Hearst Makes a Major Investment in DWA’s AwesomenessTV

Publisher Hearst is paying $81.25 million for a 25 percent interest in DreamWorks Animation’s AwesomenessTV. Announced yesterday, the deal will help Hearst leverage a younger audience, while DWA will use the cash infusion to help develop the fast-growing AwesomenessTV business. The pact plans to help AwesomenessTV expand into new content channels, broaden its audience and expand its geographic reach. AwesomenessTV will also gain access to Hearst’s subscription VOD platform. Continue reading Hearst Makes a Major Investment in DWA’s AwesomenessTV

New Tool for Film Marketers Analyzes Buzz on Social Media

United Talent Agency and Rentrak, an entertainment data company, have teamed up to bring studio marketers a tool that tracks the hype on social media surrounding a specific film. With this data, marketers would be better armed to make the necessary tweaks to a marketing campaign that can help make a movie a hit. PreAct is the name of the new tool, and since its debut in January, the service has signed up entertainment giants such as Sony Pictures Entertainment and 20th Century Fox. Continue reading New Tool for Film Marketers Analyzes Buzz on Social Media

Hachette Launches Twitter Experiment to Boost its Book Sales

Hachette Book Group, which publishes best-selling authors including Michael Connelly, Malcolm Gladwell and James Patterson, announced on Monday that it is partnering with Gumroad to determine whether author tweets can help push book sales. In today’s social media landscape, authors with significant Twitter followings — such as John Green and Paulo Coelho — have experienced major success. Gumroad enables creators to sell products directly to social media followers without leaving Twitter. Continue reading Hachette Launches Twitter Experiment to Boost its Book Sales

Google Offers Special Deals to Keep Top Talent on YouTube

As Facebook’s video startup Vessel begins to take shape, the company has aggressively pursued some of YouTube’s most popular online stars. In response, Google has been structuring more lucrative deals for its stars to keep them from leaving. The company has gone as far as offering multiyear deals, performance-based bonuses and additional funding for video production. Although Vessel has yet to launch, it is reportedly looking to secure programming in advance of its debut.  Continue reading Google Offers Special Deals to Keep Top Talent on YouTube

Google Plans Initiative to Build Products for Ages 12 and Under

Google has confirmed that it plans to develop kid-friendly versions of some of its more popular products next year. While Google has yet to release specific details about the initiative, many predict that Chrome and YouTube will be among those products redesigned for children 12 and younger. Google understands that kids are among those most active on the Internet, so it hopes to create Web-related products and services that are deemed appropriate for their use. Continue reading Google Plans Initiative to Build Products for Ages 12 and Under

Valve Takes on Live Game Streaming with Steam Broadcasting

The game streaming space, one that has been dominated by Amazon’s Twitch and various gamer YouTube channels, has proven that today’s gamers are just as interested in watching others play as they are in playing games themselves. In response to this trend, game developer Valve, the company behind Steam’s game services, has announced Steam Broadcasting, a tool that allows members to become viewers by tuning into the live gameplay of other users within the Steam gaming community.  Continue reading Valve Takes on Live Game Streaming with Steam Broadcasting

New Live Music App Combines Social Media and Crowdfunding

The startup appLOUD has created an iOS app that allows fans to support their favorite musicians by sharing videos of live performances. The video posts are tagged with the artist’s Twitter handle, and then the app generates links to the band’s music on iTunes and upcoming concert dates. Fans can even directly tip bands just like they do for street musicians. The app not only allows people to discover new bands, but also directly pay an artist for a great performance. Continue reading New Live Music App Combines Social Media and Crowdfunding

Slingbox Integrates YouTube Recommendations with Live TV

Sling Media, the company behind multiscreen TV devices including the Slingbox 500 and SlingTV, has added support for YouTube video recommendations in its TV guide. During live TV programming, the user could call up a menu of related YouTube videos on the bottom of the screen. Audible Magic’s audio-fingerprinting technology determines the content of the live TV. The top-trending YouTube videos are also located on a separate tab within the TV guide. Continue reading Slingbox Integrates YouTube Recommendations with Live TV

