Animoto Rolls Video into Its Spiffy Slideshows


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Animoto on Wednesday is launching long-promised functionality to include videos in its animated next-gen slideshows. Animoto CEO Brad Jefferson stopped by the brand-new GigaOM office on Tuesday and we played with the new feature. He explained that Animoto (see our previous coverage) is able to incorporate video like this because it does all its processing up in the cloud, rather than within Flash like, say, Slide. Since Animoto’s core competency is basically turning photos into videos, in a few ways it’s actually more efficient to process already-moving videos, according to Jefferson.

What’s cool about the video feature (and Animoto in general), is that if you feed in raw footage, mix it with b-roll and music, you get something that looks extremely snazzy. Jefferson said the model is a TV segment, which spotlights and packages snippets of videos and graphics. But simple tools have their downside, and that’s lack of customizability. You’ll notice in our clip that our recorded audio and overlaid soundtrack don’t comfortably coexist. Further, Animoto is actually dictating how users incorporate video, by limiting clips to 10 seconds for paid users and 5 seconds for free users. Jefferson said that’s to maintain “punchiness.”


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Top Microsoft Zune Marketing Executive Leaves For Universal Music


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Chris Stephenson, who has overseen global marketing for Microsoft’s Zune music player since its debut in 2006, is leaving Microsoft (NSDQ: MSFT) to join Universal Music, the WSJ reports. Stephenson confirms he is leaving to the WSJ. At Universal, he will lead marketing for Interscope Geffen A & M Records. We’ve reached out to Microsoft representatives for comment and will update if we hear back.

Stephenson’s departure comes less than a month before the next model of the Zune, the Zune HD, is set to launch. So far, the new Zune—which features a touch screen, high-definition video, and an internet browser—has gained mostly accolades among reviewers.

Under Stephenson’s watch, Microsoft lately seems to be pitching the Zune—along with its related services—as a more affordable alternative to Apple’s iPod. For instance, an ad that debuted this Spring pointed out that it would cost $30,000 to fill a 120 gigabyte iPod with songs, while Zune owners could access that much music for $14.99 a month via the Zune’s unlimited music subscription service. And Stephenson himself has said that the new Zune HD—which is priced at a discount to the iPod Touch—is directly targeting the iPod Touch.

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Review: Nintendo Wii Gets (Very) Beta Online Video Streaming Service


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PlayOn for WiiVideo streaming service PlayOn from Media Mall Technologies recently added support for the Wii, which owners of Nintendo’s phenomenally popular video game console can use to watch Hulu, CNN and other selected channels online. It’s about time: The Wii excels at games, but when it comes to offering great online content, it’s running a distant third to Microsoft’s Xbox 360 and Sony’s Playstation 3. That in mind, I gave PlayOn for Wii a quick spin today. Instant verdict: Not a bad video streaming alternative for long format videos, but not yet ready for everyday couch surfing.

You first need to install the PlayOn program on a computer running on the the same network your Wii uses for Internet connectivity. (Instructions here; follow those closely before even turning on your Wii or downloading the client, or you may end up with hours of aggravation and confusion, like me.) Once PlayOn’s launched on your PC, just point your Wii’s web browser to “playon.tv,” and you’re in.

PlayOn’s Wii starting screen presents you with the available channels to choose from, including Netflix and Amazon, though you need to register your account info in the PC client, to access those services. Video quality is not bad, at least on my console — slightly better than the average YouTube video, but a notch or two below Hulu. PlayOn for Wii seems to stream long format videos well; I was able to watch an extended 60 Minutes segment without any sputtering. Overall, however, it is still very beta. For instance, many of Hulu’s listings don’t even have show/subject titles. (I only found Daily Show episodes after much digging, and got a 404 error for my pains.) YouTube videos don’t seem to come with a rewind or replay button. At the moment, channel navigation and content search is so kludgey and time-consuming, it’s not a very good solution for random viewing.

Final summary for Wii owners? Instead of using the 14-day free trial offer now, I’d wait a month or two (or three) in hopes the folks at Media Mall Technologies can work out the worst kinks, and only then give it a whirl before deciding if you want to plunk $39.99 down for a full license.


