Twitch Signs Pact With NBA to Stream Minor League Games

Amazon-owned Twitch, the destination for eSports broadcasts, inked a deal with the NBA to stream up to six minor league games per week this season, beginning Friday, December 15. The NBA G League games on Twitch will feature interactive statistics overlays and a co-streaming option for some Twitch personalities to provide commentary, as well as a fan loyalty program. The G League games, which will have in-stream ads, will also offer subscriptions for viewers to receive custom emotes for group chat and other perks. Continue reading Twitch Signs Pact With NBA to Stream Minor League Games

Qualcomm, Machinima Partner to Produce VR Reality Series

Qualcomm recently launched a reality TV show competition for its new virtual reality platform, using the Snapdragon 835 VR developer kit. “VR Developer Challenge” matches game developers with YouTube celebrities to create VR experiences. The series goes behind the scenes, showing how producers create the programs. So far, the series features Sam Maliszewski, Jordan Mann and E McNeill, three VR developers chosen by Warner Bros.-owned Machinima. Qualcomm co-produced the series with Machinima. Continue reading Qualcomm, Machinima Partner to Produce VR Reality Series

Pluto TV Now Offers Free On-Demand Movies and TV Shows

In addition to its more than 100 TV-like linear channels, Pluto TV is now offering thousands of free movies and TV shows on demand via its streaming platform. Pluto TV is expanding its “ad-supported service with VOD as it positions itself as a kind of Spotify for premium video,” reports Variety. “It’s worth noting that Ken Parks, Pluto’s executive chairman, was Spotify’s first U.S. employee and led the music streamer’s negotiations with record labels.” The startup, which launched in 2014 and currently touts more than six million monthly viewers, may introduce a hybrid free/subscription model in the future. Continue reading Pluto TV Now Offers Free On-Demand Movies and TV Shows

Warner Bros. Acquires Machinima for Digital Networks Division

Warner Bros. announced its plan to purchase the rest of gamer-centric YouTube network Machinima, which the studio first invested in two years ago. The digital media company will join the recently created Warner Bros. Digital Networks arm to help the studio develop new digital and over-the-top offerings. “With Machinima now wholly under its control, Warner Bros. hopes to tap deeper into the network’s loyal audience of young consumers who devour video game-related programming — especially content related to Warner’s own franchises including DC,” reports the Los Angeles Times. Machinima also “provides video programming for services including Playstation Vue, Amazon Prime and the CW network.” Continue reading Warner Bros. Acquires Machinima for Digital Networks Division

Ellation Signs New Content Deals for VRV Streaming Service

Otter Media-backed Ellation is launching VRV, a new streaming service with videos from channels that include the newly signed CollegeHumor, and others, along with already-signed Crunchyroll, Rooster Teeth and Cartoon Hangover. Combined, all these channels boast more than one million paying subscribers and tens of millions of viewers. VRV, which hasn’t yet announced pricing, will debut later this year on the Xbox One, with other platforms to follow. The move is in line with Otter Media’s long-time interest in Web video. Continue reading Ellation Signs New Content Deals for VRV Streaming Service

Warner Bros. Digital Networks is the Studio’s Latest OTT Effort

Warner Bros. just opened a new unit, Warner Bros. Digital Networks, to create content for online video entertainment and the cord-cutters who watch it. The studio is the largest U.S. producer and distributor of TV shows, and parent company Time Warner has been making efforts to appeal to consumers who choose not to subscribe to cable services. According to the studio’s statement, the new unit will create new online video channels, expand its current online services, seek strategic alliances and work with Turner and HBO. Continue reading Warner Bros. Digital Networks is the Studio’s Latest OTT Effort

Machinima and Turner Plan to Leverage Popularity of eSports

YouTube-centric Machinima, which has focused on gamers and fan culture for a decade, just launched MACH-1, an in-house eSports consulting unit that will offer research and analytics, strategic planning and campaign execution. Machinima recently hosted an eSports panel of industry executives at its NewFronts event. Turner and WME-IMG are also about to begin broadcasting scheduled video games on TV in the U.S. ESports have a massive global audience but opportunities to monetize the sector haven’t yet been fully leveraged. Continue reading Machinima and Turner Plan to Leverage Popularity of eSports

