Following their application to be a Dark Sky Sanc

first_imgFollowing their application to be a ‘Dark Sky Sanctuary’, and recently announced new shipping service, Pitcairn Islands Tourism has launched an exclusive tour to celebrate the Total Solar Eclipse which will pass over the Pitcairn Islands in July 2019. The 18-night/19-day tour includes 11 days cruising around the remote Pitcairn Islands, the world’s third largest marine reserve, visiting UNESCO World Heritage-listed Henderson Island, Oeno Island to view the Solar Eclipse and a 4 day stay on Pitcairn Island, home of the descendants of the HMAV Bounty mutineers since 1790. Pre and post stopovers in Tahiti are also included.This once in a lifetime opportunity is only available to 10 guests and is being escorted by distinguished astronomer, Emeritus Professor John Hearnshaw from New Zealand’s University of Canterbury.Making the announcement, Pitcairn Travel Coordinator, Heather Menzies said, “With our new ship MV Bravo Supporter coming on line we are looking to open up new markets and the Solar Eclipse presents us with a unique opportunity to showcase The Pitcairn Islands like never before.”Departing on 22 July 2019, the tour is now on sale with an early bird offer starting from NZ$16,250 per person. The tour price includes 4 nights accommodation in Tahiti with transfers, half day tour and breakfasts; return flights between Tahiti and Mangareva (to meet the ship); 11 days aboard MV Bravo Supporter with all meals; 4 days homestay on Pitcairn Island with all meals, island touring program and transfers plus Eclipse viewing at sea and visits to Oeno and Henderson Islands.For more information and to book a place on this unique tour CLICK HERE. 2019JulyPitcairn IslandPitcairn Island TourismSolar EclipseTotakl Solar Eclipsetourlast_img read more

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Graves urges families to enjoy winter fun during free fishing weekend

first_imgState Rep. Joe Graves today encouraged residents to take advantage of Michigan’s  wonderful winter natural resources during free fishing weekend, Feb. 14 and 15.Graves, R-Argentine Township, said the Michigan Department of Natural Resources will waive all fishing license fees during the weekend so residents and out-of-state visitors may enjoy fishing on lakes and rivers throughout Michigan. There are 79 lakes in Genesee County and 358 more in Oakland County..“Michigan is a winter sports paradise, and this is the perfect opportunity to take the kids and grandkids out on the ice and introduce them to a fantastic sport,” Graves said. “The scenery alone is worth the trip, plus you could catch dinner in the process.”All fishing regulations still apply during the free fishing weekend, Graves said.Graves advised residents to bundle up against the cold weather and to be sure the ice is safe before venturing out on frozen lakes.##### Lawmaker: Plenty of opportunities to drop a line Categories: Graves News,Newscenter_img 11Feb Graves urges families to enjoy winter fun during free fishing weekendlast_img read more

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Rep Sheppard holding summer reading contest for students

first_img09Jun Rep. Sheppard holding summer reading contest for students Categories: Sheppard News One winner will be named ‘Representative for a Day’State Rep. Jason Sheppard is sponsoring a reading contest to encourage children in the 56th House District to read during the summer months.“It’s important for children to read every day during the summer so they can sharpen the skills they have developed during the school year,” said Rep. Sheppard, R-Temperance. “I hope this contest will provide an extra incentive to pick up some books this summer.”To participate, students in first through fifth grades should use a Rep. Sheppard bookmark to track their reading progress over the summer. The official bookmarks will be distributed to local schools, and are also available at the following branches of the Monroe County Library System:Ellis Library and Reference Center, 3700 South Custer Road in MonroeBedford Branch Library, 8575 Jackman Road in TemperanceDundee Branch Library, 144 East Main St. in DundeeErie Branch Library, 2065 Erie Road in ErieIda Branch Library, 3016 Lewis Avenue in IdaRasey Memorial Branch Library, 4349 Oak St. in Luna PierSummerfield-Petersburg Branch Library, 60 East Center St. in PetersburgCompleted bookmarks must be turned in at one of the libraries by Sept. 1.The winning student will receive an opportunity to serve as “Representative for a Day” alongside Rep. Sheppard. The lucky winner will have an opportunity to experience part of a legislative session on the House floor, as well as other fun activities.“I look forward to welcoming the winner to Lansing, and showing them what it’s like to be a lawmaker,” Rep. Sheppard said. “I highly encourage any students who want to learn more about their state government to participate.”#####last_img read more

