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- 07/19/17--09:09: Nintendo's new console just got an online service
- eSports is a still nascent industry filled with commercial opportunity.
- There are a variety of revenue streams that companies can tap into.
- The market is presently undervalued and has significant room to grow.
- The dynamism of this market distinguishes it from traditional sports.
- The audience is high-value and global, and its numbers are rising.
- Brands can prosper in eSports by following the appropriate game plan.
- Game publishers approach their Esport ecosystems in different ways.
- Successful esport games are comprised of the same basic ingredients.
- Digital streaming platforms are spearheading the popularity of eSports.
- Legacy media are investing into eSports, and seeing encouraging results.
- Traditional sports franchises have a clear opportunity to seize in eSports.
- Virtual and augmented reality firms also stand to benefit from eSports.
- The gaming nucleus of eSports, including an overview of popular esport genres and games; the influence of game publishers, and the spectrum of strategies they adopt toward their respective esport scenes; the role of eSports event producers and the tournaments they operate.
- The eSports audience profile, its size, global reach, and demographic, psychographic, and behavioral attributes; the underlying factors driving its growth; why they are an attractive target for brands and broadcasters; and the significant audience and commercial crossover with traditional sports.
- eSports media broadcasters, including digital avant-garde like Twitch and YouTube, newer digital entrants like Facebook and traditional media outlets like Turner’s TBS Network, ESPN, and Canal Plus; their strategies and successes in this space; and the virtual reality opportunity.
- eSports market economics, with a market sizing, growth forecasts, and regional analyses; an evaluation of the eSports spectacle and its revenue generators, some of which are idiosyncratic to this industry; strategic planning for brand marketers, with case studies; and an exploration of the infinite dynamism and immense potential of the eSports economy.
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- 07/20/17--04:00: What the British royal family looked like the year you were born
- Legendary Pokémon are a handful of Pokémon that haven't appeared yet in "Pokémon Go," despite showing up in the game's code.
- "Raids" are a concept in video games where players group up to take down an enemy together.
- 07/20/17--07:04: Woody Harrelson got married for just $500
- 07/20/17--07:54: AL GORE ON TRUMP: 'I have no real desire to talk to him anymore'
Nintendo's history with online services on its game consoles is, to put it nicely, quite poor.
Game purchases never carry forward, nor do usernames and friend lists — each subsequent console's service feels like Nintendo started from scratch. And in the case of Nintendo's newest console, the Switch, it outright launched without an online service.
That changes today with the launch of Nintendo Switch Online, the new app from Nintendo for iOS and Android.
With the new app, you're able to do a lot of the standard online stuff you already do on the Xbox One and PlayStation 4 — party up with friends, voice chat, send invites, and track gameplay progress. Rather than handling any of this directly on the Switch, Nintendo's offloading that functionality to your smartphone. The app offers at least one neat benefit that we've seen: The ability to customize the app for specific games.
One of the first games to use the app is "Splatoon 2," an online multiplayer-focused shooter that launches on July 21. Through the "Splatoon 2" submenu, you can interact directly with various aspects of the game — view stats, buy stuff for your character, and more.
The Nintendo Switch has a variety of games that already have online multiplayer built in, including "Mario Kart 8 Deluxe" and "ARMS," but it's not clear if they'll also get dedicated areas on the Nintendo Switch Online app.
Outside of a digital storefront (the "eShop") and a rudimentary friends list, none of the rich online features that people expect in modern game consoles are built into the Switch. No Netflix, no web browser, and no way to play games in a party chat with friends.
Nintendo's taking steps towards a legitimate, paid online service in 2018 with the launch of "Nintendo Switch Online." You'll even get free, classic games every month as part of the membership. In the meantime, however, Nintendo's offering free access to a limited version of the service that will launch in 2018. Get it on iOS here, and Android here.
DON'T MISS: The 11 best reasons to buy a Nintendo Switch
On January 14, 2015, a Twitter account named "Nihilist Arby's" was born, and it didn't take long for Arby's corporate office to notice.
With a Double Beef and Cheese as its avatar, the angst-ridden account confronted followers with a negation of everything they held dear in life, and offered they fill that void with a sandwich and curly fries.
God is not dead. there was never a god. Horsey Sauce can be consumed on fries.— Nihilist Arby's (@nihilist_arbys) January 14, 2015
Killed a man? Left your family? Plummeted into a shameful addiction spiral? None of it matters to Arby's. please enjoy Arby's.— Nihilist Arby's (@nihilist_arbys) January 15, 2015
Drain the blood, cure and slice the flesh, season and fry the potatoes, feed them the sugar water. Be born. Toil. Die. Arby's. We sell food.— Nihilist Arby's (@nihilist_arbys) January 28, 2015
By mid-February, Nihilist Arby's had 13,000 followers and, as Adweek noted, was getting significantly higher engagement with followers than the real Arby's account, which had nearly 400,000 followers at the time.
At the same time, Arby's was receiving praise in the press and on Twitter for the way it acknowledged years of being the butt of "The Daily Show" host Jon Stewart's jokes with a clever joke of its own on the day Stewart announced he would retire from the show that year. This was a year after Arby's got a viral tweet after reacting to musician Pharrell Williams' Arby's-logo-esque hat worn in a Grammys performance.
Arby's was a "cool" brand on Twitter now. If it overreacted to Nihilist Arby's, no matter how dark or raunchy the tweets got, it would risk becoming just another lame corporate account. The Arby's team let it be.
Then, in August, Adweek revealed definitively that the man behind the account was Brendan Kelly, a longtime punk band frontman and, more recently, adman from Chicago.
Arby's CEO Paul Brown and his marketing team read the piece. "We had discussions around what do we do with that? And we said, well, one, even if we wanted to do something we couldn't," Brown told Business Insider. "But we also had a little fun with him, too." Arby's would soon make peace with their evil counterpart, flying out one of their executives to meet Kelly with a bag of food and a puppy.
