Thursday, March 22, 2007
The move underscores how serious a threat YouTube has become to media companies, which fear losing a new generation of viewers that are as likely to be found in front of computers as television screens.
Another media company, Viacom, last week sued Google for $US1 billion ($1.24 billion) over unauthorised use of its videos on YouTube.
While NBC and Rupert Murdoch's News Corporation (the parent company of News Limited, which is the publisher of NEWS.com.au) compete fiercely for television and movie audiences globally, their partnership shows the risks executives are willing to take to regain control over content as more consumers look to YouTube, or Apple's iTunes, for entertainment.
The two companies also enlisted three of Google's largest rivals - Yahoo, Microsoft and Time Warner's AOL - as distributors of the entertainment on their websites.
"This is a game changer for internet video," News chief operating officer Peter Chernin said in a statement.
"We'll have access to just about the entire US internet audience at launch. And for the first time, consumers will get what they want - professionally-produced video delivered on the sites where they live," he said.
The internet video market is key to the future of media and will be vast enough to accommodate competition, analysts said. But one missing element they noted is the ability for users to upload their own videos - a function that has made YouTube so popular with the younger audience.
"There's plenty of room for multiple players," said Richard Greenfield of Pali Capital. "It's still not clear how user-generated content is going to fit in and it's still not clear that all of these companies won't do a deal with Google over time," he said.
YouTube can still distinguish itself with its popular tools for users to share homemade, as well as professionally produced, material. "It's not actually going to take away from YouTube because it's as much about the social experience as the video. So YouTube is going to be fine," said James McQuivey, an analyst with Forrester Research.
While free to viewers, the site will be paid for by advertising and has already signed on marketers Cadbury Schweppes, Cisco Systems and General Motors.
NBC and News sought to woo additional media companies into its partnership, including Viacom and CBS, which are both controlled by Sumner Redstone, according to people familiar with the matter.
Viacom said it welcomed the new venture as a vehicle for spreading entertainment online while protecting copyright holders. CBS said it would continue to discuss the possibility of working with the venture, among other initiatives.
Google and YouTube representatives were not immediately available for comment.
Executives briefed on the project, the name of which has not been disclosed, say it will include its own site as well as allow partners to feature video on their individual websites.
The venture includes a new internet media player, which will be embedded on partner sites and carry branding of both, they said.
Advertising revenue is likely to be split between the site carrying the content and the company that produced the entertainment, though financial terms were also not released.
While the site will allow users to edit - or "mashup" - some video, it apparently does not have a component for uploading home-made videos.
NBC said separately that it will introduce social networking and video sharing functions to NBC.com, in what could be a challenge not only to YouTube but its new partner, News Corp's MySpace social network.
Tuesday, March 20, 2007
SAN FRANCISCO--(BUSINESS WIRE)--Riverbed Technology, Inc. (Nasdaq:RVBD), the performance leader in wide-area data services (WDS), announced today the results of its semi-annual customer survey conducted in March 2007; over 500 customers responded, representing 435 organizations. The results show that Riverbed’s customers are highly satisfied with Riverbed’s products and technical support. The results also reveal purchase motivations, with acceleration of applications selected by respondents as their primary motivation for purchasing Riverbed’s Steelhead® WDS appliances. Of the respondents who evaluated alternatives, more than 170, representing 130 organizations, chose Riverbed’s Steelhead appliances over Cisco’s WAAS offerings, and 155, representing 148 organizations, selected Riverbed’s Steelhead appliances over Juniper’s WX or WXC appliances.
Riverbed® conducts its customer survey twice annually. The survey looks at customer satisfaction with Riverbed’s products, technical support and professional services, customer purchase motivations, applications accelerated by Riverbed’s Steelhead appliances, other vendors considered in the purchase process and why customers chose Riverbed.
“Ease of integration and application performance are important buying criteria for organizations of all sizes who are considering WDS products,” said Zeus Kerravala, senior vice president of Enterprise Research at the Yankee Group. “Riverbed’s high customer satisfaction rate shows that the company delivers on its promise of speed, scale and simplicity.”
Customer satisfaction: 87% of the respondents gave Riverbed an overall company rating of eight or higher, on a scale of 1-10, while a full 41% of respondents gave Riverbed a perfect score of 10 out of 10. Product performance, hardware and software quality and management capabilities were all highly rated, with performance at 8.88. Riverbed’s technical support also received exceptional scores, with expertise of support engineers coming in at 8.75 out of 10.
Purchase motivations: Riverbed surveyed the customer base to track their primary and secondary purchase motivations. Nearly 80% of respondents purchased Riverbed’s Steelhead appliances to accelerate applications. The ability to reduce bandwidth costs, consolidate IT, and facilitate disaster recovery processes were also strong buying considerations. Over 70% of respondents selected IT consolidation as either a primary or secondary motivation for purchasing, while over 60% named disaster recovery as a primary or secondary motivation.
