Streaming video

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Online video courts TV dollars

Now there is more premium video content and ad inventory available online, and brand marketers are starting to experiment with digital techniques to capture the efficiencies and targeting ability offered by programmatic buying, particularly as audiences fragment across screens.

Quarterly Wrap-up

Connected consumer first-quarter 2013: Analysis and outlook

Many long-standing legal rules of engagement between publishers and consumers tilted the playing field in unexpected ways in the first quarter. The period also saw a major expansion in the amount and quality of original productions for web-based video platforms and a major move by chipmaker Intel to stake a claim in the digital living room.

Report: YouTube will start charging for premium content

YouTube plans to launch paid subscriptions as early as this spring, according to a report in AdAge, and is asking media companies with large YouTube followings to submit ideas for paid channels that would cost a couple of dollars a month.

Quarterly Wrap-up

Connected consumer fourth-quarter 2012 analysis

The fourth quarter saw new fissures emerge in some corners of the digital media business, while some old fissures reemerged in others. Having held off the immediate challenge of over-the-top video, the traditional pay-TV industry began to show signs of severe internal stresses, while the music industry, having seemingly weathered the worst of the chaos that followed Napster, fell into a new, internal battle over performance royalties.

Roku CEO: Blu-ray will be finished in 4 years

Roku CEO Anthony Wood doesn’t think Blu-ray is going to be around much longer. He predicted At the TV of Tomorrow show in San Francisco that no one would be using Blu-ray players in four years. Instead, consumers would gravitate to streaming boxes and Smart TVs.

Report

Opportunities for living room application platforms

Living room platform environments will change dramatically over the next few years. While the installed base and near-term opportunities are dominated by legacy set-top boxes driven by cable, telephone and satellite operators, OTT devices and services with thousands of TV applications will likely disrupt business and experience models and will slowly gain traction at the expense of cable and satellite companies. This research note addresses key trends, companies and technologies that will shape the future of living room application-development environments.

Time Warner CEO thinks Hulu users should pay for cable

Hulu should require viewers to have a cable subscription, Time Warner CEO Jeff Bewkes suggested in an investor call following the company’s Q1 2012 earnings report this morning. “We think Hulu authenticating makes sense,” Bewkes said. “We think Hulu is heading in the right direction now.”

Whatever happened to Brightcove’s China ambitions?

Brightcove used to have significant staff in China, and was looking to expand in the country as late as March 2010 – but left China head over heels later that year. What’s left is Brightcove’s staff, now working for a local competitor, and the question: What happened?

Fear and loathing at NAB 2012

If this week’s NAB Show is any indication, by 2020 “broadcasting” is a term that will be foreign to anyone under 40. Based its programming, it seems that pretty soon no one will be concerned about how content is distributed — just whether or not it’s good.

Vevo redesigns to become MTV for the online generation

With its latest redesign, Vevo takes music video viewing beyond the stop-and-start video experience available on most streaming sites today. With continuous playback of videos and Facebook connectivity, Vevo makes watching music videos online sorta like watching MTV back in its heyday.

This is what it looks like when a $6.6B company pivots

Akamai’s latest product lets operators take over their own content delivery network, using Akamai’s software but not its boxes. This is a huge change in Akamai’s business. The shift and the reasons for it offer clues about the evolution and domestication of the web.

What are Boxee’s upcoming mystery products?

Boxee revealed in a filing with the FCC this week that it’s working on additional products that could be used as alternatives to traditional cable set-top boxes. What does the company have up its sleeve? We can only guess — but, hey, that’s fun too!

Amazon: No plans to launch a standalone video service soon

As Amazon adds more content to Prime Instant Video, some expect the company could create a standalone service to compete with Netflix. But Digital Content Acquisition Head Brad Beale said Amazon will stay focused on the Prime bundle, at least in the near future.

Flingo raises $7m to make your TV smarter

Flingo has raised $7 million in a Series A funding round led by August Capital. The San Francisco-based startup, which integrates streaming video and interactive advertising into smart TVs, has also added two new board members: August Capital’s David Marquart and Howard Hartenbaum.

