Hulu Doubles the Amount of TV Content it Licenses from Viacom

While streaming services continue to invest in original series to attract new subscribers, the SVOD battle over TV rights has also been heating up. Amazon, Hulu and Netflix are competing for the exclusive rights to stream popular shows that first air on television. A number of new deals have been announced in recent weeks, including Amazon picking up USA Network’s “Mr. Robot,” Hulu getting Fox’s “The Last Man on Earth,” and Netflix signing ABC’s “How to Get Away with Murder” and CW’s “Jane the Virgin.” Most recently, Viacom extended its licensing agreement with Hulu. Continue reading Hulu Doubles the Amount of TV Content it Licenses from Viacom

Fullscreen Planning SVOD Service to Target Youth Audiences

YouTube multichannel network Fullscreen plans to roll out a subscription video service that will feature original and licensed programming including series, documentaries and feature length movies. While pricing and other specifics have yet to be released, the SVOD service is expected to launch in the next few months. “We think there’s an underserved audience out there,” said Fullscreen CEO George Strompolos at Variety’s Entertainment & Technology Summit. “We want to create a premium video environment where the best work can be made by Fullscreen and other studios.” Continue reading Fullscreen Planning SVOD Service to Target Youth Audiences

National Geographic and Fox Partner on a New Media Venture

The National Geographic Society and 21st Century Fox have formed a for-profit venture, National Geographic Partners, which includes the National Geographic Channels cable TV group and magazine, other print publications, studios, digital media, maps, children’s media, travel, licensing and e-commerce. Fox’s $725 million purchase price bumps up the National Geographic Society’s endowment to $1 billion, enabling the non-profit organization to double its investment in science, research and education. Continue reading National Geographic and Fox Partner on a New Media Venture

IFA 2015: Samsung is First to Announce 4K UHD Blu-ray Player

As 4K UHD TVs slowly come to market, and streaming services continue to introduce support for 4K and high dynamic range programming, Ultra HD Blu-ray is the next logical step. During its press conference at the IFA trade show in Berlin yesterday, Samsung became the first company to officially announce a 4K UHD Blu-ray player. Samsung’s UBD-K8500 supports HDR, offers 64 times the colors of standard Blu-ray, and plays UHD content at up to 60 frames per second. 20th Century Fox is providing content for the player, and plans to issue all its new releases in 4K Ultra HD with HDR. Continue reading IFA 2015: Samsung is First to Announce 4K UHD Blu-ray Player

Hulu Introduces Ad-Free Option to Streaming for Additional $4

For an additional $4 ($11.99 per month), Hulu is offering an ad-free option to streaming movies and TV shows. Those who prefer to pay $7.99 will still have to sit through ads. The move could help Hulu better compete with popular streaming services such as Netflix and Amazon that do not include advertising. It could also present the company with an opportunity to increase its revenue in order to invest in more content. This could prove vital since premium cable networks such as HBO and Showtime are making their programming available outside traditional cable bundles. Continue reading Hulu Introduces Ad-Free Option to Streaming for Additional $4

Hulu Pursues Programmatic Advertising, Powered by LiveRail

Hulu will try its hand at programmatic advertising with a private ad exchange that should make buying ads more similar to the experience on Facebook or Twitter. The new automatic ad buying service will rely on Facebook video ad exchange LiveRail, but won’t leave the company’s traditional salespeople out of the equation. To make ads more valuable, Hulu will combine its own data with that of the advertiser to more narrowly target relevant viewers. Show-specific sponsorships won’t initially be offered. Continue reading Hulu Pursues Programmatic Advertising, Powered by LiveRail

Apple Delays Live TV, Lacking Licensed Content and Network

At Apple’s upcoming September 9 event, the Silicon Valley company will announce a more powerful version of its Apple TV set-top box. But what it won’t be introducing is a live TV service streamed over the Internet. Although Apple insiders are mum, those close to the project say that Apple hasn’t licensed enough content from TV networks and that talks to do so are moving slowly. Another obstacle is a sufficiently robust computer network to guarantee the content will stream properly. The company is reportedly now targeting a 2016 launch date. Continue reading Apple Delays Live TV, Lacking Licensed Content and Network

