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The entertainment industry already has big plans for self-driving cars

Charmaine Blake

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Just think about how relaxing your commute would be in a world of self-driving cars. You hop into your vehicle, tell the computer your destination, and settle in for a peaceful ride to work. Perhaps you can even take a nap, right?

Not if the entertainment industry has anything to say about it. You’re a captive audience the whole journey, so what better time to bombard you with even more “immersive entertainment experiences”? Companies have seen the future, and they’re already making plans to monetize it.

Intel and Warner Bros. recently announced a partnership to do just that. Referring to the autonomous vehicle (AV) as a new type of “consumer space,” Intel’s CEO writes that “the rise of the AV industry will create one of the greatest expansions of consumer time available for entertainment we’ve seen in a long time.”

With the average American spending more than 300 hours per year behind the wheel, entertainment execs hope that time can now be spent consuming content rather than driving. The Hollywood Reporter notes that some analysts predict that in-car streaming entertainment could result in as much as $200 billion per year in extra revenue. “Can the windshield be the movie screen of tomorrow?” asked Ted Schilowitz of Paramount Pictures.

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Read more: http://www.foxnews.com/tech/2017/12/04/entertainment-industry-already-has-big-plans-for-self-driving-cars.html

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Apple partners with A24, the studio behind Moonlight and Hereditary

Charmaine Blake

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“Apple has signed a multi-year agreement with A24, which will see the film studio producing multiple movies for Apple.

Not much else is known about the deal yet — not the number of films, their genres or the talent involved. Still, the deal suggests that Apple is going to be investing seriously in original films, along with TV shows.

Over the past year or so, Apple’s been releasing a steady drumbeat of content announcements, for shows like an adaptation of Isaac Asimov’s “Foundation” novels, a drama set in the world of morning TV starring Jennifer Aniston and Reese Witherspoon and a series from “La La Land” director Damien Chazelle. What’s less clear is how Apple plans to distribute theses shows and movies, though there have been reports that it will give the content away for free to people who own iOS and tvOS devices.

A24, meanwhile, is a relatively new studio launched in 2012. It’s quickly established itself as a home for critically acclaimed films like “Moonlight” (winner of the Oscar for Best Picture) and “Lady Bird.” It’s also released some of the best science fiction and horror movies of the past few years, including “Ex Machina,” “The Lobster” and “Hereditary” (which gave me nightmares for a solid week).

The studio’s films have had a significant presence on streaming, thanks to an early, exclusive deal with Amazon Prime, but A24 has also had success in theaters — particularly noteworthy at a time when ambitious, original films seem increasingly likely to premiere on services like Netflix. In fact, Variety notes that this year has been A24’s most financially successful yet, thanks in large part to ‘Hereditary.'”

Read more: https://techcrunch.com/2018/11/15/apple-a24/

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Roku expands its free streaming channel with entertainment and live sports

Charmaine Blake

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“Roku’s ad-supported free streaming channel is expanding. No, not to more platforms — it already did that. But rather, it’s expanding its content lineup. While before the channel offered free-to-stream movies and news, it will now feature live and linear sports and entertainment content, the company says.

As of earlier this year, The Roku Channel added live news from ABC News, Cheddar, Newsmax, Newsy, People TV, Yahoo and, most recently, The Young Turks, from the TYT Network.

It will now add entertainment content from partners including TMZ, AFV, FailArmy, People Are Awesome, Pet Collective and more. As with the channel’s other offerings, none of these streams will require a subscription.

Meanwhile, the channel will also begin to stream live sporting events from the Adventure Sports Network, COMBT GO, EDGEsport, Stadium and Wham Network, among others.

The additions come on the heels of Roku’s Q3 earnings, which saw the company beat Wall Street expectations on hardware, but saw platform revenue falling short — causing the stock to drop.

The company has been trying to move beyond being only a hardware device maker selling TVs and streaming players, to grow its platform business and advertising revenues. A key part of that strategy is The Roku Channel, which opens up Roku’s platform to a wider audience, and allows the company to sell ads against content.

The plan may work in the long run, but it’s taking time to ramp up, it seems.

However, Roku did report a growing user base with 23.8 million active users, streaming 6.2 billion hours in the quarter. That was ahead of expectations of 23.1 million users and 5.8 billion hours.”

Read more: https://techcrunch.com/2018/11/08/roku-expands-its-free-streaming-channel-with-entertainment-and-live-sports/

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Disney to invest in more original content for Hulu & expand service internationally

Charmaine Blake

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“In addition to plans to launch its own Netflix rival, Disney+, next year, the company says it also plans to increase investment in its other streaming service, Hulu. Thanks to its buyout of 21st Century Fox, Disney now own 60 percent of the TV streaming service, which it gives it “considerable say” in how Hulu is run, noted Disney chairman-CEO Bob Iger on this week’s earnings call with investors. He said the plan now is to invest in more original content for Hulu and expand the service internationally.

Disney would also be open to acquiring more of a stake in Hulu, the CEO later said.

Disney sees the value in both Hulu’s IP and talent, particularly on the television and movies side, Iger told investors. And it plans to use the television production capabilities of the now-combined company to “fuel Hulu with a lot more original programming,” he added. This, Disney believes, will help make Hulu more competitive in the marketplace…………………………………..”

Read more: https://techcrunch.com/2018/11/09/disney-to-invest-in-more-original-content-for-hulu-expand-service-internationally/

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