5 Questions With…Blip.tv’s Dina Kaplan

Today we continue our Five Question series with noted industry heads, and up on the block is Dina Kaplan. Dina is a co-founder of blip.tv who also serves on the board of directors for the International Academy of Web Television — and worries that she might need to be funnier.
1. What’s the one big issue/law/attitude/restriction that you think is holding back the industry?
One attitude holding back the industry is a belief that the best content creators need to be paid upfront for the content they produce. Sometimes upfront payments are absolutely the right way, but often they are not. At blip.tv this week we sent out hundreds of thousands of dollars in payouts to independent content creators, based on advertising that ran on their shows. What’s nice about this is that it’s a meritocracy. For the most part, the shows with the greatest number of views receive the largest checks. And advertisers get a terrific value, too, because we can guarantee views for them rather than asking them to place bets on hits. Read More about 5 Questions With…Blip.tv’s Dina Kaplan

Is the PGA’s New ‘Transmedia Producer’ Credit a Good Thing?

UPDATED: The Producer’s Guild of America announced last night the creation of a new title for producers who work in the increasingly high-profile world of “transmedia,” which in this context specifically refers to those who produce content that expands the world of a narrative beyond one medium.

The PGA’s official definition for a transmedia narrative, as published on Deadline.com yesterday, is one that:

“…must consist of three (or more) narrative storylines existing within the same fictional universe on any of the following platforms: Film, Television, Short Film, Broadband, Publishing, Comics, Animation, Mobile, Special Venues, DVD/Blu-ray/CD-ROM, Narrative Commercial and Marketing rollouts, and other technologies that may or may not currently exist.”

According to PGA Director of Communications Chris Green, the omission of video games from that list is an oversight that will be amended shortly, and emphasized the guild’s interest in bringing in producers who fall into this category. “It is producing work and storytelling work that does utilize many of the skills traditionally associated with producing,” he said via phone. “[Transmedia] is important and it’s only going to get more important.”

The question is, though, what do people who now technically qualify for PGA membership think about this? I emailed around a little to see. Read More about Is the PGA’s New ‘Transmedia Producer’ Credit a Good Thing?

Hulu May Test Subscription Service on iPad

We may finally have an answer to the gajillion dollar question (rounding up for inflation) that’s revolved around Hulu since the first rumors began last year: The ad-supported online video site may test plans for a subscription service with an in-development iPad application (s APPL), as stated in a New York Times article published today.

According to the Times, “people briefed on Hulu’s plan” sad that the site was set to create an app for the upcoming device, but could not say when it would be available. One anonymously quoted Hulu employee compared moving Hulu to other platforms a challenge on the level of passing the recent health care bill, theoretically because of the many powerful players involved, including NBC (s GE), Rupert Murdoch (s NWS), and Disney (s DIS). However, at DLD Conference in Munich earlier this year, Hulu CEO Jason Kilar said: “The computer in your pocket is very important. Mobile is a monster – we are very bullish. We will embrace any device.”

When polled last year, an overwhelming majority of NewTeeVee readers said firmly that they would not pay to use the site. But as Liz Gannes might say, we shouldn’t freak out over the possibility, as much of the content will probably remain available for free. Kilar even tells the Times that they are open to a subscription model that would complement the ad-based one.

Related content on NewTeeVee: The iPad Will Usher In a New Era of HTML5 Video

Related content on GigaOM Pro: The iPad: Cable TV For Publishers? (subscription required)

Did YouTube Jilt Viacom for Google?

Here’s today’s wacky theory: Maybe the reason Viacom (s VIA) has gone after YouTube so litigiously is because YouTube (s GOOG) is “the one that got away” — and anyone who’s ever had an unrequited crush knows how much it hurts to see something special slip through one’s fingers.

In today’s blog post by YouTube Chief Counsel Zahavah Levine, Levine takes issue with some of Viacom’s accusations towards YouTube,, given Viacom made repeated attempts to acquire YouTube before the Google deal happened:

Viacom’s brief misconstrues isolated lines from a handful of emails produced in this case to try to show that YouTube was founded with bad intentions, and asks the judge to believe that, even though Viacom tried repeatedly to buy YouTube, YouTube is like Napster or Grokster.

According to CNET, Viacom was in fact serious enough about acquiring YouTube that it extended an offer prior to Oct. 9, 2006, when the deal was announced. Read More about Did YouTube Jilt Viacom for Google?

Vid-Biz: FCC, Kyte, Microsoft

Cable Firms Seek FCC Help in Fee Disputes; several major cable companies and a public interest group asked the Federal Communications Commission on Tuesday to intervene in disputes over transmission fees. (Washington Post)
Kyte now Offering Broadcast-Quality Live Video Streaming Backpack; the LivePro backpack, made by LiveU, will be released at SXSW. (TechCrunch)
Microsoft Launches Free Rival to BBC iPlayer; new UK-only video service will launch with a thousand hours of free British programming. (TimesOnline)
Distance Ed Students Forming College Clubs Online; students working toward degrees online are forming groups to recreate the social and professional opportunities of campus life, including video lectures and Q&As. (USA Today)
Online Challenge: Getting TV Viewers to Pay Up; in Canada, Bell Canada and Rogers’ cable division launched subscriber-only online TV services last fall, but they’re not making any money yet. (The Globe and Mail)
Covering the Street Protests in Tehran: How Reuters Curates UGC via Twitter; Beet.TV speaks with Greg Beitchman, Global Editor of the Reuters News Agency about Reuters’ use of citizen journalism. (Beet.TV)

