Tag Archives: video

Wix.Com – An Online Web Design Platform That Lets Non-Tech Savvy Musicians Create Dynamic Flash Website

How are up-and-coming bands marketing themselves more effectively than signed artists–and putting the final nail in the record company coffin in the process?

The answer: new online web design platforms like Wix.com that let non-tech savvy musicians create dynamic flash website and MySpace pages (for free) that not only rival, but exceed the quality of professionally made websites.

As I’m sure you know, record companies have been taking it on the chin the past few years with music sales drying up. But their saving grace has been their powerful marketing arms, which for top artists has always been the best way to achieve market penetration. No longer.

Web 2.0 has leveled the playing field. Musicians can send e-flyers with embedded music about upcoming gigs, create customizable widgets for their MySpace page, and create band Flash websites that match the artistic value of their music.

The result: young and up-and-coming bands are now marketing themselves more effectively than big name artists. That’s why in just a few months nearly 200,000 musicians have already signed up with Wix.com web design platform.

About Wix

www.wix.com is a free, DIY and easy-to use Web design platform. Wix is the only web publishing platform that allows users to create stunning and completely original Flash websites. Founded in September 2006 and launched in open beta in April 2008, Wix was born out of the founders’ frustration with creating dynamic looking Websites that didn’t involve coding or programming. Wix has received $8.5 million funding from Bessemer Venture Partners and Mangrove Capital Partners. and is headquartered in New York and offices in Tel Aviv. www.wix.com.

Via EPR Network

Broadband satellite provider adds turnkey satellite-to-web kit to product portfolio, expanding upon current satellite service offerings

TodoCastâ„¢, the innovator of the world’s first affordable, portable, live satellite-to-web video streaming system, today announced their partnership with Satlogic Networks, LLC (Satlogic) a provider of broadband satellite services.

By leveraging the TodoCast Kit, Satlogic is able to expand their satellite service offerings to include turnkey live video streaming satellite services. The TodoCast system offers complete mobility, quality broadcast and fast deployment. The major benefit to service providers like Satlogic is the ability to lease the hardware and live video via satellite services to videographers and event planners on a daily rental basis. By offering leased options, Satlogic provides the advantage of offering videographers and event planners, the benefits of the Todocast technology, without the capital expenditure of the complete TodoCast Kit. The partnership between TodoCast and Satlogic provides videographers and event planners the ability to leverage TodoCast in a scalable and affordable method.

Since its launch in March of this year, TodoCast has generated tremendous interest among videographers and is quickly catching on with satellite service providers looking for a distinctive service offering. TodoCast provides videographers, producers and event planners the ability to deploy live mobile video streaming services for their clients, offering the ability to capture, display and distribute breaking news, corporate, private, sponsored or pay-per-view events.

“The TodoCast Kit offers service providers a convenient solution for satellite-to-live web streaming media services,” stated Brian Roland, TodoCast director of global video services. “With its .96 meter one touch auto-deploy satellite antenna, the kit comes complete with all electronics, encoder and phone kit, premounted in a Gator G-Shock Rack Case. The portability and ease of use of the TodoCast Kit is truly unmatched in the industry,” concluded Roland.

Satlogic, a leading provider of broadband satellite services selected TodoCast to increase their solution set and product offering for their customer base which spans military, telemedicine, first responder and government agencies.

“By offering the TodoCast Kit through our leased services, we are able to provide an efficient and affordable solution for live video streaming capabilities to event planners and videographers,” stated Jim McGehee, President of Satlogic Networks. “The simplicity and broad applications of the system allows Satlogic to lease the TodoCast service to videographers who prefer not to incur the capital costs associated with purchasing the entire TodoCast Kit. As a valued TodoCast Partner, we will not only widen our product offering, but be able to extend the technology that TodoCast provides to videographers and event planners in our region,” McGehee concluded.

As the first portable solution for pay-per-view and live video content, the TodoCast Kit, offers a turnkey satellite webcasting system, ideal for videographers, event planners, content distribution networks and producers. For more information on TodoCast or to inquire about the TodoCast Kit, please visit http://www.TodoCast.tv. 

