Mixed Reports: Amazon Considering Streaming Media Service?

Yesterday The Wall Street Journal ran a report that insiders suggest Amazon is considering an ad-supported streaming TV and music-video service, separate from its $99-per-year Prime subscription service. Amazon reportedly outlined the proposed service to potential partners as one that could launch in coming months featuring original and licensed content. Amazon has since denied the plans. “We’re often experimenting with new things, but we have no plans to offer a free streaming media service,” said a spokesperson. Continue reading Mixed Reports: Amazon Considering Streaming Media Service?

Apple, Comcast Discuss Teaming Up for Streaming TV Service

Apple is in talks with Comcast about joining forces on a streaming-television service, according to people familiar with the matter. The Wall Street Journal reports the service “would use an Apple set-top box and get special treatment on Comcast’s cables to ensure it bypasses congestion on the Web.” While discussions are in the early stages and a number of hurdles remain, the deal “would mark a new level of cooperation and integration between a technology company and a cable provider to modernize TV viewing.” Continue reading Apple, Comcast Discuss Teaming Up for Streaming TV Service

Mario Batali to Kickstart New Dailymotion Original Programming

In an effort to attract more U.S. viewers, Paris-based online video site Dailymotion is pushing new original programming that it hopes will help the service compete with Google’s YouTube. Dailymotion plans to initially commit between $3 million and $4 million to produce up to six series this year that will include leading personalities from industries such as food, music and entertainment. The company is also courting U.S. firms as potential investors. Continue reading Mario Batali to Kickstart New Dailymotion Original Programming

DirecTV in Talks with Disney for New Licensing Agreement

Following this week’s news of a first-of-its kind licensing agreement between Disney and the Dish Network, DirecTV said it is in similar talks to license the rights to offer Disney channels as part of an Internet-based product. The rights are part of a larger programming deal that would replace a current agreement slated to expire in December. In related news, Verizon CEO Lowell McAdam said he expects to reach a streaming deal with Netflix and hopes to partner with content providers for a broadband-only video service. Continue reading DirecTV in Talks with Disney for New Licensing Agreement

UFC Discusses Its Big-Data Strategy at the HPA Tech Retreat

The HPA Tech Retreat was in full swing on Tuesday, and one of the most intriguing presentations was a case study in the use of Big Data, given by Christy King, VP digital technology and R&D at the Ultimate Fighting Championship. King, co-presenting with journalist Deborah McAdams of TV Technology outlined the methods that UFC employs to collect and analyze data about its fans and viewers, including how they use that data to make decisions about marketing and expansion. Continue reading UFC Discusses Its Big-Data Strategy at the HPA Tech Retreat

NBC Offers Digital Spinoffs of Shows During Olympic Coverage

TV fans who may be missing their NBC comedies and dramas during the network’s primetime coverage of the Winter Olympics can now go online to catch up with some of their favorite characters. NBC has produced four-part digital-only spinoffs of “Chicago Fire,” “Grimm,” “Parks and Recreation” and “Parenthood.” The webisodes are available for streaming via NBC.com, Hulu and YouTube this month while the network continues to cover the Olympics from Sochi. Continue reading NBC Offers Digital Spinoffs of Shows During Olympic Coverage

Apple to Launch Updated TV Box, in Talks with Content Partners

Apple is currently in talks with Time Warner Cable and other potential partners to add video content to a new Apple TV set-top box, according to people familiar with the matter. Apple is reportedly hoping to reveal the new device in April, and start selling it for the December holidays, but this may change since the company has still not secured agreements with distribution and programming partners. The device will be an update of the current Apple TV, with an upgraded interface, faster processor and easier navigation. Continue reading Apple to Launch Updated TV Box, in Talks with Content Partners

