PwC: New York Overtaking Tokyo as No. 1 M&E Spending City

January 27, 2015 · Posted in M&E Connections, M&E Daily · Comments Off on PwC: New York Overtaking Tokyo as No. 1 M&E Spending City 

By Chris Tribbey

By 2018 New York is set to overtake Tokyo as the world’s No. 1 major metro city in terms of spending on media and entertainment, and worldwide entertainment and media employment is set to grow 16% by 2025, according to a new study from PricewaterhouseCoopers (PwC).

Looking at the projected media and entertainment (M&E) growth of 30 major metro cities, PwC’s “Cities of Opportunity: The Urban Rhythm of Entertainment & Media” report forecasts M&E spending by 2018 will reach $184 billion. In 2013 there were an estimated 5.85 million M&E sector jobs in the 30 cities in the PwC study. By 2025 that number will hit nearly 7 million.

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Broadband TV Conference: Content Democratization Changing TV

January 23, 2015 · Posted in M&E Connections, M&E Daily · Comments Off on Broadband TV Conference: Content Democratization Changing TV 

By Chris Tribbey

Service operators, content owners, OTT providers and other industry stakeholders will converge in Los Angeles March 3-4 to tackle the changing face of television at the sixth annual Broadband TV conference.

Produced by X Media Research, with the Media & Entertainment Services Alliance (MESA) and the Second Screen Society as partner organizations, the two-day event will see executives from AT&T, CBS, TiVo, Verizon Digital Media Services, YuMe, Rovi, AllDigital and more tackling everything from the roll of second screen apps to the future of OTT channels.

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Meeting the Security Challenges of Fast-Paced TV & Film Productions

January 20, 2015 · Posted in M&E Connections, M&E Daily · Comments Off on Meeting the Security Challenges of Fast-Paced TV & Film Productions 

Martin Rushworth, Director of Technology at Sohonet: To create a movie, studios will normally choose to setup a new company, give it a budget and ask it to deliver a feature length masterpiece in the shortest time possible. A tall task for a start-up, but given the right producers, great creative and technical talent, modern content-creation tools and the global community of production and post-production service companies, it happens time and time again with the successes apparent especially now as we enter this years awards season. In the time from when the production company is created to theatrical release, typically a period of just two or three years, a lot happens to say the least.

I wanted to focus on one element of this – security – or should I say making sure the production keeps control of all the high-value creative output, and that no one else has it.

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Adobe: Marketers Say Personalization is Key

January 19, 2015 · Posted in M&E Connections, M&E Daily · Comments Off on Adobe: Marketers Say Personalization is Key 

By Chris Tribbey

Regardless of the size of your business, getting personal with your customers is proving more important by the day, according to Adobe’s “2014 Digital Marketing Optimization Survey” results.

The study had more than 1,000 respondents worldwide — 60% from North America — and looked at interactive benchmarks around optimization and personalization across digital channels, Adobe said.

No matter the industry or scale of a business, 75% of all marketers in the Adobe study said they believe that personalization is important to their company’s long-term goals.

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CEA: 2015 an ‘All-Time High’ for Consumer Electronics

January 7, 2015 · Posted in M&E Connections, M&E Daily · Comments Off on CEA: 2015 an ‘All-Time High’ for Consumer Electronics 

By Chris Tribbey

To open the 2015 International Consumer Electronics Show (CES) Jan. 6, the Consumer Electronics Association (CEA) had some good news to share: Revenues for the consumer electronics industry will hit $223.2 billion this year, up 3% from 2014, and an all-time high for the industry.

Emerging product categories — a category that includes 4K Ultra High-Def (UHD) TVs — is expected to 108% year-over-year in 2015. The emerging product category — which also includes wearables and robotics — represents less than 5% of forecasted CE industry, but will contribute nearly $11 billion to overall CE revenue in 2015.

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Experts: Lessons to be Learned from Sony Cyber Attack

December 23, 2014 · Posted in M&E Connections, M&E Daily · Comments Off on Experts: Lessons to be Learned from Sony Cyber Attack 

By Chris Tribbey

With Sony Pictures still reeling from the biggest cyber attack to ever hit the entertainment industry, the need for aggressive cyber security — and a plan to address security breaches when they occur — has been brought to the forefront.

