The Future of Television is Mobile Says Viacom CEO at CES

“Mobile distribution really is the catalyst that will turn this whole decline of television argument on its head,” said Viacom CEO Bob Bakish in his opening keynote conversation at the Variety Entertainment Summit at CES. The daylong media and advertising-oriented gathering drew capacity audiences to sessions focused on disruption and opportunities in a dynamic and vastly different media landscape. Bakish knows that 5G will open new distribution channels and autonomous cars will remove “the last vestige of video-free environment.” Continue reading The Future of Television is Mobile Says Viacom CEO at CES

AT&T Buys Chernin Group’s Controlling Stake in Otter Media

In 2013, Chernin Group chair/chief executive Peter Chernin and company president Jesse Jacobs, believing streaming media was the future, bought Crunchyroll, which specialized in anime, for $75 million. They then added other new media startups including Fullscreen, an ad agency for YouTube stars, Rooster Teeth, a video producer aimed at gamers and VRV’s 11 niche channels, creating Otter Media. On Tuesday, in a move that was long expected by analysts, the Chernin Group sold controlling interest in Otter Media to joint-venture partner AT&T in a deal valued at more than $1 billion. Continue reading AT&T Buys Chernin Group’s Controlling Stake in Otter Media

Katzenberg Envisions Next Wave of Entertainment for Mobile

Jeffrey Katzenberg, who left DreamWorks Animation last summer, is launching WndrCo, a new media and tech venture that has already raised nearly $600 million. During a Q&A in New York with Hearst Magazines president David Carey, Katzenberg said he is interested in the next wave of television, which he sees as a mobile experience. He cited the roughly $200,000 per minute that Netflix spends on content and the less than $100 a minute needed to produce most YouTube content, suggesting there’s an opportunity that falls between the two approaches. “He said a few companies have been successful at producing mobile-oriented original video for a few thousand dollars per minute — citing Vice Media, BuzzFeed and AwesomenessTV,” reports Variety. Continue reading Katzenberg Envisions Next Wave of Entertainment for Mobile

Media Publishers Testing Video Content on Instagram Stories

Many media publishers creating content for Snapchat Discover are now gravitating to the new Instagram Stories. CNN, Food Network, People, Comedy Central, Cosmopolitan and Tastemade are now regularly producing Instagram Stories and respectable numbers of viewers are watching. AwesomenessTV, a tween/teen site, is even running ads on the new platform. Stories on Snapchat and Instagram, which disappear after 24 hours, are a package of phone images and/or videos that are annotated and embellished with graphics and emoticons. Continue reading Media Publishers Testing Video Content on Instagram Stories

Music Industry, YouTube in Stalemate Over Copyright Tracking

The music industry and YouTube disagree over the efficacy of YouTube’s Content ID system, which tracks content for which royalties are due. According to YouTube, Content ID is 99.7 percent accurate and responsible for $3 billion in payments to the music industry. However, music rights holders put Content ID’s accuracy at about 50 percent, adding that they must engage in time-consuming daily manual searches to find offenders. Also at issue are rates, with YouTube’s payments considerably less than those from other streaming services. Continue reading Music Industry, YouTube in Stalemate Over Copyright Tracking

Emmy Awards to Debut New Short-Form Categories This Year

The Television Academy has added Emmy Award categories for short-form variety, nonfiction/reality and animation series as well as new actor and actress awards. The move reflects recognition of the growing popularity of original content produced primarily for online video services. Contenders on the 2016 ballot include digital series such as Maker Studios’ “Epic Rap Battles of History;” “Scare PewDiePie,” available on YouTube Red; AwesomenessTV’s “Guidance;” and New Form Digital’s “Oscar’s Hotel for Fantastical Creatures,” produced with Jim Henson’s Creature Workshop and available on Vimeo. Continue reading Emmy Awards to Debut New Short-Form Categories This Year

Digital NewFronts 2016: Magna Inks Ad Deal with YouTube

The 2016 Digital Content NewFronts runs May 2-13 in New York, featuring 38 companies, and piggybacking with CAA and UTA events. New presenters include AwesomenessTV, CNN, Activision Blizzard, Hearst, NowThisNews, Woven Digital and SheKnows Media. Just prior to the NewFronts, Interpublic’s ad buying arm Magna inked a $250M upfront advertising deal with YouTube. A MyersBizNet survey says media buyers now rank YouTube as the most important outlet, with Hulu, Vice Media and AOL also in the top 10. Continue reading Digital NewFronts 2016: Magna Inks Ad Deal with YouTube

