Google Maps Helps Develop Real-World Gaming Experiences

Google is enabling game developers to create “Pokémon Go”-like experiences in which game elements are embedded into real-world maps using the new Google Maps API and the Unity game engine. Over 200 games are already in development. Next Games is developing a game based on the popular TV series “The Walking Dead,” and NBCUniversal and Ludia will release a “Jurassic World Alive” location-based game for mobile. Because Google Maps updates in real time, developers can create gaming experiences with a sharp eye on reality.

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TV Time Adds Personalized Recommendations to its Features

The TV Time app, which boasts a million daily users, now offers filterable, personalized recommendations to help organize your viewing selections. With programming spread across multiple services, it is often a challenge to keep up with what’s out there, what’s new, and what you might enjoy. Based on a user’s viewing habits and behaviors across multiple services (such as Netflix, Hulu and cable), the app makes recommendations and helps users track what they’re watching while connecting with other fans after episodes.

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AMC Introduces VR App With ‘Walking Dead’ Bonus Content

AMC released a free promotional VR app that lets fans experience turning into a zombie from “The Walking Dead” and other immersive content from the martial arts series “Into the Badlands.” The app also includes trailers of other AMC content and behind-the-scenes video. The new app is stoking fan enthusiasm for the season 8 premiere of “The Walking Dead” on October 22. The app will include a 360-degree bonus scene, available at the conclusion of the premiere episode, which is also the popular show’s 100th episode. Continue reading AMC Introduces VR App With ‘Walking Dead’ Bonus Content

Focusing on Original Content, Netflix Plans 80 Films for 2018

Netflix will spend between $7 billion and $8 billion on content in 2018, from up about $6 billion in 2017. The company added 5.3 million subscribers this quarter and revenue of almost $3 billion, a 30 percent increase from the same quarter last year. Its net income also rose to $130 million, compared to last year’s Q3 total of $52 million, but not as much as the $143 million that Wall Street predicted. With 104 million paid subscribers, Netflix has seen the majority of its Q3 growth come from international markets. The company is planning a major push into original movies next year. Continue reading Focusing on Original Content, Netflix Plans 80 Films for 2018

AMC Announces the Launch of its Ad-Free Streaming Service

AMC is introducing AMC Premiere, its new $5 per month streaming service that offers commercial-free versions of current programs, movies, trailers, bonus scenes, and the ability to stream shows at the same time they air on television. However, the cable network is not targeting cord cutters yet. “For now at least, you have to be a pay TV subscriber to use AMC Premiere — and specifically, a Comcast Xfinity TV customer,” reports TechCrunch. “That’s because launch of the new service is currently tied to a deal with Comcast, whose Xfinity TV customers will be able to stream the service via their set-top boxes as well as the Xfinity Stream website and mobile app.” Continue reading AMC Announces the Launch of its Ad-Free Streaming Service

AMC Planning a New Streaming Service for Cable Subscribers

According to inside sources, AMC Networks plans to target millennials with its own ad-free, online streaming service. However, distinguishing itself from today’s collection of standalone options, AMC’s offering will reportedly be made available exclusively for cable subscribers, a move meant to support the pay TV industry as it faces a growing number of cord cutters. “AMC is discussing featuring digital-only spinoff shows of its existing programs like ‘The Walking Dead’ and is considering pricing between $4.99 to $6.99 a month,” reports Reuters. “Packaging the service as an add-on to existing cable bills allows AMC to curry favor with cable and satellite companies.” Continue reading AMC Planning a New Streaming Service for Cable Subscribers

AT&T Unveils Atticus Chatbot to Answer Questions About TV

AT&T just unveiled its new Facebook Messenger chatbot, dubbed Atticus, that’s full of interesting trivia about a range of broadcast television programs, including “Modern Family,” “How to Get Away with Murder,” “The Big Bang Theory,” “American Horror Story,” “Pretty Little Liars,” and “The Office.” Described by AT&T as a “goofball,” Atticus has been known to say, “If the Dunphy family is looking for another kid, I’d be happy to join them. I’d be no trouble. Especially since I don’t physically exist. We’d be a real ‘Modern Family’.” Continue reading AT&T Unveils Atticus Chatbot to Answer Questions About TV

