AMC jumps into a really really *really* crowded swimming pool

AMC announced this week, all together now, a new streaming app. The app, called AMC Theaters On Demand (*yawn*), “will offer about 2,000 films for sale or rent after their theatrical runs, just as iTunes, Amazon and other video-on-demand retailers do.”

Films will cost between $3 to $5.99 to rent and $9.99 to $19.99 to buy.







Story on Gizmodo
And NY Times

The thing is, this news comes on the same week that Netflix reports that they missed their subscriber growth target…again. Every major studio and content provider seems to be offering a new streaming service every time we turn around. Try not to get whiplash.

Story on Fast Company

Why It’s Hot
It’s super hot for competition (maybe prices will come down???) but it will also create consumer fatigue. Who wants to check yet another app to see which service has the rights to a specific title?

Amazon Prime Video will stream Rihanna’s Savage X Fenty fashion show

After the Fall/Winter 2019 collection of Rihanna’s Savage X Fenty show debuts during New York Fashion Week, the show will be available to stream exclusively for Amazon Prime Video subscribers on Sept. 20 in more than 200 countries.

The Amazon Prime Video special will also include an exclusive behind-the-scenes look at the making of the show, which will consist of “performances from some of the hottest acts in music” as well as feature models, actors and dancers wearing styles from the collection, per Amazon’s press release.

Why it’s Hot:

Potential Retail Tie-In: There is a huge opportunity for the brand to follow up fashion show viewership with product communications through Amazon Prime, directly tying hand raisers to product purchasing.

Inclusivity is IN: Victoria’s Secret cancelled its annual televised fashion show in May, after the broadcast hit a new ratings low on ABC (likely due in part to their CMO’s very unpopular comments in November – he also recently resigned). The growing popularity of Savage X Fenty is indicative of a larger trend – in the wake of the body positivity and inclusivity movements, brands who embrace diversity are poised to take the lead.

Source: RetailDive, The Hollywood Reporter

Meerkat reveals feature that allows users to employ GoPro for their livestreams.

On Thursday, Meerkat revealed a feature that allows its mobile-app users to employ GoPro’s high-definition cameras for their livestreams. Now, Meerkat fans can log on to see things from the real-time perspective of adventure seekers and even wildlife.


The feature was built with GoPro’s open-source software and marks the first time Meerkat users can include footage from outside the app.

How it works: Connect the GoPro to your iOS device as you normally would and open the Meerkat app. Shake it, and a prompt will pop up to start streaming directly from your GoPro device. Note that the current version of the iOS Meerkat app only supports GoPro 3 with GoPro 4 being available in the next update of the app.

Source: Adweek

Why It’s Hot

The Meerkat / Periscope wars are going to benefit users in many ways — advancements and enhancements like this are likely only just the beginning. I also like opening up more social uses of GoPro!

It will be interesting to see if the new, fun tool pushes more consumers to Meerkat, which significantly trails rival Periscope’s traffic, according to Adobe’s research.

And whether Twitter-owned Periscope follows suit with a GoPro play of its own will be worth watching—though it seems likely.

See the world in real-time, from your couch

Live streaming app, Periscope, has added mapping functionality to its app, allowing you to dip in and out of other peoples’ live streams around the world. Watch people chat in front of the Eiffel Tower for a moment, then switch to watching people prepare breakfast at a restaurant in Sao Paolo and then on to the clubs in Tokyo. TV may have initially brought the world into your living room, in the form of scripted television or journalistic reporting, but Periscope brings the world into your living room, as experienced by real people at this very moment in time. Magic!

6-5-2015 10-06-30 AM

Why It’s Hot: Technology breaks down walls between strangers and allows us to dive right into the worlds of our target audiences, without introduction, planning or special permission required! While in its infancy, this type of sharing could evolve and drive the next iteration of “social listening”, allowing us to see, hear and feel our target audiences’ relevant experiences.




