Archive for April, 2010

Cannes 2010, the sate of the industry

April 23, 2010

Cannes 2010

I’ve cobbled together some interesting stats about attendance of the Cannes Film Festival 2010, just did a quick breakdown to give snap shot of market place and not sure quite what to make of it!

3549 Total Companies Listed

1746 Production Companies

1015 companies listed as buyers

975 listed as theatrical distribution

683 Video Distribution

521  Sales Agents (only 192 listed as buying)

521 Sellers

510 Exhibitors

333 Film Festivals

314 TV Distribution

272 Services

193 Organisations (including UK Film Council)

160 Publicity and Marketing

131 Financial Institutions

125 Film Commission

115 Interactive and New Media

102 TV Broadcast

99 Film Funds

56 Technical

51 Publisher

45 Talent Agencies

40 Law Firms

39 Press

39  VOD platforms

36 Training

26 Music Publishers

14  VOD aggregators

4 Unknown

(stats from Cinando)

Attendance: 29323

Media Attendance: 4376

Accredited Industry Attendance: 24856

Total Number of Films Submitted: 4329

Total Number of Films Screened: 138

Total Screenings: 30

# of Shorts Screened: 44

# of Features Screened: 94

(stats from

would be interested to hear anyone’s thoughts


Facebook: A quick guide to those announcements

April 23, 2010


Acres, if you can measure online coverage in those terms, has been written already about Facebook’s announcements at its F8 developer conference yesterday.

Facebook’s objective, dressed in rather woolly speak about social graphs, connections and experiences, is to make it easier for people to access the site, use it more and populate it with more of their online behaviour.

The most significant announcement was about a series of plugins that will allow any website to add small chunks of Facebook tools to their pages. Mark Zuckerberg explained how this would work by sharing preferences and favourites on a music site like Pandora, or sports site ESPN.

“Pandora will be able to start playing music from bands you have liked all across the web. It can show you which friends like music similar to what you are listening to, then you can click and listen to their collections.”

A handful of launch partners were announced and in the UK, those are film site LOVEFiLM, Sky, ESPNCricInfo and MyDeco. The benefit for them is a powerful personal recommendation tool, from  asite with a very broad audience base that will help drive traffic.

For LOVEFiLM, it means every film and actor’s page will have a Facebook ‘like’ option, which is likely to increase their traffic as people share their film tastes with their friends, and also gives them data to display the site’s most ‘liked’ content on their homepage.

• Mark Zuckerberg: What Facebook changes mean for users >>Mashable
• Pandora partners with Facebook for social music >> Mashable
• Facebook to kill Facebook Connect >> Mashable
• Facebook F8: One graph to rule them all >> CNET
• Facebook targets Google’s web with the open graph >> Venturebeat
• Facebook makes itself a central point for web failure >> GigaOm
• Facebook just seized control of the internet >> TechCrunch
• Facebook plays privacy twister again >> paidContent
• Facebook seeks to spread across internet >> AFP
• Facebook Presence – nearly a step into location services >> Guardian
• New ways to personalise your online experience >> Facebook
• Facebook shows off new tools to socialise the entire web >> Wired
• Interview with Facebook VP Chris Cox >> TechCrunch
• Facebook to expand with ‘social plugins’ >> FT
• What you missed at Facebook’s F8 conference >> Venturebeat

see orginal article

Twitter has 105m registered users, 600m searches per day.. and more numbers from Chirp

April 23, 2010

The social network/microblogging site has given out some tantalising details about the size of its service – and the Guardian is trying its new @anywhere service

ReadWriteWeb has a handy crib from the Twitter Chirp conference (at which our own Chris Thorpe has demonstrated the Guardian’s implementation of the @anywhere service (which is like Facebook Connect: it lets people tweet from almost anywhere but without having to hand over their login details; if you want a guide on how to use it, here’s Michael Brunton-Spall’s, one of the Guardian developers who worked on it).

A few of the statistics (and our questions)

• Twitter has 105,779,710 registered users (our previous best guess was 45m – though this 105m, soon to be 106m, isn’t active users, of course)

• 300,000 new users sign up per day (but: how many are spam?)

