Disney+ Shares the ‘Future of Storytelling’ with New AR Short

Disney+ has unveiled a new app for viewing augmented reality, inviting subscribers to test drive “the future of storytelling, in your own living room” with the new short “Remembering: The AR Experience.” Created by an award-winning duo (“Captain Marvel” star Brie Larson, who also produces, and writer/director Elijah Allan-Blitz), the 8-minute film is meant to be viewed “through” an iOS tablet or iPhone that you hold up to your TV screen, allowing its camera to activate a QR code that triggers the AR, bringing fanciful objects (trees, rainbows, shooting stars and clouds) to your IRL surroundings. Continue reading Disney+ Shares the ‘Future of Storytelling’ with New AR Short

Nielsen Reports Streaming Leads Cable TV for the First Time

July was the first month in which streaming has overtaken cable viewing, according to Nielsen’s monthly snapshot The Gauge, which reports streaming captured a record 34.8 percent share of total U.S. TV viewership, cable 34.4 percent and broadcast 21.6 percent. While streaming has exceeded broadcast’s viewing share before, this is the first time it also exceeded cable, said Nielsen Global Media’s Brian Fuhrer, SVP of product strategy and thought leadership. Audiences spent 23 percent more time streaming content than they did in July 2021, 9 percent less time watching cable and 10 percent less time watching broadcast television. Continue reading Nielsen Reports Streaming Leads Cable TV for the First Time

Australia’s Highest Court Rules Google Links Not Defamatory

In a major reversal, Australia’s highest court found Google not liable for defamatory content linked through search results, ruling that the Alphabet subsidiary “was not a publisher” of the objectionable content. Google was sued for defamation for a 2004 article appearing in its search engine results, and both the trial court and a circuit court of appeals held Google responsible as a “publisher” because it was instrumental in circulating the contents of the offending article. The lower courts rejected Google’s reliance on the statutory and common law defenses of innocent dissemination and qualified privilege. Continue reading Australia’s Highest Court Rules Google Links Not Defamatory

Nexstar Acquiring Majority Stake in The CW in Cashless Deal

After more than six months of negotiations, Nexstar Media Group has struck a deal with Paramount Global and Warner Bros. Discovery to acquire a 75 percent stake in The CW Network. Paramount and WBD will each continue to hold a 12.5 percent stake in The CW and will continue to provide scripted programming for it through the 2022-23 season after the deal closes, which Nexstar expects to happen in Q3. Financial terms were not disclosed, though Variety reports Nexstar is not paying cash, but rather assuming “a large chunk” of The CW’s “more than $100 million” in debt. Continue reading Nexstar Acquiring Majority Stake in The CW in Cashless Deal

Scripps Launches a Marketing Campaign to Promote Free TV

Cincinnati-based station group E.W. Scripps is launching a $20 million marketing campaign to educate consumers about all the free programming they can access via broadcast television by simply using an over-the-air TV antenna. Scripps has launched a website that lets users input a ZIP code to return a list of free channels available in their area. For instance, in Los Angeles, there are more than 160 free broadcast channels available to antenna users. At a time when inflation is driving households to look for ways to cut costs, Scripps feels the campaign is timely. Continue reading Scripps Launches a Marketing Campaign to Promote Free TV

Avid Debuts ‘Media Production in the Cloud’ by Subscription

Avid is moving its workflow to the cloud, providing its popular on-site editing interface to distributed production teams that will now have instant access to assets across platforms, from broadcast and cable to web and social media. Geared towards news and sports operations, the Avid Media Production in the Cloud subscription service offers a secure and convenient way to integrate existing tools and workflows with the power of the cloud “without committing to a forklift overhaul or the need for additional training,” Avid director of solutions marketing, media and cloud Raul Alba said of the rollout. Continue reading Avid Debuts ‘Media Production in the Cloud’ by Subscription

Streaming Ads That Play While TVs Are Off a Costly Problem

Some streaming platforms are continuing to stream TV commercials even after viewers turn off their sets, costing brands an estimated $1 billion per year in wasted fees, according to new research. The news comes as streaming gains in popularity and premium services like HBO Max, Disney+ and Netflix dabble in ad-supported streaming tiers. A study by iSpot.tv and GroupM indicates roughly 17 percent of television ads playing through connected streaming devices are playing on a dark TV set, which is possible because when regular TVs are turned off that action isn’t always conveyed through HDMI ports. Continue reading Streaming Ads That Play While TVs Are Off a Costly Problem

