Wednesday 6.11: News to Know

/ Jun 11, 2014

Digital video industry news today

Magic School Bus’ Back in Session with New Original Series for Netflix

Lest you thought that Netflix was finished reviving popular TV shows, the company has now set its sights on a classic kids’ favorite. The streaming service has inked a deal with Scholastic Media for “The Magic School Bus 360 Degrees,” an all-new CG-animated show based on the popular books and Emmy Award-winning educational series.






Opinions & Analysis

Reviewed! ‘The Fault in Our Stars’ and ‘Orange Is the New Black’ Shine Bright

Last weekend was a big one for the online video industry. Not only did the feature-film adaptation of John Green’s best-selling novel “The Fault in Our Stars” open to a huge domestic audience, but Netflix premiered the second season of its critically-acclaimed dramedy “Orange Is the New Black.”



The Key to Rooster Teeth’s Million-Dollar Crowdfunding Campaign: ‘The Economy of First’

Burnie Burns and his company Rooster Teeth mounted the most successful start to a film campaign in Indiegogo history, raising more than $700,000 in less than a day. They have since crossed the $1 million mark, leaving just one campaign in their sights – “Gosnell,” a feature about abortion doctor Kermit Gosnell.



How to avoid crappy online video

Abe Snyder is media director at Traction, an interactive creative agency. As recent press has related, there is a lot of crap in the online video marketplace. There is also plenty of high-quality content.


Streaming Video News

CTV Extend Picks Up Four Digital Series Including ‘Veronica Mars’ Spinoff

Canadian TV network CTV has picked up the rights to stream the “Veronica Mars” digital spinoff on CTV Extend, its ad-supported hub for original digital video programming.



Vincent D’Onofrio to Play Baddie in ‘Marvel’s Daredevil’ for Netflix

Vincent D’Onofrio has been cast in Netflix and Marvel’s upcoming superhero series “Daredevil.” The veteran TV and film actor, whose best-known for “Law & Order: Criminal Intent,” “Full Metal Jacket,” and “Homicide,” will play the villain Wilson Fisk, a powerful businessman whose interests in the future of Hell’s Kitchen put him at odds with blind attorney Matt Murdock and his crime-fighting alter-ego Daredevil.





XBox Developing Supernatural Bro Comedy

On the heels of unveiling an expansive slate of video game adaptations, drama, comedy, reality, animation and event series, I’ve learned that xBox Studios has put another project in development, scripted comedy East Of Exurbia. Written by Nick Kreiss and Ian Wolterstorff, the project revolves around three guys who try to build a bastion of bro-fueled debauchery in a house that happens to be situated on top of a magical portal to other worlds.



Paula Deen Launching Digital Network in September

Paula Deen is creating her own online network. The former Food Network star has announced plans to create the Paula Deen Network, a subscription-based, interactive digital experience that’s expected to launch in September.



Crappy Netflix Playback? Here’s How to Test Your Streaming Speed

Netflix goes out of its way to help you to figure out what’s wrong when you get crappy, pixelated video despite that super-fast connection you’re paying for. In addition to calling out ISPs when it thinks they’re the problem, Netflix also provides a handy speed index that lets you see which providers offer the best streaming experience.



Netflix Defeats Proposal Seeking Independent Chairman

Netflix Inc. (NFLX) investors voted down a shareholder proposal recommending that the board appoint an independent chairman, narrowly reversing the outcome of an identical measure last year.


YouTube News

Outrigger Media Tries to Simplify YouTube for Brands

In an effort to help advertisers better execute scaled ad buys on YouTube, Outrigger Media has unveiled Vnetic, a media-planning tool that allows clients to create and curate personalized YouTube content networks that they want to advertise on.



Google and Facebook quietly arm up for a raid on the video advertising market

TV advertising was worth about $74 billion in the US last year. Its biggest competition? Mostly, itself. As the online video advertising market takes shape, large chunks of the current broadcasting advertising marketing represent a big prize in waiting for online advertisers, especially for sites like Facebook and YouTube (and all of Google by proxy) that can boast an active, mobile, round-the-clock audience.


