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Monday, March 31, 2008

Sony Pics on Phones ... Original Content for Xbox ... Yahoo and Microsoft's Video Strategies ... Pocket Projectors

- Sony Pictures Television is developing PIX, the first movie network for mobile phones. It'll be available on the recently-announced AT&T Mobile TV service in May. From the Hollywood Reporter piece:

    Sony eventually might convert PIX to an on-demand model and might take the brand online as well. The full-length linear strategy is just one of many different content plays with which the studio is experimenting. "We're not doubling down and saying it's only about longform," [Sony VP Eric] Berger said. "We'll continue to do innovative things in the shortform universe as well."

- Microsoft and the Safran Company are collaborating to create original shows for the Xbox game console, according to the NY Times. From the piece:

    In an interview at his office in Los Angeles last week, [producer and talent manager Peter] Safran said his first round of programs would all be scripted, as opposed to reality shows, and would probably run under 10 minutes. He said he planned initially to focus on genres, like comedy and horror, that appeal to the Xbox 360 audience, which is heavily concentrated from the ages of 14 to 34, and tends to be more male than female. The first shows are expected to be available to viewers by the fall.

    Microsoft’s previous forays in digital entertainment include a two-year-old initiative, MSN Originals, to provide original shows for the Web, and an ill-fated foray more than 10 years ago in which it poured about $100 million into Internet shows like the comedy “475 Madison,” about an advertising agency, then quickly canceled most of them.

- I wrote a piece for this week's edition of Variety that looks at Yahoo and Microsoft's video strategies. From the piece:

    "Video consumption is becoming part of most users' Internet experience," says Karin Gilford, VP of entertainment at Yahoo. "The question is, what do you do to differentiate yourself?"

    Yahoo and Microsoft have both been struggling to answer that question since the February 2005 launch of YouTube. Since then, video viewing on the Net has become an addiction for some: The top 20% of diehard downloaders watch an average of 14 hours a month, according to research firms comScore and Media Contacts.

- I've been eagerly following the development of pocket LED projectors for a few years now... looks like 2008 could finally be the year a few of them hit the US market, according to the NY Times.

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