Internet TV Startup Aereo Could Encourage Cord-Cutting

Internet TV Startup Aereo Could Help Cord-Cutting Catch On | MIT Technology Review: "Over the last few years, big broadcast networks like ABC, NBC, and CBS have only slowly started to air their regular shows and big events online. A startup called Aereo has a brash plan to profit from that by making it possible for its customers to watch live broadcast programming on their computers, phones, and tablets. If it survives legal challenges, it could encourage more people to cancel their cable or satellite TV subscriptions. Aereo has cleverly designed its technology to exploit the fact that anyone is allowed to put up an antenna to get free, over-the-air broadcast signals. In the U.S., an estimated 20 million homes still get programming this way, through antennas on the roof or rabbit-ear-style ones on their TV sets. Aereo essentially does this on behalf of its customers. The company makes quarter-sized antennas and packs them into a data center. Each antenna picks up on a broadcast signal and relays it, one viewer at a time, to an Internet-connected device."

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Google's YouTube Set to Invest in Vevo

Google's YouTube Set to Invest in Vevo Music Video Site - Peter Kafka - Media - AllThingsD: " . . . it makes the most sense for YouTube and the labels to work together. The labels would like to see more money than they currently get from YouTube, but it would be hard for them to walk away from the revenue they’re already getting. And while YouTube has worked hard to attract more “professional” content on the site — which is why it has been writing advances to video makers to create “channels” on the site — the labels’ videos remain enormously popular with its young audience. Meanwhile, both the distribution and the investment will be crucial for Vevo, which operates a very thin-margin business. Under both the old deal and the new one the company is set to strike, Vevo hands over about a third of its revenue to YouTube, and more than 50 percent of its revenue to the labels, which doesn’t leave it much in the way of an operating budget. Last year, Vevo CEO Rio Caraeff said his company was doing more than $150 million a year."

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IllumiRoom - Microsoft Research

IllumiRoom - Microsoft Research: " . . . IllumiRoom uses a Kinect for Windows camera and a projector to blur the lines between on-screen content and the environment we live in allowing us to combine our virtual and physical worlds. For example, our system can change the appearance of the room, induce apparent motion, extend the field of view, and enable entirely new game experiences. Our system uses the appearance and the geometry of the room (captured by Kinect) to adapt the projected visuals in real-time without any need to custom pre-process the graphics. What you see in the videos below has been captured live and is not the result of any special effects added in post production. . . . "

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Helping struggling mom-and-pop theaters with digital conversion

Big-name Hollywood mobsters team up in Miami Beach to help struggling mom-and-pop theaters - The Washington Post: " . . . . Owners of small cinemas across the country must switch from 35 mm film to digital — or go silent. The conversion requires new projection equipment, computers and a sound system that can average around $70,000 per screen. . . . About 67 percent of the nation’s 5,750 theaters have switched to all-digital equipment, said Patrick Corcoran, a spokesman for the National Association of Theater Owners. But while the big chains can afford the digital transition, smaller theaters are forced to open a bank loan or turn to the community for help with paying for the equipment. Others hand over the keys to not-for-profits in the hopes of saving the town’s main attraction. Shaw said about 60 cinemas have reached out to him for help and he has committed to saving at least 400 theaters. It is not known how many small-town theaters have closed down since the switch to digital began with the 1999 release of “Star Wars Episode I: The Phantom Menace.” But for Cinema Saver, which needs $200,000 to convert the five auditoriums in its one location, the new equipment with the help from Save America’s Cinemas is a good start. . . . . "

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How Google Is Changing The Webinar

How Google Is Forever Changing The Webinar - ForbesAnd what did I learn? Google+ Hangouts On Air has its challenges. But it works. And it will change how webinars are done forever. The biggest benefit to this service is it’s free. Other web presentation services offer similar video capabilities but you have to subscribe to them. And setting up the event is no different than launching your own video chat. As long as you’re a member of the Google+ community (see below) just login to your account and choose “Start A Hangout”. Remember to check the box that says “Enable Hangouts on Air.” You’re broadcasting. Huge: your event will be streamed live through your YouTube channel. So not only can people attend the live event but they can catch it saved on YouTube. And of couse will be searchable on Google. You’re getting an audience both ways (unless you make it private which kind of defeats the purpose). You can link it back to your website and continue to promote it through social media, etc. The event is open to everyone, not just those who “registered.” So random visitors may bump into it themselves online or view the YouTube video and can potentially show interest in your product or service.

