Hulu Has Seven Suitors, Why We’re Rooting for Yahoo
While you were all spending Memorial Day Weekend out in the sun (or, more realistically, bingeing on the new season of “Arrested Development”), the Hulu bidding war ratched up a bit as multiple media reports placed the list of companies vying to buy (or at least invest in) the online video service at seven: The Chernin Group, Guggenheim Digital, DirecTV, Time Warner Cable, KKR, Silver Lake in partnership with Ari Emanuel’s William Morris Endeavor, and Yahoo!, fresh off its $1.1 billion decision to buy Tumblr. Some of these companies have interesting relationships with Hulu (e.g. Peter Chernin helped found the online video site back when he was COO of News Corp.; Guggenheim is essentially trying to buy Hulu as well as overseeing the bidding process). Some were involved in the last Hulu bidding war in 2011, which after months of fervent reporting and analysis ultimately went nowhere (which is to say, don’t be surprised if that happens again). But here is what everyone pretty much agrees on: Regardless of what price Hulu will fetch, a lot of it will be tied to how much content from Hulu’s current owners — Disney, News Corp., and Comcast — the new owner(s) will have access to, and for how long. That’s why Peter Chernin’s original bid for Hulu in this year’s merry-go-round was for $500 million, with an understanding that the price would go up depending on the number and type of content rights attached to it.
Business Insider http://read.bi/13WJlzy
BuzzFeed Partners With CNN, Announces LA-Based “Social Video” Studio
BuzzFeed followed up the CNN news by announcing it will “aggressively expand” its video operations under web video pioneer, Ze Frank, and that it will “build a social video studio, designed to create news and entertainment video content exclusively for YouTube.” The first CNN video to appear on the site appeared Tuesday morning and features a mash-up of dramatic or heart-tugging clips drawn from famous rescues that have appeared on TV in recent years — Chilean miners, children in wells and so on.
Binge-Viewing: ‘Arrested Development’ Season 4: Patience Required
According to Mitch Hurwitz, I’ve made a huge mistake. Yesterday, in proud binge-viewing tradition, I made good on a long-ago promise and consumed the return of Arrested Development on Netflix: 15 episodes, coming in at an average of 35 minutes or so — it took about 12 hours.
Social Media Driving Mobile Video Discovery
The video viewing habit is migrating quickly from desktop to devices, but some of the familiar discovery mechanisms may not be porting over in quite the same way. For instance, according to a new survey by Harris Interactive of over 2000 users on behalf of social video community Telly, only 41% of mobile video watchers say they are discovering new streaming media from the traditional search engines. Many more users — 64% — are finding their video from video apps themselves. But the largest number of users — 67% — are getting wind of new video from social recommendations. And when it comes to video, the typical disproportionate dominance of iOS devices does not apply here. Forty-six percent of mobile video viewers are using Android devices, compared to 36% on iOS devices.
NBC Universal and Warner Bros. Have Asked Google to De-List Mega From Its Search Results
Warner Bros. and NBC Universal have contacted Google to request that Mega, the file storage and sharing service founded by Kim Dotcom, be removed from all of its search results. Torrent Freak points to a takedown request filed by NBC Universal on April 24, which claims copyright infringement over the film Mama, directed by Guillermo del Toro. Warner Bros. filed a similar request on April 15 over the film Gangster Squad. While Mega is listed in the URL list for both Digital Millennium Copyright Act (DCMA) notices, it isn’t featured exclusively. Other prominent file-sharing services, such as Mediafire and Freakshare, are also listed among the thousands of accused infringing links. Notably, both parties have also asked Google to de-list Mega’s homepage from its search index. As Torrent Freak reports, the basis for this request is a little odd given that the Mega.co.nz landing page itself doesn’t include any file links.
Digital Music News
Pandora Beats Rev Estimates, Adds Subscribers
Online radio service Pandora on Thursday reported that revenue rose 55% in the first quarter to $126 million, topping analysts’ expectations. The company’s net loss widened to $28.6 million, or 16 cents a share, compared to a loss of $20.2 million, or 12 cents a share, a year ago. On an adjusted basis, the loss was 10 cents a share, in line with the consensus forecast of analysts polled by FactSet. Pandora’s quarterly revenue — which had been projected to reach $124 million — was bolstered by the addition of 700,00 net new paid subscribers, bringing the total to more than 2.5 million. Excluding certain items, mobile revenue doubled to $86.7 million. That outpaced mobile listener growth of 47%.
