Important news and views in web video, TV, convergence and digital culture during the last week (4/8-4/15)! Double bullets (••) indicate a must-read!:
Web Video Market:
•• Netflix Looks Overseas (Variety): The company will encounter some competition overseas, a lack of brand recognition, problems licensing content from producers, challenges finding local content, imperfect broadband infrastructure in some countries and a massive subtitling effort. Still, it’s a necessary part of the publicly-traded company’s growth plan.
• Apple Launching Cloud Video Service (Forbes): According to an analyst.
•• YouTube Makes Moves (Tubefilter; NewTeeVee; Mediapost): YouTube further integrates live-streaming (and brands too), and teaches users how not to copyright with Happy Tree Friends. YouTube partners with Cannes to promote socially/globally conscious films, and will send a winner to the festival. Meanwhile The Times profiles the rise of small film studios to fill YouTube’s desires for professional content — better late than never, Times!
• Dennys’ Always Open Hits the Web, To Success (Mediapost)
Research and Policy:
• Kerry-McCain Introduce Privacy Bill (Mediapost): Would require companies to let users opt-in to collecting “sensitive” information and opt-out of behavioral targeting. Reaction is mixed.
•• Congress, FCC, Broadcasters Debate Spectrum Allocation (Broadcasting & Cable; TVNewsCheck): House Democrats are concerned and confused about the fate of local broadcasting, while Genachowski at NAB pushes incentive auctions, which he has been for awhile. The Consumer Electronics Association says Americans support spectrum reclamation, but the NAB has its doubts (anyone, what do Americans know about FCC policy?).
• Too Many Commercials Scare Web TV Viewers (Mediapost): Even as TV Viewers are spending more time online and online TV revenue jumps. In other news, WPP explains why the ad industry has not shifted faster to web video: lack of standards. Tubemogul hopes to rectify that through better and more refined targeting.
Hollywood and Tech:
•• Theaters/Studios Spar Over Premium Video On Demand (Variety; SlashFilm; New York Times): Theaters are threatening to not show movies, while James Cameron says studios should hold off (of course the king of the blockbuster would say so!). Some analysts think the theaters have the upper hand, at least for now. Meanwhile, Comcast says its VOD service actually beats out Netflix; Cablevision is offering Hulu, iTunes and web video to subscribers for an extra fee, and HBO Go is headed to DirectTV.
• Red State No Longer In The Red (NewTeeVee): In another distribution story, Kevin Smith’s film has already made back its $4 million budget. Most filmmakers will not be able to sell premium tickets to screenings like Smith did, but this development serves to show Hollywood (and lucky independents will sterling projects and/or celebrity power) that efficient marketing and creative promotion can work.
• Cisco Drops Flip (NewTeeVee): The camera loses out in a tough market for personal video.
• TV Upfronts Look Promising (Mediapost)