IMDb App Gets Instant Amazon Video Links

Smart move--Amazon partners with IMDb--

IMDb App Gets Instant Amazon Video Links
By Jon Russell
Amazon has introduced links to its Amazon Video service to the IMDb iOS app. ... An update introduces watchable links to all IMDb-listed movies that are among the 25,000 TV programs and films listed on Amazon Prime. That makes it easier ...
The Next Web

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Vox Media a web-native media company

Press Publish 4: Trei Brundrett on how Vox Media has built a web-native media company with editorial ambition » Nieman Journalism Lab: "Vox is the publisher of the sports site SB Nation, the tech site The Verge, and video game site Polygon, and it’s one of my very favorite online media companies. I love that they’re ambitious on content — building a quality mix of short and long, user-generated and pro-generated, aggregated and original — and that they’re ambitious on technology. And they make money. To me, Vox feels like one of a very few online media companies that is both native to the web and invested in some traditional values about quality. They’re worth watching, even if you have no interest at all in sports, tech, or video games."

Google to announce paid YouTube subscriptions at $1-5 a month | Geek Pick | "If you take a look at regularly produced content on YouTube in the past few months, like Felicia Day and Will Wheaton’s Geek and Sundry or the made-for-YouTube series H+, it’s entirely possible to fill your subscription bar with multiple hours a week of great original content. Maybe not quite enough to watch YouTube in the same way you watch cable television, depending on your preferences, but there’s been a significant boost in quality all the same. This isn’t by accident, Google has been working hard with content creators to help them form several channels of great unique material that can only be found on YouTube. Ad revenue from a healthy YouTube channel can be enough to keep an operation of 2-3 people happy, but these new channels are significantly larger scale operations with budgets that can only be reached with the help of some guaranteed monthly cash. To help keep the quality of this new content trending upwards, Google plans to offer certain channels the ability to charge a monthly fee for their content."

BrightRoll passes Google in video ads - SFGate: "About 5 percent of large television advertisers' media budgets are going into Web videos, and the percentage is higher for industries such as cars, according to Tod Sacerdoti, chief executive officer of BrightRoll. Video will account for 14.5 percent of all U.S. digital-ad revenue in 2016, up from 7.9 percent last year, according to eMarketer Inc. "Online video is finally at the scale that's big enough for national advertisers," said Sacerdoti, previously an executive at online address-book provider Plaxo Inc. "It's large enough to matter." Co-founded in 2006 by Sacerdoti, BrightRoll has also partnered with Veenome in Arlington, Va., which helps advertisers find content and track campaigns. Veenome is just one of several video-ad technology startups - including Eyeviewdigital and Brainient - that received venture funding in the past year."

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YouTube Paid Subscriptions

YouTube to introduce paid-for content this year - Telegraph: "YouTube has asked several of its contributors to submit applications to create paid-for channels. The first channels will reportedly be available to users by the spring for between $1 and $5 per month. YouTube plans to keep around 45 per cent of the subscription revenue themselves, with the rest going to the producers of the content. The world's No. 1 video website has been moving to add professional-grade videos to the vast archive of amateur videos that made the site popular."

YouTube Set to Introduce Paid Subscriptions This Spring | Digital - Advertising Age: " . . . YouTube has been talking about the possibility of paid subscriptions for some time now. A year ago, at at AllThingsD media conference, YouTube CEO Salar Kamangar talked on stage about the potential to poach second- or third-tier cable networks that were having trouble building big enough audiences on cable TV to command subscription fees from distributors. Internet distribution, the thinking goes, would give some of these networks a more direct line to their passionate base with lower costs . . . . "We have long maintained that different content requires different types of payment models," a Google spokesman said, in a statement. 'The important thing is that, regardless of the model, our creators succeed on the platform. There are a lot of our content creators that think they would benefit from subscriptions, so we're looking at that." YouTube is treating paid subscriptions as an experiment. much like video rentals when it began in 2010. The initial group of channels will be small, likely about 25 at the outset. The revenue split from subscriptions is expected to be similar to the 45-55 split that is common for ads on YouTube."

Microsoft's Office 365 Home Premium: What happens when subscriptions expire? | ZDNet: " . . . Once the subscription expires, the Office apps will enter a "read-only reduced functionality mode." This means users will be able to view or print documents, but won't be able to create any new documents or edit existing documents. Users who want to regain their full Office capabilities will be able to purchase a new subscription (via or a set of predesignated retailers. Users also will have the choice of simply using older, existing versions of Office or to just use the free Office Web Apps on SkyDrive for basic editing. If a user has stored documents created/edited with Office 365 Home Premium in their SkyDrives, these documents will still be downloadable once subscriptions expire. Users can save SkyDrive documents to another computer or drive at any time, according to Microsoft. (With Office 365 Home Premium, users get an additional 20 GB of storage on top of their existing SkyDrive quotas.)"

