September 17, 2013

August 27, 2013

Today, Apple has issued an over-the-air update to the Apple TV that brings several new content apps. Notably, in line with expectations, an app for the Vevo Music Video service has arrived. Also new are Disney Channel and Disney XD apps.

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With Apple’s deep partnership with Disney, it is about time that Disney has been fully integrated into the Apple TV. Apple TV users will now also be able to access Weather information via a new app from The Weather Channel. An app for the Smithsonian is also now present.

The Disney apps require cable provider authentication, while The Weather Channel, Smithsonian, and Vevo are available immediately for all users.

Earlier this year, the Apple TV was updated with ESPN, HBO Go, and SkyNews. Time Warner Cable integration is reportedly in the works for later this year.

Images of the new content offerings below:

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August 11, 2013

One of Pixar’s early employees, John Lasseter, accepted a Disney Legends award for Steve Jobs. The awarded was accepted and presented yesterday at Disney’s D23 conference. The Disney Legends award is granted to key people in the growth and success of Disney. As Pixar’s creator and a former Disney Director, Jobs certainly made a positive impact on Disney. Lasseter’s speech recounts several encounters and experiences that he shared with Jobs over the course of their time together. A video from another angle is below:

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July 3, 2013

May 12, 2013

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Big news from the New York Times this evening. ABC, a subsidiary of the Walt Disney Company,  will begin streaming live content to iOS devices later this week in Philadelphia and New York City using a new button on their app called ‘live’. Users will be able to live stream all the programming from ABC’s local stations there, ‘the first time that any major broadcaster has turned on such a technology.’

For the first six weeks the service will be free to anyone with an iOS device according to GigaOM. Before you go grabbing the scissors to cut that cable cord, be warned that the live stream will eventually be available only to paying subscribers of cable and satellite providers, even though the stations’ signals are available free over the public airwaves.

ABC, a unit of the Walt Disney Company, said the live stream would be available in the other six cities where it owns stations sometime this summer. It is also in talks with the companies that own ABC’s more than 200 affiliates to make the “live” button work in their markets.

Also, not all shows have beencleared for streaming so there might be some discrepancies between the live feeds and the stream. The news comes as a service called Aereo (which we’ve reviewed) is place shifting broadcast signals to the internet, making live channels available to portable device owners. expand full story

March 7, 2013

June 13, 2012

May 15, 2012

May 1, 2012

 

There has always been a strong connection between Apple and the Walt Disney Company. Apple’s former CEO Steve Jobs served on the board of directors for Disney and was the head of Pixar, which Disney purchased to create some of the most memorable animated films ever. Jobs also used his knowledge from when he created the most profitable retail chain in the world to help Disney rejuvenate its stale retail experience. Disney’s CEO Bob Iger also now sits on Apple’s board.

Disney and Apple are set to grow even closer as Disney park employees are given iPads to handle guest relations.

The iPad will be the centerpiece for Disney’s revolutionary next-generation “FastPass” system. The current system allows Disney park goers to receive passes, return to popular attractions at a future time, and then bypass the lengthy lines. Today, Disney World employees began training on a new system that will utilize RFID technology and the iPad to take the park goer experience to the next level.

Over the next couple of weeks, guests selected —in advance to their trip— will help Disney test this new process. The guest will book popular rides and attractions for specific times in the future—even before they leave for Florida. According to @DisneyProjects, when guests arrive at the ride for their reserved time, they will then wand their RFID band by a sensor, which will subsequently send their reservation information to a nearby Cast Member’s (Disney Employee) iPad.

This pilot program will run for the next couple of weeks, which is enough time for Disney to gauge its effectiveness. There is no current timetable for a full rollout. However, you can be sure it is coming, because Disney went through the effort of installing RFID zones at several key attractions. Disney has used the iPad in revolutionary ways before, like when it introduced “AppMATes.” This is just another connection between the two great American companies.

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February 28, 2012

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Lucky iPhone owners on Sprint’s network (yeah we tried others) can now download Sprint TV and watch some pretty awesome programming.

This free application allows users to view select live and on-demand programming from such partners as  ABC, CBS, NBC, ESPN, The Disney Channel, MTV and Comedy Central. If Sprint TV’s free programming isn’t enough to meet your mobile entertainment needs, you can purchase additional premium programming, with packages ranging from $4.99 – $9.99 per month.

The app is free.

Sprint via SprintFeed

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November 15, 2011

September 27, 2011

March 23, 2011

Bloomberg reports that Disney shareholders re-elected Steve Jobs to their board.

The advisory group Glass Lewis & Co. recommended investors withhold support for Jobs, citing his absence from meetings. Institutional Shareholder Services, Inc., stopping short of urging rejection, said Jobs’s attendance and “recent leave of absence from his primary employer, raises questions about his ability to fulfill his responsibilities as a director.”

