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Yahoo Expands Distribution Deal for Vevo`s Music Videos News - Sun, 04/13/2014 - 22:00

Categories: Video News

Zeebox Rebranded as Social TV App Beamly News - Sun, 04/13/2014 - 22:00

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Advertisers` Dilemma In Online Video - Reach Or Frequency? News - Sun, 04/13/2014 - 22:00

Categories: Video News

Blue Coat Releases Data On The Impact Of Web & Video Caching Inside Operator Networks

The Business Of Online Video - Sun, 04/13/2014 - 20:01

Transparent caching plays a very important role in the content delivery market and is a segment of the content delivery industry that is seeing rapid growth ($350M by 2016). To showcase just how much content these caches deliver, industry vendor Blue Coat recently gave me an insight into the data that’s collected by their CachePulse technology.

Blue Coat gets tremendous visibility on the web and how it is changing through its hundreds of collection points and prominent position in some of the world’s largest enterprise and telco networks. In 2013 for example, all the deployed Blue Coat CacheFlow appliances processed over 850 petabytes of data and handled over 13.5 trillion requests. To put this roughly 35 billion requests each day into context, Google in comparison does about six billion searches and Facebook has about 5 billion likes each day.

Digging into Blue Coat’s findings from CachePulse for 2013 there are some expected trends, but also some surprises. To no surprise, video traffic dominated representing more than half (or roughly 55%) of all traffic. And while readers in the US immediately think of Netflix, in reality Netflix is a small player globally. YouTube (including Google Video) remains as the number one traffic driver with DailyMotion a close second. A bit more surprising was the prominent role file sharing and large file updates are playing in shaping traffic patterns. This includes the common Apple iOS and Microsoft Windows updates that regularly clog networks, as well as P2P-based sharing getting replaced with web-based direct download alternatives such as 4Shared, MediaFire and FileFactory.

Driving only a few percentage points of traffic today, gaming has shown big gains increasing 33% over last six months. Sites like Steam, Playstation and Xbox are at the forefront of this shift. Popular downloads like the supersized-18GB Grand Theft Auto V release serve as a great example of the content driving this growth as packaged games shift to 100% digital downloads. And with the recent, frothy acquisition of WhatsApp by Facebook, who can forget about social networks. No surprise Facebook continues to be the leader, followed by Tumblr and Keek respectively. Ranked in the top 30 sites globally, the Russian social network VK (or VKontakte) is also an up and coming player to keep an eye on.

Since Blue Coat has a significant portion of its business deeply entrenched in web security through CachePulse they also gain visibility on security trends on the web at large. In the 2013 findings, Blue Coat found that each day 150,000 GB of the traffic they processed was categorized as ‘suspicious’ while more than 25,000 GB was confirmed as ‘officially’ malware.

So what does this all mean? While the general content mix and the dominance of video is not surprising, smaller shifts around the traffic mix (from P2P to web or with the uptick of gaming), the key players (such as Netflix or VK), or the prominence of suspicious or malicious content is noteworthy. And considering that for 2013 Blue Coat on average saw roughly 80% of this traffic being fully cacheable, there’s a clear role that transparent caching technology – whether with Blue Coat CacheFlow or other solutions – can provide in optimizing this content – whatever it may be – to speed the user experience or provider operational or cost efficiencies, as well as potentially providing an overlay of security and malware protection.

Categories: Video News

YouTube TV Ads Now Running For Michelle Phan, Bethany Mota, Rosanna Pansino News - Sat, 04/12/2014 - 22:00

Categories: Video News

Yahoo Rolls the Dice on TV News - Sat, 04/12/2014 - 22:00

Categories: Video News

Aereo`s $97m question for the Supreme Court News - Sat, 04/12/2014 - 22:00

Categories: Video News

Lights, camera, interaction: Why video data is a crucial part of the enterprise value chain

NewTeeVee - Sat, 04/12/2014 - 11:00

The Netflix-Comcast truce has demonstrated once more how crucial video has become for today’s internet. YouTube alone streams enough footage each month to theoretically entertain every single human alive for four hours. Facebook users spend an average of 84 minutes a month watching clips on the social network, topping five billion views in January.

