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.
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.
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.
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.
Subscribers to Dish Network who opt for its Hopper DVR will get an added bonus: six free months of Netflix, thanks to a deal the satellite operator signed with the SVOD provider. However, those subscribers won't find Netflix bundled into their DVRs, Variety reports.
Netflix announced its widely anticipated expansion into more European markets this week, in a move that will provide further competition to existing pay-TV providers across the Continent. Vodafone UK also unveiled an exclusive deal with the U.S. company that will see subscribers to the mobile operator's LTE plans receive free Netflix services for a promotional period of six months.
Cable operator Comcast, which recently signed a peering deal with Netflix to increase the amount of bandwidth the online video provider can use to reach subscribers on its network, has launched its own content delivery network without fanfare. Meanwhile, Apple is moving forward with a CDN buildout of its own and is negotiating paid interconnect deals with a number of unnamed ISPs.
Even as Netflix announced it was expanding to six more European countries in late 2014--Germany, Austria, Switzerland, France, Belgium and Luxembourg--its chief financial officer, David Wells, told investors that the online video provider would stay in line with or slightly behind its overall revenue while continuing to expand its reach and content offerings--and that Netflix's international operations would be profitable by the end of 2014.
Verizon may still be one of the largest telco TV players, but the telco is seeing that in the markets where it offers its FiOS services, wireline broadband is becoming the dominant product.
Hulu added another piece to its original content puzzle as it brought aboard Netflix veteran Jenny Wall as SVP and head of marketing.