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ESPN Digital Media Continues to Lead the Sports Category

ESPN Digital Media Continues to Lead the Sports Category in 2012 ...
To Tweet: In 2012, ESPN continued to lead the Sports category across online, mobile, video and digital audio and innovate across ...

LIN Media Unveils New Digital Media Brand Strategy at the ...
with industry-‐leading television and digital media properties, announced today that it has rebranded. RMM to LIN Digital as part of its strategy to align its digital ...

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Digital Media's Big Opportunity: Convenience Consumption

Digital Media's Big Opportunity: Convenience Consumption ...
The entertainment industry has perfected syndication and multi-platform content. Now it has to better understand the concept and execution of convenience ...

MediaPost Publications XBox NUads Pulls TV Into Digital Media Mix ...
Microsoft released numbers Monday revealing that its NUads Xbox platform attracts 37% engagement rate. The company initially rolled out the Kinect- powered ...

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Digital Activist, Reddit Co-Founder, Aaron Swartz Dead at 26

Digital Activist, Reddit Co-Founder, Aaron Swartz Dead at 26
Digital Media Wire
Digital activist and Reddit Co-Founder, Aaron Swartz, committed suicide on Friday. Swartz, a strong proponent of Internet freedom, was also founder of and a co-creator of the RSS 1.0 standard. There has been a lot written today about ...

42 Digital Media Resources You May Have Missed
It has been another busy week in the digital world. Catch up on the latest digital mediaresources with our weekly features roundup.

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Amazon, Hulu, YouTube, Netflix - TV is changing - or is it still called TV?

Amazon: TV is about to get way more interesting - Fortune Tech: "When Amazon announced the creation of Amazon Studios and its plans to create original TV programming in May, it was widely described as a "crowdsourcing" project, giving ordinary people a chance to become TV producers. But of the six pilot shows the company has greenlighted, five come from producers either with impressive television resumes, or who are famous for something else. Just one show, a sitcom, was written by unknowns. The others include TV veterans from shows like 30 Rock, The Daily Show, and Big Bang Theory, as well Gary Trudeau, author of the Doonesbury comic strip, and the people at the satirical newspaper The Onion. The roster of pilots sets up a battle royale involving Amazon and other Internet-video outfits and the TV networks. Nearly all major Internet-based companies have high-quality (or at least, potentially widely popular) programming in the works. They'll be battling the networks and the cable companies as much as with each other. The TV business is about to get even more interesting than it already was. . . .  By largely abandoning the "crowdsourcing" of production, Amazon is acknowledging that its competitors -- Netflix, Hulu, and to some degree YouTube (which is focusing mainly on niche programming mainly comprising short videos) -- are working like big-time TV producers rather than Internet startups. Netflix is producing "premium" programming that supposedly would fit in well on HBO or maybe AMC. . . ."

Amazon Pushes Streaming Media to iOS and Roku | Gadget Lab | "The fight for streaming eyes and ears continues as Amazon pushes its video player to every iOS device and its Cloud Player app lands on Roku boxes and Samsung Smart TVs. Amazon announced on Thursday the immediate availability of Amazon Instant Video for iPhone and iPod touch. The app joins the iPad app launched in August. With most of iOS covered, can Amazon convince Apple that Apple TV needs Instant Video? Hulu Plus’ appearance on Apple TV in July would seem to indicate that Cupertino is open to adding additional streaming services to the set-top box. The biggest obstacle could be Amazon’s video-rental feature, which conflicts with Apple’s own iTunes service. Both Netflix and Hulu offer video-streaming subscription services. Users pay one price for all-you-can-digest TV and movies. Amazon also offers unlimited streaming for Prime members, but it also rents movies. Gartner analyst Mike McGuire believes that if Apple really wants to change how people watch TV, it would be in its best interest to continue curating streaming services like Instant Video into the Apple TV ecosystem. “One could look at Hulu Plus and its pay subscription service that is also ad-supported as Apple’s willingness to open up to whatever their devices owners happen to use.” McGuire said. As for the rental issue, Apple has secured the rights to offer movies that are still in the theater on iTunes. . . . "

