Zuckerberg Says Facebook ‘Not a Traditional Media Company’

Using Facebook Live for a year-end video chat, Facebook chief executive Mark Zuckerberg and chief operating officer Sheryl Sandberg discussed fake news and the company’s identity. Although Zuckerberg has steadfastly held that Facebook is not a media company, he changed the message just a bit: “Facebook is a new kind of platform,” he clarified. “It’s not a traditional technology company, it’s not a traditional media company. You know, we build technology and we feel responsible for how it’s used.” Continue reading Zuckerberg Says Facebook ‘Not a Traditional Media Company’

Streaming Video Subscription Services Struggle with Content

As HBO and CBS introduce their own streaming video subscription services, they may face a variety of content-related challenges, according to panelists at Variety’s Entertainment & Technology Summit on Tuesday. Companies will need a large catalog of titles if they want to compete with services such as Netflix. Then the content has to be marketed and distributed on a variety of platforms. The panel talked about how hard it is for a subscription service to compete for viewers’ attention today. Continue reading Streaming Video Subscription Services Struggle with Content

SIGGRAPH 2014: Panel Discusses VR Content, Tech Hurdles

During a Sunday session at the SIGGRAPH computer graphics conference, panelists discussed virtual reality, its technical hurdles, and the need for compelling content. Palmer Luckey, co-founder of Oculus VR, described the adoption of augmented and virtual reality as inevitable, but suggested we’re not quite there yet. While innovation will likely be led by hardware from multiple manufacturers, he also believes that content and software will drive the industry in the long term. Continue reading SIGGRAPH 2014: Panel Discusses VR Content, Tech Hurdles

Amazon Instant Video Offers Video Shorts to Rival YouTube

Amazon Instant Video offers more than 150,000 titles for purchase or rental, 40,000 movies and TV episodes for streaming, and now YouTube-like Video Shorts. The new category includes music videos, movie and game trailers, live performances, beauty tutorials, how-to videos and more. The short-form video category also adds YouTube to Amazon’s list of competitors, which already includes Netflix and iTunes. Currently, the service includes hundreds of thousands of videos.
 Continue reading Amazon Instant Video Offers Video Shorts to Rival YouTube

Facebook Offers Video Suggestions to Keep Users Watching

The social network Facebook is experimenting again with video in its users’ News Feeds. This time, in the iOS app, Facebook users will now see a carousel of video suggestions after watching their friends’ video creations. This new feature makes it easy for users to watch a series of videos and has the potential to eventually become an advertising tool. Currently, the suggested video player only works with user content that is directly uploaded to Facebook. Continue reading Facebook Offers Video Suggestions to Keep Users Watching

Rovi Tech Personalizes Cable Guide with Recommendations

California-based Rovi is developing technology that will turn cable TV guides from endless grids to a more-personalized recommendation service. Its version of the TV guide tracks viewer habits to make recommendations based on what the viewer has watched before, at what time, and even in what room. It searches through the live line-up, on-demand content, and Netflix to make recommendations. Users can also search for movies and shows using voice commands. Continue reading Rovi Tech Personalizes Cable Guide with Recommendations

Comcast to Provide Streaming Service Through X1 Set-Top Box

Comcast will test a streaming service later this year in order to give audiences access to a wider variety of content through its X1 cable set-top boxes. The service will be similar to YouTube in that is will allow people to upload videos directly to a server. A dedicated app will then make the content available on a streaming basis along with mobile apps in 2015 or 2016. SVP of Video Matt Strauss explains that the focus will be on professionally-produced and serialized content. Continue reading Comcast to Provide Streaming Service Through X1 Set-Top Box

The Los Angeles Tech Scene is Making a New Name for Itself

The Los Angeles tech scene — from Santa Monica to Irvine to West Adams — has been booming in recent years. According to open source map Represent.LA, there are now 889 startups in the region. Many LA tech entrepreneurs got started with cheap mobile apps that quickly became profitable. They focus on creativity and aesthetics, tap celebrities when needed, and remain open to products designed just for fun. And the sunny LA weather and cheaper rent attracts talent from around the world. Continue reading The Los Angeles Tech Scene is Making a New Name for Itself

Dutch Startup Blendle Develops Yet Another iTunes for News

A Dutch startup named Blendle has built what it calls an iTunes for news, where instead of buying songs, customers can purchase stories from different newspapers, magazines and websites. The benefit is that, rather than subscribing to an entire publication, users can select specific content. Individual articles go for as little as 14 cents. Available for a month, the service now has 60,000 registered users, and this week signed its first English-speaking publisher, The Economist. Continue reading Dutch Startup Blendle Develops Yet Another iTunes for News

Dish Targets Cord Cutters with Upcoming Internet TV Service

With its planned Internet-based TV service, Dish is targeting consumers who are frustrated by traditional pay TV. Speaking at the TV of Tomorrow Show in San Francisco yesterday, Dish exec Adam Lowy said that “cord cutters, cord nevers and what we call cord haters” are on the company’s radar. The service plans to initially launch on Dish’s existing infrastructure, but will later move to an all-IP system. Dish is currently talking to television networks about licensing content for the new service. Continue reading Dish Targets Cord Cutters with Upcoming Internet TV Service

Kids Can Design 3D Printable Monsters via Modio iPad App

Modio, an iPad app by Icelandic entrepreneur Hilmar Gunnarsson, turns kids and adults alike into 3D designers. Users can build poseable models within the app by adding limbs and other features, and adjusting size and color with just a few taps. Then these constructed figures come to life through 3D printing. Limbs snap into place, similar to the way Legos function. The iPad app is impressive in its use of multi-touch technology, which allows users to collaborate on projects. Continue reading Kids Can Design 3D Printable Monsters via Modio iPad App

File Sharing Not in Decline, U.S. Consumers Lead the Charge

Despite those who claim a drop in P2P activity, legal pressure and growing popularity of paid services have not led to a decline in file sharing. According to Tru Optik, 300 million users swap files via BitTorrent each month. Tru Optik estimates that more movies and TV shows are downloaded by file sharers than are sold via iTunes, Google Play and Amazon combined. The U.S. accounts for more downloaded media and software than any other country, with the exception of video game downloads in Brazil.

Continue reading File Sharing Not in Decline, U.S. Consumers Lead the Charge

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

Nintendo Program to Share Ad Revenue with YouTube Creators

Japanese gaming company Nintendo is poised to launch a new program for YouTube creators that will allow use of the company’s copyrighted material in online videos, and in certain situations, provide creators with a share of the advertising revenue. Nintendo has already been allowing its copyrighted material to appear in videos under “appropriate circumstances,” but the new affiliate program will share ad revenue with YouTube producers who “use the material more proactively.” Continue reading Nintendo Program to Share Ad Revenue with YouTube Creators

Ultra HD: Consumer Adoption on the Rise with Lower Prices

New data from analyst IDC finds that shipments of 4K televisions have reached over one million per month and are projected to reach upward of 15.2 million for 2014. Consumer adoption is on the rise as the average selling price has dropped 85 percent worldwide in the last two years, from $7,851 in 2012 to $1,120 in 2014. A new report from BI Intelligence predicts a faster adoption curve than HDTV, with 4K TVs to be found in more than half of North American homes within 10 years. Continue reading Ultra HD: Consumer Adoption on the Rise with Lower Prices

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