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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...

brand take over

Comcast, Time Warner Cable Merger Could Spell Big Problems for Netflix, Consumers

Posted by Mark J. Miller on February 13, 2014 12:07 PM

Following a failed takeover bid by Charter Communications, Comcast announced it would acquire Time Warner Cable in an all-stock deal for $45.2 billion. If the merger is approved by regulators, Comcast will return to its top spot as the largest cable operator in the world. 

The merger, which could send waves through various television networks, national sports markets, TV technology and streaming companies is already a cause for concern among consumers and other pay TV companies, including satellite television networks, as well as AT&T, Verizon and Google, all of whom have made inroads into the cable and internet-providing business. 

At about $159 per share, Comcast stands to adopt Time Warner Cable's 11 million pay TV customers, highly concentrated in Manhattan and Los Angeles, where it owns two sports networks and has lucrative deals with local sports teams. As part of the deal though, Comcast said it will divest about 3 million of TWC's customers to appease regulators. 

As far as Comcast is concered, gaining regulatory approval from the federal government, including the FCC, shouldn't be too hard since Comcast and TWC aren't actually direct competitors (as far as carved-up cable provider boundaries go). The approval would follow Comcast's nearly $17 billion buyout of NBCUniversal from GE last year.Continue reading...

brand news

In the News: Comcast, Apple, Walmart and more

Posted by Dale Buss on February 13, 2014 09:27 AM

In the News

Comcast acquires Time Warner Cable in mammoth deal as it eyes Netflix turf.

Apple says it doesn't procure blood metal and talks about launching updated TV set-top box.

Walmart sees pitchman Mike Rowe come to defense of retailer on social media.

GM recalls 600,000 older vehicles to replace ignition switches.

Avon nears bribery settlement.

Cisco sees growth hit by sagging tech demand.

Fiat taps Sean "Diddy" Combs to tout 500 line worldwide.

Ford reveals GPS privacy practices.

Intuit sees Super Bowl ad pay off.

Kind sues Clif Bar in nutrition bar packaging dust-up.

Lexus keeps crown in J.D. Power reliability survey.Continue reading...

brand news

In the News: Microsoft, Saks, Facebook and more

Posted by Dale Buss on January 31, 2014 09:33 AM

In the News

Microsoft reportedly preparing to name its cloud chief Satya Nadella as new CEO and contemplating removing Gates from Chairman role. 

Saks plans to push harder at high and low ends of luxury market.

Facebook mobile ad boom adds $3.2B to Mark Zuckerberg’s wealth as social network announces news app, Paper. 

Amazon may raise Prime membership price as stock drops on disappointing earnings report.

Anthem blames Obamacare for hiking premiums. 

BMW assesses demand as i3 buyers face six-month wait.

Beyonce is now the focus of a university course. 

Burger King tests chicken-and-waffle sandwich.Continue reading...

masters of their domains

The Loss of Net Neutrality Would Put Brands, Consumers in 'Uncharted' Internet Territory

Posted by Mark J. Miller on January 16, 2014 03:58 PM

A bunch of bright, shiny, new toll booths may soon be erected on the information superhighway and it doesn’t appear there is much consumers can do about it. A federal court ruling on Tuesday that struck down "net neutrality" rules would allow companies like Verizon, Time Warner Cable, AT&T and other internet service providers to change the way they treat different websites. 

The ruling, in favor of Verizon, means that one site may be allowed to load content faster while another's is slowed down. Such a situation means that consumers and companies may be paying more to get what they have now: the ability to travel to any site and expect it to download high-quality content at the same speed, the so-called “open Internet.” 

What’s been called “net neutrality” may soon be disappearing, which isn’t a good sign for brands like YouTube and Netflix, whose businesses are built upon serving up high-quality video content at fast download rates for little to no cost to consumers. It is good for the aforementioned web-service providers, though, who can surely find new ways to pad the growing amount of consumers who pulled the plug on their cable providers so they could do all their TV watching online.Continue reading...

brand news

In the News: Apple, Microsoft, JCPenney and more

Posted by Dale Buss on January 16, 2014 09:22 AM

In the News

Apple settles FTC complaint over app charges on kids with deal to refund $32.5 million, while China Mobile eyes iPhone sales bonanza, with more than 1 million pre-orders ahead of Friday's launch.

Microsoft may pay $2.6 billion to Samsung and others to make Windows phones as rumors cite Ericsson CEO to replace Steve Ballmer.

JCPenney plans to close 33 stores and slash 2,000 jobs.

AOL unloads most of Patch to private equity firm.

AT&T ends long-running American Idol sponsorship.

Axe features Kim Jong-Un lookalike in Super Bowl spot.

Best Buy reports holiday sales decline.

Charter is talking with Comcast about new bid for Time Warner Cable, report says.

Citi replaces debit cards after Target data breach.

Facebook revamps ads to compete with Google.Continue reading...

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