Few industries are better suited to the cloud computing model than film and TV production. Show business is heavily project-oriented with myriad production shops and contractors collaborating on relatively short-term, compute-intensive projects. That’s why the cloud-computing giants are converging at NAB this week.
This week both Republicans and Democrats proposed drafts of mobile spectrum bills that would incent television broadcasters to give up some of their spectrum to be used for mobile broadband. But one of those bills could hurt the development of more unlicensed airwaves.
Thanks to an ambitious multi-city road trip in which Kevin Smith traveled to screenings of his latest film and spoke with audiences afterward, satirical horror film Red State has already made back the $4 million budget production company SMODcast Pictures invested in the film.
This week, the broadcast industry is meeting in Las Vegas. However, amid this collegial gathering of industry folks a $33 billion fight is brewing. The fight is nothing short of an entertainment battle royal with TV on one side and the iPhone on the other.
The FCC moved to begin freeing up TV broadcast spectrum for wireless and fixed Internet use in a decision that could ultimately lead to an auction of 120 MHz of spectrum.The vote could help the U.S. stave off a spectrum crunch as mobile Internet use soars.
Viacom vs. YouTube Is a Microcosm of the Entertainment Industry; even as thousands of artists and labels are embracing the internet, the top management at the big labels are behind laws that could give their companies the power to shut down any tech firm that attempts to out-innovate them. (The Guardian)
ITV Online Sales Unclear, But Summer Web Investment Coming; ITV (LSE: ITV) is now hiding its quarterly online revenue in its combined Broadcasting & Online category, but says it is committing incremental investment in online over the second half. (paidContent:UK)
HBO on Your iPad? There Won’t Be an App for That; during his company’s earnings call, Time Warner boss Jeff Bewkes batted back suggestions for an HBO iPad app. (MediaMemo)
NAB Sez Retransmission-Consent Regime is Working; in a meeting with FCC Republican commissioner Meredith Attwell Baker, NAB representatives said programming costs are rising more slowly than other costs and can’t be blamed for rising cable rates. (Multichannel News)
SlingPlayer For Android Secretly Jumps Into Private Beta; Sling is sending out email invitations for a private beta of the Android app. (Phandroid)
blip.tv Announces Expansion of National and European Sales Teams; the web video firm hired Internet Works to represent it in the UK, and brought on Rafi Mamalian as its West Coast Sales Director and Phil Meier as its Midwest Sales Director. (blip.tv blog)
Chinese Consumers Surf the Internet While Watching TV; of the Chinese surveyed by Nielsen as part of its first “three screen” study there, nearly half — 44 percent — engaged in “simultaneous viewing.” (Nielsen blog)
Boxee Box Remote Has a QWERTY Keyboard; the company says for people to get the most out of the box the remote was going to need to do more than just point and click. (Boxee blog) Meanwhile, Engadget goes ‘hands on’ with the Boxee Box. (Engadget)
Sling Unleashes a Placeshifting Quartet; the Sling Monitor 150, Sling Receiver 300, Slingbox 700u and Sling Touch Control remote are all new, but they won’t be available for sale direct to consumers. (Zatz Not Funny!)