With 100m uniques, Taboola adds live video discovery

Video discovery startup Taboola has been growing fast, adding top publishing partners like The Washington Post, as well as expanding into the live streaming video vertical. Those new partners have helped drive growth for Taboola, which now reaches more than 100 million uniques a month.

Apple to buy Hollywood? Not a chance.

Could Apple spend its $100 billion in cash to create a virtual cable operator to compete with Comcast and the like? Sure. But it would have a really hard time offering a competitively priced service and building a profitable business out of it.

Live stream: The S.F. street protests against SOPA

Anti-SOPA protesters are taking their cause to the streets on Wednesday, with protests scheduled in New York and San Francisco. We will cover the event in San Francisco, which will feature Ron Conway as a headline speaker, with a live video stream.

Will Google buy T-Mobile? Not a chance

SNL reports that Google is bidding on T-Mobile. If the rumor were somehow true, then Google is suffering from hubris. Selling software, services and handsets is fundamentally a different business than selling connectivity. Google buying T-Mobile would be a bigger disaster than AOL-Time Warner.

Deloitte: 9% have cut cable, another 11% are considering it

While cable operators and networks continue to downplay the effect of cord cutting, in Deloitte’s State of the Media Democracy survey, the firm reports that 9 percent of respondents have already canceled their cable subscriptions, with another 11 percent saying they are considering doing so.

Subscribers watch about an hour of Netflix a day

Netflix announced that members watched more than 2 billion hours of video on its streaming video service in the fourth quarter. That comes out to about 83 hours of video per account during the quarter, or an average of 54 minutes of Netflix video each day.

VidScale aims to make TV Everywhere better

VidScale wants to make more efficient use of existing infrastructure, by introducing content delivery network and transparent caching technology into their networks. It’s been chosen by Avail-TVN, which is helping network operators to roll out TV Everywhere services and offer more streaming content to users.

Why Hulu is doubling down on its Latino audience

How about this for localization: Hulu announced a number of new deals for Spanish-language content Tuesday morning, but it’s not about to embark on any Latin American expansion like Netflix. Instead, the site is now targeting Latinos in the U.S. with a dedicated site section.

Will 2012 be the year of the virtual MSO? Don’t bet on it

Virtual MSOs might start appearing as soon as next year, according to BTIG analyst Richard Greenfield. But any streaming offering that emerges is unlikely to be priced less than $50, which means even if they do launch, the potential market is likely to be limited.

Frontier aggregates 700,000+ videos on TumTiki

Frontier Communications is trying to find new ways to provide value to subscribers and is rolling out one of the most comprehensive video portals online. With TumTiki, Frontier is bringing together more than 700,000 video assets from a combination of traditional broadcast TV and online sources.

New solutions for the new era of TV interfaces

It will take more than a five-button remote control to efficiently navigate the new universe of video content now available. That means a new user interface for the video viewing experience is inevitable, and many companies are involved. Here are a few to watch.

Quarterly Wrap-up

Connected Consumer Q3: Netflix fumbles; Kindle Fire shines

While Amazon was looking up, the daily online coupon business is going down, imploding under the weight of too much competition and too little value delivered to merchants. Pre-IPO valuations for market leaders Groupon and LivingSocial have collapsed, throwing the fate of those stock offerings into doubt.

What Wall Street is saying about Netflix’s Qwikster retreat

Netflix backtracked on its plans to separate its DVD-by-mail business and re-brand it Qwikster. So far, Wall Street analysts have been largely supportive of the move, although Netflix stock is down modestly in mid-afternoon trading after opening higher this morning. Here’s some of the analysts’ feedback.

Revision3: our favorite Diggnation moments

The hosts of Diggnation are finally getting off the couch at the end of the year — but what moments were their favorite over the course of the show’s seven-year run? We asked David Prager, Alex Albrecht and Jim Louderback that question. And we found videos!

Don’t like an ad on Hulu? Now you can choose another

Hulu has worked hard to improve the amount of choice in advertising available to its viewers, and now it’s taking that innovation one step further. Its new Ad Swap product will give its users even more control in deciding which ads they want to see.

Yahoo teams with ABC News for online news alliance

Yahoo and ABC have struck a partnership that combines ABC News’ content with the reach of Yahoo News for a total potential viewership of 100 million users. The alliance will include the debut of GoodMorningAmerica.com on Yahoo and new online programming, including live interviews.

