HPA Tech Retreat Looks at Approaching Tipping Point in Media

The annual HPA Tech Retreat opened in Indian Wells, California, near Palm Springs. The sold-out event hosts 600 executives and technologists in broadcast, cable, digital and feature film industries. In addition to an “Innovation Zone,” the new term for the former demo room, the HPA Tech Retreat is known for its days-long series of lectures and panels, all of which are a deep dive into technology. All of Tuesday was devoted to a single topic: Snowflake Workflows are Turning into Distribution Snowstorms! Continue reading HPA Tech Retreat Looks at Approaching Tipping Point in Media

CEO Launches Netflix in 130 Countries During CES Keynote

Netflix turned on the world, adding 130 new countries, during the time its CEO and co-founder Reed Hastings delivered the opening day keynote at CES in Las Vegas. The addition of these new markets grows Netflix’s global footprint from 60 to 190 territories as the company reimagines itself as a global television network. Hastings and chief content officer Ted Sarandos covered many of the technological, economic, business and creative innovations driving their success in a world where Hastings observed, “Tune in has been replaced by personal choice.” Continue reading CEO Launches Netflix in 130 Countries During CES Keynote

Media Networks Look at Platforms, Brands, Game-Changers

In a multi-channel, multi-device and multi-platform world, any given network finds it increasingly difficult to differentiate itself from the others. Good programming isn’t enough when so many outlets are producing so many quality shows. This was the dilemma that panelists wrestled with in a conversation on “Hollywood Media: Platforms and Brands.” One clear message was that a younger generation doesn’t make distinctions among screens, as long as they are getting the content they want. Continue reading Media Networks Look at Platforms, Brands, Game-Changers

BuzzFeed Introduces Yet Another Top Facebook Video Page

BuzzFeed, already a top Facebook video contributor with four different brands, launched another one in October: Top Knot, which focuses on beauty and fashion. The Top Knot Facebook page already has nearly 1 million fans and has logged almost 200 million views in two months, with a handful of clips generating up to 7 million views each. BuzzFeed and NBCU, which invested $200 million in the company, are looking into ways to collaborate, in addition to an announced plan to jointly cover the 2016 Summer Olympics. Continue reading BuzzFeed Introduces Yet Another Top Facebook Video Page

Apple Shelves Live TV Service, Opens App Store to Developers

Apple has put its plans to offer a live Internet-based television service — a package of 14 or more channels for $30 to $40 a month — on hold, say sources. Media companies balked at the prices Apple wants to pay, in order to keep its own subscription price low. Executives from Starz and other outlets have already stated they expect Apple and Amazon to pay more, not less, than existing distributors for media. Instead, Apple has pivoted to opening up its App Store so media companies to sell directly to customers. Continue reading Apple Shelves Live TV Service, Opens App Store to Developers

Adele’s New Album to Launch Today, But Not for Streaming

Adele’s long-awaited new album “25,” her first in nearly five years, is scheduled for release today, but will not be made available via top streaming services such as Spotify and Apple Music. Less than one day before the album’s launch, major music services were reportedly informed that the singer’s new songs would not be made available for streaming. With the music industry in flux, especially in regards to distribution platforms, most artists need to accept the royalty payments and terms of service related to streaming offerings. However, top acts such as Adele, Beyoncé and Taylor Swift may have the power to set their own terms. Continue reading Adele’s New Album to Launch Today, But Not for Streaming

Pandora, Spotify Explore On-Demand Music and Ticket Sales

Pandora just acquired Rdio for its technology and talent, and Spotify is unrolling Fan Insights to offer its musicians a way to research its fan base and plan smarter tours. In both cases, these popular streaming music services are expanding beyond their core expertise — and their unstable revenue — by uniting radio, on demand and even live shows. As bigger players such as Apple, Google and Amazon create music services, Pandora and Spotify must offer more services to survive. Continue reading Pandora, Spotify Explore On-Demand Music and Ticket Sales

Netflix Doubles Down on Movie Production with $50M for ‘Okja’

On the heels of its first original theatrical film acquisition, “Beasts of No Nation,” Netflix is financing “Snowpiercer” director Bong Joon-ho’s next film, “Okja,” to the tune of $50 million. The film, which stars Jake Gyllenhaal, Tilda Swinton and Paul Dano and will be produced by Brad Pitt/Dede Gardner’s Plan B, marks the next step of the streaming media company’s transition to film production studio. Netflix’s 2016 releases include a “Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon” sequel and the Weinstein’s “Marco Polo.” Continue reading Netflix Doubles Down on Movie Production with $50M for ‘Okja’