The inanity of corporate Twitter
Kelly is well known in the punk scene for his bands the Lawrence Arms, the Falcon, and the Wandering Birds, and he's been touring since he was a teenager in the '90s. Around six years ago, when crossing the country in a packed van for months at a time lost its appeal, he got into the more stable world of advertising. He would still record and play music, just a bit less frequently, and while working as a copywriter wasn't exactly punk, it was still a creative outlet.
In January 2015, Kelly was working at the ad agency FCB when he found himself in a conference room with a brand's executive pitching Twitter strategy to FCB's head of social media. "It just seemed so impossible and stupid," Kelly told Business Insider.
He imagined a scenario where someone in charge of a brand's Twitter account lacked the executive's naive enthusiasm and instead had a "red pill" experience (a "Matrix" reference to the pill that frees people from an artificial world). This social media employee would be "exposed to how f---ing horrendously tragic life actually is — you know, how meaningless everything is," Kelly said, laughing.
A phrase that popped into his head was "Nihilist Arby's," which had less to do with anything specific about Arby's, and more to do with how goofy the phrase sounded. Kelly decided he would make this hypothetical account real, just to amuse himself.
He was going to give it a name he found more clever when he decided to follow advice that helped guide his approach to his job. A mentor of his told him that effective advertising uses extremes to grab potential customers' attention. "It's got to be a little bit stupid," this mentor told him.
After nearly five months of running the increasingly popular account, Kelly thought it would be fun to bring even more attention to it. Using his showmanship and marketing skills, he produced a minute-and-a-half-long video opening with Kelly stating, "I was born out of an infinite blackness." A couple of his Wandering Birds songs provide the soundtrack.
He sent the video from his firstname.lastname@example.org account to David Anthony, the music editor at the A.V. Club, the Onion's non-satirical site (Kelly now works for the Onion's ad team, Onion Labs). Anthony immediately recognized Kelly in the video and wrote it up, bringing more exposure to Kelly's parody account as well as his bands. But Anthony didn't conclude if Kelly was actually the creator of Nihilist Arby's, or if he had just collaborated on this weird video.
That August, Christopher Heine at Adweek reached out to the same Gmail account that contacted the A.V. Club to ask if Kelly was the one behind it, and if he'd like to talk about it.
"So at that point I was like, yeah I'm ready to tell people, I don't care," Kelly told us.
On August 13, Heine published a profile of Kelly that ran across three pages in the print edition of Adweek. It included praise from ad creatives about the way Kelly demonstrated genuinely sharp insight into what young people look for on social media. Kelly thought it made him look great.
"I almost got fired for that, actually," he said.
Even though FCB was not mentioned in the article, managers at the agency were afraid that Kelly's hijinks could compromise some of their accounts. He said his boss gave him a warning: "You cannot talk about this at all. I don't want to hear the word 'Arby's' in this office."
As his job hung in the balance because of the profile, he began receiving interesting job offers from other agencies for the same reason.
Arby's makes peace
Meanwhile, at Arby's headquarters in Sandy Springs, Georgia, CEO Paul Brown and his leadership team discussed the Adweek profile. Brown said that it can be difficult as a CEO to see your company be the subject of harsh jokes, but that the success of playfully sparring with Jon Stewart earlier that year was a teaching moment.
"Do you write a cease and desist letter?" Brown said. "The way I look at it is what kind of person do you want to be a friend with? You don't want to be a friend with that kind of a person who's defensive, and you can't joke around."
Six days after the Adweek story was published, Kelly was at the FCB offices in Chicago's John Hancock Center preparing to leave early for a secret job interview he'd landed as a result of that profile. Before he could leave, he got a call around 3:30 in the afternoon from the building's front desk, letting him know that a team from Arby's was there to see him.
Kelly said that the thought never crossed his mind that they were there to confront him, but that some of his coworkers he told on his way out decided to come down to the lobby with him, "inspired by the promise of free food, the curiosity surrounding my weirdly popular Twitter account, and finally because the whole thing had become such a weirdly forbidden topic in the office," Kelly said.
Arby's SVP of communications Christopher Fuller was there with several members of Arby's marketing team, a bag full of sandwiches, and a black Labrador puppy they had borrowed from a friend. They greeted Kelly and handed him a handwritten note on Arby's stationary that read, "Cheer up, buddy. You live in a world with puppies ... and sandwiches."
Kelly would later post a photo of the exchange on his personal Twitter account, expressing sincere gratitude with the gesture.
"I don't want to give away the mystique surrounding the man behind the tweets," Fuller told us. "I'll just say his personal demeanor is very different from his online disposition. He seemed like an all-around nice guy."
Kelly got on the ground with the dog and had a pleasant chat with the Arby's team, but he still needed to rush out of there for his job interview disguised as a doctor's appointment.
"It's kind of hard to have regrets about a stupid parody Twitter account about the futility of corporate Twitter, but I do regret that not going a little more smoothly," Kelly said of the meeting with the Arby's team. "But I really would have liked to have hung out a little more with those people and talked to them," to get more insight into how they approach handling their brand and what they thought when they discovered his account.
The bag of sandwiches was intended as a gift to Kelly and his coworkers, but because anything related to Nihilist Arby's was off-limits in the office upstairs, he couldn't even send one of his friends up with the food. He grabbed one of the Loaded Italian subs — a sandwich name that could be used to describe him a lot of the time, he said — and left the rest with a coworker who said he'd give the rest to homeless people. ("I don't know if that happened or not, but he seemed pretty motivated, I guess," Kelly said.)
The interview didn't end up leading to anything, but Kelly can now be open about his Nihilist Arby's account at his job at the Onion, and even sells Nihilist Arby's merch.
The account has grown to nearly 300,000 followers, and his tweets get thousands of interactions. Arby's marketing team still keeps an eye on it.
"We've cringed, laughed, and maybe even cried just a little," Fuller said.
Kelly is still an Arby's fan, no matter how caustic his parody's account gets. "I try to mix it up a little bit," he said of his orders. "But I like a good Beef and Cheddar. I like that Loaded Italian! I like the potato cakes quite a bit."
We told him we ate some of the potato cakes the day before.
"That's about where I'm at," he said.
