• Weather Channel Launches Four-Screen Program Premiere Tonight
    I decided a long time ago not to second-guess The Weather Channel. And I am not referring to their weather forecasts, where (like everyone) I can quibble here and there. No, I mean their far-sighted view of media. In my earliest days of covering mobile media (we're talking 2004-2005), I recall several conversations with Louis Gump, a pioneer of their mobile unit who is now with CNN. He told me that video had a huge future on mobile. I was skeptical. But TWC was already gearing up with content strategies and ad sales staff aimed at moving clients across screens. …
  • Crackle's Ad-Supported Movies and TV Streaming Comes to Roku Boxes
    Over-the-top boxes are still in their infancy and hold only a small fraction of the video on demand market. But each of the early players is jockeying for position with unique content offerings and experimental models. Arguably, Roku has been among the most interesting collections of niche content providers. The library includes classic and obscure media apps, some of which charge incremental monthly or annual fees to access their Web-based "channels" of content. This week the Sony Crackle app gets updated to bring ad-supported VOD to the platform. Sony also announced that its ad-supported film library would be available via …
  • Olbermann, 'Worst Persons' and James Thurber Are Back on the (Web) Air
    Months after his unceremonious sacking from MSNBC and prior to his return to cable via Current TV, you sort of knew that Keith Olbermann wouldn't be able to shut up for this long. In mid-March the once-pithy-now-strident Olbermann started posting video clips on his own site Foknewschannel.com. While the site logo clearly alludes to K.O.'s nemesis Fox, we are guessing the name of the site also flips the bird to all cable news outlets.
  • RightChange.com Struggles to Find Its Jon Stewart Mojo
    For some reason the left-center in American politics has been better at political mockery than the right for the last couple of generations. Starting with the "guerilla theater" of the counter-culture, the stand-up revival of the 70s, through Saturday Night Live and now to Stewart and Colbert, the send-up of Beltway buffoonery tends to be pretty one-sided. Rightchange.com has been struggling to find a right-leaning comic sensibility to match the good production values of its ongoing video cartoon series.
  • Cue the Patrick Stewart Voiceover: The Sims Machine Marches On
    Those of you with teenage daughters like mine may have trouble getting them out of their rooms this weekend. Electronic Arts released the next major iteration of its monstrously popular simulation game franchise, The Sims Medieval, this week. Prepare to be amazed at the intricacy of the simulated worlds your kids will create, the level of dedication and focus they exhibit to crafting characters and settings in these virtual worlds. Get ready to wonder why they can't show this same determination in their schoolwork.
  • Denny's Web Series Gets Silverman 'Warts' and All
    Apparently conversations about cutting open Sea Captains for warmth and "anal warts" are pretty commonplace around Denny's. Actually, I haven't been in a Denny's for decades, so I can't attest to this. But that is what I infer from the press release the all-night restaurant chain sent across our transom the other day. Touting the branded entertainment Web series "Always Open," they say that the interview with Sarah Silverman "captures just some of the type of dialogue customers can expect to hear all the time at Denny's."
  • Adobe Pass Wants to Turn On TV Everywhere
    Just in time for the mounting controversy over TV properties landing on every imaginable screen on every imaginable device, Adobe steps in to claim that it can manage the madness for the value chain. This morning the company announced an Adobe Pass product that will authenticate pay TV subscribers across screens so that only the right customers get access to the content. Adobe is positioning this as a solution to quell anxieties and rights worries among TV cable/satellite providers and the individual content makers. The many worries and conflicts of business interest of TV everywhere models surfaced last week soon …
  • Finding Meaning in the March Madness: Buick's Human Highlight Reel
    I admit to being clueless when it comes to sports, and even more ignorant of basketball. Not that I have tried to understand what a damned "bracket" is, mind you, but I am pretty sure there is something fundamental about it I am missing. In my house March Madness only means another excuse to delay "60 Minutes" and bump Letterman, the two CBS shows we watch. But it was during one of my stray glances at the CBS coverage that I caught a Buick campaign that was well done, uplifting and brand smart. It is a beautifully shot and composed …
  • Video (Really) Everywhere: Corning's Brilliant Fantasy for the Video Industry
    The digital video industry has its hands full already just trying to monetize the desktop screen, so it may be asking too much to consider how to make a business of a video-enabled bathroom mirror or kitchen countertop. Still, one of the unlikeliest of viral video hits this month offers an enticing vision where pretty much every surface becomes another digital screen. The Corning Glass "A Day Made of Glass" video has more than 9 million views via YouTube already, and it has to be among the most watched industrial flicks of all time. As Mediapost MarketingDaily columnist Aaron Barr …
  • Direct-to-Torrent: Paramount Releasing 'The Tunnel' over BitTorrent
    If you can't beat 'em, feed 'em. After years of complaining, lobbying and lawyering about online piracy of film properties, Hollywood is starting to experiment with alternative tactics. In a novel move, Paramount Pictures will distribute the faux-documentary horror flick "The Tunnel" over BitTorrent as they also release it straight to DVD.
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