Streaming ‘Warcraft’ in China Could Lead to New Marketplace

Chinese online-video network PPTV paid about $24 million for the streaming rights to fantasy feature “Warcraft,” based on the popular videogame series by Blizzard Entertainment. The film has so far grossed more than $433 million worldwide and has been successful with Chinese audiences. It will begin streaming next month on PPTV as a result of the record high deal, in what could also mark a significant milestone in film distribution. “This could be one of the beginning steps in having China become a huge marketplace for streaming services,” said comScore senior media analyst Paul Dergarabedian. Continue reading Streaming ‘Warcraft’ in China Could Lead to New Marketplace

Netflix-Style Video-On-Demand Service Debuts in North Korea

North Korea has launched its own Netflix-like streaming service called Manbang (“everywhere” or “every direction”), although the content and availability is limited. According to Digital Trends, Manbang offers “citizens in three cities, including the capital Pyongyang, access to five streamed channels alongside a selection of on-demand content.” The service’s set-top box also streams state-approved newspaper articles, documentaries about Kim Jong-un and the leadership, and English and Russian language lessons. The box enables “viewers to search for programs by typing in the title, or by browsing through categories, offering similar functionality to Netflix in the United States,” notes NK News. Continue reading Netflix-Style Video-On-Demand Service Debuts in North Korea

Windows 10 Update to Include Windows Holographic Access

An update to the Windows 10 operating system will enable PC users to jump into mixed reality next year when their computers run the Windows Holographic shell Microsoft introduced in early 2015. “The update will allow users to multi-task in mixed reality environments, which combine traditional 2D Windows 10 apps with immersive, 3D graphical environments,” notes TechCrunch. “These will be enabled via a range of ‘6 degrees of freedom devices,’ input devices that add positional tracking to other more traditional forms of input, like clicking and pointing.” The team is also looking to make this available to PCs that do not currently have the necessary specs to run full-scale virtual reality. Continue reading Windows 10 Update to Include Windows Holographic Access

Instagram Adds Events Channel to Explore Concerts, Sports

Instagram’s Explore tab for displaying personalized content has evolved from a simple algorithm to a more sophisticated discovery platform for photos and videos. Through its “Picked For You” feature, Instagram added custom channels inside Explore for more personalization. Now, the social platform is introducing a new video channel called Events that “will be personalized for each user and feature videos from concerts, sports games, and other live events depending on what’s happening around the world, what types of live events users are interested in, and what type of accounts the user follows,” reports TechCrunch. The new feature could compete with Snapchat’s Discover channels. Continue reading Instagram Adds Events Channel to Explore Concerts, Sports

AirTV Combines HD Antenna and Sling TV for Local Channels

A new draft listing for Amazon.com features a $149.99 hardware device called AirTV that addresses the limitation of Dish Network’s Sling TV regarding access to over-the-air, local channels. “The device works with an antenna and Sling TV’s app in order to offer a combination of local live television programming and Sling TV’s content, including its program guide and optional add-on packages,” reports TechCrunch. According to the product listing, free local TV is accessible via the app on any compatible device via Android, iOS, Amazon Fire TV and Roku. For more channels, “you can subscribe to paid Sling TV packages — all from the same app.” Continue reading AirTV Combines HD Antenna and Sling TV for Local Channels

Univision Acquisition Marks End of the Road for Gawker.com

We have an update to Univision’s $135 million acquisition of Gawker Media. Latest reports indicate that the deal will not save the company’s flagship site, and Gawker.com will shut down next week. “The website itself won’t go dark when it stops publication, but it won’t have anyone running it,” reports Recode. Gawker Media’s remaining sites — including Gizmodo, Deadspin and Jezebel — will be folded into Fusion Media Group, Univision’s English-language digital media division, as part of the company’s push to target millennials. Univision recently invested in The Onion, The Root and Fusion. Continue reading Univision Acquisition Marks End of the Road for Gawker.com

Audi Announces Next-Generation V2I Connected Car Features

Later this year, Audi will roll out the first feature of its new vehicle-to-infrastructure (V2I) service in select 2017 models. The company’s new traffic light information system will notify drivers of the remaining wait time at red lights. It represents the first time an individual vehicle will access real-time infrastructure information. The platform is a practical, yet significant, first step for connected cars as they begin to integrate into the existing municipal infrastructure with an eye toward the dawn of “smart cities.” Continue reading Audi Announces Next-Generation V2I Connected Car Features

Enseo Service to Bring Netflix to More Hotel Rooms Worldwide

Netflix and in-room entertainment platform maker Enseo have announced an expanded deal to bring the Netflix app to more worldwide hotel rooms. Hotel guests will be able to log in to their Netflix accounts via Enseo’s system and access TV shows, movies and their personalized lists and settings. “The two companies were already working together on Enseo’s product, the Enseo Entertainment Experience,” reports TechCrunch, “which also provides access to other streaming services like YouTube, Pandora, Hulu and Crackle.” Enseo was the first to bring Netflix to hotels with its original 2014 agreement. The new deal means Enseo “can now offer Netflix to any hotel under a contract in any country worldwide where Netflix is available.” Continue reading Enseo Service to Bring Netflix to More Hotel Rooms Worldwide

