,” the Seth Rogen-James Franco comedy from Sony Pictures Entertainment, made more than $31 million via online and VOD rentals and sales through Sunday, January 4.



Vice and Annapurna to Co-Produce Film ‘The Bad Batch’

Vice and Annapurna Pictures have worked together before on marketing projects like “Spring Breakers” and “The Grandmaster.” Now, the two media companies will come together to produce a film, “The Bad Batch.”


Creator Profiles

From ‘Lizzie’ to ‘Frankenstein,’ Bernie Su Is Running the Show

Bernie Su, the creator of several web series based on classic novels (“The Lizzie Bennet Diaries” after Jane Austen’s “Pride and Prejudice,” “Emma Approved” after Austen’s “Emma,” and “Frankestein, MD” — which he co-created — after Mary Shelley’s “Frankenstein”), was very busy in 2014.



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