China’s Alibaba Group Launches U.S. Shopping Site 11 Main

The largest e-commerce company in China, Alibaba Group Holding, has launched a U.S. shopping website as it plans to go public in what is expected to be one of the largest IPOs in history. The new site, 11 Main hosts over 1,000 merchants in categories such as clothing, jewelry and interior goods. The site is currently available to users who sign up and receive an email invitation. Alibaba has invested in a range of U.S. companies over the past year, including e-commere and mobile messaging. Continue reading China’s Alibaba Group Launches U.S. Shopping Site 11 Main

Amazon Readies Launch of First Smartphone with Prime Data

Amazon’s first smartphone, to be released this summer, is expected to offer a unique wireless data plan called “Prime Data.” The phone will feature hardware-assisted 3D effects, four low-power infrared cameras to track the user’s head in relation to the display, and new no-touch gesture controls. It is possible that Amazon’s phone could be made exclusive to AT&T in the U.S., which would result in the first deal based on the “Sponsored Data” program. Continue reading Amazon Readies Launch of First Smartphone with Prime Data

ASCAP and BMI Push For More Flexibility in Music Licensing

The Justice Department announced this week that it will review the regulatory agreements created in 1941 that govern ASCAP and BMI. It is likely that, as a result, a lobbying fight will surge between technology giants like Pandora and Google against music companies and songwriter groups. If changes to the regulatory agreements are not made, major music publishers, including Sony/ATV and Universal, may withdraw from ASCAP and BMI.  Continue reading ASCAP and BMI Push For More Flexibility in Music Licensing

Yahoo’s New Video Platform Plans to Compete with YouTube

After a few months of delays, Yahoo plans to launch its new video service this summer. Like YouTube, the service will allow users to post videos, create their own channels, and embed the Yahoo video player into other sites. Yahoo’s video service is different in its more generous revenue-sharing deals with video creators. Content producers with a Yahoo contract will also have the ability to publish their videos on Yahoo properties including the homepage and Tumblr. Continue reading Yahoo’s New Video Platform Plans to Compete with YouTube

Omnicom Media, Twitter Agree to $230 Million Mobile Ad Pact

Omnicom Media Group and Twitter announced a mobile-advertising deal yesterday that is said to be valued at $230 million over the next two years. The agreement will integrate Accuen, Omnicom’s ad buying unit, with MoPub, the ad exchange that Twitter acquired in September for $350 million. The deal will lock in advertising rates and access to inventory for Omnicom agencies, while also providing a first look at new ad units and related opportunities being developed by Twitter. Continue reading Omnicom Media, Twitter Agree to $230 Million Mobile Ad Pact

Twitter Offers New One-Click Video Embedding Capability

Social network Twitter is making video sharing easier than ever for advertisers and regular users alike. By typing a hashtag in a tweet, Twitter users can easily find related videos in the suggested hashtag results. Then users can attach those videos to their original tweets with just one click. The social network could sell businesses the opportunity to provide those searchable, embeddable videos. Recently, Twitter made one-click videos available in Promoted Tweets. Continue reading Twitter Offers New One-Click Video Embedding Capability

Report: UHD TV to Reach One-Third of U.S. Households by 2020

According to a new report from Strategy Analytics, Ultra High-Definition is poised for rapid adoption in the U.S., with a projected 33 percent of households expected to have UHD TV sets by 2020. The report, “Ultra High-Definition TV Displays: Global Market Forecast: 2012-2020,” predicts that North America will become the leading region in UHD penetration by 2020, and entry level prices for UHD TVs will drop below $2,000 this year from one or more of the major brands. Continue reading Report: UHD TV to Reach One-Third of U.S. Households by 2020

Expensive Video Ads on Facebook Are Reserved For The Best

Facebook is steadily becoming a formidable player in the digital advertising industry. The social network will start integrating auto-playing video ads on users’ Facebook news feeds. Facebook’s unique ability to target audiences precisely could give it an edge in the market, even though video ads on Facebook cost about $1 million a day. Ace Metric and Facebook have been working together since last year to create a fAce rating to help select the “meaningful” commercials. Continue reading Expensive Video Ads on Facebook Are Reserved For The Best

