We've had a little winter break but now we're back with some of the news items in online video, cable, film and TV that you may have missed during the last week. The big news has been the release of the new One Channel format from YouTube which we've covered in depth, but this week we've also seen more significant investment in another major YouTube channel owner, the release of the new Roku 3, how Comcast faired in 2012, the launch of ClubcardTV by UK retail behemoth Tesco and more Oreo separator shenanigans.
Owners behind YouTube Winners Smosh Win $30 Million Funding
Alloy Digital, the owners of Smosh have secured a $30 million Series A investment from private equity firm ABS Capital Partners. Alongside Smosh, the New York based company also looks after a stable of other YouTube's premier channels including Shut Up! Cartoons, B5 Media, Clevvernews, ClevverTeve, The Escapist and Generate. Alloy Digital CEO Matt Diamond confirmed that:
This funding will allow us to rapidly accelerate future growth by adding complementary, relevant properties and talent appealing to the tastes and shifting consumption behaviors of P12-34 digital consumers.
The investment in Alloy is just the latest by big time backers eager to secure a share of the profits and potential behind some of the biggest names on YouTube. In the past year, Maker Studios have secured $40m in a Time Warner led finance deal and of course, Machinima secured a Google backed $35m investment in May 2012. YouTube looks set to continue to be the kindergarten for talent and innovation for the big studios.
Read More: AllThingsD
Roku 3 Offers Private Listening And A Better Search Function
Roku debuted its next generation set-top box this week, a handsome little model that comes complete with a faster chip, a more user friendly interface and an innovative remote control/headphone feature. The Roku 3, with its portfolio of 750 channels, has an improved universal search function with more easily accessible icons shown on just the one screen. So, there's going to be less scrolling and wasting time looking for something to watch.
We think the new remote control is also going to be a feature that will appeal to many. It offers a headphone jack and volume control buttons - as soon as you plug in the headphones the sound from the TV switches to play through the headphones on the remote - brilliant. The Roku 3 will be on sale from April for $99.99.
Read More: ReadWrite
Streaming Media And The Future Of Smart TV
A great piece from the Guardian this week which looks at the history of live streaming (did you know it dates back to 2005?) and takes us through the early days of RealNetworks and Flash to the present and MPEG-DASH. As ever, quality of playback and cross platform support provide the major stumbling blocks as well as the fight to integrate online video with broadcast TV.
Verdict: it's currently a bit of a mess but the industry is fighting hard to improve standards and increased bandwidth availability will go a long way in doing this.
Read More: The Guardian
Comcast Loses Share of VOD Market But Still Delivers 2.4 Billion Viewing Hours In 2012
Comcast and Time Warner Cable's share in the US Video On Demand market fell by a combined 4% last year, losing out to AT&T and Verizon whose share grew by the same amount. Comcast's subscriber count also dropped by 1.5% according to new figures. But as Comcast expect to exceed 30 Billion total views in 2013, that number could rise again for the media giant. TV shows have become the most popular content on Comcast, which delivered 2.4 Billion hours of VOD across all categories in 2012, up from 2.1 Billion a year earlier. The Big Bang Theory, Family Guy and Game of Thrones are all big draws for Comcast viewers and contribute to the 80 Million hours of TV watched via the platform each month. As Connected TVs have overtaken PCs as the primary choice of home viewing for online video, 2013 is going to be a vitally important year for the video on demand industry as viewers become more aware of the options available to them.
Read More: Multichannel
Boyfriend Pushes Girlfriend Off Cliff, She Takes It Badly
TWO-ONE-ZERO!! I'm breaking up with you! Join 8 Million others and watch how Jessica hesitates over tackling a 400-foot free fall pendulum swing (which I wouldn't go within 10 miles of) before boyfriend Creighton gives her a friendly shove to help her on her way. Apparently she thanked him later rather than smack him around the back of the head with a shovel which would have been my first reaction.
- Mobile Video Ads That Include Social Media Buttons Drive 36% Higher Engagement
- Two lab-coated scientists escalate the war between cookies and creme in Oreo’s latest campaign
- The Sundance Festival is coming to Los Angeles.
- Google strikes deal with MPEG LA for its VP8 video codec
- Please Stop Saying YouTube Is Trying To Compete With Television
- The Worst Brand Rap Videos
- Watch Microsoft Visualize Viral Content
- Facebook Plotting Major Video Push
- Tesco Launches Clubcard TV
- The Art of Steadicam (MUST WATCH!!! MUST WATCH!!! MUST WATCH!!!)