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Rep Frederick supports bills ending driver responsibility fees

first_img04Oct Rep. Frederick supports bills ending driver responsibility fees Categories: Frederick News,News State Rep. Ben Frederick today said he is supporting a bipartisan package of bills designed to eliminate driver responsibility fees.Frederick, of Owosso, said he wholeheartedly supports the legislation to end driver responsibility fees by October 2018 and fully forgive any outstanding amounts owed under the fee system. The fees have been assessed on people who commit a variety of driving offenses since their inception in 2003.The Legislature in 2014 voted to stop collecting the fees in 2019, but bill sponsors said they want to eliminate the program sooner. Included in the package of bills is restoration of a community service program that will enable people to immediately stop paying the fees and perform community service in their neighborhoods until the fee structure is fully eliminated in 2018.“Driver responsibility fees were supposedly devised to get dangerous drivers off the road and make them better drivers, but in reality it was simply a cash grab to fill a state budget hole,” Frederick said. “As a result of these state fees, many people have remained unable to legally drive to work and hold a job for years after they have met all other conditions of their sentencing. This means that several people simply choose to drive to and from work illegally just so they can feed their families. This has created a vicious cycle of poverty, and it’s past time to end this failed experiment.”Frederick said families have found it impossible to afford paying the multiyear fees, so more than 300,000 Michigan drivers have lost their driver’s licenses because of the program. Those charged with the fees collectively owe more than $600 million to the state they are unable to pay with many bills running into several thousand dollars.“It is time to admit that there is no chance we are going to see the vast majority of that money paid to the state and that there was truly no law enforcement justification for these additional fees,” Frederick said. “We should allow people who have already paid their fines to the court and their debt to society to rebuild their lives as productive citizens.”The bills were referred to the House Michigan Competitiveness Committee.#####center_img Thousands have chance to regain driver’s licenseslast_img read more

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House approves Rep Runestads plan to end cash collection at traffic stops

first_img Repeal of antiquated law supported by Michigan State PoliceThe Michigan House today approved legislation introduced by state Rep. Jim Runestad to eliminate the requirement that nonresidents must pay in cash if stopped and cited for traffic violations in Michigan.“An antiquated law was burdening law enforcement with taking cash at traffic stops but only for out-of-state residents,” said Runestad, of White Lake. “When officers collect the cash, the funds are immediately taken in and reported. This requirement takes time away from patrolling and can be misperceived by visitors to our state.”Currently, law enforcement is required to take cash at the roadside to ensure the out-of-state driver’s appearance in court unless provided with a guaranteed appearance certificate provided to an officer of the court.  The driver could also have their driver’s license confiscated or possibly go to jail until payment is made.The Michigan State Police has recommended eliminating the requirement.House Bill 5542 advances to the Senate for consideration.### 26Sep House approves Rep. Runestad’s plan to end cash collection at traffic stops Categories: News,Runestad Newslast_img read more

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Bellino Michigan should consider repeal and replace of car insurance reform

first_img Categories: Bellino News 20Mar Bellino: Michigan should consider ‘repeal and replace’ of car insurance reform Lawmaker sponsors plan to scrap state’s no-fault lawIn the latest attempt to bring significant relief to drivers paying the most expensive car insurance premiums in the nation, state Rep. Joe Bellino this week joined House colleagues in introducing wide-ranging legislation repealing Michigan’s no-fault car insurance system.The eight-bill package eliminates the no-fault system and moves Michigan to a full tort system similar to other states such as Ohio.“Every time there’s a viable reform proposal in the Legislature – one that special interests have a hard time digesting – it ends up being killed,” said Bellino, of Monroe, “After decades of deadlock and partisan politics blocking change for Monroe County drivers, Michigan should consider repealing its no-fault system and replacing it with a system that drivers can afford and 38 other states use. As a border county, Monroe motorists and businesses know firsthand how damaging no-fault is to our economy. We cannot continue to be burdened by the out-of-control costs associated with the state’s no-fault system.”The plan continues the mandate that all Michigan drivers have insurance, but provides more choice and flexibility by eliminating the mandate to buy unlimited medical coverage. Accident victims will have the ability to sue at-fault drivers for economic damages and non-economic damages such as pain and suffering.Colorado abandoned its no-fault system in 2003. According to a 2008 governor’s study, the average car insurance premium in the state decreased 35 percent since the state moved to a tort auto insurance system. Michigan drivers could see greater savings by parting ways with its no-fault system, which is the only one in the nation mandating unlimited medical coverage.Bellino’s measure, House Bill 4401, along with the rest of the bill package, House Bills 4397-4404, has been referred to the House Insurance Committee.last_img read more