Oscars Online: Twitter Traffic, Livestreaming Help Power Hollywood’s Big Night

Television ratings may be down across the board, but it’s been a good year for awards shows so far. First, the Grammys broadcast reached 23 million viewers in February, and then last night the 82nd annual Academy Awards had its best viewership in five years, with 41.3 million views.
While we’re still waiting to hear from ABC.com (s DIS) about how its video coverage performed, Livestream.com’s hosting of the AP’s red carpet concluded with George Clooney saying farewell to over 100,000 viewers. Read More about Oscars Online: Twitter Traffic, Livestreaming Help Power Hollywood’s Big Night

Vid-Biz: Viacom & Google, Clicker, Omniture

Viacom vs. Google Court Battle Heats Up; the copyright fight being waged by Viacom against Google will move into a crucial stage on Friday, when both companies are expected to file motions for summary judgment. (CNET)
Clicker Redesigns Its Online Video Guide; with a web site redesign it unveiled on Thursday, Clicker hopes to guide viewers to the shows they want. (NY Times Bits blog)
Omniture in Three-Screen Data Pact With NBC for Online Video Reporting; Omniture is developing a three-screen system for analyzing consumer interest and behavior, and has signed up NBC as one of its first customers for the solution. (Beet.TV)
YouTube Will Be Profitable in 2010; Patrick Walker, director of partnerships for YouTube, said he expects the online video service to be profitable this year. (Broadband TV News)
Sky Plans Germany’s First Live 3-D Telecast; Sky Deutschland is following in the footsteps of its UK counterpart with a live 3-D transmission of the Bundesliga. (Broadband TV News)
HDMI Group Releases 3D-TV Version of Spec; the entity responsible for licensing the High-Definition Multimedia Interface specification has released version 1.4a of the spec, which adds mandatory 3-D formats for broadcast content. (Multichannel News)

Vid-Biz: The Oscars, Comcast-TiVo, Adobe’s HTTP Streaming

Oscars Get the Live-Streamed Red Carpet Treatment; the Academy Awards show is getting with the social media program, live-streaming its red carpet to the web from 3-5 p.m. PT on Sunday. (GigaOM)
Comcast in Talks With TiVo About ‘Premiere;’ Comcast is discussing the possibility of porting TiVo’s Premiere user interface — designed to provide enhanced search and recommendation features on HDTV sets — to a tru2way-based platform. (Multichannel News)
Adobe to Release Support for HTTP Flash Streaming Next Month; sometime in April, Adobe is expected to officially announce that the technology is available with CDNs and will also announce content owners who are using the new service. (Streaming Media blog)
mPoint Relaunches as Panvidea; mPoint, which had been a cloud-based video encoding platform, has relaunched as Panvidea, with an expanded focus on streamlining video preparation and the post-production process for professional media companies. (VideoNuze)
Networks Plan ‘Full Load’ of Ads in Online Programs; networks including CBS are considering moving toward a full ad load online, potentially ushering in significant dollars for online video. (Beet.TV)
Kerry: Game of Retrans Chicken Must End; Sen. John Kerry is weighing in at the FCC on the retrans fight between WABC-TV and Cablevision, asking the agency to urge the parties to stay at the table and continue airing the station over the cable system in the interim. (Multichannel News)
Vimeo Launches PlusStats Video Analytics for Paid Members; Vimeo has added some ultra-modern video analytics for Vimeo Plus users. (ReelSEO)

ABC Threatens to Pull the Plug on Cablevision

Another day, another broadcaster headed for a showdown with the local cable company over retransmission fees. This time it’s Disney’s (s DIS) WABC-7 in New York, which is threatening to yank its signal from Cablevision’s (s CVC) pay-TV service. Like many battles that have come before it, this one will likely end in a last-minute compromise — but if not, TV viewers in the Greater New York City area may be forced to hook up antennas for over-the-air access or (*gasp*) miss the Oscars.
ABC has given Cablevision until midnight on March 7 to negotiate a retrans agreement or risk losing its broadcast programming, which includes popular TV shows like Lost, Grey’s Anatomy and Desperate Housewives, as well as live events like this weekend’s Academy Awards broadcast.
Both sides have set up web sites and plan to launch TV, radio and print ads to help “educate” consumers about where they stand on the issues — namely, who gets paid and how much. On its web site, www.saveabc7.com, ABC complains that Cablevision charges consumers $18 for its basic broadcast tier of TV stations, but then doesn’t pass any of that money on to the broadcaster. Meanwhile, Cablevision says Disney is seeking $40 million to continue airing its ABC broadcasts to cable subscribers, which it equates to a 20 percent “tax” on top of the $200 million it already pays for Disney programming.
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Baidu Nabs $50M Investment for Online Video Venture

Another day, another big investment in online video in China. The recipient this time is Qiyi, an online video venture from Chinese search giant Baidu (s BIDU); it’s raised $50 million from Hulu backer Providence Equity Partners.
The news of Baidu’s interest in launching an online video site for premium licensed content broke in January, when Providence Equity Partners was rumored to have invested $60 million in the new entity. According to the site’s About page, Qiyi will provide “diversified licensed video content and launches various channels for hit TV shows, movies, documentaries, cartoons, music, variety shows, etc.” At the same time, Baidu says it is committed to abiding by Chinese copyright laws and government regulations to ensure quality of content and user experience.
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