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...

media brands

Is Vice Media the Next Bloomberg?

Posted by Mark J. Miller on September 4, 2014 02:51 PM

While some media companies have had difficulty finding subscribers or an audience, let alone investors or buyers (Time Inc., anyone?), Vice Media, the fearless Canadian crew that convinced basketball legend Dennis Rodman to to hang out with North Korea's Supreme Leader Kim Jong-un, is growing—in both revenue and popularity—in epic proportions.

The company is now valued at more than $2.5 billion after it landed back-to-back investments, worth $250 million, from Silicon Valley firm Technology Crossover Ventures and A+E Networks. This comes on the heels of news last week that Time Warner had been trying to invest in Vice but couldn’t work out a deal.

For comparison's sake, the New York Times points out that BuzzFeed was valued well below Vice at $850 million when a recent $50 million investment came its way.Continue reading...

brand news

Brand News: Burger King Buys Tim Hortons, Amazon, Best Buy and more

Posted by Dale Buss on August 26, 2014 09:37 AM

TOP STORIES

Burger King finalizes deal to buy Tim Hortons for about $11 billion, with explicit help of Warren Buffett, and will test portfolio approach to brands.

Amazon buys Twitch Video for $970 million to rival YouTube and eyes expansion in online-ad market.

Best Buy tops financial predictions as realignment starts to pay off.

Emmys sees HBO, CBS and PBS score most wins. as telecast gets tepid reviews.

Blue Buffalo gets slapped by National Advertising Division over pet food claims. 

MORE BRAND NEWS

Arby's pursues younger customers.

Buffalo Wild Wings invests in taco concept.

Century 21 partners in videos with cleaning expert.

Chevrolet and Buick achieve sole gains among auto brands in new customer-satisfaction survey.

Estee Lauder expands breast-cancer awareness to year-round campaign.Continue reading...

video killed the _____ star

Continuing to Make Gains on HBO, Netflix Looks to a Collaborative Future

Posted by Sheila Shayon on August 11, 2014 11:33 AM

Notoriously passive aggressive Netflix CEO Reed Hastings took to Facebook last week to announce the streaming network's latest milestone: with $1.146 billion in subscriber revenue, Netflix has officially passed HBO. 

"They still kick our ass in profits and Emmy's, but we are making progress. HBO rocks, and we are honored to be in the same league," Hastings wrote. 

The streaming king can attribute its most recent success to the brand's wildly successful original series, including "House of Cards" and "Orange Is the New Black," the most-watched show ever. The network also recently announced a new season of "Arrested Development," as well as five new series based on Marvel characters, a comedy special, docu-series and talk show starring Chelsea Handler, and the debut of the brand's first adult cartoon later this month. 

The major investment in more shows makes sense, as nearly three-quarters of titles viewed by Netflix subscribers are TV series. But while Netflix may finally be making significant gains against HBO, its main competitor, Amazon's Prime Instant Video, is growing at a more rapid pace.Continue reading...

brand news

Brand News: Google and Barnes & Noble, Chrysler, Budweiser and more

Posted by Dale Buss on August 7, 2014 09:28 AM

TOP STORIES

Google rewards encrypted sites in search as it joins forces with Barnes & Noble to take on Amazon same-day delivery, now expanding to six more cities. Amazon, meanwhile, found to play favorites with brands in new L2 omnichannel retail report.

Bank of America nears $16 billion to $17 billion settlement with US Justice Department on pre-crash mortgage misconduct.

Deutsche Telekom rejects Iliad bid in the wake of failed Sprint/T-Mobile deal. 

Budweiser hypes Bud Light Party Town content campaign with Whatever, USA news reports with The Onion.

Chrysler CEO Sergio Marchionne takes shot at robust supplier profitability as company taps comedians for Dodge Dart campaign.Continue reading...

brand news

Brand News: Gannett, Xiaomi, Coca-Cola and more

Posted by Dale Buss on August 5, 2014 09:16 AM

TOP STORIES

Gannett buys out Cars.com for $1.8 billion and separates broadcasting and publishing businesses via latest US media spinoff.

Rupert Murdoch's 21st Century Fox withdraws bid for Time Warner.

Walgreens reportedly capitulates to critics and will remain US-based following $16 billion merger with Alliance Boots.

Xiaomi passes Samsung as China's top smartphone maker.

Vitaminwater struggles over use of stevia as Coca-Cola shifts formulas.

Samsung takes stance on child labor as it takes golf fans behind the tournament.

MORE BRAND NEWS

adidas boosts marketing spending especially in the west.

Aflac invents the downward duck:Continue reading...

brand news

Brand News: GM, eHarmony, Target and more

Posted by Dale Buss on August 4, 2014 09:22 AM

TOP STORIES

GM looks for alternative supplies in China after deadly factory blast.

Target taps PepsiCo exec Brian Cornell for CEO role. 

eHarmony wants to find the perfect job match for you too. 

Jeep comes under fire in WSJ investigation into recalled vehicles. 

McDonald’s plans to restore full menu in China this week.

MORE BRAND NEWS

5-Hour Energy hits back at scientist’s claims that it is ineffective.

Acura looks to all-wheel drive to help recoup sales.

Aereo sees court nix request for “emergency” authorization to resume service.

Air New Zealand shares its social insights:Continue reading...

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