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

Facebook News Feed Algorithm Tweak Favors Family, Friends

Facebook has again tweaked its News Feed, this time in a major way. The social media giant will now prioritize what a member’s friends and family share and comment on, rather than content from publishers and brands. The change, meant to maximize what chief executive Mark Zuckerberg calls “meaningful interaction,” will take place over the next few weeks. Likewise, Facebook wants to diminish “passive content,” which is defined as that which requires nothing of the viewer than to sit back and watch or read. Continue reading Facebook News Feed Algorithm Tweak Favors Family, Friends

Netflix’s New Flixtape Site Lets Users Create, Share ‘Mixtapes’

Netflix has debuted Flixtape, a standalone website that allows users to make playlists of their favorite movies and TV shows. The lists can be created on the basis of genre (comedy, drama, documentary) or any kind of theme. According to Netflix, these lists can either be shared, via text message, email or social networks including Facebook and Twitter, with family and friends, or simply created for the user’s own reference. The list, however, is limited to a total of six titles. Continue reading Netflix’s New Flixtape Site Lets Users Create, Share ‘Mixtapes’

Cord-Shaving Becoming New Concern for the Pay TV Industry

The number of cable channel subscribers has decreased over the past four years, but it is not necessarily a result of viewers completely “cutting the cord.” Rather, many viewers are now “cord shaving,” or opting for smaller, cheaper cable bundles. These bundles do not include popular channels like CNN, ESPN or TNT. Those channels, and the others in the top 40 most distributed channels have lost more than 3 percent of their distribution, 3.2 million subscribers, in the past four years. Continue reading Cord-Shaving Becoming New Concern for the Pay TV Industry

Facebook Builds App for Private Sharing with Close Friends

Micro-sharing just got easier for Facebook users. Instead of using complicated privacy controls, Facebook is working on an app codenamed “Moments” that will let Facebook users choose which sets of friends can see their content. The app focuses on audience rather than content, so each group of “co-workers,” “family,” and “high school pals” will have their own tile in the grid design. Facebook may auto populate the groups in the new app based on users’ Facebook activity. Continue reading Facebook Builds App for Private Sharing with Close Friends

VUDU Allows UltraViolet Users to Share Movies with Friends

Walmart announced that its VUDU media delivery service will introduce a new feature that allows customers to share content from their UltraViolet collections. The “Share My Movies” feature will enable users to share movies and TV shows with up to five friends or family members by simply entering their email addresses (they also need to be VUDU customers). The company hopes that the ability to share libraries will encourage more consumers to sign up for the service. Continue reading VUDU Allows UltraViolet Users to Share Movies with Friends

LG All-In-One Chromebase Computer to Hit Shelves This Month

LG announced that its new family friendly, all-in-one computer powered by Chrome OS will be available for $350. The “simple, fast and secure” Chromebase will take on the iMac-dominated all-in-one space when it begins shipping this month. Chromebase combines cloud computing, access to “tens of thousands of apps” via the Chrome Web Store, a widescreen 21.5-inch 1080p display, an Intel Celeron 2955U Haswell processor, 2GB of RAM and 16GB of storage. Continue reading LG All-In-One Chromebase Computer to Hit Shelves This Month

Board Game Sales Increase Despite Electronic Game Success

While most people may assume that the success of electronic gaming has negatively impacted the traditional board game industry, the result has actually been the opposite. Technology has brought new tools that can create tabletop games with 3D figures and other tangible advances. In the past few years, sales of tabletop games have dramatically increased. Dan Shapiro, who has worked at Microsoft and sold a company to Google, recently created a board game for children and found crowdfunding to be beneficial. Continue reading Board Game Sales Increase Despite Electronic Game Success

Ourscreen Helps Movie Fans Organize Their Own Screenings

Ourscreen is a service that allows groups of people to arrange private or public film screenings at their local cinema for movies that do not have a regular listing. It is similar to Groupon, in that a showing can be booked (by selecting a film, participating theater, and date/time), but is only confirmed once a certain number of people buy in. You can also search screenings that have been proposed by others and invite your friends. The larger the crowd for a given screening, the more affordable become the ticket prices. Continue reading Ourscreen Helps Movie Fans Organize Their Own Screenings

Billy Chasen Shutters Turntable.fm, Launches New Social App

Turntable.fm founder Billy Chasen announced that the service is officially closing, “ending one of the most compelling experiments in music discovery to ever hit the Web,” suggests The Verge. Chasen attempted to play by the rules, paying every time a song was streamed, which eventually proved to be too expensive. He believes that the music industry is stifling innovation and digital startups. For his next venture, Chasen is going social with Ketchup, a free app he launched last month. Continue reading Billy Chasen Shutters Turntable.fm, Launches New Social App

Disney Launches Online Movie Service Powered by Keychest

Disney has launched its new Disney Movies Anywhere (DMA), that allows consumers to purchase movies and store them in the cloud. Launching initially for iOS and the Web, the service is integrated with the Apple iTunes Store. Users can browse, buy and view more than 400 Disney, Pixar and Marvel movies (however, R-rated movies are not included). DMA is powered by Keychest digital storage and streaming tech, developed by Disney, the first to offer movies and TV shows through iTunes. Continue reading Disney Launches Online Movie Service Powered by Keychest

Smarthome Devices Offer Many Benefits, Raise Privacy Concerns

As was evident at CES in January, a number of smarthome products are entering the market, designed primarily for home security and automation. Most of the products include camera features and the ability to easily watch and/or record activity via apps and mobile devices. While surveillance inside the home isn’t new (think nanny cams and video security systems), the new wave of affordable devices intend to democratize and perhaps even glamorize home surveillance. For homes with multiple inhabitants, this may raise questions regarding privacy. Continue reading Smarthome Devices Offer Many Benefits, Raise Privacy Concerns

Hulu Announces Slate of New Originals and Returning Series

Hulu plans to air 12 returning series and four new series under its Hulu Originals banner this season. The streaming video service recently announced its lineup, including renewed shows such as Seth Meyers’ animated superhero series “The Awesomes,” Chris O’Dowd’s comedy “Moone Boy,” docuseries “Behind the Mask,” western comedy “Quick Draw” and popular drama “East Los High.” Premiering this year includes “The Hotwives of Orlando,” “Deadbeat,” “The Bridge” and “The Next Step.” Continue reading Hulu Announces Slate of New Originals and Returning Series

Target Ticket: Online Video Service with the Family in Mind

Target launched its online video store to the public yesterday, designed to provide parents with family-friendly options for their children. The Target Ticket online storefront goes beyond the standard age-based ratings of other electronic sell-through services by enabling parents to create subaccounts for their children based on various criteria. Target Ticket currently has 30,000 movies and TV shows (for viewers of all ages) available to purchase or rent, download or stream. Continue reading Target Ticket: Online Video Service with the Family in Mind

Waiting in Long Lines at Theme Parks Can Actually Be Fun

Our community member Lee Lanselle of the Entertainment Development Group and AsiaParks Partners Limited forwarded interesting news regarding how theme parks are ensuring that guests are not bored while waiting in long lines. Disneyland, Universal Studios and Six Flags are among those that have incorporated interactive elements, animatronic characters, and even play areas for kids so that park attendees can be entertained while they wait in line for a ride. Continue reading Waiting in Long Lines at Theme Parks Can Actually Be Fun