Mattel Launches a New Film Division to Help Revitalize Sales

Toy maker Mattel just opened a new division, Mattel Films, to develop and produce movies based on its brands and headed up by Academy Award-nominated producer Robbie Brenner. Known for her work on “Dallas Buyers Club,” “Mirror Mirror” and “The Fighter,” Brenner will report directly to Mattel chief executive/chair Ynon Kreiz, a media and entertainment veteran, who has worked on children’s content. The new division could help bolster Mattel, which has seen slumping sales since the shuttering of Toys R Us. Continue reading Mattel Launches a New Film Division to Help Revitalize Sales

Walmart Acquires VR Startup With Eye on Future of Shopping

Walmart’s tech incubator, Store No. 8 recently purchased Spatialand, a small virtual reality startup that specializes in software tools designed for transforming existing media content into immersive experiences. The acquisition is part of Walmart’s plans to create future shopping experiences for store locations and websites. Spatialand founder Kim Cooper and 10 employees will join Walmart; Store No. 8 principal Katie Finnegan will serve as interim CEO. Financial terms were not revealed. Continue reading Walmart Acquires VR Startup With Eye on Future of Shopping

Spotify Adds Content to Compete With Radio, YouTube, Apple

Popular streaming music service Spotify plans to take on radio and podcasts from Apple and others by introducing news and political coverage to its content offerings. Spotify’s new Spotlight feature will include programming from partners such as BuzzFeed and Refinery29. BuzzFeed, for example, will provide daily newscasts that run four to seven minutes in duration. Spotify’s 70 million users already have access to music and new video and podcast offerings; Spotlight will add news, politics, pop culture and sports coverage. The strategy could position Spotify as a competitor to YouTube and Apple. Continue reading Spotify Adds Content to Compete With Radio, YouTube, Apple

New Disney Digital Network Connects Advertisers, Millennials

To help advertisers better target millennial and Gen-Z audiences, The Walt Disney Company debuted the Disney Digital Network, a conglomeration of more than 300 social media channels and a wide range of content. Disney says the new Digital Network reaches an audience of more than one billion. The content includes everything from classic Disney characters to the new material emerging from Maker Studios. Disney Co/Op, an in-house branded content service, puts advertisers together with Disney digital creators for customized campaigns. Continue reading New Disney Digital Network Connects Advertisers, Millennials

Disney Accelerator Supports Nine Startups for Mutual Benefit

Disney founded its own accelerator a few years ago, providing financial and logistical support to a range of startups from Hanson Robotics, which makes lifelike robots, to Jaunt and its VR cameras. Disney chooses the startups it supports wisely, selecting companies that are creating things that could potentially align with Disney’s media and business pursuits. Take virtual reality for example; Disney isn’t likely to build its own camera, but it can certainly benefit from supporting a company with the expertise to do so. Continue reading Disney Accelerator Supports Nine Startups for Mutual Benefit

Disney Said to Be Considering Possible Bid for Twitter Merger

Following the CNBC report that Google and Salesforce.com were among those being considered for a Twitter takeover, TechCrunch added that Microsoft and Verizon have also expressed interest. Today, headlines indicate that Disney is considering a possible bid. Bloomberg reports that Disney is working with an adviser on a potential deal, in what would be the company’s latest investment in a string of tech-related media businesses including Hulu, Vice and MLB’s BAMTech. The Wall Street Journal suggests that “a Twitter acquisition would be Disney’s biggest technology deal yet” and “could benefit ESPN as cord-cutting becomes more widespread.” Continue reading Disney Said to Be Considering Possible Bid for Twitter Merger

Web Video is the New TV, But MCNs are Fading for Ad Buyers

Streaming video services, including Hulu and Crackle, are now defining themselves as TV networks to capture some of the $63 billion TV advertising market, still much more lucrative than Web video’s $10 billion in annual sales. Rather than differentiate themselves from cable and network TV by emphasizing their millennial viewers, these streaming video companies are focusing on the ways they are similar to traditional media outlets, even changing their events from “NewFronts” to “Upfronts,” the moniker used by TV outlets. Meanwhile, ad buyers are losing interest in MCNs. Continue reading Web Video is the New TV, But MCNs are Fading for Ad Buyers