Lots of other fast food twitters say crap like "fries make everything okay." But you know what? Life sucks & the fries do nothing— Nihilist Arby's (@nihilist_arbys) April 26, 2017
Last weekend, Disney announced "Marvel Powers United VR," a new virtual reality game designed in conjunction with Facebook's Oculus VR subsidiary, which will launch exclusively for the Oculus Rift headset in 2018.
At the time, Disney confirmed three playable superheroes: Hulk, Rocket Raccoon, and Captain Marvel, with a promised roster of 12 to be revealed in the fullness of time. On Wednesday, a new character was announced: Deadpool, the foul-mouthed mercenary at the center of the 2016 smash-hit movie.
I had the chance to get some time with "Powers United" at an event earlier this week — including a stint as Deadpool himself. And maybe I'm biased because I'm a full-fledged, front-faced, true-believin' Marvel fan, but man, this game has a lot of potential to be a big selling point for the Oculus Rift.
Here's the trailer:
The basic setup here is simple. Every level, an artificial intelligence named Friday gives you and up to three other players a mission. Then it's up to your team to punch, zap, and slash your way through each level and fight the boss at the end. In the demo level, the Inhumans' Lockjaw teleports you to Knowhere to fight some Kree, which is a totally sensible sentence if you're big into the Marvel universe.
It's pretty basic, but it's a lot of fun, with each hero's unique abilities providing you with lots of different opportunities to smash, bash, and crush your enemies.
Hulk is a bruiser, Captain Marvel shoots energy blasts from ground and sky, and Rocket Raccoon lugs heavy artillery around via his jetpack. You can combine your powers, too, like using Hulk's strength to pitch a bad guy into the air for Rocket to shoot down. The multiplayer aspect is a huge plus, making you really feel like part of a team.
There's definitely a risk of the game being a little repetitive, based on what I played. Still, the chance to literally inhabit the body of a superhero — if you look down at yourself, you'll see your own costume, lovingly rendered in gorgeous 3D — is too good to pass up.
And then there's Deadpool.
Merc with a mouth
Deadpool's primary asset is the variety of firepower he brings to bear. By using the Oculus Touch controllers, you can literally grab submachine guns off your waist, or swords from your shoulder, throwing stars from a wrist holster, or pistols from your lower back.
Just reach your real-life hands down to your waist and push the button, and you'll be armed and dangerous. Each hand can hold a different weapon, too, meaning you can multitask with a sword in one hand and a pistol in the other. Plus, Deadpool can teleport in front of or behind enemies, making him a highly mobile killing machine.
And yes, there are quips. Endless quips, as you shoot at bad guys or get shot back. At one point, Deadpool asks bad guys out for tacos.
Here are our friends at IGN, taking Deadpool for a spin:
It's actually very impressive that Deadpool's gameplay feels so distinct from Rocket Raccoon, who also shoots guns, and Captain Marvel, who blasts at bad guys with energy beams.
There's a long way to go between now and 2018, when the game is released. Hopefully, the game has more cards up its sleeve with regards to deepening the game and increasing its longevity. In the meanwhile, "Marvel Powers United VR" has the makings of something that's going to be a lot of fun, particularly with friends.
A judge in Florida started his ruling in a case on free speech by quoting a character from "Game of Thrones."
"A wise man once said a true history of the world is a history of great conversations in elegant rooms," wrote Florida circuit judge Robin S. Rosenbaum, quoting popular "Game of Thrones" character Tyrion Lannister from an episode in season 6.
The seventh season of the extremely popular HBO fantasy series premiered on July 17.
In the case, former police officer Anthony Rodriguez claimed that he was fired from his job in Doral, FL in 2009 after he expressed support for a political candidate opposed to the city's mayor, Juan Carlos Bermudez.
The case ultimately made it to the Florida appeals court, where Rosenbaum and two other judges concluded that the police officer was unlawfully pressured to leave his job.
"Whether or not that may be accurate, a true history of the United States would be incomplete without a history of great political conversations, wherever they might have occurred," wrote Rosenbaum after quoting Lannister at the start of his ruling.
The court ultimately found that threatening someone with loss of employment necessarily impedes on their rights to free speech.
In "Game of Thrones," Tyrion Lannister is the dwarf son of one of the most powerful and rich families in the fantasy world Westeros. Often on the receiving end of prejudice, he frequently uses his stature and pedigree to stick up for underdogs.
A decade ago, AMC was just the channel you’d skip because it was playing an old movie you’d either never heard of, or you'd seen too many times already.
But when AMC's "Mad Men" premiered ten years ago today, and it quickly became one of the most iconic shows of all time, and proved that television was in a Golden Age.
“Mad Men” was AMC’s first try at an original series. And before it aired, expectations weren't high.
It starred mostly unknown actors: No one knew who the lead, Jon Hamm, was.
The biggest draw to the show was that Matthew Weiner, the show's creator, had written on HBO's "The Sopranos," which ended its run about a month before "Mad Men" started. But in 2007, showrunners and television writers weren't really big names yet, they were more behind-the-scenes.
While the first season of "Mad Men" wasn't very popular, it was a hit among critics and at awards season in 2008. Recognition at the Emmys and the Golden Globes gave it a broader audience that included fans of shows like "The Sopranos." "Mad Men" was character-driven and challenging for viewers, but different enough that it felt fresh and new. And it proved that a great show didn't need big names or a big network.
"Mad Men" also paved the way for AMC's original shows including "Breaking Bad," "The Walking Dead," and "Better Call Saul."
Here's why "Mad Men" is one of the best shows ever, and the best to come out of television's Golden Age:
The twist never drove the narrative.
Shows like "Lost," "Westworld," and "Breaking Bad" have storylines that are defined by a twist, and lured viewers in with mysteries and cliffhangers. And that's not a bad thing. But especially at this point in television, twists and cliffhangers aren't all that surprising or unique anymore.
"Mad Men" rarely used cliffhangers, with some exceptions — Don proposing to Megan in the season four finale, for example — because it didn't have to. The season-one twist that Don Draper was actually Dick Whitman was a big reveal, but the most shocking part was that the show didn't make a big deal out of it. True to character, Don brushes off Pete Campbell's discovery of his stolen identity, and so does their boss, Bert Cooper.
