Intel Enters the Mobile App Business with Avatar Messages

Last week, chipmaker Intel introduced its own mobile app called “Pocket Avatars.” Unlike most of Intel’s functional software, Pocket Avatars is purely recreational. The app uses a smartphone’s camera and microphone to record the user’s voice and facial movements. Then the app translates those signals into a talking, animated avatar message that users can send to their friends. The free app is available for iPhones and Android smartphones. Continue reading Intel Enters the Mobile App Business with Avatar Messages

Harris Poll: Popularity of Streaming Increases with TV Viewers

Although online streaming is not threatening to overtake traditional television viewing yet, it is gaining momentum. A recent Harris Poll found that 85 percent of Americans say they usually watch programs on a television via live feed, recorded or on demand. The number of Americans that most often stream shows is up three percent from 2012, at 23 percent. The poll also found that a quarter of Americans said they watch more streaming television now than they did a year ago. Continue reading Harris Poll: Popularity of Streaming Increases with TV Viewers

DreamWorks and AwesomenessTV Launch YouTube Channel

DreamWorks Animation, which acquired the YouTube content company AwesomenessTV last year, is bringing original programming featuring Shrek, Puss in Boots, and others to a new YouTube channel known as DreamWorksTV. Each day, the channel will release three videos of animated or live action content. The new shows include vlogs from Shrek, a reality TV show “Record Setter Kids,” an animated Web series “Jimmy Blue Shorts,” and animated comedy “Gorillaville.” Continue reading DreamWorks and AwesomenessTV Launch YouTube Channel

Dish Targets Cord Cutters with Upcoming Internet TV Service

With its planned Internet-based TV service, Dish is targeting consumers who are frustrated by traditional pay TV. Speaking at the TV of Tomorrow Show in San Francisco yesterday, Dish exec Adam Lowy said that “cord cutters, cord nevers and what we call cord haters” are on the company’s radar. The service plans to initially launch on Dish’s existing infrastructure, but will later move to an all-IP system. Dish is currently talking to television networks about licensing content for the new service. Continue reading Dish Targets Cord Cutters with Upcoming Internet TV Service

WWDC: Apple Announces New OS X, iOS 8 and iCloud Drive

Apple kicked off its Worldwide Developer Conference yesterday in San Francisco with a software-focused, two-hour event that highlighted the future of OS X, iOS 8, and a collection of new developer tools intended to encourage the creation of new apps. Apple’s new OS X Yosemite, with a visual overhaul inspired by iOS, will have a public beta this summer and will be available this fall. The company also announced iCloud Drive, a file system for storing documents in the cloud. Continue reading WWDC: Apple Announces New OS X, iOS 8 and iCloud Drive

Consumers Will Be Able to 3D Print an Intel Robot This Year

Intel’s customizable, 3D printable robot known as Jimmy will go on the market later this year. The singing, walking, talking, tweeting and dancing robot can be constructed by anyone with access to a 3D printer, which will assemble the basic parts. The $1,600 kit for the open source robot includes the non-printable motors, wires, battery and processor. By downloading apps, consumers can program the robot to suit their own needs and interests. Continue reading Consumers Will Be Able to 3D Print an Intel Robot This Year

Second Screen: QVC Hopes Tablet App Will Help Drive Sales

In order to accommodate consumers’ increasing desire to shop on mobile devices, home shopping pioneer QVC plans to launch a new tablet app that will feature content related to its television broadcasts. According to Nielsen’s 2014 Digital Consumer Report, 84 percent of smartphone and tablet owners use their devices as second screens while watching television. Leveraging this trend, QVC’s app will accompany its TV programming in order to help drive sales.  Continue reading Second Screen: QVC Hopes Tablet App Will Help Drive Sales

