NETFLIX will remove the viewing limits on the company’s “watch instantly” video streaming feature, allowing subscribers to watch unlimited amounts of online TV shows and movies. Netflix offers over 6,000 titles through the service and recently announced plans to deliver content to TVs via an LG set-top box. The change is a defensive move that will help the service compete with Apple’s forthcoming iTunes movie rental service.
APPLE iPhone users visited Google more than any other mobile device on Christmas day, a traffic surge documented by internal Google data. The phenomenon lasted for a few days, until iPhone traffic fell behind that of Symbian-powered devices (but still ahead of all other cellphones). The traffic pattern is significant because iPhones account for just 2% of world-wide smart-phones, while Symbian phones represent 63% of the market. Yahoo, AdMob and other sites have seen similar traffic dominance from iPhone users, indicating that the device’s superior browser drastically increases mobile Internet use.
IMAGINE COMMUNICATIONS will soon unveil the ICE Broadcast System, which allows broadcasters to transmit 50% more HD content using current bandwidth restrictions. The system uses proprietary algorithms and optimized MPEG-2 encoding to save bandwidth without (supposedly) decreasing image quality. Imagine claims the system will be cheaper than switched digital and allow broadcasters to reclaim more than 18 QAMs of bandwidth.
THE DGA began negotiations with the AMPTP this weekend after several weeks of informal preparatory talks. As with the stalled WGA talks, the DGA negotiations are expected to focus on reimbursement for new media content. Meanwhile, SAG is threatening to ditch a 27-year joint bargaining agreement with AFTRA ahead of their upcoming contract negotiations. Both the DGA and SAG contracts expire on June 30th.
HAVAS has acquired BLM Holdings, a media broker that includes Internet-focused BLM Quantum. BLM Quantum purchases online advertising for such clients as Reebok and Domino’s. The deal will double Havas’ British media-buying, making it more attractive to major advertisers.