Important news and views in web video, TV, convergence and digital culture during the last week (3/11-3/18)! Double bullets (••) indicate a must-read!:
Web Video Market:
•• Netflix Dives Head First Into Original Programming (Televisual): Netflix may purchase buzzy Fincher-Spacey House of Cards project. Also, Hulu’s doing it too, but obviously on a smaller scale. (Linking to my blog isn’t vanity: links to all the important stories are in it.)
•• Pay TV Comeback? (Wall Street Journal; NewTeeVee; Hollywood Reporter; Mediapost): Some small signs of hope for cable operators in fourth quarter subscriber numbers (Showtime and Starz added subs!). NTV states the numbers debunk fears of cord cutting. Mediapost looks at increased profitability. While the trends are “inconclusive..between sub adds and sub penetration rates, the fourth-quarter gains do reinforce the importance of multichannel video,” according to SNL Kagan.
• Facebook Streaming Live Sports (AllThingsD)
• Can Vevo Go Global? (NewTeeVee): As Netflix and Hulu have had trouble, Vevo wants to expand.
• YouTube Shows Partners Lots of Love (Mashable; ReelSEO): ReelSEO’s Jeremy Scott looks at YouTube NextUp — staffed by NNN alums — and wonders whether YouTube is doing enough for the little guys — though there are a lot of partners and many making $100K+.
• Yahoo Web Series Success Story (Tubefilter) 2 Million viewers an episode for its daily finance series with Henry Blodget and Aaron Task.
• Felicia Day Delivers Well-Received SXSW Keynote (Tubefilter): At the top of her game, Day discusses her success, with some news (from Joshua Cohen): “The announcement of her involvement in the Dragon Age web series drew over 200 million online impressions just two weeks before the launch of the Dragon Age 2 video game, which most likely was a huge factor as to why the title’s been atop the best-seller charts for the past two weeks. The fact she sold over 4,000 DVDs of Season One of The Guild, enough to finance Season 2 even if MSN and Sprint hadn’t come on board. And how she and production partner Kim Evey are planning to assist and launch more web series this year by way of their Knights of Good production company.”
• My Damn Channel Expands Sales Team (Release): Revenue officer to bring in brands.
Research and Policy:
• FCC Moves Forward on Spectrum Auction (Multichannel News): Chairman urges the feds incentivize commercial operators to auction spectrum for mobile broadband. In other news, some Dems are joining efforts to block FCC net neutrality rules (sound and fury?).
• Tablet Users Watching More Video (Home Media)
Hollywood and Tech:
• Viral Video Trickery for Limitless (New York Times): A nice little case study in the institutionalization of viral video. Meanwhile, explicit viral video with Jennifer Aniston scores big for SmartWater.