Fox News Ready to Announce Streaming Subscription Service

Fox News is reportedly planning to launch a standalone subscription service by the end of this year, as more viewers abandon their cable and satellite TV packages. Despite a record 2017 for Fox News, its highest-rated year in terms of television audience, the network is expected to announce Fox Nation today, which will feature original programming. The new digital venture enters a growing field of web-only streaming TV offerings from the likes of HBO, Cinemax, CBS and Showtime. Additionally, CBS is planning CBS Sports HQ and ESPN is launching its ESPN Plus service this spring. Continue reading Fox News Ready to Announce Streaming Subscription Service

Andy Roddick Live-Streaming on Periscope During U.S. Open

In an effort to monetize its broadcasting app Periscope, Twitter has partnered with retired tennis champ Andy Roddick for a series of broadcasts during the U.S. Open. Roddick is broadcasting gameplay commentary and answering audience questions from his Twitter handle. Also, marking the first ad campaigns on Periscope, Chase and Grey Goose are serving as sponsors. “JPMorgan Chase, which is an official U.S. Open sponsor, was drawn to Roddick’s Periscope broadcasts during Wimbledon,” reports Variety. “When he started Periscoping during Wimbledon, it was clear to us that is a change in how people will watch sports,” said CMO Kristin Lemkau. Continue reading Andy Roddick Live-Streaming on Periscope During U.S. Open

Virtual Reality Naysayers Dub VR ‘Prison’ and ‘Health Hazard’

Virtual reality may be the hottest technology trend now, with new headsets, cameras and content in high gear. But not everyone is enthused. Two naysayers have had big audiences for their caveats recently. The New York Times technology writer Farhad Manjoo has dubbed virtual reality “a prison of fantastical sights and sounds.” On Quora, a community-sourced Q&A site, military flight simulator expert Steve Baker wrote VR headsets are a major health hazard that can disorient the human brain and damage the eyes. Continue reading Virtual Reality Naysayers Dub VR ‘Prison’ and ‘Health Hazard’

Slack Uses Artificial Intelligence to Build New Virtual Assistant

Stewart Butterfield, founder and CEO of office chat software maker Slack Technologies, says his company is using AI to help build an advanced virtual assistant. Slackbot, Slack’s current built-in assistant, is an icon used for tips, searches and even a sprinkling of humor. In discussing the future potential of Slackbot, Butterfield compares it to the Samantha software voiced by Scarlett Johansson from the film “Her.” Butterfield is leveraging natural language processing and machine learning to build a truly helpful digital office assistant. Continue reading Slack Uses Artificial Intelligence to Build New Virtual Assistant

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

Reddit Expands Online Offerings with New Original Video Site

Reddit has officially launched its own video site called Reddit Original Video, pushing the company closer to becoming a full-fledged media entity. The new property will join Reddit’s popular news site, Upvoted podcast and Upvoted Weekly newsletter. Reddit founder Alexis Ohanian announced the site at this week’s TechCrunch Disrupt conference. Reddit, a company known for aggregating news and information, plans to use the site to significantly expand the type of content it shares with its growing online community. Continue reading Reddit Expands Online Offerings with New Original Video Site

Producer Pitches a TV Series Based on Quora Q&A Response

Quora, the community-powered question-and-answer site, is becoming one of the latest online spaces for Hollywood to find ideas. Emmy Award-winning producer Josh C. Kline optioned an idea on Quora, in which a dystopian U.S. spirals into a second Civil War. Kline is in the process of pitching a TV show inspired by the Quora response, written by retired U.S. Marine Sergeant Jon Davis. The Quora company has no plans to profit from any talent discovery on its site. Continue reading Producer Pitches a TV Series Based on Quora Q&A Response

New Trend: Social Media Stars Featured in Festivals and Tours

A capacity 12,500 tickets were sold for DigiFest NYC, a festival where more than 70 social media stars took to three stages this past weekend. The event is part of a booming corner of entertainment that features performers and personalities who are generating fans via social networks such as YouTube, Instagram and Vine. Los Angeles startup DigiTour Media produced the festival, and is one of several companies putting social media celebrities on stage for paying audiences. Continue reading New Trend: Social Media Stars Featured in Festivals and Tours

Second Screen: QVC Hopes Tablet App Will Help Drive Sales

In order to accommodate consumers’ increasing desire to shop on mobile devices, home shopping pioneer QVC plans to launch a new tablet app that will feature content related to its television broadcasts. According to Nielsen’s 2014 Digital Consumer Report, 84 percent of smartphone and tablet owners use their devices as second screens while watching television. Leveraging this trend, QVC’s app will accompany its TV programming in order to help drive sales.  Continue reading Second Screen: QVC Hopes Tablet App Will Help Drive Sales

HBO Chief Exec on a Standalone Version of HBO GO Service

During a Q&A session at the Morgan Stanley Technology, Media and Telecom Conference in San Francisco yesterday, HBO CEO Richard Plepler indicated that the company has considered offering a standalone version of its HBO GO service. However, the prospect of offering broadband-only distribution will depend largely on demand, and only a small percentage of subscribers currently use HBO GO. The traditional model is still working for the premium channel, which reported subscriber gains of 2 million in 2013. Continue reading HBO Chief Exec on a Standalone Version of HBO GO Service

Google Uses Location Tracking to Target Customers On-the-Go

Google is beta-testing a program that tracks consumers wherever they go using location data on their smartphones. It is the company’s answer to advertisers’ question: “How do we reach consumers who are on-the-go?” The program uses Android and iOS technology to track consumers’ locations and looks at their recent Google searches. Participating advertisers whose brick-and-mortar stores are nearby can pay to appear first in those listings. Continue reading Google Uses Location Tracking to Target Customers On-the-Go

Google Unveils New Google+ “Auto Awesome” Photo Features

During a recent live-streamed conference, Google announced new Google+ photo features, including Action, Eraser and an iMovie Trailers-like Auto Awesome Movie tool. The company announced that the Google+ Hangouts app for Android now offers location sharing, animated GIF support and SMS integration. There have also been changes to Google+ Hangouts On Air, including a new Control Room menu. There are currently 540 million monthly active Google+ users. Continue reading Google Unveils New Google+ “Auto Awesome” Photo Features