The Media & Entertainment Services Alliance (MESA) sat down with four experts in the cyber security industry to discuss what happened to Sony, and how other media and entertainment companies can look to avoid a similar breach.

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Adobe: Marketing Opportunities Galore with Tablets

December 17, 2014 · Posted in M&E Connections, M&E Daily · Comments Off on Adobe: Marketing Opportunities Galore with Tablets 

By Chris Tribbey

With mobile devices accounting for nearly 30% of online video starts, and TV Everywhere video starts up more than 100% during the third quarter of the year, the time is ripe for advertisers to hone their focus on tablets, according to the latest data from the Adobe Digital Index (ADI).

Accounting for both unfettered online viewing and authenticated TV Everywhere services, ABI’s third quarter research found that the smaller the screen gets, the fewer video views per visit. While video viewing on smartphones was up 56% year over year, nearly 25% more ad views per video start happened via a Web browser vs. apps, according to ADI’s data.

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Deluxe Expands 4K Capabilities of Deluxe OnDemand

December 15, 2014 · Posted in M&E Connections, M&E Daily · Comments Off on Deluxe Expands 4K Capabilities of Deluxe OnDemand 

By Chris Tribbey

Deluxe has upgraded its cloud-based content supply and VOD management solution Deluxe OnDemand to include end-to-end 4K capabilities, for both the living room TV and mobile devices, the company announced.

The upgrade allows service providers to launch 4K Ultra High-Def (UHD) services without additional infrastructure investment or workflow costs, and includes digital re-mastering of 4K content, conversion and high efficiency video encoding (HEVC, or H.265), transcoding, DRM, and CDN hosting and delivery.

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Buckle Your Seatbelts for Tuesday’s Content Protection Summit Keynote by Kurt Sutter

December 8, 2014 · Posted in M&E Connections, M&E Daily · Comments Off on Buckle Your Seatbelts for Tuesday’s Content Protection Summit Keynote by Kurt Sutter 

By Paul Sweeting

On the ever of the “Sons of Anarchy” finale on Tuesday night, series creator and Content Protection Summit keynoter Kurt Sutter has penned an apology to fans of the show for the leak of a “Collector’s Edition” retrospective book on the series that contained spoiler material.

The book, written by Tara Bennett, contains information on the fate of all the show’s characters and was officially slated for release after the finale airs. But copies were mistakenly shipped early to some booksellers and pre-order customers.

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Study: Gamers Resisting the Idea of Digital Downloads

December 5, 2014 · Posted in M&E Connections, M&E Daily · Comments Off on Study: Gamers Resisting the Idea of Digital Downloads 

By Chris Tribbey

Gamers may tend to agree that digital distribution is where gaming is going, just don’t expect them to give up their discs any time soon.

That’s according to a new survey from entertainment research firm MarketCast, which interviewed 1,000 gamers who use new and old consoles and the PC to play. The research found that, even though downloads account for 20% of console game purchases today, those downloads are simply expanding on disc purchases, not replacing them.

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Hackers Keep Sony Pictures Entertainment Network Down

November 25, 2014 · Posted in M&E Connections, M&E Daily · Comments Off on Hackers Keep Sony Pictures Entertainment Network Down 

By Chris Tribbey

Hackers brought down Sony Pictures Entertainment’s internal network Monday, and the studio’s worldwide network stayed down Tuesday as the studio worked to undo the damage, according to several news reports.

A group calling itself Guardians of Peace (GOP) managed to hack into the studio’s network Monday, with employees encountering a threatening message on computer screens when they logged in.

Above “Hacked by #GOP,” the message read: “We’ve already warned you, and this is just a beginning. We continue till our request be [sic] met. We’ve obtained all your Internal data, Including your secrets and top secrets.

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Xbox One, PS4 Sales Trump Predecessors

November 17, 2014 · Posted in M&E Connections, M&E Daily · Comments Off on Xbox One, PS4 Sales Trump Predecessors 

By Chris Tribbey

October marked the one-year anniversary for the Xbox One and PlayStation 4, and the next-gen gaming consoles have performed much better than anticipated, according to data from The NPD Group.

“October 2014 marks the first 12 months of sales for the Xbox One and PS4; and after the first year, these consoles have had a great start as cumulative sales are currently over 70% higher than the combined first year totals of Xbox 360 and PS3,” said The NPD Group’s Liam Callahan.

