ABC Developing Original Programming for Streaming Initiative

ABC is said to be exploring a new approach to streaming original content online. Rather than launching a standalone subscription service similar to CBS All Access or NBCUniversal’s upcoming comedy offering Seeso, the network is reportedly planning to introduce new series exclusively through its WatchABC app. In addition to offering expanded original programming on an alternative platform, the Disney-owned network could also use the model as a means of trying out new concepts and talent that could eventually make their way to broadcast television. Continue reading ABC Developing Original Programming for Streaming Initiative

Networks Turn to Neuroscience, Biometrics to Study TV Viewing

Up until now, the methodology to find out what TV viewers like — based largely on written surveys and machines with dials to indicate their degree of enjoyment — has been fairly primitive and, most likely, not very reliable. Comcast’s NBCUniversal and Viacom are now both trying to dig deeper using biometrics, including eye movements, facial reactions, skin sensors, heart monitors, and EEGs to monitor brain waves. Viewing measurement company Nielsen even bought a neuroscience firm, Innerscope Resesarch, to add these skillsets to its lab. Continue reading Networks Turn to Neuroscience, Biometrics to Study TV Viewing

YouTube to Launch its Subscription Service in U.S. Next Week

At the YouTube Space in Los Angeles yesterday, YouTube execs formally introduced the company’s anticipated $9.99 per month subscription service. YouTube Red will offer consumers ad-free access to YouTube’s enormous catalog of music, gaming and how-to videos. The company also unveiled YouTube originals during the event, a collection of original programming that will be available exclusively through the new subscription service. YouTube Red will launch next week across the YouTube site, YouTube’s gaming app and the Google Play music service. Continue reading YouTube to Launch its Subscription Service in U.S. Next Week

NBCUniversal to Launch Ad-Free Streaming Comedy Channel

Comcast’s NBCUniversal plans to debut a Web-only subscription video service in January called Seeso that will offer comedic fare such as standup specials, original series, select movies, and NBC classics like “The Office” and “30 Rock” along with late-night hits including “Saturday Night Live” and “The Tonight Show Starring Jimmy Fallon.” The ad-free channel, which will cost $3.99 per month, will offer more than 20 exclusive original series during its first year. NBCU said it does not have plans to remove its content from other digital services such as Netflix, Hulu and YouTube. Continue reading NBCUniversal to Launch Ad-Free Streaming Comedy Channel

New Media Companies Lured to TV by Revenue Opportunities

New media companies that attracted an entire demographic away from traditional television are making a counterintuitive move by producing TV programs, often in partnership with networks and other Hollywood players. BuzzFeed, Vice Media and Huffington Post are among the companies now inking deals with HBO, A+E Networks, Comcast’s Universal Studios and Hearst Television. One big reason why is that new media purveyors have to meet expectations of sky-high valuations, and TV is a more predictable revenue stream than online video. Continue reading New Media Companies Lured to TV by Revenue Opportunities

With Elemental Buy, Amazon May Be Planning Pay TV Service

According to several sources, Amazon is reportedly looking into the logistics and costs of creating an online pay TV service by talking with multiple content owners about carrying their channels. These talks — with CBS and Comcast’s NBCUniversal — have been going on for several months, say the sources. Amazon already offers content via its Prime Instant Video streaming service, as well as producing its own TV content. A live service would put it in direct competition with other pay TV providers such as Comcast and AT&T. Continue reading With Elemental Buy, Amazon May Be Planning Pay TV Service

Instant Access to NBC Shows and Highlights with Roku App

NBCUniversal has launched a free Roku app that offers television viewers access to day-after-air full high definition episodes and highlights of their favorite NBC shows, including new fall series such as “Blindspot,” “Heroes Reborn” and “The Player.” While no provider login is required for select new series, authentication will be needed for access to returning NBC shows and older content. The network also plans to make late night programming — including “Saturday Night Live” and “The Tonight Show with Jimmy Fallon” — available as full episodes and as clips. Continue reading Instant Access to NBC Shows and Highlights with Roku App

