Media and Entertainment Play Pivotal Role at This Year’s CES

It was not that many years ago when CES executive vice president Karen Chupka convened a meeting at the Four Seasons Hotel in Los Angeles with representatives of the Hollywood studios to pitch CES as a place for entertainment. It was a stretch for some people in the room that day to imagine doing meaningful business there. Cut to CES 2019 and entertainment was everywhere. The enabling power of 5G and AI combined with more powerful processors and beautiful new televisions had everyone talking about entertainment and experiences. Continue reading Media and Entertainment Play Pivotal Role at This Year’s CES

CES: Kudelski CEO Brings Content, Data & Security Together

“In a world where everything is digital, the two assets to protect are content and analytics,” said André Kudelski, chairman and CEO of the Kudelski Group, the parent company of NAGRA, during the Variety Entertainment Summit at CES in Las Vegas. In a headliner conversation with Variety New York digital editor Todd Spangler, Kudelski focused on data, security, storage, content delivery and innovation as he addressed fundamental shifts affecting today’s media and entertainment industry. Continue reading CES: Kudelski CEO Brings Content, Data & Security Together

Facebook’s Rocket Icon Revealed as News Feed Experiment

Facebook just disclosed the meaning of the rocket ship icon next to the News Feed tab. According to the company’s News Feed head Adam Mosseri, the rocket ship is an experiment that connects a small number of users with people and pages they do not like or follow. At Variety’s Entertainment and Technology Summit, Mosseri said that the point is to expose people to stories they are interested in from sources they are not following. Facebook curates the information based on an algorithm that figures out a user’s interests. Continue reading Facebook’s Rocket Icon Revealed as News Feed Experiment

NAB Panel Addresses Impact of VR on News, Documentaries

“Being There – Virtual Reality News and Documentaries” was the title of a panel on VR journalism at the NAB Show in Las Vegas. Panelists included senior journalists from Sky, RYOT, Condition One, and USA Today Network, as well as one of Google’s lead VR evangelists. Lessons learned include the importance of proximity (e.g. close-ups), making sure that everyone on the team has experience with the key steps in the workflow so they understand the process and can fill in for others, and the need to experiment and fail. The panelists hope that post-production tools improve soon so a greater portion of their time can be spent planning and shooting stories. Continue reading NAB Panel Addresses Impact of VR on News, Documentaries

Avid Chief Talks Third Party Apps at ETC Cloud Conference

At ETC’s Cloud Innovation Conference at NAB 2016, Variety editor David Cohen led a discussion with Avid chief executive/president Louis Hernandez Jr. “It’s been a remarkable journey,” Hernandez said. “With Avid Media Central, we wanted to connect people. We took our standalone applications and put them where they could be shared. Now you’re seeing a rapid expansion of the apps you can purchase: We have a record number of third party apps indexed on a common operating system. This is the direction that things are going.” Continue reading Avid Chief Talks Third Party Apps at ETC Cloud Conference

NAB: Immersive Films Present Possibilities, Face Challenges

When Ang Lee was asked about his opinion of VR, at the conclusion of a panel at the NAB Show focused on the technical aspects of making “Billy Lynn’s Long Halftime Walk,” he demurred that he was still very focused on making his way through the highly experimental process of creating a movie that combines 3D stereoscopy with 4K and 120 fps. The result, as seen in an 11-minute clip, is so immersive that some viewers compared it to VR. Lee didn’t dismiss VR, and believes it might eventually encompass theatrical experiences. Continue reading NAB: Immersive Films Present Possibilities, Face Challenges

Virtual Reality, Mobile and HDR Are the Future of Storytelling

Virtual reality is inevitably part of the conversation when talking about storytelling of the future, the topic of a CES panel moderated by Variety’s Janko Roettgers. “We’re in the first inning,” suggested Condé Nast executive Joy Marcus, about VR. “We’re looking at it as a game that might go into extra innings. But we have an issue with devices and price points.” Google and Samsung have come out with options that work with smartphones, added Marcus. “But the other devices are pretty damn expensive.” Continue reading Virtual Reality, Mobile and HDR Are the Future of Storytelling