YouTube Helps Integrate TVs and Smartphones with New App

YouTube has reimagined the remote control with a new feature that not only controls basic TV functions using an app, but lets users integrate more deeply with YouTube content — sharing videos, browsing and leaving comments, using Super Chat and Super Stickers and signing-up for channel memberships. YouTube on TV head of design Brynn Evans says the feature is the result of “hundreds of hours” researching user experiences with YouTube on televisions. Traditional remotes make it difficult to navigate on most TV sets, which typically don’t have web browsers built in, Evans says. Continue reading YouTube Helps Integrate TVs and Smartphones with New App

States Fight Misinformation on Social Media Before Midterms

As various states undergo primary elections and the nation gears up for midterm elections in the fall, the social network misinformation machines are becoming more active, too. Connecticut is actively addressing the problem with a marketing budget of nearly $2 million to counter unfounded rumors. The state is also creating a new position to monitor the disinformation mill. Salaried at $150,000 per year, the job involves combing fringe sites like Gettr, Rumble and 4chan as well as mainstream social media sites to weed-out falsehoods before they go viral, alerting platforms to remove or flag such posts. Continue reading States Fight Misinformation on Social Media Before Midterms

Peacock and Paramount+ Generate Bulk of Q1 SVOD Growth

Those who thought Netflix’s losses in Q1 meant consumers were falling out of love with premium SVOD subscriptions overall are wrong, according to research firm Antenna, which has issued a new report indicating the streaming category continues to grow, up 4 percent in Q1 compared to Q4 2021, with a 24.7 percent jump compared to the same period the prior year. The growth the first quarter of 2022 “was largely driven by Peacock and Paramount+,” according to Antenna, which says the “two services combined to add over 6.1 million U.S. subscribers,” 80 percent of category growth. Continue reading Peacock and Paramount+ Generate Bulk of Q1 SVOD Growth

Ad Tech, Brand Messaging Take Center Stage at TV Upfronts

While this year’s TV Upfronts were packed with celebrity appearances and musical performances, the focus had clearly shifted from scheduling to content that could be watched anytime and anywhere and the technologies that facilitate ad insertions and brand messaging opportunities. In addition to changing viewer habits, streaming and binge watching have resulted in new priorities for program services, now focused on libraries that amount to inventory by the ton, according to reports from the television industry’s annual New York pitch event for advertisers. Continue reading Ad Tech, Brand Messaging Take Center Stage at TV Upfronts

Chicken Soup for the Soul to Acquire Redbox for $375 Million

Streaming company Chicken Soup for the Soul Entertainment has initiated a $375 million acquisition of Redbox Entertainment, which operates roughly 38,000 DVD rental kiosks located in retail locations throughout the nation. The deal includes $50 million in Chicken Soup stock and assumption of Redbox’s $325 million in debt. Redbox has about 40 million customers enrolled in its loyalty program (Redbox Perks), offers more than 130 FAST digital channels on a Free Live TV platform, and has a content library that spans TVOD and PVOD platforms, in addition to physical and digital distribution channels. Continue reading Chicken Soup for the Soul to Acquire Redbox for $375 Million

Disney Reports Strong Revenue and Subscriber Growth for Q2

Disney+ outperformed its subscriber goals, helping The Walt Disney Company to 23 percent revenue growth in its fiscal second quarter, ended April 2. “Our strong results in the second quarter, including fantastic performance at our domestic parks and continued growth of our streaming services — with 7.9 million Disney+ subscribers added in the quarter and total subscriptions across all our DTC offerings exceeding 205 million — once again proved that we are in a league of our own,” Disney CEO Bob Chapek summarized for investors. Disney+ now reaches 137.7 million subscribers. Continue reading Disney Reports Strong Revenue and Subscriber Growth for Q2

8K Slow to Take Hold in Homes but Transforming Production

At NAB 2022 in Las Vegas, 8K sets hinted at a home viewing revolution. With 16 times the resolution of HD and four times the 4K screens currently in about 44 percent of U.S. households, the 8K experience represents a leap in immersive viewing. Sony, LG and TCL have been selling 8K sets, but globally only 1 million were purchased. But there are ways 8K is being put to use today to benefit a variety of end-use cases. Virtual production and virtual reality are two instances where content displayed in 4K or HD still benefits from the higher-resolution capture, while 8K also offers added flexibility in post production. Continue reading 8K Slow to Take Hold in Homes but Transforming Production

Cablers Comcast, Charter Team to Launch Streaming Devices

Cable giants Comcast and Charter Communications have joined forces to offer set-top boxes for video streaming, pooling their combined reach to take on established players like Amazon, Apple, Roku and Google. The newly formed joint venture plans to develop and offer a next-generation streaming platform leveraging Comcast’s Flex technology, which includes voice search. “Our new venture will bring a full-featured operating platform, new devices, and smart TVs with a robust app store providing a more streamlined and aggregated experience for the customer,” said Charter chairman and CEO Tom Rutledge.  Continue reading Cablers Comcast, Charter Team to Launch Streaming Devices