Will Independent Musicians Survive in Streaming Music Era?

In the era of online streaming music, many bands and musicians have formed their own labels in order to maintain control, resulting in both risks and benefits. As a result they may lose traditional industry support, but gain more artistic and business freedom. The Internet is seen as an equalizing force that provides musicians with new ways to engage with their fans and distribute their own music. However, it remains to be seen if this model is sustainable. Continue reading Will Independent Musicians Survive in Streaming Music Era?

World Cinema Foundation Unveils Restored Films on Hulu Plus

Martin Scorsese’s World Cinema Foundation (WCF) has been restoring rare films since 2007. The public will benefit from these efforts when eight of the rescued films will be made available for the first time in the U.S. on Hulu, in a partnership with the Criterion Collection. The films will initially be offered for free with ads. After August 24, commercial-free WCF movies (and more than 800 Criterion titles) will be available only to paying Hulu Plus subscribers. Continue reading World Cinema Foundation Unveils Restored Films on Hulu Plus

Sony to Carry Viacom Channels on its Internet Pay TV Service

Sony may have just moved ahead in the race to create an online version of pay television, thanks to a preliminary deal with Viacom to carry channels including MTV, Comedy Central and Nickelodeon via its planned pay TV service. Competitors in this space, such as Google and Intel, have yet to land such a major content deal. Sony hopes to launch an Internet service next year — streamed to its Bravia TVs and PlayStation gaming consoles — that will compete with companies that sell subscription TV services. Continue reading Sony to Carry Viacom Channels on its Internet Pay TV Service

Honda Launches National Campaign to Save Drive-In Theaters

Automobile manufacturer Honda recently launched a national campaign called Project Drive-In that hopes to preserve a bit of American history by upgrading drive-in theaters in the U.S. The company plans to donate digital projects to five drive-in theaters that receive the most votes on its website. Honda will also take financial donations to assist in providing more projectors. Drive-ins are struggling, especially during the transition to digital format films. Continue reading Honda Launches National Campaign to Save Drive-In Theaters

Comcast Pitching Anti-Piracy Alternative to Copyright Alert

Cable operator Comcast is developing a new approach to combating piracy that would convert illegal downloads to legal transaction opportunities. The approach would be an alternative to the Copyright Alert System, or “six strikes” voluntary initiative, currently supported by leading programmers, distributors and studios affiliated with the MPAA. Comcast is pitching its plans to film and television executives in hopes of getting major content companies and distributors on board. Continue reading Comcast Pitching Anti-Piracy Alternative to Copyright Alert

Networks Continue Legal Battles with Broadcast Disruptors

Two recent legal cases are creating problems for broadcasters. A federal appeals court refused to rehear a case in which broadcasters attempted to shut down Aereo, a company that allows users to record broadcast TV online, and another appeals court declined a case to prevent Dish Network from selling its Hopper service, which allows viewers to bypass TV commercials. How broadcasters ultimately respond to the disrupters could have a major impact on television. Continue reading Networks Continue Legal Battles with Broadcast Disruptors

Google Serves Quarter of Internet Traffic in North America

About 25 percent of North American consumer Internet traffic is served by Google, more than that of Facebook, Netflix and Instagram combined, an increase from 6 percent three years ago. Estimates are that the majority of Google’s traffic is from YouTube — the rest involving searches, analytics, and advertising. To deal with the increase in Internet traffic, the company has data centers in the Americas, Europe and Asia, and has other distribution strategies. Continue reading Google Serves Quarter of Internet Traffic in North America

Netflix Makes History: Digital-Only Shows Earn Emmy Noms

Yesterday marked a new milestone in media history when original Netflix programs “House of Cards,” “Arrested Development” and “Hemlock Grove” became the first digital-only television shows to be nominated for Emmy Awards. “House of Cards” earned nine nominations, including one for Outstanding Drama, while “Arrested Development” received three noms, including one for Outstanding Lead Actor in a Comedy Series for Jason Bateman. Horror series “Hemlock Grove” got two nominations. Continue reading Netflix Makes History: Digital-Only Shows Earn Emmy Noms

New IMDb App Update Includes Ability to Buy Movie Tickets

The free IMDb app, currently available as iOS and Android versions, now offers U.S. users the ability to purchase movie tickets. The update follows similar offerings from other apps such as Fandango and Apple’s Siri. Users can also tap on the “Search via Amazon Mobile” button in the iPhone or iPad app to learn more about purchasing movies and TV shows on DVD or Blu-ray (requires that the Amazon Mobile app is installed). Continue reading New IMDb App Update Includes Ability to Buy Movie Tickets

Netflix Spending More On Content While Dropping Content

Netflix’s stock value has increased 178 percent during 2013, one of the best performing companies on the S&P 500 index. In order to maintain its edge, Netflix may need to be more like Amazon than HBO, with more of a focus on spending than a fixation on profit growth. But Netflix’s practice of dropping unpopular content may give competitor Amazon a new opportunity to secure exclusive rights to additional programming and gain ground over Netflix. Continue reading Netflix Spending More On Content While Dropping Content

Hulu Owners Call Off Sale, Announce New Investment Plans

The three companies that mutually own Hulu announced on Friday that they would not be selling the video site, bringing an end to months of bidding and speculation. Instead, the current owners of Hulu — 21st Century Fox, Disney and NBCUniversal — explained that they plan to invest $750 million to compete against online video services such as Netflix and Amazon. Until Friday’s announcement, DirecTV with its $1 billion offer was considered by many to be the leading bidder. Continue reading Hulu Owners Call Off Sale, Announce New Investment Plans

App Store Has Revolutionized the Mobile Device Experience

Apple’s App Store launched in 2008 for iPhone users to find and download apps. It has provided consumers with a great opportunity to personalize their mobile device experience, while launching a new economy where individual developers and larger companies can promote and sell their apps and services. The App Store has changed how software is purchased and distributed — and as a result, has led to a defining transition in personal computing. Continue reading App Store Has Revolutionized the Mobile Device Experience

Fullscreen Launches Creator Platform for YouTube Producers

Digital media firm Fullscreen — which hosts more than 15,000 YouTube channels with 200 million subscribers and 2.5 billion monthly views — has launched a suite of apps designed to help content creators monetize videos through search engine optimization and partnership facilitation. The new Fullscreen Creator Platform also includes analytics tools for insight into audience behavior. In addition, Fullscreen has announced a free iOS app for tracking video performance from phones (Android coming soon). Continue reading Fullscreen Launches Creator Platform for YouTube Producers

BBC Places 3D Pilot on Hold, Cites Lack of Public Interest

The BBC announced it will take a hiatus from developing 3D TV programming based on the public’s “lack of appetite” for the technology. Kim Shillinglaw, the BBC’s head of 3D, says that British television viewers have not taken to the format, despite the fact there are now an estimated 1.5 million UK households with 3D TVs. As a result, the BBC is planning a three-year break from its 3D project once the current two-year pilot comes to an end later this year. Continue reading BBC Places 3D Pilot on Hold, Cites Lack of Public Interest

Shift in Consumer Demand: Should Studios Emulate Pirates?

Hollywood studios are reexamining traditional distribution models in an era of piracy enabled by digital technologies. Today’s media savvy consumers have evolving expectations regarding how they discover and share music, video content and games, thanks in part to new cloud-based technologies, streaming media services and sophisticated social tools. Some media companies are even considering the idea that models popular with pirates are worth imitating. Continue reading Shift in Consumer Demand: Should Studios Emulate Pirates?

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