BMG, a music business subsidiary of Germany’s Bertelsmann Group, has signed an exclusive online music distribution agreement for the Chinese market with Alibaba. Under the agreement, Alibaba will become the exclusive online distributor of BMG music and artists in the Chinese market. Alibaba will sell those products on its own platforms such as Xiami.com. In addition, the Chinese e-commerce group will assume the monitoring responsibilities and take actions for BMG-related infringements in the Chinese market.
Tencent Interactive Entertainment Group will establish a new animation business unit and a film and copyright business unit to enable the independent operations of those businesses. The new animation business unit will be responsible for development and operation of animation-related content, including planning, development and operation of animation products; creating and operation of animation content; front-end and back-end development and design of animation products, copyright expansion; and commercial operation.
Brightcove Inc. (NASDAQ: BCOV), a leading global provider of cloud services for video, today announced that PrimeTime Entertainment, Thailand’s newest on-demand streaming service, has partnered with Brightcove to power transcoding for its over-the-top (OTT) entertainment channel. With Brightcove’s Zencoder cloud-based encoding service, PrimeTime is able to rapidly deliver high-quality video on-demand (VOD) content to satisfy audiences across platforms and devices.
Although only a prototype, the new player could soon solve the problem of finding and watching native content on ultra-high definition television sets. Panasonic claims that the new technology is a true breakthrough in that it represents the world’s first capable of supporting playback at 3,840 x 2,160 pixels and at 60 frames a second and as such is a major step towards simplifying how consumers watch 4K Ultra HD content in their homes.
A collaboration between Japanese media artist Nobumichi Asai, make-up artist Hiroto Kuwahara and digital image engineer Paul Lacroix is turning faces into digital works of art. The Omote project uses projection mapping techniques to put make-up and effects onto a model’s face in real-time.
iiNet is facing a fresh round of copyright litigation from Hollywood as it seeks to avoid disclosing information about customers suspected of online movie piracy. The internet provider has chosen to fight a federal court application by the owners of the film Dallas Buyers Club requiring it to hand over details of customers suspected of illegally sharing the film online. iiNet’s chief regulatory officer Steve Dalby in a blog post said the ISP had serious concerns about Dallas Buyers Club’s motivations.
Cyberjaya Creative Playground (#CJPlayground) is a three-day festival that brings together an international panel forum featuring technologists and entrepreneurs, gaming and live music by OAG, An Honest Mistake and others. The Cyberjaya Creative Playground, #CJPlayground will take place from Nov 14 to Nov 16 2014 at the Lim Kok Wing University of Creative Technology and Multimedia University (MMU) and will be hosted by Cyberview Sdn Bhd.
When Line makes an announcement, Line really makes an announcement. Following some big revelations – including new payments, taxi hailing, and on-demand food services – the company delivered another blast of big news for Line’s gaming, manga, and music offerings. On stage at Line Conference Tokyo 2014, senior executive officer Jun Masuda explained the company’s additional plans to become the “number one entertainment platform” in Japan and beyond.
Though only three years old, Line is facing the same question that many tech titans in Japan face. How can it expand into English-speaking countries? The company’s messaging app is rampantly popular around the world, with nearly 500 million registered users. However, take a closer look under the hood and find that the app has had limited success with speakers of the global lingua franca. The US, where it claims to have 10 million registered users, ranks last on the company’s list of top 10 markets. Indonesia (second) and India (fourth) also rank but users in those countries are not necessarily speaking English.
Softbank is going to Hollywood. After days of rumors about a potential acquisition of DreamWorks , the Japanese telco has invested US$250 million into film studio Legendary Entertainment . That represents a 10 percent stake in the production company but the deal contains an option allowing Softbank to invest a further US$750 million over the next few years, according to 4Traders .
Chinese web giant Baidu (NASDAQ:BIDU) today launched a new personal investment fund that lets users crowd-invest in upcoming movies and television shows. Baifa Youxi (百发有戏; translates to “Baifa Me”) promises the same eight percent interest rate as the original Baifa fund, with returns reaching as high as 16 percent, according to Techweb.
According to China’s Caixin (hat-tip Forbes ), the new division will make use of Tencent’s existing intellectual property from its gaming and comics divisions. Among the seven films that Tencent claims are currently in pre-production, four of them originate from one of the company’s video games. It’s also working on an adaptation of Mo Yan’s novella “Treasure Map.” Tencent COO Ren Yuxing said in a statement that the company aims to merge content across its numerous branches, while creating a movie viewing experience that integrates both the online and offline worlds.
Chinese media and entertainment group Enlight Media will invest about CNY385 million to acquire the animation company Bluearc Animation and the mobile game company Refeng Network. According to the company’s announcement, Enlight Media will invest CNY176 million to acquire a 51% stake in Refeng Network. After Refeng Network achieves its performance goals for the next three years, Enlight Media will acquire the remaining 49% stake. During the transaction, Refeng Network’s overall valuation reportedly reached CNY346 million. Refeng Network is mainly engaged in the development and operation of mobile Internet games.
BEIJING–E-commerce giant Alibaba Group is expanding its online entertainment presence by investing US$1.2 billion with a partner in video website Youku Tudou. Alibaba will gain a 16.5-percent stake in the company and its partner Yunfeng Capital will get 2 percent, Youku Tudou Inc. said Monday. China’s major Internet companies have invested billions of dollars over the past year to expand beyond their core businesses by creating or acquiring entertainment, consumer finance and other services.
China’s ongoing cleanup of objectionable content on the web has claimed a bunch of new – and perhaps surprising – casualties. China’s media regulator has ordered the country’s video streaming sites to remove four American TV series: The Big Bang Theory, The Good Wife, The Practice, and NCIS. The sites affected – including Youku (NYSE:YOKU) and Sohu’s (NASDAQ:SOHU) video portal, which pay to license the shows from US broadcasters – have not been given a reason for these bans, according to the Associated Press.
First launched in March 2014, Hollywood HD is an online movie streaming platform available only in Thailand. It’s made by the same team as Ploenjit Media Company Limited, which developed the AIS Mobile British Premier League app. When talking about movie streaming, the first name many people think of is Netflix (NASDAQ: NFLX). In the US, Netflix account for almost half of the country’s downstream internet traffic.
LOS ANGELES: Sony’s PlayStation Network has followed online media giants Netflix and Amazon in commissioning its first original drama series, a spokesman said Thursday. “Powers”, based on a comic book of the same name, combines the genres of superhero fantasy, crime noir and police procedural, and is produced by Sony Pictures, he said.
Popular Japanese messenger Line has announced it will soon launch an app that streams family-friendly movies, reports The Bridge. According to a post on its official blog (which we’re reading using Google Translate), the films will all be geared towards children aged up to six years old, and will include over 1,500 well-known titles such as “Pokemon,” “Spongebob Squarepants,” and “Powerpuff girls.” iPhone owners in Japan will be the first to check out the new app, with an Android version set to arrive in Spring 2014 – and since it’s already Spring 2014, that probably means “soon.”