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Fullscreen’s Rooster Teeth Hires Trio of Content Execs for Subscription VOD Push

Variety reports “Rooster Teeth, the fantasty/sci-fi media and entertainment division of Fullscreen, announced three additions to its leadership team: Luis Medina as senior VP of partnerships, Evan Bregman as director of programming and Ryan P. Hall as head of development.

The hires come as the Austin, Texas-based company has high hopes for its newly rebranded subscription VOD service First, priced at $5 per month. Rooster Teeth has expanded the programming mix to reach a more mainstream audience, and also is doubling down on hardcore fans with “First Double Gold,” a $34.99 monthly package with added benefits like VIP access to events and a monthly merch mailing.”

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Nintendo Shares Plunge 16 Percent After Pokemon Go Warning

The Hollywood Reporter reports “Nintendo shares took a steep dive Monday after the company warned that the global Pokemon Go phenomenon would not translate into an immediate jump in profits.

The stock plunged about 16 percent to 23,720 yen in early trading, wiping out $6.3 billion in market value. The adjustment comes after the Japanese gaming giant’s market cap more than doubled following the game’s release earlier this month. Following Monday’s decline, Nintendo shares are still up about 60 percent compared to their price prior to Pokemon Go’s July 6 launch in the United States, Australia and New Zealand.”

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Takeover Deal for Chinese Streaming Giant iQIYI Collapses

Variety reports “A proposal to buy Chinese online streaming giant iQIYI from China’s search engine leader Baidu has collapsed under the weight of shareholder pressure.

A non-binding proposal was put to Baidu in February by Baidu chairman Robin Li and iQIYI founder Gong Yu to buy the streaming unit.

Baidu said in a filing on Monday that it had not been able to reach an agreement on the structure of the possible deal nor on the price. Li and Gong offered $2.8 billion for iQIYI. The deal was being examined by a specially established committee within Baidu, with financial advice from JP Morgan.”

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Twitter will stream baseball and hockey games, adds to its live event play

Mashable reports “Twitter will soon start streaming professional baseball and ice hockey games, signing a deal to show one game per week on its platform.

The deal adds to Twitter’s earlier moves to bring NFL football games to its users, having already streamed video from the Wimbledon tennis tournament and the Republican National Convention. Twitter will also be streaming this week’s Democratic National Convention.

Twitter’s future as a standalone company has been the subject of plenty of speculation, with critics arguing that the company has done little in recent years to bolster or improve its service.”

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AMC Theatres to Acquire Carmike in Sweetened $1.2 Billion Deal

The Hollywood Reporter reports “Carmike Cinemas said Monday that it has entered into an amended and restated agreement to be acquired by AMC Theatres for $1.2 billion in cash and stock and including debt.

The companies had previously agreed to a $1.1 billion deal, or $30 per share, that drew opposition from some shareholders. The new deal is worth $33.06 per share, or 10.2 percent more.”

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Vevo Close to Striking Deal with Warner Music

Variety reports “Vevo is close to striking a deal with Warner Music, according to a New York Post report. The deal would allow Vevo to carry music from all three major labels, and could be an important step towards a paid subscription service.

Vevo has been distributing music from Sony and Universal, which both hold a significant stake in the company, since its launch in 2009. Warner was the odd one out, and instead struck its own deals to distribute its music on YouTube as well as through MTV.”

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Redbox Parent To Be Taken Private For $1.6 Billion

Forbes reports “Your local Redbox will soon be under new ownership. On Monday, Redbox and Coinstar parent company Outerwall said it has agreed to be acquired by funds managed by affiliates of private equity giant Apollo Global Management for $1.6 billion including debt.

Apollo’s funds will pay $52 per share in cash, which represents an 11% premium over Friday’s closing price and a 51% premium from March, when the company indicated that a potential sale could be in the works. Shares of Outerwall, which were initially halted for the news, rose 11% to $52.10 in pre-market trading.”

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Twitter tries to explain itself – again! – via a new marketing campaign aimed at attracting users

TechCrunch reports “Do you have to tweet to use Twitter? Is Twitter a social network? Many people still think so because the company has failed to properly position itself – and its broader use cases – to the general public throughout the years. And one could argue that it has also failed to provide essential tools for those who want to passively participate on Twitter, instead of actively tweet.

This morning, the company announced new plans to address the confusion. It’s kicking off a new marketing campaign that aims to get the word out about what Twitter really is: a source for news, entertainment and politics – from ‘big events to everyday interests.'”

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Verizon buys Yahoo for $4.83 billion

TechCrunch reports “After a months-long bidding process and many layoffs, Yahoo has finally found a buyer. Verizon (which owns AOL, which owns TechCrunch) is officially acquiring Yahoo’s core business for $4.83 billion in cash, which includes Yahoo’s advertising, content, search and mobile activities.

“Just over a year ago we acquired AOL to enhance our strategy of providing a cross-screen connection for consumers, creators and advertisers,” Verizon Chairman and CEO Lowell McAdam said in the release. “The acquisition of Yahoo will put Verizon in a highly competitive position as a top global mobile media company, and help accelerate our revenue stream in digital advertising.”

Yahoo’s stakes in Alibaba and Yahoo Japan aren’t part of the acquisition. These stakes are worth tens of billions of dollars alone. As of Friday July 22nd, Yahoo’s 15 percent stake of Alibaba represented $31.2 billion, and its 34 percent of Yahoo Japan was worth $8.3 billion. Yahoo’s patent portfolio, which is worth around $1 billion, isn’t part of the sale either. Yahoo’s Sunnyvale headquarters are part of the acquisition, a source told TechCrunch.”

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Alibaba Pictures Launching $300 Million Investment Fund

Deadline reports “Only days after issuing a warning that it’s losses for the year would exceed expectations, Alibaba Pictures has launched a $300 million investment fund aimed at the entertainment business. The film unit of Jack Ma’s online giant, Alibaba Pictures is teaming with Wuhu Gopher Asset Management for the fund, which will be called the Hainan Alibaba Pictures Entertainment Industry Investment Fund.

The fund was announced Monday and aims to make investments in ‘companies along the value chain of the movie and television entertainment industry, creating synergies with Alibaba Pictures’ own capital and contributing to the creation of an integrated platform for the entertainment industry value chain.'”

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NBCUniversal Enlists David Gibbons to Help Drive Digital Growth

Variety reports “David Gibbons has been hired as senior VP international operations and technology at NBCUniversal Intl., where he “will play an integral role in accelerating [its] digital growth agenda,” the company said Friday.

“He will focus on driving technological and operational excellence and building opportunities for further innovation and collaboration across NBCUniversal’s international divisions,” the company added.”

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Microsoft rolls the dice in a huge Xbox gamble

GamesIndustry reports “Microsoft’s latest quarterly results paint a picture of the Xbox’ status that’s not exactly rosy, but certainly not unexpected. Gaming revenue is down by 9%, with small but reasonable rises in software and services revenue being offset by a one-third collapse in hardware revenue. In the absence of decent hardware sales figures, which Microsoft has declined to release for some years, we can only guess at what exactly that means in unit terms, but it’s likely that this past quarter has been one of the toughest for Xbox One hardware since the system launched.”