Greenlight VR Maps Today’s Virtual Reality Industry Ecosystem

Greenlight VR, a San Francisco-based business intelligence startup specializing in the virtual reality industry, has created a business map of significant VR players. The rising prospects for virtual reality as a mainstream medium has seen new demand for ways of better grasping the scope and nuances of the industry’s emerging and rapidly evolving landscape. The database profiles hundreds of VR businesses from around the world — from fledgling startups to the established companies entering this space — organized by 22 categories across 11 sectors. Continue reading Greenlight VR Maps Today’s Virtual Reality Industry Ecosystem

Watch TV on Any Device with AT&T’s First Nationwide Bundle

Less then two weeks following FCC approval of its $48.5 billion takeover of DirecTV, AT&T is already rolling out plans to lure new customers. In a first-of-its kind nationwide offer to be made available August 10, AT&T is packaging wireless phone service and television for $200 per month for the first year. The “All in One” promotional plan places an emphasis on TV anywhere, featuring HDTV and DVR services across four receivers through DirecTV or U-verse, four smartphone connections including unlimited talk and text, in addition to 10GB of shared data. Continue reading Watch TV on Any Device with AT&T’s First Nationwide Bundle

MxR Studio: Experience Sensation of Flying with Birdly Demo

The MxR Studio at USC’s School of Cinematic Arts will host a presentation of new content for Birdly on Thursday, August 6, 10:30 AM to 12:30 PM (following a workshop in collaboration with SOMNIACS and Max Rheiner from Zurich University of Art and Design). Birdly is an award-winning full-body immersive VR flying simulator, which has been deemed among the most exciting VR experiences worldwide. You can experience Birdly and learn more about the innovative VR projects taking place at the MxR Studio at Thursday’s open house. For more information or to RSVP, contact Vangelis Lympouridis (vangelis@lympouridis.gr) or Wasef El-Kharouf (wasefe@gmail.com).

Next-Generation Apple TV Expected to Debut in Two Months

Apple reportedly plans to unveil its next-gen Apple TV this September at the company’s annual fall event. The device has not had a significant upgrade since 2012. “Expect a refreshed and slimmer chassis and new innards,” notes BuzzFeed, in addition to “Apple’s A8 system on chip; a new remote that sources say has been ‘drastically improved’ by a touch-pad input; an increase in on-board storage; and an improved operating system that will support Siri voice control.” The debut is expected to coincide with “a long-awaited App Store and the software development kit developers need to populate it.”

NBCU to Target Millennials Through BuzzFeed and Vox Media

Sources say NBCUniversal is close to investing $250 million in digital publisher BuzzFeed, in a deal that would place BuzzFeed’s value at $1.5 billion. Comcast’s film and television unit is also looking to invest in Vox Media, in a deal that would push Vox to $850 million in value. Those familiar with the deals suggest they are part of CEO Steve Burke’s efforts to reach millennial audiences. “The idea is that NBCU can get a crash course on digital content and distribution from its new investments — and that those companies may want to distribute some of NBCU’s content as well,” reports Re/code.

Amazon Debuts Launchpad: New Marketing and Sales Portal

Amazon unveiled Launchpad this week, a new platform designed to help hardware and physical goods startups market and distribute their new products on Amazon’s e-commerce site. Launchpad, which currently features more than 200 items from a wide variety of startups, will compete with similar services offered by Product Hunt, Shopify and Shyp. Amazon is going big with the new platform, positioning it as a global product with access to 10 international distribution portals, and working with 25 VC firms, accelerators and crowdfunding services. Continue reading Amazon Debuts Launchpad: New Marketing and Sales Portal

Verizon to Offer HBO Now to Broadband, Mobile Video Subs

Verizon Communications has signed a multiplatform deal with HBO that will allow the telecom to offer HBO’s standalone streaming video service to more than 100 million wireless customers in addition to non-Verizon mobile device users. Verizon will offer HBO Now on its upcoming mobile video platform (reportedly to be called Go90) and to its DSL and FiOS broadband customers for $15 a month. Verizon is the latest distributor for HBO’s OTT offering, which initially launched in early April with Apple and Cablevision Systems. Continue reading Verizon to Offer HBO Now to Broadband, Mobile Video Subs

Instagram to Generate $595M in Mobile Ad Revenue in 2015

According to a new report from eMarketer, photo and video sharing app Instagram, which does not have a desktop ad product, is projected to bring in $595 million in mobile advertising revenue worldwide this year. The report predicts the Facebook-owned network will reach $1.48 billion in mobile ad revenue in 2016 and $2.81 billion the following year. By 2017, eMarketer expects Instagram will account for more than 10 percent of Facebook’s total ad revenue and, in the U.S., Instagram will have higher net mobile display ad revenues than Google and Twitter.