• Approximately 60% of them are coming from outside the US

• Twitter receives 180 million unique visitors per month (is that to, or totally?)

• 75% of Twitter traffic comes from third-party applications

• 60% of all tweets come from third-party apps (those tow make an intriguing combination: third-party apps are used more to read than tweet?)

• Since the new Blackberry application was launched, it has accounted for 7 to 8% of new signups (encouraging for RIM)

• Twitter now has 175 employees, up from 25 one year ago

• There are 600 million search queries on Twitter per day (that’s a lot of chances for Promoted Tweets)

• There are more than 100,000 Twitter applications

• Twitter gets 3 billion requests a day through its API

• 37% of active Twitter users use their phone to tweet (that’s a lot – and shows how Twitter has escaped from the web)

More will come, we’re sure.

see original article

YouTube Expands Movie and TV Rentals

April 23, 2010


The YouTube Store has a much more impressive library than it did during its January trial period, including a few classics likeReservoir Dogs and recent critical hit PreciousThe Cove — one of the original five — is currently the most popular film in the library.

If you’re interested in trying out the service, rentals range from $0.99 to $3.99, and the rental periods vary. Some pages say 24 hours, while others say 72. When the service initially launched, it only had five Sundance films, which only drew in $10,709during the 10-day run. The New York Times deduced that figure by counting the number of views on each of the five films, but you can’t do that now — view counts are hidden.

Niche content like Bollywood movies and Japanese animation TV shows still place prominently in the lists of popular content — evidence that while the site does have some mainstream options now, they still don’t match what AmazoniTunesand Netflix offer. We find it curious that while iTunes and Amazon sell TV episodes for $0.99, the episodes on YouTube are just for rent.

NewTeeVee contacted the site and asked about the new content, which went up with little fanfare. A spokesperson told them: “When we announced YouTube Rentals in January we said we would be creating a destination after more partners joined the program. To date, we have nearly 500 partners that have joined our Rental program.”

see original article

YouTube envisions future of television viewing

April 23, 2010


It is just five years since the first video was uploaded on YouTube by one of its founders. Now over 24 hours of video a minute are uploaded to the site and it receives over a billion views a day. YouTube has its sights set on turning a few minutes a day watching videos on the web to something more like the hours a day we generally spend watching television. That vision could become a reality once televisions are routinely connected to the internet.

“People think about the world of TV and the world of online video as being different ways to distribute video,” said Chad Hurley, the co-founder of YouTube, in an interview with the Telegraph newspaper. “But what happens when every TV is connected to wi-fi with a browser?”

“That is what we envision. Instead of this world of online video and this world of TV there is just one world,” he said. “There won’t be a difference in the future.”

“The iPad — is that a phone or a computer?” he questioned. “If I put it on my wall is it a TV? People continue to try to throw things in the buckets when really these are all going to be different-sized devices with a connection to the internet.”

As on the Apple iPhone and iPod Touch, YouTube has a dedicated application on the iPad. With its nearly ten-inch screen, viewing YouTube on the iPad feels like much more of a natural multimedia experience than on a laptop or desktop computer.

YouTube is already available through widgets or applications on various internet-connected televisions and an increasing number of televisions will be network connected in the next few years.

According to the co-founder of YouTube, the aim is now to deliver a more seamless experience across different devices. “We have some solutions for mobile, we have some solutions for TV, but they are not very consistent and they are somewhat separate. So, I start watching something on my mobile phone and then I can finish watching it on my PC, I sort my favourites on my PC and I want to watch it on my TV.”

Within the next five years, YouTube expects to see much more video viewed over the internet. “Although YouTube is the most successful video platform, the number of minutes watched, 10-15 minutes a day, is small when compared to the five hours watched on the TV set,” said Salar Kamangar, vice president of product management for YouTube. “It’s hard for me to imagine that in five to 10 years from now most of the content we consume won’t be delivered over the internet.”

see original article

Facebook’s bid to rule the web as it goes social

April 23, 2010


By Maggie Shiels
Technology reporter, BBC News, Silicon Valley

Facebook set out its stall to unseat Google and be at the heart of the web experience as it becomes more social.

