HBO to Test Simultaneous Global Airing of ‘Game of Thrones’

The fifth season of HBO’s global hit series, “Game of Thrones” is slated to premiere in the U.S. on April 12. This time around, however, the cable network plans to broadcast the series simultaneously worldwide in an effort to combat piracy. When episodes air at 9:00 pm in New York, they will also air at 2:00 am in London and 9:00 am in Hong Kong. While the international air times may seem unusual, HBO hopes they will curtail the number of illegal downloads of what has become the most-pirated TV show in the world. Continue reading HBO to Test Simultaneous Global Airing of ‘Game of Thrones’

Eventbrite Study Provides Breakdown of E-Sports Demographics

In an attempt to improve its understanding of e-sports enthusiasts, Eventbrite conducted a survey of those that used its site to purchase tickets for live multiplayer video game competitions. The company discovered that e-sports fans are generally male, between the ages of 18 and 34, as well as active gamers themselves. E-sports are typically held in large arenas and draw thousands of fans who typically attend as an opportunity to be part of the larger gaming community. Continue reading Eventbrite Study Provides Breakdown of E-Sports Demographics

Global Trade Group Proposes Universal Release Day for Albums

After several months of discussions, the International Federation of the Phonographic Industry has officially declared Fridays as the release day for all new music albums. In today’s digital era, music listeners want to have access to albums the moment they are available anywhere in the world. Rather than staggering the releases on different days in different countries, the universal release approach aims to combat piracy. There is no word yet on when this new distribution model will take effect. Continue reading Global Trade Group Proposes Universal Release Day for Albums

Popcorn Time Accounts for One-Ninth of U.S. Torrent Traffic

In less than a year, Popcorn Time has become one of the most popular services to torrent pirated media content online. The slick grid interface looks similar to that of Netflix or Hulu, making the service look more legitimate and easier to navigate to find a TV show or movie. The program is actually an index of other BitTorrent sites. Popcorn Time’s popularity has been growing in the U.S. and abroad, especially in countries where streaming services are less established. Continue reading Popcorn Time Accounts for One-Ninth of U.S. Torrent Traffic

Europe Writes Internet Rules to Take Greater Role on the Web

The European Union drafted a new data-privacy policy that it hopes will be adopted around the world. The policy would require companies to include the “right to be forgotten” option so that people could ask for their links to be removed and to ask users for explicit consent to use their personal data. Europe is looking to have more influence on the Web, which is currently dominated by U.S. companies. Representatives from the EU are lobbying other countries to institute the policy. Continue reading Europe Writes Internet Rules to Take Greater Role on the Web

Nearly 90 Percent of World’s Cinema Screens are Now Digital

London-based IHS Cinema Intelligence reports that 89.8 percent of theatrical movie screens worldwide have completed the conversion to digital cinema. The global digital cinema footprint reached 127,688 screens in 2014, a 14.7 percent increase over the previous year. The largest increase was seen in the Asia Pacific region, followed by South and Central America. Additionally, digital penetration climbed to 96 percent in Western Europe, matching that of North America for the first time. Continue reading Nearly 90 Percent of World’s Cinema Screens are Now Digital

Parks Research Predicts Early Adopters of HBO Online Service

HBO is expected to offer its Web-only subscription service this spring. According to Parks Associates, the move could have an impact on the pay TV business since 17 percent of homes with high-speed Internet indicate plans to subscribe to the OTT service. And while 88 million U.S. households currently have broadband, that percentage potentially represents nearly 15 million subscribers. Following a strong media reaction, Parks followed up by clarifying that the data is a measure of sentiment and placing numbers on potential cord cutters may be premature. Continue reading Parks Research Predicts Early Adopters of HBO Online Service

Jay-Z in Negotiations to Acquire Tidal and WiMP Music Services

Media mogul and entertainer Jay-Z is in closing negotiations to acquire Swedish company Aspiro AB, which owns music streaming services WiMP Music and Tidal. The deal, reportedly valued at $56 million, is being handled by Jay-Z’s S. Carter Enterprises. Tidal is the American and U.K. version of WiMP Music, a streaming service that offers CD-quality music files. Once the deal closes, Jay-Z may join the ranks of Dr. Dre who sold his Beats Music streaming service to Apple last year.  Continue reading Jay-Z in Negotiations to Acquire Tidal and WiMP Music Services

