‘Crouching Tiger’ Sequel Slated to Debut Via Netflix and IMAX

Netflix and the Weinstein Company announced yesterday that they plan to release the sequel to “Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon” simultaneously via Netflix and a select number of IMAX theaters next August. This will mark the first time a major film debuts via online streaming and in theaters at the same time. The follow-up to Ang Lee’s Academy Award-winning martial arts drama will reportedly be the first of several films backed by Netflix that are expected to follow the new release model. Continue reading ‘Crouching Tiger’ Sequel Slated to Debut Via Netflix and IMAX

ABC Reimagines Second Screen With its WATCH App Update

ABC relaunched its streaming WATCH ABC app last week with new features that allow viewers to multitask on social networks while they are watching shows. Big data showed that only a small amount of people using their mobile devices while watching TV are actually discussing the shows online or interacting with anything related to the shows. Facebook and Twitter integration in the update is designed to make it easier for viewers to check social media and share their favorite scenes and episodes. Continue reading ABC Reimagines Second Screen With its WATCH App Update

Study: More Top Movies and TV Shows Available Legally Online

According to a KPMG study, Hollywood is now offering more content through legal digital venues than ever before. As of the end of 2013, 94 percent of the 808 top films analyzed by KPMG were available legally for U.S. consumers through online VOD services, while 85 percent of the 724 most popular and critically acclaimed TV shows were also available. In related news, the amount of Netflix streaming video has grown 350 percent in the last 10 quarters, and now averages 93.2 minutes per subscriber daily. Continue reading Study: More Top Movies and TV Shows Available Legally Online

Study: Live-Tweeting Actors Drive Engagement, Good for Shows

A recent study from Twitter shows that live-tweeting from an actor’s account can boost the volume of conversation on the social network. Series premieres with live-tweeting cast-members had 64 percent more tweets that day than TV shows that did not. The difference for live-tweeting from the show’s official handle was only a seven percent increase. Twitter says actors also generate a significant following when they live-tweet. Their lift in follow rate increases by 228 percent. Continue reading Study: Live-Tweeting Actors Drive Engagement, Good for Shows

Growing Number of Viewers Turn to YouTube for TV and Movies

YouTube is now considered by many consumers to be the leading online resource for watching TV shows. According to research from Frank N. Magid Associates, which polled 2,400 people about online sources they use to watch shows, 38 percent of respondents pointed to YouTube. Netflix held second at 33 percent, followed by Hulu at 17 percent and Amazon Prime Instant Video at 14 percent. The study learned that the number of people who watch video online daily has increased 10 points to 32 percent in two years. Continue reading Growing Number of Viewers Turn to YouTube for TV and Movies

Nielsen is Finally Going Electronic, Diaries on Their Way Out

Ratings service Nielsen is starting to replace its traditional paper diaries with electronic devices it has developed to measure local TV viewership. Nielsen’s diary-based system, which has been in place in varied formats for at least 60 years, will eventually be retired. To start, the dismantling will affect 14 of the 154 markets in which hand-written viewing diaries are still used to collect data. The new devices will “listen” to the audio portion of shows that are being viewed by consumers. Continue reading Nielsen is Finally Going Electronic, Diaries on Their Way Out

Virtual Reality Helmet Could Redefine In-Flight Entertainment

The United States Patent and Trademark Office granted leading aircraft manufacturer Airbus a patent in August for headrests that include helmets attached to a carrier. The headrests will relieve passenger stress by providing entertainment in addition to “sensorial isolation with regard to the external environment.” They will play immersive multimedia content on glasses with display screens that are capable of “holographic projection mode,” according to the patent. Continue reading Virtual Reality Helmet Could Redefine In-Flight Entertainment

