Category: Industry News

U.S. Probes Cable for Limits on Net Video

Today’s Wall Street Journal has important implications for a la carte entertainment solutions and consumers.

Following last week’s blast from Charlie Ergen reported by SHALINI RAMACHANDRAN

Dish Network Corp. DISH -0.18% Chairman Charlie Ergen said a new ad-skipping feature that has infuriated major broadcast TV networks is a “competitively necessary” response to the explosion of cheap Internet video. That Web video threatens the pay-TV ecosystem, he added, and it is partly caused by the TV networks themselves.”

Today’s Journal article by  THOMAS CATAN And AMY SCHATZ reports:

WASHINGTON—The Justice Department is conducting a wide-ranging antitrust investigation into whether cable companies are acting improperly to quash nascent competition from online video, according to people familiar with the matter.”

Clearly, entertainment distributors are facing Clay Christiansen’s “Innovators Dilemma”. Their strategic responses will remake the landscape of media economics for net video consumers.

“One Ring to Rule Them All”: Ringz Unifies The Interface To Simplify Video Sharing and Social TV

 Entering the multi-billion dollar content discovery market for cord-cutting video viewers, RingGuides Inc. (“RGI”) announces Ringz.TV.

A radically different entertainment experience, Ringz’ beta app organizes thousands of web video streams in a multi-dimensional environment. Leveraging the iPad’s dual core processors and multi-touch inputs, Ringz delivers a fast-paced world where viewers flip, swipe, tap, and pinch to explore a rich media universe.

Ringz is designed to organize and monetize video sharing from all sources—“over-the-top” web streams, live IPTV and cable television, video-on-demand (VOD) services like Netflix, “free-to-air” TV broadcasts, DVRs, and local files—in a single interface that works identically on TVs, phones, tablets and PCs.

“The future of television is video sharing of multi-source entertainment. Ringz’ simple interface and business model monetizes new services like Aereo and hybrid media player products like Apple TV that mix web video, local content, and live television” said Robert May, a successful serial entrepreneur and founder of Ringz. “Ringz provides consumers with easy access to personal entertainment on all their devices, while enabling advertisers to reach aggregated audiences with consistently measureable messages.

Ringz’ initial app focuses on web streams, showcasing partners AnyClip, BAMM, MetaCafe, Turner Broadcasting’s truTV and others, plus videos uploaded via Facebook and local iTunes content. Daily “Featured Ringz” present curated videos from around the world. Scrolling Twitter #hashtags link to Ringz about events, trends and sponsored brands. Social TV is encouraged with top RingMaker promotions and Ring sharing via email and social networks. Ringz’ iPad app can be mirrored to Apple TV as a “second-screen” remote control.

Ringz’ high-energy, over-the-top design by Emmy Award-winning film designer Kirk McInroy (“Pirates of the Caribbean,” “Night at the Museum,” “Aon Flux”) was refined through consumer research with hundreds of households at CBS Television’s testing lab.  The result is an immersive second screen interface that respondents described as: “fast…like channel surfing the web”, “I can see everything at once”, ”I’m finally in control of my TV.”

Based on the patented Ikonic Navigator electronic program guide (“EPG”), Ringz is the first social TV product of RGI, an angel-funded startup based at RocketSpace in San Francisco, CA.

Ringz.TV for iPad is free in the iTunes App Store, at and Follow on Twitter @ringztv.       ###


Contact: Zoe Sexton, Maguffin Worldwide, +1-415-888-2565,

Around The App: May 25, 2012

In addition to providing users with a cutting edge video application, each week RingzTV will highlight news and apps we believe you should know about. Tell us what you think @ringztv or here.


RingzTV Roundup Of News Affecting The Video World (May 25, 2012)


The Race: Build the Instagram of Video (WSJ)

A growing number of start-ups are providing easy ways to share videos taken from a smartphone, enabling people to add music and text and to share the results on Facebook or another social network.



Cable Execs Root for TV Everywhere, But No Timeline on Mass Adoption (Ad Age)

Even so, the idea has not been adopted by the larger mass of consumers. When will the concept have national scale? Unfortunately, there wasn’t a clear answer.

“It’s all chicken and egg. Consumer adoption is slow because there’s not a lot of content, and there’s not a lot of content because deal cycles take time,” JB Perrette, chief digital officer at Discover, said on a panel about TV content and delivery on Monday.



