TheTake: App Helps Users Identify and Buy Products in Movies

Mobile shopping just got even easier thanks to a new app called TheTake, which enables users to find the products they have been eyeing from their favorite movies. TheTake launched last week with a database of scenes from more than 100 movie titles. The app uses audio and image recognition technology to identify the products in a scene and gives users related links to retail stores that sell the items. The app may leverage the growing trend that shows mobile shopping sales are on the rise. Continue reading TheTake: App Helps Users Identify and Buy Products in Movies

New Holiday Sales Records Predicted for Digital Home Video

The home entertainment divisions of Hollywood studios are projected to generate record sales of movies and TV shows on digital platforms this holiday shopping season between Thanksgiving and Christmas. Digital sales are experiencing an upswing as more consumers access media via their mobile devices, smart TVs and connected game consoles. In addition, retailers such as Best Buy, Target and Walmart are pushing digital in an effort to make up for the downward trend in disc sales. Continue reading New Holiday Sales Records Predicted for Digital Home Video

Netflix is Hoping to Take its Original Series Success Abroad

Streaming video service Netflix saw U.S. viewership of its original series jump from 57 percent of domestic subscribers in the first quarter to 72 percent in the third quarter. New shows and word-of-mouth likely helped spark interest in Netflix originals like “Orange Is the New Black.” Now, amid growing competition, Netflix hopes to replicate that success overseas with its upcoming high-budget original series, “Marco Polo,” which is set to make its international debut in December. Continue reading Netflix is Hoping to Take its Original Series Success Abroad

Slingbox Integrates YouTube Recommendations with Live TV

Sling Media, the company behind multiscreen TV devices including the Slingbox 500 and SlingTV, has added support for YouTube video recommendations in its TV guide. During live TV programming, the user could call up a menu of related YouTube videos on the bottom of the screen. Audible Magic’s audio-fingerprinting technology determines the content of the live TV. The top-trending YouTube videos are also located on a separate tab within the TV guide. Continue reading Slingbox Integrates YouTube Recommendations with Live TV

Amazon Considering a New Ad-Supported Streaming Service?

According to recent news reports, Amazon is planning to launch a new ad-supported streaming service early next year that will be separate from Prime. The ad-supported option could become a significant challenger to streaming services such as Netflix and Hulu, especially if it undercuts the monthly fees of its rivals. Sources indicate that the new service would ultimately serve as a vehicle to attract more subscribers for Amazon Prime. Meanwhile, Amazon has denied plans to offer a new service. Continue reading Amazon Considering a New Ad-Supported Streaming Service?

Sandvine Global Internet Report Finds Netflix Still Dominates

According to the new Global Internet Phenomena Report by Canadian broadband network company Sandvine, Netflix continues to reign in the competition for streaming video. The popular video service presently accounts for 35 percent of all bandwidth usage in North America during peak hours. YouTube has the second highest bandwidth usage with 14 percent. Amazon Instant Video is the second highest paid streaming service, and it is growing quickly, along with HBO GO. Continue reading Sandvine Global Internet Report Finds Netflix Still Dominates

Verizon Offers Netflix, HBO and Showtime to Lure Cord Cutters

Last month, we reported that Verizon and Netflix were quietly testing a bundled subscription plan with FiOS Triple Play customers in New York City. The move seemed somewhat surprising, when considering the recent public feud between the two companies regarding connection speeds. Now, in an effort to recapture cord cutters, Verizon is offering a $60 per month plan that includes Netflix, broadband speeds of up to 50Mbps, local TV channels, HBO and Showtime (and when they arrive next year, HBO Go and Showtime Anytime). Continue reading Verizon Offers Netflix, HBO and Showtime to Lure Cord Cutters

