Academy Awards Have Strong Presence on Twitter and Facebook

Last year’s selfie by Ellen DeGeneres during the live Oscar telecast set a new Twitter record and launched 3 million retweets. Not surprisingly, yesterday’s 87th Academy Awards had an impressive social presence, from ABC live-streaming its backstage show on Facebook to news organizations live-blogging on assorted social networks and Facebook launching its new real-time Trending Oscars experience. According to Twitter, the most tweeted-about nominees and performers included Lady Gaga, Patricia Arquette, Alejandro Iñárritu and John Legend. Continue reading Academy Awards Have Strong Presence on Twitter and Facebook

Beats Music Gets Star Power with Newly Hired Host Zane Lowe

Apple has hired popular BBC Radio 1 host Zane Lowe to give its streaming service Beats Music a new personality. From the beginning, Beats Music was different from other music streaming services because it featured real humans with knowledge of specific genres to curate the playlists, rather than relying upon an algorithm or its other employees. However, Lowe with his name recognition and experience as a radio host may finally give Beats the star power it needs to appeal to the mainstream. Continue reading Beats Music Gets Star Power with Newly Hired Host Zane Lowe

FreedomPop Targets Affordable Alternative to Cellular Plans

Los Angeles-based FreedomPop wants to make Wi-Fi hotspots more accessible to mobile phone users by eliminating the process by which users typically have to accept terms and conditions or enter a password in order to connect. Users of the new service would pay $5 monthly in exchange for automatic and seamless access to about 9 million hotspots (and growing). With its new Wi-Fi service, FreedomPop hopes to provide customers with an alternative to costly service plans from cellular carriers. Continue reading FreedomPop Targets Affordable Alternative to Cellular Plans

CES Panel: Is the Internet of Things Poised to Make History?

CEA gathered a panel of four significant leaders at CES to discuss the current state of the Internet of Things. Panelists from Cisco, Verizon, the city of Los Angeles, and the Zigbee Alliance all see momentum building for a connected world; however, at this still early stage of adoption the most significant and meaningful inroads are happening on a macro scale. As Cisco’s John Chambers noted during a CES keynote panel, the Internet of Everything becomes most meaningful when there is broad participation. Continue reading CES Panel: Is the Internet of Things Poised to Make History?

Google Takes On Amazon with its Same-Day Delivery Service

Google is becoming a major player in same-day package deliveries, taking on the likes of Amazon and eBay this holiday shopping season. The Google Express service — currently available in cities such as Boston, Chicago, New York, Los Angeles and San Francisco — handled 50 percent more toys during the two weeks after Thanksgiving, while book sales jumped more than 30 percent. Analysts estimate that up to 40 percent of Google’s core search business is tied to e-commerce. Continue reading Google Takes On Amazon with its Same-Day Delivery Service

NBC Offers Live Streaming Online, Planning Mobile for 2015

NBC launched a free 24-hour live broadcast feed over the Internet, which viewers can access if they have a pay TV subscription with certain providers and they live in one of 10 markets across the U.S. Currently, the live feeds can only be viewed on desktop PCs, but NBC plans to add mobile support in early 2015. Other networks, such as ABC and CBS, have launched similar live TV streaming services. NBCUniversal also launched a new campaign to drive viewers to its apps. Continue reading NBC Offers Live Streaming Online, Planning Mobile for 2015

Amazon Plans to Tackle Travel Services with New Booking Site

Amazon is partnering with independent hotels and resorts to offer a prepaid booking service via a new site. The initial rollout will feature select locations within hours of New York, Los Angeles and Seattle. The online retailer is expected to collect a standard 15 percent commission for prepaid bookings. Amazon Travel is likely to mirror existing hotel booking sites with pricing details, room availability and photos, and is expected to launch as early as January 1, 2015. Continue reading Amazon Plans to Tackle Travel Services with New Booking Site

NBCUniversal Hosts Hackathons to Meet Industry Challenges

In attempt to bring new ideas to the table, NBCUniversal invited 300 developers, marketers and designers to partake in a weekend long hackathon to help the media company address some of its most common challenges when it comes issues such as movie releases and television audience retention. While the hackathon offered $25,000 in cash prizes, it was also an opportunity for attendees to access tools for building software applications and NBCUniversal to recruit future employees. Continue reading NBCUniversal Hosts Hackathons to Meet Industry Challenges

