Adobe: Mobile ‘The Test by Which Customer Experience is Measured’

August 1, 2014 · Posted in M&E Connections, M&E Daily · Comments Off 

By Chris Tribbey

For five years running Adobe has been tracking how consumers use their mobile devices to access the Internet and — more importantly — how they spend money using mobile devices.

This year’s “Adobe Mobile Consumer Survey” notes a possible turning point in the game: there are approximately 7 billion people in the world, and more than 2 billion are using smartphones, “giving consumers unprecedented access to a vast array of information and capabilities at their fingertips, anytime, anywhere,” the report reads.

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New Looks at Hollywood’s Piracy Problem

July 16, 2014 · Posted in M&E Connections, M&E Daily · Comments Off 

By Chris Tribbey

The assumption about piracy has long been that once a new theatrical release hits the file sharing sites, the box office take for that film will be significantly impacted.

But that just may not be the case, according to economist Koleman Strumpf, a professor with the University of Kansas School of Business, who conducted one of the most extensive piracy studies to date. “Using movie-level tracking stocks in conjunction with the arrival date of illicit copies, I find that file sharing has only a modest impact on box office revenue,” Strumpf concludes in his study, “Using Markets to Measure the Impact of File Sharing on Movie Revenues.”

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Samsung, Intel, Dell Start Open Interconnect Consortium

July 8, 2014 · Posted in M&E Connections, M&E Daily · Comments Off 

By Chris Tribbey

A group of top consumer electronics companies have banded together to launch a new industry consortium, with the intent of improving interoperability and defining connectivity requirements for the billions of devices that make up the Internet of Things (IoT).

Dubbed the Open Interconnect Consortium (OIC), the group is founded by Atmel, Broadcom, Dell, Intel, Samsung and Wind River, and the group’s mission is to define a common communications framework to wirelessly connect and manage the flow of information among personal computing and emerging IoT devices, regardless of operating system or service provider.

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Microsoft’s MacNaughton Offers Look at Cybercrime Center

June 19, 2014 · Posted in M&E Connections, M&E Daily · Comments Off 

By Chris Tribbey

Cybercriminals have become “much more aggressive and much more sophisticated” and the only way to combat them to is to be just as aggressive and sophisticated, Bonnie MacNaughton, assistant general counsel at Microsoft. On June 18 she shared a quick overview of Microsoft’s Cybercrime Center, which combines legal and technical expertise with cutting-edge tools and technology “to stay ahead of [cybercriminals].”

The Content Delivery & Security Association (CDSA) and the Hollywood IT Society (HITS) co-sponsored the Webinar.

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Google, Xbox Unveil World Cup Plans

June 3, 2014 · Posted in M&E Connections, M&E Daily · Comments Off 

By Chris Tribbey

Google’s Chromecast and Microsoft’s Xbox have big plans for this month’s World Cup.

Xbox One owners will have a “Destination Brazil” platform starting June 12, a dashboard experience that features Brazil Now, a new app that snaps next to live TV, enhancing the viewing experience of games, let’s users play FIFA 14 Ultimate Team: FIFA World Cup, and browse various series about various teams.

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PwC: Cybercrime on the Upswing, and U.S. Companies aren’t Prepared

May 29, 2014 · Posted in M&E Connections, M&E Daily · Comments Off 

By Chris Tribbey

A new study from PricewaterhouseCoopers (PwC) paints a dark picture of the state of cyber-security in the U.S., with both cybercrime incidents and the monetary losses associated rising, but less than 40% of American companies properly prepared to respond.

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CDSA Releases Annual Content Protection Standard Update

May 21, 2014 · Posted in M&E Connections, M&E Daily · Comments Off 

By Chris Tribbey

The Content Delivery & Security Association (CDSA) has released the annual update to its Content Protection Standard (CPS), offering enhancements meant to keep up with evolving digital supply chain security.

The CPS includes an updated mapping section (including a detailed comparison with the Motion Picture Association of America’s Best Practices, ISO 27001/2 and 31000) plus the new inclusion of Walt Disney Studios’ own standard). CDSA’s CPS is being used to manage companies’ security programs at more than 100 entertainment content holders and supply chain partners worldwide.

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MESA, DEG Partner on Supply Chain Event

May 14, 2014 · Posted in M&E Connections, M&E Daily · Comments Off 

By Chris Tribbey

Top studio executives and entertainment industry experts will be on hand May 22 in Los Angeles when DEG: The Digital Entertainment Group (DEG) and the Media & Entertainment Services Alliance (MESA) host the annual Entertainment Supply Chain Academy (ESCA) Digital event.

