Hulu to Offer Showtime for an Added Fee Beginning Next Month

Hulu announced yesterday that its subscribers will have the ability to add Showtime for $8.99 per month starting in time for the July premieres of “Ray Donovan” and “Masters of Sex.” The deal represents the first time that the streaming VOD service has partnered with a premium cable channel to drive subscriptions. Hulu customers will still need to pay $7.99 per month to stream the other available content. Hulu, which originally launched as a free, ad-supported service, recently rebranded itself by removing the word “Plus” from the name of its paid tier. Continue reading Hulu to Offer Showtime for an Added Fee Beginning Next Month

Rentrak and ListenFirst Want to Measure TV Show Stickiness

Research firms Rentrak and ListenFirst Media are collaborating on a new data set designed to help advertisers identify TV shows that generate consistent viewing and high social engagement. While these programs may not always have the highest ratings, they may have some of the most impassioned fans and may be a better target for advertisers. The research combines Rentrak’s viewership data from set-top boxes with ListenFirst’s data collected from blogs, social media platforms and other sources. The companies presented the research at an Advertising Research Foundation event in New York. Continue reading Rentrak and ListenFirst Want to Measure TV Show Stickiness

Snapchat, Live Nation Partner to Offer Music Fest Live Stories

Snapchat is partnering with Live Nation Entertainment to bring its Live Stories feature to festivals and concerts. Starting today with the Electric Daily Carnival in Las Vegas (a popular electronic dance music festival), Live Stories will capture content at Live Nation events to share with specific communities through Snapchat. Live Stories, which provides video and photos from event attendees for a 24-hour period, has become a lucrative advertising platform for Snapchat. And its branded geofilters have become an added bonus for advertisers. Continue reading Snapchat, Live Nation Partner to Offer Music Fest Live Stories

FCC Plans to Fine AT&T $100 Million for Slowing Data Speeds

The Federal Communications Commission has accused AT&T Mobility of misleading its wireless customers regarding unlimited data plans by slowing their service without notification. As a result, the FCC announced that it plans to fine AT&T $100 million. According to the agency, AT&T delivered slower service than advertised after its customers had used a certain amount of data. The slow-down impacted the ability to stream video, use mapping services and more. The move raises questions about future actions now that the FCC is treating Internet services more like utilities. Continue reading FCC Plans to Fine AT&T $100 Million for Slowing Data Speeds

New Verizon Software Delivers Customer Service Intelligence

Verizon showed Rep Guidance, software that provides its FiOS sales and support representatives with individualized data designed to improve customer service and experience, at a recent NY Meetup event. According to a Verizon representative, “It’s about streamlining and simplifying the conversation, fostering a more intelligent, better-informed experience with customers rather than having a back and forth exchange and having the rep ask the customer questions that, frankly, they expect we should know anyway.” Continue reading New Verizon Software Delivers Customer Service Intelligence

Besieged Twitter CEO Dick Costolo to Step Down This Month

Twitter announced that CEO Dick Costolo plans to leave the company at the end of the month. Co-founder and former CEO Jack Dorsey will serve as interim CEO starting July 1 until a successor is found. Twitter shares jumped eight percent following the announcement. Since the company went public in 2013, Twitter has experienced numerous challenges, including an effective means of attracting new users and developing revenue streams based on advertising. Some are speculating that Twitter is ripe for acquisition, with Google listed as one of the interested parties. Continue reading Besieged Twitter CEO Dick Costolo to Step Down This Month

Nielsen: Consumers Spending More Time Engaged with Apps

Consumers typically use only a small percentage of available apps each month, but their time spent with these apps is dramatically increasing. According to Nielsen, the time spent engaged with these apps has increased 63 percent over the past two years. In Q4 2012, consumers spent a little more than 23 hours per month with apps, while that figure jumped to 37 hours and 28 minutes in Q4 2014. Meanwhile, the number of apps used has only marginally increased: 23.3 apps per month in 2011, 26.5 apps in 2012 and 26.8 apps in 2013. Continue reading Nielsen: Consumers Spending More Time Engaged with Apps

