in Daily Dose, Featured, News Share Credit Unions Millennials 2016-08-02 Seth Welborn August 2, 2016 487 Views Millennials have been cited by many analysts as the key to increasing the homeownership rate. Now a new study has found that they will likely be the key driver and the target market for sustained loan growth at credit unions—and a main driver of that growth has been mortgages.Research from TransUnion released on Tuesday indicated that credit union membership grew at more than three times the rate of credit activity of consumers at other types of lenders in the first quarter of 2016 (6.35 percent growth rate for credit unions compared to 1.86 percent for industry credit active consumers).The share of credit union members who are millennials has risen from 20 percent to 25 percent in the last three years, which is indicative of a recent strategic focus on millennial growth on the part of credit unions. Non-credit unions experienced a slower pace of millennial growth during that same three-year period (23 percent in Q1 2013 to 25 percent in Q1 2016).“Millennials are an important set of borrowers for credit union growth,” said Nidhi Verma, senior director of research and consulting in TransUnion’s financial services business unit. “Credit unions are actively building their millennial membership, and in fact have experienced growth in this segment every quarter since 2010. Millennials are likely candidates for new mortgages and other credit products as they age, offering credit unions a way to further their market share.”TransUnion’s research was coupled with a survey of 96 credit union executives, gathering insights on key industry issues. According to the survey, 42 percent of those executives reported a growth rate over-the-year of higher than 5 percent—and one of the major drivers of the growth has been credit union membership via mortgage origination. The number of credit union members grew from 3.67 million members in Q1 2015 up to 3.8 million members in Q1 2016 (a 4 percent increase). Credit union mortgage memberships have increased by 13 percent since Q1 2011, when they totaled 3.29 million.“The data show that credit union membership rates are growing much faster than the overall credit-active population,” said Verma. “Credit union executives are strategically focused on gaining membership growth through mortgage originations, as well as offering products such as credit cards to their existing member base.” Millennials are the Key to Credit Union Growth
20Mar Ducks Unlimited Bill Signing Rep. Phil Potvin with Gov. Rick Snyder at the signing of legislation that creates a license plate for Ducks Unlimited Categories: News
08Mar Retired legislators would pay more of own health care costs under Rep. Bellino bill State Rep. Joe Bellino of Monroe today will introduce legislation to require retired state legislators to pay more of their own health care costs, an effort to help shore up an underfunded retirement system.The legislation would require all retired Michigan legislators in the state system to pay 20 percent of their annual health insurance premiums, putting them more in line with other public employees. The former legislators now typically pay either zero or 10 percent of their premiums, depending on when they retired.No current members of the House would be affected by Bellino’s proposal. Legislation approved in 2011 eliminated lifetime health insurance benefits for them and others, unless a legislator had a tenure of six years or longer by 2013. Bellino’s bill is part of a broader effort aimed at containing costs in public employee retirement systems, which are straining government budgets across Michigan.“If we as state legislators are going to make sure cities and villages have proper funding for their health care systems, we’ve got to do our own house cleaning at the state level,” Bellino said. “This just makes sense. There would be savings for the state with this bill, but it’s also important that we’re holding ourselves to the same expectations when it comes to health coverage for public retirees.” The legislation would affect multiple layers of health coverage including dental and vision.### Categories: Bellino News,News
