Facebook Readies TV App for Streaming Video Through STBs

Facebook will soon launch a TV app that will let users stream videos in their News Feed through set-top boxes including Apple TV and Amazon’s Fire TV, and smart TVs from Samsung. The move to a television app is evidence of Facebook’s new directive from chief executive Mark Zuckerberg to become a “video first” company, and positions the social network to compete for TV advertising dollars. Users can employ the TV app to watch Facebook videos on their living room TV sets, and Facebook is in discussions to provide access to other video content. Continue reading Facebook Readies TV App for Streaming Video Through STBs

2016 Presidential Race Breaks Internet, Social Media Records

The 2016 U.S. presidential election broke the record as the biggest single live Internet event ever carried by Akamai Technologies and the biggest Internet audience for any news event ever. The company reports that live video streaming related to the election reached 7.5 terabits per second just before midnight Eastern Time on November 8. President Obama’s 2009 inauguration topped out at 1.1 Tbps, as a comparison. European soccer finals this summer, at 7.3 Tbps, held the previous record for live streaming. Continue reading 2016 Presidential Race Breaks Internet, Social Media Records

MTV to Simulcast Series Premiere on Facebook and YouTube

Viacom’s MTV is testing a new promotional approach by livestreaming its new true-crime docu-series, “Unlocking The Truth” on Facebook Live and YouTube at the same time the show debuts on cable TV this evening at 11:00 pm. Additionally, replays of the premiere will be made available on both platforms after the premiere airs. “But sorry, cord-cutters: Only the premiere of the eight-episode series will be available free without a pay-TV subscription,” notes Variety. The digital simulcast is “a different spin on the free sampling strategy TV networks have long used to gin up interest in a program.” Continue reading MTV to Simulcast Series Premiere on Facebook and YouTube

Social Apps Creating More Young Stars Than Traditional Media

At VidCon, live-streaming mobile app YouNow showcased Internet stars such as singer Hailey Knox, who promoted her debut EP in person and to her 80,000 followers. Knox parlayed her online fame to a record deal and a tour, underscoring the reality that today’s young stars and wannabes are more likely to appear on YouNow, Musical.ly, Flipagram, Snapchat or Vine than “American Bandstand” or MTV. Although all these social media platforms skew young, “olds” are beginning to join Snapchat, endangering its “cool” status. Continue reading Social Apps Creating More Young Stars Than Traditional Media

PlayStation Vue on Roku Devices Offers Alternative to Cable

Sony’s PlayStation Vue streaming TV service is now available on Roku’s set-top boxes, media sticks and television sets. The Vue service enables users to stream dozens of cable channels such as CNN, Comedy Central, ESPN, Fox News and MTV over the Internet. Vue can be accessed as a Roku app in addition to apps for iPhones, iPads and Amazon’s Fire TV. Next week Vue will be offered for Android users. “Now that Vue is available nationwide and on many streaming-video devices, it’s truly a viable alternative to a traditional cable-TV service,” suggests The Wall Street Journal. Continue reading PlayStation Vue on Roku Devices Offers Alternative to Cable

Viacom Debuts BET Streaming Service for International Market

Viacom rolled out a standalone online service this week dubbed BET Play, targeting an adult audience (last year, Viacom launched Nickelodeon-related app Noggin for kids). The video-on-demand application will feature BET’s award programs, such as this week’s 2016 BET Awards, in addition to TV series, musical performances, documentaries, comedy specials and news. BET Play will launch for iOS, Android and Apple AirPlay-enabled TVs without the need for a broader pay TV subscription. It will be available in 100 countries outside the U.S. for the equivalent of $3.99 per month. Continue reading Viacom Debuts BET Streaming Service for International Market

Tumblr Users Can Stream Live Video to Followers’ Dashboards

Blogging platform Tumblr now enables users to live stream video directly to their followers’ dashboards. Live videos “can be reblogged like any other post,” while push notifications can be distributed when someone goes live or reblogs a live stream. Unlike Facebook Live, Tumblr is positioning itself as the publishing and discovery platform for existing services, including YouTube, YouNow, Kanvas and Upclose. All partner apps are ready to support live streaming to Tumblr on iOS and Android, with the exception of YouTube, which is Android-ready now and will add iOS support shortly. Continue reading Tumblr Users Can Stream Live Video to Followers’ Dashboards

