Why Old-Media Companies Are Buying New-Media Sites

FILE - In this Nov. 12, 2014 file photo, Comcast Corporation chairman & CEO Brian Roberts speaks at a Comcast presentation at the Contemporary Jewish Museum in San Francisco. After regulators from the FCC and Justice Department signaled that they wouldn’t approve the deal, Comcast in April 2015 said goodbye to Time Warner Cable.  (AP Photo/Jeff Chiu, File)

“What these new-media entities need most is money (and perhaps a bit of old-media prestige). Comcast has plenty of that, thanks to its cable TV, ISP, and movie businesses. Getting that cash also gives Vox and Buzzfeed a broader reach—and it allows them to brag about being “unicorns” for passing the $1 billion mark. So what does Comcast/NBCUniversal get out of these kinds of deals? For the most part, it means they get a hedge against the future.”

Has The Glut Of TV Saturated The Market?


Have we reached Peak TV? Is the much-applauded (second) Golden Age of TV coming to an end? And will it possibly be replaced with, as the critic Emily Nussbaum half-jokingly called it, “The Caramel Epoch”—an age of shows that are “perfect for a binge” and “suggestively diverse,” and that allow for “equal celebration of comedy, melodrama & varying genres”)?

Are Horror Movies Inherently Sexist? If They Are, Can They Be Changed?


“Horror films, particularly those about masked men wielding blades and taking out unsuspecting innocents one by one, often have a roster of stereotypical female victims. … Reporting for Talking Movies, Nada Tawfik talks to several women film-makers who believe that a different approach to horror is possible.” (video)

Issa Rae Killed It On YouTube, But TV Isn’t Working Out As Well (Yet?)


“A number of networks and production companies expressed interest in adapting ‘Awkward Black Girl’ for prime-time TV. To Rae’s disappointment, most wanted to completely rework the show. Rae recalls a phone conversation with a network executive who wanted to make it into a pan-racial franchise operation, starting with ‘Awkward Indian Boy.’ Another suggested Rae recast the lead with a lighter-skinned actress with long, straight hair — in essence, the exact opposite of Rae. She turned down the offers.”

Is Binge-Viewing Going Out Of Style?


Hulu’s head of content: “With all of our new originals, we will release episodes weekly. … We want to give viewers the opportunity to discover their favorite shows every week. Like you, we value the shared experience and the joy of the watercooler that is television.”

Why Do We Hate Tom Cruise, And Are We Just Deeply Wrong?


“From the beginning of his career, he’s been trying to get us to change our perception of him, but it never takes. How is the biggest movie star of the world hiding in plain sight? How do we all know his movies but we have no idea what’s happening in them? We picture them so wrong.”

Indian YouTube Is Exploding In Popularity, Making Stars Of Unlikely Comedians And Vloggers

india youtube

“According to the India Times, there’s a very real possibility India will have the largest number of Facebook users of any country by 2017. Also, WhatsApp’s user base broke 70 million in November of last year. That’s a lot of people sharing content. Put those figures next to the fact that between 2011 and 2013, Indian online video consumption doubled. According to a YouTube spokesperson, total watch time in India has grown 80% from 2014 to 2015. During that same time period, the amount of videos being uploaded in India has doubled.”

Why Don’t Kid Movies Have Kids In Them Anymore?


“The absence of live-action children’s movies featuring child actors in central roles is even more confusing when two other factors are considered: live-action movies tend to be cheaper (Toy Story 3 cost $200m to produce, whereas Home Alone only cost $18m), and child actors are not only everywhere, especially on TV, but are also arguably better than ever.”

Media Meltdown As Media Use Changes


“Some investors have concluded that owning media stocks is too risky amid dramatic changes in how viewers consume entertainment, analysts said. Viewership changes are beginning to prompt studio chiefs to reassess how they manage their businesses and even which shows and movies get the green light.”

Explosive Growth: Thousands Flock To Watch Video Game Competitions

Spectators watch The International DOTA 2 Championships, a 5-on-5 video game, played at KeyArena in Seattle Thursday, August 6, 2015.
  (Bettina Hansen / The Seattle Times)

“As many as 12,000 people descended on KeyArena this week to watch teams of professional gamers square off in the International Dota 2 tournament. At stake in Saturday’s final round is a $6.5 million prize, part of an $18 million purse, the largest in e-sports history. E-sports, as competitive video gaming is known, is big business and is now attracting the likes of Amazon and Microsoft. Increasingly, the Seattle area is a focus of the industry.”

Study: Women Had Less Than A Third Of All Speaking Roles In Hollywood Movies Over 7-Year Period


The University of Southern California’s Annenberg School for Communication and Journalism examined the 700 top-grossing films between 2007 and 2014 for the study, released Wednesday. The results, researchers said, reveal “a complete picture of Hollywood’s indisputable bias against featuring females, people of color and LGBT characters on screen.”

By The Numbers: Lack Of Diversity In Hollywood Movies Is Stark


“Even many casual observers may now be aware of the hurdles facing female directors, particularly when they try to storm the big studios. Yet those problems, as this latest study confirms, are simply part of a far larger picture. In 2014, not a single title in the top-grossing 100 fictional films starred a woman over 45.”

This Year’s List Of Highest-Paid Actors


No women crack the Top Ten. And “for the first time, the list also includes actors who work outside the US movie industry, meaning the top 10 includes three Bollywood stars.”

G.I. Jane Is Missing In Action: Why Does Pop Culture Never Show Women At War?

gi jane

“In Afghanistan, women in uniform are widely seen in the airports and across bases heading to work. But watch a war movie and the roughly 300,000 women who have deployed in America’s post-9/11 wars are largely missing in action. These untold stories have consequences both for how America sees its women in uniform and how they see themselves.”

‘You May Know Me From Such Roles As Terrorist Number Four’ – Muslim-American Actors In Hollywood


“You’ve heard of actors getting typecast. But there is no group more slighted, more narrowly cast, than the Muslim-American actors who earn virtually their entire livings pretending to hijack planes and slaughter infidels. Jon Ronson embarks on a soul-searching odyssey with the bad guys of Homeland, American Sniper, 24, and every other TV show and movie in which the holy warriors get mowed down before they even get to finish one good ‘Allahu Akbar!’

It’s Time To Start Liking Tom Cruise Movies Again


“Somewhere along the way Cruise went from being the biggest star on the planet to his own films’ worst enemy.” (We all remember the Oprah Couch-Jumping Incident.) “There was something about Tom Cruise’s … well, Tom Cruise-ness that felt like it needed to be brought down a peg.” But Bilge Ebiri, after watching all of his movies for an assignment, argues that Cruise is an underrated, and sometimes ingenious, actor.

Animation Is Thriving In The Digital Age


“It’s become so natural to be in a movie, say, flying over an impossible landscape at a speed that no human has ever gone and see realistic-looking creatures that have never existed and will never exist but do exist in these alternative worlds.”

The Difference Between Movies And Video Games


“It surely must be tempting to think that this compulsion for games and movies to feed into and off each other is a sign that they are artistically tied together, that they are both destined to lift one another to higher and better things and that they have something important in common that means they can both learn from each other. But no; games are games and movies are movies.”

How Netflix Is Disrupting TV


“It’s less than three years since Netflix debuted its first original series — Lilyhammer, recently cancelled after three seasons — and Netflix chief content officer Ted Sarandos said the service expects to roll out 16 scripted dramas, nine original documentaries, three documentary series, 12 comedy specials and 17 children’s series in 2015 for a total of 475 hours of original programming in the United States.”