Wednesday 10.1.14: News to Know

/ Oct 1, 2014

Digital video industry news today

Theater Chains Lash Back Against Netflix for ‘Crouching Tiger’

With all the buzz surrounding the upcoming simultaneous Netflix/IMAX premiere of “Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon 2,” it’s not surprising that a couple traditional movie theater chains have voiced their disapproval. Both Regal and Cinemark have thumbed their noses at the movie’s release plan, saying they will not carry the film.








LA Times


The Wrap





Opinions & Analysis

Who wins the video ad popularity contest, mobile or desktop?

Video advertising isn’t easy, and it only gets trickier to reach captive audiences on mobile devices. Digiday and LiveRail asked media professionals how they were approaching the medium. Here are some key findings about which ad units are most popular, which are best suited to mobile devices and what role standardization plays in all of this.

If this sneak-peek piques your interest, look out for LiveRail’s forthcoming State of the Industry report, “The Rise of Mobile Video,” for even more findings.




Netflix’s ‘Crouching Tiger’ experiment: Is it a game-changer?

On Monday evening, Netflix announced plans to move into the narrative feature business. The company said in a statement that it was teaming with Weinstein Co. on the latter’s sequel to “Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon,” the 2000 Ang Lee martial-arts epic that was a smash at the time of its release–it remains the highest-grossing foreign-language movie in U.S. history–but hasn’t been a touchstone for some time.


LA Times


With ‘Crouching Tiger’ Sequel, Has Netflix Pushed Too Hard?

Yesterday, it looked like Netflix was on the verge of doing to the movie business what it has done to the TV industry: turning it on its head. Netflix’s partnership with The Weinstein Company on a sequel toCrouching Tiger Hidden Dragon is scheduled to hit Netflix and Imax theaters in 2015, on the same day. That would be a first and a serious blow to the long-standing tradition of big movies opening in theaters first and then hitting home video roughly 90 days later.




Why ‘Crouching Tiger’ Sequel Won’t Revolutionize the Way Movies Are Released

Anyone expecting the “Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon” sequel to trigger a revolution in the way Hollywood delivers new movies will be sorely disappointed.


The Wrap


Crouching Tiger, Hidden Issues for Netflix Release?

Imax CEO Richard Gelfond discusses Netflix’s plan to release a sequel to the Oscar-winning “Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon” next year and comments on the future of the moviegoing experience. He speaks with Trish Regan on “Street Smart.”



Look Out, Emmys: ‘Transparent’ is a Drama Trapped in a Comedy’s Body

A TV show concerning the porous biological border separating man from woman could be poised to break through another rigidly binary barrier: the comedy and drama categories at the Emmy Awards. The murky depths of transgender identity are plumbed brilliantly in the first season “Transparent,” which Amazon Prime made available in its 10-episode entirety this past weekend.



Deals & Signings

Zefr Hires Manoj Goyal as First Chief Technology Officer

Zefr has hired Manoj Goyal as the company’s first chief technology officer. Starting as New York Advertising Week is in full swing, Goyal will focus on helping pave the way for a new product and tech strategy for Zefr, the company said.




Interlude Names Jim Spare President and COO

Interactive video tech company Interlude has hired Jim Spare to be its president and chief operating officer. In the role, Spare will be responsible for making Interlude a bigger name in the interactive video space, as well as increasing its customer base.




Chernin-Backed Otter Media Names CEO — Also Hires Tom Pickett

Those wondering where former YouTube VP of content operations Tom Pickett was going after announcing his departure did not have to wait long. The executive has been hired by Otter Media, a joint venture from The Chernin Group and AT&T focused on the over-the-top video space, to be the chief executive officer of a new company that will look to build advertising- and subscription-based “targeted video-on-demand channels.”














Native Ad Company Sharethrough Raises $10M from BSkyB, Others

Sharethrough, a digital advertising startup that specializes in “native ads,” has raised $10 million in a new round of funding led by British TV giant British Sky Broadcasting.





Streaming Video News

Crackle and Legendary Announce ‘Dead Rising: Watchtower’ Cast

Crackle is working with Legendary Digital Media on the feature film “Dead Rising: Watchtower,” and now they have announced the central cast. The zombie apocalypse tale will star Jesse Metcalfe, Meghan Ory, Virginia Madsen, and Dennis Haysbert.




Popcorn Time Finally Comes To iOS

Popcorn Time, the so-called Netflix for pirates, is now on iOS. It’s never been easier to watch pirated movies and TV shows on the iPhone or Android device. Is it illegal? Not really. Shady and not exactly ethical? Sure.




Amazon’s “Transparent” is the best show ever created by a tech company

Making great television is hard.It doesn’t matter whether it’s produced by a longtime incumbent with decades of experience like HBO, or a tech company like Netflix venturing from the safe solace of zeroes and ones into the much less predictable realm of characters and story. Major networks order over a dozen pilots each year, less than half of which are picked up. This year alone, at least 40 shows are slated to be cancelled.




YouTube Doc ‘Please Subscribe’ Comes To Netflix

In case you missed it in theaters or any of those VOD deals, you now have yet another chance to watch the fascinating documentary Please Subscribe: A Documentary About YouTubers. Started as a Kickstarter back in 2012, the project by Dan Dobi has had a long trip through several media platforms before finally ending up as a kick-ass documentary on Netflix.



YouTube News

Starz Rolls Out New ‘Power Rangers’ Spoof Series on YouTube

“Power Rangers” is getting a digital rebirth, thanks to Starz Digital Media and a new spoof series called “Space Riders: Division Earth.” Written by and starring comedians Mark Little and Dan Beirne, the “Power Rangers” satire is debuting on Union Pool, a YouTube comedy channel from the pay-TV company.




Starbucks Serves Up New Docu-Series on YouTube

An ambitious new campaign for Starbucks Coffee shows how people deal with the uber-popular coffee chain on a daily basis. Not incidentally, Starbucks hopes that this gets more people heading into its locations.

The campaign, called “Meet Me at Starbucks,” is focusing more on the consumers that visit its locations, rather than the products.





Media News

AOL and MSN Expand Syndication Partnership

AOL and MSN are expanding their video content partnership, which began earlier this summer with the inclusion of video content from AOL properties like HuffPost Live and TechCrunch on platforms such as MSN Video and the Bing apps for Windows phone.




‘Gossip Girl’ Would Be a Digital-Video Series Today, Former CW Exec Says

If “Gossip Girl” premiered today, it would be a digital-video series, according to Dawn Ostroff, former president of entertainment at The CW Television Network, which aired the teenage melodrama for six seasons starting in 2007.




5 Things IAB’s Randall Rothenberg Wants You to Know About Digital Advertising Viewability standards are going to get clearer and easier

The Interactive Advertising Bureau this week launched a nonprofit organization called the IAB Technical Laboratories to help grapple with viewability and other digital advertising issues. The research and development group will focus on creating technical standards for the industry and a code library to help companies adopt those rules and a testing platform for projects.





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