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

NBCUniversal Buys Into Publisher Vox Media With $200 Million

NBCUniversal just made a $200 million investment in digital publishing house Vox Media, as part of a strategy to collaborate on programming, advertising and technology. According to comScore, Vox, a hub for eight digital media brands, had 54 million unique U.S. visitors in June, about 41 percent of who are 18 to 34 years old. NBCUniversal also plans to invest another $200 million in BuzzFeed, valued at $1.5 billion. The two deals are more evidence of a trend of established media companies partnering with digital startups. Continue reading NBCUniversal Buys Into Publisher Vox Media With $200 Million

Comcast Commits to Theme Parks with Billions in Investment

Comcast has turned to its theme park portfolio, which it acquired four years ago with its purchase of NBCUniversal, as a serious source of revenue. The company just committed to invest $1.6 billion to expand the Universal Studios Hollywood theme park in California — featuring a snow-capped Hogwarts Castle — and build a $3.25 billion theme park in Beijing, in partnership with Chinese companies, slated to open in 2019. Comcast invested $100 million for a new “Transformers” ride at Universal Orlando in 2013. Continue reading Comcast Commits to Theme Parks with Billions in Investment

CBS to Live-Stream Super Bowl Ads, Link Online/TV Ratings

In a first, CBS will live-stream all the Super Bowl ads for its February 7, 2016 broadcast of Super Bowl 50. Super Bowl sponsors will also see online hits and TV ratings coupled, which, up until now, have been separated between Nielsen ratings for TV and other means for online. CBS is also seeking a hike in the cost of placing an ad in the Super Bowl, from at least $4.5 million to $4.7 million for a 30-second spot. This represents another record price since last year when NBC asked between $4.4 million and $4.5 million. Continue reading CBS to Live-Stream Super Bowl Ads, Link Online/TV Ratings

Broadcast and Cable TV Join Forces to Form New Trade Group

In the face of declining ratings and a shift in ad dollars to digital platforms, television networks are expanding their data and analytics capabilities. On Monday, leading broadcast and cable TV companies announced the formation of the Video Advertising Bureau (VAB), a new trade organization that plans to promote research and data that highlights the impact of TV commercials to Madison Avenue. The VAB intends to provide marketers with insights and measurement tools that help gauge whether video ads drive consumer purchases. Continue reading Broadcast and Cable TV Join Forces to Form New Trade Group

Spotify Pursuing Major Media Companies to Partner on Videos

According to insiders, Spotify is reportedly in discussions with numerous media companies, TV networks, online video producers and magazine publishers to introduce short video clips to its streaming service as early as this month. The additional content would be available on Spotify’s mobile platform as part of an effort to keep users more engaged, challenge YouTube’s video dominance, and help the service sell more advertising. Discussions with potential partners are believed to be at an early stage and Spotify has yet to announce any deals. Continue reading Spotify Pursuing Major Media Companies to Partner on Videos

AOL and NBCUniversal Plan to Share Content Across Platforms

AOL and NBCUniversal have reached a licensing and distribution agreement that will allow the two companies to share and develop content. Shows from NBC, CNBC and Telemundo could start streaming via online video platform AOL On. NBCUniversal and AOL may also start developing original content together to be distributed on the platforms of both companies. The agreement means that advertisers will be able to reach consumers watching this shared content on television as well as mobile and desktop devices. Continue reading AOL and NBCUniversal Plan to Share Content Across Platforms

ESPN is First to File Suit Against Verizon Over FiOS Bundles

ESPN filed a lawsuit Monday in New York Supreme Court against Verizon, claiming that Verizon’s new FiOS TV packages — which allow subscribers to purchase a basic set of channels starting at $55 per month, and add tiers of genre-based channels — are in breach of contract regarding ESPN distribution. While Verizon introduced the new packages to attract consumers looking for more flexibility, the company has met resistance from major players such as 21st Century Fox and NBCUniversal regarding current programming agreements. Continue reading ESPN is First to File Suit Against Verizon Over FiOS Bundles

Comcast Confirms That It Has Dropped $45 Billion Bid for TWC

Comcast issued a statement this morning that the proposed merger with Time Warner Cable has officially been terminated. “Today, we move on,” noted Comcast Chairman and CEO Brian Roberts. “Of course, we would have liked to bring our great products to new cities, but we structured this deal so that if the government didn’t agree, we could walk away.” Reports had circulated in recent days that a merger of the country’s two largest cable operators was ending as Comcast faced intense regulatory scrutiny regarding the $45.2 billion acquisition. Continue reading Comcast Confirms That It Has Dropped $45 Billion Bid for TWC

Networks Claim New Verizon TV Bundles Violate Agreements

ESPN, Fox and NBCUniversal claim that Verizon’s newly launched package offerings, that feature cheaper bundles of pay TV channels, violate the terms of their respective agreements. On Sunday, Verizon introduced new flexibility for FiOS subscribers by offering a slim package of channels and optional add-on “channel packs” that feature genre-based channels. A few days prior to the launch, ESPN expressed its objection to being placed in an optional sports tier. Fox and NBCUniversal claim the Verizon plan is also outside the terms of their contracts. Continue reading Networks Claim New Verizon TV Bundles Violate Agreements

Lack of Competition Means Higher Broadband Prices in the U.S.

Internet users in the U.S. pay more for broadband and have fewer choices than Europeans. According to findings from the Center for Public Integrity, Americans pay 3.5 times the amount that French people do for Internet access, for example, and most U.S. residents can only choose from two Internet providers. That’s because broadband companies carve out their own territories to offer service. Cable providers do the same thing, but Internet TV may finally force them to compete. Continue reading Lack of Competition Means Higher Broadband Prices in the U.S.

Apple is Planning to Launch its Internet TV Service This Fall

Details regarding Apple’s online TV service are becoming available as the company continues discussions with programmers. Insiders point to a slimmed-down bundle of about 25 channels from networks such as ABC, CBS and Fox to be offered this fall. As previously reported, the content would be available across Apple devices powered by iOS, including iPhones, iPads, and Apple TV. Some execs suggests the skinny bundle would run in the $30-$40 per month range. It streaming service is expected to be announced in June and launch in September. Continue reading Apple is Planning to Launch its Internet TV Service This Fall

YouTube Fends Off New Competition for Premium Video Deals

YouTube is facing growing competition from companies such as Snapchat, Facebook and streaming newcomer Vessel for television programming provided by media giants such as Viacom, NBCUniversal and Time Warner. The competition wants to undercut YouTube’s share of big media programming by offering content suppliers more lucrative returns of ad revenue. Despite the offers, some media companies remain hesitant due to the demands of YouTube’s competitors.   Continue reading YouTube Fends Off New Competition for Premium Video Deals

NBCUniversal is Developing Comedy Video Subscription Service

NBCUniversal hopes to reach the under-35-year-olds with its new comedy subscription service. The streaming service would likely include episodes of NBC shows such as “The Tonight Show” starring Jimmy Fallon and “Saturday Night Live,” in addition to exclusive original content. NBCUniversal is developing this new product to regain some of its cord-cutting viewers who have abandoned pay TV for online streaming. Currently, some of the company’s content is available on YouTube. Continue reading NBCUniversal is Developing Comedy Video Subscription Service

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