Super Bowl 50 Sets New Streaming Record, According to CBS

Although CBS has yet to release official figures, the network claims yesterday’s Super Bowl matchup between the Denver Broncos and Carolina Panthers drew a record number of viewers who streamed the game. NBC broke streaming records last year with 800,000 viewers per minute on average and about 1.3 million concurrent users. Eclipsing the previous year’s numbers should come as no surprise since today’s consumers are more comfortable with streaming, and CBS made the game easy to access for free via OTT devices including Apple TV, Roku and Xbox One. Continue reading Super Bowl 50 Sets New Streaming Record, According to CBS

Apple, Google, Amazon, Verizon Vie for NFL Streaming Rights

After determining that the broadcast rights to “Thursday Night Football” would be split between CBS and NBC, the National Football League is now deciding who will win the games’ digital streaming rights. Although the NFL has been mum on which companies it’s negotiating with, sources say that Apple, Amazon, Google and Verizon are vying for the rights, which could be sold to more than one distributor. Even if one outlet gets the digital rights, they won’t be exclusive, since CBS, NBC and NFL already plan to stream the games. Continue reading Apple, Google, Amazon, Verizon Vie for NFL Streaming Rights

Instagram Expands Spots to 60-Seconds, to Boost Ad Revenue

Instagram has extended its 30-second video ad format to 60-seconds, to capture more advertising dollars. T-Mobile, with a longer version of its Super Bowl ad featuring Drake, and Warner Bros., promoting its film “How To Be Single,” are the first to take advantage of the new advertising policy. By offering longer-form ads, Instagram is enabling advertisers to re-use existing ads rather than produce new ones for its specific requirements. Instagram users, however, can only post a maximum 15-second video. Continue reading Instagram Expands Spots to 60-Seconds, to Boost Ad Revenue

Nielsen to Face Stiff Competition From comScore and Rentrak

Nielsen has served as the leading name in measuring TV ratings, but now the 93-year old company faces new competition. That’s because media measurement companies comScore and Rentrak have merged in a $768 million deal. ComScore, founded in 1999, specializes in measuring use of digital media, and Rentrak relies on data from set-top boxes to formulate TV ratings. Nielsen has launched new products in an attempt to evolve beyond its paper diary beginnings, but numerous critics in the TV industry are eager for an alternative. Continue reading Nielsen to Face Stiff Competition From comScore and Rentrak

Immersive Journalists Talk Real-Time and Long-Form VR News

Award-winning filmmakers and video reporters Nonny de la Peña, Sandy Smolan and Ben Solomon, along with ABC News Digital executive Dan Silver, took part in a wide-ranging discussion about immersive journalism at the 2016 Sundance Film Festival this past week. Among the ideas expressed were the importance of choosing the right stories for the virtual reality medium, of telling them with filmic finesse to maintain audience interest, and of designing the role of the on-screen reporter. Noted as on the near horizon for immersive reportage were real-time streaming, interactivity, and live action capture with the aid of videogrammetry. Continue reading Immersive Journalists Talk Real-Time and Long-Form VR News

FCC to Shake Up Set-Top Box Dominance, Impact Competition

Federal Communications Commission chairman Tom Wheeler has just proposed updating rules for television set-top boxes, in order to lower cable bills and provide more access to Internet-based programming. Consumer advocates supporting the change say the move would increase competition, giving the consumer choices over whether to use the service provider’s set-to-box/cable app or competing devices and apps. That competition could be advantageous to TiVo, Alphabet’s Google unit and other alternative STB providers. Continue reading FCC to Shake Up Set-Top Box Dominance, Impact Competition

YouTube Adds Real-Time Spots to Super Bowl AdBlitz Platform

For the eighth year in a row, YouTube launched its AdBlitz platform, a channel and separate website that displays Super Bowl television spots online before game day and allows viewers to vote for their favorite ads. This year, YouTube has unveiled a new feature: a real-time advertising tool, which enables advertisers to run ads across Google’s platforms, timed to big moments during live events, such as a game-winning field goal. Currently in beta, the feature was already tested by a Marco Rubio Super PAC on debate night. Continue reading YouTube Adds Real-Time Spots to Super Bowl AdBlitz Platform