A Sign That Tidal is Toast: Kanye’s Deleting His Tweets

Just a month after its high-profile announcement, the music streaming service Tidal has not been the overwhelming success that Jay Z may had hoped for. Priced at twice the cost of Spotify, and with a fraction of the library, who could have imagined such a service would flop?

Kanye sure didn’t, but now everyone’s favorite rapper/fashionista/ego-maniac is now trying to put distance between himself and streaming service: starting with his Twitter feed.

BGR reports that Kanye has purged his feed from any mention of the service, and changed his profile photo from the Tidal logo to an old album cover.

A Twitter breadcrumb.

A Twitter breadcrumb.

We’ll see if Tidal can turn it around or whether more artists start turning their backs.

Why It’s Hot

Kanye’s swift turnaround is showing how critical success needs to be when pairing branded launches with celebrity endorsement. Influencers like Kanye depend on maintaining credibility with the publicity they create; if a product fails, or a launch is botched, their image is at risk. Kanye is just an example for how new media habits are changing with promotions online, and the importance that “getting it right” really has to maintaining advocates. Even your biggest supports will abandon you quickly.

Source: BGR

TIDAL: New High-Def Music Streaming Service

On Monday afternoon, celebs such as Jay-Z, Kanye West, Madonna, Rhianna, Chris Martin and Nikki Minaj (just to name a few) gathered to announce the re-launch of TIDAL, a music streaming service. TIDAL is a high-definition streaming service that will compete with services such as Pandora and Spotify. Jay-Z is the majority owner while the other artists on stage all have small stakes in the company as well.

Unlike other music streaming services, there is no free tier for subscription. Therefore, we can assume there will be no disruptive ads on the platform as we see with other free streaming memberships, however this has not yet been confirmed. For TIDAL, users will have to pay $10/month or $20/month depending on the quality of music they prefer. Additionally, the player is available as both a website and an app (no desktop player) and can stream to a number of speaker systems. An added bonus – Tidal will offer the ability to save songs for listening without an Internet connection.

Another edge that TIDAL may have is the releasing of exclusive content and invitation to special events for paying members.

Why It’s Hot

With the domination of streaming services such as Pandora and Spotify, we haven’t seen a potential game changer enter the market in a long time. The switch of focus from price to quality enables the brand to position itself as premium and perhaps not truly in competition with any other services. Next, having people with star power backing this service is major. For example, celebs that have had constant battles with streaming services may actually volunteer to have their music on Tidal. If this is true, we could see both artists that are stakeholders in Tidal or support its mission, releasing exclusive content (perhaps even entire albums) on the service. If Tidal can convince artists to do this, they could gain a huge advantage over competitors.

Read more here.

Twitter Launches Periscope 3/26/15



Yesterday, Twitter launched Periscope, its newly acquired live streaming app.  So far, people are liking the app vs. Meerkat because you can re-play your streams for up to 24 hours (I’m wondering if this will be extended), something that Meerkat does not offer.  As an Android user, I’m a little bummed that they have only launched on Apple devises so far- this seems like a really cool idea.

Why It’s Hot

Like Matt had mentioned a couple weeks ago, this will allow Twitter to further establish itself as the king of real-time information sharing on social media.  People were streaming the explosion in NYC in real time- this could change how news broadcasting is produced in the future.  Unlike Skype, where you can stream video with people you know, Periscope allows you to see people’s feeds that you are following- so you can access streams from all over the world.

ABC News App Channel on Apple TV Shows Enormous Potential for Content Publishers

About six weeks ago, ABC News launched a new Apple TV channel offering a wide range of live and on-demand content from both national and select local feeds. As a follow-up to this release, ABC News published this infographic that shows how viewers are using the channel compared to other devices.

The insight ABC News has uncovered is quite telling.  For instance:

  • Live programming accounts for 20% of all channel view time, and yet…
  • Live viewing on Apple TV is over 50% higher than views on PC and mobile combined
  • Apple TV viewers spend 65% more time viewing per visit than desktop users
  • 9PM EST measured as peak, most likely for capturing both east/west coast markets

Why It’s Hot

ABC News is showing that live video content isn’t dead, at least to consumers. Though on-demand entertainment continues to be on the rise, this data around news viewership suggests that cable-alternative products like Apple TV or Roku may mean new life for broadcasters. But to make this model a successful business model, content creators and technology companies need to rethink how content agreements are managed. The cable model may be dying, but there is still a desire for that content–just not sold in expensive bundles.

