CNN App Combines VOD and Live TV on One Second Screen

The CNNgo app for tablets and desktops may just be what the future of television will look like. The app opens automatically to a live feed of the current show airing on CNN, and along the bottom, viewers can browse video, text, tweets, and photos related to the live programming. Another menu shows segments about different topics from the past couple of hours or days. The app abandons the traditional linear and often problematic model of consuming television news. Continue reading CNN App Combines VOD and Live TV on One Second Screen

Warner Music Group Buys Music Curation Startup Playlists.net

Warner Music Group’s artist and label services company WEA has acquired U.K.-based startup Playlists.net. The startup, which allows users to share, upload, and discover Spotify playlists, will still operate as a standalone company. Because the music charts in the U.K. now take streaming music into account, WEA could use Playlists.net’s platform to promote playlists with their artists or track data that could help predict up-and-coming artists or trends in music. Continue reading Warner Music Group Buys Music Curation Startup Playlists.net

MIPCOM: Netflix Pushing Day-and-Date Releases for Movies

Speaking at MIPCOM this week, Netflix Chief Content Officer Ted Sarandos said his company is going to modernize the distribution model of movies. The online streaming video service has new film deals in the works, including a sequel to “Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon,” and a four-picture agreement with Adam Sandler. Netflix’s original films will have a day-and-date release, so that viewers can have the option of watching the movie in theaters, buying the DVD, or streaming it on demand beginning the same day. Continue reading MIPCOM: Netflix Pushing Day-and-Date Releases for Movies

Free ‘League of Legends’ Game May Make $1 Billion This Year

The world championship for the biggest e-sport in the world, “League of Legends,” starts in South Korea this weekend. About 40,000 fans are expected to fill the stadium to watch the tournament live while at least another 30 million will watch the games online. Riot Games runs the League of Legends World Championship along with the online broadcasting, and by producing a premium sporting experience for players, Riot Games may make upwards of $1 billion in 2014. Continue reading Free ‘League of Legends’ Game May Make $1 Billion This Year

SGN Releases Mobile Game for Fox’s New ‘Book of Life’ Movie

Mobile game maker SGN and 20th Century Fox released “Book of Life: Sugar Smash,” a companion mobile game for Fox’s new animated film. The two companies are sharing revenue from the game’s in-app purchases, which could translate to long-term revenue and marketing for both businesses. This revenue-sharing deal could also become a new model of partnership for future gaming and film companies. “Book of Life: Sugar Smash” is a free game available for iOS and soon Android. Continue reading SGN Releases Mobile Game for Fox’s New ‘Book of Life’ Movie

Cord-Shaving Becoming New Concern for the Pay TV Industry

The number of cable channel subscribers has decreased over the past four years, but it is not necessarily a result of viewers completely “cutting the cord.” Rather, many viewers are now “cord shaving,” or opting for smaller, cheaper cable bundles. These bundles do not include popular channels like CNN, ESPN or TNT. Those channels, and the others in the top 40 most distributed channels have lost more than 3 percent of their distribution, 3.2 million subscribers, in the past four years. Continue reading Cord-Shaving Becoming New Concern for the Pay TV Industry

Zeiss Builds a $100 VR Headset That Works with Your Phone

German company Zeiss, known for its optics tech and premium camera lenses, is developing the VR One, a headset that uses a smartphone’s display, accelerometer, and gyroscope to give users a virtual reality experience. It is similar to Samsung’s Gear VR for the Galaxy Note 4 except the VR One is $100 cheaper and is an open project so that developers can help design the product. Currently, the VR One is compatible with the iPhone 6 and the Galaxy S5, but more phone tray options are coming soon. Continue reading Zeiss Builds a $100 VR Headset That Works with Your Phone

Google to Lead Investment in Magic Leap’s ‘Cinematic Reality’

