Weather Channel Turns to AR Tech for 2016 Hurricane Season

The Weather Channel has launched three new augmented reality tools to help bring tropical storms and hurricane season to life during its broadcasts. SurgeFX offers a realistic to-scale surge forecast, Shear Factor displays real data in three dimensions, and 3D visualization tool Tropical Replay tracks past storms to provide historical context. Last year, the network unveiled its AR capabilities with an in-studio tornado simulation. “For the 2016 hurricane season, the network is adding a data dimension to its augmented reality features,” reports Mashable. “Instead of just simulating weather phenomena, the products will incorporate real-time data through dazzling graphics.” Continue reading Weather Channel Turns to AR Tech for 2016 Hurricane Season

Lionsgate to Purchase Premium Channel Starz for $4.4 Billion

Lionsgate announced it has agreed to acquire premium cable network Starz for $4.4 billion in cash and stock. Starz president and CEO Chris Albrecht, who just signed a new contract that runs through 2020, is expected to continue running Starz. It is not clear if the deal would have any impact on Lionsgate’s stake in Epix, which the company owns with Viacom and MGM, and serves as the pay TV home to Lionsgate films. The deal will bring 17 Starz- and Encore-branded channels and Anchor Bay Entertainment video distribution to Lionsgate. Continue reading Lionsgate to Purchase Premium Channel Starz for $4.4 Billion

BitTorrent Plans to Launch a Streaming News Network by Fall

San Francisco-based BitTorrent is in the process of launching a TV news network in time for the fall elections. The company has posted a job opening for a news director, who would have the opportunity of starting with a blank slate to create the streaming “BitTorrent News,” described as a “tent-pole live news channel.” When queried, BitTorrent would not describe specifics of the upcoming channel but instead commented that the company has “a lot of exciting initiatives focused on media across all our platforms.” Continue reading BitTorrent Plans to Launch a Streaming News Network by Fall

ABC Developing Original Programming for Streaming Initiative

ABC is said to be exploring a new approach to streaming original content online. Rather than launching a standalone subscription service similar to CBS All Access or NBCUniversal’s upcoming comedy offering Seeso, the network is reportedly planning to introduce new series exclusively through its WatchABC app. In addition to offering expanded original programming on an alternative platform, the Disney-owned network could also use the model as a means of trying out new concepts and talent that could eventually make their way to broadcast television. Continue reading ABC Developing Original Programming for Streaming Initiative

Snapchat Tests Sponsored Discover Channel with James Bond

Snapchat launched a temporary Discover channel yesterday featuring advertiser-created content. Sony Pictures Entertainment paid for a “sponsored” Discover channel to promote its new James Bond film “Spectre,” which opened on Monday in the U.K. The Discover section currently includes 15 media partners, but the 007 channel (which is sharing multimedia content for the film such as behind-the-scenes footage, cast member testimonials and Bond trivia questions) represents the first time a brand has paid to be featured this way on Snapchat Discover. Continue reading Snapchat Tests Sponsored Discover Channel with James Bond

Twitch Commands Live Gaming with 100 Million Monthly Views

Twitch Interactive announced late last week that it now averages 100 million global viewers per month. The Amazon-owned site hosts live video broadcasts of gamers competing against each other and has been steadily growing in popularity (its current viewing numbers more than double last year’s figures). The announcement comes as Twitch faces an increasing number of competitors, including Dailymotion, GamingLive.tv, Valve and Google’s YouTube. Twitch generates its revenue through advertising and premium upgrades. Continue reading Twitch Commands Live Gaming with 100 Million Monthly Views

Ellen DeGeneres Goes Interactive with Ellentube App and Site

Ellen DeGeneres is launching Ellentube, a website and app that will screen exclusive content from her popular daytime television program. The TV personality already runs one of the largest YouTube channels focused on television content. Now, along with executive producers Mary Connelly, Ed Glavin and Andy Lassner, DeGeneres has created Ellentube for interactive use. Fans will be able to upload videos, the best of which will be deemed suitable for a showcase on her daily program. Continue reading Ellen DeGeneres Goes Interactive with Ellentube App and Site

