Watchup for Personalized Newscasts is Now Free on Apple TV

With an app from startup Watchup, Apple TV users can now receive free customized newscasts from 160 news partners, including CNN, Fox News Channel, CBS News and Tribune Media, as well as local news covering 80 percent of U.S. markets. Users can select topics of interest and then further refine resulting newscasts by “liking” or “disliking” specific reports. The app supports fourth-generation Apple TV, launched last fall, as well as apps for iOS and Android, Amazon Fire TV, Microsoft Xbox 360 and Nintendo Wii U. Continue reading Watchup for Personalized Newscasts is Now Free on Apple TV

Showtime, Starz Now On Tap For Amazon Prime Members

Amazon just began offering some enticing add-ons for its Prime members: on-demand programming from Showtime, Starz and other channels, for as much as $8.99 a month. The goal is to lure more consumers to become Prime members, a $99 a year program that offers unlimited two-day shipping among other benefits, since Prime members spend more money on the site than non-Prime members. The add-on channels can be accessed via Amazon’s apps on mobile devices, streaming boxes and connected TVs. Continue reading Showtime, Starz Now On Tap For Amazon Prime Members

MGM, Lionsgate Invest in Free TV Streaming Service Tubi TV

Tubi TV, a startup that aims to aggregate content for free TV streaming, added to its Hollywood studio support with new investments from MGM and Lionsgate. They join the $6 million Series B round of financing led by new investor Cota Capital and existing investor Foundation Capital. As part of the deal, MGM and Lionsgate licensed hundreds of titles from their catalogs to Tubi TV. Former Fox Television Entertainment Group chair Sandy Grushow, currently chief executive of Phase 2 Media, also just joined the Tubi TV board. Continue reading MGM, Lionsgate Invest in Free TV Streaming Service Tubi TV

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

Nielsen to Track Audience Demos of Video Ads on Roku Devices

Nielsen and Roku have started working together to measure the audience demographics of ads that play through Roku streaming devices. That means Roku will be the first Internet-connected TV platform that will be able to offer the same audience guarantees as traditional television. Advertisers will already be familiar with the Nielsen audience breakdowns, which will also be integrated into the Roku Ad Framework toolkit. The companies will be testing the new tracking this summer. Continue reading Nielsen to Track Audience Demos of Video Ads on Roku Devices

Study Indicates Streaming Video is More Popular Than Live TV

The Interactive Advertising Bureau recently found that one-third of Americans now own connected TV sets, while one-third of those consumers stream video to their TVs daily. According to new survey findings from consulting firm Deloitte, video streaming services such as Netflix, Hulu and Amazon have now surpassed live programming as the viewing method of choice for many consumers. The survey determined that 56 percent stream movies and 53 percent stream TV shows, while 45 percent still prefer watching live broadcasts. Continue reading Study Indicates Streaming Video is More Popular Than Live TV

Report Says One-Third of Connected TVs Stream Video Daily

According to the Interactive Advertising Bureau, one-third of Americans now own connected TVs, while one-third of those consumers stream video content to their televisions daily. On average, owners of connected TVs spend 2.4 hours per day streaming to their televisions. Streaming video is beginning to affect viewing patterns in a way that may concern the traditional TV industry. Nielsen recently reported that TV viewing dipped 4 percent in the third quarter of 2014 and streaming jumped 60 percent compared to Q3 the previous year. Continue reading Report Says One-Third of Connected TVs Stream Video Daily

Samsung Plans to Demo Tizen-Powered Smart TVs at 2015 CES

In an effort to expand the company’s software capabilities, Samsung announced that its Tizen operating system would be widely adopted in its smart TVs beginning this year. According to the company, the Tizen operating system will allow Samsung’s Internet-connected TVs to sync with other CE devices, including smartphones, via a Wi-Fi connection that enables content sharing. While availability has yet to be announced, the Tizen-based televisions will be showcased at the 2015 International CES next week. Continue reading Samsung Plans to Demo Tizen-Powered Smart TVs at 2015 CES

Former Hulu CEO to Target YouTube with Online Video Venture

Hulu founding CEO Jason Kilar, who left the service early last year, is among those getting ready to take a run at Google’s YouTube. Kilar is expected to roll out an ad-supported online video service called Vessel as soon as this month, according to insiders. Vessel, to be offered via a free tier or monthly paid subscription service, will reportedly feature videos from top YouTube stars with agreements that will keep the videos off YouTube for three days. Vessel was designed primarily for smartphones and tablets. Continue reading Former Hulu CEO to Target YouTube with Online Video Venture