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Investors Raise 25M for Changeorg and Move it Closer to Big Money

first_imgShareTweetShareEmail0 SharesDecember 9, 2014; CNN MoneyChange.org has a strong international community of supporters who cheer the website’s social justice–oriented mission. Big-name celebrities like Arianna Huffington, Bill Gates and Ashton Kutcher, as well as tech juggernauts like the founders of Yahoo, LinkedIn, and Twitter, have collectively raised $25 million to expand the online petitioning website.Responsible for hosting a vast variety of online petitions for causes that range from highlighting Walmart’s animal abuses to lifting the ban on women driving in Saudi Arabia, visitors to Change.org who feel connected to a cause can sign their names online to endorse it. Alternatively, they can make petitions themselves, engaging in virtual activism, whether or not it will actually effect change.While change.org has a decidedly “nonprofit” focus, and many of its clients that pay for petitions are major organizations in the sector like Amnesty International, UNICEF, Oxfam, and the World Wildlife Fund, it is a “B corporation” and has strong corporate ties as well. Pierre Omidyar, the founder of eBay, was among the lead investors in the project, which has raised a total of $50 million since 2007. Those at the helm of the website anticipate this influx of new investors, bringing with it a new wave and brand of interested parties, will help further diversify both the organization and its mission, but in what ways?“We wanted a group of investors who are passionate about our mission and who have experience that we could learn from,” Jen Dulski, president and chief operating officer at Change.org, told CNN Money.While some petitions are notable because of the number of signatures they accumulated, like the petition that was initiated after Trayvon Martin’s death, which reached over 2 million signatures, other petitions may have contributed to some real world changes. Following petitions, the Gap stopped selling fur while Old Navy made major changes to its plus-sized line. Victoria’s Secret changed the slogan of one of their ads (which Change.org petitioners took credit for) and Meriam Ibrahim, a pregnant Sudanese woman who had been sentenced to death for practicing Christianity, was released and allowed to leave the country to seek asylum elsewhere.But, at the end of the day, how many of these changes were directly driven by Change.org petitions? And while some stores changed their policies or ad campaigns, has Change.org led to any kind of political impact? As with any form of activism, it’s difficult to pinpoint when and where exactly change starts to occur and how much of it is citizen-driven.As noted by the Guardian, small online petitions, even those with millions of signatures, can enact positive change. They can start discussions that ebb and flow their way to Congress in the form of bills and laws. There’s a currently active petition with over 130,000 signatures, for example, calling for the passing of a law requiring police officers to wear body cameras. While the proposed “Michael Brown, Jr. Law” has yet to gain traction, there are already serious discussions taking place evaluating the need to equip police departments with this added level of oversight. What part the petition had is unclear.One can only imagine that Change.org understands that the siren song of big money can lure us into places where our very mission can be slaughtered, but we would love to hear from readers on this.—Shafaq HasanShareTweetShareEmail0 Shareslast_img read more

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This Is What Plutocracy Looks Like Late Implementation of PayRatio Disclosure Highlights

