Vice Media, Valued at $5 Billion, Keeps Growing, Inking Deals

Vice Media has generated more buzz, media partnerships and revenue than most new media companies. Traditional media companies following young male viewers fleeing TV find the coveted demographic at home at Vice, making it a particularly attractive target for investments, partnerships and, potentially, acquisition. One recent blip, however, is an accounting snafu: whereas Vice says company revenue will hit nearly $1 billion this year, others have said that number is much closer to $500 million. Continue reading Vice Media, Valued at $5 Billion, Keeps Growing, Inking Deals

SMPTE Webinar Details the Strengths and Challenges of HDR

FotoKem VP and principal color scientist Joseph Slomka led a SMPTE webinar yesterday on “Clarifying High Dynamic Range,” detailing his experiences in working with HDR productions. High dynamic range is “gaining traction in both the consumer and professional aspects of motion pictures,” notes SMPTE, but “there are differences of opinion even in its definition and ways to approach it.” Slomka described HDR’s impact on perception of resolution and depth as well as pitfalls in production, post production and display. Continue reading SMPTE Webinar Details the Strengths and Challenges of HDR

Publishing Giant Condé Nast Buys Niche Music Pub Pitchfork

Pitchfork, founded in 1995, made a big name as a small independent music website and quarterly magazine that was an outsized tastemaker in the arena it served. The site’s lengthy reviews took independent music and its practitioners seriously, making it the benchmark for fans, college radio stations and concert venues. Now, Pitchfork Media, the company behind the website and magazine, has been acquired by publishing behemoth Condé Nast for an undisclosed sum, effective immediately. Continue reading Publishing Giant Condé Nast Buys Niche Music Pub Pitchfork

Dell to Acquire EMC, Keep VMware as Publicly-Traded Company

It’s official. In the largest technology takeover in history, PC tech giant Dell will purchase cloud computing company EMC for $67 billion. Michael Dell is funding the deal with MSD Partners, Silver Lake and Temasek Holdings. He will become chairman and CEO of the combined company, which will be privately held. Joe Tucci is expected to step down as chief exec of EMC once the transaction closes between May and October of 2016. EMC presently owns 81 percent of virtualization software and services company VMware. Dell plans to pay $24.05 per share in cash, plus tracking stock in VMware. Continue reading Dell to Acquire EMC, Keep VMware as Publicly-Traded Company

Watch TV on Any Device with AT&T’s First Nationwide Bundle

Less then two weeks following FCC approval of its $48.5 billion takeover of DirecTV, AT&T is already rolling out plans to lure new customers. In a first-of-its kind nationwide offer to be made available August 10, AT&T is packaging wireless phone service and television for $200 per month for the first year. The “All in One” promotional plan places an emphasis on TV anywhere, featuring HDTV and DVR services across four receivers through DirecTV or U-verse, four smartphone connections including unlimited talk and text, in addition to 10GB of shared data. Continue reading Watch TV on Any Device with AT&T’s First Nationwide Bundle

Microsoft Reportedly Plans to Invest Significant Sum in Uber

Unnamed sources report that Microsoft has agreed to invest in Uber. Although details are not yet public, the company is expected to invest a significant portion of the upcoming $1 billion funding round that values Uber at around $51 billion. That new funding round — and the valuation — makes Uber one of the most highly valued private companies ever, along with startups such as Xiaomi, a Chinese electronics company valued at around $45 billion and Airbnb, valued at more than $24 billion. Continue reading Microsoft Reportedly Plans to Invest Significant Sum in Uber

New Cisco Chief Announces Sale of STB Unit to Technicolor

Technicolor plans to acquire Cisco’s television set-top business for about $450 million in cash and $150 million in Technicolor shares. Chuck Robbins, who replaces John Chambers as CEO of Cisco next week, said the sale represents the first in a series of planned changes. “We will continue to make decisions to prioritize our portfolio and our investments to accelerate our business,” he wrote, noting that internal efforts associated with cloud services and the Internet of Things would be more widely distributed across Cisco’s engineering, sales and services units. Continue reading New Cisco Chief Announces Sale of STB Unit to Technicolor