Google may lead Andreessen Horowitz and other investors in a $500 million round of funding for Florida-based hardware and software maker Magic Leap, according to sources. The company is working on a new 3D experience that is more advanced than current virtual reality and augmented reality technologies. Magic Leap has released very few details about its “cinematic reality” tech, but it is most likely going to involve super high-resolution 3D images projected from special glasses. Continue reading Google to Lead Investment in Magic Leap’s ‘Cinematic Reality’

Micro-Content: Cartoon Network Unveils Mobile App for Kids

Turner’s Cartoon Network launched an app last week that features 10- to 15-second clips of the cable channel’s animated shows. “Cartoon Network Anything” is targeting boys 6- to 11-years old, many of whom are shifting towards mobile media consumption. Cartoon Network designed the app to drive young viewers back to the TV with promotions for on-air properties in between the 15-second clips, games, polls, quizzes, trivia, and puzzles. The free app is available for iOS and Android. Continue reading Micro-Content: Cartoon Network Unveils Mobile App for Kids

Google Plans to Unveil Phablet and New Version of Android

Google’s new smartphone, expected to launch later this month, will be larger than Apple’s iPhone 6 Plus and the Samsung Galaxy Note. The high-resolution display is 5.9 inches diagonally, making it large enough to be categorized as a phablet. The handset, code-named Shamu, intends to compete in an emerging market of increasingly popular hybrid devices across the U.S. and abroad. Google also reportedly plans to debut a new version of its Android mobile OS at the same time. Continue reading Google Plans to Unveil Phablet and New Version of Android

Amazon May Open its First Physical Store in New York City

E-commerce giant Amazon reportedly has plans to open its first brick-and-mortar store in the heart of New York City. The company’s new space on 34th Street across from the Empire State Building may likely be used as a mini warehouse that will handle same-day delivery, product returns, and pick-ups of online orders. A physical store is expected to help provide faster service and delivery for New Yorkers in addition to building more brand recognition for the online-based company. Continue reading Amazon May Open its First Physical Store in New York City

Twitter Sues U.S. Government Over Surveillance Disclosures

Social network Twitter filed a lawsuit against the U.S. government on Tuesday, seeking to bring more transparency to government surveillance. Twitter wants the government to ease restrictions on what tech companies can publicly disclose about the government’s national security-related requests for user data. The company alleges that these restrictions violate the company’s First Amendment rights. This is the latest in a series of battles over online national surveillance. Continue reading Twitter Sues U.S. Government Over Surveillance Disclosures

The Makers of ‘Ingress’ Create Another Alternate Reality Game

Google’s Niantic Labs has just released the first phase of its ambitious new project to create a fictional universe through a series of interconnected novels, movies, and alternate-reality games. The first novel, “Endgame: The Calling” and the alternate reality game made their debut this week. During the first phase of the launch, what happens in the game will affect the story of the upcoming books. The mobile game that accompanies the story will be launched next year. Continue reading The Makers of ‘Ingress’ Create Another Alternate Reality Game

Google Developing Messaging App to Compete with WhatsApp

Google is playing catch-up in the world of mobile messaging apps in emerging markets overseas. Facebook closed on the $19 billion WhatsApp acquisition earlier this week, and reportedly, Google may have a similar app in the works. The company plans to test its app in India and other emerging markets, which is where tech companies are now looking for growth. A messaging app from Google could help the brand find a foothold in these markets and eventually generate revenue. Continue reading Google Developing Messaging App to Compete with WhatsApp

Oculus Rift Interstellar Experience Coming to IMAX Theaters

Christopher Nolan fans and moviegoers interested in the upcoming “Interstellar” can get a sneak peek at the galactic world through a 3D virtual reality experience. Participants will get a chance to wear Oculus Rift headsets and virtually explore the film’s spacecraft, which took two months for the team at Framestore to recreate. The Oculus Rift Interstellar Experience is hitting select AMC IMAX theaters in New York, Houston, Los Angeles and Washington, D.C. before the film opens November 7. Continue reading Oculus Rift Interstellar Experience Coming to IMAX Theaters

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