Archive for October, 2011

Production veep leaves Fox

October 29, 2011  |  Variety  |  No Comments

Exec Shuffle: Four production execs remain -- Twentieth Century Fox VP of production Steven Puri will not return to the studio after his contract expires in March.

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‘Category’ purchased by New Line

October 29, 2011  |  Variety  |  No Comments

Film News: Garner to produce hurricane survival story -- New Line has bought John Swetnam's found-footage script "Category Six" and set it up with Todd Garner at his Broken Road banner.

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Coens offer Timberlake a role in ‘Inside’

October 29, 2011  |  Variety  |  No Comments

Film News: Thesp-singer circling folk-music drama -- Just as 20th Century Fox releases his futuristic thriller "In Time," Justin Timberlake is on the verge of landing his biggest movie role yet: He's been offered one of the lead roles in the Coen brothers' folk music pic "Inside Llewyn Davis."

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YouTube and Hollywood Finally Link Up: Here Come the Channels

October 29, 2011  |  All Things Digital  |  No Comments

YouTube and Hollywood, which have been circling each other for years, are finally getting together. But instead of moving movies and TV shows to the world’s biggest Web site, they’re trying something different: Google is handing out more than $100 million to dozens of partners to create new “channels.” The idea is to make “professional” content that advertisers will pay a premium to be near, instead of the grab bag of videos that dominate the site and that often sell at very low prices. This isn’t news, of course: YouTube reps have been holding meetings and auditions for most of the year, led by former Netflix executive Robert Kyncl . And we’ve known about the deal terms , and many of the partners, for some time . But now the site is finally talking about them publicly and promising that it will start unveiling some of the new programming next month. Some of the channels — each of which will have a couple hours of original programming per week — will feature people you’ve heard of, like Madonna, Jay-Z,  Ashton Kutcher and “Modern Family”’s Sofia Vergara. But the channels aren’t all premised around the idea of celebrities and Hollywood per se — just the idea that someone with some idea of how to make good stuff will start making stuff specifically for the site. For instance, BedRocket Properties, the video start-up backed by the Huffington Post’s Ken Lerer and run by cable TV veteran Brian Bedol, will do four channels, including a soccer-themed channel in conjunction with Major League Soccer, and an action sports channel produced along with Wasserman Media Group. Another example: IGN, the videogame Web site being spun off by News Corp. , will produce a game-themed channel along with the Shine Group, the TV production house recently purchased by News Corp. (News Corp. also owns this Web site). It’s worth noting that some of the channels will be run by people who are well-versed in creating Web video — and video for YouTube in particular. Machinima , for instance, which also specializes in game-themed stuff, is already one of YouTube’s most prolific partners, and essentially runs a network within YouTube’s network. Maker Studios, which is producing three channels, is another outfit that already specializes in YouTube . And Demand Media went public this year, in part because it had figured out the art of cranking out Web videos very, very, quickly, at very, very low prices. YouTube may not be releasing all of the channels and partners today, perhaps because it doesn’t actually have all of its deals signed yet. And at least one partner told me that some of the mechanics of the deals, like control of ad sales, had yet to be worked out. That’s hard to imagine, given the amount of time that YouTube has been at this.

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Music for Nothing and the Fans for Free

October 29, 2011  |  All Things Digital  |  No Comments

Consumers won’t pay for recorded music in the future — but fans will pay for music experiences. When the dust finally settles between the artists, labels, and distribution companies, everyone will finally realize fans are more valuable than recorded music. As traditional monetization models for recorded music sales slowly fade away, new monetization methods centered on the fan will emerge. How do we know music will become free? The stats point to this trajectory. Total revenues for CDs, vinyl, cassettes, and digital downloads worldwide dropped 25 percent from $38.6 billion in 1999 to $27.5 billion in 2008, according to the International Federation of the Phonographic Industry (IFPI). The same revenues in the U.S. dropped from a high of $14.6 billion in 1999 to $10.4 billion in 2008. As the stats show, sales of recorded music are headed one way — down. Sure, digital music sales have been on the rise in recent years, but they have only partially replaced physical sales, so the overall sales figures are still headed south. And it surely isn’t because people are listening to less music. It’s simply because the old adage holds true: why pay for something that you can get for free? In addition, artists, the ones with the talent, aren’t making money off digital sales. Artists get about $0.09 per song sold digitally on iTunes or Amazon. So for a million downloaded hits, an artist earns $90K. Subtract manager, lawyer, agent and other “fees”, and an artist selling one million downloads would barely make minimum wage off of the recording. Source: CNN , Forrester Already, there is a deluge of great (and legal!) sites providing free music — including Pandora, YouTube, Spotify, Grooveshark, MOG, Rdio, and other online destinations. This is a big change from the early days of online music, when free meant illegal. Today, music start-ups have caught on to the profit potential in “giving it away.” Companies like Pandora, which generated $67M of revenue in 2011 Q2, and Spotify with over two million paying users, don’t charge for entry-level service.

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‘Boots’ takes Friday B.O.

October 28, 2011  |  Variety  |  No Comments

Film News: Toon on target for weekend take in mid-thirties -- Judging by early Friday grosses, "Puss in Boots" will take the top spot at the weekend box office.

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U.S. Firm Acknowledges Syria Uses Its Gear to Block Web

October 28, 2011  |  All Things Digital  |  No Comments

A U.S. company that makes Internet-blocking gear acknowledges that Syria has been using at least 13 of its devices to censor Web activity there — an admission that comes as the Syrian government cracks down on its citizens and silences their online activities. Blue Coat Systems Inc. of Sunnyvale, Calif., says it shipped the Internet “filtering” devices to Dubai late last year, believing they were destined for a department of the Iraqi government. However, the devices — which can block Web sites or record when people visit them — made their way to Syria, a country subject to strict U.S. trade embargoes. Read the rest of this post on the original site »

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Follow Your Heart (Comic)

October 28, 2011  |  All Things Digital  |  No Comments

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An Instant Classic, Game 6 Draws 21.1 Million

October 28, 2011  |  Media Week  |  No Comments

David Freese’s 11th inning walk-off homer capped an epic World Series game and assured Fox of a seventh and deciding broadcast. Perhaps more importantly, the dinger was witnessed by 25.2 million viewers. According to Nielsen live-plus-same-day ratings data, the wild and woolly Game 6 delivered an average 21.1 million viewers and a 6.5 rating among adults 18-49. Featuring a stunning array of extra-inning firepower, the Cardinals rallied twice to force the first Game 7 since 2002. Game 6 now ranks as the most-watched World Series broadcast since the sixth—and deciding—game of the 2009 Yankees-Phillies tilt (22.3 million).

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Exclusive nabs rights to ‘Outrun’

October 28, 2011  |  Variety  |  No Comments

Film News: Film unit acquires international rights to Shepard's comedy -- Exclusive Media Group has acquired international rights to Dax Shepard's romantic comedy ''Outrun,'' currently in post-production.

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