In The Frame - April '17
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In The Frame - April '17

Streaming / Online / Tech

In just a decade, Netflix has risen from a mail order DVD outfit to a global TV player. Now its CEO Reed Hastings is “super-excited” at the prospect of his streaming service crossing the 100 million-member mark by the beginning of next month. And “the next 100 million subscribers will be far more likely to be watching on mobile than the first 100 million,” says chief content officer Ted Sarandos.

The European Union’s Court of Justice has ruled that selling set-top boxes with pre-installed software that enables easy film and TV piracy is illegal – a judgment that could have far-reaching implications for film piracy. The court found against Jack Frederik Wullems, the owner of online store Filmspeler.nl (Movie Player) which had been selling multimedia players. A Court of Justice press release stated: “The sale of a multimedia player which enables films that are available illegally on the internet to be viewed easily and for free on a television screen could constitute an infringement of copyright.”

BBC News

Men are earning 10 per cent more than their female counterparts at the BBC, according to figures published this month as part of a freedom of information request. As of 31 December 2016, women earned an average of £34,400 at the BBC, while men earned an average of £37,971.

The BBC will mark two significant 50th anniversaries in the coming weeks. The release of Sgt. Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band by The Beatles on 1 June 1967 will be celebrated in a range of programmes across radio and TV that’ll explore stories around the recording, release and subsequent life of the seminal album.

The BBC has also announced Gay Britannia, “a season of programming marking the 50th anniversary of The Sexual Offences Act 1967, which partially decriminalised homosexual acts that took place in private between two men over the age of 21”.

Sky News

HBO and Sky have joined forces “to launch a new global drama powerhouse” and develop high-end productions. The multi-year, $250 million co-production already has the first projects in development, with the first coming to screen in 2018. Sky has a separate existing deal running until 2020 to broadcast exclusively HBO programming such as Billions and Game of Thrones.

Sky's chief executive, Jeremy Darroch, meanwhile has said that “VR and augmented reality have good long-term potential in the market”, which is why his company has plans for 12 VR film projects and wants to strengthen the popularity of the technology. Part of those plans include turning Sir David Attenborough into a hologram for a virtual reality tour of the Natural History Museum in London. “Hold the World offers people a unique opportunity – to examine rare objects, some millions of years old,” Attenborough said. “It represents an extraordinary new step in how people can explore and experience nature, all from the comfort of their own homes.”

And finally…

  • Jonathan Demme, the director of Silence Of The Lambs and Philadelphia, has died at the age of 73. Martin Scorsese, Edgar Wright and Kevin Smith are among those to pay tribute to the Oscar-winning film-maker.
  • Avid is making a cut-down version of its flagship Media Composer available free of charge as part of the company's new partnership with Microsoft. Media Composer First features four video tracks and eight audio tracks.
  • Ofcom will soon have the power to set and enforce children’s programming quotas for public service broadcasters after an amendment to the digital economy bill was pushed through the House of Lords. It’s expected to be passed next month. Former Play School presenter Floella Benjamin described the legislation as “a moment of great importance for the future of the children’s production industry”.
  • NASA showcased the first-ever live 4k video stream from space on day three of this year’s NAB show, the world's largest convention with more than 1,700 exhibitors and 103,000 attendees from 166 countries.
  • 21st Century Fox’s potential £18.5 billion takeover of Sky has been delayed as a result of the general election.
  • Amol Rajan, the BBC News media editor, has been confirmed as the presenter of The Media Show following the death in March of previous presenter Steve Hewlett.

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