Google Aims to Make Life Easier While We’re Stuck at Home

Google Search has been offering personalized movie and TV recommendations since last fall. Now it is adding a new Watchlist tab that enables mobile users to easily track and save desired content. In addition, to help Android TV users navigate news and entertainment as we spend more time sheltering at home, Google has introduced three new rows of content from YouTube on the home screen: COVID-19 News, Stay Home #WithMe videos, and ad-supported free movies from YouTube. These new features are among a larger set of announcements made by the company this week. Continue reading Google Aims to Make Life Easier While We’re Stuck at Home

Netflix Expands its IP, Buys Comic-Book Publisher Millarworld

Netflix just made its first acquisition, purchasing Millarworld, a comic-book publisher known for “Kick-Ass” and “Old Man Logan,” among other stories. The company won’t disclose what it paid for Millarworld, but sources put the purchase price at between $50 million and $100 million. Netflix, which has a $78 billion market capitalization and $1.9 billion in cash, has grown from licensing TV shows and movies to funding its own original productions and, now, owning intellectual property and production. Continue reading Netflix Expands its IP, Buys Comic-Book Publisher Millarworld

Facebook to Shutter its Oculus Story Studio VR Content Unit

Facebook announced it is closing Oculus Story Studio and canceling all current projects, reports Variety. The award-winning studio, responsible for notable VR shorts including “Lost,” “Henry” and “Dear Angelica,” opened in early 2015. “We’ve been looking at the best way to allocate our resources to create an impact on the ecosystem,” wrote Jason Rubin, Oculus VP of content. “After careful consideration, we’ve decided to shift our focus away from internal content creation to support more external production. As part of that shift, we’ll be winding down Story Studio.” Facebook plans to continue investing in experiential VR content from outside artists and developers. Continue reading Facebook to Shutter its Oculus Story Studio VR Content Unit

Oculus Story Studio Uses VR Drawing Tool for New Animation

Oculus Story Studio, launched in early 2015 to tell virtual reality stories, has a winner on its hands with “Dear Angelica,” a 12-minute animated experience that features the voice (and life story) of actress Geena Davis. Debuted at the Sundance Film Festival, “Dear Angelica” was drawn in VR with a new tool called Quill. The project follows Oculus Story Studio’s previous VR efforts — “Lost,” about a robot that gets lost in the woods; and the Emmy-winning “Henry,” an animated story of a hedgehog who sought love (and hugs), the latter directed by Pixar animator Ramiro Lopez Dau. Continue reading Oculus Story Studio Uses VR Drawing Tool for New Animation

Scribd Adds 9,000 Audiobooks to E-Book Subscription Service

Subscription service Scribd — the “Netflix for books” — now has 45,000 audiobooks in its library after striking a deal with Penguin Random House Audio. The new titles include popular works by Lena Dunham, John Grisham, and George R. R. Martin. According to Scribd, audiobooks have doubled the time users spend reading on the service. Audiobooks also help bolster Scribd’s catalog, which currently does not include digital books from two major publishers: Penguin Random House and Hachette. Continue reading Scribd Adds 9,000 Audiobooks to E-Book Subscription Service

Onscreen Text Messages Appear in Chinese Movie Theaters

Select movie theaters in Chinese cities have begun experimenting with “bullet screens” (or “danmu”) — a new model in which audience members can comment on the film via text messages and have their impressions projected directly onto the screen. The experience is targeting young viewers who often have difficulty being away from their tablets and mobile phones. The experiment currently involves theaters in major cities including Beijing and Shanghai, in addition to smaller cities such as Hangzhou. Continue reading Onscreen Text Messages Appear in Chinese Movie Theaters

Digital Comics Platform ComiXology to be Acquired by Amazon

Amazon announced that it will acquire comiXology, the digital comics platform that had its 200-millionth download last fall. With the sales of physical comics fading, comiXology is developing tech to allow the craft to move online. The company operates a comics store and a mobile comics app, which was the top-grossing non-game iPad app from 2011 to 2013. Its library includes 40,000 comics from 75 major publishers. ComiXology also opened a self-publishing platform last year. Continue reading Digital Comics Platform ComiXology to be Acquired by Amazon

