Nintendo ‘Pokémon GO’ Creating an Augmented Reality Craze

Nintendo added $7 billion in market value since debuting “Pokémon GO,” its location-based, augmented reality mobile game that it says has attracted more than 10 million players in its first month. The game takes users away from videogame screens and out into the real world where they search for virtual monsters in parks, historical monuments and even police stations. While gamers excitedly take to the streets, reports have recently pointed to distracted players falling into holes, walking into street signs, and even being robbed by criminals using the location tech to locate their prey. Continue reading Nintendo ‘Pokémon GO’ Creating an Augmented Reality Craze

Networks Use Data From Social Media to Produce New Shows

Entertainment companies are increasingly paying attention to trends on tweets and Facebook posts to create content that will appeal to viewers. The idea is that giving viewers what they want, as judged by their current conversations, is a barometer of success and loyalty. At NBCUniversal Media’s leadership conference last year, the focus was on this topic: how to use big data — as found on a variety of social media platforms — to create content that resonates with today’s viewers. Big data is now becoming a key factor in the development process. Continue reading Networks Use Data From Social Media to Produce New Shows

Instagram to Offer Business Tools Including Profiles, Analytics

Instagram introduced new features yesterday designed to enable business owners to engage with customers via the photo-sharing app as long as their business is linked to an official Facebook Page. The new tools — developed after discussions with hundreds of businesses using the platform — include business profiles, analytics and the ability to launch sponsored posts directly from the Instagram app. According to Instagram, the set of tools “will be rolling out in the U.S., Australia and New Zealand in the coming months, and will be available in all regions globally by the end of the year.” Continue reading Instagram to Offer Business Tools Including Profiles, Analytics

Facebook, Microsoft, Telefónica Partner on Trans-Atlantic Link

Facebook and Microsoft have partnered on Marea, a project to build a new fiber optic cable that will run for 4,000 miles under the Atlantic Ocean between Virginia and Spain. Telefónica SA, a Spanish Internet service provider, joins them in the project. The fiber link, composed of eight pairs of strands, will be the highest capacity link across the Atlantic. Marea, the Spanish word for tide, is just the latest such project that Microsoft, Facebook, Alphabet, and Amazon have invested in to lower costs of moving massive amounts of data. Continue reading Facebook, Microsoft, Telefónica Partner on Trans-Atlantic Link

MPAA and Donuts Ink Pact to Thwart Large-Scale Movie Piracy

The Motion Picture Association of America just signed a pact with Donuts, the largest operator of new domain-name extensions, to cooperate against large-scale piracy. Under the terms of the agreement, the MPAA will first attempt to contact the third-party registrar/hosting provider for resolution. If that fails, and Donuts has “clear evidence of pervasive copyright infringement,” the company will put the domain on hold or suspend it. Among Donuts’ domain-name extensions are .movie and .theater. Continue reading MPAA and Donuts Ink Pact to Thwart Large-Scale Movie Piracy

Nielsen Adds Facebook, Instagram to Its Social Media Tracking

In Fall 2013, Nielsen expanded its purview into the social media sphere with its “Twitter TV Ratings.” The company is now adding Facebook and, later, Instagram, to its “Social Content Ratings” that will measure aggregate-level chatter related to TV shows in posts shared with friends, family, followers and the public. The new social media ratings are slated to be available sometime in the first half of 2016, wherever Nielsen Twitter TV Ratings are currently available (Australia, Italy, Mexico and the U.S.). Continue reading Nielsen Adds Facebook, Instagram to Its Social Media Tracking

Netflix Amps Up Original Content, Pushes for Global Presence

At the UBS Global Media and Communications Conference, Netflix chief content officer Ted Sarandos said the company is facing pushback from television networks and Hollywood studios balking at selling global rights. Netflix has set the goal of offering service in every country in the world by the end of 2016, in part to offset a slow-down in domestic subscription growth. To do so, the company is committing to 31 original scripted shows slated for 2016, more than double the 15 that aired in 2015. Continue reading Netflix Amps Up Original Content, Pushes for Global Presence

Streaming Services, Artists Forge Ties Based on Data, Touring

The deep connection between streaming music services and ticket sales is becoming increasingly clear. Streaming not only introduces an artist’s music to potentially millions more listeners, but makes it easy for fans to learn about upcoming concerts. Some experts believe that in the not-so-distant future, fans will actually be able to purchase tickets to local concerts within the streaming music service. That’s good news for musicians who, although they get a small percentage of record sales, are making real money from touring. Continue reading Streaming Services, Artists Forge Ties Based on Data, Touring