AMC Takes New Approach to Promoting Series on Snapchat

On Monday, AMC began an advertising campaign within Snapchat for its much-hyped new series “Preacher,” with the intent of drawing in younger viewers. The new series’ first five minutes will be featured on Snapchat’s Discover section, and marks the first time that an extended clip of a network TV show will be available on the social platform. After a 24-period of exclusivity on Snapchat, the clip will be released to other platforms. It will continue to run on Snapchat for six more days. “Preacher” debuts May 22. Continue reading AMC Takes New Approach to Promoting Series on Snapchat

AMC Employs Digital Watermarking to Pinpoint and Halt Piracy

AMC Networks is the latest Hollywood company to adopt digital watermarking to protect its shows — chief among them “The Walking Dead” — from digital piracy, especially before the episodes air on TV. AMC has said it plans to use Civolution’s NexGuard to embed watermarks on a list of its original shows, also including “Better Call Saul” and “Humans.” The watermarking would take place at its New York production/distribution facilities, where the technology will be implemented as software plug-ins for its transcoders. Continue reading AMC Employs Digital Watermarking to Pinpoint and Halt Piracy

Survey: Stigma Associated with TV Binge Viewing is Declining

Binge-watching television shows is becoming a less shameful activity, according to a March survey of TiVo users. While 53 percent of respondents in 2013 characterized the activity in a negative light, only 30 percent of recent respondents felt the same. “People who are binge-viewing are feeling better about themselves,” said Jonathan Steuer, chief research officer for TiVo. Interestingly, 92 percent of respondents indicated that they have engaged in binge-viewing at some point, and 32 percent said they often wait to watch an entire season at once. Continue reading Survey: Stigma Associated with TV Binge Viewing is Declining

Online Piracy is Still Going Strong Despite Pirate Bay Closure

According to anti-piracy firm Excipio, the number of global illegally downloaded files has gone relatively unaffected by the recent shut down of The Pirate Bay. During the six-day period following the recent raid of the piracy organization’s data hosting center, illegal downloads slightly dropped, only to go up again a few days later. Even without The Pirate Bay’s active online presence, people have plenty of other alternative sites to visit for pirated movies, music and TV shows. Continue reading Online Piracy is Still Going Strong Despite Pirate Bay Closure

Health & Fitness is Fastest Growing Category on Google Play

Google released an end-of-year rundown that measures the most popular apps on its Play Store. This year’s fastest growing app category has been health and fitness, led by diet tracker MyFitnessPal. With 100,000 mobile health apps available now for Android and iOS, the global health and fitness app market is worth about $4 billion. In other categories, Facebook topped social, Netflix was the leader in entertainment, Pandora was the most popular music app, and Flipagram led the photography category. Continue reading Health & Fitness is Fastest Growing Category on Google Play

Virtual World Game Offers New Level of Interactive Storytelling

“Dragon Age: Inquisition” is a true testament to how sophisticated story-based virtual world games have become. The video game experience has become as immersive as any other story telling medium, told using compelling techniques that game developers have experimented with over the years. “Dragon Age: Inquisition” — while not the first video game to offer sophisticated interactive narrative — has been deemed one of the most ambitious story-based games of the year.  Continue reading Virtual World Game Offers New Level of Interactive Storytelling

Growing Number of Viewers Turn to YouTube for TV and Movies

YouTube is now considered by many consumers to be the leading online resource for watching TV shows. According to research from Frank N. Magid Associates, which polled 2,400 people about online sources they use to watch shows, 38 percent of respondents pointed to YouTube. Netflix held second at 33 percent, followed by Hulu at 17 percent and Amazon Prime Instant Video at 14 percent. The study learned that the number of people who watch video online daily has increased 10 points to 32 percent in two years. Continue reading Growing Number of Viewers Turn to YouTube for TV and Movies