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DRM Provider Intertrust’s Patent Push Sparks Added Concerns Among Rivals


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DRM provider Intertrust has had a tough enough time making inroads into the U.S. market with its promises to guard content providers’ content from piracy. On top of the marketing issues—aside from the resentment DRM provokes from consumers, many digital device manufacturers are reluctant to spend additional capital on licensing fees associated with digital copy protections—a Forbes profile of the Sunnyvale, CA.-based company and its CEO Talal Shamoon are under fire from some in the digital industry for the myriad patents Intertrust has been accumulating. So far, Microsoft (NSDQ: MSFT) is the only company Intertrust has sued for copyright infringement—the two settled in 2004. But by amassing more patents, it’s reasonable to assume that Intertrust, which is jointly owned by electronics giants Philips and Sony (NYSE: SNE),  could become more litigious.

Intertrust currently has about 80 U.S. patents around “trusted computing,” which is an umbrella that covers DRM and other issues related to protecting intellectual property. Forbes notes that it has 144 more patents waiting for approval. Overseas, Intertrust holds 57 patents, with 150 still pending. One of the main goals Shamoon has laid down for Intertrust includes establishing the company’s Marlin open standard DRM system more widely. Two main companies stand in its way: Apple (NSDQ: AAPL), which has Fairplay and has dropped DRM covering music and kept it in place for movies and TV programming in its iTunes store; the other is its former legal sparring partner Microsoft, which uses and licenses its PlayReady standard.

To hear Shamoon tell it, wider acceptance of Marlin’s promise of interoperability would mean that consumers who pay for content wouldn’t be strictly tied to one device, such as an iPod or an Xbox. Shamoon is certainly good at presenting a more palatable view of Marlin’s DRM. Under his system, users would be encouraged to share among a variety of devices as license holders would receive the promise of getting paid. But as Wendy Seltzer, a fellow at Harvard Law’s Berkman Center for Internet & Society, tells Forbes, DRM will always remain a maze for companies and consumers to get lost in. “A maze with lots of gates looks more open than a maze with just one path through it,” she says. “But in both cases, once you run in you’re confined within the predefined path.”

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E W Scripps Reorgs Newspaper Division


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E W Scripps, the newspaper and TV media company, has started its reorg process, with a reshuffling the management overseeing its 13 daily newspapers, with an eye to “put increased emphasis on community-changing local content and peak-performing advertising sales,” in their own humble words (via E&P). The company has created an operating committee consisting of two new national positions with responsibility for sales and content, as well as four other positions with responsibility for operations, finance, information technology and human resources. Of interest to us digital folks: Rusty Coats, currently VP of interactive for the division, becomes VP of content and marketing, with responsibility for all content and marketing areas as well as interactive ops and strategic third-party relationships such as the company’s relationship with Yahoo. All editors, marketing executives and interactive leaders will report to him. Rest of it sounds so boring and pointless that from here, read the release instead. This as its ad revenues tanked in the previous quarter.


Paramount Tries Before it Buys into Redbox Model


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RedboxLogoRedbox has found itself at the center of a Hollywood war over the price of movie rentals, and up until now, sides have lined up either with the kiosk rental company (Sony, Lionsgate) or against it (Universal, Warner Bros., Fox). Paramount has chosen a third option — it’s entering into a trial through the end of the year with Redbox before it makes a final decision.

The deal will give Redbox access to new release Paramount movies as soon as they are released — a sticking point for those opposed to Redbox’s model. The LA Times reports that Paramount’s deal is a rev-share one, rather than an outright wholesale of discs to Redbox like Sony and Lionsgate do. Additionally, Paramount will get access to Redbox rental data of its movies, which the studio will use to determine the impact the $1 a night rental service has on its total home entertainment revenue.

If Paramount decides to fully commit to Redbox, it will be to 2014 and the deal is estimated to be worth $575 million.

Paramount’s move is so packed with common sense it almost makes you wonder why no one did it before. Universal, Fox and Warner Bros. all imposed delayed release windows against Redbox, which responded with lawsuits. Sometimes, things don’t have to be either/or, they can be both/and.


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Playboy Looked at Buying AdultFriendfinder Two Years Ago


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Not that this matters in the scheme of things, but shows the opportunities that Playboy Enterprises (NYSE: PLA) squandered over the years that helped it land in its current fix: the adult entertainment company looked at buying Various Inc, the parent of AdultFriendfinder, two years ago, before Penthouse bought it for $500 million and filed for its IPO late last year, we have confirmed from multiple sources. The talks didn’t become too serious after Playboy realized its market cap was nowhere near where it could afford to buy a big cash generating machine like Friendfinder, whose adult-related “dating” sites has been its cash cow for most part.

