Wednesday 8.6: News to Know

/ Aug 6, 2014

Digital video industry news today Says Farewell So Company Can Focus on Twitch, the “life-casting” site that gave birth to in 2011 after launching in 2007, officially bid its users farewell. In February 2014, rebranded to Twitch Interactive, which has recently been in the spotlight due to a long-rumored acquisition for $1 billion by Google.


The Wrap










Opinions & Analysis

Yes, Small Brands CAN Become Video Marketing Superstars

Content marketing isn’t just for for big brand budgets. Small and medium sized businesses can also leverage it with well-planned video marketing campaigns that resonate with audiences, and help generate awareness and boost engagement.

There are numerous examples of big companies using this tactic, but there are notable exceptions when it comes to smaller brands. A law firm in Savannah, Georgia, managed to rise above the noise of over 900 Yellow Pages listings with a viral video that’s been watched by millions and discussed in national media. The spot was controversial but generated a lot of attention in the local market.



And So This Was Digital’s Upfront Breakout Year, Right? Well, No

Many of the big revolutions finished without all the expected explosions. There are some among us—journalists, mainly—who are disappointed when calamity is the middlin’ kind that everybody experiences, but nobody dies from.

Media Post


Why is YouTube so into Vice News?

Everyone, it seems, wants a piece of Vice. The hot media company, focused on being “the Time Warner of the streets,” according to its brash CEO, has put many of its chips on Vice News. The news channel, relaunched in December, is all about multiplatform distribution, including a deal with HBO. On the Web, Vice has turned to Google-owned YouTube as the linchpin of its distribution strategy.


Deals & Signings

Former Machinima Exec Ian Moffitt Joins Originals Team at Yahoo (Updated)

Veteran online video executive Ian Moffitt, formerly of Machinima and BermanBraun, has joined Yahoo’s video team. According to multiple industry sources, Moffitt will lead Yahoo’s original content team that’s based in Santa Monica.

UPDATE: In an email, a Yahoo spokesperson has confirmed the hiring of Moffitt, who has joined the company to help “expand and support” its original video initiatives.


Streaming Video News

Crackle Premieres Original Crime-Drama ‘Sequestered’

Crackle has launched its latest original series, “Sequestered.” Starring Jesse Bradford (“Bring It On”), Summer Glau (“Firefly”), and Patrick Warburton (“Rules of Engagement”), the 12-episode crime-drama follows a jury sequestered in a hotel while deliberating a high-profile murder.



Interactive video firm Rapt Media scores another $3.1M as it eyes NY and LA expansion

Rapt Media, a company devoted to interactive video technology, is gearing up to make a bigger splash on both coasts. The company today announced that it has received an additional $3.1 million in funding led by Boulder Ventures, which it will use to expand its presence in New York City and Los Angeles. The company has now received more than $7.5 million in funding.



Amazon Pilot ‘Down Dog’ Casts Lead

I’ve learned that Josh Casaubon has landed the lead in Amazon Studios‘ comedy pilot Down Dog. Written by Robin Schiff, Down Dogcenters on Logan (Casaubon) a heart-stoppingly gorgeous surfer, devoid of ambition, a Peter Pan who has been sliding through on his charisma, laid-back easy charm and good looks but must now start to take life seriously when he’s left in charge of his ex-girlfriend’s yoga studio.



Hulu Launches ‘El Mariachi’ Series, 6 Other MundoFox Shows

Hulu is boosting its programming lineup en Español, launching seven series from Spanish-language broadcaster MundoFox, including episodes from the current season of “El Mariachi.”



White Label Video Streaming Service Vidmind Raises $30 Million From Russian Retail Tycoon

Selling on-demand video streaming services has netted the Israeli startup Vidmind $30 million in financing from Russia’s answer to Walmart Stores, Trellas.

Tech Crunch

YouTube News

EpicLloyd Takes Comedy Global with ‘Off The Top’

Famed comedian Yakov Smirnoff once stated that laughter was the “universal connection,” and this past Friday at YouTube Space LA, improv superstar Lloyd Ahlquist (aka EpicLloyd) proved this assertion in a most grand fashion.



Angry Comedians Start Anti-Vlog Campaign (Video)

A recent backlash from “angry comedian” Igor Hiller of YouTube channel The Kids Table Comedy has exposed vloggers’ most insidious view-catching tricks. From numerous cuts, endless collaborations, titles that click, and low-end production value, this man has had it with vloggers. His most recent video, published today, mocks the (white) male vlogger special of…wait for it…approaching women wearing bikinis on Venice Beach and asking for their phone numbers/a kiss.



What The Biggest YouTube Stars Really Think About The Agencies Controlling Content

Were multi-channel networks sent from heaven or hell? Depends who you ask.

Fast Company


Toys R Us Puts Coolest YouTube Dad Behind Camera

Toys R Us is raiding YouTube talent for its latest ad campaign, tapping Daniel Hashimoto and his toddler son (a.k.a. “Action Movie Kid”) to direct and star in the new spots. By day, Hashimoto toils as a special-effects guy at Dream Works, but has built a solid following on YouTube. In one spot, he adds real-live fire-starting capabilities to a toy light saber, a viral hit with more than 8 million views.

Media Post

Media News

Dailymotion Signs Content Distribution Deal with FC Barcelona

Dailymotion and FC Barcelona have banded together to create a channel dedicated to the soccer club. The deal also makes Dailymotion the exclusive video player for FC Barcelona’s official website.




Jukin Media Launches International Licensing Division

Jukin Media has launched an international licensing division to accelerate the company’s growth overseas. “We’re already licensing our content to media companies all over the world, but having a presence on the ground in Europe will drive our continued growth,” said Jonathan Skogmo, founder and CEO of Jukin, in a statement.



Interlude’s Interactive Video Tool Treehouse Opens Its Doors to Everyone

Interlude’s video-creation tool Treehouse, which allows users of all sizes to create interactive, “choose your own adventure”-style videos, is now open to everyone. The company is offering free, unlimited access to the tool, for both commercial and personal use.



New Programming and Deals

The Game Show Network debuted the weekly online competition show Skin Wars: The Naked Truth with Kandee Johnson on YouTube’s game show destination Door 3 channel. YT make-up guru Kandee Johnson will host eight episodes, recapping GSN series Skin Wars as well as interviewing eliminated contestants. A new ep will hit the channel every Wednesday at 10p ET.



‘WorldStarHipHop’ Movie In Works At Paramount Insurge

WorldStarHipHop is headed from the web to the screen at Paramount Insurge, which bought a pitch for a feature film inspired by the notorious and highly trafficked urban culture and shock video site. Founded in 2005, the WorldStar site has cultivated an online culture of its own around the brand with its 30 million unique visitors per month consuming everything from music videos to viral “street fight” clips.


Industry Highlights

PBS Online Film Festival Announces Two Winners

The PBS Online Film Festival announced two winners, “My Dear Americans,” submitted by the National Black Programming Consortium (NBPC), and “Digging for Water,” from KLRU Austin.



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