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YouTube quietly added free, ad-supported movies to its site

Charmaine Blake

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“YouTube quietly added around 100 ad-supported Hollywood movies to its site, beginning last month, according to a new report from AdAge. The titles include a mix of classics like “Rocky” and “The Terminator,” as well as other family fare like “Zookeeper,” “Agent Cody Banks,” and “Legally Blonde,” among others.

Before, YouTube had only offered consumers the ability to purchase movies and TV shows, similar to how you can rent or buy content from Apple’s iTunes or Amazon Video.

Currently, YouTube is serving ads on these free movies, but the report said the company is open to working out other deals with advertisers – like sponsorships or exclusive screenings.

YouTube’s advantage in this space, compared with some others, is its sizable user base of 1.9 billion monthly active users and its ability to target ads using data from Google .

The addition of a an ad-supported movies marketplace on YouTube follows Roku’s entry into this market, which began last year with the launch of its free collection of movies, called The Roku Channel.

This year, Roku has been expanding the type of content on that channel to also include things like live news from ABC News, Cheddar, Newsmax, Newsy, People TV, Yahoo and The Young Turks, and – more recently – entertainment and live sports. 

Walmart also offers its own free movies collection through Vudu, and recently teamed up with MGM on original content for the service. Tubi operates a streaming service with free, ad-supported content, too. And Amazon is rumored to be working on something similar.”

Read more: https://techcrunch.com/2018/11/16/youtube-quietly-added-free-ad-supported-movies-to-its-site/

New Movie Tech

Amazons IMDb launches a free streaming service, Freedive

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“Amazon’s IMDb movie website today announced the launch of a free streaming service, called Freedive. The service offers viewers in the U.S. access to an ad-supported collection of TV shows like  Fringe, Heroes, The Bachelor and Without a Trace, as well as Hollywood movies like Awakenings, Foxcatcher, Memento, Monster, Run Lola Run, The Illusionist, The Last Samurai, True Romance, and others.

The content is free to watch without a subscription, and can be viewed on a phone, laptop or a big screen by way of Amazon Fire TV devices.

IMDb was already the home for some video content, including trailers, celebrity interviews and short-form original series such as The IMDb Show, Casting Calls, and No Small Parts. These are now being bundled into Freedive, says the company, and will remain free to watch.

The new service will also feature X-Ray, the IMDb-powered service that offers details about the title’s cast, crew, music, and more.

“Customers already rely on IMDb to discover movies and TV shows and decide what to watch,” said Col Needham, Founder and CEO of IMDb, in a statement about launch. “With the launch of IMDb Freedive, they can now also watch full-length movies and TV shows on IMDb and all Amazon Fire TV devices for free………………………………………………..”

Read more: https://techcrunch.com/2019/01/10/amazons-imdb-launches-a-free-streaming-service-freedive/

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New Movie Tech

Plex plans to offer ad-supported movies and more premium subscriptions

Charmaine Blake

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“Media software maker Plex is preparing to take on The Roku Channel and Amazon Prime Video Channels, possibly as soon as this year. The company is in discussions with rights holders and content providers, with a focus on bringing free, ad-supported movies to the Plex platform – similar to how The Roku Channel got its start. It’s also talking to premium networks and content providers about offering their programming and subscriptions through Plex.

The talks follow the company’s recent partnership with music service TIDAL.

By working with TIDAL to sell bundled subscriptions to its streaming music service along with the Plex Pass subscription, Plex had to build certain transactional capabilities into its platform that it didn’t have before. That has paved the way for Plex to expand its subscription offerings to include new partners in the future.

“Now we have the ability to sell other services and bundles,” noted Plex co-founder and Chief Product Officer, Scott Olechowski, in a discussion this week at the Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas. “We’re bundling a Plex Pass with TIDAL. That took a little bit of backend work,” he continued. “You can imagine a bunch of different premium [content] that comes together in a single or multiple bundles, potentially.”

In Plex, content is organized not by source but by type – like music, movies, TV, etc. So when Plex rolls out premium content and subscriptions, it would show its users what sort of movies they have access to based on their subscriptions within the app’s movies tab. The same goes for TV and so on………………………………………………………..”

Read more: https://techcrunch.com/2019/01/07/plex-plans-to-offer-ad-supported-movies-and-more-premium-subscriptions/

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Jennifer Garner and J.J. Abrams are making a limited series for Apple

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“More than a decade after the end of “Alias,” J.J. Abrams and Jennifer Garner are teaming up on a new limited series for Apple.

The show, titled “My Glory Was I Had Such Friends,” will be based on the Amy Silverstein memoir of the same name, about how Silverstein’s friends supported her as she waited for her second heart transplant.

As reported in Variety and elsewhere, the series will be produced by Abrams’ Bad Robot Productions in association with Warner Bros. Television. Karen Croner will write and executive produce (she previously wrote “The Tribes of Palos Verdes,” which Garner starred in last year), Garner will serve as both star and executive producer and Abrams will also be an executive producer.

“Alias” first aired in 2001 — Abrams created, wrote and directed, while Garner starred as double agent Sydney Bristow. The show helped make Garner a star, while also landing Abrams his first gig as a feature film director, “Mission Impossible III.”

Garner recently returned to television on the HBO series “Camping.” Abrams, meanwhile, has remained involved in TV despite his commitments to Star Wars, but usually just as an executive producer. Earlier this year, Apple was reportedly bidding for “Demimonde,” the first series that Abrams co-created since “Fringe,” but it lost out to HBO.”

Read more: https://techcrunch.com/2018/12/13/jennifer-garner-and-j-j-abrams-are-making-a-limited-series-for-apple/

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