Evernote CEO Says No Future for Apps and Ads with Wearables

Evernote CEO Phil Libin believes that as wearable electronics supplant smartphones, apps and ads will increasingly feel out of place. Speaking at the MIT Technology Review Digital Summit, Libin noted that the convenience of wearables such as Google Glass or a smartwatch will rely on the instant delivery of information. Firing up an app or waiting on an ad would likely alienate users. Libin predicts that users will prefer ambient services that run in the background and move forward as needed. Continue reading Evernote CEO Says No Future for Apps and Ads with Wearables

UPS: Free Shipping Attracts More Online Shopping Customers

UPS’s “Pulse of the Online Shopper” survey shows that 93 percent of customers are willing to take some action in order to qualify for free shipping. Not only will people do more to get free shipping, but 58 percent have also cancelled orders because shipping costs were too much, with 50 percent doing the same because the shipping wasn’t free. Along with attraction to free shipping, there has also been a 12 percent increase in the amount of people that have returned an item.

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Google Moves Further into Retail with New Overnight Delivery

The search engine Google is adding overnight delivery to its shipping options in Northern California. From San Francisco to Berkeley, and soon other cities, Google promises to deliver items purchased by 7:00 pm to doorsteps the next day. Unlike Amazon’s massive warehouses, Google’s system utilizes chain stores such as Target and Walgreens to help fill orders. This delivery service may entice customers to search for products on Google rather than Amazon. Continue reading Google Moves Further into Retail with New Overnight Delivery

Netflix Turns to Original Series and Licensing 5-Star Content

According to Netflix CFO David Wells, the streaming service plans on spending $3.2 billion on streaming content in 2014. Netflix acknowledged that a large fraction of the currently available material is not necessarily popular with its audience and plans to spend more money on shows with higher potential. A content shift through the next few quarters toward more original series along with licensing exclusive and higher-rated shows will account for this extra spending. Continue reading Netflix Turns to Original Series and Licensing 5-Star Content

Comcast Unveils CDN Service for Content Delivery via Last Mile

Comcast has introduced a commercial content delivery service targeting large and mid-sized content owners that can offer competitive SLA and pricing, since the company already owns the network. Comcast’s CDN allows content owners to go directly to the ISP to store and deliver content via the “last mile.” While this approach can displace traffic delivered by third-party CDNs such as Akamai and Limelight, it should not be confused with a “fast lane” or “prioritization” of content. Continue reading Comcast Unveils CDN Service for Content Delivery via Last Mile

AT&T Could Reach $50 Billion Deal for DirecTV in Two Weeks

AT&T is close to striking a $50 billion deal to acquire satellite TV provider DirecTV, according to people familiar with the matter. An agreement between the two companies involving a mix of cash and AT&T stock could be reached within two weeks. Insiders say the two sides are discussing a share price for DirecTV in the low to mid-nineties (at $95 a share, such a deal would value DirecTV at almost $48 billion). The deal comes as AT&T considers video distribution a potentially key initiative for its future. Continue reading AT&T Could Reach $50 Billion Deal for DirecTV in Two Weeks

AmazonSupply is Formidable Competitor in Wholesale Market

One division of e-commerce giant Amazon may take the wholesale and distribution market by storm. The two-year-old AmazonSupply offers over 2.2 million products in bulk, from scientific equipment to food service products. Unlike current wholesale businesses that are regional, family-run companies, Amazon is a multinational company with $74 billion in annual revenue, a user-friendly website, 24-hour delivery, and a massive database of consumer data. Continue reading AmazonSupply is Formidable Competitor in Wholesale Market

Cable Execs Call for Action to Challenge Online Competitors

Cable industry executives gathered at the NCTA Cable Show to discuss growing competition from online video content providers, and the need for cable TV to improve delivery systems of cable programming across all devices. By improving the consumer experience and video-on-demand services, cable companies hope to “protect their turf” from the likes of Netflix and Hulu. Also, leaders in the cable industry recognize the need to find a solution for rising cable TV prices. Continue reading Cable Execs Call for Action to Challenge Online Competitors