Chaired by Larry Wilk, DEG’s digital ambassador, the event will see Hollywood’s leading digital operations executives discussing how the entertainment business is changing its production workflows and distribution systems to accommodate digital files and products, and encountering new business supply chain challenges every week.

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Cable Show: FCC Chair Comes Out Swinging

May 1, 2014 · Posted in M&E Connections, M&E Daily · Comments Off 

By Chris Tribbey

Tom Wheeler, chairman of the Federal Communications Commission (FCC), usually begins his industry keynotes with lighthearted analogies or funny stories.

Not this time at The Cable Show. “I had originally intended to open this with some light banter about being back here, but there is a serious issue that I want to address right away: the future of the Internet,” he said.

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Atkinson: M&E Industry Experts Must Work Together to Address Security (HITS)

April 25, 2014 · Posted in M&E Connections, M&E Daily · Comments Off 

Richard Atkinson, the global director of piracy conversion for Adobe and chairman of the Content Delivery & Security Association (CDSA), has a message for the security and IT departments of media and entertainment companies. “Share together,” Atkinson said, speaking at the recent Hollywood IT Summit. “There is huge knowledge in this room, and all of us come from different experiences, and so the real key, like with [the Hollywood IT Society], which was formed to share the knowledge of IT, we can do more [sharing] on the security side.”

CDSA and Adobe will host an hour-long Webinar on May 7 from 11:00 AM to 12:00 PM (PST). Led by Atkinson, the open discussion will focus on the combination of an increasingly difficult security landscape, with the increasing company and personal impacts of a breach. Click here for Webinar Registration Information.

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Hollywood IT Summit Experts Tackle Cloud Security

April 23, 2014 · Posted in M&E Connections, M&E Daily · Comments Off 

By Chris Tribbey

While attending the recent NAB Show in Las Vegas, Sean Flynn, chief technology officer for Marvel Studios, repeatedly heard (“Too many times to count”) that content creators should simply trust their cloud service providers. That’s advice every content company would be wise to ignore, he said April 22, speaking at the Hollywood IT Summit.

“You don’t trust anyone,” Flynn said. “If we want to do business together, and I say ‘Trust me,’ you better run.”

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Independent Security Evaluators Offers Heartbleed Suggestions

April 16, 2014 · Posted in M&E Connections, M&E Daily · Comments Off 

By Chris Tribbey

Everyone on the Internet is scrambling following this month’s reveal of the Heartbleed bug, a security hole in the open-source OpenSSL encryption technology widely used by online businesses.

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Experts Tackle Security in the Cloud

April 9, 2014 · Posted in M&E Connections, M&E Daily · Comments Off 

By Chris Tribbey

Justin Somaini, VP and chief trust officer, for online file sharing and cloud content management service Box, believes companies that deal with the secure delivery of content in the cloud are finally starting to ask the most important questions when they take on a new client. “What’s the actually value of their content [and] what is the impact of a security failure?” he said April 9, speaking at the annual NAB Show during a panel on cloud reliability and security. “A script is just a file for all intents and purposes. But movies are there to get an emotional reaction.

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BBC, Fortium Share ‘Dr. Who’ Distribution Story

April 4, 2014 · Posted in M&E Connections, M&E Daily · Comments Off 

By Chris Tribbey

So much could have gone wrong last November with the global, multiplatform debut of BBC Worldwide’s Doctor Who 50th Anniversary Special: The Day of the Doctor, it’s no surprise Robin Boldon wants to highlight everything that went right.

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MediaSilo Preps for NAB

March 27, 2014 · Posted in M&E Connections, M&E Daily · Comments Off 

By Chris Tribbey

A partnership announcement with Amazon, updated iOS apps and a happy hour. This year’s NAB show is shaping up to be a good one for MediaSilo. The provider of cloud-based media workflow and collaboration solutions wants to save most of the details about its Amazon partnership for the show. However, Joe Foxton, VP of product marketing, was able to share some details ahead of the April conference.

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Comcast, Netflix Go Back and Forth Ahead of Senate Hearing

March 21, 2014 · Posted in M&E Connections, M&E Daily · Comments Off 

By Chris Tribbey

The back and forth between Netflix and Comcast March 20 was something Comcast executives likely could have done with out, ahead of a Senate Judiciary Committee hearing over the proposed $45 billion acquisition of Time Warner Cable.