Don's identity crisis is a big part of the show, and one of his defining character traits. But by staying true to its characters, and to the fact that it's a show about flawed people, "Mad Men" stood out among all the other shows that were desperately trying to draw viewers in.
Every character is memorable.
If you took any character from the cast of "Mad Men," and lined him or her up among a million people, each would easily stand out. From Don Draper, to Roger Sterling, to Pete Campbell, to Joan Holloway-Harris, to Peggy Olson, you know and understand every character to the point that you feel like you're right there with them. And no matter how deeply flawed and awful they are (some of them are so awful — we're looking at you, Pete!) you love them, and you care what happens to them.
The same goes for more secondary characters like Ken Cosgrove, Harry Crane, Paul Kinsey, Mona Sterling, Bert Cooper, and Ted Chaough.
Pete Campbell is like the Christopher Moltisanti ("The Sopranos") of "Mad Men." Campbell is slimy, selfish, and generally speaking, a very awful guy. But somehow, he is one of the best parts of the show. And even as he gets worse with every season, there is some part of you that cares about him, and wants to see his good side come out. Pete is complicated and is played so well by Vincent Kartheiser that you kind of forget that they're separate people.
See the rest of the story at Business Insider
We caught up with Ryan Seacrest at Cannes Lions International Festival of Creativity to talk about his morning routine and how he manages his hectic schedule. As host of "American Idol," co-host of "Live With Kelly" and host of "On Air with Ryan Seacrest," as well as head of many other projects, Seacrest has a packed schedule.
His schedule is so packed, that the only way he can be everywhere he needs is to take constant, cross-coast red-eye flights. As The Hollywood Reporter pointed out, he's required to film "American Idol" live from the Los Angeles studio on Sunday nights, while "Live with Kelly" shoots early Monday morning in New York.
Some of his tips for keeping it together include never hitting the snooze button and answering emails with two lines maximum. Following is a transcript of the video.
A day is busy and calculated and always on schedule. The live television show with Kelly starts at 9 a.m. on the east coast. Immediately following, I’m live on the radio to the West Coast and then in the hours afterwards, I have a chance to check in on my other businesses and other projects that are going on.
I also spend a lot of time on the west coast in Los Angeles on the weekends and on Fridays sometimes when we don't do the TV show. But, I will tell you this, when the alarm goes off I'm not allowed to hit snooze because it's down to the minute. And I … I thrive off of that. I think I'm having more fun when I'm busier.
7 o'clock I'm ready, I have coffee, I have a morning shake, I'm out the door. I'm at the office by 8.
Two-line emails, okay. Very, very short emails. A very efficient way to have phone calls. And, I don't, I don't really like down time, so if there’s time in a car, if there’s time on a walk, walking meetings. I mean, I will jam anything in at any point in time so that by 6:30 at night, most of what I'm going to cover for the day is done and I can actually enjoy the evening and have a bite to eat.
Fans of the blockbuster video game series "Destiny" tend to have strong opinions. They've earned that right, having stuck by the first game through its often messy, still ongoing lifespan. Many players have sunk hundreds of hours into the first game, if not thousands.
And thus, with the preliminary launch of the beta for "Destiny 2" this week, the series' most dedicated fans are sharing their opinions on the game's official Reddit page.
Many of those opinions are positive!
But some of the most upvoted threads are...less so.
Here's what players are saying about "Destiny 2" after the first 24 hours.
A lot of folks are unhappy about ability "cooldown" times — how long it takes before you can use certain special moves after having used them once.
"Destiny 2," like the first game, is a first-person shooter. There's a main campaign that you can play, with a narrative focus. But the meat and potatoes of "Destiny" (and "Destiny 2") is playing with friends online. Beyond just being fun to play with friends, there's a gameplay reason for this: Different people play as different character "classes."
There are three in "Destiny 2":
-Hunter, which is an offense-focused character class (able to move swiftly, with a focus on attacking and escaping).
-Titan, which is a defense-focused character class (able to take more damage and deal more damage, and create shields).
-And Warlock, which is a mix of both with some magical healing elements thrown in for good measure (a nice medium, but potentially more technical).
Beyond designating a look, each class has its own abilities. The Warlock, for example, can heal his buddies. But these abilities can only be used on a limited basis — you use one, and it takes a period of time ("cooldown") before it can be used again. And people who are already playing the game's beta are really unhappy wth how long these cooldowns take. Several unique threads on the "Destiny" subreddit are dedicated to that unhappiness.
One of the playable classes, the Hunter, is being called comparatively useless when it comes to those abilities we were talking about.
Of the three classes, the Hunter seemingly has been shafted when it comes to special abilities. As one popular Reddit thread put it: "The Hunter dodge ability pales far in comparison to the Warlock and Titan [abilities]."
It's easy to understand why players might feel this way. While Warlock class players can heal fellow players and throw combustible grenades, and Titan class players can put up a defensive wall used by everyone, the Hunter is given a dodge as one of their special abilities — not exactly exciting.
"I'm sorry, but it is extremely poor design and is not comparable at all. Dodge should be incorporated like a jump, not this," the thread writer notes.
One Redditor who claims to have played the first game for "over 1,400 hours" (just shy of 60 Earth days) says they're super disappointed, and goes into extreme detail about why.
If you're pretty serious about the first "Destiny," and are wondering if "Destiny 2" is going to live up to your expectations, this detailed (and highly upvoted) thread is for you. Here's just some of what it says, care of Reddit user "Tresceneti":
-"The game feels uncomfortable to play, it lost what made its gunplay/gameplay exciting and fun to play."
-"Jumping. I understand they're trying to slow the game down now, but what they've done is expand the size of the world while severely slowing down our guardians. I loved being able to glide around and move across the battlefield as a very mobile shooter in the first game. It's one of the big appeals 'Destiny' has for me, and it's gone."
-"Weapons. Guns feel extremely weak. Submachine guns and Pulse Rifles were the only weapons I saw doing any sort of acceptable damage. Handcannons were alright to use, but you were taking a hit to damage. Pulse rifles and submachines seem more on par with the rate of damage to enemies in the first game. It just feels like a chore to kill enemies most of the time."
