VIDEO INSIDER: Apple TV Could Rule The Cable Box -- Super Bowl Ads Already Top 44 Million Views On YouTube

Welcome to our new Video Insider newsletter, a morning email with the top news and analysis on the digital video industry, produced by BI Intelligence.

APPLE TV TO TAKE OVER THE CABLE BOX: More rumours are circulating about the yet to be announced Apple TV overhaul. Apple is experimenting with including a built-in TV tuner, according to the Apple enthusiast website 9to5Mac. This would allow the device to control a user’s existing cable box, though it’s not clear exactly how. One possibility is it could function similarly to gaming consoles such as Xbox One where a user can access their cable box’s interface from within the console. But how well the Apple TV would integrate with the fragmented cable box landscape is still unclear.

And in a further indication that the new Apple TV is coming, and that Apple is intending to make the device a more marquee product, it has been elevated to a more prominent location on Apple’s online store. This suggests Apple’s renewed seriousness toward the device that the company once called “a hobby.” As we previously reported, other Apple TV updates may include a refreshed version of iOS, the ability to play games, and a more robust development environment. (9to5Mac)

PRE-SUPER BOWL AD BLITZ: Although the Super Bowl is still a few days away, teaser ads on YouTube’s Ad Blitz channel have already received more than 44 million views, compared to about 20 million views during the same pre-Super Bowl period in 2013. Last year, Super Bowl commercials racked in a total of over 265 million views, with 80 million on the day of the championship game, according to a Google spokesperson. Based on this growth pre and post-game ad views might exceed 500 million views on YouTube. Two-thirds of last year’s most watched ads on YouTube came from food and beverage and consumer product goods (CPG) companies. (MediaPost)

SIGHTLY RAISES $US1.7M, WILL EXPAND LOCALISED VIDEO ADS: Sightly, a company that helps businesses create localised online video ads, just raised $US1.7 million from investors. “With the shift in media viewing habits from TV to digital media, the market is primed for Sightly’s solution. As the demand for personalised, scalable video ads and campaigns increases, it’s evident that Sightly’s growth opportunities are exponential,” said Tomorrow Ventures principle Brad Holden. The company plans to leverage the investment to expand its focus beyond small- and medium-sized businesses. Sightly is set to launch a new video ad platform for enterprises at the International Franchise Association (IFA) convention in late February. (TechCrunch, Sightly)

WELCOME, VIDEO INSIDERS:The Video Insider newsletter covers the day’s most important topics in digital video, as well as news exclusives of interest to industry insiders. We look forward to the newsletter becoming an important part of your morning routine.

Subscribe to BI Intelligence and get it every morning in your inbox. Please email BI Intelligence research analyst [email protected] or BI Intelligence director [email protected] with news and tips.

YAHOO TO SHUTTER INTONOW: Yahoo is winding down IntoNow, a second-screen application that the company acquired less than three years ago. IntoNow was one of the first in a wave of second-screen apps that allows users to check in while watching TV shows and share their TV interests through Facebook and Twitter. The app has already been pulled from the Apple App Store and Google Play. Although the app is being shut down, Yahoo will continue to use the technology that it gained from the acquisition. Yahoo’s move comes on the heels of other changes in the second-screen app space, including i.TV’s acquisition of GetGlue. This indicates that the consolidation of companies offering second-screen services is finally under way.

In a statement Yahoo said, “The core IntoNow technology will live on through other products and apps, like Yahoo Smart TV and the new Loops feature in the Yahoo Sports iOS7 app.” Both apps utilise the auto-content recognition technology pioneered by IntoNow, which can identify what program a user is watching. (TechCrunch)

TWITTER ADDS SEARCH FILTER FOR VIDEO, PHOTOS, NEWS: Twitter introduced a new search feature that allows users to search for video, photos, and news. Users can even limit video search results to content from Vine, the company’s video-centric social network. The search filter should help the social network to better position itself as a platform for discovering and sharing media. (The Verge, Twitter)

NFL WILL BLOCK LIVE STREAMING ON MOBILE AT THE SUPER BOWL: The NFL will block spectators from accessing live streams of the championship game on NFL.com and Fox Sports while at the Super Bowl stadium. By blocking access to these streams, the league hopes to take the strain off the stadium’s Wi-Fi and cellular networks. “We [blocked] it last year, but we did it on the fly when we started having some challenges. This year we planned ahead to do it,” said NFL CIO Michelle McKenna-Doyle during an interview with Ars Technica. (Ars Technica)

CORRECTION: In yesterday’s Chart Of The Day e-mail, “Digital Advertising Surged In 2013, As Evidence Builds That TV Dollars Are Going Online,” we neglected to mention that Nielsen’s figures for online advertising included only Internet display ads, and excluded online video, mobile, and search ads. We regret the omission. We’ve corrected the text and charts, and they can be read here.

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