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Study: TV Still Reigns … For Now

March 20, 2014 · Posted in M&E Connections, M&E Daily · Comments Off 

By Chris Tribbey

A new study from multiplatform video company Vubiquity finds that the living room TV is still the most popular source of video content, with 83% of people using it on a weekly basis, 47% on a daily basis. But other screens are coming up fast: three-quarters of people under 35s are also using a computer for video viewing on a weekly basis and 64% of 13- to 17-year-olds are watch video on a smartphone on a weekly basis (37% on a daily basis).

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DVD by Mail Isn’t Dead … Yet

March 18, 2014 · Posted in M&E Connections, M&E Daily · Comments Off 

By Chris Tribbey

When Dish-owned Blockbuster ended its DVD-by-mail business earlier this year, it left Netflix as the sole survivor in the world of physical disc distribution at the mailbox. Temporarily, at least.

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ISP Broadband Adds Slowed in 2013

March 17, 2014 · Posted in M&E Connections, M&E Daily · Comments Off 

By Chris Tribbey

Internet service providers (ISPs) added 2.6 million new broadband customers in 2013, down 5% from 2012, according to a new report from Leichtman Research Group.

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Technicolor Makes Digital, IP Personnel Moves

March 12, 2014 · Posted in M&E Connections, M&E Daily · Comments Off 

By Chris Tribbey

Technicolor recently made some major personnel changes in its IP and digital entertainment divisions. On the IP front, the Paris-based company installed Kenneth Bridges as its SVP of intellectual property enforcement and litigation, with Bridges handling all IP-enforcement responsibilities for the company’s technology businesses, as well as its research and innovation laboratories.

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Digitalsmiths: Pay-TV Content Discovery Needs Work

March 11, 2014 · Posted in M&E Connections, M&E Daily · Comments Off 

By Chris Tribbey

Content recommendation and discovery company Digitalsmiths — recently acquired by TiVo — has released its latest consumer video trends research report, and the numbers could prove problematic for pay-TV providers.

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2014 Hollywood IT Summit (HITS) Announces Programs, Dates

March 7, 2014 · Posted in M&E Connections, M&E Daily · Comments Off 

The leading members of the Hollywood IT community will convene for their annual conference on April 22 when the annual Hollywood IT Summit (HITS) moves to a new, expanded location at the Hyatt Regency Century Plaza on April 22, 2014.  This year’s theme, “Get Ready for Your Digital Makeover Hollywood” will explore IT’s role in shaping the digital future of their enterprises, from production to distribution to the overall studio operation.

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Disney, Dish End Litigation, Renew Distribution Deal

March 4, 2014 · Posted in M&E Connections, M&E Daily · Comments Off 

By Chris Tribbey

The Walt Disney Co. and Dish Network reached an agreement late March 3 that provides Dish customers access to Disney-owned content across all devices, and ends litigation between the companies over Dish’s PrimeTime Anytime and AutoHop technologies.

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Analyst: Netflix Fooled Investors

February 24, 2014 · Posted in M&E Connections, M&E Daily · Comments Off 

By Chris Tribbey

When Netflix and Comcast announced Sunday that they had signed a multi-year interconnection agreement, the two companies said in a joint statement that Netflix would not receive any preferential network treatment, and that the partnership would allow “for future growth in Netflix traffic.”

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Doctor Who 50th Anniversary – BBC Worldwide to discuss Supply Chain Challenges at HITS Europe

February 18, 2014 · Posted in M&E Connections, M&E Daily · Comments Off 

On 23rd November last year the BBC aired a special edition of Doctor Who to mark the 50th anniversary of the longest running sci-fi television series in the world. It became one of the greatest entertainment supply chain challenges ever undertaken.

Such is the global appeal of the series that the occasion was confirmed as a new Guinness World Record for the largest simulcast of a TV drama in history, watched by viewers in 98 countries worldwide.

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IHS: Cloud-Based Dependence on the Rise

February 14, 2014 · Posted in M&E Connections, M&E Daily · Comments Off 

By Chris Tribbey

Global business spending for cloud-related infrastructure and services will hit $174.2 billion this year, up 20% from $145.2 billion in 2013, and the number of global consumer cloud subscriptions is expected to hit 730 million this year, up from 630 million in 2013, according to a new report from IHS.

