Streaming Video News
Fox See “Healthy Growth” of Home Video Market, Thanksto Digital Downloads
Fox’s cable TV business made up the vast majority of News Corp’s profits for the quarter ending March 31, contributing $993 million of the $1.36 billion in operating income for the period. Total revenues were $9.54 billion, up 14 percent over the previous year. The overall home video market is up five percent and “we’re up a bit more than that,” Carey said. “The driving force is digital…the overall marketplace continues to grow really well, and digital is becoming a growing part of what we do.” He also said that the DVD business has stabilized, “with Blu-Ray offsetting the decline in the older formats,” and that“really low-priced rentals” through services like Redbox are “becoming less of a force.” In response to an analyst’s question about the future ofHulu, Carey said that the service has “great momentum,” and “we’re particularly excited about subscriptions” through Hulu Plus.
NBC News Digital Restructures Sales MarketingDepartment, Johnson Named VP
Continuing torestructure its sales team after the acquisition of the MSNBC Digital Networklast year, the NBC News Digital Group announced several hires on Wednesday. Eric Johnson has been namedvice president of sales marketing at the digital group, while Joy Robins andJoe Damiano have both been named senior directors of ad sales. PeterNaylor, executive vice president in charge of sales for the NBC News DigitalGroup, said the hires were critical “as we take over full sales responsibilityfrom MSN in the coming months.” Johnsonmost recently served as vice president of client solutions for USAToday and USA Weekend, where he focused on cross-platform ad strategies. JoyRobins was previously national vice president of digital ad sales for the BBC,while Joe Damiano was most recently vice president of West Coast ad sales forTheStreet, Inc. The new hires areintended to round out the digital group’s sales management team from previouspositions across NBCUniversal, Naylor said.
Digital Music News
‘Slacker’ Wants to Take a Page Out of Muve Music’sPlaybook With Telco Partnerships
Slacker is on track to partner with a majortelco provider later this year to offer its audio service to the company’ssubscribers, CEO Jim Cady told me during an interview this week. Cady expectsthat the partnership, which sounds a lot like Cricket’s Muve Music venture,will net Slacker “million of paid subscribers.” Slacker, which competes withboth Pandora and Spotify, relaunched its service in February with a biggerfocus on a general-consumer audience as well as mobile listening. Cady told methat Slacker used to be geared towards hardcore music fans, but now tries toappeal to everyone looking for a combination of a curated radio experience anda subscription music service. Cadysaid that the car is an ideal platform for Slacker because it uses a moreradio-like model. The service offers curated radio stations with DJS announcingtitles, and even has news programming and other non-music content — all ofwhich works great in the car. Said Cady: “People want to listen to more thanjust music.”
TV vs Digital
This Upfront, Will Digital Video Be Bought Like TV?
Last week, participants at the DigitalContent NewFronts showcased hundreds of hours of original digital videocontent, professionally produced and ready to be distributed across multipleplatforms including mobile, tablet and OTT. Heavy hitters acrosstraditional TV and digital media made it clear they take digital videoseriously; as a vehicle for high-profile producers, directors and talent tocreate content and a platform to build brands with valuable metrics. The AssociatedPress predicted that deals at the NewFronts could reach $1billion, a sizable shift from last year. In digital video, the vCE and OCRmetrics are now the equivalent of TV’s VPVH index. Not having acomparable demographic index to traditional TV in the past has arguably beenthe main reason we haven’t seen TV dollars migrate over to digital in the samecapacity. Clients want the apples to apples comparison with metrics theyare familiar with. Now, we might actually have it with these new applications.
But herein lies the billion dollar question:Will buyers come to understand the value of digital video enough to pay theincreased CPM the way traditional TV buyers do?
The Haps With Apps
Rdio and Shazam Expand Full Music Track StreamingPartnership to UK, Canada, Australia, Brazil and Mexico
Shazam and Rdio haveoffered something wonderful for U.S. users as of fall 2012, providingfull track streaming for tagged music via Rdio, thanks to a “Listen Free onRdio” link within the Shazam app. That means that once you use either the freeor paid version of Shazam to identify a song from your device, you can thenlisten to the entire track, so long as you’re either an Rdio subscriber or havesigned up for a free 14-day trial. Now, the service is available to Rdio andShazam users in Canada, Australia, Brazil, Mexico and the UK in addition to theU.S. That means it’s now available to a potential combined audience of 120million users of Shazam’s free app, which is great news for Rdio. Rdio has onlyaround 1 million monthly active users according to AppData, whichmeans it stands to gain a lot from the increased exposure afforded it bygetting in front of Shazam users. And of course for Shazam, it offers anotherincentive for users to access its services. Rdio is still getting the betterend of the bargain, however, unless Shazam is also taking in referral fees forany subscriptions that come out of tags it sends Rdio’s way. That’sbecause this provides a big jump start to the customer acquisition andconversion funnel that Rdio has in place, which depends on convincing freetrial users into subscribers at either $4.99 per month for the Rdioweb plan, or $9.99 per month for the unlimited version which includes mobileapps access and offline storage.
NetflixAdds Disney Junior and Disney XD Shows
Netflix has reached an agreement with theDisney/ABC Television group to become the only subscription streaming serviceto offer the popular children’s shows “Jake and the Never LandPirates” and the animated “Tron: Uprising.”
A Look Inside Netflix and How Reed Hastings Built a Streaming Empire
We nowhave a definitive number for just how large Netflix’s content catalog is; thecompany’s movies and TV shows currently add up to 3.14 petabytes.
Netflix,Reed Hastings Survive Missteps to Join Silicon Valley’s Elite
Netflix’scritics argue that the company has sacrificed too much control over itstechnology in its effort to get ahead of rivals. “The problem with Netflix isthat they are inextricably bound into Amazon for all eternity,” says PaulMaritz, a computing infrastructure veteran and CEO of the cloud computingstartup Pivotal. “If they want to go somewhere else, it will be hard.” Hastingsand his staff characterize such criticism as sour grapes.
WWE Won’tJump Into YouTube’s Pay-Video Ring
Google-ownedYouTube had hoped to sign on wrestling entertainment and media company WWE forits pay-channel initiative asan anchor tenant, according to sources. But with respect to Internet video, WWEfor now has opted to stick with ad-supported properties.
Videos toWatch Right Now
CharlesRamsey Goes Viral: 6 More Internet Sensations From the News
From BubbRubb’s whistle tips to a zombie child who likes turtles, here are six hilariousnews interviews that went viral before the Cleveland hero.
MediaMinute: The Wrap’s Lucas Shaw on Awesomeness TV and Maker Studios
More than1 billion people across the globe use YouTube every month, but companiesuploading their videos are still trying to figure out how to make money fromtheir loyal, growing audiences.
New Fronts Wrap Up
AOL’s ArmstrongReflects on NewFront Season
Predicts an active market for web videoversus TV.
Barry Diller-Backed,Disruptive Internet TV Startup Aereo Coming to a City Near You
Fresh off of one surprising legalvictory, Chet Kanojia, CEO of the controversial internet TV startup Aereo, islaunching another pre-emptive court challenge to have his service declaredlegal.