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January 28 2012


Blip's Steve Woolf: Web Video Success Comes from Targeting "Narrow Niches"

LAS VEGAS - Steve Woolf, VP of Content for Blip.tv, says that success in creating original Web video content comes from targeting  and connecting with "narrow niches" of special interest groups. 

We caught up with him earlier this month at the International Academy of Web Television Awards at CES. 

Blip.tv won the IAWTV Award for best video platform.  While the win wasn't a true industry triumph as neither YouTube or Vimeo were nominated, it was a clear acknowledgment by the Academy for the big video site's role in cultivating so many aspiring web creators.  

The site served 300 million video views in December, Woolf told me today via email.

Andy Plesser

Disclosure:  Beet.TV uses Blip.tv as its primary publishing platform and has a commercial arrangement.


January 26 2012


Outrigger Media Links Brands and Web Producers in New Marketplace

LAS VEGAS -- Online video advertising firm Outrigger Media is gearing up to launch its content marketplace OpenSlate Studios in March, said Mike Henry, CEO of Outrigger Media during an interview with Beet.TV at CES.

Currently in beta, OpenSlate Studios pairs content producers with brands using qualitative data on the audience makeup, consumer habits and social sharing, he explained. The platform is designed to connect independent producers as well as TV producers with relevant brands.

The New York-based company has 3000 producers using the platform.

We interviewed Henry at the reception for the International Academy of Web Television Awards at he Venetian. 


January 24 2012


iJustine Expands Role with SpikeTV

LAS VEGAS Web star iJustine is slated to host live convention coverage at Comic-Con and E3 for Spike TV on the heels of the work she just did at CES for the network, she told Beet.TV during an interview at CES.

At CES, she fronted Spike's live coverage of the show along with Hollywood star Eliza Dushku. Ezarik has been hosting for Spike TV for about a year and also remains a tremendously popular online star.

Achieving Web success is harder these days because the competition is greater and technology is cheaper, she said. "The hard part is breaking through and making something different that people want to watch and finding the audience and making them happy," she said.

We caught up with her at the pre event reception for the IAWTV Awards at the Venetian.



Tags: CES2012 IAWTV

"My Damn Channel" Preps for YouTube Originals Launch

LAS VEGAS -- Digital programmer My Damn Channel is slated to launch an originals channel with YouTube in a few weeks as part of YouTube's new content programmer initiative, said Rob Barnett, CEO of My Damn Channel, in an interview with Beet.TV at CES.

So far, 2012 is shaping up to be a strong year for online video with brands and marketers returning with bigger business and repeat spending in online video, he said. What's more, distributors are starting to pay more for original programming. My Damn Channel's project with YouTube centers on a 30-minute live weekly comedy series with 10-minute daily episodes. Other programmers in the YouTube initiative include Wall Street Journal, The Onion, Lionsgate, Fremantle, Hearst and more.

We interviewed Barnett at the IAWTV Awards.  He is a board member of the organization.



Tags: CES2012 IAWTV

Fine Bros Win IAWTV Award, Prep for Launch of New YouTube Show

Online video superstars The Fine Brothers nabbed an inaugural IAWTV award at the recent CES show for their latest Web series Kids React, which has been generating about 1 million views per episode for each of the 45 episodes so far. We caught up with Ben and Rafi Fine, the creators of the show at CES.

The Fine Brothers are making money on the show via the YouTube partner program, they said. They are also launching a scripted 42-episode weekly narrative sitcom as part of YouTube's new original channels initiative. At the IAWTV awards, Kids React won Best Variety Web Series. In the show, kids age five to fourteen shared their thoughts on pop culture, news and trends.

Tags: CES2012 IAWTV

January 23 2012


Variety's Andrew Wallenstein: Yahoo's Deal with Tom Hanks: "Watershed Moment" for Web Video

Yahoo's announcement during CES to stream Tom Hanks' futuristic animation series, represents a "watershed moment" for Web originals, say Andrew Wallenstein Variety's TV Editor in this interview with Beet.TV

Wallenstein, who was a headliner in Variety's CES "Entertainment Summit," says that this was the most entertainment oriented CES ever.