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Extreme Reach Buys DG TV Business; Sizmek Emerges

February 13, 2014 · Posted in M&E Connections, M&E Daily · Comments Off 

By Chris Tribbey

Cloud-based ad management, delivery and measurement company Extreme Reach recently closed its $485 million acquisition of the TV assets of Digital Generation (DG), giving Extreme Reach a combined client base of more than 9,000.

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Weather Co. Chooses Sony Media Cloud Services

February 12, 2014 · Posted in M&E Connections, M&E Daily · Comments Off 

By Chris Tribbey

The Weather Co. — which delivers worldwide weather information via The Weather Channel, weather.com, Weather Underground, Intellicast.com, and third-party publishing partners —has partnered with Sony Media Cloud Services for cloud-based video content services.

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Analyst: Expect DivX Sale Update from Rovi

February 10, 2014 · Posted in M&E Connections, M&E Daily · Comments Off 

By Chris Tribbey

Rovi Corp. is expected to announce positive fourth quarter financial results when the markets close Feb. 12, mostly thanks to the company’s deals with over-the-top services, according to an analyst.

However, its those OTT deals that’s had Rovi considering a sale of its DivX unit since October, according to Eric Wold, analyst with B. Riley & Co.

Click here to continue reading

Level 3 Sees Profit Rise

February 7, 2014 · Posted in M&E Connections, M&E Daily · Comments Off 

By Chris Tribbey

Communications technology company Level 3 ended the year in fine fashion, posting a fourth quarter profit of $14 million, compared to a loss of $56 million during the  fourth quarter of 2012.

The results came despite a minor drop in quarterly revenue, $1.6 billion for the fourth quarter of 2013, compared to $1.61 a year ago.

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Analyst: Amazon Prime Price Bump Wouldn’t Hurt

January 31, 2014 · Posted in M&E Connections, M&E Daily · Comments Off 

By Chris Tribbey

Amazon probably wouldn’t lose too many customers if it raised the cost of its Amazon Prime memberships, an analyst said the day after Amazon released its financial results and suggested it may increase the annual $79 Prime subscription cost by $20-$40.

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TiVo to Buy Content-Recommendations Firm Digitalsmiths for $135 Million (Variety)

January 29, 2014 · Posted in M&E Connections, M&E Daily · Comments Off 

TiVo plans to acquire Digitalsmiths, a provider of TV and movie content discovery and recommendation services, for $135 million in cash. Digitalsmiths offers personalized video search, recommendations and browsing, social trending, and mood-based discovery across multiple devices. The firm works with 46 U.S. and international service providers, including seven of the top 10 pay-TV operators in the United States, as well as content providers and consumer-electronics companies…

More in-depth coverage of TiVo’s acquisition of Digitalsmiths in tomorrow’s S3 2Day Newsletter.

Comcast Ups Subscribers, NBC Universal Ups Revenue

January 28, 2014 · Posted in M&E Connections, M&E Daily · Comments Off 

By Chris Tribbey

Comcast added 43,000 video subscribers during the fourth quarter, and combined video, Internet and phone customers increased by 649,000 for the company, a 29% increase from a year ago, the company said Jan. 28.

Comcast shared the numbers while announcing its fourth quarter financial results, which saw revenue up 6.2% to $16.9 billion, and a profit of $1.9 billion.

Click here to read the complete story…

Study: Mobile Video Usage Jumped 300% in 2013

January 27, 2014 · Posted in M&E Connections, M&E Daily · Comments Off 

By Chris Tribbey

In 2013 mobile video usage was up 300%, and there’s no sign of it slowing down in 2014, according to a report from the U.K.’s MPP Global Solutions.

“In 2014 we’re going to see companies moving to create more comprehensive offerings,” said Chris Welsh, VP of TV and entertainment for MPP Global Solutions. “Operators will attempt to add value and enhance their overall infrastructure.”

Click here for the complete story…

Profit, Revenue Rise for Microsoft

January 24, 2014 · Posted in M&E Connections, M&E Daily · Comments Off 

By Chris Tribbey

Microsoft may still be looking for its next CEO, but it’s having no problem finding profits.

Microsoft enjoyed record revenue for the fiscal second quarter — $24.5 billion, up from $21.5 billion a year ago — with a profit of more than $6.5 billion, up from $6.4 billion. The company attributed double-digit growth in commercial and devices and consumer segments for the results.