The data inside each clip and metadata about each and every viewer’s interaction with a video can make or break marketing campaigns. But are companies making use of the vast treasure trove of data that all those streamed videos give them?

So far, the answer is no. Using big data to boost one’s sales and marketing activities may sound like old news, but most companies today don’t use the full suite of modern business intelligence (BI) tools at their disposal.

Some have embarked on implementing the open source Hadoop framework for data warehousing, including newer iterations such as Impala that make up for the lack in speed of the initial Hadoop versions. Some companies are trying new approaches to turn the entire web into a data repository, connecting sources across the cloud to each other and to their various on-premise datasets to run complex queries in a browser. And some are betting on new appliances that supposedly make mining your data as easy as a search query.

But most companies still struggle to make sense of the basic requirements for all the different big data technologies out there — from budget to necessary staff skills. They also need internal buy-in to connect entirely new data sources to their sales, marketing and other activities to get that 360-degree view of their value chain and operations that software guys have been promising.

That’s a pity because mining video data is a particularly valuable asset. The foray into the rich data sets of social media and video lets companies large and small literally see more and sell more.

Photo from Thinkstock/Oleksiy Mark

Photo from Thinkstock/Oleksiy Mark

Take one European enterprise my firm works with. This company noticed that its sales of one product had shot up and almost drained inventory in a few days. But why? When the sales team talked to the social media guys, they found out that a video about the new product had been viewed more than 100,000 times the day before the spike occurred.

The firm used a team of two to pull together data across the web and inside its firewall: online orders and conversion rates, data from its YouTube and Vimeo accounts, plus Google Analytics and Facebook Insights. Turns out the bestseller story was a bit more complicated.

YouTube views had indeed shot up, but they had only led to a 15 percent increase in orders. What really drove the unusually high sales was something else: the moment when die-hard fans started spreading the word. They shared the clip everywhere from Tumblr to Facebook and got their friends to watch it on mobile devices. Viral plus handheld generated a 40 percent sales increase, but that tidbit only showed up once all the dots were connected.

The company went a step further and pushed this analysis to its salesforce users. It was less a pep talk than advanced prep work for the next launch. “This intel convinced us  to syndicate the same content on different channels, but to properly engage each type of audience, whether we’re talking to impulsive, Twitter-happy buyers, careful researchers on Quora, or collector types on Pinterest,” the marketing head told me. “For the next launch, we decided to focus on a mobile promotion that generated similar sales.”

Mining video data is the next big thing in harnessing big data. It simply is too big a data pool to ignore it. YouTube alone has more than a billion unique viewers each month, 80 percent of them from outside the U.S. The number of subscriptions has tripled since last year, and 40 percent of all content is viewed on mobile devices. This is why the POV should meet the POS.

Only when you mash up all these pieces of information, and do so as quickly as possible, do you stand a chance to establish cause and effect. It might not sound as sexy as “big data,” but mining video clips brings enterprises one step closer to understanding marketing success — and how to repeat it. Even better, there are tools out there that do not require nerds.

It would be wrong to declare one data source is suddenly more important than all the others, but companies need to put the spotlight on video and marry those insights with bone-dry sales and marketing numbers.

Rachel Delacour is CEO and co-founder of cloud business analytics pioneer, BIME Analytics, who also holds an advisory role on cloud computing standards with EuroCloud.  Follow her on Twitter @bimeanalytics.

Feature image from Shutterstock/photosani

Categories: Video News

NBC`s iOS app can now send shows to your TV, sort of News - Fri, 04/11/2014 - 22:00

Categories: Video News

Aereo wants to expand to 50 cities if it prevails in court

NewTeeVee - Fri, 04/11/2014 - 12:33

Aereo has plans to expand to 50 cities within the next 18 months if it wins its Supreme Court case, reports the Houston Chronicle, which recently got a tour of the Aereo facility there. The company is still keeping mum on current subscriber numbers, but CEO Chet Kanojia told the Chronicle that it’s already profitable in Houston, where it has hardware to serve up to 40,000 subscribers. Aereo has to defend itself in front of the Supreme Court in two weeks.

