9 December, 2013 by BT Featured Staff Comments Off
Another exit for a new media startup into the arms of the old media industry: E.W. Scripps, the storied owner of 19 local television stations and daily newspapers in 13 markets across the U.S., today announced that it has acquired Newsy, a digital video news platform, for $35 million in cash. Newsy will become a subsidiary of Scripps.
To mark the video-friendly event, Newsy and Scripps posted a YouTube video.
The deal is expected to close January 1, Scripps said.
This represents a pretty impressive exit for Newsy, which was founded in 2008 and raised under $5 million. It also represents an interesting evolution for Scripps: back in 2007, in a moment of digital chicken that it lost, it spun off its Scripps Interactive division (full of hundreds of millions of dollars in acquired and homegrown assets) and remained E.W. Scripps the publishing company. Since then, it has quietly been building that digital effort back up, with more cautious footing.
This is about Scripps, which was founded in 1879, buying an asset that gives it a digital video component to complement its existing TV and online services — effectively a bridge between the three areas where it already does business if you also count newspapers.
It also gives the company access into an audience that consumes their news (and video) on devices like tablets, and has largely turned away from some of those more traditional platforms where Scripps still bases a majority of its business.
“Newsy adds an important dimension to our video news strategy,” Rich Boehne, Scripps chairman, president and CEO, said in a statement. “It’s a next-generation news network designed and built exclusively for digital audiences. Newsy’s uncommon approach to curation and storytelling has helped it build a strong national brand, which fits well with both our current media assets and our ambitions to further develop digital media businesses.”
Newsy’s ad-supported videos are currently delivered to web, mobile, tablet and connected TV platforms, both direct to consumer and via partnerships with (TC’s owner) AOL, Microsoft and Mashable, among others.
The fact that these were named in the release might hint that those partnerships will continue post-acquisition, although this wasn’t specified. What has been is where the service will expand, which will be into more city- and region-based content: “Newsy will become an important news source on the Scripps digital products in local markets,” the company said.
“Scripps is committed to participating in the future of digital media,” said Adam Symson, senior vice president and chief digital officer for Scripps, in a statement. “Newsy is built for the digital audience, especially on the platforms we’re seeing emerge now with highly connected consumers.”
Newsy’s 35 full-time employees and its part-time employees will remain in Columbia, MO, the company says. That will include founder and CEO Jim Spencer. “We are proud to be joining with Scripps, which shares our values of innovation and editorial integrity,” he noted.
18 November, 2013 by BT Featured Staff Comments Off
Sling wrote in a blog post that this is useful for those with vacation homes without cable or access to local channels, for college students and for rooms without their own cable or satellite receivers. Read more...More about Roku, Slingplayer, Sling Media, Connected Devices, and Second Screen
7 November, 2013 by BT Featured Staff Comments Off
Kaltura has long enabled service providers, universities, enterprises, and media companies to deliver video to viewers, with an extensible platform for publishing, distributing, and monetizing content. But for the most part, while it provided a player and CMS, it was up to those companies themselves to do the work of building their sites and readying them for video.
Well, no longer. Kaltura is releasing a new product, called MediaGo, which is aimed primarily at the growing number of media partners who wish to quickly roll up an end-to-end video platform and customize it. This so-called “Netflix-in-a-box” portal enables those customers to quickly start serving up ad-based and subscription video services without having to build any infrastructure of their own.
MediaGo is targeted at content creators and rights owners, service providers, and retailers who have a brand and user base that they'd like to reach with a new video offering.
Videos are built to play on any almost any device, including PC, as well as mobile devices and certain over-the-top or streaming TV platforms. The video player natively supports DRM and adaptive bit rate streaming, ensuring that delivery follows licensing rules and viewers get the best quality video playback.
In addition to the player, the MediaGo offering includes a number of features that users have come to expect from streaming services like Netflix or Hulu. That includes a platform for browsing and searching available content, as well as the ability to group videos based on genre or editor's picks. There's also a degree of personalization, which can include Netflix-like personalized recommendations or the ability of end users to create their own queue or playlist.
On the back end, the platform provides all a customer needs to get up and running, including ingestion, transcoding, DRM, hosting, and delivery. It also provides tools for metadata, playlist creation, player customization, account settings, and analytics.
According to Kaltura CEO Ron Yekutiel, that will allow some content owners who haven't sold directly to users to do so, without having to worry about middlemen and distributors. And since Kaltura makes money based on the number of subscribers, there's little startup cost, and companies only pay when their portals are successful.
Which is kind of a win for everyone.
27 October, 2013 by BT Featured Staff Comments Off
Why did music jukeboxes disappear? They were probably the first truly social experience around music, but then everybody stopped using them. Meet Beatcoin, a nifty hack that was presented onstage at the Disrupt Europe Hackathon. The team turned everyone's phone into a jukebox. Every bar owner can start accepting Bitcoins to play the songs on his or her phone.