Probably a better idea to get a new advisory group.

Disney said, “The Walt Disney Company considers itself fortunate to have Steve Jobs as a member of its board of directors.”

That’s more like it.  Jobs with Disney CEO Bob Iger up top, video below. expand full story

January 18, 2011

Dow Jones reports that although Apple CEO Steve Jobs has taken a medical leave of absence from Apple, he will be staying on Disney’s board for the time being. Jobs is still Apple’s CEO, even though Tim Cook is leading day-to-day operations, so he will be staying on Apple’s board as well. Jobs owns currently owns 7% of the Disney company and became the largest share holder when Disney acquired his Pixar in 2006.

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October 25, 2010

I’m taking this with a pinch of salt at this time, but speculation that Apple may be on the verge of making a hugely important acquisition are just beginning to cross financial market news wires this morning.

These rumors follow weekend reports that Apple may be planning to make a bid for Facebook — though Facebook has reportedly rejected such assertions. expand full story

July 1, 2010

TechCrunch reports Disney has acquired the very popular iOS app development startup, Tapulous. Tapulous is the group behind the extremely popular Tap Tap Revenge series.

The music game has multiple versions such as Lady Gaga, Nickleback, oh and… Justin Bieber games. With Disney in control we think you’ll soon be seeing some Hannah Montana and Jonas Brothers action on an iPhone near you.

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The details of the deal are yet to be revealed, and who knows… maybe El Jobso himself had something to do with the deal. Also, Bart Decrem, CEO of Tapulous and the guy above, will now take a seat as a Disney VP. Congratulations, Tapulous!

January 19, 2010

Apple CEO Steve Jobs does what he does for the company he co-founded for just one dollar, but these days he manages at least some of his day-to-day expenses with help from his estimated $48 million per year Disney dividend.

Jobs has never sold any of his Apple shares, taking no more than a dollar (and the occasional jet plane) for his world class labours. It is Jobs

January 5, 2010

Apple and Disney may be working together to develop video and multimedia on demand services via MobileMe, an interesting Patently Apple report speculates today.

Reaching for the notion, the report cites an October 2009 Apple patent. This patent enables a system by which MobileMe members could, for example, partially view television or any video content on their iPhone and then switch to viewing the media on an Apple TV, a Mac or what have you on their return home, where they would continue viewing that content from exactly where they stopped watching without having to manually reposition playback of the video.

The New York Times says we

December 21, 2009

It looks like AppleTV might soon (within a year) have a purpose.  That Apple TV subscription service we heard about earlier this year looks like it may soon have two signups….and they are HUGE.

According to the Wall (Street Journal)

CBS Corp. and Walt Disney Co. are considering participating in Apple Inc.’s plan to offer television subscriptions over the Internet, according to people familiar with the matter, as Apple prepares a potential new competitor to cable and satellite TV.

Boom!  Certainly Jobs’ position on Disney’s Board is helping to move Disney (ABC) to Apple’s platform.  Wouldn’t it be interesting if that his personal sale of Pixar to Disney was what gave Apple its chance as a Internet Network?  

The WSJ mentions that CBS doesn’t have an interest in Hulu (like the other 3 majors) and also doesn’t have a big stake in cable networks so they’d be a natural choice as well.

As always, the devil is in the details:

In at least some versions of the proposal, Apple would pay media companies about $2 to $4 a month per subscriber for a broadcast network like CBS or ABC, and about $1 to $2 a month per subscriber for a basic-cable network, people familiar with the proposals said. Those amounts are in some cases much higher than media companies receive from traditional distributors. The question is whether selling fewer networks at higher prices is better business. Apple’s TV proposal may be changing as the company woos networks, according to people familiar with the matter. An initial version of the proposal had envisioned selling access to advertising-free shows from a bundle of top cable and broadcast networks

October 28, 2009

Walt Disney Co is getting involved in the iPhone, promising a bunch of free iPhone and iPod touch applications, giving fans access to Disney content – with some interesting interactive features.

The free app offers bonus animations to users who follow clues to take pictures of characters from movies such as “Up,” ”G-Force,“ ”Ratatouille,“ and ”Wall-E“ on the site.

Taking the correct picture unlocks  exclusive video and downloadable content such as frame images that can be overlaid on photos, or wallpaper images for. Disney is calling the feature “Click2Life,” because it makes characters captured in photos appear to suddenly become animated in one’s hand.

It’s just a beginning: as Reuters explains, a teenager may one day see a poster of an upcoming "Pirates of the Caribbean" film in a mall, snap a picture of the poster with an iPhone and then generate video content related to that picture or character.

The new app organises Disney-branded content, lets users interact with characters through customizable photo frames and audio greetings, listen to Radio Disney live, watch music videos and buy Disney music from iTunes Store. This app costs $4.99 and should debut on iTunes today.

 

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