Univision Outbids Ziff Davis, Buys Gawker in $135 Million Deal

TV network and digital publisher Univision will purchase Gawker Media for $135 million, a deal that includes all seven of the blog network’s sites, including Jezebel, Deadspin and Gawker.com. The only other bidder in the auction, Internet publisher Ziff Davis, originally offered $90 million. “I am pleased that our employees are protected and will continue their work under new ownership — disentangled from the legal campaign against the company,” said Gawker Media owner Nick Denton. “We could not have picked an acquirer more devoted to vibrant journalism.” Continue reading Univision Outbids Ziff Davis, Buys Gawker in $135 Million Deal

MTV to Simulcast Series Premiere on Facebook and YouTube

Viacom’s MTV is testing a new promotional approach by livestreaming its new true-crime docu-series, “Unlocking The Truth” on Facebook Live and YouTube at the same time the show debuts on cable TV this evening at 11:00 pm. Additionally, replays of the premiere will be made available on both platforms after the premiere airs. “But sorry, cord-cutters: Only the premiere of the eight-episode series will be available free without a pay-TV subscription,” notes Variety. The digital simulcast is “a different spin on the free sampling strategy TV networks have long used to gin up interest in a program.” Continue reading MTV to Simulcast Series Premiere on Facebook and YouTube

Fast, No-Frills Video Chat App Google Duo Launches Today

Google Duo is a new video chat app that just debuted specifically for mobile. The Verge describes the FaceTime competitor as “fast, easy to use, and devoid of complicated bells and whistles. You tap on the face of the person you want to call, they answer, and you have a one-on-one video chat going.” The single-minded approach is meant to be simple — including the setup process that merely involves a sign-up and confirmation — and “no accounts to create nor friend lists to maintain.” Duo is simply tied to your phone number and contact lists, and is available for both Android and iOS. It does not enable conference calls or desktop calls. Continue reading Fast, No-Frills Video Chat App Google Duo Launches Today

Cable TV Revenue to Decline, Broadband Subs on Upswing

SNL Kagan forecasts that video revenue for U.S. cable operators will decrease 4.7 percent by 2026, despite higher monthly cable TV bills. Residential video revenue for “cable operators is projected to fall from $57.7 billion in 2016 to $55.0 billion annually in 2026, declining at a compound annual growth rate of 0.5 percent over the next 10 years,” reports Variety. While basic video subs are projected to fall from today’s 53 million to 45.4 million in 2026, there will be a 13 percent jump in broadband subs, representing $11 billion. Cable broadband subs are expected to reach 71 million by 2026, driving up revenue to $47.3 billion. Continue reading Cable TV Revenue to Decline, Broadband Subs on Upswing

Cloud Services Spending to Reach $195 Billion in Four Years

International Data Corporation (IDC) projects that global revenue from public cloud services will surpass $195 billion by 2020, more than doubling this year’s forecast of $96.5 billion. The new figures, part of IDC’s Worldwide Semiannual Public Cloud Services Spending Guide, represent a compound annual growth rate of 20.4 percent over 2015-2020. Also, IDC expects that revenue from Infrastructure as a Service and Platform as a Service will increase at a faster rate than revenue from Software as a Service. Media, telecom and retail will experience the fastest revenue growth. Continue reading Cloud Services Spending to Reach $195 Billion in Four Years

NBC’s Live Streaming of Rio Olympics Tops 1 Billion Minutes

NBC Olympics’ live streaming of the Summer Olympic games in Rio de Janeiro reached 1.05 billion minutes on Wednesday, marking the first time the milestone has been achieved for an Olympics. According to the press release, “live streaming via NBCOlympics.com and the NBC Sports app is up 232 percent from the equivalent day in London.” The day before, live streaming from Rio surpassed that for the entire London Games. “The 2016 Rio Olympics is the first in U.S. media history with primetime Olympic coverage on channels other than the primary broadcast network,” notes the release. “It is also the first time that the broadcast network coverage, including primetime, has been streamed simultaneously on digital platforms.” Continue reading NBC’s Live Streaming of Rio Olympics Tops 1 Billion Minutes

Ad-Free Facebook is Still Possible, According to Adblock Plus

Yesterday we reported that Facebook is now able to block all ad blockers on its desktop website, sparking a discussion about the ethics of ad blocking. Popular ad-blocking software, Adblock Plus, has since posted instructions online for users to adjust their ad-blocking software by updating their filter lists so they can block Facebook ads again. Meanwhile, Facebook was quick to respond, expressing disappointment that Adblock’s workaround also removes posts from friends and Pages, in addition to ads. Facebook is reportedly rolling out a code update that will counter Adblock’s workaround. Continue reading Ad-Free Facebook is Still Possible, According to Adblock Plus

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