court-gavelGoogle and Viacom have finally resolved the long-running lawsuit over videos uploaded to YouTube almost a decade ago. The terms of the out-of-court settlement aren’t being disclosed but we’re just pleased this anachronistic fight is over. At last.

The Beginning

In 2005, when YouTube was still a fledgling service with a Wild West mentality, people were uploading all sorts of content to the site with little regard for legality. Copyrighted clips belonging to Viacom made it onto YouTube, and so began the long and tortuous story of Google Vs. Viacom.

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BBC iPlayer LogoThe BBC has unveiled the new iPlayer, and its free catch-up television service has undergone several big changes. The biggest being an HTML5-powered responsive design driving the whole effort.

The New iPlayer

The BBC has unveiled a newly-redesigned iPlayer, one that’s followed the trend set by other forward-thinking websites by featuring a responsive design that adapts in size and layout depending on the device on which it’s being viewed.

The BBC iPlayer hasn’t been changed this considerably since it debuted seven years ago. While unveiling the new look, BBC director general Tony Hall described the iPlayer as the new “front door” of the BBC in terms of content.

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Posted in: Broadband Video Companies, Google, Legal, DRM, Piracy & IP, News, Video on Demand, YouTube by Dave Parrack on February 27, 2014

u.s.-flag-burningAn appeals court has ordered Google to remove a controversial short film from YouTube after an actress who appeared in Innocence Of Muslims filed a copyright claim. The decision seems to go against existing thinking on copyright laws.

Innocence Of Muslims

In 2012, a 14-minute video titled Innocence Of Muslims was uploaded to YouTube. The video, which is extremely offensive to Islam, caused controversy around the world, and especially across the Middle-East.

It was used to justify demonstrations and protests, some of which turned violent. These protests claimed the lives of at least 50 people, with many more being injured. The death toll included four American diplomats, who were killed in an attack on the consulate in Benghazi.

At this point the U.S. Government asked Google to act, but the company refused to remove the video from YouTube because it complied with its posting guidelines. Viewing was, however, restricted in both Egypt and Libya.

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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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Posted in: Broadband Video Companies, Making Money & Web Video, News, Video on Demand by Dave Parrack on January 23, 2014

Netflix LogoNetflix has had a big news week, with various stories emerging from and about the streaming video company. This includes revenue and subscriber numbers, plans for new pricing tiers and an expansion into Europe, and a statement on net neutrality.

Netflix Subscriber Numbers

Netflix revealed its fourth quarter earnings, reporting revenues of $1.18 billion (an increase of 24 percent on a year earlier) and profits of $48.4 million or 79 cents per share. Profits in the same period last year were just 13 cents per share.

Netflix also revealed its latest subscriber numbers, adding 2.3 million domestic (U.S.-only) customers in Q4 to hit a total of 33.4 million subscribers. Its international userbase rose by 1.7 million to hit 10.93 million in total.

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broadbandA recent decision by an appeals court in Washington to chuck out net neutrality rules could have dire consequences for everyone using the Internet. Including those who both deliver and consume online video.

Net Neutrality Nullified

This week saw the FCC’s net neutrality rules labelled as “invalid. Net neutrality is essentially the idea that all traffic online should be treated the same, regardless of who or where it came from and who or where it’s going to.

The loss of net neutrality could lead to deals being cut behind closed deals that would ensure content from some companies was given priority over others. Those willing to pay the broadband providers for the privilege would have an advantage over those unwilling or unable to do so.

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Posted in: Broadband Video Companies, News, Video Start-Ups, Video on Demand by Dave Parrack on December 27, 2013

Vdio is no more, with parent company Rdio deciding to shutter the online video service. The reasons for the closure remain unclear, but it seems that there just wasn’t room for Vdio in an already-crowded market. It didn’t help that Vdio took so long to move from being just an idea to being a legitimate company.

The Short History Of Vdio

Vdio was founded as long ago as 2009, with Skype founder Janus Friis investing both time and money into the venture. Friis had previously experienced failure within the online video spectrum with Joost, but Vdio was going to be different.

Vdio was first imagined as a Netflix competitor, with a streaming subscription service being the planned positioning of the company. For unexplained reasons, Vdio was turned from a Netflix clone into an online video store.

Vdio enjoyed a soft launch in April 2013 for existing Rdio subscribers, with a full launch happening in June 2013. Throughout this time Vdio was still considered a beta, which isn’t surprising given its limited life cycle of just six months.

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