BuzzFeed is Using Investment to Test a Host of New Features

BuzzFeed, which currently draws more than 150 million average monthly viewers, wants to become known for more than its numbered lists popular with Web surfers. To achieve this goal, the startup just closed a $50 million investment from Silicon Valley VC firm Andreessen Horowitz. The investment will be used to develop new content sections for the site, create an in-house incubator for new technologies, and put more resources toward its LA-based video arm, BuzzFeed Motion Pictures. Continue reading BuzzFeed is Using Investment to Test a Host of New Features

Filmmakers Lobby Hollywood Studios to Help Save Kodak Film

A coalition of Hollywood studios is reportedly close to a deal that will help keep Eastman Kodak in the business of manufacturing film stock, despite the entertainment industry’s move to digital production. Prior to the studios’ promise to keep purchasing film, Kodak was considering closing its manufacturing facility in Rochester, New York. Quentin Tarantino, Christopher Nolan, Judd Apatow and J.J. Abrams were among the notable filmmakers who reportedly lobbied studio heads to save film. Continue reading Filmmakers Lobby Hollywood Studios to Help Save Kodak Film

Survey Finds the Twitter Buzz Around Movies Has Real Impact

Nielsen and Twitter teamed up to study how consumers decide to go see a movie, and they found that Twitter played a major role in that decision. About 87 percent of surveyed moviegoers said that Twitter influenced their choice of movie and 47 percent said that they saw a movie based on recommendations from family or friends on Twitter. The survey also found that in general, 62 percent of moviegoers use the Internet or mobile apps to look up films before their theatrical release. Continue reading Survey Finds the Twitter Buzz Around Movies Has Real Impact

Dealflicks Partners with Movie Theaters to Offer Special Deals

Dealflicks is a company that offers movie and concession discounts in order to fill the empty seats in movie theaters. According to Dealflicks, about 88 percent of seats remain empty on average. The company is partnering with movie theaters to help attract consumers through special deals. Dealflicks has already raised $1.7 million in seed funding in order to offer these discounts through its mobile app. Meanwhile, over 400 theaters have partnered with the company.

Continue reading Dealflicks Partners with Movie Theaters to Offer Special Deals

Radius-TWC is Experimenting with ‘Snowpiercer’ VOD Release

“Snowpiercer,” a sci-fi film starring Chris Evans and Tilda Swinton, was released June 27 in eight theaters. Just weeks following its theatrical release, the Bong Joon-ho helmed movie was made available via video-on-demand. This new distribution model is part of Radius-TWC’s strategy to bring the movie to a larger audience. The Weinstein Co.’s boutique division is hoping that the early VOD release will keep the buzz going as its release expands to additional theaters. Continue reading Radius-TWC is Experimenting with ‘Snowpiercer’ VOD Release

Drone Debate Continues as Hollywood Seeks Production Options

Hollywood continues to consider drones for media production since they have the potential to save money, offer creative options and create a safer set. Drone-makers, rigging manufacturers and aerial production companies have joined forces to offer camera-equipped drones and services. However, federal law prohibits the commercial use of unmanned aircrafts. The FAA is currently reviewing a request by the MPAA to allow drones for use by the film and television industry. Continue reading Drone Debate Continues as Hollywood Seeks Production Options

Attention Broadcasters: Mobile Video Viewing is on the Rise

According to a study from Ooyala, mobile devices are increasingly playing a major role in the consumption of online video. The research indicates that during the first quarter of this year, smartphones and tablets were responsible for 21 percent of all online video-plays worldwide, up from 9 percent in 2013 and a mere 3.4 percent two years ago. Considering that mobile and tablet video viewership is up 532 percent since 2012, the data should be of particular interest to broadcasters. Continue reading Attention Broadcasters: Mobile Video Viewing is on the Rise

SK Telecom Introduces New LTE-Advanced Broadband Service

Korea’s largest mobile operator, SK Telecom rolled out its new LTE-Advanced broadband service last week. South Korean customers will now have access to 4G wireless network speeds up to 225Mbps (three times faster than other current mobile connections). This speed will allow users to download 800MB movies in less than half a minute. A new version of the Samsung Galaxy S5 will be the first to support LTE-A speeds, while LG and Pantech plan to launch compatible devices next month. Continue reading SK Telecom Introduces New LTE-Advanced Broadband Service