Users Express Concern Over Snapchat’s Updated Privacy Policy

Snapchat has appealed to its fans for a variety of reasons, chief among them the fact that its photo messages disappear once they’ve been opened. That ephemeral nature has now been up-ended with the startup’s new Terms of Service. Whereas, formerly, Snapchat noted that its privacy policy was “delete is our default,” its new terms state that the company has the right, specifically in regards to the ‘Live Story’ feature, to reproduce, modify and republish photos as well as save them to Shapchat’s servers. The update has led to concern and confusion by many users. Continue reading Users Express Concern Over Snapchat’s Updated Privacy Policy

SMPTE 2015: Examining HDR Tech Challenges and Solutions

High dynamic range is lauded for its more vivid colors and life-like imagery. Initially introduced by TV set manufacturers, an increasing number of gear manufacturers have introduced HDR capabilities and SMPTE just released standard specifications. But implementing HDR into production, post production and distribution can also create problems that degrade the image, with artifacts and banding. Several experts talked about the challenges in implementing HDR, and the potential solutions to them. Continue reading SMPTE 2015: Examining HDR Tech Challenges and Solutions

Popcorn Time Goes Dark, Just After Launching Butter Project

Popcorn Time, a free software BitTorrent client with integrated media player, has shut down, seemingly due to tampering with its DNS server. Could this be the end for the company that was shut down once due to MPAA complaints about piracy? That’s not clear, but just before its site went down, Popcorn Time creators announced the launch of Butter, a new version of the Popcorn Time service, but without any direct links to piracy. Butter lets the user create a streaming service — and leaves the piracy up to the individual user. Continue reading Popcorn Time Goes Dark, Just After Launching Butter Project

GoPro and USC Ink Deal to Use Cameras for Film, Games, VR

In GoPro’s first ever deal with an educational institution, the camera company and USC School of Cinematic Arts announced that USC students will receive help to distribute, monetize and promote content created with GoPro camera equipment. As part of the deal, GoPro will donate 150 cameras and accessories, and GoPro camera technology will be incorporated into the school’s filmmaking curriculum — including education, workshops and one-on-one tutoring — this fall. The cameras will also be used for gaming and VR. Continue reading GoPro and USC Ink Deal to Use Cameras for Film, Games, VR

ETC Members Offered Major Discount on Digital Media Pipeline

The Entertainment Merchant’s Association is offering ETC members a 50 percent discount on registration to its Digital Media Pipeline conference, taking place October 14 at the Skirball Cultural Center in Los Angeles. This year’s event — which runs $198 with the discount — will focus on the delivery of digital entertainment, including electronic sell-through, transactional VOD, subscription VOD and ad-supported VOD. Studio execs, digital retailers and service and tech providers will discuss the latest trends in online entertainment. To take advantage of EMA’s offer, visit the Non-Member Registration page and enter Discount Code 904. Continue reading ETC Members Offered Major Discount on Digital Media Pipeline

Twitter to Unveil Moments, Curated News for a Wider Audience

With Twitter co-founder Jack Dorsey now in the chief executive seat, the company is ready to unveil a new feature aimed at people who find Twitter too confusing to use. Moments imposes order out of the currently chaotic timeline, by creating narratives based on big events being discussed on Twitter. The Moments section, found next to the standard timeline, will list news events being discussed; with a click on any headline, the “moment” will open up to a full-screen selection of tweets arranged by Twitter editors. Continue reading Twitter to Unveil Moments, Curated News for a Wider Audience

ETC Members Offered Major Discount on Digital Media Pipeline

The Entertainment Merchant’s Association is offering ETC members a 50 percent discount on registration to its Digital Media Pipeline conference, taking place October 14 at the Skirball Cultural Center in Los Angeles. This year’s event — which runs $198 with the discount — will focus on the delivery of digital entertainment, including electronic sell-through, transactional VOD, subscription VOD and ad-supported VOD. Studio execs, digital retailers and service and tech providers will discuss the latest trends in online entertainment. To take advantage of EMA’s offer, visit the Non-Member Registration page and enter Discount Code 904. Continue reading ETC Members Offered Major Discount on Digital Media Pipeline

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