“What's interesting about our hack and Bitcoins is that everything is purely virtual,” Meinhard Benn told me. “It doesn't rely on any old school economy mechanisms and we feel that it's very disruptive,” he continued, jokingly.
First, you have to install the app on your Android phone or iPhone and plug it in to your stereo. And that's it for the installation process. Then, everyone can go to a website where they will see the song list and the current top picks.
Partiers can vote with their Bitcoin wallets. For each song, users can see a different Bitcoin address attached to the same wallet. In the back-end, a scheduled task will check how much virtual money each song received and rank them accordingly. “The user doesn't need an app or client, he just needs Bitcoins,” Johann Barbie said.
Don't worry, you won't get ruined by fighting for your favorite songs. The hackers insisted on the micropayment aspect of Beatcoin. To vote up for a song, you have to send something around 0.0001 Bitcoin. You can set up a screen in a bar to display QR codes and the payment options.
Meinhard Benn, Johann Barbie, Callum MacDonald, Richard Flett and Franck Gotthold used Java for the back-end infrastructure that handles Bitcoin transactions and the Android app. For the server, the team chose Node.js, MongoDB and Bootstrap. Finally, the native iOS app is written in Objective-C.
When asked whether the team will do a hackathon again, they were enthusiastic. While Benn didn't sleep at all, Barbie moved from South Korea to Berlin on Friday to be here on time. That's a lot of dedication to participate in a hackathon. In the end, it was worth it as the hack is already profitable, raking up fractions of Bitcoins over the weekend.
9 June, 2013 by BT Featured Staff Comments Off
Editing video is tedious enough on its own, but it becomes a whole new world of pain when producers, editors, audio guys, and others are trying to collaborate on a single project.
That’s where First Cut Pro (not to be confused with Final Cut Pro) comes in. The software comes out of Austin, where the company won our TC Meetup + Pitch-off Competition, meaning that the First Cut Pro guys will be ready to roll at TC Disrupt SF in September.
But what is First Cut Pro? Well, in short, it’s a collaborative dashboard that lets multiple people work and give feedback on a single project.
The most important feature is the ability to autopause video. As an editor is watching a rough cut of a project, each keystroke he makes (as commentary to the video) is recorded alongside a timestamp. While he’s typing, the video pauses, and once he presses enter, the video resumes.
Users can also create custom buttons to insert at whatever time they’d like, which are timestamped just like comments are. Comments are threaded, just like they are in most professional collaboration software like Convo and Yammer.
Once commentary has been added, users have control over who can access the project, sharing to others via email with a special pin.
Finally, First Cut Pro closes the loop, letting managers prioritize comment threads and then assign particular cuts or jobs to various editors.
When the project is exported, the same timestamped comments show up on each editor’s dashboard in their editing software of choice. Currently, the platform supports AVID, Adobe and Final Cut.
First Cut Pro is available now here. It has a tiered pricing structure, starting with a free account for personal use and going all the way up to $119/month for power users.
3 June, 2013 by BT Featured Staff Comments Off
It’s been clear for a while now that big media brands are taking web video seriously, but how to get organic traction within the space has proven to be a bit of a pickle. The clearest example of this?
25 April, 2013 by BT Featured Staff Comments Off
Grab Media, which has been at the forefront of what I've called the "Syndicated Video Economy," is gaining traction with its recently-released "GrabPress" video plug-in for the WordPress content management system. GrabPress allows publishers of any size using WordPress to quickly customize and embed a feed of video from Grab Media' s ever-growing catalog of 500K+ video clips directly into their web pages.
21 February, 2013 by BT Featured Staff Comments Off
With A Revenue Model In Sight, Crowdsourced News Service Blottr Raises $612K For Its Content Syndication Platform NewsPoint
11 February, 2013 by BT Featured Staff Comments Off
Video Distribution Startup Rightster Buys Content Marketing Platform Preview Networks To Push Its YouTube Services Across Europe
A spot of acquisition news in Europe’s digital video distribution space. Rightster, a U.K.
7 February, 2013 by BT Featured Staff Comments Off
Timbre launched last September as a bootstrapped mobile iOS app to help people discover and share live music recommendations in their vicinity.
14 January, 2013 by BT Featured Staff Comments Off
SigFig, the startup that tracks your financial assets and provides detailed visualizations of your investments and recommendations on how to manage them, is now officially playing in the big leagues.
8 January, 2013 by BT Featured Staff Comments Off
One of the main things content providers can do to create rich user experiences is present contextualized content that relates to the underlying article or video. This is why so many content sites have "Read More," "You Might Also Enjoy" and "Also View" type sections. They help content providers increase users' time spent (which drives monetization), build loyalty and create competitive barriers.