Deals, Funding & Acquisitions Category

Deals, Mergers, Funding, Partnerships and Aquisitions in the Internet TV, IPTV and Web Video industry

xbox-originals-logoMicrosoft has long held ambitious plans to turn its games console into a media hub delivering masses of content of all kinds into people’s living rooms. With Xbox Originals, it may be on its way to realizing this dream. Unfortunately, while the initiative has a lot of promise, the details leave a lot of room for disappointment.

Xbox Originals

Microsoft has announced the initial lineup for Xbox Originals, its first foray into original programming. Committed projects include a Halo TV show, Every Street United, an unscripted show featuring famous soccer players, and Humans, a show about robotic servants.

There are further projects in development that may or may not make it past the pilot stage. These include Deadlands, based on a pen-and-paper RPG, Gun Machine, a detective thriller based on the novel by Warren Ellis, and Winterworld, based on Chuck Dixon and Jorge Zaffino’s series of graphic novels.

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Posted in: Broadband Video Companies, Deals, Funding & Acquisitions, News, Video on Demand by Dave Parrack on February 21, 2014

Amazon-LogoLoveFilm is no more, being rebranded as Amazon Prime Instant Video and being folded into the existing Amazon Prime service. Most people will have to pay more money for the service, but the £79-per-year asking price buys you more than just streaming video.

Amazon Prime Primer

Amazon Prime is primarily a premium version of Amazon, with those willing to pay the asking price gaining next-day delivery (two days in the much larger U.S.) on most items sold through the online retailer.

If this was the only advantage Prime offered, you would have to order a lot of items to justify the expense. However, Prime customers in the U.S. have had extras included for several years, including Amazon Instant Video (formerly Amazon Unbox and Amazon Video on Demand) and the Kindle Owners’ Lending Library.

This has sweetened the pot and upped the number of Amazon customers opting to subscribe.

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new-youtube-logoYouTube is set to continue its efforts to evolve from the home of a disparate collection of funny animal videos into the home of truly talented individuals all creating professional-quality programming. In order to affect this change it’s opening YouTube Spaces around the world, with the latest due to open in New York in 2014.

A Good Investment

When Google paid a whopping $1.65 billion for YouTube in 2006, most people thought the search and advertising giant had overpaid by a considerable margin for a site that, despite growing a rapid rate, was still only 18 months old.

However, seven years later and with YouTube now dominant in the space it occupies, Google’s acquisition looks to have been an extremely intelligent one.

Where Google has triumphed in that time is nurturing independent talent, allowing filmmakers and amateur content creators to become partners, which benefits all concerned.

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paid-youtube-channelsAs was rumored for some time, YouTube has started charging for content, with paid channels making their debut. The pilot scheme gives qualifying partners the opportunity to erect paywalls, but will viewers pay in the numbers needed to make this worthwhile?

Paid YouTube Channels

YouTube has rolled out its first paid content, with a pilot scheme which sees 50 channels offering subscriptions costing $0.99 per month. All offer a 14-day free trial, and there are discounts for longer subscriptions.

The pilot scheme includes channels as diverse as Jim Henson Family TV, UFC Select, and GayDirect. In the coming months YouTube is promising a wider rollout which will see partners able to set up their own paid offerings.

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Posted in: Broadband Video Companies, Deals, Funding & Acquisitions, News, Video on Demand by Dave Parrack on January 25, 2013

zombieland-posterAmazon has taken on the episodic version of Zombieland in order to add to its Instant Video lineup. Which further cements the feeling that television networks are becoming a resource we could well do without, either now or in the near future.

Amazon Takes On Zombieland

Amazon is developing a TV series based on Zombieland, a hit movie starring Jesse Eisenberg, Emma Stone, Woody Harrelson, and a cast of unnamed zombies. Oh, and featuring a cameo by Bill Murray.

Zombieland began life as a proposal for a TV series, with CBS buying a pilot. The network decided not to proceed, so writers Rhett Reese and Paul Wernick turned it into a screenplay for a movie which was eventually released in 2009.

There have been rumors of a sequel, which then morphed into rumors of a TV show based on the movie. That looks like it’s going ahead, but funding is coming from Amazon rather than CBS or any of the other big U.S. networks.

Zombieland looks set to be an Amazon Prime exclusive, but with the project only just getting underway it could be some time before it sees the light of day.

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Posted in: Broadband Video Companies, Deals, Funding & Acquisitions, News, Video on Demand by Dave Parrack on December 8, 2012

disney-logoNetflix has signed a new deal with Disney which will see first-run movies from the media company streaming through the service from 2016. This is a big deal for Netflix, and its shares immediately rose after the news was revealed.

Blurred Lines

The lines between release windows and methods of viewing content are being blurred more and more as time goes on. We’ve already seen films released on demand as well as, or sometimes even instead of, in theaters.

This trend is set to continue, especially as the streaming companies find more money to offer traditional media companies for their wares. Money talks, even (or perhaps especially) when it comes to the big players.

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hulu-logoUp until now there has been one noticeable absence from the programming line-up offered on Hulu. But a new deal struck between Hulu and CBS means all the major networks are now on board. Just as Hulu seems to be heading into choppy waters.

Hulu Bags CBS

ABC, NBC, and Fox have been on board the Hulu ship since it set sail in 2007. These three networks are all partners in the initiative, and they’ve added other networks and channels to the line-up over the course of the five-year voyage.

CBS opted to remain behind and offer its content on its own terms on its own site. However, it has previously licensed The CW slate of programming to Hulu, as well as offer some content through Hulu Japan.

After a new deal was struck, CBS content will now be found on Hulu from January 2013. Hulu Plus subscribers will get first dibs on the programming, with a selection of shows also being rotated through the free Hulu service.

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