HBO Offers Past Seasons of its Shows on Google Play Store

HBO announced that it is now offering a limited selection of past seasons of its original programs via the Google Play digital storefront, providing fans with access to shows on their Android-based smartphones and tablets as well as Google’s Chromecast streaming adapter for televisions. The network is currently offering individual seasons of seven shows, with plans to add more titles and seasons in the coming weeks. HBO says the gradual rollout is part of a larger marketing strategy to “create more sustained awareness.” Continue reading HBO Offers Past Seasons of its Shows on Google Play Store

“Breaking Bad” Fans Flock to Social Media for Series Finale

Sunday’s series finale of AMC’s “Breaking Bad” led to unprecedented social media activity, especially on Twitter and Facebook. While AMC was running a marathon of the Emmy-winning drama leading up to the finale, Twitter experienced more than 100,000 tweets a day, sparked in part by interaction with cast and crew. Additionally, Facebook says that more than 3 million users generated about 5.5 million interactions on its social network during the finale. The activity comes as both social platforms are pursuing television dollars. Continue reading “Breaking Bad” Fans Flock to Social Media for Series Finale

Intel Looking for Backers to Help Keep Pay TV Service Alive

Intel executives have spoken with Amazon and Samsung in search of a strategic partner willing to back its Web-based pay TV service that it hopes to launch by the end of 2013. If Intel cannot find a backer to help fund and distribute the service, it is possible that the plan will be dissolved. Earlier in the year, Intel executive Erik Huggers disclosed that the company plans to sell an OTT pay service that includes a wide array of broadcast and cable TV networks. Continue reading Intel Looking for Backers to Help Keep Pay TV Service Alive

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

Cable Customers Want Change, But Seem Unwilling to Pay

A new study released yesterday by PricewaterhouseCoopers indicates that 44 percent of today’s consumers would prefer an a la carte system, while 73 percent note they would prefer a la carte or at least more customization of current packages. Notably, a mere 14 percent of consumers are satisfied with the status quo. However, since only 38 percent said they would be willing to pay more than $3 monthly per channel, it does not seem likely that TV providers would stray from bundling. Continue reading Cable Customers Want Change, But Seem Unwilling to Pay

Cartoon Network: Are Ratings Suffering Due to Netflix Deal?

An analysis of ratings for Turner’s Cartoon Network suggests that children’s cable programmers may be suffering as a result of Netflix deals. At the beginning of 2013, Turner solidified a deal with Netflix that included shows on Cartoon Network and Adult Swim. Since Cartoon Network content became available on Netflix at the end of March, data has revealed that ratings in Netflix households have been 10 percent lower than those of non-Netflix households. Continue reading Cartoon Network: Are Ratings Suffering Due to Netflix Deal?

Broadcasters Turn to Additional Screens to Launch New Shows

With fall TV premieres just around the corner, networks including ABC, NBC and Fox are offering pilots and new content through outlets such as Hulu, iTunes, Amazon and cable and satellite provided VOD, often prior to the scheduled television broadcasts. Hulu, for example, is already offering episodes of “The Mindy Project,” “Ironside,” “The Goldbergs,” “Trophy Wife” and “Welcome to the Family.” Some shows will also be available on network websites and those of affiliated stations. Continue reading Broadcasters Turn to Additional Screens to Launch New Shows

Facebook Offers User Data to TV Networks and News Outlets

Facebook recently announced two new API tools for TV networks and news outlets to access its user data, offering measurements such as the number of statuses mentioning certain celebrities or which gender is interested in a specific news story. The APIs will give TV networks and news media more insight into their audience and programming. The features, Public Feed API and Keyword Insights API, are being offered to CNN, NBC, Sky TV, BuzzFeedThe GuardianSlate and social media analytics firm Mass Relevance. Continue reading Facebook Offers User Data to TV Networks and News Outlets

Google Limits Some Development on Chromecast and Android

Google is beginning to restrict developer access to Chromecast and the Android operating system. The company is disabling workarounds of its Chromecast streaming device and other app options on Android. The move may be bad news for developers as certain functions are no longer available, but it may be good news for consumers if the user experience becomes more refined and features less ads on the new Chromecast and maturing Android. Continue reading Google Limits Some Development on Chromecast and Android

Netflix Viewing Activity Is Largely Recommendation Driven

Netflix devotes significant resources in order to develop its rating and recommendation systems, which is a key component of the service. The company employs 800 engineers to operate the service. Netflix estimates that 75 percent of viewing activity is now recommendation driven. The company uses several types of customer data in order to create the personalized recommendations, and uses behavior of similar users to suggest preferences. Continue reading Netflix Viewing Activity Is Largely Recommendation Driven

Developers Struggle to Build Ideal Apps for Every Smart TV

Developers face significant challenges in creating apps for smart TVs due to the large number of devices. Most manufacturers have their own platforms, with limited compatibility among them. TV makers are beginning to simplify the programming process by adopting HTML5, while bringing an app to multiple platforms still requires significant resources. Netflix devotes major resources to creating its apps, but few may be able to follow their example. Continue reading Developers Struggle to Build Ideal Apps for Every Smart TV

Second Screen Apps: Has TV Become the Second Screen?

Television networks are creating companion apps for their successful shows, social TV startups are developing chats and check-ins for second screen experiences, and others are pushing for new ideas to redesign today’s programming guide. But the second screen trend has thus far been based on the premise that the TV screen in the living room is the center of most consumers’ entertainment. Some are suggesting that this viewpoint is no longer accurate and, in fact, may not have been true in the past. Continue reading Second Screen Apps: Has TV Become the Second Screen?

Google Glass to Impact Video Entertainment, Privacy Issues

Google Glass has the potential to change the way video entertainment is created, distributed and viewed. But there are concerns about the potential violation of personal privacy. To some, the benefits outweigh the concerns in that Glass can deliver exciting new ways to create and consume films, documentaries, TV programming and video games. However, many businesses are ready to ban the device, such as movie theaters, bars and hospitals.  Continue reading Google Glass to Impact Video Entertainment, Privacy Issues

UTA Draws Developers for Third Annual Hollywood Hack Day

The third annual Hollywood Hack Day took place last weekend, bringing a hackathon — a timed collaborative event during which software developers create new apps or Web services — to Los Angeles. United Talent Agency hosted the event and provided increased bandwidth for the 135 developers and designers involved in the 2-day competition. Because the event was in LA, several teams chose to create apps about the art and business of entertainment. Continue reading UTA Draws Developers for Third Annual Hollywood Hack Day

Google Drives Past Auto Manufacturers in Vehicle Automation

Most major automakers are developing more automated driving systems. Some of the features, such as cruise control that adjusts to the speeds of surrounding cars, blind spot radar and other collision avoidance systems, are already available. The push to deliver automated cars reflects the differences of automakers and Silicon Valley tech companies. Established car companies typically take a more incremental tactic than Silicon Valley, taking into account decades of manufacturing experience. Continue reading Google Drives Past Auto Manufacturers in Vehicle Automation

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