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Google Play’s 2014 Stars: ‘Frozen,’ ‘Frozen’ Again, #TFIOS And ‘The Walking Dead’

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'Tis the season for lists: Two days after Facebook and Google unit YouTube released their 2014 Top 10s, the Google Play online store has come out with its best-selling movies, TV shows, books, apps, music and more. And what's at the top: AMC's ratings monster The Walking Dead, Disney's animated blockbuster Frozen and … the soundtrack for Frozen. In fact, the store's biggest music trend this year was movie soundtracks, and not just for Frozen, whose soundtrack perched at… Read

Business

No Sales Details On ‘Call Of Duty,’ But Activision Shares Jump 11 Percent

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Normally, when you successfully release the latest iteration of a blockbuster franchise, it's a good time to brag. Activision Blizzard says Call of Duty Advanced Warfare has had the year's biggest launch of any entertainment property. That's big. But what's more interesting is what ATVI didn't say, and how Wall Street is still sending company shares up like an exo-skeleton boost. In a November 19 release, ATVI called the Advanced Warfare debut “the biggest entertainment… Read

Business

Disney’s Mobile Push: Walmart Deal, PewDiePie App, Revamped ESPN.com

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The Disney Movies Anywhere app will be available on Walmart's VUDU online-video service beginning Tuesday, the biggest news out of Disney's mobile showcase Friday morning outlining initiatives from its brands. Also coming: stand-alone video apps for its biggest YouTube stars such as PewDiePie, a revamped ESPN.com online presence, and ImagiCademy, a new hybrid service providing learning and entertainment for children. CEO Bob Iger introduced the event, reminiscing about… Read

Business

Sony Unveils PlayStation Vue; Web-Based TV Service To Launch With 75 Channels

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Back at the International CES confab in January, Sony Computer Entertainment Group CEO Andrew House touted the upcoming arrival of a new cloud-based service in the U.S. that would include the "most popular live TV programs combined with a large library of VOD content," although he offered no specifics. Now, 10 months later, the mystery has been solved. Sony Network Entertainment International and Sony Computer Entertainment today unveiled subscription service PlayStation V… Read

Business

Fullscreen Buys Online Video Pioneer Rooster Teeth

Status: Off The TableWhat: Bought in the fall of 2014 by AT&T and the Chernin Group, Fullscreen is one of the biggest "horizontal" MCNs, with

Fullscreen, the big YouTube multi-channel network and talent-management group, has bought Austin-based online pioneer Rooster Teeth, home of the hugely popular online video series Red Vs. Blue  and other titles predating even the rise of YouTube, the companies announced this morning. Terms were not disclosed in the deal, the latest in a flurry of acquisitions and stake purchases, mostly driven by traditional media companies in the U.S. and Europe seeking a foothold in the… Read

Business

Activision Shoots ‘Em Up On Strong ‘Destiny’ Debut As ‘Call Of Duty’ Arrives

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It was a very good day for videogame giant Activision Blizzard, which reported record (non-GAAP) revenues and earnings per share thanks to new franchise Destiny and the long-running World Of Warcraft. The big numbers came just as Call Of Duty Advanced Warfare, the next iteration of its blockbuster franchise, hits retailers with its prospects buoyed by strong reviews, reduced competition and a featured role from Kevin Spacey. The numbers were announced after the stock… Read

Business

Sony Posts Wider Q2 Loss, Beats Estimates On Strong PlayStation4 Sales

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Sony came out ahead of analyst estimates with a smaller-than-expected second quarter loss thanks primarily to increased demand for its PlayStation4 game console. However, overall losses widened to 136B yen ($1.2B) from 19.6B yen in the comparable period in 2013 as the mobile phone unit bled $1.58B. Sales and operating revenue were up overall by 7.2% compared to the same period last year at $17.4B. The games and network services segment recorded an 83.2% bump in sales and… Read

Business

‘The Hobbit’ Trailer Most Watched On YouTube In Third Quarter

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The trailer for The Hobbit's final sequel, The Battle Of The Five Armies, was YouTube's most-watched entertainment-related video of the third quarter, the online giant said, pulling in nearly 17.3 million views, well ahead of trailers for the next Hunger Games installment and the first Fifty Shades Of Grey The Hunger Games: Mockingjay – Pt. 1 nevertheless still spent the quarter as overexposed as anything in Fifty Shades, putting two trailers in the top 10 with a… Read

Business

‘The Book Of Life’ Fox-SGN Mobile Game Deal Could Pay Off For Years

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The Book of Life: Sugar Smash mobile game, which launched today, could become a model for movie-related titles going forward, with its potential to create years of income for Fox under its revenue-sharing deal with SGN Games, said SGN CEO Chris DeWolfe. The title is available on the iTunes Store and, soon, Google Play, and is compatible with the vast majority of smartphones and tablets currently in use. As with most mobile games these days (Minecraft being a notable… Read

Business

‘Alien Isolation:’ The Horror Game That Could Have Been Ridley Scott’s Sequel

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Sometimes I'm not sure what's scarier: the implacably murderous Alien in Ridley Scott's film, or the fact that the groundbreaking science-fiction movie debuted 35 years ago. Yikes! To celebrate, of sorts, Fox and Sega have collaborated on Alien Isolationa videogame debuting today that lovingly recreates the grungy, lived-in look of the original movie alongside plenty of creepy jolts and chills of its own. It's all plunked down in a new setting that would be a fantastic… Read

Business

Xbox One Now Selling In China, But What Games Will They Play?

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Microsoft's Xbox One started selling today in thousands of Chinese stores, the first videogame console legally available in the country since 2000. Now comes the hard part, figuring out what games will actually pass muster with China's stringent censorship rules on things like anti-authoritarian behavior, violence, criminality and even fantasy and science-fiction themes. The tight rules mean no Destinyno Call of Duty and so definitely no Grand Theft Auto, all… Read

Business

Social-Media App For Online Stars Launches From Mobile First: TECH Bits

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Mobile First Entertainment has launched the first iteration of an app designed to help social-media stars make more money from their big online audiences while bringing together a client's various social-media streams all in one place. The app is customized for each client, and is ad-supported, with the creator/client using the customized app taking 75 percent of net revenues. The app also handles issues such as sending push notifications to users about upcoming events… Read