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What’s Trending, Firetalk Partner For New Live Streamed Podcast

11 hours ago

What’s Trending has launched a new podcast, and brought on a live streaming partner to add in a visual element. The news network founded by Shira Lazar has teamed with interactive video broadcasting company Firetalk to launch the live streamed What’s Trending Podcast.

The new podcast from What’s Trending allows live stream audiences to chat during the podcast and interact with other fans via the Firetalk streaming platform. The first episode of the What’s Trending Podcast was broadcast live from VidCon 2015. Lazar hosted guests Anthony Padilla and Ian Hecox of Smosh, as well as Andy Signore and Brett Weiner of Screen Junkies and the Honest Trailers web series.

“We created the What’s Trending Podcast to be another digital tool for connecting our audience with the creators they love,” said Lazar in a release. “It's also a great opportunity for us to tell longer-form stories about »

- Bree Brouwer

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Pioneering Netflix Film ‘Beasts Of No Nation’ Gets An Intense Trailer

11 hours ago

On October 16th, Netflix will enter new territory when it releases Beasts of No Nation, its first original film. In anticipation of that release date, Netflix has shared a trailer for the drama, and it’s a doozy. Beasts of No Nation looks as if it will be an intense, gripping ride filled with strong performances.

Beasts of No Nation, directed by True Detective’s Cary Fukunaga stars Idris Elba as an African warlord who takes an impressionable boy under his wing. In the teaser, Elba’s character demands his young protege kill a man, as brief flashbacks fill us in on the plot. It’s great stuff.

When Netflix announced its acquisition of Beasts of No Nation, it received plenty of resistance from nationwide theater chains. The chains oppose Netflix’s decision to release the film online at the same time it arrives in theaters, and as a result they opted to boycott it. »

- Sam Gutelle

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MiTu Network’s Latino Stars Come To NBC Universo TV Channel

12 hours ago

As NBCUniversal mulls a big investment in digital media, one of its subsidiaries has forged its own pact with an online video network. NBC Universo, a TV channel that offers programming for young Latinos, has struck a deal with MiTu that will bring a series called Vive el Verano to traditional and digital platforms.

Here’s how a press release from MiTu describes the new series:

“Vive el Verano is a series of fun, quick-hitting clips produced by MiTu and stars [sic] some of its popular talent, including El Guzii, Maiah Ocando, Luan Palomera, Luisito Comunica, and Oh Em Gee It's Eddie G., whose combined audience spans in the millions and across all major social media platforms. The topics include do-it-yourself summer hacks relevant to young Latinos, such as electronics, must-have summer apps, fun backyard and pool ideas, savory and sweet grilling recipes and outdoor entertaining tips.”

Vive el Verano will »

- Sam Gutelle

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Study Claims Digital Media Spending Took $1 Billion Away From TV Since 2014

12 hours ago

Digital advertising continues to pull advertisers’ funds away from traditional television. At least that's according to Standard Media Index (Smi), an intelligence entity offering insight into the advertising industry that just reported roughly $1 billion of advertisers’ dollars were moved from TV to digital from October 2014 to June 2015.

The majority of this $1 billion change-of-hands ad spend was pulled from broadcasting, which lost approximately $960 million to digital advertising during the timeframe. Ad-supported cable networks staved off digital advertising a little better. Digital took about $140 million away from cablers as a whole in the nine-month stretch.

"This analysis lifts the veil on the true impact that digital media is having on the wider advertising market," said Scott Grunther, Evp of Media at Smi, according to AdAge. "It's not only a story of shifting share, but of organic growth as well." Grunther also explained social media, along with online video, will play a huge »

- Bree Brouwer

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Fuisz Media Raises $10 Million To Create More Interactive Videos

13 hours ago

Fuisz Media has secured itself a hefty chunk of change. The interactive video company, founded in 2012 by Justin Fuisz, has raised a $10 million funding round led by Evolution Media Capital.

Fuisz Media’s proprietary technology allows its partners to put clickable annotations in videos. While this may seem like a simple task, Fuisz accomplishes it in a way that ends up being much more elegant than, say YouTube’s annotations. Take, for example, the Gillette video featured on Fuisz Media’s website; throughout the duration of the ad, viewers are prompted to click on it and head to the Gillette website.

With its new capital, Fuisz will be able to build upon its existing services and recruit more brand partners, particularly in the entertainment industry. Its current clients include companies like Microsoft, Ford, and Target.

