Posts Tagged ‘video’

China Clamps Down on Foreign TV Streaming

September 12, 2014  |  Media Week  |  No Comments

China is reportedly getting ready to regulate the number of foreign television programs that online providers can stream in its country, The Wall Street Journal reported . The move means even fewer U.S. programs will make it onto the Chinese viewing menu. As of today, about half the content on popular Chinese streaming services comes from outside the country. But that all will change as the country limits foreign, streamed TV shows to 30 percent. (The Journal said it's unclear if that figure refers to the number of TV shows or episodes.) The U.S. shows that stand to lose are Netflix's wildly popular House of Cards and Warner Brother’s 2 Broke Girls. House of Cards, which is distributed by Sohu, one of the country’s largest video streaming services, reportedly attract millions of viewers a day despite its edgy storylines that criticize China. But popularity doesn’t necessarily mean you’ll stay on the air. In April, the country’s regulators yanked NCIS, The Practice, The Good Wife and The Big Bang Theory off Chinese video streaming services without giving a reason. The Big Bang Theory was reportedly pulling in 120 million viewers a month. The sudden blackout of popular U.S. shows is seen as an example of Chinese leaders keeping a tight grip on foreign media to counter the U.S.'s soft power and shore up China's own television industry. Last year, Chinese censors withheld box office receipts while negotiating a rise in tariffs on Western importers. Now, Chinese leaders want to become not only international exporters of finished goods but also dramas and soap operas, which amount to about 10,000 episodes a year

Read More

ISIS’s Sinister Media Strategy, and How the West Is Fighting Back

September 10, 2014  |  Media Week  |  No Comments

Here's an ugly truth: ISIS has a really effective brand strategy. Al Qaeda terrorists had a manifesto that claimed to represent the common man (the name means "The Base") and some grainy, boring video, but ISIS is going after the supervillain look as hard as it can. It's got a scary acronym (Islamic State in Iraq and Syria, also referred to as ISIL and the less Twitter-friendly IS), a huge online presence, and—not kidding—flashy "annual reports" since 2012. The people attracted to the organization vary across metrics like cultural background, age and sex. Granted, the data is all anecdotal so far, but a pair of French girls were detained on suspicion of planning to join the group; a 19-year-old Colorado woman was arrested trying to board a flight to Turkey to meet her jihadist boyfriend; and NBC Nightly News scored an interview with a North Carolina man who'd been detained in Turkey and prevented from entering Syria.

Read More

Video: How Keith Olbermann Could Inflame Tensions Between ESPN, NFL

September 10, 2014  |  Variety  |  No Comments

The NFL is facing no shortage of criticism in the wake of the release of a video depicting Baltimore Ravens running back Ray Rice punching his fiancée. ESPN commentator Keith Olbermann went so far as to suggest league commissioner Roger Goodell resign. He wasn’t even the only ESPN personality to go there; so did Jason... Read more

Read More

Does Europe Have Enough Bandwidth to Handle the Netlflix Strain?

September 8, 2014  |  Media Week  |  No Comments

It's been established that the French in particular are skeptical about Netflix's upcoming continental rollout. But will French cinephiles even be able to stream their favorite Louis Malle films once the service shows up? Doubters worry that Netflix video traffic will crash European servers, especially in France and Germany, where Netflix plans to begin offering streaming video this month. According to Ookla’s Net Index , neither country is among the top 20 with the fastest download speeds. That concerns the head of media services for Deloitte LLP, who recently speculated that European networks “could be forced to their knees” by Netflix bandwidth requirements. A spokesman for Netflix in Europe told Bloomberg that countries where it currently operates, including the UK and the Netherlands, have never experienced “noticeable” problems with video traffic.

Read More

Robert Downey Jr. Makes His Case for ‘The Judge’ at the Variety Studio (VIDEO)

September 7, 2014  |  Variety  |  No Comments

It’s only fitting that Robert Duvall and Robert Downey Jr. play an on-screen father and son in “The Judge.” Their tight-kit bond was palpable when the two actors joined our awards editor Tim Gray at our Variety Studio at the Toronto Film Festival. When discussing finding humor in one particularly difficult scene — a bathroom... Read more

Read More

Canada Getting New Video Streaming Service

August 26, 2014  |  Media Week  |  No Comments

Two of Canada’s largest cable television companies are putting their differences aside and joining forces to launch a new video streaming service as the industry responds in kind to competition from online players such as Netflix. The new service, called shomi (pronounced: show me), will debut in November at a suggested retail price of $8.99 (Canadian) a month. It will be available on tablet, mobile, online, Xbox 360 and set top boxes, to Rogers and Shaw Internet and television customers. Shomi will feature prior seasons of popular television shows, as well as iconic series from the past, cult classics and fan favorite films, the two companies said in a statement. At launch, the shomi catalog will contain 11,000 hours of television shows and 1,200 movies; 30 percent of the content will be Canadian. Shomi has exclusive past-season streaming rights to a number of popular titles, including Modern Family, Sons of Anarchy, Sleepy Hollow, Vikings, New Girl, 24: Live Another Day, Chicago Fire, The Strain and American Horror Story. "We've taken the time to talk with Canadians to find out what they want and to create an unbelievable user experience," said Rogers Media president Keith Pelley. "They told us loud and clear—they want all the past seasons of the most popular, current TV shows and they want it to be easy. Shomi takes the guesswork out of finding what to watch, acting like a new-age video clerk serving up all the best content based on individual viewing habits." Netflix in particular will prove to be a formidable competitor. Although the company does not disclose how many Canadian customers it has, estimates range as high as 5.8 million. However, there’s one point in shomi’s favor: Netflix Canada’s content is considered inferior to the content available in the United States, a weakness the programmers at shomi could exploit.

