Mobile video has a bright future. Mobile TV, not so much

Mobile video is gaining steam in a big way as users increasingly watch on-demand programs, online clips and engage in videoconferencing. But traditional TV-type content still faces huge challenges as broadcasters try to expand to smartphones and tablets.

5 Reasons Google Bought Widevine

Google’s acquisition of Widevine isn’t just about DRM. It’s about helping to make nice with Hollywood, widening distribution of YouTube content on connected devices, getting Google TV embedded with more CE manufacturers and making mobile video on Android devices a lot less painful to watch.

Widevine DRM Embedded in Sling Set-tops, Other CE Devices

Widevine announced this morning that its technology has been chosen to be embedded in EchoStar SlingLoaded set-top boxes. The deal will give an extra layer of protection to video that is being place-shifted from user’s home TV sets to whatever device they’re watching video on.

Sonic Ready to Take Blockbuster, Best Buy Videos Mobile

Sonic Solutions added a new feature to its RoxioNow digital video platform, allowing companies like Blockbuster and Best Buy to deliver videos to mobile devices. By teaming up with Widevine, RoxioNow will now be able to deliver videos to iPhone, iPad, Android and Blackberry devices.

Widevine Names Netflix, Gets Embedded and Goes Live

Widevine logoWidevine revealed its biggest customer to date this morning — Netflix (s NFLX) — saying it’s been using its DRM for distribution across multiple consumer electronics devices. And the DRM provider could see even more takeup soon, as it has announced new features, such as support for live streaming, and a large — and growing — number of CE devices that support its software.
Netflix has been using Widevine DRM for its Watch Instantly streaming service, to bring its videos to the desktop as well as to gaming consoles and other CE devices. But Netflix isn’t the only one — Widevine has also been chosen as the DRM solution by Blockbuster (s BBI) for its On Demand service, Sonic Solutions’ (s SNIC) Roxio CinemaNow service, and by Best Buy (s BBY) for its upcoming digital video services. Read More about Widevine Names Netflix, Gets Embedded and Goes Live

Vid-Biz: YouTube, Canoe, Silverlight 4

Is YouTube’s Safety Mode Safe? Not Very; Google released Safety Mode on YouTube in February, but unfortunately the filter didn’t work. (NY Times Gadgetwise Blog)
NBCU Profit Dips in Q1; NBC Universal recorded a 49% fall in profit in the first quarter to $199 million. (Multichannel News)
Canoe Hires Analytics Guru; the advanced-advertising joint venture appointed Madison Avenue metrics maven Gerard Broussard to the newly created position of vice president of research and analytics. (Multichannel News)
Redstone Extends Viacom CEO Dauman’s Gig Through 2016; following an extension that keeps Les Moonves at CBS through 2015, Sumner Redstone has locked in Philippe Dauman as CEO of Viacom through 2016. (paidContent)
Microsoft Ships Silverlight 4; Microsoft has made the Silverlight 4 plugin available for download at, and will deliver a release candidate of Expression Blend compatible with the new version of Silverlight. (eWeek)
Univision Launches Soccer App for Apple iPhone/iPod Touch; the digital division of US Spanish-language broadcaster announced that it has launched a free, video-enabled soccer application, called Univision Futbol. (InteractiveTV Today)
Widevine Selects Arxan to Secure Digital Entertainment; Widevine has licensed Arxan’s Application Hardening and Key Protection Solutions for its multiplatform DRM platform. (press release)