In the past year, the number of homes with an HDTV grew by more than 8 million to 80.2 million, leaving little doubt that the TV screen remains the dominant platform on which to consume video content. But those screens are increasingly Internet-enabled, via a set-top box, connection within the TV or through some other “Input 1″ device. For instance, Nielsen points out that gaming consoles have become strategically positioned as a secondary gateway to broadcast TV content and other options like Netflix and YouTube, and can now be found in 45 percent of TV homes, an increase of three percent over last year.



Social TV: The 3 C’s To The Social TV Experience: Communication, Content And Comments (On Demand Weekly)

Viacom Media Networks (VMN) unveiled the results to their “Social TV: Viewers C’s the Moment” study. It explores the social TV phenomenon through the lens of the viewer as part of the growing shift in TV viewing from a lean-back to a lean-forward experience. Consumers engaging in Social V activities “C’s the moment” primarily by communicating, consuming content and checking comments.



Cable Show 2012: Brands Will Survive in TV Everywhere Environment (Broadcasting & Cable)

While recent digital efforts like YouTube’s creation of 100 original channels are betting that users will seek out tailored content without the platform of a traditional TV brand, JB Perrette, chief digital officer, Discovery Communications, pointed out that early adopters of such technology, 18-24 year-olds, have more time to devote to discovering programming than a 30 year old does.



CONNECTIONS: June 5-7, 2012 (Dallas)

CONNECTIONS™ at TIA sessions offer a mix of market research, analysis, and industry insight. This approach is unique among conferences and necessary to capture the complexity of the Digital Living space and to see the opportunities in these interconnected markets.


Around The App: May 15, 2012

In addition to providing users with a cutting edge video application, each week RingzTV will highlight news and apps we believe you should know about. Tell us what you think @ringztv or here.


Around The App: May 15, 2012
RingzTV Roundup Of News Affecting The Video World


10 Funniest Sketch Comedy Channels on YouTube

Today, distribution is no longer a huge issue — anyone with a camera and creativity can produce potentially viral content, as we’ve seen time and time again.

That being said, YouTube may seem overwhelming for the people searching for that content. Eight years worth of content are uploaded to YouTube on a daily basis — how can you possibly find the type of comedy you’re looking for?

We’ve rounded up some of the best comedy channels on YouTube, each known for a different type of humor. Whether you like old school UCB-style sketch comedy, or outlandish, over-the-top humor, there’s likely a channel to suit your needs.



Garth Ancier advises Intel on virtual-MSO plan

Hollywood and Silicon Valley may be worlds apart, but Intel Corp. is relying on a TV-biz veteran to bridge the gap.

Sources say former BBC Worldwide America CEO Garth Ancier has been serving as the face of the chip manufacturer in boardrooms at all the major content companies to advance Intel’s ambition to launch a bundle of Internet-delivered TV channels that would rival offerings from cable and satellite operators.|News| LatestNews&utm_source=twitterfeed&utm_medium=twitter



The short (But Packed) Social TV Timeline (Ad Age)

March 2007 to Today


Forrester Revises Up Tablet Projection to 112.5 Million Adults; Effect on Online Video (Beet TV)

Forrester expects that 112.5 million adults, or one-third of the adult population, will own a tablet by 2016, a revision of its previous forecast of 82.1 million.

That’s a huge jump, but it’s not just from the iPad3 announced last week. The increase is due to the success of the Kindle Fire and Nook Tablet too, Forrester says.



TV Dramas Account for Most Primetime Viewing, Timeshifting and Ad Spend (Nielsen)

$72 billion was spent on TV advertising in the U.S. in 2011, with $14 billion allocated during these five traditional primetime genres. viewing-timeshifting-and-ad-spend/



OMMA Video – May 17, 2012 (NYC)

OMMA Video, MediaPost’s semi-annual conference about the art and science of marketing, advertising, producing and distributing video on the Web, covers everything from innovative new ad formats, to enhanced video targeting technologies, to online television, branded Web series, and viral distribution strategies. No other show in the industry ties all the fragments together in such a cohesive and easily digestible manner, ensuring that there really is more than just something for everyone.


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Around The App: May 8, 2012

In addition to providing users with a cutting edge video application, each week RingzTV will highlight news and apps we believe you should know about. Tell us what you think @ringztv or here.



Long-Form Content on the Web – Not a Long Shot (Tubefilter)

There’s half a dozen behavioral triggers in granular content that drive us to click: Funny, Disgusting, Violent, Titillation, The Unexpected or the Controversial. Combine them and the effect is even more powerful. We click, we watch. Our brains fire endorphins in reaction.


