News

Netflix tops 57.4 million members in record-setting 2014

Subscription video on demand provider Netflix added a record 13 million new subscribers in 2014, bringing its total subs worldwide to 57.4 million. It was the first in a line of good news for investors, as CEO Reed Hastings said that the provider's subscription rate was in line with its forecast for the fourth quarter.

NBC to live-stream Super Bowl free of charge--to everyone except smartphone users

The Super Bowl itself just became a giant marketing vehicle for NBCUniversal, which will live-stream the game and its preshow coverage to anyone who accesses its TV Everywhere service on Feb. 1, without requiring authentication or a pay-TV subscription.

Amazon explores narrowed theatrical-release strategy, appoints indie veteran Hope to lead unit

Online retail giant and SVOD provider Amazon is dipping a toe in the traditional movie-release waters, announcing an original-movies program that will see its movies available via Prime Instant Video within four to eight weeks after their release on the big screen.

Pai claims Netflix refuses to disprove Open Connect fast-lane allegations

FCC Commissioner Ajit Pai wants to know why Netflix isn't getting back to him on details about encryption protocols it is allegedly using to target the open caching servers of certain large Internet service providers.

Twitch tests movie streaming, original music as Dailymotion launches its own game-streaming platform

Online video technology provider Dailymotion is taking on Twitch, debuting its own platform designed specifically to live-stream video games. But Twitch appears to already be branching out, testing the movie-streaming waters and announcing new options for background music during live streams--including original, user-created music.

Maker Studios stars to create content for Vimeo, opening doors beyond YouTube

At least some of Maker Studio's star creators won't be locked into producing videos just for the Disney-owned multichannel network nor only on YouTube, thanks to a new collaboration with Vimeo, the two companies announced Thursday.

TiVo product VP Denney talks OTT, 4K and more

Jim Denney, product marketing chief for TiVo, has a full plate these days as the DVR pioneer navigates the rapidly changing video space. In an interview with FierceCable's Daniel Frankel, Denney outlines the manufacturer's latest DVR feature, OnePass, which combines OTT recorded content with other available content, visible in the user interface.

Netflix, Kudelski Group hug it out on patent impasse

The Kudelski Group and Netflix announced that they've entered a long-term, "comprehensive" product relationship, dismissed all U.S. patent litigation over Kudelski-owned Nagra and OpenTV products, and put a stay on related litigation in the Netherlands.

Goodbye, Jersey Shore, and good riddance: TV faces SVOD's original content play head-on

Finally, our long national nightmare may be over: Scripted, original TV series are a hot property in Hollywood again, displacing the decade-long popularity of reality shows like Jersey Shore and the seemingly bottomless pool of Real Housewives. It's largely thanks to the challenge laid at their feet by Netflix and Amazon with original content drives that stole away millions of viewers in the past couple years. But can traditional TV handle the cost of original series?

Mobile data use skyrockets in 2014; is online video to blame?

Data use on 2G, 3G and 4G wireless networks approached 3,000 petabytes per month worldwide in the third quarter of 2014, while voice traffic on mobile phones remained flat, according to Ericsson data reported by Akamai in its quarterly State of the Internet report.

Elemental partners with Pac-12 Networks to manage live streaming, YouTube distribution

Multiscreen content solutions provider Elemental will take charge of Pac-12 Networks' live simulcast online streaming, the regional sports network announced ahead of Monday's inaugural College Football Championship. Elemental will handle video processing for Pac-12's TV Everywhere offering and its YouTube International platform, which live-streams the conference's games to subscribers in 24 countries outside the United States.

Starz CEO: Premium channels are basically SVOD providers

Comparing premium cable networks like Starz, HBO and Showtime, with their subscription-only requirements, to Netflix, Amazon and Hulu, which rely solely on subscribers for revenue, Starz CEO Chris Albrecht told investors this week that established players in the media and entertainment industry--networks, distributors and MVPDs--need to start playing the same game as subscription video on demand providers. And that means creating more original content and finding innovative ways to expand their subscriber base.

Google signs 30 media companies, 20 advertisers to Partner Select online video program

Web giant Google announced this week that 30 major media companies, among them CBS Interactive, Fox News, Scripps Networks and Discovery Communications, and 20 brand advertisers have signed on to its premium online video advertising service, Google Partner Select.

Operator to launch MobiTV streaming HDMI stick in first half of this year

LAS VEGAS--MobiTV said an operator will launch its white-label HDMI dongle, the USB-capable MobiTV Connect stick, sometime in the first half of this year. The company declined to provide any further details on the operator that is planning to launch the device, including whether it's a wireless carrier and whether the launch will be in the United States.

AT&T says it's ready for mobile video onslaught

Tier 1 carrier AT&T, whose wireless network just a few years ago was criticized for being unreliable, is ready to handle the increasing traffic demands imposed by online video viewing.

CNBC drops Nielsen, while Brightroll CEO declares 2015 a 'breakout year' for advertising

It appears that media companies are taking to heart last year's predictions about advertising and audience measurement. On Tuesday, CNBC announced it is dropping Nielsen measurement of its daytime audience and instead will rely on Cogent Reports, the syndicated division of Market Strategies International, a marketing and research firm.

Dish's $20 OTT price point a glimpse of TV to come, analysts say

Dish Network's official unveiling of its over-the-top television service, Sling TV, at CES brought an unexpected surprise for potential subscribers: They can sign up for $20 per month, a price point that is as much as $10 lower than some analysts had predicted.

Video execs predict future with voice, gesture interfaces and cheaper, smaller content bundles

LAS VEGAS--The future of the video market will likely include new ways for users to access content, including by asking for it with their voices and navigating through options with a wave of their hand. Users in the future will also likely be able to purchase smaller, cheaper bundles of content and TV channels.

Daily Netflix viewing climbs to 36% of subs in 2014, report says

Viewers are getting their daily Netflix fix more often than ever before. According to a new report by Leichtman Research Group, 36 percent of subscribers to the service that it surveyed stream video daily, and 72 percent stream it weekly.

Aereo gets positive report on viewership as court OKs asset sale

While its 12 remaining employees are presumably packing up the last items from their offices before shutting off the lights, Aereo got a couple of pieces of good news before the year ended. The most important one: an okay from the federal bankruptcy court to sell off its assets. The intriguing one: its subscriber base grew 40 percent between December 2013 and June 2014.