Media News

Ross Levinsohn Is No Longer CEO of Guggenheim Digital Media

Ross Levinsohn has left his post as CEO of Guggenheim Digital Media, a source confirms to VideoInk following a report from Recode. Levinsohn is a hall-of-fame digital media executive, having worked at large companies from Yahoo to News Corp.



‘The Future’ Is Now on Above Average: Season Two Premiere

Above Average’s celebrity psychic, Emily Heller, is back in season two of “The Future.” Premiering today, the series kicks off with a “reading” for former SNL cast member and actor Tim Meadows as he contemplates a switch in his career. Overcoming a disappointing lack of tarot cards, Emily eventually manages to peer into Tim’s future via his secret passion, the hope for his new career.



Sony Unveils PlayStation TV, Sets Fall Launch in North America

At E3, Sony announced plans to release PlayStation TV in the US. The streaming box, based on the PS Vita TV device the company already sells in Japan, allows people to stream both videos and games from their PS4 to another TV in the house.



MapQuest and’s New Series Helps Baseball Fans Navigate

For lovers of both baseball and exploration, a new digital series from AOL’s MapQuest and should satisfy this vast, American fan base. Called “Key to the City,” the series showcases custom content for those who follow Major League Baseball, exploring known tourist attractions and barely trodden baseball locales alike.



Kids’ Series ‘Pancake Mountain’ Is Back and Not Just for Kids

Music-focused digital kids’ series, “Pancake Mountain,” is back with a new season. The full season premiere of the PBS Digital Studios show, featuring Reggie Watts, is now available, with new episodes rolling out every Monday for the next ten weeks.




Step Aside, Internet Cats: Sloth Week to Premiere on Animalist

Those dedicated to Discovery Channel’s famed Shark Week have been known to wonder what could possibly be better than a week devoted to the ocean’s most dangerous and fierce predators. Well, the answer has arrived in the internet’s take on this weeklong dedication to a single animal.




SnagFilms to Debut New Comedy Portal: Thundershorts

SnagFilms is launching a digital comedy hub called Thundershorts set to debut on June 26. The website will start off with seven series, according to The Hollywood Reporter, and eventually become the go-to digital spot for SnagFilm’s short-form comedy content.




A Symphony’s Viral Video

The Seattle Symphony commissioned the piece that won this year’s Pulitzer Prize for music, “Become Ocean,” by John Luther Adams. But it is a late-20th-century work that is bringing the orchestra broader fame this week: its performance with Sir Mix-A-Lot of his bawdy song “Baby Got Back,” which byTuesday had been seen more than 1.5 million times on YouTube.



Ad Platforms

SpotXChange added new tools for the VPAID 2.0 platform to supply advertisers with more control over the display of video campaigns and for publishers to more easily bring in video ads to its network.



Apple Cracks Down On Apps That Reward Sharing, Video-Watching

Apple has begun clamping down on apps with ads that offer in-app rewards for viewing videos and social sharing. Supplying in-game currency or other incentives, such as viewing an ad for another app has become common in freemium games. But some apps using those methods have been seeing rejections.

Media Post


PointRoll To Add Video Viewability Tool

PointRoll, a Gannett company, on Tuesday announced plans to release a video viewability tool for marketers. The tool will report whether in-stream videos were viewable and will also capture the size of the publisher’s video player.

Media Post


Vita TV Coming To U.S. As PlayStation TV

Rebranded as PlayStation TV, Sony’s Vita TV will soon be available to North American and European audiences. “The good news is that [the streaming-only console] will only be $99, while still giving you access to the library of PS Now games and the ability to remotely access titles on your local network,” Engadget reports. “You’ll be able to pick up the newly christened PlayStation TV this fall either as a standalone unit, or as part of a bundle.”



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