Video Service Vessel Out of Beta, Launches on Web and iOS

Online video subscription service Vessel had its public launch this week for Web and iOS. Founded by former Hulu CEO Jason Kilar and CTO Richard Tom, the service offers early access to the increasingly popular videos created by today’s YouTube stars. Kilar is betting that consumers will be willing to pay a monthly $2.99 subscription fee to access videos 72 hours before they become available for free on YouTube. The model has generated some early skepticism, but it is not much different from Hulu’s approach from six years ago. Continue reading Video Service Vessel Out of Beta, Launches on Web and iOS

Popcorn Time Torrenting Sites Intend to Become Unstoppable

Popcorn Time became one of the most popular torrenting sites since it debuted nearly a year ago, and even though the original was taken down, spin-offs plan to stay. Popcorn-Time.se, for example, makes it easy to find torrented content like pirated movies and television shows. Its developers plan to make the site harder to take down by implementing a peer-to-peer protocol. The MPAA was successful in shutting down the original Popcorn Time, but it has not been able to shut down the spin-off sites yet. Continue reading Popcorn Time Torrenting Sites Intend to Become Unstoppable

Moonves Indicates Showtime Plans to Offer Streaming Service

Following HBO’s announcement that its new HBO Now streaming service will initially be available via Apple products in April, CBS President and CEO Les Moonves told an investor conference this week that Showtime would introduce its own standalone streaming service “in the not-too-distant future.” Speaking Wednesday in Palm Beach, Florida, Moonves noted that negotiations are currently underway with digital distributors and MVPDs. He added that discussions have accelerated in the wake of HBO’s announcement. Continue reading Moonves Indicates Showtime Plans to Offer Streaming Service

Streaming Video Subscribers Spend More Time Watching TV

Nielsen reports that about two in five U.S. households currently subscribe to streaming video services. According to the measurement company’s latest Total Audience Report, about 36 percent of households were Netflix subscribers in November. Netflix indicates it now has 40 million paid subscribers in the U.S. Following Netflix is Amazon Prime at 13 percent and Hulu Plus at 6.5 percent, explains the Nielsen study, which also shows that streaming service subscribers spend significantly more time viewing content. Continue reading Streaming Video Subscribers Spend More Time Watching TV

HBO Negotiating to Launch its Streaming Service on Apple TV

Apple is in talks with HBO to become a launch partner for the HBO Now streaming service. Apple TV may join Roku, Xbox, PlayStation, and Amazon in distributing streaming content from HBO’s catalog of television series and movies. HBO Now is set to debut in April, just in time for the season premiere of its popular series “Game of Thrones.” The streaming service will mark the first time that viewers will be able to subscribe directly to HBO, instead of through a pay TV service. Continue reading HBO Negotiating to Launch its Streaming Service on Apple TV

Younger Consumers Find Digital Video More Relevant Than TV

A recent study by Hunter Qualitative Research, commissioned by Defy Media, determined that millennials prefer video available via YouTube and other digital venues as compared to traditional television because they find the content to be more relevant and enjoyable. Digital content also feels more real to them. The study, conducted in the fall of 2014, found that consumers 13-24 years of age spend 11.3 hours watching free online video in a typical week. The same group watches a weekly average of 8.3 hours of regularly scheduled TV. Continue reading Younger Consumers Find Digital Video More Relevant Than TV

Popcorn Time Accounts for One-Ninth of U.S. Torrent Traffic

In less than a year, Popcorn Time has become one of the most popular services to torrent pirated media content online. The slick grid interface looks similar to that of Netflix or Hulu, making the service look more legitimate and easier to navigate to find a TV show or movie. The program is actually an index of other BitTorrent sites. Popcorn Time’s popularity has been growing in the U.S. and abroad, especially in countries where streaming services are less established. Continue reading Popcorn Time Accounts for One-Ninth of U.S. Torrent Traffic

Whalerock to Launch Celebrity Networks via Web and Mobile App

The Kardashian sisters, Howard Stern and rap artist Tyler The Creator are all getting new shows, only not on traditional TV but rather the Internet and a mobile app. Whalerock Industries, a company based in Santa Monica, has confirmed it plans to launch personal channels for these artists in the coming months. Each channel will feature an eclectic mix of premium content from the celebrities including videos, music, photos, merchandise and gaming. The app will be available this June.  Continue reading Whalerock to Launch Celebrity Networks via Web and Mobile App

