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Category: Techno News

  • The Online Video Biz Is Maturing, Just Look At Big Frame’s Transition From YouTube Network To Talent Management Shop

    tyler-oakley-big-frame-youtube-talent-managementThe core value proposition most YouTube multi-channel networks offer creators is simple. “You be creative and create. We’ll handle everything else.” That first part is straightforward. While companies that aggregate YouTube channels may have different areas of expertise (for instance, StyleHaul focuses on style and beauty) and/or varying viewership objectives (for example, Endemol is developing a “Premium Channel Network” with very few creators, while places like Fullscreen and Maker Studios are vying for massive scale) they all want to ensure their talent keeps making quality videos at a constant clip. It’s the second part - the "we'll handle everything else" - of the value proposition that’s more complicated. MCNs want their online video creators unencumbered by the the online video industry so they have more time to make videos, but the ways in which the networks have removed the burdens of business has matured over time. MCNs started off as a way for creators to collaborate with like-minded auteurs and share studio space, equipment, and other tools of video production. Meanwhile sales teams bundled up the audiences of those creators’ channels to more easily market the bigger combined stats to potential advertisers. That was way back in 2009, before digital video advertising was a $5.96 billion industry and there were ads on television for YouTube creators. Now, there a highly specialized teams and roles for any given part of a creator’s business, like Audience Development Specialists and Channel and Partner Managers (who generally focus more on YouTube best practices), Creator Licensing divisions, branded programming experts, publicists, agents, talent managers, and more. Some MCNs claim to offer all of the above for their creators. Others have specialized. Big Frame is one of the latter, and a very good example of the online video industry’s maturation. The multi-channel network founded by Sarah Penna and Steve Raymond in 2011 and acquired by AwesomnessTV in April 2014 for $15 million in cash isn’t really a multi-channel network anymore. While it originally provided a well-rounded offering of management, sales, and support to its growing roster of high-profile creators (like Tyler Oakley, Ingrid Nelson, Miranda Sings, Mystery Guitar Man, DeStorm, Jimmy Tatro - who has a few movie credits under his belt - and more), Big Frame is quickly transitioning into a full-fledged talent management company. “Big Frame was a really wonderful acquisition for us because it’s really top notch in the talent management space,” explained Brett Bouttier, COO at AwesomonessTV COO. “We also worked very closely with Steve and Sarah to come to the strategic conclusion that if the company is going to grow and be as successful as we think it can be, it’s got to be all about the talent. And that’s it.”

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  • Report: RTL Group May Acquire Stylehaul Within The Next Two Weeks

    stylehaul-websiteStylehaul may have found a buyer. According to a report by Variety, the multi-channel network (MCN) with a particular focus on fashion, style, and beauty content is close to being acquired by European broadcasting conglomerate RTL Group. Variety's sources claim that the deal could be done "within the next two weeks." If the deal closes, it will end several months of speculation about Stylehaul's status. In August, it was rumored that several companies--including Amazon, 21st Century Fox, Hearst, and Condé Nast--were interested in purchasing the MCN. No exact price has been confirmed, but if valuations of recently-sold companies like Maker Studios and Fullscreen are any indicator, RTL will likely have to fork over a nine-digit sum to complete the purchase. Stylehaul and RTL Group already have a strong relationship. Bertelsmann, which owns RTL, led a $6.5 million investment in Stylehaul in February 2013. Later that year, Stylehaul teamed up with RTL-owned FremantleMedia for a multi-year development deal. Beyond Stylehaul, RTL also owns a controlling stake in BroadbandTV, a separate MCN. The broadcasting company also owns a stake in Divimove, a German

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  • Indie Spotlight: ‘Plant’ Pits Megachurch Vs. Ministry, Biblical Comedy Ensues