Click here to read the full post…

TransUnion Interactive’s Nieman to Talk Digital Strategies

January 23, 2014 · Posted in M&E Connections, M&E Daily · Comments Off 

By Chris Tribbey

Pat Nieman, SVP of technology at TransUnion Interactive — the consumer subsidiary of credit reporting firm TransUnion — will host an online presentation Feb. 20, titled “Attracting a New Market with Subscription Management and Billing Solutions.”

Neiman will share how TransUnion integrated subscription management and billing for Zendough.com, TransUnion’s consumer credit-check service, with the help of hybris software and business-to-business cloud computing solution Vindicia.

Click here to read the full story…

TransUnion Interactive’s Nieman to Talk Digital Strategies

January 23, 2014 · Posted in M&E Connections, M&E Daily · Comments Off 

By Chris Tribbey

Pat Nieman, SVP of technology at TransUnion Interactive — the consumer subsidiary of credit reporting firm TransUnion — will host an online presentation Feb. 20, titled “Attracting a New Market with Subscription Management and Billing Solutions.”

Neiman will share how TransUnion integrated subscription management and billing for Zendough.com, TransUnion’s consumer credit-check service, with the help of Hybris software and business-to-business cloud computing solution Vindicia.

Attendees can expect to hear Nieman’s take on how digital delivery of goods and services can transform a business and enable growth; how the design of a user experience is crucial to attracting and retaining customers; the importance of selecting the right partners; and what lessons TransUnion has learned in implementing its digital strategy.

Registration for the Webinar includes a complimentary copy of TransUnion’s case study. To register please click here.

EVS Set to Showcase New Solutions for Enriched Content Production (MESA)

January 22, 2014 · Posted in M&E Connections · Comments Off 

EVS,  a leading provider of live video production systems, will present its latest solutions aimed at customers in the entertainment, media and sports industries at BVE2014 in London. The Key solutions on show for TV studios, post-production facilities & live sports productions includes IPLink for Adobe, EVS’ plug-in panel for advanced integration with the new Adobe Premiere Pro suite; OpenCube HD/SD, EVS’ most comprehensive solution yet for ingest and mastering in file-based workflows; EVS’ new 4K XT3 server provides content owners with full 4K support for Ultra-HD recording and replay, giving them increased flexibility and making their workflow 100% future-proof.

EVS provides its customers with reliable and innovative technology to enable the production of live, enriched video programming, allowing them to work more efficiently and boost their revenue streams. Its industry-leading broadcast and media production systems are used by broadcasters, production companies, post-production facilities, film studios, content owners and archive libraries around the globe. It spans four key markets – Sports, Entertainment, News and Media.

Click here for more information about EVS and their upcoming showcase at BVE2014.

Gelick: Second Screen Space Has ‘Exploded’

January 7, 2014 · Posted in M&E Connections · Comments Off 

By Chris Tribbey

LAS VEGAS — When CBS announced it would let fans of “Hawaii Five-0” on both coasts vote for one of three episode endings via Twitter, and air the ending they chose, a lot of those fans thought CBS was pulling their collective leg.

“The fans were really testing us to see if we would show two different endings,” said Rob Gelick, SVP and GM of digital platforms for CBS Interactive. “It worked.”

Not only had CBS actually filmed three different endings — and aired two different versions on the East and West coasts — the company also directed fans online to watch all three versions.

So goes the modern world of content, where voting with a second screen actually impacts what happens on the first screen, where content creators take into account laptops, tablets and smartphones while writing scripts.

Today CBS provides constant second screen companion content for nine shows, and offers massive second screen options for live events, from the Super Bowl to the Grammys. With those second screen companions, CBS show fans are spending an average of 26 minutes engaging with them, Gelick said.

“In a big sense we’re trying to extend the lifecycle of the content,” Gelick said. “When they come in for 30 minutes, 60 minutes [for a broadcast] how do you keep the dialogue going?”

Maybe CBS Interactive’s greatest second screen success was for Big Brother,” CBS offered five live, 24-hour video feeds to the inside of the house, charging fans $10 a month for access. It worked: fans of the show streamed 10 million hours of the live feeds, and made 31 million comments over the summer using a chat feature.

“It was a powerful tool” used religiously by “uber-fans,” Gelick said.

The second screen is causing companies like CBS to be bolder with their content plans for live events. Next up is a multi-day event leading up to this month’s Grammys, which will give fans online access to the red carpet proceedings. “It doesn’t exist on broadcast,” Gelick said. “It’s digital only.”

