Archive for the ‘On Demand Film’ Category

YouTube Expands Movie and TV Rentals

April 23, 2010


The YouTube Store has a much more impressive library than it did during its January trial period, including a few classics likeReservoir Dogs and recent critical hit PreciousThe Cove — one of the original five — is currently the most popular film in the library.

If you’re interested in trying out the service, rentals range from $0.99 to $3.99, and the rental periods vary. Some pages say 24 hours, while others say 72. When the service initially launched, it only had five Sundance films, which only drew in $10,709during the 10-day run. The New York Times deduced that figure by counting the number of views on each of the five films, but you can’t do that now — view counts are hidden.

Niche content like Bollywood movies and Japanese animation TV shows still place prominently in the lists of popular content — evidence that while the site does have some mainstream options now, they still don’t match what AmazoniTunesand Netflix offer. We find it curious that while iTunes and Amazon sell TV episodes for $0.99, the episodes on YouTube are just for rent.

NewTeeVee contacted the site and asked about the new content, which went up with little fanfare. A spokesperson told them: “When we announced YouTube Rentals in January we said we would be creating a destination after more partners joined the program. To date, we have nearly 500 partners that have joined our Rental program.”

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YouTube envisions future of television viewing

April 23, 2010


It is just five years since the first video was uploaded on YouTube by one of its founders. Now over 24 hours of video a minute are uploaded to the site and it receives over a billion views a day. YouTube has its sights set on turning a few minutes a day watching videos on the web to something more like the hours a day we generally spend watching television. That vision could become a reality once televisions are routinely connected to the internet.

“People think about the world of TV and the world of online video as being different ways to distribute video,” said Chad Hurley, the co-founder of YouTube, in an interview with the Telegraph newspaper. “But what happens when every TV is connected to wi-fi with a browser?”

“That is what we envision. Instead of this world of online video and this world of TV there is just one world,” he said. “There won’t be a difference in the future.”

“The iPad — is that a phone or a computer?” he questioned. “If I put it on my wall is it a TV? People continue to try to throw things in the buckets when really these are all going to be different-sized devices with a connection to the internet.”

As on the Apple iPhone and iPod Touch, YouTube has a dedicated application on the iPad. With its nearly ten-inch screen, viewing YouTube on the iPad feels like much more of a natural multimedia experience than on a laptop or desktop computer.

YouTube is already available through widgets or applications on various internet-connected televisions and an increasing number of televisions will be network connected in the next few years.

According to the co-founder of YouTube, the aim is now to deliver a more seamless experience across different devices. “We have some solutions for mobile, we have some solutions for TV, but they are not very consistent and they are somewhat separate. So, I start watching something on my mobile phone and then I can finish watching it on my PC, I sort my favourites on my PC and I want to watch it on my TV.”

Within the next five years, YouTube expects to see much more video viewed over the internet. “Although YouTube is the most successful video platform, the number of minutes watched, 10-15 minutes a day, is small when compared to the five hours watched on the TV set,” said Salar Kamangar, vice president of product management for YouTube. “It’s hard for me to imagine that in five to 10 years from now most of the content we consume won’t be delivered over the internet.”

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Parks Releases New Study on Online Viewership

April 23, 2010

By Mansha Daswani

DALLAS: More than 25 million U.S. broadband homes are watching full-length TV shows online, Parks Associates reports, double the number recorded last year.

In addition, the Parks Associates study, Online Video and Broadband Provider Strategies, reveals that more than 20 million homes watch movies online. “Connected CE devices are affecting the competitive ecosystem of the television industry, and while the current number of cord cutters isn’t substantial, service providers are concerned about these developments,” said Jayant Dasari, research analyst at Parks Associates. “Pay-TV providers are working to head off a possible shift that might devalue their services by offering TV Everywhere. These services supplement their traditional offerings, which might not dissuade anyone determined to cut the cord, but providers could use them as models for future business strategies.”
The report goes on to note that consumers have yet to establish strong preferences on whether they get video and other value-added services from broadband service providers or over-the-top providers such as Hulu.

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UKFC’s new Film Fund launches today with £15m

April 1, 2010


Wharton, Francke, Collins confirmed as executives working under Seghatchian in newly streamlined fund.

