Google Selects London Location for its First Ever Branded Shop

Google has opened its first branded physical store, with plans to sell the company’s Android phones and tablets, Chromebook laptops and Chromecast TV services. The Google shop is located on Tottenham Court Road in London. While not its first foray into physical locations — Google opened “Chromezones” in U.K. stores in 2011 and “Androidland” in Australian stores — it marks the first time the company is opening a shop under its own name and illustrates how some major online players are exploring new ways to reach consumers. Continue reading Google Selects London Location for its First Ever Branded Shop

HBO to Test Simultaneous Global Airing of ‘Game of Thrones’

The fifth season of HBO’s global hit series, “Game of Thrones” is slated to premiere in the U.S. on April 12. This time around, however, the cable network plans to broadcast the series simultaneously worldwide in an effort to combat piracy. When episodes air at 9:00 pm in New York, they will also air at 2:00 am in London and 9:00 am in Hong Kong. While the international air times may seem unusual, HBO hopes they will curtail the number of illegal downloads of what has become the most-pirated TV show in the world. Continue reading HBO to Test Simultaneous Global Airing of ‘Game of Thrones’

Mobile Gaming Revenue on an Upswing, Supercell is Top Earner

Revenue from mobile gaming is expected to rise 16.5 percent this year to $3.04 billion, surpassing the revenue growth of e-books, music, and videos. An estimated 60 percent of that growth is expected from in-app purchases. Mobile gaming companies will likely make most of that revenue from only a few strong-performing games because the revenue distribution is highly skewed towards the top. Currently, European gaming companies are making the most successful mobile games. Continue reading Mobile Gaming Revenue on an Upswing, Supercell is Top Earner

Nearly 90 Percent of World’s Cinema Screens are Now Digital

London-based IHS Cinema Intelligence reports that 89.8 percent of theatrical movie screens worldwide have completed the conversion to digital cinema. The global digital cinema footprint reached 127,688 screens in 2014, a 14.7 percent increase over the previous year. The largest increase was seen in the Asia Pacific region, followed by South and Central America. Additionally, digital penetration climbed to 96 percent in Western Europe, matching that of North America for the first time. Continue reading Nearly 90 Percent of World’s Cinema Screens are Now Digital

Retailers Turn to Smart Mannequins to Lure In-Store Shoppers

For nearly three decades, Universal Display has provided mannequins to fashion retail stores such as Lord & Taylor, Saks and Uniqlo. In an effort to improve the brick-and-mortar shopping experience, Universal Display has developed an innovative way to use modern tech with mannequins to push information to nearby shoppers. Mannequins are tagged with beacons that push messages to customers’ mobile phones complete with photos, sizes and prices of ready to buy clothing inside the store. Continue reading Retailers Turn to Smart Mannequins to Lure In-Store Shoppers

Songkick Service Now Sells Concert Tickets to Fans Directly

Concert discovery service Songkick will now sell concert tickets directly to music fans. The London-based startup — which, over the course of seven years has gained 10 million active users — will now potentially earn 20 times as much revenue. While the service previously referred users to other sellers, clicking away to another service to purchase was a nuisance and could be impacted by conversion rates. Now, by adding payment information, users can purchase tickets without leaving the site.  Continue reading Songkick Service Now Sells Concert Tickets to Fans Directly

UK Police Fight Piracy by Replacing Online Ads with Warnings

The Police Intellectual Property Crime Unit (PIPCU) of London has partnered with Project Sunblock, a content verification company, to help take down copyright infringing websites by replacing ads with warnings. The warning, which notifies site visitors that the site is under criminal investigation, serves as an alternative to when an advertisement from a Project Sunblock client is about to be placed on a piracy site. This solution helps keep respected brands off illegal sites. Continue reading UK Police Fight Piracy by Replacing Online Ads with Warnings