-"I still very much enjoy 'Destiny' and am not meaning to ruffle feathers or ruin other guardians' fun. I've been gradually having more fun as I've played more of the beta, easing up on some of these things. But they're all still glaring issues to me and I'm genuinely not having fun. I'm feeling frustrated and wanted to rant it out."
See the rest of the story at Business Insider
The long-awaited seventh season of "Game of Thrones" premiered July 16, with an opening scene that shocked fans. That episode, "Dragonstone," set a live-watching record for "Game of Thrones" premieres, and broke streaming records by a mile.
But in a world that's increasingly mobile and app-focused, HBO should be pleased to note that new installs of the HBO Go and HBO Now mobile apps also hit a record high the day "Dragonstone" premiered.
According to Sensor Tower data, July 16 was the largest day ever for the HBO mobile app installs in the United States, with about 222,000 downloads from the App Store and Google Play. That is an increase of 14% from the previous record, which was 195,000 downloads. That day? The premiere of "Game of Thrones" season six, "The Red Woman."
You can see how the downloads increased compared to other season premiere dates below:
And here's how the season 7 premiere stacks up against the previous seasons:
Imprisoned former football star O.J. Simpson has a parole hearing set for Thursday at 1 p.m. EST — and it has big implications.
If it goes well, Simpson could be released as early as October 1 from the Nevada prison where he's served more than eight years for armed robbery and kidnapping.
Legal experts say Simpson, 70, has a good chance of receiving parole and walking away from the remainder of his nine to 33-year sentence.
Here's what you need to know about Simpson's imprisonment and potential parole, and how to watch the hearing (which will be televised):
Why is he in prison?
Simpson was convicted of armed robbery and kidnapping in October 2008 for his part in a September 2007 crime committed in a Las Vegas casino hotel.
Simpson and five accomplices held two men at gunpoint in a confrontation over sports memorabilia and personal items, which Simpson claimed had been stolen from him. Though Simpson insisted he didn't know anyone was armed in the crime, he was eventually convicted of several weapons charges.
Four of the six men involved in the crime plead guilty and testified in the trial. Simpson and his friend, Clarence "CJ" Stewart, were later both found guilty of 12 charges, including assault with a deadly weapon, burglary, and conspiracy.
Simpson faced a potential life sentence, but in December 2008, he was instead sentenced to a minimum of nine years and a maximum of 33 years at the Lovelock Correctional Facility in Lovelock, Nevada.
This all has nothing to do with the famous 1994 trial and acquittal Simpson had after he was charged with murdering his ex-wife.
What are the chances he's released on parole?
No one on the Nevada parole board is expected to oppose Simpson's parole release on Thursday, according to an Associated Press report.
Simpson will appear in front of the four-member board through a video conference at 1 p.m.
The board previously granted Simpson parole in 2013 on his burglary count, two counts of kidnapping, and two counts of robbery. He remained in prison, however, on the seven other charges related to his use of a deadly weapon.
If granted parole on Thursday, Simpson could be released from prison as early as October 1.
Where can I watch the parole hearing?
There are a few ways to watch Simpson's parole hearing on Thursday at 1 p.m. EST, for which more than240 media credentials have reportedly been granted.
ESPN— which produced the Oscar-winning 2016 documentary "OJ: Made In America" about the life and crimes of the former football star — will broadcast the trial with analysis from legal experts and sports anchors.
NBC News will also cover the event and feature commentary from Chris Darden, the co-counsel attorney in the prosecution of Simpson's 1994 trial.
You can also watch the hearing for free on CBSN's live stream.
See the rest of the story at Business Insider
Apple's newest line of Beats headphones is geared toward the fashion-forward.
On Wednesday, Apple released a special edition collection along with French design house Balmain. The collection, which includes a new take on both Beats Studio and Powerbeats 3 Bluetooth headphones, starts at $249.95.
Reality TV star Kylie Jenner is the face of the campaign to promote the new collection.
Both the Beats Studio and Powerbeats come in two different colors: Safari, a pinkish neutral tone, and khaki, which has a green tint.
Both colors have gold accents and Balmain logos, but safari is only available to buy through Apple, while khaki can be purchased through Balmain. The Beats Studio in safari will cost $600, while Powerbeats in Safari will cost $250. Both sets of headphones come with a suede, Balmain-branded carrying case.
Beats Studio headphones typically cost $379.95, while Powerbeats 3 cost $199.95.
This isn't the first collaboration between Beats and a fashion brand — past partnerships have included Fendi and Alexander Wang. But Balmain has risen to prominence in the last several years, in part thanks to creative director Olivier Rousteing's close friendship with the Kardashian-Jenner family, who frequently wears his designs to red carpet events.
Balmain is known for dramatic designs featuring metallics and leather, so the Beats collection falls squarely in line with that aesthetic. The theme of the collection is an "urban safari," according to the landing page for the new collection.
"Seeing music and fashion as completely intertwined simply reflects how my generation grew up — we simply cannot conceive of one without a full helping of the other," Rousteing wrote on the landing page.
"No matter what you're going through, when you put on a song that you love, and that you just connect with, it can change your whole mood and just lift you up," Jenner wrote. "Even if it's just for a few minutes...I love that escape that music gives us."
The new collection is available to order starting Wednesday.
This is a preview of a research report from BI Intelligence, Business Insider's premium research service. To learn more about BI Intelligence, click here.
What is eSports? History & Rise of Video Game Tournaments
Years ago, eSports was a community of video gamers who would gather at conventions to play Counter Strike, Call of Duty, or League of Legends.
These multiplayer video game competitions would determine League of Legends champions, the greatest shooters in Call of Duty, the cream of the crop of Street Fighter players, the elite Dota 2 competitors, and more.
