Hulu Video Site Auction Attracts Four Bidders
Satellite operator DirecTV and cable operator Time Warner Cable Inc also put in bids, one of the people told Reuters. Hulu was put on the auction block this year for the second time after disagreement between owners News Corp and Walt Disney Co on how best to operate a Web service that streams TV programs and other videos, Reuters previously reported. In April, Chernin placed a bid for $500 million, plus an unspecified additional sum to cover Hulu’s debt and programming commitments. Representatives of Guggenheim, Time Warner Cable and DirecTV had no comment. A spokesman for Chernin could not be reached.
Vice, Twitter Partner for Mobile Show
Simultaneously expanding its video and social strategy, Vice on Thursdayunveiled #dailyvice — a daily show tailored for Twitter users and featuring short clips of the publisher’s irreverent brand of news and cultural coverage. Expected to debut in the second half of 2013, the mobile-centric series is just one of a number of media partnerships currently being developed by Twitter
BBC Scraps Digital Media Initiative After Spending £98.4M on a Revamped Archive and Production Tools
The BBC has decided to abandon its Digital Media Initiative, after spending £98.4 million (roughly $148 million USD) to try to create a more integrated and digital workflow for its employees. The decision follows an operational review of the project, launched in October last year, which found that the project was failing to achieve its current targets. Tony Hall, Director-General for the BBC, said the Digital Media Initiative had wasted “a huge amount of License Fee payers money.” “I saw no reason to allow that to continue which is why I have closed it,” he said. “I have serious concerns about how we managed this project and the review that has been set up is designed to find out what went wrong and what lessons can be learned. Ambitious technology projects like this always carry a risk of failure, it does not mean we should not attempt them but we have a responsibility to keep them under much greater control than we did here.”
Vlogging — All the Cool Kids Are Doing It, Again
Why double down on a format of web video that hasn’t changed much at all since the early days of YouTube? Aside from the basic fact that of all the formats to originate in web video, it’s the least expensive, in 2013 vlogging is still one of the best ways for YouTubers and the like to connect with their audiences. This additional investment comes about in the aftermath of one of the most-discussed articles about online video I’ve ever seen — “The Jenna Marbles Paradox: Why Are YouTube Videos So Terrible?,” by Ryan Holiday. In it, Holiday expresses frustration with the current state of what’s being watched, as “the quality of content on YouTube has stagnated somewhere between ‘awful’ and ‘downright terrible.’” Holiday names the cause for this lack of quality as both the audience, which isn’t motivated to care about videos not sucking because they’re not paying for them, and the creators who focus on gaming the system instead of making good content.
What If Arrested Development Were Coming Back on YouTube?
A few weeks after the NewFronts — where something like 75 shows were introduced — and what’s the most anticipated Web video series out there? Why, of course, it’s Arrested Development. This weekend, the show will return on Netflix with 17 binge-worthy episodes. Fan anticipation is at a fever pitch. So it’s fair to ask: What would have happened if one of the big players in Web video — say Yahoo or Hulu or AOL — had decided to resurrect it instead? Sure, it’s expensive, way expensive compared to most Web series. But didn’t Yahoo just fork over $1.1 billion for Tumblr? Couldn’t it have put $10 million aside for the Bluths? And YouTube put $100 million into funded channels over the last year. Wouldn’t it have made more sense for YouTube to concentrate on one or two series with a built-in audience?
The Haps With Apps
Amazon App Store Goes Global
Amazon may have been late to the app store game, but that hasn’t stopped it from going global. The online retail giant on Thursday said the Amazon Appstore is now available in nearly 200 countries worldwide.
Aereo is Not Just for Cord Cutters
Are cord-cutters most likely to subscribe to Aereo? Not necessarily, according to early returns. CEO Chet Kanojia told investors Thursday that 50% of its customers have a pay-TV subscription. He also said the service gets its highest viewing levels on Sundays. News is a popular genre, along with sports and awards shows. The bulk of viewership — 70% — takes place outside the home, and 65% of its customers are male.
ABC, NBC & Fox Go to DC Court Against Alki David’s FilmOn and Aereo Killer
ABC, NBC and Fox today filed a lawsuit against digital entrepreneur Alki David‘s FilmOn and his Aereokiller service, claiming copyright infringement. Allbritton, which owns ABC’s TV station Washington DC also is a plaintiff in the suit. Filed in Federal District Court in D.C. on David’s 45th birthday, the complaint (read it here) is similar to one filed in Los Angeles in August by ABC, NBC and CBS against his streaming site that then was known as BarryDriller.com. It, in turn, hewed closely to a suit filed against the site by Fox days earlier.
Streaming Video News
Discovery Launches TestTube.com, Ups Digital Video Involvement
Discovery Communications is looking to get into digital video platforms in a big way — launching a new online science network targeting young men called TestTube.com
Digital Music News
Daft Punk Breaks Spotify’s First-Day Album Streams Record, Set to Beat Mumford & Sons For First Week Streams
Though the new Daft Punk album actually started streaming (legally) on iTunes a couple of weeks ago ahead of its full launch, it has already set the record for the most streamed Spotify album on its first day ever — this includes the US, UK, France, Sweden, Finland, Norway, Germany, the Netherlands, Hong Kong, Singapore and Mexico. Now, Spotify has revealed it is on track (if you’ll pardon the pun) to have the biggest first week for an album in Spotify’s 5-year history. If the current trajectory holds firm, Daft Punk’s new album will surpass Mumford & Sons ‘Babel’ as the most streamed album ever in the first week of release, though it says this is in the US only. Mumford & Sons’ Babel blew past 8 million streams in its first seven days Stateside last year, so Daft Punk has a few days left to smash it.
TV vs Digital
Glenn Beck’s Online TV Network TheBlaze Arriving on Cablevision This Weekend
When HuffPost Live announced a deal with billionaire Mark Cuban’s AXS TV to air six hours of its social-heavy news-and-opinion programming on the cable channel every weekday, it was kind of a big deal. Not that AXS TV is a major cable name (it’s only available in 41 million of about 100 million US households), but it signified one of the few times a web video property has made the transition to TV, and that in itself was enough at this stage in the web video game to get everyone talking about the deal. What’s interesting though is that HuffPost Live isn’t the first or the only online “news” network to find a home on TV.
NewFronts 2013 Programming Cheat Sheet
It’s officially one month after the Newfronts took New York City by storm at the end of April this spring. After getting requests for an article that documents all the programming to come from the Newfronts 2013 presentations, we’ve collected the announcements into one digest.
Stats to Start
Nearly 182 Million People Watched a Video Online in April
181.9 million Americans watched 38.8 billion videos and a record-high of 13.2 billion video ads in April, according to numbers from its Video Metrix service. This is a slight dip (but not much of one) from Comscore’s March video rankings, which reported that 182.5 million Americans watched 39.3 billion videos. When breaking down the online video properties by unique viewers, Google (mostly YouTube) continued to dominate with 154.6 million unique viewers. At 13 billion videos streamed, Google also stood tall above the others when ranked by that metric.