Hulu Plus Gets a Facelift
Hulu has rolled out a new interface for Hulu Plus on Roku, select Samsung TV and Blu-ray players and the Nintendo Wii. The update mirrors changes made to the PlayStation 3 Hulu Plus interface last fall and this spring’s Apple TV redesign. The update is more living room-centric, with a focus on larger artwork, an easier way to scroll through recommendations and improved search. It also brings the Hulu Kids section into the living room.
LA Times http://lat.ms/12WflkR
Apple is Said to be Pressing for Internet Radio Deals
After months of stalled negotiations over its planned Internet radio service, Apple is pushing to complete licensing deals with music companies so it can reveal the service as early as next week, according to people briefed on the talks. Apple’s service, a Pandora-like feature that would tailor streams of music to each user’s taste, has been planned since at least last summer. But Apple has made little progress with record labels and music publishers, which have been seeking higher royalty rates and guaranteed minimum payments, according to these people, who spoke anonymously about the private talks.
USA Today http://usat.ly/10LA7FE
Opinions & Analysis
Jason Calacanis: Why I Told YouTube To Go Away And Keep Their Money
The past CEO Supper Clubs have been chatty, wine soaked, and combative at times, but none compare to the series we’re about to bring you. At least in terms of sheer noise. On our last trip to Los Angeles, we got Jason Calacanis, Paul Carr, Peter Pham, and Jason Hirschhorn together for a dinner called — what else? — LA Loudmouths. We talked about LA, media, and all kinds of other stuff. In this first clip, Jason Calacanis tells us why he told YouTube to stuff it.
Who in the US Can Use Aereo’s TV Streaming Service?
Services like Aereo, which streams popular TV shows to mobile devices for $8 a month, are poised to disrupt the cable and satellite bundles through which most Americans consume television. The service is live in New York City and Boston, and Aereo promises it will soon be available in Atlanta and 21 other cities. But for roughly 50 million urban Americans, Aereo won’t be arriving anytime soon — and millions more face a looming threat of the service being shut off soon. The reason for this relates to the country’s court system, which is explained below, but first here’s a map that shows where Aereo-like services are legal and where they’re not.
The Spoiler: How an LA Playboy Threw a Wrench Into Aereo’s Plan to Take Over TV
The television industry has its hands full, fighting forces that want to break up the lucrative “bundle model” in which consumers must pay for hundreds of channels in order to receive the dozen or so they actually watch. Bundle opponents include Senator John McCain, satellite TV provider Dish Networks and an upstart streaming service called Aereo. Aereo, which uses tiny antennas to stream and record shows to computers and mobile devices, has been a special worry to the TV industry because courts have said it’s protected by a loophole in copyright law. The industry, however, received an unexpected gift when an erratic billionaire named Alki David launched a streaming service of his own — without the legal firepower to back it up.
Nikki Finke vs Sharon Waxman
Nikki Finke Fired From Deadline Hollywood
UPDATE: Penske emailed The Wrap to say: “Sharon, your story isn’t true and all of the “facts” that you mention are completely erroneous.”
The Wrap http://read.bi/17RUQfX
Deadline Hollywood Fires Back About ‘Libelous, False’ Nikki Finke Firing
Deadline Hollywood is saying Editor in Chief and founder Nikki Finke has not been fired. Earlier, The Wrap’s Sharon Waxman reported after numerous clashes with boss Jay Penske, CEO of Penske Media, he told Hollywood executives he would fire Finke who started the Hollywood blog in 2006.
Business Insider http://read.bi/130CAdx
Nikki Finke to Sharon Waxman: Just Stop It
Right now I am not going to discuss my Deadline Hollywood contract or my relationship with my boss Jay Penske. Why? Because I don’t have to. If that changes, I’ll tell you. (I also didn’t post about this imbecilic digital ad about me which my parent company ran without my knowledge in NYC’s Times Square all week during the recent TV upfronts. See below.) The fact is I’m out of town and about to begin my long-planned summer vacation. And the last thing I want is to be bothered now by a bunch of media and/or moguls asking for comment. As it happens, I was napping in a different time zone when The Wrap crapped on me yet again Sunday night.
A Personal Note On Nikki Finke From Mike Fleming
Earlier today, I got an urgent e-mail blast from The Wrap about Michael Douglas contracting throat cancer from cunnilingus. It was presented with the same traffic-pandering, classless urgency as similar blasts I’ve gotten from the same publication on health issues faced bravely by Angelina Jolie, again presented in an utterly sensationalized classless manner, and all based on the reporting of others. So to me, that’s The Wrap.