But today, as the history of eSports continue to unfold, media giants such as ESPN and Turner are broadcasting eSports tournaments and competitions. And in 2014, Amazon acquired Twitch, the live streaming video platform that has been and continues to be the leader in online gaming broadcasts. And YouTube also wanted to jump on the live streaming gaming community with the creation of YouTube Gaming.
eSports Market Growth Booming
To put in perspective how big eSports is becoming, a Google search for "lol" does not produce "laughing out loud" as the top result. Instead, it points to League of Legends, one of the most popular competitive games in existence. The game has spawned a worldwide community called the League of Legends Championship Series, more commonly known as LCS or LOL eSports.
What started as friends gathering in each other's homes to host LAN parties and play into the night has become an official network of pro gaming tournaments and leagues with legitimate teams, some of which are even sponsored and have international reach. Organizations such as Denial, AHQ, and MLG have multiple eSports leagues.
And to really understand the scope of all this, consider that the prize pool for the latest Dota 2 tournament was more than $20 million.
Websites even exist for eSports live scores to let people track the competitions in real time if they are unable to watch. There are even fantasy eSports leagues similar to fantasy football, along with the large and growing scene of eSports betting and gambling.
So it's understandable why traditional media companies would want to capitalize on this growing trend just before it floods into the mainstream. Approximately 300 million people worldwide tune in to eSports today, and that number is growing rapidly. By 2020, that number will be closer to 500 million.
eSports Industry Analysis - The Future of the Competitive Gaming Market
Financial institutions are starting to take notice. Goldman Sachs valued eSports at $500 million in 2016 and expects the market will grow at 22% annually compounded over the next three years into a more than $1 billion opportunity.
And industry statistics are already backing this valuation and demonstrating the potential for massive earnings. To illustrate the market value, market growth, and potential earnings for eSports, consider Swedish media company Modern Times Group's $87 million acquisition of Turtle Entertainment, the holding company for ESL. YouTube has made its biggest eSports investment to date by signing a multiyear broadcasting deal with Faceit to stream the latter's Esports Championship Series. And the NBA will launch its own eSports league in 2018.
Of course, as with any growing phenomenon, the question becomes: How do advertisers capitalize? This is especially tricky for eSports because of its audience demographics, which is young, passionate, male-dominated, and digital-first. They live online and on social media, are avid ad-blockers, and don't watch traditional TV or respond to conventional advertising.
So what will the future of eSports look like? How high can it climb? Could it reach the mainstream popularity of baseball or football? How will advertisers be able to reach an audience that does its best to shield itself from advertising?
Robert Elder, research analyst for BI Intelligence, Business Insider's premium research service, has compiled an unparalleled report on the eSports ecosystem that dissects the growing market for competitive gaming. This comprehensive, industry-defining report contains more than 30 charts and figures that forecast audience growth, average revenue per user, and revenue growth.
Companies and organizations mentioned in the report include: NFL, NBA, English Premier League, La Liga, Bundesliga, NHL, Paris Saint-Germain, Ligue 1, Ligue de Football, Twitch, Amazon, YouTube, Facebook, Twitter, ESPN, Electronic Arts, EA Sports, Valve, Riot Games, Activision Blizzard, ESL, Turtle Entertainment, Dreamhack, Modern Times Group, Turner Broadcasting, TBS Network, Vivendi, Canal Plus, Dailymotion, Disney, BAMTech, Intel, Coca Cola, Red Bull, HTC, Mikonet
Here are some eSports industry facts and statistics from the report:
In full, the report illuminates the business of eSports from four angles:
Interested in getting the full report? Here are two ways to access it:
In a changing world, few things have remained as constant as the British royal family.
People all over the world follow Queen Elizabeth II and her large family of kids and grandkids for their dose of inspiration, fashion, and even scandals throughout the years. Acting as a bellwether, the royal family is also a way of tracking the changing times.
Here is what everybody's favorite royals were doing on the year you were born:
1950: Queen Elizabeth II was a young princess in line to take over the throne after her father, King George VI.
1951: Queen Elizabeth II had married Prince Philip of Greece and Denmark and given birth to two children, Charles and Anne.
1952: After several years of ill health, King George VI died in February 1952. Princess Elizabeth was on a royal tour of Kenya when she found out.
See the rest of the story at Business Insider
“Dunkirk” didn’t just mark the first time Christopher Nolan has made a war movie, it was also one of the rare times a filmmaker has ever shot a majority of a movie with an IMAX camera.
So, Nolan did a lot of things he didn’t know were possible until he actually did them.
And in one instance, a blunder on set led to a fascinating discovery.
In exploring the historic evacuation of Allied forces from Dunkirk, France during World War II, the movie highlights British pilots fighting German planes to protect the Allied soldiers on the ground. The dogfight sequences in the movie are thrilling, and in some cases very authentic. The production stayed away from CGI as much as possible, and in one sequence Nolan had a replica Spitfire plane do a water landing in the English Channel.
Inside the plane, an IMAX camera was strapped into the cockpit, as actor Jack Lowden struggled to get out. In the scene, we watch as the water begins to fill the cockpit, delivering one of the movie’s most dramatic scenes.
When filming the scene, however, the plane with the camera still inside sank into the water quicker than anyone on the crew thought possible. Nolan was certain the footage had been lost.
“In the hours it took to retrieve the IMAX camera, its housing, which was a big plastic barrel, actually had a hole in it and the entire thing filled with water,” Nolan told Business Insider.
IMAX told Business Insider an IMAX camera used on the movie costs around $1 million.
“But we called the lab and they clued us into an old-fashioned technique that used to be used on film shoots,” Nolan said. “You keep the film wet, you unload the camera, and you keep it damp the whole time. We shipped it back to Los Angeles from the set in France, and they processed it before drying it out and the shot came out absolutely perfect and it's in the film."
Here’s some shots of the dramatic scene that Nolan thought would never see the light of day:
“Try doing that with a digital camera!” Nolan said with glee. In the age of digital, the director is one of the last to be a major supporter of shooting on film. Though shooting digitally is cheaper and gives you more flexibility in the kinds of shots you can do, Nolan's footage really would have been destroyed if "Dunkirk" weren't shot on film.
“Dunkirk” opens in theaters on Friday.
Catch a glimpse of the Spitfire water landing at the end of the TV spot for the movie below:
The long wait is over: Legendary Pokémon are finally coming to "Pokemon GO!"
