All stories by Todd Spangler on BroadwayStars

Monday, December 4, 2017

‘House of Cards’ Sixth and Final Season Shooting to Resume in Early 2018, Without Kevin Spacey by Todd Spangler

Netflix has reached an agreement to resume production on “House of Cards” season 6 — the show’s final season — in early 2018, according to chief content officer…

Linked From Variety at 12:24PM
Friday, December 1, 2017

Disney Sues to Block Redbox’s Digital Movie Sales by Todd Spangler

Disney has filed a lawsuit seeking to stop Redbox from selling digital codes for purchasing Disney movies to download or stream. In October, Redbox launched a service offering “digital…

Linked From Variety at 11:18AM
Friday, November 10, 2017

Beijing’s Bytedance Steps Up Global Video and Entertainment Profile With Musical.ly Buy, Live.me Funding by Todd Spangler

Live, from China: It’s Bytedance. If you live outside of Asia, you’re about to get more familiar with the five-year-old internet news and video aggregator. Bytedance is already a…

Linked From Variety at 04:48PM
Tuesday, October 31, 2017

Kevin Spacey’s Online Acting Course Pulled by MasterClass by Todd Spangler

Kevin Spacey’s $90 online class on acting is no longer available from MasterClass, a move that comes after the actor was accused of sexually assaulting a 14-year-old boy two decades ag…

Linked From Variety at 02:02PM
Friday, October 13, 2017

Fandango Buys Rival MovieTickets.com, Amassing Broader Theater Reach by Todd Spangler

Fandango plans to acquire longtime competitor MovieTickets.com, in what would be the union of the industry’s two biggest online movie-ticketing services. Financial terms of the deal, …

Linked From Variety at 01:30PM
Thursday, September 28, 2017

Disney Unifies Kids’ Cable Channels in ‘DisneyNow’ App by Todd Spangler

Disney’s cable networks group has brought together shows, movies, games, and other content from its three networks — Disney Channel, Disney XD and Disney Junior — into a si…

Linked From Variety at 02:00PM
Wednesday, September 27, 2017

Disney Invests More in Interactive-Content Startup Playbuzz as Part of $35 Million Round by Todd Spangler

Playbuzz, which develops tools for creating interactive media and distributes branded content, has raised $35 million in Series C funding. The round was led by Viola Growth with participatio…

Linked From Variety at 08:00AM
Friday, September 8, 2017

Disney Launches ‘Club Mickey Mouse,’ Rebooting Classic Kids’ Show for Social Media by Todd Spangler

Disney’s internet-media group on Friday is debuting “Club Mickey Mouse,” which puts a social-media spin on the 62-year-old “Mickey Mouse Club” franchise, and in…

Linked From Variety at 09:00AM
Wednesday, August 23, 2017

Musical.ly Launches Major Update to Video App, Aimed at Fanning Out to Wider Audience by Todd Spangler

Musical.ly has rolled out a significant redesign of its social video app, with the goal of expanding service’s appeal beyond the millions of teen girls who make up its core user base. …

Linked From Variety at 07:00AM
Wednesday, July 26, 2017

Disney Researchers Create Mixed-Reality ‘Magic Bench’ for Shared Experiences by Todd Spangler

You’re sitting down in front of a screen looking at an image of yourself, as if facing a mirror. Then a tiny elephant saunters into the frame, plops down next to you — and proffers …

Linked From Variety at 02:22PM
Tuesday, July 11, 2017

Disney Invests in 11 Tech and Media Companies for 2017 Accelerator Program by Todd Spangler

The Walt Disney Co. is launching its fourth annual incubator program, announcing 11 technology and media companies — including Epic Games, Brit + Co and Samba TV — that will receive fun…

Linked From Variety at 12:00PM
Thursday, June 15, 2017

Musical.ly Launches Original Shows From MTV, NBCU, Hearst by Todd Spangler

Musical.ly, the lip-syncing social video app popular among teen girls, is stirring professionally produced content into its mix of user-generated content. The fast-growing startup has inked …

Linked From Variety at 08:00AM
Thursday, May 25, 2017

Disney CEO Bob Iger: Hacker Threat About Stolen Movie Was a Hoax by Todd Spangler

Disney chief Bob Iger confirmed the company received a threat from cybercriminals who claimed to have stolen the digital copy of a movie — reported to be “Pirated of the Caribbea…

Linked From Variety at 04:57PM
Friday, May 19, 2017

NBCUniversal, Viacom Discussing Producing Original Shows for Musical.ly Video App (Report) by Todd Spangler

Musical.ly, a startup that has more than 200 million users for its video-sharing app, is planning to launch original programming on the service this summer and is in talks with media compani…

Linked From Variety at 01:09PM
Wednesday, May 17, 2017

Financial-News Startup Cheddar Raises $19 Million From Amazon, AT&T, NYSE, Broadway Video and Others by Todd Spangler

Cheddar, which bills itself as a “post-cable” financial news network for millennials, announced $19 million in third-round of financing led by Raine Ventures, along with strategi…

Linked From Variety at 02:48PM
Tuesday, May 2, 2017

Disney Sets More Family-Friendly Path for Maker Studios by Todd Spangler

Maker Studios was once a sprawling agglomeration of some 60,000 YouTube channels. Now Disney, which has owned Maker since 2014, has dramatically pared back the unit’s focus — aimi…

