Podcasts, Cars, Audio on Demand

What’s Behind the Great Podcast Renaissance? -- NYMag"... as I talked to podcasters, they told me that the biggest reason for the podcast renaissance has nothing to do with the podcasts themselves, or the advertisers funding them. It's actually about cars. The secret to radio's success has always been the drive-time commuter. An estimated 44 percent of all radio listening takes place in the car, and that's the way the radio industry likes it. Car-based listeners are captive, they tune in for long stretches at a time, and they're valuable to advertisers. And drivers' dedication to the AM/FM spectrum has made radio a remarkably stable medium — even in 2013, according to the Pew Research Center and Nielsen Audio, 91 percent of Americans over age 12 listened to the radio on a weekly basis. Now, though, cars are going online. Both Google and Apple have rolled out connected-car platforms (Android Auto and Apple CarPlay, respectively), and most new cars sold in the U.S. these days come with the ability to play smartphone audio over the car's speakers, either through Bluetooth connectivity or through a USB or auxiliary plug. One industry group, GMSA, estimates that 50 percent of all cars sold in 2015 will be internet-connected, and 100 percent by 2025...." (read more at the link above)

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Streaming Media, Fred Seibert, Federator (video)

Streaming Media: Business Plan Catching Up With Kids’ Habits: Video - Bloomberg:
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Fred Seibert, founder and chief executive officer at Federator, talks with Betty Liu about new media streaming offerings from old media to grab the attention of cord cutters and how it reflects the viewing habits of young kids and how consumer have the power to determine pricing. He speaks on “In the Loop.” (Nov 10--Bloomberg)

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CBS' Les Moonves, Digital Revolution (video)

CBS' Les Moonves: There Is a Digital Revolution: Video -
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CBS President and CEO Les Moonves discusses CBS All Access, digital content, retransmission fees and cord cutters. He speaks with Trish Regan on "Bottom Line." (Source: Bloomberg 11/6)

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Bloomberg, Online TV, Strategy

Bloomberg explains its strategy for success in online TV | VentureBeat | Media | by Tom Cheredar:
"Long before Fox, CBS, or HBO debuted options for on-demand streaming video, business news-oriented cable channel Bloomberg was already available online and on many connected devices. This, of course, is significant because the television industry finally seems ready to accept that TV viewing is moving online. Last month saw both HBO and CBS announce that they were preparing to launch standalone streaming video services that do not require customers to already pay for cable or satellite television service. CBS in particular is even launching its own online TV news network. Bloomberg TV, however, started way back in 2011, and it’s seeing a lot of success as a result of not waiting around. Bloomberg told VentureBeat that its strategy has led the company to see one of its best months in terms of online TV and over-the-top (OTT; any TV content delivered outside of a cable or satellite TV provider, such as Comcast or DirecTV) viewership growth. In September, the company saw video stream viewing increase 12 percent to 72 million videos, compared to 64 million streamed in August, according to ComScore. Bloomberg also more than doubled the number of unique viewers for video content to 9.2 million compared to the same time last year..." (read more at link above)
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Death of the American Network Sitcom

Notes on the Death of the American Network Sitcom «: ".... A necessary caveat: Broadcast network ratings are falling every season. Last year’s floor is this year’s ceiling. Soon the only people watching network TV of any kind will be the elderly, the infirm, and fugitives who actually need to find out how to get away with murder. Everything on this earth is temporary, my child. And that includes you, me, and numbered think pieces like this one...."

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Google, YouTube, Advertising, High Margins

Google’s YouTube Scooping up the Ad World at High Margins, Says Nomura: "... analyst Anthony DiClemente with Nomura Equity Research today offers up his model for what revenue may be at the company’s YouTube property, which is benefiting from share shift in advertising to online, and has “the healthiest margins in streaming video.”... DiClemente notes the business has much higher profit margins than Google overall...Google’s YouTube is in the front lines in offering video content against which brands can advertise, writes DiClemente... We expect premium content and increased engagement from MCNs [multi-channel networks] to drive higher views per user and more overall viewing of YouTube videos, growing at an accelerating pace through 2017E. Facebook (FB) is the seond-biggest online video destination, he notes, and is trying to lure away YouTube’s advertisers. But the market is big enough for multiple contenders... DiClemente also compares YouTube to Netflix: next year, YouTube may have $5.88 billion in revenue, just behind a $6.1 billion he projects for Netflix. But because YouTube is mostly user-generated, it’s not as expensive as Netflix’s content acquisitions, giving YouTube a 59% Ebitda margin versus just 10% for Netflix. Google stock today is up $2.74, or half a percent, at $596.03."