On July 22, when "Pokémon Go" holds its first major public event at Grant Park in downtown Chicago, the game's first Legendary Pokémon will be revealed through a new function: Legendary Raids.
If all of this sounds like gibberish to you, allow me to walk back some jargon:
In "Pokémon Go," Legendary Pokémon are finally being added as a group activity — presumably, the folks who gather at Grant Park on July 22 will form a unified team to take down the massive Legendary Pokémon that appear.
It's not clear how often those Legendary Pokémon will appear subsequently, but the press release offers a hint: "If Trainers successfully defeat the Legendary Pokemon in Chicago, that Pokémon will start appearing in Legendary Raid Battles around the world beginning July 23, 2017." Good luck, Chicago trainers!
Check out the first trailer of the Legendary Pokémon addition right here:
Woody Harrelson says "the least expensive things can be the most personally rewarding."
"Take my wedding, for example," the actor told Wealthsimple.
"... We didn't feel the need to shell out a ton of cash and do anything over the top. It was basically just a bunch of good friends getting together in Maui.
"I paid for some food and drinks, a few hundred bucks, and that was about it. At the end of the day, it ain't about how much it costs — it's about having great people in a beautiful place and just…celebrating."
According to wedding website The Knot, which has been tracking wedding trends since 2006, the average cost of a wedding in the US in 2016 was $35,329. The site also found that Americans spend an average of $6,162 on an engagement ring, and estimates that a plain gold or platinum wedding band will run you about $1,000, depending on the retailer. Not for Harrelson.
"Wedding rings can be extremely expensive, but ours were only about $300 each," he told Wealthsimple. He continued:
"Mine is one of my most meaningful possessions. I helped design the simple gold bands dotted with tiny, sparkling, colorful gems in various shades of orange, pink, and purple. The gold I already had. I'm really conscious about where gold is sourced, so I wanted to provide the gold and be sure of its origins. It's gold that was panned naturally from a river in Northern California. All in all they're pretty distinctive rings."
This doesn't mean Harrelson won't splurge — he recently bought himself a Tesla.
In 1994, at the height of the country's attention toward O.J. Simpson's trial for the murder of his ex-wife Nicole Brown Simpson, and her friend Ronald Goldman, Jeffrey Toobin forever became linked to the former athlete.
He broke the story, in The New Yorker, that Simpson's legal team planned to accuse detective Mark Fuhrman of planting evidence.
21 years after the trial of the century, the cast of characters in the case has come back in the news thanks to the popularity of the FX series "The People v. O.J. Simpson" (based on Toobin's book, "The Run of His Life: The People v. O.J. Simpson") and the ESPN five-part documentary, "O.J.: Made in America."
"The People v. O.J. Simpson" won nine Emmys, while "Made in America" won a best documentary Oscar.
And Simpson is now back in the limelight Thursday, as he's scheduled to have a parole hearing for a prison sentence he's serving, after being convicted of armed robbery and kidnapping related to a 2007 incident in Las Vegas. The hearing, which will be televised, could lead to the NFL Hall of Famer being released from prison as early as October 1 if things go his way.
Toobin, now a legal analyst for CNN, told Business Insider last year that Simpson shouldn't even be in prison right now.
"I continue to believe that the Nevada case is bogus, and it's the perfect irony of the Simpson case that he was acquitted of the crime that he was guilty of and he was convicted of a crime he's innocent of," Toobin said. "I really think his 33-year sentence was absurdly long. It was entirely payback for the murder he was acquitted of. It's not the way the legal system is supposed to work."
Simpson's armed robbery and kidnapping conviction was related to when Simpson tried to reclaim what he thought was stolen memorabilia of his from a Las Vegas hotel room. The entire incident is retold in the final chapter of ESPN's "Made in America."
Toobin isn't the only person who believes Simpson was unfairly treated in the Nevada case.
In "Made in America," attorney Carl Douglas, who was on Simpson's "Dream Team" of attorneys during his murder trail, says he believes it's not a coincidence that Simpson had his Nevada case 13 years to the day after being found not guilty in his murder trial, and that he got a 33-year sentence. (Simpson was ordered to pay $33.5 million in the wrongful-death civil case filed by the Goldman family.)
He thinks there's significance to the 33 figure and believes the outcome was "payback" for the murder trial.
Toobin doesn't necessarily agree with Douglas on the years of the sentence being connected to the figure from the civil case, but he does think the verdict was a result of the previous not guilty verdict.
"I do believe that this entire fiasco in Nevada would never have been the subject of a criminal case, much less one that generated a 33-year term, if most people in the world did not believe that O.J. Simpson got away with murder," Toobin said.
But Toobin admits he doesn't "stay up at night" thinking it's an injustice. He believes Simpson is guilty of the murders of Brown and Goldman. And whenever Simpson, 68, is released from prison, it's a story he is not interested in following anymore.
"I think the story of O.J. once he gets out is seedy and just an example of someone whose true character is coming to the surface, and it's not a pretty picture," Toobin said.
In the sequel to the successful 2015 action/comedy "Kingsman: The Secret Service," which earned over $400 million worldwide on a $81 million budget, the Americans are getting in on the action to help out their spy colleagues from across the pond.
In the latest trailer for "Kingsman: The Golden Circle" (in theaters September 22), Kingsman Eggsy (Taron Egerton) and his mentor Harry Hart (Colin Firth) — yes, he survived from being shot in the face in the first movie — join forces with some good ol' boys played by the likes of Channing Tatum and Jeff Bridges.
They take on their latest villain: Poppy (Julianne Moore).
Expect the action and colorful language to be kicked up a notch for this one.
The movie also stars Halle Berry, Mark Strong, and Pedro Pascal.
Watch the trailer below:
In 2006, the announcement of a book by O.J. Simpson that would give his allegedly hypothetical account of the murders of his ex-wife, Nicole Brown, and Ronald Goldman made waves.
With the planned title, "O.J. Simpson: If I Did It, Here's How It Happened," the book was to be published by ReganBooks, a division of HarperCollins. Shortly after the announcement, however, the book was canceled following outrage over the former football star profiting from the deaths.
