CES: Examining the Results of the Radical Disruption of News

“The Future of News” panel at CES 2018 drew together pundits across the political spectrum to puzzle out the difference between news and opinion, what exactly fake news is, and how to pop the partisan bubbles. A conversation led by United Talent Agency head of digital media Brent Weinstein started his challenge to define the line between news and opinion — if consumers even care. The Daily Wire editor-in-chief and conservative political commentator Ben Shapiro said that the news media should not portray itself as objective. Continue reading CES: Examining the Results of the Radical Disruption of News

CES 2018: Wide Array of Conference Tracks for M&E Industry

CES 2018 features 2.5 million net square feet of exhibit space that sprawls through the Las Vegas Convention Center, Sands Hotel and Casino, Aria Resort, Venetian, Monte Carlo, Renaissance, Westgate Resort, The Palazzo, Vdara and two Wynn properties. If your feet and brain rebel after walking the floor for hours, CES offers a great alternative: over 200 sessions on the industry’s most pressing issues and new technologies, featuring top creatives and executives. The 200 sessions are divided into topic-specific tracks. Continue reading CES 2018: Wide Array of Conference Tracks for M&E Industry

Facebook Plans to Introduce Original Programs This Summer

Facebook is meeting with Creative Artists Agency, United Talent Agency, William Morris Endeavor and ICM Partners as part of its effort to debut original programs by the end of summer, say sources. The social media titan also said it will commit to hefty production budgets — up to $3 million per episode — similar to those of high-end cable shows, as well as more moderately priced shows costing mid-to-high six figures per episode. Facebook’s plan is to own as much of the content as possible. Continue reading Facebook Plans to Introduce Original Programs This Summer

Digital NewFronts 2016: Magna Inks Ad Deal with YouTube

The 2016 Digital Content NewFronts runs May 2-13 in New York, featuring 38 companies, and piggybacking with CAA and UTA events. New presenters include AwesomenessTV, CNN, Activision Blizzard, Hearst, NowThisNews, Woven Digital and SheKnows Media. Just prior to the NewFronts, Interpublic’s ad buying arm Magna inked a $250M upfront advertising deal with YouTube. A MyersBizNet survey says media buyers now rank YouTube as the most important outlet, with Hulu, Vice Media and AOL also in the top 10. Continue reading Digital NewFronts 2016: Magna Inks Ad Deal with YouTube

ETC’s Virtual Reality Summit Details the Current State of VR

During ETC’s Virtual Reality Summit at NAB 2016, ETC VR/AR program lead Phil Lelyveld explained the continuum from augmented reality to virtual reality, adding that most of what we’ll be seeing is a mixed or blended reality. VR is predicted to be worth a tremendous amount of money: Goldman Sachs estimates $18.09 billion in entertainment by 2025, and DigiData puts that number at $30 billion. Among the top things that consumers would like to do with VR now, according to Ericsson ConsumerLab, is examine items when online shopping. Continue reading ETC’s Virtual Reality Summit Details the Current State of VR

Viacom Teams with Canvs to Track Emotions on Social Media

Assessing and quantifying reaction to content and advertising on social media has been limited to the fuzzy capabilities of “sentiment analysis” tools that capture only generic positive and negative attitudes. Now, Viacom believes it’s found the perfect tool to do better. Media conglomerate Velocity’s marketing and creative content division teamed with tech startup Canvs, whose database of 4 million words and phrases — including millennial slang and social media shorthand — falls into 56 emotional categories. Continue reading Viacom Teams with Canvs to Track Emotions on Social Media

CES: UTA Talks the Importance of Social Data in Hollywood

United Talent Agency has developed a measurement tool to track and rank movies based on the social media buzz they accrue in the 365 days up until the film’s release date. Using data provided by Twitter, UTA determines and assigns a ranking for every move on a scale of 1-100. For 2014, UTA observed a pattern by which higher ranked movies outperformed lower ranked movies at the box office. The correlation between a movie’s social media numbers and box office performance however, does not imply causation. Continue reading CES: UTA Talks the Importance of Social Data in Hollywood

New Tool for Film Marketers Analyzes Buzz on Social Media

United Talent Agency and Rentrak, an entertainment data company, have teamed up to bring studio marketers a tool that tracks the hype on social media surrounding a specific film. With this data, marketers would be better armed to make the necessary tweaks to a marketing campaign that can help make a movie a hit. PreAct is the name of the new tool, and since its debut in January, the service has signed up entertainment giants such as Sony Pictures Entertainment and 20th Century Fox. Continue reading New Tool for Film Marketers Analyzes Buzz on Social Media

Disney Accelerator Program Announces its First 11 Startups

Disney has named the first 11 startups to participate in its 15-week Accelerator program. The diverse first class of tech-driven media and entertainment startups will be mentored by top Disney execs and receive up to $120,000 in seed funding. Mentors will include leaders from ABC, ESPN, Lucasfilm, Marvel, Pixar and Walt Disney Imagineering. The companies will be advised how to best develop effective business plans, product launches and marketing campaigns. Continue reading Disney Accelerator Program Announces its First 11 Startups

Notable Cable Industry Vets Raise $21 Million for Layer3 TV

IP video startup Layer3 TV announced that it has raised $21 million in Series A funding. The company, staffed by cable industry veterans, describes itself as “a next-generation cable provider” combining “the best of television, social media, and digital life.” Executives include CEO Jeff Binder (founder of VOD company Broadbus Technologies), CTO David Fellows (formerly of Comcast and AT&T Broadband), and Chuck Hasek as head of video technology (formerly principal architect of video systems at Time Warner Cable). Continue reading Notable Cable Industry Vets Raise $21 Million for Layer3 TV

UTA Draws Developers for Third Annual Hollywood Hack Day

The third annual Hollywood Hack Day took place last weekend, bringing a hackathon — a timed collaborative event during which software developers create new apps or Web services — to Los Angeles. United Talent Agency hosted the event and provided increased bandwidth for the 135 developers and designers involved in the 2-day competition. Because the event was in LA, several teams chose to create apps about the art and business of entertainment. Continue reading UTA Draws Developers for Third Annual Hollywood Hack Day