YouTube Creators Increasing Revenue With Longer Videos

Videos trending on YouTube are getting longer. Whereas many videos used to run seven or eight minutes, the most recent popular videos are as long as 60 minutes. Felix “PewDiePie” Kjellberg’s recent video is 30 minutes, for example, and Shane Dawson’s latest documentary is 60+ minutes. The driving force behind the trend is creators’ efforts to make more money via advertising. Ads run at the beginning of videos that are less than 10 minutes long, while YouTube allows the insertion of ads in the middle of videos that run longer than that. Continue reading YouTube Creators Increasing Revenue With Longer Videos

Criterion Collection Reveals Plans for New Streaming Service

Following the news that WarnerMedia would shutter its streaming service FilmStruck at the end of this month, The Criterion Collection announced that it plans to offer selections from its library of classic Hollywood, foreign language and notable art-house films via its own standalone streaming service to launch in spring 2019 (FilmStruck had an exclusive licensing deal to stream movies from the Criterion library). The announcement further revealed that The Criterion Channel would also be made available via “WarnerMedia’s new consumer platform when it launches late next year.” Continue reading Criterion Collection Reveals Plans for New Streaming Service

The Obamas Are the Latest to Sign Production Deal with Netflix

Netflix yesterday announced a multi-year partnership with former President Barack Obama and First Lady Michelle Obama to produce original content for the streaming service. The Obamas created production company Higher Ground Productions for the Netflix deal, which is reportedly valued in the high eight figures. According to Netflix, the partnership may include scripted, unscripted and docu-series, in addition to documentary and feature films. Two months ago, the Obamas signed a joint book deal with Penguin Random House worth a reported $65 million for their respective memoirs. Continue reading The Obamas Are the Latest to Sign Production Deal with Netflix

Panasonic Intros Compact, Lightweight Super 35mm Camera

Panasonic debuted its 5.7K cinema camera, the AU-EVA1, at Cine Gear Expo in Hollywood last week. The camera, which is meant to fill a gap between the Panasonic Lumix GH5 4K mirrorless camera and the VariCam LT 4K cinema camera, is aimed at handheld shooting, making it ideal for commercials, documentaries and music videos. The compact camera, which can easily fit in a backpack, weighs 2.65 pounds (body only), sports a newly designed sensor and will be priced under $8,000 when it ships in the fall. Continue reading Panasonic Intros Compact, Lightweight Super 35mm Camera

Apple Makes an Original Content Play to Beef Up Apple Music

Apple plans to focus on a new business in original TV shows and movies, say sources. The content would be available to subscribers of Apple Music, the company’s $10/month streaming music service, which continues to be an underdog to Spotify. In the wake of slowing iPhone and iPad sales, Apple has been casting about for a new source of revenue; recently, it has been in discussions with Hollywood producers to buy the rights to scripted TV programs and is trying to hire studio/network marketers to promote the content. Continue reading Apple Makes an Original Content Play to Beef Up Apple Music

Documentarians Entreat Camera Manufacturers for Encryption

Documentary filmmaker Laura Poitras, who shot the Oscar-winning “Citizenfour” about Edward Snowden, along with 150 other documentary filmmakers, signed an open letter from the nonprofit Freedom of the Press Foundation (FPF) asking camera manufacturers Canon, Nikon, Olympus, Sony, Fuji, Kodak and Ricoh to add encryption features. The fear is that thieves, law enforcement or agents of authoritarian governments can access footage by simply taking possession of the camera, and the documentarians want protection. Continue reading Documentarians Entreat Camera Manufacturers for Encryption

SVOD Service Yuyu Offers Titles from Independent Publishers

New York-based Digital Media Rights is attempting to bridge the gap between cable networks and YouTube with the launch of its new Yuyu streaming service. Yuyu, which joins an increasingly crowded SVOD market, currently features more than 350 titles with an emphasis on content from independent publishers. The video aggregation company, which has more than 8,000 TV shows and movies under license and distribution deals with Hulu and Amazon Prime, plans to launch three more OTT services this year, adding to its portfolio that includes Asian Crush and Midnight Pulp. Continue reading SVOD Service Yuyu Offers Titles from Independent Publishers