This along with many other companies that Playboy didn’t buy, almost all of them in the male entertainment space. Another source told me it looked at buying Fark, the news and weird links aggregation site, but that didn’t go down well with the management either. Now with a new CEO at the helm, the company’s trying to cut costs and rethink its future position, whether through a sale or combination with some other entity; I suggested Maxim recently.

Meanwhile, an aside: what happened with the Fark sale process? I heard the news and weird links aggregation site hired a banker last year, and tried to position itself as the Digg alternative to buy. With Digg’s own bad luck with a sale, no wonder Fark didn’t get bought out either.

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Tremor Collects $2M from SAP Ventures


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Though video ad network Tremor Media recently lost two co-founders, it looks as if the company has brought in another $2 million from SAP Ventures. Tremor did not disclose the amount it added to its $18 million Series C round from Meritech Capital Partners, Canaan Partners, Masthead Venture Partners and European Founders Fund in a funding announcement today, but it appears from an SEC filing (found via paidContent) that the total amount of the round is now $20 million.

New York City-based Tremor was the top video ad network in March, the first time comScore broke out that category. It narrowly beat out BrightRoll, which was followed by YuMe, Platform-A and Broadband Enterprises. Tremor says it now has access to 137 million uniques per month, and that it will use the new funding for product development.


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Paramount To Test Rental Rev-Share Deal With Redbox


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The Hollywood/Redbox saga continues, though Paramount has added an interesting twist. The Viacom-owned movie studio is testing out a new rental revenue-sharing deal with Redbox, which is different than the wholesale deals the DVD kiosk company currently has with Sony (NYSE: SNE) Pictures and Lionsgate. The LAT reports that Paramount will get an undisclosed percentage of $1-per-night fees Redbox gets for any Paramount films it rents.

The four-month arrangement is also unique because if it proves to be lucrative, Paramount will sign a five-year extended deal with Redbox that will ultimately net the studio a payout of $575 million. That’s about 25 percent more than the $460 million Sony will get per the terms of its own Redbox deal. Paramount Vice Chairman Rob Moore tells the LAT that the trial will give the studio enough data to “make an informed decision” about whether Redbox’s cheap rentals are really having a negative impact on its DVD sales.

The wait-and-see approach makes Paramount one of the only neutral parties in the middle of this year’s movie rental wars. Studios like Warner Bros., Fox and Universal have tried to enforce month-long release windows as part of their Redbox deals, in an attempt to prevent their DVD sales from being cannibalized; Redbox has responded to the sanctions with anti-trust lawsuits.

Sony and Lionsgate have thrown their chips in with Redbox for the most part, concluding perhaps, that making some money from the increasingly popular discount rental service is better than making none (or being sued). That may eventually be a conclusion that all the studio heads will have to face, as, according to new stats from NPD, around 30 percent of all DVD rentals in the U.S. will be from kiosks next year; in the first half of this year alone, Redbox’s share of all video rentals nationwide has been about 19 percent.

Paramount’s Moore said that the studio hasn’t reached any “definitive conclusions” about how it will move forward after the trial, if the data shows that the kiosk-rentals are cutting into overall revenue. (As Ben Fritz notes, Redbox will likely hit the studio with a lawsuit if it does try to impose release windows like Warner Bros., Fox and Universal).

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Was Twitter Document Theft, and Publication by TechCrunch, Legal?


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In June of this year, the personal email account of a Twitter employee was accessed, apparently as a result of an insecure password. By Twitter's own account, the unauthorized access to that account was the first in a series of actions that ultimately gained the hacker (who calls himself "Hacker Croll") access to Twitter corporate documents that were maintained on Google Apps.

The documents ranged from executive meeting notes, partner agreements, financial projections and sensitive personal information such as credit card numbers, to more mundane items such as the meal preferences, calendars and phone logs of various Twitter employees.

The hacker eventually sent the documents to tech blog TechCrunch, which decided to post some but not all of them. They are online here, here and here. Soon, a debate raged about whether or not TechCrunch was right to post the documents.

The Twitter files in question aren't exactly the Pentagon Papers, but their dissemination -- and the resulting controversy -- may help clarify whether blogs and bloggers are journalists.

