Internet Giants Dispute Proposed FCC Rules on Net Neutrality

More than 100 Internet companies and two FCC commissioners are voicing their concerns over FCC Chairman Tom Wheeler’s proposal to regulate broadband providers. Wheeler’s plan would allow broadband companies to charge fees to content providers that want to access the fastest lanes, a proposal that does not treat all Internet traffic equally. Amazon, Facebook, Google and Yahoo are among the companies that described the proposal as “a grave threat to the Internet” in a letter to Wheeler. Continue reading Internet Giants Dispute Proposed FCC Rules on Net Neutrality

Apple Reportedly Getting Ready to Spend $3.2 Billion on Beats

Insiders say Apple is in talks for a proposed $3.2 billion acquisition of Beats Electronics, which would provide Apple with Beats’ headphone business and recently-launched subscription music service. Although Apple disrupted the music business when it launched iTunes in 2003, it has recently faced declining download sales as consumers increasingly turn to subscription services. If the Beats deal goes through, it would be Apple CEO Tim Cook’s boldest and most expensive acquisition to date. Continue reading Apple Reportedly Getting Ready to Spend $3.2 Billion on Beats

TV Networks to Benefit by Unbundling from Cable Packages?

Television networks are currently entangled in expensive negotiations with cable companies over retransmission fees and rights to stream content on other devices. However, if a TV network were to sell its shows directly online with a Netflix-like subscription, GigaOM speculates that the network could still remain profitable and consumers would not have to pay for expensive cable packages. This new model could potentially redefine content distribution via the Internet and television. Continue reading TV Networks to Benefit by Unbundling from Cable Packages?

Expensive Video Ads on Facebook Are Reserved For The Best

Facebook is steadily becoming a formidable player in the digital advertising industry. The social network will start integrating auto-playing video ads on users’ Facebook news feeds. Facebook’s unique ability to target audiences precisely could give it an edge in the market, even though video ads on Facebook cost about $1 million a day. Ace Metric and Facebook have been working together since last year to create a fAce rating to help select the “meaningful” commercials. Continue reading Expensive Video Ads on Facebook Are Reserved For The Best

Yahoo No Longer Honoring ‘Do Not Track’ Requests by its Users

In a blog post this week, Yahoo announced that its privacy policy will no longer recognize when users activate “Do Not Track” signals in their browsers. Although users purposefully use this setting to indicate they do not want companies to monitor their online behavior, the tracking is necessary for Yahoo to create a more personalized experience for its users. The move is part of larger strategy by CEO Marissa Mayer to brand Yahoo as a “personalization company.” Continue reading Yahoo No Longer Honoring ‘Do Not Track’ Requests by its Users

Cable Execs Call for Action to Challenge Online Competitors

Cable industry executives gathered at the NCTA Cable Show to discuss growing competition from online video content providers, and the need for cable TV to improve delivery systems of cable programming across all devices. By improving the consumer experience and video-on-demand services, cable companies hope to “protect their turf” from the likes of Netflix and Hulu. Also, leaders in the cable industry recognize the need to find a solution for rising cable TV prices. Continue reading Cable Execs Call for Action to Challenge Online Competitors

Media Companies Partner With YouTube Startups, Target Teens

Large media companies, such as Disney, AOL, DreamWorks, Warner Bros. and Yahoo, are teaming up with startups that produce YouTube videos popular in the teen and tween age groups. Disney acquired Maker Studios for $500 million in March. AOL and Yahoo have discussed an acquisition deal with Fullscreen. DreamWorks is creating a multichannel network. These deals usually involve advertising agreements in which media companies help YouTube stars sell ads in return for a cut of the profits. Continue reading Media Companies Partner With YouTube Startups, Target Teens