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Mobiles, Tablets, HTML5 Video

HTML5 Video Caters To Savvy Scandinavians: Smartcom:TV’s Larssen | Beet.TV: "... “We are early movers in the technical industry; our users are very tech-savvy,” Jon Andreas Larssen, technology manager at production company Smartcom:TV, says of the region. “It’s important to them that mobiles and tablets work well – video, no matter what device you’re watching on.” Larssen, whose company makes webcasts for investor relations and other events, says HTML5-based video can cater to this demand particularly well. Smartcom:TV has used Brightcove for its delivery for the last couple of years...."

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Film Studios, Lionsgate, Tribeca, New Streaming Service

Expect to see more and more of this--

Lionsgate and Tribeca film studios are launching a new streaming service - The Washington Post:
The companies didn’t disclose details about the planned service, such as the pricing or how many titles will be offered. Lionsgate and Tribeca Enterprises, which runs the Tribeca Film Festival, indicated in their release that the service will be highly edited and that they will draw from their network of artists and industry contacts to help select films.

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Future of Video is Streaming, Streaming is Twitch

Why Everyone Wanted to Buy Twitch: "Twitch, on the other hand, has nailed the balance. It's not perfect—live-streaming never is—but it works on everything and it works consistently, and there's always something to watch. Those strengths that helped it solidify its reign gets even more enticing as the esports world continues to explode, or as Twitch slowly starts opening its doors to other types of live-streaming. Twitch is poised to be the channel-surfing yin to Netflix's binge-watching yang. The future of video is streaming, and streaming is Twitch."


The Official Twitch Blog Twitch On Chromecast Is Finally Here! » The Official Twitch Blog: Watching your favorite games and broadcasters on your TV just got a whole lot easier. Our new Chromecast support lets you send live Twitch video from your Android device, iPhone, iPad or laptop right to your TV. Getting started is easy:..."

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Web Video, NewFront Deals, Impact on Upfronts

CMO Today: Appointment TV: Web Video’s Impact on Upfronts Limited - CMO Today - WSJ: "... Digital overall is making every big marketer rethink their ad spending, and the growth of online video is one of a number of factors in TV’s upfront being down. But creating a viable alternative marketplace for original Web series that would steal significant market share from TV budgets in head to head negotiations is something else altogether. And digital buyers say that isn’t realistic at this point. Some agencies have only just started negotiating with Web video outlets, after finishing up negotiations with broadcast and cable networks. That fact says a lot about the pecking order in the media world, and the lack of urgency to lock up big Web video deals for some advertisers–at least in the 2014 marketplace... One place that TV dollars might be going that won’t necessarily show up in NewFront deals is branded entertainment, specifically videos produced by top YouTube talent that either feature brands or were created specifically for advertisers. That’s because these branded entertainment deals happen either between creators and advertisers or are facilitated by intermediaries like Maker Studios or Fullscreen..."

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Internet TV Is More Popular Than Cable TV in the US

The Internet Is Officially More Popular Than Cable in the U.S. | Business | WIRED: ".... Traditional TV as a format already is being engulfed by the open-endedness of the internet. From mainstream streaming services like Netflix, Hulu, and Amazon Instant Video to niche sites like Funny or Die to YouTube celebrities—to name just some of the options that fall under entertainment—the kinds of moving pictures available and the ways to consume them have never been greater. Within this broader spectrum, cable as a concept could become just another niche, one channel among many as the insatiable internet swallows everything it encounters." (read more at link above)

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Radio Disney Moves Off Air to Digital

Exclusive: Radio Disney Moving Off Air to Digital | Broadcasting & Cable: "The Walt Disney Co. is looking to sell 23 more radio stations and move its Radio Disney kids programming exclusively to digital distribution. The shift comes because young viewers have adopted satellite radio and online platforms when listening to music and other programming. "Radio Disney will increase its investment in both digital distribution platforms and music-centric programming to optimize the network for long-term growth and to better reflect the habits of its listeners, a national audience of kids and families,” a Radio Disney spokesperson said in a statement. The stations Disney plans to sell cover 42.2% of the country as measured by Nielsen. The biggest of the stations are in major markets including New York, Chicago, Philadelphia, Dallas, San Francisco, Boston, Atlanta Houston and Detroit. A person familiar with the situation said Disney plans to sell the stations effective Sept. 26. The sale is expected to result in layoffs of about eight people per station...."

