Comcast and EA Partner to Test Streaming Games via Cable

Comcast and Electronic Arts have partnered to launch the beta test of Xfinity Games, showcasing around 20 video games for streaming via cable. EA will stream the games to Comcast’s cable boxes, in the same manner that video services stream TV shows and movies to set-top boxes. No game pads are used in the service, as the service is targeting mobile and casual gamers, instead of console gaming fans. Users can access a website with their iPhone or Android phones to use as game controllers. Continue reading Comcast and EA Partner to Test Streaming Games via Cable

TVShow Time Update Revamps App’s Community Interactions

French startup TVShow Time released a 5.0 update to its app that offers a more social experience for its 500,000 monthly users. New features permit users to track how many new episodes they have watched, send messages and show recommendations to friends, and view show ratings. The app has a newly designed interface and layout that makes content more accessible than before. Previously, TVShow Time used a simple calendar format that allowed users to keep track of their favorite TV shows. Continue reading TVShow Time Update Revamps App’s Community Interactions

TV Academy to Distribute Chromecast Devices to Emmy Voters

With the aim of enhancing the viewing experience of this year’s Emmy-nominated content, the Television Academy inked a deal with Google to distribute Chromecast devices to all of the Academy’s eligible voting members. This new initiative also prompts a rule change, enabling voting members to vote for all major program categories as well as those professional categories pertinent to their expertise. In addition to widening the voting, the new rule means an end to the Academy’s “blue ribbon” panels. Continue reading TV Academy to Distribute Chromecast Devices to Emmy Voters

Users Now Have More Control Over Their Facebook News Feeds

Facebook has announced a new set of features that provide users with more control over what they see in their news feeds. The new controls will include a “see first” list, comprised of the family, friends and followed pages that are important to a user and will show up at the top of his/her feed. Users can now access a single list to re-follow multiple people they’ve previously un-followed (ideal for temporarily muting spoilers of your favorite TV shows). Facebook has also added a feature to suggest pages for avid users who run out of fresh content in their feeds. Continue reading Users Now Have More Control Over Their Facebook News Feeds

Legit Creates Personalized Watchlist for Movies and TV Shows

An app called Legit is launching as a universal guide for finding movies and TV shows across streaming and other services. It is presently focusing on content available via Amazon, Hulu, iTunes, Netflix, YouTube and in theaters. Apps that track where shows can be found on various services already exist, but Legit’s distinguishing feature is that it provides more personal and relevant recommendations by comparing a user’s tastes with those of his/her Facebook friends, based on how they’ve rated different content. Continue reading Legit Creates Personalized Watchlist for Movies and TV Shows

Whipclip Attracts Media Partners and $40 Million Investment

Whipclip’s app, which allows users to immediately and legally share clips from TV shows and other media, raised an additional $40 million in Series C financing. Led by asset management firm Eminence Capital, other investors include Institutional Venture Partners, Rain Ventures and content partners A&E, ABC, CBS, Comedy Central, Fox, Lifetime, Sony Music and Universal Music Group. Whipclip CEO Rich Rosenblatt, previously co-founder of Demand Media, states that some clips have been viewed millions of times. Continue reading Whipclip Attracts Media Partners and $40 Million Investment

Netflix Looking to Build its Brand with Original Feature Films

Netflix is ready to expand its original content beyond TV series to feature films. First, the service will release Cary Fukunaga’s “Beasts of No Nation” on October 16. The film will debut via Netflix and select U.S. theaters, which will make it eligible for industry awards. On December 11, Netflix will release “The Ridiculous Six,” the first of four Adam Sandler films it plans to distribute. And in Q1 2016, the sequel “Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon: The Green Legend” will be released globally on Netflix, theatrically in China and on IMAX. Continue reading Netflix Looking to Build its Brand with Original Feature Films

Netflix and Amazon Aim to Shape Children’s Viewing Habits

Anyone who has ever read a story to a child knows the drill: children want to hear their favorite stories over and over again. That’s the major ingredient in Netflix, Amazon Instant Video and Hulu’s success in courting young audiences (and their parents). On-demand video makes it easy for a child to replay, over and over again, his or her favorite TV episodes or movies. Acutely aware of the phenomenon, these companies are actively working to provide video content for the young set, turning toddlers into life-long viewers. Continue reading Netflix and Amazon Aim to Shape Children’s Viewing Habits

HBO Now Tops iOS Revenue Charts, Big Hit with Cord Cutters

HBO’s standalone streaming service HBO Now, a $14.99 per month over-the-top option for accessing HBO’s premium content without the need for a cable or satellite TV subscription, is atop the iTunes App Store revenue rankings. According to analytics firm App Annie, the HBO iOS app was the highest grossing app on the market in May. While June’s figures have not yet been released, App Annie indicates HBO Now is still performing well. Since Apple has an exclusive launch agreement for HBO Now, this could be the best insight into the service’s traction thus far. Continue reading HBO Now Tops iOS Revenue Charts, Big Hit with Cord Cutters

Survey: Stigma Associated with TV Binge Viewing is Declining

Binge-watching television shows is becoming a less shameful activity, according to a March survey of TiVo users. While 53 percent of respondents in 2013 characterized the activity in a negative light, only 30 percent of recent respondents felt the same. “People who are binge-viewing are feeling better about themselves,” said Jonathan Steuer, chief research officer for TiVo. Interestingly, 92 percent of respondents indicated that they have engaged in binge-viewing at some point, and 32 percent said they often wait to watch an entire season at once. Continue reading Survey: Stigma Associated with TV Binge Viewing is Declining

Research Points to Increase in Cord Cutting and Cord Shaving

According to a recent study, the number of consumers in North America who are cutting the pay TV cord in favor of OTT streaming video services is growing. TiVo subsidiary Digitalsmiths reports that 8.2 percent of survey respondents were no longer paying TV subscriptions as of 2014, a 1.3 percent increase over the previous year. Interestingly, an impressive 45.2 percent indicated that they downsized their cable or satellite TV bundles during the same period in the wake of paying for services such as Netflix, Hulu or Amazon Instant Video (a trend referred to as “cord shaving”). Continue reading Research Points to Increase in Cord Cutting and Cord Shaving

Ad-Sponsored Data to Be Part of Verizon’s Internet TV Service

Verizon’s upcoming Internet TV service, expected to launch sometime this summer, may encourage brands to sponsor your binge watching. According to Verizon exec Marnie Walden — who described the new service as a “mobile-first video product” — the company plans to offer live and on-demand programming in addition to content from digital networks such as AwesomenessTV. Rather than passing the additional data costs for such a service to customers or programmers, Verizon is turning to advertisers. “Ad-sponsored data is part of the product offering,” said Walden. Continue reading Ad-Sponsored Data to Be Part of Verizon’s Internet TV Service

Amazon Prime Instant Video Intros HDR Support for New Series

Amazon announced that it is introducing limited support for high dynamic range content on its Amazon Instant Video service. The HDR support will initially launch for Amazon Prime members in the U.S. with the full original series “Mozart in the Jungle” and the pilot episode of the original “Red Oaks.” Netflix announced earlier that it also plans to support HDR video this year, starting with its original series “Marco Polo.” However, most consumers have yet to purchase televisions that support HDR, so it may take a while for the technology to gain mainstream adoption. Continue reading Amazon Prime Instant Video Intros HDR Support for New Series

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

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