NBCUniversal Hosts Hackathons to Meet Industry Challenges

In attempt to bring new ideas to the table, NBCUniversal invited 300 developers, marketers and designers to partake in a weekend long hackathon to help the media company address some of its most common challenges when it comes issues such as movie releases and television audience retention. While the hackathon offered $25,000 in cash prizes, it was also an opportunity for attendees to access tools for building software applications and NBCUniversal to recruit future employees. Continue reading NBCUniversal Hosts Hackathons to Meet Industry Challenges

Nielsen Planning to Measure TV Viewing via Streaming Services

Nielsen is planning to begin measurement of viewership ratings next month of television shows streamed on subscription online video services such as Netflix and Amazon Prime Instant Video. Nielsen will analyze the audio of programs to identify which shows are being streamed, a new measurement capability that does not require the approval of the streaming services. The data could impact how business is conducted between the services and the studios that license content. Continue reading Nielsen Planning to Measure TV Viewing via Streaming Services

Industry Leaders Join Forces to Form Streaming Video Alliance

In an effort to develop universal standards and best practices for high-scale Internet video services, 17 content companies, service providers and technology vendors have gathered to create the Streaming Video Alliance. Together, these companies hope to improve the online video experience. SVA will initially focus on open architecture, quality of experience, and interoperability. Formation of the group comes as net neutrality continues its path as a complex and controversial issue. Continue reading Industry Leaders Join Forces to Form Streaming Video Alliance

Nielsen Calls for Updated Ratings Standards to Address Digital

Nielsen, the company that provides data about what people watch, listen to, and purchase, is calling for a new set of rating standards due to the growing popularity of accessing media content via tablets and other devices. This statement came after Viacom’s recent criticism of Nielsen, claiming that the research firm is outdated because the ratings do not consider digital viewing methods. Nielsen admits that its ratings for broadcast networks have been inaccurate for seven months now. Continue reading Nielsen Calls for Updated Ratings Standards to Address Digital

SkreensTV Wants to Bring Everyone Together Around One TV

A company called SkreensTV hopes to reinvent the way families share the living room television with a new approach to split screen technology. With up to five HDMI inputs, the new device enables users to split one TV screen to display content from various sources including pay TV, streaming services, social network sites and gaming consoles. With the use of a tablet or other mobile device, users can adjust for size and rearrange the positioning of the content being projected onto the larger screen. Continue reading SkreensTV Wants to Bring Everyone Together Around One TV

Sony Plans Launch of PlayStation Vue Cloud-Based TV Service

Sony unveiled PlayStation Vue yesterday, its cloud-based TV service that will soft launch this month with about 75 channels. The service will offer live TV and on-demand content without the need for a cable or satellite subscription, but viewers will initially need a PS3 or PS4 console. Users can also save favorite shows to the cloud. During the initial test rollout, consumers will have access to channels from CBS, Discovery Communications, Fox, NBCUniversal, Scripps Networks and Viacom. Continue reading Sony Plans Launch of PlayStation Vue Cloud-Based TV Service

Toymaker Hasbro in Talks to Purchase DreamWorks Animation

Rhode Island-based Hasbro, manufacturer of popular toys including G.I. Joe, Mr. Potato Head, My Little Pony and Transformers, is reportedly in advanced talks to acquire DreamWorks Animation. Hasbro would pay a mix of cash and stock according to current terms of the proposed deal. DreamWorks CEO Jeffrey Katzenberg is said to be looking for more than $30 a share for the sale. The news comes shortly after Japanese telecom SoftBank was reported to be a prospective buyer. Continue reading Toymaker Hasbro in Talks to Purchase DreamWorks Animation

Comcast Updates X1, Critics Concerned About Net Neutrality

Comcast introduced a new version of its television operating system, X1, at a media event in San Francisco on Wednesday. The system runs apps, records content to the cloud, and personalizes recommendations for users. The remote control features voice command, and the software also allows users to summon a technician to fix a problem if needed. These advanced technologies bring criticism that Comcast could become a gatekeeper of TV content, thereby violating net neutrality in the process. Continue reading Comcast Updates X1, Critics Concerned About Net Neutrality

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