TECH Bits: AfterBuzz TV from Maria Menounos, Keven Undergaro Joins CDS

AfterBuzz TV, an online channel created by E! host Maria Menounos and producer Keven Undergaro, has signed with Collective Digital Studio, the big YouTube multichannel network. AfterBuzz specializes in creating “after shows” focused on the latest episodes of popular TV programs. The channel receives more than 20 million weekly downloads on YouTube and iTunes from scores of countries.

In a given week, AfterBuzz may produce as many as 80 live after shows, with celebrity guest hosts, expert commentary and more talking abou a just-finished episode of a program, taking fan calls and more. The finished shows are later available for iTunes download. The channel also creates spotlight shows featuring long-form interviews with stars and showrunners. CDS will focus on optimizing the AfterBuzz content for advertisers and brands, and on better monetizing and growing its large international audience. Here’s AfterBuzz’s sizzle reel:

Over The Top Video Revenues Could Jump 10X By 2020 – Study

So-called “over-the-top” video revenue could hit $42 billion by 2020, up from less than $4 billion in 2010, according to a study by Digital TV Research. As always, take studies projecting revenues half a decade away with a large large block of salt. That said, the industry has made a good start on reaching that lofty number this decade, with more than $19 billion expected by the end of 2014.

The study also projects that, though the U.S. will remain the most important OTT territory, its share of worldwide revenue will drop from nearly 60 percent to less than 40 percent by the end of the decade. Japan and a fast-growing China market will be Nos. 2 and 3 respectively. Around 40 percent of the projected revenue will come subscription revenue, collected by OTT sites such as Netflix, Hulu Plus and Amazon Prime, though advertising, pay-per-view and rentals will be substantial revenue sources as well, the study says.

Xbox One China Launch Hits Slight Delay

Image (2) Microsoft_Xbox_One_logo__140310054930-275x169.png for post 696266Microsoft’s plan to launch its Xbox One videogame console this week in China, the world’s No. 3 game market, hit a slight bump and now will happen on Sept. 29, the company says. The launch will be the first in China since the government there lifted a 14-year-old ban on game consoles last year.

Though no details were released regarding the cause of the delay, the challenges of rolling out Westernized content of any kind in censor-heavy China will sound familiar to Hollywood types, including tight controls on certain themes and behaviors (think Grand Theft Auto V for an example of titles that are so NOT welcome there). A first batch of games has been approved and initially will be available only through online download.

Sony announced in May its own partnership with a Chinese company (required to do business there) that would bring its competing (and so far winning) PS4 to the country. Getting into the big China market first could be a big boost for Microsoft, which has had a stumbling first year for the Xbox One since its November debut. The company had to scale back its initial international launch plans because of production challenges, ceding several markets to Sony for months.

Finalists Named for 4K Film Competition

Sharp Electronics, THX and Red have combined to sponsor a competition to spotlight outstanding digital video projects in the ultra-high-definition 4K format.

The finalists are:  Anthony Gilmore, The Lion; Dave Adams, Dusty Hernandez-Harrison ‘Voices;‘ Hendrikus De Vaan, Disappear; James Morgan, SOCOTRA; Jamie Heinrich, Madsteez; Jamie Thaiman, Captain Torpedo; Jerred North, Jamqwest; Logan Kelsey, Marty Knapp – Portrait of a Photographer; Luis Pena, For the Love; Mark Potts, The Last Sandwich; Martin Monk, Happy Tears; Michael Goldstein, In the Zone; Scott Pommler, Tom Fugle; Phil Holland, Alan Turning Wood; and Robert Dyck, A Fistful of Feathers.

You can view and on all the finalists here: Voting closes Oct. 9. The shorts also stream in the 4K format on YouTube, one of the relatively few channels there with 4K so far, though many more are anticipated soon. The shorts will also be screened in a 4K showcase as part of the Mill Valley Film Festival. A panel of judges will chose the grand prize winner, whose work will be showcased at the Sharp booth at the Consumer Electronics Show in January.  Here’s the trailer for the competition: 

Fox Now, Minus The Simpsons, Comes to Apple TV But Not Roku

In the bragging-rights battle for over-the-top streaming boxes, Apple TV has scored a nice little victory, getting an app for the Fox Now service ahead of rival Roku, which has specialized in grabbing channels from all kinds of video providers (that very low barrier to entry at Roku definitely helps).

For now, the Fox Now app won’t include any episodes of The Simpsons, but really, with more than 500 episodes of the show playing on FXX, do you need to have it on demand?

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