Before getting to that issue, a brief and very general survey of the legalities involved in unauthorized access to corporate documents may be helpful background. There are several bodies of law that may be implicated by the scenario outlined in Twitter's account of the incident.

Unlawful Access

According to Twitter, the documents sent to TechCrunch were obtained through unauthorized access to an employee's email account, followed by unauthorized access to other email and online accounts. There are a number of federal and state enactments that the hacker may have violated by accessing those accounts without authorization.

Unauthorized access to electronic communications such as stored email (as opposed to email that is "intercepted" in transit) is covered by the federal Stored Communications Act (SCA). Violations of the Act may result in a criminal prosecution or a civil action for damages. In addition, many states have enacted laws that are similar to the federal statute.

Unauthorized access to a computer is largely covered under the federal Computer Fraud and Abuse Act (CFAA), which makes unauthorized access a crime under specified circumstances. Like the SCA, the CFAA permits a person (which includes a corporation or other entity) who suffers damage or loss by such access to bring a civil action for damages and an injunction.

As is the case with the SCA, there is an extensive body of law that relates to the CFAA, as well as a number of important, outstanding disagreements about how it applies. For example, when copies of electronic documents are obtained via unauthorized access to a computer network and the original documents are neither damaged nor destroyed, there is a question as to whether there was either "damage" or "loss" within the meaning of certain sections of the CFAA.

Many, if not most, states have computer crime statutes that potentially cover the kind of unauthorized access alleged by Twitter. These enactments may be similar to the federal statute, but they can be more broadly applicable. For example, Section 502 of the Penal Code of California (where Twitter's main office is located), like the federal statute, criminalizes certain acts of unauthorized access to computer systems and similarly provides for a civil right of action.

That said, an incident might fall under the unauthorized computer access statute of more than one state. A prosecutor in a particular state might seek to bring charges based on the location of the hacker at the time of the unauthorized access, or the location of the server or servers upon which the email account or accounts were hosted.

According to TechCrunch, which documented extensive discussions with Hacker Croll, the attacker is French, and thus may be operating from outside the U.S. If that's the case, while U.S. laws may still apply to the hacker's conduct, either criminal prosecution or a civil action may be more difficult to maintain as a practical matter.

Trade Secrets

Unauthorized access to corporate information in general (regardless of the manner in which the items were obtained) may constitute trade secret misappropriation. A secret formula or process such as the closely guarded recipe for making the Coca-Cola soft drink is what most people probably think of as a trade secret. Most states have enacted some version of the Uniform Trade Secrets Act (UTSA), which defines the term very broadly to include not only a secret process or formula but also any other "information" that has economic value as a result of being kept secret. Corporate documents containing information that would be valuable to a competitor, such as business plans and non-public financial information, can fit that definition under the proper circumstances. The UTSA provides for a civil action for unlawful access to trade secrets.

michael arrington.jpg

There is also a federal statute, the Economic Espionage Act of 1996 (EEA), that criminalizes the theft of trade secrets. The federal statute is broader than state trade secret misappropriation laws in some respects, and narrower in others. The EEA expressly covers "all forms and types of financial...information," and violations may result in 10 years in prison and up to a $250,000 fine.

But in a case of "domestic" trade secret theft, there must be a showing of intent to economically benefit a person other than the rightful owner of the trade secret. Hacker Croll has denied having any intent of that nature. If that is the case, then the EEA may not apply. On a related note, it has also been suggested that the California law criminalizing the receipt of stolen property may apply to this incident.

Privacy

Some of the information obtained via the Twitter hack appears to pertain to individuals, such as documents discussing individuals who had applied to Twitter for jobs. This information is both personal to the individual and potentially proprietary to a corporation. Some states allow a right of action for public disclosure of private facts, where private information which is not of public concern, and which would be highly offensive to a reasonable person, is publicly disseminated. This right of action might come into play if the information was posted publicly, either by the hacker or by TechCrunch. But it is not clear that applying for a job is the kind of embarrassing personal information usually involved in such a lawsuit, and it could be argued that such information is of legitimate public interest, at least with respect to some individuals.

In any event, TechCrunch apparently decided not to post any of the personal information included in the documents. The site said it would only post "information that is relevant to Twitter's business, particularly product notes and financial projections...." TechCrunch editor Michael Arrington discussed his reasoning in an interview with the New York Times in which he stated that he had been working with Twitter to determine which documents to publish.

