CES 2020: TiVo Joins Streaming Wars With HDMI Dongle

At CES this week, TiVo announced a new device described by CEO Dave Shull as a “tiny little HDMI puck” that will bring the company “full on into the streaming wars.” The $50 TiVo Stream 4K, hitting shelves in April as a competitor to Roku and Amazon devices, is designed to expand the company’s current user base by offering streaming and live television for today’s cord cutters and cord shavers. While TiVo plans to continue offering its signature cable-ready DVRs, the new 4K dongle could be a glimpse into the company’s future. In December, TiVo announced its $3 billion merger with licensing firm Xperi. “This transformation for TiVo enabled the merger,” said Shull. Continue reading CES 2020: TiVo Joins Streaming Wars With HDMI Dongle

CNN Acquires Social App Beme to Attract Youth Demographic

CNN just made a deal to acquire Beme, a social media app founded by Casey Neistat, who has a huge millennial fan base, and Matt Hackett, former Tumblr vice president of engineering. As part of the deal, Beme’s 12 employees will join CNN. The idea behind Beme was to share “more authentic” video on social platforms, via four-second bursts that don’t allow the creator to edit the content. CNN is betting that Neistat’s idea — that authenticity draws in a younger demographic — proves true under their aegis. Continue reading CNN Acquires Social App Beme to Attract Youth Demographic

IAB: Younger Viewers Prefer Internet Video Over Primetime TV

According to GfK research commissioned by the Interactive Advertising Bureau, digital video has surpassed primetime television in popularity among Internet viewers for the first time. IAB’s 2016 Original Digital Video Study found that adult respondents who view online video at least monthly indicated they were “most likely” to watch Internet video if given the option, followed by primetime broadcast or cable, and then local and national TV news, live televised sports and daytime TV (in that order). Meanwhile, Nielsen says 95 percent of time spent viewing video in Q4 2015 involved live or time-shifted TV. Continue reading IAB: Younger Viewers Prefer Internet Video Over Primetime TV

Facebook Plans to Push More Videos and Share Ad Revenue

Videos on Facebook garner 4 billion views a day — 75 percent on smartphones — and the company is increasing its efforts to turn views into profits. Its newly unveiled strategy is to share ad revenue with video creators, both to attract better content and more ads. Facebook will keep 45 percent of the revenue, similar to YouTube’s revenue model, but the two differ in a significant way: Facebook will divide the creators’ 55 percent share of ad revenue among all the videos that appear adjacent to the ad, based on how long users watch each video. Continue reading Facebook Plans to Push More Videos and Share Ad Revenue

Facebook Partners with Disney, Vice and Others on Video Ads

Facebook has launched a new marketing initiative called Anthology that enables advertisers to work with seven media partners to create sponsored videos. The company says that its media partners — The Onion, Vice, Disney, Funny or Die, Tastemade, Vox, and Electus Digital’s CollegeHumor — know how to get the most out of the Facebook platform. These video ads are one way that Facebook may be able to keep advertising, and soon publishing content, under its own roof. Continue reading Facebook Partners with Disney, Vice and Others on Video Ads

Samsung Launches Online Video Service for Galaxy Phones

More than eight months after releasing its Milk streaming music service exclusively for Galaxy devices, Samsung has launched a new online video service in the U.S. Milk Video, a free app available for Galaxy phones via the Google Play Store, is similar to YouTube and Vimeo in that its focus is on short form video. Samsung curates content into category-specific feeds, while users can set up personal feeds and follow brands, users and groups. Favorite videos can also be shared via Facebook and Twitter. Continue reading Samsung Launches Online Video Service for Galaxy Phones

Digital Networks Earn Record Number of Emmy Nominations

Netflix, Crackle and Funny or Die all received nominations for the 66th Primetime Emmy Awards yesterday. Netflix earned an impressive 31 nominations, with “House of Cards” and “Orange Is the New Black” both nominated in the best drama and comedy series categories, respectively. Crackle was nominated for Jerry Seinfeld’s “Comedians in Cars Getting Coffee” and the Zach Galifianakis interview with President Obama on “Between Two Ferns” earned Funny or Die a nomination. Continue reading Digital Networks Earn Record Number of Emmy Nominations