Sony Plans Launch of PlayStation Vue Cloud-Based TV Service

Sony unveiled PlayStation Vue yesterday, its cloud-based TV service that will soft launch this month with about 75 channels. The service will offer live TV and on-demand content without the need for a cable or satellite subscription, but viewers will initially need a PS3 or PS4 console. Users can also save favorite shows to the cloud. During the initial test rollout, consumers will have access to channels from CBS, Discovery Communications, Fox, NBCUniversal, Scripps Networks and Viacom. Continue reading Sony Plans Launch of PlayStation Vue Cloud-Based TV Service

Google Express Includes More Merchants During Expansion

Google Express has added three new cities: Chicago, Boston, and Washington, D.C. This means that seven million people can now use same-day delivery across all of the cities involved. Meanwhile, 12 million people can access next-day service in Northern California. In addition, Google has added 16 new merchants over the past few months. Shoppers that become Google Express members can now receive free same-day or overnight delivery on orders over $15. Continue reading Google Express Includes More Merchants During Expansion

Digital Media Pipeline: Media Farm Team, Competitor or Both?

At last week’s Digital Media Pipeline conference staged by the Entertainment Merchants Association in Los Angeles, the closing discussion centered on Internet fueled approaches to content authorship. “The Vast Expansion of Original Content,” moderated by Steve Apple of EMA, featured Derek Dressler of Vimeo, Reed Lucas of Bent Pixels, and Dana Shayegan of Collective Digital Studio. Topics included a maturing Internet video space, the influence of direct fan support, and the need for building engagement. Continue reading Digital Media Pipeline: Media Farm Team, Competitor or Both?

Digital Media Pipeline: Awards, Perspective and a Look Ahead

The Entertainment Merchants Association gathered leading technology, distribution and content partners at its Digital Media Pipeline 2014 conference held at the Skirball Cultural Center in Los Angeles on Wednesday. The program included updates from the EMA’s Digital Supply Chain working groups and presentation of Digi Awards to “Breaking Bad,” Amazon, Content Bridge, and Disney for outstanding achievements in digital entertainment content, retailing, leadership and innovation. Continue reading Digital Media Pipeline: Awards, Perspective and a Look Ahead

Facebook Debuts Hyper-Local Ads, Snapchat Ads Coming Soon

Facebook unveiled its hyper-local advertising feature this week. “Local Awareness” ads are designed to be more targeted and cost effective by allowing businesses to select a specific area for advertising and the age and gender of the desired audience. Meanwhile, Snapchat CEO Evan Spiegel says, “People are going to see the first ads on Snapchat soon.” The LA-based startup, which makes a mobile app for sharing brief photo messages, attracted investors this year at a $10 billion valuation without any revenue. Continue reading Facebook Debuts Hyper-Local Ads, Snapchat Ads Coming Soon

Oculus Rift Interstellar Experience Coming to IMAX Theaters

Christopher Nolan fans and moviegoers interested in the upcoming “Interstellar” can get a sneak peek at the galactic world through a 3D virtual reality experience. Participants will get a chance to wear Oculus Rift headsets and virtually explore the film’s spacecraft, which took two months for the team at Framestore to recreate. The Oculus Rift Interstellar Experience is hitting select AMC IMAX theaters in New York, Houston, Los Angeles and Washington, D.C. before the film opens November 7. Continue reading Oculus Rift Interstellar Experience Coming to IMAX Theaters

EMA to Hold Sixth Annual Digital Media Pipeline Next Week

The Entertainment Merchants Association will hold its Digital Media Pipeline on October 8 at the Skirball Cultural Center in Los Angeles. Celebrating its sixth year, Digital Media Pipeline is a one-day B2B event that brings together thought leaders to discuss digital delivery of home entertainment. ETC’s Phil Lelyveld will be a featured speaker as part of a next-gen technology panel. ETC community members are invited to attend the conference at the discounted EMA member price of $295. Continue reading EMA to Hold Sixth Annual Digital Media Pipeline Next Week

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