The discussion of potentially applicable laws is speculative, and will remain speculative unless Twitter decides to take legal action against the hacker or TechCrunch, or if federal or state authorities decide to prosecute Hacker Croll. In either event, press shield laws and the First Amendment are likely to come into play.

Confidential Information and the First Amendment

As previously noted, the Twitter documents aren't exactly the Pentagon Papers, but in some respects the same issues are involved. TechCrunch is taking the position that, regardless of the manner in which the hacker obtained them, the documents are of legitimate public interest and that posting them is protected by the First Amendment. The U.S. Supreme Court has ruled that the interest in privacy of information can be outweighed by the public interest in the dissemination of truthful information about matters of public importance.

See, for example, the court's opinion in Bartnicki v. Vopper, 532 U.S. 514 (2001), which involved a radio station that played a recording of a phone conversation about school district labor negotiations. The tape was made illegally by an unknown third party and sent to the station anonymously. It's important to note that the court specifically stated it was not ruling on whether the same analysis would apply to a case involving a disclosure of trade secrets.

The issue of trade secrets has arisen on more than one occasion in the last several years with respect to Apple Inc.'s continuing efforts to protect its trade secrets from disclosure. One case was settled with an agreement by the operator of the Think Secret blog to shut down his website, albeit without disclosing the source(s) of his information.

jason ogrady.jpg

In another case, Jason O'Grady, the operator of Powerpage.org, dug in his heels and refused to reveal the source of confidential information about a potential new Apple product release. Apple chose not to sue O'Grady for posting the information. Instead, it brought suit against unknown "John Doe" parties it suspected of leaking the information to O'Grady and served a subpoena on O'Grady seeking information that would lead to their identities. O'Grady claimed protection under the California press shield law and the First Amendment.

In a precedent-setting opinion, the California Court of Appeals ruled in O'Grady v. Superior Court that by engaging in "open and deliberate publication on a news-oriented website of news gathered for that purpose," O'Grady was a "publisher" and his "online news magazine" was a "publication" within the meaning of the California press shield law -- even though the site did not have a regular publication schedule. The court also found that the source of the information was protected from disclosure under the First Amendment, despite the fact that Apple claimed it was protected by trade secret law. The court ruled that there was a "legitimate public interest" in information about a potential new product release under the circumstances presented.

The O'Grady case is of particular interest with respect to the posting of the Twitter documents because TechCrunch is located in California, and any legal action to obtain information about the identity of "Hacker Croll" is likely to take place in a court that would apply California law.

Are All News Sites Created Equal?

The O'Grady opinion offers much to consider when debating whether TechCrunch's actions would fall under the protection of the California press shield law. Despite the broad language used in O'Grady to apply the California press shield law, and the resulting headlines claiming that the ruling extended First Amendment protection to a blogger, the California court expressly reserved any findings on that issue. It has yet to be resolved in any definitive way.

The court stated that while Powerpage.org arguably was a blog, the term had an "amorphous" and unsettled meaning. The court chose instead to treat the site as an "emagazine," "ezine" or "webzine" because of its "multiple staff members and other factors," including the non-reverse-chronological manner in which the site was laid out. In contrast, TechCrunch is avowedly a blog and its reverse chronological presentation of material falls within the commonly accepted definition of a blog.

The result is that if TechCrunch is served with a subpoena issued from a California court seeking information on Hacker Croll, the courts may be forced to rule on whether blogs and bloggers, at least some of them, are "press" and therefore entitled to the protection of the California shield law.

Photo of Michael Arrington by Kenneth Yeung and photo of Jason O'Grady by Garrison Gunter via Flickr.

Jeffrey D. Neuburger is a partner in the New York office of Proskauer Rose LLP, and co-chair of the Technology, Media and Communications Practice Group. His practice focuses on technology and media-related business transactions and counseling of clients in the utilization of new media. He is an adjunct professor at Fordham University School of Law teaching E-Commerce Law and the co-author of two books, "Doing Business on the Internet" and "Emerging Technologies and the Law." He also co-writes the New Media & Technology Law Blog.

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Arti-Media Asserts Itself with Ad Insertion


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ArtimediaArti-Media is starting to bring its ad insertion technology to the U.S. in earnest, but will the company be able to differentiate its “unobtrusive” overlay ad placement service from the other competitors already here?