Hollywood to Target Older Audience with Large Format Films

Large-screen format theaters have typically played action-adventure blockbusters aimed at the younger crowd. This fall, however, Hollywood plans to release more adult-oriented stories on the bigger screens, and often in 3D. Proof of that trend can be found in the films chosen to open recent festivals, including the 3D “Everest” at the Venice Film Festival and Robert Zemeckis’ 3D “The Walk” at the New York Film Festival. Exhibitors and their partners are also wooing adults to watch 3D films, which peaked in 2013 with “Gravity.” Continue reading Hollywood to Target Older Audience with Large Format Films

Fox Offers Titles for WD’s Consumer 4K Ultra HD Movie Drive

A new 4K Ultra HD movie drive aimed at consumers is now on offer from WD, Western Digital’s storage company. Twentieth Century Fox Home Entertainment is partnering with WD by offering several movies and TV shows on the drive, dubbed My Passport Cinema. The drive plays back 4K/UHD, HD and HDR on Samsung SUHD TVs and a select range of other Vidity-enabled devices. Vidity is a 4K movie service backed by Warner, Universal, LG, SanDisk, Dolby, M-GO, Comcast and others in addition to Fox, WD and Samsung. Continue reading Fox Offers Titles for WD’s Consumer 4K Ultra HD Movie Drive

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

YouTube Readies Paid Service, Mobile Viewership on the Rise

During its recent earnings call, Google claimed that YouTube is now bigger than any single cable network among the 18-49 demographic. YouTube’s heavily engaged user base and significant mobile growth were highlights of the discussion. The video-sharing network will put its own online stars to the test early next year when its new paid video service is expected to launch. Media partners representing more than 90 percent of current YouTube viewing have signed on to the new service, although Google has yet to secure deals with major TV networks. Continue reading YouTube Readies Paid Service, Mobile Viewership on the Rise

Judge: FilmOn Entitled to Compulsory License of Programming

Less than a year after the Supreme Court shut down Aereo for delivering OTA TV signals to Internet subscribers, a U.S. District Court in California granted FilmOn, an Internet video streaming site, a compulsory license to retransmit TV station programming online. The difference between the two cases, says the judge, was that the Supreme Court did not address whether Aereo was entitled to a compulsory license, but rather found that it violated copyright laws. Fox Broadcasting has said it will appeal the ruling favoring FilmOn. Continue reading Judge: FilmOn Entitled to Compulsory License of Programming

Hulu Considering Ad-Free Option for Its Subscription Service

Hulu is considering adding an ad-free option to its service, to better compete with Netflix and Amazon Prime Instant Video, both of which do not stream ads to paid subscribers. While adding the option would show that Hulu recognizes consumer preference for ad-free streaming and would likely bring in new customers, it could also risk damaging the company’s current ad-supported business. TV channel owners are worried that consumers are becoming too used to ad-free TV, which is why Hulu’s original model appeals to them. Continue reading Hulu Considering Ad-Free Option for Its Subscription Service

ATSC 3.0 Field Tests Move Next-Gen TV Broadcasts Forward

Cleveland’s Fox affiliate WJW-TV is engaged in new field tests for ATSC 3.0, under an experimental broadcast license from the FCC. The station, owned by Tribune Broadcasting, is providing a TV transmitter, tower and 6-MHz channel for tests that began in May and are conducted by LG Electronics, its Zenith R&D Lab and GatesAir. Dubbed Futurecast, the core technologies are being tested for the baseline Physical Layer transmission system, which will achieve ATSC Candidate Standard status this summer. Continue reading ATSC 3.0 Field Tests Move Next-Gen TV Broadcasts Forward

New Meerkat Feature Makes Real-Time Video More Interactive

Meerkat has launched a new real-time video feature called Cameo that allows users to invite friends on the mobile app to take over their live streams. The new feature could lead to an interesting opportunity for brands to work with celebrities and social influencers. For example, a company such as Red Bull could promote upcoming livestreams with their sponsored extreme-sports athletes. Fox, Hulu, MasterCard, Southwest Airlines and The Weather Channel are among those already signed up to use Cameo. Continue reading New Meerkat Feature Makes Real-Time Video More Interactive

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