Walmart Launches its New Vudu Spark Streaming Media Stick

Walmart has begun selling its own HDMI streaming media stick — the Vudu Spark — for $24.95 at Walmart.com and select Walmart stores. The Wi-Fi device features a dedicated remote, is powered via USB, and supports 7.1 surround sound and video up to 1080p. It looks like the Spark is largely a single-purpose stick, loaded only with the Vudu app (Walmart’s streaming video service), but the stick is priced $10 less than Google’s Chromecast and currently includes $25 in Vudu credits over five months for customers who activate it. Continue reading Walmart Launches its New Vudu Spark Streaming Media Stick

YouTube to Support its Top Talent with Programming Initiative

Google-owned YouTube plans to launch a new original programming initiative by the end of 2015, different from its 2012 channel-centric initiative. Alex Carloss, head of originals at YouTube, told attendees at this week’s National Association of Television Program Executives conference that the program would provide financial support for top YouTube talent to produce more original content. However, he stopped short of specifying which talent would be supported and how much would be spent. Continue reading YouTube to Support its Top Talent with Programming Initiative

Fandometrics: Tumblr Launches Hub for All Things Pop Culture

Yahoo-owned blogging platform Tumblr launched a new pop culture hub yesterday that highlights top conversations from its community related to categories such as celebrities, TV shows, movies, music and video games. Since Tumblr blends online publishing tools with social features, the platform has grown popular for those who like to follow blogs and share posts. It has also become popular with fan communities, which makes the Fandometrics hub a natural fit for Tumblr — and a potential new marketing opportunity for brands. Continue reading Fandometrics: Tumblr Launches Hub for All Things Pop Culture

YouTube Plans Alternative Halftime Show for Super Bowl XLIX

In addition to its AdBitz channel, where viewers can see and vote for their favorite Super Bowl ads after the game, YouTube is also offering its very first Super Bowl halftime show. The show will stream against NBC’s televised halftime show on February 1st, which includes performances by Katy Perry and Lenny Kravitz. Hosted by Harley Morenstein of EpicMealTime, the YouTube show will include performances and appearances from some of YouTube’s biggest names including Freddie Wong and Toby Turner. Continue reading YouTube Plans Alternative Halftime Show for Super Bowl XLIX

Advertisers Opting for Pinterest Influencers Over Pinterest Ads

With nearly 70 million visitors per month, Pinterest is becoming a popular destination for advertisers to reach new audiences, except not in the way that Pinterest intended. Instead of advertising directly through Pinterest via “Promoted Pins,” advertisers have found success in partnering with an array of “Pinfluencers,” individuals that have accrued millions of followers. Advertisers see the influence these individuals have over followers, and are discovering new ways to leverage them as effective marketing tools.  Continue reading Advertisers Opting for Pinterest Influencers Over Pinterest Ads

ESPN Airs First Programmatic Ad During SportsCenter Episode

Turbo Tax ran a 30-second spot on ESPN’s “SportsCenter” this past weekend, marking the first “programmatic” ad for the sports network. Turbo Tax purchased the ad time through a Web-based auction, a model that is part of a new initiative recently announced by ESPN. The ad ran during the Saturday 1:00 am broadcast from a giant video screen on the show’s set, and was introduced by an anchor who said, “SportsCenter will be right back in 30-seconds.” This approach could lead to a major shift in the current advertising model. Continue reading ESPN Airs First Programmatic Ad During SportsCenter Episode

Twitter Introduces its Plan to Sell Ads on Other Apps and Sites

Twitter has plans to generate additional revenue from video ads that may be viewable by inactive participants of the social network. There are millions of people that have access to tweets all over the Web without being registered with their own Twitter accounts. Twitter’s new plans include selling ads within the streams of tweets that appear on other apps and sites. Twitter reportedly detailed its proposed initiative to media buyers at the 2015 International CES in Las Vegas. Continue reading Twitter Introduces its Plan to Sell Ads on Other Apps and Sites