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Why No One Uses Smart TV Internet

No One Uses Smart TV Internet Because It Sucks | Gadget Lab | " . . . If you’ve ever used an Internet-connected TV, it’s pretty obvious why apps for Twitter and Facebook and reading books or shopping haven’t taken off: It’s a lousy user experience. Sitting 10 or 15 feet from your screen and trying to interact with it is a tricky thing to do. Even if your TV has a keyboard (doubtful) and you’ve got perfect vision (most people do not) and you’re a great typist (ha!) working with text from that distance isn’t easy. The mere act of firing up those apps can be a chore compared to the ease of doing so on a mobile device. It’s a far better, more intuitive experience to use the second screen — like your tablet or phone — while you’re in front of the TV. Which is exactly what people are doing. But why aren’t more people using their smart TVs to watch online video? NPD attributes this in part to all the other connected devices we have — Rokus and Apple TVs and Xboxes and TiVos — that offer the same services. That’s certainly part of it. But the real answer lies in its conclusion: Smart TVs are just too complicated. They have terrible user interfaces that differ wildly from device to device. It’s not always clear what content is even available — for example, after more than two years on the market, you still can’t watch Hulu Plus on your Google TV. . . "

Daily Dot | YouTube strips Universal and Sony of 2 billion fake views: " . . . Other notable channels affected include the ones belonging to Michael Jackson, Chris Brown, BeyoncĂ©, and Avril Lavigne, among others. More than 500 prominent YouTube channels have been stripped of preexisting YouTube views in the past 30 days, something that causes concern when you consider that YouTube views counts, unlike subscriber statistics, are cumulative and cannot organically drop at any point throughout their existence. Google's takedown of these major music channels came on the same day that hundreds of YouTubers took to Google forums and their own YouTube channels to inform their peers that they'd been subject to a series of video takedowns for violations of YouTube's Terms of Service (TOS). Some speculated that the widespread video takedowns were caused by a technical error, but YouTube confirmed that the users violated TOS item 4, Section H, which bans automated methods of inflating view counts. "This was not a bug or a security breach. This was an enforcement of our viewcount policy," wrote a Google representative on the forums. The apparent crackdown on fake views became a major talking point Wednesday on Black Hat World, a forum where users trade tips about unethical search engine optimization tactics. The thread's first post alluded to a friend of the poster who "sells likes" and was recently told by four different customers that their videos "got deleted due to TOS violation." . . ."

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Al Gore , Al-Jazeera, Current TV and Cord-Cutting

Jenkins: Al Gore Is Good at Rent-Seeking (and Microsoft Isn't) - " . . . His Current TV, in the process of being sold to Al-Jazeera, attracted a minuscule audience in its seven-year existence. It averaged just 42,000 viewers per evening last year. Yet the payday coming to Mr. Gore will be somewhat greater than zero—$70 million to $100 million, depending on which estimate you prefer. We never subscribed to the theory regarding success in life that "It's not what you know but who you know." We may have to rethink. . . . What Current had going for it was Mr. Gore, who would drop in on media moguls and explain why it was in their political interest to put Current on their networks and dun subscribers five or 10 cents a month for a channel they never watch. Saying no just wasn't worth it to companies that must run a daily gauntlet of Democratic regulators in Washington. . . . So the industry became habituated to transferring $100 million a year in what might otherwise be its own profits to owners of a cable channel nobody watched. These carriage agreements were Current TV's sole valuable assets. And the fact that nobody watched was probably not unrelated. If you're not pleasing the viewer, you're pleasing somebody else—usually in a way that makes for dreary programming. . . . But all gravy trains must come to an end: In a world of Netflix and cord-cutting, an extra nickel or dime is no longer so easily slipped past cable subscribers. Time Warner Cable was the first to bid good riddance, dropping the channel from its lineup the moment the sale was announced. Mr. Gore is clearly getting out just in time, though not before extracting one last political rent in return for using his famous name to help Al-Jazeera expand in a skeptical U.S. media marketplace. . . . "

