Disney's classic TV shows from the past 50 years could soon be available on its website, according to CEO Bob Iger. Disney doesn't appear to have an execution plan or time frame for the project, indicating that this is something the company is currently just discussing. But Iger did say that iIn the near future, you'll see more of that product available on Disney.com, either for free or through some sort of subscription."
Disney Channel already offers some of their programming on their website and as downloads from Apple's iTunes.
BBC's iPlayer which allows people to download BBC programs or watch them over the internet, is now available on Apple's iPhone (or iPod Touch). Being in beta, it's only available in Britain right now, but an interesting development that could one day be available worldwide. Because the iPhone does not support Flash video playback, the BBC has to reformat it's content into Apple's QuickTime version of the H.264 standard video format. Those videos are then streamed to the iPhone via a modded version of the iPlayer website.
The iPhone's inability to play Flash has meant the BBC really had to take extreme measures to bring their programming to the iPhone. They had to built a "transcoding farm" of 50 computers just to reformat the 400 hours of television programming per week they want to make available on the iPhone. It's also of interest to note that the iPlayer only works when the iPhone is connected through Wi-Fi as the video players doesn't work with EDGE, most likely because the bandwidth required to stream the content is too high for current cellular networks.
In comes Prime Time Rewind, which aggregates all of the network TV shows available online and allows you to watch them for free via their website. No more navigating site to site, and once at Prime Time Rewind you'll have no problem navigating their site to find the content you want either. They use a unique method of sorting video-a cube where each face represents either a different network or different genre of TV show. Spin the cube one way using your mouse or keyboard arrow button and you'll see all of the major networks: ABC, NBC, Fox, CBS, USA, and TNT. Spin it the other way and you'll see the shows sorted by genre-action, comedy, reality, and drama.
Not only does Prime Time Rewind aggregate all the network TV shows for easy viewing, it also allows you to personalize your account by pulling video from YouTube and RSS feeds of other major video sites on the web. And soon, the company will be unveiling a sidebar widget that'll allow you to embed Prime Time Rewind content right onto your blog or website!
Sports fans rejoice! It looks like ESPN will be producing exclusive content for the web in light of ABC's recent success with long-form television shows streamed via its online video players. While ESPN has always posted all kinds of short-form material on its site, this year they'll be launching "a number of new, original shows only on ESPN.com", according to Ed Erhardt, president of customer marketing and sales for ESPN and ABC Sports. While it's well known that short-form video content tends to generate the most traffic on the web, ESPN is looking to experiment with lengthier material and continues to work on expanding their platform and ad-serving capabilities.
CBS also recently announced that the network will stream for free all the NCAA's March Madness basketball games through their website and with an anticipated $22 million in online ad sales directly related to the b-ball tournament, it looks to be a success before it's even begun.
Looking to get your hands on copies of all the Academy Award-nominated films before they're out on DVD and Blu-ray? You shouldn't have any problem with all the popular BitTorrent sites out there these days. Andy Baio of Waxy.org has put together detailed piracy reports for the 151 Academy Award-nominated films since 2003 and all but 3 are available via pirate sites. This year, of the 34 Academy Award-nominated films, only 5 haven't leaked in anything less than DVD-quality online.
If there was one red flag in the agreement drawn up by the Writer's Guild of America and the Alliance of Motion Picture and Television Producers at the end of the Writer's Strike, it was definitely the 17-day window in which writer's will not see any revenues after content they wrote is streamed online.
Last year networks only made $120 million in ad revenues from free streamed content, compared to the $9 billion spent on traditional TV ads. And with NBC admitting that 78% of their online viewers watch streaming video to catch up on episodes they missed on TV, we have to wonder if writer's are really being ripped off here...
Johnny Knoxville, Steve-O and Bam Marega, the original Jackass's themselves are moving to the web. Jackassworld.com, a new video site jointly run by Knoxville and MTV Networks, is part of a bet on the part of MTV that niche sites will better target viewers and maximize revenue opportunities from web video.
To promote the site launch, the Jackass crew will be taking over MTV all day tomorrow so we expect they'll have some impressive ratings to boast about once the official numbers are released. Fans of the Jackass movies will be happy to know that Jackass 2.5 is available for free viewing via the website, and expect new and outrageous content from the boys on a daily basis.
Set up as a video blog more or less, Jackassworld features a home page with current updates, a photo gallery, and community features allowing for plenty of opportunity for interaction with Knoxville and pals as well as with other community members. This is a good move by MTV to turn an old media hit into an online revenue opportunity. The only question we have is whether or not the site has the server capacity to handle the inevitable traffic surge it'll have during tomorrow's Jackass-hijacking of MTV.
Be careful what you upload to YouTube or any other video-sharing site for that matter. If your upload is a criminal offense in action, consider yourself convicted. That is, if the fuzz can move past the crappy video quality found on the likes of YouTube and actually identify you.
Several cases lately have found the world's stupidest video-sharers guilty of crimes they chose to broadcast to the world. Posting a video of you driving a car moving at 130 miles per hour in a 50 mile per hour zone could net you a 4 month suspended prison sentence. Hurl a cat 20 feet and face a 5-year animal ban (imagine explaining that one to an employer conducting a criminal record check). If you're extraordinarily stupid and choose to post a video of yourself raping or murdering someone, you might as well try out Google's new Video Adsense program so you can buy chips from the canteen where you live in federal prison. And believe it not, crooks have actually uploaded videos of themselves committing all of these acts on YouTube.
While this may make some parts of a criminal investigation easier on authorities, the lack of video quality on sites such as YouTube pose challenges as well. First off, cops must be able to identify the face of the person in question in order to make a positive identification. Unfortunately, the video quality is so poor on YouTube that this can require facial mapping and voice identification technologies. Secondly, an uploaded video used as evidence in a video trial must have a date, time and location attached to it. YouTube tracks upload times, but not necessarily the time and date of the actual video recording. The site can also monitor the location the upload is coming from, but this doesn't prove where the video was taken.
Oh, and by the way, if you're not the the criminal in the video, you could still be convicted of aiding and abetting a crime just for filming it and uploading it to YouTube, even though you actually had no involvement in the crime or with the parties involved.
Advertisers have always found males aged 17-25 notoriously hard to reach, but British "media consultancy" ST16 may have found an intriguing yet obvious way to do it. ST16 just won the International Gold Award for viral film at the New York Film Festival for its hit online short called Steamy Windows. The video has attracted 2.4 million views on YouTube in the past 6 months and another 65, 000 on Kontraband. Why so many views?
Because before it was tagged Steamy Windows, it was called Hot Girl Sex In Car. If you're trying to reach 17-25 year old males on YouTube, then a video of a hot girl having sex in a car is the way to go. The catch is that the video initially gives the impression of a backseat romp, but it's actually a anti-drunk driving commercial.
Blu-ray looks to have sent HD DVD the way of the deadpool in the HD disc format war, but can internet TV's do the same to cable and satellite services anytime soon? We doubt it, but it seems a new revolution in TV viewing has begun. Sony now has web-enabled Bravia sets and has signed deals with the likes of CBS Interactive, Sports Illustrated and Yahoo to bring web content to Bravia HDTV's. Panasonic signed a deal with Google this January to bring YouTube videos to internet-connected Panasonic sets. And both companies are part of a growing revolution on the part of TV manufacturers to eventually have the typical home theater consist of an internet-connected TV...