Vimeo adds soundtrack features in a push to keep supporting independent filmmakers

Vimeo has always sought to differentiate itself as a platform for high-quality video content. Now the IAC-owned video platform is now adding features to help creators enhance their videos and make even them more attractive to viewers.

The latest update makes a big push around improving videos by adding soundtracks, and it’s got two main product announcements along those lines:

  • First, it’s rolling out a cloud-based “Enhancer” tool that will let users make changes to their videos without having to edit them on the desktop and re-upload. The main point of the tool for now is the ability for creators to instantly add music to their videos, straight from the Vimeo web site. In addition to adding music, they can also update audio levels and control the start- and end-point of a song.
  • Second, is the addition of nearly 4,000 new soundtrack options from new music partner SmartSound. Those options come on top of the 50,000 titles already available through Vimeo’s soundtrack tool, but provide more flexibility than existing options. For $1.99 per song for a personal license and $19.99 for a commercial license, users can create customized soundtracks of SmartSound songs. That includes the ability to control the length, musical arrangement and instrument mix of those 4,000 SmartSound tracks.

Vimeo continues to try to define itself as the place for artsy independent video producers to showcase their goods.

via TechCrunch

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Hulu participates in TV’s upfronts – internet television has finally arrived

Just a few years ago Hulu, the online television site, was something of a novelty. A lot of people knew about it and watched it, but it was just another website. That all changes this week as Hulu participates in “upfronts”.

Hulu is in this position because of some staggering numbers:

  • Revenue of $420 million in 2011 (compared to $263 million in 2010)
  • 38 million visitors/month
  • 1.5 billion video ads shown to viewers in February
  • 2 million subscribers for their $8/month service

This all adds up to a gamechanger for the industry. The studio heads who originally created Hulu want to kill it, or at least sell it. They know that it’s taking away viewers from traditional television and offering better advertising:

“On a one-to-one basis, advertising placed on Hulu for our clients was more effective than advertising placed on television for the same programming,” said Steven J. Farella, chief executive at TargetCast TCM.

Additionally, Hulu collects vastly more data on viewers and can offer ads specifically targeted to them.

“Stoking envy among traditional television executives, the Web site collects a trove of data on its users’ preferences in programming and ads.”

At this point, it’s too late for the studios sell or kill it, though they did try all last year. Instead, they are inviting it to the table to see if it can compete on its own. Which means participating in the full cycle of television from pilot episodes, to full series, and selling all that to advertisers.

The most critical point being the “upfronts”:

At a presentation on Thursday in New York, Hulu, will pitch advertisers on original programming in an annual ritual known as upfronts that are typically reserved for cable channels and network broadcasters.

Hulu executives are expected to take the stage to sell advertisers on new series. The executives will also promote the service’s desirable demographic of young viewers who turn to Hulu for popular network sitcoms like “New Girl” and “Family Guy,” available only after they are broadcast on Fox.

So, like Netflix, Hulu is making a push into original series. It has also licensed 13 television shows that will appear exclusively online.

Traditional television is still the dominant game in town, but Hulu and Netflix are at the table now, and they have the internet on their side. With offerings like on-demand, full series at once, mobility, fewer commercials, and lower prices, you can expect all of this to quickly change the balance of power.

 

read more about upfronts at the NY Times