Samsung Enters the Music-Streaming Market with Radio Service

Samsung launched a free radio-streaming service in the U.S. last week, which aims to attract customers for its Galaxy-branded smartphones while taking on the likes of Pandora, Spotify and Apple. The initially ad-free “Milk Music” combines content licensed from Slacker Radio’s catalog of about 13 million songs with music obtained exclusively for Samsung. It differs from other services in that users do not need to log in or even register. The application can be downloaded from the Google Play Store. Continue reading Samsung Enters the Music-Streaming Market with Radio Service

Instagram Flexes its Muscles with E-Commerce and New Ad Deal

Social photo- and video-sharing site Instagram has signed its first major advertising deal with an agency. Instagram is launching a paid ad program with Omnicom Media Group, which agreed to a year-long commitment of up to $100 million that will deliver ads from brands tied to Omnicom’s media and creative agencies. Instagram, which launched in October 2010, was acquired by Facebook in 2012. Today, Instagram says its 150 million active users upload 55 million photos daily. Continue reading Instagram Flexes its Muscles with E-Commerce and New Ad Deal

Web Video Pioneer KoldCast TV Shutters After Loss of Millions

Early pioneer of original online video content KoldCast TV announced last week that it is shutting down. KoldCast co-founder and CEO David S. Samuels said that the company has lost millions of dollars in its efforts to bring original serialized video to the Web. KoldCast’s production company, The Sixth Wall, will also close as the founders focus their energy on sister companies Dynamic Influence and Wild Spirit Studios, that offer production and consulting services for third parties. Continue reading Web Video Pioneer KoldCast TV Shutters After Loss of Millions

Product Placement Most Effective When Viewers Are Scared?

When mapping out product placement strategies, marketers often avoid scary movies so that consumers will not associate their brands with fear. However, a recent study from the University of British Columbia’s Sauder School of Business suggests that viewers, especially when alone, are actually more likely to remember products and think of them favorably when they see them in a scary movie. When subjects of the study experienced fear, they also experienced an emotional attachment to familiar brands. Continue reading Product Placement Most Effective When Viewers Are Scared?

Google Takes On Broadband Giants with Fiber Expansion Plans

Google is looking to expand its fiber network to compete with cable operators that currently dominate the broadband market. Google is in talks with 34 cities in nine areas, such as Atlanta, Nashville, Phoenix, Salt Lake City, San Antonio and Portland, Oregon. Google’s new network is currently offered in Kansas City and Provo, and is expanding into the Austin, Texas area. Google Fiber provides download speeds of up to 1 GB per second for $70 per month. Continue reading Google Takes On Broadband Giants with Fiber Expansion Plans

Industry Execs Discuss Direction of Games, VR and the Cloud

Trends in electronic gaming, virtual reality and the impact of the cloud were topics addressed during last week’s Digital Entertainment World conference in Los Angeles. During “The State of the Game Industry” panel, Machinima co-founder Allen DeBevoise said that gameboy culture is driving entertainment. Companies including Warner Bros. are exploring games as a service; gaming in the cloud seems inevitable, but faces challenges; and VR tech is supported by most, while consumer adoption remains a hurdle. Continue reading Industry Execs Discuss Direction of Games, VR and the Cloud

Digital Entertainment World Conference Debuts in Los Angeles

The first Digital Entertainment World conference proved to be an excellent opportunity for a quick dive into current key topics of interest to the entertainment industry. DEW was held at the Hyatt Regency Century Plaza in Los Angeles February 18-20. Topics included the states of all major media verticals, issues related to reaching millennials, alternative revenue streams and payment options, current developments related to metadata and content discovery, and the technologies and costs associated with using cloud-based tools and resources. Continue reading Digital Entertainment World Conference Debuts in Los Angeles

