Facebook Builds Watch Audience with WWE and Vice Series

Facebook is building audiences for its new Watch video platform with a strategic series of deals and productions. The social media platform nabbed exclusive rights to “Mixed Match Challenge,” a 12-episode 20-minute live weekly show from WWE that it will begin streaming on January 16 in the U.S. only. The ad-free series is an elimination, tag-team tournament that matches male and female stars from “Raw” and “SmackDown Live.” Facebook also ordered three original weekly series from Vice Media, all of them unscripted. Continue reading Facebook Builds Watch Audience with WWE and Vice Series

Apple Launches Its First Original Series: ‘Planet of the Apps’

At WWDC 2017 this week, Apple debuted its first original series produced for distribution via Apple Music, aimed at its 27 million subscribers. The 10-episode “Planet of the Apps” features Jessica Alba, Gwyneth Paltrow, musician will.i.am and entrepreneur Gary Vaynerchuk. Structured similarly to “The Voice” and “Top Chef,” the show’s judges counsel inventors as they develop apps focusing on shopping, exercise and other services. Apple already produced a spinoff of “Carpool Karaoke” (to launch August 8) and acquired rights to a documentary about music tycoon Clive Davis. Continue reading Apple Launches Its First Original Series: ‘Planet of the Apps’

Facebook Looking to Publish More Long-Form Original Series

Facebook is on the hunt for more TV-like original programming for the video tab in its mobile app. The company is looking for weekly shows no longer than 30 minutes per episode. Facebook isn’t interested in hard news content, but rather scripted and unscripted shows in subject areas including sports, science, pop culture, lifestyle, gaming and teens. Original programming would not only help keep users on the social media platform longer; it could also generate a significant amount of ad revenue. Continue reading Facebook Looking to Publish More Long-Form Original Series

Apple to Roll Out Original Video Programming via Apple Music

Apple is joining the ranks of Amazon and Netflix in creating original series specifically intended for online platforms. However, unlike its competitors, Apple does not have a devoted video platform, so it plans to create original content for its Apple Music streaming service that can be viewed on Apple TVs, iPads, iPhones and other devices. So far, Apple is developing a reality series called “Planet of the Apps” and a standalone series based on James Corden’s popular “Carpool Karaoke.” Continue reading Apple to Roll Out Original Video Programming via Apple Music

Netflix Finds That TV Binge Viewing Often Followed by Movies

Netflix’s research shows that, after binge-watching a TV show, 61 percent of subscribers (accounting for 36 percent of all Netflix members) watch a movie, after nearly all of them (59 percent) take at least a one-day break. More granular research shows that the TV-movie pairings are often logical: Those who watched the “Pretty Little Liars” series next watched “Bring It On” and “Mean Girls,” and “Breaking Bad” viewers turned to “Full Metal Jacket” and “Pulp Fiction.” Horror series viewers, however, often turned to comedy. Continue reading Netflix Finds That TV Binge Viewing Often Followed by Movies

Hulu Launches Ultra HD, YouTube Supports 4K Live Streaming

Hulu has joined Netflix and Amazon in offering select titles in 4K. Subscribers with a Microsoft Xbox One S or Sony PlayStation 4 Pro console (and a minimum connection speed of 13 megabits per second) can now enjoy James Bond films and original Hulu series in the Ultra HD format. Netflix and Amazon also offer select high dynamic range content. Meanwhile, YouTube — which first introduced 4K support to its video-sharing site in 2010 — is now bringing the same capability to live streaming of 4K and 360 videos. The feature should help the site compete with Facebook and Twitter in the live streaming space. Continue reading Hulu Launches Ultra HD, YouTube Supports 4K Live Streaming

ABC and Warner Bros. Ink Deal for Network’s Digital Platforms

ABC just struck a deal with Warner Bros. Television to make all in-season episodes of any future series from the studio available on ABC digital platforms. That’s a victory for the network over other streaming services, in particular Netflix, which often insists on exclusivity, thus blocking networks from securing so-called stacking rights, or five rolling episodes of a current show. The ABC-Warner Bros. deal means that ABC will have more relevant content for its own time-shifted options, including the revamped WatchABC app. Continue reading ABC and Warner Bros. Ink Deal for Network’s Digital Platforms