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Performing Without Net, Stars of YouTube

Performing Without Net: Stars of YouTube Take to the Stage - NYTimes.com: "This was DigiFest NYC, part of a booming corner of entertainment where social media stars — people who have created mass followings on YouTube, Instagram and Vine — step out from behind their bedroom webcams. The festival, which rolled into the parking lot at Citi Field in Queens on Saturday afternoon, was headlined by Our2ndLife, or O2L, a group of guys who became famous by videotaping themselves trying to balance cotton balls on their heads and drinking anchovy and hot pepper smoothies...." (read more at link above)

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How TubeMogul Gets TV Ads in Front of Mobile Users

How TubeMogul Gets TV Ads in Front of Mobile Users: Video - Bloomberg:
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Brett Wilson, co-founder and CEO of TubeMogul, discusses how the company creates software for mobile ads with Pimm Fox on "Taking Stock." (Source: Bloomberg July 18)

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Yahoo's YouTube Rival

Yahoo Plots YouTube Rival for Summer Debut After Delay | Digital - Advertising Age: "....YouTube creators have long-chafed over YouTube's standard revenue split, where Google takes 45% of ad revenue. Yahoo is offering a split tipped more in favor of creators, or a higher ad rate overall. Creators contacted by Ad Age declined to specify the specific rate they were offered for fear it would reveal their identity to Yahoo. Higher ad rates Yahoo is also offering the option of a fixed ad rate said to be 50% or 100% higher than YouTube's average net ad rate. YouTube averages a $9.68 cost per-thousand impressions in the U.S., according to video company Tubemogul, before revenue sharing...." (read more at link above)

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Advertising Industry, Shifting Techniques (video)

Shifting Techniques in the Advertising Industry: Video - Bloomberg:
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AOL CEO Timothy Armstrong discusses digital content and programmatic advertising with Bloomberg’s Stephanie Ruhle on “Bottom Line.” (source: Bloomberg, June 20)

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Content Consumption, Seismic Shifts (video)

The Seismic Shifts in Content Consumption: Video - Bloomberg:
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Michael Tribolet, chairman and CEO of YipTV, discusses how technology has changed the entertainment industry with Pimm Fox on Bloomberg Television's "Taking Stock." (Source: Bloomberg June 11th)

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Best Practices, Accelerating Mobile Brand Advertising Growth

The Mobile Tipping Point: Best Practices for Accelerating Mobile Brand Advertising Growth: "The new mobile medium represents an appealing opportunity for brand marketers—enabling them to reach a pool of consumers that is growing by the day anytime and anywhere. Because of mobile’s relative youth, however, there is still confusion over how best to engage in mobile advertising. Differences in technology mean that marketers can’t always employ the same best practices in mobile that they use for television or online advertising. Unlike the online medium, marketers are adopting mobile for branding purposes relatively early. However, mobile marketers and media owners say their inability to measure the effectiveness of their mobile efforts consistently with other media is one of their biggest pain points, and a significant barrier to mobile growth. Mobile is now on the verge of becoming a mainstream advertising medium, and this report reflects a Nielsen-Digiday survey among advertisers, agencies and media providers about current mobile practices and what needs to be addressed in order to grow mobile brand advertising." (read more at link above)

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YouTube coming to cable TV set-top boxes

YouTube is coming to cable TV set-top boxes, with a little help from the cloud — Tech News and Analysis: "....At the center of UPC Hungary’s YouTube roll-out is a technology called CloudTV that’s been developed by the San Jose-based cloud video technology specialist ActiveVideo. CloudTV is essentially an OnLive-like service for TV apps and content. This means that the YouTube app isn’t actually installed on the set-top boxes that UPC’s Hungarian customers have in their living rooms. Instead, it is rendered in the cloud and delivered as a personalized video stream to each and every box. And whenever a viewer presses a button on their cable box remote control to jump from one YouTube clip to the next, the cable box sends a control command to the cloud, where the stream is changed on the fly, with a latency of 500 milliseconds or less. The big advantage for UPC is that it doesn’t need to ship new hardware in order to deliver YouTube and other apps to its customers. That makes this cloud-based approach not only cheaper, but also a whole lot faster than transitioning each and every customer to new devices...." (read more at link above)