Facebook to Acquire Mobile Messaging Service for $19 Billion

Facebook has agreed to purchase mobile messaging company WhatsApp for $19 billion, in what marks the largest-ever acquisition of a company backed by venture capital. The deal, which comes in the wake of Facebook’s failed attempt to acquire messaging service Snapchat, includes $3 billion in restricted stock, $4 billion in cash, and $12 billion in Facebook shares. The deal easily outranks other notable startup acquisitions, including Facebook’s $1 billion purchase of Instagram, and Microsoft’s $8.5 billion Skype deal. Continue reading Facebook to Acquire Mobile Messaging Service for $19 Billion

BitTorrent Live Plans to Go Mobile with Video Streaming App

BitTorrent Live was launched for the desktop in beta last year, offering a free peer-to-peer solution for broadcasting and streaming live video, as opposed to using a single company’s servers to record video and share with viewers. Now BitTorrent says users will be able to stream live video via smartphones with a mobile app it plans to launch later this year. However, the company has yet to reveal specific platforms or whether it will allow for broadcasting, merely viewing, or both. Continue reading BitTorrent Live Plans to Go Mobile with Video Streaming App

Google and comScore Combine Efforts to Optimize Online Ads

Marketing data and analytics firm comScore has announced a partnership with Google to help advertisers understand specifically who is looking at their advertisments, and optimize the ads in real time. This partnership will combine Google’s DoubleClick ad-serving platform and comScore’s Validated Campaign Essentials (vCE) technology for measuring ad performance. The vCE technology will measure how viewers are interacting with Google advertisements. Continue reading Google and comScore Combine Efforts to Optimize Online Ads

Social Network Attempts to Recapture Early Spirit of Facebook

In response to the evolving user base of popular social networks such as Facebook, a new venture called Blend hopes to return social media to a younger crowd with its app designed exclusively for undergraduate students. San Jose, CA-based Blend currently enables users to share photos and win gift cards, but has plans to become more of a social network with interactive features like commenting. Founded in May 2013, Blend has nine employees, including its three young co-founders. Continue reading Social Network Attempts to Recapture Early Spirit of Facebook

GoPro Looks Beyond Action Cam to Establishing Media Brand

GoPro has become a leader in small, rugged, low-cost video cameras especially useful for extreme sports, documentaries and reality TV. User-generated content recorded on GoPro cameras has exploded on YouTube and other sites. Millions of professional and amateur users have posted videos online, often proudly labeling content with the term “GoPro,” which has become synonymous with action footage. Now GoPro has plans to become a media company. Continue reading GoPro Looks Beyond Action Cam to Establishing Media Brand

Super Bowl Sets Records for Game, Halftime Show, Social Media

According to Nielsen estimates, Sunday’s broadcast of Super Bowl XLVIII on Fox drew 111.5 million viewers, making it the most-watched television broadcast in U.S. history. The overall ratings may have even gone higher had the game not been such a blowout. Last year’s Super Bowl on CBS averaged 108.69 million viewers. Sunday’s viewership totaled 112.6 million, when including those who watched on digital platforms Fox Sports GO and FoxSports.com, and fans who opted for the Spanish-language feed on Fox Deportes. Continue reading Super Bowl Sets Records for Game, Halftime Show, Social Media

Big Brands Respond to Value of Facebook Advertising Tools

Facebook reached record profits as evidenced in its fourth-quarter financial report, thanks in part to its investment in resources to prove its worth to advertisers. Currently, the company’s market value is at almost $150 billion, and advertisers are responding by spending even more in advertising on the social media site. New tools for marketers allow them to target users based on their in-store spending habits, increasing the value of ads on the site. Continue reading Big Brands Respond to Value of Facebook Advertising Tools

Satellite Providers Pair Up to Provide Targeted Political Ads

Political ads are about to get much more personal. Dish Network and DirecTV are coming together to offer microtargeted advertising spots for politicians hoping to reach specific audiences with specific messages during campaigns. Audiences will be identified all the way down to the individual household, and political advertisers will pay big money to reach those households with tailored messages. “Addressable advertising” will start small, but likely have a big impact on the industry. Continue reading Satellite Providers Pair Up to Provide Targeted Political Ads

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