2014 Brandcameo Product Placement Awards

video killed the _____ star

Verizon Looks to Mobile Streaming for Entry into TV Content

Posted by Mark J. Miller on March 5, 2014 07:34 PM

With net neutrality out the door and streaming the new "it" thing, TV providers and content producers are getting busy to strike deals.

Disney and Dish recently agreed to a long-term contract that will deliver all Disney-owned content, including ABC and ESPN, to the network's subscribers in exchange for Dish dropping its ad-skipping feature that was the focus of litigation between the two companies. And now Verizon is reportedly in talks with content providers to deliver web-based TV services to mobile phones. 

"I have personally had discussions with the CEOs of the large content companies, and we would love to partner with them to see how we can take FiOS contact mobilely across the country," Verizon CEO Lowell McAdam said Tuesday at the Morgan Stanley Technology, Media & Telecom Conference, Reuters reports. This comes after Verizon acquired Intel's OnCue service back in January to help it get into “next-generation video services” more quickly.Continue reading...

video killed the _____ star

Netflix Cuts Deal with Comcast to Pay for "Excellent User Experience"

Posted by Mark J. Miller on February 24, 2014 01:58 PM

Plenty of consumers complain each month about the amount of money they pay out to America's largest cable provider, Comcast, and now you can add Netflix to that list.

As a result of changes in net neutrality rules, Comcast has the ability to slow down video streams from any source it wishes. That’s bad news for a company like Netflix, whose millions of customers stream hundreds of bandwidth-sucking movies and TV series at all hours of the day. Recently, Netflix subscribers have been complaining of poor and slow connections, especially those who get their high-speed Internet from Comcast and Verizon's FiOS broadband networks.

In order to keep its own customer satisfaction high, Netflix and Comcast on Sunday confirmed last week's rumor that the companies had reached an undisclosed financial deal with a press release titled, "Comcast and Netflix Team Up to Provide Customers With Excellent User Experience."

The agreement will ensure Netflix's load time won't be slowed by Comcast's broadband nodes, a so-called "peering" deal that may likely be felt in US cable customers' bills down the line. It also got Net Neutrality crowd out in full force, on both sides of the debate.Continue reading...

video killed the _____ star

Amazon Forges Ahead with Streaming Initiatives as Retail Quietly Builds

Posted by Sheila Shayon on February 21, 2014 05:33 PM

Netflix may be grabbing the headlines lately, but Amazon has been hard at work building up its streaming arsenal and now presents a bigger threat than ever to competing brands. 

To the joy of advertisers, Amazon has started to include preroll ads ahead of its original series pilots, starting with a campaign from Geico. 

“The move combines two of advertisers' biggest wishes—premium content and a measurable audience—on a service that venture capitalist Mark Suster once called 'the biggest threat to YouTube,'" Ad Age notes.  

Geico, the presenting sponsor for Amazon's pilot season is running banners on program landing pages as well as 15-second repurposed television spots at the start of non-kids series including The After. Amazon users can choose which pilots they'd like to see green-lighted for future Prime Instant Video. Geico's pilot sponsorship also includes placements on Amazon.com, the Kindle Fire "wake" screen and movie site IMDb.com.

"We're testing and learning,” said Lisa Utzschneider, Amazon VP-Global Ad Sales. “It's early days, and we're looking at all different video formats. We're focused on creating a great experience for our customers."Continue reading...

video killed the _____ star

Netflix's Biggest Foe isn't HBO, It's the Internet Providers that Move Its Content

Posted by Sheila Shayon on February 19, 2014 07:32 PM

As the battle between Netflix and major internet service providers rages on, consumers are paying the price with degraded service.

The complicated plumbing required to deliver a Netflix video to a consumer’s computer or TV is near invisible to users, who are unaware of the bandwidth that companies have to put out in order to transmit such content. The actual data transfer occurs at global “interconnection” hubs, aka, “telecom carrier hotels” where companies like Time Warner Cable, Verizon and AT&T share space. Born in the days of high volume landline telephone traffic, the telcos shared amiably enough, but with the addition of high-bandwidth services like Netflix creating a drain, those relationships have broken down. And now broadband companies are increasingly charging "tolls" to third-party intermediate players like Level 3 and Cogent. 