  • Biggest shake-up since UKFC’s creation
  • £15m film fund open for applications today
  • £5m Innovation Fund confirmed for Autumn 2010
  • New online application system for funds 
  • An ambitious sounding ‘web-based.. national filmmaking community’ 
  • Producers to receive equity in UKFC recoupment
  • WT2’s Natascha Wharton joins BBC Film’s Chris Collins and Em Media / EIFF’s Lizzie Francke on team

The UK Film Council today published its three year plan and launched its new £15m Film Fund to be headed up by Tanya Seghatchian. In developing the final plan, the UK Film Council spent three months consulting on the proposals, engaging with hundreds of people from across the film sector, facilitating more than a dozen consultation sessions and attracting almost 1,000 responses. The plan specifically:

  • opens up for business a £15m-a-year Film Fund (topped up further by film recoupment) for emerging, experimental and world class filmmakers;
  • ring-fences money for development;
  • confirms production companies will for the first time automatically receive a significant share of the UK Film Council’s recoupment from all feature film investments they are involved in, following State Aid approval of the measure by the European Commission;
  • sets up a think tank chaired by Tim Bevan to identify new policy initiatives to grow independent UK film companies of scale;
  • proposes a national web-based talent showcase, to be launched in Autumn 2010, to unearth fresh talent and to broaden the diversity, reach and the opportunities available to all filmmakers who are keen to engage with one another in a national filmmaking community;
  • confirms £5m is allocated to the new Innovation Fund, which will launch in Autumn 2010 (more details to follow);
  • provides £500,000 for film exports for each year of the plan;
  • confirms that 100% of recoupment from the Prints & Advertising Fund – which widens and supports the distribution of selected specialised films and British films – will, like the Film Fund, top up that fund’s budget.

Alongside this plan, the DCMS have been leading merger discussions between the UK Film Council and the BFI. These discussions have been underway since August 2009 and continue.

The new appointments to Tanya ‘Harry Potter/Heyday Films’ Seghatchian’s team include: 

  • Lizzie Francke, former head of EIFF and BFI Governor, will focus on experimental feature length films, national engagement and showcasing new talent;
  • Chris Collins, executive for Pawel Pawlikowski’s Last Resort, amongst others will focus on ideas for future film practices for both emerging and established filmmakers, from micro/low budget features and shorts, through to 3D blockbusters.

Launching UK Film: Digital innovation and creative excellence, Tim Bevan CBE, Chairman of the UK Film Council, said, “We’ve set out a renewed mission, a new set of priorities, and a new way of working. With the right level of support, a successful British film industry can continue to help get the UK out of recession, drive innovation and create more highly-skilled jobs. Further tough choices probably lie ahead, but having reduced our overheads by 20% and positively responded to the needs of British filmmakers we’re now in the best place we can be to support and promote UK film in the years ahead.”

John Woodward, Chief Executive Officer of the UK Film Council, announced that the new £15m-a-year Film Fund had opened its doors for business. Managed by a new team of experienced senior production and development executives, the fund has introduced a brand new online application process in which applicants will set out their creative and strategic visions for their film.

Woodward commented: “The new Film Fund’s primary focus is creative excellence. Tanya and her team will support filmmakers who want to put British filmmaking at the centre of our national culture and on the international map. The aim is for the Film Fund to attract the best talent, encourage creative risk taking, and deliver great films to audiences.

“Joining Tanya in the search for creative excellence will be a team of three Senior Production and Development Executives with an impressive and broad range of film industry expertise. Natascha Wharton, Lizzie Francke, and Chris Collins each have big production successes under their belts – together, it’s a team that will provide a wide range of expertise and tastes as well as a supportive, energetic and ambitious home for British filmmaking talent.

“The team will all work across the full range of projects in production and development, but individually they will also have specific responsibilities.”

The Film Fund is open for applications from 1 April, but it will be presenting a more detailed strategy to the UK Film Council Board in the coming months. It has already been agreed that a portion of the £15m budget will be ring-fenced for development – although there will be no automatic assumption that projects developed will become films that the fund would then invest in at the production stage. The remaining budget will be safeguarded for the Film Fund’s own production investments. Further details will be announced in the coming months, in addition to details of the Film Fund’s non-London investment target and how the new online showcase will operate.

Natascha Wharton

Natascha has been at Working Title Films for most of her film career.  During her time there,  she set up WT2, Working Title’s low budget film division.  The first film through that division was Billy Elliot, on which she was an Executive Producer.  She was Executive Producer on a further ten films through WT2, including Shaun of the DeadAli G Indahouseand My Little Eye. Later, when WT2 was absorbed into WT’s main slate Development Department, she became Head of Development and was Executive Producer on Hot Fuzz.


