YouTube Eyes Pay-Per-View Films

This is directly from The Hollywood Reporter...

YouTube eyes pay-per-view films
Move would put it in more direct competition with Apple
Staff report

Aug 30, 2010, 07:34 AM ET

Google's YouTube video service is in talks with Hollywood studios to launch a streaming pay-per-view movie service by year's end.

The Financial Times reported that the service is expected to launch in the U.S. and then get rolled out globally. The move would put YouTube into more direct competition with Apple and others, such as Hulu and Netflix, as players try to become the preferred destination for distribution of content in the digital age.

Hollywood seems intrigued by the idea of YouTube's big reach, according to the FT report.
It said newer film titles would cost about $5 on the planned on-demand streaming service.

The news of the planned YouTube film service launch comes after Google top executives wooed studios and guilds during a chat with reporters on the sidelines of Herb Allen's annual Sun Valley media mogul gathering in July.

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I like this idea, but still haven't seen any evidence that the "culture" of YouTube can be changed or swayed to watch professionally produced long format content (ie. Hollywood or indie FEATURE films). The Sundance experiment in January failed miserably (films were available to rent during the fest on YouTube and hardly any were actually rented - a few thousand). Right now I'm very bearish on this because YouTube is such a "one-off-user-generated -video-community".

Some web series have obviously found success on YouTube (including my show "Pink"), but these are bite-sized episodes and even these haven't penetrated the marketplace very substantially compared to the millions and millions of views the Fred's of the world get.

So while I'm glad to see YouTube trying this I feel Hulu and Netflix have a much better chance of success with online Hollywood and indie films. Just because you have the large numbers doesn't mean they'll watch.

-Blake

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Netflix App Now Available for iPhone

This is a press release about the new Netflix app for iPhone and iPod Touch. I am personally happy to see this on these devices (I don't have an iPad where the app originally appeared).

Cool things are definitely happening with the convergence of the "web" and "TV" worlds...

NETFLIX APP NOW AVAILABLE
FOR iPHONE AND iPOD TOUCH
Free App Enables Netflix Members to Instantly Watch
TV Episodes and Movies Streamed from Netflix to iPhone and iPod touch

LOS GATOS, Calif., August 26, 2010 – Netflix, Inc. [Nasdaq: NFLX] today announced the availability of its free Netflix App for iPhone and iPod touch, allowing Netflix members on plans starting at just $8.99 a month to instantly watch a vast selection of TV episodes and movies streamed to their iPhone or iPod touch at no additional cost.

The Netflix App is available for free from the App Store on iPhone and iPod touch or at www.itunes.com/appstore/.

"Apple has changed the game for mobile devices,” said Reed Hastings, Netflix co-founder and chief executive officer. "We're excited that our members can now carry Netflix around in their pockets and instantly watch movies and TV shows streamed from Netflix right to their iPhone or iPod touch."

The Netflix App delivers a high-quality viewing experience, a broad array of movie and TV choices and a clean, intuitive interface. It is available via both Wi-Fi and 3G networks. TV episodes and movies are conveniently organized into a variety of categories based on members' personal preferences, popular genres, new arrivals and members' individual instant Queues. Members can choose a movie or TV episode from any of the lists and just tap the innovative Multi-Touch user interface to watch instantly or to save the title for viewing later.

Additionally, users have the option of fast-forwarding and rewinding the video stream, and stopping at any time. When users want to start watching again, the video stream starts exactly where it was stopped, even on a different device capable of streaming from Netflix.

The Netflix App supports any iPhone or iPod touch device running iOS version 3.13 or later.

About Netflix
With more than 15 million members, Netflix, Inc. (Nasdaq: NFLX) is the world's largest subscription service streaming movies and TV episodes over the Internet and sending DVDs by mail. For $8.99 a month, Netflix members can instantly watch unlimited TV episodes and movies streamed right to their TVs and computers and can receive unlimited DVDs delivered quickly to their homes. With Netflix, there are never any due dates or late fees. Among the large and expanding base of devices that can stream movies and TV episodes from Netflix are Microsoft's Xbox 360, Sony's PS3 and Nintendo's Wii consoles; Blu-ray disc players from Samsung, LG and Insignia; Internet TVs from LG, Sony and VIZIO; the Roku digital video player and TiVo digital video recorders, and Apple’s iPhone, iPad and iPod touch. For more information, visit http://www.netflix.com.

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EXPOSED New Distribution Deal

My WB Original series EXPOSED is now being distributed outside the bounds of TheWB.com by a syndiation company called AlphaBird. I had not heard of them until this deal happened. Warner Bros. has recently been asking me about M&E tracks and so now this all makes sense. I assume AlphaBird will take the show overseas as well.

So this is pretty exciting as now the series will be available to watch on 3rd party sites starting with DailyMotion.

Here's a link to the show there:
http://www.dailymotion.com/group/exposed

One thing that is a bit odd on the show page there is the current "Clip of the Day" is actually Episode 16 - EXPOSED is a serialized show - so if someone watches Episode 16 first then they know how it ends. Either the programmers at DailyMotion don't realize this or it's done automatically? Either way, not very good. But besides that, I'm very happy that the show is getting out to more of the world. :)

Here are two press stories about the release:

Broadcasting & Cable
http://www.broadcastingcable.com/article/456174-WB_s_Studio_2_0_puts_four_new_series_online.php

C21Media
http://www.c21media.net/news/detail.asp?area=89&article=57003

UPDATE: Here's another piece from Video Nuze on the deal talking more details about the financial and branding side of things... pretty interesting to know.

The 3 other WB Originals released this summer as part of their "Summer Programming Block" (High Drama 2, Downer's Grove and Chadam) were also part of the deal.

And there is talk of the showd landing on Hulu too (not sure when though), so we'll wait and see what happens!

-Blake

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88 HITs "Most Watched" on Koldcast

Koldcast TV does a very nice job of marketing a lot of their web series through their blog stories, and yesterday they did one called "The 15 Most Extreme Acts of Mob Violence" - and they featured my show "88 HITs" in the article.

Here's the blog post:
http://blog.koldcast.tv/2010/koldcast-news/the-15-most-extreme-acts-of-mob-violence/

And from this "88 HITs" was their "Most Watched" series of the day yesterday 8/17/10. Pretty cool!

Thank you Koldcast TV for doing a nice job promoting indie web content. Keep up the great work!

-Blake

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Great Felicia Day Article

Just read this really cool article and interview with Felicia Day. If you don't know who she is... well, this will definitely tell you...

http://www.fastcompany.com/magazine/148/one-fine-day.html

And here's a video interview she did as part of the article:



And too, this is the main article that Felicia's story came from:

http://www.fastcompany.com/magazine/148/the-new-fall-season.html?page=0%2C1

Lots of really good info on original web content and the folks making it.

Good stuff!
-Blake

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Who Am I?

I'm a filmmaker who's produced & directed five feature films including the comedy SPILT MILK (available on iTunes), the new horror/thriller PHOBIA (on iTunes) and the action/thiller KILLING DOWN (which you can buy or rent at pretty much all the usual places).

I also created the Streamy and Webby award-winning web series PINK, which to date has been viewed online around 10 MILLION times at places like YouTube, Hulu, Koldcast and TheWB.com. And speaking of TheWB.com, I also produced and directed an online thriller for them called EXPOSED. It was released summer 2010. And most recently I created a new online sci-fi series called CONTINUUM, which is part of the online indie TV network JTS.tv - Just The Story and NOW available via VOD through indie platform Distrify.

Oh, and I don't shoot weddings. Thanks for asking though.

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