Comcast Expands Eligibility For Low-Cost Broadband Plan

Comcast has expanded its Internet Essentials program to make inexpensive broadband Internet available to any eligible low-income customer. Currently, according to U.S. Census data, in cities with the highest poverty rates, households are ten times more likely not to have broadband compared to households in wealthier cities. With Internet Essentials, the nation’s largest cable provider will help close the so-called digital divide, offering 15Mbps download speeds for $9.95 per month, which is $40 less than its typical service. Continue reading Comcast Expands Eligibility For Low-Cost Broadband Plan

CES Panel: Defining TV Across Primetime and Multi-Platforms

Altman Vilandrie & Company director Jonathan Hurd presided over a panel at CES on how TV has evolved and will continue to change. Viacom’s Stefanie Schwartz noted that her company is making “hours of original content to drive viewership and engagement on all the social platforms.” “We’re experimenting with all kinds of formats and seeing what works,” she said. MAGNA North America president David Cohen said his company is doubling down on OTT. “We’re looking to think about where to put the dollars as consumers migrate,” he said. Continue reading CES Panel: Defining TV Across Primetime and Multi-Platforms

Advertising Spend at This Year’s Upfronts Predicted to Spike

The move to new technology has thrown a monkey wrench in a roughly $70 billion TV advertising industry that has endured without much change for decades. Since then, television and advertising executives have been trying to determine what the future will look like among a range of competing and confusing scenarios and how to monetize it. That all comes to bear as we approach this season’s upfronts, and some sources are predicting, perhaps counter-intuitively, that ad rates will spike this year for the first time in awhile. Continue reading Advertising Spend at This Year’s Upfronts Predicted to Spike

Digital NewFronts 2016: Magna Inks Ad Deal with YouTube

The 2016 Digital Content NewFronts runs May 2-13 in New York, featuring 38 companies, and piggybacking with CAA and UTA events. New presenters include AwesomenessTV, CNN, Activision Blizzard, Hearst, NowThisNews, Woven Digital and SheKnows Media. Just prior to the NewFronts, Interpublic’s ad buying arm Magna inked a $250M upfront advertising deal with YouTube. A MyersBizNet survey says media buyers now rank YouTube as the most important outlet, with Hulu, Vice Media and AOL also in the top 10. Continue reading Digital NewFronts 2016: Magna Inks Ad Deal with YouTube

NAB Panel Addresses Impact of VR on News, Documentaries

“Being There – Virtual Reality News and Documentaries” was the title of a panel on VR journalism at the NAB Show in Las Vegas. Panelists included senior journalists from Sky, RYOT, Condition One, and USA Today Network, as well as one of Google’s lead VR evangelists. Lessons learned include the importance of proximity (e.g. close-ups), making sure that everyone on the team has experience with the key steps in the workflow so they understand the process and can fill in for others, and the need to experiment and fail. The panelists hope that post-production tools improve soon so a greater portion of their time can be spent planning and shooting stories. Continue reading NAB Panel Addresses Impact of VR on News, Documentaries

Avid Chief Talks Third Party Apps at ETC Cloud Conference

At ETC’s Cloud Innovation Conference at NAB 2016, Variety editor David Cohen led a discussion with Avid chief executive/president Louis Hernandez Jr. “It’s been a remarkable journey,” Hernandez said. “With Avid Media Central, we wanted to connect people. We took our standalone applications and put them where they could be shared. Now you’re seeing a rapid expansion of the apps you can purchase: We have a record number of third party apps indexed on a common operating system. This is the direction that things are going.” Continue reading Avid Chief Talks Third Party Apps at ETC Cloud Conference

NAB: Immersive Films Present Possibilities, Face Challenges

When Ang Lee was asked about his opinion of VR, at the conclusion of a panel at the NAB Show focused on the technical aspects of making “Billy Lynn’s Long Halftime Walk,” he demurred that he was still very focused on making his way through the highly experimental process of creating a movie that combines 3D stereoscopy with 4K and 120 fps. The result, as seen in an 11-minute clip, is so immersive that some viewers compared it to VR. Lee didn’t dismiss VR, and believes it might eventually encompass theatrical experiences. Continue reading NAB: Immersive Films Present Possibilities, Face Challenges

Disney Accelerator Program Nurtures Data-Centric Solutions

Disney is carefully tracking and nurturing future technologies for children via an annual accelerator program it runs with partner Techstars. The program awards $120,000 to 10 startups, which also work with Disney executives for three months. The potential prize at the end is that Disney and Techstars may take a stake in one or more of the startups whose technologies are the most interesting and, one imagines, capable of commercialization. This year, approximately half of the companies chosen are involved in data. Continue reading Disney Accelerator Program Nurtures Data-Centric Solutions

Battle for the Net: Internet Slowdown Generates Big Numbers

Public interest groups and tech companies participated in an Internet “slowdown” yesterday to raise awareness of the potential impact to net neutrality and an open Internet if slow lanes were to result from proposed FCC rules. It was not an actual throttling of Internet speeds, but a campaign in which sites featured messages about the issue and symbolic “loading” icons. Thousands of websites urged their users to take action. As a result, the FCC received a record 1,477,301 public comments. Continue reading Battle for the Net: Internet Slowdown Generates Big Numbers