Wednesday 3.4.15: News to Know

/ Mar 4, 2015

Digital video industry news today

REPORT: NBCU Targets Comedy SVOD Service for 2015

NBCUniversal is continuing to explore direct-to-consumer digital distribution in an effort to offset declining TV ratings and reach younger viewers who are either cutting the pay-TV cord or have never paid for it to begin with. The company wants to launch a comedy subscription video service later this year, offering a mix of TV and original programming, according to The Wall Street Journal.

VideoInk http://bit.ly/1KiqJ4r

Gigaom http://bit.ly/18k031E

LA Times http://lat.ms/1EgnS8s

Variety http://bit.ly/1Ndxvrb

WSJ http://on.wsj.com/1M3NLrk

WSJ http://on.wsj.com/1w3ds9l

THR http://bit.ly/1DUJkNJ

USA Today http://usat.ly/17QF4Dv

 

Opinions & Analysis

5 deals that prove Netflix wants to be taken seriously in the movie business

First Netflix made its mark on original television programing with shows like “Orange Is The New Black” and “House of Cards,” finding rabid fans and critical acclaim. Now the company is setting its sights on feature films.

Business Insider http://read.bi/1Gk3DaB

 

It is time for Amazon Web Services to get out of Amazon

A recent interview with Amazon Web Services’ chieftain Andy Jassy repeatedly touts the “trillion dollar opportunity” associated with the inexorable transition of enterprise IT to the cloud. Perhaps because his interlocutor was so busy inserting himself into the interview, Jassy isn’t actually quoted uttering the T-word (although he does manage to land “TAM”).

Business Insider http://read.bi/1zJoOL3

 

Amazon Prime’s most-streamed shows aren’t what you’d expect

On the surface, “Downton Abbey,” “The Wire,” and “Dora the Explorer” don’t have a lot in common, but they do share one quality: being among the most-streamed programs on Prime Instant Video.

Mashable http://on.mash.to/1Gk4g4b

 

The 3 steps to success on YouTube

YouTube is huge. It has 1 billion users, its the second largest search engine, and over 300 hours of content are uploaded each minute. It is ubiquitous, generating 50 percent of its viewership via mobile, 80 percent of it’s traffic comes from outside the US, and the platform has been localised for 61 languages.

The Next Web http://tnw.co/1B1gbAu

 

Deals & Signings

Above Average Debuts New Season of ‘Sound Advice’ with Weird Al

The new season will comprise 12 episodes in which Bayer plays Janessa Slater, doling out “wisdom” to artists like Sleater-Kinney, Nick Jonas, Jenny Lewis, The Vamps, and others. Weird Al Yankovic guest stars in the first episode of the new season, which you can watch below

VideoInk http://bit.ly/1EkG7bq

 

RLJ Entertainment Adds on Acquisitions Execs

RLJ Entertainment, a studio and distributor run by BET founder Robert Johnson, has made some changes to its executive team, promoting Mark Ward to chief acquisitions officer of feature films and hiring Angela Northington as SVP of content acquisitions at the company’s SVOD service Urban Movie Channel.

VideoInk http://bit.ly/1DNKZ5h

 

Netflix Finishes Deal for Idris Elba War Drama ‘Beasts of No Nation’

And Netflix has claimed its prize. The streaming company has acquired “Beasts of No Nation,” an African war drama from Cary Fukanaga and starring Idris Elba. The news comes a day after reports first surfaced that Netflix was closing in on the film for a deal in the neighborhood of $12 million.

VideoInk http://bit.ly/17Qk3c5

 

CAA Signs Beauty Vlogger Meghan Rienks (Exclusive)

Rienks, 21, began posting videos to YouTube in 2010 and has established a following of  1.6 million subscribers on her two channels, which feature videos and vlogs about lifestyle, beauty and fashion. Her videos have generated more than 95 million views, including more than 2 million for her most popular video — a tutorial on mastering a waterfall braid posted three years ago.

THR http://bit.ly/1DNLFHP

 

Streaming Video News

WATCH THIS: ‘Age of Yahoo’ Trailer for ‘Community’ Season Six

The trailer teases some new cast members, classmates, and inmates alongside returning “Community” stars Joel McHale, Gillian Jacobs, Danny Pudi, and Alison Brie. New cast members in the show include Paget Brewster as the school’s consultant and Keith David as a retired scientist.