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Categories: Video News

Player FM and Rocket Player get Chromecast support

NewTeeVee - Fri, 04/11/2014 - 11:22

Chromecast owners just got a few more ways to beam audio to the big screen: Player FM, a podcast app and cloud service that we previously covered on Gigaom, added Chromecast support to its Android app Friday. Also now Chromecast-capable is Rocket Music, an Android music player that includes features like an equalizer and lyrics viewing. Don’t want to listen to your podcasts or music on your TV? Then you can always turn Chromecast into a networked audio player.

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Categories: Video News

Five things still missing from Amazon’s Fire TV

NewTeeVee - Fri, 04/11/2014 - 09:44

I’ve been toying with Amazon’s Fire TV ever since the company released the set-top box last week, and I’ve been impressed by the speed and snappiness of the device, and drawn in by games that I didn’t think would matter much for me. But there are still a few things that are missing to make this a great device. Amazon is working on addressing some of these issues, but it chose not to pursue others – which I think is a mistake.

Here’s five things that could be improved about the Fire TV:

A new Netflix app

Netflix launched a whole new user interface last November, featuring bigger preview pictures, new cues to help you decide what to watch next, a better search experience and more.

Netflix launched a new user interface almost half a year ago - but on the new Fire TV, users still get the old UI.

Netflix launched this new user interface almost half a year ago – but on the new Fire TV, users still get the old UI.

The company actually spent a long time refining this experience with eye-tracking, A/B-tests and more. The new user interface is now available on newer Roku devices, the Xbox 360, the PS3 and PS4  as well as various smart TVs — but not on the Fire TV, which is a shame. I’ve asked Amazon when they intend to switch over to the new UI, but have yet to hear back.

Local file playback

Online video services are great — but every now and then, you end up with a video on your hard drive that you just want to quickly play in your TV, without jumping through tons of hoops. One of the easiest ways to do this on many devices is to simply copy the file to a Flash thumb drive, plug it in and watch away. Not so on the Fire TV. The device does have a USB port, but local file playback currently isn’t supported, and I’ve been told by Amazon folks that it’s instead being used for accessories as well as developer support.

The Fire TV has a USB port - but you will not be able to use it for local file playback.

The Fire TV has a USB port – but you will not be able to use it for local file playback. (Image: Amazon)

Customers are instead advised to upload local media to the Amazon Cloud Drive. Of course, there is also Plex, which is great if you have a lot of media to share over your home network. But still, a simple file player app with access to the USB port, or possibly even networked hard drives, would definitely improve the experience, especially for less technical users.

Third-party app installs

Amazon made a big deal out of calling Fire TV open when it launched the device earlier this month in New York. That may be true for developers, but for consumers? Not so much. That’s because Amazon decided to get rid of a key feature when it forked Google’s Android operating system to tweak it for the big screen: Android allows users by default to install third-party apps while the Fire TV does not.

Got an Android app that’s not from Google Play? Just change a security setting and you’re free to do whatever you wish with it. The same is possible on the Kindle Fire, but not on the Fire TV. “We want to make sure that any games or services on Fire TV offer a great customer experience for a TV,” an Amazon spokesperson told me via email, which is why the company doesn’t enable third-party app installs.

Fire TV ADB options

Developers have a way to install their own apps on the Fire TV — but there is no similar option for end users.

It’s true that apps that are optimized for mobile devices often don’t look great on the TV screen, but taking away the ability to install any third-party apps also cuts down on lots of potential. No adult entertainment apps, no apps that your buddy just built for a few of his friends and no way to easily preview an app that hasn’t officially been released yet.

Granted, developers to have ways to bypass this restriction, and it’s probably only a matter of time until someone finds an easier way to install apps on a Fire TV — but it would be great if Amazon backed all of this talk about openness up with actions.

Additional Amazon services

One of the most puzzling details of the Fire TV launch was that the device went on sale without key Amazon services. The company previewed an impressive integration of its FreeTime kids entertainment subscription offering — only to announce that it wouldn’t be available until May. Also delayed by a month is the ability to access Amazon’s cloud music locker from the device.