About Satlogic Networks, LLC
Satlogic Networks LLC is a provider of satellite based Internet connectivity for business, government and military networks. Offering broadband satellite solutions to military, telemedicine, first responders and organizations seeking reliable satellite communications for corporate communications, operational business enhancements and business continuity, Satlogic is headquartered in Marietta, Georgia. For more information, please visit http://www.satlogicnetworks.com

About TodoCast
TodoCastâ„¢, headquartered in San Juan Capistrano, CA is a complete turnkey solution for live video streaming over satellite, packaged into a user friendly and revenue generating kit for professional videographers. The TodoCast Kit offers live satellite-to-web video streaming in a portable and turnkey solution, complete with electronics, antenna and portable case. In addition to the TodoCast Kit, the company provides a Content Distribution Network (CDN) and pay-per-view and advertising engine that enables TodoCast partners to promote and stream live events while generating revenue through paid viewers or advertising revenue. For more information, visit www.todocast.tv.

Via EPR Network

More Entertainment News

Best-TV.com – awarded ‘Best Start-Up’ by two leading NYC VCs and more than half of the audience at the NY Video 2.0 conference

BestTV, a market leader in online video management platforms and Internet TV Platforms, announced today that it was awarded the ‘Best Start-Up’ by two leading NY VCs and more than half of the audience members at the NY Video 2.0 Conference in May.

NY Video 2.0, a new community of online video start-ups, content producers, creative firms, advertisers and investors, held an American Idol style competition where five members were judged by a panel of three prominent New York-based Venture Capitalists (VCs) and audience members.

Chris Fralic, Partner of First Round Capital and one of the VCs in favor of BestTV, said: “The white-label video portal is an interesting play. I like the fact that you walk in with a 200-page SDK and hand it to the developers.”

Oded Felled, co-founder of BestTV, commented: “This award demonstrates market acceptance and validation of our product strategy. The launch and management of an Internet video site is a complex process requiring integration of many different technologies, adaptation to rapidly changing business models, and growing user expectations. BestTV developed a white-label Internet TV platform that enables system integrators, web design firms and others to rapidly and cost-effectively launch and manage Internet TV portals that easily adapt to the evolving Internet video market.”

To find out more about BestTV and its award-winning Internet TV platform please visit: http://www.best-tv.com

Via EPR Network

More Media News

 

Secretive video site has raised $800,000 seed round

A couple of months ago a secretive video site has raised $800,000 seed round from Concept Ventures and its founder and managing director, Julien Nguyen, according to multiple sources on Web. The company was rumored they were in quest for its series A round of funding for some time across the Silicon Valley.

The company name is XillianTV and is based in Santa Clara, Calif. The site is said to be focused on video delivery to consumers. An interesting fact worth mentioning here is XillianTV’s chief executive and co-founder, Mitchell Berman, is a former executive from Home Box Office Inc., E! Entertainment Television Inc. and other television companies, which definitely brings in some practical hand-on experience to the start-up.

We have tried to dig something up for the company but there is basically nothing publicly available on Internet. So we leave the time to tell all us what the company is up to and does it worth the money spent on anyway.
 
The video sector is well overcrowded and was the hottest one for the entire 2007. If we need to guess work what the company is dealing with we would bet on anything but either technology or concept that helps publishers monetize their video inventory. Another possible area the company might be working on could be some vertical online video channel.

About Concept Ventures

Concept Ventures invests in early stage companies in digital media, communications, semiconductors, software and services, and healthtech.

Their Investment Focus is in early stage entrepreneurs, who sometimes only have a rough idea of what to do, and help them formulate a crisp business strategy that addresses an important problem, with a business model that will fuel the growth of the company. The explosion of consumer electronics has created large opportunities in digital media, communications, and semiconductors. Applications for consumer electronics devices are crucial to the success of these devices, and entrepreneurs are coming with new ideas of software and services.

With U.S. healthcare industry consuming $2 Trillion per year of the nation’s resources, we believe that new efficiencies can and must be applied to the healthcare sector. That is why we are investing in companies that deploy scalable technologies to increase the efficiency of healthcare, a sector we call HealthTech.

Call To Action

We work closely with entrepreneurs from as early as the seed level. Startups can benefit from our operational experience to help them define markets and business strategies. We can also help build a top tier investment syndicate for all rounds of financing.

Reading through the profile of their investors could it be that XillianTV is trying to get something worked out within the so-called by Concept Ventures HealthTech sector?