Twitvid raises $6.5M to boost video on Twitter

Twitvid has raised a Series B of $6.5 million and plans to use the money to hire more people and build out its infrastructure. The company has managed to stick around while others gave up. But can it compete with a likely video play from Twitter?

Online ads are finally making serious cash

With people spending more time than ever online, it makes sense for advertisers to go where the eyeballs are. But the Internet has largely lagged when it comes to garnering big ad dollars. New data shows that online ads are finally moving into the big leagues.

Netflix co-founder: Qwikster is its smartest move yet

Netflix has angered many of its users by raising its prices and splitting up its DVD-by-mail and streaming businesses. But co-founder Marc Randolph thinks the separation and re-branding of the DVD business as Qwikster is “one of the smartest, most disciplined and bravest moves [he’s] ever seen.”

New Ken Burns documentary to debut on iPad and iPhone

Documentary master and father of his own iPhoto slideshow effect Ken Burns’ latest effort will debut first on the iPad and iPhone, starting Sept. 23. PBS will make the first episode of Prohibition available first through its iOS apps, over a week prior to TV broadcast.

Klip is ready to take on Socialcam for mobile video sharing

The latest mobile video sharing app, called Klip, aims to separate itself from the crowd with high-speed adaptive bit-rate technology enabling users to scroll through videos and a new tagging system that lets them set categories to keep track of when new videos are uploaded.

Magisto raises $5.5M to magically edit your videos

Cloud video editing startup Magisto is coming to market with a new service that will take raw video files and make them worth sharing with friends and posting on Facebook. The company is also announcing $5.5 million in financing from Horizons Ventures and Magma Venture Partners.

Netflix’s DVD business: Does Qwikster have a future?

Netflix announced that its DVD-by-mail operations would soon be rebranded “Qwikster,” and that the service would be separated from the streaming service that it’s been pushing for the last several years. But doing so raises questions about the future viability of a standalone DVD-by-mail operation.

How over-the-top video actually helps the cable industry

Cablevision is the latest cable company to see a future in broadband rather than TV. Rutledge said at an investor conference yesterday that streaming services from companies like Netflix and Hulu could help defray the ever-rising content costs that cable companies are forced to pay.

More iPads take to the sky with Qantas in-flight trial

Apple’s presence in the aircraft that crisscross our skies is doing well, thanks to the iPad. It is not only being used by airline staff at United to replace paper manuals and charts but is also being tested by Qantas to replace existing in-flight entertainment options.

Netflix stock tanked this morning. Here’s why

Netflix shares have fallen 15 percent after the company issued new guidance on domestic subscriber numbers. The company originally expected 25 million users by the end of the quarter but lowered that number by 1 million after a price hike that went into effect this month.

What do Star Wars, Led Zeppelin and blogging have in common?

Brainchild of New York–based filmmaker Kirby Ferguson, the Everything is a Remix web series builds on the premise that original ideas and thoughts are extremely hard. And because of those reasons, some of the greatest creations are derivative works or remixes of original thoughts.

The day Apple won the Flash fight

Adobe announced its new Flash Media Server 4.5 late Thursday afternoon, and it’s an iteration that Apple device owners should be very happy about. For the first time, Flash Media Server 4.5 enables same source video delivery to both Apple devices and Adobe Flash-compatible destinations.

Sonic.net to stream new local TV service

Sonic.net could soon be one of the first ISPs to introduce a TV service delivered over its broadband service. With the filing of a video franchise application with California’s Public Utilities Commission, Sonic is on its way to creating its own streaming video service.

Can Netflix beat Latin America’s pirates?

Netflix is coming to Brazil and other Latin American countries this week, where it will be competing with thousands of street vendors peddling unlicensed DVDs. Can the service beat piracy, or will it be too expensive for the average consumer in Brazil and beyond?

Apple cancels iTunes TV rentals

Despite its role as a major selling point of the revamped Apple TV last fall, Apple confirmed Friday that it has done away with TV show rentals for iTunes and Apple TV. The company said the decision was based on lack of interest from customers.

