News

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.

Rumors of Legend of Zelda series planned for Netflix met with glee, skepticism

Fans of The Legend of Zelda rejoiced this weekend as reports surfaced that the perennially popular video game is coming to Netflix as a live-action series.

UPDATE: Sling TV opens to U.S. subscribers; adds channels, expands Roku models

Dish Network's new over-the-top venture, Sling TV, is now available to subscribers across the U.S., the company announced Monday. It also bulked up its $20 per month core offering, adding AMC Networks channels, and added a Sports Extra package. Sling TV is also is continuing to update its device availability and streaming options.

Dish, AT&T amp ad spending for Hispanic online audience, but are they on target?

This week, we take a look at one of the fastest-growing audience segments in online video, Hispanic viewers. This segment is becoming a powerhouse in the U.S. population, with overall spending power of $1.5 trillion--up from $1 trillion in 2010, according to numerous sources. And they're some of the most enthusiastic consumers of over-the-top video.

Hispanic audiences, and $1.5T in buying power, trend toward OTT

As the online video market heats up, increasing attention is being paid to one of its fastest-growing consumer segments: the Hispanic viewing audience. Increasingly, Hispanic OTT viewers are young, technologically savvy, and have increasing buying power. But are online video providers and advertisers reaching this potential powerhouse demographic?

NBC's Super Bowl stream logs 1.3M viewers, complaints of video delay

NBC Sports said it recorded the highest number of online viewers ever for a Super Bowl, 1.3 million, along with its highest-ever TV audience. What's more, use of connected devices--smart TVs and Wi-Fi-enabled tablets, for example--jumped 150 percent higher than normal during the live-streamed championship game.

Parks on HBO cord-cutting worries: Don't panic

Smoothing down fears that 7 million consumers might cancel their pay-TV subscriptions this year once HBO launches its over-the-top subscription service, Parks Associates added a bit of context to its initial report. The gist? Don't panic…yet.

The downside of programmatic: AOL lays off 150 staffers, most in ad sales

Web and online video portal AOL laid off 150 employees, mostly from its advertising sales unit, saying its increased reliance on programmatic buying (an automated way to sell and place online ads) has made their jobs superfluous.

Streaming video revenue's $3.2B jump a rallying cry for OTT providers in broadband speed battle

Revenue from streaming video services jumped 175 percent between 2010 and 2013, from $1.86 billion to $5.12 billion. That massive rise in dollars being thrown at online video is part of the reason why raising the broadband speed bar in the U.S. to 25 Mbps is absolutely essential to continued economic growth, according to Internet Association President Michael Beckerman.

Amazon's Prime streaming subs drive its overall sales; membership jumps 53%

Customers who join Amazon Prime specifically to stream video through its Prime Instant Video service tend to buy more often from other areas of the retail giant's website as well. And while it doesn't seem like much, it's important to note that Prime membership overall increased 53 percent in 2014.

StreamNation acquires PictureLife, shifting toward one-stop shop for streaming media storage

Cloud storage and stream-back provider StreamNation has acquired PictureLife, a New York-based startup specializing in online photo storage, for an undisclosed amount.

WWE Network breaks 1M subscribers, but is it enough to be profitable?

WWE's online video gamble, WWE Network, has crossed its first big subscriber benchmark, passing 1 million subscribers this week.

Cablevision's Wi-Fi phone service isn't much now, but just wait

Cablevision took its first step into the wireless world Monday, by introducing a Wi-Fi-only phone service, Freewheel, that its subscribers can get for $10 a month. But with its limited service--Wi-Fi works only where hotspots and wireless routers are available, and doesn't do handoffs the way cellular technology does--it's hardly a threat to incumbent carriers like AT&T.