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The Rise of Mobile Advertising (video)

Has Mobile Advertising Reached a Tipping Point?: Video - Bloomberg:
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Marcel Fenez, global entertainment and media leader for PricewaterhouseCoopers, discusses the rise of mobile advertising with Trish Regan on Bloomberg Television's "Street Smart." (Source: Bloomberg June 4)

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Smartphones, Phablets, Mobile TV, 4G, China

Kantar: Windows Phone ‘Stutters’ Amid Android Price Competition, iPhone 5S Is Apple’s Buffer | TechCrunch: "In China, it notes that devices with a screen larger than 5” made up 40% of smartphone sales in March. “It’s clear that phablets really are changing the way Chinese consumers use smartphones,” Sunnebo writes. “More than one in five phablet owners now watch mobile TV on a daily basis, half do so at least once a month, and this is without the widespread availability of 4G. As 4G infrastructure expands in China, the demand for data is going to be unprecedented, paving the way for carriers to boost revenues significantly through larger data packages.”..."

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How Epix Is Attracting Viewers (video)

How Epix Is Attracting Viewers: Video - Bloomberg:
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Epix CEO Mark Greenberg explains how the company is attracting viewers. He speaks with Jon Erlichman on Bloomberg Television's "Bloomberg West." (Source: Bloomberg April 25)

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Dish Summer Debut for Internet TV Service

Dish Said to Target Summer Debut for Internet-TV Service - Bloomberg: "Dish Network Corp. (DISH) is targeting a summer debut for its Internet-TV service in the U.S., according to people familiar with the matter. Dish is telling programmers, including Comcast Corp. (CMCSA)’s NBCUniversal, that a late summer release date is possible, said the people, who asked not to be named because the negotiations are private. Dish, the second-largest U.S. satellite-TV operator, already signed up Walt Disney Co. for the service last month. A&E Television Networks LLC, Time Warner Inc.’s Turner Broadcasting and CBS Corp. also have spoken with Dish about Internet-TV rights, several people said...."

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New $500 Million Online TV Service, Internet Video

AT&T, Chernin Plan $500 Million Online-TV Service - Businessweek: "AT&T Inc. plans to introduce an online-TV service by the end of this year, part of a pact with Chernin Group to invest more than $500 million to draw consumers who are flocking to Internet video. The partners are looking at deals with television networks for live programming as well as building or investing in niche video-on-demand and curated services, where shows are queued up for viewers based on their tastes, said John Stankey, AT&T’s chief strategy officer. While AT&T’s U-verse, a traditional cable-TV service, is only offered in parts of the U.S. where the company has landlines, the new online product will be available nationwide, Stankey said today in an interview....AT&T, Dish and other traditional pay-TV providers are competing with technology companies such as Sony Corp. and Apple Inc. to offer a video product over the Internet that would be similar to cable TV, with the same programming aired in a live, or linear, fashion. Such services are known as over-the-top, or OTT, television because they deliver video on top of an Internet connection. Dish struck a deal in March to carry Walt Disney Co.’s channels, including ESPN, in an OTT service. Sony reached a preliminary agreement in August to stream Viacom Inc.’s programming, a person with knowledge of the matter said at the time. The partnership between Dallas-based AT&T and Los Angeles-based Chernin Group will include subscription services and those that rely on advertising for revenue, the companies said today in a statement. Chernin Group will contribute assets including its majority stake in Crunchyroll, which provides online Asian media such as anime...."