Spotify Introducing Video Content to Music Streaming Service

Spotify will debut video content on its Android app this week, and the iOS app by end of next week, in the U.S., the U.K., Germany and Sweden. Originally, the music streaming service planned to offer video in May, but has focused on testing videos on its apps with less than 10 percent of its users in the four launch markets. The content is mostly comprised of short clips from ESPN, Comedy Central, the BBC, Vice Media and Maker Studios, among others. Some companies, like Tastemade, are creating original, music-themed series. Continue reading Spotify Introducing Video Content to Music Streaming Service

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

Hulu Doubles the Amount of TV Content it Licenses from Viacom

While streaming services continue to invest in original series to attract new subscribers, the SVOD battle over TV rights has also been heating up. Amazon, Hulu and Netflix are competing for the exclusive rights to stream popular shows that first air on television. A number of new deals have been announced in recent weeks, including Amazon picking up USA Network’s “Mr. Robot,” Hulu getting Fox’s “The Last Man on Earth,” and Netflix signing ABC’s “How to Get Away with Murder” and CW’s “Jane the Virgin.” Most recently, Viacom extended its licensing agreement with Hulu. Continue reading Hulu Doubles the Amount of TV Content it Licenses from Viacom

Half of U.S. Homes with Internet Have Connected TV Devices

NPD Group reports that “connected TV devices” were in 46 million U.S. homes at the end of Q2 2015. That figure represents about half of all U.S. homes with an Internet connection. NPD defines “connected TV device” as one that connects to the Internet and allows the user to access apps (including connected devices such as smart TVs, game consoles, streaming media players and Blu-ray Disc players). According to NPD executive director John Buffone, the 4 million year-over-year jump is attributable to increased sales of smart TVs and a surge of streaming services. Continue reading Half of U.S. Homes with Internet Have Connected TV Devices

Conde Nast Plans Scripted VR Series to Attract New Audience

Conde Nast is attempting to appeal to the online audience that does not read the company’s lifestyle magazine, so it will start expanding its online video offerings. The Conde Nast Entertainment (CNE) division will produce two original scripted virtual reality series with Jaunt VR, which recently announced its planned LA studio. These new series will be released on The Scene, Conde Nast’s online video platform. CNE plans to make 2,500 videos for The Scene in the next year with the help of new content partners. Continue reading Conde Nast Plans Scripted VR Series to Attract New Audience

Netflix Beats Projections for User Growth In U.S. and Abroad

Netflix added 4.88 million subscribers in the most recent quarter, exceeding expectations for growth of its user base. The company had forecast 4.05 million new subscribers. Netflix believes its popular original programming like “House of Cards” helped attract more users both in the U.S. and internationally. The streaming service is continuing to expand overseas and plans to encrypt its video streams in order to protect the privacy of its now 62 million-strong user base. Continue reading Netflix Beats Projections for User Growth In U.S. and Abroad

BitTorrent Partners with Rapid Eye Studios for Original Video

BitTorrent recently partnered with Rapid Eye Studios to produce original video content. BitTorrent, the popular platform for peer-to-peer sharing of movies, music, and other media content, plans to create new original content as well as distribute it through the company’s publishing gateway, BitTorrent Bundle. The company’s first original, “Children of the Machine,” is slated for release this year as a free version that includes ads or a premium, ad-free version priced at $9.95.  Continue reading BitTorrent Partners with Rapid Eye Studios for Original Video

Nickelodeon Shifts Direction to Draw Today’s Younger Viewers

To attract a new generation of young viewers, children’s television channel Nickelodeon is retooling its strategy to produce shows with the more media-savvy viewer in mind. This latest generation of kids has typically consumed more media on TV and YouTube by the age of 12 than their older brothers and sisters did, so re-runs of older content no longer keep them hooked. Nickelodeon is now filming outdoors, adding multi-episode plotlines, and adding fresh writing and acting talent. Continue reading Nickelodeon Shifts Direction to Draw Today’s Younger Viewers

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