Video on Demand Category

Video on Demand services via the web and/or internet enabled set top boxes

Posted in: Broadband Video Companies, News, Video on Demand by Dave Parrack on April 5, 2013

After many years of sticking their heads in the sand and ignoring how the world was changing around them, the big media companies are finally realizing the Internet is here to stay. As are the opportunities it provides to make money from old content repackaged in a shiny new box marked “Streaming.

Warner Archive Instant

Warner Bros. is taking on the likes of Netflix and Amazon with Warner Archive Instant, which has now gone live. The site contains streaming video versions of classic movies and television shows that Warner claims are “rare or hard-to-find.

Movies offered through the service include Mummy from 1959 and Cat People from 1982. TV shows currently offered include Gilligan’s Island and the original Adventures of Superman from the 1950s.

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Netflix LogoAfter a lot of lobbying to get the law changed and an equal amount of political wrangling, Netflix has finally brought social sharing features to its streaming service in the U.S. But it’s far from perfect at this early stage of the game.

No Sharing Please, We’re American

In 1988 a law was passed which prevented the release of records pertaining to “prerecorded video cassette tapes or similar audio visual material.”

This was the Video Privacy Protection Act, which came about as a result of a newspaper disclosing the rental records of Supreme Court nominee Robert Bork. The problem is that the while this law was good for consumers in 1988, the world has changed since then.

The emergence of streaming services alongside social networks means that people are now willingly sharing their data in order to be part of the ecosystem. Hence when Netflix launched Facebook integration in 2011, it was switched on in every country other than the U.S.

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Posted in: Advertising, News, Video on Demand by Dave Parrack on March 8, 2013

hitbliss-logoUnless you actively block or are able to tune them out, you’ll see ads everywhere you go online. HitBliss hopes to use this fact to attract consumers and advertisers to a new way of working together.

A Necessary Evil

No one really likes advertising, whether it’s online, at the cinema, or merely watching television at home. Instead they are a necessary evil, there to provide income for the providers who can then plow it back into producing more content we want to see.

This system works well for websites, few of which charge for content. It also works for some streaming services, which will play ads before, during, and/or after a video to make ends meet. Could it work on a grander scale, where people earn money which they can then use to purchase new movies and episodes of current TV shows?

We’ll find out when HitBliss launches comes out of beta.

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Netflix LogoNetflix is busy producing its own content to augment the classic content already on the service. It’s this original programming that is causing network executives to have heart palpitations, and with good reason.

Netflix Content

Netflix has always offered some good content, with a mix of old and new shows and movies that collectively add up to enough for people to be happy to pay for the service. However, when it started producing its own exclusive content it changed the nature of television as we know it. Possibly forever.

Netflix’ move into producing original content has had positive effects on the shows in question…

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Posted in: Broadband Video Companies, News, Video on Demand, YouTube by Dave Parrack on February 22, 2013

billboard-charts-logoIn this day and age, YouTube is potentially more influential than any other medium in turning a song from one which no one has ever heard into a hit of epic proportions. Thankfully the music industry has realized this unsavory (at least to them) fact.

Music Charts

Once upon a time the music charts were made up of one thing and one thing alone: How many physical copies of a song sold in record stores. Now, with the way people consume music, and other types of content for that matter, having changed, so has the methodology behind the charts.

Several years ago digital downloads were added to the mix, as the industry realized it was fighting a losing battle against people buying digital rather than physical copies. Then came streaming services such as Spotify, which now also contribute to the charts.

This week saw YouTube added to the burgeoning list of sources used to determine whether a song is a hit or not.

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new-youtube-logoYouTube has long been seen as a possible alternative to pay-TV offerings, with a mix of music videos, television shows, and movies providing the needs of viewers. To truly be an alternative to pay-TV, YouTube itself may start charging for access.

Original YouTube Channels

There has always been original content on YouTube. Once Google had (generally) rid the site of the copyright-infringing clips that were its lifeblood in the early days, videos created by real people like you and I became the mainstream fare.

In 2011 YouTube sought to up the quality of its original content, giving producers a budget in order to create content for 100 premium channels. That process is continuing, with YouTube adding many more channels to the line-up at the end of last year.

The next logical step would be to start charging people to watch these premium channels. Which is exactly what looks set to happen.

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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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