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digital moves

DreamWorks Teams Up with Fuhu for Kid-Friendly Tablet Debut at CES

Posted by Sheila Shayon on January 3, 2014 06:51 PM

What do you get when you pair Fuhu’s Nabi with DreamWorks? DreamTab, a tablet for kids for under $300, available this spring chock-full of original content. The new tablet, which will feature animated characters from studio hits including Madagascar, How to Train Your Dragon and Kung-fu Panda, will debut at next week's CES 2014 conference in Las Vegas.

Thanks to programming and content from DreamWorks, the 8-inch by 12-inch device will allow kids to stream movies, TV shows and play games with various innovative parental controls and educational tools, according to Fuhu's press release.

The Google Android-powered tablet computer (using the new 4.4 Kit Kat Android based operating system) will be programmed like a cable channel. “We could push out a new character moment every day of the year,” Jim Mainard, the studio's head of digital strategy and new business development, told the New York Times.

“The moments will include stuff like drawing lessons from DreamWorks animators and more, SlashGear notes. “The tablet is also tipped to get tech allowing it to work with DreamWorks toys... and will also have the ability to send instant messages and email.”Continue reading...

digital moves

Flickr Takes a Step Back to Offer Users a More Tangible Photo Experience

Posted by Sheila Shayon on November 20, 2013 02:52 PM

Flickr, a pioneer in photo sharing, is taking a step backwards from its digital-only existence and introducing physical Flickr photo books, which consumers can create on the site. 

Acquired by Yahoo in 2005, the service languished as competition to be the repository of users’ online photos heated up with Facebook, Google+ and Dropbox entering the fray. “Flickr was once awesome,... now we want it to be awesome again," Yahoo CEO Marissa Mayer said after assuming the role last year. 

Earlier this year, Mayer instituted a visual overhaul of the site, and now the addition of photo books will allow Flickr, which reaches 89 million people that have contributed over 8 billion photos, to better compete with multi-faceted platforms like Shutterfly. “We’re working hard to make Flickr great again,” Flickr VP Tom Hughes assured.Continue reading...

digital moves

Brides Serves Up Authentic Experience with Digital Scanner

Posted by Sheila Shayon on November 7, 2013 10:41 AM

A major downside of the Internet is the escalation of selling and buying counterfeit goods, with $250 billion lost annually in the US to sales of faux items, according to Accessories Magazine

The design and fashion industries have been hardest hit, with the bridal industry alone losing hundreds of millions of dollars with close to 600,000 fake wedding gowns bought online each year, the New York Times notes, but one brand, Brides Magazine, hopes to change that. The 79-year-old publication is doing its best to combat slowing print sales by full-on embracing digital, and with that, some industry-saving upgrades to its Wedding Genius app. 

The 'Brides Against Counterfeiting' feature allows users to scan a website of a retailer or manufacturer to view an AuthentiGuard Prism—an embedded code that verifies an authorized retailer. 

"This initiative will also protect our advertisers by pinpointing and reporting counterfeiters who are illegally marketing brand names online," Brides vice president and publisher Michelle Myers told Ad Age.Continue reading...

digital moves

Publishing Head Larry Kirshbaum's Exit from Amazon May Be a Good Sign for Paperbacks

Posted by Sheila Shayon on November 1, 2013 12:43 PM

Amazon has been making headlines a lot lately, mostly for new, exciting ventures like charitable e-commerce site AmazonSmile, new, original programming for Amazon Instant Video and it's futuristic new headquarters. But this week the company hit an uncharacteristic speed bump. 

Larry Kirshbaum, previously the head of Time Warner Book Group and head of Amazon’s New York and Seattle adult and children's publishing imprints, announced his exit from the e-publishing giant—a move that also signifies Amazon's efforts to scale-back its publishing operations, according to a report from Shelf Awareness. Amazon’s publishing performance, at first perceived as a full-scale assault on the industry, has not panned out as planned, despite initially signing top authors like Timothy Ferriss (“The Four-Hour Chef”), Penny Marshall (“My Mother Was Nuts”) and Billy Ray Cyrus (“Hillbilly Heart”).

