Thursday 5.30: News to Know

/ May 30, 2013


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Phil DeFranco and Revision3 Tie the Knot

Phil DeFranco, best known for his rapid-fire news and pop culture programming on and off YouTube, is now officially becoming part of the Revision3 family tree with the acquisition of DeFranco Creative by the network, announced today. As part of the acquisition, DeFranco, who has been one of Revision3′s most successful channel partners, will take an SVP title of Phil DeFranco Networks and Merchandise. More importantly though, DeFranco’s hyper-successful shows will now become part of Revision3 including The Phil DeFranco Show, which quickly gained popularity after launching in 2006, The Vloggity, and multi-platform brand SourceFed. With over 1 Billion views cumulatively across his shows, the value of DeFranco’s franchise is likely to be in the high seven figures making this a very equitable partnership for Revision3. The deal also brings Discovery Communications deeper into the online video fold.


LA Times 




Dish Raises Its Bid For Clearwire

What is Dish Network’s chairman, Charles W. Ergen, up to? That question took on new significance on Wednesday evening, as Dish announced a plan to raise its tender offer for shares in Clearwire to $4.40 a share in cash. The bid trumps the most recent takeover offer by the company’s majority owner, Sprint Nextel, of $3.40 a share, less than two days before shareholders are set to vote on the latter offer.






Netflix News

‘Arrested Development’ May Have Already Suffered Its Blows

In a Facebook note to fans published on the same day the fourth season of “Arrested Development” was released on Netflix, Mitch Hurwitz wrote: “It’s been our great joy to bring [“Arrested Development”] to you on Netflix where you can access it whenever + however you want. Except, you know, it’s really meant to be watched in order. And you really should watch them all — because they build and, I’m just saying, “eventually.” If you can. All 15.”




Mitch Hurwitz Wrote a Candid Letter to ‘Arrested Development’ Fans and Haters

“Arrested Development” creator Mitch Hurwitz has a handwritten message to the fans who helped bring the show back to life on Netflix: The show is yours now.

Except for copyright issues, having to pay for Netflix, etc.

Business Insider


‘Arrested Development’ Was Pirated Over 100,000 Times in 24 Hours

Interestingly, the number is still short of the more than one million downloads HBO’s “Game of Thrones” season premiere garnered two months ago in a single day.

Business Insider

Deals & Signings

Roku Receives $60 Million from Fidelity, Hearst, BSkyB, and NewsCorp.

Roku announced today that it has raised $60 million in a Series F round led by a “large institutional investor” (later confirmed by AllThingsD to be Fidelity). Other participants in the round include new investor Hearst Ventures, a unit of Hearst Corporation, and existing investors British Sky Broadcasting (BSkyB) and News Corp. This brings Roku’s total funding to $130 million. Last July, Roku announced a $45 million round from BSkyB, News Corp., Menlo Ventures, and a couple of other investors.


LA Times


Opinions & Analysis

5 Reasons to Choose Vimeo Instead of YouTube

Two platforms clearly stand out when it comes to hosting online videos: YouTube and Vimeo. YouTube’s clearly the big dog. At 800 million unique visitors per month, with roughly 72 hours of content being uploaded each minute, it’s by far the most used video-sharing platform on the web. (It doesn’t hurt that it’s owned by Google, either.) But upload statistics alone don’t necessarily make it the best platform out there. Vimeo, while on a smaller audience scale, has plenty of advantages over the streaming giant — especially for someone who’s looking to receive helpful feedback or showcase their work to a community of fellow filmmakers. 1. The Community of Professionals 2. There’s Less … Fluff 3. The Cleaner Layout 4. No Advertisements 5. Password Protection.



TV vs Digital

Online Videos More Effective Than TV Advertising

75% of ad agency executives say that online video ads are more effective than traditional TV ads, compared with just 17% who say they are less effective. That sentiment is shared when comparing online video ads with social media and search advertising ads as well. Ad executives feel that online video ads are also more effective than direct response and display ads, a new eMarketer report found. “The popularity of digital video viewing is helping drive the expansion of the online video ad market,” the eMarketer report read. “Ad execs may be responding to U.S. consumers’ seemingly endless demand for online video.”



Streaming Video News

Summer Staycations Popular, Video Travel Gains Momentum

or those who want to get away, one-third of respondents either frequently or occasionally turn toward online travel videos. Men, at 35.1%, are slightly more likely than women — at 29.9% — to watch. Viewership is highest among 18- to-34-year-olds, where about one-half either frequently or occasionally watch. Viewership declines across all other age segments, dropping to 27.2% among respondents ages 35 to 54 and 25.6% for those ages 55 and older.