More

http://www.xilliantv.com/
http://www.bandangels.com/members/downloads/Volume13Issue6.pdf
http://venturebeat.com/2007/10/10/xilliantv-secretive-video-firm-searching-for-first-round/
http://mashable.com/2007/10/10/xilliantv-funded/
http://www.linkedin.com/pub/5/411/670
http://www.conceptvc.com/

Google files patent for recognizing text in images

Google has filed a patent application in July 2007, which has just recently become public claiming methods where robots can read and understand text in images and video. The basic idea here is Google to be able to index videos and images and made them available and searchable by text or keywords located inside the image or the video. Aside Google Inc. the application was filed by Luc Vincent from Palo Alto, Calif. and Adrian Ulges from Delaware, US. The inventors are Luc Vincent and Adrian Ulges.

Digital images can include a wide variety of content. For example, digital images can illustrate landscapes, people, urban scenes, and other objects. Digital images often include text. Digital images can be captured, for example, using cameras or digital video recorders. Image text (i.e., text in an image) typically includes text of varying size, orientation, and typeface. Text in a digital image derived, for example, from an urban scene (e.g., a city street scene) often provides information about the displayed scene or location. A typical street scene includes, for example, text as part of street signs, building names, address numbers, and window signs.”

If Google manages to implement that technology the consumer search will be taken to the next level and Google would have an access to much wider array of information far beyond the text only search it already plays a leading role in.

This, of course, raises some additional privacy issues as being properly noted by InformationWeek. Gogole had already privacy issues with Google Maps Street View and if that technology starts to index and recognize textual information from millions of videos and billions of pictures around Web things might go more complicated.
 
Nonetheless if that technology bears the fruits it promises it will represent a gigantic leap forward in the progression of the general search technology.

There are open sources solutions to the problem. Perhaps not scalable and effective as it would be if Google develops it, yet they do exist.

Andrey Kucherenko from Ukraine is known to have made a very interesting project in that aspect. His classes can recognize text in monochrome graphical images after a training phase. The training phase is necessary to let the class build recognition data structures from images that have known characters. The training data structures are used during the recognition process to attempt to identify text in real images using the corner algorithm. His project is called PHPOCR and more information can be found over here.

PHPOCR have won the PHPClasses innovation awards of March 2006, and it shows the power of what could be implemented with PHP5. Certain types of applications require reading text from documents that are stored as graphical images. That is the case of scanned documents.

An OCR (Optical Character Recognition) tool can be used to recover the original text that is written in scanned documents. These are sophisticated tools that are trained to recognize text in graphical images.

This class provides a base implementation for an OCR tool. It can be trained to learn how to recognize each letter drawn in an image. Then it can be used to recognize longer texts in real documents.

Another very interesting start-up believed to be heavily deploying text recognition inside videos is CastTV. The company is based in San Francisco and over its just $3M in funding is trying to build one of the Web’s best video search engines. CastTV lets users find all their favorite online videos, from TV shows to movies to the latest celebrity, sports, news, and viral Internet videos. The company’s proprietary technology addresses two main video search challenges: finding and cataloging videos from the web and delivering relevant video results to users.

CastTV was one of the presenters at Techcrunch40 and was there noticed by Marissa Mayer from Google. She asked CastTV the following question: “Would like to know more about your matching algo for the video search engines?”. CastTV then replied: “We have been scaling as the video market grows – relevancy is a very tough problem – we are matching 3rd party sites and supplementing the meta data.”

Today we see Marissa’s question in the light of the patent application above and the context seems quite different and the answer from CastTV did not address Google’s concerns. Does CastTV work on something similar to what the patent is trying to cover for Google? We do not know but the time will tell. CastTV’s investors are Draper Fisher Jurvetson and Ron Conway. Hope they make a nice exit from CastTV.
 
Adobe has also some advances in that particular area. You can use Acrobat to recognize text in previously scanned documents that have already been converted to PDF. OCR (Optical Character Recognition) runs with header/footer/Bates number on image PDF files.

It is also interesting that Microsoft had, in fact, applied for a very similar patent (called “Visual and Multi-Dimensional Search“). Even more interesting here is the fact that MS had beaten Google to the punch by filing three days earlier – Microsoft filed on June 26, 2007, while Google filed on June 29.

