Paramount Turning 3 Movies to Games

paramount convergence gamingIn March, Paramount got their game on a continued the trend of movie and gaming convergence. At the time, the Viacom movie studio behind hits as far ranging as Chinatown, Indiana Jones and Cheech and Chong’s Still Smoking, announced a plan to focus on in house game development and publishing (via Variety).  Now the first titles to come from that project have been announced.  They’ll come from familiar territory: Paramount’s own movie catalog.

Three PC based casual games are on track for a Q4 release.  The titles will draw on three different decades of teen film source material and be marketed toward women, who are generally more active players of web based casual games than men.

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Amazon on Demand: New Video Service Enters Beta

amzn on demandEveryone’s doing it.  It’s the new, old thing.  There’s Apple and Microsoft, Netflix and Amazon, there’s TiVo, Roku, Sony, Sezmi (formerly Building B), Vudu and more.    They’re all bringing some form of video on-demand services over the Internet; rentals and purchases, some even free.  It’s the promise of TV and movies as you like it, when you like it.  Thursday, Amazon became the latest entry into the crowded market.  Technically, though, it’s a re-entry.  

Since 2006, Amazon has offered a video on demand service called Unbox. Click to Read More

Netflix through Xbox 360: Another PC to TV Bridge

nflx xboxWhen Netflix first revealed their strategy to bring their streamed video service software to consumer electronics by licensing their software, they promised the licensing partnerships would be broad reaching.  When the next earnings conference calls comes around, executives at the company will be able to say they have kept their word.  After first announcing a deal with LG to tie into consumer electronics (DVD players and Set-Top boxes), then offering a standalone player in partnership with Roku, Netflix is now tackling gaming hardware.

Monday, using the E3 gaming convention in LA as a forum, Netflix revealed a plan to bring their Watch Now on-demand video service to Xbox 360 owners.

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Contemplating Disruption: Will Internet Evolution Hurt Big Media?

disruptionLooking back through centuries of history only a short list of communication technologies have fundamentally changed the way people and societies share information; things like written language, the printing press, the telegraph, the radio, and television.  Each, over years of evolution, utterly disrupted existing practices, pushing aside the antiquated and expanding the depth of possibilities.  Each, in developmental years, had critics predicting there’d be little long term value.    Each also has had champions who eagerly predicted the innovations would drastically reshape the world.

The Internet falls in to the same exclusive club but its functionality and contribution are still evolving.  It will take decades before the breadth of its impact and transformative power are fully understood.  Still, that won’t stop many  from predicting where things will go or how the Internet will continue to shape our world along the way.

Monday, Lehman Brothers took a stab at such a prediction.  Citing the disruptive power of the Internet, and its likelihood of changing business economics in the entertainment industry, they downgraded stock ratings on several companies.  The recent history of the music industry was cited as one partial justification.

The view seemed extreme.  This METUE review takes an in-depth closer look.

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Blockbuster Sees Light, Drops Circuit City

bbi circuit city offThe proposed marriage of Blockbuster and Circuit City always seemed wrong; like two actors that peaked early, fell from favor and were looking for mutual salvation in a questionable, improbable union.  It didn’t make sense.  It didn’t feel right.  The common ground seemed to be troubles not opportunities.   Given that, the odds of one company salvaging the other, of Blockbuster resuscitating the struggling business of Circuit City, seemed small.  Luckily for Blockbuster shareholders, CEO Jim Keyes reached the same conclusion before he walked the company into the Elvis Wedding Chapel and said “I Do.”

Wednesday, Blockbuster officially withdrew its $1.35billion ($6 to $8/share) offer.   All it took was a close inspection of Circuit City’s books.

The review process began in May Click to Read More

M&A Report: Fandango buys, CBS Closes Part of Tender Offer

dealsThrough nearly the first 180 days, 2008 has been a busy year for M&A activity .  Today, adding to the year’s tally, movie ticketing service Fandango announced the acquisition of from Disney.

Under the prior name, was launched in 2000 to provide movie summaries, facts and celebrity info.  In May, the site drew 1.9m unique visitors.

Fandango, which was bought by Comcast in April 2007, provides online ticket sales for about 15,000 movie screens around the U.S.. The site drew approximately 6.3m unique visitors in May.

The company currently splits its revenue between advertising income and Click to Read More

iTunes by the Numbers: Music Sales Break 5billion Songs

apple measurediTunes has long been looked at as the loss leader, the bridge that links Apple’s assorted media products. It drives product sales and helps power iPods, iPhones, Apple TV and Mac multimedia.  But that role of servitude hasn’t stopped it from turning into a significant force. 

Apple announced today, the iTunes store crossed the 5 billion song barrier.  That’s 5 billion songs sold, up a billion from the 4billion announced in January.   

At 99cents a song, that means the store has generated nearly $5billion in music revenue. That’s $3.5billion to artists and labels and $1.5billion to Apple (based on widely estimated revenue sharing splits).  That’s not too shabby for an auxiliary program that helps promote hardware sales.

As this graphic shows, the escalation in pace at which songs are selling isn’t bad either:

itunes sales chart

Even more impressive, however, might be the story surrounding video sales.  Click to Read More

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