Fire TV will offer the Amazon FreeTime kids offering with parental controls -- when it launches next month.

Fire TV will offer the Amazon FreeTime kids offering with parental controls — when it launches next month. (Image: Amazon)

Granted, a few weeks of waiting isn’t all that much. But the delay makes you wonder whether Amazon couldn’t get all of its ducks in a row for the Fire TV launch, or whether it is preparing to launch a bigger content offering in May — perhaps a Spotify-like music subscription service?

Better second-screen support

Fire TV launched with some second-screen features for Kindle Fire owners, who are able to send Amazon Video content from their tablet to the big screen, read IMDB trivia while they watch movies and even mirror the entire screen of an Amazon tablet.

It would be great if this kind of functionality was also available for other mobile devices, but Amazon is still playing catch-up with Chromecast and even Roku in this respect. Fire TV does support DIAL, the multi-screen protocol used by apps such as Netflix and YouTube, but the Fire TV YouTube app is the only one that currently makes use of it, and even that doesn’t always reliably work.

Fire TV has some second-screen integration with the Kindle Fire -- but it would be great if it also offered iPhone and Android phone users more features.

Fire TV has some second-screen integration with the Kindle Fire — but it would be great if it also offered iPhone and Android phone users more features. (Image: Amazon)

Here’s the good news: I’ve been told that more DIAL apps for Fire TV are on the way, and screen mirroring could soon work with other Android devices as well. “We are working on adding Miracast support,” an Amazon spokesperson told me. Once that’s done, you should be able to mirror the screen of your Nexus 7 tablet, or newer Android phone, on the Fire TV as well.

Also check our first look at the Fire TV below:

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Categories: Video News

VideoNuze Podcast #222 - How Long-Form Online Originals Are Changing the Game Analysis - Fri, 04/11/2014 - 07:33

I'm pleased to present the 222nd edition of the VideoNuze podcast with my weekly partner Colin Dixon of nScreenMedia. This week we first discuss Sesame GO, a new SVOD service from Sesame Workshop, as a starting point for a broader discussion about the increasing proliferation of high-quality online content.

Colin points out that new entrants to long-form content, like Xbox Studios and Yahoo (per a report from WSJ earlier this week) are adding to the volume of TV-style content online. Just this week at MIPTV, online providers Vice Media, Maker Studios and Dailymotion all did first-ever screenings at the international TV market. Colin sees this trend starting to impact pay-TV, as users still must use different inputs on their TVs to watch online content.

All of this is part of the broader topic of whether OTT services, with high-quality long-form content, will actually find their way into the pay-TV world at some point. I've been skeptical of this in the past, but as programming costs continue to soar, I'm evolving my thinking.

We wrap up with Colin providing an update on Fire TV, which he's now had a chance to use.

Click here to listen to the podcast (20 minutes, 14 seconds)

Click here for previous podcasts

Click here to add the podcast feed to your RSS reader.

The VideoNuze podcast is also available in iTunes...subscribe today!

Categories: Video News

OTT, Pay-TV Homes Would Cancel Service, Buy Aereo, Study Says News - Thu, 04/10/2014 - 22:00

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Oreo Turns Snack Hacks Into Web Series News - Thu, 04/10/2014 - 22:00

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Five things still missing from Amazon`s Fire TV News - Thu, 04/10/2014 - 22:00

Categories: Video News

Amazon acquires digital comics platform (and iPad hit) comiXology

NewTeeVee - Thu, 04/10/2014 - 12:28

Amazon is acquiring the cloud-based digital comics platform comiXology, the companies announced Thursday. The purchase price wasn’t disclosed. ComiXology “will retain its identity as an Amazon subsidiary,” co-founder and CEO David Steinberger said in a letter on the company’s website.

ComiXology lets users read digital comics and graphic novels on a number of platforms, including web, iOS, Android, Kindle Fire and Windows 8. It was Apple’s top-grossing non-game iPad app in both 2012 and 2013. The company, which was founded in 2007, is based in New York Over 200 million comics had been downloaded on the platform as of September 2013, and over 50,000 titles from more than 75 publishers are available.