Why Intel's New IPTV Service Will Do What Google, Apple, and Microsoft Can't - Forbes: ". . . This set-top box, said by industry insiders to be available to a limited beta of customers in March, will offer cable channels delivered “over the top” to televisions anywhere there is an Internet connection regardless of provider. (Microsoft Mediaroom, for example, requires AT&T’s service, and Xbox has limited offerings for Comcast and FiOS customers). For the first time, consumers will be able to subscribe to content per channel, unlike bundled cable services, and you may also be able to subscribe per show as well. Intel’s set-top box will also have access to Intel’s already existing app marketplace for apps, casual games, and video on demand. Leveraging the speed of current broadband, and the vast shared resources of the cloud, Intel plans to give customers the ability to use “Cloud DVR”, a feature intended to allow users to watch any past TV show at any time, without the need to record it ahead of time, pause live tv, and rewind shows in progress. . . "

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The Future of TV is the Internet: Roku CEO

The Future of TV is the Internet: Roku CEO: " . . . Most television will be streamed over the Internet in the coming years, said Anthony Wood, CEO of Roku, maker of the streaming TV device of the same name. The question is how Internet-delivered content will get to your TV and who will deliver it, Wood told CNBC's Squawk on the Street. . . Stream-to-television devices currently have an advantage over Smart TVs, said Wood. Whereas most Smart TVs deliver a few marquee services, such as Netflix and Hulu, Roku gives customers access to nearly 700 streaming channels, according to the company. However, the lines between Roku and its Smart TV competition could begin to blur. A number of Roku-ready televisions will debut at CES, the preeminent technology trade show, this January. "We think there's a huge opportunity to expand our platform from streaming players, where we're a leader today, into TVs," said Wood. While Wood believes that the future of television is on the Internet, he said it will be some time before consumers give up the bundled services offered by cable and satellite providers. But as these the incumbents face competition from streaming services, he said they may begin to offer more options and cheaper services. The next generation, he says, is a virtual MSO, or multiple system operator. Such a system would combine on-demand services such as Netflix and Hulu with traditional subscription fee service for programmed TV — all via the Internet, rather than cable or satellite. . . . "

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2013 Media Prediction - The Super Blog will take over

Google News Crumbles, And More 2013 Media Predictions - Forbes:  ". . . . The ‘Super Blog’ will take over - As the digital era gave rise to technology and platforms that allow the average consumer to do anything from producing Web content to creating widely read digital publications, the publishing industry gave birth to countless niche sites that focus on everything from fitness to design. Given the ease of content distribution, some of these “super blogs” have been adding users at high rates and establishing themselves as authorities on their respective topics. Even major publications have been launching niche blogs under their umbrella to cater to specific topics, showcase particular writers, or keep their readers continuously updated on the latest news. Others, such as AOL, which now owns TechCrunch and Engadget, and Gawker, owner of Gizmodo, Jezebel and Lifehacker, have been simply acquiring high-traffic blogs as they build up their publishing portfolios. As digital publications and super blogs get smarter and begin to tap into online and mobile advertising, it will become a major revenue stream for the top players worldwide. In the past year alone, newspapers have lost $13 in print revenue for every dollar earned in digital revenue. However, the future is bright in digital. There’s been a 60 percent increase in digital ad sales in newspapers and magazines and a burst from $76 million to an impressive $100 million is expected in 2013. Naturally, these super blogs, along with their highly focused audiences, will become major destinations for online ad dollars in 2013."

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Popular streaming channels: Netflix: The king of movie and TV show streaming. $7.99/mo. YouTube: User-submitted videos and some original programming. Free. Hulu Plus: TV shows days after they air and some movies. $7.99/mo. Amazon Prime: A strong Netflix competitor with other Amazon benefits. $79/year. Crackle: Movies and TV mostly from Sony's library. Free. Vudu: Movie rental site owned by Walmart. Fees per movie

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