24May Rep. Lightner votes to overhaul Michigan’s costly auto insurance system Categories: Lightner News State Rep. Sarah Lightner today voted ‘yes’ on a bipartisan plan to deliver significant car insurance rate relief for drivers across Michigan.The House overwhelmingly voted to approve legislation guaranteeing lower rates by giving drivers more choice on personal injury protection coverage, stopping price gouging on medical services for car accident victims, and combating fraudulent claims to help lower costs. The plan should soon head to the governor for her expected signature.“It’s about time we all worked together and found an affordable solution to the nation’s highest auto insurance prices,” said Lightner, of Springport. “Fixing this broken system will help Michigan families save money by reducing the cost to drive in our state. Reform is long overdue, and we finally got it done.”The bipartisan solution is designed to end Michigan’s long tenure as the state with the most expensive car insurance rates in the nation.Michigan’s costs are high in part due to the mandate to purchase unlimited lifetime health care coverage through auto insurance. The bipartisan reform plan allows those currently using the coverage to keep it, and those who want it in the future to continue buying it – while providing additional, more affordable, options.Senate Bill 1 now advances to the Senate for further consideration.#####
Share5Tweet4ShareEmail9 Shares November 14, 2014; Daily Mail (Hudson, NY)Next week is the annual meeting of the Housing Assistance Council, one of the nation’s premier rural advocacy organizations. This author will be speaking on a panel examining rural philanthropy (natch!) amidst many sessions exploring exactly what is happening—or not happening—in rural America. Rural nonprofits know all too well the challenges they face, but many non-rural nonprofits may not.Homelessness: Few people associate the homeless with rural America, but truth be told, there are many rural homeless, and typically they are more hidden, less visible, less concentrated, and frequently less well served than the homeless in cities. In tiny Beattyville, Kentucky, community residents have been trying to create a shelter for the area’s homeless without success. In largely rural Greene and Columbia counties in New York, homeless persons can be found sleeping in cars, even baseball dugouts, or wandering through 24-hour convenience stores, according to Florence Ohle, the executive director of Community Action of Greene County. Crook County, Oregon, has 20,000 people, including about 200 homeless persons. How much support do rural nonprofits get for rural homelessness? It’s hard to imagine that rural groups get the kind of help they need to address the distinctive problem of rural homelessness.Healthcare: The rural healthcare challenges appear to be getting worse. A recent report on healthcare in rural North Carolina reflects conditions across rural America: “North Carolinians living in rural areas are less likely to have access to health services, are more likely to engage in risky health behaviors, and have a higher mortality rate than North Carolinians living in non-rural areas. The health disparities between urban and rural residents are due to a number of factors including: differences in demographic and socioeconomic factors, health behaviors, and access to and availability of health care services.” This is all exacerbated by the problems faced by rural hospitals, 43 of which having closed since 2010 and six more reportedly on the brink of collapse, according to a recent report in USA Today. The Hutcheson Medical Center in Fort Oglethorpe, Georgia just filed for bankruptcy protection, the Ty Cobb Regional Medical Center in Lavonia is in financial trouble, and 15 rural hospitals in Georgia are classified as “financially fragile.” In Virginia, 20 of the state’s 37 rural hospitals are “operating in the red.” The healthcare crisis in rural America is, sadly, in many cases worse than that in urban America, fundamentally because of the lack of access to quality healthcare providers. Note, by the way, that some of the problems of rural hospitals could be partially alleviated by the expansion of Medicaid coverage, but many states, particularly in the South and West, with large rural populations, have been resistant to this commonsense action.Poverty: People underestimate the extent, persistence, and specific problems of rural poverty. An article in the School News Network describes the distinctiveness of rural poverty: “Although the problems of poor rural families are similar to those living in urban areas, their access to help is not…Their remote locations can make it harder for people in the country to deal with poverty than for those in the city, said Marybeth Mattingly, director of research on vulnerable families at the University of New Hampshire’s Carsey School of Public Policy. ‘A lot of times the challenges are the same (in rural and urban areas), but the solutions are different,’ Mattingly said. ‘When you’re poor in rural America, you’re much more isolated.’ For instance, while many city dwellers can take public transportation to work, ‘in rural America, to hold down a job it’s pretty much a necessity you have a car,’ she said. But having a car that runs—or even owning one—is a challenge for many families. ‘The needs are so much greater often in the rural areas, because there aren’t the service providers. They’re this island amongst themselves,’ said Carol Paine-McGovern, executive director of the Kent School Services Network.”The Washington Post described another distinctive dimension of rural poverty, looking at rural communities in Colorado: “The poverty of Las Animas isn’t the poverty of Appalachia or the Mississippi Delta or an Indian reservation, entrenched and intergenerational, enforced by age-old hierarchies of race and class. It’s the kind of poverty that can affect anyone who finds themselves in a place when the native industries disappear, as they have in Southeast Colorado and other rural areas across America…‘I think it’s more of a place-based poverty than it is demographic,’ says Tracey Farrigan, an economist with the U.S. Department of Agriculture who is studying how rural poverty has spread. ‘People are moving to areas where they can afford to live, which are areas with less support for them. It’s kind of a cycle. So the places are poor, and the people are poor.’”No one should imagine that rural conditions are somehow vastly improved. On a number of factors, conditions in rural America are tougher, but we have yet to see philanthropic resources mobilized in the way they should be to make progress in reversing rural homelessness, deficiencies in rural healthcare provision, and the persistence of rural poverty.—Rick CohenShare5Tweet4ShareEmail9 Shares
Share141TweetShare11Email152 SharesDecember 5, 2016; New York TimesIn one of the more surprising moves in a surprising political year, Donald Trump has named Dr. Ben Carson to become the next Secretary of the Department of Housing and Urban Development. The move is surprising because Carson, a 2016 candidate for president, has no professional experience in housing issues or urban development. It’s also surprising because Carson himself remarked on his lack of experience when the idea was first floated in the press about two weeks ago.Make no mistake: Carson’s personal and professional story is nothing short of amazing. “Carson’s mother was only 13 when she married Carson’s father, who was 28. Carson’s mother subsequently discovered her husband had another family, for which Carson’s father eventually abandoned her.” Carson was raised in Detroit, attended college at Yale and graduated from medical school at the University of Michigan. At 33, he became the youngest chief of pediatric neurosurgery in the country (at Johns Hopkins). His pioneering neurosurgery on conjoined twins and first-ever neurosurgery on a fetus in the womb were among the accomplishments for which he was awarded the Presidential Medal of Freedom, more than 60 honorary doctorates, and made him the subject of a biographical movie in 2009 based on his book, Gifted Hands.Being a great doctor, however, doesn’t make one a great government administrator or political leader. Carson has never worked in government and never managed a large organization in either the private or public sector. He has served on corporate boards, including those of Costco and Kellogg’s, but has no formal connection to housing which is an enormous and complex field. The HUD secretary oversees a $47 billion budget serving 5 million families a year.As a presidential candidate last year, he wrote an op-ed piece in which he compared a HUD initiative to place affordable housing in more affluent areas with the “failed” policy of school busing in the 1970s and 1980s and claimed that the new HUD policy would not only harm affluent areas by imposing multifamily housing in single-family neighborhoods, but also stop places like New York City from building needed affordable housing units already planned.Statements like these have traditional advocates and partners worried that Carson’s appointment signals significant change in how HUD will pursue its mission. There is little publicly available information about what specific housing policy and program changes the Trump administration will pursue. Both the GOP platform and the Trump transition website are almost silent on HUD-related issues. This might make one feel that the appointment has left a dangerous void.Sarah Edelman, director of housing policy for the liberal Center for American Progress, comments, “The two biggest risks I see with a Carson administration are 1) that HUD sits on the sidelines, allowing Congress to chop funds for affordable housing, while our nation’s housing problems get worse, [or] 2) HUD abdicates responsibility for enforcing the Fair Housing Act, which would leave women, families with children, people with disabilities, and people of color less defended against a landlord or mortgage lender who discriminates against them and stall important economic mobility work.”Tom Sugrue, an urban historian, further observes, “The possibilities for corruption are legion with a HUD secretary who knows nothing about the agency, its programs and its vastly complex budget.” (Especially with a callous real-estate developer as president.)