In Major Reorg, Disney Moves Streaming Services to Center

The Walt Disney Company is reorganizing to put more emphasis on its streaming video services Disney+ and Hulu. The company is creating content groups for movies, general entertainment and sports, with a distribution unit that will determine the best platform — streaming, TV network, movie theater — for every piece of content. According to Disney chief executive Bob Chapek, the move acknowledges that consumers now are more likely to watch content on a streaming service than broadcast and cable channels or movie theater screens. Continue reading In Major Reorg, Disney Moves Streaming Services to Center

New Disney Hub on Spotify Designed for Families and Kids

Spotify recently announced a new partnership with Disney that brings a collection of Disney playlists to the streaming music platform. The Disney Hub on Spotify — currently available for fans in Australia, Canada, Ireland, New Zealand, South Africa, the U.K. and U.S. — features soundtracks and other music related to Disney movies and TV shows. Among the current categories are Disney Hits, Disney Favorites, Disney Classics, Disney Sing-Alongs, Disney Princess, Marvel Music and The Best of Star Wars. Continue reading New Disney Hub on Spotify Designed for Families and Kids

Apple Signs a Deal With A24 to Produce Indie Feature Films

Apple inked a multi-year partnership with studio A24 to make independent features, the first time that it expanded its ambitions to make content beyond TV programming. Last year, Apple announced it had committed $1 billion to create scripted shows, moving into a field dominated by Amazon and Netflix. Prior to the deal, Apple had only signed deals for two films, the documentary “The Elephant Queen” and family-friendly animated film “Wolfwalkers.” A24 is known for its Oscar-winning feature “Moonlight.” Continue reading Apple Signs a Deal With A24 to Produce Indie Feature Films

YouTube TV Adds Turner and Sports Content, Raises Pricing

Starting next month, new subscribers to YouTube TV will face a $5 monthly increase. The new price will run $40 per month; however, existing subscribers will continue to pay $35. The good news for consumers is that the service announced a major content expansion with new offerings from Turner, NBA TV and MLB Network. The base package now includes Turner networks such as Adult Swim, Cartoon Network, CNN, HLN, TBS, TNT, truTV and Turner Classic Movies. MLB Network and NBA TV will soon join the lineup. Continue reading YouTube TV Adds Turner and Sports Content, Raises Pricing

Philo Streaming TV Service Offers Cable Bundle Minus Sports

Philo, the latest streaming TV service to hit the market, has eliminated sports from its line-up of three-dozen cable TV networks. The service will deliver programming to the user’s phone, laptop or connected TV. Because of the lack of sports, the base package will cost $16 per month, compared with YouTube TV’s $35 per month subscription or Hulu’s $40 per month fee. Participating cable networks include A&E, Scripps, Discovery, AMC and Viacom. Venture capital companies have invested $25 million in the new service. Continue reading Philo Streaming TV Service Offers Cable Bundle Minus Sports

DisneyNOW Consolidates Three Popular Kids Apps Into One

Until now, Disney had separate Watch apps for children 2-14 that featured entertainment content from the Disney Channel, Disney XD and Disney Junior. Now, the company has consolidated all three into a single app, thus boosting its pay-TV business. DisneyNOW will offer full episodes and live streaming from all the networks to customers whose cable, Internet TV, satellite or telco providers are participating. In addition to DisneyNOW, the company reportedly plans to create its own movie streaming service when its deal with Netflix expires in 2019. Continue reading DisneyNOW Consolidates Three Popular Kids Apps Into One

Hacker Releases Original Netflix Content, Threatens Networks

A hacker group that goes by the name “TheDarkOverlord” has reportedly stolen episodes from a number of television shows. Over the weekend, 10 episodes from the upcoming fifth season of “Orange Is the New Black” was shared after Netflix did not meet ransom requests. The hackers may have access to up to three dozen series from networks including ABC, CBS, Fox, FX, IFC, NatGeo and NBC. It provided a list of TV series and a few movies to cybersecurity blog DataBreaches.net, claiming that the content was stolen from audio post-production facility Larson Studios. Continue reading Hacker Releases Original Netflix Content, Threatens Networks

