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The perils of Netflix

Netflix is sitting on top of the online video hill right now, but a host of challengers threaten to knock it off. From growing competition to bandwidth pressures to disgruntled shareholders looking for a leadership change, the path ahead holds many dangers.

Chromecast usage dips, sales flatten out, report says

Google has a sizable stake in the online-streaming-device market with its Chromecast streaming stick, but use of the device in the United States dipped in the first quarter of 2014 compared with the last two quarters of 2013, a Parks Associates study reveals.

Hastings survives investor challenge to Netflix chairmanship

A move to split the CEO and chairman positions at Netflix was defeated Monday as just over half of the SVOD provider's shareholders voted against a proposal to keep Reed Hastings as CEO but replace him on the board with a member who is not a current or former employee of the company.

Verizon FiOS speed drops in Netflix ISP index, despite peering deal

What's the deal, Verizon? Most observers--and Netflix, surely--expected that the SVOD provider's streaming performance over Verizon's FiOS network would improve, now that Netflix is paying Verizon for preferred bandwidth. But the carrier's average streaming speeds instead dropped two places in Netflix's monthly speed index.

OTT households grow, while pay-TV consumers at their most miserable

Cable may still be king of media delivery, but the kingdom's subjects couldn't be more miserable, a new report shows. And while pay-TV subscribers hunt for an alternative to their current subscriptions, the number of over-the-top households continues to grow, another study found.

Online streaming poised to top movie theater revenues at $14B

Thirty-odd years ago, movie theater owners worried that HBO and other premium cable networks like Showtime would pull customers out of their theaters to watch movies in the comfort of their own home. That didn't happen at the time--but the ease and perceived cost savings of accessing movies through Netflix, Amazon, Redbox Instant and other SVOD or TVOD (subscription- or transactional-video-on-demand) services is now making an impact, and could pass box office revenues by 2018.

Struggling Vevo may be up for sale

Yahoo, Amazon, Dreamworks Animation and Liberty Media are reportedly among suitors queuing up to buy Vevo, the largest provider of music videos online.

Amazon, Netflix spend billions in content race, but competitors like YouTube are sneaking up

Today, I'm taking a stab at how much three major online video providers--Amazon, Netflix and Hulu--are spending to acquire existing content and produce original content. It's not as easy a task as some imagine, because only Netflix, to keep its investors happy, is really open about its specific content spending habits.

Analysts see lots of cord-cutting talk, but not much action

Consumers are showing a lot of interest in over-the-top services, but aren't doing much actual cord cutting, according to a panel of analysts at the BroadbandTVcon in Santa Clara, Calif.

TiVo isn't exiting the retail business anytime soon, Chopra says

DVR pioneer TiVo may be driving its product into the cable and satellite market, but it still sees retail sales, particularly of its new OTT-integrated Roamio DVR, as key to the company's business model.

Netflix transitions to HTML5, moves away from Microsoft Silverlight

Online video provider Netflix is accelerating its transition to HTML5-based streaming, a move that should improve load times for viewers and make 4K video streaming easier to deliver.

A closer look at the billions of dollars Netflix, Amazon and Hulu are spending on original content

How much are online video providers spending on original content this year? While Netflix has always been pretty open about the amount of money it's dedicating to its original series, others like Amazon and Hulu are not so forthcoming. We take a look at the billion-dollar bets these providers are making on content.

Report: Disney's Maker Studios to lay off 10% of workforce

Following the head rush of its $500 million acquisition by the Walt Disney Co., Maker Studios is now facing the downside of the deal: trimming away 10 percent of its 380 employees. The multichannel network may issue pink slips this week.

YouTube launches its own ISP streaming quality index

Google's YouTube division has released its first ever Video Quality Report, rating the performance of Internet service providers on how well they are delivering online video in their service areas. It's a move similar to Netflix's monthly ISP speed index, which ranks providers based on how well they deliver Netflix streams to its subscribers.

Rumor mill: Community looks for new life on Hulu

Perhaps taking a cue from Netflix's revival of cult series Arrested Development, Hulu is reportedly in talks with Sony Pictures Television to produce more episodes of Community, a show with a devoted following that was recently canceled by NBC.

Sports programmers unbundle to OTT in search of profits

Even as Wall Street investors reacted skittishly to WWE's news that its leap from pay-TV to online video would not reap benefits for several months--causing its stock to slide more than 40 percent in a day--sports programmers are wading ever deeper into the OTT pool.

Time Warner Cable faces lawsuit, carriage woes in Los Angeles

There's no joy in Los Angeles for Time Warner Cable, which has been unable to sign a single carriage deal for its Dodgers channel, SportsNet LA, with competitors like DirecTV saying pricing for the channel is "far above any rational view of the market." Now it's facing another problem: a discrimination lawsuit.

Original series, new content drop at Amazon, Netflix as competitors rush to catch up

The online content race is continuing to heat up, as Amazon debuted the first of its planned kids' series, Tumble Leaf, on Prime Instant Video. The e-commerce giant also made available the first batch of HBO series, including The Sopranos, Boardwalk Empire and others, through its exclusive deal with the programmer.

Yahoo makes its competitive intentions clearer with YouTube-like service

Yahoo is planning to take on Google's YouTube online video dominance, and this summer will announce a service that offers channel pages and video hosting. Its value proposition? Giving creators a bigger cut of ad revenues, and offering the ability to distribute their videos across Yahoo's online properties.

Online video holds steady against linear TV options

The number of online video viewers keeps growing steadily, and those who have completely cut the cord from pay TV are happy with their decision, a pair of newly released reports from comScore and nScreen Media reveal. But pay-TV providers are battling the trend.