Sony to Launch First Scripted Series for PlayStation Console

“Powers,” a scripted series based on a comic book, won’t make its debut on TV, but on Sony’s PlayStation gaming console. PlayStation consoles have long offered video streaming apps, but this is the first time that Sony has created an original scripted series for the gaming system. Sony is hoping that the series will encourage more people to buy the $50 PlayStation Plus membership, which include access to “Powers” along with free games and online storage. Continue reading Sony to Launch First Scripted Series for PlayStation Console

Amazon Aims to Make Prime Instant Video a Major Competitor

Amazon Studios, the production arm of Amazon’s Prime Instant Video service, hopes to challenge Netflix with compelling original series. The studio greenlit several shows to debut later this year, and viewers will get the chance to view pilots for another set of prospective shows in the next few weeks, including a drama by Whit Stillman and a comedy produced by Steven Soderbergh. Amazon takes feedback from viewers into consideration when selecting new shows. Continue reading Amazon Aims to Make Prime Instant Video a Major Competitor

CBS to Partner with SVODs for Exclusive Online Programming

CBS is reportedly working on shows intended for Internet distribution only, via services such as Netflix, Hulu or Amazon Instant Video. The new approach would allow CBS to sell its reruns to online video services in addition to new shows for exclusive streaming. During a Q2 earnings call last week, CEO Les Moonves announced that CBS “will be producing more and more shows for more and more outlets, including major streaming companies and other emerging distributors.” Continue reading CBS to Partner with SVODs for Exclusive Online Programming

Netflix Reports Strong Q2 Earnings, Unveils International Plans

Netflix reported second quarter earnings higher than analysts’ estimates, and announced that original series “Orange Is the New Black” helped lift its number of subscribers past 50 million. Net income more than doubled to $71 million, while sales grew 25 percent. Netflix added 570,000 domestic streaming customers, bringing its U.S. total to 36.2 million. During the quarter, the company raised fees $1 to $2 a month for new customers of its online service to help finance original content. Continue reading Netflix Reports Strong Q2 Earnings, Unveils International Plans

SVOD: Analysis Looks at Race Between Amazon, Hulu, Netflix

According to a Piper Jaffray report, Netflix remains ahead of Amazon’s Prime Instant Video in terms of licensing content, offering more top 50 movies and top 75 TV shows in recent years. Amazon has been heavily investing in exclusives and original content to increase its offerings. Meanwhile, Hulu delivers almost three times the number of top-rated shows as Netflix. Of the top 75 TV series from the 2013-2014 season, Hulu Plus has 57 percent, Netflix offers 20 percent and Amazon 9 percent. Continue reading SVOD: Analysis Looks at Race Between Amazon, Hulu, Netflix

Yahoo’s New Video Platform Plans to Compete with YouTube

After a few months of delays, Yahoo plans to launch its new video service this summer. Like YouTube, the service will allow users to post videos, create their own channels, and embed the Yahoo video player into other sites. Yahoo’s video service is different in its more generous revenue-sharing deals with video creators. Content producers with a Yahoo contract will also have the ability to publish their videos on Yahoo properties including the homepage and Tumblr. Continue reading Yahoo’s New Video Platform Plans to Compete with YouTube

Netflix Turns to Original Series and Licensing 5-Star Content

According to Netflix CFO David Wells, the streaming service plans on spending $3.2 billion on streaming content in 2014. Netflix acknowledged that a large fraction of the currently available material is not necessarily popular with its audience and plans to spend more money on shows with higher potential. A content shift through the next few quarters toward more original series along with licensing exclusive and higher-rated shows will account for this extra spending. Continue reading Netflix Turns to Original Series and Licensing 5-Star Content