CES: Conference Tracks Explore Breadth, Depth of Innovation

In addition to its 2.2 million square feet of exhibit space and product showcases, CES offers nearly 300 conference sessions covering the gamut of consumer technology. Its 36 different conference tracks explore industry sectors from Automotive to Wireless. These conference sessions leverage the presence of more than 48,000 senior-level executives and government officials, many of whom participate on panels or present as subject matter experts. ETC will cover the most relevant sessions from Las Vegas, January 5-9. Continue reading CES: Conference Tracks Explore Breadth, Depth of Innovation

Big Data Summit: “Data Is a Tidal Wave” Overwhelming Experts

On the first day of Variety’s Big Data Summit, the main takeaway was that data — from online, set-top boxes, smartphones and even retail sales — has become a tidal wave that threatens to overwhelm even data experts. The industry needs data scientists capable of searching through the mass of data to find nuggets of insight and actionable data, making them highly sought-after, or, as AOL Publisher Platforms global head Tim Mahlman said, “rock stars.” “You can get lost (in data) if you’re not smart about it,” he said. Continue reading Big Data Summit: “Data Is a Tidal Wave” Overwhelming Experts

Digital Hollywood: VR for Live Events in Music, News, Sports

Virtual reality for live events is a reality, not just for music, news and sports but red carpet events, revealed Variety editor David S. Cohen, who hosted one covering the debut of “Guardians of the Galaxy” recently. He noted the difference between the three genres under consideration. “Sports are a live play. News is perishable but doesn’t always have to be live. Music is more evergreen.” At Digital Hollywood, experts shared the most exciting opportunities and most concerning pitfalls of VR content. Continue reading Digital Hollywood: VR for Live Events in Music, News, Sports

Streaming Video Subscription Services Struggle with Content

As HBO and CBS introduce their own streaming video subscription services, they may face a variety of content-related challenges, according to panelists at Variety’s Entertainment & Technology Summit on Tuesday. Companies will need a large catalog of titles if they want to compete with services such as Netflix. Then the content has to be marketed and distributed on a variety of platforms. The panel talked about how hard it is for a subscription service to compete for viewers’ attention today. Continue reading Streaming Video Subscription Services Struggle with Content

Report: Copyright Alert System Distributes 1.3 Million Notices

The Center for Copyright Information released official figures on Wednesday regarding the first 10 months of the anti-piracy program initiated by movie studios, record companies and Internet providers. The group reports that it has forwarded 1.3 million copyright alerts thus far to consumers that have been accessing infringing media content. The voluntary industry agreement was designed to educate consumers and curb online copyright infringement. Continue reading Report: Copyright Alert System Distributes 1.3 Million Notices

Nintendo Program to Share Ad Revenue with YouTube Creators

Japanese gaming company Nintendo is poised to launch a new program for YouTube creators that will allow use of the company’s copyrighted material in online videos, and in certain situations, provide creators with a share of the advertising revenue. Nintendo has already been allowing its copyrighted material to appear in videos under “appropriate circumstances,” but the new affiliate program will share ad revenue with YouTube producers who “use the material more proactively.” Continue reading Nintendo Program to Share Ad Revenue with YouTube Creators

Fox Now Video App Offers Personalized Recommendations

The Fox Now video app allows users to watch recent episodes of Fox series the day after they air. In a new update to its version for Apple devices, Fox has added a feature that suggests shows to the user based on preferences and viewing history. The upgraded user interface, which is based on the iOS 7 design, intends to keep fans watching more video by providing useful recommendations. Fox Now also features expanded TV Everywhere access with more current and past programming. Continue reading Fox Now Video App Offers Personalized Recommendations

NPD Reports Consumer Satisfaction with UltraViolet Service

According to a new study from NPD Group based on a survey conducted in February, 82 percent of consumers who currently have an UltraViolet account plan to continue using the digital locker service in the future. The NPD study also found that UltraViolet users were about 11 times more likely to make an electronic sell-through movie purchase than other consumers in the last year. UltraViolet launched in 2011, and there are now more than 16 million accounts. Continue reading NPD Reports Consumer Satisfaction with UltraViolet Service

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