Aereo Will Launch in Atlanta in June and Is Changing Its Pricing Plans Everywhere
The launch is part of Aereo’s planned rollout in 22 cities. Aereo arrives in Boston tomorrow. Until now, it’s only been available in the New York City area. Aereo is facing a number of legal battles, with television networks like Fox and CBS suing to shut it down. But the company has forged ahead and says it may soon add a movie channel and a free news channel. Ahead of its Boston launch, Aereo also changed its pricing plans on Monday: Annual and daily subscriptions are no longer available. Instead, customers can choose from two monthly plans: $8 per month to store 20 hours of programming, and $12 per month to store 60 hours.
Streaming Video News
Netflix Makes Changes to Public API After “Streamageddon” Backlash
Netflix made some changes to its public API Monday night that make it harder to figure out which movies are going to be taken off the service. The company will no longer provide the expiration date of movies through its API, which will mean that third-party tools like Instantwatcher.com’s Expiring Soon on Instant list will stop working. “With the frequent, often last minute, changes in content flow the title expiration data available through our API has been inaccurate, so we have decided to no longer publish this information,” a Netflix spokesperson said via email. The company’s Director of Engineering — API Daniel Jacobson reiterated this point in a post on the company’s developer blog, adding that members will still be able to find the expiration date for each movie or TV show episode on the title’s web page. The move will likely impact a number of third-party services, and comes two months after Netflix essentially closed its public API to all newcomers. Back in March, Netflix said that it was no longer issuing new API keys because the way the company was changing the API had changed: Initially meant to enable third-party apps, Netflix’s API has been playing a key component for the technology behind the company’s streaming service.
The Haps With Apps
iHeartRadio Surpasses 30 Million Registered Users
iHeartRadio users appear to spend as much time listening as Pandora users. According to Triton Digital, in March iHeartRadio had only 17% as many average active sessions and 15% as many total session starts as did Pandora, both comparable to the difference in the two service’s registered users. If iHeartRadio’s 30 million registered users listened as frequently as Pandora users, it would have had 64% more active sessions and 56% as many total session starts. But Pandora’s lead in registered users gives it a commensurate lead in listening activity. Pandora’s 1.85 million average active sessions in March were 1.5 million more than iHeartRadio’s 310,000 average. And while Pandora had a total of 905.7 million session starts in March, Clear Channel had 138.7 million.
Twitch App for Xbox Will Let You Watch (But Not Stream) Game Videos
The app will let owners of Microsoft’s console watch any of the site’s top 300 live channels, though it will not let them make their own videos, one of the features Sony has promised for its upcoming PlayStation 4. However, a Twitch spokesperson said Microsoft will talk about its video-streaming plans in more detail shortly after its next-generation console event, “Xbox Revealed,” next week.
That’s a Lot of Videos: YouTube Now Responsible for 17% of Home Internet Traffic
YouTube is now responsible for 17.1 percent of all residential fixed-line downstream traffic in North America, according to Sandvine’s latest global internet phenomena report. The traffic management specialist’s report for the first half of 2013 still lists Netflix as the most popular bandwidth consumption pastime — 32.3 percent of all residential downstream traffic was caused by Netflix viewing. But YouTube’s share has been growing, and is up from 13.8 percent a year ago. That in itself is notable, because most other services, including Netflix, HBO Go (0.34 percent) and Amazon Instant video (1.31 percent) have seen their share of traffic decline over the same period. Of course, that doesn’t necessarily mean that people watch less Amazon Instant than a year ago; the company’s total share of a growing bandwidth pie is just smaller. But YouTube seems to be growing faster than any of these other services, at least on wired networks.
Will People Pay for YouTube? Some of Its Biggest Stars Are Not Sold — Yet
YouTube did not to invite all of these digital players, but at least one of them chose not to join, TheWrap has learned — and others have expressed reservations about YouTube’s current subscription model. The biggest stumbling blocks: concern about convincing fans to pay and and the hefty revenue split. And TYT — short for “The Young Turks” — is one of the few major players on YouTube that signed on as a paid channel partner. Oh said he hoped to attract new users who are just discovering “The Young Turks” on YouTube. Several other digital players, such as Sarah Penna, the co-founder of MCN Big Frame, and Dan Weinstein, head of the Collective Digital Studio (which manages stars like Wong and Epic Meal Time’s Harley Morenstein), also expressed reservations.
