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TuneCore Helps Its Artists Monetize

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A well-established music distribution company is offering its partners “YouTube Money.”

TuneCore, which helps its users distribute their music on iTunes, Amazon, and other digital retailers, has launched a program that looks to monetize unlicensed music use on YouTube.

As noted in a report by Billboard, TuneCore’s YouTube money program allows users to choose which of their songs they want to track on YouTube. TuneCore then monitors those tracks and finds videos that use them without license. The infringing videos are then monetized, and any ad revenue they gain is deposited into the artist’s TuneCore account.

“As YouTube’s importance as a point of distribution increases, we want to ensure Artists are receiving the full benefits,” said TuneCore CEO Scott Ackerman in a statement. “With YouTube Money, we’re confident TuneCore can help artists by collecting the YouTube revenue artists have earned while artists can focus on what’s most important–making music and getting their music out to the world.”

The YouTube Money service responds to a demand for oversight on YouTube. According to a survey from TuneCore, its artistic partners find YouTube to be the third most important platform for music distribution, behind iTunes and Spotify. Therefore, expect many of those artists to take advantage of the YouTube Money they now have their disposal.

Google Invests Heavily in Magic Leap

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Magic LeapIf Google has its way, hammerhead sharks will swim through your office, elephants will fit in the palm of your hand and dragons will fly among the birds.

These fanciful visions are being dreamed up by Magic Leap, a start-up making augmented-reality technology. On Tuesday, it landed Google as its biggest investor.

Valuing Magic Leap at about $2 billion, the $542 million cash infusion from Google and other investors immediately vaulted the shadowy start-up into the upper echelons of young technology companies.

But as is so often the case with tech start-ups, Magic Leap’s soaring valuation is based on little more than an ambitious vision and some nascent code. Magic Leap, which is based far from Silicon Valley in the suburbs of Miami, has no revenue — and no products currently on the market.

“Until we see the device, you have to be a little skeptical,” said Brian Blau, an analyst at Gartner who has worked with virtual reality for two decades.

Details about Magic Leap’s plans remain sketchy. On its website, the company has a few videos and images that depict rich animations displayed over what people see with the naked eye. Seahorses float above children in a schoolroom. A yellow submarine hovers near an outdoor promenade. An astronaut walks through a train station. Check them out by clicking HERE.

So-called augmented reality technology already exists, but remains primitive. Google itself has gone further than any other company to bring this concept to market with Google Glass, its interactive spectacles.

Seven months ago, Facebook stunned Silicon Valley with the $2 billion acquisition of Oculus, a virtual reality company.

Google views Magic Leap in much the same way, according to people briefed on the company’s thinking. As people become more comfortable with wearable technology, technologies like Magic Leap are likely to become more commonplace.

Netflix, Streaming Video On Demand Will Change TV Forever

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NetflixNetflix is well positioned and proven the ‘streaming video on demand’ (SVOD) model works extremely well on the internet of things.

However, competition, and the improving scale of competitors may challenge Netflix’s ability to raise pricing. Standard multichannel video providers like Comcast, DirecTV and Verizon may focus more on content production and take on a role in which they distribute packages of SVOD applications.

Given the high rate of penetration of SVOD, and the superior functionality, the business model should change quite considerably over the next five years.

Sports Apps Are on The Rise

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flurry-artSports fans are spending more time in apps using their mobile devices, with time spent in sports apps growing 210% from a year ago. That should make the traditional sports TV industry worry, according to new data from Yahoo’s mobile analytics firm Flurry.

In a blog post today, Flurry chief executive Simon Khalaf wrote, “We are witnessing a massive change in the way viewers consume TV content.

In the past week, we’ve seen more “cord cutters,” Khalaf wrote. He said the latest data from market researcher ComScore showed that consumers want to view TV on every device, not just on TV. CBS also revealed its subscription streaming service. And HBO also revealed its “over the top” streaming service.

Meanwhile, the larger trend from traditional to digital is evident as cable is starting to lose the movies-on-demand market to Internet companies like Netflix, Khalaf said. On top of that, digital television service Hulu has also started taking share from TV. And now sports fans are turning to apps to keep up with scores, trade their fantasy players, and watch game highlights. The subject area is growing so fast that Nielsen and Adobe have teamed up to deliver a new set of audience ratings for online videos and other digital content.

But while mobile has carved into traditional TV viewing, the sports market may prove to be too hard to crack. Teams in Major League Baseball are making multibillion deals with cable companies to broadcast games locally — when the likes of the San Diego Padres (with one winning season in the past seven years) can sign a $1.4 billion deal for broadcasting rights, that’s a sign that cable sports is alive and strong. Even though all major sports leagues offer streaming options, viewers cannot watch local games on any source other than cable, satellite, over-the-air broadcasts. And NFL ratings are sky-high even with the league’s recent problems with domestic violence.

Flurry looked at time spent in apps from August 2013 to August 2014. Overall time spent in 580,000 apps with Flurry Analytics increased 65 percent. But the sports category grew much faster. Football apps grew 250% from a year ago — many fans check their fantasy football teams on phones and tablets while watching games on a TV. Sports app fans use apps more than two times the average for all app users.