Read More

Canada Getting New Video Streaming Service

August 26, 2014  |  Media Week  |  No Comments

Two of Canada’s largest cable television companies are putting their differences aside and joining forces to launch a new video streaming service as the industry responds in kind to competition from online players such as Netflix. The new service, called shomi (pronounced: show me), will debut in November at a suggested retail price of $8.99 (Canadian) a month. It will be available on tablet, mobile, online, Xbox 360 and set top boxes, to Rogers and Shaw Internet and television customers. Shomi will feature prior seasons of popular television shows, as well as iconic series from the past, cult classics and fan favorite films, the two companies said in a statement. At launch, the shomi catalog will contain 11,000 hours of television shows and 1,200 movies; 30 percent of the content will be Canadian. Shomi has exclusive past-season streaming rights to a number of popular titles, including Modern Family, Sons of Anarchy, Sleepy Hollow, Vikings, New Girl, 24: Live Another Day, Chicago Fire, The Strain and American Horror Story. "We've taken the time to talk with Canadians to find out what they want and to create an unbelievable user experience," said Rogers Media president Keith Pelley. "They told us loud and clear—they want all the past seasons of the most popular, current TV shows and they want it to be easy. Shomi takes the guesswork out of finding what to watch, acting like a new-age video clerk serving up all the best content based on individual viewing habits." Netflix in particular will prove to be a formidable competitor. Although the company does not disclose how many Canadian customers it has, estimates range as high as 5.8 million. However, there’s one point in shomi’s favor: Netflix Canada’s content is considered inferior to the content available in the United States, a weakness the programmers at shomi could exploit.

Read More

Video Music Awards 2014: Winners List

August 25, 2014  |  Variety  |  No Comments

MTV’s Video Music Awards will kick off on Sunday night, 6 p.m. ET/9 p.m. PT, airing live from the Forum in Inglewood, Calif. Among the biggest nominees at the annual awards show are Beyonce, Iggy Azalea, Katy Perry and Pharrell Williams. Check back here from a updated winners list as they’re announced at the show:... Read more

Read More

TV Gets Undressed

August 24, 2014  |  Media Week  |  No Comments

To say that this wedding is unconventional doesn’t quite capture the essence of the nuptials of reality show contestants Ashley and Alika. First off, the bride and groom met with the TV cameras rolling and decided to get hitched after just three months. Six other couples who are attending the wedding fell for each other under the same televised circumstances. A shaman presides over the ceremony, with backup from a chanting yogi and drum circle. Nowhere in sight can one find the usual trappings—no flower girl, no ring bearer, no tulle or tuxedos. Boutonnieres are also in short supply—though bug spray could come in handy. Some of the invited guests are more anxious than even the happy couple—who, even if they don’t get cold feet, may well experience sunburn. For you see, everybody here—the bride and groom, wedding party and guests—is butt naked. Even if you haven’t been tuning into VH1’s summer hit Dating Naked —which has attracted more than 1 million viewers per episode and plenty of social buzz to boot—you might want to cue the DVR for television’s first all-nude wedding, airing Sept. 18 at 9 p.m. To be sure, it’ll be a spectacle not to be missed. For the Viacom-owned basic cable channel, it was a no-brainer to film the union and televise it as an hour-long special, extending the series’ 10-episode run with what are likely to be big ratings.

Read More

Hulu’s Jenny Wall Is a Pioneer of the Web Series Form

August 24, 2014  |  Media Week  |  No Comments

Specs Who Jenny Wall New gig Svp, head of marketing at Hulu Old gig Vp, marketing at Netflix Age 44 Photo: Karl J Kaul/Wonderful Machine So how did you find Hulu? I think I found Hulu in the sense that I’d been an avid Hulu user on my own—they called me in respect to some recommendations from the field. The opportunity came to me and I jumped on it immediately, and I’ve been very impressed with Mike [ Hopkins, Hulu’s new CEO ]. You’ve worked at some great places that have huge presences digitally, like HBO and Netflix. How have you seen the market change? I think the biggest thing I’ve seen is that it’s not considered “Internet TV” anymore. It’s really just entertainment you consume in a particular manner. Internet television is what we called it two years ago—everybody expected things to be Internet quality, but I had the opportunity to work on House of Cards and it was similar to what happened with HBO. And things snowballed. It took an example to show the public that something delivered through the Internet could be of high quality. It was amazing to be at HBO in those days, too, when the Sopranos and Sex and the City began. I’ve been lucky to land at two great places and now a third. How do you get the kind of reach on digital that TV enjoys? We have incredible content now that we maybe haven’t talked about as loudly as we should. Looking back at House of Cards, it was an incredibly well-produced show, it was a serialized drama, it was unlike short-form Web content.

Read More