If Arti-Media’s mission sounds familiar, it should. Keystream has been working here domestically over the past year to do the exact same thing. Both companies have developed technology that automatically finds spots within a video that are “dead” or otherwise not part of the action and inserts an IAB-sized ad there.

Arti-Media says that it’s able to take this placement one step further and provide a continual analysis of the type of ad, location and timing to refine the placement and make it more effective.

The company also believes it’s well-positioned to make an impact in the U.S. market because it already has customers in other parts of the world and it has deep pockets in its publicly traded parent company, Artivision Technologies.

But even deep pockets may not be able to save the company from irritated customers. Early trials of Keystream’s ad insertion with ITV were not met favorably. But Arti-Media executive director and general manager Amir Segev said that reactions to the ad format vary based on a number of factors including geography, the type of content and the type of ad being served.

Arti-Media also faces competition from other ad insertion technologies like Zunavision and Innovid, which allow advertisers to integrate their messages onto actual objects within a video. While speaking with Segev by phone, he dismissed this comparison, saying those startups couldn’t compete on the same scale as his company.

Arti-Media has a 30-person team working in both Singapore and Israel. The company’s customers include Diagonal View in the U.K. and the Indian video portal SantaBanta.


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Reporters Evaluate Vineyard Vacation So Far: “It’s A Little Bit Boring” (VIDEO)


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The first family has kept so quiet in the Vineyard that reporters have started covering each other. Case in point: Plum TV's Alex Friedman showed up at today's presidential briefing at the Oak Bluffs School, where he made two noteworthy discoveries (and neither had to do with President Obama): the press briefings are held in front of a blue sheet in what looks like the school's cafeteria, and members of the media are getting a little antsy. And wearing red pants.

See photos from the Obamas' vacation HERE and HERE.

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Andy Plesser: Video: MSNBC.com Chief Says Video Transcripts Make Editing Scalable with “Minimum Human Intervention”


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REDMOND, WA -- The transcription of the voice track of video has proven to be a big value by making video more searchable. Now, it is making video editing more effective and scalable, explains Charles Tillinghast, President and Publisher of msnbc.com.


A number of technologies are being used by msnbc.com to automatically transcribe and organize raw video and create associated transcripts as part of the production flow.

Charlie says that these emerging, automated systems can create edited videos with "minimum human intervention."

Msnbc.com has been working closely with technology provider Nexidia to enable this process.

We caught up with Charlie last month at the Redmond headquarters of msnbc.com

This video was originally published on Beet.TV.

Video Transcript

Charles Tillinghast: Well the voice to text index is something that we debuted during the presidential debates, where we were able to take the transcripts of the debates, abstract the key words, and then allow people to click on those key words and go straight to the portion of the video. We did it again for the inauguration. That progress on that has continued and so we're now getting to the point where we'll be able to offer that product on almost any video we run. In addition, it provides a big productivity boost for us because we are gradually able to not have to have humans cut each clip, you know, mark the in and mark the out for a particular clip. Instead, we can use this indexing technology to do the automatic cutting and so we can process a vastly greater amount of video without any increase in head count.

Jeff Brooks: So, the key to video now, it's really come down to the metatag and the keying and the keywords, that's really where this, the whole shift seems to have come for everybody making money right now?

Charles Tillinghast: Yeah, that's really the key to being able to process the video and search for it and to put it...to be able to put it where you want it on the site. But the big problem with metadata has been trying to get human beings to type in what those key words are at the point of production. And that's very difficult because often times you have field producers that are not even aware that their video is going to be used on the web, who are expected to put in the right key words to make it searchable. That's a very long chain of custody, if you will, for a piece of video to maintain integrity for metadata. So that's why our automated system is so important because we're not going to be relying on human beings to type those words in. We're going to take the words that are spoken on the video and be able to abstract out what the metadata, the keywords are, make that the metadata, make it searchable and do it all in a very very productive, low cost, low labor content way.

NBC has a vast reservoir of video assets and they are producing fresh video every day more than any other news organization because NBC has msnbc cable, and they have nightly news, Dateline, Meet the Press, The Today Show, and special reports, and local reports, so the quantity of video available to us is unmatched by any of our competitors, but getting all of that into one bucket can be challenging and that's why what we're asking msnbc to do and what they're doing for themselves is that they're getting it all into one place, they're standardizing how all that video is produced and then we're able to grab that video that has made it as far as the television production level and take it an automated way directly into our digital systems and out onto the web. So we're getting very close to the point where there's a minimum amount of human intervention and touching of a video clip once it's shot by the producer.