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Aereo, TV, Disruption

More and more, many of the splashy business victories are going to companies that find a way to put a new skin on things that already exist. Uber does not own a single cab, yet it has upended the taxi industry. Airbnb doesn’t possess real estate, yet it has become a huge player in the lodging market. WhatsApp remapped texting on existing telecommunications infrastructure ... Aereo, uses tiny remote antennas to capture broadcast TV signals and store them in the cloud, where consumers can watch them on a device of their choosing — no cable box, no cable bundle and most important, no expensive cable bill. (source infra)

Aereo Case Will Shape TV’s Future - NYTimes.com: "....The report indicated that the percentage of cord-cutting households in the United States increased to 6.5 percent in 2013 from 4.5 percent in 2010. And the rise of mobile devices is not driving the cord-cutting, but the availability of a wide range of shows on the good old television set without the need for a cable subscription — through services like Aereo. No business is immune to disruption, but the television space is particularly ripe. Some of the players have looked down the road and realized they can’t stop what’s coming, which is partly why Comcast is so eager to merge its way beyond cable and dominate broadband. Aereo, like the Sony Betamax, might end up as a footnote to television history. Once consumers decide — be they cord cutters or so-called cord nevers — it doesn’t really matter what programmers, broadcasters or even the Supreme Court decides."

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New York Times pitches new video strategy at Newsfronts

At Newfronts, Times pitches its video strategy refresh to buyers | Capital New York: " . . . In addition to a new Times Video hub that was introduced today on nytimes.com (with an Acura sponsorship in tow), the Grey Lady's video content can also now be seen on portals like Yahoo, AOL, YouTube and Hulu. Under the Vimeo collaboration, the Times and Vimeo will produce videos that brands can sponsor or be aligned with, such as a feature that premiered today on the evolution of food and culture in American immigrant society. The Times has also added video to its native advertising platform, "Paid Posts," and marketers can now buy "branded video playlists" that live alongside original Timesvideo; the first such offering was purchased by Sotheby's. "We are upping the ante," advertising chief Meredith Kopit Levien said during her portion of the NewFronts presentation. The presentation also introduced an array of new series such as Mark Bittman's "Bittman Cooks With..." and "Machine Learning" with Molly Wood...."

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House of Cards, How Netflix broke the TV pilot mold (video)

Ken Auletta on how Netflix broke the TV pilot mold:
 When House of Cards came -- Kevin Spacey and the producers came to them with the idea of House of Cards they said, "We will give you a commitment without doing what every other TV network does which is insist on seeing a pilot, testing it and letting it compete against others. We will give you a two season commitment." Not just a one season commitment which only very few get a full season. We'll give you a two season commitment. And so people said, "How would they dare risk a two season commitment without seeing a pilot, without, you know, without testing it."

What people missed which is something they miss what Netflix actually did. What Netflix actually did before Kevin Spacey and the producers came -- and David Fincher came to them -- they looked up and they saw Kevin Spacey movies did very well on Netflix. David Fincher movies that he directed did very well. Political dramas did very well on Netflix. They had a built in audience for all of those three. And the British series that ran earlier than House of Cards had a lot of popularity on Netflix. And Netflix was saying, "If we could combine those four audiences together, we've got a show that's gonna do very well, particularly when you've got Kevin Spacey fronting it, you know, as an actor."

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Disney Buys Maker Studios, YouTube Video Supplier

Disney Buys Maker Studios, Video Supplier for YouTube - NYTimes.com: " . . . the deal validates venture-style investments in the content business. Maker, founded in 2009, has received more than $70 million in funding from a large number of investors, including Time Warner Investments, Elizabeth Murdoch, Greycroft Partners and Ynon Kreiz, who is Maker’s chief executive. Mr. Kreiz will continue to run Maker, which will notably not become part of Disney’s struggling web and video game division. Instead, the online video company, based in Culver City, Calif., will answer to James A. Rasulo, Disney’s chief financial officer. “We’re doing that because the best value for Maker is to serve all of our business units,” Mr. Mayer said .... Disney is not the only Hollywood company that sees promise in YouTube-based channel operators. DreamWorks Animation, for instance, recently bought AwesomenessTV, which focuses on teenagers, in a deal worth up to $117 million. A year ago, AwesomenessTV had about 400,000 subscribers and 80.6 million video views. Now it has more than 1.2 million subscribers and 283 million video views." (read more at link above)

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Next Big Threat to Cable TV, Loss of Ad Dollars To YouTube, AOL