TiVo Co-Founders Launch Qplay Web Video App and Service

TiVo co-founders Jim Barton and Mike Ramsay announced the launch of Qplay a little over a month ago. The service allows users to create personalized video streams called “Q’s” from various sources. Since the announcement, the app, service and TV adapter have only been available as an Early Adopter bundle for $49. Starting this week, the Qplay app is available for free for everyone (not including the TV adapter). The service has added video content from Reddit, College Humor, Funny or Die, The New York Times and Vanity FairContinue reading TiVo Co-Founders Launch Qplay Web Video App and Service

President Appears on Funny or Die Web Show to Mixed Reviews

President Obama’s appearance on Zach Galifianakis’s Web series “Between Two Ferns” has sparked some controversy. Obama’s plan was to inform young adults about the Affordable Care Act. The video received over 3 million views within the first few hours after going live, and HealthCare.gov generated a 40 percent increase in visitors. However, some are unimpressed by the president’s appearance on unconventional media, and believe he should spend his time doing more important things. Continue reading President Appears on Funny or Die Web Show to Mixed Reviews

YouTube Themed Weeks to Grow Platform as Next-Gen TV?

Google announced last week the YouTube Comedy Week, “a seven-day cyber extravaganza designed to showcase some of the best comedy across its expansive video platform,” reports AP. The special online venture is slated for May 19-25, will kick off with a global live stream from Los Angeles, and marks the first of additional event weeks planned around various themes to be held in the near future. Continue reading YouTube Themed Weeks to Grow Platform as Next-Gen TV?

Has Amazon Become the Most Disruptive Company in Media?

  • Amazon has become “the most disruptive company in the media and technology industries,” suggests Wired.
  • Amazon’s rumored tablet has the potential to be the perfect machine to sell both digital goods delivered immediately or physical goods delivered in two days.
  • “Why not make an independent movie or television show and release it through Amazon?” asks the article. “Once the video is hosted on Amazon’s servers, it’s available for immediate digital download or streaming through Prime to desktops, tablets or set-top boxes. Both streaming and downloads promise a revenue share for content creators. Customers could buy a Blu-ray or DVD that Amazon burns and ships on demand — no storage, no overhead.”
  • While some of the content may not prove to be top quality, some of it could be the next Funny Or Die or Channel 101 while dramatically impacting distribution: “The breadth and independence of buying choices could easily differentiate Amazon from traditional studios — or even for those studios themselves, from competing services like Netflix.”
  • Amazon may also offer its forked Android-based OS as a platform to hardware partners providing a new platform with its own code, app and media stores, cloud services and revamped UI.
  • “In a year from now,” writes Forrester analyst Sarah Rotman Epps, “we could see a range of ‘Amazon tablets’ made by different hardware manufacturers.”

Movie Site Flickme Launches, Betting Big on Social Interaction

  • Former COO of Funny or Die Mitch Galbraith launched the beta version of social streaming movie service flickme this week with deals in place from Sony and Warner Bros. The venture was founded by Galbraith and Mark Smallcombe, who received funding from Sequoia Capital.
  • The new service lets users rent or purchase movies and watch instantly, via their Facebook accounts. Users can also socially connect with friends to share deals and recommendations. According to the website: “About one third of the movies on flickme feature pass-along perks: the first person to rent or buy can share special offers with friends, including discounts and access to rentals before they are normally available.”
  • The service will face competition from streamers such as iTunes and Netflix but is hoping the social connection will make it distinct.
  • “We’ve built a short cut to find movies you’ll love,” says Galbraith. “We’re assembling a library of thousands of top Hollywood titles and enabling highly personalized recommendations from close friends to ensure every movie you watch on flickme is a winner.”