Videos about a specific travel destination are the most popular at 32.4%, followed by activities at 28.9%; specific hotels, resorts and campgrounds, 24.3%; reviews about a specific destination, 22.7%; and video reviews about hotels, resorts and campgrounds, 20.2%.



Voters Speak, and Amazon Orders Shows

The company announced Wednesday that it had selected two live-action comedies and three children’s shows to go forward from the 14 pilots it made available to its subscribers last month and the decisions were “driven by customer reactions,” according to Roy Price, the director of Amazon Studios. Of course the presence of familiar stars like John Goodman might have helped.



Digital Music News

Nokia Music to Launch in Russia ‘Over the Next Few Weeks’

Nokia is launching its music streaming service Nokia Music as an app for its Asha range of smartphones, giving users a new way to listen to an almost unlimited number of albums and singles. The service offers listeners a number of pre-generated playlists based on a particular artist or genre, similar to and Pandora. While the overall functionality is limited compared to on-demand streaming services such as Spotify and Rdio, it’s also completely free, making it a compelling proposition for users in emerging markets.



Who Plays DJ in the Digital Age?

Jimmy Iovine isn’t known for subtlety. The Interscope Geffen A&M Records chairman and co-founder of Beats Electronics declared at a February conference: “There’s an ocean of music out there, and there’s absolutely no curation for it.” His forthcoming music streaming service, code-named Daisy, is an attempt to prove that he and his team of experts can program your iPod more effectively than Pandora’s or Spotify’s algorithms. It’s the latest entrant in the escalating battle to control how music fans discover and consume their favorite artists in the digital age.



Aereo Updates

CBS Asks New York Court to Dismiss Aereo’s Lawsuit

CBS corporate communications executive Dana McClintock was just as direct. He tweeted, “We will sue, and stealing our signal will be found to be illegal in Boston, just as it will be everywhere else.” Were those threats to chase Aereo to the four corners of the U.S. judicial system? Did it create an “actual controversy”? Those who answer “yes” might wish to hang out with lawyers more.



Disney’s Anne Sweeney Calls Barry Diller’s Aereo “Piracy”

Less than two hours after Barry Diller extolled the value of his Aereo streaming service on the same stage, the co-chair of Disney Media Networks and president of the Disney/ABC Television Group took a different view. “I think it is wrong. I think it is illegal, I think it is opportunistic piracy,” Anne Sweeney said today. “It’s taking advantage of our content”, she added.



The Haps With Apps

Dish Debuts Social App, Pushes Viewers to Hopper DVR Unit

Looking to push the focus to the “primary” screen, Dish Network has started a social media app connected to its Hopper DVR unit.The Englewood, Colo.-based satellite programming service says the Social app is the first set-top-box app where viewers can watch TV shows and follow social media posts on the same screen. “Through our Social app, we’ve made it easier for consumers to follow social conversations and post in real-time without leaving their TV screen,” stated Jimshade Chaudhari, director of product marketing and management at Dish. The Social app can access up to four Twitter and four Facebook accounts.



Spotify Adds Music Discovery, Rdio Updates Mac App Design

Music subscription services Spotify and Rdio both released updates for their apps Wednesday, with Spotify adding a new “Discover” feature for its website-based music player. “Don’t know what to listen to next? That’s okay. We do,” Spotify said in a statement announcing the service’s new Discover feature, which will give users personalized song recommendations. The Discover feature is a section users can click on to find the latest recommendations Spotify has to offer. The recommendations include new songs, albums and artists based on which artists users follow as well as what their friends are listening to.

LA Times


YouTube News

Hollywood YouTube Channels Hit With Hidden Cost

YouTube’s fledgling subscription channels, introduced in early May, promise to be a golden opportunity for distributors and content owners to monetize movies and TV shows without a huge new investment. However, for a small but significant minority of content owners, there’s a hidden cost. Thanks to federal law, all full episodes of movies and TV shows that have aired on TV must be closed captioned for the hearing impaired when shown online, often at considerable expense. Short clips, including news segments, are exempted.



Media News

Local Media Embraces Digital-Only Sales Reps to Drive Online Revs

Particularly at the local level, media companies are warming to the idea of digital-only salespeople and managers with the chops to drive online ad revenue. Local media companies with digital-only reps average twice as much online revenue as those without such staff. On average, regular sales reps generate $97,988 in digital sales per year, while digital-only reps generate $144,598 — an increase of 47% — according to new findings from Borrell Associates. As such, 62% of sales managers at newspaper, radio, TV and “Yellow Page” companies now report employing at least one digital-only rep, Borrell found.



Industry Highlights 

A Hollywood Agent Helps Web’s Cats Claw Their Way To The Top

For a percentage, he turns internet fame into cash; Grumpy gets a movie deal



Production Notes

Grumpy Cat Gets Garfield-Like Movie Deal


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