The video viewers are not on cable anymore --

Cable’s Next Big Threat: Loss of Ad Dollars To YouTube, AOL - Digits - WSJ: "It turns out that cord-cutting isn’t the only threat facing cable channels. Several of the big ad-supported online video outlets, including Google’s YouTube, AOL and others, plan this upfront season to target some of the ad dollars that currently flow to cable channels, industry executives say. The web video outlets see a vulnerability in second tier cable networks, and to a lesser extend in the local TV-station market, executives say. According to multiple media buyers and ad sellers in the Web video industry, digital media companies are looking to draw direct comparisons between their audiences and cable TV networks, a match-up Web video outlets think they can win. Buyers say Google is likely to be the most aggressive on this front, given YouTube’s massive size and its young demographics that don’t necessarily watch a lot of TV. The company has been selling directly against cable networks, with pitches like “X YouTube net reaches more women than E! or Awesomeness TV reaches more tweens than ABC Family.” In one pitch, for instance, YouTube cited Nielsen data from November showing that it reached 49% of all 18 to 34 year olds, versus 45% for FX, 44% for TBS’ comedies, 41% for Comedy Central and 40% for AMC...."

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Pay TV subscriber losses, 104000 in 2013

Pay TV subscriber losses totaled 104,000 in 2013 | BGR: "According to new data from Leichtman Research Group, pay TV providers posted a net loss of 104,000 subscribers in 2013, the first time the pay TV industry has ever lost subscribers year-over-year. The biggest losers were Time Warner Cable and Comcast, which respectively lost 825,00 and 305,000 pay TV subscribers each." (read more at link above)

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Yahoo vs YouTube, video online

Ready for Marissa’s Closeup? Yahoo Is Considering Creating Its Own YouTube (And Poaching YouTube Stars). | Re/code: "...“Yahoo Screen was part one,” said one producer who has agreed to be part of Yahoo’s video effort, about its current offerings. “Now, this is part two.” For now, at least, Yahoo isn’t talking about replicating YouTube’s open platform, which lets users upload 100 hours of content every minute to the site. Instead, it is interested in cherry-picking particularly popular, more professional YouTube fare. Yahoo has also told some video owners that it can use its well-trafficked home page and other high-profile real estate to promote their clips on a non-exclusive basis. After a year, one source inside Yahoo said, it might open the platform up further. One source inside the company said that Yahoo is prepping a new content management system for the effort, although some have suggested it could also buy an existing service like Vimeo...."

But YouTube has a big lead.

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Bitcoin, Cryptocurrencies, Online Advertising

Bitcoin Itself May Live or Die, but Cryptocurrencies Will Live On | MIT Technology Review: ".... what of the enormous revenue-generating engine of online advertising? Advertisers pay to reach highly valued online audiences; they use a variety of technologies, many surprisingly ineffective, to find these individuals. Could cryptocurrencies help? Smith asks us to consider the following scenario: imagine a brand like Dunkin’ Donuts that wanted to create a loyalty program. Now imagine that brand creating its own currency: DunkinDollars. Finally, imagine an online advertising campaign where people who clicked on an advertisement would be given the virtual coins. Small amounts of money might be distributed without friction. If large brands could create their own currencies and allow individuals to participate in this marketplace, they could create consumers who were truly invested, in every sense. The entire web of advertising would suddenly become a more interesting place. Before, the ads seemed to hunt you, but now you would have reason to hunt for ads. The coins you earned could then be exchanged for branded goods...." (read more at link above)

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YouTube Playlists

Official Blog: More love for playlists and a new look for YouTube: " . . . Want to quickly find your playlists or save Aloe Blacc’s favorite music videos playlist? Your guide now has all of the playlists that you created, as well as playlists from other channels you liked. If you make a playlist, you’ll also see a new page that makes editing easier. And if you’re looking for new playlists to check out from your favorite channels, check out the new playlist tab on a channel like this one from YouTube Nation. . . ."

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GoPro, IPO, creating a media empire

GoPro's IPO isn't about selling cameras, it's about creating a media empire: " . . . At the moment, GoPro curates everything on its channel -- but it's clearly aware of the large, untapped store of media out there. Not to mention the apparently tireless appetite for it (reportedly at least one video per minute is uploaded to YouTube from one of Woodman's cameras). Red Bull, a brand that rubs shoulders with GoPro in terms of audience, has been in the media game for a long time with magazines, events, cross-platform video and more. It's been so lucrative for the drink-maker that it's actually developed a whole separate business -- Red Bull Media House -- to focus on it. Woodman's advantage? There's not much of a market to buy an energy drink through your browser, TV or app. . . ."