Lizzie Francke

Lizzie started her career as a film critic in the early 1990s, contributing to titles such as The Guardian, The Observer, Sight and Sound and Screen International.  During this period she also wrote the book Script Girls: The History of Women Screenwriters in Hollywood. In 1997 she was appointed Artistic Director of the Edinburgh International Film Festival and in her five years there re-established the festival as a key showcase for British cinema. She moved into production in 2001, first for Little Bird, where she co-produced Marc Evans’s thriller Trauma, then as Executive Producer for EM Media, where her credits include ControlAnd When Did You Last See Your Father?, A Complete History of My Sexual Failures and Better Things. She also acted as the British co-producer on Vinyan, the second film from the cult Belgium director Fabrice du Welz, which had its world premiere at the Venice Film Festival. Lizzie has been a Development Producer for the UK Film Council’s Development Fund since January 2008. She managed the First Feature stream, which is dedicated to emerging writing and directing talent. Films that she worked on during that period include the The Arbor, directed by Clio Barnard and debuting at the 2010 Tribeca Film Festival, and artist Gillian Wearing’s directorial debut Self Made, which is currently in post-production. 


Chris Collins

Chris started his career working in television documentaries, after which he joined BFI Productions in 1997 as a development and production executive, where he oversaw films such as John Maybury’s Love is the Devil and Jasmin Dizdar’s Beautiful People. He then spent ten years in the independent sector as a producer working with filmmakers such as Pawel Pawlikowski, Francesca Joseph and Sarah Gavron on critical successes Last ResortMy Summer of LoveTomorrow La Scala! and Brick Lane. He also worked with BBC Films on a series of shorts with filmmakers like Vito Rocco and Andrea Arnold. Since 2007 Chris worked as a Development Producer in the UK Film Council’s Development Fund where he managed the funding strand for experienced writers, directors and producers. Projects developed range from new screenplays by Duane Hopkins, Noel Clarke, Matt Greenhalgh and Hanif Kureishi to the recently completed Tamara Drewe, written by Moira Buffini from Posy Simmond’s graphic novel and directed by Stephen Frears.

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Video Could Drive A 40-Fold Spike In Mobile Data Over Next Five Years

March 31, 2010


A UK consultancy is predicting that tiered pricing plans for mobile internet are inevitable, given the dramatic rate at which mobile data—and especially video—is expected to rise in the near future.

By 2015, U.S. mobile consumers are expected to consume 327 petabytes of mobile data a month, rising at a compound annual growth rate of more than 117 percent, according to Coda Research Consultancy, which released the 87-page report today. As Mobile Crunch points out that represents a 40-fold increase in data consumption over five years.

At the core of this massive growth is mobile video, which Coda predicted will rise even faster. In 2015, video will consist of 224 petabytes of data a month, representing a compound annual growth rate of 138 percent.

One of the biggest topics at this year’s CTIA was how to keep up with consumers’ increasing mobile appetite. Whether this particular forecast turns out to be right, most carriers are looking at obtaining more spectrum and rolling out 4G to handle the curve. Steve Smith, co-founder of Coda, said carriers will cope by offering different rate plans for different levels of consumption. In a release, he said: “Flat-rate pricing has helped drive mobile internet adoption, but we envisage that as smartphone penetration rises and as carriers roll out 4G, carriers will have to move toward tiered pricing.”

Coda said that peak capacity is not as much the main concern as general capacity—which makes it even more scarier because that means the networks could be tapped out all the time, not just at big events, like a conference or baseball game. “As carrier networks now stand, network utilization will reach 100 percent in 2012 during peak times,” Coda said. At that same time, smartphone penetration will reach 40 percent in the U.S.

Other findings:
—the number of people accessing social networks from their phones is supposed to rise 21 percent annually between now and 2015.
—the number of mobile video users will rise by 34 percent annually to reach 95 million in 2015.
—non-SMS data revenues will climb at 17 percent annually, and will form 87 percent of all data revenues in 2015.

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Breakfast briefing: Google has its eyes on your TV set

March 30, 2010


• Everybody and their dog has been developing web-enabled TV sets recently, so perhaps no surprise to see that Google – the company that can’t keep its finger out of any pie it comes across – is working with Intel and Sony to create Android-compatible tellies. Somebody unlikely to be impressed by the 7,194th Google project, however, is outgoing US Federal Trade Commissioner Pamela Jones Harbour, who laid into the company for launching products “where the guiding privacy policy seems to be ‘throw it up against the wall and see if it sticks'”.

