A new media startup called Beacon wants to give journalists who may not have the ability — or the desire — to run their own site a way to connect with readers who might want to subscribe. I spoke with the founders about their model. Read more »
Comcast plans to launch a digital download store for movies and TV shows by the end of the year, according to Reuters. The cable operators plans to offer videos for sale on its website as well as through its cable boxes, presumably to offer subscribers access to more fare than its existing VOD service has in stock. For the studios, this would be another way to push people towards buying digital movies – but is anyone really interested in owning a movie anymore?
Shelby.tv launched an app, then shut it down, then launched another app too late… now it’s back with yet another iteration. Is third time a charm for the social video startup? Read more »
Roku just turned AOL On into its default news source, adding videos right to its home screen. But are such exclusive partnerships really good for consumers and publishers? Read more »
SoundCloud celebrated its fifth birthday Wednesday, and the Berlin-based startup marked the occasion by revealing an interesting usage data point: SoundCloud users now upload twelve hours of audio every minute, according to a blog post penned by the company’s CEO Alex Ljung. That’s impressive, but also shows that audio still isn’t as ubiquitous as video on the web. To compare, YouTube surpassed 13 hours of video uploads per minute a little more than two years after its launch. Nowadays, people upload more than 100 hours of video per minute to the service.
The major pay TV operators have lost a total of 113,000 customers during their last quarter, according to new numbers from independent research firm MoffettNathanson, by the way of the Los Angeles Times. Time Warner Cable took the biggest hit, losing more than 300,000 subscribers thanks to its retransmission fight with CBS. Most of those were absorbed by DISH, DirecTV and At&T, but some decided to cut the cord entirely. It’s worth noting that Craig Moffet long questioned whether cord cutting even existed. This week, his research note said that “the pay-TV industry has reported its worst 12-month stretch ever.”
Arnold Schwarzenegger is not the only fan of YouTube Capture: The app is now used for a third of all YouTube uploads from iOS devices. That’s why YouTube added some updates. Read more »
Netflix is bringing a completely revamped UI to smart TVs and connected devices – and it moved away from Webkit and HTML5 to bring the same features to less powerful devices. Read more »
Move over, cat videos: More than a third of all YouTube view time can be attributed to videos that are 20 minutes or longer. Read more »
Hulu is looking to partner with pay TV operators to offer Hulu Plus as a bundle or add-on to a pay TV subscription, reports the Wall Street Journal. Talks with operators like Comcast, Time Warner Cable and Cox are still in early stages, according to the paper, but Hulu hopes to eventually have its service included on set-top boxes and become a kind of one-stop-shop for the industry’s authenticated catch-up TV offerings.
ESPN and Disney channel shows are coming to Roku – but to watch it, you’re going to need a pay TV subscription with the right TV provider. Read more »
ISPs who use Netflix’s Open Connect caching appliances have fewer slow-downs during prime time, the company argues. Read more »
Netflix continues to be by far the biggest source for residential internet traffic in North America, and the company is starting to have an impact on Europe’s ISPs as well. Read more »
Simple.tv will start selling its second-generation DVR for cord cutters in December – but it’s getting competition from a similar device called Tablo. Read more »
Blockbuster going out of business isn’t just about Netflix winning over DVD rentals — it’s about the end of movies as a product. Read more »
Netflix teamed up with Disney for a super-powered original content deal that will bring more than four TV new exclusive TV shows to the service. Read more »
Second-screen startup i.TV has bought its better-known, but not that much more popular rival GetGlue. i.TV announced the transaction Wednesday, and Variety is reporting that the deal was all stock, and “far less than the $24 million GetGlue had raised from investors.” The acquisition continues a trend of consolidation in the second-screen space that now also has network executives question the value of these kinds of apps.
Comcast is offering broadband, local channels and HBO for $40 a month – but Time Warner’s CEO isn’t worried. Maybe because the sticker price isn’t what you end up paying. Read more »
There are good movies, there are bad movies, and there’s Sharknado. Missed the trashiest but also most-tweeted-about movie of 2013 when it aired on Syfy in July? No worries, Netflix is giving you another chance to experience it on your own time. Just please, stop tweeting about it.
