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Saturday, August 2, 2014

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  • Updates: Move Networks-Permission TV, 1Cast Beta Launches, Flash vs. Silverlight, Pizza Orders on TV, Leess Leaves CBS Digital

    Once again I'm highlighting a few key industry items that I think are worth noting:

    Move Networks and Permission TV Partner - The companies are announcing today a mutual reseller relationship and technology integration. I got an update from their marketing heads earlier this week; the goal here is to accelerate the deployment of HD-quality video to broader segments of the market.

    The deal seems like a win for both companies. Move has concentrated on major networks, Permission has focused on strong mid-tail content and brands/agencies to enable deeper engagement and interactivity. The companies have already deployed with Metropolitan Opera and Fox on Demand. The deal fits with a theme I hit on a couple months ago in "Video Quality Keeps Improving." Of note for Permission, this is the first integration and reseller deal Move has struck with a third party content management/publishing platform.

    1Cast Launches Beta Today - Over the summer I wrote about 1Cast, which aspires to be a legal heir to RedLasso, enabling personalized "micro-casts" of premium-quality video news clips. The company has made much progress, and today is launching its beta trial.

    I gave it a spin the other day and got caught up with president Anthony Bontrager. 1Cast has three audiences in mind: business users, collegiate users and bloggers. The service works well, with a few noticeable rough edges to be addressed. Commercial launch is scheduled for early Q1. One of the keys here is getting the big content providers to play ball. On board so far are AFP, AP, CBC, CNBC and Reuters;1Cast expects top broadcasters to come on soon as well. Others in this space are Voxant (part of Grab Networks now), Syndicaster, ClipBlast and others. Still early days here.

    Flash vs. Silverlight competition intensifies - Adobe was crowing earlier this week over its 2 year deal with MLB.com, displacing Microsoft Silverlight in the process. Still, on the same day, Scott Guthrie, the Microsoft Corporate Vice President overseeing Silverlight development (among other products), was sharing updates of Silverlight 2's progress, including recent deals with CBS College Sports, Blockbuster and Netflix's Watch Instantly. This story has many, many more chapters to be written...expect plenty of dueling announcements of customer wins coming up.

    Order a Pizza on TV? It's 1995 again - I couldn't help but chuckle when I read yesterday about TiVo's promotion with Domino's, allowing broadband TiVo users to order a pizza through their TVs. Those of you who were around the much-hyped interactive television industry in the mid-90's will recall that "ordering a pizza through your TV" was the second-most cited benefit of ITV, just after "say you're watching 'Friends' and you like Jennifer Anniston's sweater, you just click your remote and buy..." Talk about a back to the future moment. As I thought back then, when it comes to ordering a pizza, most folks will be satisfied just picking up the phone.

    Jonathan Leess to leave CBS Digital by end of year - After four years at the helm of CBS TV Stations' Digital Media Group, Leess said in a memo to staffers that he's moving on. I recently had Leess on a panel I moderated at NATPE's Digital Day and as I've gotten to know him over the years, have been impressed by how much he "gets it." Since 2004 CBS has increased monthly uniques from 2M to 15M, page views from 22M to 120M and streams from 1M to 25M. When I reached Leess last night he said he's proud of his CBS accomplishments and very optimistic about digital media in general, despite the economic downturn. I couldn't pry any future plans from him.

     
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