Amazon promotes PBS series 'Mercy Street' with early premiere for subscribers

Subscribers to Amazon Prime will be the first audiences to watch new PBS series Mercy Street, the Civil War-era drama produced by Ridley Scott. They are able to stream the premiere episode on the SVOD service's apps three days before it debuts on broadcast on Jan. 17, adding a new dimension to the hyper-competitive content licensing race between the retail giant and other top streaming services like Netflix and Hulu.

Mitu raises $27M to expand publishing platform, content and products

Mitú, a Latino-focused company that got its start as a multichannel network (MCN) on YouTube, raised $27 million in its latest Series C funding round, bringing its total funding to $43 million.

Fullscreen and Otter Media add top media executives to employee roll

Digital advertising executive Pete Stein has been hired by Fullscreen as general manager and head of its brand group to drive sales and marketing for the multichannel network (MCN) giant. Meantime, former MTV executive Van Toffler will head up a new studio producing original content for Otter Media, the AT&T and Chernin Group-backed company that owns Fullscreen.

Apple reportedly eyes Time Warner assets for SVOD service

As pressure from investors builds around putting up HBO's parent company Time Warner for sale, rumors are emerging that Apple is eyeing the company's sizable programming assets, as a way to make its entry into the SVOD market easier.

Competition, consolidation, and … Cosmo? A look at OTT's year to come

On a holiday trip to visit family, I finally got the chance to try JetBlue's much-touted Fly-Fi service, as well as the Amazon Prime Instant Video streaming service that the airline has promoted since partnering with the retail giant earlier this year.

ABC Family officially renamed to Freeform, new mobile app launches

Cable network ABC Family went ahead with its planned rebranding and changed its name to Freeform. In tandem with the new moniker, ABC launched a mobile app that features the first two episodes of the network's newest series, Shadowhunters.

Twitter adds Periscope live broadcasts to its timeline

Apple device owners using Twitter's app are finding a new feature in their feed: integrated Periscope videos, which can either be streamed live or watched later on demand until they expire. It's a component that Twitter has been working toward since acquiring Periscope last March.

Amazon joins Golden Globes winners' circle as Netflix shut out

Top SVOD competitors Amazon and Netflix both received multiple nominations by the Hollywood Foreign Press Association for their original series, but it was Amazon that walked away with two Golden Globe awards this year while Netflix went home empty-handed.

YouTube's business chief betting on virtual reality to boost platform

LAS VEGAS -- Robert Kyncl, YouTube's chief business officer, said virtual reality will be one of the few key drivers for Google's video strategy in the coming year. "I don't think digital video will grow linearly, I think it will grow exponentially," Kyncl said.

Sling TV debuts improved user interface at CES

Dish Network, amid a flurry of product announcements at CES, debuted several enhancements to Sling TV's user interface as well. CEO Roger Lynch was on stage to introduce new UI elements, including improved search and recommendation, as well as content curation via Sling TV's "My TV" and "On Now" features.

Seeso poised to launch as NBCUniversal aims at online comedy fans

Comcast-owned NBCUniversal's first foray into subscription video on demand (SVOD) is set to launch this week with 2,000 hours of original comedy content available immediately to those who sign up for the $3.99 monthly service.

JW Player gets $20M funding boost to expand its online video platform

JW Player, which built a niche for itself providing an online video platform targeted to enterprises, capped off a year of growth by completing a $20 million Series D funding round led by existing investors including Greycroft Growth, Greenspring Associates, Cueball Capital, and

Amazon's tablet strategy pays off as 3M new Prime subscribers come aboard

Call it the year of the tablet: Amazon's push to get as many of its devices into the hands of consumers, particularly over the holidays, appears to have paid off as the retail giant reported that it signed up more than 3 million new Prime members in the third week of December and doubled holiday sales of its streaming capable devices.

Yahoo Screen shuttered as possible restructuring of Web company looms

Yahoo officially shut down its online video unit, Yahoo Screen, ending an ambitious drive to vault into more direct competition with top OTT providers like Hulu by offering original content and live-streamed sports.

Netflix reportedly plans to launch on smart TVs in Russia

International expansion is continuing apace for Netflix as it preps for launches into South Korea, Hong Kong and Singapore. So it's not surprising to hear reports that the SVOD provider is also planning to launch service in Russia, albeit only on smart TVs for now.

From live streaming to ad blocking, OTT in tumult in 2015 - Year in Review

For OTT, a disruptive year brought a few surprises but even more questions. There's a very good chance that the video industry is tiring of hearing the word "disruptive." But that's a factor we saw all year in over-the-top video as a number of trends that analysts predicted would happen, came to fruition.

VideoBlocks adds Discovery Channel footage to Marketplace

Online video creators hunting for stock nature footage to add to their production, rejoice: VideoBlocks is adding royalty-free stock video from Discovery Channel's library of unused footage to its Marketplace section.

AOL and Dailymotion expand relationship to boost programmatic advertising opportunities

AOL, which has redoubled its online video strategies alongside the launch of its multiscreen automated ad-buying platform ONE, is more tightly integrating with online video provider Dailymotion in an expansion of the relationship the companies have had since 2012.

Limelight: Content availability drives decision to cut the cord

The rising price of pay-TV services is still a leading factor in many consumers' decision to cut the cord and go all-OTT, but content availability is increasingly becoming a key part of the decision, a new study by Limelight Networks says.

Consumer frustration just one factor leading to video content piracy

In addition to technologies that facilitate piracy, several trends are contributing to the growth of content piracy among consumers, including trends in password sharing as a result of consumers being frustrated with digital rights management, OTT service adoption, and individual content discovery.