Darcy Antonellis Named CEO of Vubiquity, Exits Warner Bros.

Darcy Antonellis, president and chief technology officer of Warner Bros. Entertainment, will leave her post to become CEO of Vubiquity in January. Virginia-based Vubiquity, formerly Avail-TVN, is a global provider of multiplatform video services. Antonellis, winner of three technical Emmys, has been with Warner Bros. for 15 years, and has held her current position since 2008. She will replace Ramu Potarazu, who stepped down as CEO in March. Continue reading Darcy Antonellis Named CEO of Vubiquity, Exits Warner Bros.

Spotify Has Plans to Go Mobile with Free, Ad-Supported Music

Spotify has plans to launch a free, ad-supported version of its streaming music service on mobile devices, according to people familiar with the matter. The Sweden-based company has reached licensing deals with three of the global music companies to use their recordings on the service. The ad-supported offering will allow nonpaying mobile users to play a limited number of songs on demand, but will mostly serve up music based on user input, similar to services such as Pandora.

Continue reading Spotify Has Plans to Go Mobile with Free, Ad-Supported Music

Netflix-DreamWorks Deal Delivers Original Kids’ Programming

Netflix and DreamWorks Animation are teaming to offer the streaming service’s latest push into original programming. Netflix will release “Turbo: F.A.S.T.” on December 24, a 26-episode 2D animated series based on DreamWorks’ feature film “Turbo,” about racing snails. The series is the first step in a deal that plans to offer 300 hours of programming via the service. Netflix says it exclusively streams 30 children’s series today, each generating more than 2 million viewers. Continue reading Netflix-DreamWorks Deal Delivers Original Kids’ Programming

Beats Music: New Streaming Service Set for January Launch

There has been a great deal of speculation in recent months regarding Beats Music, the new streaming service from the makers of Beats by Dr. Dre headphones, that intends to take on Spotify and others. Most reports had indicated the launch date was being pushed beyond 2013, but little was known about the service or its status. Now it looks like the target launch is January. Newspaper ads are appearing that simply read “coming soon” and a blitz of TV ads are expected. Continue reading Beats Music: New Streaming Service Set for January Launch

Comcast Plans New Advertising Approach for Video On Demand

More television fans are turning to “catch up viewing” for their favorite TV shows. Although video on demand is increasing in popularity, TV outlets do not really benefit. Advertisers do not see a point in supporting TV episodes more than a few days after the initial air date. Comcast plans to experiment with allowing advertisers to place the same commercials on older streamed episodes of TV shows that are featured with current episodes. Continue reading Comcast Plans New Advertising Approach for Video On Demand

Tumblr Launches Beta Advertising Model with Sponsored Posts

Yahoo is testing sponsored posts within Tumblr’s mobile apps, featuring ads from Sony Pictures and 20th Century Fox. The studios aim to generate buzz for movie releases, while Yahoo is hoping to monetize its 300+ million users. The sponsored posts will appear in a list of Tumblr’s most popular blogs under the “Explore” tab, linking to the blogs dedicated to the respective films. Other advertisers include TBS, Delta Air Lines and Calvin Klein. Continue reading Tumblr Launches Beta Advertising Model with Sponsored Posts

Apple Goes Social with $200 Million Purchase of Topsy Labs

Apple has reportedly acquired social media analytics firm Topsy Labs for more than $200 million. Topsy is one of four Twitter partners with access to the social network’s full stream of tweets, currently averaging about 500 million messages per day. The firm then analyzes the information and resells it to customers. Topsy markets itself as a global trendspotter and has helped Hollywood studios predict box office demand for movies based on social chatter. Continue reading Apple Goes Social with $200 Million Purchase of Topsy Labs

Myriad Applications Envisioned for Facial Recognition Tech

New technology allows computers to be programmed to recognize facial expressions — even the most subtle, fleeting expressions. Using frame-by-frame video analysis, computer software can read the muscular changes within people’s faces that indicate a range of emotions. Many predict such software will be used via computer webcams to rate how users respond to certain content — like games or videos — and cater to those users’ perceived needs or desires accordingly. Continue reading Myriad Applications Envisioned for Facial Recognition Tech

New Sensor Technologies Have Untapped Potential in Retail

Embedded sensor technology has proven to be useful in a number of markets, but some are saying it can revolutionize the retail experience for both companies and consumers if used to its full potential. Though online retail is booming in popularity, many transactions still take place inside physical stores, often with the aid of a mobile device. By linking up those factors, shoppers’ experiences will be more productive, and companies will benefit with greater profits. Continue reading New Sensor Technologies Have Untapped Potential in Retail

YouTube Could Launch its On-Demand Music Service This Year

YouTube is reportedly planning to launch its premium on-demand music service later this year, according to sources. The service, similar to Spotify, but including video, is designed for mobile music listeners. It is expected to offer a tiered approach, with an ad-supported free component and a premium option that includes unlimited access to a catalog of songs similar to the All Access subscription service available via Google, YouTube’s parent company. Continue reading YouTube Could Launch its On-Demand Music Service This Year

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

TV Ratings Consistently Declining as Consumers Go Mobile

Media consumers are spending more time on mobile devices and less time watching television, and ratings from the past couple of years suggest that cable TV is on the decline. Since 2010, about 5 million people have ended their cable and broadband subscriptions. And for the first time ever, less than half of major broadband companies’ subscribers pay for cable TV. Broadcast and cable TV ratings have been heading downward since the end of 2011. Continue reading TV Ratings Consistently Declining as Consumers Go Mobile

Popularity of Video Game Livestreaming Grows, Rivaling TV

Video game playing is becoming a new form of spectator sport as livestreaming popularity continues to soar. More and more, game companies are encouraging players to share clips of their gameplay highlights and stream them live. Jayson Love is the host of “MANvsGAME” — a popular Web show in which he broadcasts his gaming to Twitch — and between advertisers and subscribers, he’s poised to earn $100,000 next year just by playing games. Continue reading Popularity of Video Game Livestreaming Grows, Rivaling TV

Google Unveils New Prepaid Debit Card Using Google Wallet

Google is now offering a prepaid debit card that can be used in stores and at ATMs. Using Google Wallet, consumers will be able to access funds just like they would with a regular debit card. The Wallet Card will be accepted wherever MasterCard is accepted, and is free without any monthly fees. The card will also provide Google with consumer information like what was purchased and for how much — even the name and address of the consumer would be recorded. Continue reading Google Unveils New Prepaid Debit Card Using Google Wallet

E-Sports Programmer Major League Gaming Launches Network

Major League Gaming has worked to attract video game enthusiasts over the past decade and is now releasing its own premium eSports network, MLG.TV. MLG has tried different distribution platforms in the past for its events. The company, founded in 2002, has shifted from broadcasting its programs on cable networks to broadcasting online. They have also attempted multiple streaming plans, as well as a partnership with Twitch. Continue reading E-Sports Programmer Major League Gaming Launches Network

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