Vid-Biz: Ratings, PSP, WGAE

Fall Season Start Not That Great; despite the rosy stories about strong debuts, NBC, ABC and the CW’s ratings are down. (TV by the Numbers)

Get Some Sony Movies on the Go; new feature on select Blu-ray discs will allow users to transfer movies from PS3 to their PSPs. (Video Business)

WGA East Signs New Digital Media Signatories; Dinosaur Diorama (The Burg) among the 11 new web creators that are now WGAE members, part of an active digital media push being made by the guild. (WGA East)

YouTubers Launch Record Label; DFTBA Records to focus on releasing music from up and coming YouTube musicians. (YouTube Blog)

Big Ten Signs thePlatform for Online Video; the cable sports network will use the Comcast sub’s video platform to offer live and on-demand game coverage from the Big Ten Conference. (Broadcasting & Cable)

WPP Case Against SpotRunner Dismissed; WPP’s securities fraud and breach of contract case against the TV ad firm was based on the selling of SpotRunner shares; WPP plans to appeal. (paidContent)

EyeTV Releases iPhone App; lets users access live and recorded content from Macs. (Zatz Not Funny!)


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Be an iReporter With CNN’s iPhone App

CNN_appWhen I first heard of the concept of a 24-hour TV news station, I scoffed. “Who would want to watch that?” Of course, I was going into the fourth grade and at summer camp, so my lack of foresight can probably be forgiven. Something I definitely would have thought was cool then was the ability to watch live video from a 24-hour news station on my mobile phone, let alone shoot and contribute video with that phone.

CNN today launched its iPhone app, which provides news updates and allows users to watch live video of breaking news and highlights from the network (though, as paidContent reports, it doesn’t offer live-streaming of the channel’s own programming).

Additionally, it taps into the video recording power of the device, allowing users to shoot and upload video to CNN’s iReport citizen journalism site, as well as view other iReport stories.

The growth in citizen journalism has been a key NewTeeVee topic of interest since we launched, and the CNN iPhone app should help spur that even further by bringing together two strong brands. CNN, a name synonymous with round-the-clock news, and its iReport citizen journalism efforts are gaining some traction. The network said it saw a surge in iReport activity back in June of this year during the Iranian election protests. In addition, people are more accustomed to the video power now available in their hands, and uploading video from your phone is easier than ever. The iPhone 3GS has already proven its ability to drive mobile video uploads.

The CNN app (iTunes link) is available today and costs $2.


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How to Market an iPhone App: Get Apple to Market Your iPhone App

apple adThere are 85,000 apps* in Apple’s iTunes store. If you’ve built one of them, how do get yours to stand out?

If you’re lucky, you can get the press to do some marketing for you. And if you’re really lucky, you can get Apple to do your marketing for you.

The newest set of Apple ads focuses on apps made by big brands — like Barnes & Noble, Pizza Hut, Gap, Epicurious and Zagat — who can certainly afford their own promotional pushes.

And certainly those guys paid cash, or some other kind of compensation, for the consideration, right? Not as far as Advertisting Age can discern: The trade mag notes, with a bit of dismay, that there isn’t any kind of application process to get into Apple commercials, and that “the marketers in question didn’t request to be in the commercial at all.”

As far as I can tell, that mirrors Apple’s overall policy for iTunes, whether you’re talking about music, movies or apps: Unlike traditional retailers, or even competitors like Amazon (AMZN), there’s no way to buy shelf space at Apple’s digital store. If you want Apple to shine a spotlight on your stuff, you just have to hope that someone there likes your stuff. AdAge:

Apple did not immediately respond to requests for comment on the story, but it’s clear the company looks for apps that use as many aspects of the iPhone as possible, such as sound, shaking, GPS or the camera. It also seemed to favor anything that highlights features of the newest operating system, such as in-app payment. Additionally, it appears that brands are given more credit for good user experience than whether or not they can match Apple’s own cool factor.

Pizza Hut, for instance, doesn’t have many common associations with the tech giant but its app was the first from the quick-service industry that let users place delivery orders.

*Note that Apple’s app ecosystem has grown faster than its ad agency expected — the new campaigns announce that there are 75,000 apps, but that number is 10,000 short, according to a release Cupertino put out yesterday.

