Posts Tagged ‘streaming video’


Pretty soon you won’t be able to tell the difference between Fox and Hulu, HBO and Netflix, or CNN and YouTube.

Monday, January 23rd, 2012

sneetchesThe recent jockeying for position and struggle to find an identity within the crowded and competitive world of network, cable, streaming video, and online television reminds me of one of my favorite Dr. Seuss stories, The Sneetches. The Sneetches were a group of yellow creatures, some with green stars on their bellies (a sign of distinction) and some without, until a character named Sylvester McMonkey McBean offers those without stars a chance to add them by going through his Star-On machine. In order to stay special the Sneetches formerly with stars happily pay the money to have them removed in his Star-Off machine. Ultimately this escalates, with the Sneetches running from one machine to the next, and to quote the good Doctor,

“until neither the Plain nor the Star-Bellies knew whether this one was that one… or that one was this one or which one was what one… or what one was who.”

The last few month, the news out of the “television” world has been very Seuss-like to say the least:

At this year’s winter TV press tour Kevin Reilly, entertainment president, Fox Broadcasting Company, revealed that his network plans to use web content as a development tool for the airwaves. “Something that starts in digital could be the next big primetime hit… We have an expertise, and a history, and proficiency, and a primetime audience base,” he confirms in this Atlantic.com article about 5 Ways the Networks Want to Change How You Watch TV. Reilly goes on to use Web Therapy starring Lisa Kudrow (of Friends fame) as one example of a web-only series that has successfully made the switch and is now aired on Showtime.

In an effort to kick start their declining subscription base, Netflix is beginning to act more like a network rather than your average streaming video provider. By jumping into the original programming waters, Netflix plans to release three new series in 2012 – starting with Lilyhammer, a crime comedy set in Norway’s former Winter Olympics headquarters, starring The Soprano‘s Steven Van Zandt. Not to be outdone and fresh off a year where they realized 60 percent revenue growth in 2011, the web streaming service Hulu is launching its first ever original scripted series. Battleground, a mockumentary series described as “The Office meets The West Wing, premieres February 14, explains, this opinion brief on TheWeek.com.

And remember when YouTube was just a site where you could watch short clips of people doing funny and unusual things? Well, last week Reuters joined CNN and the BBC by unveiling its own channel to be shown on the popular video sharing site. The channels will show original content from Reuters on YouTube, which will allow them to leverage an army of over 3,000 reporters worldwide.

I doubt all the players involved with getting content to the masses will end up in blissful harmony like our friends the Sneetches, but it should be fun watching them run from one machine to the next having their green stars removed and re-added over again.

What are your thoughts? Please share them with me here on BurrellesLuce Fresh Ideas.

In PR and Media: September 19, 2011

Monday, September 19th, 2011

Kindle Gets AmazonLocal Offers (MediaPost)
“Those barely discounted Amazon Kindles with Special Offers that launched earlier this year have become the hottest commodity for Amazon in the e-reader market. Who would have thought that discounting a Kindle just $30 or so in return for getting sponsor messages on your screensaver would be so appealing?”

Adbusters-Organized Protest Occupies Wall Street (MinOnline)
“It wasn’t quite the turnout Adbusters magazine originally had expected, but the counter-cultural activist magazine helped organize a march on Wall Street on Saturday Sept. 17. Dubbed “Occupy Wall Street” by the magazine, the effort to assemble people via mobile phones, Tweets and web site notifications had hoped to organize thousands to join the protests.”

In Kabul, It’s Not MTV, It’s a Mission (New York Times)
“Tom Freston is a pretty mellow guy, but sitting in the corner of a downtown Manhattan restaurant last week he was getting very excited as he talked about his new project. ‘Every time I go there, there are kids doing a bunch of new things, making all kinds of interesting programming,’ he said.”

Associated Press Teams With 40 Newspapers On Mobile Coupons (PaidContent.org)
“With newspapers having suffered through 20 straight quarters of decline—and no end in sight—a collaborative effort on the part of the Associated Press and 40 newspapers is designed to play on two of the industry’s last advertising strengths: digital and pre-print circulars.”

Breaking: Netflix Splits DVD And Streaming Businesses; Creates Qwikster For DVDs (TechCrunch)
“Netflix CEO Reed Hastings just dropped a bombshell. In the wake of a rapid decline in Netflix’s stock price last week, Hastings is taking a bold step by separating the DVD and video streaming services. The DVD-by-mail service will now be called Qwikster, and the streaming service will maintain the Netflix brand.”

Who Needs Netflix When You Can See Your Favorite Films on Facebook? It depends!

Friday, March 18th, 2011

by Lauren Shapiro*

netflixWith over 20 million subscribers, Netflix has been dominating the at-home-movie scene. As a subscription-based platform, Netflix allows users to watch unlimited TV episodes and movies via the Internet on either a Mac or PC or stream the content to a television using devices such as Xbox 360, Wii, or PS3. A subscription, according to their website, is $7.99 a month for unlimited streaming video or for DVDs by mail and unlimited streaming video, plans start at $9.99 a month.