The world’s largest social network unveiled a series of products at its developer conference F8 aimed at helping the company achieve that goal.

These tools will make it easier for users to take their friends with them as they browse the web.

“We are building toward a web where the default is social,” said Mark Zuckerberg, Facebook’s founder.

“If you look back a few years ago and even as recently as today, in most cases the web isn’t designed to use your friends. They don’t assume you have a real identity but we are seeing that seep in more and more.

“We want to be one of the things that empowers that and right now most users are using Facebook and we hope we can be a good force in driving that forward,” Mr Zuckerberg told the BBC during a news conference.

the world like and a thumbs up icon

Facebook says it will serve 1 billion “Likes” on the web in 24 hours

He added that the “web was at a turning point” and that the way forward was to have friends, or what Mr Zuckerberg called “your social graph”, to guide you online.

“One of the points Mr Zuckerberg was making was that the web has become a lot less anonymous and Facebook is definitely positioning itself as wanting to be the owner of that information,” said Maya Baratz of the Huffington Post.


At the F8 conference in San Francisco, Mr Zuckerberg unveiled a number of products aimed at putting users and their friends at the “centre of the web”.

The most significant was an open graph protocol to let publishers tag their content by type along with a “Like” button that partner sites put on their webpage. This allows users to indicate what they like on a website, be it from photographs to news items and from clothes to music.

That information will then be stored by Facebook the way it already stores connections between people. At the same time any website will be able to take those individual preferences and use them to tailor a more “personalised online experience” for the user and their friends.

Facebook said this means its members will see a web that caters to their individual tastes.

Crucially all this can only happen when users are logged into Facebook and “makes it easy to make any page (on the internet) a Facebook page,” said Bret Taylor, Facebook’s director of platform.

Business opportunity

Mr Zuckerberg described the features he presented at the conference as “the most transformative thing we’ve ever done for the web”.

Justin Smith, founder of said there are a lot of business upsides to this product.

“When someone “likes” your page, that is a valuable action because it means you will be able to publish updates directly to them in the future which could be used for a variety of purposes like promoting traffic to your website or advertising anything you want.”

Some of the early adoptees of the “Like” button include CNN, the movie site, ESPN and Levi’s.

Levi’s will integrate the “Like” function on its e-commerce site as well as build a “friend” store where consumers logged into Facebook will be able to see a list of their friend’s favourite products and shop online with them.

“We’re creating a new shopping experience that will change the way people shop online,” said Jodi Bricker, vice president of digital at Levi’s.

‘Audacious and a bit scary’

So what does this mean for Google, the world’s most powerful internet company with billions of users who access the web using hyperlinks?

“People are discovering information not just through links to web pages but also from the people and the things they care about,” Mr Zuckerberg told a conference hall of around 1,500 developers.

Om Malik, founder and editor of the technology blog told BBC news “even a blind man can see this is a Facebook versus Google battle and in many ways if the web is going to be more social then that plays to Facebook’s strengths.”

Damon Cortesi, founder of social media company UntitledStartup, agreed.

“Facebook has won the internet,” he told technology blog

“Facebook has always been social, but in terms of dominating the web over Google they have made strides today.”

But Mr Malik sounded a note of caution.

“The whole idea to socialise the whole web is fairly impressive, audacious and a bit scary. I am very scared about the privacy issues around this initiative. They haven’t really been very clear as to how consumers will have more control over the things they do on the web.”

The issue of privacy has been something of a thorn in Facebook’s side. It has suffered backlashes in the past over moves to change users privacy settings.

“Nothing we have released changes any of the privacy protections we have,” said Elliot Schrage, the company’s vice president of public policy and communications.

“We’re providing new opportunities for people to have a social experience if they want it.”

see original article

First 3D television sets go on sale in UK

April 23, 2010


By Dan Whitworth, Newsbeat technology reporter

3D TV has been one of the biggest technology stories of the year so far and Thursday morning (22 April) saw the first ones actually going on sale in the UK.