“It’s really unknown what kind of HUD secretary Carson will be, if he is confirmed,” says Barbara Sard, vice president for housing policy at the Center on Budget and Policy Priorities, a progressive D.C.-based research and advocacy organization. “There’s cause for concern if he’s not committed to sustaining vital federal rental assistance and continuing to make rental assistance more effective.”In NextCity, Oscar Perry Abello writes that the impression of an as-yet-unknowable void is the same among major nonprofit housing organizations:“The president-elect has not talked a great deal about his proposed housing policies, so we don’t have anything to react to at this point,” says Marion McFadden, vice president for public policy at Enterprise Community Partners.“Whatever agenda or whatever priority they have, I look forward to learning what that is,” says Maurice Jones, a former HUD official and current CEO of Local Initiatives Support Corporation (LISC).As recently as mid-November, Carson’s own business manager, Armstrong Williams, denied that Carson would take a cabinet post in the Trump administration. “His life has not prepared him to be a cabinet secretary,” Armstrong said. The call to duty is strong for some people, especially when issued by an incoming president. There is something paradoxically reassuring about an accomplished person being unsure of their own suitability for a high-profile, difficult task. The challenge in this case is that there is apparent justification for Carson’s self-doubts—justification that could be used to override the sense of duty owed to an incoming president and a nation seeking leadership.Cabinet secretaries represent their departments and administration priorities to Congress, the media, stakeholders, and the public. They are expected to be familiar with their agency’s programs as well as the external environment in which their departments operate. At the very least, Ben Carson has a lot to learn before he can exercise that responsibility at HUD.Meanwhile, as advocates point out, Carson would not himself be entering a void. HUD has 8,500 staff, who tend to hang in through changes in administration and which may blunt the effect of his leadership.“I think people underestimate the actual dedication to the cause that civil servants of HUD have,” said Jones. “That’s where the rubber hits the road. We need to make sure people don’t forget.”—Michael Wyland and Ruth McCambridgeShare141TweetShare11Email152 Shares
Share29TweetShareEmail29 SharesImage courtesy of Hedwig StorchJuly 26, 2018; Arkansas Times The story reads like a movie script: a longtime executive director; his daughter, the CFO; and her husband, the information technology manager (and the one with a contract to mow the lawns) were arrested this year for decimating a nonprofit that supported at-risk youth. It is a case of paid-off lawmakers, a death threat by a lobbyist, and theft so pervasive it was part of the culture.The organization, South Arkansas Youth Services (SAYS) is listed as an active 501c3 on GuideStar. The most recent 990 filed was for the fiscal year ending June 30, 2016 when it had 446 employees and $14.5 million in government contracts for emergency shelters, residential programs, and therapeutic group homes for at-risk youth.SAYS, which was founded in 1977, declared Chapter 7 bankruptcy in Arkansas’ Western District court in January. Its records show an organization that served the public for four decades. The behind-the-scenes story says something different about who was being served.Let’s start with the theft. Last fall, husband and wife Aric Shane Knight and Jennifer A. Knight were charged with theft by fraud of over $25,000. Both were employed by SAYS, Aric as an information technology expert and Jennifer as CFO.The Magnolia Police Department was notified by an accountant when an audit “found evidence of agency credit card abuse, abuse of monetary funds, electronics and property such as vehicles, tractors and attachments, lawn equipment and trailers.” There are records of purchases of multiple utility trailers, ATVs, tools, and lawn mowers, but the items were not found on any SAYS property and there were no bills of sale.Aric Knight, on top of a salary, had a contract to mow the lawns at various properties with his own equipment. The