Time Launches INSTANT Video Platform for the Mobile Web

Time Inc. officially launched its new website, dubbed INSTANT, at VidCon 2016 in Anaheim. The mobile video platform, which does not require users to download an app, features content from Internet celebrities such as Connor Franta, Jake Paul, RudanC and Baby Ariel. INSTANT delivers video content, including live programming, and native and branded advertising. Content will also be distributed across social networks such as Facebook, Instagram and YouNow, as well as sites for Time properties including Entertainment Weekly, HelloGiggles and People. Continue reading Time Launches INSTANT Video Platform for the Mobile Web

Hulu to Launch Pay TV Service, Joining Other Digital Players

Hulu is the latest platform to compete with traditional pay TV services. Separate from its current on-demand programming model, Hulu plans to launch a cable TV-style online service in Q1 2017, say those familiar with the company’s plans. Hulu co-owners 21st Century Fox and The Walt Disney Company are likely to strike agreements to license many of their channels. ABC, ESPN, Disney Channel, the Fox network, Fox News, FX and Fox national and regional sports channels are also anticipated to be part of the lineup. Continue reading Hulu to Launch Pay TV Service, Joining Other Digital Players

Mike Nichols, Played Key Role in TV and Online Development

Digital creative pioneer Mike Nichols, a leader in the transition of television to digital, died suddenly on Friday, April 15 of complications from a health issue. He was 57. It is with great sorrow that we share the sad news of Mike’s passing. The former Disney exec had been a great friend to the ETC over the years and was a creative force behind the development and deployment of ETCentric. We will miss our generous friend and talented colleague. Our thoughts are with the Nichols family and the many industry members Mike worked with over the years. For more on Mike’s impressive contributions to entertainment media, read our full post on ETCentric. Continue reading Mike Nichols, Played Key Role in TV and Online Development

Sling TV Benefits Both Advertisers and Multi-Channel Networks

During CES, Dish announced its $20 per month, OTT subscription service that provides access to Adult Swim, Cartoon Network, CNN, Disney Channel, ESPN, Food Network, HGTV, TBS, TNT, and YouTube videos from Maker Studios. Sling TV could finally help position the enormously popular YouTube content at the same advertising value as television. Advertisers would be able to reach the younger demographic that increasingly watches less television, while multi-channel networks like Maker Studios may grow in value. Continue reading Sling TV Benefits Both Advertisers and Multi-Channel Networks

MIPCOM: Maker Studios CEO Discusses Shift to Short Videos

During his keynote address at international television market MIPCOM on Monday, Maker Studios CEO Ynon Kreiz suggested that the future of TV would be short-form content. Kreiz believes that linear television is over for the 12-to-24-year-olds of the millennial generation, a valuable group to the advertising industry. He said that Maker Studios is ideally positioned to leverage this demographic with its user-generated, short-form video content since two-thirds of its 550 million users are millennials. Continue reading MIPCOM: Maker Studios CEO Discusses Shift to Short Videos

Disney Bringing ‘Star Wars’ to Games, Cable, and Theme Parks

Disney is making a major push with its “Star Wars”-themed properties. Disney Interactive announced “Star Wars: Commander” yesterday, a new free-to-play game designed for mobile devices. And while construction plans are underway for “Star Wars”-themed “lands” at Disney theme parks, the Disney Channel announced this week it would debut animated movie “Star Wars Rebels: Spark of Rebellion” on October 3, and the Disney XD channel plans to premiere its “Star Wars Rebels” series ten days later. Continue reading Disney Bringing ‘Star Wars’ to Games, Cable, and Theme Parks

Disney Targets Young TV Viewers Using Tablets with New App

As the number of households with children who use tablets increases, Disney is ramping up its efforts to cater to kids’ viewing habits. On November 24, Disney will release the first nine episodes of its newest series on mobile devices with the Watch Disney Junior app. The series, “Sheriff Callie’s Wild West,” won’t debut on TV until early next year, but children with an iPad at home will be able to watch and interact with it and other Disney favorites. Continue reading Disney Targets Young TV Viewers Using Tablets with New App