• Local Online Video News: Lower Budgets, Better Hair
    We have to hand it to the wide-eyed and fresh kids who are anchoring the GoLocalProv video daily that launched yesterday. They have better hair than almost every local TV newscaster we know. "Anchorman" was no joke. There is some kind of professional requirement for all on-air personalities at the local affiliates to sport helmet dos. That or the Bad Hairdressers' Union has a deadly lock on the business nationwide. At any rate, the new Providence, Rhode Island online video news show at GoLocalProv.com is fronted by a couple of recent college grads Greg Berman and Lauren Marchetti who know …
  • Metacafe Launches New 'MEN' Network of Entertainment Verticals
    Longtime video destination Metacafe is exploring a new model for its curated, male-targeted content in a "Metacafe Entertainment Network" (MEN) that parses entertainment video content into tighter, deeper niches. In addition to pulling together some of the movie, sports and gaming videos that Metacafe has been actively curating in recent months, the new MEN destination also pulls together new properties that drill these broad categories more finely.
  • Amazon on Fire, But Is the Multiplex Ready?
    With the expected introduction today of Amazon's low-priced color tablet, rumored to be named "Amazon Fire," there will be a lot of focus on the hardware, price points, apps, and the inevitable Apple contest. I will wait to see and touch for myself, but my initial impression of the leaked specs suggests this 7-inch model is more of a Nook competitor than it is an iPad challenger. Having played with half-sized Android tablets in the past, I always felt that the convenience and portability were there, but the absence of apps and the lack of immersiveness in the smaller form …
  • The Revenge of Fred
    Judy, he's back! Well, technically, he never went away. Fred, aka Lucas Cruikshank, has been a relentless presence on the viral video circuit for years now, and he was among the only figures in that group to make the leap across platforms. He landed a Nickelodeon film last year. The youngish motormouth is something akin to YouTube's first child actor, a kind of Mason Reese figure who was bound for challenges as he aged and lost some of that kiddie charm. YouTube stardom seems to require a certain level of frantic, obsessive energy on the part of the pro-amateur hosts. …
  • Dish and Blockbuster Keep the Retail Advantage Alive
    Netflix's oh-so public missteps and mea culpas regarding the split in DVD and streaming services has left a gaping window of opportunity for others to enter. Not only has the brand equity Netflix earned over the year been tarnished but there is enough confusion and recalculation going on among consumers about their monthly movie access to interrupt the inertia of subscription. In splitting its once-formidable value proposition in two, Netflix initiated on their own what most auto-renewable subscription services consider a nightmare scenario - having their members reconsidering a membership status that most people pay and forget about.
  • Estee Lauder Opens Beauty School on YouTube
    YouTube is not in need of more beauty tip videos, that is for sure. One of the surprise hit genres of user-gen media in recent years has been the cosmetic how-to. Apparently there are a lot of questions out there about how to put that damned eyeliner on straight, and the beauty mavens of YouTube are here to help. But now one of the main suppliers of cosmetics, Estee Lauder, is bringing their own video library direct to consumers on the new brand channel.
  • VEVO Launches Upgraded Facebook Tools for Talent
    Today we are likely to hear a lot about media integration with Facebook as the highly anticipated f8 conference kicks off. Facebook's main challenge has been incorporating more of people's media sharing and media consumption on the social network itself. As we have been seeing in recent weeks with pay-per-view video models on the site and WSJ's new content-rich app, making that otherwise fugly Facebook screen into a palatable platform for media use is the new direction for Zuckerberg's crew.
  • Google + Puts User Video On the Air
    Is this the new face of personal video broadcasting? Google announced major upgrades to its Google+ social network yesterday, and some of the most important are in the video arena. The Hangouts is for grouping your friends and/or broadcasting in public groups in live video chats. With the new Hangouts on-air feature the user can broadcast the stream. The revision to Google+ lets you record the stream and set it for open public consumption. When on-air, up to nine friends can join the chat itself and anyone can watch the broadcast.
  • Xbox Goes 'Really' Live In Concert Streaming Deal with Clear Channel
    Microsoft's long-term strategy with the Xbox game console line was never really a secret. It wanted to find a way onto the TV screen in a way that its IPTV and other Web TV projects never could. I recall interviewing executives about the larger plan years ago, and it was clear back then that the company viewed the game console as a set top box. And according to reports, we will see a more robust Xbox TV experience by the holidays this year. The company has already enhanced its programming from ESPN, and CEO Michael Ballmer recently touted to financial …
  • Facebook Wants to Get Tighter With Hulu and Neflix
    Facebook's rise up the video charts as one of the top three or four providers of streaming media online has been a remarkably fast climb in the last year. The company is hoping to become a more formal platform for video viewing and sharing. Warner Bros. already streams some films on a pay-per-view basis on the site. The company's own fledgling TV station has tried to get traction with high profile visits and interviews, not the least of which was with the President himself. And now Facebook seems poised to craft more formal arrangements with one or perhaps two of …
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