Other vendors considered: Customers who chose Riverbed, when they did consider products from other vendors, considered products from Cisco, Juniper Networks, and others.
Why Riverbed over the Competition: The top three reasons that respondents chose Riverbed over the competition were that the Steelhead appliances deliver faster and better performance, are easier to deploy and manage and offer broader support for application acceleration. Other considerations were pre-sales and support, range of features, scalability, product stability and Riverbed’s position as the market leader.
Applications Accelerated: The customers surveyed are accelerating a broad range of applications, with Windows File Sharing, Microsoft Exchange, Web-based applications (e.g., SharePoint, Web Front), MS-SQL back-end applications, custom applications, client/server business applications (e.g., Oracle, SAP), FTP, backup/replication (e.g., SnapMirror, DPM, DoubleTake), thin client, CAD and document management (e.g., Interwoven, Documentum) rounding out the list of top ten applications.
About Riverbed’s Steelhead Appliances
Riverbed’s WDS solutions enable organizations with more than one office to overcome a host of severe problems, including poor application performance and insufficient bandwidth at remote sites. By speeding the performance of applications between distributed sites by five to 50 times and in some cases up to 100 times between enterprise datacenters and remote offices, Riverbed’s award-winning Steelhead WDS appliances enable companies to consolidate IT, improve backup and replication processes to ensure data integrity, and improve staff productivity and collaboration. Steelhead appliances have been deployed in organizations ranging from the world’s largest corporations with offices around the globe to small companies with a couple of sites that are just miles apart. To learn more, view Riverbed’s demo: www.riverbed.com/pr/jack.
Monday, March 19, 2007
Wednesday, March 14, 2007
Tuesday, March 13, 2007
SAN FRANCISCO, March 14 (ANTARA/PRNewswire-AsiaNet) --
Deployment Achieved in Record Time
OpenTV Corp. (Nasdaq: OPTV), a leading provider of enabling technologies for advanced television and cross-platform interactive services, today announced that it has successfully integrated and downloaded its Core2 software to over 1,400,000 set-top boxes for DishTV. DishTV, part of the Essel Group of companies, has launched advanced digital television services that include a new guide, interactive cricket, multi-angle interactive news, and a suite of games from OpenTV's PlayJam service. The integration and deployment of the software and services took less than four months, an industry record for a launch of this size.
The next phase of deployment will introduce further applications as well as a PVR built around OpenTV's PVR2 software. With over one million subscribers and an expected annual growth rate of 100% per year, Essel Group expects to deploy similar OpenTV-enabled services to a portion of its Siticable customer base, India's largest at approximately 6.5 million subscribers, as Sitibase converts its cable systems from analog to digital. Conax conditional access is used by DishTV.
According to Mike Ivanchenko, Senior Vice President & Managing Director, Asia Pacific, at OpenTV, "We're delighted with the speed with which our team was able to launch DishTV services. The Indian market is a huge opportunity for OpenTV, and being able to serve a vast and growing number of subscribers quickly and without technical problems is imperative in order to be successful. With analysts projecting a compound annual growth rate of 10% for the Indian pay TV market, we expect to see 70 million digital subscriber households by the year 2010, and OpenTV is well-positioned to be able to meet their needs for advanced digital television services."
"Working with OpenTV has resulted in a mutually beneficial partnership that has dramatically accelerated the growth of digital television in India," said Jawahar Goel, Additional Vice Chairman of Essel Group. "The basic boxes we have deployed are perfectly suited to the Indian market, but difficult to deploy. OpenTV's speed in launching with these boxes will enable subscribers to immediately take advantage of 'enhanced cricket' and other interactive services for which viewers have been clamoring."
About Open TV
OpenTV is one of the world's leading providers of solutions for the delivery of digital and interactive television. The company's software has been integrated in over 81 million digital set-top boxes and digital televisions around the world. The software enables enhanced program guides, video-on-demand, personal video recording, enhanced television, interactive shopping, interactive and addressable advertising, games and gaming and a variety of consumer care and communication applications. For more information, please visit www.opentv.com.
About Essel Group
Essel Group has a vast range of national and global business interests that include media programming, broadcasting and distribution, packaging, entertainment, online gaming, and telecom.
Essel Group has always been a pioneer-Zee TV was the first Indian satellite channel, Siticable the first MSO, Esselworld the first theme park, Playwin the first online lottery, Essel Propack the world's number one in packaging-all revolutionary concepts in their respective fields.
Continuing with the same path-breaking tradition, the group has recently launched DishTV, India's first DTH service, which in a short span of time has established itself as the leading content provider with in India, bringing to the viewers a new era of premium quality TV viewing. DishTV is going to provide its live service on Kingfisher premium airline, the second airline in the world to deploy such capability.
Thursday, March 08, 2007
Clearwire Corp., a wireless Internet services provider founded by cellular phone pioneer Craig McCaw, raised $600 million in its initial public offering which valued the entire company at just over $4 billion.