Amazon Targets Companies with New Corporate Email Service

Amazon is previewing WorkMail, a corporate email service that aims to compete with Google Gmail and Microsoft Outlook. Although the corporate email market is heavily congested, Amazon believes there are customer problems not being addressed by any of the existing corporate email providers. With WorkMail, Amazon promises to deliver on two things: simplicity and security. The company also wants to let users keep the interfaces and applications with which they are already familiar. Continue reading Amazon Targets Companies with New Corporate Email Service

Apple Sells Nearly 75 Million iPhones, Posts Record Quarter

Apple’s quarterly profit jumped 38 percent to a record high, thanks in large part to demand for its bigger-screen iPhones. Apple recorded net income of $18 billion for the quarter ending December 27, an increase of nearly $5 billion over the same period the previous year, while earnings per share rose 48 percent. The company launched its iPhone 6 and iPhone 6 Plus in September and sold 74.5 million units during the quarter, earning back market share it had slowly been losing to Samsung over three years. Continue reading Apple Sells Nearly 75 Million iPhones, Posts Record Quarter

Research Points to Millennials Spending $62 Billion on Media

Deloitte forecasts that the 83 million 18- to 34-year-old consumers in North America will spend about $62 billion on media consumption in 2015, an average of $750 per person. Roughly 80 percent of millennials are projected to spend an average of $80 per month on pay TV, with another $40 per year for streaming video services such as Netflix or Amazon Prime. The same demographic is likely to spend about $100 on concerts and $25 a year on music downloads and streaming services, according to Deloitte. Continue reading Research Points to Millennials Spending $62 Billion on Media

Samsung Targets Google and Apple with Plans for Tizen TVs

Samsung Electronics plans to extend its Tizen operating system beyond mobile phones to its new smart TVs beginning next month. At CES, Samsung CEO BK Yoon announced that Tizen TVs would initially launch in the U.S. and Korea, followed by a rollout to additional international markets later in the year. Samsung, which has spent years developing Tizen as an alternative to Google’s Android mobile operating system, is looking to better compete in software and services with OS leaders Google and Apple. Continue reading Samsung Targets Google and Apple with Plans for Tizen TVs

4K TV Shipments Up 700 Percent, to Top 100 Million in 2018

Research from Futuresource Consulting points to a 3 percent increase for the worldwide television market in 2014 over the previous year. However, 2014 is also expected to experience a decline in average retail prices from $652 to $608. The report suggests that 4K TVs will reach 100+ million units in 2018, with 11.6 million units shipping this year (a 700 percent jump). China accounts for more than 70 percent of demand for 4K, while Western Europe and North America represent 10 percent and 8 percent, respectively. Continue reading 4K TV Shipments Up 700 Percent, to Top 100 Million in 2018

Retailers Turn to Smart Mannequins to Lure In-Store Shoppers

For nearly three decades, Universal Display has provided mannequins to fashion retail stores such as Lord & Taylor, Saks and Uniqlo. In an effort to improve the brick-and-mortar shopping experience, Universal Display has developed an innovative way to use modern tech with mannequins to push information to nearby shoppers. Mannequins are tagged with beacons that push messages to customers’ mobile phones complete with photos, sizes and prices of ready to buy clothing inside the store. Continue reading Retailers Turn to Smart Mannequins to Lure In-Store Shoppers

Google Developing a Standalone Android System for Vehicles

With its Android Auto software arriving in 2015, Google is already focusing on its next project, one that would allow drivers to make use of Android in their cars without a smartphone. As of now, the use of smartphone auto tech, including Android Auto, requires the presence of a smartphone inside the vehicle. For Google, part of the challenge moving forward will be in convincing automakers to adopt software that would potentially be an integral part of a car’s brand identity. Continue reading Google Developing a Standalone Android System for Vehicles

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