audit revealed that he used SAYS equipment and he did not mow twice a month as contracted, but only three to six times a year, depending on the property. As the CFO, Jennifer Knight would or should have had knowledge of the transactions.Moving on to the bribery: Jerry Walsh, the longtime executive director of SAYS and Jennifer’s father, recently pleaded guilty to paying an unnamed Arkansas state senator $120,000 for actions favorable to SAYS, himself, and others. An additional $260,000 of public funds were diverted without the board’s knowledge to the lobbying firm of Milton “Rusty” Cranford. Cranford himself faces several charges related to kickback schemes with lawmakers involving SAYS and other organizations.County judge Henry Wilkins IV resigned last month after it was revealed in another, related case that he also participated in a kickback scheme with SAYS when he was a state senator between 1999 and 2015. Cranford directed tens of thousands of dollars to then-Senator Wilkins in order to help SAYS win grants and favorable legislation. Wilkins has entered a plea agreement. The Arkansas Times writes,This is a continuation of the public corruption probe that has already won guilty pleas or jury verdicts against former legislators Jon Woods, Micah Neal, Henry Wilkins, Eddie Cooper and Jake Files (Files for a public thievery charge unrelated to schemes in which the others were involved with the Preferred Family Healthcare nonprofit). Sen. Jeremy Hutchinson (R-Little Rock) has also been implicated but not charged. He is, however, apparently not the unidentified “Senator C” to whom Walsh has admitted paying money.To put the foul icing on this ghastly cake, Cranford was charged this spring with planning a murder-for-hire to get rid of a potential “snitch” who was part of the kickbacks at the nonprofit Preferred Family Healthcare, Inc., where Cranford served as a lobbyist and charity executive.Walsh acknowledged SAYS hired Hutchinson and another former senator, Michael Lamoureux, for legal services, but has denied any illegitimate activities.Lamoureux, in response to Walsh’s plea agreement, said by email, “I am just learning about this. I have not have [sic] any communication with law enforcement about this development. Neither legal fees nor campaign contributions have ever influenced my behavior as a public official.”The state is rebidding the operation of the youth facilities. It has not been noted how the illegal behavior of the lobbyists, legislators, and nonprofit administrators has affected the other 440-plus employees. The state Division of Social Services took over in 2016, but several sites run by SAYS stopped accepting new cases in January. In all of this, the possible losses to the children in need in South Arkansas seem to have taken a back seat.Now, let’s put this all in context; Arkansas ranks 49th in access to healthcare, 49th in mental health, and 38th in education, according to US News and World Report, which doesn’t bode well for the youth SAYS was supposed to serve.—Marian ConwayShare29TweetShareEmail29 Shares
French pay TV broadcaster Canal Plus is facing a regulatory investigation over its plans to acquire Bolloré Group’s television assets.The Vivendi-backed company announced in September that it would acquire 60% of Bolloré’s television channels including Direct 8 and Direct Star, which would see Canal Plus move into the free-to-air market for first time. However, French competition regulator Autorité de la Concurrence has announced, via a statement on its website, that it would be investigating the move because it raises “serious doubts” over competition. The probe is expected to last over two months.
Polish service provider Netia ended June with 71,274 TV subscribers, a year-on-year increase of 46%.Overall RGU numbers increased to 2,785,339 during the second quarter from 2,752,346 a year earlier. However, Netia is revising its guidance from a total of 2,900,000 RGUs at the end of the year to 2,750,000.ARPU from TV services increased to PLN42 (€10), compared with PLN36 during the second quarter of 2012. Second quarter revenue increased to PLN536,472 from PLN396,280. Adjusted EBIDTA was also up to PLN156,183 from PLN 92,832.“Investing in customer relationships, services and infrastructure that bring long-term value to our shareholders remains our key concern as evidenced by our patient approach to the TV and NGA roll-outs as the long-term competitive response on the residential market,” said Miroslaw Godlewski, Netia’s president and CEO. “Likewise we are being cautious in our approach to acquisition opportunities, conservatively assessing synergies and risks to ensure any acquisition is highly likely to add significant shareholder value.”