first_imgShare27Tweet8ShareEmail35 Shares“Hail Midas,” Steven SnodgrassMay 25, 2018; New York Times“This year, publicly traded corporations in the United States had to begin revealing their pay ratios—comparisons between the pay of their chief executive and the median compensation of other employees at the company,” notes David Gelles in the New York Times. The reason has to do with Section 953(b) of the Dodd-Frank Wall Street Reform and Consumer Protection Act.You may recall that Dodd-Frank was passed in 2010. This means that eight years transpired from when Congress passed the law to when companies had to comply. Why did it take so long? It’s not because of mathematical complexity; back in 2013, Jerry Markon and Dina El-Boghdady in the Washington Post reported that the SEC considered it “one of the simpler parts of a mammoth and complicated law.” In fact, “within six months of the law’s passage in 2010, SEC staffers had circulated an early blueprint for the pay rule.”What the agency did not count on was the resistance mounted by big business. A lobbying campaign waged by business executives and the nation’s most prominent corporate associations undercut the momentum and effectively brought the agency’s work on the rule to a standstill, according to interviews with SEC insiders and others familiar with discussions about the requirement.In the end, the SEC published a rule in 2015 and guidance last fall. So, now that we (finally) have numbers, what do they show? Gelles provides some examples:A Walmart employee earning the company’s median salary of $19,177 would have to work for more than a thousand years to earn the $22.2 million that Doug McMillon, the company’s chief executive, was awarded in 2017.At Live Nation Entertainment, the concert and ticketing company, an employee earning the median pay of $24,406 would need to work for 2,893 years to earn the $70.6 million that its chief executive, Michael Rapino, made last year.And at Time Warner, where the median compensation is a relatively handsome $75,217, an employee earning that much would still need to work for 651 years to earn the $49 million that Jeffrey Bewkes, the chief executive, earned in just 12 months.Michael Rapino’s $70.6 million works out to $193,424 a day, by the way, assuming he works all holidays and weekends. Rapino, however, falls short of Broadcom’s Hock Tan and First Data’s Frank Bisignano, each of whom cleared $100 million last year. Gelles adds that, “Financiers at hedge funds, which are generally private…can earn billions of dollars a year. Michael Platt, the founder of BlueCrest Capital Management, earned $2 billion last year, according to Forbes. James Simons, a founder of Renaissance Technologies, earned $1.8 billion.”Last fall, Bloomberg Law, in an article that labels the rule a “pain in the butt,” quoted Sharon Podstupka of Pearl Meyer & Partners, who says, “Companies seem frustrated about this particular exercise. This disclosure, from an investor and proxy adviser standpoint, is relatively meaningless.”Podstupka’s comment is telling, as if the only reason to have disclosures is to inform investors, not the general public. Of course, rising CEO pay is no mere matter of corporate efficiency. Recently, the US Supreme Court in Epic Systems Corp. v. Lewis upheld mandatory arbitration clauses in contracts. As the New York Times editorial board explains, “The use of mandatory arbitration clauses by nonunionized companies has skyrocketed, from two percent in 1992 to 54 percent today….Why would so many companies go this route? Hint: It’s not because they want their employees to have more bargaining power.”“It’s grotesque how unequal this has become,” says Louis Hyman, a business historian at Cornell University. “For CEOs, it’s like they are winning the lottery year after year. For a lot of Americans, they don’t have any savings. When they lose their job, they lose everything.”Gelles notes that, “As glaring as the ratios may seem, they tell an incomplete story. Some companies reported very low ratios and relatively high median incomes, but rely on outsourced labor for important tasks. Other companies that reported very high ratios employ many workers overseas where pay is far lower than in the United States.”Hyman, who has written a book on gig workers slated to be published in August, says, “It all depends on who you consider to be an employee in this new economy.”Some say the rule might help nudge more equitable pay. “This could have beneficial results about how companies communicate with their employees,” says Jannice Koors, an executive compensation consultant. “In a good year, if the CEO’s pay goes up, does the median employee’s pay go up, too? Does the company have profit-sharing that goes deep enough?”At present though, as Jennifer Gordon, a law professor at Fordham University, observes, “The top layer of management lives like kings and queens while the people at the bottom are scrabbling for a decent existence.”—Steve DubbShare27Tweet8ShareEmail35 Shareslast_img read more

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A significant number of shareholders in UTV Media

first_imgA significant number of shareholders in UTV Media, the owner of the UTV commercial channel in Northern Ireland, have expressed their dissatisfaction with the company’s management by voting against its executive remuneration plan and abstaining in a vote to re-elect CEO John McCann.Some 35% of stockholders voted against the remuneration programme and abstained from the CEO vote, while the same number voted against the re-election of another director.The revolt has been linked to the board’s decision last year to oust longstanding UTV chairman and 8.2% shareholder John McGuckian, after which two non-executive directors resigned in protest. McGuckian was also a director and shareholder in TVC Holdings, which has an 18% stake in UTV.last_img

