Wednesday 2.12: News to Know

/ Feb 12, 2014

Laffster Rebrands as Cogo, Expands ‘Digital Telethon’ Business to Other Verticals

Laffster, an online video and crowdfunding platform that helps comedians raise money for special projects and causes from their biggest fans, is rebranding itself as Cogo as it expands to other verticals beyond comedy.





Deals & Signings

Digital Measurement Firm comScore Names New CEO

Digital measurement firm comScore has a new chief executive officer: the company’s current president Serge Matta.




Streaming Video News

Reviewed! Amazon’s New ‘Primetime Pilots’ Show Some Promise

In honor of Amazon’s second round of original pilots, the VideoInk team banded together (again!) to review half of shows — the “Primetime Pilots,” or the ones that your kids shouldn’t be watching. Then again, we’re not saying you should be watching all of these, either.


Review: Chipotle’s ‘Farmed and Dangerous’

Chipotle is hardly the first sponsor to brave the programming game – indeed, not even forHulu, since Subway underwrote a comedy pilot dubbed “The 4 to 9ers.” Still, “Farmed and Dangerous” does mark an unusual entry into production for the restaurant chain, inasmuch as it mixes pointed satire about corporate greed with wonky dissertations about food policy. The result is a four-episode series with more tang than one might have anticipated given the pabulum often churned out in ad-supported vehicles, yet which ultimately falls into a sort of narrative no-man’s land that’s neither fish nor fowl.


Warner Bros. Inks SVOD Deal with Amazon’s Lovefilm in Germany for Toon Shows

Subscription video-on-demand service Lovefilm for several animated series. Among the newly added SVOD titles are cartoon classics like “Tom and Jerry” and “The Sylvester and Tweety Show,” super hero titles from DC Comics, “Batman: The Brave and the Bold” and “Superman,” “Scooby-Doo, Where Are You!,” “The Flintstones” and the comic adaptation of Tim Burton’s horror-comedy “Beetlejuice.”


Netflix Is ‘Training’ Its Recommendation System By Using Amazon’s Cloud To Mimic The Human Brain

Frequent Netflix users rejoice: Netflix is working on a new technology that should make its recommendation engine much better.

The goal of the technology is to stop recommending movies based on what you’ve seen, and instead make suggestions based on what you actually like about your favorite shows and movies.

Business Insider


Aereo Updates

Supreme Court to hear Aereo vs. big media case April 22

The U.S. Supreme Court announced today that it will hear the potentially landmark case between scrappy startup Aereo and broadcast media companies — setting a court date of April 22.



The Haps with Apps

Live Mobile Video Startup Yevvo Raises $3.7 Million

Yevvo, a Tel Aviv-based social startup, announced on Wednesday that it has raised $3.7 million in venture funding. The startup, which lets user record and share live streaming video from their mobile devices, is backed by the Israel-based firm Aleph with additional investment from Entrée Capital. The company has raised more than $4 million to date.



YouTube News

Maker Studios Inks Content Deal with Steve-O

Prankster Stephen Glover, known to most of you as Steve-O from “Jackass,” is joining the Maker Studios network. Per the agreement, Maker Studios, which counts more than 350 million subscribers across its network, will now be managing Steve-O’s YouTube channel, which is closing in on 2 million subscribers.




Kin Community and DIY Guru Kate Albrecht Launch New Home Makeover Series

DECA and its women/lifestyle-oriented MCN Kin Community are unveiling a new reality series hosted by Kate Albrecht, better known on YouTube as Mr. Kate.


My Damn Channel Comedy Network Introduces TV-Length Programming

The My Damn Channel Comedy Network, which to date has mainly offered a wide variety of short-form comedy content, is now embracing the half-hour format. The network is launching “We Got Next,” a new “bro-mantic comedy” that follows a pickup basketball team comprised of four guys who shouldn’t be teammates or friends.


With Google’s top ad exec now running YouTube, LA creators are stuck in wait and see mode

Less than a week ago news leaked of a new CEO at YouTube, which took the content creator and advertising communities by surprise. Confirmed by YouTube parent Google, Susan Wojcicki, the search giant’s 16th employee, former landlord, current top ranking female, and previous SVP of Advertising, will be assuming the top spot at Google’s second most important asset. While the move signals a deep commitment from Google toward maximizing the revenue generated from its video platform, it also begs questions about what YouTube’s future will look like and how current senior executives may fit in.


Media News

Xbox Developing Original Series Inspired by the Life of Nas

Xbox Entertainment Studios is developing an original series based on the life of Nas.


Nominees for Fifth Annual Indie Series Awards Unveiled

The fifth annual Indie Series Awards’ nominees were announced earlier this morning in an episode of “We Love Soaps TV.” Celebrating independent shows written and produced for the web, the ISAs have more shows nominated this year than ever before. Fifty-six different web series received nominations, marking a record high for the ceremony.


MacNeil/Lehrer Productions Teams Up With Al-Monitor For Middle East Web Specials

MacNeil/Lehrer Productions and Washington-based website have teamed-up to produce a series of Web video specials on Middle East politics titled Trendlines to be streamed on the PBS NewsHour website and on Al-Monitor as well as affiliated platforms including Youtube, Facebook and Roku.


Google strikes big ad measurement deal with comScore

Google signed a major advertising deal with comScore to help the world’s largest Internet search provider win more business from big brands like Kellogg.

USA Today

IAB Issues Mobile Video Ad Guide

The “Mobile Video Buyer’s Guide: Practical Advice for Video Advertising on Smartphones and Tablets” addresses a range of topics, including video in apps versus mobile-optimized sites, pre-roll versus banner ads, inline compared to native media players, third-party tags and advanced interactive capabilities.


Video platform provider Kaltura raises another $47M

New York-based video platform provider Kaltura has raised another $47 million in funding from SAP Ventures, Nokia Growth Partners, Commonfund Capital, and Brazil-based Gera Ventures. Existing investors .406 Ventures, Nexus Venture Partners, Intel Capital, Mitsui & Co. Global Investment and Silicon Valley Bank are also back for more.



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