Disney Launches Online Movie Service Linked to iTunes (WSJ / Digits)
Tuesday, Disney debuted Disney Movies Anywhere, an app for purchasing movies and storing them in the cloud that is tightly integrated with Apple’s iTunes Store. EW / Inside Movies The multiplatform movie streaming service is available for iPad, iPhone, iPod touch and the Web and lets people purchase and watch more than 400 titles from Disney, Pixar and Marvel. The launch coincided with the digital release of the company’s latest hit, Frozen, three weeks before its planned release on DVD and Blu-Ray. TechCrunch Parents can use MPAA ratings to control the movies that are accessible on a device level. The app also allows movies to be either streamed or downloaded, and users can use the app to find new movies and content. The Verge Disney is offering many incentives for customers to try the service: For a limited time, the company will give a free digital copy of The Incredibles to anyone who activates the app and links it with their iTunes account. Those who have special DVDs and Blu-Rays of Disney, Pixar and Marvel movies can also use a code on the packaging to get a digital copy of those films.
Playwright Settles Lawsuit in Philip Seymour Hoffman Scandal (Philadelphia Daily News)
David Bar Katz has settled a lawsuit with The National Enquirer after the paper alleged that he and his friend Philip Seymour Hoffman were gay lovers. Katz discovered Hoffman’s body in his Manhattan apartment earlier this month. Katz’s father, Harry Jay Katz, even reported paparazzi camping outside his home as recently as last week. But there’s a silver lining in the emotional torrent David faced. NYT David, who filed a libel suit against the Enquirer less than three weeks ago, announced Tuesday that he had formed the American Playwriting Foundation, which will give out an annual prize entitled the “Relentless Award” in honor of Hoffman’s death. The article quoted David as saying he and Hoffman were lovers who had freebased cocaine the night before his death, and said David claimed to have seen him using heroin many times. TheWrap The Enquirer and its publisher, American Media Incorporated, plan on publishing a full-page apology in Wednesday’s New York Times and will fund ”an annual prize of $45,000 for an unproduced play” for the Foundation in accordance with a settlement with David. Poynter / MediaWire The Enquirer quoted someone who claimed to be David. Neither the Enquirer nor David’s lawyer disclosed the amount of the settlement, but it’s “enough for the foundation to give out these grants for years to come,” the lawyer said. FishbowlNY Joining David on the selection committee to help decide which unproduced play will receive the first Relentless Award will be Eric Bogosian, John Patrick Shanley and Jonathan Marc Sherman.
Seth Meyers’ Late Night Debut Draws Biggest Audience Since 2005 (Reuters)
Comedian Seth Meyers’ debut as the host of NBC’s Late Night talk show on Monday pulled in about 3.4 million viewers, the show’s highest numbers overall as well as in the 18-49 age group coveted by advertisers since 2005, the television network said on Tuesday. The Associated Press The network says it also beat the 2009 debut of Late Night With Jimmy Fallon by more than a half-million viewers. Fallon began last week as host of The Tonight Show. On Monday, he drew 6.3 million viewers, the largest Monday audience for Tonight in four years, when Jay Leno returned as host to replace Conan O’Brien. The Tonight Show Starring Jimmy Fallon topped Monday’s combined audience for CBS’ Late Show With David Letterman and ABC’s Jimmy Kimmel Live in the time period.
National Journal Hires Richard Just as Magazine Editor (National Journal)
Former Newsweek and New Republic editor Richard Just is taking the helm of the National Journal‘s magazine, tasked with “reinventing a venerable magazine,” National Journal editor-in-chief Tim Grieve announced Tuesday. FishbowlDC Just will lead the magazine through a redesign this spring with deputy magazine editor Andie Coller. He will also oversee the hiring of additional staff editors and reporters over the next several months. HuffPost Just said he plans to bring “compelling,” “moving” and “funny” writing to the pages of the National Journal. “I really want National Journal to be something that people want to read,” Just said, “not something they feel they have to read.” The print edition of the National Journal isn’t found on newsstands, but is distributed through a membership model aimed at Washington’s elite. National Journal also boasts a free website, which has become more urgent and vibrant under the stewardship of Grieve, who joined last year from Politico.
