Twitch, Pokémon Company Team Up for Movie/TV Marathons

Twitch and The Pokémon Company International are joining forces to offer “Pokémon: The Series,” featuring 16 movies and 19 television seasons comprised of 932 episodes. Twitch plans to livestream the marathons — the longest program-related viewing event it has ever streamed — in several blocks, beginning August 27 and running into 2019. The two companies first partnered on the “Twitch Plays Pokémon” social experiment in 2014. The marathons will help market the Nintendo “Pokémon” games slated to debut this fall. Continue reading Twitch, Pokémon Company Team Up for Movie/TV Marathons

Vice Media Has Plans to Produce Original Shows for Snapchat

Vice Media will join other media companies in producing exclusive short-form content for Snapchat. The first Vice show to appear via the social and messaging app will be the eight-episode dating series “Hungry Hearts with Action Bronson,” to debut later this year. “The new show is the first of several Vice has planned for Snapchat,” reports TechCrunch. “Vice had already worked with Snapchat in the past, having been a global launch partner for Snapchat Discover back in 2015.” Snapchat already has deals with ABC, BBC, Discovery, NBC, Time and others to add original content to the platform. Notable content is currently provided by “Saturday Night Live,” “The Bachelor,” “The Tonight Show Starring Jimmy Fallon” and “The Voice.” Continue reading Vice Media Has Plans to Produce Original Shows for Snapchat

In Strategy Reversal, Yahoo Shutters its Online Video Portal

Yahoo has shut down Yahoo Screen, the company’s four-year-old video portal that had been a major component of chief exec Marissa Mayer’s turnaround strategy. Yahoo took a $42 million write-off on original video content in October, and while Yahoo Screen had yet to compete with video giant YouTube, comScore notes that the portal had about 15 million U.S. visitors in November. The portal had provided easy access to Yahoo’s video content — from digital magazines, concerts and football games to licensed reruns of “Saturday Night Live” and original series such as “Community.” Continue reading In Strategy Reversal, Yahoo Shutters its Online Video Portal

Adele’s Latest Album Breaks Sales Records Without Streaming

With her latest album, “25,” Adele has erased any doubt about her preeminent position in the music world. The new album, which showcases her signature torch songs and ballads, had a record-breaking first week of sales — $3.38 million in the U.S. — despite the fact that Adele withholds her music from streaming sites and largely eschews a social media presence (although she did appear on “Saturday Night Live” and promotions for Target). Adele’s previous album, “21,” sold 30 million copies worldwide. Continue reading Adele’s Latest Album Breaks Sales Records Without Streaming

NBCUniversal to Launch Ad-Free Streaming Comedy Channel

Comcast’s NBCUniversal plans to debut a Web-only subscription video service in January called Seeso that will offer comedic fare such as standup specials, original series, select movies, and NBC classics like “The Office” and “30 Rock” along with late-night hits including “Saturday Night Live” and “The Tonight Show Starring Jimmy Fallon.” The ad-free channel, which will cost $3.99 per month, will offer more than 20 exclusive original series during its first year. NBCU said it does not have plans to remove its content from other digital services such as Netflix, Hulu and YouTube. Continue reading NBCUniversal to Launch Ad-Free Streaming Comedy Channel

Video-Sharing Site Vimeo Bankrolls First Original Productions

Vimeo, the IAC-owned video platform, is now investing in its first original programs. Since its launch, Vimeo has served as a platform for creatives to sell or rent content directly to fans. Vimeo is now funding three projects: the second season of “The Outs,” which debuted online in 2013; a stand-up comedy special featuring Bianca Del Rio, and a short film, “Darby Forever,” from “Saturday Night Live” cast member Aidy Bryant. Vimeo says the new model is also intended to encourage other creators to post content on the site. Continue reading Video-Sharing Site Vimeo Bankrolls First Original Productions

