branding together

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: 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...

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...

brand news

In the News: Russell Stover, P&G, Nordstrom and more

Posted by Dale Buss on February 21, 2014 09:12 AM

In the News

Russell Stover Candies up for sale, price may top $1 billion.

P&G announces major restructuring of marketing, including beauty-division makeover.

Nordstrom sees sales slide continue at its stores.

Amazon launches video ads with Geico, plans set-top box and woos high-profile retailers.

BJ's Restaurants launches mobile ordering and payment.

Banana Republic ads feature real-life unions including a gay couple.

Chick-fil-A chicken sandwich turns 50.

Chobani and other marketers escape LGBT-related backlash for Sochi advertising.

Coca-Cola has "mediocre Pepsi on its heels," Nelson Peltz says.

Darden Restaurants expands into airports.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...

brand battle

Dish Network Wins Some, Loses Some in Battle Over Words

Posted by Mark J. Miller on February 19, 2014 03:41 PM

Four years have passed since Dish Network first attempted to trademark the term “TV Everywhere.” And now, after multiple denials and challenges from competing brands, the TV provider is throwing in the towel, Variety reports. After all, in the time it has spent trying to lock-down the phrase, it has become a term commonly used in the industry to describe TV programming available on multiple devices.

When the US Patent and Trademark Office had put the application up for comment in the fall of 2011, many major content distributors—including Time Warner Cable, DirecTV, Cox Communications, Charter Communications, and Cablevision Systems—challenged the application.

The eventual abandonment of the trademark cause seemed unavoidable, especially now that the concept of "TV Everywhere" is on fire right now. MediaPost reports that “the number of authenticated TV Everywhere streams doubled in 2013 to 574.2 million, up from 222.5 million in 2012.” The data comes from research by Adobe, which shows that 73 percent of the TV Everywhere streams are seen on mobile devices, while tablets lead the way at 42 percent.Continue reading...

brand news

In the News: P&G, BP, Uber and more

Posted by Dale Buss on February 14, 2014 09:12 AM

In the News

P&G begins considering candidates to succeed CEO Lafley (again) as it holds early lead in Sochi social media derby.

BP must face shareholder suit over 2006 Alaska spill.

Uber officially launches in China, but under new, localized brand name.

Apple continues hiring spree to devleop iWatch.

BMW plans to bring back BMW Films as it unveils first front-wheel-drive model.

Burger King global sales rise while North America drops, but company reaps benefits of refranchising.

CVS Caremark tests telehealth sites.

Carnival Cruise Lines sees image back on upswing.

Charter turns from Time Warner Cable to pursue other acquisitions.

Cheesecake Factory holds off on tablets.

Danone struggles to claw back market share in China.

“Dumb Ways to Die” returns with Valentine’s Day tribute.Continue reading...

elsewhere on brandchannel

1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9
brandcameo2014 Product Placement Awards
Apple loses its crown to a new #1
Coca-ColaIt's the Journey That Matters:
Coca-Cola Opens Up With Story-Based Web Refresh
debateJoin the Debate
Is product placement a waste of money?
Arthur Chinski and Joshua Mizrahi
Model Behavior? Brands Beware
U.S. Legal Changes Impact Use of Brand Ambassadors
paperCorporate Citizenship in Canada
Fresh thinking from Interbrand
Sheryl Connelly
Sheryl Connelly

Meet Ford's Resident Futurist
LanamrqLanmarq
Highlighting the Present—and Future—of Branding in Latin America and Iberia

Advertisements