Focus on Personalization: The Netflix Vision for Internet TV

Neil Hunt, Netflix’s chief product officer, announced several of Netflix’s predictions for the future of TV at New York City’s Internet Week conference. He said the company is perfecting its personalization technology so that Netflix will know exactly what you want to watch, and will give you one or two suggestions rather than an endless grid of movies and shows. The vision also includes elimination of the commercial, more smart TVs, and maybe even live sports on Netflix. Continue reading Focus on Personalization: The Netflix Vision for Internet TV

Netflix Raises Monthly Subscription Rate for New Customers

Netflix has raised its monthly price for new subscribers by $1 to $8.99, marking its first price increase in three years. CEO Reed Hastings recently announced that a price increase would likely be necessary to meet the rising costs of movies and TV shows. The video streaming service introduced a new $7.99 plan for subscribers not concerned with high-definition or the ability to stream programs on multiple devices, while a $11.99 premium plan lets users stream shows to four devices at once. Continue reading Netflix Raises Monthly Subscription Rate for New Customers

Vevo Announces Original Content, Expanded Pact with Twitter

Vevo, YouTube’s single largest music supplier of videos, does not just distribute music videos. At the 2014 NewFronts presentations, Vevo introduced seven new original series that explore different aspects of music and the artists that create it. Vevo also announced deals with Twitter to promote videos and Mirriad to integrate brands into their new content. The digital music video powerhouse also plans to host a live concert in the fall of 2014. Continue reading Vevo Announces Original Content, Expanded Pact with Twitter

Branded Video Content Migrates from TV to Online Platforms

At the 2014 NewFronts presentations, online video content providers revealed that product placement will play a larger role in video content. Just as TV shows feature certain brands, online videos may soon have integrated brands in their story lines. The practice, known as branded entertainment, may provide a new source of revenue for video content providers with original programming. Also, viewers typically find branded entertainment less obtrusive than traditional video ads. Continue reading Branded Video Content Migrates from TV to Online Platforms

Comcast Customers to Soon Stream Games from Electronic Arts

Following two years of testing, Comcast and Electronic Arts are reportedly close to reaching an agreement that would allow customers to stream EA video games to televisions via Comcast’s X1 cable box system, and use their tablets as controllers. The cloud-connected X1 system features apps, viewing recommendations and voice control. According to sources familiar with the plans, games such as “FIFA,” “Madden” and “Monopoly” would be available to Comcast’s more-than 22 million U.S. customers. Continue reading Comcast Customers to Soon Stream Games from Electronic Arts

New Yahoo Video Offerings: Comedy Series and Daily Concerts

Yahoo is making deals yet again to expand its video content in an effort to compete with Google’s YouTube, Hulu, Netflix and Amazon. This time, Yahoo will make a foray into original programming by commissioning two original TV-length comedy series. The shows will be available to stream online from Yahoo Screen in early 2015. In addition, Yahoo struck a deal with Live Nation Entertainment to start streaming one live concert per day starting in July. Continue reading New Yahoo Video Offerings: Comedy Series and Daily Concerts

Microsoft Planning Original TV Programming for Xbox Console

Microsoft is expanding beyond video games in an effort to make its Xbox console more of an entertainment media hub. The software giant is planning to produce TV-like original programming including an expected series from Steven Spielberg based on “Halo,” a version of Swedish sci-fi show “Humans,” a soccer reality-style series and a documentary about discarded Atari games. Microsoft joins a growing field as companies such as Netflix, Amazon, Hulu and Yahoo are tackling original content. Continue reading Microsoft Planning Original TV Programming for Xbox Console

HBO Signs Exclusive Licensing Pact with Amazon Prime Service

In a first of its kind deal for Time Warner’s HBO, the premium cable channel has agreed to license older episodes of its programming to Amazon Prime’s subscription streaming service. The agreement is the first such HBO deal with an online video provider, and will make original series such as “The Wire” and “The Sopranos” available for online streaming. Prior to this deal, HBO shows were only available for digital purchase through Amazon or Apple’s iTunes, or via rental services such as Netflix. Continue reading HBO Signs Exclusive Licensing Pact with Amazon Prime Service

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