New Yahoo Video Offerings: Comedy Series and Daily Concerts

Yahoo is making deals yet again to expand its video content in an effort to compete with Google’s YouTube, Hulu, Netflix and Amazon. This time, Yahoo will make a foray into original programming by commissioning two original TV-length comedy series. The shows will be available to stream online from Yahoo Screen in early 2015. In addition, Yahoo struck a deal with Live Nation Entertainment to start streaming one live concert per day starting in July. Continue reading New Yahoo Video Offerings: Comedy Series and Daily Concerts

NBCUniversal Unveils its Plans for New Digital Programming

NBCUniversal announced on Tuesday its push into digital programming with the launch of new series to be distributed via its channel websites, Hulu and VOD. Two series slated to launch on NBC.com include “Saturday Night Line,” about superfans who wait in the “SNL” standby line, and “Heroes Reborn: Digital Series,” a prequel to the upcoming “Heroes” miniseries. In addition, Universal Cable Productions has plans to release more than a dozen digital programs, including “Tesla and Twain” and “Last Single Girl.” Continue reading NBCUniversal Unveils its Plans for New Digital Programming

Pay TV Registers Decline for First Time Over Full-Year Period

According to a new report from research firm SNL Kagan, the U.S. pay-TV industry registered a decline in subscriptions during 2013. While the loss of 251,000 subscribers among cable, satellite and telco TV providers was quite small (just 0.02 percent of 110.2 million total pay-TV households), it raises concerns that cord-cutting may have a greater impact in the future. The report notes that younger American consumers are less likely to have pay TV than their parents. Continue reading Pay TV Registers Decline for First Time Over Full-Year Period

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

Yahoo’s Marissa Mayer Introduces New Content and Ad Products

During the Yahoo keynote presentation, CEO Marissa Mayer announced a mobile acquisition, introduced a number of new products and services, and entertained the crowd with a “Saturday Night Live” skit featuring actual “SNL” performers. Mayer announced that Yahoo now has more than 400 million monthly mobile users, a figure which excludes social network Tumblr, purchased last year. Tuesday’s presentation was largely about simplifying Yahoo’s business and a focus on content creation and related advertising. Continue reading Yahoo’s Marissa Mayer Introduces New Content and Ad Products

Newly Launched Yahoo Screen Serves as Mobile Hub for Video

Yahoo’s mobile team in New York City has a developed an app that turns traditional channel surfing into a more intuitive experience with a swipeable interface for browsing and discovery. The iOS app serves as a mobile home for original video content from Yahoo and its content partners, while a side bar allows navigation between other Yahoo apps such as Mail, Flickr and Fantasy Sports. Yahoo Screen already offers more than 1,000 hours of comedy programming, sports, news, movie trailers and more. Continue reading Newly Launched Yahoo Screen Serves as Mobile Hub for Video

Google Glass: The Evolving Future of Wearable Technology

Glass is Google’s attempt to bring a wearable device that integrates with other Google devices and services. Although wearable technology is not entirely new, users are still deciding if its purpose is to replace phones, tablets and laptops, serve as an extension of those devices, or become something completely different. Many also wonder what the long-term effects will be of wearable computing. As is the case with the introduction of many new technologies, Glass is drawing both criticism and praise. Continue reading Google Glass: The Evolving Future of Wearable Technology

ZEFR Helps Content Creators Reach Their Hidden Audience

I recently spent an hour with Richard Raddon, co-founder of ZEFR (formerly MovieClips), a Venice, California company that is “connecting fans and franchises for the good of all.” MovieClips was co-founded by Raddon and Zach James about three years ago. The company developed proprietary technology that allowed them to identify content on YouTube. When MovieClips became ZEFR, it shifted its focus to help studios, sports, TV and music videos collect and monetize postings on YouTube. Continue reading ZEFR Helps Content Creators Reach Their Hidden Audience

Hulu Changes Focus To Original Series with ‘The Awesomes’

Hulu is focusing on its own original programming with “The Awesomes,” the video service’s first animated series and first original show this year. This marks a change of direction for the company, which was until recently entertaining bids for acquisition. Its emphasis on original programming reflects its new intention to compete with services such as Netflix and Amazon. Hulu will also join with sponsors to make new, brand integrated shows in order to generate advertising revenue. Continue reading Hulu Changes Focus To Original Series with ‘The Awesomes’

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