GameFly Will Take On Netflix with New Movie Rental Service

Video game rental service GameFly is launching a movie rental service (currently in beta) that aims to compete with the Netflix disc-by-mail business. GameFly will offer DVD and Blu-ray discs to subscribers, with the option of renting one or two movies at a time. While Netflix has predicted that shipping costs would bring an end to its own disc-based rental service, this may not be an issue for GameFly since mail rentals remain its core business. Continue reading GameFly Will Take On Netflix with New Movie Rental Service

Early Oscar Numbers Look Strong, Ellen Breaks Twitter Record

While total viewer numbers will not be available from Nielsen until later today, last night’s telecast of the 86th Academy Awards from the Dolby Theatre in Hollywood scored impressive numbers in the major markets, up 7 percent from last year. In addition, host Ellen DeGeneres set a new social media record by taking a celebrity-filled selfie during the broadcast that has been retweeted more times than any photo in Twitter history, besting President Obama’s tweet after he won the 2012 presidential election. Continue reading Early Oscar Numbers Look Strong, Ellen Breaks Twitter Record

Disney Launches Online Movie Service Powered by Keychest

Disney has launched its new Disney Movies Anywhere (DMA), that allows consumers to purchase movies and store them in the cloud. Launching initially for iOS and the Web, the service is integrated with the Apple iTunes Store. Users can browse, buy and view more than 400 Disney, Pixar and Marvel movies (however, R-rated movies are not included). DMA is powered by Keychest digital storage and streaming tech, developed by Disney, the first to offer movies and TV shows through iTunes. Continue reading Disney Launches Online Movie Service Powered by Keychest

Google Takes On Broadband Giants with Fiber Expansion Plans

Google is looking to expand its fiber network to compete with cable operators that currently dominate the broadband market. Google is in talks with 34 cities in nine areas, such as Atlanta, Nashville, Phoenix, Salt Lake City, San Antonio and Portland, Oregon. Google’s new network is currently offered in Kansas City and Provo, and is expanding into the Austin, Texas area. Google Fiber provides download speeds of up to 1 GB per second for $70 per month. Continue reading Google Takes On Broadband Giants with Fiber Expansion Plans

Amazon Discusses New Streaming Service with Music Labels

Amazon continues to expand into the entertainment realm with its delivery of movies and TV via Amazon Prime, the launch of Amazon Studios, its recent acquisition of video game developer Double Helix, and now, the possibility of a streaming music service that would likely be bundled into its Prime delivery option. Amazon has been hiring executives with digital music experience in recent years, and has reportedly been in talks with major music labels for the past few months. Continue reading Amazon Discusses New Streaming Service with Music Labels

ABC to Live-Stream Academy Awards via Web and Mobile Apps

ABC plans to live-stream Sunday’s Oscars telecast in eight markets via online and Watch ABC apps for customers of participating pay TV partners including AT&T U-verse, Cablevision, Charter Communications, Comcast, Cox Communications, Google Fiber, Midcontinent Communications and Verizon FiOS. ABC also announced it has retired its standalone Oscars app; red carpet and backstage action will be folded into Watch ABC, available to Oscar fans for free. Continue reading ABC to Live-Stream Academy Awards via Web and Mobile Apps

LTE Advanced: Qualcomm Demos Blazing Download Speeds

At the Mobile World Congress in Barcelona this week, Qualcomm demonstrated the next generation of 4G LTE, called LTE Advanced Category 6, which produces download speeds of 300Mpbs. This technology will be integrated into Qualcomm’s Snapdragon 805 processor, which will be used in next-gen Android tablets. The technology is already being used for networks in South Korea, mainly due to interest from broadcasters who want to use it for delivering 4K TV. Continue reading LTE Advanced: Qualcomm Demos Blazing Download Speeds

EVE Online: The Move From Game to Comic Book to TV Series

Gamemakers are increasingly looking to other platforms. CCP Games announced its plan to create a TV series based on the popular space game “EVE Online” almost one year ago. While the company has met with numerous networks and studio execs to develop a series, they claim to be in no rush to produce it. CCP wants to capitalize on the growing number of the online game’s worldwide players, and will launch “EVE: True Stories” as a comic book before a TV series is produced. Continue reading EVE Online: The Move From Game to Comic Book to TV Series