Apple’s Apps Flying Off the Virtual Shelves: 6.6 Million Downloads Per Day

apple-app-storeAnother milestone Apple is happy to brag about: It says it has served up 2 billion apps for the iPhone and iPod touch from its iTunes store.

How do we put that in context? A couple different ways.

For starters, let’s note that the velocity of apps Apple (AAPL) is delivering is increasing: It took Steve Jobs and co a little more than a year to serve up the first 1.5 billion apps, which averages out at 4.1 million downloads per day. But it moved the next 500 million apps within 76 days. That’s a 6.6 milllion per day average.

Next, let’s acknowledge that while the money Apple makes from the app store is secondary to its core hardware business, it’s still a sizeable amount.

Even if you assume that the majority of apps are downloaded for free, the remainder may still be generating sales of $200 million a month, mobile ad network AdMob guesstimates. Apple keeps 30% of that, which works out to be $720 million a year. Not bad for a side business.

AT&T Launches MMS for the iPhone

All eyes are on AT&T today, as the company has started rolling out multimedia messaging service (MMS) for the iPhone. Stacey at GigaOM pondered this morning whether AT&T’s network will be able to handle the crush of iPhoners sending videos and pictures to one another, and over at TheAppleBlog comes word that people aren’t just hoping for an AT&T fail, but are actively organizing to try and make it happen so that Apple ends its exclusive deal with the telco.

Have any NewTeeVeers tried the iPhone MMS? Let us know how it went in the comments. To activate the service you need to update your iPhone in iTunes (full instructions at TheAppleBlog).


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MLB’s At Bat App Downloaded More Than 400,000 Times

at_batMLB.com’s mobile strategy is adding to — not cannibalizing — the league’s traditional web business, according to President and CEO Bob Bowman. Speaking at the Apps for Brands conference in New York yesterday, Bowman shared some stats about MLB’s At Bat app and announced a new feature coming to the service in time for the playoffs (hat tip to Ad Age).

Bowman said that the $9.99 At Bapp app, which allows users to stream live games to their iPhone, has been downloaded more than 400,000 times, and MLB’s free app has been downloaded more than 350,000 times.

Unlike MLB’s other subscription products, which are used once or twice a week, customers are using the mobile app “every day,” said Bowman, because they’ve always got their mobile device on them.

MLB is also set to launch a Quad View feature for the At Bat app in time for the playoffs, which will let users view a game from four different angles, simultaneously. Without having seen the app in action, this seems like it will involve a lot of squinting on such a tiny screen, but I’ve learned to never underestimate the nuttiness of baseball fans.

We’ve heaped our fair share of praise on MLB before, and this is just the latest example of how it’s embracing new video technologies — an approach that’s paying off for the league. Earlier this summer it made MLB.TV available on both Boxee and Roku.


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Broadcast From Your Backpack With New Livestream Device

The most aptly named live-streaming company in the business, Livestream, is taking the wraps off its new Livepack — an all-in-one, backpack-sized device that enables live, mobile, HD quality broadcasts.

The ruggedized device requires no laptop and comes with a touch screen and six integrated 3G/EVDO modems from AT&T, Verizon and Sprint that are bound together in a way to provide the highest possible available bit-rate. Livestream CEO and co-founder Max Haot told us by phone that in a good coverage area users can get a solid 700 kbps connection (it can go up to 1Mbps), in poor coverage areas, the six modems working together can provide a 300 – 400 kbps.

The Livepack is integrated into Livestream’s platform to handle all of the video encoding and streaming, and it can be used by those with a free or a premium Livestream account. Just plug your camera into the device and you’re ready to broadcast. A single battery will deliver roughly 3 hours of use.

Livestream isn’t manufacturing the device itself; the company has partnered with LiveU for the hardware and to market the product to broadcasters. LiveU and Livestream are offering the Livepack on a rental basis: $2,500 a month with no contract, or $1,500 a month for a year contract with 30 hours of uplink time per month and all 3G and telecom charges included.

Haot sees events as a sweet spot for the Livepack, fitting in between super-high end broadcasters that have their own mobile facilities (like a TV network) and low-end UGCers making amateur looking content with mobile phones. “Event owners and organizers who put on an event — a sports event, community event, church event — they are realizing they can stream live for free or by investing a reasonable amount,” said Haot.

Livestream currently has 20 Livepacks available for rent, but LiveU has hundreds more units that could be called up. The Livepack is available now.


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