SIGGRAPH: Faceware Unveils Live Capture for Gaming Engine

At SIGGRAPH 2015 in Los Angeles, Faceware Technologies, which creates markerless 3D facial motion capture solutions, demonstrated its Faceware Live plugin for Epic Games’ Unreal Engine 4. With the plugin, developers for the UE4 will be able to capture facial movements with any video source and apply them immediately to digital characters. The Unreal Persona animation system displays the facial animation that takes place in real-time. The plugin was shown behind closed doors at SIGGRAPH. Continue reading SIGGRAPH: Faceware Unveils Live Capture for Gaming Engine

Instagram to Generate $595M in Mobile Ad Revenue in 2015

According to a new report from eMarketer, photo and video sharing app Instagram, which does not have a desktop ad product, is projected to bring in $595 million in mobile advertising revenue worldwide this year. The report predicts the Facebook-owned network will reach $1.48 billion in mobile ad revenue in 2016 and $2.81 billion the following year. By 2017, eMarketer expects Instagram will account for more than 10 percent of Facebook’s total ad revenue and, in the U.S., Instagram will have higher net mobile display ad revenues than Google and Twitter.

Continue reading Instagram to Generate $595M in Mobile Ad Revenue in 2015

Netflix Beats Projections for User Growth In U.S. and Abroad

Netflix added 4.88 million subscribers in the most recent quarter, exceeding expectations for growth of its user base. The company had forecast 4.05 million new subscribers. Netflix believes its popular original programming like “House of Cards” helped attract more users both in the U.S. and internationally. The streaming service is continuing to expand overseas and plans to encrypt its video streams in order to protect the privacy of its now 62 million-strong user base. Continue reading Netflix Beats Projections for User Growth In U.S. and Abroad

Fans Used Periscope to Live Stream ‘Game of Thrones’ Illegally

“Game of Thrones” fans have found a new way to pirate HBO’s hit show: live streaming through Twitter’s Periscope app. The Australian site Mumbrella reported that several Periscope users were broadcasting the “Game of Thrones” Season 5 premiere, and HBO issued take-down notices. Periscope, which has an entire team dedicated to reviewing material, issued a statement saying it explicitly prohibits piracy and it can remove content and shut down user accounts. Continue reading Fans Used Periscope to Live Stream ‘Game of Thrones’ Illegally

HBO to Test Simultaneous Global Airing of ‘Game of Thrones’

The fifth season of HBO’s global hit series, “Game of Thrones” is slated to premiere in the U.S. on April 12. This time around, however, the cable network plans to broadcast the series simultaneously worldwide in an effort to combat piracy. When episodes air at 9:00 pm in New York, they will also air at 2:00 am in London and 9:00 am in Hong Kong. While the international air times may seem unusual, HBO hopes they will curtail the number of illegal downloads of what has become the most-pirated TV show in the world. Continue reading HBO to Test Simultaneous Global Airing of ‘Game of Thrones’

HPA Tech Retreat: Production, Distribution in Streaming Era

Netflix can be credited with bringing over-the-top (OTT) streaming services to the viewer’s attention, most notably with its 2013 debut of the acclaimed series, “House of Cards.” OTT content is growing by leaps and bounds and was the focus of an HPA Tech Retreat panel on “Post in the Era of Over-the-Top,” moderated by Entertainment Technology Consultants’ Loren Nielsen. The panel, which examined how companies are creating and finishing content in a new era of streaming and mobile, included Stephen Beres of HBO and Sara Duran-Singer of Netflix. Continue reading HPA Tech Retreat: Production, Distribution in Streaming Era

Apple Sells Nearly 75 Million iPhones, Posts Record Quarter

Apple’s quarterly profit jumped 38 percent to a record high, thanks in large part to demand for its bigger-screen iPhones. Apple recorded net income of $18 billion for the quarter ending December 27, an increase of nearly $5 billion over the same period the previous year, while earnings per share rose 48 percent. The company launched its iPhone 6 and iPhone 6 Plus in September and sold 74.5 million units during the quarter, earning back market share it had slowly been losing to Samsung over three years. Continue reading Apple Sells Nearly 75 Million iPhones, Posts Record Quarter

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