Research Suggests Android TV Could Disrupt Apple and Roku

According to new research from IHS Technology, the introduction of Google’s Android TV platform could disrupt the streaming media player space currently led by Roku and Apple TV. While previous Android-based offerings may have been lacking, a new sophisticated product is expected to more fully integrate with Google-powered features and the Android mobile ecosystem. This may be significant, considering that 213 million connected TV devices are projected for the U.S. by 2017. Continue reading Research Suggests Android TV Could Disrupt Apple and Roku

BSkyB Makes Another Investment in Cinematic VR Developer

British Sky Broadcasting Group (BSkyB), the largest pay TV broadcaster in the UK and Ireland, is making an additional $400,000 investment in Jaunt, a Silicon Valley company developing 360-degree virtual reality cinema tech. The British broadcaster invested $350,000 in Jaunt last December, hoping to get one step ahead in the future of television. Jaunt’s technology, which uses Oculus Rift VR headsets, could be rolled out commercially as early as three years from now. Continue reading BSkyB Makes Another Investment in Cinematic VR Developer

Vevo TV Streaming Music Platform is All About Devices

With the launch of Vevo TV — a 24-hour live stream of curated programming — Vevo has taken an additional step toward becoming a full-fledged music television network. The new channel uses MTV-like VJs and is available on the Web and mobile devices, as well as via Roku boxes and Xbox 360 gaming consoles. Looking ahead, the company hopes to take Vevo TV to cable distributors and have it compete with the likes of MTV and VH1. Continue reading Vevo TV Streaming Music Platform is All About Devices

Flash Player 11 and AIR 3: For HD Video and 3D Gaming on Multiple Platforms

  • Adobe announced this week Adobe Flash Player 11 and Adobe AIR 3 software to enable “console quality” 2D and 3D games and scientific visualizations for multiple platforms including Android, Apple iOS (via AIR), BlackBerry Tablet OS, Mac OS, Windows, connected TVs and others.
  • Adobe touts 1,000 times faster rendering performance over Flash 10 and AIR 2 enabling 60 frames per second rendering and console-quality games on Mac OS, Windows and connected TVs. A production release for mobile is coming.
  • Content protection is available using Adobe Flash Access 3 on supported platforms — “including support for mobile platforms,” explains the press release — with support for rental and subscription options “to more than 80 percent of the U.S. pay TV subscribers.”
  • HD full frame video quality can be displayed on iOS devices using H.264 hardware decoding to deliver 7.1 channel surround sound.

Turning On but Tuning Out: Will Connected TVs Impact Viewing Habits?

  • This fall’s TV season may see some shifts in terms of viewership numbers, due in large part to media technology trends, suggests Variety.
  • As TVs continue to become connected to the Web via Blu-ray players and gaming consoles in more homes, the technology may impact viewing habits and not turn out to be as positive for TV programming as originally envisioned by the industry.
  • New research from Knowledge Networks suggests users may use their Web-connected TVs to perform other online activities before getting around to watching programming. Variety points out that online access to TV content also provides “the option of using a full-sized TV screen for all sorts of activities and functions previously associated with a computer, from perusing photos to long-distance chatting with relatives to playing games or frequenting chat rooms.”
  • The article poses a compelling question: “So do programmers have a new threat — one where using the TV doesn’t mean actually watching their content?”

30 Years of MTV: Impact of Technology and its Multi-Platform Future

  • Yesterday marked the 30th anniversary of the cable network MTV, which debuted at 12:01 a.m. on August 1, 1981.
  • MTV launched modestly, originally accessible to a few thousand subscribers of a New Jersey cable system. Today, it is more of a lifestyle brand than a cable network, and reaches hundreds of millions of households worldwide.
  • The first music video aired on the new network was “Video Killed the Radio Star” by the Buggles. Mashable reports: “The words were true. Almost overnight, the music video became one of the most important promotional and marketing vehicles for the music industry. Artists that best utilized the new format — Michael Jackson, Madonna, Prince and Weird Al Yankovic — became not just stars, but icons. In short, video really did kill the radio star.”
  • Now the question has become, Did YouTube Kill the Music Video Channel? Mashable spoke to Shannon Connolly, VP of digital music strategy at MTV, about the evolution of the network and the impact that digital technologies have had on MTV. Connolly suggests that MTV has grown beyond the role of a music video jukebox to a new core competency involving curation.
  • Connolly added that the future of MTV is about creating multi-platform music experiences: “Everything is multi-platform. Every app, every partnership, we think ‘How is this going to extend from the tablet to the mobile to the connected TV.'”
  • The Mashable post includes a selection of videos that aired on MTV the day of its premiere.