Cinedigm Teams with ROW8 to Bring ‘Still in Theaters’ to TV

Cinedigm, a streaming firm that debuted its Cineverse platform this summer, is introducing the ability to rent fresh theatrical films via a partnership with ROW8, a subscription-free cinema OTT service launched in 2018. Cinedigm says the partnership allows it to market content on Cineverse that’s “still in theaters” via TVOD (transactional video on-demand). The agreement is reciprocal, with ROW8 able to offer Cinedigm’s own upcoming theatrical releases to Android and iOS, Apple TV, Google TV, Roku players, Vizio and other mobile devices. Cinedigm claims to be platform agnostic. Continue reading Cinedigm Teams with ROW8 to Bring ‘Still in Theaters’ to TV

Warner Bros. Discovery Adds Nearly 3 Million DTC Subs in Q3

Warner Bros. Discovery saw streaming subscriptions grow to almost 95 million globally in Q3 across HBO, HBO Max and Discovery+, propelled largely by “House of the Dragon,” the hotly anticipated “Game of Thrones” prequel. The buoyant performance prompted WBD CEO David Zaslav to announce on the earnings call that the company has accelerated the U.S. launch for the new streaming platform that combines HBO Max and Discovery+ to spring, rather than waiting until summer 2023 as originally planned. The growth translates to 2.8 million HBO, HBO Max and Discovery+ subscriptions added from Q2 to Q3 — 500,000 of them domestically. Continue reading Warner Bros. Discovery Adds Nearly 3 Million DTC Subs in Q3

Cook Hints Apple’s First realityOS Glasses Will Be AR, not VR

Despite speculation that Apple will debut a realityOS (rOS) headset next year, CEO Tim Cook says the metaverse is not yet ready for prime time, telling a European publication he’s “really not sure the average person can tell you what the metaverse is.” On a continental excursion that included a commencement address at the University of Naples Federico II in Italy, Cook appeared bullish on augmented reality, while downplaying virtual reality, the technology around which Meta Platforms is building its future. “I think AR is a profound technology that will affect everything,” Cook told the magazine Bright. Continue reading Cook Hints Apple’s First realityOS Glasses Will Be AR, not VR

Plex Goes Social for Content Discovery, Adds Music Channels

Free streaming media service Plex is testing a new community-oriented feature called Discover Together that lets users add friends and keep tabs on their favorite programs, viewing their ratings and bookmarks. In addition to enhancing engagement by prompting online discussions, Plex hopes the crowd-sourced community data can eventually help power its recommendation engine. The idea is for Discover Together to launch with a high degree of privacy, inviting users to fill out Plex profiles with their geographic location and Plex Pass status, extending individual friend invites using a Plex username or email. The feature is currently in beta for web, iOS and Android users. Continue reading Plex Goes Social for Content Discovery, Adds Music Channels

Amazon Launches Updates to Its Prime Video User Interface

Amazon is rolling out a redesigned Prime Video app for Android and connected living room devices, including Fire TV for customers worldwide, with iOS and web to follow. The company says the new interface will make discovery and navigation much easier. Among the visual enhancements are a Top 10 Chart showcasing trending Prime Video content and “Super Carousel” displays with “poster-style artwork” for Amazon Originals. Also emphasized is graphical distinction between content included with Prime memberships versus that which is available for general purchase. Continue reading Amazon Launches Updates to Its Prime Video User Interface

Password Era Coming to End as Providers Support Passkeys

Weak and repeated passwords are a huge vulnerability when it comes to navigating one’s digital life, and it appears 2022 is the year online companies will make a concerted effort to navigate users away from passwords altogether. At the WWDC 2022 developer conference last week, Apple announced passwordless logins across iPhones, iPads, Macs and Apple TVs. Later this year, iOS 16 and macOS Ventura users will be invited to log into apps and websites using passkeys. Once a passkey is set up for an app or site, it gets stored on the device used to activate it. Tech giants Google and Microsoft are also backing the passkey protocol. Continue reading Password Era Coming to End as Providers Support Passkeys

NESN Is First Regional Sportscaster Offering DTC Streaming

Regional Sports Network NESN is launching a subscription streaming service called NESN 360 for $29.99 per month, with the first month priced at $1. NESN 360 allows fans to purchase a direct subscription to NESN’s live programming and video-on-demand content. Launched in partnership with the Boston Red Sox, the Boston Bruins and Major League Baseball, NESN 360 makes NESN the first regional sports network in the country to launch a direct-to-consumer service bypassing cable. Annual subscriptions are priced at $329.99 and include eight tickets to see the Red Sox play in 2022. Continue reading NESN Is First Regional Sportscaster Offering DTC Streaming

Google Says Android TV at 110 Million, Adds Central Casting

Google TV is working on an app that will let users cast content from multiple streaming services to a central TV or display. A new “central casting” button announced at the Google I/O developer conference will later this year allow the Google TV app on Android phones or tablets to send content from a variety of different streaming services to your TV through a single app. The Alphabet unit also updated statistics for its Android TV ecosystem, detailing 110 million monthly active devices using the Android TV OS, which includes Google TV. That’s an increase from 2021’s 80 million monthly active devices. Continue reading Google Says Android TV at 110 Million, Adds Central Casting

