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 - "....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 (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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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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