We met at the pre-awards reception for the International Academy of Web Television.

Andy Plesser

Tags: CES2012

FreeWheel Girding for Live Online Video Growth in 2012

Connected TVs are starting to become part of the mix for managing ads, rights and payments across devices for programmers, said JoAnna Abel, VP Marketing for online video technology firm FreeWheel during an interview with Beet.TV at CES.

Abel also expects live programming to increase in use and consumption this year with the Superbowl streaming live online in a few weeks, as well as live election coverage, and live streaming of Olympics events this summer. "We are dynamically inserting advertising into content. Whether live or on-demand or simulcast, we are managing all of that," she said. "This year we'll see producers and distributors increasingly comfortable putting live, simulcast, on-demand programming online."

She added that Freewheel expects to grow from 140 employees to about 200 by the end of 2012. Recently, FreeWheel reported that online video ad views rose at a faster rate than video views in the third quarter.

Daisy Whitney

January 20 2012


Razorfish to Increase Mobile Video Spending in 2012

LAS VEGAS - Interactive agency Razorfish expects to spend more money on mobile video advertising this year, Megan Tweed, VP of Media at Razorfish, told Beet.TV, during a recent interview at CES.

With 4G technology and more mobile devices reaching consumers, she expects video on mobile to take off this year. In general, advertisers are spending more in digital video, she said. In the last year, she's seen several clients up their digital video and mobile platform budgets from about 3% to 15%, she said.

She added that Razorfish has also worked with online video ad network YuMe on a number of campaigns and is particularly interested in ones that work across connected TVs such as Samsung and LG sets.

eMarketer has said that mobile ad spend in general should reach $1.8 billion this year, up from $1.2 billion in 2011. In addition, mobile video ads will fuel increased spending in online video.

Daisy Whitney


TubeMogul Serving Multiple Ad Campaigns to Connected TV's

LAS VEGAS -- Already this year, video ad platform TubeMogul has run more more than a dozen ad campaigns through connected TVs and is gearing up for a big year in this new medium, the company's Chief Strategy Officer Jason Lopatecki told Beet.TV in an interview at CES.

The ad inventory is currently being sold in the app space in home screens on connected TVs from set makers such as LG and Samsung, he explained.

TubeMogul added connected TVs to its lineup late last year, as part of a growing trend among video ad networks and platform companies to also syndicate to smart TVs. He expects ad formats on connected TVs to move beyond pre-rolls into new forms shortly.

Today, TubeMogul sold its publisher video analytics unit to Tremor Video, TechCrunch reported.  The company retains its advertiser analytics platform.

Daisy Whitney


January 19 2012


LG Delivering Targeted on Smart TV's, Boosts Developer Support

LAS VEGAS --Consumer electronics TV set maker LG is offering new apps and tools for app developers for smart TVs in the year ahead. At the CES show, we talked to Matt Durgin, Director Smart TV Content, LG Electronics USA about how the new generation of connected TVs are accommodating both apps and ads.

Late last year, LG struck a deal with online video network YuMe to bring online video ads to connected TVs, including the app-centric home screen. The benefit of delivering ads to that environment is they can be interactive and also highly targeted via user behavior or geography, Durgin said. "Now you can see more relevant ads," he said. As LG marches forwards in connected TVs, the manufacturer has added more support for developers using both HTML and Flash and will also include more support for testing apps, he said.

Also at CES, LG shared more details on its smart TV with Google TV.