NAB Says the Retrans Process Works; association praises the retransmission-consent agreements between Fox and Time Warner Cable, as well as between Fisher Communications and Bright House Networks. (Multichannel News)
Fox’s Digital Publishing Group Sold To VantagePoint; News Corp has offloaded the group that develops and manages content management and digital publishing systems for Fox local affiliate TV station websites. (paidContent)
BT Launches Hybrid Set-Top Box for BT Vision; the new set-top box for BT’s Microsoft Mediaroom-powered service will connect to existing TV antennas and also connects to BT broadband lines in order to provide access to on-demand and interactive content and services. (InteractiveTV Today)
Marseille Networks Touts Faster, Cheaper Way to Make Chips; the company says it has designed chips using a new kind of virtual prototyping tool that can cut the costs of chip development dramatically. (VentureBeat)
ReelSurfer Offers a White Label Solution for Video Search; the startup processes long-form video and turns it into short, relevant segments that are easy to watch and search through. (TechCrunch)
Tremor Unveils New Video Ad Formats; the company introduced six new ad formats, each designed to move advertisers away from pre-roll and toward greater engagement with consumers, either by letting the audience choose which ads they want to watch or by delivering a greater variety of ads. (ClickZ)
Blockbuster Starts Converting Stores to Outlets; some of its lesser-performing stores are being converted to outlet-type operations that offer only sell-through DVDs and consumer electronics for sale, but no movie rentals. (Video Business)
Dailymotion Announces Broadband TV Advertising Formats; the newly launched ad formats bring the rich, interactive experience of Web advertising to Internet connected TVs. (IPTVwatch)
TV writer and producer Josh Schwartz makes shows that appeal to young, pop culture-savvy viewers — The O.C., Gossip Girl, Chuck. That means he’s landed headfirst in the changing reality of how that audience consumes content. He spoke this week at the NAB Show in Las Vegas about creating television in the digital age.
Schwartz addressed the matter of his shows’ online audiences not measured by Nielsen — knowing that they rank highly on iTunes and Hulu but not having specifics about how many people watch them there. He wasn’t particularly riled up about the situation, but then again his shows have thus far managed to stay on the air (Chuck awaits its fate, but Gossip Girl‘s cultural phenomenon status seems to eclipsed its relatively weak numbers). Of current Nielsen ratings, Schwartz quipped, “It’s like if Rod Stewart put out a Christmas album and it was No. 1 on Billboard.”
Schwartz said he disagreed with the CW’s decision to take down free streaming episodes of Gossip Girl last year in an attempt to drive live viewer numbers up. “We fought them on that. People who watch online don’t always also watch on TV,” he said. (The CW eventually came around and resumed posting episodes on its site, where they are “disproportionately popular,” according to Schwartz. We have a little theory that has something to do with the show being a guilty pleasure.)
Read More about Gossip Girl’s Josh Schwartz Is Too Cool for TV
Adobe (s ADBE) is making a major push to bring its Flash platform to the living room, announcing a version of Flash that’s optimized for televisions, set-top boxes and Blu-ray players at the NAB Show in Las Vegas on Monday.
Flash is already installed on almost every PC, and it’s building a mobile footprint as well (though many handsets are still Flash-less, including iPhones). Making that same platform work in the living room should provide a big boost for web video distribution and web applications on TVs.
Hardware and chip partners for the project include Broadcom (s BRCM), Intel (s INTC), NXP Semiconductors, Sigma Designs (s SIGM) and STMicroelectronics (s STM). Others partners are Comcast (s CMCSA), Disney Interactive (s DIS), Netflix (s NFLX), New York Times Co. (s NYT) and Atlantic Records.
Read More about Flash Charges into the Living Room
Congressman Planning Bill to Ban Metered Broadband; Rep. Eric Massa (D-NY) announced he’s firing up legislation to “prohibit unfair tiered price structures from Internet providers.” (Multichannel News)
Cooliris Raises $15.5 Million; investors in this round for the 3-D media wall company include Kleiner Perkins, DAG Ventures, the Westly Group and T-Mobile’s T-Ventures. (All Things D)
Catholic Church Goes for Funny with “SoulWow;” we confess, this ShamWow spoof is actually kinda good. (The Huffington Post)
Current Cancels $100M IPO; Al Gore-backed company decides the economy is just too rough right now, its IPO was announced in January. (peHUB) At that time we had some issues with how the media company called itself “profitable.”
Bargains are the Name of the Game at NAB; exhibitors to tout low-cost equipment for cash-strapped broadcasters. (TVWeek)
Jon Chu Creating New Web Series; The Legion of Extraordinary Dancers is a scripted tale about the formation of a dance crew produced with Agility Studios. (Variety)