Wednesday 6.5: News to Know

/ Jun 5, 2013


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RUMOR MILL: Maker Studios Set to Launch Competitor to YouTube

Following an eyebrow-raising blog post that had a lot of people talking (including us) about the issues within the YouTube/MCN ecosystem, Jason Calacanis showed up at this year’s STREAM conference to drop another bomb. The serial angel investor and entrepreneur revealed live from the stage that “two new [YouTube] competitors will emerge” this fall, while also predicting that “a couple more” could potentially follow suit next year. One of these YouTube competitors launching in the fall will be led by Maker Studios, which Calacanis said on stage and which VideoInk has separately confirmed via a source at Maker. The other competitor “is from an existing player” within the online video ecosystem, but not much else was divulged on the stage.



Heineken’s “Dropped” Released on YouTube

The fifth installment of Heineken’s “Legends” platform focuses on “Voyage,” which has resulted in a YouTube channel called “Dropped.” The so-called social experiment aims to prove that “Legends aren’t born. They’re dropped,” by placing men outside of their element, providing only a couple of guideposts, and challenging them to complete the voyage home. The first three episodes are already available and follow a man named Rikar Gil as he tries to make it back home to Madrid after being dropped in Alaska.



Deals & Signings

Viacom Extends Video Deal With Amazon, Adds Cable Nets

Viacom is expanding a wide-ranging digital video deal with Amazon — just weeks after ending one with Amazon competitor Netflix. For Amazon’s Prime Instant Video service, Viacom will commit a broad selection of TV shows from Nickelodeon, Nick Jr., MTV and Comedy Central under a multi-year deal. It will allow viewers to watch on a variety of devices including iPhone, iPad, Kindle Fire and Roku, among them. Early on, Viacom executives took some heat from TV business analysts, suggesting that dramatically lower TV viewership on Nickelodeon was due to deals on subscription video-on-demand (SVOD) services like Netflix — something that Viacom executives dismissed. Amazon is also an SVOD-type of service.




Nielsen Readies Mobile TV Tracking With Syncbak, CBS

Earlier this year, CBS local TV stations in New York and Los Angeles began testing mobile video streaming in their respective markets using a system from a company called Syncbak. On Tuesday, Nielsen announced completion of a two-week technical trial with Syncbak, and CBS affirming that broadcasters can track viewership through the system. Based on a test of tablet and mobile measurement conducted with four CBS owned television stations in New York and Los Angeles — WCBS, WLNY, KCBS and KCAL — Nielsen said it had successfully captured all mobile viewing in the two markets.



NBCUniversal Hires Ex-Disney Exec Russell Hampton to Expand Franchise Opportunities

Hampton has been hired to fill the newly created position of executive vp franchise management and global consumer products for NBCUniversal’s Media Innovation and Cross Company Initiatives Group, The Hollywood Reporter has learned. The group aims to monetize cross-platform content and creating a digital strategy across mobile, social and the web. Hampton, who officially began Monday, reports to NBCUniversal executive vp Lauren Zalaznick, who oversees the group. He is responsible for developing a strategy around the company’s licensing and merchandising efforts across NBCUniversal’s film, theme parks, broadcast networks, cable channels and digital properties. Additionally, he will be responsible for identifying possible growth opportunities, namely the kids and families space, including driving digital product and IP development.



Industry Highlights

Twitch Ditches CBSi, Launches Ad Sales Unit

So much for CBS Interactive’s exclusive ad sales pact with video platform Twitch.TV. Just months after the deal was done, Twitch — which specializes in live footage of video games being played — is dropping CBSi to form its own internal ad sales unit. Jonathan Simpson-Bint, chief revenue officer at Twitch, said the partners will remain close. “They’ve actually been very understanding, and we’ll continue to work together on advertising and content,” Simpson-Bint said of CBSi. “We still need to build our national advertising business, and CBSi is a significant content provider.” At launch, the Twitch Media Group boasts a network of some 600,000 “broadcasters,” which attracted an audience of 35 million unique visitors in May.



NBCU Looking at Buying YouTube Networks

NBCUniversal is evaluating potential acquisitions of YouTube multichannel networks in multiple genres, with a particular interest in those aimed at women, said Lori Conkling, media conglom’s executive VP of strategy and business development. “It’s something that we are paying very close attention to. It’s just figuring the right way to go about it,” she said, speaking Tuesday at the VideoNuze Online Video Advertising Summit in New York. “We see the opportunity.”