Marvel Comics Launches API Featuring 75 Years of Content

Marvel Comics is launching a beta version of an API and developer platform, which will give developers and fans access to its massive library of comics for building apps. The API will include artwork, character bios, expanded stories and more from the original creators spanning 75 years. There are more than 30,000 comics, 7,000 series and 5,000 creators in the database, and developers can even build mini-apps around their favorite characters, titles and creators. Continue reading Marvel Comics Launches API Featuring 75 Years of Content

ComiXology: Sales of Digital Comics Pages Soar to 6 Billion

ComiXology, a digital comics platform that launched in 2009, sold 4 billion pages of comics through its iPad app last year, earning it the title of most profitable non-game app for the iPod for the third year in a row. That figure shows a drastic increase in sales since the launch of ComiXology, which has sold more than 6 billion pages of comics total. CEO David Steinberger says the considerable growth is due not only to long-time comics lovers moving over to digital versions, but new, first-time comics fans. Continue reading ComiXology: Sales of Digital Comics Pages Soar to 6 Billion

Marvel Superheroes to Appear On Tour and Disney Cruise Ship

Hero Ventures will produce “The Marvel Experience,” a $30 million attraction featuring Marvel superheroes that plans to go on tour beginning next year. The first person superhero experience will include a 4D motion ride, 3D animation, motion comics, virtual reality and holographic simulations. In related news, Disney recently announced that it will also feature a number of Marvel’s superheroes aboard its Disney Magic cruise ship as part of its Oceaneer Club for kids. Continue reading Marvel Superheroes to Appear On Tour and Disney Cruise Ship

Nook Video Apps Now Available for iPad and Android Tablets

Now that Barnes & Noble is getting out of the tablet business, the company announced it is launching free Nook Video Apps for Android, iOS and Roku devices. The new apps enable users to purchase or rent movies for streaming and includes integration with individuals’ UltraViolet collections. No longer keeping content exclusive to Nook devices, the retailer has also updated its Android and iOS e-reader apps with the ability to read Nook Comics titles, previously not available outside of the Nook ecosystem. Continue reading Nook Video Apps Now Available for iPad and Android Tablets

Starbucks to Become Significant Media Distribution Platform?

Google is partnering with Level 3 Communications to offer free Wi-Fi service at more than 7,000 Starbucks location in the U.S. The service is expected to be about 10 times faster than the T1 connections currently provided by AT&T (which had reportedly offered to upgrade its service). The new Wi-Fi will be available in some stores next week with a complete rollout scheduled within 18 months. In addition, the upgraded Starbucks Digital Network will offer new media distribution opportunities. Continue reading Starbucks to Become Significant Media Distribution Platform?

Writers Profit as Their Comic Books Become Shows and Films

Some comic book publishers are now offering writers a greater share of revenue from comics that end up on the screen. This contrasts to larger comic book publishers that are typically the major beneficiary of published content. Some small publishers have been the source for film and TV studios creating new projects, such as “The Walking Dead” series and the film “2 Guns.” Both were comics, and both are sharing returns with the original creators. Continue reading Writers Profit as Their Comic Books Become Shows and Films

DRM News: Now You Can Own the Digital Comics You Purchase

Image Comics, publisher of the best-selling comic book “The Walking Dead,” is now selling its comics as direct digital downloads, allowing the user to own DRM-free copies. It is the first major comic publisher to move away from the current model of downloading via licensing. Despite industry concerns regarding piracy and loss of revenue, Image Comics sees digital ownership as an opportunity for increased sales and distribution. Continue reading DRM News: Now You Can Own the Digital Comics You Purchase

Kindle Worlds: Amazon Debuts Fan Fiction Publishing Platform

Amazon announced Kindle Worlds yesterday, a digital publishing platform that enables fan fiction authors to publish under official licenses and receive royalties. The current deal is limited to “Gossip Girl,” “Pretty Little Liars” and “The Vampire Diaries” from Warner Bros. Television Group’s Alloy Entertainment, but Amazon promises licenses for more Worlds in the future. Stories will be made available via Amazon.com, Kindle devices, iOS, Android and Kindle Free Reading apps. Continue reading Kindle Worlds: Amazon Debuts Fan Fiction Publishing Platform

Page 1 of 212