However, Facebook’s 500 million friends will not be counted out, as soon to be seen (pun intended), the social networking site will be a potential competitor to Netflix.  Warner Brothers’ announcement of their availability on Facebook comes with little surprise as telecasts on Facebook have become more and more popular. Even the President and First Lady have taken to the Facebook airwaves to promote the White House Conference on Bullying Prevention on March 10th

The Warner Brothers’ Facebook application will allow users to choose from a select number of full-length films priced at 30 Facebook credits. Facebook credits are an online currency that allow users to purchase applications and games on the site. Thirty credits equate to $3. Users can also acquire Facebook credits through applications and games also available on the site. Once the credits are redeemed, in this manner, the user has 48 hours to watch the movie. 

But don’t think that Facebook is alone in the quest to provide pay-per-view movies. Google’s YouTube has been offering online movie rentals since 2010, allowing users to access independent films and recently more popular films like Scary Movie 4 and Hannibal Rising. According to the YouTube Store, movie rentals range between $2.99 and $4.99. Other lesser known services have begun to crop-up as well. For instance, Zediva streams new releases through what amounts to a loophole in copyright law. The site offers “new release movies you can’t get on Amazon, Netflix, or iTunes that cost $2 for a digital rental that lasts two full weeks,” explains this Wired.com article. “The company literally rents you a DVD and a DVD player, with your computer, tablet or Google TV as the remote control.”

Will Facebook give Netflix a run for its money? It seems that Netflix users and Warner Brothers Facebook application users will be targeting different consumers. Netflix users are avid movie watchers and actually save money by paying a monthly fee rather than a paying per view. However, Facebook may gain viewership with users who are on the go and want to rent one movie at a time inexpensively. Also, Facebook users who accumulate credits have the ability to use their credits to rent movies. The Warner Brother’s Facebook app pales in breadth and depth to the movie selection offered by Netflix, however, only time will tell how much of a threat Facebook’s movie rentals will truly be to the reigning streaming-video service.

If you are a subscriber of Netflix and a user of Facebook, will you be trading in your subscription? What about for one of these other services increasingly becoming available? Please share your thoughts with me and the readers of BurrellesLuce Fresh Ideas.

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 *Bio: Soon after graduating from the Richard Stockton College of New Jersey, in 2006 with a B.A. in communication and a B.S. in business/marketing, I joined the BurrellesLuce client services team. In 2008, I completed my master’s degree in corporate and organizational communications and now serve as Director of Client Services. I am passionate about researching and understanding the role of email in shaping relationships from a client relation/service standpoint as well as how miscommunication occurs within email, which was the topic of my thesis. Through my posts on Fresh Ideas, I hope to educate and stimulate thoughtful discussions about corporate communications and client relations, further my own knowledge on this subject area, as well as continue to hone my skills as a communicator. Twitter: @_LaurenShapiro_ LinkedIn: laurenrshapiro Facebook: BurrellesLuce 

Watch and Learn: TV’s Response to a Paradigm Shift About to Unfold

Wednesday, May 13th, 2009

1464576910_e7c36726dfAnybody who watched late night TV in the late 70’s remembers the words: “this concludes our broadcast day,” followed by a rendition of the Star Spangled Banner, and finally a steady dose of “snow” (which for many of us acted more like an alarm clock in the middle of the night) until the broadcast finally resumed the following morning.

Thirty years later, we’ve come a long way with TV, but something tells me we haven’t seen anything yet…

With consumers’ media consumption habits seemingly in a perpetual state of change, TV is at a crossroads. To avoid risking a fate similar to other traditional media that didn’t react fast enough, TV executives appear intent on adapting quickly to the changing habits of their viewers.

During my recent trip to England, I came across an article in last week’s UK Sunday Times, “Can You Have Too Much Television in America?,” describing U.S. broadcasters as taking nothing for granted when it comes to viewership. The article goes on to say that, with the average U.S. home tuning-in for nearly seven hours a day, broadcasters are already working on the remaining 17 hours with a range of mobile TV services that promise live broadcasts on phones, laptops and in-car screens.

Upon my return to the U.S., I thought I would check the validity of the UK Times article with some hard facts from Nielsen. According to Nielsen, American consumers are watching more than 151 hours per month – an all time high – another three hours on the Internet and four hours using hand held devices.

Beginning with the official end of analog TV on June 12th, with the conversion to digital transmission, the rest of 2009 is sure to bring some of the most revolutionary changes television has ever seen. Time Warner recently announced they’ve slated the second half of 2009 to begin a trial with several distributors for their “TV Everywhere” initiative (the ability to watch TV anywhere, on any device, at anytime). As of April 30, Disney finally agreed to join NBC and Fox as a joint venture partner and equity owner of Hulu, a website that offers commercial-supported streaming video of TV shows and movies.

The stars seem to be aligning for what should be an interesting metamorphosis of a medium that has been around for seventy years. It will be interesting to see where television finds its future niche. Will it be in a wave of mobile video, fueled by an explosion of device subscriptions (a staggering 257 million in the US)? Or will it be the home computer or laptop used by those who prefer to watch their favorite shows on something larger than a three inch screen? Or perhaps it will be the good old-fashioned television set, the only household appliance seemingly getting bigger?

For now the numbers support the notion that when it comes to television, the more things change the more they stay the same. Who knows they might even bring back the Star Spangled Banner. What are your thoughts regarding TV’s paradigm shift? The folks at BurrellesLuce and I would love to know.