Back From Sochi, Today Drops Behind GMA (TVNewser)
It was a split decision for Today during its much-hyped Olympic return to Rockefeller Center following three weeks in Russia. According to Nielsen Fast National numbers, Good Morning America is back on top among total viewers, while Today won the adults 25-54 demo. This is a significant win, though scant (a 89,000-viewer difference out of more than 11 million total viewers) for GMA, which had been the No. 1 morning show for 77 weeks straight heading into the two weeks of Sochi competition.
Quarterly Ad Revenues, Profits Soar for Company Behind China’s Twitter (Ad Age)
China’s Sina said its ad sales surged 45 percent in the fourth quarter to fuel big profit growth, as reports suggested the Internet giant is preparing a U.S. initial public offering for its popular Twitter-like microblogging service, Weibo. BBC News China is the world’s biggest Internet market and social networking sites have become increasingly popular with users. As a result, many firms have turned to the medium to advertise their products and services in an attempt to attract new customers, helping boost growth of companies such as Sina. According to the firm’s latest numbers, advertising revenues at Weibo rose to $56 million during the fourth quarter — a 163 percent jump from a year earlier.
DreamWorks Animation Profitable in Q4 Despite $13.5 Million Turbo Loss (Variety)
DreamWorks Animation (DWA) said that 24 percent of its revenue last year came from non-film related sales, a revealing figure as the company expands beyond its core business of movies and more into television, live events, consumer products and online video. DWA reported fourth quarter sales of $204.3 million, down from $265.6 million, and profits of $17.2 million, up from a loss of $82.7 million. THR The animation studio said it took a $13.5 million impairment charge related to its film Turbo, which cut about 12 cents from its per-share earnings. The company also took a $6.7 million impairment charge for “other content,” which knocked 6 cents per share from earnings.
Can The Quote Be A New Atomic Unit of News? Rookie Tries A New Twist on Sports (Nieman Journalism Lab)
L.C. Angell says he builds websites with himself as the target reader. So when Angell, the creator of the highly curated men’s shopping site Uncrate and the viral video site Devour, decided to launch a site covering sports, he had his own interests in mind. Angell wanted a site that could provide a sports news fix about the leagues he cared about, but which was both more digestible than a traditional 700-word article and which could cut through the noise of Twitter. Enter Rookie.
Ben Horowitz to Donate Book Proceeds to Women’s Rights (Re/code)
Ben Horowitz, co-founder of Silicon Valley venture capital firm Andreessen Horowitz, announced on his blog Tuesday he will donate all the proceeds from his forthcoming book, The Hard Thing About Hard Things, to support the American Jewish World Service in its international efforts to fight for women’s rights. Silicon Valley Business Journal Horowitz was ranked 17th on Forbes‘ annual Midas List of the most successful VCs, mostly on the basis of the $1.26 billion sale of Nicira to VMware in 2012. He said he was inspired at age 11 to learn about slavery and human rights by watching the TV mini-series Roots, about the history of slavery in the U.S.
Mashable’s Jim Roberts ‘Outraged’ by Politico Piece on ‘Apocalypsticles’ (SocialTimes)
Politico magazine recently published a piece that criticized social-friendly publishers like Business Insider, BuzzFeed and Mashable for turning the Ukraine protests into clickbait, questioning listicles of apocalyptic pictures from the crisis, or “apocalypsticles.” “I was outraged by [the Politico piece],” said Jim Roberts, executive editor and chief content officer of Mashable. “It bothered me personally because I had invested a lot of real dollars in covering that story since December… To take a swipe [at Mashable] really got my blood boiling.”