Sports app fans are 12.8 times more likely to be football fans and are also more likely than the average user to be casual, social gamers or play action games. Sports app fans are also 2.3 times more likely to be business travelers, as they use the apps on the go when a game isn’t available on TV outside of their local markets.

Khalaf concluded, “The tripling of time spent in sports apps is tough to ignore for teams, content providers, and advertisers. Netflix CEO Reed Hastings believes the Internet is replacing traditional television, apps are replacing channels, and screens are proliferating. While live sports are still cable’s stronghold, if the announcements of last week are any indication, this could be strike three. Keep your eye on the ball.”

Adobe: TV Everywhere Usage Jumps

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Total amount of authenticated viewing of TV online skyrockets by 338% according to new report from Adobe

Adobe’s new bi-annual Video Benchmark Report finds that viewers rapidly increasing their consumption of TV everywhere offerings, with the number of video starts of authenticated content jumping by 388% from the second quarter of 2013 to the second quarter of 2014.

Big events like the Olympics, March Madness and the World Cup were particularly important drivers in TV everywhere usage, the report found.

Broadcast and cable networks also saw a sharp 81% increase in monthly consumption of authenticated episodic content from 3.1 episodes a month in 2013 to 5.6 shows a month in the current report.

Authenticated sports content had a more modest increase of 31% from 3.2 sporting events a year ago to 4.2 sporting events a month.

Overall the second quarter of 2014 saw 38.2 billion online video starts, up 47.3% from a year earlier.

In terms of ads, viewers watch 2.08 ads per video start in the second quarter of 2014, climbing 25.8% from a year earlier.

The upsurge in consumption was based on 165 billion total online video starts and 1.53 billion online TV authentications from 1,300 media and entertainment sites measured by Adobe Analytics and Adobe Primetime.

A video discussing the trends can be found HERE and the full report HERE.

The data showed that unique monthly viewers accessing network content from browsers and apps jumped by 146% year over year on all their online TV platforms.

And that growth seems to be accelerating. Just the last six months, the unique visitors grew 85%.
Also for the first time, Adobe reported that watching movies online is more popular than watching sports content. Movie networks saw a 125% increase year over year from two movies to 4.5 movies per month.

The report found that viewing continues to fragment across platforms.

Game consoles and OTT devices were the fastest growing way to access content. Their market share nearly doubled, jumping 194% of the last year, from 3% of the device types used to consume online TV content to 10% in the current report.

Apps for Apple’s iOS are still the most popular way to access online TV, with a 51% market share, up from 48% in 2013.

But Android apps continue to grow rapidly, from 16% to a 20% market share. In contrast browsers declined by 41% from 33% in 2013 to 19% in the current report.

Smartphone consumption also grew rapidly and now accounts for 13.6% of online video starts, up from 8.5% a year earlier. Interestingly, tablets fell behind smart phones and grew at a slower rate from 10.1% market share in the second quarter of 2014 to 13% in the most recent report.

Overall, smartphones and tablets were used in 26% of online video views, making them an increasingly important device category for online video consumption.

But people tend to view content for longer times on desktops. Overall Adobe reports that users who watched at least 25% of a video were three times more likely to reach 75% completion of a video.
In contrast, only 16.6% of videos on smartphones were watched three quarters of the way through.

64% of US Broadband Homes Have Connected CE

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Research from Parks Associates highlights the financial and business opportunities in the expanding markets for pay-TV and OTT services, digital content, cloud solutions & connected consumer electronics (CE).

The research firm reports 64 per cent of US broadband households have an Internet-connected CE and 55 per cent have an OTT service subscription, an area poised for strong growth especially following HBO’s announcement that it will launch a stand-alone HBO Go service.

“The HBO OTT service announcement should not really be a surprise given the overall trends in the video service space,” said Brett Sappington, director, research, Parks Associates. “HBO has been aggressive in the online space for some time, first testing a direct-to-consumer approach in Europe through HBO Nordic, its OTT video service offering. Competition in this space is set to increase massively as pay-TV providers, broadcasters, cable networks, and other content producers introduce new OTT services.”

“More than 75 per cent of streaming media player owners have an OTT subscription,” said Barbara Kraus, director, research, Parks Associates. “The high connection rate for all streaming devices highlights the high level of competition for all players in the industry. Video consumption on connected CE, smartphones, and tablets is increasing, with broadband consumers now averaging more than nine hours per week of consumption on these connected platforms. The market trends and consumer analysis featured in Parks Associates reports will help companies develop strategies to attract and retain the attention of these customers.”

Additional highlights from, the report include:

• Although the number of pay-TV households will exceed 1 billion worldwide by the end of 2015, consolidation, direct-to-consumer services by content producers, and the emergence of new entrants threaten to radically change the traditional television industry.

• 48% of US broadband homes have a DVR, acquired either at retail or as part of their pay-TV subscription.

• Only 11% of US broadband households are familiar with 4K technology, but user-generated 4K UHD video could help increase awareness and interest: almost 80% of smart TV owners view user-generated video content on their device.

• The gaming console is the most common Internet-connected device throughout the US; by brand, Wii and Xbox are in 35% of US broadband households, and PlayStation is in 27% of households.

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