    Indie Spotlight: 'Plant' Pits Megachurch Vs, Ministry, Biblical Comedy Ensues by Bree Brouwer of TubefilterDespite what the title may indicate at first glance, the web series Plant has nothing to do with trees or flowers. In fact, the 15-episode mockumentary series uses the term more... religiously. Plant (as told by the fake documentary team behind the camera à la The Office) shows the efforts of Reverend Todd Lawn and his wife Tammy as they leave their rural, Southern ministry to plant a church in New York City. Along with their friend Gwendolyn Jones, the religious trio manages to get the church plant rooted and growing. But their joy is short-lived when Paulette Whack, the power-hungry pastor of a mega-church, continually tries to thwart their church-planting efforts. As the series’ creator, Andrew Nielson, wrote in an email, “It is a story of big and small, David and Goliath, and family values versus the cold, corporate machine.” The website for Plant states that before the series launched in April 2014, Plant received national attention for “its original and controversial subject matter.” And it’s no surprise. Laden with sarcastic biblical references and dripping with religious irony (what’s more ironic than pitting a church against a church?), the uber-conservative, fundamental right-wingers probably wouldn’t find Plant something to laugh at. If, however, you think poking fun of religion is a healthy practice every once in a while, this series is definitely worth watching

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  • YouTube, With Bigger Plans, Gets Set To Shut Down Its Music Disco

    youtube-discoYouTube is the world's biggest video site, but it is also an expansive jukebox for music fans who want to listen to their favorite songs on demand. YouTube is developing a subscription-based service that will cater to that class of viewers, but before it does, it will shut down its existing music search engine. YouTube is shuttering its "Disco" feature, which automatically generated curated playlists based on specific artists. The YouTube Disco featured a minimalist, easy-to-use design. Users typed the name of an artist into a search bar and were then sent to a separate playlist populated by that artist's songs. For indecisive listeners, a few popular artists are offered as suggestions. Now, in the service's final days, a red bar across the top delivers its eulogy: "We've learned a ton from Disco that you now see in YouTube search and features like YouTube Mix. But like disco itself, this experiment's days are over." Why has YouTube decided to shutter Disco

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  • ‘This Is Not A Conspiracy Theory’ Is An Episodic Documentary For Skeptics And Believers

    'This Is Not A Conspiracy Theory' Is An Episodic Documentary For Skeptics And Believers by Bree Brouwer of TubefilterKirby Ferguson wants you to learn the truth behind those secret plots you thought only wackjobs believed. The Canadian filmmaker (known for his previous work Everything Is a Remix) has released his newest episodic documentary, This Is Not a Conspiracy Theory. According to the documentary trailer, This Is Not a Conspiracy takes a deeper look at the “hidden forces that shape our lives.” Successfully funded via Kickstarter, the documentary currently has two episodes (the first of which you can watch for free on Vimeo) available for purchase on Vimeo On Demand as well as on VHX. To get more perspective on this uniquely-formatted project, we asked Ferguson about his intentions and creative process behind This Is Not a Conspiracy Theory and what we can expect from the rest of the documentary’s episodes: Tubefilter: Why installments in the first place and not one long flick? Kirby Ferguson: Because I like the conversation that takes place in the episodic format. I like to put pieces out, get a reaction, and incorporate what I learn. I think it makes the work better and I don't foresee myself working any other way. I love the episodic format

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  • DanceOn Offers $1,000 With ‘Beyond The Lights’ Dance Contest

    beyond-the-lights-les-twinsOn November 14th, film studio Relativity Media will release Beyond The Lights, a film about a young musician who struggles with the pressure of hitting it big. In order to drum up support for the film, Relativity has teamed up with the DanceOn network for a dance contest inspired by the film. The contest asks participants to film a dance routine based on Beyond The Lights. DanceOn suggests "Masterpiece", a track from the film, as a potential soundtrack, though contestants are encouraged to dance to any song, so long as their moves accurately convey the film's themes. As stipulated by the contest's rules, each video will be graded on the difficultly of the dancer's routine, the routine's originality, the execution of the dancer's wardrobe, and the dancer's "ability to convey character and expression in the dance performance." The submission that most strongly meets these criteria will earn a $1,000 grand prize. For dancers who are curious about what the last item in that list means, DanceOn's creative partners have offered a few sample dances of their own. Willdabeast has released a dance number set in a hazy studio, while Les Twins have served up an impressive video that uses the New York City skyline as its backdrop. Both of these examples use "Masterpiece" as their background music

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  • Zoe Saldana Pampers Her Mother In AOL Original Series ‘My Hero’