For TV networks, social is hugely important (USA Today)

In the heyday of television, networks and advertisers craved the hottest TV shows, those capable of producing “water cooler” conversation the next morning.

My, how times have changed in the digital era. “The water cooler used to be the next day, now it’s while the show is going on,” says Greg Kahn, executive vice president of ad-buying firm Optimedia.


Yahoo! Survey Reveals Tablet Habits of the Average U.S. Home (Yahoo)

One need only observe the glowing LCD screens lighting up commuter trains, meeting rooms and coffee shops to see that tablets have become ubiquitous in our personal lives. 62% of all U.S. tablet owners now say they use their tablets on a daily basis with an average use of 2.4 hours per day (Viacom). But, what we don’t often see is exactly how, when and where tablets are used inside the home. (#Infograph)


Online Video Turns Up Heat (WSJ)
Newer Medium’s Push for Ad Dollars Isn’t Likely to Keep TV From Eking Out Gains

Early expectations are that TV networks will win an increase in total ad commitments for the fall season in the coming weeks of negotiations with advertisers known as the upfront. Yet, some big marketers, including General Motors Co. and Samsung Electronic Co.’s mobile arm, say they are planning to shift some of their TV budgets to the Web.


TV.30 What’s Next? (NYC)


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Around The App: May 2, 2012

In addition to providing users with a cutting edge video application, each week RingzTV will highlight news and apps we believe you should know about. Tell us what you think @ringztv or here.



In Search of Apps for Television (The New York Times)

The same consumers who delight in navigating the iPad still click frustratingly through cable channels to find a basketball game. Their complaint: Why can’t television be more like a tablet?

The technology industry is trying to address that question for the millions of customers ready to embrace the next generation of viewing options. In the process it could transform the clunky cable interface, with its thousands of channels and a bricklike remote control, into a series of apps that pop up on the television screen.



Viddy adds 5.5M users in 11 days, signs on celebrity investors and partners (VentureBeat)

Fresh after receiving a vote of confidence from Silicon Valley venture firms and rocketing to fame through Facebook, social video application Viddy is getting the red-carpet treatment from Hollywood.

Singers Shakira and Jay-Z and actor Will Smith join other high-profile entertainment and technology types as investors and partners in the Los Angeles-based company, Viddy announced Monday.



Where Are Tablets Used & Where (The Daily)




Americans Watch Billions Of Video Ads Monthly (MediaPost)

Whetting the appetites of marketers, consumers are watching more online video advertising than ever. Breaking all previous records, Americans viewed more than 8.3 billion video ads in March, according to new data from comScore.


Digital Content NewFronts Kicks Off (VideoMind)

Taking a page from TV’s handbook, online video publishers are hosting their own version of the upfronts to sell digital advertising ahead of time. The Digital Content NewFronts is going on now in New York City.



The Ad Age Social Engagement/Social TV Conference: May 9 (New York City)

Five Reasons You Should Attend Ad Age’s Social Engagement/Social TV Conference social-tv-conference/234359/


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In addition to providing users with a cutting edge video application, each week RingzTV will highlight news and apps we believe you should know about. Tell us what you think @ringztv or here.

Here Comes More Tablet TV: TWC Bites Into ‘Ice Cream Sandwich’ (Multichannel News)

The bigger picture on this: For pay TV operators, delivering video apps their services isn’t just a nice-to-have: Tablets, specifically, are changing the way people “watch TV.”

According to a study commissioned by Viacom, tablet owners say about 15% of their full-length TV episode viewing is on video-friendly tablets like the iPad (see Tablets Are Clear Go-To Alternative To TV: Study). Users of MSO-supplied video-streaming apps like TWC TV spend 20% more time on their tablets than those who don’t use or have access to such apps. Here_Comes_More_Tablet_TV_TWC_Bites_Into_Ice_Cream_Sandwich_.php

Our new “Surprise Me” feature delivers serendipity on demand (TED)

Have 10 minutes to spare? Want to spend them on something inspiring? How about something jaw- dropping? “Surprise Me” feature delivers

Comcast Sports Net Local Sports HD iPad App (CSN)

Get the best local sports coverage from Comcast SportsNet! Stay up-to-date on your favorite local teams with breaking news, videos, instant analysis, scores, stats, schedules, exclusive articles and columns from CSN Insiders and more. Be the first to know everything about your favorite baseball, football, hockey and basketball teams – all from the convenience of your tablet. Covering: SF Bay Area, Chicago, New England, Philly & DC.