Clearwire is rolling out a next-generation wireless technology known as WiMax, which offers higher speeds and greater range than today's Wi-Fi. WiMax is also seen a potential threat to cellular carriers and the investments they've made in their wireless infrastructure.
The company said Thursday it sold 24 million shares priced at $25 each on Wednesday night. The price was at the upper end of the its expected range of $23 to $25 each.
The shares begin trading Thursday on the Nasdaq Stock Market under the ticker symbol "CLWR."
The Class A shares being sold represent about 14.8 percent of the company's combined total of nearly 161.6 million Class A and B shares.
Proceeds from the sale are projected to total $559 million after underwriting fees and the company said it will use them for market and network expansion, spectrum acquisitions and general corporate purposes.
Clearwire was founded in October 2003 by McCaw, a Seattle-based billionaire, who founded McCaw Cellular, which was eventually acquired by AT&T.
In July 2006, chip maker Intel Corp.'s venture capital arm agreed to invest $600 million in Clearwire as part of a $900 million deal, which included mobile phone maker Motorola Inc.
McCaw would own a nearly 49 percent voting stake and 34 percent equity stake in the company after the sale.
The underwriters, which include Merrill Lynch & Co., Morgan Stanley, and J.P. Morgan Securities, have been granted the option to purchase up to an additional 3.6 million shares of common stock to cover any over-allotments.
If the underwriters exercise their over-allotment option in full, the company will receive additional proceeds of roughly $85 million.
Wednesday, March 07, 2007
Monday, March 05, 2007
But at least one partner has expressed unhappiness with its YouTube deal. Last month, NBC, which promoted its fall lineup on the site, demanded that YouTube take down some unauthorized videos. And now more media companies are flirting with smaller YouTube competitors, such as Revver and iFilm. Last month Joost, signed a content deal with Viacom, which owns MTV and Comedy Central.
Without a deal with Viacom, YouTube is left without some of its most popular clips from Comedy Central's "South Park" and "The Daily Show With Jon Stewart." Viacom, which walked away from a YouTube deal last month, claims that traffic to its Web sites such as Comedycentral.com and MTV.com has increased since it put more video there, allowing visitors to embed clips on their own blogs or other Web sites.
The Joost team has a few things going for it, good lineage when it comes to getting traction with a new product (Kazaa, Skype); founders (Janus Friis and Niklas Zennstrom) with deep pockets and the ability to attract more; and the byproduct of those two—plenty of publicity/hype. (Joost is feeding the buzz with a time-proven gimmick: make the beta hard to get into and urge people to ask those already in the beta for a token to get access.) Their contention: they shouldn’t be grouped with the others because Joost is real TV for the web. If the player is half as good as Joost’s ability to get juice, they really could be on to something.
For now, it’s by invitation only, but by this summer it will be open to the public. You’ll download the free Joost software, then use it to watch channels ranging from Lime, a lifestyle station, to National Geographic. And potentially thousands more, from anywhere, in real time — and without the stuttervision that dogs streaming video today. It’s the creation of a team of 60 top engineers — veterans of Apple, Flickr and Firefox.
Joost says it’s about to announce a pact with JumpTV to carry some programming it has rights to from 270 stations in 70 countries; that deal will launch with prerecorded Spanish and Arabic programming. The goal eventually is to stream some of the stations live.
Thursday, March 01, 2007
She will work from the company's new offices in the San Francisco Bay Area, anticipated to open during the first quarter of 2007, she will be responsible for all aspects of the Company's software licensing business unit, with an important focus on the United States market.
"As we are preparing to launch new products and services in 2007, we are also ready to intensify our sales and marketing effort," said Martin Bouchard, President and CEO of Mamma.com Inc. "Michele's broad experience and extensive network of contacts will be key factors in growing our customer base, as well as increasing our presence in the US. We are pleased to have an experienced person like her on board."
Prior to joining the Company, Chaboudy served as CMO/General Manager of Digital Publications for NewsStand Inc. and was responsible for business development, account management, operations, product management and corporate communications for NewsStand Inc., a leading, world-wide digital edition processor and distributor of newspapers, magazines and other print material world-wide.
Prior to working at NewsStand Inc., she served as the Vice President of Marketing for Zinio Systems leading their strategic marketing and web design, and prior to working at Zinio, she served as the Vice President of Marketing for CBS MarketWatch.com where she was on the executive team that lead the company through an initial public offering in 1999.
Chaboudy also launched Wired News for Wired Digital in 1997. Chaboudy has given presentations at several online media conferences, worldwide, on topics of online marketing, digital rights management and online content distribution.
"I am very excited to join this highly regarded technology company in the search and online advertising industry. I look forward to expanding our presence in the US and worldwide," said Chaboudy. "The potential for our award-winning technologies is outstanding and I am eager to get started with this new challenge."
Mamma.com Inc. provides search technology for both the Web and desktop space, delivered through its properties, www.mamma.com and www.copernic.com respectively. The Company is also a top provider of online marketing solutions to advertisers, providing keyword and graphic ad placement on its large publisher network.