New York Settles with Devumi, Purveyor of Social Media Bots

The state of New York reached a settlement, announced attorney general Letitia James, with Devumi, a company that sold fake followers on Twitter and other social media platforms. Her investigation was prompted by a New York Times report about how the then-Florida-based Devumi raked in millions of dollars selling social media bots to at least 200,000 customers, among them businesses, politicians, reality TV stars, professional athletes, comedians, models and pornographic actors in New York and other states. Continue reading New York Settles with Devumi, Purveyor of Social Media Bots

TheTake Looks to Convert Product Recognition to B2B Service

TheTake, a startup that helps viewers purchase the products that they see in movies and television shows, is now turning its image recognition technology into a business-to-business service. The company is selling the service to major studios and entertainment sites so that they can generate extra revenue from identifying marketable products and locations. TheTake built the technology by training an AI to look for matches from the company’s database of more than 10 million products. Continue reading TheTake Looks to Convert Product Recognition to B2B Service

YouTube Kids Goes Behind Paywall to Lose Inappropriate Ads

YouTube Kids, a standalone app that launched a year-and-a-half ago, has been a big success, with more than 10 billion video views annually and a position as one of the top five kid apps in the iOS and Android app stores. But although YouTube has vetted the content to be kid-appropriate, not so the advertising, which ranges from product placement to pitches for junk food. Last year, the Center for Digital Democracy and Campaign for a Commercial-Free Childhood asked the Federal Trade Commission twice to investigate. Continue reading YouTube Kids Goes Behind Paywall to Lose Inappropriate Ads

Facebook Channels Realize Explosive Growth with Food Videos

Facebook hasn’t been promoting videos for that long, but it’s already found its killer content: food videos. Leading the pack is BuzzFeed’s Tasty channel on Facebook, which posts clips on such mouth-watering delights as “loaded cheese-stuffed mashed potato balls.” Launched July 31, Tasty generated more video views than anyone else on Facebook by October, according to analytics firm Tubular Labs. Coming in No. 2 was BuzzFeed again, which posts food videos galore on its main Facebook channel. Continue reading Facebook Channels Realize Explosive Growth with Food Videos

OnlyInVR Sells Immersive Videos to Tourism, Travel Clients

Virtual reality and marketing is a match made in heaven, say many VR experts, but so far very few examples of that pairing have come to pass. OnlyInVR CEO Michael Hodson hopes to change that with videos for the tourism and travel industry. His company’s videos have already been big hits at trade shows, he claims, and he lists STA Travel and the Aspen Chamber of Commerce among his clients. He also shows off VR tours of New York, Las Vegas and Venice, Italy optimized for Samsung’s Gear VR. Continue reading OnlyInVR Sells Immersive Videos to Tourism, Travel Clients

Universal Puts New Spin on Music Video Product Placement

Universal Music Group has its hands on new video editing technology that will allow the music giant to regularly update the product placement in its music videos, even ones that have already been released. A music video for Swedish EDM producer and DJ Avicii with an ad by Grand Marnier was the first to feature the new technology. Coca-Cola, LG, and Dish Network are some of the other brands that viewers can expect to see in updated music videos. Continue reading Universal Puts New Spin on Music Video Product Placement

Heavy Product Placement for Commercial-Free Online TV

Netflix bought the original drama “House of Cards” in 2011, committing to two seasons of the then not-yet-filmed show directed by David Fincher and starring Kevin Spacey. The purchase also earned the streaming company headlines as it placed Netflix into a high profile role typically occupied by the likes of HBO. But while Netflix claims its online programming to be commercial free, it is not without advertising. Continue reading Heavy Product Placement for Commercial-Free Online TV