Disney Accelerator Program Announces its First 11 Startups

Disney has named the first 11 startups to participate in its 15-week Accelerator program. The diverse first class of tech-driven media and entertainment startups will be mentored by top Disney execs and receive up to $120,000 in seed funding. Mentors will include leaders from ABC, ESPN, Lucasfilm, Marvel, Pixar and Walt Disney Imagineering. The companies will be advised how to best develop effective business plans, product launches and marketing campaigns. Continue reading Disney Accelerator Program Announces its First 11 Startups

Adtile Plans New App-Style Store for Interactive Mobile Ads

Adtile, a startup that promotes interactive mobile advertising, has raised $4.5 million in Series A funding, with plans to introduce an app-style store for mobile ads. Adtile’s Motion Ads format encourages users to play with ads by shaking and turning their phones. The result could be spilling a virtual coffee cup, for example, that then displays a list of nearby stores. Building these ads can be an extensive process, so the store plans to sell pre-designed and pre-coded Motion Ads. Continue reading Adtile Plans New App-Style Store for Interactive Mobile Ads

Cube: Google Creative Labs Unveils New Storytelling Platform

Google Creative Labs has built an in-browser manipulatable 3D box with different video and audio tracks on each of its six faces. The user decides what to watch and hear by clicking and dragging the Cube to show either one side or a combination of sides. The Cube, which debuted online this week with The Presets’ new single “No Fun,” is a multi-pronged promo. Google considers it a platform that could eventually extend beyond music videos to other areas of art and media.  Continue reading Cube: Google Creative Labs Unveils New Storytelling Platform

Startup Offers Customized Mobile Apps for YouTube Celebrities

High-profile YouTubers — whether they be vloggers, athletes, musicians or beauticians — can now reach their audience through personalized mobile apps. Victorious, a startup led by three former Google executives, launched last week. The company has recruited several YouTube celebrities to use its app to post photos and videos, and communicate with fans. Victorious will allow the creators to make money from in-app purchases, advertisements and merchandise sales. Continue reading Startup Offers Customized Mobile Apps for YouTube Celebrities

Google: Project Tango Tablet with 3D Camera in Development

Google’s Advanced Technology and Projects group (ATAP) has some notable new technologies in development, including a tablet with 3D scanning, a modular phone and digital storytelling. The tablet will feature Project Tango 3D technology to make games and images come to life. LG is planning to manufacture the tablets to debut in 2015. The digital storytelling content will be available on all Android phones later this year, but the modular phone will not hit the market for some time. Continue reading Google: Project Tango Tablet with 3D Camera in Development

Second Screen: QVC Hopes Tablet App Will Help Drive Sales

In order to accommodate consumers’ increasing desire to shop on mobile devices, home shopping pioneer QVC plans to launch a new tablet app that will feature content related to its television broadcasts. According to Nielsen’s 2014 Digital Consumer Report, 84 percent of smartphone and tablet owners use their devices as second screens while watching television. Leveraging this trend, QVC’s app will accompany its TV programming in order to help drive sales.  Continue reading Second Screen: QVC Hopes Tablet App Will Help Drive Sales

New Startup Adventr Will Help You Easily Make Interactive Videos

Adventr has launched a new drag & drop editing platform that allows users to create interactive videos. The New York City-based startup is backed by musician John Legend, and was founded by Devo Harris, better known as Grammy-winning producer and songwriter Devo Springsteen. The service essentially works by overlaying graphics on video, and giving users multiple choices. Adventr also allows users to share their videos on Twitter, Facebook, and any website that supports the VPAID format. Continue reading New Startup Adventr Will Help You Easily Make Interactive Videos

GTA V is Fastest in Game History to Reach $1 Billion in Sales

Take-Two Interactive Software announced that it has sold more than 33 million copies of “Grand Theft Auto V” since the game’s launch in September, generating an estimated $1.98 billion in retail sales. The New York-based company claims “GTA V” was the best-selling console game last year in North America, Latin America and Europe — and the fastest title in video game history to reach $1 billion in sales. For additional perspective, it’s worth noting that Take-Two generated $2.4 billion in total revenue for its fiscal year. Continue reading GTA V is Fastest in Game History to Reach $1 Billion in Sales