Multi-Platform World: Thursday – May 3 (New York City)
Scheduled speakers include HBO’s Eric Kessler, ESPN’s Matt Murphy, Comcast’s Charlie Herrin, Turner Sports’ Matt Hong and many more. Click here for more info:

What Could Be Next For Netflix

Earlier this week, Netflix’s relationship with Starz Entertainment ended.  Many subscribers have been anticipating this day as I’m sure Greeks are anticipating their country’s austerity measures to kick in; they have no say in the matter and things will never be as fun as they once were.

The New York Times reported the result of this breakup means “Netflix is now primarily an Internet streaming service for television shows, not feature films.” What will this mean for other companies and entertainment dependent on Netflix content? A mashup app that the pulls The New York Times API of movie reviews and Netflix’s API of available movie titles seems kind of pointless.  A question closer to a film geek’s heart is from where are the guys at the Filmsack podcast going to stream their films?

To clarify this even more, unfortunately for Netflix, with its current distribution agreements, it is actually an Internet streaming service for past seasons of television shows. This means it viewers will need to continue to go elsewhere (i.e. Hulu, Xfinity, etc.) to get even limited access to what is currently on television.

Couple this news everyone saw coming with yesterday’s BusinessWeek article that Netflix is lobbying to have privacy laws changed so it can allow your video queue to be seen via Facebook. It sees it as a way to reach 100s of millions of new subscribers. As you can imagine, privacy advocates don’t see this the same way.

What is next for Netflix is still to be seen. The one thing we know is it isn’t the company it once was.

Millions of Channels, Dozens of Devices…GigaOm Defines What It Takes To Win

A recent GigOm study, “Managing Infinite Choice: The New Era of TV User Interfaces“, by Alfred Poor, identified six key requirements for the next generation of of television Electronic Program Guides (EPGs).

According to Poor, the successful EPG must seamlessly enable Search, Browse, Recommendations, Retrieval, Access Control, Social Interaction functions. We’re excited by Poor’s recommendation, as we’re building Ringz.TV  to deliver these capabilities in a single, consistent, extensible user experience on any device.

Poor’s study quotes U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics findings that U.S. TV viewers aged 15 and older spend 3.44 hours a day watching television…nearly two-thirds of their available leisure time. He concludes ”…the rewards for solving this problem could be enormous. A better television interface for consumers could unlock the conundrum of how to monetize the content that used to be paid for through commercials interspersed in linear programming. For example, it could hold the key to delivering targeted content to small segments of the population that were not fiscally viable when we were limited to three major networks. It could also enable individualized advertising, much as marketing content is now customized for specific users in web searches. The very future of professionally produced video content may depend on finding a solution to the user interface problem. Without giving users a better way to access the universe of content and without giving advertisers a better way to reach those users, the current system of terrestrial broadcast and MVPD channels could continue its downward spiral and ultimately fail to support the generation of new content.” We couldn’t have said it better.

If you’re interested in “over-the-top”, direct-to-consumer entertainment, we highly recommend the entire GigaOm report, available here.

Twitter Feeds XFactor on Fox

The question of how we make the conversation as engaging for users as the shows they are watching is being answered by Twitter and by XFactor on Fox. XFactor has invested heavily in the infrastructure allowing viewer participation in the show and its outcome. Previously viewers could participate by texting in a voting code, but now votes, comments and responses will be seen on Twitter via XFactor Twitter feed. Now viewers can see and engage directly with each other.
Twitter’s long-term plan of developing partnerships with other types of media and programming are giving the privately held company massive influence and it’s not by accident. “This is the product of a strategy that started nearly three years ago with the hiring of Chloe Sladden, a former vice president at Current TV, who put Twitter messages on screen during the 2008 presidential election.” –NYTimes
“Benefits will accrue to us,” said Dick Costolo, the chief executive of Twitter, as a result of the service’s “engaging with these other media platforms and providing benefits to them.”
“The only powerful people now on TV,” he [Mr. Simon Cowell] declared, “are the people on Twitter and Facebook.”
While Twitter is great for sharing instant messages and links, Facebook users can truly implement the dual screen aspect of viewing that has become so popular. With they will be able to share their visual media libraries with friends, developing an ongoing dialogue and shared experience via Facebook, Twitter and email. Creating and saving content takes sharing to a whole new level. At the end of the day, that is what users want, an outstanding experience they revisit over and over again.