Wednesday 1.7.15: News to Know
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: 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 http://lat.ms/1AscvG3
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 http://lat.ms/14iHysx
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 http://lat.ms/1AFjugb
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 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.
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.”
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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