OWNZONES Demos its Cloud-Based IMF Transcoder at CES

OTT video distribution startup OWNZONES Media Network claims it can transcode Interoperable Master Format (IMF) assets 40+ times faster than conventional methods via its Connect solution. “Using a parallel architecture with cloud transcoding, the company says OWNZONES Connect can process a film with a runtime of 2 hours and 40 minutes in just 6 minutes,” reports Variety. “In addition, the company has introduced a ‘pay-as-you-go’ model to let content owners distribute assets in the new SMPTE IMF format standard without any upfront investment.” Continue reading OWNZONES Demos its Cloud-Based IMF Transcoder at CES

Philo Streaming TV Service Offers Cable Bundle Minus Sports

Philo, the latest streaming TV service to hit the market, has eliminated sports from its line-up of three-dozen cable TV networks. The service will deliver programming to the user’s phone, laptop or connected TV. Because of the lack of sports, the base package will cost $16 per month, compared with YouTube TV’s $35 per month subscription or Hulu’s $40 per month fee. Participating cable networks include A&E, Scripps, Discovery, AMC and Viacom. Venture capital companies have invested $25 million in the new service. Continue reading Philo Streaming TV Service Offers Cable Bundle Minus Sports

Discovery to Purchase Scripps Networks in $14.6 Billion Deal

Discovery Communications announced it is acquiring Scripps Networks Interactive in a cash-and-stock deal valued at $14.6 billion — or $90 a share (the final deal is expected to be valued around $11.9 billion when including the assumption of $2.7 billion of Scripps’ net debt). The combined company, which will bring together cable properties representing nearly 20 percent of ad-supported pay-TV audiences in the United States, plans to produce 8,000 hours of original programming per year and 7 billion short-form video streams monthly. Continue reading Discovery to Purchase Scripps Networks in $14.6 Billion Deal

Amazon Debuts Touchscreen Echo Show, Adds Video Calls

Amazon will ship a touchscreen version of its Echo speaker, the Echo Show, on June 28. Now available for pre-order at $229.99 or two for $360, Echo Show has the same capabilities as the first Echo, with the Alexa voice assistant, but adds a built-in display that shows information generated by Alexa queries. Users who have the Alexa app can make or receive a video call through Show; a new “Drop In” feature lets friends and family make a call at any time, and the call receiver has 10 seconds to reject it or switch it to audio-only. Continue reading Amazon Debuts Touchscreen Echo Show, Adds Video Calls

YouTube Plans to Launch Internet TV Service for $35 a Month

YouTube announced yesterday that it plans to launch a new subscription Internet TV service in the next few months. As the latest entry in the growing collection of skinny bundle offerings that target cord cutters and cord nevers, YouTube TV will offer more than 40 broadcast and cable television channels for $35 per month. Google’s YouTube is hoping the timing may be right for such a service; there are an estimated 10 million homes that currently subscribe to a broadband service, but not television. Continue reading YouTube Plans to Launch Internet TV Service for $35 a Month

FCC Wireless Spectrum Auction Bidding Closes at $19.6 Billion

The FCC’s wireless spectrum auction has concluded, generating $19.6 billion in total bids, less than many analysts’ expectations but still “an amazing success,” according to former FCC chair Julius Genachowski, who said the auction will lead to additional investment and innovation. AT&T, Comcast, Dish Network, T-Mobile and Verizon were among the 62 bidders who made upfront payments last year. More than $10 billion of the money raised will go to broadcasters that opted to relinquish spectrum rights, more than $6 billion to the federal deficit, and up to $1.75 billion to broadcaster costs for changing channels. Continue reading FCC Wireless Spectrum Auction Bidding Closes at $19.6 Billion

Scripps Buys Popular Stitcher Podcast Service for $4.5 Million

Podcast platform Stitcher, purchased by streaming music service Deezer in 2014, has now been acquired by the E.W. Scripps Company for $4.5 million. Scripps owns 34 radio stations in eight markets, while Stitcher provides streaming for more than 65,000 podcasts. “Stitcher will operate as part of Midroll Media, which Scripps purchased about a year ago,” reports Radio Ink. Stitcher employees joining Midroll will operate out of San Francisco. Stitcher’s GM and VP of product Todd Pringle will lead product development. Continue reading Scripps Buys Popular Stitcher Podcast Service for $4.5 Million

TV Everywhere: Scripps Offers Live Streams of Cable Channels

Scripps Networks Interactive has partnered with TV Everywhere platform provider Anvato to offer viewers new live streams of the Cooking Channel, DIY Network, Food Network, HGTV and Travel Channel online and via mobile devices. In addition to streaming Scripps programming, Anvato is powering dynamic ad insertion (DAI) on network websites and the Android and iOS apps for Food Network, HGTV and Travel Channel. According to Matt Smith, chief evangelist at Anvato, DAI is becoming more popular as producers look to monetize their digital services. Continue reading TV Everywhere: Scripps Offers Live Streams of Cable Channels

Verizon to Launch its Mobile Video Service by End of Summer

New details about Verizon’s mobile video service were revealed after the company accidentally turned on a pre-launch staging website — briefly, but long enough for details to be revealed. Named Go90, the mobile service will offer select live music, exclusive events and sports as well as some full TV episodes, music videos and other short-form content. The landing page revealed new content partners and reaffirmed that, at least initially, the service will be delivered free of charge. The landing page has since been taken down. Continue reading Verizon to Launch its Mobile Video Service by End of Summer

Dish Network Unveils Over-the-Top Sling TV Service at CES

During a press event at CES, Dish Network announced its new subscription streaming service, Sling TV, which is slated to debut in the first quarter of 2015. According to Dish President and CEO Joe Clayton, the $20/per month OTT service will offer 25-30 channels from Disney, ESPN, Scripps Networks Interactive and Turner Broadcasting, in addition to exclusive content from YouTube and Maker Studios. The bundle is targeting millennials who might not otherwise subscribe to a cable or satellite pay TV service. Continue reading Dish Network Unveils Over-the-Top Sling TV Service at CES

TV Show Highlighting Popular Online Videos Tops Syndication

RightThisMinute, a TV show that focuses solely on online videos, has become the number one syndicated new show in the U.S. The show airs on HLN and local channels, with two million viewers per half-hour episode. Because the show consists only of online videos, rather than hiring writers, the producers and talent search for featured videos. The popularity of the show highlights a shift that makes the second screen — featuring content from YouTube, Hulu and Netflix — our first screen. Continue reading TV Show Highlighting Popular Online Videos Tops Syndication

AOL On Network: Premium Video Platform Launches in the UK

AOL launched its AOL On Network in the United Kingdom this week, the first market outside of North America to gain access to the on-demand video platform. AOL On is a syndication platform that offers curated and original content (currently 750,000 videos). It is an extension of the Be On end-to-end video platform for brands and its Adap.tv video trading platform. Web-only for now, an app for AOL On will be available in the UK early next month via the App Store on iTunes and Google Play. Continue reading AOL On Network: Premium Video Platform Launches in the UK

NAB 2013: Conference Notes – The State of Disruption

A surprisingly large number of people, at times as many as 100, stayed at NAB through Thursday afternoon to attend the 2-day Disruptive Media Conference produced by Ned Sherman and Digital Media Wire. Executives from companies such as Sony, Adobe, Rentrak, Scripps, StumbleUpon, nScreenMedia and others discussed the current impact of disruptive media and what they anticipate for the future. Continue reading NAB 2013: Conference Notes – The State of Disruption