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Samsung, M-Go Launch UHD Transactional VOD Service

November 12, 2014 · Posted in M&E Connections, M&E Daily · Comments Off on Samsung, M-Go Launch UHD Transactional VOD Service 

By Chris Tribbey

Samsung has partnered with M-Go — with transactional VOD service run by DreamWorks Animation and Technicolor — to launch a transactional 4K Ultra-HD (UHD) content service for Samsung UHD TVs.

The partnership marks the first UHD transactional VOD streaming service to be launched in the U.S., with M-Go planning to hit 100 UHD movie and TV titles available by the end of the year. “We’re excited to partner with M-Go to deliver our customers the purest UHD streaming experience,” said Eric Anderson, VP of content and product solutions at Samsung Electronics America.

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Kaleidescape Licenses NBC Universal Content

November 11, 2014 · Posted in M&E Connections, M&E Daily · Comments Off on Kaleidescape Licenses NBC Universal Content 

By Chris Tribbey

High-end movie server company Kaleidescape has announced another licensing agreement with a major studio, its second in the past two months, with the addition of more than 1,000 movies and 210 TV shows from NBC Universal.

The Nov. 11 announcement follows a similar agreement with Sony Pictures in September, giving Kaleidescape access to that studio’s content. The company’s digital download Kaleidescape Store collection now has approximately 8,500 movies and 1,600 TV seasons.

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Obama Comes Out Swinging on Net Neutrality

November 10, 2014 · Posted in M&E Connections, M&E Daily · Comments Off on Obama Comes Out Swinging on Net Neutrality 

By Chris Tribbey

President Obama Nov. 10 issued a call for the Federal Communications Commission to implement “the strongest possible rules to protect Net Neutrality,” including requiring Internet Services Providers (ISPs) to not block Internet content, not throttle Internet connections and no paid prioritization for Internet services.

“An open Internet is essential to the American economy, and increasingly to our very way of life,” Obama said. “By lowering the cost of launching a new idea, igniting new political movements, and bringing communities closer together, it has been one of the most significant democratizing influences the world has ever known.”

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Rovi CEO: Steady as She Goes

November 7, 2014 · Posted in M&E Connections, M&E Daily · Comments Off on Rovi CEO: Steady as She Goes 

By Chris Tribbey

Steadily, things are looking good for Rovi Corp.

“We had a solid third quarter, and I am pleased with the steady year-over-year gains in our core service provider business,” Rovi CEO Tom Carson said Nov. 6 during the company’s quarterly investors call. “I am particularly pleased with our continued progress on the product front, including our efforts to expand our discovery business across multiple platforms, and extend our worldwide metadata coverage.

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FilmTrack CEO: Latest Acquisition Offers Silicon Valley Foothold

November 6, 2014 · Posted in M&E Connections, M&E Daily · Comments Off on FilmTrack CEO: Latest Acquisition Offers Silicon Valley Foothold 

By Chris Tribbey

It didn’t take long for intellectual property management software company FilmTrack to put its Nov. 5 acquisition of music licensing software platform Dashbox to good use.

“Literally instantly,” said FilmTrack CEO Jason Kassin. “We have guys who were doing one thing yesterday doing something different today.”

FilmTrack’s acquisition of Dashbox will allow it to scale its operations and expand its suite of contract and rights management software-as-a-service (SaaS) software solutions for the music industry.

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Microsoft, IBM Pick Up Cloud Honors; IBM Partners with Dutch Telecom

November 3, 2014 · Posted in M&E Connections, M&E Daily · Comments Off on Microsoft, IBM Pick Up Cloud Honors; IBM Partners with Dutch Telecom 

By Chris Tribbey

IBM has been named the top hybrid cloud provider for enterprise and Microsoft took the top spot among all cloud infrastructure service operators, in terms of growth, according to a global analysis of cloud services by Reno-based Synergy Research Group.

Microsoft grew its revenues by 136% on an annualized basis during the third quarter, bringing its worldwide market share to more than 10%. IBM holds a 7% market share.

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Redbox Looks to Forget Streaming Service Failure

October 31, 2014 · Posted in M&E Connections, M&E Daily · Comments Off on Redbox Looks to Forget Streaming Service Failure 

By Chris Tribbey

The reason Redbox parent company Outerwall finally gave up on Redbox Instant by Verizon was simply due to the numbers, according to Outerwall CEO J. Scott Di Valerio. Too much money invested in the joint venture, too little in the way of returns, and far, far too few subscribers to justify keeping the service alive.