Donald Trump’s Son-in-Law Publishes Hit Piece on N.Y. Attorney General (Politico / Dylan Byers on Media)
The New York Observer drew heavy criticism from the media industry on Tuesday after it published a highly critical 7,000-word article about New York Attorney General Eric Schneiderman, the bulk of which is dedicated to defending the Observer owner’s father-in-law: Donald Trump. The article is the latest episode in an ongoing public feud between Trump and Schneiderman that started when the Attorney General’s office began investigating the real estate mogul’s “Trump University,” which Schneiderman has called “a scam from top to bottom.” In December, Trump filed ethics complaints against Schneiderman for soliciting campaign donations from his daughter during the investigation.
Netflix Mocks Amazon Prime Air With ‘Drone 2 Home’ Video (LA Times / Tech Now)
Netflix took to YouTube Tuesday to make fun of the drone delivery program Amazon.com unveiled last year. In a satirical video, Netflix jokingly announced “Drone 2 Home,” a service that allows the company to deliver DVDs the same day users rent them from the company’s website. Mashable The parody video lampoons Amazon’s Prime Air program, which was introduced by CEO Jeff Bezos during a 60 Minutes segment in December. Netflix’s DVD segment, while still a lucrative business, is in a steady decline as streaming becomes its primary service. Bloomberg / Tech Deals Netflix has been trying to stay a step ahead of rivals by spending heavily on exclusive content, reruns and original programming. Amazon has followed suit, striking deals to bring its own original content to its website and pacts with CBS to rerun summer shows days after they’ve aired on traditional television. PRNewser The drone delivery service spoof isn’t the funniest thing ever, but it scores a couple of chuckles while confirming that Netflix doesn’t have either Amazon’s or HBO’s production budgets.
Jess Cagle’s First Big People Mag Decision: No More Unsanctioned Celebrity Kid Pics (FishbowlNY)
Incoming People magazine editorial director Jess Cagle explained Tuesday that the publication would no longer make use of guerilla-style photos of the young sons and daughters of celebrities. From his Editor’s Letter: “When I took over as editorial director in January, I told our staff that People would not publish photos of celebs’ kids taken against their parents’ wishes, in print or online. Of course, we still run a lot of sanctioned photos… But we have no interest in running kids’ photos taken under duress.” The only caveat from Cagle is that there might be a “rare” exception to this policy when the newsworthiness of the pic warrants. Additionally, his policy change does not scrub the previous use of such photos. Adweek The bans are, in part, a response to a campaign started last month by actors Kristen Bell and Dax Shepard. The couple, tired of their then-10-month-old daughter being photographed by paparazzi, took to Twitter (and, later, Shepard’s blog) to ask consumers to boycott magazines that ran unauthorized pictures of celebrity kids and urged media outlets to stop publishing them in the first place.
Scott Dickey Named CEO of Source Interlink Media (FishbowlNY)
Source Interlink Media (SIM) — publisher of more than 75 publications, including Motor Trend, Automobile, Hot Rod, Surfer and Transworld — has named Scott Dickey its new chief executive officer. Dickey comes to SIM from Competitor Group, a lifestyle media and live event company. He served as CEO of Competitor Group for the past six years. Adweek SIM has undergone its share of upheaval in the past several years, filing for bankruptcy in 2009 and later divesting itself of a number of titles, including Soap Opera Digest, and last year, sold nine of its motorcycle brands to Bonnier. But according to Dickey, the company has no plans to leave the magazine business.
Lionsgate Promotes Erik Feig to Motion Picture Group Co-President (THR)
Erik Feig has received a promotion at Lionsgate. The executive, who also inked a new long-term contact with the mini-studio, has been upped to co-president of Lionsgate’s motion picture group. The move follows Lionsgate generating more than $2.3 billion at the global box office in 2013.
What do you think about people driving while wearing Google Glass?
MissIsabelleB Isn’t it distracting and dangerous?
NicholeLReber Might as well be watching the tellie whilst driving, no? People need to slow their lives down, focus. Smell the damned flowers.
BrittneeJones dangerous and distracting! Trying to divide focus amongst two active “screens” will definitely cause trouble.