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tech in the spotlight

CES 2013 Watch: It's a Web, Web, Web, Web TV World

Posted by Barry Silverstein on January 8, 2013 11:16 AM

The annual International Consumer Electronics Show (CES) that's now underway in Las Vegas is not only the world's biggest trade show, but a snapshot of how the fast-moving world of technology innovation is impacting sectors. Witness automotive, such as Ford's just-announced mobile partnerships to enhance the brand's in-car connectivity platform as part of a bigger CES push by car manufacturers this year.

CES is also a soapbox for competitors to one-up one another as they spit out product announcements and flaunt new alliances. This year, the rivalry is particularly fierce in the web TV/digital streaming arena.

"As new Internet TV players look to invade the living room, some cable and satellite operators are stepping up their embrace of Web technology to jazz up aging interfaces and head off subscriber defections, the Wall Street Journal reports from the show.

CES attendees include DirecTV and Dish Network on the satellite side, Verizon (FiOS) and AT&T (U-verse) touting Telco TV, and U.S. multi-system operators including Comcast, Time Warner Cable and Cox Communications are at CES to recast themselves as web TV purveyors and shake off the dreaded "cable operator" moniker. No wonder the U.S. National Cable & Telecommunications Association is reportedly considering dropping "cable" and rebranding to the U.S. Internet and Television Association (but, oddly, keeping the NCTA acronym).

AT&T's U-verse platform is introducing "Screen Pack," a $5 per month addition to existing subscriptions which enables customers to stream some 1,500 on-demand movies. AT&T plans to add more content in the future in an effort to thwart the flood of video streaming competitors in the space.Continue reading...


Hey Kids! Verizon is Putting Santa on Video Chat (And Motorola, Too)

Posted by Shirley Brady on December 4, 2012 11:37 AM

Forget emailing your list to Santa this season. Verizon's FiOS broadband service is sponsoring a free video chat service with the jolly old guy himself, along with the chance to win a $200 gift card. See the trailer below, along with an important bulletin from the North Pole (and Motorola).Continue reading...

video killed the _____ star

Verizon and Redbox Partner for Streaming Video and Game Rentals

Posted by Sheila Shayon on February 7, 2012 05:01 PM

Verizon is joining forces with Coinstar, the parent company of 35,400-kiosk movie rental service, Redbox, in a bid to grab a piece of the streaming video market away from Netflix, Hulu and Amazon — not to mention Facebook and YouTube.

The still-to-be-named Verizon/Redbox joint venture — a hybrid video download and streaming service offering rental of DVDs, Blu-ray titles and video games — is scheduled to launch in the third quarter. Verizon takes 65% of the limited liability company and Coinstar, 35%. 

Verizon will handle digital streaming and video downloads on demand, and Redbox will handle physical kiosk-disc distribution. The multi-platform service will leverage Verizon’s suite of video-enabled devices already delivered via FiOs for phones, tablets, smart TVs, PC’s and consoles.Continue reading...

video killed the _____ star

Netflix Easter Egg? Sale Rumors Swirl

Posted by Sheila Shayon on December 13, 2011 04:10 PM

“Netflix will be sold by Easter,” Porter Bibb, managing partner at Mediatech Capital Partners, told Bloomberg News. "I am hearing very serious rumblings from inside Verizon that they are very serious about either Netflix or something similar."

A deal with Verizon would put sorely needed cash in Netflix’s pocket as international expansion is on hold while the company staggers to regain profitability, reeling from a disastrous 2011, which saw a number of mishaps for the video rental/streaming brand.

After hiking subscription rates 60% in July, a customer revolt led to an ill-fated attempt at restructuring their DVD and streaming plans with the planned (then abandoned) launch of Qwikster, which sent nearly one million subscribers into exile; so they un-restructured but still lost close to 800,000 customers.Continue reading...

brand news

In the News: From AT&T to Zynga

Posted by Dale Buss on December 13, 2011 08:55 AM

In the News

AOL reorganizes into four business units.

Apple softens stance to lure mobile ads, as iAds seen as rare failure for Steve Jobs.

AT&T deal with T-Mobile granted a delay by judge.

BBC to make World News available through Comcast.

China Mobile tops Millward Brown ranking of Chinese brands.

Deloitte sees gamification as one of the top tech trends of 2012.

Facebook seen as not needing Wall Street to go public; tests private messages between people and pages.

HP dumps its iPad rival on eBay.

IHOP opens fast-casual IHOP Express.

Ikea sues Irish home retailer for allegedly copying prints.

Intel tells customers they can turn up the heat in server rooms.

Interbrand named branding agency of the year by Marketing magazine.Continue reading...

brand news

Brands to Watch: NBC, Lenovo, Netflix and more

Posted by Shirley Brady on April 25, 2011 06:30 PM

Brands to Watch

Apple hit with inevitable class action lawsuit over location tracking.

Donald Trump's birther fixation impacts personal brand, supposed presidential ambitions.

Enfamil settles mom's lawsuit over nutrient claims.

Facebook updates Groups, adds Send button.

GM minivan thrives in China post-US demise.

Kimberly-Clark and P&G to both raise prices.

Lenovo Honeycomb tablet coming later this year.Continue reading...

video killed the _____ star

Verizon Touts Multiscreen Future of Video

Posted by Shirley Brady on January 27, 2011 03:30 PM

Verizon is starting to put more marketing muscle behind Flex View, its multiscreen video-on-demand system. Introduced in November, it offers FiOS subscribers flexible viewing of programming (starting with movies on demand) on TV, laptops or smartphones.

The US telecom giant plans to expand Flex View to cover other video content — DVD, web, live TV — as FiOS entertainment head Joseph Ambeault explained to Beet.tv, after the jump.Continue reading...

brand news

Brands to Watch: Chevy Volt, Disney, MySpace, and more

Posted by Shirley Brady on November 18, 2010 06:30 PM

Brands to Watch

Airbus wants Rolls-Royce to pay up for engine woes.

Babies "R" Us introduces Lazoo!, a private-label children's lifestyle brand.

Baskin-Robbins aims to revive brand in Australia.

Chevrolet Volt picks up another car of the year award, from Green Car Journal.

China Unicom to launch own smartphone brand.

Disney will produce up to 20 ads to lobby for a Best Picture nod for Toy Story 3.Continue reading...

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