“As many of you know growing the size of its subscriber base was a major challenge,” he said during Outerwall’s third-quarter financial call with investors. “After a comprehensive review of this service and its prospects for the future we made the decision to shut down operations.”

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Akamai Revenue, Profits Explode

October 30, 2014 · Posted in M&E Connections, M&E Daily · Comments Off on Akamai Revenue, Profits Explode 

By Chris Tribbey

Akamai saw its third quarter revenue jump 26% year over year to $498 million, allowing the company to post a profit of $91 million, up 14%.

The cloud services company’s results were buoyed by marked increases in security and media products, with better-than-expected traffic and revenue growth from the media delivery solutions division.

“Akamai delivered very strong third quarter financial results across every product and geography, with media driving the top and bottom line performance above our guidance range,” said Akamai CEO Tom Leighton.

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MarkLogic, Disney Headline ‘Smart Content Summit’

October 29, 2014 · Posted in M&E Connections, M&E Daily · Comments Off on MarkLogic, Disney Headline ‘Smart Content Summit’ 

By Chris Tribbey

Embedded metadata. Geo-location. Auto-recognition for storage and archiving. Encoded tracking and recognition software.

It’s a smart content world today for media and entertainment companies. How to leverage these new content intelligence tools will be front and center Nov. 5 when the Media & Entertainment Services Alliance (MESA) hosts the first-ever “Smart Content Summit.” The half-day event — held at the InterContinental Hotel in Century City, Calif. — will see media and entertainment executives sharing recent advancements in content intelligence, and offering best practices for getting the most value out of what you own, using the latest tools available…

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FilmTrack, ContentBridge Partner on Digital Supply Chain Solution

October 28, 2014 · Posted in M&E Connections, M&E Daily · Comments Off on FilmTrack, ContentBridge Partner on Digital Supply Chain Solution 

By Chris Tribbey

ContentBridge Systems and FilmTrack have announced a new partnership that aims to offer an automated digital supply chain solution for film, TV and short-form content distributors.

The deal will allow users of FilmTrack’s suite of cloud-based software-as-a-service (SaaS) solutions to access automated transcoding, packaging, and delivery of media to digital retailers, including iTunes, Netflix, Amazon, Google, Hulu, Vudu, and others more. The agreement also has ContentBridge becoming a member of the FilmTrack Technology Alliance, and FilmTrack joining ContentBridge’s Technology Partner Program.

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Dolby Celebrates 200th Atmos Title

October 27, 2014 · Posted in M&E Connections, M&E Daily · Comments Off on Dolby Celebrates 200th Atmos Title 

By Chris Tribbey

Dolby Labs is marking a major milestone for its Dolby Atmos surround sound technology, with Disney-Pixar’s “Inside Out” (due in theaters June, 2015) to be the 200th title to use Atmos.

Having Disney be the studio with the 200th Atmos-enabled film is especially sweet for Dolby, since it was Pixar’s 2012 film “Brave” that first featured the technology, which allows content creators to place and move sounds anywhere, including overhead. Just recently the technology has been making its way into living rooms as well.

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Dolby Results Surprise

October 24, 2014 · Posted in M&E Connections, M&E Daily · Comments Off on Dolby Results Surprise 

By Chris Tribbey

Dolby Labs posted better-than-expected fiscal fourth quarter results, with a profit of nearly $61 million on revenue of $227 million. That’s compared to a profit of $58.8 million and revenue of $216.7 million a year ago.

“Fourth quarter revenues were better than expected, and we delivered top-line growth for the year,” said Dolby president and CEO Kevin Yeaman. “Our broadcast business continues to outperform globally. I’m also excited we are bringing the amazing Dolby Atmos experience to the home and mobile devices.”

Eric Wold, analyst with B. Riley and Co. in Los Angeles, said Dolby is beginning to see traction with Atmos, the surround-sound technology that allows content creators to place and move sounds anywhere, including overhead. The technology is just now appearing on Blu-ray Discs.