Amazon Dash Makes No-Click Online Shopping Dangerously Easy

Amazon recently announced Dash, a barcode scanner and microphone that makes no-click online shopping possible. Dash is also connected to Amazon’s same-day delivery grocery service, and basically transforms a person’s house into a showroom. A user can easily scan a product to order it, and even speak into the microphone and Dash will put the item in the user’s cart. The mic puts Amazon ahead of Apple’s Siri and Google Now, since Amazon directly profits from its use. Continue reading Amazon Dash Makes No-Click Online Shopping Dangerously Easy

Mixed Reports: Amazon Considering Streaming Media Service?

Yesterday The Wall Street Journal ran a report that insiders suggest Amazon is considering an ad-supported streaming TV and music-video service, separate from its $99-per-year Prime subscription service. Amazon reportedly outlined the proposed service to potential partners as one that could launch in coming months featuring original and licensed content. Amazon has since denied the plans. “We’re often experimenting with new things, but we have no plans to offer a free streaming media service,” said a spokesperson. Continue reading Mixed Reports: Amazon Considering Streaming Media Service?

Digital Cinema Consortium Plans to Acquire Satellite Network

The Digital Cinema Distribution Coalition — a consortium formed by AMC, Cinemark, Regal, Warner Bros. and Universal Pictures — signed a letter of intent to acquire the Deluxe/Echostar satellite network in a significant step toward updating the digital delivery of content to theaters and eventually eliminating the need to ship hard drives. Over the next 12-14 months, the consortium will pay to convert 699 Deluxe/Echostar screens to DCDC and add another 300 that were not yet deployed. Continue reading Digital Cinema Consortium Plans to Acquire Satellite Network

CinemaCon: Exhibitors Hope Alternative Content Will Fill Seats

Digital Cinema is a hot topic this week at CinemaCon in Las Vegas on two specific fronts: the pursuit of alternative content to help fill theater seats during weeknights, and the need for a cost-effective electronic delivery system to transmit content to theaters. Still in its infancy, alternative content has already seen a number of success stories, including Met Live in HD (the Metropolitan Opera) and a 3D broadcast of the 50th-anniversary special of the BBC’s “Doctor Who.” Continue reading CinemaCon: Exhibitors Hope Alternative Content Will Fill Seats

AT&T Will Lower Internet Prices if FCC Ends Net Neutrality

At the FCC’s “Protecting and Promoting the Open Internet” proceeding on Friday, AT&T said it will lower its Internet prices if the FCC allows Internet service providers to charge websites such as Netflix for faster delivery of content. In the wake of a court decision vacating the FCC’s net neutrality rules against charging for preferential treatment, the Commission opened a proceeding with hopes of writing new rules that achieve similar goals. AT&T is asking for rules that explicitly allow ISPs to charge for special access.

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CE Manufacturers Concerned Over Lack of Global 4K Standards

Journalist and ETCentric community member Adrian Pennington published a story last week regarding the need for global UHD standards, which included comments by Pixel Power CTO Nick Wright. “The staggered introduction of Ultra HD 4K production, distribution and display equipment risks fragmenting the market, adding unnecessary cost and yet again ending any chance of fielding a single, worldwide television standard,” writes Adrian. “The issue is causing concern among many manufacturers.” Continue reading CE Manufacturers Concerned Over Lack of Global 4K Standards

Will the Future of Visual Effects be Modeled on TV Production?

ETCentric member and contributor Adrian Pennington recently posted an interesting perspective on the direction of visual effects in TV production, including an interview with Adobe’s Steve Forde. “While the feature film visual effects business is in flux, the TV VFX business is thriving by delivering creativity to tight timescales on a budget,” writes Adrian. “Indeed the future of all VFX production could be modeled on the workflows built to support CGI-intensive series like ‘Game of Thrones’ and ‘Doctor Who.'” Continue reading Will the Future of Visual Effects be Modeled on TV Production?

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