Amazon Video On Demand: Now Serving

amazon vodIt was rumored in May, tested in a limited beta in July and now it’s here.  Thursday, Amazon officially opened the door to their new on demand video service.  It’s download free, straight through the pipes, streamed on demand; another Internet TV and movie distribution platform in an already crowded marketplace.

The not so creatively named Amazon Video on Demand is an evolution of Amazon’s prior generation Unbox video service.  Unlike Unbox, Amazon Video on Demand requires no software downloads to view the video streams.  Audiences can instantly watch widescreen format, stereo TV and movie content via the browser on their PC or Mac.  They can also watch the programming via their TV if they have the appropriate hardware extensions (or are able to connect a PC to a computer). Click to Read More

Xbox 360 Prices Slashed

xbox price cutsFor the die-hard fanatic with tunnel vision for a new consumer product, price may have little meaning.  The hardcore gamer with a passion for Halo is going to find a way to pay whatever price it takes.  For the average consumer, the mainstream, soccer moms in suburbia, pass-time gen-x gamers, the value proposition is different.  To warrant a purchase, a product needs to be well designed (playable) and well priced.

In an early move apparently designed to gear up for holiday sales, Microsoft aimed for the sweet-spot of that consumer value equation with price cuts for all of their Xbox 360 consoles in the U.S.

Effective tomorrow, September 5th, the entry level “Arcade” edition will drop from $280 o $199.  The 60GB Pro and the 120 GB Elite will each trim $50 off their stickers to $299 and $399 respectively.

Click to Read More

Paramount has Scene It, Buys Gamemaker Screenlife

paramount-gaming3.jpgThere’s a natural affinity between movies and video games, an overlap apparent in the convergence of story lines and visual techniques.  Like many studios, Paramount has seen this and recognizes the potential games bring for ancillary sales and cross media marketing.  In March, the Viacom owned movie studio formed a division within their interactive department to explore funding the development (and publication) of gaming titles.  In July, the studio partnered with Legacy Interactive to build Internet games around their Pretty in Pink, Clueless and Mean Girls films.   Now, Paramount has opened their checkbook to make their first gaming related purchase too.

Paramount has bought Washington based ScreenLife, the makers of a popular DVD trivia game called “Scene It.”  Click to Read More

Internet First, TV Second: NBC Gives Hulu Advance Screenings

hulu smallTV Guide called Seinfeld the best TV show of all time in 2002.  Debatable as that claim may be, the show did unequivocally define part of the 90s TV landscape and leave a lasting impression with audiences.  But as the story goes, “Seinfeld” almost died in its first year on the air.  TV is a cutthroat business and there’s tremendous pressure for new, or fledgling, shows to build audience and draw advertising dollars fast.  No studio or network wants to carry the “overhead” and red ink of an under-performing show.  That’s especially true today in a time when Internet technologies, gaming and other pastimes are expanding the options and access we have for amusements. Every tool in the marketers arsenal is fair game – even releasing premiers ahead of their formal broadcast debuts.

For Hulu, a video website jointly owned by News Corp (Fox) and NBC (along with ten percent to private equity partner Providence Equity), that’s good news.  Click to Read More

Applevine: Save the date, Start the Speculation

applevineApple has as devoted, outspoken, and vigilant a fan base as any tech company.  People love the products that come out of Cupertino, and maybe just as much, they love to talk about them.  It’s: What they include, what’s inside, what’s missing and what’ll come next. It’s how they look, how they function and how they match up to competition.   Apple’s marketing staff, and ring leader Steve Jobs, are not only aware of the phenomenon, they cultivate it.  In each of the past two years, Apple’s tempted audiences at their July earnings calls with news of mysterious products shifts. They’ve then scheduled a September reveal.

Since this year’s announcement (“several more wonderful new products to launch in the coming months” was part of the official word), the Applevine has been alive with rumor, gossip and speculation.  Crystal ball toting fans have forecast new Macbooks, tea leave readers have seen signs for new iPods. There’s been talk of iTunes subscription services, even a second iPhone.

Click to Read More

Page 4 of 41234