“This is a scenario that open Internet advocates have been warning about for years," Time notes. “It’s no secret that the big telecom and cable companies resent the fact that they are obliged to deliver high bandwidth content like Netflix—which competes against their own video offerings—in addition to less bandwidth-intensive traffic like emails and chats.”Continue reading...

video killed the _____ star

Netflix Embraces More Debt to Spread Its Wings Abroad

Posted by Mark J. Miller on February 5, 2014 06:27 PM

During the first half of the Super Bowl this past Sunday, Netflix saw an expected drop in usage. The decrease was as much as 20 percent, Variety reports. But once Bruno Mars and the Red Hot Chili Peppers had done their thing at halftime and the Seahawks added on a quick seven points to start the second half, plenty of Americans ditched the game and headed back to Netflix.

The video-streaming company is hoping that it can be the distraction of choice around the globe. It has announced that it plans to raise $400 million to expand internationally. Most of the investment will be focused on its European expansion, but it will also reserve funds for investments, acquisitions and more original content that the company is becoming increasingly known for.

Last year, Netflix made news for winning its first Emmy with House of Cards while also collecting an Oscar nomination for its documentary, The Square. House of Cards will debut its second season on Valentine’s Day and has already been signed on for a third to be produced, according to the New York Times. Netflix has also seen plenty of critic and fan love for its newest series, Orange is the New Black. As a result, its fourth-quarter numbers were better than expected and added 2.3 million new domestic subscribers, bringing the total number to 33.4 million domestically.Continue reading...

video killed the _____ star

YouTube Courts Indie Filmmakers to Boost Industry Cred

Posted by Sheila Shayon on January 20, 2014 01:16 PM

The 2014 Sundance Film Festival is underway in Park City, Utah, and for those not attending the Robert Redford-founded program that has become a Hollywood media staple in person, YouTube is bringing the festival to a larger audience via the Sundance Film Festival YouTube channel.

As a presenting sponsor, YouTube’s Sundance presence includes YouTube On Main Street, hosting “must-see panels, happy hours, film receptions, screenings, talks, and DJ sets”; Live @ Sundance, a daily, 60-minute live show recapping the latest news hosted by YouTube stars Shira Lazar, Casey Neistat and Jimmy Conrad; and the YouTube Audience Award, which is presented to one of the 15 short films in competition that receives the most amount of views during the festival.

“In recent years we’ve turned to digital tools and technology to extend the festival experience to audiences who are not with us in Utah, and our initiatives this year make the festival more accessible than ever before,” said Keri Putnam, executive director of the Sundance Institute, according to the Wall Street Journal. The initiative, YouTube hopes, will attract more filmmakers—and ad dollars—to the platform as it tries to build up its short-film contentContinue 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...

video killed the _____ star

YouTube Plays Gamers in Sweep for Copyrighted Content

Posted by Mark J. Miller on December 19, 2013 11:27 AM

YouTube has always been loathe to broadcast video that features copyrighted content—and rightfully so—but a recent change to its scanning system has made the Google-owned video giant an enemy of gaming enthusiasts as it has removed a wide variety of video-game-related videos from the site.

The shift came when YouTube adjusted Content ID, the tool used for scanning videos for copyrighted content. The update removed many videos from the site, irking gamers who, according to Forbes, were left confused and for some, out of some money. The videos affected include Let's Play videos, game reviews and more. In reaction to the uproar, YouTube emailed users with information on the expanded system and how to handle claims:

"Whether gaming, music or comedy is your passion, know that we love what you do. We’ve worked hard to design Content ID and other tools to give everyone — from individual creators to media companies — the opportunity to make great videos and earn money. As YouTube grows, we want to make sure we’re providing the right product features to ensure that everyone continues to thrive."Continue reading...

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