Streaming: Amazon and Netflix Make Splash at Golden Globes

Online streaming earned another boost in credibility last night when Amazon and Netflix both won Golden Globe Awards. Jeffrey Tambor won Best Actor in a TV Comedy for his role in “Transparent.” The show also won for Best Comedy Series (beating Netflix’s “Orange Is the New Black”), a major coup for Amazon. Meanwhile, Netflix was nominated in seven major categories, and Kevin Spacey took home Best Actor in a TV Drama for his work on “House of Cards.” Continue reading Streaming: Amazon and Netflix Make Splash at Golden Globes

Pew Research Study Says U.S. Adults Using More Social Media

According to a new Pew Research study, American adults are increasing their use of traditional social networks, while teens are spending more time with messaging services such as Snapchat. Facebook use has leveled off, but Pew points to increases in the use of Instagram, Pinterest, LinkedIn and Twitter. Pew found that adult Facebook users log in at least once per day, while almost half of Instagram users visit daily, and 36 percent of Twitter users visit daily (a drop from 46 percent in 2013, which Twitter refutes). Continue reading Pew Research Study Says U.S. Adults Using More Social Media

Google Tool Measures How Consumers Interact with Video Ads

Google has developed a new measurement tool to determine the number of people who are watching, ignoring or skipping video advertisements. Revenue from digital video ads, although expected to grow in the coming year, still trails far behind the money generated by TV ads. Google aims to use the measurement tool as an effective way to draw marketers to the idea of digital video ads. Neal Mohan, Google’s vice president of display and video advertising spoke about the new tool at CES. Continue reading Google Tool Measures How Consumers Interact with Video Ads

Reese Witherspoon Stars in ‘Wild’ Experience for the Gear VR

Fox Searchlight has produced a virtual reality experience to promote the film “Wild” starring Reese Witherspoon. The three-minute, 360-degree sequence features Witherspoon as her character in the film as she takes a break from a hike in the woods. Fox Searchlight is planning on showing “Wild – The Experience” at the Consumer Electronics Show and the Sundance Film Festival next month. The immersive experience is compatible with Samsung’s Gear VR. Continue reading Reese Witherspoon Stars in ‘Wild’ Experience for the Gear VR

Cisco is Offering Real-Time Analysis of Network Sensor Data

Cisco Systems is now selling analytics that provide insight into the information gathered by the company’s hardware. Cisco’s “connected analysis” will rely on sensor data from its customers’ pre-installed data transmission networks, providing rapid analysis of consumer activity in a stadium or retail store, for example. Business customers will have the ability to respond to new patterns quickly because the analytics are relayed in real time. General Electric is also planning to relaunch its analytics service. Continue reading Cisco is Offering Real-Time Analysis of Network Sensor Data

Instagram Now Bigger Than Twitter, Looks to Brand Advertising

Instagram — the photo- and video-sharing app owned by Facebook — announced yesterday that it presently has 300 million monthly active users, up 50 percent in nine months (more than 70 percent of its users are now outside the United States). The new numbers suggest that the social service is more popular than Twitter today (Twitter recorded 284 million monthly active users for Q3). Instagram is looking to leverage its meteoric popularity to engage users in new ways, and draw advertisers at the same time. Continue reading Instagram Now Bigger Than Twitter, Looks to Brand Advertising

New Tool for Film Marketers Analyzes Buzz on Social Media

United Talent Agency and Rentrak, an entertainment data company, have teamed up to bring studio marketers a tool that tracks the hype on social media surrounding a specific film. With this data, marketers would be better armed to make the necessary tweaks to a marketing campaign that can help make a movie a hit. PreAct is the name of the new tool, and since its debut in January, the service has signed up entertainment giants such as Sony Pictures Entertainment and 20th Century Fox. Continue reading New Tool for Film Marketers Analyzes Buzz on Social Media

New SiRFusion Tracking Tech Can Follow People Everywhere

Cambridge, UK-based CSR has developed a new technology that can monitor your every move by tracking information from your mobile device. The technology, known as SiRFusion, was designed to provide users with instantaneous directions for areas that often go undetected by other GPS apps, but also has compelling advertising potential. The technology makes use of GPS, Wi-Fi, Bluetooth and cloud computing to yield accurate results. CSR recently unveiled an SDK for Android developers. Continue reading New SiRFusion Tracking Tech Can Follow People Everywhere

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