that's entertainment

Amazon Prime'd to Vanquish Netflix

Posted by Sheila Shayon on September 3, 2012 09:47 AM

As the grandfather of streaming video, Netflix has suffered the slings and arrows of being out front, exacerbated by hubris and internal missteps.

The video rental company's announcement of separate fees for DVD and streaming services a year ago was a disaster, one that was exacerbated by CEO Reed Hastings’ foot-in-mouth comment regarding subscriber outrage, "It's something we'll monitor, but Americans are somewhat self-absorbed."

“Despite shrinking margins, a weakening balance sheet and increased competition, the stock was bullet-proof. Netflix was the great Achilles that vanquished Blockbuster Video with a little assistance from Coinstar's Redbox. But like Achilles, Netflix was not invulnerable,” notes Seeking Alpha.

Enter Amazon and its move to free video streaming with Amazon Prime in February 2011, membership priced at $79/year, including free Super Saver Shipping, free book rentals via Kindle and the add-on to rent or buy digital movies and TV shows for an additional fee providing newer content overall than on Netflix.Continue reading...

that's entertainment

Hertz Woos Customers With Free Music Downloads

Posted by Sheila Shayon on August 8, 2012 10:21 AM

Forget free GPS — Hertz is sweetening car rental deals by offering Gold Plus Rewards members free music downloads with every rental.

The brand's new Hertz Music Store, the digital dashboard for its Hertz's Movin' with Music program, lets renters acquire music from thousands of artists and in the kick-off the initiative, any Gold Plus Rewards member who rents a car through August 31, 2012 gets three free song downloads per rental.

"For Hertz customers, the connection between the open road and great music runs deep," stated Hertz Chairman and CEO Mark Frissora. "With the Hertz Music Store, loyal Hertz customers will have a new way to download, for free, the music they love, making their travel experiences even more enjoyable."Continue reading...

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Sir Richard Branson Ready to Return to His Roots as a Music Maven

Posted by Mark J. Miller on July 18, 2012 11:20 AM

The record company that made Sir Richard Branson the man that he is today may be back on the block soon and the billionaire who parlayed Virgin Records into a global house of brands is saying that he wouldn’t mind putting the business he sold back into his own back pocket.

Universal Music Group is attempting to purchase EMI but it may be forced to ditch Virgin the process by regulators, according to the Guardian (UMG is reportedly ready to offer concessions to get the deal done). Branson, meanwhile, has spoken with French entrepreneur Patrick Zelnik, a former Virgin exec, about buying Virgin together. Branson let it be known that he is ready to join the bid for Virgin Records if it is sold by Universal Music Group as a condition of the major label's £1.2 billion acquisition of EMI Music.

”Richard Branson and Virgin have been assessing how to get back into recorded music business for many years," said a spokesman for Virgin Group, according to the Guardian. "The potential disposal of Virgin Records by Universal Music offers a wonderful opportunity to recreate a dynamic independent label in the market."Continue reading...

that's entertainment

Vampires, Zombies and Hobbits, Oh My! Comic-Con 2012 Gets Rolling

Posted by Sheila Shayon on July 12, 2012 02:05 PM

The annual San Diego Comic-Con (SDCC) kicks off today, and as ever, it's a massive promotional platform for brands.

Founded as the "Golden State Comic Book Convention" in 1970 by a group of San Diegan comic book fans, the annual fanfest has evolved to include video games, toys and other forms of genre entertainment. That's why Hollywood beats a path south to the show every year — to generate buzz among the estimated 250,000 comic book, sci-fi, fantasy, anime, and video game fans hitting town for the four day pop-culture fix.

One of the biggest movies being touted this year: The Twilight Saga: Breaking Dawn - Part 2, which marks the cast's last appearance as Kristen Stewart, Robert Pattinson and Taylor Lautner hyping the Nov. 16th final bow with a 1pm ET (above) panel. Also red-hot: Iron Man 3, with Robert Downey Jr. and co-stars on hand to promote the movie scheduled for May 3rd of next year.Continue reading...

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Hologram Virtual Performances Put Dead Celebs on the Comeback Trail

Posted by Mark J. Miller on June 19, 2012 11:03 AM

Has your favorite musician died? Stick around long enough and he or she will surely make an appearance again via hologram. At the rate things are going, and for the right "appearance" fee of course, you may eventually invite your own hologram Rock ‘n’ Roll Hall of Famer to perform at your wedding or other private event.

The "virtual performance" business kicked off in April when Dr. Dre debuted a hologram of Tupac Shakur on-stage at Coachella. As Entertainment Weekly notes, that was followed by plans to resurrect Lisa “Left Eye” Lopes for live shows and the re-creation of Elvis for a concert series.

It also got the Jackson family talking about whether they should bring Michael back on the road — after all, he's already on the comeback trail with Pepsi this summer as part of its (ironically) "Live For Now" marketing campaign.Continue reading...

that's entertainment

YouTube's Original Programming Getting LoUD and HUNGRY

Posted by Sheila Shayon on May 18, 2012 02:25 PM

Remember YouTube's promise to deliver more than 100 original channels of exclusive programming with brands and celebrity partners in 2012? In the wake of its recent pitch to advertisers, the Google-owned video giant is making good on that promise.

Two of those exclusive channels, launching July 2nd, are being produced by Electus. That's the multimedia branded entertainment studio founded by Ben Silverman, former head of programming for NBC, with the backing of Barry Diller's IAC.Continue reading...

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Lucasfilm Trademarks 'Star Wars 1313' as Fan Guessing Game Begins

Posted by Mark J. Miller on May 9, 2012 11:52 AM

“Star Wars” Day was last week. (“May the fourth be with you” and all that). But diehard fans of the films are obviously ready to celebrate it at anytime and anywhere. So there was a jolt of excitement when word came out that the owner of the franchise, LucasFilm, had filed for a new trademark, “Star Wars 1313,” according to

The filing suggests that LucasFilm will be using the new trademark for a new Star Wars game, though others had originally thought it might be a television show.

The trademark would be used for “interactive entertainment software and accompanying instruction manuals sold as a unit, namely, computer game software and manuals sold as a unit, video game software and manuals sold as a unit; video game software, computer game software, and pre-recorded compact discs and DVDs featuring games, films, animation, music, computer game software, and video game software; downloadable video game software and downloadable computer game software; computer game software for use on mobile and cellular phones.”Continue reading...

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Watch Disney Pixar's "Brave" NFL Draft Promo [VIDEO]

Posted by Shirley Brady on April 26, 2012 05:57 PM

Add another brand to the roster suiting up for the NFL Draft tonight: Disney Pixar, which released this promo for its upcoming animated feature, Brave, with appropriate tongue-in-cheek references. The movie is scheduled for release on June 22.

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