On-Demand Television Is Giving the Music Industry a Boost

“Stranger Things,” “Breaking Bad” and “Transparent” are just a few examples of popular television shows that have been a boon to the music industry in recent years. During an era when physical music sales are at a low, artists and labels are eager to license their music to play during TV episodes for royalties and publicity. According to numbers provided by UK music collecting society PRS for Music — home of the Performing Right Society (PRS) and the Mechanical-Copyright Protection Society (MCPS), the use of music across on-demand platforms has increased 238 percent over the past five years.

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New Amazon Studios Head Is Charting an Ambitious Course

Four months ago, Jennifer Salke, previously NBC president of entertainment, replaced Amazon Studios chief Roy Price, who was ousted after a sexual harassment scandal. Now, she’s moving forward to clarify the studio’s message on the kinds of content it wants, as well as get more productions into the pipeline. Salke is making a strong play for Hollywood creatives to work with the studio, noting that, “there is a lot of talent out there looking for a home … [and] we have the resources.” Continue reading New Amazon Studios Head Is Charting an Ambitious Course

Bezos Tasks Amazon Studios to Make Hit With Global Appeal

Amazon Studios has shifted strategy. Reportedly, Amazon chief executive Jeff Bezos has mandated Studio chief Roy Price with finding a hit as big and buzzy as “Game of Thrones.” With that focus in mind, Amazon Studios nixed a second season for “Z: The Beginning of Everything” and greenlit five new projects, including “Tong Wars,” a period drama from Paul Attanasio and Wong Kar-wai; a comedy starring Fred Armisen and Maya Rudolph; two comedy pilots; and a comic book adaptation produced by Seth Rogen. Continue reading Bezos Tasks Amazon Studios to Make Hit With Global Appeal

Amazon Promotes its Series Pilots on YouTube and Facebook

Amazon Studios unveiled a promotion on its YouTube channel and Facebook page, aimed to garner more Prime subscribers: free viewing of the pilots of 10 original series. Among the pilots being made available on the social media platforms are the critically acclaimed, transgender dramedy “Transparent,” “Bosch,” “The Man in the High Castle,” “Mozart in the Jungle,” “Red Oaks,” and kids’ shows “Annedroids,” “Gortimer Gibbon’s Life on Normal Street,” “Just Add Magic,” “Tumble Leaf” and “Wishenpoof!” Continue reading Amazon Promotes its Series Pilots on YouTube and Facebook

Networks Use Data From Social Media to Produce New Shows

Entertainment companies are increasingly paying attention to trends on tweets and Facebook posts to create content that will appeal to viewers. The idea is that giving viewers what they want, as judged by their current conversations, is a barometer of success and loyalty. At NBCUniversal Media’s leadership conference last year, the focus was on this topic: how to use big data — as found on a variety of social media platforms — to create content that resonates with today’s viewers. Big data is now becoming a key factor in the development process. Continue reading Networks Use Data From Social Media to Produce New Shows

Amazon Profits from AWS, Doubles-Down on Original Content

Boosted by Amazon Web Services, Amazon just posted its most profitable quarter in its nearly 22-year history. The company’s revenue is often on a roller coaster; for Q1 2016, it showed net income of $513 million ($1.07 a share), compared to losses of $57 million (12 cents a share) in the same quarter last year. Revenue has bumped to $29.13 billion from $22.72 billion a year ago, with share prices rising more than 12 percent. This compares with less-than-stellar Q1 reports from Apple, Google, Microsoft and Intel. Continue reading Amazon Profits from AWS, Doubles-Down on Original Content

Amazon Offers New Monthly Subs, No Annual Commitment

Amazon unveiled two new Prime plans on its website, introducing a video-only option for monthly subscribers. The new offering could ramp up the competition between its video service and Netflix. The first new plan costs $8.99 per month to stream TV shows and movies through a video-only version of Prime, while the second runs $10.99 per month for all Prime benefits, including video and music streaming, free two-day shipping on Amazon purchases, and more. Amazon hopes to reach consumers that have been reluctant to pay $99 up front for an annual Prime membership. Continue reading Amazon Offers New Monthly Subs, No Annual Commitment