FTC Goes After Paid Endorsements Presented as Commentary

As smartphone users turn increasingly to ad blockers, marketers are getting their messages out by paying Internet influencers under the table to promote their products as personal reviews and commentary. For some time, the practice was beyond the reach of the Federal Trade Commission, which made sure paid endorsements were advertised as such in television, newspapers and magazines. With new guideline changes initiated in 2015, however, the FTC is now going after violators, just reaching a settlement with video network Machinima. Continue reading FTC Goes After Paid Endorsements Presented as Commentary

Sony PlayStation Vue Debuts OTT Tiers, Skinny to Full Bundles

Sony’s PlayStation Vue, which recently added ESPN, is offering OTT service throughout the U.S., although most markets still won’t get live local TV programs. The national OTT offering competes head-on with Dish Networks’s Sling TV, priced at $20+ per month, and AT&T’s DirecTV pay-TV packages, slated to launch in Q4 2016. PlayStation Vue’s Slim packages, which start at $30 per month and are on offer in 203 U.S. markets, provide on-demand access to ABC, NBC and Fox primetime content, with CBS on board later in some markets. Continue reading Sony PlayStation Vue Debuts OTT Tiers, Skinny to Full Bundles

Warner Bros. Buys DramaFever, Considers New OTT Services

Warner Bros. has acquired streaming-video subscription service DramaFever from Japan’s SoftBank Group. DramaFever was launched in 2009 with a focus on Korean TV shows and eventually movies. Today, it reaches 20 countries and offers a wide range of series, films and kids programming available in multiple languages. WB may use the acquisition, expected to close during Q2 2016, to launch new OTT services such as a new offering with content from Machinima or an expanded subscription service with programming licensed from other countries. Continue reading Warner Bros. Buys DramaFever, Considers New OTT Services

Sony Announces New Markets for Cloud-Based Vue TV Service

After this week’s launch in Los Angeles and San Francisco, Sony’s cloud-based TV service PlayStation Vue is now available in four of the five largest U.S. cities (Vue is also offered in Chicago, New York and Philadelphia). The service starts at $49.99 per month, and features more than 50 channels of live TV from three major networks and a collection of popular cable channels. Addressed during the company’s E3 press conference, Vue is part of a larger effort to make the company’s PlayStation console a multi-purpose entertainment hub. Continue reading Sony Announces New Markets for Cloud-Based Vue TV Service

Stan Lee Partners with YouTube for Original Superhero Content

Comics legend and media producer Stan Lee has joined forces with YouTube to launch “World of Superheroes,” an initiative that intends to encourage leading online video creators to produce original superhero-themed content for the Web’s most popular video platform. As part of the program, Lee’s Pow! Entertainment has created special sets at YouTube Spaces studios and will offer creators the chance to meet and learn from professional stunt coordinators, visual-effects experts and costumers.  Continue reading Stan Lee Partners with YouTube for Original Superhero Content

Machinima Creators to Sell Videos on Vimeo Through New Deal

Popular multichannel network Machinima has signed a deal with Vimeo to help develop and distribute original content. Vimeo has pledged at least $500,000 to the network’s audience-developed original videos for an exclusive Machinima channel on the video on-demand platform. As part of the agreement, Vimeo will become the preferred transactional video-on-demand platform for Machinima’s 30,000 creators. These creators produce some 30,000 hours of content each month. Continue reading Machinima Creators to Sell Videos on Vimeo Through New Deal

Machinima Secures Exclusive Rights to Justice League Series

Online network Machinima recently secured exclusive rights to a three-part “Justice League” series from Warner Bros. and DC Entertainment. The animated series will launch in spring 2015 as “Justice League: Gods and Monsters Chronicles.” It will follow the Justice League in an alternate DC universe, where the superheroes are darker than their well-known personalities. The digital series is based on the animated feature, “Justice League: Gods and Monsters,” to be released by Warner Bros. later in 2015. Continue reading Machinima Secures Exclusive Rights to Justice League Series

Major Media Companies Look to Leverage YouTube Success

YouTube’s growth shows no signs of slowing, particularly for the top YouTubers and the multichannel networks (MCNs). Each month, the top video sharing platform attracts more than 1 billion viewers watching 6 billion hours of video. Other media companies are now trying to get a piece of YouTube’s audience and its projected $3.4 billion net global advertising revenue. DreamWorks Animation, Disney, Warner Bros., and others are making deals worth millions with MCNs. Continue reading Major Media Companies Look to Leverage YouTube Success

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