    Zoe Saldaña Pampers Her Mother In AOL Original Series 'My Hero' by Bree Brouwer of TubefilterZoe Saldaña may be known for her roles in Avatar or Guardians of the Galaxy, but the Hollywood starlet has a new project which encourages people to turn their attention away from her. The actress’s AOL Originals series, Zoe Saldaña Presents My Hero, launched on October 24, 2014, on AOL On. Produced by Saldaña in conjunction with Ellen Rakieten Entertainment and Relativity Television, Zoe Saldaña Presents My Hero follows several Hollywood stars, but not in the way you’d expect. The ten-episode series focuses on the people most important to these celebrities: their personal heroes. Each Hollywood personality will say have the opportunity to say “thank you” to the people most important to them in the grandest surprise gesture they can create. In the debut episode, Saldaña pays tribute to her mother, who single-handedly raised Saldaña and her two sisters in the Dominican Republic after their father’s tragic death. Saldaña said their mother taught them everything they know about strength and perseverance. “I never understood how she did it,” Saldaña states in the first episode

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  • Netflix, Hulu, Amazon To Spend $6.8 Billion On Programming In 2015

    Netflix, Hulu, Amazon To Spend $6.8 Billion On Programming In 2015 by Bree Brouwer of TubefilterHollywood will receive a big influx of cash next year from none other than streaming video-on-demand subscription services. Analyst David Bank from RBC Capital Markets believes Netflix, Hulu, and Amazon Prime will spend $6.8 billion in 2015 for syndication rights of popular TV shows and movies. As reported by Variety, Bank wrote in a projection report that Netflix will provide roughly $3.3 billion of the final $6.8 billion figure, Hulu $1.5 billion, and Amazon Prime will contribute $1.7. This total is significantly higher than the reported $5.2 billion Hollywood studios received from SVOD services in 2014, and it will almost double the number broadcast stations plan to spend in 2015 (only $3.3). However, the SVOD syndication spending will still be less than the whopping $18.4 billion Bank estimates cable companies will pay for syndication in 2015. Bank did note in his projections that cable companies aren’t likely to continue growing as rapidly as SVOD in the next several years. According to Variety, the analyst “expects double-digit year-over-year increases in SVOD syndication spend for “years to come,’” especially because of the continuing developments in the subscription services industry (like Netflix expanding to international locations)

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  • Shakira Stars In Branded Web Series For Fisher-Price

    shakra-fisher-priceShakira is a mom now, and she wants to share her child-rearing experience with the Internet. The international music superstar has teamed up with Fisher-Price to star in a series of branded videos aimed at young moms. The new web series, which debuts on October 27th and spans ten episodes, will feature Shakira's family in some episodes. The Colombian star is married to Spanish soccer star Gerard Pique, has a 21-month-old son named Milan, and is currently pregnant with her second child. Shakira has already appeared in her first video on the Fisher-Price channel, where she discusses her efforts to teach music to her son. The web series supports a new line of toys Shakira is launching alongside Fisher-Price. Geoff Walker, EVP of the toy company's Global Brand team, told the Hollywood Reporter that Shakira first contacted Fisher-Price about a potential partnership. "It's about finding an authentic mom that is relevant to the millennial crowd," said Walker of the web series

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  • Season Two Of ‘Alpha House’ Is Now Available On Amazon Prime

    john-goodman-alpha-houseAmazon's first original series has now begun its second season. Alpha House, which follows a group of Republican senators who live together in a house in DC, has added ten new episodes to its library on Amazon Prime. Alpha House stars John Goodman as Gil John Briggs, a Senator who, during the second season, must fend off a Democratic challenger and win re-election. This plot is ripped straight from the headlines; Alpha House's debut comes less than two weeks before midterm elections in the US. When the first season of Alpha House arrived last year, critics met it with middling reviews. This year, the early consensus seems to have come out a little more positive, with critics from Variety and the Los Angeles Times praising the series' low-key brand of comedy. "Alpha House isn't the most popular or celebrated title amid the present onslaught of D.C.-set political series," writes Brian Lowry of Variety, "but it might be the most honest and politically astute." All ten episodes have been released at once, and viewers are encouraged to binge on it

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