Full abstract, description and claims can be read below:

More

http://google.com
http://www.wipo.int/pctdb/en/ia.jsp?IA=US2007072578&DISPLAY=STATUS
http://www.techmeme.com/080104/p23
http://www.techcrunch.com/2008/01/04/google-lodges-patent-for-reading-text-in-images-and-video/
http://www.webmasterworld.com/goog/3540344.htm
http://enterprise.phpmagazine.net/2006/04/recognize_text_objects_in_grap.html
http://www.phpclasses.org/browse/package/2874.html
http://www.crunchbase.com/company/casttv
http://www.casttv.com/
http://www.google.com/corporate/execs.html
http://www.centernetworks.com/techcrunch40-search-and-discovery
http://www.setthings.com/2008/01/04/recognizing-text-in-images-patent-by-google/
http://help.adobe.com/en_US/Acrobat/8.0/Professional/help.html?content=WS2A3DD1FA-CFA5-4cf6-B993-159299574AB8.html
http://www.techcrunch40.com/
http://www.therottenword.com/2008/01/microsoft-beats-google-to-image-text.html

Small round for Mesmo.tv

The social video bookmarking and recommending service Mesmo.TV and provider of a very popular Facebook application, has secured over half of a $900,000 round of Series A financing.

Mesmo.TV’s Davin Miyoshi informed the public that Aydin Senkut’s Felicis Ventures, Mike Maples’ Maples Investments, Naval Ravikant’s The Hit Forge, and Georges Harik participated in the round. Simply put their tool allows users to rate and tag the videos that they enjoy. Mesmo.TV is then recommending videos to you and introduces you to other viewers with similar viewing habits and interests.

This tool, however, has not turned out to be the most successful part of Mesmo.TV’s business. The company’s TV Show Trivia  Facebook application, which launched in August, has garnered over 1.3 million users and over 125,000 daily unique visitors. This puts the application amongst the top 45 applications on Facebook, and made Mesmo.TV the largest TV show community on that social network.

Mesmo.TV plans to continue focusing on its social network efforts and looks forward to expanding to other networks, such as MySpace, who might open up in the near future. The company is also talking with TV networks to bring online videos to its users.
About Mesmo TV

“Mesmo TV” (formerly called TV Show Trivia) is the largest social TV application and community on the Facebook Platform. On Mesmo TV you can play TV trivia, discuss your favorite shows and share your favorite characters and quotes with your facebook friends. MesmoTV is building highly engaging, fun, social TV applications that that allow you to engage with your friends and favorite shows.

Mesmo.TV has been funded by a group of talented and successful entrepreneurs and some of the key people are listed below.

Davin Miyoshi Co-founder/CEO 
Jesse Hull Co-founder/CTO 
Debarshi Kar Co-founder/VP of Engineering 
Daphne Carmeli Board Member 
Auren Hoffman Board Member 
Cindy McCaffrey Board Member 
Munjal Shah Board Member 
Ben T. Smith, IV Board Member 
Aydin Senkut Investor 
Mike Maples Investor 
Naval Ravikant Investor 
Georges Harik Investor 

More

http://www.mesmo.tv/
http://blog.mesmo.tv/2007/05/about-us.html
http://apps.facebook.com/tvtrivia/?entrySource=mesmohomepage
http://apps.bebo.com/mesmotv/?entrySource=mesmohomepage
http://apps.facebook.com/tvtrivia/
http://www.crunchbase.com/company/mesmo.tv
http://www.techcrunch.com/2007/10/04/social-video-company-mesmotv-raises-900000-of-series-a-funding/
http://www.pehub.com/article/articledetail.php?articlepostid=8047
http://www.techcrunch.com/2007/07/17/mesmotv-discovers-videos-you-like/

Exclusive: Imeem inks a deal with the world’s largest record company

In what is believed to be a big leap for the relatively small social networking site called Imeem they announced today a licensing agreement allowing its users to listen free to the music of Vivendi SA’s Universal Music Group.

Universal Music, the world’s largest record company, has opened a new chapter in the industry’s experiment with advertising-supported music by backing Imeem. Imeem now boasts deals with all four major record companies, including Sony BMG Music Entertainment, Warner Music Group and EMI Group, all of which have already inked deals with the social network.

It’s a sharp turnaround from earlier this year, when none of the majors were willing to sign on to imeem’s new ad-supported interactive service. In fact, Warner sued Imeem, arguing that by allowing its members to upload and share MP3s of Warner music, it was infringing on its copyrights.