Qik rides mobile video sharing to 10 million users

Mobile video provider Qik hasn’t lost a step since getting bought by Skype and said its user base has doubled to 10 million users since the purchase was announced in January. The company is also releasing Qik Premium for Android users.

A decade later, the Internet Archive chronicles 9/11

As the world prepares to commemorate a decade since the attacks of September 11, 2001, hit New York and Washington, the Internet Archive has released a fascinating — and horrifying — library of footage showing how news channels around the world covered the events.

AirPlay and iPad boost Apple’s video market share

Apple’s share of the online video sales market is on the rise again after a falling considerably due to new competition, a new study reveals. The market share growth is small, but it also brings increased revenue and a roadmap toward more growth in the future.

Encoding.com’s Vid.ly ready to go pro

Encoding.com’s Vid.ly universal URL service is now ready for professional users, with features and pricing designed to provide a turnkey solution for video delivery on any device. Vid.ly Pro is rolling out to users today, in an effort to capture more of the cloud-encoding market.

Fox urges web viewers to harass their cable companies

If you’re a cable provider, what do you do when Fox comes to re-negotiate its retrans deals, asking for more money now that it’s put its shows behind a pay wall? And what do you do when subscribers begin demanding access to Fox content online?

Roku raises another $8 million

Roku has raised another $8 million, according to an SEC filing. The round comes just a few weeks after Roku launched the latest version of its broadband set-top boxes, which in addition to streaming video, also features casual games.

Where to watch Farm Aid 2011 live online

Farm Aid will have an all-star lineup of musicians performing this weekend to raise money for family farms. But those who can’t make it to Kansas City, Kan., this weekend can stream it live on the web and on a number of mobile devices.

Hulu to launch subscription service in Japan

Hulu is turning Japanese with the launch of a subscription service in the country. The company today announced that it will launch the service before the end of the year, but declined to provide further details. Hulu actively looked for partners in Japan earlier this year.

Framesocket: A video platform with developers in mind

Framesocket is the latest in a series of emerging online video platforms with affordable pricing plans. But while most have been focused on capturing small and medium-sized businesses that don’t have a ton of video expertise, Framesocket is hoping to gain interest from third-party developers.

Would you pay to stream local TV to a Roku?

Would consumers pay to stream live, local TV channels to a Roku or other connected set-top box? And if so, how much? That’s a question that’s on the mind of Sonic.net CEO Dane Jasper, who’s doing a little bit of informal market research on the topic.

Zediva is nuked, Hollywood rejoices

A federal court has issued a preliminary injunction against Zediva, essentially ordering a shutdown of its streaming-DVD-rental service. The decision comes less than six months after the launch of the service, which aimed to avoid licensing fees by renting and streaming DVDs over the Internet.

BSkyB shows how streaming could be the future of pay TV

Long before TV Everywhere became a reality in the United States, U.K. satellite TV provider BSkyB was allowing viewers to stream live TV to their PCs and Xbox 360 game consoles. Could it provide a model for streaming video services here in the U.S.?

Netflix looks to kids to make its UI more fun

Netlix recently posted a job opening for a UI designer specialized on kids websites and online games. Does the video giant plan to launch a separate website dedicated to its large library of kids content, or will the entire Netflix UI become a bit more kid-friendly?

What Wall Street is saying about Netflix

Netflix faced Wall Street analysts Monday to explain why its new subscription plans were a good idea. While many on Wall Street were surprised by the effect it will have on customer additions in the short-term, most agreed that the change won’t affect the long-term story.

Netflix: Price change not about killing DVDs

There’s been a lot of speculation that Netflix was seeking to kill the DVD-by-mail offering with its recent price hike. But to the contrary, Reed Hastings says that the decision was made in an effort to prolong the DVD business, which wasn’t getting enough attention.

Is Apple interested in buying Hulu?

Apple’s got a lot of money to throw around, to the tune of $76.2 billion. Is it interested in spending a chunk of that on Hulu? According to Bloomberg, Apple could make a bid for the online video service.

Cord Cutters: Take over-the-air TV everywhere

Over-the-air television is great — unless you run into reception issues that prevent you from enjoying those free HD channels. In this episode of Cord Cutters, we are taking a look at a device that allows you to take over the air everywhere.

