Posts Tagged ‘amazon’

Fullscreen Finally Admits It’s Launching a Subscription Service

September 16, 2015  |  Media Week  |  No Comments

Following months of rumors, Fullscreen has let the cat of the bag—it's launching its own subscription service. Though Fullscreen had been working on the service, simply called Fullscreen, for months, this is the first time the multichannel network has publicly talked about it. In a blog post announcing the service, CEO George Strompolos said the goal was to "bridge the gap between social media and television for youth audiences." Fullscreen did not provide much detail about the upcoming service and made no mention of price or a potential launch date—though it likely won't happen until next year. The company did not say if the paid service will include ads, but it is expected that branded content will be a part of the platform. (The company recently acquired McBeard , a social media content studio that supports major brands across platforms.) Fullscreen did say the subscription product would feature series exclusive to the platform—including Grace Helbig and Hannah Hart's upcoming reboot of Sid and Marty Krofft's Electra Woman and Dyna Girl—and would also look to develop other formats like podcasts and editorial content. Fullscreen will also house documentaries The Outfield and #O2LForever and the upcoming Paul Scheer-Jonathan Stern teen parody series. The announcement comes at a time when content creators, especially multichannel networks, are looking for greater ownership and control of their content

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Is Hulu Ready to Take on Netflix and Amazon?

April 27, 2015  |  Media Week  |  No Comments

When Hulu launched in 2008, the ad-supported streaming service wasn't a big priority for owners Fox, Disney and NBC. "It was like, if the ship is going to blow, at least we have an escape pod, but we don't want to equip this escape pod so well that everyone would prefer it to being on the ship with us," Forrester analyst James McQuivey put it. While Hulu attracts 30 million monthly uniques and 6 million consumers signed on for subscription service Hulu Plus, the company has been surpassed in buzz, breakout content and critical acclaim by competitors including Netflix, Amazon and HBO Go/HBO Now. "Suddenly for Hulu," said McQuivey, "it's either put up or shut up time." As Hulu prepares for its April 29 NewFronts presentation, it is squarely in the "put up" column, celebrating major coups in terms of both original series (including 11/22/63, a limited series from J.J. Abrams and Stephen King) and acquisitions (exclusive SVOD rights to all 18 seasons of South Park). "We have a mandate to swing for the fences," said Craig Erwich, svp, head of content for Hulu. "There has definitely been a mandate to get in business with the best talent that's available, support them creatively and financially, and be ambitious in terms of talent and creative vision." To that end, Hulu has spent much of the past six months making one major content announcement after another. The biggest by far was 11/22/63, based on King's best-selling novel from 2011 about an English teacher (James Franco) who finds a time portal and tries to prevent President John F. Kennedy's assassination. There's also Difficult People, a sitcom executive produced by Amy Poehler and starring Billy Eichner; Casual, a comedy exec produced by Jason Reitman; and The Way, a drama exec produced by Friday Night Lights and Parenthood showrunner Jason Katims. "On the acquisition side, we are acquiring the best of the best," said Erwich, referencing "landmark" SVOD deals for South Park, several present and future FX series (including Fargo and The Strain) and Empire, this season's biggest new series. "So anything we do on the originals side has to measure up." In the process, Hulu hopes to finally land the signature series that has long eluded it. "These new shows stand to really crystallize the Hulu brand in the hearts and minds of not only viewers but also advertisers, in a way that Mad Men may have crystallized AMC or what House of Cards did for Netflix," said Peter Naylor, svp, advertising sales at Hulu. "So I couldn't be given a better slate of programming to bring to market, especially in a crowded upfront/NewFronts season where everyone's trying to turn people's heads." Hulu knows it needs more than marquee names to keep pace with Netflix and Amazon. "Deservedly so, J.J. Abrams and Amy Poehler get you sampled and noticed," said Erwich. "But the shows have to stand on their own." Of course, when you take big swings, there's the potential for big misses. "Hulu has to be committed to a good couple of big swings in a row," said McQuivey. "And if all of them miss, then you fall back on a distribution strategy." Not gonna happen, insists Hulu, which just pulled off yet another huge deal last Thursday with Turner, acquiring exclusive SVOD rights to a variety of TNT, TBS, Adult Swim and Cartoon Network series, including The Last Ship, Aqua Teen Hunger Force and Robot Chicken. "We have a lot of momentum," said Erwich, "and we plan on continuing to capitalize on it."

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Distributor Icon, FrightFest Seal Blood Pact in U.K.