Linked From Variety at 09:01AM
Monday, May 1, 2017

Live.me Live-Streaming Startup Raises $60 Million to Take on YouTube, Facebook, Musical.ly by Todd Spangler

Live.me, a one-year-old startup that makes a live-streaming video app, has banked $60 million from investors including its majority owner, Chinese app developer Cheetah Mobile. Live.me is in…

Linked From Variety at 02:52PM
Tuesday, April 18, 2017

Verizon CEO Says Telco Is Open to Merger Talks With Disney, Comcast, CBS by Todd Spangler

Verizon, which is in the midst of closing its deal for Yahoo, is open to M&A talks with the likes of Comcast, Disney and CBS, CEO Lowell McAdam said in an interview with Bloomberg. A Ve…

Linked From Variety at 04:15PM
Thursday, April 13, 2017

Could Apple Buy Disney? Wall Street Revives Rumor of Mega-Deal by Todd Spangler

Apple could potentially find the cash to pull off a $200 billion-plus takeover Disney — creating a company worth $1 trillion with “almost limitless opportunities in content and tech…

Linked From Variety at 10:00AM
Tuesday, April 4, 2017

YouTube to Live-Stream 2017 Coachella for Free Featuring Lady Gaga by Todd Spangler

YouTube is heading back to the desert: The video giant will exclusively live-stream the first weekend of Coachella 2017 for the seventh year in a row. From April 14-16, Coachella’s You…

Linked From Variety at 03:32PM
Thursday, March 30, 2017

Club Penguin ‘Classic’ Is Officially Dead, and Disney Launches Cheaper Mobile App to Replace It by Todd Spangler

Disney’s Club Penguin — the multiplayer online game that has kept kids entertained for more than 11 years — shut its doors for good at 12:01 a.m. PT on March 30. But Disney is hop…

Linked From Variety at 09:00AM
Thursday, March 9, 2017

AT&T Expands Free Movie-Ticket Deal to DirecTV and Internet Subs, Adds Cinemark Theaters by Todd Spangler

AT&T is aiming to herd more moviegoers into theaters with its buy-one-get-one-free ticket offer for customers — though it’s still limited to Tuesday screenings. The telco announc…

Linked From Variety at 10:39AM
Thursday, February 23, 2017

Disney Pink-Slips 80 Employees Across Maker Studios, Digital Media Division by Todd Spangler

Maker Studios is shrinking: Parent company Disney is laying off 80 staffers in a restructuring of its publishing and digital media division, which includes Maker. Disney declined to reveal w…

Linked From Variety at 03:30PM
Wednesday, February 15, 2017

Disney’s Maker Studios Set for Round of Big Layoffs by Todd Spangler

Maker Studios is gearing up for some major cutbacks in personnel as Disney looks streamline its digital-video division to operate more efficiently — and produce bigger, more bankable …

Linked From Variety at 05:08PM
Wednesday, February 1, 2017

Steve Jobs’ Widow, Laurene Powell Jobs, Cuts Disney Stake in Half by Todd Spangler

Laurene Powell Jobs is no longer Disney’s largest single shareholder, after she recently reduced her ownership stake in the Mouse House by half, regulatory filings show. Powell Jobs, t…

Linked From Variety at 11:24AM
Tuesday, January 31, 2017

Disney Shutting Down Club Penguin, Will Relaunch It as Mobile Game by Todd Spangler

Disney will discontinue the Club Penguin subscription social game for desktop and mobile devices, and at the same will launch a new mobile game featuring the cartoon aquatic birds in March. …

Linked From Variety at 10:25AM
Wednesday, December 21, 2016

Disney-ABC to Produce Snapchat Original Series, Starting With ‘The Bachelor’ Aftershow (EXCLUSIVE) by Todd Spangler

Snapchat has pulled Disney-ABC Television Group into its expanding original programming orbit, with the parties setting a pact under which the Mouse House’s TV division will produce s…

Linked From Variety at 12:00PM
Friday, December 16, 2016

MLB-Disney’s BAMTech Inks ‘League of Legends’ $300 Million eSports Streaming Pact by Todd Spangler

BAMTech, Major League Baseball’s streaming-video unit backed by Disney, has entered into a multiyear deal with Riot Games to deliver “League of Legends” eSports content aro…

Linked From Variety at 01:12PM
Wednesday, December 7, 2016

Disney, Paramount, Sony Ink Deals With Spanish-Language Movie Dub App MyLingo by Todd Spangler

Spanish-speaking moviegoers will have more options for listening to films en Español in cinemas, under multiyear pacts that app startup MyLingo has reached with Disney, Paramount Pictures …

Linked From Variety at 08:00AM
Thursday, December 1, 2016

‘Assassin’s Creed’ Movie VR Experience Coming to AMC Theaters, Oculus (VIDEO) by Todd Spangler

Naturally, there’s a virtual-reality companion for the “Assassin’s Creed” movie starring Michael Fassbender based on Ubisoft’s popular video-game franchise. To …

Linked From Variety at 09:00AM
Monday, October 31, 2016

Musical.ly Live-Streaming Stars Are Earning Thousands of Dollars from Adoring Fans by Todd Spangler

Twitter is shutting down Vine, and pioneering live-streaming app Meerkat is dead. But that doesn’t mean short-form clips and live video are dead-end businesses. Two-year-old startup Mu…

Linked From Variety at 03:52PM

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