CNN Turns to Films and Original Series to Help Boost Ratings

As the ratings for television news channels decline, broadcasters are looking for new ways to draw an audience. CNN is working toward gaining viewers by airing original films and series like the documentary “Blackfish,” which aired back in October, and “Chicagoland,” a reality TV show that will begin airing next month. Jeff Zucker, the newest president of CNN, took over in January and has been hands-on since, pointing the network in a slightly different direction. Continue reading CNN Turns to Films and Original Series to Help Boost Ratings

Satellite Providers Pair Up to Provide Targeted Political Ads

Political ads are about to get much more personal. Dish Network and DirecTV are coming together to offer microtargeted advertising spots for politicians hoping to reach specific audiences with specific messages during campaigns. Audiences will be identified all the way down to the individual household, and political advertisers will pay big money to reach those households with tailored messages. “Addressable advertising” will start small, but likely have a big impact on the industry. Continue reading Satellite Providers Pair Up to Provide Targeted Political Ads

Gracenote Plans to Collaborate on Internet Radio Platform

The Tribune Company-owned digital music data service Gracenote is making headway on an Internet radio program that would let other companies and brands use its technology for their own music apps. The technology behind Gracenote — Rhythm — could be used for radio services by consumer brands and car companies, especially those in other countries where Pandora is not available. Tribune acquired Gracenote last month for $170 million. Continue reading Gracenote Plans to Collaborate on Internet Radio Platform

OnCue: Verizon to Acquire Intel’s Cloud-Based TV Platform

Verizon Communications has completed a long-awaited deal to acquire Intel’s cloud-based TV platform. Terms have yet to be released, but people familiar with the matter put the price around $200 million. The acquisition is expected to help Verizon FiOS customers search for content on TVs and Verizon smartphones and tablets. It could also help Verizon establish a foundation for offering an Internet-based version of pay TV, which several companies such as Amazon, Apple and Sony are also said to be pursuing. Continue reading OnCue: Verizon to Acquire Intel’s Cloud-Based TV Platform

Amazon Dedicates Resources to Draw Mobile Game Developers

While it is unclear if Amazon will release an Android-based gaming device besides the Kindle tablet, the company has been creating tools aimed at making game developers successful across Amazon’s various app platforms. The company launched its updated portal for app and game developers, and has been investing in tools for developers to create more Android games. Amazon now features more than 100,000 apps in its Android Appstore, a significant increase from one year ago. Continue reading Amazon Dedicates Resources to Draw Mobile Game Developers

VIDAA: Hisense Unveils its Android-Based Smart TV Platform

At CES, Hisense showed its new line of VIDAA smart TVs, the first to incorporate Android since Google TV ceased to formally exist. The new displays come after Google scrapped the manufacturing of its own display and began allowing other manufacturers to build TVs with built-in Android technology. Google services like Chrome and TV programming guide Primetime are available on the displays. The platform was developed by Ontario-based design and engineering company Jamdeo. Continue reading VIDAA: Hisense Unveils its Android-Based Smart TV Platform

Hulu Announces Slate of New Originals and Returning Series

Hulu plans to air 12 returning series and four new series under its Hulu Originals banner this season. The streaming video service recently announced its lineup, including renewed shows such as Seth Meyers’ animated superhero series “The Awesomes,” Chris O’Dowd’s comedy “Moone Boy,” docuseries “Behind the Mask,” western comedy “Quick Draw” and popular drama “East Los High.” Premiering this year includes “The Hotwives of Orlando,” “Deadbeat,” “The Bridge” and “The Next Step.” Continue reading Hulu Announces Slate of New Originals and Returning Series

Sony’s Cloud TV Service Not Intended to Compete with Cable

At CES this week, Sony announced a new streaming cloud TV service that will include both live TV and recorded programs from streaming services like Netflix. CEO Kaz Hirai insists the yet-to-be-named cloud TV won’t compete with cable, but will enable and make watching live TV and streaming content on different devices easier. It’s no small feat considering Intel recently scrapped a similar effort. Sony’s service will be tested in the U.S. later in 2014. Continue reading Sony’s Cloud TV Service Not Intended to Compete with Cable

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