Videos to Watch Now
The Fine Brothers Have Renewed Transmedia Sitcom, MyMusic
MyMusic is a part of YouTube’s original programming initiative. The sitcom, which follows a group of people at a successful music studio, is available on The Fine Brothers’ main YouTube channel, with extensions that include ancillary content on a second YouTube channel and social media accounts for the fictional characters in the show. The first season, which ran from April 2012 to January 2013, generated more than 26 million views. The second season is bringing back the full cast, which includes Adam Busch (Men at Work) and Grace Helbig (Daily Grace), as well as new additions Lee Newton and Paul Butcher (Zoey 101). Guest stars for the second season will include other YouTube stars, including Freddie Wong and Joey Graceffa. Production has already begun, with a premiere scheduled for mid-to-late summer 2013.
Reviewed! Shark Tank Meets Tech Stars — Betabeat + FedEx’s “The Pitch” Nears Perfection
Now in its second season, The Pitch pits 10 companies against each other as they pitch venture capitalists Nikhil Kalghtagi from Softbank Capital and Steve Schlafman from Lerer Ventures on a particular startup with hopes of winning a $10,000 nugget of funding. In reality, The Pitch is a mashup of ABC’s Shark Tank and Bloomberg’s 2011 startup incubator reality show, Tech Stars. Funny enough, Season One of The Pitch also aired originally in 2011. But we’re here to talk about Season 2. In less than 5 minutes, The Pitch walks the viewer through an elevator opening on the startup, allows the Founder or Co-founders to deliver the pitch to Kalghtagi and Schlafman while the two interject with pointed questions and attempt to poke holes in the startup’s value, and then wraps up with a quick summary of the Founders takeaway and the VC’s final deliberation. Seed & Spark — a wishlist and crowd funding platform for independent filmmakers — and Suitey — a real-estate brokerage startup — seemed to pull the most enthusiasm from the VC’s, but a personal fave to win is Seed & Spark.
Arrested Development Season 4 Commercial
A.D. is coming back, after 7 years.
Stats to Start
Online Video Advertising Moves Front and Center
The process of buying video ads has become increasingly complex, with more websites, ad networks, exchanges, and demand-side platforms (DSPs) than ever before, according to a new eMarketer report, “Buying Online Video Advertising: Making the Most of Your Budget.” But buying online video ad space is, at its core, similar to buying traditional TV advertising. For advertisers, it starts with knowing how to reach their target audience mixed with a good grasp of brand objectives and how they shift at different stages. What’s at stake here is money — a lot of money. And the total is growing rapidly. Estimates from eMarketer indicate that US digital video ad spending will nearly double in only four years, climbing from $4.14 billion this year to $8.04 billion in 2016.
Streaming Video News
Netflix Nabs an HBO Engineer
HBO and Netflix are both very interested in figuring out the best way to deliver TV-quality video over the Internet, and both have around 30 million subscribers in the U.S. Which gives this personnel move a little bit of zing: Rob Caruso, an HBO engineer who had been working on the cable channel’s HBO Go service, has taken a job at Netflix.
Ricky Gervais revives his “Office” character on Youtube
David Brent (Office character Ricky Gervais plays) will return to life on YouTube on May 20, for a weeklong video series. It is called “Learn Guitar with David Brent”.
Deals & Signings
YouTube’s StyleHaul Network Picks up Another $6 Million, This Time From RTL
The video network will add the cash to an earlier funding round, where it picked up $6.5 million from Bertelsmann’s Digital Media Investments arm and other investors.
Video Distribution Platform Brightcove announces a streaming module for live events
Brightcove just announced a live video streaming module, called Brightcove Video Cloud Live. Customers will be able to manage live events, creative on-demand versions of a live stream, which will enable them to manage the full lifecycle of an event all in one platform.
TV vs Digital
Broadcast TV is Having a Rough Time, But Don’t Count on it
This season has been the worst for TV watching in the U.S. in 40 years. More than ever, young people are going to non-traditional methods to view video content. But this does not necessarily mean that the broadcast television model is broken. “The broadcast networks still generate more viewers than any other tuning source… As viewers migrate to other screens and platforms, the TV model will move along with them.”
Atlantic Media to launch another digital-first brand, for Defense Community
Atlantic Media is preparing to launch its 5th brand, and second “digital first” called Defense One. It will roll out this summer. It will be a free news and information site for the national security community.
Second Season of The LeBrons debuts exclusely on MSN
The LeBrons, an animated series from LeBron James’ production company Spring Hill Productions and Believe Entertainment Group, debuted its second season on Friday exclusively on Microsoft platforms across MSN, Xbox, and Windows 8.
The Video Ink