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Nielsen Turns to Adobe for Digital Content Ratings Offering

October 21, 2014 · Posted in M&E Connections, M&E Daily · Comments Off on Nielsen Turns to Adobe for Digital Content Ratings Offering 

By Chris Tribbey

Nielsen is partnering with Adobe to create a new measurement system for digital content and audiences, the companies announced Oct. 21, with the goal of helping companies get a handle on consumer engagement across every platform and device, and allow for more accurate digital ad buys across every screen.

Integrating both Adobe Analytics and Adobe Primetime into its digital ratings platform, Nielsen’s new offering promises to measure audience engagement with online videos, ads, games, audio and text; consumer page views and app usage; and will cover usage via desktops, smartphones, game consoles and tablets.

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Analyst: Redbox Price Increase Could Have Repercussions

October 17, 2014 · Posted in M&E Connections, M&E Daily · Comments Off on Analyst: Redbox Price Increase Could Have Repercussions 

By Chris Tribbey

Redbox Instant met an early demise, Redbox itself is coming off one of its difficult quarters in years, so the time for just the company’s second price hike in history might be needed to keep up profits.

Redbox parent company Outerwall is already testing price increases for DVDs and Blu-ray Discs at kiosks this year in at least a half dozen cities, charging higher rental prices in Portland, Ore. and Cincinnati, Reno, Colorado Springs, Salt Lake City and Albuquerque.

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Analysts on HBO Standalone Service: It’s About Time; CBS Follows Suit

October 16, 2014 · Posted in M&E Connections, M&E Daily · Comments Off on Analysts on HBO Standalone Service: It’s About Time; CBS Follows Suit 

By Chris Tribbey

After years of toying with the idea of making HBO a standalone over-the-top channel, parent company Time Warner Oct. 15 announced it was going ahead, launching a standalone HBO streaming service in 2015.

Rich Tullo, analyst with Albert Fried & Co., only had one question for Time Warner: What were you waiting for?

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Akamai: Internet Attacks vs. M&E Companies Shrink

October 15, 2014 · Posted in M&E Connections, M&E Daily · Comments Off on Akamai: Internet Attacks vs. M&E Companies Shrink 

By Chris Tribbey

Attack traffic from China only continues to grow quarter to quarter, but companies are reporting fewer distributed denial-of-service (DDoS) attacks, and overall, worldwide Internet connection speeds continue to grow rapidly.

Those are just some of the more interesting data points to come out of Akamai’s second quarter State of the Internet Report, which gathered data from the company’s globally-distributed Intelligent Platform, covering attack traffic and connection speeds on both fixed and mobile networks.

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Signiant Webinar to Tackle Speedy Cloud Delivery

October 14, 2014 · Posted in M&E Connections, M&E Daily · Comments Off on Signiant Webinar to Tackle Speedy Cloud Delivery 

By Chris Tribbey

Cloud-based storage is fast-becoming a must-have for media and entertainment companies, but barriers — namely getting data and large into the cloud quickly — are keeping some companies hesitant.

Moving large files into and out of the cloud quickly will be the main topic tackled Nov. 6 (11 a.m. Pacific) when file-transfer software company Signiant holds a Webinar discussion titled: “Accelerate Delivery of Files into Cloud Storage.” The Webinar will feature a discussion between Signiant CTO Ian Hamilton and Josh Stinehour, principal analyst with Devoncroft Partners, and will cover…

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Bent Pixels, FilmTrack Partner Up

October 10, 2014 · Posted in M&E Connections, M&E Daily · Comments Off on Bent Pixels, FilmTrack Partner Up 

By Chris Tribbey

Media and entertainment content and rights-management company FilmTrack has inked a deal with digital rights watchdog company Bent Pixels, to collaborate on rights management for film, TV, digital and publishing clients. Las Vegas-based Bent Pixels’ DRM solutions audit the Web for unclaimed content eligible for monetization by copyright owners.

Google and Google-owned YouTube partner with the company to locate user-generated content and reclaim it for copyright owners. The technology works outside of YouTube’s ContentID system to locate potentially infringing content.

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Level 3 Shares Cloud Survey Results

October 7, 2014 · Posted in M&E Connections, M&E Daily · Comments Off on Level 3 Shares Cloud Survey Results 

By Chris Tribbey

Level 3 Communications has just released the results of its 2014 Cloud Adoption Survey, which sought the cloud insights of nearly 200 IT professionals in the industry. The feedback saw 34% of respondents saying they are already running public, external applications in the cloud, with 48% saying they’re “at some point in the migration process.”

