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Thompson on Hollywood

Netflix's Sarandos Talks Streaming, Recommendations, Set Top Boxes

Scott Kirsner, author of Fans, Friends and Followers and the Cinematech blog, recently interviewed Netflix chief content officer Ted Sarandos at his office in Beverly Hills for Kirsner's "CONVERSATION" series.
  • By Anne Thompson
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  • April 15, 2010 8:31 AM
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Indie Marketing Returns to Word of Mouth

Ex-Fine Line and Picturehouse marketing executive Marian Koltai-Levine founded Zipline Entertainment "to fill the much needed void between content creators and content providers," she says. After attending the recent SXSW Film Festival, Koltai-Levine sent me this essay about the new state of the indies: I am no longer a South By virgin. A couple of weeks later, I’m still jazzed by what I experienced in Austin. I was amazed at the infinite possibilities and the cross-section of media-- technology, music, film and television--being distributed on platforms today.
  • By Marian Koltai-Levine
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  • April 9, 2010 9:34 AM
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Andreessen Talks Tech Turkey on Charlie Rose

I saved this Marc Andreessen Charlie Rose interview on TiVo because Andreessen is brilliant and loves to share his insight. Months later, as the iPad is coming out and the internet continues to dominate our lives, this Silicon Valley maverick reveals how much he knows about how start-ups and the Internet work from in front. He just gets it. He co-founded and sold Netscape to AOL for $1 billion, and more recently, created Ning and a start-up fund (Andreessen/Horowitz). As an investor and/or board member, his fingers are in many pies, from Twitter to Facebook.
  • By Anne Thompson
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  • April 4, 2010 6:23 AM
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  • 1 Comment

Trades Jockey For Entertainment News

As the trades adjust to more competition and squeezed ad revenues, there's a whole lot of jockeying going on.
  • By Anne Thompson
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  • March 25, 2010 9:47 AM
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  • 5 Comments

Retailer Wal-Mart Buys Digital Distributor Vudu

Wal-Mart is getting into the online movie business by acquiring download provider Vudu. Before now the mighty brick-and-mortar discount retailer hasn't had much luck with its attempts to crack the digital code--the studios dive-bombed Wal-Mart's last effort, a web store. And Vudu abandoned set-top boxes in favor of adding software that has been added to slightly more costly DVD players to enable them to stream movies off the internet. MovieBeam marked another botched attempt to get web movies into the home via expensive boxes.
  • By Anne Thompson
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  • February 23, 2010 12:10 AM
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  • 1 Comment

JP Morgan Raises Financing for Digital Theaters

JP Morgan has raised some $700 million to finance the digital conversion of thousands of screens around the country, reports the LAT. This will boost 3-D exhibition on some 12,000 screens around the country, which everyone wants, post-Avatar, which has broken worldwide records thanks to 3-D premium ticket prices. Studios are fighting over about 3500 current 3-D screens. The funding was delayed by the credit crisis.
  • By Anne Thompson
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  • February 6, 2010 2:03 AM
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  • 3 Comments

SpeedCine 2.0 Expands Global Reach

On Monday, SpeedCine founder and CEO Reid Rosefelt goes international with a new language filter, design and features. Stand-up comedy and concert films are now visible on the site, along with a button for new releases.
  • By Anne Thompson
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  • January 11, 2010 2:51 AM
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Ross Restructures Disney Studio with Eye on Digital Future

In order to understand why Disney chief exec Bob Iger is handing the reins of the studio over to Rich Ross, all you have to do is read this Time Magazine feature on the success of Disney's cable division. As Disney Channel chief, Ross nurtured a succession of teen stars (Miley Cyrus, Selena Gomez, the Jonas Brothers and Demi Lovato), pushing them through the Disney system--TV show, recording contract, concert tour and merchandise--earning literally billions for the studio:
  • By Anne Thompson
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  • November 12, 2009 2:03 AM
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Studios vs. Theaters: Clash Over FCC Waiver

National Association of Theater Owners (NATO) president John Fithian is at war. He is in Washington right now fighting a pitched battle for exhibitors at the FCC. The LAT reported Wednesday:In regulatory filing today, the Motion Picture Assn. of America, the chief lobbying group for the major studios, restated its support for a waiver of current Federal Communications Commission rules that would clear the way for a technology that would allow consumers to watch movies at home close to or during their theatrical release. The so-called selectable output control technology would prevent the illegal copying of movies, which has been a major stumbling block to delivering first-run movies directly to consumers.
  • By Anne Thompson
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  • November 5, 2009 7:07 AM
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  • 5 Comments

Epix Launches October 30

Epix Launches October 30
When I first heard that three studios--Lionsgate, MGM and Paramount--were bypassing pay-TV deals in favor of a new online streaming venture, I thought the new distribution order was at hand. While the other studios were still hung up on the old ancillary paradigm, this gang was skipping windows and jumping into the future.
  • By Anne Thompson
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  • October 30, 2009 12:45 PM
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  • 2 Comments

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