For “How I Met Your Mother,” social media drove engagement, and has actually driven more people to the broadcasts of the show. For the new show “Intelligence,” CBS, look for multiple versions of the same episode, with some including commentary from the show’s creators.

Evite, ConnecTV Partner on Social TV

January 6, 2014 · Posted in M&E Connections, M&E Daily · Comments Off 

By Chris Tribbey

Online social planning company Evite has tapped ConnecTV and its app to help Evite users promote in-home and virtual viewing parties for sports, reality and Hollywood events, the companies announced.

Evite and ConnecTV will work together to create live viewing events for the Super Bowl, the Grammys, the Golden Globes, the Oscars, American Idol, college basketball games and more, with Evite promoting ConnecTV’s Apple app, which allows users to create a six-second clip from live TV, personalize it and share it via Facebook, Twitter and email.

Click here to read the complete story…

ConnecTV Gears up for Social Second Screen

January 3, 2014 · Posted in M&E Connections, M&E Daily · Comments Off 

By Chris Tribbey

ConnecTV wants just six seconds of your time. Shared with the world, of course.

The Emeryville, Calif.-based second screen app company is looking for major adoption of ConnecTV in 2014, offering a unique social media experience that takes a six-second clip from live TV and puts the user in charge with personalization and sharing tools for Facebook, Twitter and email.

Stacy Jolna, ConnecTV’s co-founder and chief marketing officer, said approximately 400 TV networks are allowing users to share the Vine-like show clips, which uses audio fingerprinting to see that someone’s tuned in to a given channel. Once a user presses “clip” in the app, ConnecTV pulls up the last two minutes that aired, and let’s the user select a six-second chunk of the broadcast.

Click here to read the complete story…

‘Game of Thrones’ Tops 2013 Piracy List

December 27, 2013 · Posted in M&E Connections, M&E Daily · Comments Off 

By Chris Tribbey

For the second straight year, HBO’s “Game of Thrones” has the dubious honor of being the No. 1 pirated TV show in the world, with an estimated 5.9 million downloads per episode, according to BitTorrent tracking service TorrentFreak. With only 5.5 million estimated viewers per episode of the series during initial airings this year in the U.S., that means more people are stealing the popular series than paying for it.

Click here to read the full story…

IBIS World: Digital, Mobile Gaining Steam in Gaming Industry

December 27, 2013 · Posted in M&E Connections · Comments Off 

By Chris Tribbey

The new consoles from Sony and Microsoft couldn’t have come at a better time for the gaming industry, according to a report from Australian research firm IBIS World.

After a few years of declining revenues, the gaming industry should see worldwide revenue of $38.2 billion for 2013, and should see revenue grow at an average annual rate of 4% over the next five years, to $46.4 billion in 2018.

IBIS analysts wrote that the next-gen consoles act more as media hubs than gaming consoles, giving them a better hold in living rooms.

“Not only do consoles provide web browsing capabilities, the ability to watch a movie via Amazon or Netflix and rent or purchase items directly on the console, but they have also increasingly become social devices,” the report reads. “The social aspect of gaming has grown alongside that of mobile devices and social media platforms, and it is now a prominent feature of gaming consoles.”

The IBIS report forecasts that game developers and console manufacturers will increasingly take advantage of digital delivery and mobile gaming, thanks to low manufacturing and distribution costs.

“In response to the increasing trend of digital distribution, game retailers, such as GameStop, have increasingly relied on secondary sales of used games and game console accessories to drive revenue,” the report reads, noting that retailers keep all of the proceeds from second-hand game sales.

A full copy of the report can be accessed here: http://www.ibisworld.com/media/2013/12/19/just-game-new-consoles-shift-video-games-industrys-focus/

NPD: China Leading 4K Charge

December 23, 2013 · Posted in M&E Connections, M&E Daily · Comments Off 

By Chris Tribbey

Overall TV demand may be on the decline, but 4K Ultra HD demand is skyrocketing, and the industry has one country to thank for it: China. That’s according to a Dec. 23 report from The NPD Group, which examined the state of the 4K and overall TV industries ahead of the 2014 International Consumer Electronics Show.

“China is leading the charge, and there are a number of brands — big global brands — that are focused on low cost,” said Paul Gagnon, director for global TV research at NPD DisplaySearch. “The quality isn’t as good as what you see here in the U.S. But while the American consumer is more focused on quality, the Chinese consumer is focused on lower prices.”

