Tribeca and Lionsgate to Launch Video on Demand Service

In the wake of HBO and CBS announcing online subscription offerings, Tribeca Enterprises and Lionsgate announced yesterday that they plan to offer a new online VOD service by June 2015. The Tribeca Short List service will focus on prestige titles curated from their libraries, in addition to a selection of foreign films. The move is the latest by media companies looking to leverage the Netflix-dominated SVOD market. Univision is joining networks HBO and CBS with its plans for a standalone streaming video service. Continue reading Tribeca and Lionsgate to Launch Video on Demand Service

Microsoft Plans to Debut New Smartwatch in Next Few Weeks

Microsoft is joining Apple, Fitbit, musician will.i.am and others gearing up to offer new smartwatches. Microsoft’s wearable — a smartwatch that will track your heart rate, work across different mobile platforms, and run for more than two days of regular use before needing a charge — is expected to launch in the next few weeks. A name for the device or its retail cost is not yet known. Microsoft joins a growing field as the wearable tech market is forecasted to be worth $7.1 billion as early as next year. Continue reading Microsoft Plans to Debut New Smartwatch in Next Few Weeks

Simon & Schuster and Amazon Strike New Deal for E-Books

Publisher Simon & Schuster announced yesterday that it has negotiated a multiyear agreement with Amazon for print and electronic books. According to a letter signed by CEO Carolyn Reidy, the deal “is economically advantageous for both Simon & Schuster and its authors and maintains the author’s share of income generated from e-book sales.” The letter also indicates that the contract gives control of e-book pricing to Simon & Schuster, “with some limited exceptions.” Continue reading Simon & Schuster and Amazon Strike New Deal for E-Books

Yahoo’s Tumblr Teams Up with TV Shows for Fan Engagement

Tumblr is teaming with TV shows to explore new ways to reach audiences. NBC’s “The Voice,” Fox’s “MasterChef” and AMC’s “Halt and Catch Fire” are among the programs using Tumblr for second screen engagement. Networks are posting preview clips and sharing recipes on Tumblr. “The Voice” has incorporated animated illustrations from Tumblr artists onto its set, and has invited Tumblr bloggers backstage. Yahoo is hoping that integration with TV will help grow Tumblr and justify its $1.1 billion price tag. Continue reading Yahoo’s Tumblr Teams Up with TV Shows for Fan Engagement

Twitter Launches Money Transfers and Access to Music Tracks

One of France’s largest banks, Group BPCE, is teaming up with Twitter to let their customers transfer money to friends or charities via tweets. Payments will be managed by the bank’s S-Money service that allows transfers via text messages and uses credit-card security standards. Twitter users can also now listen to select iTunes and SoundCloud tracks via a new audio feature launched last week. Users can listen to music while reading tweets, and even buy tracks directly from the iTunes store. Continue reading Twitter Launches Money Transfers and Access to Music Tracks

CBS All Access Targets Cord-Cutters and Cord-Nevers Demo

Just one day after HBO announced its plans to launch a standalone Internet streaming service in 2015, CBS followed with news of its own subscription streaming service that will provide consumers with access to live programming in addition to thousands of current and past programs on demand. The announcements could be good news for cord-cutters who are increasingly turning to the Internet for content. The news may also have an eventual impact on how TV is offered by cable, satellite and telecoms. Continue reading CBS All Access Targets Cord-Cutters and Cord-Nevers Demo

Apple Introduces Two New iPads, 5K iMac and OS X Yosemite

During a 90-minute event at its headquarters in Cupertino yesterday, Apple unveiled two new iPads (the iPad Air 2, starting at $499, and the iPad mini 3, starting at $399), a 27-inch iMac with 5K Retina display, and its new operating system, OS X Yosemite. CEO Tim Cook explained that the new Apple Pay mobile payment service will launch on Monday with more than 500 partners including American Express, MasterCard and Visa. Cook also said that the Apple Watch would be available early next year. Continue reading Apple Introduces Two New iPads, 5K iMac and OS X Yosemite