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Music channel Trace Urban has signed a deal with p

first_imgMusic channel Trace Urban has signed a deal with pay-TV operator Canal Digital that will see the network launch on the latter’s DTH platform in Norway, Sweden, Denmark and Finland.The channel is due to go live on November 1, joining Trace Sports Stars, another Trace-owned channel that has been part of Canal Digital’s basic channel tier in Norway since September 2012.Trace Urban will be available subscribers Canal Digital’s Family Pack of channels. The station airs R&B, hip hop and dance music videos along with celebrity interviews and original features related to urban culture.“This is a landmark deal for Trace in the region, setting the perfect base for further expansion. Canal Digital is the leading pay-TV platform in the Nordic region and we’re delighted to sign this deal with them,” said Olivier Laouchez, founder and CEO of Trace. The 2003-launched Trace Urban is now available to over 160 countries, the company said.last_img read more

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Opera Software has partnered with Samsung marking

first_imgOpera Software has partnered with Samsung, marking the tenth company that has signed up to use its Opera TV Store app platform. Apps from the Opera TV Store will be available on selected Samsung Blu-ray players – including Series 5 and some Series 4 models.Opera says its app store delivers hundreds of HTML5-based apps from content owners covering video, music, games, social media, news and utilities.The Opera TV Store debuted in March 2012 on Sony Bravia TVs and Blu-ray Disc players and has since shipped on a host of TiVo, TCL and Hisense devices. Agreements have also been announced with MediaTek, Humax, Changhong, Konka and Amino.last_img

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Despite industry fears of cord cutting or cord

first_imgDespite industry fears of ‘cord cutting’ or ‘cord trimming’, subscribers to OTT services like Netflix are actually among “the most active TV Everywhere users,” according to new NPD Group research.The NPD Group TV Everywhere report claims that 75% of homes that use subscription VOD services also have a pay TV subscription, and 25% use their provider’s TV Everywhere service at least once per month.The research said that dual SVoD and pay-TV subscribers were not only more likely to have tried TV Everywhere services, “they are also using it more frequently.” Some 30% of SVoD subscribers use TV Everywhere on a weekly basis, compared to just 20% of non-SVoD subscribing TV Everywhere users.“Though some SVOD subscribers may be cutting the cord, the evidence is that the overwhelming majority are not only keeping the cord, they are lengthening it through aggressive use of TV Everywhere,” said NPD senior vice president of industry analysis Russ Crupnick.“This speaks to the level of engagement they have with programming and a comfort in using the internet to both access and interact with that programming.”In total, NPD found that 21% of pay TV subscribers use the TV Everywhere services provided by their pay-TV operator at least once per month.last_img read more

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Total TV and video revenue will remain flat over t

first_imgTotal TV and video revenue will remain flat over the next five years, despite the promise of TV everywhere and VoD services, according to a new US study by research firm The Diffusion Group (TDG).The Future of TV Monetisation report says that while TV everywhere and pay TV VoD is showing “promising in-market results,” they are still “relatively nascent” in a business landscape that is known for changing slowly.“It takes a long time to take new platforms from first in-market trials to fully-realised revenue-generating ecosystems. There will be revenue winners and losers during the next five years, but the total TV/video dollar pool will stay the same,” predicts the report author and senior TDG advisor, Bill Niemeyer.TDG claims overall TV and video spending has only seen “minor growth” since 2004 – a trend it tips to continue through 2020.Taking inflation-adjusted dollars to make the comparison, TDG says that between 2004 and 2013, spending growth in this market has increased from US$195 billion to $213 billion.“This constitutes an increase of only 9% during a 10-year period, equivalent to a compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of only +1%,” said TDG.The firm predicts that TV and video revenue over the next five years “will be much like the previous five years in terms of inflation-adjusted dollars, running primarily flat.”last_img read more

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BTs ad campaign for BT Sport Sky retained the bul

