News

Amazon's key to profitability in Twitch acquisition

Amazon's $970 million acquisition of Twitch is one of the most talked-about business deals this summer. How Amazon swooped in and nabbed the live-streaming service after months of talks with Google faltered, and more importantly, why the retail giant bought Twitch, is generating plenty of comment. Much of it is outright confusion.

Dish Network's OTT service may be called 'Nutv'

Dish Network has quietly filed a trademark application for the name "Nutv," which GigaOm speculates is to be the name for its planned OTT programming service.

Amazon CFO Szkutak to step down next year

The senior vice president and chief financial officer for Amazon, Tom Szkutak, announced plans to retire from the online retail giant in June 2015. He will be replaced by Brian Olsavsky, currently VP of finance for the company's global consumer unit.

Online advertising drives Q2 ad growth, YouTube revenue projected to hit $5.9B in 2014, reports say

Broadcasting and cable marketers take note: Online advertising now makes up roughly one-third of the total advertising market, and is picking up steam, growing 21 percent in the second quarter of 2014, a new report by MoffettNathanson says. More telling, however: In the second quarter, online advertising was the biggest driver, accounting for 98 percent of the market's growth.

Netflix sides with muni broadband in quest to upend state laws

As Netflix prepares to increase the content it's delivering in 4K/UHD, a bandwidth-hungry video format, the SVOD provider promoted, in comments to the FCC, municipal broadband providers' ability to quickly bring U.S. residents up to the Internet capacity necessary to view Ultra HD.

Samsung announces 4K content deal with Amazon

TV manufacturer Samsung is hoping to boost 4K TV sales by giving consumers a good deal more content to actually watch in 4K, announcing a new deal with Amazon to deliver its original series and some movies in Ultra High Def (UHD, or 4K), starting in October.

Amazon, Netflix stock original series cupboard

Netflix's international expansion is continuing along its planned growth path, with the subscription video on demand provider announcing its first French-produced series, Marseille, slated to premiere in late 2015. Meantime, Amazon is sticking with its pilot-to-series original content model, debuting five new pilots this week for viewers to rate and review.

Chunghwa Telecom, Broadpeak trial 4K HEVC delivery

Broadpeak is working with Taiwan's Chunghwa Telecom on a 4K trial, with the aim of delivering streaming content using HEVC compression.

Vimeo signs 7 distribution partners, including Drafthouse Films, to on demand platform

Vimeo is bulking up its content library with an eye to original, independently-produced video, and has signed distribution partnerships with seven media and entertainment companies that will see their content featured on the Vimeo On Demand platform.

Amazon nabs Twitch for $970M

Amazon announced it bought Twitch for $970 million in an all-cash acquisition. It's a bit of a head-spinner, since the online video industry was waiting for the sure-thing, soon-to-come announcement from Google that it had acquired the wildly popular live-streaming site.

Microsoft reportedly developing Chromecast rival: a Miracast dongle

Analysts can predict a decline in Google Chromecast usage all they want, but its users are a fairly loyal bunch. And it appears that Microsoft may be going after that customer base with its own dongle, reportedly called the Miracast Dongle but currently code-named HD-10 in an FCC filing.

Netflix has bright European future, but analysts sound caution about costs

Subscription video-on-demand provider Netflix is on a roll in Europe, with plans to launch in six new countries on the continent by the end of 2014. It reportedly has reached 1 million subscribers in the Netherlands, and a new IHS study projects that within four years its European base will make up one-fifth of its total subscribers worldwide.

RiffTrax, Snagfilms make leap to TV screen--at least for Chromecast users

JW Player has integrated Google Chromecast support into its platform, making it possible for viewers to watch content from sites such as Rifftrax and Snagfilms on their TV sets through the device's cast feature.

StudioNow takes a $5M growth path, bulks up executive team

AOL spinoff StudioNow, a digital-video-creation company that matches content producers with enterprises that need their services, announced that it has raised $5 million in a Series B round. It has also made four key hires to round out its executive team, all veterans in the finance, media and Web arenas.

Piksel targets legacy video providers with software-based OTT platform

Piksel is introducing a SaaS (software as a service) based OTT video platform. Targeting legacy content providers and distributors--like cable companies and broadcasters--the company said the platform will allow customers to launch over-the-top services quickly without having to invest in "static" infrastructure.

Netflix adds Time Warner Cable to its pay-for-faster-play list

Now there are four major ISPs being paid by Netflix to speed its over-the-top streaming video to subscribers. Time Warner Cable has signed an interconnection agreement with the SVOD service, similar to Netflix's earlier deals with AT&T, Verizon and Comcast.

PlayStation TV, Android TV crowd into streaming-device market

The streaming-device market is looking pretty saturated right now, but there are still more device announcements to come. Sony said it will debut its PlayStation TV device on Oct. 14 in North America. And Google is still working on its Android TV platform, which will run on smart TVs--it hasn't announced a release date yet. But according to analysts, neither of these products is going to shake up the streaming market.

UK to trial online-video age ratings

Coming soon to YouTube music videos in the UK: a ratings system that warns parents if the content of an online video is inappropriate for their kids.

Televisa and MiTu join forces to offer multiscreen content

Multichannel network MiTu has signed a multiyear agreement with Mexico City-based giant Televisa that will see the two Hispanic-focused companies work together to develop and distribute programming across multiple platforms.

Amazon tries to add heart to data-driven content creation

Although the use of metadata to help determine the kind of shows audiences want to watch has gotten a lot of attention over the past year or so–particularly with the success of Netflix's House of Cards, a show developed partly from data analysis–Amazon is trying to find the heart that drives the popularity of series as its original-content efforts evolve.