HBO to Take On Netflix with New Streaming Service in 2015

HBO announced yesterday that it plans to launch a standalone Internet streaming service in the U.S. next year that would not require a traditional TV subscription. The move is part of the cable network’s strategy to reach out to cord cutters, and underscores its growing rivalry with Netflix. The two companies are battling for a new generation of viewers who prefer watching their TV shows and movies via Amazon, Hulu, Netflix, and YouTube rather than subscribing to cable or satellite television. Continue reading HBO to Take On Netflix with New Streaming Service in 2015

Netflix Shares Take a Hit After Disappointing Third Quarter

While Netflix has become the largest standalone subscription programming service in the U.S., and the leading brand among millennials, the company attracted a disappointing number of new users during the third quarter, resulting in a 26.4 percent drop in its stock value yesterday. Netflix added 980,000 customers for the quarter, down from 1.3 million for the same period last year. The disappointing results were intensified by HBO’s announcement that it plans to offer a competing service next year. Continue reading Netflix Shares Take a Hit After Disappointing Third Quarter

Digital Media Pipeline: Making Digital a Premium Experience

Panelists at the Entertainment Merchants Association’s Digital Media Pipeline 2014 conference last week considered what defines a premium experience for consumers and how to best deliver it. Execs from Inception, MovieLabs, The Orchard and Sony discussed today’s variety of platforms, ways to keep consumers connected to content, meeting consumer demands, the need for a universal specification that supports multiple platforms, using social tools for search and discovery, and more. Continue reading Digital Media Pipeline: Making Digital a Premium Experience

New PlayStation TV Provides Gameplay and Streaming Media

Sony’s much-anticipated PlayStation TV went on sale this week for $100 MSRP — or $140 packaged with a DualShock 3 gamepad controller, 8GB memory card, and “The Lego Movie Videogame.” The mini console, which essentially provides a Vita experience on a big screen, connects to a TV or PC via HDMI and allows users to access games and streaming services. “It is essentially a modern version of Nintendo’s GameBoy Player mashed up with all the capabilities of an Amazon Fire TV,” suggests VentureBeat. Continue reading New PlayStation TV Provides Gameplay and Streaming Media

MIPCOM: Maker Studios CEO Discusses Shift to Short Videos

During his keynote address at international television market MIPCOM on Monday, Maker Studios CEO Ynon Kreiz suggested that the future of TV would be short-form content. Kreiz believes that linear television is over for the 12-to-24-year-olds of the millennial generation, a valuable group to the advertising industry. He said that Maker Studios is ideally positioned to leverage this demographic with its user-generated, short-form video content since two-thirds of its 550 million users are millennials. Continue reading MIPCOM: Maker Studios CEO Discusses Shift to Short Videos

France’s Iliad Concludes its Ambitious Pursuit of T-Mobile US

French telecommunications company Iliad has ended its pursuit of American wireless provider T-Mobile US. While T-Mobile was in talks about a merger with Sprint to launch a more competitive rival to AT&T and Verizon Wireless, Iliad was ambitiously attempting to buy control of T-Mobile for $15 billion (an offer worth nearly as much as its own market value). Yesterday, Iliad issued a statement that it was ending its efforts, despite having increased the proposed acquisition stake and price. Continue reading France’s Iliad Concludes its Ambitious Pursuit of T-Mobile US

Broadcom Bows Out of Intel’s Open Interconnect Consortium

Broadcom has left the Open Interconnect Consortium, a standards group for the Internet of Things that was created by Intel as an alternative to Qualcomm’s AllSeen Alliance. Sources say the split had to do with a disagreement over intellectual property. OIC members are required to donate code to the group, and additionally must agree to forfeit the right to sue over that IP in the future. The AllSeen Alliance does not have such a provision, which is a primary difference between the two organizations. Continue reading Broadcom Bows Out of Intel’s Open Interconnect Consortium

Report: Apple and Google Battle for Top Spot in Global Brands

This year’s edition of Interbrand’s “Best Global Brands” report places Apple in the No. 1 spot as the world’s most valuable brand for the second year in a row. Apple and No. 2 brand Google knocked Coca-Cola to the No. 3 spot last year. The top three positions are the same for 2014. The report, which provides a ranking of the top 100 valuable global brands, list a growing number of technology brands. Microsoft, Samsung and IBM are listed in the top 10, while Intel, Cisco, Amazon, Oracle and HP are in the top 20. Continue reading Report: Apple and Google Battle for Top Spot in Global Brands

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