Amazon to Test Original Programs on Gaming Platform Twitch

Amazon has, up until now, tried out new comedy, drama, documentary and children’s shows with a ‘test’ episode on Amazon Video. The company just announced at the Television Critics Association press tour that it will now debut a few of its original pilot episodes on its streaming Twitch platform, more typically associated with games and gamers. Although Amazon made no formal announcement, the news was reported by several publications. Twitch has previously aired classic shows featuring Bob Ross and Julia Child. Continue reading Amazon to Test Original Programs on Gaming Platform Twitch

Netflix Scores Emmy Noms, Reaping Value Per Dollar Spent

Netflix has scored big with 54 Emmy nominations, compared to last year’s 34 nominations. The number of nominations puts Netflix in third place, behind HBO (94 nominations) and FX Networks (56 nominations). Its long-standing series “House of Cards” continued to garner nominations, as did new series “Bloodlines” and “Narcos.” Netflix is also besting its competitors in terms of how it creates value for the money it spends on productions, with efficiencies an estimated three-times better than Amazon and Hulu. Continue reading Netflix Scores Emmy Noms, Reaping Value Per Dollar Spent

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

NAB Panel Addresses Impact of VR on News, Documentaries

“Being There – Virtual Reality News and Documentaries” was the title of a panel on VR journalism at the NAB Show in Las Vegas. Panelists included senior journalists from Sky, RYOT, Condition One, and USA Today Network, as well as one of Google’s lead VR evangelists. Lessons learned include the importance of proximity (e.g. close-ups), making sure that everyone on the team has experience with the key steps in the workflow so they understand the process and can fill in for others, and the need to experiment and fail. The panelists hope that post-production tools improve soon so a greater portion of their time can be spent planning and shooting stories. Continue reading NAB Panel Addresses Impact of VR on News, Documentaries

Netflix Reveals Content, Tech Plans at Mobile World Congress

In several meetings at Mobile World Congress in Barcelona, Netflix discussed plans for content and technology plays over the coming months, including the release of a large slate of original programs. The company revealed that it’s keeping an eye on virtual reality as a storytelling tool and is also about to launch a second screen experience, which has been in development for a number of years. The company has also been more forthcoming about its plans to acquire and distribute content in high dynamic range. Continue reading Netflix Reveals Content, Tech Plans at Mobile World Congress

Vrse Envisions a Cinematic Future for Virtual Reality Content

Vrse, a virtual reality content company headquartered in Los Angeles, recently brought on former Rdio chief executive Drew Larner as its chief operating officer. The company has also drawn investment from Andreessen Horowitz, Live Nation, Vice Media and Annapurna Pictures. It’s all about creating content that goes beyond gaming, notes chief executive Chris Milk. To that end, the company plans to produce its own content, through Vrse Works, and distribute its own and others’ through the Vrse app for VR headsets. Continue reading Vrse Envisions a Cinematic Future for Virtual Reality Content

Young Hollywood Targeting Millennials with Apple TV Channel

Young Hollywood, a company best known for producing celebrity interviews, recently launched a new linear TV network available exclusively as an Apple TV channel. The programmed network will be scheduled and operated much like a traditional television network. Young Hollywood has partnered with Subway, and plans to run Subway-branded content prior to each program. The company believes a programmed network on Apple TV is the best way to address the viewership trends of younger audiences. Continue reading Young Hollywood Targeting Millennials with Apple TV Channel

HuffPost Announces Online Video Network, Film and TV Units

The Huffington Post announced plans to expand its video capabilities with a new 24-hour online video network called HuffPost 24. The announcement arrived just days after Verizon closed its $4.4 billion acquisition of Huffington Post parent company AOL. The network’s range of programming will be made available via apps, the HuffPost website, OTT platforms and as VOD. HuffPost Films and HuffPost TV divisions will also be established to produce content for the new network and beyond. Video GM Nathan Brown is currently hiring as part of the the new initiatives. Continue reading HuffPost Announces Online Video Network, Film and TV Units

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