The ‘Star Wars’ Han Solo movie now has an official name

 Star Wars’ cinematic universe tale focused on young Han Solo has a name, and we found out thanks to director Ron Howard, who announced it using a placard in a video shared on Twitter. The name, in case you were wondering, is “Solo: A Star Wars Story.” It follows the “A Star Wars Story” model set by Rogue One, the first spin-out movie set in the Star Wars universe… Read More

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Free streaming TV service Pluto TV raises $8.3M, in new round led by Samsung

 Free streaming TV service Pluto TV announced today it has received a new $5 million investment from Samsung Venture Investment Corporation, the VC arm of the Samsung Group. Combined with other investors, the full round totaled $8.3 million, the company says. Pluto TV declined to disclose the other investors in the round, but said they’re a mix of both new and prior investors. The… Read More

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Snap and NBCUniversal team up on Snapchat scripted shows

 Snapchat parent co. Snap is working with NBCUniversal on its first scripted series, with an initial effort led by the Duplass Brothers – Mark and Jay, to those in the know. The duo will create scripted programming for Snapchat through Donut, their own creative production venture. It’s maybe a weird choice for Snap and their youthful audience, but it’s a team with a proven… Read More

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Substack helps writers turn blogs and newsletters into subscription businesses

 Substack is looking to help writers make money in a way that CEO Chris Best described as “diametrically opposed to the broader Internet news model.”
In other words, while large digital media companies are chasing “a lot of engagement, a lot of clicks and eyeballs,” Best (who was previously co-founder and CTO at Kik) said Substack has built subscription tools for… Read More

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Watch Wakanda come to life in Marvel’s new ‘Black Panther’ trailer

 Marvel’s The Black Panther is coming to theatres next year on February 16, and now we have a better look at what to expect from the movie. There’s Black Panther, of course, returning in his own feature after making his debut in Captain America: Civil War, but there’s also so, so much more. We get a LOT of looks at Wakanda, the advanced fictional African nation where Black… Read More

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‘Close Encounters of the Third Kind’ reimagined in 8-bit for 40th anniversary

 Close Encounters of the Third Kind is 40 years old, which is a bit hard to believe, so this ‘retro’ 8-bit recreation of the seminal Steven Spielberg sci-fi movie is actually modern compared to its actual release date. I think.
Still, it’s a fun homage from fan Christopher Harrison, and one that Close Encounters is using to promote its 4K UHD and Blu-ray release. Both those… Read More

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Amazon drops David O. Russell show as Weinstein fallout continues

 Amazon said earlier this week that it was reviewing its options around the shows it was producing with The Weinstein Company. Now it looks like the company has made a decision and is moving to sever ties with TWC. One show, an untitled project from director David O. Russell, has been canceled entirely. Russell, along with stars Robert De Niro and Julianne Moore, released a statement saying… Read More

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Extracting bias at TechCrunch [Internal]

 Attn: TechCrunch editorial In light of the new New York Times social media guidelines, we at TechCrunch are issuing our own set of social media restrictions resources. Our new guidelines underscore TechCrunch’s pathological obsession with social platforms, but also call for our reporters to proceed with the utmost caution, expressing none of their rampant pre-existing biases, which… Read More

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Fandango is acquiring rival online ticketer MovieTickets.com

fandango A consolidation in the advance movie ticketing space is happening today, with Fandango’s announcement that it’s acquiring rival MovieTickets.com for an undisclosed sum. The deal, which is expected to close before year-end, will help Fandango expand its international footprint, particularly in Latin America, as well as bring new cinemas to its ticketing platform. Headquartered in… Read More

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Original Content needs hugs after the family drama of Netflix’s ‘Meyerowitz Stories’

The Meyerowitz Stories It’s easy to roll your eyes at many of Adam Sandler’s recent films — including his Netflix Originals — but he’s also delivered impressive performances in good movies like Punch-Drunk Love and Funny People. Now we can add The Meyerowitz Stories (New and Selected) to the list. The Meyerowitz Stories, which Netflix is releasing today, was written and directed by… Read More

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Toonstar lets you bring cartoon characters to life thanks to facial recognition

Toonstar John Attanasio, CEO of Toonstar, said his goal is to create “a new Cartoon Network.”
Attanasio and his co-founder Luisa Huang were both executives at Warner Brothers, so they both worked under the same corporate umbrella as the Cartoon Network. Attanasio said the key to Toonstar’s approach is to create animated content that’s “mobile, snackable… Read More

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Spotify launches an app for artists with real-time streaming data, audience demographics

 In the music streaming era, access to data is king. Artists want to know how their music is being discovered, who’s listening, where, how many have streamed their release, and what else their fans are into, among other things. Today, Spotify is releasing an app for artists that aims to answer these questions, while also giving artists a way to update their profile and connect with… Read More

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Plex launches its live TV streaming service on Roku

 Plex is bringing its live TV streaming service to the U.S.’s most popular media player platform, with today’s announcement of its arrival on Roku. Launched earlier this year, Plex’s software offers cord cutters a low-cost way to set up more of a DIY streaming TV service as an alternative to Sling TV, PlayStation Vue, or any of the other now numerous subscription-based options… Read More

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FastPay acquires media payments company AnchorOps

FastPay AnchorOps FastPay has acquired AnchorOps in a deal that brings together two businesses focused on media financing. FastPay’s model revolves around lending money to digital media companies, helping them deal with cashflow issues as they wait to get paid by advertisers. AnchorOps, meanwhile, has built invoicing and payments software for those media companies. In the acquisition announcement, CEO… Read More

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Hulu responds to user complaints with a grid guide for Live TV

 User feedback about Hulu’s new interface has not been entirely positive. In fact, a complaint about the new user interface is the most upvoted item on Hulu’s customer feedback forums, and is then followed by dozens of similar complaints which all say the same thing: it’s too hard to find shows, the interface is too difficult to navigate, the layout is confusing, and so on.… Read More

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