Google Hones Mobile Search with More Music, TV, Movie Info

Google already offers information on music, TV and movies, but with a new update, Google search will offer more structure to a broader range of information, including recommendations on songs, TV shows, movies and more. For example, a search for a singer will produce tabs on her songs, albums, upcoming events, and a link to listen to her music on YouTube, Spotify, Google Play Music and iHeartRadio. The update is now available to mobile users on Android phones and tablets, and will be available for iOS soon. Continue reading Google Hones Mobile Search with More Music, TV, Movie Info

Rovi Tech Personalizes Cable Guide with Recommendations

California-based Rovi is developing technology that will turn cable TV guides from endless grids to a more-personalized recommendation service. Its version of the TV guide tracks viewer habits to make recommendations based on what the viewer has watched before, at what time, and even in what room. It searches through the live line-up, on-demand content, and Netflix to make recommendations. Users can also search for movies and shows using voice commands. Continue reading Rovi Tech Personalizes Cable Guide with Recommendations

Junction: Crowdfunder Allows Fans to Invest in Film Projects

The new San Francisco-based Junction provides wealthy movie fans with an opportunity for investing in films online. It is not another Kickstarter that helps projects get made, but instead allows potential investors to contribute to projects that already have enough finances secured for production. Junction is only open to individuals with annual income of more than $200,000 a year or net worth of $1 million. The incentive for producers is that outside investors will help minimize risk. Continue reading Junction: Crowdfunder Allows Fans to Invest in Film Projects

Newsbeat Creates Custom Radio Show Based on Your Interests

Last week the Tribune Company released a new iOS and Android app called Newsbeat, which plans to change how we consume our daily news by offering a more personalized podcast-like experience. Newsbeat has access to more than 7,000 sources from major newspapers to smaller blogs. Users can specify what types of stories and publications they are interested in, and the app will create a customized newscast by using Pandora-like artificial intelligence technology. Continue reading Newsbeat Creates Custom Radio Show Based on Your Interests

Update: Ellen and Samsung Stir Up Oscars with Tweeted Selfie

Ellen DeGeneres helped the Oscars take over Twitter on Sunday night, with her selfie taken with several Hollywood celebrities. Overall, there was a 75 percent jump in tweets related to the Oscars since last year. Although Samsung sponsored the Oscars, and spent an estimated $20 million on ads, the company may have gained its largest promotional value from DeGeneres’ pre-planned selfie with Brad Pitt, Meryl Streep, Kevin Spacey, Jennifer Lawrence and others. Continue reading Update: Ellen and Samsung Stir Up Oscars with Tweeted Selfie

Early Oscar Numbers Look Strong, Ellen Breaks Twitter Record

While total viewer numbers will not be available from Nielsen until later today, last night’s telecast of the 86th Academy Awards from the Dolby Theatre in Hollywood scored impressive numbers in the major markets, up 7 percent from last year. In addition, host Ellen DeGeneres set a new social media record by taking a celebrity-filled selfie during the broadcast that has been retweeted more times than any photo in Twitter history, besting President Obama’s tweet after he won the 2012 presidential election. Continue reading Early Oscar Numbers Look Strong, Ellen Breaks Twitter Record

Mark Duplass Offers Advice to New Filmmakers: Get on Netflix

During a talk at the Variety Studio at the Sundance Film Festival, director/producer/actor Mark Duplass offered some straightforward advice to peers and young filmmakers navigating the world of distribution. He stressed the importance of making films available on Netflix, saying the release of his first movie on the streaming media service “made his career.” Duplass, who has debuted nearly 10 films at Sundance, was there to premiere his new project, “The One I Love.” Continue reading Mark Duplass Offers Advice to New Filmmakers: Get on Netflix

The Return of Cast Commercials: TV Stars Pitching Products

Recalling the golden age of radio and the early years of television, advertisers are once again embracing cast commercials — or advertisements featuring actors in-character promoting products and companies. NBCUniversal is lending its actors to promote the 2014 Jeep Cherokee. Likewise, ABC has done the same in the past year for Target commercials. The “editorial-styled” approach is thought to be a softer, more enjoyable sell for viewers. Continue reading The Return of Cast Commercials: TV Stars Pitching Products

Celebrities Now Give Driving Directions via Traffic App Waze

The traffic app Waze is partnering with Universal Pictures in order to produce a celebrity voice navigation feature. The first celebrity to give directions is comedian and actor Kevin Hart. Waze essentially crowdsources traffic and navigation data, and friends and fellow travelers are able to post updates that provide a real time picture of road conditions. The app gained popularity after it was acquired by Google earlier this year for $1.3 billion. Continue reading Celebrities Now Give Driving Directions via Traffic App Waze

Amazon Widens Call for Movie Projects with Concept Videos

Amazon Studios announced that it is expanding its call for original content to include short concept videos for development options. On the heels of green-lighting its first slate of shows, and launching its new Amazon Storyteller storyboarding tool, the studio is soliciting concept vids that offer compelling ideas for theatrical feature films. Filmmakers can submit videos up to 15 minutes in length in hopes of joining the studio’s film development slate. Continue reading Amazon Widens Call for Movie Projects with Concept Videos