OTT + SVOD
Cheddar is making a bet on over-the-air antennas. (And no, it’s not the 1950s again.) The millennial-oriented financial news startup, which is largely devoted to OTT content, reportedly plans to air good-old-fashioned broadcast programming on digital UHF stations in five U.S. markets. Dunkin’ Donuts – one of Cheddar’s biggest sponsors – will give away free antennas in a series of promotional events in those areas. Cheddar is reportedly renting the broadcast spectrum from DTV America. The news was first reported by Bloomberg.
PLATFORMS, APPS + DEVICES
ColorTV, a startup specializing in video data and recommendation, has acquired Guidebox, a data company devoted to universal search and discovery services for connected TV platforms and app publishers. Guidebox was founded in 2012. Its seven employees will all join ColorTV. ColorTV CEO Giancarlo Maniaci told Variety that he intends to merge the two companies’ product offerings within the coming months. Deal terms weren’t disclosed.
As Ajit Pai’s FCC prepares to undo the agency’s Obama-era net neutrality rules, Recode reports that the Chairman himself recently visited executives from Facebook, Intel, Oracle, and other Silivon Valley tech giants. A spokesman for Pai declined to give Recode any additional details about the meeting. Pai and agency Republicans are still hammering out the details of their revised rules. In recent weeks, some details of their tentative plans have trickled out. Among other things, the revisions would reportedly ask internet providers to voluntarily promise that they won’t block or slow down their competitors’ web traffic.
Spotify is paving the way for its IPO. The company has inked a multi-year licensing deal with Merlin, a digital rights agency that represents the independent record label sector. The company also recently completed a licensing deal with Universal, the world’s biggest label group. That leaves the other major labels, Sony Music and Warner Music Group. Once new multi-year licensing deals are in place with those two, Spotify’s path to an IPO will be clear. The offering is expected later in 2017.
Last week, Turner and Warner Bros. launched the Boomerang OTT service, an SVOD platform devoted to classic and current animated series. Now the service has an official boss. Sundance Feniger (yes, that’s his real name) has been named as VP and GM. (The Boomerang OTT service, for the record, is separate from the Boomerang linear network.) Feniger previously held various positions at Nickelodeon from 2008 to 2016, most recently serving as Senior Director of Premium Product Strategy & Development.
Our Last Trivia Question: Jamie Hector, co-star of Amazon’s Bosch, also played an ambitious young drug boss in HBO’s The Wire. One of the character’s most memorable quotes: “My name is my name.” Speaking of which, what was his name? Answer: Marlo Stanfield. Kudos to Louis Lewow-Lewow Media Group/GA, Eric Mandell-Horizon Media/NY, David Westberg-SAG-AFTRA Federal Credit Union/CA, Lorrie Shilling CA, Jamie Bugner-AMC Networks/NY, Branden G. Smith-NewsHour Productions LLC/VA, Tamara Jones-BET Networks/NY, Dwayne Bright-KCETLink/CA, Michael Curtis-Reach Agency/CA, and Michael Pope-Reddit/NY
Another Wire alum, Idris Elba, starred in one of the very first Netflix Original films. What was that film called? (Email [email protected] with your answer and be sure to include your name, company, and state.)