Tumblr Takes Lead as World’s Fastest Growing Social Platform

While Facebook is by far the world’s leading social platform (with 1.35 billion active monthly users), new research from the Global Web Index points to Tumblr as the fastest growing platform. Tumblr’s active user base grew 120 percent over the last six months, while Facebook only experienced a 2 percent bump. And in terms of overall member growth, Pinterest had 57 percent growth, compared to Facebook’s base growth of 6 percent. In mobile apps, Snapchat saw the most growth, up 56 percent this year. Continue reading Tumblr Takes Lead as World’s Fastest Growing Social Platform

Sandvine Global Internet Report Finds Netflix Still Dominates

According to the new Global Internet Phenomena Report by Canadian broadband network company Sandvine, Netflix continues to reign in the competition for streaming video. The popular video service presently accounts for 35 percent of all bandwidth usage in North America during peak hours. YouTube has the second highest bandwidth usage with 14 percent. Amazon Instant Video is the second highest paid streaming service, and it is growing quickly, along with HBO GO. Continue reading Sandvine Global Internet Report Finds Netflix Still Dominates

Samsung Launches Online Video Service for Galaxy Phones

More than eight months after releasing its Milk streaming music service exclusively for Galaxy devices, Samsung has launched a new online video service in the U.S. Milk Video, a free app available for Galaxy phones via the Google Play Store, is similar to YouTube and Vimeo in that its focus is on short form video. Samsung curates content into category-specific feeds, while users can set up personal feeds and follow brands, users and groups. Favorite videos can also be shared via Facebook and Twitter. Continue reading Samsung Launches Online Video Service for Galaxy Phones

YouTube, Online Music Services Face New Wave of Opposition

In the wake of Taylor Swift’s stand against Spotify, a number of music companies are considering pulling their artists’ songs from YouTube and free music services. Global Music Rights (GMR) demanded that YouTube stop playing some 20,000 songs from its artists, including music composed by John Lennon, the Eagles, and Pharrell Williams. Sony is also considering pulling the music of its artists such as One Direction, Calvin Harris, and Carrie Underwood from Spotify. Continue reading YouTube, Online Music Services Face New Wave of Opposition

Snapchat Partners with Square to Offer New Payment Feature

Snapchat users will now have the ability to send and receive money from friends using a new payment feature called Snapcash. The feature is the latest upgrade to a mobile app that originally began with simple photo-sharing capabilities. To make payments possible, Snapchat partnered with Square, a payments company that recently launched a similar feature to work for email and its own mobile app. Snapcash is available for Android users, with an iOS release coming soon.  Continue reading Snapchat Partners with Square to Offer New Payment Feature

Former Hulu CEO to Target YouTube with Online Video Venture

Hulu founding CEO Jason Kilar, who left the service early last year, is among those getting ready to take a run at Google’s YouTube. Kilar is expected to roll out an ad-supported online video service called Vessel as soon as this month, according to insiders. Vessel, to be offered via a free tier or monthly paid subscription service, will reportedly feature videos from top YouTube stars with agreements that will keep the videos off YouTube for three days. Vessel was designed primarily for smartphones and tablets. Continue reading Former Hulu CEO to Target YouTube with Online Video Venture

Industry Leaders Join Forces to Form Streaming Video Alliance

In an effort to develop universal standards and best practices for high-scale Internet video services, 17 content companies, service providers and technology vendors have gathered to create the Streaming Video Alliance. Together, these companies hope to improve the online video experience. SVA will initially focus on open architecture, quality of experience, and interoperability. Formation of the group comes as net neutrality continues its path as a complex and controversial issue. Continue reading Industry Leaders Join Forces to Form Streaming Video Alliance

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