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 This statement came after Viacom’s recent criticism of Nielsen, claiming that the research firm is outdated because the ratings do not consider digital viewing methods.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

Live Nation Teams Up with Vice to Launch New Digital Network

In order to create and distribute new original music programming, Live Nation Entertainment has launched a joint venture with Vice. Live Nation is a concert promoter, while Vice is a media producer that primarily targets younger audiences. Planning to launch in early 2015, the digital network will target millennials on the Internet, on mobile devices, through television, and in theaters. Hundreds of hours of music shows and editorial content will be featured with an emphasis on live music. Continue reading Live Nation Teams Up with Vice to Launch New Digital Network

MPAA Points Viewers to Legal Sources for Movies, TV Shows

The MPAA has launched an ad-free search engine that helps viewers easily locate movies and TV shows available from authorized sources. WhereToWatch.com — essentially a refresh of the WhereToWatch.org site launched last spring — is the latest effort by the trade group to combat piracy and provide consumers with legal options for accessing their media content. The site offers links and related info for titles available via Amazon, Apple’s iTunes, Hulu, Netflix, SnagFilms and WolfeOnDemand. Continue reading MPAA Points Viewers to Legal Sources for Movies, TV Shows

Walmart to Introduce Vudu Spark Streaming Stick for Holidays

Walmart is launching its first video streaming stick, Vudu Spark, in time for the holiday season. This HDMI stick simply plugs into a television, connects to a Wi-Fi network, and starts playing movies and TV shows from Vudu, the Walmart-owned streaming video service. Vudu Spark will be competing with similar products, such as Google’s Chromecast and Roku streaming sticks, both of which already offer access to the Vudu app and many other streaming services. Continue reading Walmart to Introduce Vudu Spark Streaming Stick for Holidays

President Obama Calls for New Rules Protecting Net Neutrality

In a statement and video posted on the White House website, President Obama formally announced his support of an open Internet, urging the FCC to treat consumer broadband service as a public utility. The president is proposing a strict net neutrality policy that opposes any need for content providers to pay broadband companies extra for faster access. Service providers including AT&T, Comcast and Verizon were quick to respond, suggesting that the proposal would not stand up in court. Continue reading President Obama Calls for New Rules Protecting Net Neutrality

Scribd Offers Unlimited Access to Audiobooks via Subscription

Scribd recently announced that in addition to its collection of e-books, subscribers now have access to a compilation of over 30,000 audiobooks. The company is one of the first e-book companies to have implemented a monthly subscription fee in exchange for unlimited access to its content. Joining the likes of models offered by Netflix and Spotify, Scribd subscribers can pay a monthly fee of $8.99 to access all available e-books and audiobooks belonging to the service’s catalog.  Continue reading Scribd Offers Unlimited Access to Audiobooks via Subscription

Review: Google Nexus Player Should Appeal to Cord Cutters

According to reviewer Tim Moynihan writing for Wired, Google’s $99 Nexus Player, a new streaming box running Android TV, offers “the closest a platform has come to a usable form of the Web on your TV — the parts of the Web curated by Google, at least.” The Nexus Player provides a seamless way to navigate the Internet on your television with features such as voice command, YouTube streaming and the ability to cast practically anything from the Internet to your TV screen.  Continue reading Review: Google Nexus Player Should Appeal to Cord Cutters

Amazon Introduces “Prime Pass” with British Fashion Retailer

The expedited shipping available to members of Amazon’s $99 Prime service may soon become available to external retail sites. Amazon recently secured a partnership with British fashion retailer AllSaints that allows Prime members to enjoy free next-day shipping on all purchases made via AllSaints.com. While Amazon hopes to expand its partnerships with other retail sites, it has already encountered some early resistance from retailers that are weary of the “Prime Pass” program. Continue reading Amazon Introduces “Prime Pass” with British Fashion Retailer

Amazon Studios is Determined to Compete with HBO Originals

Amazon Studios entered the original programming business with the intent of developing quality content on par with that of premium networks such as HBO. Programming of HBO caliber however, is not possible without the necessary financial commitment to help producers. “There was never any need to go back to them (to ask for more money)… You don’t worry they’ll say, ‘Let’s do it for less,’” says creator Garry Trudeau of his experience with the studio on its debut hit, “Alpha House.” Continue reading Amazon Studios is Determined to Compete with HBO Originals

Netflix to Blame for Recent Decline in Traditional TV Ratings?

According to Bernstein Research senior analyst Todd Juenger, there has been an unprecedented drop in TV ratings during the summer and fall seasons, which can be attributed to a growing number of viewers opting for streaming services such as Netflix, Amazon and Hulu. Juenger suggests that traditional ad-supported TV viewing has declined over the last year by an average of 13 minutes per day, while Netflix viewers are spending 12 minutes more each day watching video content via the video service. Continue reading Netflix to Blame for Recent Decline in Traditional TV Ratings?

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