First YouTube Music Awards to Feature Worldwide Performances

YouTube will be hosting its first ever YouTube Music Awards on Sunday, November 3 in New York. The event will feature notable performers including Eminem, Lady Gaga and Arcade Fire, among others. It will be modeled after such events as the MTV Video Music Awards, but winners will be chosen by YouTube’s online visitors. In addition to big name artists, YouTube performers such as dubstep violinist Lindsey Stirling and CDZA will be featured. Continue reading First YouTube Music Awards to Feature Worldwide Performances

Staples Connect Offers Universal Hub to Connect Your Home

It may seem an unlikely source for managing home automation or the next step forward for the Internet of Things, but Staples will launch its $100 Staples Connect hub in November. The Internet-connected hub by Linksys centralizes control of smart home appliances and other devices with the help of a single controller app. Staples hopes its approach will help curb the need for multiple proprietary apps that are common with smart home devices currently on the market. Continue reading Staples Connect Offers Universal Hub to Connect Your Home

Video Service Videogram Coming To Twitter, Apps and Online

Videogram, a service that can create a mosaic of scenes from an online video where users can view each portion, is showing up on more websites and video apps. The creator, a startup called Cinemacraft, has also announced that it will now offer Videogram on Twitter. The company has received funding from Turner Broadcasting and others. Turner, film studios and music companies are beginning to use Videogram on their websites and elsewhere online. Continue reading Video Service Videogram Coming To Twitter, Apps and Online

Target to Launch New TV and Movie Service Early Next Month

Target announced it will enter the Internet video business with a new service that will offer customers the ability to purchase or rent TV shows and movies. The Target Ticket service already has approximately 30,000 movie and TV titles available. Although the retailer is entering the digital video market a bit late in the game, the company is betting that Target Ticket will stand out due to its simplicity, parental controls, and access to next-day TV episodes.   Continue reading Target to Launch New TV and Movie Service Early Next Month

ZEFR Helps Content Creators Reach Their Hidden Audience

I recently spent an hour with Richard Raddon, co-founder of ZEFR (formerly MovieClips), a Venice, California company that is “connecting fans and franchises for the good of all.” MovieClips was co-founded by Raddon and Zach James about three years ago. The company developed proprietary technology that allowed them to identify content on YouTube. When MovieClips became ZEFR, it shifted its focus to help studios, sports, TV and music videos collect and monetize postings on YouTube. Continue reading ZEFR Helps Content Creators Reach Their Hidden Audience

Marvel Superheroes to Appear On Tour and Disney Cruise Ship

Hero Ventures will produce “The Marvel Experience,” a $30 million attraction featuring Marvel superheroes that plans to go on tour beginning next year. The first person superhero experience will include a 4D motion ride, 3D animation, motion comics, virtual reality and holographic simulations. In related news, Disney recently announced that it will also feature a number of Marvel’s superheroes aboard its Disney Magic cruise ship as part of its Oceaneer Club for kids. Continue reading Marvel Superheroes to Appear On Tour and Disney Cruise Ship

Vevo Returning Music Videos to Television with New Channels

Music video company Vevo, a joint venture between Sony Music Entertainment and Universal Music Group, is making the transition from YouTube to television in an approach intended to generate revenue for the companies that create the videos. Vevo will deliver on-demand music videos and launch a channel of original programming via Apple TV set-top boxes and Samsung TVs. While the Samsung launch is likely a few weeks away, Apple could launch its Vevo Apple TV app this week. Continue reading Vevo Returning Music Videos to Television with New Channels

Universal’s Crowdfunding Effort to Save Out-of-Print Vinyl

Universal Music is developing a crowdfunding service that will support limited-edition releases of out-of-print vinyl records. The Vinyl Project aims to bring back rare and deleted records from Universal’s back catalog. CMU reports that releases currently being considered for availability to funders include “ABC” by The Jackson 5, Björk’s “Biophilia,” “Goodbye Yellow Brick Road” by Elton John, “His N Hers” by Pulp, Def Leppard’s “Hysteria” and “Disraeli Gears” by Cream. Continue reading Universal’s Crowdfunding Effort to Save Out-of-Print Vinyl

Google Signs Labels, Readies Subscription Music Services

According to inside sources, Google may unveil its rumored subscription music services today at the Google I/O developers conference in San Francisco. The company has reportedly signed separate licensing deals with Sony Music Entertainment and Universal Music Group that involve both YouTube and Google Play, the entertainment hub for the Android operating system. Earlier this year, Google signed similar agreements with Warner Music Group. Continue reading Google Signs Labels, Readies Subscription Music Services