“There’s a lot of fallout to parse here, but it’s worth noting the beating that even a company like Amazon can suffer when engaging in disruptive entrepreneurship," Slate notes. “In 2012, Barnes & Noble announced it wouldn’t sell books published by Amazon. After that announcement, indie booksellers followed suit.” Even more traditional retailers like Walmart and Target chose to not stock Amazon-published books.Continue reading...

digital moves

Hearst Forms JV with AwesomenessTV to Launch 'Seventeen' Video Channel

Posted by Sheila Shayon on October 16, 2013 01:56 PM

Let’s hear it for the girls. Hearst Corp. is partnering with YouTube channel AwesomenessTV to relaunch its teen girl brand, Seventeen, on the video network.

Hearst announced the JV with Dreamworks Animations' AwesomenessTV to create a network of ‘like-minded user-generated channels’ in addition to Seventeen.

With more 18-34-year-olds watching YouTube than any channel on cable-TV, AwesomenessTV exemplifies the latest crop of companies producing content exclusively for the Google-owned video channel. AwesomenessTV has grown from a single channel to a network of 81,000 teen-focused channels with a loyal audience of 26 million subscribers and was a headliner at this year's Upfront presentation by YouTube.Continue reading...

digital moves

Netflix Reportedly Courting Cable Operators, but Should It Be the Other Way Around?

Posted by Sheila Shayon on October 14, 2013 04:16 PM

If you can't beat 'em, join 'em, right? While Netflix is working on the whole 'beating them' thing, the leading streaming service is reportedly looking to strike deals with Cable TV providers to stream Netflix content on their set-top boxes. 

According to the Wall Street Journal, Netflix is pursuing pay-TV companies including Comcast and Suddenlink Communications to bring its online service to their customer base via an app. 

It would be Netflix’s first deal with a US cable provider following a similar agreement recently forged with UK cable operator Virgin Media and Sweden's Com Hem, allowing their customers to access Netflix through Tivo set-top boxes.Continue reading...

digital moves

GM Extends Shop-Click-Drive Platform to All Dealers in Effort to Goose Online Sales

Posted by Dale Buss on October 7, 2013 01:42 PM

For decades, automakers have been trying to sidestep their dealers and sell directly to the American masses. But dealers' political clout in each state, and legal obstacles, have kept them firmly in the intermediary position—and not even the internet has been able to change that.

Now, General Motors is hoping that an expansion of its web-based application called Shop-Click-Drive to its entire dealer network will further disintermediate dealers to the benefit of making the purchase transaction more attractive to online-favoring American consumers who may like to avoid the new-car showroom altogether.

Set to become available to all of GM's 4,300 dealers, the app would let new-car buyers use their computer screen to lock in the price of a new car, get an estimate of the trade-in value of their old car, apply for financing and even arrange a test drive or delivery of their new vehicle, according to the Wall Street Journal.Continue reading...

digital moves

With Its Books Wide Open, Twitter Looks Like Every Other Major Digital Company Out There

Posted by Dale Buss on October 4, 2013 01:52 PM

Twitter has thrown open its books after making its IPO filing public this week, and what potential investors are finding is pretty much what they expected: a snapshot of another icon of the digital age that is still struggling to make it in conventional financial terms—but which shows so much promise that it'll have no problem raising the up to $1 billion it is seeking from the pubic.

The filing revealed that it is increasing revenue from mobile advertising, as it must, but that Twitter hasn't yet turned a profit and, perhaps surprisingly, that its user growth has been slowing significantly since the end of last year, according to the New York Times.

And so while the most widely anticipated stock sale since Facebook went public last year will surely make many Twitter initial investors and employees very wealthy, it's no sure bet to make anybody else rich.Continue reading...

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