Net neutrality passes, but leaves paid prioritization issue open

Call it a cautious win for the online video industry: After a commission meeting marked by strenuous dissent from its Republican commissioners, the FCC voted 3-2 to adopt net neutrality rules that classify broadband as a service under Title II of the Communications Act of 1934 and Section 706 of the Telecommunications Act of 1996.

Profiling the wireline industry's rising stars

If online video's future--particularly when it comes to 4K streaming--depends upon the capacity and speed of the nation's networks, then companies like Google play a critical role. Google Fiber's ongoing challenge to other Internet service providers is to bring 1 Gbps services to consumers at a reasonable price.

Long-form content has its day in the sun as ad views jump 43%, FreeWheel says

Views of video ads on long-form content jumped 43 percent in the fourth quarter of 2014, according to FreeWheel's latest report.

Cord cutting increased by 1.4M homes in 2014, analyst says

As many as 1.4 million U.S. households either cut their pay-TV subscription or never had one in the first place last year, a number that "appears to have markedly increased" over past years, according to analysts Michael Nathanson and Craig Moffett. The data could spell bad news for cable and satellite operators, which managed to stem the tide of video subscriber losses somewhat in the fourth quarter.

IBM partners with Kaltura to power Turner's multiscreen play in Latin America

Over-the-top service provider Kaltura and IBM are providing platform and infrastructure support to Turner Broadcasting as it launches an authenticated multiscreen service in Latin America and Brazil. The partnership is IBM's first hybrid cloud services foray into the media and entertainment industry.

Groupflix pivots into Pilotly, climbs into data analytics niche

For online video startups, the OTT landscape is one that appears ripe with possibilities but in reality can be hard to realize. Streaming video startup GroupFlix is wading through that mire now and, in an attempt to expand a less-exploited niche, is shifting its focus a bit. The business is changing its name to Pilotly and, taking a page from the Amazon playbook, will offer viewers the ability to watch and rate pilot episodes of TV series.

Closing movie release windows will slow piracy, boost revenue for Oscar-nominated films, Irdeto says

American Sniper isn't just a favorite to win Best Picture at Sunday's Academy Awards presentation. It's also the most heavily pirated movie among the eight films nominated for the top Oscar, according to data released by Irdeto. The film depicting Navy SEAL Chris Kyle was downloaded via BitTorrent more than 1.39 million times in the month following its nomination.

Strategy, not original content, will decide the OTT race, analyst says

Online video providers from Netflix to Amazon to Yahoo are scurrying to create original content that will poach viewers away from their rivals. But an analyst with The Diffusion Group says that pouring money into scripted entertainment is a strategy that is destined to fail.

Tracking the wireless industry's rising stars

For Verizon, LTE Broadcast (which it has dubbed LTE Multicast) is a critically important emerging technology. With it, streaming content can be sent to a large number of viewers at the same time.

Turner's NBA All-Star Game live stream views jump 50%

Live video streams of Turner Sports' NBA All-Star Game and related events saw a significant jump over last year: 50 percent more online viewers streamed the game itself, while its Saturday night preview saw an 89 percent increase in live streams.

As YouTube marks tenth anniversary, rivals like Facebook queue up to topple the giant

Samantha Bookman, FierceOnlineVideo

February 14 wasn't just a day for couples to frantically scramble for restaurant reservations--this year it marked the tenth anniversary of YouTube's domain registration. Its first video, "Me At the Zoo"--which featured a pithy description of elephants', er--well anyway, that was uploaded on April 23, 2005.

Owned and operated online video platforms gain a foothold among media companies

The New York Times, MiTu and other companies are beginning to have one thing in common: They're investing in or have already built their own online video platforms, eschewing third parties so they can better control the video experience.

Comcast-TWC merger could threaten online video, render net neutrality moot, critics say

Could Comcast own the online video experience? If the merger between the cable giant and Time Warner Cable goes through, a majority of American consumers could find themselves locked into OTT options controlled by the new mega-Comcast, a recent op-ed in technology publication Backchannel suggests, squeezing out OTT competitors.

Sling TV adds EPIX to lineup, battles awareness problem among millennials

Sling TV has signed up its first premium channel: The over-the-top service announced a deal with EPIX to bring four of the network's channels to subscribers, along with 2,000 video-on-demand titles.

Amazon, Roku promote Sling TV with free streaming stick offers

Forget about trying to side-load the Sling TV linear service onto at least one device: Dish Network's new OTT app is now available on Amazon's Fire TV and Fire TV Stick.

AMC may have scored hit with Netflix-bound 'Better Call Saul'

better call saulAMC series Better Call Saul--for which Netflix locked in an exclusive-streaming deal once its season is complete--set a ratings record in its Sunday-night premiere. It drew 4.4 million adult viewers in the 18-49 demo for the live broadcast and 6.9 million total. That bodes well for the series becoming a breakout hit--something AMC Networks needs to gain leverage in a rapidly changing media and entertainment landscape. FierceCable has the rundown here.

Want to reach more of the online video audience? Have a 360-degree, multiplatform strategy

Samantha Bookman, FierceOnlineVideo

Last week, I took a closer look at the burgeoning Hispanic online video market and asked whether programmers and advertisers were really reaching this segment. The Hispanic demographic in the United States is overwhelmingly young and has increasing discretionary income--and therefore is a prime target for any company looking to expand its bottom line.

Target Ticket reaches end of the road

Transactional video on demand service Target Ticket will soon be no more: The retailer announced that the service is shutting down on March 7 and that it "will be focusing efforts on other entertainment offerings."

Netflix opens streaming service to Cuba, announces Japan entry

Netflix is continuing its international expansion with a long-expected launch into Japan that will take place in the fall of 2015. But its big surprise this week was an announcement that it is now streaming into Cuba, an entry made possible by the Obama administration's move to normalize relations with the country.

$20 price point could be the key to Sling TV's 'escape velocity,' analyst says

The rapid pace at which Sling TV responded to reviewer complaints about a too-skinny core offering--by adding Univision and AMC Networks channels just before its nationwide launch--shows that Dish Network's new OTT service can outdo traditional cable when it comes to upgrades. But it's the $20 price point that will really slingshot the service out ahead of pay TV, an analyst with The Diffusion Group says.