In the old school, or the old method was we had, what I used to euphemistically call, the world's largest TIVO where we would have satellite dishes on the roof of our building, we'd bring in the content, put it into a gigantic database, and then record it there and then go through manually and pick out the videos that we want to put on the web. Now that we're using the automated metadata we're able to drop it into a database inside of NBC, pull it from there directly into our systems, and then make it searchable for our users directly off our site, and then our editors are focused on basically what are the most important videos or the top videos and placing those prominently on the story pages of our site and our cover, but the rest of it is being handled in an automated way so that we can offer a big array of video choices to our users and with our player, the navigation enhancements on our player, what we're finding is that our player is that demand has has shifted significantly from the most popular videos, the top videos, to the tail, and that we're seeing much more take up on tail viewing of video in a way that we have not seen before.

Jeff Brooks: And by tail you mean the niche stuff?

Charles Tillinghast: The niche stuff. And so it used to be that, in round numbers, that 80% of the videos watched were the top 100 most popular videos, or 80% of the streams were amongst the top 100 videos. Now we're seeing that it's almost shifting so that the majority of the streams viewed, or the videos viewed, the streams that we're aggregating are outside of that top 100. So, interest is being spread across a large set of topics and news stories and it's not as concentrated on just a few stories that we happen to put on the cover. Now the exception, of course, is something like the Michael Jackson story. So you'll have a huge story, but when there's not a huge story we're able to see much more diversity and interest, and that means that we're doing a better job of surfacing this content and making/giving our users the content that is most of interest to them.


Bill O’Reilly Tops ABC’s 8pmET Programming Monday Night


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Cable news ratings, August 24, 2009: Check out the highlights, and see the full ratings below:

• It happened again. The number one cable news program last night, FNC’s The O’Reilly Factor at 8pmET, topped a broadcast network in total viewers. This time it was ABC’s Dating in the Dark, which was a repeat. Bill O’Reilly’s show featured a Jesse Watters segment from Martha’s Vineyard and more.

• The best non-FNC show in the A25-54 demographic was hosted by HLN’s Nancy Grace. The 8pmET program just edged MSNBC during the hour, and nearly doubled CNN.

• MSNBC’s Countdown with Keith Olbermann had the most total viewers out of the non-FNC shows.

Check out all the ratings below, and leave your own thoughts in the comments:

TV NEWS RATINGS: 25-54 DEMOGRAPHIC (L +SD)
Fox News CNN MSNBC CNN Headline News
5 pm Beck

776

Blitzer

114

Matthews

158

Prime

141

6 pm Baier

518

Blitzer

139

EdShow

183

Prime

215

7 pm Shep

485

Dobbs

182

Matthews

211

Issues

216

8 pm O’Reilly

916

Brown

166

Olbermann

323

Grace

325

9 pm Hannity

801

King

250

Maddow

209

Issues

143

10 pm Greta

710

Cooper

270

Olbermann

214

Grace

242

11 pm O’Reilly

553

Cooper

225

Maddow

169

Showbiz

188

TOTAL DAY 450 163 136 146
PRIME TIME 809 229 248 233
Data by Nielsen Media Research. Live and same day (DVR) data.
TV NEWS RATINGS: TOTAL VIEWERS (L +SD)
Fox News CNN MSNBC CNN Headline News
5 pm Beck

2810

Blitzer

565

Matthews

580

Prime

313

6 pm Baier

2066

Blitzer

491

EdShow

566

Prime

457

7 pm Shep

1860

Dobbs

559

Matthews

640

Issues

521

8 pm O’Reilly

3440

Brown

560

Olbermann

1114

Grace

898

9 pm Hannity

2937

King

1063

Maddow

885

Issues

464

10 pm Greta

2450

Cooper

827

Olbermann

668

Grace

538

11 pm O’Reilly

1735

Cooper

562

Maddow

395

Showbiz

432

TOTAL DAY 1597 559 437 334
PRIME TIME 2563 817 889 621
Data by Nielsen Media Research. Live and same day (DVR) data.