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Tuesday, November 07, 2006

More Digital Video for TV, Cell Phones, and Xboxes ... Future of Television Forum ... `Domino Effect' ... Net Neutrality

- Two interesting news items this morning that relate to bringing more digital video offerings to cell phones, TVs, and gaming consoles:


Microsoft is working with Viacom and Time Warner to make movies and TV shows available on its Xbox 360 game console, according to the Wall Street Journal. Nick Wingfield writes:


    As it gears up for what is expected to be an intense, competitive holiday season in the games business, the Redmond, Wash., software giant said it will sell episodes of television shows including the likes of "CSI" and "Star Trek" and rent movies such as "Mission Impossible III" and "Superman Returns" for users of Xbox 360 to download and watch on their television sets. The service, called Xbox Live Video Marketplace, will launch Nov. 22. Microsoft yesterday said the entertainment companies initially offering content through the service will include CBS Corp., Viacom Inc.'s MTV Networks and Paramount Studios, and Time Warner Inc.'s Warner Brothers.

    ....Movies and TV shows are "a secondary function for Xbox 360," said Michael Gartenberg, an analyst at Jupiter Research. "It's not something that's going to drive the purchase of an Xbox."


And Verizon is apparently talking to YouTube about making its videos available on Verizon Wireless cell phones and the company's IP TV service (which only has about 118,000 customers today.) Again, from the Wall Street Journal:

    Verizon already offers video clips from major media companies and networks such as MTV, ESPN, and ABC News, but a YouTube deal would be its first with a company whose videos appear only on the Internet. Among the many clips Verizon was offering yesterday was a short CBS News piece on President Bush's last-minute campaigning before today's midterm elections. Rivals Sprint and Cingular have even broader offerings, including live TV.


    Under the terms being discussed, Verizon Wireless cellphone users would be able to access about 50 to 100 of the most popular videos on the YouTube Web site at any given time, people familiar with the matter said. Initially, Verizon cellphone users wouldn't be able to post material of their own to the V Cast service but, by the end of the year, they would probably be able to upload video shot with a Verizon camera phone, a person with knowledge of the plan says.


    As part of the proposed deal, Verizon, starting next year, would allow users to view YouTube videos on demand through its new TV service. Users would likely be able to buy access to the top YouTube videos of the day for a small fee, with the revenue shared between the two companies.


- Interesting conference on The Future of Television coming up next week at New York University.


- A great post from the blog "Digital Micro-Markets" about how Google is approaching monetization of user-generated video, and their deal with Fritz Grobe and Stephen Voltz for `The Domino Effect,' a sequel to their hit viral video `The Extreme Diet Coke and Mentos Experiments.'


- Susan Buice and Arin Crumley (`Four Eyed Monsters') have made an excellent video about Net Neutrality. Well worth watching.