Sesame Street Unveils Sesame Go Video Subscription Service

Sesame Workshop, the maker of the long-running children’s television show “Sesame Street,” has launched an exclusive, standalone video subscription service. For $4 per month or $30 per year, subscribers will have access to hundreds of ad-free episodes, including shorter 30-minute episodes that have never been seen in the U.S. before. The interface with its simple and colorful buttons was designed especially for kids. Children can watch Sesame Go via the Web, tablets or smartphones. Continue reading Sesame Street Unveils Sesame Go Video Subscription Service

Tech Startup Offers Compelling New Way to Watch Audiences

During the NAB Show, thousands of companies descend on Las Vegas. Perhaps one of the smallest is a three-man startup called Eyeris, that aims to change the way we gather data about consumer preference. Featured by the SPROCKIT program, a new venue co-sponsored by NAB that aims to highlight nascent tech companies that may have a big impact on the entertainment industry, Eyeris tracks viewer response to motion picture content using clever software and the cameras already embedded in the the devices most of us carry. Continue reading Tech Startup Offers Compelling New Way to Watch Audiences

Startups From SPROCKIT Program Deliver Pitches During NAB

In partnership with the National Association of Broadcasters and the World Series of Startups, SPROCKIT is a program that shines a spotlight on interesting startups through the NAB Show and SPROCKIT Sync, the exclusive community of entertainment and media decision-makers that meets three times a year. The July 2014 meeting will take place at ETC@USC. The other meetings are October 2014 in conjunction with NY TV week, and January 2015 in Silicon Valley. Continue reading Startups From SPROCKIT Program Deliver Pitches During NAB

Google Aims to Steal Cloud Services Top Spot from Amazon

Amazon pioneered the idea of cloud services that allow individuals to build websites and other apps without using their own hardware. Google has also offered these services, but is repositioning itself to create a larger business out of cloud services. The IT market that spans hardware and software used to operate businesses is worth $600 billion, and cloud services have the potential to take a major share. Google is hoping to make its cloud service business even larger than its enormous ad business. Continue reading Google Aims to Steal Cloud Services Top Spot from Amazon

Yahoo Reportedly in Talks to Buy Online Video Service NDN

Yesterday we reported that Yahoo has been ramping up its online video efforts and content catalog to compete more directly with Google’s YouTube for viewers and advertising revenue. Now it has been reported that Yahoo is in preliminary talks to purchase online-video service News Distribution Network, a deal estimated at roughly $300 million according to insiders. NDN is a video syndication service that provides newspapers and Web publishers with clips related to news, sports, politics and other topics. Continue reading Yahoo Reportedly in Talks to Buy Online Video Service NDN

Amazon Announces Six New Shows After Another Pilot Season

Amazon.com announced yesterday that it has picked up two dramas, two comedies and two kids shows from the batch of 10 television pilots it was testing with viewers. Amazon considered feedback and ratings submitted by users, as it did with an earlier pilot season. However, this time twice as many viewers (more than two million) were involved with the process. While Amazon’s streaming service normally does not include ads, the pilots were sponsored by Geico so they could be available to all users, not just Prime subscribers. Continue reading Amazon Announces Six New Shows After Another Pilot Season

Yahoo Luring Top YouTube Talent in New Web Video Strategy

Insiders say Yahoo has been working on a plan to attract some of YouTube’s popular stars and networks by addressing the frequent complaints of video creators and owners who feel they do not make enough money on Google’s video site. Yahoo reportedly hopes to launch its new video strategy in the next few months. Several industry sources say Yahoo execs have been promising better economics than YouTube, by improving ad revenue or by offering guaranteed ad rates. Continue reading Yahoo Luring Top YouTube Talent in New Web Video Strategy

Facebook Plans to Purchase VR Startup Oculus for $2 Billion

In a surprise announcement yesterday, Facebook revealed its plans to acquire Oculus VR, maker of the virtual reality Oculus Rift headset. Reaction to the $2 billion agreement has ranged from excitement on Wall Street — to bewilderment by those questioning the accuracy of the news — to anger by some early supporters who pledged funds to the startup via its Kickstarter campaign. Others reportedly disappointed in the news include developers who purchased early prototypes of the Oculus Rift hoping to become the first to create games. Continue reading Facebook Plans to Purchase VR Startup Oculus for $2 Billion