Like the need to move consumers away from expecting free digital music and towards paid downloads and premium streaming services, broadcasters now need outside the literal [cable] box to monetize new content consumption patterns.

Source: MacRumors

Unprecedented Digital Access to WWE’s WrestleMania for Successful Super-Integrated Marketing Plan

With over 667,000 subscribers to the WWE Network in just the two months since its February launch, it’s no surprise that the WWE has an immense fan base, far beyond many other entertainment programs. Aside from the content itself, what contributes to WWE’s massive continued success is their multichannel approach to marketing and content delivery.

For WWE’s 30th anniversary of WrestleMania this past Sunday, WWE offered digital access surrounding the program in an unprecedented way, including: WWE website, WWE mobile app, YouTube, Facebook, Twitter, Google+, and more, all working together at the same time. Additionally they employed several celebrities to be “Social Media Ambassadors” for the event who socially shared their excitement for the event in real-time, and created contests across platforms like Pinterest and Twitter.

The massive effort led to several related hashtags trending worldwide on Twitter during the show and for hours afterward. Memes were going viral within minutes of clips airing during the show. Fan reactions took over timelines across the world.

Read more as captured by TV by the Numbers.

Why It’s Hot | With a fan base as gigantic as that of the WWE, WWE uses carefully planned integration in order to engage all fans without alienating any. For every large-scale event they have, WWE takes advantage of all available media and crafts content strategies that work best for each specific platform. Brands cannot expect consumers to change their behavior in order to interact with the brand. Campaigns that encompass a variety of channels catered to specific consumer groups are quickly becoming essential to success in marketing and consumer engagement.

Dish-Disney Shake Up The Cable TV Status Quo

Score equal victories for the mouse and the kangaroo.  In a move with profound implications for how we watch our favorite shows and other content, Dish Network and Disney announced this week an agreement allowing Dish to stream Disney content over the Internet, without a video subscription, similar to Netflix. The deal includes ESPN, ABC Family and Disney Channel.  Importantly, Dish agreed to disable its DVR auto-hop feature for the first three days of showing new content.  This means that Dish’s viewers will see ads provided by Disney, which will protect the network’s advertiser revenue.

Why It’s Hot

The cable TV viewing experience is migrating toward Internet TV, where bundled subscriptions don’t exist, individual networks provide their own streaming content over the web, and content is available on all your mobile devices, from smartphones to tablets. Netflix and agreements such as Dish/Disney are forcing traditional content providers, such as Cablevision, to rethink their basic strategies as the shift toward Internet -provided content promises to transform an entire industry.

Disney reveals Apple-powered digital movie service

The Walt Disney Studios has launched its much-anticipated cloud-based service that lets users purchase Disney, Marvel and Pixar movies for streaming on TVs, desktops and mobile devices. The Disney Movies Anywhere service, which is free, is closely integrated with Apple’s iTunes and is initially available only on iOS mobile devices.


Read more @ The New York Times.

Why It’s Hot

Two years ago the company declined to participate in a digital movie storage and management system called UltraViolet, even though every other major film studio signed on. At the time, Disney was worried that families were not yet ready to embrace cloud storage technology. Also, UltraViolet developed partnerships with major digital movie retailers like Best Buy and Walmart, but lacked a direct tie to iTunes, which controls roughly 60 percent of digital movie purchases.

Today, digital movie libraries are becoming the modern-day equivalent of rec room shelves lined with DVDs. Disney Movies Anywhere aims to make collecting Disney films easier: buy a Disney, Marvel or Pixar movie once and watch it on any web-ready TV, mobile device or computer. Link your Apple iTunes accounts with the Disney Movies Anywhere website and app.