Hulu’s New Watchlist Feature Helps Simplify Your Binge Viewing

Hulu recently introduced a new feature called Watchlist that combines the Queue, Favorites, and Shows You Watch features that already exist on the platform into a single personalized interface. Much like the existing features, Watchlist lets users keep track of shows, pick favorites and keep a list of those they have already watched. The new feature also detects a user’s favorite shows and automatically curates a list based on those shows with the most favored programs conveniently listed at the top.  Continue reading Hulu’s New Watchlist Feature Helps Simplify Your Binge Viewing

Nielsen Notes Dramatic Shift in TV Viewing Among Millennials

It seems that cord-cutting is continuing with the coveted 18- to 34-year-old demographic. New data from Nielsen indicates that traditional TV viewing among millennials dropped 10.6 percent between September and January, falling at twice its normal rate. According to Nielsen, there are nearly 20 percent fewer young adults watching primetime television than in 2011. Additionally, the median age of the TV audience is now 50, just outside the 18- to 49-year-old demographic important to advertisers. Continue reading Nielsen Notes Dramatic Shift in TV Viewing Among Millennials

FAA Proposes Long-Awaited Rules on Commercial Drone Use

Over the weekend, the Federal Aviation Administration proposed rules for the commercial use of small drones (unmanned aircraft weighing up to 55 pounds), that could have an impact on future film and television production, still photography, sports coverage, product deliveries, and much more. The proposed regulations call for operator certification, daylight flights only, and keeping aircraft in sight. The rules would not apply to recreational drones, growing in popularity with hobbyists, which have their own regulations. Continue reading FAA Proposes Long-Awaited Rules on Commercial Drone Use

E-Book Subscription Service Scribd Now Includes Comic Books

Scribd customers now have unlimited access to some of the biggest names in comic books. The startup added comic books and graphic novels to its catalog of e-books and audiobooks that subscribers pay to access for $8.99 per month. Scribd currently has more than 100 million subscribers worldwide and over one million e-books, audiobooks and comic books. Marvel, Archie and Valiant are just a few of the comic book publishers that have signed on to offer their titles via Scribd. Continue reading E-Book Subscription Service Scribd Now Includes Comic Books

HPA Tech Retreat: Production, Distribution in Streaming Era

Netflix can be credited with bringing over-the-top (OTT) streaming services to the viewer’s attention, most notably with its 2013 debut of the acclaimed series, “House of Cards.” OTT content is growing by leaps and bounds and was the focus of an HPA Tech Retreat panel on “Post in the Era of Over-the-Top,” moderated by Entertainment Technology Consultants’ Loren Nielsen. The panel, which examined how companies are creating and finishing content in a new era of streaming and mobile, included Stephen Beres of HBO and Sara Duran-Singer of Netflix. Continue reading HPA Tech Retreat: Production, Distribution in Streaming Era

Dish Goes National with Sling TV Service, Adds AMC Networks

Dish Network’s new Sling TV service is transitioning from its invitation-only beta phase to public availability, starting at $20 per month (various add-ons are available for $5 each per month). Unveiled during CES, the pay TV service features access to channels ranging from ABC Family, CNN and the Disney Channel — to ESPN, TBS and TNT. It also includes access to a VOD library, the WatchESPN app, and content from Maker Studios. Yesterday, the company announced that AMC Networks would become another programming partner. Continue reading Dish Goes National with Sling TV Service, Adds AMC Networks

Matchstick Delays Shipping; Opts for Hardware, DRM Updates

Matchstick, the first HDMI streaming media stick based on the Firefox OS, announced that its originally planned February shipment date has now been pushed to August. The company says it has “decided to release the product when it is ready.” The decision to delay is the result of updating the hardware to a faster quad core chipset, improving the antenna to avoid the Wi-Fi connectivity issues experienced by similar products, and developing DRM support in order to attract more premium video apps such as Netflix. Continue reading Matchstick Delays Shipping; Opts for Hardware, DRM Updates

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