April 14, 2015  |  Variety  |  No Comments

LONDON — U.K. distribution house Icon Film Distribution and FrightFest, the U.K.’s top horror film festival, have entered into an exclusive partnership that will see IFD releasing FrightFest curated films under the banner “FrightFest Presents.” The films will be made available in the U.K. and Ireland via IFD’s digital partners, including Sky, iTunes, Amazon, Blinkbox,... Read more

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Amazon’s Twitch Warns Users of Possible Hack Attack

March 24, 2015  |  Variety  |  No Comments

Twitch, the live-streaming game service Amazon acquired last year for about $1 billion, said some user accounts may have been hacked. “We are writing to let you know that there may have been unauthorized access to some Twitch user account information,” Twitch said in a post on its official blog. The company did not disclose... Read more

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How Are TV Networks Just Like Kimmy Schmidt?

March 24, 2015  |  Media Week  |  No Comments

The television networks are kind of like the main character in Tina Fey's new sitcom

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Bradley Cooper, Jennifer Lawrence’s ‘Serena’ Streaming on Google Play, iTunes, Amazon

March 7, 2015  |  Variety  |  No Comments

In the latest twist in “Serena’s” nontraditional distribution plan, the drama, starring Jennifer Lawrence and Bradley Cooper, is available to rent on Google Play, iTunes and Amazon Instant Video three weeks before its theatrical release. The movie costs $10.99 for HD and $9.99 for SD on Google Play, while iTunes and Amazon Instant Video are... Read more

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Amazon Inks Deal for U.K. Comedy Series ‘Catastrophe’ from Rob Delaney and Sharon Horgan

January 29, 2015  |  Variety  |  No Comments

Amazon Studios announced a licensing deal for Transatlantic comedy series “Catastrophe” — penned by and starring comedian and author Rob Delaney and actress Sharon Horgan — which will be available exclusively on Prime Instant Video. The first season of the six-episode half-hour comedy is airing on the U.K.’s Channel 4 and has been renewed for... Read more

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Today Only, Amazon Is Discounting Prime to $72 and Streaming Transparent for Free

January 24, 2015  |  Media Week  |  No Comments

Apparently on a charm offensive after winning two Golden Globes for its witty dramedy Transparent, Amazon is streaming the show for free today and offering a discount for new converts to its Prime service. Prime, a subscription bundle that includes video streaming, a music service, free delivery and other assorted benefits, is $72 for a year's subscription today. That's down from the usual rate of $99, for a savings of $27. (Already a subscriber? Kinja Deals recommends gifting yourself a subscription today and canceling auto-renew on your current Prime subscription. That'll reportedly activate the discounted subscription as soon as your current one ends.) Today's special rate comes out to $6 a month, beating out every competitor in the streaming video space. And it says one thing pretty clearly to the market: Amazon desperately wants to beef up its subscriber base. The tech giant is due Thursday for the corporate equivalent of a physical: its quarterly earnings report. That means a lot of transparency before Amazon's investors, to whom Amazon is basically under oath. And since you can't give too many "I'm not going to answer" answers before your share price drops, Amazon's leadership has to show return on investment. Luckily, they're in a good position to do that. Amazon spent $100 million on streaming content in a single quarter last year—some of that is undoubtedly acquisitions, some of it is probably marketing, but it's certainly a ton of money for a business that notoriously operates with extremely slim margins and spends its R&D money, um, fearlessly . But Prime has so many angles by which the company can win.

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‘Welcome to Fairfax,’ ‘Bosch’ Most Active Shoots in L.A. in 2014

January 13, 2015  |  Variety  |  No Comments

Pivot’s 10-episode documentary series “Welcome to Fairfax” was the most active production shoot in 2014 in Los Angeles, followed by Amazon’s police procedural “Bosch.” A Variety analysis prepared with assistance from permitting agency FilmL.A. showed that “Welcome to Fairfax” generated 514 permitted production days last year, followed by 379 for “Bosch.” The final season of... Read more

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Five Shows Premiering This Winter That You Need to See

January 8, 2015  |  Media Week  |  No Comments

Another new year, another bumper crop of slots on your DVR waiting to be filled with shows that haven't been canceled or started to smell funny after a few episodes. But where to look? We figured we'd look everywhere, so below, please check out our best bets for the first part of 2015 (yes, we cheated slightly—that new Amazon show premiered last month, but it's on demand and it's really good). Of course, you'd be unwise to count out broadcast entirely—there's a new cop show from no less than Vince Gilligan, and we liked the pilot a lot. And iZombie (which, oddly, still doesn't have a premiere date) is one of the best shows we've seen all season.

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