Facebook Reportedly Developing a Version for the Workplace

Facebook is currently building FB@Work, a version of its social media platform specifically designed for use during work hours. The effort, based in London, is a version of the site optimized for professional use, although sources did not specify whether FB@Work would focus on a chat system for communication within the office, or if it would be a professional social tool along the lines of LinkedIn. The general idea, however, is to create a version of Facebook that is less distracting in a work environment. Continue reading Facebook Reportedly Developing a Version for the Workplace

BBC Schedules 4K Ultra HD Broadcast Trials for World Cup

Journalist and ETCentric contributor Adrian Pennington forwarded us news that the BBC, working with research partners Arqiva and BT, plans to broadcast the World Cup final and two other FIFA matches live in 4K as part of an ongoing trial with the Ultra HD format. This marks the first time that 4K will be distributed simultaneously over IP and digital terrestrial television technologies, a hybrid distribution model that the BBC has been developing for several years. Continue reading BBC Schedules 4K Ultra HD Broadcast Trials for World Cup

ScreenHits to Launch Free Website for Showcasing TV Pilots

ScreenHits, an online marketplace for international buyers of film and television content, plans to launch a free service for consumers that will feature TV pilots that have not been picked up. The approach aims to introduce a new source of revenue for producers and studios. The Pilot Showcase service is scheduled to go live with 50 pilots on July 1. The pilots will be made available with advertising, and viewers can pre-order any shows that get greenlit as full series.   Continue reading ScreenHits to Launch Free Website for Showcasing TV Pilots

Major Record Companies Invest $3M Each in Shazam Music App

Music-identification app Shazam has landed investments from the industry’s biggest record labels, including Warner Music Group, Universal Music Group and Sony Music Entertainment. London-based Shazam’s most recent valuation was $500 million. Its value for the labels involves its potential as a marketing partner. Not only does the app enable users to identify music playing on the radio or TV, but it lets them share a song’s name via social media, download it from iTunes, or stream it via services such as Spotify. Continue reading Major Record Companies Invest $3M Each in Shazam Music App

Social TV: Twitter Purchases Two Analytics Firms in Europe

Twitter has acquired two TV analytics companies as part of its effort to become a stronger social complement to television viewing. French company Mesagraph and U.K.-based SecondSync will become part of Twitter’s London office. Twitter also announced it will be expanding its partnership with Kantar Media, and is hoping to extend its Twitter TV ratings system into Europe. To compete in the social TV space, Facebook has teamed with TV networks to initiate live updates during broadcasts, a practice popular with Twitter. Continue reading Social TV: Twitter Purchases Two Analytics Firms in Europe

CeBIT 2014: Germany and Britain Plan to Develop 5G Broadband

Great Britain struck a major deal with Germany at the CeBIT 2014 trade fair to co-develop a 5G Internet service fast enough to download a movie in less than a second. German and British universities will work together on the project. Speaking at the tech summit in Hannover, Germany, British Prime Minister David Cameron said that his country risks being left behind if it does not develop ultra-fast broadband. He also announced a major investment in a grant fund and research and development for the Internet of Things. Continue reading CeBIT 2014: Germany and Britain Plan to Develop 5G Broadband

LTE Advanced: Qualcomm Demos Blazing Download Speeds

At the Mobile World Congress in Barcelona this week, Qualcomm demonstrated the next generation of 4G LTE, called LTE Advanced Category 6, which produces download speeds of 300Mpbs. This technology will be integrated into Qualcomm’s Snapdragon 805 processor, which will be used in next-gen Android tablets. The technology is already being used for networks in South Korea, mainly due to interest from broadcasters who want to use it for delivering 4K TV. Continue reading LTE Advanced: Qualcomm Demos Blazing Download Speeds

Disney Partners with Techstars to Launch Accelerator Program

The Walt Disney Company has announced a partnership with Techstars to launch an accelerator program that will help 10 startups get off the ground, while potentially providing the media giant insight into new innovation and creativity. Disney Accelerator plans to invest $120,000 in each startup, and provide them with the opportunity to work with Disney for three months starting in June (the application deadline is April 16). At the end of the program, Disney and Techstars may take a stake in one or more of the startups. Continue reading Disney Partners with Techstars to Launch Accelerator Program

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