Daisy Whitney



Akamai Supports Hollywood's "UltraViolet," Bolsters its Content Distribution Network

LAS VEGAS -- At CES, technology giant Akamai threw its weight behind Hollywood's UltraViolet video initiative -- a technlogy which allows consumers to watch and share movies and TV shows across multiple devices, said Kris Alexander, Chief Strategist for Connected Devices & Gaming at Akamai, in this interview with Beet.TV

The UltraViolet platorm is designed to help protect movies and TV programming against digital piracy while allowing users to play DVD content via the cloud across various devices.

More than 750,000 consumers have signed up for the UltraViolet program for access to digital versions of content they've bought on DVD.  But the format has yet to take off in a major way, so support from companies such as Akamai may help.

"This is an important transitional step for consumers," Alexander said. He added that Akamai has added enhancements to security and content distribution over its network, which is vital as more video moves to the cloud. Akamai is also working on solutions to help port content to various smart TV platforms.

Alexander added that Akamai is preparing to deliver Olympic programming across various devices this summer from London.

Please see our exclusive interview with Mitchell Singer, Chief Technology Officer Sony Pictures and head of the UltraViolet initiate. 

Daisy Whtney


Interactive Ad Units Lead to Higher Completion Rates, Gannett's PointRoll Finds

LAS VEGAS -- Completion rates for in-stream video ads with interactive elements are higher than those without, PointRoll has found in a six month study of billions of ads served by the Gannett unit.

At CES, we spoke with Cat Spurway-Hepler about the study, the value of pre-roll and what formats are working in various market sectors.

Andy Plesser

January 18 2012


Alloy Digital Acquires Generate; See Double Digit Growth

LAS VEGAS - On the heels of its acquisition of Hollywood's veteran digital studio Generate, Alloy Digital is in discussions with advertisers currently on a new slate of digital programming for 2012, Christian Busch, SVP Business Development at Alloy Digital, told Beet.TV in an interview at CES.

Alloy reaches 32 million consumers each month via its network, Busch said. The company relies on a distribution strategy across owned and operated sites as well as its network of sites. "We have seen double digit growth across the board.

We see a lot of money flowing into online video, whether on the branded side or the pre-roll side," he said, adding that Alloy's content focuses primarily on the 12 to 24 demo.

Daisy Whitney


Tags: CES2012

Video Expansion Underway at Huffington Post as Arianna Readies "Fearless Living"

LAS VEGAS -- The Huffington Post has become increasingly video centric as the giant news site integrates video into most of its pages, says Karen Cahn,  General Manger of Branded Experiences for AOL, in this inteview with Beet.TV

Among the new Web-original shows being readied is one starring Arianna Huffington called "Fearless Living," based" the the founder's book about life choices.  The show debuts this spring.

Today, comScore said that AOL had 40 million unique video viewer watching 450 million videos in December.

I spoke with Cahn at the awards program for the International Academy of Web Television on Thursday evening at the Venetian.  Below is a photo of Cahn and the IAWTV chairman Paul Kontonis, a VP at Digitas.





YuMe-Samsung Deal to Deliver Targeted Ads on Smart TV's

LAS VEGAS -- The YuMe-Samsung deal to deliver video ads on Samsung's smart TVs will help ads on TV become more targeted, said Scott McLernon, YuMe's Chief Revenue Officer, during an interview with Beet.TV at CES last week.

Ads served on connected devices can drastically improve the results of TV ads, since they're more focused and targeted, McLernon said.

The YuMe-Samsung deal also calls for YuMe and its partner Vizu to conduct a brand lift study with the marketer State Farm to measure how connected TV ads perform. YuMe has high hopes. "Because it's connected, we can tell who that consumer is and make the message relevant. Then everyone wins because everything on that screen is relevant," McLernon said.

Forrester Research has predicted that ad spending on digital video will reach $5.4 billion by 2016, up from $2 billion last year.

Daisy Whitney

Disclosure:  YuMe sponsored Beet.TV's coverage of CES.

January 17 2012


Yahoo! Passes Facebook for Video Views in December, comScore

Yahoo! has passed Facebook and has essentially tied with Vevo as the second most popular video site on the Web, according to December numbers released by comScore this morning.  The most popular site remains YouTube.

