Vid-Biz: Upfronts, TiVo, Hulu

Broadcast Networks Cut Upfront Ad Prices; estimates peg the decline at 15 to 20 percent off last year, dipping to $7.5 billion, a dollar figure not seen since 2001. (The LA Times)
TiVo Gets Rovi’s Data; DVR service will get access to Rovi’s metadata, which includes info on more than 1 million TV series episodes, 400,000 movie titles and 13 million music tracks. (Multichannel News)
More Online Video Ads vs. Higher Prices, That is the Question; CBS trying to figure out how many ads viewers will tolerate, Hulu just wants to charge more for fewer ads. (BusinessWeek)
Pure Pwnage Going to Canadian TV; web series gets an eight episode order from the Showcase channel. (Tubefilter)
More than Half of Americans Have an HDTV; 53 percent of U.S. households have HDTVs (it was 35 percent in 2008) according to CTAM; 69 percent of those have HDTV service. (Multichannel News)
Sims Creator Looking Beyond Games; Will Wright considers himself an “entertainment designer” and is working on new ideas that go into TV and movies. (The Hollywood Reporter)

A Sneak Peek at Spore, EA’s Ultra-Web 2.0 Game

I finally understand why Spore has been delayed for so long. Originally expected for a 2007 release, the simulated evolution game from Electronic Arts (ERTS) studio Maxis was suddenly withheld, much to EA’s chagrin. Maxis head Will Wright explained the delay, saying that the company wanted to make the follow-up to its wildly successful Sims franchise more accessible. [digg=http://digg.com/pc_games/A_Sneak_Peek_at_Spore_EA_s_Ultra_Web_2_0_Game]

That turns out to be an understatement, as I found out yesterday at an advance press peek hosted at Maxis’ Emeryville, Calif. office. During the hold-up, Wright and his team (led by Executive Producer Lucy Bradshaw) re-tooled Spore into a Web 2.0 phenomenon designed to extend far beyond the actual game. A perfect example is the thumbnail pic above, from a YouTube video of the Spore monster I made with Maxis’ Spore Creature Creator, which is being released on June 17. (The full game won’t hit shelves until September.) The YouTube video creation and upload process is seamlessly embedded in the Creator software. As Bradshaw explained, the fan community’s ability to create and share Spore content is just as important as the game itself.

But that’s just the start.
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