The videos Fuisz Media powers aren’t just pretty, though; according to Justin Fuisz, they »

- Sam Gutelle

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Honda’s Sponsorship Of Yahoo’s ‘Community’ Drove 164% Increase In Brand Recall

14 hours ago

Back in February 2015, Honda announced it would be the official presenting sponsor of Yahoo’s new season of Community. Now, the results of that partnership are in, and they’re quite remarkable. Overall, Honda’s integration into the cancelled-nbc-sitcom-turned-Yahoo-original drove a 164% increase in unaided brand recall.

Episode seven of Yahoo’s original series boasted the most branded content from Honda. Based on that sole episode of Community, the car manufacturer found brand recall for its Honda Cr-v hit 95%, while recall for the Honda Fit reached 88%. Viewers of Community’s seventh episode also said they were 225% more likely to search for information about Honda, 82% more likely to visit the car company’s site, and 61% more likely to buy a Honda over another car brand.

Honda also created the hashtag #Level7Susceptible to pair with episode seven of Community season six. This hashtag pulled in over 29 million impressions from Twitter alone in its first week, »

- Bree Brouwer

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Amazon Signs ‘Top Gear’ Hosts For Three Seasons Of A New Car Show

14 hours ago

Amazon Instant Video has just landed a huge deal with three former Top Gear hosts. The streaming subscription service has signed Jeremy Clarkson, Richard Hammond, and James May to produce an unnamed car show to debut exclusively on the platform sometime in 2016.

The upcoming automobile-based series from Amazon will be produced by former Top Gear executive Andy Wilman. Production is set to begin in the fall of 2015, with Clarkson, Hammond, and May signed on for at least three seasons of the series. According to Variety, the three Top Gear hosts may have been attracted to Amazon for its promise of creative control over the new show.

“Our approach is to give program-makers creative freedom to be innovative and make the shows they want to make,” said Jay Marine, VP of Amazon Prime Video EU. “We can’t wait to see what Jeremy, Richard, James, and the team will create in »

- Bree Brouwer

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NBCUniversal Rumored To Be Close To Investments In BuzzFeed, Vox

17 hours ago

NBCUniversal is eying two of the biggest companies in the digital media world. According to Recode, NBCU is “close” to closing a pair of deals that would give it stake in BuzzFeed and Vox.

Like many other companies that run big TV businesses, NBCU is trying to figure out how to negotiate a changing landscape in which many young people are cutting the cord and consuming the majority of their media intake online. BuzzFeed and Vox, which both feature youthful sensibilities and have many of the same visitors in common, can both help NBCU established a bigger digital presence.

Exact monetary values for the investments aren’t known, but Record believes NBCU is considering a $1.5 billion valuation for BuzzFeed and an $850 valuation for Vox. Both digital media publishers have raised big rounds of venture capital in the past year; BuzzFeed raised $50 million in August 2014, and Vox scored its own $46.5 million round three months later. »

- Sam Gutelle

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Jukin Media Raises $2 Million In Funding From Samsung Ventures

17 hours ago

Jukin Media has a little bit more financial wiggle room. The viral video network has raised $2 million in funding from Samsung Venture Investment Corporation (Samsung Ventures).

Jukin Media’s entire business is based on monetizing and licensing viral, user-generated video clips. However, the new funds from Samsung will provide Jukin greater flexibility to grow some of its developing departments and original projects. Jukin’s President and COO Lee Essner said in a release that the company has “several profitable and expanding business units, which is rare for a company at this stage.”

“Although we have always funded the company solely from operations and have not yet touched any previously raised investor capital, the Samsung Venture investment gives us maximum flexibility to expand our investment in tech and original production, both of which have been pivotal factors in our sustained growth,” Essner explained.

Jukin Media raised roughly $1 million from Maker Studios »

- Bree Brouwer

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Short Film From Former Pixar Animator Comes To Facebook’s Oculus Rift

18 hours ago

Facebook and YouTube are currently battling for online video supremacy, but at the same time, they are emerging as rivals in the world of virtual reality, too. As YouTube rolls out its own library of 360-degree videos that can be viewed on devices like Google Cardboard, Facebook is support its own Vr projects. One recent premiere on the Facebook-owned Oculus Rift is Henry, a short film from former Pixar animator Ramiro Lopez Dau.

Henry has an adorable premise that would not be out of place in a pre-feature Pixar short. It centers on the titular porcupine, who loves to give hugs despite his prickly nature. Dau is using the project to experiment with Vr storytelling techniques. "Can you make a character emote in Vr? How does it feel? Those questions were at the core of Henry," he told The Hollywood Reporter.

Oculus, which Facebook acquired in 2014, still has not released »

- Sam Gutelle

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Netflix May Be Up For Making More ‘Wet Hot American Summer’

29 July 2015 4:37 PM, PDT

Netflix is open to the idea of making even more Wet Hot American Summer episodes. According to Deadline, Michael Showalter, co-writer and co-star of Netflix’s upcoming original series Wet Hot American Summer: First Day of Camp, said a second season of the show is definitely possible.