Click here to read the full story…

Cognitive Adds Watchwith Tech to Interactive TV Platform

December 20, 2013 · Posted in M&E Connections, M&E Daily · Comments Off 

By Chris Tribbey

Cognitive Networks, whose automatic content recognition (ACR) technology is built in to consumer electronics products, has announced partnerships with interactive content platforms Watchwith and Ensequence, building out a first-of-its-kind Smart TV ecosystem.

Watchwith and Ensequence will have their technologies added to Cognitive’s Engage API, which allows content providers to trigger opt-in based applications that synchronize with live or time-shifted TV. LG Electronics already has the tech built in to its HDTVs, and Showtime has used the technology for more than one show.

“What happens here, and it’s smart, is the ACR is built directly into the TV, and it identifies content regardless of where it’s coming from, whether it be over cable, satellite or OTT,” said Zane Vella, CEO and founder of Watchwith. “The television is now aware of the content and has the technical ability to pop things up at the right time.”

Rovi Adds to Metadata Partnerships with TuneIn Deal (MESA)

December 20, 2013 · Posted in M&E Connections · Comments Off 

By Chris Tribbey

Online and mobile audio streaming service TuneIn Radio has partnered with Rovi Corp. to use its metadata for albums, songs and artists.

TuneIn has more than 100,000 radio stations and more than two million on-demand programs streaming from every continent. It’s available on more than 200 connected devices and lays claim to 40 million monthly active listeners.

“With our data set they’re able to provide information about artists, albums and songs,” said Damian Francis, senior account manager for digital entertainment, metadata and technology sales for Rovi. “And it covers wherever TuneIn is available.”

Rovi’s metadata is now being used for TuneIn’s online product, and will be added across the company’s mobile apps soon, with connected HDTVs and set-top apps following that, Francis said. “We’ll power the TuneIn experience wherever it’s operated,” he said.

TuneIn is licensing Rovi’s metadata for North America, Europe and the United Kingdom, Rovi’s music data will improve information for more than three million album releases and nearly 30 million tracks.

“We are constantly looking for new ways to enhance the listening experience for our 40 million monthly listeners,” said Kristin George, VP of product at TuneIn. “Rovi’s expansive library of music data is a natural fit for our global music offering.”

“Certainly we’re not just a metadata company, but metadata is certainly a very important element for a number of services we offer,” Francis said. “Metadata is what eventually you’re going to be the first thing you engage with when it comes to the digital media you consume. And metadata is also what will keep you engaged, allow you to discover new shows, new songs and new artists.”

Second Screen Summit at CES Preview

December 19, 2013 · Posted in M&E Connections · Comments Off 

By Chris Tribbey

It’s looking more and more like the fight for the digital video consumer will be won or lost via the second screen and all its evolving components, from TV Everywhere to OTT to social TV.

The second screen will be center stage Jan. 6 at the 2nd Screen Summit, the half-day, official conference partner with the International Consumer Electronics Show.

Tablet growth is expected to jump 53% in 2013 and tablets owners are spending increasing amounts of time consuming video on their devices. According to Zane Vella, CEO and founder of Watchwith and one of the event panelists, the second screen is quickly becoming the first screen.

“Consumer habits are changing so fast, ‘second screen’ has become a tricky term,” he said. “The first screen is wherever your primary attention is. And I think the big story at CES this year is TV Everywhere and the second screen having to become the first for many segments of consumers.”

The 2nd Screen Summit’s preliminary program kicks off with panels focusing on the advertising prospects for the second screen and a discussion of the trends in mobile viewing. “Advertising Update: From 2nd Screen to All Screens” will feature Brian Gaskamp, SVP of North American corporate development for Videology, Will Harvey, creative lab technologist for Ogilvy London and Jesse Redness, chief strategy officer for Mass Relevance discussing the growth of online video ads and which ads work (and which ones don’t).

“By the Numbers: Trends in Mobile Viewing” will see panelists focusing on the surge in tablet ownership and mobile video viewing, and how the second screen world is on pace to be a $6 billion business by 2017.

Ian Schafer, CEO and founder of Deep Focus and Watchwith’s Vella will walk attendees through the realities of the second screen world (who’s winning and who’s being left behind) in a “Breaking through the Hype” panel, while a discussion centered around specific projects from creatives and developers will take place during “Leading by Example: Successful Uses of 2nd Screen Tech.”