In November, Yahoo trailed Vevo and Facebook in video views, comScore reported.

"We're Gonna Go Crazy with Video in 2012"

Last week at CES, we spoke with Yahoo's video chief Erin McPherson about the company's video efforts which includes a new assocation with Tom Hanks and his animated program Electric City.

Ramping up production, she says "we're gonna go crazy with video in 2012."

We taped this interview at the International Academy of Web Television Awards where Yahoo was a sponsor.  Below is photo of McPherson and Paul Kontonis, chairman of the IAWTV and a VP at Digitas.


Andy Plesser


Tags: CES2012 IAWTV

Online Video Shop DBG Partners with Zooey Deschanel's Hello Giggles on The Single Life

LAS VEGAS - Online video production and distribution shop DBG has partnered with actress Zooey Deschanel's site Hello Giggles on the second season of Web show "The Single Life," DBG's Chairman & CEO Chris Young told Beet.TV.

We spoke to him last week at CES and he shared details on DBG's roster of digital programming and ad plans for the year ahead.

DBG currently has 12 shows in production, pre-production or currently running across the network of sites it partners with such as Heavy, Alloy and Pandora. DBG counts about 2600 sites in its portfolio including 300 owned-and-operated sites. "We are focused on premium content," he said. That's why DBG has partnered with Hollywood entities such as Sony Pictures Television, which handles international distribution for DBG's Kiefer Sutherland show "The Confession" and now Hello Giggle's for DBG show "The Single Life," a how-to guide for online dating.

In 2012, DBG is focused on analytics and providing more detailed views into how branded entertainment fares compared to typical 30-second spots, Young said. He added that DBG prices most of its programs on a CPM basis, but will also sell cost-per-click, cost-per-completed-via and via other measurements.

Daisy Whitney



Kevin Pollak Finds Big Audience, Creative Freedom with Live Web Program

LAS VEGAS -- Stand-up comedian and actor Kevin Pollak has some 100,000 live viewers of his talk show -- along with one million monthly downloads of the show on iTunes, he tells Beet.TV in this video interview.

He says its growth has come from Twitter and word of mouth, with no traditional marketing. 

We spoke with him after the IAWTV Awards on Thursday night where he was nominated in several catetories but received none.   Shira Lazar of What's Trending nabbed the live show awards.

While he enjoys the freedom of the show, he's "not giving up his day job," and will be co-starring in four upcoming films, he says.

Andy Plesser




Tags: CES2012 IAWTV

January 16 2012


Hollywood Writer Gets Boost for Web Series with Glowing New Yorker Review

LAS VEGAS -- Jane Espenson, a veteran Hollywood TV writer and producer, has been getting noticed for her Web series, a comedy about a newly married gay couple titled "Husbands."

We caught up with her on Thursday evening at the IAWTV Awards where she was a presenter.

She said was suprised and delighted with a very positive review of the series by Emily Nussbaum in The New Yorker.  

Andy Plesser


Tags: CES2012 IAWTV

WPP's 24/7 Real Media Ad Platform Integrates Panache's Video Ad Formats

Following its December acquisition of Panache, WPP's marketing technology company 24/7 Real Media has now integrated 13 of Panache's advanced video ad formats into its existing ad platform.

We caught up with Jill Druschke, VP marketing and business development at 24/7 Real Media at CES, and she shared details on how the Panache formats are being used by WPP's ad network.

The integration of Panache's tools will add more refined capabilities for targeting, insights and analytics, Druschke said. Online video ad spend is slated to increase 40% this year. The WPP-backed ad platform is hoping to capture some of that money and is now available in the U.S., Canada, U.K., France and Korea and reaches more than 80% of the Internet audience in those areas on more than 4000 Web sites.

Druschke also shared her insights on how the CES show is changing to focus more on consumers, content and the user experience.

Daisy Whitney


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