• Most of us probably wonder what information other people might know about us through our social networking profiles – but do we ever wonder what law enforcement can find out? Just weeks after the controversy over Microsoft’s “spy guide”, Electronic Frontier Foundation has released documents showing how US investigators obtain evidence from social networks. Worth reading… not that you’d ever do anything illegal of course.

• If you’re looking to have your mind boggled, then think about the chaos caused when more than 100 cars were shut down in Texas over the web. The suspect, apparently a disgruntled worker with access to a controversial online immobilising system used by car dealers, went on a remote shutdown spree that must surely call into question whether we could end up making our vehicles too connected.

You can follow our links and commentary each day through Twitter (@guardiantech, @gdngames or our personal accounts) or by watching our Delicious feed.

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IPTV World Forum embraces hybrid future

March 30, 2010


The sixth annual IPTV World Forum in London showed signs that the market is maturing and the scope of internet protocol television services is expanding. IPTV is no longer synonymous with the ambitions of telecommunications providers to deliver telco television. There are now around 33 million subscribers to IPTV services, up from around 20 million a year ago, but that still represents only 10% of broadband homes, 5% of the multichannel market and less than 2% of television homes worldwide. As this convention demonstrated, more significant growth may come from hybrid broadcast and broadband network connected devices and displays. 

The conference talk has largely moved on from discussions about how to deliver video over data networks to how to differentiate the resulting services from traditional television operators. 

Operators like AT&T and Verizon are now showing sophisticated services that deliver on the promise of teleco television and giving the entrenched cable companies a run for their money. 

Cable companies are ultimately able to migrate all their services to internet protocols. There is plenty of bandwidth in their existing hybrid fibre coaxial infrastructure to deliver very high-speed internet protocol services. Some of the established cable companies appear characteristically conservative and reluctant to replace set-top boxes and face the future while they can continue to extract revenues from their existing plant. 

The most significant development may be the emergence of hybrid broadcast and broadband services that combine the benefits of efficient distribution of traditional channels over conventional satellite, terrestrial and cable networks with video on demand services delivered over internet protocols. 

It is also becoming clear that given the bandwidth, open networks are quite capable of delivering high quality video over the internet on a best efforts basis. That means there are opportunities for consumer electronics companies to create connected television propositions. 

On the exhibition floor most vendors were reporting high levels of interest but it still feels like a sideshow to the main broadcast conventions like NAB. Nevertheless, the concentration on internet protocol networks means that this event is now a firm fixture in the convention calendar. 

Cisco was among those pushing the line that telcos need to become media companies, moving from being network service providers to experience providers. Generally, however, technology providers seem to have very little appreciation of the world of entertainment. 

NDS was showing Oona, a conceptual user interface that incorporates social networking features. 

Ericcson had a concept remote control that includes a touch screen for exploring and previewing programming. That could be a strong selling proposition for operators, but what is really needed are standards to allow users to control their television experience from any device, from an iPad to their mobile phone. 

An awards dinner recognised the achievements of the last year, which extended beyond the usual suspects. 

Award winners 

PCCW received the award for most innovative new service with its eye2 device, a wireless touchscreen table providing television and multimedia services, as well as video and voice calling. 

China Telecom was recognised for best subscriber growth, reflecting a 275% increase in subscribers to reach 750,000 users at the end of 2009. 

The best interactive television service or application went to ADB for the ‘n’ service in Poland. 

Amino received the best consumer device award for its Freedom hybrid digital terrestrial television and internet media centre. 

The best quality improvement solution award went to Witbe for its quality of experience measurement system, deployed with a number of operators, including Deutsche
Telekom, KPN, Orange, Singtel, Telefonica and Vodafone. 

Echostar Europe received the award for best hybrid broadcast and internet protocol video solution with its Slingloaded hybrid digital video recorder. 

The best on-demand technology award went to Ericsson for its WatchPoint content management system. 

Netgem, with its NetgemTV hybrid IPTV middleware, combining broadcast and broadband delivered media, was recognised as the best IPTV service delivery platform. 

The best internet television technology award went to Cisco for its content delivery system, allowing service providers to support video on both set-top boxes and internet streaming. 

First Media picked up the award for best client software for its client resident m-QM video monitoring system. 

Raoul Roverato received the special merit for outstanding industry contribution for his work at Orange.