Vid-Biz: YouTube’s War Room, BBC iPad App, NCAA in 3-D

Inside YouTube’s War Room; every day since the redesign, core members of the team have met in what has been dubbed the “YouTube War Room,” a conference center where the team gathers to discuss and address the feedback coming from YouTube’s forums, blog post comments and even the Twitterverse. (Mashable)
BBC iPad App Popular In U.S., But Brits May Be Denied; the BBC may have postponed its planned mobile phone apps for regulatory scrutiny in its native UK, but in the U.S., where it operates commercially, the new iPad app is already a big hit. (paidContent:UK)
Malone Steps Down From DirecTV Board; Liberty Media chairman John Malone is resigning from DirecTV’s board, reducing his 24.3 percent voting interest in the company to a 3 percent stake and exchanging his 21.8 million Class B shares for 26 million Class A shares. (Multichannel News)
The Problems with the iPad and Streaming Video; the iPad may be a marvelous and elegant new kind of computing device, but the inconsistent WiFi connection and subsequent buffering is insufferable for consuming streaming video. (Beet.TV)
UK Government Forced To Drop Key Clauses in Digital Economy Bill; the U.K. government will sacrifice clauses enabling the national rollout of replacement ITV regional news services and giving Ofcom more power as part of last-minute political horse-trading to get the Digital Economy Bill passed into law. (paidContent:UK)
Vuguru Bulks Up; the Internet production firm backed by Michael Eisner’s Tornante and Canada’s Rogers Communications continues to beef up its exec ranks with the appointment of Miramax production alum Kristin Jones as chief creative officer. (Variety)
Funai Taps Widevine for Distribution on Connected Devices; Funai — which manufactures CE devices sold under the Philips, Magnavox, Sylvania and Emerson brands — will incorporate adaptive streaming technology and DRM from Widevine. (InteractiveTV Today)
Cisco Sees Flip Camera Catching on with Corporate Users; The Flip camera is finding its way into the corporates suites of Proctor & Gamble, Cisco and other big companies. (Beet.TV)
YouTube’s Chad Hurley Tapped for Streamys Visionary Award; the Board of Directors of the International Academy of Web Television has selected YouTube co-founder and CEO Chad Hurley to receive its inaugural Visionary Award at the 2nd Annual Streamy Awards. (Tubefilter)

Vid-Biz: Widevine-Verimatrix, Qik, Lionsgate

Widevine, Verimatrix Settle Patent Dispute; Under the settlement, Widevine granted Verimatrix a license to the two asserted Widevine patents and their foreign counterparts. (Multichannel News)

Qik Comes Built-In to the HTC EVO 4G Android Phone; not only will Qik work on the new HTC EVO 4G, Sprint’s WiMax phone, it will come pre-installed on each one. (TechCrunch)

Lionsgate Board Rejects Icahn’s Revised Takeover Bid; the studio’s board of directors voted unanimously to reject activist investor Carl Icahn’s hostile takeover bid for control of the company, and urged its shareholders to follow suit. (Digital Media Wire)

March Madness Video Player Runs MLB Footage; From 3 p.m. to 4 p.m. ET yesterday, people who visited the on-demand site were greeted by a testing session that intermittently streamed content being put together by the MLB Network at spring training ballparks in Arizona. (ClickZ)

Big Cable Joins the Broadband Stimulus Fray; Comcast, Time Warner Cable, Cox Communications and the NCTA are putting their weight behind a coalition seeking more than $52 million to drive high-speed Internet adoption. (Light Reading)

Cablevision Licenses RealD Format for 3D Content in the Home; the delivery of RealD Format content is compatible with Cablevision’s current HD broadcast and on-demand systems and works with existing HD set-top boxes. (press release)

Break Media Sees Data as Display’s Savior; company signs deals with BlueKai and eXelate to learn more about its audience, optimize ad sales for sites like (Adweek)

Consumer Appetite for Online Video Shook Up Old-Media Landscape in Q4

In GigaOM Pro’s latest Connected Consumer quarterly wrap-up (sub required), we analyze how the world of NewTeeVee continued to shake the foundations of old media in Q4 2009. From the rapid growth of connected consumer electronics, the consumer’s ever-increasing appetites for online video, the socialization of online video (or is it videoization of social networks?), changes in the online video space sent ripples through the media landscape, causing big players like Comcast to make billion dollar hedges and smaller players continue to get funding.

On the connected devices front, device makers continued to widen their content rosters in Q4, with the belle of the ball being Netflix. In game consoles alone, the company nabbed Sony and, just after the close of 2009, Nintendo. The news was good news for Sony, whose beleaguered third generation console is piecing together what could be a nice comeback story in 2010.

Read More about Consumer Appetite for Online Video Shook Up Old-Media Landscape in Q4