Vid-Biz: Democracy, Fantastic, Parasites

State Department Launches Video Challenge; government agency partners with NBC, the MPAA, USC and more to ask users to submit videos with the theme “Democracy is…” (Democracy Video Challenge)

Fantastic Fest Streaming Some Films Online; sci-fi horror fest to stream five features online for free. (Fantastic Fest Online)

BitTorrent to Be Used for Game Delivery; Aeria Games and IAHGames to integrate BitTorrent DNA delivery service for distribution of MMOGs. (release)

MobiTV Partners with Media Excel; IP video distribution technology company and video encoding company partner to offer mobile video services for mobile and broadband networks. (Wireless Week)

Edgeware Web TV Server to Be Deployed on Maxisat; company says Reflex 2x servers deliver up to 32,768 concurrent video streams over the public Internet, to be used by Finnish digital TV and broadband services firm. (release)

Best of CTIA: MobiTV Gets Biz-y

Written by Michael Stroud.

MobiTV unveiled Mobi4Biz at the CTIA conference in San Francisco this week, the first in a planned series of TV channel mashups that will allow the mobile television company to repurpose mainstream TV for specific vertical markets. The new “channel of channels” — set to launch initially in late October exclusively on AT&T’s forthcoming BlackBerry Bold – will include video-on-demand, customizable stock tickers, and breaking news from Fox Business, CNBC, Bloomberg and TheStreet.com.

The rollout is “part of a larger strategy for verticals in different markets” and precedes the launch in the months ahead of channel mashups for children and sports programming, among others, says Jay Hinman, director of partner and product marketing. The company already has a strong Spanish language service on Sprint, AT&T and Alltel that combines more than 25 channels such as Telemundo and Azteca America.
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MobiTV Says It Has 4M Subscribers — Is Growth Slowing?

The first time Paul Scanlan, co-founder of MobiTV, showed me his service at a friend’s barbeque in Sausalito, it was nothing but a herky-jerky video transmission of CNN on a Sprint handset. I had just moved back to San Francisco, and this was before the current investment cycle had started. To be honest, I didn’t give it much of a chance, and wondered who would want this service. Oops!

Five years later, the Emeryville, Calif-based company that got going in 1999 has grown tremendously. Today it announced that its mobile television service now reaches four million subscribers, though it is not clear how many pay for the service. MobiTV seems to defy the conventional wisdom about mobile video.

I decided to look at MobiTV’s subscriber growth over the years to measure the trajectory thus far. I also added the number of months it takes them to add another million users, and from that yardstick, it seems like the growth has started to slow down a little.

  • April 2006: 1 million subscribers
  • February 2007: 2 million subscribers (10 months)
  • October 2007: 3 million subscribers (8 months)
  • August 2008: 4 million subscribers (10 months)

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Latest iPhone Wins One and Sucks Some on Video

So NewTeeVee readers might be forlorn over the lack of a video camera in the latest iPhone, especially since you guys asked for it, but as a consolation prize you can watch other people’s content over the AT&T 3G network.

The first iPhone allowed for slow downloading of YouTube content and other video. But 3G networks are, on average, twice as fast as the EDGE networks. So a 3G iPhone means people might actually use the video function, rather than starting a video download and quickly wondering if it’s really worth the wait just to watch a few cats on a treadmill. And if people start using the video function, that could lead to network problems.

A recent research report from In-Stat points out that today 3G mobile TV (TV such as Mobi.tv that is delivered via a cellular network) penetration from 3G subscribers is below 10 percent for many mobile operators. Worldwide 3G mobile TV subscribers are forecast to reach 42 million in 2012, up sevenfold from last year’s count of 6 million 3G mobile TV subscribers. However, iPhone users are more apt to use their phone and all of its features, which means that 3G video services could see more rapid growth on networks supporting the iPhone.

Apple changed the bandwidth requirements of broadband networks with its introduction of iTunes. Every ISP will tell you how consumers suddenly started using their broadband to download music and then movies, resulting in a new baseline for bandwidth traffic on their networks. The 3G iPhone, with its video capabilities, could be positioned to do the same thing to mobile broadband. Let’s hope network operators are ready.

Vid-Biz: MobiTV, TubeMogul, SAG

MobiTV Raises $5 Million More; money on top of the $125 million the white-label streaming service already raised. (VentureBeat)

TubeMogul Adds Howcast; creators can now get analytics for their work on the instructional video site. (release)

SAG and Studios Extend Talks; move helps alleviate fears of a strike, both sides sticking with media blackout during negotiations. (Variety)

TidalTV Nabs NBC News, TV Guide Content; site will get Nightly News with Brian Williams, Meet the Press and Dateline NBC. (BizJournals)

Videophlow Lets Groups Watch Video; service lets people watch video at the same time from their own locations, make comments and even throw tomatoes. (TechCrunch)

Jaman Signs Morgan Spurlock Films; movie download service to get Super Size Me, along with the “Morgan Spurlock Presents…” films. (The Hollywood Reporter)

Should I Tase or Should I Bro Now? Former Clash member Mick Jones to turn the Internet meme “Don’t tase me, bro!” into a song. (Reuters)