Digital Music and File Sharing Addressed at DEW Conference

At Digital Entertainment World, Jake Katz and Amrit Singh of Revolt TV discussed how they are reaching their millennial peers. Curation is key, said Amrit. For news, his goal is to be first, right, and “identify the relevant narrative.” Although they call themselves a cable network, they have a large bicoastal (LA, NYC) staff working on Twitter, Instagram, Tumblr and other social media in real time during the broadcasts. Millennials prefer phones and tablets; 34 percent of the Revolt TV audience won’t watch a television screen. Continue reading Digital Music and File Sharing Addressed at DEW Conference

Digital Entertainment World Conference Debuts in Los Angeles

The first Digital Entertainment World conference proved to be an excellent opportunity for a quick dive into current key topics of interest to the entertainment industry. DEW was held at the Hyatt Regency Century Plaza in Los Angeles February 18-20. Topics included the states of all major media verticals, issues related to reaching millennials, alternative revenue streams and payment options, current developments related to metadata and content discovery, and the technologies and costs associated with using cloud-based tools and resources. Continue reading Digital Entertainment World Conference Debuts in Los Angeles

QPlay TV Streamer from TiVo Co-Founders Expected to Debut

InVisioneer, the company created by TiVo co-founders Michael Ramsay and Jim Barton, is reportedly planning to release its anticipated QPlay video streamer very soon. While official plans have yet to be announced, an early adopter beta test is expected, based on a recently posted demo video and related documents online, including the company’s terms of service and privacy policy. The streaming box, about the size of an external hard drive, connects to a TV and is controlled via an iPad app. Continue reading QPlay TV Streamer from TiVo Co-Founders Expected to Debut

Standoff Ends: Netflix to Pay Comcast for Improved Streaming

In a landmark deal that could potentially serve as precedent for future Netflix agreements with broadband providers, the video streaming service has agreed to pay Comcast to guarantee that movies and TV shows stream smoothly to the cable provider’s customers via Netflix. In exchange, Netflix will have direct access to the broadband network. The pact comes 10 days after Comcast agreed to buy Time Warner Cable, which, if approved, will lead to Comcast providing broadband services to about 32 million households. Continue reading Standoff Ends: Netflix to Pay Comcast for Improved Streaming

“Veronica Mars” To Be Released in Theaters, VOD on Same Day

Warner Bros. is planning to release its Kickstarter-initiated “Veronica Mars” movie, starring Kristen Bell, in 270 theaters on March 14, the same day the film will be made available to rent or purchase online. While independent studios and theaters have been experimenting with same-day releases in recent years, the move will mark the first time that a major Hollywood studio has distributed a movie theatrically and for home viewing simultaneously in the U.S. Continue reading “Veronica Mars” To Be Released in Theaters, VOD on Same Day

HPA Tech Retreat: Transitioning to an Ethernet-Based Facility

Broadcasters and other media organizations are contemplating a move to an Ethernet-based facility for their live streams for a range of compelling reasons: flexibility, simpler cabling, better economies of scale and an easier move to Ultra HDTV. At an HPA Tech Retreat panel on “Professional Networked Media,” Fox Network Engineering & Operations Vice President Thomas Edwards led a panel of broadcast executives working to make that a reality. Continue reading HPA Tech Retreat: Transitioning to an Ethernet-Based Facility

Warner Music Group Uses Shazam to Identify Breakout Artists

Warner Music Group has entered a partnership with Shazam to gain access to unique customer data. This data will allow Warner Music Group to see how often songs are listened to, and help them find breakout artists. Shazam is a popular smartphone app that helps consumers identify songs, and has about 500 million song identification requests per month. Due to this large volume, Shazam’s data gives a strong indication of which songs are popular with the public. Continue reading Warner Music Group Uses Shazam to Identify Breakout Artists

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