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Future of Internet TV

In Miami, heavyweights debate future of Internet TV
Mark Cuban, who made his first billion dollars on the Internet, said it's no match for television. And Larry King, who turned himself into a millionaire worldwide celebrity on television, said the Internet is the future of television and practically ...

Netflix's Hastings: Online steering TV's future
The future of television will be driven by Internet networks, and traditional cable TV companies will inevitably morph into Web-based content providers, Netflix CEO Reed Hastings predicted Tuesday. The flexibility ofInternet programming is already ...


Video ads growing at fastest rate on Web as TV-viewing habits change
San Jose Mercury News
SAN FRANCISCO -- Internet video ads, long a sideshow in the online advertising market, are gaining in importance to marketers and Web publishers as they look to capitalize on consumers' changing viewing habits and tap a $70 billion televisionmarket.

Damamax provides ANB TV with dedicated internet access via its fiber optic ...
AME Info (press release)
Damamax - a subsidiary of DAMA Ventures and one of the largest backbone operators in the Kingdom providing broadband solutions through optical fiber - signed an agreement with Arabic News Broadcast Television (ANB TV). By virtue of the agreement, ...

Internet TV users favor video | Variety
Digital TV. Posted: Sat., Jan. 26, 2013, 4:00am PT. Internet TV users favor video ...According to NPD, only 6% of consumers with Internet-connected TV sets use ...

The Web-Deprived Study at McDonald's
Wall Street Journal
The result is a divide between families that have broadband constantly available on their home computers and phones, and those that have to plan their days around visits to free sources of Internet access. That divide is becoming a bigger problem now ...

Wall Street Journal

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House Of Cards - Netflix Begins The Future Of TV

With 'House Of Cards,' Netflix Begins The Future Of TV: "The popular video-streaming service released the political drama "House of Cards" early Friday morning. The star-studded series about the underbelly of D.C. politics -- featuring glittery names like Kevin Spacey and executive producer David Fincher -- cost Netflix $100 million to make. That's a whopping price, until you consider what Netflix is trying to buy. Sensing moneyed competition from Amazon and Google, Netflix is taking a chance on premium original content to secure its customer base, ensure its survival and become the next HBO."

The Economics of Netflix's $100 Million New Show - Technology - The Atlantic Wire: " . . . Putting together a big production with famous actors like House of Cards costs a lot of money—$100 million for two 13 episode seasons, to be exact—and Netflix CEO Reid Hastings says he plans on making five new shows like that per year, he told GQ's Nancy Hass. How can that make economic sense for a company makes all of its money off $7.99 per month subscription fees? Netflix doesn't run any ads, nor does it benefit from a relationship with a big media conglomerate like HBO and its parent company Time Warner. But while $100 million sounds jaw-dropping, a little math shows that, if the shows are good — a big if, admittedly — spending that kind of money could be good business for the company. . . ."

Google Said in Talks to Invest $50 Million in Vevo Site - Bloomberg: " . . . The investment would be part of a broader contract to keep Vevo’s music videos on YouTube, the people said. Vevo, formed in 2009 by Vivendi SA’s Universal Music and Sony Corp.’s Sony Music Entertainment, and Google last year extended their existing contract until April. “While we don’t comment on individual negotiations, we always hope to renew our relationships with valuable partners so we can continue to provide YouTube users with the best possible music experience,” Chris Dale, spokesman for Google, said in an e-mailed statement. Jennifer Press, a spokeswoman for Vevo in New York, declined to comment. Vevo, which shows videos from artists signed to labels owned by Sony Music and Universal Music, drew 51.6 million unique U.S. viewers in December, according to ComScore Inc., the Reston, Virginia-based researcher. By comparison, Google’s websites including YouTube had an audience of about 181.7 million. .  . ."

WebRTC for newbies! ® Muaz Khan: " . . . An application that wishes to enable two-way audio and video communications between peers can create four media streams: An audio stream in each direction, A video stream in each direction. Any installation needed on the server? For simple WebRTC apps; not at all! For large scale applications; to store recorded media streams (audio/video/files/text/etc.) or data; obviously you need a server and many installations! . . . "

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Disney and Google Build Find Your Way to Oz

Disney and Google Build an Amazing Interactive Circus to Hype Oz | Gadget Lab | "Disney and Google have built something that’s beautiful and fun and points the way toward the future of web technology and marketing to come: Find Your Way to Oz, a Chrome Experiment that is essentially an interactive circus in your web browser. This stunning bit of entertainment, which promotes Disney’s forthcoming movie, Oz the Great and Powerful, went live Tuesday. At first blush, it’s simply slick online marketing. Look beyond that, though, and you’ll see a successful experiment built by Google, Disney and U.K. app and web developer Unit 9, that shows off the sort of immersive experiences possible when using web technologies such as WebGL, CSS3, WebAudio, WebRTC and other HTML5 tools. Hollywood marketing machine meets tech evangelism in the future of online storytelling. “It’s a really cool, very emotional experience,” Alex Komoroske, a Chrome product manager, told Wired. “And for us, this is really about inspiring people. Even a couple years ago, or a year ago, this type of experience wouldn’t have even been possible on a web platform.” While Google has built plenty of Chrome Experiments to show off creative ways to use new web tech — most notably an interactive collaboration with Arcade Fire — none of its past projects have been so gorgeously detailed. Navigating around the Kansas circus, you see tents with different attractions. . . ."