first_imgBT’s ad campaign for BT SportSky retained the bulk of live Premier League football but upped its spend as the total UK TV rights auction hit a record £5.14 billion for three seasons. Sky and BT will continue to carve up the live games for the seasons from 2016/2017 to 2018/2019, with Sky securing five of the seven TV packages and BT taking the other two.Sky will pay £1.39 billion (€1.87 billion) per year for the rights, a total of £4.2 billion for the three years, which marks an 83% increase on the cost of its existing contract.For this, Sky will air 126 fixtures per season, compared to 116 currently, and has secured rights for Friday evening matched for the first time. It will have 26 first picks and 31 second picks for the top games.BT will pay £320 million per season, a total of £960 million for the three seasons, with the cost of its contract rising by a total of 30%.For this, it will air 42 Premier League matches per season, compared to 38 currently, with the new rights allowing BT to show a live Saturday evening game every Premier League weekend.The total £5.14 billion paid between the broadcasters marked a 71% increase on the current TV rights and surpasses many analysts’ predictions.Sky said that while the price paid per annum is around £330 million more than analyst forecasts, it has a “clear set of plans in place to fund the bid and deliver its financial plans in line with expectations.”It said that it would “work hard to minimise the impact of higher rights costs on customers,” adding that the majority of the funding will come through additional savings generated by efficiency plans.“This is a good result and confirms that Sky is the unrivalled choice for sports fans. We went into the Premier League auction with a clear objective and are pleased to have secured the rights that we wanted,” said Sky CEO Jeremy Darroch.However, Joshua Raymond, senior market analyst at broker City Index said that Sky has been “forced to pay over the odds” to secure prime packages including the Sunday lunchtime kick-offs.“I expect Sky shareholders to react warmly to this latest victory but in the medium term, there has to be a deeper concern on the spiralling prices paid but broadcasters,” said Raymond.“The big news is that the total prices paid broke £5bn to hit £5.136bn, a jump of more than 70% on the same package last time around and a new record. This is a huge jump and shows the huge competition BT posed in forcing Sky to bid to new heights.”John Petter, BT Consumer CEO said: “I am pleased we will be showing Premier League football for a further three years and that we have secured the prime Saturday evening slot. These new rights will enhance our existing schedule of football, rugby and other international sport, including all the live footballing action from the UEFA Champions and Europa Leagues starting this summer.”last_img read more

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Jeff Bezos Jeff Bezos has said Amazons upcoming m

first_imgJeff BezosJeff Bezos has said Amazon’s upcoming motoring series with the former Top Gear team will be “very, very, very expensive.”The Amazon founder and CEO was speaking to UK newspaper The Telegraph. He said that recruiting the Top Gear team, who left the BBC show in the wake of a scandal that involved star presenter Jeremy Clarkson hitting a member of the production team, was a costly undertaking: “They’re worth a lot and they know it,” he said.Amazon beat off competition from Netflix and ITV for the former Top Gear team of Jeremy Clarkson, James May and Richard Hammond who will make a new motoring series for the Prime Instant Video streaming service. The deal also brings in former Top Gear exec producer Andy Wilman, who will work on the new, as yet untitled, series.Bezos added that the upcoming show, which will be on Amazon Prime Instant Video, will be just one of a mix of high-profile programmes on the streaming service. “It can’t just be one show, it has to be a number of things. We have a lot of things in the pipeline, which I think viewers in the UK and around the world are going to love. And I think Clarkson’s new show is going to be one of those.”Netflix and Amazon have helped spearhead a new wave of high-end drama and Bezos said that this is a golden age of TV. “If you go back in time even just five years, you couldn’t get A-list talent to do TV serials, or, if you could, it was a rare thing. But that’s flipped completely,” he said.Continuing in his appraisal of the original content and TV world, he added: “The investment is very high now in serialised TV, and the amount of time you have to tell a story is much greater. That format change opens up a lot of storytelling possibilities, which, when mixed with the movie-like production standards, and the A-list talent, is why we’re seeing amazing television.”last_img read more

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More than half of viewers are driven by contentr

first_imgMore than half of viewers are driven by “content-related” factors when looking for a preferred online video service, according to a new study by Strategy Analytics and Piksel.The report ranked content issues – such as the availability of full TV series, of full-length movies, a large content library and live content – as the most important considerations for 52% of viewers.By contrast, price and pricing options account for a lesser 39% of consumer choice. Video quality and the number of devices that can be used simultaneously accounted for just 4% and 5% respectively.“Once again content has proven to be king when talking about the choice drivers for online video services,” according to the report.Piksel president, Fabrice Hamaide, said: “It’s clear from our study with Strategy Analytics that this depth of insight is critical to building a successful online video business. Often overlooked, finding the sweet spot of your target audience’s preferences could represent the key differentiator to providing a service that matches a specific market’s needs and considerably reducing the risk involved in launching a new service.“Leveraging our consumer insights services, both at launch and on a continuous basis, provides clarity around the nuanced effect that tangible and intangible factors have on consumer decisions. It is part of allowing online video providers to create robust and profitable offerings.”The findings were based on an online survey conducted by 1,200 US viewers between 16 and 59 years old who had watched online video services at least six months prior to the study.Piksel is exhibiting at IBC on stand 14.C34last_img read more

