brand news

Brand News: Lincoln, Apple Pay, Chrysler and more

Posted by Dale Buss on October 27, 2014 09:43 AM

TOP STORIES

CVS and Rite-Aid reject Apple Pay over conflict with rival retailer-supported technology as Walmart remains on sidelines.

Salesforce aims to boost sales by 20 percent with move into healthcare.

Apple designer Marc Newson crafts a shotgun for Beretta.

Chrysler pronounces 200 ready to "take on the world" in new ad campaign as automaker uses video games in dealer-staff training.

Ford prepares to overhaul Lincoln brand and launches MKC in China as Saturday Night Live spoofs brand's Matthew McConaughey spots with Jim Carrey.Continue reading...

media brands

HBO Cuts the Cord, Passes Go to Non-Cable Subscribers in Landmark Move

Posted by Sheila Shayon on October 15, 2014 12:04 PM

HBO was founded by a cable operator, Charles Dolan, who came up with its iconic tagline, "It's not television. It's HBO." With the launch of HBO Go for broadband and mobile to its pay TV customers, it added "It's not any streaming service. It's HBO Go" and "It's HBO. Anywhere" to its marketing toolkit.

It's been 42 years since HBO created Pay TV as a business and changed the distribution model for content worth paying for. Now it's forsaking television altogether by offering HBO Go to anyone who wants to sign up—and not just as a free add-on to subscribers of its premium TV offering.

It's an announcement that's sure to make waves with the stakeholders who brought it to the dance—cable and satellite TV operators—as the premium programmer abandons them at that dance in response to the threat of Netflix.Continue reading...

brand strategy

It's Go Time: HBO May Go Direct as Cable Landscape Continues to Shift

Posted by Sheila Shayon on September 11, 2014 03:04 PM

The company that changed broadcast television forever by introducing Pay-TV may be on the verge of doing so again.

Time Warner CEO Jeff Bewkes, called "Time Warner’s anti-mogul" by Michael Wolff, announced yesterday at the 23rd annual Goldman Sachs Communacopia Conference that he’s looking into offering HBO directly to consumers.

"We are seriously considering what is the best way to deal with broadband," said Bewkes. "The really good news is that we have viewers clamoring for HBO." 

As cable is increasingly replaced by broadband, HBO has a fundamental dilemma: it currently relies on packaged TV channels from cable providers like DirecTV, Charter Communications or Time Warner Cable to deliver its product to approximately 32,445,000 US households, (No. 2 behind Encore’s 41.6 million). Its global footprint covers 151 countries reaching nearly 114 million subscribers worldwide. 

And while HBO is loathe to irritate its distribution partners who contribute a cool $5 billion to the pay-TV service’s bottom line in annual revenue, the writing on the wall is clear: reach and grow subscribers beyond those tethered to cable TV in order to better compete against Netflix, Amazon Prime Instant Video, Roku and more.Continue reading...

video killed the _____ star

Hulu No Longer Playing Catch-Up with Slate of Original Programming for 2014

Posted by Sheila Shayon on January 9, 2014 05:55 PM

Hulu has used the massive CES 2014 stage to tout its five million subscribers, over $1 billion in revenue, and its exciting new lineup of original programming and returning series on the video platform. The company announced new shoes, including Reaper and Happy Endings, as well as returning favorites including Seth Meyers' The Awesomes and Chris O'Dowd's Moone Boy.

"I think the last year was a very solid foundation for us to continue to build our original business upon," said Charlotte Koh, Hulu's head of original programming development. "We're very aware that a lot of our evolution is about moving from a catch-up platform to being a first-run window of exclusive content. The slate that you're seeing for 2014 reflects the growing profile of the company.” 

That evolution will put Hulu back in line with competitors like Netflix and Amazon Prime Instant Video, both who have developed multiple successful original series. New series include Deadbeat, a 10-episode supernatural comedy from Brad Pitt's production company Plan B and Wilfred writers Cody Heller and Brett Konnner, premiering April 9. Deadbeat follows "the genre reinvention angle we look for," Koh said, combining "supernatural, comedy and buddy elements in a cocktail."Continue reading...

tech in the spotlight

Chromecast Set to Debut New Streaming Partners as Interest Grows

Posted by Sheila Shayon on July 30, 2013 01:35 PM

Chromecast, Google's latest TV-streaming product, is officially a runaway hit among consumers and media brands. Now, Vimeo, Verizon and Redbox Instant are joining the current lineup of Netflix, YouTube, Pandora and Google Play on the $35 dongle device, with more in the works. 

Gigaom reports that hackers have uncovered code that indicates the platform may be gearing up to host HBO Go as well. Alluding to a coming partnership, Vimeo VP of mobile, Nick Alt, told GigaOm, "We’re excited about the emerging opportunities bridging mobile to Connected TV and we look forward to offering Chromecast support in our products."Continue reading...

the revolution will be televised

Little Black Box: Roku is Tops in Competitive Streaming Industry

Posted by Sheila Shayon on April 11, 2013 05:41 PM

Roku has sold 5 million of its video and music streaming set-top boxes since launching in 2008, totaling 8 billion pieces of content streamed. That's an impressive performance for a little black box. 

As more and more reports swirl around the fact that consumers are turning away from traditional TV and cable, Roku claims that 25 percent of its customers use the device as their primary way of viewing television. 

"The milestone is significant, since it indicates that there’s a very real and growing market out there for a device that essentially just acts as a service layer for bringing web-based content to televisions, independent of what TV manufacturers themselves are doing with their own built-in Smart TV services," notes Tech Crunch.Continue reading...

video killed the _____ star

Netflix Easter Egg? Sale Rumors Swirl

Posted by Sheila Shayon on December 13, 2011 04:10 PM

“Netflix will be sold by Easter,” Porter Bibb, managing partner at Mediatech Capital Partners, told Bloomberg News. "I am hearing very serious rumblings from inside Verizon that they are very serious about either Netflix or something similar."

A deal with Verizon would put sorely needed cash in Netflix’s pocket as international expansion is on hold while the company staggers to regain profitability, reeling from a disastrous 2011, which saw a number of mishaps for the video rental/streaming brand.

After hiking subscription rates 60% in July, a customer revolt led to an ill-fated attempt at restructuring their DVD and streaming plans with the planned (then abandoned) launch of Qwikster, which sent nearly one million subscribers into exile; so they un-restructured but still lost close to 800,000 customers.Continue reading...

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