Netflix originally announced it would make a prequel series to the cult 2001 film Wet Hot American Summer in December 2014. Since then, the Svod service has rounded up original cast members, hired some new faces, and produced eight episodes of the new original series from original showrunners Showalter and David Wain, who directed the 2001 feature as well as the Netflix series.

As for producing a second season after this first one debuts, Showalter told reporters at the Television Critics Association, “If everyone wants to do it, we’ll do it.” The actor and writer added, “The time commit for this cast is quite accommodating. »

- Bree Brouwer

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Fund This: ‘Carbon Dating’ Aims To Be “Golden Girls 2.0″

29 July 2015 4:25 PM, PDT

Project Name: Carbon Dating

Asking For: $20,000 on Indiegogo

Amount Raised Thus Far (At Time Of Post): $17,431

Days Remaining In Campaign (At Time Of Post): 3

Description: The web series industry is not just a young person's game. By pitching her concept on Indiegogo, Amanda Serra is hoping she can bring viewers "Golden Girls 2.0." Serra is the creator of Carbon Dating, a web series about "the misadventures of two Baby-Boomer women awkwardly aging in a youth-oriented society."

Carbon Dating will follow its two leads as they fight the foibles of old age across a series of silly situations. Based on a plot description, there will be online dating and pole dancing involved, but also "brittle bones and public incontinence."

In order to make her web series a reality, Serra has recruited a slew of age-appropriate cast members, who all have plenty of experience in the entertainment industry. Her co-star, Marcie Barkin, »

- Sam Gutelle

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Todrick Hall ‘Won’t Come Off YouTube’ Despite His New MTV Show

29 July 2015 2:39 PM, PDT

Todrick Hall has no plans to leave YouTube anytime soon. The digital star told reporters during the Television Critics Association summer press tour he won’t “come off” YouTube just because he has his upcoming show Todrick for MTV in the works.

According to Deadline, Hall, who appeared on season nine of American Idol back in 2010, told reporters the reason he didn’t make it on that show was because he was too afraid to be himself. Hall assumed the best singer would win, but the show’s executives told him, “It’s not a talent competition, it’s a television show and people have to fall in love with you as a person.”

Hall left the reality series realizing he could “put a lot of the fight in me to come back and re-represent myself… to let audiences see the real me” by making YouTube videos. And viewers certainly »

- Bree Brouwer

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Amazon To Release ‘Sneaky Pete,’ ‘Casanova’ Pilots On August 7

29 July 2015 1:06 PM, PDT

Amazon Studios has set the release dates for two of its original series’ pilots. The debut episodes of Sneaky Pete and Casanova will drop on the Instant Video streaming platform on August 7, 2015.

On that date, both the Sneaky Pete and Casanova pilots will be available to all Amazon Prime Instant Video subscribers in the U.S., UK, and Germany. Soon afterwards, the pilots will be joined by others in Amazon’s recent round of its pilot program. Prime users will then be able to vote on their favorite pilots, which Amazon will greenlight as full series orders.

Sneaky Pete, which Amazon was reportedly courting back in June 2015, comes from executive producers Bryan Cranston (Breaking Bad) and David Shore (House M.D.). The Amazon original series’ story centers around a released-from-prison conman, played by Giovanni Ribisi, who takes his old cellmate Pete’s identity and gets sucked into his family’s bail bond business. »

- Bree Brouwer

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Fullscreen To Launch Live Tour ‘Girls Night In’ Featuring MyLifeAsEva, Meredith Foster

29 July 2015 11:41 AM, PDT

Fullscreen Live is bringing digital stars in front of thousands of their fans. The touring and events division of the YouTube multi-channel network, owned by At&T and Chernin Group’s Otter Media, will feature YouTube celebrities like MyLifeAsEva (real name Eva Gutowski) and Meredith Foster in an upcoming live tour dubbed “Girls Night In.”

Lifestyle and fashion vloggers Meghan Rienks, Alisha Marie, Mia Stammer, and musician Andie Case will join Gutowski and Rienks on stage during the live event. Fans will experience performances and musical sets during “Girls Night In,” and will also be able to meet the six female YouTubers. The tour will be organized by industry veteran and Fullscreen Live lead Vito Iaia.

“These young women are entertainment powerhouses who each have incredible and unique connections with a passionate fanbase of over 23 million followers,” said Fullscreen President Ezra Cooperstein in a release. “Through tours and live events like this, »

- Bree Brouwer

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Amazon Orders Tig Notaro-Starring Comedy Pilot From Louis C.K., Diablo Cody

29 July 2015 10:17 AM, PDT

Tig Notaro will be the focus of a new series for Amazon Instant Video. The streaming video-on-demand company has ordered a pilot for an unnamed comedy show starring the stand-up comedian and written by Notaro and Oscar-winning Juno scribe Diablo Cody.

