Indie Cinema Leverages NFT, Blockchain, Social Media Tech

Online film sales tool Cinemarket, a platform for international buyers and sellers, is launching Cineverse, which intends to make it possible to market and distribute films and associated items using NFT and blockchain technology. The company reportedly has about 300 films in the pipeline for its soft launch at the this month’s Berlin International Film Festival and is prepping for a major debut May 21 at the Cannes Film Festival. Cineverse is designed to be an open platform that uses social media tools to allow filmmakers and marketers to connect directly with audiences. Continue reading Indie Cinema Leverages NFT, Blockchain, Social Media Tech

Apple and Goldman Sachs to Launch Apple Pay Credit Card

Apple and Goldman Sachs Group are readying the launch early next year of a joint credit card branded with Apple Pay. This will be Goldman Sachs’ first credit card, and it will also replace Apple’s current rewards-card with Barclays. Apple Pay, which generates revenue with every transaction, has been slow to take off, and Goldman’s move into consumer banking is intended to compensate for a significant dip in securities trading. In 2016, Goldman Sachs also debuted Marcus, retail banking for online savings and personal loans. Continue reading Apple and Goldman Sachs to Launch Apple Pay Credit Card

Airbus, SoftBank and Bill Gates Invest in EarthNow Satellites

The EarthNow project, which plans to launch 500 small satellites to provide video coverage of the world, now has three notable investors: Airbus, Microsoft founder Bill Gates and SoftBank Group chief executive Masayoshi Son. Satellite entrepreneur Greg Wyler, who has also partnered with Airbus and SoftBank on OneWeb, another satellite Internet project, is a fourth investor. Project chief executive Russell Hannigan says EarthNow will cost more than $1 billion, but didn’t reveal tech details or a launch date. Continue reading Airbus, SoftBank and Bill Gates Invest in EarthNow Satellites

Cynora’s New OLED Tech Garners Samsung, LG Investment

Samsung Ventures, the South Korean company’s investment unit, and LG’s Display division has invested €25 million ($30 million) in Bruchsal, Germany-based OLED display firm Cynora, founded in 2008. Cynora calls itself a leader in TADF (thermally activated delayed fluorescence) technology and is also developing a new type of organic high-efficiency blue OLED emitting material. With the rising popularity of OLED displays, several companies are working on new OLED emitter materials that will last longer and not use heavy metals. Continue reading Cynora’s New OLED Tech Garners Samsung, LG Investment

Hootsuite Takes Customer Service from Twitter to Phone Calls

Many consumers have found that the fastest way to get a response from a company is to send a tweet, but the 140-character length and the public nature of the social network limit the conversation. Hootsuite Media, the maker of the popular social media management app, is rolling out a solution: a feature that allows businesses to initiate calls with their customers via Twitter. Consumers who send the company tweets will get a reply with a phone number so that they can talk offline. Continue reading Hootsuite Takes Customer Service from Twitter to Phone Calls

Junction: Crowdfunder Allows Fans to Invest in Film Projects

The new San Francisco-based Junction provides wealthy movie fans with an opportunity for investing in films online. It is not another Kickstarter that helps projects get made, but instead allows potential investors to contribute to projects that already have enough finances secured for production. Junction is only open to individuals with annual income of more than $200,000 a year or net worth of $1 million. The incentive for producers is that outside investors will help minimize risk. Continue reading Junction: Crowdfunder Allows Fans to Invest in Film Projects

Sprint Could Acquire T-Mobile to Better Compete with Rivals

Sprint, the third largest carrier in the U.S., may take over its smaller rival, T-Mobile. Sprint has received proposals from at least two banks on how to finance the acquisition. T-Mobile’s market value is reportedly around $26 billion, but the deal would likely cost $50 billion total, with approximately $20 billion going toward paying off T-Mobile’s debt. The potential takeover comes at a little more than a year from an expected government auction of wireless airwaves. Continue reading Sprint Could Acquire T-Mobile to Better Compete with Rivals

Full-Length Feature Film to Be Shot Entirely on Apple iPhone

Production is scheduled to begin in June for what is claimed to be the first full-length feature film shot entirely with an Apple iPhone. The film is under a SAG-AFTRA production contract — “Ultra Low Budget” — and will be shot on the newest iPhone, the 5s. Writer/director/producer Brian Kowalchuk and crew are working with Apple executives to address the challenges of logistics. The production has a target release date of April 2015. Continue reading Full-Length Feature Film to Be Shot Entirely on Apple iPhone

DirecTV to Co-Finance Indie Films in Exchange for VOD Rights

DirecTV is entering the world of film financing through a new partnership with startup movie studio A24 Inc. Through the deal with A24, the satellite operator will acquire independent films in exchange for exclusive rights to offer them on DirecTV’s video-on-demand services 30 days before the indies are released theatrically. DirecTV will initially commit $40 million to co-finance and market independent films; the first acquired with A24 is the thriller “Enemy,” starring Jake Gyllenhaal. Continue reading DirecTV to Co-Finance Indie Films in Exchange for VOD Rights

Snapchat Boasts 350 Million Snaps Per Day, Looks to Expand

Snapchat CEO Evan Spiegel recently announced that the company’s messaging app is processing more than 350 million snaps a day, which is an increase from 200 million in June. The popularity of the app stems from the fact that one can send pictures that are instantly deleted after being opened. Facebook’s Poke app may have been a potential threat to Snapchat, but while the Poke app has lost popularity, Snapchat is number 12 among Apple’s free apps. Continue reading Snapchat Boasts 350 Million Snaps Per Day, Looks to Expand

Dish Goes Up Against SoftBank to Purchase Sprint Nextel

Dish Network has received signed commitment letters from five banks, according to people familiar with the matter, bringing it closer to arranging $9 billion in committed financing for a planned $25.5 billion acquisition bid for Sprint Nextel. Dish has raised nearly $12 billion for the deal, which will compete with October’s $20.1 billion offer by SoftBank to acquire 70 percent of Sprint. The financing arrives a few days after Sprint agreed to enter into negotiations with Dish. Continue reading Dish Goes Up Against SoftBank to Purchase Sprint Nextel