Nielsen Adds Facebook, Instagram to Its Social Media Tracking

In Fall 2013, Nielsen expanded its purview into the social media sphere with its “Twitter TV Ratings.” The company is now adding Facebook and, later, Instagram, to its “Social Content Ratings” that will measure aggregate-level chatter related to TV shows in posts shared with friends, family, followers and the public. The new social media ratings are slated to be available sometime in the first half of 2016, wherever Nielsen Twitter TV Ratings are currently available (Australia, Italy, Mexico and the U.S.). Continue reading Nielsen Adds Facebook, Instagram to Its Social Media Tracking

Facebook Sports Stadium Hosts Live Game Stats, Commentary

Facebook launched a new section of its website devoted to live updates from big sports events. The Facebook Sports Stadium is a combination of live game data from Sportradar, play-by-play updates, and commentary from both verified experts and regular Facebook friends. This new sports hub is designed for sports fans to use while they are watching games on television. Currently, many of the social conversations surrounding live TV events are taking place on Twitter. Continue reading Facebook Sports Stadium Hosts Live Game Stats, Commentary

Amazon and Netflix Focus on Film May Jumpstart Indie Cinema

Now that Amazon and Netflix have made such a powerful impact on television, the two companies are turning their sights to motion pictures. The result could jumpstart a faltering independent film sector, say the experts. Both companies have made tremendous inroads into TV in a short period of time: Amazon has won multiple Golden Globes and Emmy Awards for “Transparent,” and Netflix earned 34 nominations at the 2015 Emmy Awards for shows including “House of Cards,” “Orange Is the New Black,” and “Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt.” Continue reading Amazon and Netflix Focus on Film May Jumpstart Indie Cinema

Layer3 TV Launches Texas Beta of Its Umio Pay TV Service

Three years after its founding, Layer3 TV, a new player in the pay TV space, rolled out a beta test in two Texas markets. Launched by Broadbus Technologies founder Jeff Binder, and former Comcast/AT&T CTO Dave Fellows, the company’s new Umio service is based on a “state-of-the-art” set-top box with an integrated cable modem for Internet and TV services. The content bundle, however, appears to be fairly traditional, including local broadcasters and most cable networks, although Umio also offers some add-on channels. Continue reading Layer3 TV Launches Texas Beta of Its Umio Pay TV Service

Chinese Company Buys Legendary Entertainment for $3.5B

Chinese conglomerate Dalian Wanda Group paid $3.5 billion in cash to purchase Legendary Entertainment, one of Hollywood’s largest independent movie companies, making it the largest such deal between Hollywood and China. Dalian Wanda’s other Hollywood holdings include AMC Entertainment, the second largest cinema chain in the U.S. The company, which got its start in real estate, also owns theaters and produces movies in China. Legendary has co-financed numerous movies, produced its own and has TV and digital divisions. Continue reading Chinese Company Buys Legendary Entertainment for $3.5B

Digital and Physical Home Entertainment Dips Again in 2015

Home entertainment sales dipped last year, especially for DVDs and Blu-ray Discs, which fell 12 percent, one percent more than the drop in 2014. But the numbers, as compiled by the Digital Entertainment Group, aren’t easy to parse, as revealed in competing interpretations of the data. Two things are clear: physical media’s dip is linked to digital media’s rise. And, with revenues of $18 billion, home entertainment is still larger than theatrical box office, which clocked in at $11.1 billion last year. Continue reading Digital and Physical Home Entertainment Dips Again in 2015

AT&T Revives Unlimited Data Plan, Despite Surge in Video

AT&T is bringing back its unlimited wireless data plan, but only for those customers who subscribe to its U-verse home television service or to DirecTV, the satellite TV service it recently acquired. For the past five years, AT&T has been moving customers into plans that charge for data use. The recent switch, most likely in response to competition among carriers eager to sign up new customers and retain existing ones, comes at a time when customers are gobbling up data watching YouTube and Netflix videos on mobile devices. Continue reading AT&T Revives Unlimited Data Plan, Despite Surge in Video

NBCUniversal’s Burke: Netflix is Friend, Enemy and Frenemy

NBCUniversal chief executive Steve Burke did not anticipate the big impact of time-shifting and over-the-top services such as Netflix and Hulu on the cable business, he said during CES 2016. Instead, he believed cable entertainment ratings would be stronger than they are today. At the same time, he doesn’t consider Netflix to be just an enemy but, rather, a friend and frenemy as well. More puzzling to him is how advertisers discount television in favor of digital outlets, which, he notes, do not have the reach or emotional impact of TV. Continue reading NBCUniversal’s Burke: Netflix is Friend, Enemy and Frenemy

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