Latvian cable operator Baltcom is to offer bundles combining TV and telecommunication products with electricity supply.According to Baltcom, research it commissioned has shown that four fifths of Latvians would be willing to purchase their electricity supply from a telecom provider if it could offer better terms than their current supplier.Baltcom said it planned to develop a range of products as the electricity supply market is further liberalised. Currently it is able to bundle electricity with one of its telecom services.Baltcom board member Gints Kiršteins said that Baltcom expected take-up from about 20-30% of its existing customers next year. Baltcom is offering a two-year fixed electricity tariff regardless of changes in the wholesale price of electircity.Baltcom is offering digital TV, 250Mbps internet and 75kWh (kilowatt-hours) of electricty for LVL20.03 (€28.47) a month or 100kW for LVL22.14. Bundled with telephony on top, the cost of the two bundles is LVL21.79 and LVL23.90 respectively.Baltcom has struck a deal with electricity network supplier AS Sadales Tīkls for the supply of electricity to its customers.
HBO is being offered as part of a basic tier channel package in the US for the first time.To this point, HBO has always been a premium tier channel, though Jeffrey Bewkes, CEO of HBO parent Time Warner, has recently made noises suggesting he was looking at more competitive pricing options.HBO and its online service HBO Go will now be available through a Comcast basic cable and internet package for around US$50 per month. Comcast’s on-demand service Streampix is also included.The Internet Plus offer is only available until January 31, 2014, and also includes non-sport basic tier cable channels. After the cut off point, the price will rise to US$69.95 per month.HBO is still considered by many commentators as the gold standard in US television through series such as The Sopranos and Six Feet Under and current shows such as The Newsroom but has come under increasing pressure from VOD service Netflix, which last week surpassed HBO’s subscriber base for the first time.
Swedish cable operator Com Hem has named Anders Nilsson as its new CEO following the departure of Tomas Franzén, who will leave the company on March 6.Nilsson is currently the company’s executive vice-president, commercial and services. He previously worked for Modern Times Group as managing director of its Swedish operations and CEO of its online division.Com Hem has also named former Virgin Media executive Jon James as its new chief operating officer.James was group strategy director at Virgin Media and is the latest of a series of executives to move from the now Liberty Global-owned UK cable operator to Com Hem, including executive chairman Andrew Barron and chief product officer Asanga Gunatillaka.Com Hem has revealed that its TiVo advanced TV service – a technology choice it shares with Virgin Media – now reaches 6% of its customer base after selling 38,000 subscriptions in the three months since launch.
Liberty Global-owned German cable operator Unitymedia KabelBW has deployed Arris’s E6000 Converged Edge router, the company’s CCAP platform.Arris said its E6000 now delivers services to over two million subscribers globally.“Arris and Liberty Global have a long-term relationship during which we have deployed Arris broadband infrastructure solutions at Unitymedia KabelBW to efficiently grow our broadband services and stay at the forefront of our market,” said Colin Buechner, chief network officer at Liberty Global.“The E6000 CER enables us to expand our services to a whole new level by providing large increases in capacity in a cost effective manner.”“The Arris E6000 CER delivers improved density and a cost-effective integrated architecture – it powers smarter networks,” said Steve McCaffery, senior vice-president, EMEA and Asia Pacific, Arris.“Using much less space and power than existing architectures as well as delivering remarkable downstream and upstream capacity for super fast broadband speeds to attract and retain customers, our E6000 is the perfect package.”
Sian-Elin DaviesNews channel CNBC has hired Sky News International head of distribution Sian-Elin Davies as director of pay TV distribution for CNBC International.Davies will join in January 2015 and will lead and manage CNBC’s distribution strategy and negotiate new deals for CNBC and NBC News Group channels, on major TV platforms within Europe the Middle East, Africa and Latin America.In her new role, Davies will report to vice-president of international distribution Jacqueline Lam and will work with the CNBC’s distribution team to grow the network’s reach by securing new opportunities with cable, satellite and broadband partners. She will also work to maximise programme syndication across platforms including IPTV, OTT, inflight entertainment systems and hotels.“I am very much looking forward to joining CNBC to further develop market share across EMEA and to represent such a well-established and reputable news brand across these territories,” said Davies.
