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Survey: Half of American adults admit to binge-watching TV content

Half of US American adults binge-watch their favorite TV shows, watching episodes back-to-back, a new PricewaterhouseCoopers (PwC) survey discovered. The survey also found that 60 percent of Americans watch at least three or more episodes of a TV show once per month or more, with younger generations binge-watching content on a more frequent basis.




"They are binge-viewing just to keep up," said Matt Lieberman, PwC entertainment, media and communications director, in a statement to The Huffington Post. "We heard stories of consumers filling up their DVRs with their favorite series and also starting/stopping online subscription services just to get to their favorite content."


It would make sense that consumers binge-watch TV, as many broadcasters show multiple episodes - or marathons - of popular TV content. Not surprisingly, Netflix has helped video viewers evolve into binge-watchers, unveiling entire seasons of popular TV shows - if not the entire TV series - at once.

HBO reportedly set to launch its standalone online service in April

HBO reportedly will push its standalone video service live in April, just in time for the Game of Thrones season premiere, according to unconfirmed reports. It would be great timing for HBO, as Game of Thrones averages 18.4 million viewers per episode, and could attract users to the service.




HBO has remained silent about the report, but the memo was issued by Mark Thomas, HBO SVP of technology program management, along with Drew Angeloff, HBO SVP of digital products.


HBO and other broadcasters want to embrace streaming video - utilizing standalone Internet-based services - as a way to attract customers interested in cord cutting. There has been some resistance to the effort, especially from cable and satellite providers, but premium subscription companies must adjust based on changing customer demands.

Live video broadcasting to be new 'selfie' by 2017, Gartner predicts

The use of live video broadcasting could potentially transition itself to become the new "selfie" by 2017, according to the Gartner research group. Business workers and home users will transition from traditional static photos to video, and live video will become even more popular. It's not uncommon for workers to use Skype, Microsoft Lync, and other services to conduct video calls and conferences - and that trend should only accelerate further.




"The next generation of consumer services and products has one main theme in common and that is video," said Brian Blau, Gartner research director. "This means incorporating live video or other real-time technologies into products to engage users in live events and enable more personalized communications, providing better customer support, and offering best-of-breed video and TV experiences to connected homes."


Live video technology will become more accessible and will become commonly used on smartphones and tablets to desktop applications used for customer support services.

Psy's 'Gangnam Style' broke the YouTube video view counter

Psy took the world by storm with his "Gangnam Style" music video in 2012, and it remains so popular that it broke the YouTube original view counter. Based on a 32-bit integer, the YouTube original view counter effectively maxed out at 2,147,483,647, and Google has now transitioned to a 64-bit view counter.



The new view counter can track a figure as high as 9 quintillion views, Google noted. "We never thought a video would be watched in numbers greater than a 32-bit integer (=2,147,483,647 views), but that was before we met Psy," a Google blog post reported. "'Gangnam Style' has been viewed so many times we have to upgrade!"


Gangnam Style still has a healthy lead in the top 10 most watched YouTube videos, and surpassed 2,152,512,000 video views as of late Wednesday morning.

Continue reading 'Psy's 'Gangnam Style' broke the YouTube video view counter' (full post)

Report: Americans streaming more online video, watching less TV

Americans are embracing online video, enjoying more freedom in choosing the content they watch, which has hurt TV viewership, according to a new report from Nielsen. The shift to online video is going to pressure cable and satellite TV providers - despite many consumers not necessarily cutting the cord, less viewership will hurt advertising and pressure providers to find ways to evolve.




More consumers have broadband Internet access and can choose from Netflix, Amazon, Hulu, YouTube and other services - as more broadcasters and content providers test online video services - with 45 percent of Americans streaming television shows at least once per month, eMarketer said.


"Content is still king, but consumers are shaping their own content-discovery experience, and the evolving media landscape has not lessened consumer demand for quality, professionally produced content," said Dounia Turrill, Nielsen SVP of insights, in a statement. "What has changed is the number and reliability of new media available to viewers."

