Best Global Green Brands 2014

video killed the _____ star

Tesco's Blinkbox Threatens to Unseat Netflix, Amazon in the UK

Posted by Sheila Shayon on August 20, 2013 05:10 PM

Tesco, the UK's biggest retailer has moved far beyond its grocery roots. The company has upped its already substantial investment in BlinkBox, a digital download service that streams thousands of movies and TV series to computers, tblets, TVs and Sony's PlayStation 3. Now, its rumored that e-books and music are on the horizon. 

Tesco joins the ranks of fellow streaming service operators including Netflix, Amazon, and Lovefilm, all of which contribute to an industry that is projected to hit $20 billion by 2018, with a 17 percent yearly growth. However, if Tesco finds a way to marry together all of its businesses, it could potentially have a leg-up on major competitors like Netlix. 

“If you can watch a film and get money off your groceries, petrol or extra Clubcard points, then Blinkbox may begin to look more appealing” than Netflix, Amazon, Lovefilm, and even Apple iTunes, Michael Perry, an analyst at Verdict Research told Bloomberg. “Blinkbox definitely poses a threat.”Continue reading...

digital moves

Sony Jumps Ahead in Online Pay-TV Race with Pending Viacom Deal

Posted by Sheila Shayon on August 16, 2013 01:40 PM

With the announcement of a pending deal with Viacom to stream content from such channels as MTV, Comedy Central and Nickelodeon, Sony has essentially put itself far outfront in the race to create a workable online pay-TV model. 

The deal is the first of its kind, further pitting the company against a long list of rivals, including Google, Intel, Apple, Netflix and Microsoft, that are all racing to nail down a subscription-based TV streaming system. 

Sony's “over the top” model could disrupt the current ecosystem, pitting cable companies against each other, however it “might also be the tonic that slows the arrival of the 'capocalypse'—where enough people 'cut the cord' and drop cable altogether that the whole industry collapses," Forbes explains. Sony’s not-yet-named service works on Sony-branded TVs and PlayStation but will not offer a la carte channel selection, still delivering content through cable's tried and true bundled model.Continue reading...

digital moves

DreamWorks Still Wheeling and Dealing as it Builds Small-Screen Portfolio

Posted by Sheila Shayon on August 6, 2013 04:26 PM

In an effort to skirt the effects of the waxing and waning film industry, the studio behind one of Hollywood's most lucrative film franchises and endearing characters like Shrek and Buzz Lightyear is making a strong play for small-screen audiences. 

However, DreamWorks Animation is outright skipping Cable TV and going straight to popular streaming services like Netflix. Through a multi-year deal signed in June, the studio will create 1,200 hours of original programming for Netflix and German broadcaster Super RTL featuring characters from popular franchises like The Croods and Turbo, along with long-standing characters like Casper, Lassie, Mr. Magoo and more from Classic Media's archives, and seasonal specials like Frosty the Snowman. 

The deal will fill a gaping hole left on Netflix by Nickelodeon after the service failed to renew its contract with Viacom.Continue reading...

digital moves

Netflix Finally Creates Individual Profiles for Users of Group Accounts

Posted by Sheila Shayon on August 2, 2013 06:45 PM

Netflix, the darling of home entertainment, has finally addressed the fact that users with an account may actually be a family or a college-dorm with multiple viewers, and in turn, multiple tastes in content. In response, the service has launched personalized viewer profiles. 

Up to five Netflix users per account can set up individual logs of their viewing choices and the company will make individual recommendations accordingly. And for those that want to share their viewing choices, they can do so through Facebook.Continue reading...

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brand news

In the News: Lululemon, JCPenney, Google and more

Posted by Dale Buss on August 1, 2013 09:31 AM

In the News

Lululemon insider says brand purposely shuns plus-size customers. 

JCPenney says it has backing after reports that lender cut funding to clothing suppliers, and clash with Macy's over Martha Stewart nears end.

Starbucks and Google partner on Wi-Fi upgrade at restaurants.

Abbott nutritional brands poised to benefit from changing demographics.

Chrysler finds trucks and SUVs powering 40th consecutive month of sales increases.

Diageo is desperate to "crack the code" for North American beer.

Estee Lauder aims to brand beauty sleep.

Facebook now lets users embed public posts on other websites. 

Farmers Insurance revamps logo.

Ford settles with US on delayed recall.Continue reading...

tech in the spotlight

Chromecast Set to Debut New Streaming Partners as Interest Grows

Posted by Sheila Shayon on July 30, 2013 01:35 PM

Chromecast, Google's latest TV-streaming product, is officially a runaway hit among consumers and media brands. Now, Vimeo, Verizon and Redbox Instant are joining the current lineup of Netflix, YouTube, Pandora and Google Play on the $35 dongle device, with more in the works. 

Gigaom reports that hackers have uncovered code that indicates the platform may be gearing up to host HBO Go as well. Alluding to a coming partnership, Vimeo VP of mobile, Nick Alt, told GigaOm, "We’re excited about the emerging opportunities bridging mobile to Connected TV and we look forward to offering Chromecast support in our products."Continue reading...

tech in the spotlight

Google Shutters Netflix Promo as Chromecast Sells Out in Less Than a Day

Posted by Sheila Shayon on July 26, 2013 10:42 AM

Google's just-released Chromecast device, priced at $35, sold out on and by Thursday morning, just hours after it was announced on Wednesday. 

Dubbed a low-cost challenger to internet streaming devices like Apple TV and Roku, Chromecast also came packaged with a free, three-month subscription to content partner Netflix. However, after demand surged for the device, Google announced late Thursday that the free subscription was no longer available.Continue reading...

video killed the _____ star

After Declaring Victory Over the Internet, Google Aims for Streaming with Chromecast

Posted by Sheila Shayon on July 25, 2013 04:02 PM

Google’s internet dominance took an exponential leap with the introduction of its $35 Chromecast dongle device, which allows users to pull content from the cloud, as well as smartphones, tablets and laptops to stream on HDTVs. 

The simplistic streaming solution is essentially brand agnostic, making it a boon for some—and a detriment to others.

Quick to recognize the growing opportunity that Smart TV technology poses, Netflix comes bundled with the device, along with a three-month free trial. "The world is moving from linear TV to Internet TV, and Netflix is leading that evolution," CEO Reed Hastings and CFO David Wells wrote in a letter to shareholders. The company, whose shares dropped after the latest numbers indicated it was adding subscribers at a slower pace, likely welcomes Google's device with open arms as it proliferates its service.Continue reading...

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