Wednesday 6.26: News to Know
Amazon snaps up ‘Arthur,’ ‘Caillou’ and other PBS Kids shows
Amazon.com deepened its investment in family-friendly programming through an expanded licensing deal with PBS Digital that will bring hundreds of TV episodes to its Prime Instant Video streaming service — including additional installments of such PBS Kids shows as “Caillou,” “Arthur” and “Daniel Tiger’s Neighborhood.” The online retailer has been investing heavily in content as it seeks to challenge the dominance of Netflix — especially when it comes to young viewers.
LA Times http://lat.ms/138hXBz
Opinions & Analysis
How ‘Epic Meal Time Improvised Their Way to 5M Subs & 3 Channels
Nothing’s more synonymous right now with drunken debauchery, heapings of bacon, and ridiculous calorie counts than Epic Meal Time. Six Canadians have turned a friend’s diet cheat day into over 5 million YouTube subscribers, three channels, and their own branded line of clothes and cooking materials with little more than some improvisation and a whole bunch of fast food.
Deals & Signings
Second-Screen Tech Provider Watch with Gets $5M Investment
Watchwith, which offers technology that allows TV content to sync with digital platforms, has pulled in $5 million in a funding round from an entity backed by Canada’s Rogers Communications as well as contributions from previous investors Arris (formerly Motorola Mobility) and Sony-owned Gracenote. Other company backers include Fox and NBCUniversal. The sync-to-broadcast opportunities offer media companies and advertisers the chance to extend messages. Watchwith has propelled initiatives by Bravo, NBC and Syfy.
Digital Music News
Pandora Quadruples In-Car Listeners
Pandora, the biggest online radio service, said the number of U.S. listeners in cars topped 2.5 million, more than four times the number it reported a year earlier. About half of all listening takes place in autos, making it a crucial battleground for the $15 billion local radio advertising market — but also for the efforts of digital newcomers such as Pandora. Traditional radio broadcasters, meanwhile, are urgently debating their fear that some automakers may eventually stop equipping cars and trucks with AM/FM tuners at all.
Streaming Video News
Netflix Adds Another Kid-Targeted Original Series with “H2O” Spinoff “Mako Mermaids”
Netflix continues to ramp up its post-SpongeBob/Dora kids offerings. A week after sealing a huge deal with DreamWorks Animation for original content, the subscription service has inked an exclusive distribution pact for Mako Mermaids — a spinoff of the Australian teen drama H20: Just Add Water, which is a worldwide hit in syndication and is available on Netflix.
Deadline Hollywood http://bit.ly/1acTblr
TubeMogul Wants to Help Make Online Video Advertising More Like TV
Online video ad tech provider TubeMogul has launched BrandPoint, a new product that aims help agencies plan for and buy digital video based on the language they already understand, the one that exists on TV: GRPs.
Samsung Adds Listings for Hulu Plus to its WatchOn TV Software
Samsung is making it a little easier to find something to watch on its giant televisions. The company announced today that it’s integrating Hulu Plus listings into its WatchOn smart TV software. The WatchOn app, which runs on Samsung televisions, tablets and smartphones, serves as a smart TV guide of sorts by recommending shows that are playing on TV right now that you might like. Today’s update adds Hulu Plus listings to the mix of shows, movies, and on-demand content that already appear in WatchOn. Hulu Plus has been available as an app on Samsung’s Smart TVs for a while, but this update adds listings for the shows into WatchOn.
Variety: Netflix Is Overvalued, Bernstein Analysts Say
By 2020, Netflix in the U.S. will reach a “steady state” of 43 million users with streaming contribution margins to expand to 32%, Bernstein analysts Carlos Kirjner and Ram Parameswaran wrote. But they said the current stock price reflects an expectation of at least 50 million domestic streaming subscribers with contribution margins closer to 40%. “[T]he stock’s current valuation reflects unrealistic expectations across all major economic and strategic levers of the business,” Kirjner and Parameswaran wrote.
Mobile Broadcast TV Users Mostly Dyle News Programming, Study Finds Daytime is Mobile Prime-Time
Local and national news is the primary form of programming being viewed by mobile users accessing broadcast TV via mobile devices, according to estimates released this morning from TV audience measurement firm Rentrak. The data, which comes from Dyle, a new service enabling mobile users to access live broadcast TV signals on their handheld devices, indicates that news programming represents more than half of all viewing on mobile devices. Rentrak did not disclose the time frame being measured in the analysis or what the sample size, the composition, or specific methodology was, but said the findings also show that the average Dyle mobile TV user tunes in for more than 20 minutes per usage daily.
Halmark Channel Launches TV Everywhere
Beginning Wednesday, customers of major cable systems will be able to access a streaming video-on-demand menu of selected recent Hallmark shows and movies on their smart phones, tablets and computers.
The Haps with Apps
Snapchat’s 20-Something Founders Each Pocketed $10 Million In Addition to The $60 Million They Just Raised
Snapchat, a popular photo sharing and messaging app, recently raised $60 million at a pre-money valuation for $800 million. With 200 million photos being shared daily, Snapchat is now more valuable than Instagram was when Facebook purchased it last year. One significant detail left out of the SEC filing: each Snapchat founder reportedly swapped personal stock for $10 million in a secondary funding in addition to the $60 million investment. That means both 20-something founders, Evan Spiegel and Bobby Murphy, are rich now regardless of whether or not their company succeeds.
Business Insider http://bit.ly/1cmhGt6
Videos to Watch Now
Interscope Pairs Musicians with Top YouTube Talent in New Music Series
Robin Thicke will be performing live from YouTube Space LA this Thursday, beginning at1:30pm ET. The R&B singer’s performance is part of a new “Interscope Introducing” music series, which will be available via the music label’s YouTube channel. Per the announcement, the series will bring “emerging musical artists and YouTube creators together for a unique entertainment experience.” During this Thursday’s live-stream, Thicke will be joined by YouTuber Jenna Marbles. The announcement also teases cameos from one or two more prominent content creators in the YouTube community.
YouTube Plans to Eliminate Video Buffering Once And For All As Early As July 4
Website Gizmodo was invited to YouTube’s HQ recently and discovered the video-sharing site’s plan to eliminate video lag once and for all. It’s a massive undertaking on YouTube’s part, but according to Gizmodo’s article covering the mission, they are up to the task.
Startup Looks to Build Pinterest For Video
There is a seemingly a never-ending supply of video online. Which means that finding stuff is hard. One startup is looking to solve the Web’s increasing discovery problem, while also tapping into the Pinterestization of the Web—the consumer trend toward expressing one’s self through images and videos, particularly of brands and media companies. The British company Rockpack, backed by just a few million in funding, is set to unveil a video curation platform designed to help users sift through the vast sea of Internet video, while also theoretically helping more quality content rise to the top.
MissGlamorazzi, Beauty Guru
Sitting down to talk with Ingrid Nilsen — the mastermind behind the YouTube channel MissGlamorazzi — is like sitting down to talk with an old friend … if that friend has hundreds of nail polishes stored under their desk for “research” and has a flourishing YouTube career.