They’ve been available in the US and Japan for several months, but as expected they’re not cheap. The price of the first TV released is £1,799 – and there are lots of other bits of kit needed to get the right set-up.

A pair of the 3D glasses this system uses cost £150, a 3D Blu-ray DVD player is around £350 and a compatible HDMI cable is £50.

For 28-year-old Matt Rajah though – the very first person in the queue on Thursday morning – it’s worth the money: “Well I think it’s clearly the future of where television is going.

“I saw Avatar with my friends in 3D at the cinema and really loved that film. I’m also an avid gamer as well so I’m hoping to exploit some of the features of the TV through gaming.”

At the moment, the platforms available for 3D TV are limited. There are no 3D television channels and there are only a relatively small selection of 3D DVDs and video games.

John Kempner, the chief TV buyer for John Lewis, reckons that will change: “It is all about content. There will be more 3D movies coming along on Blu-ray. But more importantly Sky will be launching its 3D channel in around September time we think.

Video gaming is the other area where there’ll be a lot of 3D content available, which I think will be important too.”

That video game content is seen by some in the industry as a key driver of 3D TV sales.

It’s also worth pointing out that as well as 3D capability, the televisions going on sale also offer the latest 2D high-definition technology.

While some forecasts predict only modest sales this year, most experts believe it’s the future and that 3D TVs will sell in much larger numbers once the content improves and the price comes down.

see original article

April 23, 2010


It took a couple of extra months but Fox and Universal have agreed to roughly the same deal with DVD rental kiosk company Redbox as Warner Bros. (NYSE: TWXdid in February. Both studios will now provide Redbox with “improved economic terms,” as well as additional access to Blu-ray titles, and, in exchange, Redbox will delay renting their new releases until 28 days after they are first available to purchase in stores, so that they can try to protect their sales. Redbox will also end its lawsuits against both Fox and Universal, which had become particularly ugly.

The deals come only two weeks after Fox and Universal bothannounced new distribution deals with Netflix (NSDQ: NFLX), which also agreed to delay distribution of their new releases for 28 days. In that case, however, both studios granted Netflix additional streaming rights in addition to improved economic terms.

With both Redbox and Netflix now agreeing to 28-day rental windows, Blockbuster (NYSE: BBI) has been trying to use the deals to differentiate itself from its rivals. It has now negotiated its own agreements with Warner Bros., Sony (NYSE: SNE) and Fox so it can rent new releases on the same day they are available for sale.

Related Stories

see original aricle

Now Newspapers Can Count Their Mobile Audiences, Too

April 23, 2010


One of the world’s leading newspaper auditors has added mobile phones to the list of mediums that it tracks, providing validation to the wireless industry, while also potentially giving publications a shot of new readers as traditional print audiences decline.

To do so, the interactive unit of the Audit Bureau of Circulations has partnered with Verve Wireless, which works with more than 600 newspaper publishers in the U.S., Canada, and Europe. Together, the two will be able to audit mobile applications, mobile browsers and even e-readers, like the iPad. Although the service will be limited to Verve’s clients, it marks the first official time the ABC (NYSE: DIS) has tracked mobile usage.

The audience size is not trivial. Verve said more than nine million readers accessed news from mobile devices using its publishing platform in March, jumping 243 percent compared to the prior year. In 2010, it expects to serve more than 2.2 billion mobile news pages. Separately, ABC said it found in a survey of member publications, that more than 80 percent said consumers would rely more heavily on mobile devices as a primary information source over the next three years.

A spokesperson for ABC said up until now it has not been tracking mobile, but some papers have been able to extract data from companies like Omniture (NSDQ: OMTR).

“With all the buzz around the iPad and with use of mobile browsers exploding, newspapers and their advertisers are increasingly interested in seeing mobile metrics detailed in ABC reports,” said Michael Lavery, ABC president and managing director, in a release.

The UK film council has released a report on digital and creative.

April 23, 2010

The UK film council has released a report on digital and creative.

Download a copy of the report here