Comcast Planning to Launch Short-Form Online Video Service

Comcast reportedly has plans to launch an online video service similar to YouTube, which would offer short-form content. By offering original content, Comcast hopes it would appeal to a younger demographic and create shows that could also be distributed as part of its traditional TV cable package. The company has yet to announce an expected launch date. Meanwhile, Comcast has unveiled Xfinity Share for its Triple Play customers, which allows users to beam live video to their TVs or those of their friends. Continue reading Comcast Planning to Launch Short-Form Online Video Service

ESPN is First to File Suit Against Verizon Over FiOS Bundles

ESPN filed a lawsuit Monday in New York Supreme Court against Verizon, claiming that Verizon’s new FiOS TV packages — which allow subscribers to purchase a basic set of channels starting at $55 per month, and add tiers of genre-based channels — are in breach of contract regarding ESPN distribution. While Verizon introduced the new packages to attract consumers looking for more flexibility, the company has met resistance from major players such as 21st Century Fox and NBCUniversal regarding current programming agreements. Continue reading ESPN is First to File Suit Against Verizon Over FiOS Bundles

Google Leverages NFL Content Deal to Push YouTube Ad Sales

Back in January, YouTube closed a deal with the National Football League to set up an NFL channel on its video platform, offering viewers game previews, highlights and more. In anticipation of the next season, YouTube is looking to capitalize on its NFL programming to secure lucrative advertising deals. The tech giant has set its NFL ad package at $5.2 million for the entire season, on the condition that marketers also commit to paying that same amount to enlist in its Google Preferred program. Continue reading Google Leverages NFL Content Deal to Push YouTube Ad Sales

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

Google Fiber Tracking System Has Potential for Targeted Ads

Google is testing a new TV ad-tracking system in Kansas City. The technology is reportedly similar to that used for measuring online ad views. The system could represent the Holy Grail for today’s advertising since it potentially provides targeting on a scale never before made possible. While the gross ratings point based on Nielsen viewers remains the industry standard, relatively few households have Nielsen boxes. However, every Google Fiber subscriber has a Google Fiber box, which could be used to target consumers. Continue reading Google Fiber Tracking System Has Potential for Targeted Ads

Dish Has Plans to Offer a $200 Advanced Touchscreen Remote

As more people cut the cord and abandon their pay TV plans, Dish Network believes it can retain customers by offering a new remote control that promises to help people find what they want to watch. Startup Ray Enterprises is already working with Dish to make its advanced remote control compatible with Dish Network’s Hopper DVR. The $200 touchscreen remote includes search and recommendation features and the ability to control other devices connected to the TV. Continue reading Dish Has Plans to Offer a $200 Advanced Touchscreen Remote

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

Following its Record Quarter, Netflix Eyes Global Expansion

Yesterday’s fourth-quarter earnings report indicates that Netflix added 13 million subscribers in 2014, including 4.3 million during the final three months (marking the company’s strongest quarter of subscriber gains to date). Netflix earnings also grew to a quarterly high of $83.4 million. “Internet TV is growing globally and Netflix is leading the charge,” claims CEO Reed Hastings. Netflix continues to invest heavily in original content and expand internationally as part of its effort to fend off growing competition from Amazon, HBO and YouTube. Continue reading Following its Record Quarter, Netflix Eyes Global Expansion

Netflix is Hoping to Take its Original Series Success Abroad

Streaming video service Netflix saw U.S. viewership of its original series jump from 57 percent of domestic subscribers in the first quarter to 72 percent in the third quarter. New shows and word-of-mouth likely helped spark interest in Netflix originals like “Orange Is the New Black.” Now, amid growing competition, Netflix hopes to replicate that success overseas with its upcoming high-budget original series, “Marco Polo,” which is set to make its international debut in December. Continue reading Netflix is Hoping to Take its Original Series Success Abroad

Slingbox Integrates YouTube Recommendations with Live TV

Sling Media, the company behind multiscreen TV devices including the Slingbox 500 and SlingTV, has added support for YouTube video recommendations in its TV guide. During live TV programming, the user could call up a menu of related YouTube videos on the bottom of the screen. Audible Magic’s audio-fingerprinting technology determines the content of the live TV. The top-trending YouTube videos are also located on a separate tab within the TV guide. Continue reading Slingbox Integrates YouTube Recommendations with Live TV

Proposed FCC Rule Change Potential Big Step for Internet TV

The FCC is considering a change to federal regulations that could potentially put Internet TV providers on the same level as traditional cable TV companies. If the change were implemented, Internet TV providers would reportedly have the same ability as today’s cable and satellite companies to negotiate for carrying broadcast TV stations. The change could therefore help emerging multichannel video programming distributors (MVPD) to license the content necessary to become serious contenders. Continue reading Proposed FCC Rule Change Potential Big Step for Internet TV

Netflix Shares Take a Hit After Disappointing Third Quarter

While Netflix has become the largest standalone subscription programming service in the U.S., and the leading brand among millennials, the company attracted a disappointing number of new users during the third quarter, resulting in a 26.4 percent drop in its stock value yesterday. Netflix added 980,000 customers for the quarter, down from 1.3 million for the same period last year. The disappointing results were intensified by HBO’s announcement that it plans to offer a competing service next year. Continue reading Netflix Shares Take a Hit After Disappointing Third Quarter

Hulu Bets Big on Original Series from J.J. Abrams, Stephen King

Hulu has ordered a nine-hour miniseries adaptation of Stephen King’s novel “11/22/63” with J.J. Abrams as executive producer. No formal release date has been announced and Hulu has yet to decide whether only Hulu Plus subscribers will get access to the series. This gamble on a miniseries about JFK’s assassination may make Hulu a serious competitor in subscription video on demand. Netflix and Amazon currently have a head start in critically acclaimed original programming. Continue reading Hulu Bets Big on Original Series from J.J. Abrams, Stephen King

Viacom Will Offer 22 Networks Via Sony’s Internet TV Service

In a deal that will offer more options for TV viewers, Viacom announced yesterday that it has reached an agreement with Sony to make 22 of its networks available through Sony’s new Internet-based television service, expected to launch later this year. The subscription service plans to offer live TV and on-demand programming via connected Sony devices, including PlayStation game consoles and smart TVs. This marks the first time Viacom networks will be made available through such a service. Continue reading Viacom Will Offer 22 Networks Via Sony’s Internet TV Service

Mobile Apps: Apple and Google Seeking Software Prodigies

Apple and Google are competing for younger programmers to write the next wave of mobile code. In 2012, Apple lowered the minimum age of attendance at its developer conference from 18 to 13. The company supplies scholarships for those that cannot pay the $1,600 fee for registration. Meanwhile, Google holds a youth section at its developer conference for those between 11 and 15 years old. Tech companies are searching for software prodigies that will develop the next big apps for smartphones and tablets. Continue reading Mobile Apps: Apple and Google Seeking Software Prodigies

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