According to The Hollywood Reporter, who originally broke the story, the upcoming Amazon pilot will be a semi-autobiographical piece based on Notaro’s life, her struggles with breast cancer, and her comedic career. Amazon released a description of the series: "Tig Notaro has just recovered from an abdominal disease that has left her gaunt, wasted, exhausted, and pretty much stripped of everything except her finely honed sense of the absurd. Abruptly summoned home to Pass Christian, Miss., to take her ailing mother off life support, Tig finds herself dealing with her clingy girlfriend, her dysfunctional Gulf Coast family and the loss of the one person who held everything together. »

- Bree Brouwer

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Verizon Names Upcoming Mobile-Video Service, Adds HBO Content

28 July 2015 4:22 PM, PDT

Verizon Communications is pushing forward with plans for its upcoming mobile-video subscription service. The telco giant has announced its service, now officially dubbed Go90, will offer HBO content to subscribers.

On July 24, 2015, Variety reported Verizon had named its mobile-video service Go90, and accidentally leaked a pre-launch website for the service (which has now been taken down). The site revealed information like how users would be able to watch “live music, exclusive events, best of web content, sports, prime time,… full length shows and short highlights, all for free.”

Some of that content will now include HBO programming, which Verizon is adding to its already-established content partners. Back in March 2015, the telecommunications company announced the addition of AwesomenessTV and DreamWorksTV fare. More recently, Verizon brought on board Vice to contribute original series to Go90 from the media brand’s slate of digital properties, like food-based Munchies and Vice Sports.

On top »

- Bree Brouwer

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YouTube Hires Twitter’s Christian Oestlien, Names Him Director Of Product Management

28 July 2015 4:17 PM, PDT

YouTube has welcomed a new team member to its product division. Google’s online video site has hired Christian Oestlien as the company’s new Director of Product Management.

In his new position at YouTube, Oestlien’s duties will, according to a rep, “focus on building the platform and tools for the next generation of ​video ​creators on YouTube.” Oestlien will report to YouTube’s Vice President of Product Management Matthew Glotzbach, who recently unveiled at VidCon the diamond-tier YouTube Play button award for creators with over ten million subscribers.

Oestlien comes to YouTube from Twitter, where the executive served for a year as the social media site’s Senior Director of Product Management. Oestlien is already a well-known face to the Google family, as previous to Twitter, the new YouTube director worked as Product Management Director for Google’s AdWords. Oestlien also brings product management experience from positions with Yahoo, »

- Bree Brouwer

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Kaja Martin Takes Over As Host Of Ray William Johnson’s ‘=3’

28 July 2015 3:47 PM, PDT

For the second year in a row, =3 has a new host. The clip show, which vaulted creator Ray William Johnson to YouTube stardom, is now led by Kaja Martin, who is known for her frequent collaborations with Johnson.

With more than 10.8 million subscribers, Johnson’s channel is one of the most popular destinations on YouTube, and =3 is the channel’s best-known program. In recent months, Johnson has looked to expand with a full slate of shows produced by his Equals Three Studios, and Martin has taken a leading role in this programming push by serving as executive producer for four new series. She has also appeared in front of the camera in two of those series: Booze Lightyear and Comedians On.

By taking over hosting duties on =3 (which a press release refers to as The Equals Three Show), Martin is taking on her biggest role yet. The clip show, hosted »

- Sam Gutelle

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Netflix’s Ted Sarandos Talks ‘Arrested Development,’ ‘Fuller House,’ Marvel Shows

28 July 2015 2:49 PM, PDT

Netflix’s Ted Sarandos had plenty to say about his company’s original programs at the Television Critics Association press tour. The streaming platform’s Chief Content Officer discussed several of his company’s upcoming projects, including originals like Fuller House and Daredevil, during an interview on July 28, 2015.

For starters, Sarandos made sure to address the rumors surrounding Mary-Kate and Ashley Olsen returning to Fuller House, Netflix’s sequel series to the popular 1987-1995 show Full House. Other cast members from the original show have already been on board for a while, including John Stamos, Candice Cameron-Bure, Jodie Sweetin, Andrea Barber, and Dave Coulier. Sarandos said the fashion-mogul Olsen twins are “teetering” on whether or not to join the series as guests.

Similar to the vague information about the Olsen twins, Sarandos didn’t have anything concrete to report in terms of a new season of Arrested Development. Though executive »

- Bree Brouwer

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