Google’s changes to mobile advertising could fix company’s major problem - The Washington Post: "There are a couple of reasons that mobile advertising is such a challenge. First, it’s hard to deliver a good, but not intrusive, ad on a smaller screen. Second, it has traditionally been difficult to get a mobile ad campaign going. In the past, Google’s AdWords program has required companies to submit separate campaigns for different devices, locations and times — a labor-intensive process that often results in companies running hundreds of simultaneous, similar campaigns. With the changes, however, advertisers will be able to control several branches of a single campaign, with options to control customized mobile and desktop ads for different locations and times from a single place."

Google to buy marketing services company for $125 million | Reuters: "Channel Intelligence helps retailers, manufacturers and other advertisers make their products and services easier for consumers to find and buy online and in local stores. ICG said it will get $60.5 million for its stake in Channel Intelligence. The transaction is expected to be completed in the first quarter of 2013."

Yahoo reveals 'non-exclusive' ads deal with Google | ZDNet: " . . . However, there was no mention of Yahoo's advertising relationship with Microsoft. Yahoo didn't provide a ton of additional details, but here's a snippet with a little more of the nitty-gritty from today's blog post announcing the agreement:
By adding Google to our list of world-class contextual ads partners, we’ll be able to expand our network, which means we can serve users with ads that are even more meaningful. For our users, there won’t be a noticeable difference in how or where ads appear. More options simply mean greater flexibility. We look forward to working with all of our contextual ads partners to ensure we’re delivering the right ad to the right user at the right time.
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Defending the Living Room from Apple

Defending the Living Room from Apple | MIT Technology Review: "One comment of his in particular during his LBJ talk is attracting a lot of note. One would think that the natural competition for a new console would be the legacy players in the console business. Not so, says Newell:
“The threat right now is that Apple has gained a huge amount of market share, and has a relatively obvious pathway towards entering the living room with their platform… I think that there’s a scenario where we see sort of a dumbed down living room platform emerging — I think Apple rolls the console guys really easily. The question is can we make enough progress in the PC space to establish ourselves there, and also figure out better ways of addressing mobile before Apple takes over the living room?” . . . ."
Netflix stock: Fold this house of cards - The Buzz - Investment and Stock Market News: " . . . If you've stuck with Netflix shares since those dark days of price hikes, subscriber defections and the ill-fated (and quickly abandoned) plan to rebrand the slowly dying DVD-by-mail service as Qwikster,  you must be happy. Vindication may soon be here. Or will it? I've written several times about why I think Netflix is overvalued. If you want to say that I'm wrong and don't know what I'm talking about because the stock has continued to surge, go ahead. But I'm Tom Petty. I won't back down. Netflix is trading at 160 times 2013 earnings estimates. That is not sustainable. Sure, analysts have been busy raising their earnings forecasts now that the company has stopped the subscriber bleeding. But any investor looking to buy Netflix now, thinking that it's nothing but clear skies ahead, should look closely at this next series of charts. . . . "

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Circlecentric Marketing

Google Plus for Business - Circlecentric Marketing: "How it works: People start by ‘following’ a brand – this being one of the main way to ‘opt in’ to the relationship using the Google+ tools. This can be done directly from a website if it has the ‘follow’ button, or from company information brought up in Google Search, from a Google ad in e.g. search, through promotion of the brand page, from a brand’s Google+ post, comment the brand makes, or the Page as a destination itself within Google+, to name a few. The principle Similar to movement down a sales funnel, through every interaction, people can be moved from an outer circle toward an inner circle, hence deepening the psychological relationship and in essence moving them to a point where there can be a ‘sales conversation’. This conversation could be started from any circle, but the deeper the relationship, the easier it will be to have that conversation."

B2B's Digital Evolution | Think with Google: "New research from CEB's Marketing Leadership Council shows that potential business customers are increasingly using digital channels to form opinions about major purchases. Today's business buyers do not contact suppliers directly until 57 percent of the purchase process is complete. The challenge for marketers is to be present in these channels at all times with content that educates buyers and helps guide commercial decisions. . . . How do you solve the problem? Rather than investing the time and money to implement dubious models that attribute specific leads to specific pieces of content, Marketing should double down on two things: Simpler, more actionable models and analytics talent. If you can get digital integrated with your broader mix, get the message right, and pick the right format for those messages, you'll be well on your way to thriving in the digital landscape. . . ."