Cox plans to launch an internet-based TV service, which could compete with both established players as well as newcomers like Intel. Read more »
YouTube took the idea of a music awards show in an entirely new direction last night with the YouTube Music Awards — a deliberately messy showcase of its most popular content. Read more »
Netflix is bringing the award-winning documentary film the Square, which chronicles the popular uprising in Egypt’s Tahrir Square, to all of its members in early 2014. The Square won audience awards at both the Sundance and Toronto film festivals. For Netflix, it’s the first of a number of documentary acquisitions as the company is looking to take original content beyond TV shows and stand-up comedy specials. Next up could be Hollywood movies, which Netflix would like to get earlier than HBO and other pay TV networks.
JumpCam is launching its Android version less than two months after debuting on iOS. The small startup took this step because for its app to go viral, it really needed to be on both platforms. Read more »
The FCC may finally get rid of its decades-old blackout rules for live sports broadcasts. Unfortunately, that still doesn’t mean that any of these games will be available online. Read more »
Netflix wants to become a major provider of 4K content next year. To prepare for that, it has already started to test 4K streaming. Read more »
There’s Valley celebrities, and then there’s real celebrities — and both don’t always get along. Case in point: Kim Kardashian is suing YouTube cofounder Chad Hurley, alleging that he illegally recorded Kanye West’s marriage proposal to her to promote his new video venture MixBit. Valleywag has the whole lawsuit, which doesn’t have a whole lot of nice tings to say about Hurley, while the Hollywood Reporter focuses on why Kim & Kanye wanted to keep their party private: to sell exclusive rights to TV.
Plair was doomed to fail when it tried to establish an expensive, Chromecast-like product three months before Chromecast came out. Now, it’s trying again with a different approach. Read more »
Don’t hold your breath for a Netflix app on your Comcast set-top box: Netflix has started to strike deals with pay TV operators abroad to run its app on their devices, and CEO Reed Hastings recently told investors that he would love to be on Comcast’s gear as well — but Comcast cable operations CEO Neil Smit said during the company’s earnings call that this is “not really a high priority” for Comcast, according to Home Media Magazine. On the same call, Comcast also announced that it lost 129,000 video subscribers in its most recent quarter, 12,000 more than during the same time period last year.
Amazon Studios is testing two hour-long dramas — one by X-Files screenwriter Chris Carter, one based on Michael Connelly’s bestselling Harry Bosch series. Read more »
Cisco may have landed a surprise coup to push for H.264, but Google still thinks that VP8 is the best codec for real-time communication on the web. Read more »
Peter Chernin’s media company is buying a controlling interest in Crunchyroll, reports AllThingsD. The report puts the money spent at less than $100 million, noting that Crunchyroll has raised $5 million to date. Crunchyroll is specializing in the import of anime TV shows, and the company operates a growing subscription business. For more on Crunchyroll, check out my interview with the company’s CEO Kun Gao.
Is Intel looking to get rid of its TV project, or get a partner on board to finally get it launched? The company is talking to Verizon to explore either of those options. Read more »
What do NBC and a YouTuber have in common? They’re both using the same strategies to connect with audiences, thanks to Fullscreen’s semi-new initative. Read more »
Ever wanted to share a short video of the thing you just saw on TV? ConnecTV’s new app lets you do just than in a Vine-like fashion. Read more »
Automatic video editing app Magisto just got a whole lot of new cash, thanks in part to Qualcomm and SanDisk. Read more »
Smart appliances need friends too: Samsung wants to make it easier for your fridge, AC and washer to talk to your TV set. Read more »
Media center app maker Plex launched a feature Monday that allows users to store their videos in the cloud and then play them back on any device with a Plex app on it, including Android and iOS mobile devices. Cloud Sync, as the feature is called, was first shown off at CES, and is now available to paying PlexPass subscribers. Interestingly, Plex doesn’t offer its own storage locker, but instead hooks into Google Drive, Dropbox, Box and other cloud storage offerings, with the ability to spread your files across all of your lockers. Time to sign up for more free cloud storage accounts?
Samsung is taking a page out of the Chromecast playbook by allowing developers to launch media playback straight from a mobile device. But Samsung’s new multiscreen SDK also supports gaming and more. Read more »
Showtime hit Dexter, which recently wrapped its eighth and final season, is coming to Netflix Watch Instantly. The first four seasons of the show will be available October 1; seasons five through eight will start streaming January 1, 2014. Read more »
Simple.tv’s new DVR for cord cutters will come with a sticker price of $250 and go on sale in mid-December, according to a product page on Newegg.com. Read more »