Today’s Piracy Sites Making Millions in Advertising Revenue

Because of automated ad-buying technology, illicit sites streaming video content can make hundreds of thousands or even millions from advertising. MediaLink researched 596 piracy sites, and found that the advertising, often from major brands, generated $227 million annually. These sites get to keep most of this revenue because profit margins typically range from 80 percent to 94 percent after site maintenance and human resources fees are paid. Continue reading Today’s Piracy Sites Making Millions in Advertising Revenue

ITU Group is Testing High Dynamic Range Format Proposals

According to David Wood, chairman of the International Telecommunication Union group working to recommend a global blueprint for UHD, high dynamic range (HDR) technology “may well be an important feature of Ultra HDTV in future years, though the jury is still out, and will take some months to reach a verdict.” The group is currently considering HDR as an addition to UHD, and is looking at format proposals from companies including Dolby, Philips, Technicolor and the BBC. Continue reading ITU Group is Testing High Dynamic Range Format Proposals

Instagram Improves Explore Tab for Personalized Experience

Instagram has redesigned its “Explore” tab to provide a more relevant experience for users, rather than showcase random pictures that receive a lot of global Likes. The Explore tab will now display the photos and videos “Liked” by individuals that a user is actively following. This personalization reflects Instagram’s focus on each user’s social graph, which contrasts with the approach by Vine that largely centers on re-sharing content and notable video creators. Continue reading Instagram Improves Explore Tab for Personalized Experience

Ourscreen Helps Movie Fans Organize Their Own Screenings

Ourscreen is a service that allows groups of people to arrange private or public film screenings at their local cinema for movies that do not have a regular listing. It is similar to Groupon, in that a showing can be booked (by selecting a film, participating theater, and date/time), but is only confirmed once a certain number of people buy in. You can also search screenings that have been proposed by others and invite your friends. The larger the crowd for a given screening, the more affordable become the ticket prices. Continue reading Ourscreen Helps Movie Fans Organize Their Own Screenings

IMAX Has New Competition in Premium Large Format Theaters

Large format theaters with over-sized high-resolution screens, more comfortable seating, and better sound systems are on the rise. IMAX has traditionally been the leader in these offerings, but competitors such as Cinemark Holdings, Regal Entertainment and AMC Entertainment have started offering their own premium large format (PLF) theaters. Last year, the three chains’ 325 PLF theaters increased revenue by 31 percent to $237 million. Continue reading IMAX Has New Competition in Premium Large Format Theaters

Despite Piracy, Global Cinema Experiences Revenue Growth

A new report released by the Motion Picture Association of America during CinemaCon this week in Las Vegas points to good news as movie industry revenues around the globe increased four percent from 2012 to 2013. While revenue from U.S. and Canada box offices were only up one percent, the global increases suggest that the movie industry has been able to survive during the ongoing threat of online piracy. Revenue in China also increased, the country that sits on top of the piracy list. Continue reading Despite Piracy, Global Cinema Experiences Revenue Growth

Product Placement Most Effective When Viewers Are Scared?

When mapping out product placement strategies, marketers often avoid scary movies so that consumers will not associate their brands with fear. However, a recent study from the University of British Columbia’s Sauder School of Business suggests that viewers, especially when alone, are actually more likely to remember products and think of them favorably when they see them in a scary movie. When subjects of the study experienced fear, they also experienced an emotional attachment to familiar brands. Continue reading Product Placement Most Effective When Viewers Are Scared?

Update: Ellen and Samsung Stir Up Oscars with Tweeted Selfie

Ellen DeGeneres helped the Oscars take over Twitter on Sunday night, with her selfie taken with several Hollywood celebrities. Overall, there was a 75 percent jump in tweets related to the Oscars since last year. Although Samsung sponsored the Oscars, and spent an estimated $20 million on ads, the company may have gained its largest promotional value from DeGeneres’ pre-planned selfie with Brad Pitt, Meryl Streep, Kevin Spacey, Jennifer Lawrence and others. Continue reading Update: Ellen and Samsung Stir Up Oscars with Tweeted Selfie

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

Task Force on File Formats and Media Interoperability Launches

Key media organizations have announced the launch of the Joint Task Force on File Formats and Media Interoperability, which plans to work with manufacturers, broadcasters, ad agencies, standards organizations and trade associations to develop greater efficiencies and cost savings for the exchange of file-based content. The initial focus will be to collect and analyze requirements for a machine-generated and readable file interchange and delivery spec for the media industry. Continue reading Task Force on File Formats and Media Interoperability Launches

HPA Tech Retreat: Panel Ponders New Era of Post Production

In what was perhaps the most forward-looking panel yet to appear onstage at the HPA Tech Retreat, a group of six professionals from across the post-production industry made the case Thursday afternoon that the future of post would be more distributed, more accessible, and very much dependent on cloud technologies. The “Virtual/Distributed Post” panel, moderated by Creative COW‘s Debra Kaufman, featured individuals working to develop and deploy technologies that break the mold of traditional post-production facilities. Continue reading HPA Tech Retreat: Panel Ponders New Era of Post Production

HPA Tech Retreat Gets Underway This Week in Palm Springs

The Hollywood Post Alliance’s Tech Retreat began its first full day of programming Tuesday morning, marking the 20th consecutive year of the event. Held at the Hyatt Regency in Indian Wells, CA, the event is a combination tech symposium and trade show, which brings together professionals working in various aspects of motion picture and television post-production to discuss emerging trends and technologies. Tuesday’s program featured a daylong session: “The New Normal is Anything But — How Digital Technology from Creation to Consumption Impacts Everything.” Continue reading HPA Tech Retreat Gets Underway This Week in Palm Springs

Twitter Testing New Layout Similar to Facebook and Google+

Twitter has been quietly introducing a major profile redesign, one which is similar in ways to Facebook and Google+. This new layout gives more space to header photos, and shifts profile pictures to the left. It also makes tweeted photos much bigger. The change includes a revamped tweet stream and a focus on images and content cards. CEO Dick Costolo said the new layout is part of the company’s effort to make Twitter easier to navigate for new users. Continue reading Twitter Testing New Layout Similar to Facebook and Google+

Netflix to Reveal 4K Streaming Details at Next Month’s CES

Netflix is making a push for Ultra HD resolution streaming and promises to reveal details on its plans for 4K at next month’s Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas. Neil Hunt, the streaming service’s chief product officer indicated Netflix has deals to offer 4K streaming with embedded players on certain UHD TVs (manufacturers will also be announced at CES). The second season of Netflix’s original series “House of Cards” will be the first to stream in 4K in 2014. Continue reading Netflix to Reveal 4K Streaming Details at Next Month’s CES

Newest Installment of “The Hobbit” Trilogy Improves Upon HFR

Part two of “The Hobbit” trilogy, out this week, is back with the much-debated High-Frame-Rate (HFR) 3D format — but with some changes. The 2012 “The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey” boasted 48 frames per second, but some of the criticism of the format was that the super-HD quality was an eyestrain. The new “The Desolation of Smaug” maintains the HFR; however, director Peter Jackson says he’s toned down the sharpness of the image to make it look more “filmic.” Continue reading Newest Installment of “The Hobbit” Trilogy Improves Upon HFR

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