Qplay Changes Direction, Brings its Video App to Chromecast

Earlier this year, we reported the launch of Qplay from TiVo co-founders Mike Ramsay and Jim Barton. The service allows users to create personalized video streams called “Qs” from various online sources. The startup also offers a $49 TV adapter for those who want to watch their video streams on their television. A new version of Qplay’s iPad app now adds the ability to cast videos to Google’s Chromecast streaming stick, which could eliminate the need for Qplay’s streaming player. Continue reading Qplay Changes Direction, Brings its Video App to Chromecast

Analysts Credit “Gravity” with Bringing 3D Back to the Spotlight

“Gravity” brought in 80 percent of its debut haul from 3D engagement, leading analysts to credit the film for bringing the format back into the spotlight. For studios and exhibitors, this is a plus because 3D tickets carry a large surcharge, potentially bringing in million of dollars. The recent increase in 3D interest can be partially attributed to the directors, including Gareth Edwards (“Godzilla”) and Marc Webb (“The Amazing Spider-Man 2”), who have been encouraging fans to see their films in 3D.  Continue reading Analysts Credit “Gravity” with Bringing 3D Back to the Spotlight

SMPTE and HPA Announce New Move Toward Consolidation

The Society of Motion Picture and Television Engineers announced it plans to provide administrative support for the Hollywood Post Alliance. The move is part of a larger plan to eventually combine the two organizations. SMPTE made the announcement yesterday during the Entertainment Technology in the Internet Age conference at Stanford University. A roadmap has been endorsed by both boards that will steer HPA toward consolidation within SMPTE as a separate affiliate organization. Continue reading SMPTE and HPA Announce New Move Toward Consolidation

Latest “Transformers” Film Shot with New IMAX 4K 3D Camera

IMAX announced that it has developed the first fully integrated dual 65mm 4K digital large-format 3D camera. Michael Bay’s latest Paramount Pictures project, “Transformers: Age of Extinction” is the first feature film to use the true 4K stereo camera, which captures both left and right eye images at full 4K resolution. According to the company, the new IMAX 3D Digital Camera system is “smaller, lighter and easier to use than other 3D digital camera systems on the market.” Continue reading Latest “Transformers” Film Shot with New IMAX 4K 3D Camera

E3 2014: $99 Game-Streamer PlayStation TV Coming to U.S.

During its E3 press conference yesterday in Los Angeles, Sony announced that the PlayStation TV device is coming to North America this fall for $99 as a standalone, or for $139 bundled with a DualShock Controller, an 8GB memory card for storing downloaded games, and a copy of “The Lego Movie” video game. Users can pair the set-top box with their PlayStation 4 console for remote play on a second television. Video and music streaming services will be accessible, as will games via PlayStation Now. Continue reading E3 2014: $99 Game-Streamer PlayStation TV Coming to U.S.

Half of U.S. Households Now Have an Internet-Connected TV

Leichtman Research Group notes that 47 percent of U.S. households currently subscribe to Netflix, Hulu Plus, Amazon Prime or a combination of these services, while 49 percent have at least one Internet-connected TV (up from 24 percent four years ago). Interestingly, as paid streaming services become more accessible, consumers still prefer watching video for free. According to nScreenMedia, YouTube accounted for 48 percent of time people spent watching online video in March. Continue reading Half of U.S. Households Now Have an Internet-Connected TV

Streaming Delay Messages: Verizon Threatens to Sue Netflix

Last week it was reported that Netflix had begun posting on-screen messages blaming Verizon for congestion that was slowing video streams. While Netflix claims the message was simply one step in notifying customers about how an ISP can impact the viewing experience, Verizon described the move as “a PR stunt” and suggested the message “is not only inaccurate, it is deliberately misleading.” Later in the week, Verizon sent a cease and desist letter to Netflix. Continue reading Streaming Delay Messages: Verizon Threatens to Sue Netflix

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