ComiXology has been the exclusive retailer for single digital issues of Marvel and DC comics, which are released the same day that the print versions are released in stores. The company’s “Guided View” technology was also likely of interest to Amazon: It “allows readers to view a comic on a panel-by-panel basis suitable for mobile devices in a way that mimics the natural motion of the user’s eye through the comic.” (Check out the video below to see how that technology works.)

“ComiXology’s mission is to spread the love of comics and graphic novels in all forms,” David Steinberger, the company’s co-founder and CEO, said in the release. “There is no better home for comiXology than Amazon to see this vision through. Working together, we look to accelerate a new age for comic books and graphic novels.”

“Amazon and comiXology share a passion for reinventing reading in a digital world,” David Naggar, Amazon VP of content acquisition and independent publishing, said in a statement. “We’ve long admired the passion comiXology brings to changing the way we buy and read comics and graphic novels. We look forward to investing in the business, growing the team, and together, bringing comics and graphic novels to even more readers.”

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Categories: Video News

Samsung takes one more step towards making music subscriptions free

NewTeeVee - Thu, 04/10/2014 - 11:29

European music service Deezer announced a partnership with Samsung Thursday that amounts to another step towards free music subscriptions. European consumers who buy a newly introduced Samsung Galaxy S5 will get access to six months of Deezer’s premium service for free.

Deezer’s paid offering is comparable to similar services from competitors like Spotify and Rdio, offering on-demand access to millions of songs without any advertising. The company currently charges €10 (close to $14) per month for its premium tier, which is also comparable to the cost of Spotify.

The bundled offer is being touted as a six-month trial of Deezer, and consumers will have to pay the full price for the service if they continue to use it after that promotional period, but it’s nonetheless an interesting move for the company, and one that’s not entirely unprecedented: Samsung launched a n0-cost and ad-free Pandora competitor called Milk for users of its devices in the U.S. last month.

Like many hardware makers, Samsung initially tried to launch its own music subscription service, with the idea of using services as an additional revenue stream. However, the Milk launch and the Deezer partnership seem to signal a shift in strategy towards using music as a value-add for its core hardware products.

Samsung isn’t alone with its move towards free premium music services. Amazon is rumored to ready its own premium music service, which will be bundled with its Prime subscription offering.

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Categories: Video News

Turkey is a case study in the value of citizen journalists, thanks to the ones behind @140journos

NewTeeVee - Thu, 04/10/2014 - 09:50

Many traditional journalists seem to hate the term “citizen journalism,” for a variety of reasons — including the fact that it implies that anyone can engage in journalistic behavior, even if they don’t work for a mainstream media outlet or have professional training. But there is no question that this trend is an important and useful one, and one recent example is the work being done by a group called @140journos in Turkey, who have been crowdsourcing the verification of election results.

As Global Post describes it, the more than 300 volunteers behind @140journos — which was created in 2011 after a Turkish military incident that went uncovered by the media, and later gained notoriety during the demonstrations over the closure of Istanbul’s Gezi Park — not only tracked all of the local voting behavior during the election using social media, but have since spent hundreds of hours trying to verify the official reporting of the vote results.

“Twenty citizen journalists — who have day jobs ranging from radio hosts to chefs and engineers — gathered in a small room to collect, verify and tweet news alerts about polling stations, protests, and unofficial election results. Four people were ‘mining’ on social media — digging for stories that 140journos may have missed — while two designers created colorful infographics.”

Crowdsourced verification of poll results

Following the election, the members of @140journos have been using social tools and connections made through their own networks — as well as a public call-out on Facebook, Twitter and the group’s website — to gather original photos of ballot reports for every single one of Turkey’s almost 200,000 polling stations. They’ve compared these to official reports from the electoral council and found that in some cases the numbers don’t match.

