Apple picks up a new space drama from the creator of ‘Battlestar Galactica’

 What the frak is this? According to a report from Deadline, Apple may have actually gotten its hand on a good show – a new space drama from “Battlestar Galactica” creator, Ronald D. Moore – to aid in its ambitions in building out its original video content. The still untitled series comes from Sony Pictures Television and Moore’s Tall Ship Productions, and has… Read More

Erik Huggers is stepping down as CEO of Vevo

Erik Huggers Vevo, the music video service backed by major record labels, just announced that its CEO Erik Huggers is departing. Huggers previously worked at the BBC, at Verizon (which owns TechCrunch) and elsewhere. He joined Vevo in 2015. Under his leadership, Vevo was working to become less reliant on YouTube (which was its major syndication partner) by developing more apps and products like the… Read More

Live-streaming app Spotlite raises $10 million from Sequoia Capital to help singers make money

 Described to me as “American Idol meets musical.ly,” startup Spotlite recently raised over $10 million from Sequoia Capital and BlueRun Ventures. The plan is to use the funding to build out the product, make key hires, and expand its marketing and advertising efforts. Spotlite is a direct-to-fan music platform for artists who want to make money and have direct access to their… Read More

Original Content podcast: Netflix’s ‘Mudbound’ offers a somber look at Mississippi in the 1940s

Mudbound Mudbound, a Dee Rees-directed film currently streaming on Netflix, is both epic and intimate, telling the intertwined stories of two families (one black, one white) farming on the Mississippi delta. That description might make the movie sound like a home work assignment, or perhaps a too-neat dissection of race relations in the American South. On the latest episode of the Original Content… Read More

Facebook pushes pre-roll ads on Watch as it stops subsidizing Live

 Everyone’s least favorite ads are coming to Facebook, but six second pre-rolls will only appear on original Watch tab videos you purposefully view and not in the News Feed. Facebook is embracing pre-rolls after years of shunning them as it tries to make pay outs to video creators sustainable. Facebook’s head of video Fidji Simo tells TechCrunch that it will not renew direct… Read More

Disney details overarching direct-to-consumer plan possible through Fox deal

 Disney CEO Bob Iger positioned his company’s acquisition of Fox’s TV and movie businesses as a way for the company to prepare for a future in which streaming and direct-to-consumer dominate media consumption, on a conference call this morning to discuss the $52 billion deal. He noted that while they’re still planning to support cable channels and external distribution… Read More

Taiwanese media startup The News Lens lands deal with top video studio Dawin

 Taiwanese digital media startup The News Lens launched only four years ago, but it quickly became one of the country’s most prolific news sources by leveraging social media to reach younger viewers. Today it took another big step by announcing a strategic partnership with Dawin, one of Taiwan’s top video and film production companies, that will help it reach a wider audience. Read More