Pandora Points to Royalty Costs for Jump in Subscription Rate

Pandora announced that it plans to increase the monthly subscription rate to its premium, ad-free Pandora One service by 25 percent for new subscribers starting in May (an increase from $3.99-a-month to $4.99-a-month). “The costs of delivering this service have grown considerably,” explains the Pandora Blog. “For example, the royalty rates Pandora pays to performers via SoundExchange for subscription listening have increased 53 percent in the last five years and will increase another 9 percent in 2015.” Continue reading Pandora Points to Royalty Costs for Jump in Subscription Rate

Twitter Introduces In-Line Video to Make Watching Clips Easier

Twitter rolled out a new platform this week for hosting video that provides iPhone and Android smartphone users with image previews of video clips in their feeds. “In-line video” allows users to play the clips with a simple click. The company has been working with TV networks and video producers over the past year to make watching video clips — such as sports highlights and show previews — easier for Twitter users. The new feature marks the biggest change to tweets since the automatic preview of photos was introduced. Continue reading Twitter Introduces In-Line Video to Make Watching Clips Easier

Movie Studios to Advertise via Facebook’s New Video Ad Model

We recently reported that Facebook is getting ready to launch autoplay video ads, which will appear in users’ news feeds two to three times per day. The social giant has a clever plan to help ensure the ads are worth watching and possibly minimize the inevitable backlash of such a move. Facebook has developed a prescreening process it hopes will lead to users actually enjoying the video ads and possibly sharing them with friends. The first ads to use the platform are expected to come from Hollywood movie studios. Continue reading Movie Studios to Advertise via Facebook’s New Video Ad Model

Music Companies Make Money from Fan-Made YouTube Videos

According to the annual Digital Music Report released this week by IFPI, which represents some 1,300 record companies worldwide, Google-owned YouTube is now the most popular music service in the world. Moreover, the recording industry is generating more revenue via advertising and royalties from fan-made mashups, lip-syncs and tributes on the popular video site than from officially-released music videos. YouTube currently has more than one billion global users. Continue reading Music Companies Make Money from Fan-Made YouTube Videos

Viacom and Google Resolve Copyright Litigation Over YouTube

The long-running legal battle between Viacom and Google over YouTube has been resolved. Viacom has been suing Google since 2007, arguing that the online video site violated copyrights. The two companies announced yesterday that they have settled out of court. Specific terms of the settlement were not disclosed, but people familiar with the matter suggest that both sides are now free to explore potential business partnerships, including the possibility of collaboration on advertising technology. Continue reading Viacom and Google Resolve Copyright Litigation Over YouTube

Facebook Plans to Roll Out its Premium Video Ads Next Month

Facebook announced that its autoplay video advertisements will be called Premium Video Ads. Beginning in late April, the marketing tool will deliver 15-second video clips into users’ feeds that will play automatically. According to a Facebook rep, the social media giant wants “to create a captive, but not interruptive experience.” Similar to videos on Instagram, the ads are activated when scrolled over, but audio does not play unless a user clicks on the ad. Facebook will test every video prior to approving them. Continue reading Facebook Plans to Roll Out its Premium Video Ads Next Month

News Reader Flipboard Strikes Deal with CNN to Acquire Zite

Digital magazine platform Flipboard has acquired rival app Zite from CNN for an undisclosed amount. Flipboard, a popular cross-platform news reader app, is expected to launch custom magazines linked to a number of CNN shows. It also announced a new advertising partnership with CNN to help monetize combined coverage. CNN bought Zite in 2011 for a rumored $20 million. Flipboard, which generates 2.5 billion page views per month, launched on iOS in 2010 and landed on Android in 2012. Continue reading News Reader Flipboard Strikes Deal with CNN to Acquire Zite

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