CES 2018: Roku Debuts Licensing Program with OEM Partners

Roku debuted its Roku Whole Home Entertainment Licensing Program, which will partner with original equipment manufacturing (OEM) partners to integrate voice search and other entertainment-related features into smart soundbars and speakers. The options for the new licensing program includes Roku Connect, a free program for its OEM partners that will enable them to build high-end wireless speakers that both connect to the Roku ecosystem and synchronize multi-rooms. A logo will identify the speakers as part of the program. Continue reading CES 2018: Roku Debuts Licensing Program with OEM Partners

VidCon 2014: Industry Leaders See Strong Future in YouTube

To kick-off VidCon yesterday, industry leaders discussed the strong foundation that YouTube is currently building for the future of entertainment. DreamWorks’ Jeffrey Katzenberg discussed the acquisition of multichannel network AwesomenessTV in addition to the YouTube Nation venture. Maker Studios CEO Ynon Kreiz unveiled upgrades to the Maker Gen platform for creators. And Fullscreen’s George Strompolos announced a $10 million investment toward original programming. Continue reading VidCon 2014: Industry Leaders See Strong Future in YouTube

Nintendo Program to Share Ad Revenue with YouTube Creators

Japanese gaming company Nintendo is poised to launch a new program for YouTube creators that will allow use of the company’s copyrighted material in online videos, and in certain situations, provide creators with a share of the advertising revenue. Nintendo has already been allowing its copyrighted material to appear in videos under “appropriate circumstances,” but the new affiliate program will share ad revenue with YouTube producers who “use the material more proactively.” Continue reading Nintendo Program to Share Ad Revenue with YouTube Creators

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

New Sony Media Player to Access 4K Library and Stream Netflix

As a follow-up to its original $700 4K media player, Sony has announced a new model, the FMP-X10, that will provide access to Sony’s Video Unlimited 4K download library and be able to stream 4K Netflix content. The new player, available this summer, will be compatible with Sony Ultra HD sets and include 1 terabyte of storage. A price has yet to be announced. Sony’s Video Unlimited 4K library currently features more than 200 titles (45GB-60GB files), about 50 of which are available for free. Continue reading New Sony Media Player to Access 4K Library and Stream Netflix

Maker Studios Says Disney Offer Approved by Shareholders

Maker Studios announced that Disney’s offer to acquire the YouTube multichannel network (MCN) has been approved by a majority of its shareholders, despite Relativity Media throwing its hat in the ring with a surprise bid of $1.1 billion (mostly stock) on Sunday. Also, the Superior Court for the State of California in L.A. yesterday rejected a request by former Maker executives, including former CEO Danny Zappin, seeking to block the shareholder vote on the proposed Disney acquisition. Continue reading Maker Studios Says Disney Offer Approved by Shareholders

Disney to Acquire Popular YouTube Network Maker Studios

It has been confirmed that Disney is acquiring Maker Studios, a top YouTube multichannel network, for $500 million, with a performance-based earn-out of up to $450 million. The deal is expected to provide Disney with insight into new patterns of discovery and interaction regarding short-form online videos, especially among millennials. Maker Studios was founded in 2009. The network generates more than 5.5 billion monthly video views from its 380 million subscribers. Continue reading Disney to Acquire Popular YouTube Network Maker Studios

Notable Cable Industry Vets Raise $21 Million for Layer3 TV

IP video startup Layer3 TV announced that it has raised $21 million in Series A funding. The company, staffed by cable industry veterans, describes itself as “a next-generation cable provider” combining “the best of television, social media, and digital life.” Executives include CEO Jeff Binder (founder of VOD company Broadbus Technologies), CTO David Fellows (formerly of Comcast and AT&T Broadband), and Chuck Hasek as head of video technology (formerly principal architect of video systems at Time Warner Cable). Continue reading Notable Cable Industry Vets Raise $21 Million for Layer3 TV

HDTV Survey: Most U.S. Consumers Are Not Familiar with 4K TV

Leichtman Research Group conducted its 11th annual HDTV-focused consumer survey and learned that the majority of respondents have not heard of 4K/Ultra HD, suggesting the industry may need to educate consumers in order to foster adoption of the technology. According to LRG, only 30 percent of adults have heard of 4K, while only about one-third of that group has actually seen a 4K TV. Additionally, strong interest in purchasing a 4K set was not evident in the findings. Continue reading HDTV Survey: Most U.S. Consumers Are Not Familiar with 4K TV

YouTube Mobile Apps Will Soon Add Offline Viewing Feature

YouTube this week announced a new feature that will soon allow its users to watch video content offline. Starting in November, Google’s YouTube mobile apps will enable users to download content for offline viewing within a 48-hour period following the downloads. While the new feature may be a win for video fans when they are not online, some industry execs speculate that the move will not have much of an impact on total viewing numbers or advertising dollars. Continue reading YouTube Mobile Apps Will Soon Add Offline Viewing Feature

YouTube Multi-Channel Network Sued By Music Association

The National Music Publishers Association (NMPA) has filed a lawsuit against Fullscreen, a multi-channel network of popular YouTube channels. The association claims that the company is using unlicensed music in its videos. Fullscreen serves more than 10,000 YouTube channels, including channels owned by Nintendo, Pepsi and Lexus. At the same time, the NMPA is forming an agreement in principle with Maker Studios for music licensing. Continue reading YouTube Multi-Channel Network Sued By Music Association

YouTube Stars Are Attracting Traditional Media Companies

Previously, people had to establish their own fame on YouTube, but now there are companies and networks that can help. At the recent VidCon conference in Anaheim, there was much debate regarding independent networks and media companies, and the future of online video among video creators and the industry. Traditional media companies and independents are attempting to establish themselves as a presence in online video and among emerging YouTube stars. Continue reading YouTube Stars Are Attracting Traditional Media Companies