Can Dyle succeed where FLO TV failed?

The Mobile Content Venture has unveiled the brand name and logo for its upcoming mobile broadcast venture, now dubbed Dyle.tv. But will this service succeed where FLO TV failed? To do so, it’ll need to be on many devices, and have content people want to watch.

Hollywood overlooks the web, except when it can be put on TV

While this year’s Emmy nominees once again neglected to recognize any web originals, that hasn’t stopped Hollywood from enlisting Internet-originating content for adaptation. But is Rhett and Link hopping to IFC and Lisa Kudrow moving Web Therapy to Showtime good or bad for web series?

Netflix subscribers threaten to quit, but will they really?

Netflix subscribers are threatening to cancel en masse after the company changed its subscription plans to separate DVD-by-mail from streaming, which raises rates by up to 60 percent. But putting aside unscientific Internet polls, how many users can we really expect to quit the service?

People really hate the Netflix price hike

The Netflix blog has seen thousands of comments ever since the company announced its new pricing structure earlier today, with many customers threatening to cancel altogether. People are also turning to Facebook and Twitter in what looks like a major backlash against the company.

Why Netflix changed its pricing plans

Netflix updated its pricing, removing the ability to combine DVD-by-mail and streaming plans and raising the price of a combined plan by 60 percent. But why’d it do so? Because it wants to move subscribers to streaming-only plan, and give more transparency to its financials.

Now you must choose: Netflix splits DVD and streaming plans

Netflix announced changes to its service plans today, as part of a move that effectively unbundles its unlimited streaming plan from its DVD-by-mail business. The price of a DVD-by-mail plus unlimited streaming plan will now be $15.98, up from the $9.99 it charged previously.

Guess what? Netflix won’t buy Hulu

Hulu has made its first pitch to a number of prospective buyers, but Netflix didn’t come to the party: The popular subscription service apparently has no interest in buying its catch-up TV competitor. However, there are plenty of other well-known suitors still in the game.

Netflix launches a new $7.99 DVD-by-mail plan

While streaming is all the rage these days, Netflix hasn’t given up on DVDs entirely: The company has quietly launched a new page where users can sign up for an unlimited DVD-by-mail package that matches the $7.99 price of its unlimited streaming offering.

Arcade Fire & Spike Jonze short film gets geo-blocked

The Spike Jonze short film scenes from the suburbs, featuring music by Arcade Fire, was scheduled for a worldwide online premiere Monday. However, arthouse movie site MUBI got a last-minute request to block viewers from the U.S., Canada, Germany and Australia from accessing the video.

A field guide to YouTube talent companies

As YouTube’s self-made stars have grown in popularity, a number of companies have been founded to maximize their online influence across multiple platforms. Here’s an overview of those working behind-the-scenes on big deals for Ryan Higa, Annoying Orange, ShayCarl and Mystery Guitar Man.

Hulu served up a quarter of all online video ads last month

Hulu topped all other ad networks for online video ads served, with 1.3 billion ad impressions during the month of May, according to comScore. That’s more than a quarter of the 4.6 billion ads that were served up by online video properties during the month.

HTML 5 video outperforms Flash on mobile devices

New benchmark tests confirm what we have long suspected: Flash video on mobile devices just doesn’t look as good as HTML5 video, especially when it comes to HD clips. Support for hardware acceleration could alleviate most of these issues, but not for every user.

Movieclips raises another $6 million

Movieclips.com confirmed that it has raised an additional $6 million in venture funding. While its founders declined to discuss what the funding is for or who was part of the most recent investment, they said a big announcement was in the works.

Anonymous retaliates against Kino.to takedown

It didn’t take long for hacktivists to respond to the takedown of the popular video streaming portal Kino.to: Activists affiliated with Anonymous responded on Thursday with a denial-of-service attack against the web site of a rights holders group. Insiders meanwhile believe that Kino.to will return soon.

Apple eases up on in-app subscriptions and purchases

Back in February, Apple announced its in-app subscription API, and it provided an ultimatum that would force developers that sell content for use within their apps to also do so via in-app purchase, or face expulsion. Kindle seemed on the chopping block, but now Apple has relented.

