BitTorrent Launches Ad-Supported Music and Video Platform

BitTorrent has launched its open, ad-supported music and video platform that allows consumers to access media content via apps for Android, iOS and Apple TV. BitTorrent Now is the latest effort to shed the piracy stigma of the popular peer-to-peer technology for more legitimate uses. Up until now, BitTorrent offered free and paywall versions for artists to get their content to people. With the new ad-supported service, artists have an alternative for generating revenue while users can stream their content through an Android app launched yesterday, and iOS and Apple TV apps to follow. Continue reading BitTorrent Launches Ad-Supported Music and Video Platform

‘Banshee Chapter’ Becomes First Feature Film for Oculus Rift

The 2013 horror indie “Banshee Chapter,” produced by Zachary Quinto and directed by Blair Erickson, is the first feature film to be released on Oculus Rift headsets. San Francisco-based Jamwix is making the movie available for free via its website. Jamwix’s Chimera software was used to convert “Banshee Chapter,” which was already shot in 3D, into a virtual reality feature. The digital studio is using the project to promote how Chimera can transition films into an immersive VR experience. Continue reading ‘Banshee Chapter’ Becomes First Feature Film for Oculus Rift

Indie Labels Adjust to Growing Popularity of Music Streaming

To battle the increasing challenges that music labels have experienced with selling albums, some independent labels and their artists have decided to embrace streaming. Drip.fm, a two-year-old subscription streaming and download service, has partnered with Sub Pop Records to provide subscribers with the label’s albums, singles and special exclusives for $10 per month. The idea is to cultivate and monetize the most loyal fans as streaming continues to popularize. Continue reading Indie Labels Adjust to Growing Popularity of Music Streaming

Contract for YouTube Premium Music Service Leaked Online

A full 32-page version of YouTube’s contract for its upcoming premium music subscription service has been leaked online through the blog Digital Music News. So far, the most controversial clause included in the contract concerns the ability of major labels to agree upon lowered rates and therefore influence the rate of royalties paid to independent labels. The leaked contract was drafted to send to these independent labels, but is not a reflection of the actual signed deals.  Continue reading Contract for YouTube Premium Music Service Leaked Online

YouTube to Block Artists Who Don’t Sign Up for New Service

Content from indie artists could disappear from Google’s YouTube “in a matter of days.” As YouTube prepares to launch its ad-free streaming music service, it also plans to block videos from independent labels and artists that choose not to sign up for the new subscription offering. While YouTube has signed licensing deals with the major labels, it says it will block others from using its entire platform if they do not agree to terms of the upcoming premium service. Continue reading YouTube to Block Artists Who Don’t Sign Up for New Service

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

Cloud Computing Proves an Asset for Productions on a Budget

Today’s cloud services — including CGI, digital intermediate, asset management and storage — are allowing small productions to realize their big visions with less money. Independent films and live events are more frequently using cloud computing to get the rendering and storage services they need without the high costs of traditional physical infrastructure. Productions can also save money because cloud computing helps speed up the long shooting and filmmaking process. Continue reading Cloud Computing Proves an Asset for Productions on a Budget

Online Book Subscriptions Aim to Save the Publishing Industry

As the book industry struggles with plunging prices and a decrease in demand, some publishers are turning to magazines to save their businesses. At SXSW in Austin this week, San Francisco-based literary startup Plympton launched Rooster, a subscription-only online fiction service. The service is an example of the new alternative in packaging books like magazines. A similar service is Plympton’s Daily Lit, which emails customers five-minute installments of classic literature. Continue reading Online Book Subscriptions Aim to Save the Publishing Industry

Amazon Prime Bumped to $99, Retailer Considers Music Service

Insiders say that Amazon is hoping to introduce an on-demand music-streaming service for its growing number of Amazon Prime customers. While the company has negotiated with record companies and music publishers in regards to licensing, financial terms are said to remain an obstacle. The music service is expected to be one of several new possible features the company may bundle with Prime as it raises the annual membership fee from $79 to as much as $119. Amazon already announced a $20 increase to take effect in April. Continue reading Amazon Prime Bumped to $99, Retailer Considers Music Service

“Veronica Mars” To Be Released in Theaters, VOD on Same Day

Warner Bros. is planning to release its Kickstarter-initiated “Veronica Mars” movie, starring Kristen Bell, in 270 theaters on March 14, the same day the film will be made available to rent or purchase online. While independent studios and theaters have been experimenting with same-day releases in recent years, the move will mark the first time that a major Hollywood studio has distributed a movie theatrically and for home viewing simultaneously in the U.S. Continue reading “Veronica Mars” To Be Released in Theaters, VOD on Same Day

Mark Duplass Offers Advice to New Filmmakers: Get on Netflix

During a talk at the Variety Studio at the Sundance Film Festival, director/producer/actor Mark Duplass offered some straightforward advice to peers and young filmmakers navigating the world of distribution. He stressed the importance of making films available on Netflix, saying the release of his first movie on the streaming media service “made his career.” Duplass, who has debuted nearly 10 films at Sundance, was there to premiere his new project, “The One I Love.” Continue reading Mark Duplass Offers Advice to New Filmmakers: Get on Netflix

Vimeo Looks to Crowdfunding Sites for its On Demand Platform

Content licensing has seen a paradigm shift with the iTunes Store and emerging online alternatives for distribution. Now Vimeo, largely touted as a competitor to YouTube, has announced a program to help indie filmmakers market their films if they have raised at least $10,000 from crowdfunding sites. Vimeo searches for movies to license, and offers creators free Pro accounts and promotion financing, in exchange for the movies being made available on its paid distribution platform Vimeo On Demand.

Continue reading Vimeo Looks to Crowdfunding Sites for its On Demand Platform

Valve Says There are Now 75 Million Worldwide Steam Users

Following a strong showing at CES last week, Valve kicked off its 2-day Steam Dev Days conference in Seattle (Jan. 15-16) with the announcement that the online gaming platform now has 75 million users, a 15 percent increase from numbers released in October. Global sales for 2013 were strongest in North America and Western Europe. Steam Dev Days is an invite-only event, and the first of its kind for Valve, where 1,200 developers and publishers gathered to discuss the new Steam Machines. Continue reading Valve Says There are Now 75 Million Worldwide Steam Users

YEI Demos PrioVR Suit: Combines Motion Capture and Gaming

Billed as, “professional grade motion capture without cameras, cords, or specialized studios,” YEI Technology is promoting its PrioVR suit as the next step in full-body immersion. The 17-sensor, inertial sensing suit can be put on with minimal effort and promises to offer 360 degrees of low-latency, wireless motion capture. The system offers a great deal in terms of virtual reality gaming, but could also make waves for independent cinematographers looking for low cost motion capture. Continue reading YEI Demos PrioVR Suit: Combines Motion Capture and Gaming

CES 2014: Gaming Trends to Expect in Las Vegas Next Month

Once an afterthought at the International CES, gaming stole the show at last year’s confab, due in part to strong offerings from NVIDIA and Valve’s hotly-anticipated foray into hardware. With the release of Microsoft’s Xbox One and Sony’s PlayStation 4 still fresh, Kickstarter supercharging virtual reality and more independent developers than ever before, we are expecting even bigger gaming news to be announced during January’s show. Continue reading CES 2014: Gaming Trends to Expect in Las Vegas Next Month

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