Early Oscar Numbers Look Strong, Ellen Breaks Twitter Record

While total viewer numbers will not be available from Nielsen until later today, last night’s telecast of the 86th Academy Awards from the Dolby Theatre in Hollywood scored impressive numbers in the major markets, up 7 percent from last year. In addition, host Ellen DeGeneres set a new social media record by taking a celebrity-filled selfie during the broadcast that has been retweeted more times than any photo in Twitter history, besting President Obama’s tweet after he won the 2012 presidential election. Continue reading Early Oscar Numbers Look Strong, Ellen Breaks Twitter Record

ABC to Live-Stream Academy Awards via Web and Mobile Apps

ABC plans to live-stream Sunday’s Oscars telecast in eight markets via online and Watch ABC apps for customers of participating pay TV partners including AT&T U-verse, Cablevision, Charter Communications, Comcast, Cox Communications, Google Fiber, Midcontinent Communications and Verizon FiOS. ABC also announced it has retired its standalone Oscars app; red carpet and backstage action will be folded into Watch ABC, available to Oscar fans for free. Continue reading ABC to Live-Stream Academy Awards via Web and Mobile Apps

Report Points to Increase in Internet-Connected TVs in U.S.

Connected TV penetration has exceeded the 60 percent mark for broadband households in the U.S., according to new data from The Diffusion Group, indicating that an increasing number of consumers are interested in receiving entertainment services such as Netflix and Pandora. TDG’s January 2014 study found that 63 percent of broadband households have at least one Internet-connected TV, up from 53 percent the same time last year. The numbers reflect smart TVs in addition to devices like game consoles and Internet sticks. Continue reading Report Points to Increase in Internet-Connected TVs in U.S.

Digital Payment Company Square Signs Deal with Whole Foods

Square has announced a new partnership with Whole Foods, that will bring its payment technology to the upscale grocery store. Whole Foods will use iPads mounted in the Square Stand holder at the specialty food and beverage counters that line the stores’ walls. Customers will have the option to pay for their orders by card, or with payment credentials saved in the Square Wallet app on their smartphones. This is Square’s biggest deal since its partnership with Starbucks in 2012. Continue reading Digital Payment Company Square Signs Deal with Whole Foods

Are Premium Channels Losing Customers to Streaming Sites?

As Netflix and similar online streaming services gain in popularity, premium channels like HBO and Showtime are seeing a decline in paying viewers. A new report from researcher NPD Group reveals that the number of household subscribers to pay TV channels has dropped by 6 percent over the past two years, while streaming subscription services have increased by 4 percent. Many see this change as part of the migration from the expensive bundled options of cable. Continue reading Are Premium Channels Losing Customers to Streaming Sites?

Spotify Launches New Online Portal for Musicians and Managers

Spotify launched “Spotify for Artists” this week, a new website designed primarily for musicians and music managers. In an effort to quell industry critics, the site provides details regarding how the Spotify business model works, how the company calculates payouts for musicians, and how much the artists can expect to earn as the company expands. Spotify is also opening up its analytics for free, and has made e-commerce partnerships that incorporate merchandising. Continue reading Spotify Launches New Online Portal for Musicians and Managers

Barry Diller Predicts Increase in Number of Aereo Subscribers

Aereo-backer Barry Diller has stated that the online service may grow to the point that 35 percent of U.S. households subscribe. However, this is largely contingent upon the service’s ability to overcome the legal challenges it currently faces from broadcasters. Individuals in their mid- to late-twenties aren’t highly inclined to pay $100 per month for TV cable packages, rendering Aereo’s $8 package highly attractive, according to Diller. Continue reading Barry Diller Predicts Increase in Number of Aereo Subscribers

Login and Pay with Amazon: Potential Competition for PayPal?

Amazon launched a new service this week that helps streamline transactions between online merchants and customers. “Login and Pay with Amazon” allows online businesses to implement a login/pay system using existing Amazon accounts so that customers can easily go from browsing to buying using their Amazon account information. Not to be outdone, PayPal announced an upgrade to its mobile app called Payment Code that interacts with existing barcode scanners and PIN pads. Continue reading Login and Pay with Amazon: Potential Competition for PayPal?

DirecTV To Increase Rates in 2014 While Subscriptions Fall

DirecTV is increasing its rates in 2014 due to the rising costs of television programming. In addition to programming costs, sports broadcasting prices have risen, while DirecTV subscriptions have fallen. The pay TV company is considering more focused, over-the-top options, but not a broad video-on-demand service. However, some are questioning claims of rising programming costs and suggest there are actually increases in premium channel subscribers. Continue reading DirecTV To Increase Rates in 2014 While Subscriptions Fall

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