According to Global Post, in just the first 48 hours, @140journos “documented 368 inconsistent polling numbers” in several thousand ballot reports from Ankara and Istanbul, and they are working on more. And they have opened this process up with a tool that allows anyone to compare official ballot results with photos from polling stations, which sounds a lot like the Guardian’s famous “MP Expenses” crowdsourcing project. Said @140journos co-founder Ogulcan Ekiz:

“We wanted to ask, what’s the power of social media? What if we open this to people and let them check their own ballot? It will be a moment for the Turkish public to check its own elections. This is the new thing.”


Some professional journalists might disagree, but that kind of behavior sounds a lot like journalism to me — and fairly useful journalism to boot. As I pointed out in an earlier post about Turkey, the value of social media as a journalistic tool becomes even more obvious when you see how it works in a country where the traditional media has failed to do its job properly.

It’s not surprising at all that such a country would ban Twitter and YouTube. This apparently caused difficulties for @140journos during their crowdsourced verification process, but they managed to get around the blockage by using VPNs and other tools (the Twitter ban has been lifted following a court decision, but the block on YouTube remains in effect).

Journalism as a communication project

What’s equally fascinating about @140journos is that many of them don’t even consider themselves to be journalists, or what they do to be journalism — or at least, they aren’t particularly concerned about using those labels or defining what they mean (unlike most professional journalists). As co-founder Engin Onder told the Nieman Journalism Lab:

“None of us on our team has any intention of being a journalist… it’s better to explore this stuff without knowing the journalism principles, because it’s not a journalism project, actually — it’s a communication project.”

This fits with my theory that some of the most important and interesting acts of journalism of the last few years have been committed by non-journalists, or at least non-professional journalists — including people like former NPR editor Andy Carvin during the Arab Spring (who called himself an information DJ and described Twitter as his newsroom) and Brown Moses, a British blogger who became a self-taught expert in the weaponry used by Syrian terrorists.

This doesn’t mean such acts should be seen as — or are even capable of — replacing traditional journalism, except perhaps in countries like Turkey, where it needs replacing. Instead, it is simply enlarging the practice and expanding its reach, and that is a good thing. For more on @140journos, see the Nieman Journalism Lab’s recent transcript of an interview that sociologist Zeynep Tufekci did with Engin Onder at a Berkman Center event at Harvard University.

Post and photo thumbnails courtesy of Thinkstock / triloks and Ogulcan Ekiz

Categories: Video News

Early Bird Registration Now Open for June 25th VideoNuze Online Video Ad Summit, 10 Initial Sponsors On Board Analysis - Thu, 04/10/2014 - 09:04

Early bird discounted registration is now open for the 4th annual VideoNuze Online Video Advertising Summit on Wednesday, June 25th in NYC.

The Ad Summit will once again be a highly-focused, immersive day with industry leaders from brands, agencies, content providers, technology companies and others in the ecosystem. Last year's Ad Summit drew over 350 attendees, featuring 40+ speakers and I'm confident this year's event will be even better. Detailed program info will be posted soon; executives from Comcast, Conde Nast, Digitas, eMarketer, Forrester, News Corp., Starcom MediaVest, Weather Company and others are among those participating.

I'm thrilled to have 10 fantastic companies on board as initial sponsors. These include Title Partner; Headline Partners Active Video, Brightcove, Eyeview, FreeWheel, LiveRail, TubeMogul and Videology plus Branding Partners Innovid and Mixpo. All of these companies are key players in the online video advertising ecosystem and I'm honored they've decided to be a part of the Ad Summit.

The online and mobile video landscape is more vibrant than ever, with both high-quality online original programming and monetization opportunities proliferating. Yet we're still in the early innings and the opportunity to learn, share and build relationships makes the Ad Summit a must-attend event for industry executives.

This year's Ad Summit will be held during CE Week, a weeklong event in New York City presented by the Consumer Electronics Association, producer of International CES. Last year CE Week attracted 6,000+ technology leaders. As a bonus, all Ad Summit attendees registered by June 11th will be provided a badge to attend CE Week exhibits and free conferences.

If you'd like to learn more about speaking and sponsorship opportunities, please contact me.

Register now and save!

Categories: Video News

Vishal Sood

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