Cord Cutters: Watch Hulu on your PS3 with ORB BR

Hulu charges its users $8 per month to watch videos on the PS3. Bay Area–based ORB Networks is starting to ship a Blu-ray disc this week that makes it possible to watch Hulu content on the PS3 for free. Check out our video review.

Future of TV According to Netflix’s Reed Hastings

EXCLUSIVE: Reed Hastings, chief executive officer and founder of online video company Netflix, has a pretty clear idea of what the future of video looks like. It needs high-speed fiber broadband, it involves sensors and it is all about click-and-watch on-demand Internet video.

7 Secrets to Netflix’s Success

Netflix CEO Reed Hastings spoke at a conference today about his company ,what its strengths are and the limits he sees for Netflix. As he talked, a picture emerged of how Netflix has achieved its success and how it hopes to keep it going.

EyeTV Gets AirPlay Support for DIY TV Everywhere

If, like me, you eagerly comb the App Store for new apps that support AirPlay, an update to Elgato EyeTV should have you excited. It brings AirPlay to the streaming video app, which lets you watch live or recorded TV from your cable or satellite box.

5 Killer Apps for iPad 2 HD Mirroring

The ability to output in HD everything that’s on my iPad 2’s screen using the new mirroring function combined with the Digital AV Adapter has changed the device from just a remarkably portable computer to a full-fledged entertainment and business center, thanks especially to these apps.

iOS 101: How to Use AirPlay on iOS Devices

iOS 4.3 brings expanded AirPlay support to iOS devices, so long as you have hardware new enough to support the update. Since third-party apps can now get in on the AirPlay action, it’s a good time to look at exactly how to use it.

What Are Apple’s Options in the Video War With Netflix?

According to NPD, Netflix now dominates digital video downloads in the U.S. Apple has only a measly 4 percent of the overall market, placing it about on par with cable and satellite providers. What does this mean for the future of Apple’s video business?

Hollywood Needs to Jump On the Streaming Bandwagon

Now there’s even more evidence that Hollywood studios need to embrace alternative business models before they cannibalize their existing business: In-Stat forecasts DVD sales are expected to decline by $4.6 billion over the next five years. Meanwhile, streaming revenues are expected to triple in that time.

Sony to Unveil Streaming Video Service

Sony will reportedly announce its own streaming and video subscription service available across a wide range of devices. The service will initially draw on users logged into its PlayStation Network on PS3 and PSP gaming systems, but will expand to TVs, Blu-ray players and other devices.

Apple Pushes Forward With Streaming Video Plans

There’s new evidence that Apple will soon begin streaming video to its devices, as it’s reportedly putting more resources behind a cloud-based video service. By transitioning Lala’s employees to work on streaming video, Apple may be readying a new service for delivering movies and TV shows.

Netflix To Launch Canadian Streaming Service

Netflix announced this morning plans for expansion into its first international market, with the upcoming launch of a streaming-only subscription service in Canada that will allow susbcribers to watch a wide variety of movies and TV shows through PCs and a number of connected devices.

Open Thread: Streaming vs. Downloads

Instead of downloading massive video files to an iPhone, iPad or next-generation Apple TV, Apple will soon allow iTunes users to be able to stream those video files instead. But is streaming always the best option for video delivery to connected devices?

New Apple TV Will Push 99 Cent Streaming TV Rentals

Apple is about to get a lot more serious about its “hobby” with the next release of its Apple TV set-top box, as sources say it will look to push a new streaming rental service that will offer up individual TV episodes for 99 cents.

Report

The Evolution of Over-the-Top Video

Cable and satellite operators are no longer the only game in town. True, PayTV operators still enjoy a privileged position in most homes, a consumer lock fortified by a network of proprietary set-top boxes, longstanding service relationships and “bundled” cost hooks. But this dominance is already being contested by a new wave of video creators, aggregators and distributors using the Internet to bypass incumbent PayTV control points and deliver video programming “over the top” of incumbents’ set-top boxes and enable the delivery of web video directly to consumers.

This report examines the evolving world of over-the-top (OTT) video in both open and closed delivery networks. It covers trends in OTT, current plans of the PayTV providers, the rise of virtual operators, current consumer attitudes surrounding OTT and several of the platforms that will enable delivery.