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Producers’ Forum: Principles of Transmedia Storytelling

March 21, 2010

By Mansha Daswani


NEW YORK: Jeff Gomez and Nathan Mayfield will be hosting a session at the MIPTV Producers’ Forum—a two-day initiative organized in association with World Screen—about developing stories and concepts across multiple platforms.

The first thing you need to know about transmedia storytelling is that it’s not the same thing as “cross-platform” or “cross media,” according to Jeff Gomez, the president and CEO of Starlight Runner Entertainment. “Transmedia is where you’re planning and coordinating the rollout of an artful project, a story, and you’re using different media platforms as if each is an instrument and you’re composing a symphonic score,” he tells World Screen Weekly. “Each platform plays a role in telling a story. That what makes it distinct.”

Gomez will be participating in the Principles of Transmedia Storytelling session on Tuesday, April 13, at 3:30 p.m. as part of the Producers’ Forum, together with Nathan Mayfield, the chief creative officer and co-founder of Hoodlum. The executives will be hosting a creative boot camp, drawing on their extensive experience with transmedia projects—Gomez’s credits include James Cameron’s mega-hit Avatar, while Mayfield’s work includes Lost and Flash Forward.

“I can’t wait to share the learnings that we have made over the many projects we have produced,” says Mayfield. “This is a halcyon opportunity for producers to take charge, explore new models and, most importantly, truly engage with their audience. Our key tip is very simple: never make your audience feel stupid! So many online extensions we see rely on audiences to be tech savvy, our experiences never let the technology get in the way of good storytelling.”

Both executives stress the importance of transmedia projects today, given the increasing fragmentation of the media landscape. “In this day and age, people are enjoying stories on whatever platform they can,” explains Gomez. “At the core of any good transmedia implementation is a highly compelling story and when you become a fan of the story world, the body of fiction, you will feel compelled to chase it, to actually move from one platform to the next to get more enjoyment out of that aspirational universe.”

He continues: “No matter what country you’re from, in this day and age if you’re in television you’re noticing at least the start of an exodus away from television, particularly on the part of young people. Young people are becoming preoccupied with interactive media, video games, the web, and that is impacting ratings and it’s impacting revenues. With transmedia, you’re quite often addressing young people exactly where they live. There’s no doubt that television is still an incredibly powerful driving platform, but with transmedia, you’re increasing the touchpoints between your audience and the narrative.”

This is a view shared by Mayfield, who co-founded Hoodlum in Australia more than a decade ago and quickly became a pioneer in the world of online content. “We see these online extensions as the key deciders in an environment where audiences are seeking new ways to get their entertainment fix,” he notes. “Our most successful projects have been those that have a single message and URL across all channels of communication. Our most successful projects are ones that have all marketing pointing to our site. It is our responsibility to give audiences a taste of the film or TV series, a way to set up questions that can only be answered by the film or TV series. The easiest way to do this is to make sure that the leap you are asking your mainstream audience [to make] between TV and online is as small as possible… sending an audience from your beautiful, expensive TV series to a gritty handheld webisode will never be as effective as emulating the production values of the TV series in the online extension.”

One of Hoodlum’s most high-profile projects has been its work on Lost, with the Find 815 and The Dharma Initiative online experiences. “Studios were and continue to be very responsive to online extensions,” Mayfield says. “After all, they are in the business of storytelling and once we had allayed their fears, it was not long before they were calling on us to create stories that would be told across multiple platforms. ABC Studios was the first champion in the U.S. to really embrace the online extensions.”

Mayfield says that in approaching Lost, as with any other project, the process begins with “allaying the fears of the creatives involved. We are not about to take your beloved brand and create a story that sits outside the mythology that you have created. The key element is to ensure you have champions in your marketing and creative teams. Honestly, the devil is in the detail with these projects and that means you need to make sure you are working with pioneers who are going on the ride with you. This is the Wild West and we worked closely with the producers of the show and ABC Entertainment marketing to mobilize the fans. As I said above, ABC has really led with the way they have embraced online extensions. It was up to us to then make sure we were creating an experience that would ensure audiences wanted to return again and again.”

For Gomez, whose transmedia projects include Avatar and Showtime’s Dexter, the process begins with “immersing ourselves in the world such as it is when we arrive on the project. Our job in general is to collect all the information about the world [of the film or TV show] and present it in the form of a mythology. So we’re compiling everything that’s known about the universe, the characters, the locations, the historic story points, and putting it into one single massive document. And then we help our clients to determine how best to implement that story across an array of media platforms. So, how will this best work as a video game? How will this best work as a mobile execution? And in doing so, we also become the guardians of quality control. We make sure that the content lives up to the quality of the main story, so that you don’t get too much of that knockoff licensed product that doesn’t add to franchise.”

