NBCU Merges FandangoNOW and Vudu as Single Streamer

NBCUniversal has merged its FandangoNOW on-demand movie and TV platform with Vudu, the video streaming service it purchased from Walmart last year. FandangoNOW customers will be able to transfer their accounts and collections to Vudu, which uses Roku Pay as its in-app payment system. In a revenue-sharing deal, the new Vudu-branded offering will serve as Roku’s official film and TV store. Fandango executives concluded that Vudu had a stronger brand and that the merger would help to “rapidly innovate and make bolder, faster enhancements to benefit consumers and partners.” Continue reading NBCU Merges FandangoNOW and Vudu as Single Streamer

UltraViolet Users Are Reminded to Link Libraries to Retailer

Cloud-based video locker UltraViolet, Hollywood’s attempt at a cross-platform digital movie storage service that launched in 2011, is scheduled to shut down tomorrow. To avoid permanently losing access to content, UltraViolet users are reminded to link their libraries of movies and TV shows to an existing retailer such FandangoNOW, Kaleidescape or Walmart-owned Vudu. After tomorrow, according to the homepage, “Your UltraViolet Library will automatically close and, in the majority of cases, your movies and TV shows will remain accessible at previously-linked retailers.” Continue reading UltraViolet Users Are Reminded to Link Libraries to Retailer

Rotten Tomatoes Brings Film & TV Debate Series to Facebook

“Rotten Tomatoes See It/Skip It” is a new show scheduled to debut on Facebook’s Watch video platform on November 1. New episodes will be available every Thursday for viewing via “Facebook’s Watch tab on mobile, desktop and connected-TV apps,” reports Variety. Film critic Jacqueline Coley and entertainment commentator Segun Oduolowu will host the series, debating topics about pop culture, movies and TV shows while fielding comments from Facebook users. Episodes will also feature new Tomatometer scores for movies and TV shows. Continue reading Rotten Tomatoes Brings Film & TV Debate Series to Facebook

Atom: New Movie Ticket Purchasing App Earns Studio Support

One of Hollywood’s most enduring problems is filling seats in movie theaters, and a startup, which previously raised $10 million, thinks it has an answer. Atom, headquartered in Santa Monica, has an app to make the movie-going experience simpler for groups and to enable discounts for floundering movies, a controversial practice called “variable pricing.” Now, Disney, Twentieth Century Fox and Lions Gate Entertainment are betting that Atom is on to something good. Continue reading Atom: New Movie Ticket Purchasing App Earns Studio Support

Amazon in Talks with Hollywood Studios to Join UltraViolet

Amazon is reportedly in talks with at least three Hollywood studios to join the UltraViolet digital locker consortium. According to people with knowledge of the matter, Amazon has been in talks with Sony Pictures Entertainment, Universal Pictures and Warner Bros. The retail giant is currently ranked No. 2 behind Apple in digital movie sales and rentals. If Amazon were to implement UltraViolet, it could help jumpstart efforts to expand the $2 billion online movie-sales business and make it a greater threat to Apple. Continue reading Amazon in Talks with Hollywood Studios to Join UltraViolet

UltraViolet: Retailer MovieStop Launches New Digital Platform

Atlanta-based MovieStop, with 44 stores in 10 states, is launching a new digital platform that offers electronic sales of movies and TV shows, many to include UltraViolet functionality. MovieStop has been running a buy, sell, trade business model since 2004 that originated during its time as a subsidiary of video game retailer GameStop. It has partnered with Philadelphia-based FlixFling.com in the joint venture. FlixFling operates a cloud-based digital locker for independent movies. Continue reading UltraViolet: Retailer MovieStop Launches New Digital Platform

CES 2013: DECE Counts 9 Million UltraViolet Account Holders

Digital Entertainment Content Ecosystem’s UltraViolet launched in October 2011 and at the 2013 International CES, attendees can expect to hear news and updates from consortium members about the rollout, support and its Common File Format. A booth located in the Grand Lobby of the Las Vegas Convention Center will offer live demonstrations and an opportunity for CES attendees to register for UltraViolet accounts. Continue reading CES 2013: DECE Counts 9 Million UltraViolet Account Holders

Warner Bros. Flixster App adds iPad and iPhone to UltraViolet Offerings

  • The new “Harry Potter” Blu-ray disc will include an UltraViolet download from Flixster, now that Warner Bros. has added a new feature to the UV service.
  • “Today, the updated Flixster app enables users to not only stream movies available on UltraViolet, but also download them to iPads and iPhones, a feature that was missing from Warner’s initial movie releases on UltraViolet,” reports CNET.
  • When fans purchase the three-disc Blu-ray/DVD combo “Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows, Part 2,” they’ll also have access to a copy they can maintain in the Flixster cloud.
  • Warner Bros. became the first studio to adopt UltraViolet, with its release of “Horrible Bosses” last month. “Warner boasts 21 percent of the DVD market, the largest share of any of the major studios,” indicates the article.

Warner Bros. Rolls Out Flixster Collections Video Service this Week

  • Time Warner CEO Jeff Bewkes announced the availability of Flixster Collections, a social movie portal that went into public beta this week.
  • The service, a revamped version of the Flixster product acquired earlier this year, encourages users to share what they’ve watched with friends.
  • If there’s something you want to see, for example, Flixster directs you back to Amazon, iTunes, Hulu and Netflix (as well as your hard drive, if you let it). There are also links for theatrical films, including reviews, trailers and ticketing services.
  • “You can also imagine how this will tie in to Ultraviolet, the cloud/locker system for video that Warner and a big coalition of movie studios and tech companies (except for Apple and Amazon) are pushing,” writes Peter Kafka in All Things D.
  • So far, Flixster Collections is available for PCs and Macs, but no mobile app yet.

Warner Bros. Ramps Up Digital Everywhere with Flixster Acquisition

Warner Bros. Home Entertainment Group announced it has acquired social movie discovery site Flixster, which also includes premium movie reviews and news site Rotten Tomatoes (that Flixster acquired from News Corp. last year). Financial terms were not disclosed, but The Wall Street Journal recently cited Flixster’s value between $60 million and $90 million. The Flixster deal marks the next step in Warner’s “Digital Everywhere” strategy.

As recently reported on ETCentric, Warner Bros. plans to release its Digital Everywhere app by this summer with hopes that the app will serve as the ultimate destination for purchasing all digital movies. The app gathers the ways a consumer can rent or purchase movies and organizes an individual’s library of movie titles and TV programs. It then provides access to this library from any Internet-connected device through the UltraViolet cloud authentication system.

According to TechCrunch: “Flixster’s popular cross-platform movie discovery application on mobile platforms has seen 35 million downloads to date and Rotten Tomatoes is seeing 12 million unique visitors per month. The Flixster and Rotten Tomatoes will remain fully independent, says Warner and the Flixster team will stay in San Francisco and the Rotten Tomatoes team will continue to work autonomously in Los Angeles.”

Related Warner Bros. press release: “Warner Bros. Home Entertainment Group to Acquire Flixster” (5/4/11)

Related Wall Street Journal article: “Flixster Update: Warner Bros. Very Interested, as Yahoo Drops Out of Bidding for Social Movie Site” (3/28/11)

Related Wall Street Journal article: “Warner Bros. Expands Test of Movies on Facebook” (3/28/11)