Netflix CEO Reed Hastings predicts broadcast TV's death by 2030

Netflix CEO Reed Hastings believes traditional broadcast TV is operating on borrowed time, and it might not last past 2030. It's not necessarily surprising, as Hastings has painted a doom and gloom picture for broadcast TV over the past couple of years, though it appears to be coming true. There are currently more than 34 million Netflix subscribers in the United States, while the service continues to roll out in overseas markets.




"It's kind of like the horse, you know, the horse was good until we had the car," Hastings reportedly said. "The age of broadcast TV will probably last until 2030."


Even if broadcast TV continues to persevere, there is growing interest among premium movie channels and broadcasters - HBO, CBS, and other channels are dabbling in subscription online video services. It wouldn't be surprising to see traditional TV apps becoming apps on connected smart TVs, Blu-ray players, and other entertainment devices.

BitTorrent unveils 'Children of the Machine' original programming

BitTorrent has successfully appealed to musicians willing to share their music using the company's "Bundles" feature, and has stepped up with the announcement of its first original programming. Children of the Machine features human survivors in the year 2031, trying to survive in an android machine-controlled world.



Children of the Machine will launch in late 2015, and will feature an eight-episode mini-series that will be free with advertising. The series will cost $4.95 without advertisements and $9.95 for a special edition version that includes extra features.


"This is a science fiction show catered to the typical tech-savvy, male-dominated audience," said Marco Weber, the show's producer. "We're not trying to launch a romantic comedy, so the concept of this show moved us toward BitTorrent."

Continue reading 'BitTorrent unveils 'Children of the Machine' original programming' (full post)

UK police arrest two men behind 'Expendables 3' piracy

Two men were arrested for their role in pirating the Expendables 3 movie, with officials from the Police Intellectual Property Crime Unit (PIPCU). The US release date for the movie was August 15, but copies of Expendables 3 were found online as early as July 25.




The two suspects, 36 and 33 years of age, reportedly uploaded the high-quality film after stealing it from a cloud-based storage system. Lionsgate Films said there was severe financial impact by the movie being related so early online, saying it cost millions of dollars in potential lost revenue.


"Today's operation shows you the significant impact intellectual property crime has on our creative industries, with millions of pounds being lost as a result of criminal actions," said Detective Chief Inspector Danny Medlycott, Head of PIPCU. "The public need to be aware that piracy is not a victimless crime. By downloading illegal music, film, TV and books, not only are you exposing your own computer to the risk of viruses and malware, but you are also putting hardworking people's livelihoods at risk as piracy threatens the security of thousands of jobs in the UK's creative industries."

ESPN expanding plans for streaming online video service in 2015

ESPN could begin to roll out online streaming video subscriptions for select programs and live sporting events, giving viewers the chance to watch its broadcasting without needing a cable or satellite TV subscription. The effort could begin as early as February, when ESPN will reportedly offer access to the Cricket World Cup, which is held every four years - and while not a major event in the United States, is one of the largest sporting events in the world.




Pricing information and other details about the streaming service remains unknown.


"We think about, are there sports events we could offer where the consumer would pay us directly - not the content on our current linear networks," said John Skipper, ESPN head, earlier this year. "This has to be new [content], and it would create third revenue stream for us. I do want to be clear: we are not looking to linear channels an the content that's on them now. We're going to acquire new content and new kinds of things to do direct-to-consumer."

Computer-based animation being pushed to its limits with 4K

The expansion of 4K content and high frame rate movies present graphically appealing content, but digital animation studios are struggling, a recent industry expert noted. Production schedules could be impacted due to high-resolution images, forcing studios to reconsider how they create films.




"They are both going to present a huge challenge," said Bruno Mahe, Illumination Mac Guff technical head recently told the BBC. Traditional animated films are viewed at 2K resolution with 24 frames per resolution, but 4K boosts the videos up to 4K resolution and 48fps - and it isn't an easy transition.


In addition to slowing down production, studios also need increasingly powerful render farms to produce images and send them to other animation facilities.

Continue reading 'Computer-based animation being pushed to its limits with 4K' (full post)

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