VideoInk http://bit.ly/1DNKZC4

 

AMC, IFC and Epix go live on Sling TV

Don Draper, meet Sling TV: The recently launched online TV subscription service started to carry AMC and IFC as well as the Epix family of movie channels Wednesday, which means that Sling TV subscribers can now tune in live for episodes of shows like “The Walking Dead” and “Mad Men.”

Gigaom http://bit.ly/18jZZir

LA Times http://lat.ms/1zYaqzI

TechCrunch http://tcrn.ch/1NglK3f

The Next Web http://tnw.co/1B6M4Xc

Deadline http://bit.ly/1DNLZ9w

 

How Concerned Is Netflix Over Video Piracy?

On “Before The Bell,” Popcornflix Executive Vice President David Fannon discusses trademark infringement, video piracy and digital media streaming. He speaks on “In The Loop.”

Bloomberg http://bloom.bg/1BHK8pV

 

HBO GO Arrives On PS4 Today

Just ahead of the April 12 premiere of one of its more popular shows, Game of Thrones, HBO announced this morning that its streaming service HBO GO is now available on the PlayStation 4. The new application, which has been available on the PS3 for nearly a year, will be made available to PS4 owners as of today, the company says.

TechCrunch http://tcrn.ch/1El3VvS

Variety http://bit.ly/1w3cKZI

Mashable http://on.mash.to/1DQQ538

VentureBeat http://bit.ly/1Gk5I6p

TNW http://tnw.co/1Cw8WCB

TheWrap http://bit.ly/1GOK4ox

 

Nvidia Jumps Into Gaming-Console Market With Shield Set-Top Box

Nvidia Corp., the largest maker of graphics chips, unveiled a set-top box called Shield for streaming games over the Internet, pushing the component maker into a market dominated by Sony Corp. and Microsoft Corp. Based on Google Inc.’s Android software and Nvidia’s new Tegra X1 mobile processor, Shield will go on sale in May for $199.

Bloomberg http://bloom.bg/1AIRAMb

 

YouTube News

Geico Made YouTube Ads That You Wouldn’t Skip Even If You Could

Videos with pre-roll advertising enabled force viewers to wait out the first five seconds before they can click the skip ad button and move on to the content. Because people usually click, most ads, which are often recycled TV spots instead of digital-only version, have little chance of getting to the meat of the promotion or imparting any important information. Geico has figured out how to beat the system.

VideoInk http://bit.ly/1Ng6QtU

 

YouTube’s #DearMe Girl-Power Campaign Lights Up Twitter

YouTube launched a campaign with the hashtag #DearMe — encouraging users to upload “video letters” with advice to their younger selves, aimed at helping girls deal with problems — and within an hour it became the No. 1 trending topic on Twitter both in the U.S. and worldwide.

Variety http://bit.ly/1BRSFs2

 

Industry Highlights

Discovery Launches Seeker, a Digital Network Focused on Adventure…and Discovery

Discovery Digital Networks has added another video network to its portfolio with the launch of Seeker, a new destination dedicated to telling stories about adventurers, explorers, and other extraordinary people.

VideoInk http://bit.ly/1w2RWl9

 

Decoding TVOD with Vimeo and VHX: How to Sell Directly to Your Fans

As part of VideoInk’s monthly interview and screening series, this month we take a deeper look into the TVOD model.

VideoInk http://bit.ly/1GS5z7P

 

Machinima Hires Jamie Weissenborn as Chief Revenue Officer

Machinima, a digital-media company focused on gamer and fanboy audiences, has hired Jamie Weissenborn, a former senior ad exec at Sony Pictures Television, in the newly created position of chief revenue officer.

Variety http://bit.ly/17QzVLL

 

FCC Chairman Tom Wheeler: The Internet Now Has the Referee It Needs: Addresses net neutrality decision at Mobile World Congress

In his early evening keynote appearance at Mobile World Congress on Tuesday, Federal Communications Commission chairman Tom Wheeler essentially continued his victory lap five days after his agency voted 3-2 to enforce net neutrality.

AdWeek http://bit.ly/1NesFtL

The Next Web http://tnw.co/1Kj7rMc

 

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