Digital video expenditure is forecast to exceed consumer spending on packaged media in the Netherlands this year, driven by pay TV, video-on-demand and Netflix, according to research by Futuresource Consulting.According to Futuresource, digital expenditure will account for 66% of home video expenditure this year, with the overall digital video market set to grow by 51%, with retail expenditure totaling €215 million. SVoD is expected to produce turnover of €111 million this year, driven by the Netflix effect. SVoD is predicted to account for 55% of all home video spend by 2018, reaching €240 million.Pay TV will continue to account for the bulk of overall video expenditure, at 72% of the total, accourding to Futuresource, following a modest decline in pay TV in 2014. Pay TV VoD grew by 8% last year and is expected to grew by a similar amount this year.The overall video entertainment market, including digital video, box office, packaged video and subscription TV, totaled over €2 billion in 2014 and is expected to rise to over €2.1 billion this year.“The Dutch video market tends to share similarities with the Nordics, more than any other European country, with rapid SVoD uptake and over 20% decline in packaged video,” says Joanna Wright, senior market analyst at Futuresource Consulting.“This shifting mix of video business was compounded by the bankruptcy of leading retailer, Free Record Shop, just a few months prior to Netflix’s launch.”
TV technology provider Motive has released the first update to its TabletTV platform in the UK, promising new capabilities and improved performance.Motive said that version 2.0 of TabletTV adds one-touch-recording, social networking, and home network features that let users pair their TabletTV tuner with the home WiFi signal and receive both over-the-air TV signals and the internet simultaneously.TabletTV was originally designed to let tablet users to watch and record digital terrestrial channels without an internet connection, via a proprietary app and the T-Pod antenna-tuner.Motive said it has submitted the updated version of TabletTV to the Apple app store for approval and expects it to be available in “about a week”.
Wayne PurbooMultiscreen and OTT video specialist QuickPlay has secured a C$57 million (€42 million) investment from private equity owner Madison Dearborn Partners, financing partner Orix Ventures and Difference Capital Financial.The latest round of financing means that QuickPlay has benefited from over C$150 million in investment capital to date. The company recently acquired LTE Broadcast specialist Roundbox to enable it to tap into delivery of video over mobile networks via the eMBMS multicast technology.“We have enjoyed successive years of high growth with our managed services, building a unique position that continues to disrupt the market. Quickplay is reaching a scale that makes our platform the natural choice for multichannel video programming distributors (MVPDs) and Content Providers to connect,” said Wayne Purboo, CEO and co-founder of Quickplay. “We are thrilled with the confidence shown in the potential of Quickplay with this financing – we will focus heavily on key investments that further accelerate our growth, and contribute to the success our current and future customers.”
Russian service provider Akado has added comedy Komedia TV to its programming line-up.The channel, owned by production group Red Media, provides a line-up of classic Russian and international comedy shows and movies from the last 50 years.The channel will be available as part of Akado’s social TV package.
Danish telco TDC has selected thePlatform to develop a new online TVOD and electronic sell-through platform for its home-entertainment brand Blockbuster.ThePlatform’s mpx video management system will deliver the main CMS infrastructure backbone for the project, which will launch with 8,000 titles across the Nordic region.The mpx commercial portal has been customised to link with the OTT user interface developed by the TV App Agency and will support flexible payment, promotional activities, and token payments.“We developed our initial version in-house, but after one year in the Danish market, we realised we needed to bring in industry experts to make the service easy to sign up, easy to pay, and easy to work instantaneously with robust scalability,” said Casper Hald, head of Blockbuster at TDC Group.“Working with thePlatform and the TV App Agency has given us the ability to get to market quickly with the flexibility to differentiate from other services. We have been able to build a service that is simple for the end user to use, while delivering our rich library of content to consumers’ many screens.”TDC acquired the Danish rights to the Blockbuster brand at the start of 2014 and announced plans to launch a comprehensive transactional video-on-demand and electronic sell-through service using the Blockbuster name in November of the same year.