Apple and Amazon Planning Programs for Sharing Digital Media

In what could prove to be a bold move, Amazon and Apple are planning to allow customers to share media purchased from their digital storefronts with family members. Similar language is being used by both companies to describe the programs, and both are launching around the same time. Apple’s “Family Sharing” program will be available via its new iOS 8 software, while Amazon’s “Family Library” is scheduled to join hardware and software updates slated for the end of October. Continue reading Apple and Amazon Planning Programs for Sharing Digital Media

Amazon Update Brings Prime Instant Video to Android Phones

Amazon announced yesterday that it plans to make Prime Instant Video available to all Android phones in the U.S., U.K. and Germany. An update to the Amazon app for Android will enable users to stream movies and TV shows available through Prime Instant Video. However, users will first need to install or update the Amazon app, and then use in-app tools to install the Amazon Instant Video player app. Users will also need to enable a phone setting that allows installing of apps from outside the Google Play store. Continue reading Amazon Update Brings Prime Instant Video to Android Phones

Apple Announces Two New iPhones, Smartwatch and Apple Pay

Apple unveiled its new iPhone 6 and iPhone 6 Plus at a press event in Cupertino yesterday. The next-gen smartphones feature higher resolution displays, improved camera capabilities, and a glass that curves around the sides. The iPhone 6 Plus has a 5.5-inch screen, the largest so far for an Apple phone. The company also introduced the long-awaited Apple Watch, its first major new product since the iPad in 2010. The $349 smartwatch will work with iPhone 5 models and the new iPhones. Continue reading Apple Announces Two New iPhones, Smartwatch and Apple Pay

Netflix Users Control What Shows They Share with Privacy Tool

Netflix’s new privacy feature will now allow users to select which shows they want to share with Facebook friends. In the past, people who decided to link their Netflix and Facebook accounts shared their viewed titles to all of their Facebook friends. Now, each user can recommend a TV show or movie to just one or more friends. With this update, Netflix users now have the ability to be more selective about which programs they recommend to others, and which programs they hide. Continue reading Netflix Users Control What Shows They Share with Privacy Tool

VideoDubber Automatically Dubs Video into 30+ Languages

Foreign film fans may have a new reason to get excited. Israeli startup VideoDubber is introducing a new technology that could address complaints of subtitles in media content. The company claims that its TruDub technology can automatically dub films, TV shows and video into more than 30 languages including Arabic, Chinese, Spanish, and four dialects of English. The service uses synthetic voices that it says sound natural since they are based on professional voice talent. Continue reading VideoDubber Automatically Dubs Video into 30+ Languages

Networks Increasingly Releasing Their TV Premieres Online

Major television networks, such as ABC, Fox and NBC, are debuting their new fall shows online weeks ahead of the television premiere dates. The pilot episodes of NBC’s “A to Z,” ABC’s “Selfie,” and Fox’s “Red Band Society” are all available on Hulu before their scheduled television air date. This increasingly common practice gives viewers the chance to sample the new shows earlier and start some online buzz before the flood of other pilots debut during the fall television season. Continue reading Networks Increasingly Releasing Their TV Premieres Online

Simple.tv Users Can Now Share Recorded Content with Friends

Connected DVR maker Simple.tv now provides users with the ability to offer friends and family members access to their recorded television shows and movies. Simple.tv’s DVR for cord cutters now enables guest passes so that others can access DVR recordings over the Internet via Simple.tv’s Web interface, the company’s mobile apps, as well as its Roku app. Guests are restricted to streaming content already recorded; they cannot tune into live TV or schedule additional recordings. Continue reading Simple.tv Users Can Now Share Recorded Content with Friends

Amazon Aims to Make Prime Instant Video a Major Competitor

Amazon Studios, the production arm of Amazon’s Prime Instant Video service, hopes to challenge Netflix with compelling original series. The studio greenlit several shows to debut later this year, and viewers will get the chance to view pilots for another set of prospective shows in the next few weeks, including a drama by Whit Stillman and a comedy produced by Steven Soderbergh. Amazon takes feedback from viewers into consideration when selecting new shows. Continue reading Amazon Aims to Make Prime Instant Video a Major Competitor

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