“Has the 2nd Screen Become the 1st Screen?” will see Evan Young, senior director of product marketing for TiVo offering his take on the second screen’s place as a companion device to the living room screen. The “Guiding ‘Tune-in’ through Discovery” panel will feature executives from DISH Network, Dijit and Digitalsmiths discussing content discovery gains in the industry.

The summit will close with the panels “Monetization Strategies that Work” and “Is There an App for That?” The former will feature Viggle’s Greg Consiglio, Yume’s

Ed Haslam, Unicorn Media’s AJ McGowan and Samba.tv’s Ashwin Navin, while the latter will have Ian Aaron, CEO of ConnecTV and D.P. Venkatesh, CEO of mPortal.

On Jan. 7, 1 p.m. at the Convention Center North Hall, Guy Finley, executive director of MESA and the 2nd Screen Society, will keep the second screen theme running, moderating a panel about how the second screen is reinventing the TV experience. That panel is scheduled to include David Bishop, president of Sony Pictures Home Entertainment, Luis Goicouria, SVP of the PGA Tour, Ivan Perez-Armandaruz, chief digital officer for Crispin Porter + Bogusky and Scott Schiller, EVP of digital advertising sales for NBC Universal.

The 2nd Screen Summit kicks off at 1 p.m. at Treasure Island Hotel & Casino. For registration information visit: 2ndscreensociety.com/ces2014.

ARRIS Adds Digitalsmiths, ThinkAnalytics Recommendation Platforms

December 19, 2013 · Posted in M&E Connections · Comments Off 

By Chris Tribbey

Atlanta-based video and broadband technology company ARRIS Group said Dec. 19 it’s integrated content recommendation platforms from Digitalsmiths and ThinkAnalytics into its merchandiser content marketing solution.

ARRIS said the additions will give service providers and content programmers a more robust solution to market their content catalogues to various platforms.

“Consumers crave more content, but finding what you want, when you want among the sheer amount of available options can be an overwhelming,” said Neerav Shah, VP and GM of multiscreen infrastructure for ARRIS. “Our merchandiser multiscreen solution streamlines user preferences, marketing and promotion processes, and aggregates all linear, VOD, over-the-top (OTT) and non-video assets including games. Service providers benefit from a new way to monetize multiscreen.”

ARRIS’s merchandiser solution has already launched in Europe and is slated for release for service providers in 2014. The company said the offering provides personalized recommendations, targeted pricing, ads, support for multiple digital rights management systems and multiscreen capabilities.

Hulu Hits $1 Billion in Annual Revenue

December 19, 2013 · Posted in M&E Connections · Comments Off 

By Chris Tribbey

For the first time, subscription VOD service Hulu will top revenue of $1 billion for the year 2013, up from $695 million in 2008, the company announced Dec. 18.

“When you think about the fact that Hulu first launched out of beta in 2008, it’s quite an impressive feat to scale the business from zero to $1 billion over the course of just six years,” Hulu CEO Mike Hopkins wrote in a blog post.

Co-owned by Disney, Fox and Comcast, Hulu and Hulu Plus now offer content from 488 partners, covering more than 86,000 TV episodes from 2,900 series. Hulu Plus reached 5 million subscribers earlier in the year, and is currently accessible on more than 400 million devices.

“We launched more than 20 Hulu Originals in 2013, and plan to double that number over the next few years,” Hopkins said. “Shows like ‘The Awesomes,’ ‘Behind the Mask’ and ‘The Wrong Mans’ performed extremely well on the service, and were among the top 10 most-watched shows on Hulu each week a new episode aired.”

During the year, Hulu saw its advertising base grow to more than 1,000 brands, up 15% from 2012. Consumers streamed more than 1 billion videos each quarter, averaging 50 minutes per session. And Hopkins said it added more than 260 employees over the course of the year.

“As we scale the business in 2014, we will continue to invest in content, technology and people,” he added. “2014 will bring even more opportunity as we find new ways to grow the business from the strong foundation we have built.”

Swedish Pirate Fined $657,500 for One File Share

December 18, 2013 · Posted in M&E Connections, M&E Daily · Comments Off 

By Chris Tribbey

A Swedish court has handed down a 4.3 million krona ($657,500) for uploading a movie to a file-sharing site, the largest ever for a piracy case in a country that’s had its share of pirated content controversy.

The unnamed man was also given a suspended jail sentence and 160 hours community service for file-sharing 517 total movies.

Click here for the full story…

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