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PlayStation VR users can now experience immersive

first_imgPlayStation VR users can now experience immersive 360-degree YouTube videos using their PS VR headsets.Since the launch of PS VR in October, users have been able to watch streaming and catch-up services on a virtual “big-screen” using the headset.Now users can also watch 360-degree YouTube content that responds to users’ head movements.“Back in October, when we first launched PlayStation VR, our mission was to deliver cutting-edge virtual reality experiences to PS4 players right across the globe. Following a hugely successful launch and masses of positive feedback from players everywhere, we’re continuing to build on what we started,” said Sony in a post on the PlayStation blog“The latest update adds support for YouTube’s rapidly expanding library of virtual reality videos, allowing PS4 and PS VR users to once again step beyond the screen and explore detailed 360° worlds as though they were standing right there.”Speaking at MIPCOM in October, a week after the launch of PlayStation VR, the president and CEO of Sony Corporation, Kazuo Hirai, said the company was committed providing an “entirely new gaming experience” and would offer other kinds of content that go “beyond gaming”.“We have paid close attention to audience reaction to early VR exposure and intend to respond with a variety of content beyond gaming. Across Sony, our content divisions are working on VR entertainment as we seek to grow the industry,” said Hirai at the time.last_img read more

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Twitter is rolling out preroll ads for videos bro

first_imgTwitter is rolling out pre-roll ads for videos broadcast through its Periscope live-streaming service.Twitter said the move will allow brands to attach their message to specific broadcasts from creators and publishers.Ads will appear in the same way that they do currently on Twitter videos found in users’ timelines, and will apply to live and replayed content.“As video viewership on Twitter continues to grow, video has become an increasingly important channel for publishers, creators and brands to reach their audiences,” said Periscope group project manager, Mike Folgner.“Today, we’re introducing a new opportunity for publishers and creators to monetise their content, and for brands to advertise against it.”Last month Twitter said it broadcast 6.6 million hours of live video through Periscope in its financial fourth quarter and attracted 31 million unique viewers to live premium video in the first quarter of operations, with 600 hours of live content from partners streamed across about 400 events.last_img read more

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Sky saw its operating profit fall by 11 to £1013

first_imgSky saw its operating profit fall by 11% to £1.013 billion (€1.211 billion) in the first nine months of its current financial year as the increased cost of Premier League rights took its toll. The pay TV giant nevertheless saw revenue grow by 11% to £9.6 billion in the same period.Operationally, Sky grew its customer base by 100,000 in the third quarter, taking its total subscriber base to 22.4 million across the countries in which it operates – the UK, Ireland, Germany, Austria and Italy.Sky’s revenues were boosted by the strength of the euro. On a constant currency basis, revenues increased by 5%. EBITDA declined by 6% to £1.525 billion.Overall costs grew by 8% to £8.628 billion, due to the increased cost of Premier League rights.Sky’s performance was boosted by Germany and Austria, where revenues grew by 10% to £1.382 billion, leading the unit to post its first ever operating profit at the nine-month stage. EBITDA rose by 117% to £78 million. Sky Germany had 4.9 million customers at the end of the third quarter.Revenue also grew strongly in Italy, rising by 7% to £1.849 billion, while EBITDA rose by 44% to £202 million. Customers in the Italian market numbered 4.8 million at the end of March, up 68,000 year-on-year.UK revenues grew more slowly, hit by the “more challenging environment” in the quarter to March and a decline in the advertising market. Sky’s UK and Ireland customer base totalled 12.7 million at the end of the third quarter, up 40,000 year-on-year.“It’s been another strong quarter for Sky, despite this being our seasonally quietest period. We continue to perform well, attracting another 106,000 customers across the Group in the quarter, taking growth to 769,000 over the last 12 months.  We have delivered strong revenue growth of 11% and are on track financially with operating profit for the nine months exceeding £1 billion,” said Sky CEO Jeremy Darroch.“Looking forward, we enter the final quarter of our fiscal year in good shape. Despite the broader consumer environment remaining uncertain, we continue to deliver on our strategy and are on track for the full year.”     Sky’s results were accompanied by its announcement of a new production partnership with HBO and the unveiling of plans to show Test cricket in the UHD format for the first time.last_img read more

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