Digital NewFronts 2016: Magna Inks Ad Deal with YouTube

The 2016 Digital Content NewFronts runs May 2-13 in New York, featuring 38 companies, and piggybacking with CAA and UTA events. New presenters include AwesomenessTV, CNN, Activision Blizzard, Hearst, NowThisNews, Woven Digital and SheKnows Media. Just prior to the NewFronts, Interpublic’s ad buying arm Magna inked a $250M upfront advertising deal with YouTube. A MyersBizNet survey says media buyers now rank YouTube as the most important outlet, with Hulu, Vice Media and AOL also in the top 10. Continue reading Digital NewFronts 2016: Magna Inks Ad Deal with YouTube

AT&T and Fullscreen Tap Social Influencers for New Initiative

AT&T wants to become the leading mobile provider for today’s “connected generation.” The carrier announced it is partnering with Fullscreen to launch AT&T Hello Lab, a yearlong initiative to give 10 online influencers support to create new entertainment content — including podcasts, video series, meet-ups and albums — with a focus on mobile and social media. AT&T has already signed YouTube star Grace Helbig, travel duo Damon and Jo, Instagram comedian Brandon Armstrong, Snapchat star Shaun McBride, magician Collins Key and musicians Us The Duo. Continue reading AT&T and Fullscreen Tap Social Influencers for New Initiative

Spotify Introducing Video Content to Music Streaming Service

Spotify will debut video content on its Android app this week, and the iOS app by end of next week, in the U.S., the U.K., Germany and Sweden. Originally, the music streaming service planned to offer video in May, but has focused on testing videos on its apps with less than 10 percent of its users in the four launch markets. The content is mostly comprised of short clips from ESPN, Comedy Central, the BBC, Vice Media and Maker Studios, among others. Some companies, like Tastemade, are creating original, music-themed series. Continue reading Spotify Introducing Video Content to Music Streaming Service

YouTube Star PewDiePie Is Building His Own ‘Talent Squad’

Felix Kjellberg, better known by his YouTube username PewDiePie, is launching his own multi-channel network to create new content and foster new YouTube personalities. The brand is called Revelmode and it will be focused on YouTube creators related to video gaming. Kjellberg has already recruited some top YouTube creators to join the “collaborative talent squad.” Even though Kjellberg will be spearheading the Revelmode brand, he will continue his partnership with Maker Studios. Continue reading YouTube Star PewDiePie Is Building His Own ‘Talent Squad’

Twitter Expands Video Ad Tools with Generous Revenue Share

Twitter hasn’t kept up with other social media platforms with advertising offerings, say some critics, but newly reappointed chief executive Jack Dorsey hopes to buoy the company’s fortunes with an array of new video advertising products. One of Twitter’s major advantages from the advertiser’s point of view is its emphasis on international, national and local live events. Whether Dorsey’s bid to curry favor among advertisers works to appease Wall Street, however, remains to be seen. Continue reading Twitter Expands Video Ad Tools with Generous Revenue Share

Spotify Sweetens the Deal with New Video and Podcast Content

Spotify is no longer just about music streaming. The service — facing new pressure from emerging rivals — is adding podcasts, video clips, original music and video series, a better recommendation engine, and a special feature for runners. The new videos and podcasts will come from media partners like ABC, BBC, Comedy Central, ESPN and Maker Studios. Spotify has also developed some of its own original content, including music tracks that will change tempo based on how fast the user is running. Continue reading Spotify Sweetens the Deal with New Video and Podcast Content

Maker Select Enables the Purchasing of Ad Space on YouTube

During its NewFront presentation in New York this week, Disney-owned Maker Studios announced Maker Select, which will allow advertisers to buy ad space on Maker’s 55,000 YouTube channels in addition to all other YouTube channels. Maker Select will incorporate Maker’s audience data with data from YouTube, Nielsen, social networks and additional sources. Advertisers can target ads based on content type, brand compatibility and audience makeup. The new offering comes from a partnership with Web video analytics firm OpenSlate. Continue reading Maker Select Enables the Purchasing of Ad Space on YouTube

YouTube to Back Long-Form Content From its Popular Creators

Amid growing competition in the online video space, Google’s YouTube is trying to hang onto its lead by supporting some of the platform’s biggest stars. The platform will back long-form original series from the Fine Brothers, Prank vs. Prank, Joey Graceffa and SMOSH. YouTube and AwesomenessTV have also paired up to create several feature-length films that will debut online and feature YouTube stars. The Google subsidiary is facing competition from Facebook, Yahoo, and even Netflix. Continue reading YouTube to Back Long-Form Content From its Popular Creators

Page 1 of 3123