About a third said the cloud isn’t just meant for Web sites and mobile apps, with approximately 30% saying they are running internal and private apps (including business continuity and disaster recovery, application hosting, and data analytics) in the cloud environment.

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Redbox Instant, Unable to Catch Subscribers, Folds

October 6, 2014 · Posted in M&E Connections, M&E Daily · Comments Off on Redbox Instant, Unable to Catch Subscribers, Folds 

By Chris Tribbey

Redbox Instant by Verizon, the joint venture subscription service that paired disc rentals at kiosks with unlimited streaming online, will cease operations Oct. 7, Redbox parent company Outerwall announced, brining to an end a short-lived attempt to challenge the likes of Netflix and Amazon.

“In connection with the cessation of the consumer service, the parties are in discussions to dissolve the joint venture,” Outerwall said in a statement. “The company does not expect these actions will have a material financial impact.”

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Cinram Signs Distribution Deal With Neat

October 3, 2014 · Posted in M&E Connections, M&E Daily · Comments Off on Cinram Signs Distribution Deal With Neat 

Cinram, a Najafi Companies affiliate, has announced a multi-year agreement with The Neat Company, a leading manufacturer and technology provider in the office organization space. This new deal expands Cinram’s distribution and fulfillment portfolio with the company providing an end-to-end distribution solution accommodating Neat’s evolving product portfolio. The Neat Company is dedicated to creating one ecosystem for all your important information – on your desktop, the cloud and with mobile.

Neat transforms digital and paper documents into useful, organized information so small businesses can work more efficiently and spend less time on administrative tasks and more time getting to what matters…

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The Role of Search Engines in Piracy

October 1, 2014 · Posted in M&E Connections, M&E Daily · Comments Off on The Role of Search Engines in Piracy 

By Chris Tribbey

It turns out search engines just might play a role in whether consumers choose to steal content or buy it.

That’s according to a new study out of Carnegie Mellon University (CMU) in Pittsburgh, which sought to find out whether search results actually do influence consumers’ choices for piracy when legal consumption channels are readily available.

CMU researchers figured there was only one way to find out whether search engine results influence piracy choices…

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Yahoo Picks up Rovi Music Data

September 30, 2014 · Posted in M&E Connections, M&E Daily · Comments Off on Yahoo Picks up Rovi Music Data 

By Chris Tribbey

Rovi Corp. has a new (huge) client today: Yahoo has inked an agreement that will give it access to Rovi Music, the metadata arm of Rovi that covers more than 3.3 million album releases and 30 million tracks.

Yahoo’s Arnab Bhattacharjee, VP of engineering for Yahoo, said the agreement will “enhance our music-related products and services and fuel better music discovery and enjoyment.”

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Deluxe Upgrades Toronto Facility for Dolby Atmos

September 29, 2014 · Posted in M&E Connections, M&E Daily · Comments Off on Deluxe Upgrades Toronto Facility for Dolby Atmos 

By Chris Tribbey

With Dolby Atmos hitting Blu-ray Disc for the first time Sept. 30, with Paramount Home Media Distribution’s Transformers: Age of Extinction, Dolby is beginning to upgrade its facilities to manage the technology.

Deluxe Toronto is one of the first to get the upgrade to its mixing rooms, with the addition of Dolby Atmos to Mix 1, Canada’s largest film mixing stage. Deluxe has also added JBL M2 Master Reference monitors to the facility. Atmos is a surround-sound technology was first used in theaters in 2012 with Disney’s Brave, and lets content creators place move sounds anywhere, including overhead. The technology automatically adapting the sound to the number and placement of speakers.

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KPMG: Nearly Every Hollywood Movie is Available Legally

September 26, 2014 · Posted in M&E Connections, M&E Daily · Comments Off on KPMG: Nearly Every Hollywood Movie is Available Legally 

By Chris Tribbey

Piracy may still be a major problem for Hollywood, but it’s not because studios aren’t making content available, according to a new study from auditing and research firm KPMG.

In its “Film and TV Title Availability in the Digital Age” report, KPMG found that as of the end of 2013, 94% of the most popular and critically acclaimed films in the U.S. were readily available via online VOD services.

TV shows didn’t rank quite as high on the availability scale, with 85% of popular shows available online. The study looked at 34 online video services covering every business model, including transactional (electronic sellthrough and online rental), subscription VOD and ad-supported VOD.