Live Nation and Hulu Pursue Original Programs, VR Content

Live Nation Entertainment, the world’s largest concert promoter, entertains 70 million people who attend its live musical events annually, selling many of the tickets via Ticketmaster, which it owns. Now, the company is leveraging its access to headlining musicians to create videos and virtual reality content featuring them. It hired MTV vet Heather Parry to build the TV/film production studio and announced co-production plans with Hulu, Vice Media, and VR company NextVR. The end goal is to generate more advertising revenue. Continue reading Live Nation and Hulu Pursue Original Programs, VR Content

Viacom Inks Multi-Year Deal for comScore/Rentrak Digital Data

Ever since comScore acquired Rentrak, the merged companies have posed competition to ratings giant Nielsen. Now, the merged digital measurement firm has signed a multi-year deal with Viacom to help the media giant more accurately target specific demographics across its linear TV, digital, mobile and over-the-top channels including MTV, VH1 and Comedy Central. Viacom offers Vantage as a data-targeting service to advertisers who want to reach “new parents looking for diapers” and other more granular targets. Continue reading Viacom Inks Multi-Year Deal for comScore/Rentrak Digital Data

Media Companies Turn to A La Carte Sales in Foreign Markets

Viacom, 21st Century Fox and The Walt Disney Company are among the numerous entertainment companies offering their content a la carte — in Europe, Latin America and Asia. In the U.S., these networks are still parts of more expensive bundles proffered by Comcast, DirecTV and other pay TV services. That reflects a much lower penetration of homes outside the U.S. that have a cable or satellite subscription, which makes it possible for media companies to make a la carte offers without running afoul of pay TV providers. Continue reading Media Companies Turn to A La Carte Sales in Foreign Markets

Amazon Pursues Indie Film, Streaming TV and Virtual Reality

By foreseeing how the Internet would dramatically change the retail business, Amazon became the digital behemoth it is today. Now the company has turned its sights to the entertainment industry, volatile due to technology changes, and is taking a deep dive into prestige films, online shows and virtual reality. Amazon recently became a major player in independent feature distribution by spending top price for films at Sundance and elsewhere. Now it’s debuted a streaming TV show and is forming a team to build a VR platform. Continue reading Amazon Pursues Indie Film, Streaming TV and Virtual Reality

Networks Test Sponsored Content and Fewer 30-Second Ads

On Monday, NBC tested out a new concept: airing more content and fewer ads. Sponsored by American Express, the additional content included “Blindspot” interviews with the show’s creator and stars, and a segment with Kathie Lee Gifford and Hoda Kotb of the “Today” show. NBC isn’t alone; Vice Media has embraced a similar advertising strategy for its new Viceland cable channel. TV networks hurting from ratings declines and cord cutting are taking a serious look at swapping out 30-second spots for sponsored content. Continue reading Networks Test Sponsored Content and Fewer 30-Second Ads

Snapchat Inks Deal with Nielsen, Tech Firms to Create Ad Data

Snapchat, with its reported 100 million daily users, is a favorite of advertisers that like the company’s growth and popularity among younger demographics. But those same advertisers have been also been lobbying Snapchat for data on the performance of their advertising campaigns. Now, Snapchat has gone the way of Facebook and YouTube in enlisting measurement stalwart Nielsen to provide that data. Snapchat has also made deals with ad tech companies Innovid and Sizmek to provide even more detailed data. Continue reading Snapchat Inks Deal with Nielsen, Tech Firms to Create Ad Data

Viacom Signs Multiyear Deal with Snapchat to Sell Advertising

Viacom just inked a multi-year deal with Snapchat to sell advertising for the vanishing-message app. Viacom will get a bigger investment in digital media and the millennial-focused Snapchat — which already carries content from Viacom’s MTV and Comedy Central — will get the chance to draw in bigger advertisers. In addition, Viacom will add the U.S. version of MTV and an international version of Comedy Central on Snapchat’s “Discover” page, where CNN, Vox, Mashable and The Wall Street Journal also have channels. Continue reading Viacom Signs Multiyear Deal with Snapchat to Sell Advertising

YouTube Pursues TV/Movie Streaming Rights to Rival Netflix

YouTube, which recently launched YouTube Red, a $9.99/month subscription service, now aims to obtain streaming rights to TV series and movies. According to unnamed sources, YouTube executives are leveraging the relationships of parent company Alphabet’s Google Play to set up meetings with Hollywood studios and production companies. The company has already committed to creating original content, starring its own celebrities such as PewDiePie. By obtaining streaming rights, YouTube will turn up the heat on rivals Netflix, Amazon and Hulu. Continue reading YouTube Pursues TV/Movie Streaming Rights to Rival Netflix

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