Daft Punk’s ‘Random Access Memories’ Sets Spotify Record
Daft Punk’s hugely hyped Random Access Memories can now add Spotify record holder to its growing list of achievements. The French electronic act’s fourth album has topped Mumford & Sons’ Babel as the most-streamed album in the first week of U.S. release, according to a note distributed by Spotify. Mumford & Sons’ sophomore set surpassed 8 million streams upon its release in October 2012, smashing the previous record by a factor of three. The music-streaming service also notes that Random Access Memories set a record for one-day streams in its debut week, and that it is “on track” to have the biggest first week of any album since Spotify opened for business in Sweden back in 2008.
Google Music Plan Solid, Serendipitous
Google’s new music service offers a lot of eye candy to go with the tunes. The song selection of around 18 million tracks is comparable to popular services such as Spotify and Rhapsody, and a myriad of playlists curated along different genres provides a big playground for music lovers. The All Access service represents Google’s attempt to grab a bigger piece of the digital music market as more people stream songs over mobile phones. Such services are also meant to further wed smartphone users to Google’s Android operating system, where the search leader makes money from advertising and transactions on its digital content store, Google Play.
Streaming Video News
How Apple TV Can Compete with Xbox One
Microsoft impressed me when it unveiled the Xbox One earlier this week. I can’t imagine a future where we won’t be talking and gesturing to our TVs while visiting with grandma on a video call and playing a game at the same time. Throughout the presentation, I was thinking, I wish Apple made something like this. The battle for your living room is heating up, and the Xbox One has positioned itself as the “all-in-One” solution, providing all your entertainment in one device. It doesn’t entirely succeed at that, but it does a better job than what Apple is offering currently with the Apple TV, and consumers will notice that.
Online Video All Stars — A Snapshot of the Companies + Content That Stood the Tests of Time
A glut of inspiration and investment in online video between 2007 and 2009 spawned both quality companies and shows. But a recession also broke a lot of them. In true throwback spirit, I took a look at some of the web series and companies that were ahead of their time and how others withstood the test of time. Early online video, especially circa 2008, was more than a mixed bag.
Sports Illustrated Starts Live, Daily Half-Hour Video Show
Sports Illustrated is adding to its roster of original video with a 30-minute live-streaming talk show every weekday starting Monday, the magazine and the show’s sponsor, Ford Motor Company, said today. Sports Illustrated, part of Time Inc., created a video unit in 2010 and produces about 50 original videos each week, according to executives. It has streamed live events such as “SI Swimsuit Live 2013,” a one-hour red carpet special that was simulcast across several partner sites, but “SI Now” is the first regular, live video series from any Time Inc. brand, they said.
Video Discovery Service Matcha Disappears, Co-Founder Promises ‘Something Better’ In The Future: You might remember Matcha.tv. The company provided a personal recommendations siteand mobile apps focused on helping users find interesting movies and TV shows online based on their own preferences, as well as those of their friends on various social networks. Well, over the last few days, the website has gone dark, and those who have downloaded the mobile app report that it’s no longer working. Matcha co-founder and CEO Guy Piekarz didn’t want to comment on the service becoming unavailable, except to say that the company was not “shutting down.” Instead, the startup is apparently working on a “new direction” for its video-discovery service — a direction that was apparently causing things to break.
TV vs Digital
Fight Over TV Streaming Heats Up as Broadcasters File New Lawsuit in Washington DC
Major broadcasters filed a new lawsuit this week as part of an ongoing efforts to shut down services like Aereo that stream over-the-air TV to computer and mobile devices. In a complaint filed Thursday, the broadcasters — ABC, Fox, NBC, Allbritton Communications and Telemundo — asked the U.S. District Court for the District of Columbia to issue an injunction to stop the service known as Aereokiller from streaming their shows. Aereokiller, which is available from the website FilmOn, is operated by Alki David, a billionaire who chose the name to tweak Aereo, thehigh profile streaming service backed by media mogul Barry Diller. Here’s a closer look at Aereokiller streaming a live show on NBC.
Opinions & Analysis
Google’s Eric Schmidt Says Hollywood’s ‘Storytelling Wins’ in ‘The New Digital Age’
Forget all the talk about the machines taking over,” write Google chairman Eric Schmidt and former State Department adviser Jared Cohen in their just-released book, The New Digital Age: Reshaping the Future of People, Nations and Business. “The future is up to us.” It’s a future the pair says will be made less by the 2 billion people in the developed world who already have the Internet than the 5 billion who get it next. The co-authors, who met when Cohen, 31, escorted Schmidt, 58, around Baghdad in 2009, just before Cohen became head of in-house think tank Google Ideas, talked with THR about the future of Hollywood content, the enduring power of celebrity and the digital “sex talk.”