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Posted inNews

Vimeo raises $150m as parent company mulls spin-off

Video streaming service Vimeo may be spinning off as an independent company within parent group IAC. The news was revealed as IAC also announced that Vimeo had raised $150m in a new funding round, from Thrive Capital and GIC.

A letter to shareholders from IAC boss Joey Levin outlined Vimeo’s journey from being a (smaller) YouTube rival, to more of a B2B platform for brands and companies using video.

“Prior to the pandemic, we were steadily proving Vimeo’s fit in the market. Organic bookings growth consistently accelerated last year from 11% in Q1’19 to 27% in Q4’19 as we began to expand from our filmmaker roots to a broader audience of small businesses and large enterprises,” he wrote.

“Then the pandemic hit, and that acceleration exploded to 41% in Q1, 79% in Q2, and 56% in the most recent quarter.” More than 3,500 business clients are currently using Vimeo.

Posted inNews

Mobile video-streaming service Quibi is shutting down

Barely six months after it launched, video streaming service Quibi is shutting down. “We are winding down the business and looking to sell its content and technology assets,” announced co-founders Jeffrey Katzenberg and Meg Whitman in a blog post overnight.

“Quibi was a big idea and there was no one who wanted to make a success of it more than we did. Our failure was not for lack of trying; we’ve considered and exhausted every option available to us… Quibi is not succeeding. Likely for one of two reasons: because the idea itself wasn’t strong enough to justify a standalone streaming service or because of our timing.”

Launching a mobile-only video streaming service designed for short-snack viewing during a pandemic that locked people down in their homes with bigger screens was unlucky, but Quibi couldn’t crack the problem even with $1.8bn of funding – one report suggests there’s $350m left to return to investors.

Posted inNews

Netflix growth slows but 200m subscribers milestone is in sight

Netflix warned investors that its subscriber growth was going to slow in the second half of this year, and it has. The video streaming service added 2.2 million net new paid subscribers in the third quarter, taking it to just under 195.2 million overall.

Netflix also said that it expects to pass 200 million subscribers (201.2 million to be specific) by the end of 2020.

The slowdown in growth was clear though: Netflix added 15.8 million subscribers in Q1 and 10.1 million in Q2. The 2.2 million in Q3 was below Netflix’s guidance of 2.5 million, which is one reason why its share price dipped following the announcement of its financial results yesterday.

Posted inUncategorized

Disney reorganisation makes streaming its ‘primary focus’

Streaming being the primary focus for record labels is nothing new in our industry, but in Hollywood it’s still a major talking point.

Witness Disney’s announcement yesterday that the company is having a strategic reorganisation of its media and entertainment businesses “designed to further accelerate the company’s direct-to-consumer strategy, in light of the rapid success of Disney+”.

This isn’t Disney abandoning cinemas entirely, of course, but the announcement did make it clear that it’s now the company’s own streaming services (note the plural: Hulu and ESPN+ are included here) that come first, and the “legacy distribution business” second.

Posted inNews

Twitch Soundtrack is licensed for livestreams, not VOD

We reported yesterday on the launch of Soundtrack by Twitch, and its catalogue of cleared music for streamers to use from more than 30 independent labels and distributors.

Now there’s a FAQ getting into some of the licensing nitty-gritty of the new library.

“When set up properly as a separate audio source in your live streaming software (e.g. OBS), music from Soundtrack play on your live stream and will not be included in your VODs,” it explains.

Posted inNews

Soundtrack by Twitch offers licensed music to streamers

Livestreaming platform Twitch is launching a new feature, Soundtrack by Twitch, with a catalogue of licensed music for its community of creators to use in their streams.

The Amazon-owned company has licensed more than 1m tracks from more than 30 independent labels and distributors for the beta launch, in what’s its second attempt at an in-house music library.

Labels on board include Anjunabeats, Chillhop, Empire, Monstercat, Nuclear Blast and Alpha Pup. The initial distributor partners are DistroKid, UnitedMasters and SoundCloud.

Posted inNews

GRM Daily and Major Lazer documentaries launch on YouTube

It’s a busy week for music documentaries on YouTube, with two launching yesterday. ‘Together We Rise: The Uncompromised Story of GRM Daily’ is a four-part documentary based on the British music brand and its founder Posty, produced by Warner Music Entertainment. 

The first episode went live yesterday, with the rest to follow on 1, 5 and 8 October – all on GRM Daily’s YouTube channel, which has 3.3 million subscribers.

Posted inNews

Chartmetric launches new charts tracking music on Twitch

Twitch has been doing more with music and musicians, and analytics firm Chartmetric has been tracking that. The result is four new charts for music on Amazon’s live-video platform, presenting the top users by viewer hours both weekly and monthly, as well as the top users by followers both weekly and all-time.

Chartmetric says it’s tracking more than 5,000 artists, labels and ‘music-centric users’ on Twitch for the new rankings, pulling data “every few hours” to ensure the charts are up to date.

Among the findings so far: the most-followed music-related streamer on Twitch is Ibai Llanos (username: Ibai) who has nearly 2.4 million followers, ahead of US streamer LilyPichu, whose broadcasts mix gaming, drawing and piano-playing (hence her inclusion in the chart).

Posted inNews

Facebook Watch now has more than 1.25bn monthly visitors

Facebook Watch is the dedicated video hub on Facebook, and it’s one of the main places that official music videos live on the social network, since that content was added in late July in the US.

Now Facebook has provided an update on how popular Facebook Watch is. “Today, more than 1.25 billion people visit Watch every month to discover and share videos from millions of creators and publishers,” revealed Facebook’s head of video products Paresh Rajwat in a blog post.

That stat represents growth from the 720 million monthly visitors that Watch had in June 2019, the last time Facebook announced numbers for it. The social network ended Q2 this year with 2.7 billion monthly active users overall, so that means around 46% of them are visiting Watch.

Posted inNews

Vevo explores demographic differences in digital video habits

Music videos firm Vevo has published a report called ‘The Anatomy of a Video Experience: a Multicultural Story’.

It analyses how people are watching video on various devices – TV, mobile and PC – as well as exploring whether there are differences in behaviour between demographics including Asian, Black / African-American, Hispanic / Latino and White viewers.

The report, which was produced with Magna and IPG Media Lab, unsurprisingly includes some findings that play neatly into Vevo’s business model: for example, 60% of each group is receptive to ads while watching music videos.

Posted inNews

StreamElements reveals the top music channels on Twitch

Livestreaming industry company StreamElements has published its latest ‘State of the Stream’ report, using data from analytics firm Arsenal·gg.

It includes some new data on Twitch and its ‘music & performing arts’ category, which the report claims generated 17.6m hours of viewing in July 2020 – up by 387% year-on-year.

The usual caveat applies for this growth: it’s still a small percentage of overall watch-time on Twitch. The report claims that Amazon’s service had 1.4bn hours of viewing in July overall, so the music category was less than 1.3% of the total.