Hulu to Update its Mobile Apps for Streaming Free TV Shows

Hulu announced on Wednesday that it would update its streaming video mobile apps to allow users to view entire episodes of certain television shows, even if the users are not premium Hulu Plus subscribers. Emulating its desktop version, the update will feature free episodes with advertisements spliced in. Free shows will first be available for Android, and later for iOS via a redesigned Hulu Plus iPhone and iPad app coming this summer. Hulu Plus now has 6 million subscribers. Continue reading Hulu to Update its Mobile Apps for Streaming Free TV Shows

Nielsen and comScore Initiatives Highlight Focus on Mobile

Marketers are still seeking better tools for tracking advertising data as they continue to experiment with approaches to mobile. Measurement firms Nielsen and comScore both made recent announcements regarding related initiatives. Nielsen is partnering with digital ad-sales firms BrightRoll and TubeMogul for a tech trial before expanding its Online Campaign Ratings to mobile, while comScore is expanding its Validated Campaign Essentials measurement product to track ads that appear on phones and tablets. Continue reading Nielsen and comScore Initiatives Highlight Focus on Mobile

CNN’s Interactive Product Offers News Viewers More Control

During its upfront presentation in New York last week, CNN introduced a live news service called Watch CNNx that allows viewers to choose content in real time. The service will be available on iPads and on TVs through set-top boxes later this year. Alongside the live CNN feed, CNNx offers a rundown of stories that appear on the right side of the screen, while a menu of digital features, including photo galleries, appear at the bottom. Additionally, CNN plans to use Flipboard’s display ad format on its applications. Continue reading CNN’s Interactive Product Offers News Viewers More Control

Engineers Developing Emotion-Based Video Game Controller

Stanford engineers have created the next step in interactive gaming — a video game controller that can sense a player’s emotions. The handheld game controller can monitor a player’s brain activity to decipher when a user is extremely engaged or bored, which could trigger zombies or another element of the game to be thrown at them to catch their attention. Gregory Kovacs, a professor of electrical engineering at Stanford, created a prototype controller in his lab in collaboration with Texas Instruments. Continue reading Engineers Developing Emotion-Based Video Game Controller

Internet Ad Revenues Surpass Broadcast TV for First Time

According to the Interactive Advertising Bureau (IAB), interactive advertising revenues for 2013 hit an all-time high of $42.8 billion in the U.S. The report indicates that the figure represents a 17 percent jump from the previous year’s landmark revenues of $36.6 billion. Notably, the 2013 total also marks the first time that Internet ad revenues exceeded those of broadcast television advertising ($40.1 billion). In addition, mobile experienced triple-digit growth for the third year in a row. Continue reading Internet Ad Revenues Surpass Broadcast TV for First Time

NAB: USC’s Elizabeth Daley Speaks at Tech Summit on Cinema

The ongoing effort to utilize new technologies in the service of storytelling was the theme of USC School of Cinematic Arts (SCA) Dean Elizabeth Daley’s keynote address Sunday at the SMPTE Technology Summit on Cinema at NAB. Digital technology is deeply engrained throughout the SCA curriculum. In fact, the Interactive Media & Games Division and the John C. Hench Division of Animation and Digital Arts wouldn’t exist without it. Yet “everything has changed, and nothing has changed. Great storytelling is still key,” Daley said. Continue reading NAB: USC’s Elizabeth Daley Speaks at Tech Summit on Cinema

Chris Cookson Speaks at NAB’s Technology Summit on Cinema

“It’s all about the story” was the message of Chris Cookson’s keynote address, and a recurring theme throughout the first day of the NAB Show’s Technology Summit On Cinema: The Future of Motion Imaging and Sound (TSC), produced in partnership with SMPTE. The essence of cinema is storytelling, he said. Cinema is the canvas for storytellers to convey their ideas to the audience. Throughout his talk, Cookson used cinema in the broadest sense, to include content viewed in theaters, on TVs, and on laptops, tablets and phones. Continue reading Chris Cookson Speaks at NAB’s Technology Summit on Cinema