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

Video Advertising: Yahoo Acquires BrightRoll for $640 Million

Yahoo’s latest acquisition is being heralded by some analysts as a smart move for its video business strategy. Yahoo has agreed to purchase BrightRoll, a leading platform in the video advertising space, for $640 million in cash. The deal follows the $6.3 billion recently earned by Yahoo from its investment in Alibaba. Acquisition of the video ad company could prove to be the perfect complement to Yahoo’s strategy to push more video content on its site and mobile app. Continue reading Video Advertising: Yahoo Acquires BrightRoll for $640 Million

Rovi Acquires Fan TV to Take Video Discovery to the Cloud

Rovi, a company that powers video guides and recommendation systems, has announced the acquisition of Fanhattan, a startup specializing in video discovery through its Fan TV products. The acquisition is expected to bolster Rovi’s portfolio of cloud-based TV guides. Fanhattan could benefit from Rovi’s sales force, which may be able to distribute the Fan TV streaming set-top box to Charter and Dish customers. Fan TV integrates video from different sources into a single user-friendly interface. Continue reading Rovi Acquires Fan TV to Take Video Discovery to the Cloud

Amazon Expands Entertainment Offerings with Comedy Service

As part of its continued media and digital content expansion to take on companies such as Netflix, Amazon is set to acquire online comedy service Rooftop Media. The service gives viewers access to live and on demand recorded content from comedy acts across the country. While specifics of the deal remain undisclosed, the 10-person company will be acquired by Audible, a growing seller of online audiobooks that Amazon purchased in 2008 for $300 million. Continue reading Amazon Expands Entertainment Offerings with Comedy Service

Advertisers Still Favor Televised Sports Over Online Gaming

Video game-centric website Twitch, recently acquired by Amazon for close to $1 billion, now has a global audience of 60 million users. The audience is passionate, consuming 16 billion minutes of video per month. The site seems to be an ideal way for advertisers to reach the young male demographic, between ages 18 and 30. However, televised sports content remains a viable method for reaching this audience, and advertisers have not yet shifted in preference from TV to online gaming. Continue reading Advertisers Still Favor Televised Sports Over Online Gaming

Deezer Plans to Add Podcast Support with Stitcher Acquisition

Deezer, one of the most comprehensive music streaming services, operates in more than 180 countries with an active user base of around 16 million. Deezer has yet to launch in the U.S., but its arrival is expected soon. When it does, the streaming service will feature podcast support, now that Deezer has acquired podcast and talk radio platform Stitcher, which currently carries 35,000+ shows from ABC News, AP Radio, BBC, CBS Sports, KROQ, MSNBC, NPR, PBS, TED, WNYC and many others. Continue reading Deezer Plans to Add Podcast Support with Stitcher Acquisition

Warner Music Group Buys Music Curation Startup Playlists.net

Warner Music Group’s artist and label services company WEA has acquired U.K.-based startup Playlists.net. The startup, which allows users to share, upload, and discover Spotify playlists, will still operate as a standalone company. Because the music charts in the U.K. now take streaming music into account, WEA could use Playlists.net’s platform to promote playlists with their artists or track data that could help predict up-and-coming artists or trends in music. Continue reading Warner Music Group Buys Music Curation Startup Playlists.net

Reddit Acquires Alien Blue, Now the Official Reddit Mobile App

Before Wednesday, social media startup Reddit, which has 174 million regular monthly users, did not offer a mobile app. Instead, the online message board worked with a variety of third-party, unofficial programs. However, in the wake of a large round of venture funding, Reddit announced that it has purchased the most popular of these third-party programs, Alien Blue. The app will now become the official Reddit app, available for download via Apple’s App Store. Continue reading Reddit Acquires Alien Blue, Now the Official Reddit Mobile App

France’s Iliad Concludes its Ambitious Pursuit of T-Mobile US

French telecommunications company Iliad has ended its pursuit of American wireless provider T-Mobile US. While T-Mobile was in talks about a merger with Sprint to launch a more competitive rival to AT&T and Verizon Wireless, Iliad was ambitiously attempting to buy control of T-Mobile for $15 billion (an offer worth nearly as much as its own market value). Yesterday, Iliad issued a statement that it was ending its efforts, despite having increased the proposed acquisition stake and price. Continue reading France’s Iliad Concludes its Ambitious Pursuit of T-Mobile US

Google Developing Messaging App to Compete with WhatsApp

Google is playing catch-up in the world of mobile messaging apps in emerging markets overseas. Facebook closed on the $19 billion WhatsApp acquisition earlier this week, and reportedly, Google may have a similar app in the works. The company plans to test its app in India and other emerging markets, which is where tech companies are now looking for growth. A messaging app from Google could help the brand find a foothold in these markets and eventually generate revenue. Continue reading Google Developing Messaging App to Compete with WhatsApp

Deal Now Complete: Amazon Acquires Twitch for $970 Million

According to a new SEC filing, Amazon’s buyout of online video game streaming company Twitch is now complete. The acquisition, worth $970 million and first revealed in late August, marks Amazon’s largest and most expensive deal to date. This follows earlier reports that suggested a similar deal was in the works with Google subsidiary YouTube. Twitch touts more than 55 million active monthly users, and is currently the largest live-streaming website in the U.S. by a significant margin. Continue reading Deal Now Complete: Amazon Acquires Twitch for $970 Million

Hootsuite Takes Customer Service from Twitter to Phone Calls

Many consumers have found that the fastest way to get a response from a company is to send a tweet, but the 140-character length and the public nature of the social network limit the conversation. Hootsuite Media, the maker of the popular social media management app, is rolling out a solution: a feature that allows businesses to initiate calls with their customers via Twitter. Consumers who send the company tweets will get a reply with a phone number so that they can talk offline. Continue reading Hootsuite Takes Customer Service from Twitter to Phone Calls

New AT&T Internet and Cable Plan Includes Free Amazon Prime

AT&T is introducing a new Internet TV bundle that offers U-verse high speed Internet, U-verse TV, HBO, and a year-long subscription to Amazon Prime. The bundle is priced at an introductory rate of $39 per month. This move is part of AT&T’s strategy to lure cord-cutters who unbundle their expensive cable packages to opt for more online steaming options. AT&T’s partnership with Amazon Prime also shows the company’s interest in expanding its content offerings. Continue reading New AT&T Internet and Cable Plan Includes Free Amazon Prime

Google Acquires Mobile Startup Polar to Reinvigorate Google+

Google has acquired mobile startup Polar, to bring the founder Luke Wroblewski and his team to Google+. Polar developed online polling technology for clients such as HBO, TechCrunch and USA Today to poll their users on mobile websites and apps. At Google, the new hires are expected to work on optimizing Google’s struggling social network for the mobile platform. Wroblewski is a prominent mobile designer and author of the book, “Mobile First.” Continue reading Google Acquires Mobile Startup Polar to Reinvigorate Google+

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