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Wednesday, April 23, 2014

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  • VideoNuze Podcast #222 - How Long-Form Online Originals Are Changing the Game

    I'm pleased to present the 222nd edition of the VideoNuze podcast with my weekly partner Colin Dixon of nScreenMedia. This week we first discuss Sesame GO, a new SVOD service from Sesame Workshop, as a starting point for a broader discussion about the increasing proliferation of high-quality online content.

    Colin points out that new entrants to long-form content, like Xbox Studios and Yahoo (per a report from WSJ earlier this week) are adding to the volume of TV-style content online. Just this week at MIPTV, online providers Vice Media, Maker Studios and Dailymotion all did first-ever screenings at the international TV market. Colin sees this trend starting to impact pay-TV, as users still must use different inputs on their TVs to watch online content.

    All of this is part of the broader topic of whether OTT services, with high-quality long-form content, will actually find their way into the pay-TV world at some point. I've been skeptical of this in the past, but as programming costs continue to soar, I'm evolving my thinking.

    We wrap up with Colin providing an update on Fire TV, which he's now had a chance to use.

    Click here to listen to the podcast (20 minutes, 14 seconds)



    Click here for previous podcasts

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  • Early Bird Registration Now Open for June 25th VideoNuze Online Video Ad Summit, 10 Initial Sponsors On Board

    Early bird discounted registration is now open for the 4th annual VideoNuze Online Video Advertising Summit on Wednesday, June 25th in NYC.

    The Ad Summit will once again be a highly-focused, immersive day with industry leaders from brands, agencies, content providers, technology companies and others in the ecosystem. Last year's Ad Summit drew over 350 attendees, featuring 40+ speakers and I'm confident this year's event will be even better. Detailed program info will be posted soon; executives from Comcast, Conde Nast, Digitas, eMarketer, Forrester, News Corp., Starcom MediaVest, Weather Company and others are among those participating.

    I'm thrilled to have 10 fantastic companies on board as initial sponsors. These include Title Partner ILoveVideo.tv/Castaclip; Headline Partners Active Video, Brightcove, Eyeview, FreeWheel, LiveRail, TubeMogul and Videology plus Branding Partners Innovid and Mixpo. All of these companies are key players in the online video advertising ecosystem and I'm honored they've decided to be a part of the Ad Summit.

    The online and mobile video landscape is more vibrant than ever, with both high-quality online original programming and monetization opportunities proliferating. Yet we're still in the early innings and the opportunity to learn, share and build relationships makes the Ad Summit a must-attend event for industry executives.

    This year's Ad Summit will be held during CE Week, a weeklong event in New York City presented by the Consumer Electronics Association, producer of International CES. Last year CE Week attracted 6,000+ technology leaders. As a bonus, all Ad Summit attendees registered by June 11th will be provided a badge to attend CE Week exhibits and free conferences.

    If you'd like to learn more about speaking and sponsorship opportunities, please contact me.

    Register now and save!

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  • Perspective What's this? True Multi-Channel Advertising is Still Elusive in Video

    In today's connected world, a multi-channel strategy is an important area of focus and logical aspiration: Marketers looking to engage the uber-linked consumer base are hungry for the right recipe. Ad tech suppliers gear more of their development efforts to the cause each quarter, and agencies tout their growing multi-channel capabilities to deliver on its promise. We are believers in the potential to thread messages to consumers on various devices throughout the day via advanced campaign and creative capabilities.

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  • Does the World (Or Even Google) Need Android TV?

    Since a report appeared in The Verge over the weekend about a new Google initiative called "Android TV" I've been puzzling over the question of whether the world (or even Google) really needs this device. Ordinarily I'm all for innovation, but the (admittedly preliminary) description of Android TV, makes it awfully hard to understand Google's bet here, especially as the momentum and adulation for Chromecast keep growing.

    No doubt, Google's primary motivator is to gain the upper hand in the biggest gold rush since the advent of the Internet itself: ownership of the digital living room. Broadband's presence in the living room is getting stronger each day, putting everything up for grabs: how viewers will interact with programming and TVs, where their finite subscription dollars will be allocated, how advertising will work and importantly, which devices will control the experience. With tens of billions of dollars already sloshing through the living room, it's a massive market opportunity that appeals to giant companies as well as startups.

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  • Sesame Workshop's New "Sesame GO" SVOD Service is a Key Test Case for Standalone Viability

    In a key test case of whether standalone SVOD services can succeed, even when well-branded and targeting appealing audiences, Sesame Workshop has unveiled its own service today, dubbed "Sesame GO." The ad-free service carries a $3.99/month or $29.99/year fee and includes the newest full-length episodes of Sesame Street, a catalog of Sesame Classics and two seasons of Pinky Dinky Doo.

    Sesame GO uses Kaltura's MediaGO, a "Netflix-like" OTT solution for content and service providers to quickly launch SVOD services.

    At first blush, Sesame GO's ad-free, child-centric UI, featuring popular content, would seem like a pretty strong bet. However, Sesame GO is entering an increasingly competitive landscape for online kids content created partly by Sesame's own licensing practices.

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  • thePlatform and Adobe Partner To Accelerate Multiscreen Video Delivery

    Two key infrastructure players in the digital video ecosystem, thePlatform and Adobe, are announcing a strategic partnership to help accelerate major media and pay-TV operators' plans for multiscreen video delivery. The companies have integrated Adobe Primetime and thePlatform's mpx video management system to form a complete solution, which the companies will jointly sell.

    In a briefing, Ian Blaine, CEO of thePlatform and Ashley Still, director or product management at Adobe, told me that the companies have been collaborating for some time, most recently on NBC Olympics' multiscreen delivery of the 2014 Winter Olympics. The new integrated solution is meant to productize these prior collaborations and provide customers with faster time to market, better viewer engagement and lower total cost of ownership.

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  • Yahoo is Now Pursuing Long-Form Originals; Video Strategy Remains Murky

    The WSJ reported last night that Yahoo is joining the long-form original programming fray, looking to order four TV-style programs with budgets in the $700K-several million dollar range. Such a move could up the company's profile, yet it seems like further evidence of a very murky online video strategy.

    Yahoo CEO Marissa Mayer has been saying that video is a priority for the company since she took the reins nearly 2 years ago. In that time Yahoo has been active, landing Saturday Night Live's catalog and certain shows from Comedy Central, recruiting Katie Couric as its "Global Anchor," and launching an excellent mobile video app Yahoo Screen.

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  • Encoding.com and Harmonic Partner For Cloud Transcoding

    Encoding.com and Harmonic have announced a partnership to offer unlimited cloud-based transcoding to content and service providers to convert broadcast-quality content into numerous other media formats for multi-screen delivery.

    Jeff Malkin, president of Encoding.com told me that there are 2 principal benefits of the partnership: 1) existing Harmonic ProMedia Carbon customers can use their presets/profiles to easily augment their own on-premise encoding infrastructure when workloads increase by utilizing Encoding.com cloud capacity, and 2) for new customers who want to tap use cloud transcoding instead of building their own infrastructure, they can use Encoding.com. In both situations transcoding costs and time to market are reduced.

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