Yahoo Now Envisions Tumblr as Its Own Version of YouTube

After Yahoo purchased Tumblr for $1.1 billion in 2013, CEO and founder David Karp was promised that the site would remain an independent property. Tumblr would use Yahoo’s advertising technology while Yahoo would use Tumblr’s publishing tools. Now, Yahoo executives see Tumblr as their version of YouTube. Tumblr would solve YouTube content creators’ complaints that they do not make enough money, and the poached YouTube stars would set up their new channels on Tumblr.  Continue reading Yahoo Now Envisions Tumblr as Its Own Version of YouTube

N3twork App Curates Online Videos into Personalized Channels

N3twork (pronounced “network”) is a new app hoping to make video discovery a little easier by organizing online videos into channels, similar to those found on traditional TV. These channels, though, are personalized using data from the users. On each video, the viewer has the option to swipe right to save for viewing later, swipe left to skip, or tap to watch. The service pulls video from an estimated 6,500 different online sources, and users can also upload their own videos. Continue reading N3twork App Curates Online Videos into Personalized Channels

Kumo Aims to Break TV Bundle by Offering Specific Channels

Kumo, a startup that hopes to offer consumers access to individual channels rather than entire bundles, has raised $50 million in financing. The company may face significant hurdles, since content creators and owners have historically avoided this type of model, fearing a negative impact to their revenue streams. Unlike Aereo’s failed attempt at pairing an antenna with a cloud storage service, however, Kumo is reportedly working to license content for its a la carte approach. Continue reading Kumo Aims to Break TV Bundle by Offering Specific Channels

Target Introduces New Ad Campaign Featuring YouTube Stars

Target will feature YouTube stars Todrick Hall, Ann Le, Tiffany Garcia and Mikey Bolts in four online video shows to be aired on Target’s YouTube channel. Each personality will have four webisodes, offering students attending college in the LA area decorating tips using Target merchandise. The show will follow the same format as many HGTV series, with a before-and-after effect. In order to promote the campaign, Target will use #BestYearEver on other social media pages. Continue reading Target Introduces New Ad Campaign Featuring YouTube Stars

Hearst Launches On-Demand Subscription Channel CosmoBody

The new Hearst Digital Studios unit is starting an online channel of fitness and lifestyle videos inspired by Cosmopolitan magazine. For $9.95 per month, viewers can subscribe to CosmoBody, which will stream video content on-demand to the iOS app, the Android app, and Internet browsers. Hearst plans to launch similar online channels to expand its digital presence as business faces a downturn in traditional print and cable television markets. Continue reading Hearst Launches On-Demand Subscription Channel CosmoBody

DreamWorks and AwesomenessTV Launch YouTube Channel

DreamWorks Animation, which acquired the YouTube content company AwesomenessTV last year, is bringing original programming featuring Shrek, Puss in Boots, and others to a new YouTube channel known as DreamWorksTV. Each day, the channel will release three videos of animated or live action content. The new shows include vlogs from Shrek, a reality TV show “Record Setter Kids,” an animated Web series “Jimmy Blue Shorts,” and animated comedy “Gorillaville.” Continue reading DreamWorks and AwesomenessTV Launch YouTube Channel

Yahoo’s New Video Platform Plans to Compete with YouTube

After a few months of delays, Yahoo plans to launch its new video service this summer. Like YouTube, the service will allow users to post videos, create their own channels, and embed the Yahoo video player into other sites. Yahoo’s video service is different in its more generous revenue-sharing deals with video creators. Content producers with a Yahoo contract will also have the ability to publish their videos on Yahoo properties including the homepage and Tumblr. Continue reading Yahoo’s New Video Platform Plans to Compete with YouTube

ESPN Studio Integrates Video Displays and Online Features

“SportsCenter,” ESPN’s flagship news and highlights show, will start broadcasting from a new 10,000 square-foot studio in Bristol, Connecticut called Digital Center 2 next month. Digital Center 2 features a whopping 114 video displays, which anchors can manipulate on-air using tablets. Viewers can also interact with the new studio by submitting tweets that will appear in real time and using online features seen in the show, such as the “hot and cold zone” baseball player display. Continue reading ESPN Studio Integrates Video Displays and Online Features

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