Lots of changes took place in the TV/streaming content industry in the past few weeks. Let’s pause and look at what has happened.
ABC vs. Aereo–the Supreme Court heard this case on April 22 and the public can expect a ruling in June. Mohu covered it in an earlier blog. Two issues are at the core of the case. The first is does Aereo’s “re-transmission” of OTA content constitute a public or private showing? If it is a public showing, does Aereo owe retransmission fees to the broadcasters? The second issue is murkier and relates to storing items in the cloud. The Supreme Court Justices are more concerned with items in the cloud and the impact their ruling will have on other cloud-based content–anything from iTunes to DropBox.
Netflix is Moving to Cable–Netflix has long lived on computers and streaming devices and, along with an HDTV antenna, is cord-cutting staple. However, according to the Washington Post, Netflix signed a deal with three small cable companies (RCN, Atlantic Broadband and Grande Communications) and will become a cable channel on their TiVo DVR boxes. Viewers will need a separate Netflix subscription to watch Netflix content. However, this is the first time Netflix has explicitly put its content on a cable box.
AOL and Miramax Sign a Deal to Stream Miramax Content–According to Variety, “The Internet media company inked a deal with Miramax to deliver a selection of its full-length films to U.S. users, available to watch for free (with ads) across a range of devices. The pact will lead up to the launch of a new “Movies” section that will be featured across the AOL On Network for video, which until now has comprised only shortform series and clips.” Miramax content includes “Pulp Fiction,” “Reservoir Dogs,” “Good Will Hunting,” “Cinema Paradiso” and the “Spy Kids” franchise. AOL will stream the movies with a limited number of commercials, but vows to “respect consumption behaviors” when it comes to viewing the long form content.
Two new developments–Netflix signed a deal with Verizon to gain better access to Verizon’s broadband network, similar to the deal Netflix made with Comcast a few weeks ago. Gizmodo has more details. In the short run, this is good for Verizon broadband subscribers, but in the long run the cost of this deal with get passed onto consumers and this deal is another nail in the coffin for “net neutrality.” In addition, Yahoo! announced late last night that it too will be providing original content. Yahoo! hired Paul Feig, the brilliant mind behind Freaks and Geeks and The Office to produce two 30 minute sitcoms, according to Gizmodo.
Mohu Channels–And last but definitely not least, Mohu’s Channels is getting ready to ship in June. One of our stretch goals, which we’ve met, is to provide a free Channel Guide to all backers at $79 and above. The Channel Guide will help you explore the amazing bounty of video content that exists out on the Web. It’s content that’s “in the wild”–you could possibly find it if you looked, but now we’re going to find and organize great streaming content.