Thursday 18th January 2018,

Web Video Weekly: Comcast Plays Defense, Netflix and FCC Offense, TV Not Dead, Ryan Higa’s Hot

All the important news and opinion about the web, online video, TV and convergence in the last week (12/2- 12/9):

Web Video Market:

Netflix Ups Its Game While Inciting Challengers (Los Angeles Times; Hollywood Reporter; NewTeeVee; paidContent): Last week Netflix said it’d pay top-dollar for premium content, then it announced the death of the Instant queue, now its got ABC, challenging Hulu. This week too Amazon plans to challenge the juggernaut, and cable grooms a Netflix-killer in Vutopia.. Insiders/Netflix speculate what Starz is worth to the site.

Google’s Widevine Purchase An Attempt to Up Video Content, Work with Hollywood (VideoNuze; GigaOM): But will Google pay up for content like CBS?

Cord Cutting Debate Continues (Multichannel News): The trend seems to be going in the “no, it’s not happening” direction. Meanwhile, NewTeeVee asks if Hulu Plus is enough.

YouTube Ups Upload Limit (Mashable; NewTeeVee; Tubefilter): In other nwes, Viacom drags out copyright case (note to Viacom, who’s probably just trying to change precedent: best tool against privacy is more convenient alternative).

Web Ads Grow as Low-Cost Alternative in Recession (Mediaweek)

Web Series:

Will Ryan Higa Follow Fred‘s Fame? (paidContent): YouTube’s most subscribed ups his game with long-form video.

An Ode to Web Series-to-TV Convert Children’s Hospital (New York): From NYMag‘s always spot-on Emily Nussbaum.

Hulu enters Web Series Game, Again (Video Daily; AllThingsD): With a hosted series.

Video Insiders 2011 Predictions Suggest Web Series Growth (Video Insider): Though we’ve heard this before.

Guillermo del Toro’s Transmedia Shop (Hollywood Reporter; Variety): Everything he does is cool.

Innovative Web Series from Robert Townsend and Matthew Kirsch (Tubefilter, Televisual): I profile Townsend’s popular non-profit-produced Diary of a Single Mom and his upcoming Latino series, Dennis Leoni’s Los Americans. Plus Matt Kirsch’s duder.

Research and Policy:

Comcast Works to Deflect Criticism: Big bad Comcast is deflecting criticism from all sides. On its merger with NBC: Legislators are demanding conditions on net neutrality, program access and carriage; Comcast, facing criticism it will bar networks from selling content to other online distributors, says it won’t do that; in response to last week’s Level 3 charge of violating net neutrality, Comcast rebuffs saying Level 3 was using up many times more than allowed; American Cable Association says its looking out for smaller independent networks in Comcast/NBC merger, but expects the deal to pass; Comcast says it will agree to quarterly reports about all the nice things it’s doing in the public interest, including carrying 10 smaller independent channels over the next 10 years; finally the New York Times and video streamer ivi says Comcast/NBC deal will hurt competition for content online.

FCC Enters Retrans Fray (Broadcasting & Cable 1, 2): FCC will propose rules to avoid consumer blackouts in lieu of Congressional action. New York Times wonders what the FCC can do, while NewTeeVee answers with “not very much.”

What Wikileaks Says About the Open Web (ReadWriteWeb): Interesting take, though I still think the great unnoticed cost of a closed web is the stifling of a burgeoning independent video market.

Mobile Video Demand Rises (Nielsen; Media Daily News): Meanwhile NewTeeVee highlights teen use and yet another report surfaces on the rise of mobile advertising.

Hollywood and Tech:

What Matters More on Cable: Critics or Ratings (Variety; New York Times): With Rubicon and Terriers gone, ratings win, obviously. But The Walking Dead — the biggest hit ever for ad-supported basic cable — proves it’s best to have both. (PS The Walking Dead is the most pirated show, but the ratings are gangbusters. Say something?).

Cinema Attendance Reaches Lows (BoxOfficeMojo): For November.

TV, Far From Dead, Seeing Continued Demand From Advertisers (New York Times; TV Blog): The other side of this story is brand’s continued but decreasing lack of certainty over the reach and effectiveness of web video advertising.

Will HBO Cut the Cord? (NewTeeVee): Only being available after pricey subscription plans is a hinderance. In related news, Wayne Friedman wonders if the pay-TV window will disappear.

Will Cable Providers Embrace or Reject Niche Networks? (NewTeeVee; TV Watch): DirectTV shows small channels the door.

Nielsen Adds Web-TV Sets (MediaPost)

All the important news and opinion about the web, online video, TV and convergence in the last week (11/25- 12/2).

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About The Author

Aymar Jean Christian is assistant professor of communication at Northwestern University. He writes about media and society for a number of publications. For more information, click the "About" tab at the top of the page.