Opinions & Analysis

Global Media Industry Poised to Top $2 Trillion in 2016

Services like Netflix and Hulu will help keep the U.S. as the biggest entertainment market in the world for the foreseeable future, says PricewaterhouseCoopers. Despite headlines extolling the booming entertainment and media markets of China, Brazil, India and other parts of the world, the U.S. will continue to dominate for years to come, according to PricewaterhouseCoopers, which released portions of its 2013-2017 Global Entertainment and Media Outlook on Tuesday. The U.S. entertainment and media market generated $479.23 billion in 2012, representing 29.2 percent of the worldwide revenue of nearly $1.639 trillion. In 2017, the U.S. is expected to account for $632.09 billion, or 29.4 percent of the worldwide total of more than $2.152 trillion, according to the report.



“Burning Love”: Anatomy of a Hit

During the Best in Class Case Study “Burning Love” at STREAM today, executives responsible for bringing “Burning Love” to Yahoo! and later to E! discussed how the show came to be. The show got its start from the love Ken Marino and his wife, Erica Oyama, shared for “The Bachelor.” Both had worked on “Children’s Hospital,” for which she had already written episodes. With Ken’s encouragement, she drafted the “Burning Love” pilot and showed it to the head of of Abominable Pictures, the production company for “Children’s Hospital.” Abominable brought it to Ben Stiller’s Red Hour films and the two companies presented the show to Yahoo!.



Videos to Watch Now

“Facebook the Musical” hilariously depicts Social Addiction

Ah, Facebook. We gripe, whine and criticize, yet can rarely bring ourselves to actually pull the plug. The addictive pull of the world’s biggest social network is hilariously portrayed in the musical number, above. Uploaded to YouTube on Monday, it’s already attracted more than 120,000 views — a testament to its high production value and universal truth.



YouTube News

Bangladesh Lifts Ban on YouTube, Blocked After Anti-Islam Film

Bangladesh on Wednesday lifted a ban on video-sharing site YouTube that has been blocked since September after an online anti-Islam movie spawned violent protests across the Muslim world.



Digital Music News

Pandora Embraces Web Standards for the Living Room, Launches on Xbox360 and PS3

Pandora is finally available on the Microsoft’s Xbox 360 and Sony’s Playstation 3, thanks to a new web app launched Wednesday that comes complete with a UI optimized for couch potatoes. The company wants to bring the web app to additional TV platforms in the coming months, and CTO Tom Conrad told me Tuesday that Pandora sees this move away from native apps as the way forward in the living room. “We think that the answer can be web standards,” he said.



Jay-Z and Samsung Rumored Close to Signing $20 Million Partnership Deal

While details are still scarce about Jay-Z and Samsung’s rumored partnership, first reported by the New York Post this morning and rumored to be worth $20 million, it appears that the deal may include a streaming music offering from Samsung. “You can speculate that he’ll want to develop some kind of new music-streaming service to promote his acts and music on mobile devices,” a source familiar with the deal told the Post.



TV vs. Digital

Digital Impressions Are as Reliable as a TV Buy

TV was effective. Also, digital was effective, but illuminated a startling and unnerving fact: A large chunk of the “impressions” were manufactured. In short, there was no human viewer on the other side. We learn that your crystal clear warning was run on 11,000 different sites, effectively the entire digital video marketplace.  Of those, only 200 were sites operated like TV.  Of all the sites your message ran on, only 0.005% of them were displayed on video-centric sites, with high quality content, a big, above-the-fold player and a view that was user-initiated. Another 800 sites were syndication partners of the first 200. On these 1,000 sites, there was a very high correlation between ad consumption and an unplugged toaster. That leaves roughly 10,000 sites that ran (or told you they ran) your warning. The digital CSI team determined that these ads had no effect on increasing the number of unplugged toasters. The money spent here was wasted with each ineffective dollar representing a life not saved. Your heart breaks.



Creator Profiles

Taryn Southern is Betting Big on an Emerging YouTube Brand: Her Own

Taryn Southern is one of those YouTubers with a name that’s arguably more well-known in traditional circles than her fellow digital brethren. She was a contestant on the third season of American Idol, she’s appeared on TV shows like New Girl and Rules of Engagement, and her musical ode to Hillary Clinton – Hot4Hill – landed her on CNN, Good Morning America and MSNBC in the midst of the 2008 Presidential primaries. Combine that mainstream buzz with an on-camera presence that’s equal parts quirky and come-hither, a knack for making catchy covers of existing hits, and a serious ability to laugh at herself – and you get exactly the type of personality one would expect to attract millions of YouTube subscribers, with the ad revenues to match. Except she’s not. At the moment, her YouTube Channel Taryn TV is just nearing the 200,000 subscriber mark. And at the moment, the YouTube channel is costing her money, not paying the bills.



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