Nielsen to Track Viewership Across Netflix, Amazon and Hulu

Nielsen is rolling out a program to track views of almost 1,000 shows on Netflix, Amazon’s Prime Instant Video and Hulu, relying on the same 25,000 U.S. households used to track traditional TV ratings. The idea is that, by having access to that data, large media companies such as Comcast NBCUniversal can hammer out better content licensing deals, especially with Netflix. Currently, Nielsen provides data only to studios that own the programs and pay for the information, but it plans to syndicate the data in the future. Continue reading Nielsen to Track Viewership Across Netflix, Amazon and Hulu

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

Apple Delays Live TV, Lacking Licensed Content and Network

At Apple’s upcoming September 9 event, the Silicon Valley company will announce a more powerful version of its Apple TV set-top box. But what it won’t be introducing is a live TV service streamed over the Internet. Although Apple insiders are mum, those close to the project say that Apple hasn’t licensed enough content from TV networks and that talks to do so are moving slowly. Another obstacle is a sufficiently robust computer network to guarantee the content will stream properly. The company is reportedly now targeting a 2016 launch date. Continue reading Apple Delays Live TV, Lacking Licensed Content and Network

NBCUniversal Buys Into Publisher Vox Media With $200 Million

NBCUniversal just made a $200 million investment in digital publishing house Vox Media, as part of a strategy to collaborate on programming, advertising and technology. According to comScore, Vox, a hub for eight digital media brands, had 54 million unique U.S. visitors in June, about 41 percent of who are 18 to 34 years old. NBCUniversal also plans to invest another $200 million in BuzzFeed, valued at $1.5 billion. The two deals are more evidence of a trend of established media companies partnering with digital startups. Continue reading NBCUniversal Buys Into Publisher Vox Media With $200 Million

Comcast Commits to Theme Parks with Billions in Investment

Comcast has turned to its theme park portfolio, which it acquired four years ago with its purchase of NBCUniversal, as a serious source of revenue. The company just committed to invest $1.6 billion to expand the Universal Studios Hollywood theme park in California — featuring a snow-capped Hogwarts Castle — and build a $3.25 billion theme park in Beijing, in partnership with Chinese companies, slated to open in 2019. Comcast invested $100 million for a new “Transformers” ride at Universal Orlando in 2013. Continue reading Comcast Commits to Theme Parks with Billions in Investment

CBS to Live-Stream Super Bowl Ads, Link Online/TV Ratings

In a first, CBS will live-stream all the Super Bowl ads for its February 7, 2016 broadcast of Super Bowl 50. Super Bowl sponsors will also see online hits and TV ratings coupled, which, up until now, have been separated between Nielsen ratings for TV and other means for online. CBS is also seeking a hike in the cost of placing an ad in the Super Bowl, from at least $4.5 million to $4.7 million for a 30-second spot. This represents another record price since last year when NBC asked between $4.4 million and $4.5 million. Continue reading CBS to Live-Stream Super Bowl Ads, Link Online/TV Ratings

Broadcast and Cable TV Join Forces to Form New Trade Group

In the face of declining ratings and a shift in ad dollars to digital platforms, television networks are expanding their data and analytics capabilities. On Monday, leading broadcast and cable TV companies announced the formation of the Video Advertising Bureau (VAB), a new trade organization that plans to promote research and data that highlights the impact of TV commercials to Madison Avenue. The VAB intends to provide marketers with insights and measurement tools that help gauge whether video ads drive consumer purchases. Continue reading Broadcast and Cable TV Join Forces to Form New Trade Group

Spotify Pursuing Major Media Companies to Partner on Videos

According to insiders, Spotify is reportedly in discussions with numerous media companies, TV networks, online video producers and magazine publishers to introduce short video clips to its streaming service as early as this month. The additional content would be available on Spotify’s mobile platform as part of an effort to keep users more engaged, challenge YouTube’s video dominance, and help the service sell more advertising. Discussions with potential partners are believed to be at an early stage and Spotify has yet to announce any deals. Continue reading Spotify Pursuing Major Media Companies to Partner on Videos

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