CBS’s Play for Online Audiences During the Super Bowl | MIT Technology Review: "With tablet ownership doubling in 2012 to 19 percent of Americans over age 18, according to Forrester Research, CBS is doing more than ever to lure those viewers to the so-called “second screen” and sell to advertisers who want reach that audience. The plan’s success—or lack thereof—will likely influence advertisers considering whether or not to buy interactive online and social media ads tied to live events. “We’re looking for some really big numbers,” says Jason Kint, senior vice president and general manager of A survey conducted by Harris Interactive on behalf of game advertiser Century 21 found that 36 percent of people who plan to watch the game also anticipate using non-TV devices."

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YouTube Capture now supports 1080p uploads

YouTube Capture now supports 1080p uploads, Google Currents goes 2.0 on iOS: "Updates to both YouTube Capture and Google Currents on iOS have just hit Cupertino's App Store, bringing with them a handful of functionality and UI updates. Mountain View bumped YouTube Capture to version 1.1, adding support for 1080p uploads, improved audio syncing, detailed upload feedback and a grab bag of bug fixes and stability enhancements. If you're feeling particularly chatty after hamming it up for the camera, the refreshed app now allows for sharing to social networks. . . . "

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Netflix and the market for digital video

Netflix CEO Reed Hastings thinks he can win the video subscription war | The Verge: "Hastings knows that the market for digital video is enormous. He doesn't have to evangelize Netflix's strategy any more by pointing out how many companies are copying it. He's pinned Netflix's addressable market at 60 to 90 million streaming households in the US alone. Will Netflix get those customers? Will Amazon, Hulu, or Redbox? If they launched a standalone streaming service, would HBO or Apple? How many digital streaming customers would subscribe to multiple services? What's the upper limit? What about cable and satellite (MVPD) customers? How many of them are still looking for somewhere to spend their last $8 to $12? How is a Dish subscriber different from a Comcast subscriber? What can Netflix offer those people that HBO Go can't? To answer those questions, Netflix needs something exclusively its own — not just different series, but an experience that you can't find anywhere else."

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E-commerce Digital Shift

online consumer spending is soaring--stressing physical store retailers--

Top 10 Issues in Digital | Built In Chicago: " . . . Driven by lower prices, convenience and the broadest selection of products, online consumer spending is soaring. comScore data show that in the last twelve months $304 billion was spent via e-commerce in the U.S., with Travel accounting for $110 billion and Non-Travel (aka Retail e-Commerce) pulling in $194 billion. Retail e-Commerce now accounts for one in every ten discretionary dollars spent by U.S. consumers and in Q4 grew 15% versus the prior year, a rate about five times faster than for all consumer spending at retail. Pure play online retailers such as Amazon and eBay have built massive businesses on the basis of e-commerce. Amazon for example, now attracts in excess of 110 million unique visitors in a month and reported North America sales of $7.9 billion in Q3, up 33% over the prior year. But the emergence of e-commerce also means that the physical store is under attack, which in turn means that those retailers who cannot maintain their in-store market share as their category shifts online face increasingly difficult times. Different product categories are shifting online at differing rates, creating particular challenges for multi-category retailers such as big store mass merchandisers. For example, the consumer electronics product category now sees about 30% of sales completed online while consumer packaged goods lags with no more than 1% of sales occurring via e-commerce. This means it’s particularly important for multi-channel retailers to monitor trends in their market share by channel and also by product category so as to clearly understand the nature of competitive online threats. The channel shift to online has also put downward pressure on prices, because the Internet allows consumers to easily root out the lowest price for a product. This creates myriad challenges for retailers and manufacturers since pricing power is now in the hands of the consumer. . . . "

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Next-Gen Video Format H.265 Is Approved

Next-Gen Video Format H.265 Is Approved, Paving The Way For High-Quality Video On Low-Bandwidth Networks | TechCrunch: "In places where there is decent broadband connectivity, H.265 could enable even higher-quality video. With 4K TVs finally becoming available, there’s an opportunity for even greater video resolution. The only problem is that networks aren’t built to support the load that streaming that video would require. With H.265, 4K streaming could be possible with as little as 20-30 Mbps of bandwidth. Still a lot by today’s standards, but not completely unheard of. Of course, just because the format has been approved doesn’t mean that we’ll start seeing video files shrink or lower bit-rate streams anytime soon. While there will likely be software-based encoders available by the end of the year, the codec won’t see mass adoption until it gets embedded into chips and hardware. It could be 12 to 18 months, maybe longer, before the first devices with H.265 hardware acceleration make it to market."

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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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