video killed the _____ star
Posted by Mark J. Miller on November 15, 2013 11:47 AM
Cord cutters have made the last 12 months the worst ever for cable-TV subscriber retention, the Los Angeles Times reports. Perhaps that’s part of the reason that one of America’s largest cable operators is getting in on the streaming-video movement. After all, DVD sales have been falling while sales of streaming films and television programs increased 45 percent in the third quarter.
Comcast “plans to start selling movies for download and streaming through the cable operator's set-top boxes and its Xfinity TV website,” Reuters reports. By year’s end, Comcast's 20 million subscribers will be able to purchase movies and content that they can watch on their TV, computer, or mobile device. This differs from Comcast’s current on-demand offerings, which only allow viewers to "rent" a selection to watch during a set time window.Continue reading...
video killed the _____ star
Posted by Sheila Shayon on November 13, 2013 05:16 PM
Netflix has finally fixed its fragmentation problem by implementing a new interface for its TV-based service that better melds Netflix's vast library with intuitive viewer preferences.
"In [the old] Netflix experience, we give you all this stuff," said Chris Jaffe, VP product innovation, according to The Verge. "But the question we don’t answer for you is 'Why should you watch this title?'"
So Netflix now markets content much like television, rather than lining up an indiscriminate batch of on screen choices. The company has made visual and search changes since 2011, but this recent round of changes is described by The Verge as “like parking your TV on a glossy, high-end station that’s programmed just for you.”Continue reading...
tech in the spotlight
Posted by Shirley Brady on November 13, 2013 10:17 AM
In case you missed it, check out Compressorhead — aka GE's heavy metal robot band — in action in New York City's Union Square park yesterday.Continue reading...
Posted by Mark J. Miller on November 12, 2013 05:58 PM
So much for the season of giving. According to the US National Retail Federation, more than half of "holiday shoppers plan to spend an average of nearly $140 on 'self gifts,'" and brands like Roku are hoping that streaming services will be at the top of their list.
Set-top box maker Roku is upping the ante with a $12 million “Now This is TV” holiday ad campaign to keep pace with competitors like Netflix, HBO Go, Hulu, Xbox One, Google's Chromecast and Apple TV. The effort eclipses Roku's entire 2012 marketing budget, but with Netflix and Amazon pushing out original series on top of offering expansive video libraries, Roku hopes the ad effort will bring attention back to its broad content library as a "key differentiator," Ad Age reports.
As popular as Roku's set-top boxes are, there is plenty of competition. Apple has reportedly sold more of its set-top boxes than Roku, and Google's Chromecast offers a pared-down, more affordable version of Roku's services, but it seems consumers still prefer the little black box. In a report from Parks Associates, 37 percent of respondents who had streaming video said they primarily used Roku while only 24 percent said Apple TV was their first choice.Continue reading...
Posted by Sheila Shayon on November 11, 2013 11:01 AM
It’s a busy day for Starcom, Yahoo and Google as they shake up the status quo in ‘terms of service’ (TOS) and personalization.
A change in Google’s TOS, which went into effect on Monday, enables the online giant to post users’ images and recommendations in some advertisements, while Starcom and Yahoo are partnering to improve the digital video experience in general with greater ‘personalization and relevance.’
As the digital landscape wobbles under an escalating tonnage of content, the Publicis-owned Starcom media agency and Yahoo are joining forces to better leverage audience data to create and target video content across the web.Continue reading...
the revolution will be televised
Posted by Mark J. Miller on November 7, 2013 06:37 PM
It’s getting easier and easier for the American public to unplug from the tyranny of cable television: Hulu, Aereo, Netflix, Amazon, and a slew of others are offering up digital-video content to the public that doesn’t require the restrictive packages that pay-TV touts.
Streaming movies and re-runs is one thing, but creating original content that rivals some of the best cable TV shows is one sure way to ensure customer converts. Netflix has led the way with its Emmy-winning House of Cards and critically-adored Orange is the New Black. But Amazon is now making its move, launching Alpha House on Nov. 15 and Betas one week later.
As the Wall Street Journal points out, the two services have some significant differences. Netflix releases entire seasons of its shows at one time so consumers can binge-watch, while Amazon will release the first three episodes of each show together and then release one episode per week after that. Also, Netflix gets its new shows the old-school way while Amazon has given the go-ahead to two pilots from scripts it received via an online portal it has set up.Continue reading...
Posted by Barry Silverstein on November 6, 2013 03:46 PM
When Blockbuster was sold to TV satellite provider Dish Network in April 2011, it was likely just a matter of time before Dish realized it was in over its head.
"Dish has zero retail capability at present, and therefore lacks the scale or synergies to benefit from the operation of Blockbuster retail stores. ...[Dish] decided that rather than buying the streaming capability and the Blockbuster brand name from another party, it could bid for the entire company and offer the store inventory to another bidder at a later date," Wedbush analyst Michael Pachtner observed at the time.
Sure enough, an announcement by Dish today indicated that Blockbuster would terminate its retail and by-mail DVD distribution operations in January, closing about 300 remaining US-based stores along with its distribution centers. The Blockbuster by Mail service will be discontinued in mid-December. Dish will, however, continue to support its domestic and international franchisees.Continue reading...
social media watch
Posted by Sheila Shayon on November 4, 2013 05:51 PM
Twitter is going full steam ahead this week as it puts final touches on its IPO, now priced between $23 and $25, pushing its potential market value to $13.9 billion.
With its Thursday market debut looming, Twitter is showing no signs of weakness, continuing an aggressive push to boost the value of the microblogger. Careful to not have a 'Facebook moment,' Twitter still intends to sell 70 million shares in its debut, but with strong demand for its stock after its road show, the company even plans to close its books on Tuesday, a day ahead of schedule. The move is on point with bullish reports from Wall Street, most indicating a strong support and outlook for the company.
“If you’ve got a social strategy, Twitter is one of the most effective ways to activate that,” Brian Wieser, a senior analyst at Pivotal Research, said in an interview, according to the New York Times. “What they’ve got is unique and not replicable in any sense.”
And analysts are only looking up. Richard Greenfield, an analyst at BTIG Research, indicated that he sees Twitter's revenue growing from $636 million this year to $1.1 billion in 2014, and $2.7 billion in 2016. “We expect a lot of growth ahead in advertising and Twitter ad products," he told the Times.Continue reading...