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Spotify Adds Video To Its Playlists As Competition Intensifies

spotify

Add Spotify to the fast-growing list of digital services taking advantage of the boom in online video as it faces growing competition — including from from Jay Z’s new Tidal music provider and Apple’s widely anticipated entry built on Beats Music. The No. 1 subscription music streaming service said today that it will begin to offer news and entertainment clips from ABC, BBC, Comedy Central, Condé Nast Entertainment, ESPN, Fusion, Maker Studios, NBCUniversal, TED, Turner… Read

Business

Netflix Stock Price Touches New High, But Analyst Says It’s Still Way Too Low

Netflix Logo Grid New

This is why stock trading isn’t for the faint of heart.  Netflix shares are up more than 81% so far in 2015, and touched an all time high today — $628.50. Its market value is higher than Dish Network, CBS, Viacom, and Twitter. So you might think it’s fully priced. But hold on: Pivotal Research Group’s Jeffrey Wlodarczak is turning heads today with a report in which he raised his target price by $200 to a whopping $850. That’s driven in part by his optimism about CEO Reed H… Read

Business

Machinima Taps Traditional Media Vets To Oversee Marketing And Content Deals

Machinima Logo

Here’s the latest indication that digital media are going mainstream: Machinima just signed movie and TV industry vets to manage its marketing and content strategies. One-time Sony and Fox digital marketing exec Joseph Epstein was just named SVP, Marketing for the gamer-oriented online video destination. At the studios he oversaw strategies and campaigns for films including The Croods, Good Day To Die Hard, The Wolverine, Spider-Man 2 and 3, Casino Royale, and The DaVinci… Read

Business

Verizon CFO Outlines Planned Video Services To Boost Mobile Viewing

Verizon

Keep an eye on Verizon: The telco giant hopes to rock the mobile video world this summer when it introduces a collection of streaming products — and AOL sites including The Huffington Post and TechCrunch may be included — CFO Fran Shammo told an investor conference this morning. There had been some talk that Verizon might sell HuffPo once the $4.4 billion deal to buy AOL closes. But Shammo told the  J.P. Morgan Global Technology, Media and Telecom Conference that the news… Read

Business

James Murdoch Says Fox Will Continue To Invest In TV Despite Ratings Drop

James Murdoch,  COO 21st Century Fox :  Press Conference - MIPCOM 2014 In Cannes

This is a big conundrum for major TV companies that have seen their ratings and ad sales fall: Should they cut spending to keep profit margins high — or increase outlays to help develop shows that might succeed? Fox is taking the latter view, rather than try to hit “some theoretical balance sheet ratio,” co-COO James Murdoch told investors today at the J.P. Morgan Global Technology, Media and Telecom Conference. Even though Fox’ prime time ratings in its target 18-to-49… Read

Business

Carl Icahn: Apple’s TV Plans Will Help To Create A “Mega-Ecosystem”

Carl Icahn, a billionaire investor, speaks during the World

Apple is tight-lipped about whether, let alone how, it might sell TV sets and an online video service that would compete with cable and satellite. But Carl Icahn still has high hopes for the businesses — as well a potential Apple entree into auto sales — he says today in an open letter to CEO Tim Cook that gave a modest lift to the company’s shares. The billionaire investor made his forecasts as part of a case positing that Apple shares are “dramatically undervalued” and… Read

Business

AT&T Chief Says DirecTV Deal Will Turn Telco Into A Streaming TV Power

AT&T, T-Mobile, And Sprint CEO's Testify On AT&T And T-Mobile Merger To Senate Judiciary Committee

AT&T announced its $48.5 billion DirecTV acquisition plan a year ago today. And as they head toward an expected approval by the Justice Department and FCC, AT&T CEO Randall Stephenson told investors this morning that the combo will transform his company into a juggernaut in the fast-growing streaming video market. “The traditional linear [TV] model is about to change in a significant way” as viewing on mobile devices grows, he said in a keynote at the J.P. Morgan Global… Read

Business

AT&T Agrees To Provide Hulu Pay Service To Its Customers

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Here’s the latest announcement of a Hulu distribution deal that doesn’t include basic information including price, launch date or a precise description of what’s being offered. In this case, Hulu’s “subscription streaming service” — it’s no longer being called Hulu Plus — will serve as a VOD service for AT&T “later this year.” The telco’s video customers will be able to watch Hulu clips and shortform content through AT&T’s sites and apps. Those who subscribe to the broad… Read

breakingBusiness

Verizon’s Got Mail: TeleCom Giant & AOL Agree To $4.4B Deal

Verizon

AOL Time Warner didn’t work. But how about AOL Verizon? The online company’s shares are up more than 18% in pre-market trading — and Verizon’s down about 1% — after the announcement of the $4.4 billion deal that could advance the telco’s online video aspirations. AOL’s properties include The Huffington Post, TechCrunch, Engadget, and AOL.com. Its CEO, Tim Armstrong, will continue to run the operation if the deal closes. No word yet on whether Verizon or AOL would have to… Read

Business

Peter Chernin: Periscope Didn’t Plan To Help Mayweather-Pacquiao Pirating

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In addition to being the head of The Chernin Group, Peter Chernin is on the board of Twitter. And folks behind the company’s Periscope streaming app had “no intention” of facilitating the pirating of this past weekend’s Mayweather-Pacquiao championship fight, he assured an audience of cable execs in Chicago for the industry’s INTX confab. It was an unintended consequence of a service that makes it possible for smartphone users to live stream events. That’s “a great… Read

Business

Machinima’s New Slate Plays On DC Entertainment Field

Machinima Logo

Here’s one of the benefits of having Warner Bros as a major investor: Fandom and gamer oriented digital video channel Machinima will serve up at least three productions based on characters from the studio’s DC Entertainment properties, execs said today at a NewFront presentation. The DC titles include Justice League: Gods and Monsters Chronicles Season 2, DC’s Hero Project, and #4Hero. Machinima also touted collaborations with Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer, Clive Barker, Roberto… Read

TV

#MayPac A Goldmine For HBO/Showtime, But Pirate Feeds Made Out Like Bandits

Floyd Mayweather Jr Manny Pacquiao

Yes, the Mayweather-Pacquiao championship fight was a huge cash cow for HBO and Showtime, bringing in a positively mind-blowing $400+ million in pay-per-view revenues last night. That’s potentially the largest haul ever for PPV, and even if the fight ultimately turned out to be something of a snoozer, it’s vindication for the networks’ massive promotion. But that impressive success may still have come at a steep price, as cable companies turned out to be somewhat – to put… Read