Study: More Streaming of Long-Form Video on Mobile Screens

The Interactive Advertising Bureau conducted a survey across 24 countries regarding smartphone video viewing. According to “Mobile Video Usage: A Global Perspective,” mobile screens are increasingly being used to stream longer-form video. Findings indicate that 36 percent of consumers watch videos daily that are 5 minutes or longer. Full movies and TV shows are also viewed on mobile screens, especially in China. Respondents (including 50 percent in the U.S.) indicate that their video viewing on smartphones has increased year-over-year. Continue reading Study: More Streaming of Long-Form Video on Mobile Screens

Streaming Services Luring Viewers from Ad-Based Television

PwC recently released its annual five-year forecast for entertainment and media, dropping the growth rate for ad spending on TV. Last year’s report projected a 5.5 percent annual increase in ad spending over the next five years. PwC has revised that figure to 4 percent through 2019, as original programming from streaming services such as Netflix and Amazon continues to compete with traditional television content. In the U.S., the number is even lower; ad spending on TV has been growing 3 percent annually on average. Continue reading Streaming Services Luring Viewers from Ad-Based Television

Apple Considering Change to iTunes Charge for App Partners

Apple charges app publishers 30 percent of subscription amounts initiated through apps, the same percentage it collects for in-app revenue. Some companies have been working around the charge by not enabling subscriptions through their mobile iOS app or charging consumers more. However, the company is reportedly considering a change to the agreement, but only for subscriptions that are delivered via Apple devices rather than the App Store. Such a revision suggests that only services offered through Apple TV would likely be exempt from the 30 percent fee. Continue reading Apple Considering Change to iTunes Charge for App Partners

Google Confirms it Will Include Buy Buttons in Paid Search Ads

Google’s paid search ads will soon help make online purchases even easier. According to Omid Kordestani, chief business officer at Google, the company is getting ready to introduce a “buy button” to accompany products featured in its shopping ads. “There’s going to be a buy button. It’s going to be imminent,” he said at the recent Code Conference. The buttons are expected to initially appear exclusively on mobile searches alongside the platform’s paid search ads. They are not expected to appear with the nonsponsored results of “organic” Google searches. Continue reading Google Confirms it Will Include Buy Buttons in Paid Search Ads

Pinterest Adds E-Commerce to Discovery with New Buy Button

San Francisco-based social bookmarking site Pinterest announced yesterday that it plans to introduce e-commerce to its platform with “Buyable Pins,” which could go a long way to justify the company’s $11 billion valuation. Pinterest, popular with users for discovering and sharing real world things through a digital scrapbook approach featuring “pinned” items, will allow interested sellers to add “buy” buttons to items they post. The product’s early retail partners include Cole Haan, Ethan Allen, Macy’s, Kate Spade and others. Continue reading Pinterest Adds E-Commerce to Discovery with New Buy Button

Instagram Unveils Plans to Open its Photo Feed to Advertisers

Facebook-owned Instagram announced that it plans to open its photo feed to all advertisers later this year. Aside from working with a few select brands to post commercial messages, the mobile photo-sharing service has remained largely free of ads to this point. Opening the feed to advertisers of all sizes will provide marketers with the ability to target the platform’s 300 million users by age, gender, interests, and other factors. The service also plans to introduce a new ad type that encourages users to click links to make product purchases or install advertised apps. Continue reading Instagram Unveils Plans to Open its Photo Feed to Advertisers

Apple Plans Music Streaming Service to Compete with Spotify

Facing a decline in download sales, Apple plans to launch a competitor to Spotify and other music streaming services. The announcement will likely be made at next week’s Worldwide Developers Conference. In 2003, the iTunes Music Store revolutionized how consumers buy music. While Apple currently sells about 80-85 percent of global music downloads, music consumption has changed, and the company only has a small fraction of the streaming business. Meanwhile, Spotify accounts for 86 percent of on-demand music streaming in the United States. Continue reading Apple Plans Music Streaming Service to Compete with Spotify

Now Live on Android, Periscope Part of New Social Strategies

Periscope, Twitter’s new mobile live streaming app (and Meerkat competitor), is starting to draw the attention of advertisers and programmers. The app, which Twitter purchased this year for a reported $100 million, allows users to live stream content directly to and from their smartphones. The app was initially released only for iOS devices, but went live on Android phones this week. VH1 recently used the social tool to promote the wedding of two stars on “Love & Hip Hop” by providing users access to the ceremony’s red carpet arrival. Continue reading Now Live on Android, Periscope Part of New Social Strategies

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