The Digital Media 4-1-1

The Digital Media 4-1-1

On an almost daily basis, "happenings" within the digital media realm seem to be drawing attention from both the press and industry pundits. This week, though it's only Wednesday, has been a particularly busy news cycle for digital media. Since many of the issues that are garnering buzz directly affect Brightcove's customers, I wanted to share a brief recap of some of the stories I found most interesting. Here's a rundown:

Looking into a crystal ball: what's next for Hulu?
As we know, Hulu is for sale and bids for the joint venture between the Walt Disney Company, NBCUniversal and News Corporation are due this Friday. In this New York Times' article, reporters Amy Chozick and Brian Stelter speculate that Hulu's sale could signify a major change in the online streaming category. They note that if, for instance, a cable or satellite distributor wins the bidding war, then Hulu will likely transition from a relatively open purveyor of online video content to a closed, "TV Everywhere" outlet only available to cable subscribers. If a content provider (a la one of its current owners) or perhaps even a private equity firm take over, then there's a chance that Hulu could further morph into the streaming-centric TV entertainment model of the future. Though only time will tell, TIME's Jared Newman disagrees that a sale signals potentially bad news; in this post, Newman outlines Hulu's evolution over time and reports that Hulu has primarily remained true to its core focus since its creation. Hulu, he says, "exists to let you legally watch ad-supported TV shows for free." And in Newman's view, that’s not likely to change regardless of who takes over the reins.

Amazon inks streaming deal with PBS; will be the only digital partner offering Downton Abbey
This is big. Amazon announced today that it has inked an exclusive digital distribution deal with PBS, which will allow it to offer Amazon Prime Instant Video subscribers access to a slew of content from Nova and Masterpiece Theater as well as documentaries and a plethora of children's programming. As Jim O'Neill with TheConvergence.tv writes, this is a big victory in Amazon's fight with Netflix over original programming and major distribution deals. Children's shows and "Downton Abbey" alone make this a great coup for Amazon.

Twitter tests a new live events tool
At a Brookings Institute event today, Twitter CEO Dick Costolo discussed a live events tool that the company is currently testing. It sounds as though it will be an intelligent analysis of Tweets in real time--creating a storyline out of all of the commentary taking place in the Twittersphere that people can follow, rather than being forced to scroll through a Twitter timeline in reverse order. At the same time, the company is working to create a "Twitter DVR" that allows people to keep up with Twitter dialogue from a live event or TV show, even if they're not watching live. As Twitter and Facebook continue to compete for second screen superiority, expect more and more innovation.

What did I miss? Let me know in the comments.