New Live Music App Combines Social Media and Crowdfunding

The startup appLOUD has created an iOS app that allows fans to support their favorite musicians by sharing videos of live performances. The video posts are tagged with the artist’s Twitter handle, and then the app generates links to the band’s music on iTunes and upcoming concert dates. Fans can even directly tip bands just like they do for street musicians. The app not only allows people to discover new bands, but also directly pay an artist for a great performance. Continue reading New Live Music App Combines Social Media and Crowdfunding

Producer Pitches a TV Series Based on Quora Q&A Response

Quora, the community-powered question-and-answer site, is becoming one of the latest online spaces for Hollywood to find ideas. Emmy Award-winning producer Josh C. Kline optioned an idea on Quora, in which a dystopian U.S. spirals into a second Civil War. Kline is in the process of pitching a TV show inspired by the Quora response, written by retired U.S. Marine Sergeant Jon Davis. The Quora company has no plans to profit from any talent discovery on its site. Continue reading Producer Pitches a TV Series Based on Quora Q&A Response

Digital Media Pipeline: Media Farm Team, Competitor or Both?

At last week’s Digital Media Pipeline conference staged by the Entertainment Merchants Association in Los Angeles, the closing discussion centered on Internet fueled approaches to content authorship. “The Vast Expansion of Original Content,” moderated by Steve Apple of EMA, featured Derek Dressler of Vimeo, Reed Lucas of Bent Pixels, and Dana Shayegan of Collective Digital Studio. Topics included a maturing Internet video space, the influence of direct fan support, and the need for building engagement. Continue reading Digital Media Pipeline: Media Farm Team, Competitor or Both?

Companies Look to Meet Demand for Faster, Cheaper Delivery

According to a recent Harris poll, 14 percent of respondents and 25 percent of millennials would accept an added fee for same-day delivery of online purchases. The mean price these consumers are willing to pay is $13.90. Customers want faster, but affordable delivery, so startups are taking on the traditional infrastructure approach of Amazon (involving warehouses, vehicle fleets and full-time employees) by rethinking operations and, in many cases, turning to crowdsourced workers. Continue reading Companies Look to Meet Demand for Faster, Cheaper Delivery

Celebrities Now Give Driving Directions via Traffic App Waze

The traffic app Waze is partnering with Universal Pictures in order to produce a celebrity voice navigation feature. The first celebrity to give directions is comedian and actor Kevin Hart. Waze essentially crowdsources traffic and navigation data, and friends and fellow travelers are able to post updates that provide a real time picture of road conditions. The app gained popularity after it was acquired by Google earlier this year for $1.3 billion. Continue reading Celebrities Now Give Driving Directions via Traffic App Waze

FCC Releases Free App for Testing Mobile Broadband Speed

The FCC released a free app for Android users that allows users to test their mobile broadband performance and speed. Early next year, the Commission will also release interactive maps that will allow consumers to get detailed information of network speeds from different mobile providers across the country. It’s the first tool that will give consumers the power to accurately assess which providers give the best coverage in their area. Continue reading FCC Releases Free App for Testing Mobile Broadband Speed

Amazon to Release First Original Series for Video Streaming

The first of Amazon’s original series will debut this month, and the selection process by the retail giant for determining which shows made the cut is unlike any traditional decision-making most networks go through. Amazon is minimizing risk by assessing data outlining early viewership for a group of pilot episodes, and “Alpha House,” a political comedy written by “Doonesbury” comic strip creator Garry Trudeau and featuring John Goodman and Bill Murray, was the biggest hit. Continue reading Amazon to Release First Original Series for Video Streaming

Kickstarter Project Makes Cloud Storage as Simple as a Plug

Plug is a small network connected device that enables users to convert a portable hard drive into private cloud storage that can be shared between PCs, smartphones and tablets. The creators are looking to create a more secure alternative to services such as Dropbox to store, preserve and share data. With 38 days remaining, the Kickstarter campaign has already significantly exceeded its original $69,000 goal (as of press time, the total was $736,790). Continue reading Kickstarter Project Makes Cloud Storage as Simple as a Plug

Google to Acquire Traffic Mapping App Waze for $1 Billion

Following months of acquisition talks with multiple players, Google has announced it is purchasing traffic navigation company Waze. Financial terms were not disclosed, but sources suggest that Google offered more than $1 billion for the free mobile service, which is currently used by more than 50 million people and launched its global ad platform in November 2012. Other Waze suitors reportedly included Facebook and Apple. Continue reading Google to Acquire Traffic Mapping App Waze for $1 Billion

Cable Show: Comcast to Create Crowdsourced Hotspot Network

At the National Cable and Telecommunications Association conference yesterday in Washington D.C., Comcast announced that it has begun shipping a new wireless gateway to its residential broadband customers that will serve as both a private Wi-Fi router and a public hotspot. The bold (and possibly controversial) move will enable Comcast to essentially crowdsource its Wi-Fi network, turning home gateways into public hotspots. Continue reading Cable Show: Comcast to Create Crowdsourced Hotspot Network

New Milestone: 100,000 Projects Crowdfunded via Kickstarter

Kickstarter announced yesterday that the crowdfunding service has reached a new milestone by launching more than 100,000 projects. Nearly 44 percent of the projects have been successfully funded by a total of $535 million. The top categories for launched projects include Film & Video, Music, Publishing, Art and Games. If its current funding rate continues, the service could raise its first billion as early as sometime this year. Continue reading New Milestone: 100,000 Projects Crowdfunded via Kickstarter

Veronica Mars Project Sets New Record for Crowdfunding

A crowdsourced fundraising campaign to produce a film version of the popular 2004-2007 TV detective show “Veronica Mars” has set a new record for the fastest growing Kickstarter campaign, reaching the $1 million mark in just over four hours. In fact, the entire funding goal of $2 million was achieved in less than 10 hours (at press time, the project’s Kickstarter page listed a total of $3,306,914 from 50,094 backers). Continue reading Veronica Mars Project Sets New Record for Crowdfunding

Bing Now Turns to Live Crowdsourcing for Advanced Search

Bing Now, a new research project demonstrated at Microsoft’s headquarters last week, could give Web searchers a way to gauge the ongoing atmosphere of a bar or restaurant before they decide to visit or make a reservation. Researchers are looking to smartphone owners who are already at the location to provide updated information when checking in. The crowdsourcing tool measures sound with the smartphone’s microphone. Continue reading Bing Now Turns to Live Crowdsourcing for Advanced Search

New Ouya Game Console Attracts Independent Developers

After the the $99 Android-powered TV game console Ouya attracted more than 63,000 Kickstarter backers last year, many independent game developers are creating games for the device, including mobile developers who want to make the jump to televisions. The system will ship to initial backers on March 28, ahead of the public launch in June, and many developers are preparing to see their games on TVs for the first time. Continue reading New Ouya Game Console Attracts Independent Developers

Pepsi Turns to Crowdsourcing for Super Bowl Halftime Video

Sunday’s Super Bowl broadcast featured a compelling use of crowdsourcing. To promote its halftime show, Pepsi incorporated thousands of photos submitted by customers as part of its video introduction welcoming Beyonce to the stage. The promotion serves as another interesting example of the growing crowdsourcing phenomenon, which continues to generate innovative new business and marketing approaches. Continue reading Pepsi Turns to Crowdsourcing for Super Bowl Halftime Video

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