Amazon and Netflix Focus on Film May Jumpstart Indie Cinema

Now that Amazon and Netflix have made such a powerful impact on television, the two companies are turning their sights to motion pictures. The result could jumpstart a faltering independent film sector, say the experts. Both companies have made tremendous inroads into TV in a short period of time: Amazon has won multiple Golden Globes and Emmy Awards for “Transparent,” and Netflix earned 34 nominations at the 2015 Emmy Awards for shows including “House of Cards,” “Orange Is the New Black,” and “Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt.” Continue reading Amazon and Netflix Focus on Film May Jumpstart Indie Cinema

Amazon, Streaming Services Dominate 73rd Golden Globes

Sunday’s Golden Globe Awards ceremony delivered a number of surprises that have since sparked commentary from traditional and social media outlets. Aside from the surprise wins and snubs, memorable or disappointing speeches, and debate over the most appropriate category for “The Martian,” it’s worth noting that streaming services — especially Amazon — scored major wins this year. In another sign of how our entertainment media delivery and consumption is shifting, Netflix beat out broadcast and cable powerhouses in nominations, while Amazon scored a number of major wins. Continue reading Amazon, Streaming Services Dominate 73rd Golden Globes

New Projector Tech from Google Turns Any Walls into Screens

Google’s new projector technology is not the traditional blinding display that merely projects movies. It is designed to be more subtle to serve as a changing background to everyday life. The technology interacts with walls that are coated with photo-reactive paint. The projection system works similarly to e-ink technology, and an image would remain on the wall until a new image replaces it. The transparent photo-reactive paint can be used to turn any surface in a house or business into a screen. Continue reading New Projector Tech from Google Turns Any Walls into Screens

Overstock.com to Launch Streaming Video Service This Year

It looks like Overstock.com is the latest to throw its hat into the streaming video ring. The Salt Lake City-based company is planning to introduce a streaming video service later this year that will compete in a crowded field that includes its e-commerce rival Amazon. During the National Association of Television Program Executives conference, Overstock Chief Exec Patrick Byrne said the online retailer would launch with about 30,000 movies and TV shows available for rent or purchase and eventually offer original programming. Continue reading Overstock.com to Launch Streaming Video Service This Year

Amazon Studios Looks Beyond Original Series to the Big Screen

Amazon announced yesterday that it plans to expand its original programming efforts by producing and acquiring movies for theatrical release and distribution via Prime Instant Video. In a significant departure from the traditional windowing system, the films are expected to be available for streaming in the U.S. 4-8 weeks following their theatrical debuts (movies normally have to wait 39-52 weeks before streaming). The move is part of Amazon’s plan to grow its entertainment arsenal while competing with Netflix. Continue reading Amazon Studios Looks Beyond Original Series to the Big Screen

Amazon Studios Orders Full Season of First Woody Allen Series

Online streaming continues to make headlines — from notable CES announcements (including upcoming HDR support from Netflix) to Golden Globe wins for “Transparent” and “House of Cards.” In the wake of Amazon unveiling its full lineup for the next pilot season and Netflix revealing a planned reboot for cult comedy “Wet Hot American Summer,” it looks like Woody Allen fans may also have a reason to celebrate. The iconic writer, director and performer has been tapped to create his first series, which will premiere exclusively on Prime Instant Video. Continue reading Amazon Studios Orders Full Season of First Woody Allen Series

Streaming: Amazon and Netflix Make Splash at Golden Globes

Online streaming earned another boost in credibility last night when Amazon and Netflix both won Golden Globe Awards. Jeffrey Tambor won Best Actor in a TV Comedy for his role in “Transparent.” The show also won for Best Comedy Series (beating Netflix’s “Orange Is the New Black”), a major coup for Amazon. Meanwhile, Netflix was nominated in seven major categories, and Kevin Spacey took home Best Actor in a TV Drama for his work on “House of Cards.” Continue reading Streaming: Amazon and Netflix Make Splash at Golden Globes

Amazon Announces Streaming 4K Content for Prime Members

Amazon Prime members who enjoy free two-day shipping and unlimited streaming of music and video can soon add Ultra HD to their subscription perks. Amazon announced yesterday that it is releasing a catalog of television shows and movies that stream in 4K, joining Netflix in a move that may provide consumers with another reason to consider a UHD TV purchase. Current UHD models offered by LG, Samsung and Sony feature a built-in chip capable of decoding 4K video streamed from Amazon. Continue reading Amazon Announces Streaming 4K Content for Prime Members

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