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Redbox Price Increase Tests Underway; Studio Contracts Up for Renewal

September 25, 2014 · Posted in M&E Connections, M&E Daily · Comments Off on Redbox Price Increase Tests Underway; Studio Contracts Up for Renewal 

By Chris Tribbey

Redbox parent company Outerwall has followed through on its promise to test price increases for DVDs and Blu-ray Discs at movie rental kiosks this year, with an analyst finding at least a half dozen cities charging higher rental prices for DVD, Blu-ray or both.

B. Riley and Co. analyst Eric Wold calculates price increase tests of between 13% and 25% for DVDs ($1.35-$1.50 a night) and between 17% and 33% for Blu-ray (between $1.75-$2 a night) in select cities. Redbox last upped its nightly rental fees in late 2011, raising DVD prices from $1 to $1.20. Blu-ray has been $1.50 a night since Redbox first began offering high-def in mid-2010.

“In our opinion, it may be difficult for Redbox to increase prices by any meaningful amount without negative reactions from consumers and/or increased promotional activity,” Wold said.

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LG Looks to Deluxe for 4K Work

September 17, 2014 · Posted in M&E Connections, M&E Daily · Comments Off on LG Looks to Deluxe for 4K Work 

By Chris Tribbey

LG Electronics has tasked Deluxe to help process and deliver native and remastered 4K content for its line-up of Ultra HD TVs.

Deluxe will prepare and encode content in 4K that will be included on a hard drive device packaged with select LG 4K UHD TVs. Deluxe will be charged with ensuring the content is delivered with optimal frame rates, bitrates, color gamut and software decoding.

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Oracle Acquires Front Porch Digital

September 15, 2014 · Posted in M&E Connections, M&E Daily · Comments Off on Oracle Acquires Front Porch Digital 

By Chris Tribbey

Oracle Systems Sept. 14 announced it was acquiring digital asset management company Front Porch Digital.

Based in Lafayette, Colo., Front Porch Digital’s content storage management solutions currently handle approximately 750 petabytes of digital content for more than 550 companies (including A&E, BBC, Discover Communications and NASCAR) in more than 80 countries. Oracle plans to integrate Front Porch Digital’s solutions — including the DIVASolutions content storage management system, the LYNX media-grade cloud solution and SAMMA migration solutions — into its own suite of storage solutions.

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Mediamorph Gets $10 Million Financing Boost

September 12, 2014 · Posted in M&E Connections, M&E Daily · Comments Off on Mediamorph Gets $10 Million Financing Boost 

By Chris Tribbey

Cross-platform data management and analytics firm Mediamorph has raised $10 million in financing, thanks to Liberty Global Ventures, the new investment fund owned by Liberty Global, the largest cable company outside of America.

The funding will go toward supporting Mediamorph’s next-gen data management platform, and the expansion of the New York-based company’s sales group.

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Adobe Advances Content Protection for Online TV, Movies

September 8, 2014 · Posted in M&E Connections, M&E Daily · Comments Off on Adobe Advances Content Protection for Online TV, Movies 

Adobe today announced advancements to its content protection solution in Adobe Primetime, the industry’s most advanced TV delivery and monetization platform for programmers and pay-TV service providers. Primetime Digital Rights Management (DRM) is now available across apps on connected devices, including set top boxes, and via HTML5 on major web browsers.

In addition, Adobe unveiled that it is the first DRM vendor to work with Intel, Broadcom and AMD to enable hardware-based DRM that protects “super” premium HD and 4K content across tablets, smartphones and desktops.

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Fox Partners with Samsung for Innovation Lab

September 4, 2014 · Posted in M&E Connections, M&E Daily · Comments Off on Fox Partners with Samsung for Innovation Lab 
By Chris Tribbey

It was last October that Mike Dunn, president of 20th Century Fox Home Entertainment, shared his studio’s vision for a closer relationship between content companies and the consumer electronics industry. To build this “digital bridge,” Dunn announced that the studio would launch the Fox Innovation Lab, which would establish a digital-centric relationship between the studio and consumer electronics and technology companies, with the intent of enhancing the consumer experience.

On Sept. 4, the Fox Innovation Lab officially got off the ground, with Dunn announcing a new partnership with Samsung Electronics, one that will see the two companies enabling digital playback technology for premium content.