Deals & Signings
CBS Gains Full Ownership of TV Guide Digital
CBS Corp. has acquired full ownership of TV Guide Digital, including TVGuide.com and all TV Guide Mobile apps, it announced on Friday. In March, CBS and Lionsgate each acquired a 50% stake in TV Guide Digital from One Equity Partners for a reported $100 million. CBS was drawn to data showing that the majority of TVGuide.com’s audience — as well as that of its apps — are under the age of 35. Explaining CBS’ thinking behind the deal, Jim Lanzone, president of CBS Interactive, described TV Guide as “one of the most enduring and iconic brands in the world of television and video.”
Townsquare Media Acquires Doomed AOL Music Sites and Comics Alliance Plus Their Staffs
AOL began to shut down its AOL Music properties and comic books site in April, but tomorrow it will announce it’s sold music sites The BoomBox, The Boot and Noisecreep, plus Comics Alliance to Townsquare Media Group, the Connecticut-based radio station owner that acquired the MOG Music network of blogs last year.
Videos to Watch Now
Joan Rivers, Shira Lazar, CBSi + IWNY, Oh My! Videos Not to Miss!
Couldn’t make it to Internet Week in NYC this year? Have no fear, Livestream taped all the panels (about one hundred) and uploaded them online, with quite a few of them touching on digital video and strategy. Out of those, Video Ink picked the five most interesting and informative talks as related to online video business.
Streaming Video News
Fan TV Aims to Put All Viewing Options in One Remote
Add another entry into the battle for control of your living room: Fan TV. The Silicon Valley tech company Fanhattan plans to bring to market a TV app driven by a small set-top box and sexy, sleek remote control that makes it easier to manage your entertainment options. Fan TV, due later this year, would offer an easy-to-search interface that would include all programming available on your pay-TV service and Net video providers such as Amazon.com, Hulu and Netflix. Your DVR would be replace by a cloud-based content locker.
USA Today http://usat.ly/11586V8
Digital Music News
Twitter Music Beefs Up Charts On the Web
Twitter on Friday updated the website for Twitter Music, the company’s music discovery service, to better emphasize its charts feature. The new site features top categories like “emerging,” “popular” and “hunted,” as well as breaking down music categories by genre. It’s a push to offer users easier music discovery and navigability. Charts are Web-only right now, but I’d guess it’ll be coming to the mobile app soon enough. No word on how well the service is doing since its launch in April.
Playlist: What Sets the Top Music Streaming Services Apart?
Streaming music is essentially a commodity play. All the streaming services have huge music libraries, mostly consisting of the same tracks, and will all cost you roughly $10 a month for unlimited music anywhere. With Google Play Music All Access, a new challenger has emerged. And if the rumors are true, Apple won’t be far behind. So which service deserves your monthly 10 spot? That depends on how you plan on using the service and what you want it to do for you.
Spotify Community ShareMyPlaylists Introduces Moods to Give Songza the Blues
Spotify community and playlist sharing site ShareMyPlaylists is rolling out a new feature today: Moods will let users select playlist based on, er, mood. Feeling happy? The site has you covered. Feeling cool? There are playlists for hipsters, too. Feeling intimate? Ok, you get the idea. In total there are 12 moods on offer, all generated off the back of the 136,000 Spotify playlists that have been published on the site since its launch in 2009. It builds on existing playlist features that include the ability to browse by genre and to generate a playlist based on artist or track, which is powered by The Echo Nest.
CBS Sues Over Bootleg YouTube Videos
A “Judge Judy” fan must have a cyber-death wish … ’cause he’s declared war on TV’s most powerful woman over a series of YouTube videos … and there’s no way in hell he’s gonna win. Long story short … CBS has filed a lawsuit against someone named Jessie Zaragosa, claiming the person ran multiple YouTube accounts called “JudgeJudyWorld,” “JudgeJudyWorld1,” “JudgeJudyWorld2” and “JudgeJudyWorld3.” According to the lawsuit, Zaragosa posted numerous episodes of “Judge Judy” on the accounts in order to rack up views … in an effort to make money off the videos on his pages. CBS claims it demanded YouTube take down the videos … and YouTube complied … but Zaragosa fired off a counter-notice demanding YouTube put it back up.