Apple Reportedly Has iPhone Subscription Plan in the Works

Apple is reportedly working on a plan that will make its popular iPhone and additional devices available on a subscription basis. Popular first among content providers, then software firms like Microsoft and Adobe, subscription contracts are less usual in the hardware space, other than the long-term payment plans mobile service providers add to a customer’s monthly bill for costlier phone models, including iPhones. Apple itself has been offering iPhones in monthly payments. A hardware “subscription” would possibly bundle other Apple products, like Apple TV and Apple Music. Continue reading Apple Reportedly Has iPhone Subscription Plan in the Works

Apple Rolls Out 5G iPhone SE, iPad Air, Mac Studio Desktop

Wearing a blue sweater and yellow Apple Watch in solidarity with Ukraine, Apple CEO Tim Cook unveiled the budget 5G iPhone SE during a “Peek Performance” virtual event streamed live Tuesday morning. In addition, Apple revealed an M1-powered iPad Air, the sizzling Mac Studio for professionals and a 27-inch studio monitor to go with it. The event concluded with a teaser for the new Mac Pro. Cook also announced “Friday Night Baseball” is coming to Apple TV+ (“a weekly doubleheader with live pre- and post-game shows”) and said the iPhone 13 and iPhone 13 Pro will come in green and alpine green, respectively. The new gear hits the market March 18. Continue reading Apple Rolls Out 5G iPhone SE, iPad Air, Mac Studio Desktop

HPA Tech Retreat: Bridge Between Creatives and Tech Firms

As the Renaissance was a reaction to the Dark Ages that preceded it, so too the entertainment industrial complex finds itself on the brink of a fruitful new era of technological and creative achievement triggered by COVID-19. The need for remote production has encouraged a cross pollination of new tools and techniques that will likely lead to significant change in the next era of media production. Roaring back to an in-person event in Rancho Mirage last week after hosting a virtual summit in 2021, the HPA Tech Retreat 2022 showcased the groundbreaking exchange between content-makers and tech providers. Continue reading HPA Tech Retreat: Bridge Between Creatives and Tech Firms

New CineBeam Models Are Most Advanced LG 4K Projectors

LG has unveiled two new 4K HDR projectors that the company says are its most advanced models to date. Both the LG CineBeam HU715Q and HU710P feature 2,000,000:1 contrast ratios. With a retail price of $2,500, the HU710P uses a hybrid laser-LED light source that doesn’t require a color wheel and can pump up to 2,000 lumens of brightness. The $3,000 HU715Q ultra short-throw (UST) relies only on laser light, producing up to 2,500 lumens. Both projectors are designed for indoors, but LG says they’ll also work outside after sundown. Continue reading New CineBeam Models Are Most Advanced LG 4K Projectors

IMAX Expands Its Offerings with More Live-Streamed Events

IMAX is looking to expand beyond film exhibition, and is adding a regular slate of concerts, stand-up comedy performances and eSports tournaments, in addition to other attractions. The company’s new era launched in December with the live stream of Kanye West’s “Black Skinhead” concert, which took place at the Los Angeles Memorial Coliseum and simultaneously beamed to 35 IMAX theaters, which sold out, adding an additional 10,000 seats. Last week, the company reteamed with West, streaming his “Donda 2” show from Miami to 60 IMAX theaters for an additional 18,000 tickets priced between $20 and $30. Continue reading IMAX Expands Its Offerings with More Live-Streamed Events

Indie Cinema Leverages NFT, Blockchain, Social Media Tech

Online film sales tool Cinemarket, a platform for international buyers and sellers, is launching Cineverse, which intends to make it possible to market and distribute films and associated items using NFT and blockchain technology. The company reportedly has about 300 films in the pipeline for its soft launch at the this month’s Berlin International Film Festival and is prepping for a major debut May 21 at the Cannes Film Festival. Cineverse is designed to be an open platform that uses social media tools to allow filmmakers and marketers to connect directly with audiences. Continue reading Indie Cinema Leverages NFT, Blockchain, Social Media Tech

ABC Announces Launch of 8 Local Streaming News Channels

ABC Owned Television Stations, a division of Disney, announced it is launching free 24/7 live and local streaming news services in the eight markets where its stations are located. As brand extensions of New York’s WABC, LA’s KABC, San Francisco’s KGO, Fresno’s KFSN, Philadelphia’s WPVI, Chicago’s WLS, Houston’s KTRK and Raleigh-Durham’s WTVD, the streaming news channels will serve local news and weather, breaking news and lifestyle stories from ABC’s multiplatform Localish as well as exclusive content. The streaming channels will be available via websites, mobile apps, Roku TV, Apple TV, Amazon Fire TV, Android TV and more. Continue reading ABC Announces Launch of 8 Local Streaming News Channels