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Disruption of TV, Future of Online Video, SXSW

Schedule | sxsw.com: "Disruption of TV and the Future of "Online" Video"
A viewing revolution is afoot and video has hit the ground running. Nearly everyone is streaming and now a shift in public sentiment towards on-demand gratification is making traditional viewing habits a thing of the past. And as players like Netflix successfully throw their hats in the content-creation ring, viewers are presented with more options than ever before -- making it increasingly important to develop a solid distribution strategy in order to win eyeballs.
Tuesday, March 11 2014 SXSW
9:30AM - 10:30AM
Driskill Hotel
604 Brazos St

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Paramount, digital format movies, demise of film

The demise of film killed Kodak, and it was only a matter of time before all movies go digital --

Paramount stops releasing major movies on film - latimes.com: "...For more than a century, Hollywood has relied on 35-millimeter film to capture its fleeting images and deliver them to the silver screen. Now, in a historic move, Paramount Pictures has become the first big studio to stop releasing its major movies on film in the United States. The studio's Oscar-nominated film "The Wolf of Wall Street" is the studio's first movie in wide release to be distributed entirely in digital format, according to theater industry executives briefed on the plans who were not authorized to speak publicly...."

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UHD, 2160p, 4K

The definition in terms is critical for professionals and consumers --

The Not So Subtle Distinction Between UHD and 4K - AVS Community: "In Scott Wilkinson's recent interview with video guru Joe Kane, he speaks about the same issue. Kane seems just as upset as I am. But he offers a solution, and it's a fairly simple one. He thinks it could be as easy as getting people to start referring to UHD as "2160p." Kane's reasoning has to do with why we call our Full HD displays "1080p." Kane explains that we have always referenced consumer displays by their vertical resolution and commercial displays by their horizontal resolution. So 2160p could be a great alternative to UHD, just like 1080p, 720p, and 480p were before it. I, for one, agree. It seems like the logical solution here even if it doesn't roll off the tongue as easily as 4K does. To get the change that’s needed, someone big needs to take a stand and completely drop the 4K naming scheme for home-theater products. I find this issue particularly troublesome because even enthusiasts seem completely content with making the mistake. I guess a good way to sum it up would be to say that the term "4K" already has a meaning—it refers to a resolution and a strict set of rules for presentation. We aren't getting the same resolution or the same set of rules with UHD..." (read more at link above)

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Google's 4K video format, VP9

Watch Google redefine video formats --

Google's 4K video format to hit TVs, mobile devices, PCs | PCWorld: "Starting in 2014, you’ll see products from major mobile, PC and TV partners that are using a new, more efficient video format called VP9 that gives you HD quality at half the bandwidth,” said Francisco Varela, global director of platform partnerships at Google, in an email. With the 4K format, videos will be shown at a resolution of 3840 x 2160 pixels. The VP9 format will allow device makers to stream 4K video from online video services with less bandwidth and buffering. A number of TV makers have already introduced large-screen TVs that can play back 4K content. Top TV makers Sony, Toshiba, Samsung, Panasonic, Philips, LG and Sharp will support the VP9 video codec....The VP9 is competing for adoption as a 4K video standard with H.265, also called HEVC (High Efficiency Video Coding), which is bring promoted by the International Telecommunications Union..."

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Netflix, cheaper subscriptions, Amazon looms

Subscription or a la carte?

Netflix tests cheaper subscription as Amazon looms: "Netflix is testing a cheaper subscription for new customers as the online video company prepares for what likely will be another competitive onslaught from Amazon in 2014. Netflix, the biggest video-streaming service, is offering a plan for $6.99 a month that lets people watch on only one screen at a time. The company's basic streaming service currently costs $7.99 a month and lets customers watch on two screens at the same time...."

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Chromecast 2014, open SDK, international plans, new devices

Chromecast has taken off and it will only get bigger --

Chromecast in 2014: an open SDK, big international plans and maybe even new devices — Tech News and Analysis: "Google landed a bit of a coup with Chromecast this year, launching a device that no one saw coming but that has proven to be very popular. Next year, the company plans to take Chromecast even further by bringing it to a number of international markets, opening up the SDK to make hundreds (if not thousands) of apps Chromecast-compatible, and partnering with consumer electronics companies to bring cast functionality to other devices."

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Apple TV box, monetizing the living room?

