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By Buying DirecTV, AT&T Hopes to Become America’s Video Company

Posted by Dale Buss on May 19, 2014 01:42 PM

AT&T took another huge step in fulfilling its “TV anywhere” promise with its deal to acquire DirecTV for $49 billion in a cash-and-stock worth $95 a share. It’ll allow the what was once known as America’s phone company to have a shot at becoming America’s video company.

The agreement would give AT&T 20 million US subscribers and another 12 million in Latin America as well as access to DirecTV’s biggest success, its NFL Sunday Ticket package. More than that, AT&T CEO Randall Stephenson said on Monday, AT&T will look to integrate DirecTV’s ability to beam satellite TV to just about anywhere in the United States with AT&T’s existing nationwide wireless network and landline and TV businesses that currently have limited reach. 

“We need to be scaled on video,” Stephenson said. “We think we landed the best video player out there. It gives us the parts to fulfill a vision we have had for a couple of years, that is, the opportunity and the ability to take premium content and deliver premium content over multiple points for the customer, whether it be through a smartphone, through a tablet, or television or laptop."

Providing video-over-satellite service could improve AT&T’s internet service by freeing up bandwidth on its telecom network, a problem that has become the heart of the net neutrality debate that affects video providers like Netflix. Nabbing DirecTV also would provide AT&T more video subscribers and improve its ability to compete against other telecom giants like Verizon.Continue reading...

brand news

Brand News: Red Lobster, Comcast, Pinterest and more

Posted by Shirley Brady on May 16, 2014 09:13 AM

TOP 5 STORIES

Brands to Watch

As contentious net neutrality proposal gets FCC greenlightComcast tightens data limits and firms up new "SpinCo" unit.

Red Lobster is sold by Darden for $2.1 billion.

Pinterest funding round brings valuation to $5 billion.

GM agrees to pay "substantial fine" over switch recall.

Microsoft celebrates Nokia acquisition with stylish brand book, and gets ready to reveal new Surface tablet.

ALSO IN THE NEWS:

Abbot Labs to buy CFR Pharmaceuticals for $2.9 billion.

Barclays stars in London Pride event's first ad campaign.

Cadbury's Dairy Milk touts ice cream in the UK with #freezethejoy push.

CBS unveils plans for 24-hour digital news channel.Continue reading...

brandcameo

Brandcameo: Watch Godzilla Eat, Crush and Terrorize 16 Brands

Posted by Abe Sauer on May 13, 2014 02:39 PM

Every few years it seems, Godzilla pops up again to do what he's always done. No, not destroy metropolises. Pitch product.

While there is already speculation about whether or not this year's Godzilla reboot will flop badly enough to kill the movie franchise, one thing is for sure, Godzilla will always be back as the spokescreature for something. After all, the big guy has had a far more lurcrative career in advertising than in Hollywood.

Below, a look back at some of Godzilla's greatest hits, and a peek at the product placement in store for the new Godzilla movie.Continue reading...

brand news

Brand News: Target, Coca-Cola, Apple, Fiat Chrysler and more

Posted by Dale Buss on May 5, 2014 09:36 AM

TOP 5 STORIES

Brands to Watch

Target chairman and CEO resigns in wake of data breach.

Coca-Cola shakes up marketing ranks, and drops controversial ingredient from Powerade.

Apple faces legal challenge by Swatch over iWatch name.

Fiat Chrysler's Sergio Marchionne readies five-year plan.

P&G takes legal action in drive to protect Crest Whitestrips.

MORE BRAND NEWS

Amazon launches #AmazonCart so users can shop via Twitter.

AOL revives Moviefone brand with new tech features and marketing push.Continue reading...

brand strategy

Comcast Hones In on Universal Theme Parks as Point of Significant Expansion

Posted by Mark J. Miller on March 10, 2014 04:43 PM

Comcast has set the TV world aflame in the last few years with its purchase of NBCUniversal and its yet-to-be-finalized deal to acquire Time Warner Cable. But there’s another industry that Comcast is looking to be a serious player in as well: theme parks.

Comcast, which already had $2.2 billion in revenue last year from its theme parks and resorts unit, isn’t shying away from horning in on the territory long dominated by Disney, either. The company's Universal Studios is “investing hundreds of millions of dollars into theme parks in California and Florida.” While it is investing in new attractions for its Universal Orlando Resorts, it also building “the largest hotel construction project in North America: [an] 1,800-room, 1960s-themed Cabana Bay Beach Resort,” of which Comcast is sharing the bill with Loews Corp., the Philadephia Inquirer reports

Six hundred of the rooms will open this month, with the rest scheduled to open by year's end. With that, Universal will have 4,200 rooms, a 75 percent increase from the 2,400 it previously boasted, but NBCUniversal chief Steve Burke says the complex could have between 10,000 and 15,000 hotel rooms in time.Continue reading...

brand news

In the News: Facebook, Taco Bell, Target and more

Posted by Dale Buss on March 6, 2014 09:25 AM

In the News

Facebook cracks down on illegal-gun posts.

Taco Bell and Kraft expand grocery deal with new items.

Target CIO and VP of technology services resigns in wake of data breach debacle. 

Walmart plans to unveil "tethering" strategy soon as pressure mounts to reject genetically-modified salmon. 

Apple sees judge deny request to ban Samsung products as it plans to bring full-screen video iAds to mobile. 

BP finds way to bypass US oil-export ban.

Bitcoin may require human oversight, as chief of an exchange for the digital currency is found dead in Singapore.

Bob Evans Farms looks to bounce back from tough winter as its "barbell" strategy lifts sales.

Business Insider sees further investment from Amazon CEO Jeff Bezos.Continue reading...

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...

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