Netflix Turns to Original Series and Licensing 5-Star Content

According to Netflix CFO David Wells, the streaming service plans on spending $3.2 billion on streaming content in 2014. Netflix acknowledged that a large fraction of the currently available material is not necessarily popular with its audience and plans to spend more money on shows with higher potential. A content shift through the next few quarters toward more original series along with licensing exclusive and higher-rated shows will account for this extra spending. Continue reading Netflix Turns to Original Series and Licensing 5-Star Content

Nielsen Sets Out to Identify Who is Tweeting About Television

Nielsen expanded the information it provides for its Twitter TV Ratings service yesterday with the launch of demographic data. The new feature identifies the age and gender of those tweeting about TV shows and events in addition to those who see the tweets. Earlier Nielsen research found that the number of people who read tweets about TV shows outnumber those who create them by a 50-1 margin. In addition, the tweet “Viewers” represent a more demographically balanced profile than the tweet “Authors.” Continue reading Nielsen Sets Out to Identify Who is Tweeting About Television

Focus on Personalization: The Netflix Vision for Internet TV

Neil Hunt, Netflix’s chief product officer, announced several of Netflix’s predictions for the future of TV at New York City’s Internet Week conference. He said the company is perfecting its personalization technology so that Netflix will know exactly what you want to watch, and will give you one or two suggestions rather than an endless grid of movies and shows. The vision also includes elimination of the commercial, more smart TVs, and maybe even live sports on Netflix. Continue reading Focus on Personalization: The Netflix Vision for Internet TV

Pay TV: AT&T Agrees to Purchase DirecTV in $49 Billion Deal

AT&T has agreed to acquire DirecTV for $49 billion. The two companies’ boards approved the agreement yesterday. The deal, which comes just three months after Comcast’s $45 billion agreement to purchase Time Warner Cable, will create a new pay TV giant as video consumption continues to move online. Combining AT&T and DirecTV would result in a company with 26 million pay TV subscribers in the U.S., second only to Comcast and Time Warner Cable if regulators approve their deal. Continue reading Pay TV: AT&T Agrees to Purchase DirecTV in $49 Billion Deal

NPD Report Says Pay TV Subscribers Turn to TV Everywhere

According to NPD Group’s latest “TV Everywhere Report,” cord cutters are not the only ones turning to OTT services. NPD indicates that 21 percent of today’s pay TV subscribers are using TV Everywhere services at least once a month. The report found that three out of four subscription video-on-demand households also have a pay TV subscription. And about 30 percent of SVOD users turn to TV Everywhere weekly, compared to 20 percent of TV Everywhere users who choose not to subscribe to SVOD. Continue reading NPD Report Says Pay TV Subscribers Turn to TV Everywhere

Vevo Announces Original Content, Expanded Pact with Twitter

Vevo, YouTube’s single largest music supplier of videos, does not just distribute music videos. At the 2014 NewFronts presentations, Vevo introduced seven new original series that explore different aspects of music and the artists that create it. Vevo also announced deals with Twitter to promote videos and Mirriad to integrate brands into their new content. The digital music video powerhouse also plans to host a live concert in the fall of 2014. Continue reading Vevo Announces Original Content, Expanded Pact with Twitter

Board Game Sales Increase Despite Electronic Game Success

While most people may assume that the success of electronic gaming has negatively impacted the traditional board game industry, the result has actually been the opposite. Technology has brought new tools that can create tabletop games with 3D figures and other tangible advances. In the past few years, sales of tabletop games have dramatically increased. Dan Shapiro, who has worked at Microsoft and sold a company to Google, recently created a board game for children and found crowdfunding to be beneficial. Continue reading Board Game Sales Increase Despite Electronic Game Success

Cable Execs Call for Action to Challenge Online Competitors

Cable industry executives gathered at the NCTA Cable Show to discuss growing competition from online video content providers, and the need for cable TV to improve delivery systems of cable programming across all devices. By improving the consumer experience and video-on-demand services, cable companies hope to “protect their turf” from the likes of Netflix and Hulu. Also, leaders in the cable industry recognize the need to find a solution for rising cable TV prices. Continue reading Cable Execs Call for Action to Challenge Online Competitors

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