Comcast Customers to Soon Stream Games from Electronic Arts

Following two years of testing, Comcast and Electronic Arts are reportedly close to reaching an agreement that would allow customers to stream EA video games to televisions via Comcast’s X1 cable box system, and use their tablets as controllers. The cloud-connected X1 system features apps, viewing recommendations and voice control. According to sources familiar with the plans, games such as “FIFA,” “Madden” and “Monopoly” would be available to Comcast’s more-than 22 million U.S. customers. Continue reading Comcast Customers to Soon Stream Games from Electronic Arts

Hulu to Update its Mobile Apps for Streaming Free TV Shows

Hulu announced on Wednesday that it would update its streaming video mobile apps to allow users to view entire episodes of certain television shows, even if the users are not premium Hulu Plus subscribers. Emulating its desktop version, the update will feature free episodes with advertisements spliced in. Free shows will first be available for Android, and later for iOS via a redesigned Hulu Plus iPhone and iPad app coming this summer. Hulu Plus now has 6 million subscribers. Continue reading Hulu to Update its Mobile Apps for Streaming Free TV Shows

Rdio to Launch Free, Ad-Supported Music Service This Year

Music service Rdio is planning a free, ad-supported offering to launch later this year. The service is also expected to add more non-music content and morning shows from Cumulus, which became a significant investor in Rdio last year. Some of that may include sports and talk show content from WestWood One, which Cumulus recently acquired. Cumulus CEO Lew Dickey introduced the new ad-supported model during a Q1 earnings call earlier this week. Continue reading Rdio to Launch Free, Ad-Supported Music Service This Year

Digital Movie Revenue on the Rise While Home Video Sales Fall

According to first quarter reports, revenue from digital movies has grown 43 percent since last year, bringing in $330.25 million for the home entertainment industry. However, that number is still dwarfed by the revenue from disc sales. Even though disc sales dropped 13.7 percent, they still account for $1.82 billion in consumer spending on DVDs and Blu-ray discs. Revenue from subscription streaming is up 26.5 percent to $928.6 million. Continue reading Digital Movie Revenue on the Rise While Home Video Sales Fall

New Yahoo Video Offerings: Comedy Series and Daily Concerts

Yahoo is making deals yet again to expand its video content in an effort to compete with Google’s YouTube, Hulu, Netflix and Amazon. This time, Yahoo will make a foray into original programming by commissioning two original TV-length comedy series. The shows will be available to stream online from Yahoo Screen in early 2015. In addition, Yahoo struck a deal with Live Nation Entertainment to start streaming one live concert per day starting in July. Continue reading New Yahoo Video Offerings: Comedy Series and Daily Concerts

Digital Media Companies Present for Marketers at NewFronts

The Digital Content NewFronts are an annual event in which companies that offer digital video give marketers a preview of their upcoming programming so that marketers will consider buying commercials ahead of time. This year, the growing event featured The New York Times, AOL, Microsoft, BuzzFeed and others. Among the newest offerings, Condé Nast will announce its plans to rapidly expand its online video content at its NewFronts presentation next week. Continue reading Digital Media Companies Present for Marketers at NewFronts

AOL Launching Ad-Supported Streaming Video with Miramax

AOL announced it will launch a free streaming movie service through a new agreement with Miramax that will make Miramax’s library of films available to stream online and on mobile devices. Film selections will be refreshed each month. AOL’s new homepage video portal features clips from Moviefone, Huffpost Live, ESPN, Conde Nast and others. Through the new deal, AOL users will also have the ability to add Miramax titles to their rotation of news and entertainment video. Continue reading AOL Launching Ad-Supported Streaming Video with Miramax

Netflix Reaches New Deal with Verizon to Improve Streaming

Netflix has reached a deal for direct access to Verizon’s network that should provide subscribers with better performance of streaming video in the coming months. Despite Netflix CEO Reed Hastings’ public complaints about paying extra for such connectivity, Verizon confirmed the new deal, which follows a similar approach to the agreement Netflix reached with Comcast earlier this year. As more Internet users stream movies and TV content, the debate over who should be responsible for infrastructure upgrades intensifies. Continue reading Netflix Reaches New Deal with Verizon to Improve Streaming

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