Apple's next big bet: A TV box that monetizes the living room? | ZDNet: "Apple TV may hold a tiny fraction of overall quarterly sales, but adding an app store directly in a user's living room could mean a significant profit boost for the iPhone and iPad maker."\

Maybe, maybe not, depends on how dominant Chromecast has become by the time Apple's box launches.

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Cable TV audience not large

Digital media beats old media, including cable TV --

Wolff: The unbeatable Roger Ailes: "...The cable audience, for all the attention heaped on it for its theoretical political sway, is not that large. The average Fox prime time audience in 2013 was little more than a million people. MSNBC's 2013 non-election-year prime time viewership was 640,000, CNN's 568,000 (but for the first time in two years, MSNBC fell behind CNN's daytime audience). These are target marketing rather than mass market numbers. Magazine numbers. ... the cable news audience, a kind of passionate couch potato (network news still commands that larger audience of catatonic couch potatoes). This was an older and less urban audience, which left its competitors to fight over a younger and more fickle audience. The loss of audience share to other news and entertainment options (from Jon Stewart to digital news) has been much more severe for CNN and MSNBC...."

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Vimeo, online videos, HTML5

Vimeo moves to default HTML5 player, says videos load faster | PCWorld: "Vimeo has rebuilt its video player using HTML5, the latest version of the Web programming language that is challenging Adobe Systems’ Flash player in serving up Web video. The use of HTML5, which allows certain types of videos to be played natively in Web browsers without additional software plugins, means that some content on Vimeo will load in less than a second, wrote Brad Dougherty, a senior application engineer, on the company’s blog on Tuesday.

Vimeo speeds its online videos, goes HTML5 by default | Internet & Media - CNET News: " . . . The new player also makes it easier for people sell video right from the player when teaser videos are shown. "With the addition of this 'buy now' button on the trailer, everywhere the video travels, there is an instant call to buy that comes with it," Mellancamp said ... Two thorny issues still complicate HTML5 video, though. One is digital rights management (DRM), which lets content owners encrypt video and audio to curtail copying. Another is the choice of codec -- the technology used to compress video and audio. HTML5 standardized how to send video, but didn't specify which code was to be used. Google's open-source, royalty-free VP8 and newer VP9 codecs are one option, but most of the tech industry -- especially those in the video world -- preferred a royalty-bearing standard called H.264. Google said it would eventually phase H.264 support out of Chrome, and Mozilla was a strong VP8 advocate, but H.264 won out: Google backed off its decision, and Mozilla added H.264 support by drawing on modern operating systems' built-in support. For DRM, Microsoft and Google have controversially developed a standard called Encrypted Media Extensions (EME), which already is in use for Web-based video streamed by Netflix. DRM isn't much of an issue for Vimeo, though: "Videos, whether downloaded or streamed, on Vimeo On Demand are DRM-free," the company said."

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Google Chromecast, Unofficial Manual

Good source for Chromecast use below --

Getting Started With Google Chromecast: The Unofficial Manual – ReadWrite: "... Tab casting is rather interesting for another reason. Thanks to this feature, anything you can open and play within a Chrome browser can play on your television. This includes many unsupported video sites—particularly at full screen playback—as well as select video files (including H.264 MP4 files and WMV vids), audio clips and songs, and images. You can open computer media files in Chrome easily, whether by dragging and dropping them on your Chrome browser or, within the application, going to "File -> Open File…"..."(read full article at link below)

(Editor's note: I "cut the cord" last August when I installed Chromecast and saw everything it could do -- I also disconnected and gave away my Roku -- video quality on Chromecast superior to Roku)

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The Post-TV World

Kevin Spacey at the Edinburgh Television Festival:
The device and length are irrelevant. For kids growing up now, there's no difference between watching Avatar on an iPad, or watching YouTube on a TV, or watching Game of Thrones on their computer. It's all content. It's just story.
A "TV" is just another device with a screen in your living room. People now watch streaming video on different devices/screens around the world. According to Ooyala:
  • Mobile and tablet video share has grown 133% year-over-year.
  • PC viewers watched live video 11X longer than VOD (video on demand), for an average of 30 minutes per session in Q3.
  • Tablet TV viewers spent 25% of their viewing time watching videos more than 60 minutes long.
Welcome to the Post-TV World!

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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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