Discovery Acquires European Rights to Four Olympic Games

In a deal valued at 1.3 billion euros (about $1.45 billion), Discovery Communications has paid for exclusive rights to broadcast four Olympic Games across most of Europe from 2018 to 2024. The rights include broadcast and pay TV, the Internet and mobile. The deal, announced by Discovery yesterday, marks the first time that a single media company has paid for exclusive rights to broadcast the Olympics across Europe. Discovery plans to make at least 200 hours of the Summer Olympics and 100 hours of the Winter Games available on free-to-air television. Continue reading Discovery Acquires European Rights to Four Olympic Games

Ad-Sponsored Data to Be Part of Verizon’s Internet TV Service

Verizon’s upcoming Internet TV service, expected to launch sometime this summer, may encourage brands to sponsor your binge watching. According to Verizon exec Marnie Walden — who described the new service as a “mobile-first video product” — the company plans to offer live and on-demand programming in addition to content from digital networks such as AwesomenessTV. Rather than passing the additional data costs for such a service to customers or programmers, Verizon is turning to advertisers. “Ad-sponsored data is part of the product offering,” said Walden. Continue reading Ad-Sponsored Data to Be Part of Verizon’s Internet TV Service

HuffPost Announces Online Video Network, Film and TV Units

The Huffington Post announced plans to expand its video capabilities with a new 24-hour online video network called HuffPost 24. The announcement arrived just days after Verizon closed its $4.4 billion acquisition of Huffington Post parent company AOL. The network’s range of programming will be made available via apps, the HuffPost website, OTT platforms and as VOD. HuffPost Films and HuffPost TV divisions will also be established to produce content for the new network and beyond. Video GM Nathan Brown is currently hiring as part of the the new initiatives. Continue reading HuffPost Announces Online Video Network, Film and TV Units

Microsoft CEO Announces Departures, Corporate Restructuring

Microsoft CEO Satya Nadella announced that a series of executive changes would take place at the company, including the departures of former Nokia CEO Stephen Elop, and senior level execs Kiril Tatarinov, Eric Rudder and Mark Penn. Meanwhile, Windows head Terry Myerson will take on added responsibility. As part of the company’s shift from devices and services to productivity and cloud computing, Nadella has appointed a team to oversee the restructuring of Microsoft’s three engineering groups — Windows and Devices, Cloud and Enterprise, and Applications and Services. Continue reading Microsoft CEO Announces Departures, Corporate Restructuring

Apple Considering Change to iTunes Charge for App Partners

Apple charges app publishers 30 percent of subscription amounts initiated through apps, the same percentage it collects for in-app revenue. Some companies have been working around the charge by not enabling subscriptions through their mobile iOS app or charging consumers more. However, the company is reportedly considering a change to the agreement, but only for subscriptions that are delivered via Apple devices rather than the App Store. Such a revision suggests that only services offered through Apple TV would likely be exempt from the 30 percent fee. Continue reading Apple Considering Change to iTunes Charge for App Partners

Interest in Acquiring Flipboard Heats Up with Tech Companies

Reports recently surfaced that Twitter has been in talks this year to purchase Flipboard, in a deal that would value the company at more than $1 billion. The acquisition would bring an experienced product team to Twitter as well as an heir apparent to CEO Dick Costolo in Flipboard co-founder Mike McCue. However, updates to the news have suggested that talks between the two companies have stalled, and other companies, including Google and Yahoo have since had discussions about possibly acquiring the newsreader app. Continue reading Interest in Acquiring Flipboard Heats Up with Tech Companies

Oculus Story Studio Explores Ways to Make VR More Social

Oculus Story Studio, a lab program within Oculus VR dedicated to experimentation with the goal of helping virtual reality grow as a platform, is using “Lost Director’s Cut,” a new version of the studio’s short VR film as the basis for a new social experience that promises to change the paradigm of VR experiences from solitary to shared. The purpose of the new demonstration is to show filmmakers and other creatives how far they can push virtual reality beyond current single-person, isolated experiences. Continue reading Oculus Story Studio Explores Ways to Make VR More Social

Charter to Purchase Time Warner Cable in $55.3 Billion Deal

Charter Communications has agreed to purchase Time Warner Cable for $55.3 billion in cash and stock. Including the debt Charter will assume, the total deal is valued around $79 billion. The move follows in the wake of Comcast’s attempted bid to acquire TWC. Charter will also move ahead with its purchase of Bright House Networks for $10.4 billion, and the three combined companies would make Charter the second largest TV and Internet provider in the U.S. with 24 million customers. Comcast currently holds the top spot with 27.2 million. Continue reading Charter to Purchase Time Warner Cable in $55.3 Billion Deal

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