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Driving Digital Entertainment Revenues – Learning from Experience

August 19, 2014 · Posted in M&E Connections, M&E Daily · Comments Off on Driving Digital Entertainment Revenues – Learning from Experience 

There is much that has already been learned about what the industry needs to do to encourage revenue growth in the digital video business in Europe over the coming years.

That said, there remains an element of experimentation in business models, including pricing strategies, packaging and promotional approaches and the content/genre mix as the industry grapples with meeting consumer wants and needs in an increasingly competitive marketplace. These are among the topics that will be debated by the experienced panel of Digital Video Service Providers at next month’s ESCA Digital Europe Conference in London.

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Walmart Entertainment Sector Sees a Drop

August 15, 2014 · Posted in M&E Connections, M&E Daily · Comments Off on Walmart Entertainment Sector Sees a Drop 

By Chris Tribbey

It was a good news, bad news week for Walmart. Overall sales for the No. 1 retailer were up nearly 3% ($3.2 billion) to more than $119 billion, though comparable U.S. store sales were flat. U.S. sales were up $1.9 billion, or 2.7%, to more than $70 billion. The company reported a profit of $4.1 billion, up .6% year over year, with earnings per share of $1.21.

However, in Walmart’s general merchandise category, which includes consumer electronics and home entertainment, Walmart saw a double-digit drop in sales, with executives blaming the drop on an overall softness in the market.

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ContentBridge CEO Weighs in on Net Neutrality

August 14, 2014 · Posted in M&E Connections, M&E Daily · Comments Off on ContentBridge CEO Weighs in on Net Neutrality 

By Chris Tribbey

Jason Peterson, CEO of digital supply chain company ContentBridge, has penned a letter to Tom Wheeler, chairman of the Federal Communications Commission (FCC), suggesting the FCC take a “balanced” approach to Net Neutrality.

With the FCC considering new Net Neutrality rules that would see the government regulating Internet services providers the same way it does with phone companies, Peterson’s letter suggests instead that the FCC instead off a set of regulations that leverage the Commerce Clause to pre-empt local regulations.

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E&Y: M&E CFO Attitudes are Changing

August 11, 2014 · Posted in M&E Connections, M&E Daily · Comments Off on E&Y: M&E CFO Attitudes are Changing 

By Chris Tribbey

Since the recession of 2008, the chief financial officers (CFOs) of media and entertainment companies have had one overriding concern: how to cut costs within their businesses.

In 2014, that attitude has finally changed, according to a new report from Ernst & Young (EY).

Interviewing 50 CFOs in the media and entertainment space (including those from Lionsgate, Time Warner, Sony Corp. of America and News Corp.), EY’s “It’s Showtime!” report shows a sea-change shift in attitude: 74% of CFOs said investing in digital is their clear-cut No. 1 priority today.

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Disney Discs the Latest Target in Amazon Fight

August 8, 2014 · Posted in M&E Connections, M&E Daily · Comments Off on Disney Discs the Latest Target in Amazon Fight 

By Chris Tribbey

Since the beginning of August, Amazon shoppers have been unable topreorder titles from Walt Disney Studios Home Entertainment, including Muppets Most Wanted (Aug. 12), Captain America: The Winter Soldier (Sept. 9) and Maleficent (Nov. 4).

Just like during the Warner battle, Amazon Instant Video electronic sellthrough preorders of every title is still available ($14.99 SD, $19.99 HD).

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DEG: Consumer Home Entertainment Spending Flat Through 2014

August 5, 2014 · Posted in M&E Connections, M&E Daily · Comments Off on DEG: Consumer Home Entertainment Spending Flat Through 2014 

By Chris Tribbey

Through the first half of 2014, consumers spent $8.6 billion on home entertainment in the U.S., down less than 1% compared to the first half of 2013, according to data from DEG: The Digital Entertainment Group.

A nearly 17% jump in digital spending ($3.6 billion compared to just over $3 billion in the first half of 2013) helped level out the industry after continued drops in disc revenue, with consumers spending on discs down more than 8% in the sellthrough category ($3.3 billion compared to $3.6 billion).

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

August 1, 2014 · Posted in M&E Connections, M&E Daily · Comments Off on Adobe: Mobile ‘The Test by Which Customer Experience is Measured’ 

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 “” 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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