‘AOL BUILD’ Expands with Live VR Studio in Downtown NYC

This fall, AOL plans to open up a new 13,412-square-foot studio on Broadway in downtown Manhattan, which will serve as the locale for “AOL BUILD,” its live interview and event series. The street-facing main stage, with seating for a live audience, will be equipped with 360-degree cameras to create live VR experiences. “BUILD” has an active live production unit, creating at least four hours of content per day with around 75 live events per month, for a total of 800 episodes since its inception. Continue reading ‘AOL BUILD’ Expands with Live VR Studio in Downtown NYC

Verizon Invests in AwesomenessTV to Grow its Mobile Video

Verizon Communications announced yesterday that it has purchased a minority stake in AwesomenessTV, the digital entertainment network geared toward teens and young adults. Verizon is buying 24.5 percent of the video company, now valued at $650 million. DreamWorks Animation owns 51 percent of the unit (it acquired Awesomeness in 2013), and Hearst owns another 24.5 percent. According to the telco, plans include creating a “a first-of-its-kind premium short-form mobile video service featuring leading talent in front of and behind the camera.” Continue reading Verizon Invests in AwesomenessTV to Grow its Mobile Video

Verizon-Hearst Venture Creates Mobile Content for Millennials

Verizon Communications and Hearst have formed Verizon Hearst Media Partners, a 50-50 joint venture to create content for millennials to watch on mobile devices. Two channels are coming soon: RatedRed.com, for “millennials from the heartland,” featuring programs on music, food, outdoors, politics, military and faith, and Seriously.TV, a comedic take on current events. The channels will also be available on Verizon’s go90 streaming service, launched in the fall, as well as computers and TV. Other channels are in the works. Continue reading Verizon-Hearst Venture Creates Mobile Content for Millennials

AT&T and Fullscreen Tap Social Influencers for New Initiative

AT&T wants to become the leading mobile provider for today’s “connected generation.” The carrier announced it is partnering with Fullscreen to launch AT&T Hello Lab, a yearlong initiative to give 10 online influencers support to create new entertainment content — including podcasts, video series, meet-ups and albums — with a focus on mobile and social media. AT&T has already signed YouTube star Grace Helbig, travel duo Damon and Jo, Instagram comedian Brandon Armstrong, Snapchat star Shaun McBride, magician Collins Key and musicians Us The Duo. Continue reading AT&T and Fullscreen Tap Social Influencers for New Initiative

Comcast to Debut Latest Streaming Video Platform, Watchable

The video platform skirmishes just heated up with news that Comcast is about to launch its own, dubbed Watchable. The streaming video platform will feature content from a list of major publishers, including NBC Sports, AwesomenessTV, Refinery29 and The Onion as well as two companies it has already invested in, Vox and Buzzfeed. Deals are non-exclusive, allowing publishers to also post on Facebook, one of Comcast’s chief rivals in online video. Comcast is also up against YouTube and Verizon’s as-of-yet unnamed video platform. Continue reading Comcast to Debut Latest Streaming Video Platform, Watchable

Verizon to Launch its Mobile Video Service by End of Summer

New details about Verizon’s mobile video service were revealed after the company accidentally turned on a pre-launch staging website — briefly, but long enough for details to be revealed. Named Go90, the mobile service will offer select live music, exclusive events and sports as well as some full TV episodes, music videos and other short-form content. The landing page revealed new content partners and reaffirmed that, at least initially, the service will be delivered free of charge. The landing page has since been taken down. Continue reading Verizon to Launch its Mobile Video Service by End of Summer

Verizon and Vice Partner to Provide New Mobile Video Service

Verizon Communications and Vice Media have formed a multiyear partnership to create a mobile-first video service, which will include: exclusive Vice shows that will only air on Verizon; Vice content on food, travel and technology; and a Vice original series called “Autobiographies,” which will spotlight and interview celebrities. Verizon’s new service reportedly will also include live National Football League games and other sporting events, as well as 200 hours of original and scripted series from AwesomenessTV. Continue reading Verizon and Vice Partner to Provide New Mobile Video Service

YouTube Stars Learn How It’s Done in Hollywood Productions

A growing number of YouTube stars — who are often more popular among teens than mainstream celebs such as Seth Rogen and Jennifer Lawrence — are making their way to Hollywood. By the end of 2015, at least a dozen movies featuring Internet celebrities will be released online and in a handful of theaters. Whether or not this transition works will have its first test in mid-July when “Smosh: The Movie,” “Bad Night” and “The Chosen” — three movies featuring popular YouTube personalities — are released. Continue reading YouTube Stars Learn How It’s Done in Hollywood Productions

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