Simpson was acquitted of the murders in 1995, but was found liable for the wrongful deaths of Brown and Goldman in a 1997 civil suit.
In 2007, the Goldman family was awarded rights to the book by a Florida bankruptcy court and went through with the publication, changing the title to "If I Did It: Confessions of the Killer."
Since 2008, Simpson has been imprisoned in a Nevada jail for a different crime. He was found guilty that year of the armed robbery and kidnapping of two sports memorabilia dealers. Simpson has a parole hearing on Thursday that could get him out of prison by October, after having spent close to nine years in jail for the crime.
Here's an overview of the chapters from"If I Did It: Confessions of the Killer," in which Simpson accounts his life with Nicole Brown before the murders that night:
Chapter 1: OJ Simpson focuses on his first failed marriage to Marguerite Whitley and how he met and developed a relationship with Nicole Brown. Simpson describes his "pretty near storybook marriage" to Brown, but paints her as physically violent and says she had a "real temper on her." He claims that she was always the instigator of the fights that led to the deterioration of the couple's marriage.
Simpson and Brown dated for a number of years before his divorce with his first wife was finalized. He mentions a fight in 1984 that resulted in Brown calling the cops after he "accidentally" hit one of the rims on her car with a baseball bat. He proceeded to whack the hood of the car, too, but no charges were filed and the two got married in 1985. He also goes into the 1989 altercation between them that resulted in him pleading no contest to spousal abuse. Simpson was convicted and put on probation, completed community service hours, and paid a fine.
Chapter 2: With an understanding that his marriage was over, the second chapter goes into the couple's divorce and Brown's alleged obsession with getting back together.
This chapter also introduces Paula Barbieri, his on-again/off-again girlfriend at the time of the murders.
Chapter 3: Simpson and Brown make a plan to try and make their relationship work for a year, but more problems arise.
Simpson talks about how he hates his ex-wife's group of friends, whom he describes as "hookers and drug dealers and unsavory characters." The chapter also includes transcripts of two 911 calls made by Brown about Simpson in 1993.
See the rest of the story at Business Insider
Former Vice President Al Gore sat down with Business Insider's Jason Guerrasio to discuss "An Inconvenient Sequel: Truth to Power." Here Gore shares his feelings about President Trump after his decision to remove the US from the Paris agreement. Following is a transcript of the video.
JASON GUERRASIO: Have you talked to President Trump at all since that meeting?
AL GORE: Not since, not since his decision on Paris. No.
GUERRASIO: One thing you touched on when you left Trump Tower was that it was, it was a conversation that would be continued.
GUERRASIO: You know, do you feel — do you need to continue that conversation with him?
GORE: I did continue, I did continue it. And that was not the only conversation that I had with him. But after he made his decision on Paris I have not reached out to him again, he has not reached out to me.
GUERRASIO: Do you feel it's an importance though? Do you need to talk to him anymore?
GORE: Well, I would never close the door to responding but I don't expect that and have no real desire to talk to him anymore. I think he made such an obviously reckless and indefensible decision. I think now my time and the time of others is better spent helping to move the country forward in spite of him.
GUERRASIO: Understood. You know, you say in the movie I think you’ve said it a few times in other places that you’re a recovering politician.
GUERRASIO: But I do want you to do a little armchair quarterbacking from you. What is your feeling of Trump as a president? I mean ... give me a grade. You know, how is he doing?
GORE: Well I never like the question about letter grades, but I think that he's failing. I think that every day there's another set of tweets another set of controversies and it doesn't — nothing seems to be getting done that's any good and there seems to be a kind of a policy paralysis in Washington. Even the appointments that he's supposed to make as a new president, he's way behind all of his modern-day predecessors, as I understand the statistics. So, I focus most of all on climate.
GORE: And so my opinion of his time as president is certainly influenced by my opinion of the job he's done on, on climate. He's tried to move the country in the wrong direction.
Nintendo's got a new console in the Nintendo Switch, which launched back in March. It is, for all intents and purposes, Nintendo's main product, but one of its classics — the Nintendo 64 — may be getting a miniaturized re-release.
In addition to the Switch, Nintendo makes the 3DS — a handheld console that's winding down after years of popularity.
And, in addition to the 3DS, Nintendo's recently started producing miniaturized, less expensive versions of its original consoles.
There was the NES Classic Edition, which launched in late 2016 and subsequently ended production earlier this year. And then there's the Super NES Classic Edition, which is planned for launch on September 29. Both play into the nostalgia of millions, and both are limited in supply — the NES Classic Edition was only produced for around six months, while the Super NES Classic Edition is said to run production through the end of 2017.
In addition to all those things, Nintendo appears to be making a similarly small, less expensive version of the original Nintendo 64.
That's the original Nintendo 64 you see above, but a European trademark filing from Nintendo indicates that a "Classic Edition" of the original is in the works. That means a miniaturized version of the original system and its gamepad, a sub-$100 price point, and a gaggle of classic games built right into the console.
To be clear, Nintendo hasn't announced such a console, nor has the company previously indicated its interested in making a "Classic Edition" of the original Nintendo 64. But we do have some clues from the filing that point to just such a console being in the works.
In the filing, a distinctive image is shown:
The trademark image, discovered by gaming forum NeoGAF, isn't just notable because it's the outline of the Nintendo 64 gamepad — it's notable because it's the same outline of a gamepad that appears on the retail branding of Nintendo's other "Classic Edition" consoles.
That silhouette of the NES Classic Edition gamepad on the top of the box? It's identical to another trademark filing image from Nintendo:
This close-up really highlights how similar the image is:
Nintendo filed the same logo trademark in Europe for the Super Nintendo Entertainment System gamepad silhouette, and that same silhouette appears on top of the Super NES Classic Edition box.
So, is Nintendo making a Nintendo 64 Classic Edition for sure? No, not for sure — but there's certainly some smoke here. And it would make a lot of sense; the generation that grew up with Nintendo 64 is now old enough to look at it nostalgically. For now, though, there's only smoke. Nintendo didn't respond to request for comment as of publishing.