Technicolor Ultra HD Set-Top Box Supports High Frame Rate

Earlier this week, Technicolor revealed a prototype of its new Ultra HD set-top box that will allow viewers to watch TV in 4K resolution and at high frame rates twice as fast as typical 30 fps set-tops. Targeted for cable and satellite services, it is is the industry’s first high frame rate 4K STB. Technicolor, which is hoping to start rolling out the first Ultra HD boxes in about a year, is showcasing its family of STBs at this week’s National Cable & Telecommunications conference in Los Angeles. Continue reading Technicolor Ultra HD Set-Top Box Supports High Frame Rate

Netflix Passes 34 Million Subscribers, Previews Price Increase

Netflix announced on Monday that it plans to raise the price of its streaming video service for new members by a dollar or two per month. The service, which now has more than 34 million paid U.S. subscribers, is justifying the rate increase based on its continued investment in original programs, including series such as “House of Cards” and “Orange Is the New Black.” In addition to its first-quarter earnings report yesterday, Netflix announced opposition to Comcast’s proposed acquisition of Time Warner Cable. Continue reading Netflix Passes 34 Million Subscribers, Previews Price Increase

Beta: MoPub Integration is Twitter’s Next Step with Mobile Ads

Twitter announced yesterday that running marketing campaigns on both Twitter and MoPub will be made easier. MoPub, the mobile ad exchange service that Twitter acquired last October, matches advertisers to ad space across mobile apps, handling more than 130 billion ad requests per month. The new interface, available to select advertisers in private beta, is designed to eliminate the need to set up through separate portals. It allows advertisers to be present on both platforms with greater ease and effectiveness. Continue reading Beta: MoPub Integration is Twitter’s Next Step with Mobile Ads

Engineers Developing Emotion-Based Video Game Controller

Stanford engineers have created the next step in interactive gaming — a video game controller that can sense a player’s emotions. The handheld game controller can monitor a player’s brain activity to decipher when a user is extremely engaged or bored, which could trigger zombies or another element of the game to be thrown at them to catch their attention. Gregory Kovacs, a professor of electrical engineering at Stanford, created a prototype controller in his lab in collaboration with Texas Instruments. Continue reading Engineers Developing Emotion-Based Video Game Controller

SMPTE Tech Summit: Understanding the Human Vision System

The first Saturday morning session of SMPTE’s Technology Summit On Cinema at NAB focused on factors that could impact the UHD TV rollout, including research on what humans are able to see and observe. During a panel titled “Understanding the Human Vision System,” Dr. Jenny Read of Newcastle University Institute of Neuroscience set the stage by discussing four parameters of vision: spatial resolution, temporal resolution, dynamic range, and color perception. Related studies from Dolby, EBU and EPFL were presented. Continue reading SMPTE Tech Summit: Understanding the Human Vision System

Apple iAd Workbench Makes Campaign Creation Open to All

Apple just opened its iAd Workbench tool to the public, making mobile ad campaign creation and management accessible to anyone with an Apple ID. The Web-based platform — previously only available to registered mobile app developers — will allow users to launch, track and adjust their advertising campaigns. The ads can contain videos, and direct viewers to a separate website or promoted iTunes content, but only work for ads on an iOS phone or tablet. Continue reading Apple iAd Workbench Makes Campaign Creation Open to All

Amazon Announces Six New Shows After Another Pilot Season

Amazon.com announced yesterday that it has picked up two dramas, two comedies and two kids shows from the batch of 10 television pilots it was testing with viewers. Amazon considered feedback and ratings submitted by users, as it did with an earlier pilot season. However, this time twice as many viewers (more than two million) were involved with the process. While Amazon’s streaming service normally does not include ads, the pilots were sponsored by Geico so they could be available to all users, not just Prime subscribers. Continue reading Amazon Announces Six New Shows After Another Pilot Season

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