Beyond working on existing television and film projects, both Gomez’s Starlight Runner and Mayfield’s Hoodlum are developing their own IP, and are assisting major consumer brands with their transmedia marketing campaigns.

Gomez explains that when approaching a brand like Coca-Cola—Starlight worked with the company on its Happiness Factory campaign—”we have to look at what could be about 60 seconds worth of content and turn that into a huge sprawling universe, so it takes a little more creative energy, which is fun for us.”

“Big advertising brands are seeking new ways to engage with audiences,” Mayfield says. “They are evolving from branded entertainers to branded storytellers. Branded storytelling is a hybrid of Hoodlum’s expertise to integrate the brands values, tones and sensibilities with quality stories that resonate with consumers.”

The Principles of Transmedia Storytelling session takes place on the Tuesday of MIPTV at 3:30 p.m.

PlayStation Signs Deal with Hollywood Studios for HD Movies

March 21, 2010

By Kristin Brzoznowski


FOSTER CITY: Sony Computer Entertainment America (SCEA) has secured agreements with 20th Century Fox, Walt Disney Pictures, Paramount Pictures, Sony Pictures Entertainment, Universal Pictures and Warner Bros. Digital Distribution to offer HD movies for purchase and rental on the PlayStation Network video delivery service in the U.S.

New titles available today on PlayStation Network include 20th Century Fox’sNight at the Museum: Battle of the SmithsonianJennifer’s Body and Fantastic Mr. Fox (on March 23); Warner Bros. Digital Distribution’s The HangoverHarry Potter and the Half Blood Prince and The Wizard of Oz; and Universal’sInglourious BasterdsCouples Retreat and Public Enemies. There’s also a package from Walt Disney Pictures that includes Disney Pixar’s Up, Jerry Bruckheimer’s G-Force and Disney’s Earth. From Paramount Pictures comesStar TrekParanormal Activity and Zoolander. Sony Pictures is offering up This Is It2012District 9 and Zombieland.

Initially, the content will only be available in the U.S., with plans to launch soon in the U.K., France, Germany and Spain.

Peter Dille, the senior VP of marketing and PlayStation Network at SCEA, commented: “Securing high-definition content from these studios is another significant milestone further validating PlayStation Network as a complete entertainment network in the home. PlayStation Network is the first and only service to deliver high-definition home-entertainment from all six major studios, directly to consumers for download. PlayStation Network continues to offer the most comprehensive catalogue of HD movies to PlayStation Network members that realize the wide-ranging entertainment power of the PS3 system.”

Ooyala Enables Micropayments With Its ‘TV Everywhere’ Offering

March 4, 2010


The competition is heating up among white-label video platforms that serve broadcast and cable networks as they make more of their video content available online and on-demand. The latest offer comes by way of Ooyala, which says it can now enable major media customers to launch online video services with new monetization models, such as micropayments. But for programmers that want to connect with cable companies to offer up TV Everywhere services that tie into cable subscription information, this might not be the right platform.

Ooyala’s Backlot TV Everywhere (TV-E) offering brings a lot of new features to the table, including secure, HTTP-based video streaming, the ability to serve content into new Internet set-top boxes from Roku and Boxee, and better analytics, but above all, the ability to accept micropayments from a number of different payment systems. For this last piece, Ooyala’s TV-E offering will work with PayPal, Amazon Payments and Google Checkout to enable new payment models for online video content.

But one thing missing from the new “TV Everywhere” product — and which will be disappointing for most major cable programmers that wish to roll out “TV Everywhere” services — is the ability to hook into service providers’ billing systems. That allows cable programmers — like HBO with its recently launched HBO Go broadband video service — to roll out services that are tied to a user’s cable plans, so that only those subscribers that pay for HBO can access the content.

While the new offering doesn’t yet have the ability to tie into service provider authentication systems, Ooyala President Bismarck Lepe says that it will open up new monetization opportunities. “This is so that content owners can have their own pay walls. We’ll eventually plug in operators and other authentication systems, but this was the first step in making the system more flexible for differentiated services and business models,” Lepe said.

Ooyala isn’t the only company to update its online video platform with major media companies in mind; both Brightcove and thePlatform recently unveiled new features to their video management systems that are designed to make it easier for cable networks to take their content online, but to make sure they get paid for it.

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