Technology Leadership Award: ETC Honors Chuck Dages

The Entertainment Technology Center presented longtime Warner Bros. exec Chuck Dages with the Bob Lambert Technology Leadership Award during an industry gathering at USC’s Town & Gown Wednesday evening. The event also celebrated the first 20 years of ETC@USC and featured a studio technology leaders panel, during which execs discussed production and distribution challenges emerging from an evolving digital landscape. Continue reading Technology Leadership Award: ETC Honors Chuck Dages

Netflix Loses Almost 1,800 Movies from Streaming Catalog

Netflix is clearing nearly 1,800 movies from its library this week. The service is dropping certain titles due to expiring licensing deals with studios MGM, Universal and Warner Bros. The list is largely comprised of lesser known, older titles and is not being viewed as significant as when Netflix lost many newer films after it failed to renew its streaming agreement with Starz. However, the move may still be seen by some as a sign of future change. Continue reading Netflix Loses Almost 1,800 Movies from Streaming Catalog

Industry Leaders Discuss Possible Change to VOD Window

In an effort to regain revenue lost from shrinking DVD sales, Universal Pictures chairman Adam Fogelson suggested that studios should consider partnering with theaters to test out the idea of premium video on demand. Fogelson made his remarks during a panel discussion at the Cinema-Con convention in Las Vegas this week. Typically, movies are made available on-demand at home about three months following theatrical distribution. Premium VOD would shrink that window. Continue reading Industry Leaders Discuss Possible Change to VOD Window

HitBliss Service Offers Free Streaming if You Watch Ads

After being in development for about five years, video streaming service HitBliss is finally launching in beta this week. Aimed at users with more time than money, it offers viewers the chance to sit through targeted ads in exchange for virtual funds they can redeem to access new streaming movies and TV shows. The service is launching with content from The CW, Universal, Paramount, Starz Media and the Weinstein Company. Continue reading HitBliss Service Offers Free Streaming if You Watch Ads

Microsoft: Xbox Video Service Features Voice and Motion Controls

  • Microsoft is getting a boatload of new content for its Xbox video service intended to help it serve as a digital media hub. The company has struck deals with Comcast, Verizon, HBO and others.
  • Verizon and Comcast will be joining AT&T’s U-Verse to provide content, although while Verizon will include live video TV and video on demand, Comcast is testing the waters with its VOD library only. HBO Go streaming access will provide HBO original programming and movies from Warner Bros., Fox Searchlight and Universal Studios. Bravo, EPIX and Syfy are among the cable networks that will be available. Xbox’s international content will include the BBC, Channel 4, Channel 5 and LOVEFiLM in the UK; Antena 3, RTVE and Telefonica in Spain; and Televisa in Mexico.
  • But how do you get to the movies, TV shows, games and music that you want? Microsoft hopes you will command your Xbox with voice control, motion control and a Windows smartphone.
  • “This is incremental stuff but it’s still interesting. A source who’s played with the new service says it’s genuinely cool. Just as important, given that Microsoft has sold some 50 million compatible machines, it has (potential) leverage to do some really interesting stuff,” reports All Things D. “This is where Google TV would like to be, and it’s why Google is out pitching content guys for a relaunch this fall.”

Miramax is the Latest to Offer Facebook Movie Rental App

  • Miramax is following in the footsteps of Warner Bros., Paramount and Universal by making its films available on Facebook.
  • The Miramax eXperience will initially offer 20 titles in the U.S. and 10 each in Great Britain and Turkey (available films include “Good Will Hunting,” “Spy Kids,” “Chicago” and “Cold Mountain”).
  • Movies will be made available for 30 Facebook credits (equivalent to $3) and can be viewed on Facebook, the iPad and Google TV.
  • Miramax hopes to build its reach to 150 million+ Facebook friends in the next 18 months.
  • “The iTunes-like nature of Miramax’s Facebook movie rentals (i.e. per-movie charge, rather than a subscription fee) could prove very effective,” reports Social Times. “A lot of online movie watchers aren’t ready to commit to a subscription service like Netflix or Hulu Plus. Renting a single movie from Facebook may be more their style, and a $3 movie rental sounds like a pretty good deal, if you ask me.”

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