After months of negotiations, the companies have concluded a deal in which Imeem will have full access to Universal’s catalogue, making it the first social networking site to reach licensing agreements with each of the four big record labels.

Imeem has received attention from music executives because it has quickly built an audience of 19 million monthly visitors, up from the 16 million they reported in May 2007.

Despite these claims and the deal itself, Imeem’s traffic seems to have fallen off since earlier this year, from a peak of 5 million visitors in April to 2.37 million in November according to Compete.com. Quantcast is showing even worse numbers – only 2.4 Million American visitors. The traffic curve there is permanently falling down over the past 6 months.

Imeem is an online community where artists, fans & friends can promote their content, share their tastes, and discover new blogs, photos, music and video. Here are some of the things you can do on imeem:

Discover
-Enjoy the latest videos, music, photos, or blogs posted on imeem.
-Stay up-to-date with your personal network of fans and friends with “What’s New” notifications.
-Get in-depth stats for all your content and track their popularity.

Interact
-Tag, comment, rate, and share any of your friends’ cool (or embarrassing) content.
-Create or join groups for your favorite band, event, topic, and more!
-Start discussions with other imeem users and make new friends.
 
Share
-Embed your media on other pages (such as your blog, Bebo, etc.).
-Recommend stuff to your friends or add it to your “Favorites” list.
-Easily add media to your Del.icio.us, WordPress, Blogger, or Typepad.

Imeem is hoping to make money from advertisers, a portion of which will be shared with its music partners. It has signed up Puma, Nike and Microsoft among others, though it does not disclose revenues.

As part of the deal, Universal is said to have received an upfront payment worth more than $20 million, as well as an equity stake in Imeem. Universal will also receive a small payment each time one of its songs is streamed on the site of Imeem. A person familiar with the discussions said that the pay out Universal is about to receive is an equivalent to a fraction of a cent in addition to receiving a share of advertising revenue associated with a given song, that is, ads running near where a song is accessed. Most licensing deals with services that combine free music with advertising tend to offer labels only a share of revenue.

Imeem isn’t the first ad-supported music service to gain the support of all four major labels. Universal, Sony BMG, Warner and EMI have also been making their music available to ad-supported music downloading service Ruckus. Ruckus had an early advantage over other services in securing the majors’ cooperation because it targeted colleges and universities, where illegal music downloading is a particularly serious problem and is basically not possible.

In a statement, Universal Chairman Doug Morris called Imeem “innovative,” and praised Imeem for “ensuring that our artists are fairly compensated for the use of their works.”

According to eMarketer, spending on advertising on social networks will rise from $900 million this year to more than $2.5 billion in 2011.

Imeem is based in San Francisco and takes its name from “meme” – a term coined to describe the ideas that communities, adopt, and express. Dalton Caldwell is the CEO of the company and the co-founded together with Jan Jannink. The company used to be in Palo Alto and is known to have launched in 2004. Known investors in the company are Morgenthaler (Series A founding) and Sequoia Capital, the venture capital fund that supported Google and YouTube.

Via

[ http://www.ft.com/cms/s/0/ff0a7e34-a6c3-11dc-b1f5-0000779fd2ac.html ]
[ http://online.wsj.com/article/SB119725218005518932.html?mod=googlenews_wsj ]
[ http://www.informationweek.com/news/showArticle.jhtml?articleID=204800459 ]
[ http://www.forbes.com/business/2007/12/10/imeem-universal-music-biz-media-cx_lh_1210bizimeem.html ]
[ http://www.news.com/8301-13577_3-9831163-36.html ]
[ http://www.emarketer.com/Article.aspx?id=1004896 ]
[ http://mashable.com/2007/12/10/imeem-universal/ ]
[ http://www.techcrunch.com/2007/12/09/imeem-pens-a-deal-with-universal-music-now-has-all-the-majors/ ]
[ http://www.quantcast.com/imeem.com ]
[ http://www.crunchbase.com/company/imeem ]
[ http://imeemblog.imeem.com/ ]
[ http://lifehacker.com/software/social-networking/not-just-another-social+networking-site-208719.php ]
[ http://www.demo.com/demonstrators/demo2005/54152.php ]
[ http://bits.blogs.nytimes.com/2007/10/29/imeem-pioneers-free-music-with-ads/ ]
[ http://www.morgenthaler.com/content/Ventures/Articles/Articles%20documents/imeem%20in%20venturewire.pdf ]