Continue reading Instagram to Generate $595M in Mobile Ad Revenue in 2015

Facebook Continues its Push to Deliver Free Mobile Internet

Facebook plans to ramp up its efforts to provide free basic Internet on mobile devices, after successfully debuting the application through its Internet.org platform in 17 developing countries. The company will launch a dedicated portal for mobile operators to offer the service under Internet.org, which has brought nine million people online in the last year. Facebook hopes to bring an estimated 4.5 billion people online in Latin America, Asia and Africa. The platform offers free pared-down Web services and Facebook’s social network and messaging. Continue reading Facebook Continues its Push to Deliver Free Mobile Internet

Periscope Releases Several New Features in iOS App Update

Twitter’s live video streamer Periscope updated its iOS app this week to include a new mute feature that prevents users from being interrupted by new broadcast notifications. Version 1.1.3 also brings a refreshed global feed for discovering streams around the world, the ability to access your broadcast stats from previous streams (not just at the conclusion of a broadcast), the option of language preferences in profile settings, and Handoff support that allows users to initiate viewing on one device and pick up the same stream on another device. Continue reading Periscope Releases Several New Features in iOS App Update

YouTube Stars to Launch Video Series via Vimeo On Demand

New Form Digital Studios announced it has signed YouTube stars PJ Ligouri and Sawyer Hartman for a pair of video series to be made available exclusively through Vimeo On Demand. Ligouri and Hartman, who collectively have more than 3 million YouTube subscribers, were awarded deals after creating shorts with New Form Digital, the MCN backed by Brian Grazer, Ron Howard and Discovery Communications. Jim Henson’s Creature Shop has been tapped to create the mythical beasts for Ligouri’s series, “Oscar’s Hotel for Fantastical Creatures.” Continue reading YouTube Stars to Launch Video Series via Vimeo On Demand

New Cisco Chief Announces Sale of STB Unit to Technicolor

Technicolor plans to acquire Cisco’s television set-top business for about $450 million in cash and $150 million in Technicolor shares. Chuck Robbins, who replaces John Chambers as CEO of Cisco next week, said the sale represents the first in a series of planned changes. “We will continue to make decisions to prioritize our portfolio and our investments to accelerate our business,” he wrote, noting that internal efforts associated with cloud services and the Internet of Things would be more widely distributed across Cisco’s engineering, sales and services units. Continue reading New Cisco Chief Announces Sale of STB Unit to Technicolor

Security Researcher Reports Privilege-Escalation Bug in OS X

A privilege-escalation bug was identified in the latest version of Apple’s OS X this week by security researcher Stefan Esser. The vulnerability reportedly provides hackers with root user privileges that make it possible to infect Macs with rootkits and other malware. This type of bug is commonly used to bypass security protections created for applications and operating systems. According to Esser, the vulnerability can be found in OS X Yosemite 10.10.4 and the beta version of 10.10.5, but not in the recent beta version of El Capitan 10.11. Continue reading Security Researcher Reports Privilege-Escalation Bug in OS X

Security Among Topics Slated for ETC’s Project Cloud Meeting

A team of leading security experts from the Hollywood studios and the Cloud Security Alliance, working with the Entertainment Technology Center’s Project Cloud, helped shape the methodology for security guidelines related to cloud-distributed media content. Recommendations were handed off to CSA and the MPAA in September 2014 — and on March 17 of this year, the MPAA released “Content Security Best Practices” to the public. This is a fundamental milestone in moving studios toward the cloud. Security will be one of several topics discussed at the next Project Cloud meeting on July 27 at the Google offices in Venice. Continue reading Security Among Topics Slated for ETC’s Project Cloud Meeting

YouTube Readies Paid Service, Mobile Viewership on the Rise

During its recent earnings call, Google claimed that YouTube is now bigger than any single cable network among the 18-49 demographic. YouTube’s heavily engaged user base and significant mobile growth were highlights of the discussion. The video-sharing network will put its own online stars to the test early next year when its new paid video service is expected to launch. Media partners representing more than 90 percent of current YouTube viewing have signed on to the new service, although Google has yet to secure deals with major TV networks. Continue reading YouTube Readies Paid Service, Mobile Viewership on the Rise

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