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Hulu Tops 28 Million Customers, Unveils New Shows And A ‘Binge Watch’ Ad Experience

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Hulu has now grown over 28 million U.S. customers, including 26.8 million monthly paid subscribers and 1.3 million promotional accounts, the company announced this morning as part of its annual presentation at the digital Newfronts in New York. In January, Hulu had 25 million total users, including both paid and promo accounts, and 20 million this time last year. The streaming service also today unveiled its new slate of shows and original programming, alongside other content deals and a new “binge advertising experience” that’s designed to be less intrusive.

On the content front, Hulu announced an expanded partnership with Marvel to bring two new live-action series to its service in 2020.

Though Marvel owner Disney is preparing to launch its own direct-to-consumer streaming service later this year, Disney’s majority ownership of Hulu is proving to be an advantage as it can shift some of the more adult-oriented Marvel properties to Hulu, instead of the more family-focused Disney+ streaming service.

That seems to be the case for the new Marvel series Marvel’s Ghost Rider, aka Robbie Reyes, who’s described as a “quintessential antihero, consumed by hellfire and supernaturally bound to a demon.” The other, Marvel’s Helstrom, features Daimon and Ana Helstrom, the son and daughter of a powerful serial killer, who tracks down the worst of humanity.

Ghost Rider is exec-produced by Ingrid Escajeda, who will serve as showrunner, along with Paul Zbyszewski and Marvel’s Jeph Loeb. Helstrom is exec-produced by Loeb and Zbyszewski, who will also serve as showrunner.

The two new series join existing Marvel properties on Hulu, including Marvel’s Runaways, and other more adult-oriented fare like Marvel’s M.O.D.O.K, Marvel’s Hit-Monkey, Marvel’s Tigra & Dazzler Show, Marvel’s Howard The Duck, and the planned special event, Marvel’s The Offenders.

Hulu also today announced a new multi-year, multi-show partnership with Vox Media Studio, (Momofuku founder) David Chang’s Majordomo Media, and Chrissy Teigen’s Suit & Thai Productions, to develop premium food-centric programming. One of the first shows will feature Chang and Teigen and will focus on family cooking; another documentary series will tap into Vox’s Eater, and its knowledge of the best restaurants in the world.

Tiegen also scored her own two-year deal with Hulu to create original programming that could range from scripted content to original talk shows. (In other words, what Oprah is to Apple TV+, Tiegen is to Hulu, in terms of having free reign.)

Meanwhile, with the newly greenlit series Nine Perfect Strangers, Hulu hopes to have a hit like HBO did with Big Little Lies, as the series adapts another of author Liane Moriarty’s novels for the screen.

Also like Big Little Lies, David E. Kelley and Nicole Kidman are again involved, the former as co-showrunner and co-writer along with John Henry Butterworth, and the latter starring in a lead role as the director of a boutique health-and-wellness resort promising healing and transformation to the aforementioned nine strangers. Kidman’s production company, Blossom Films, which exec-produced the first season of Big Little Lies, is also involved along with Made Up Stories and Endeavor Content.

As previously reported, Hulu is running its own take on the Theranos scandal, with The Dropout, starring Kate McKinnon as Theranos CEO Elizabeth Holmes. And it’s renewing two freshman comedies, Pen15 and Ramy for second seasons.

Hulu’s Newfronts are really about the advertisers, of course. And this year, Hulu is pitching them a way to better target and cater to binge watchers — the viewers who are tuning in to watch for long stretches at a time. This “binge ad experience” is the second non-intrusive format Hulu has developed — the first being the “pause ad” that only appears when you press pause.

Binge ads will instead allow advertisers to target just binge watchers with creatives that are “situationally relevant” to their viewing behavior. (More on this as Hulu takes the stage later this morning.)

“This is a monumental time for Hulu’s advertising business and for brands who are looking to reach the most valuable audience in television,” said Peter Naylor, SVP and Head of Advertising Sales at Hulu, in a statement released alongside today’s event. “Because of our viewer-first advertising principles, we’re scaling rapidly. We’re offering advertisers the most sophisticated targeting, the largest addressable footprint in on-demand television, robust measurement solutions, and new ad models,” he added. “Hulu is future-proofing TV advertising and transforming the way brands connect with consumers.”

Hulu’s efforts in trying to figure out how to balance advertising with a quality TV experience, where viewers aren’t continually interrupted by repetitive ads, could be an advantage. Its focus on the user experience could help it better compete amid a growing range of free, ad-supported streaming services — a market that today includes the likes of Roku, Amazon (IMDb), Sinclair, Viacom (Pluto TV), Tubi, Google (YouTube), Walmart (Vudu), and others.

And it could give it a head’s start on competing with Netflix, if and when Netflix decides to run ads at some point in the future — a topic that was discussed earlier this week at the NewFronts, when an ad exec hinted that Netflix’s recruiters were already working towards a future that included advertising.

“In today’s direct-to-consumer world, viewers are demanding better when it comes to TV — from the user experience to their content choices to the advertising,” said Hulu CEO Randy Freer, in a statement. “Hulu’s continued growth, as well as the shows and initiatives announced today, reflect our deep investment in product, programming, brand, customer experience and business strategy to ensure that with Hulu, consumers can connect with the stories they love, at the right time and price, on any device,” he said.

Source: TechCrunch.

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USA: Sankofa Radio Wins 2019 Best Online Radio Award.

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Sankofa Radio, a Ghanaian-oriented radio station in the United States of America (USA) has been adjudged best online radio at the 2019 Ghana Entertainment Awards USA.

Ghana Entertainment Awards (GEA) was established to showcase the achievements of Ghanaian musicians and performing artists. The GEA exists to acknowledge the contributions of Ghanaian, African and international entertainers and artists.

Virginia-based Sankofa Radio beat a host of other stations for the Best Radio in USA category. CEO and Founder of Sankofa Nana Yaw Darko aka DJ RAS told TheAfricanDream.net that “there were 6 other nominees in the category, all of whom are doing a great job. Sankofa is therefore deeply humbled to have climbed to the top, which is why I wish to express my deepest appreciation for this honor done us.

DJ RAS also thanked listeners of Sankofa for their dedication and commended all the presenters of the station for their commitment to service which helped to make Sankofa Radio the longest-serving Ghanaian radio in the USA that officially began operations in 2008.

Now the leading radio platform for Ghanaians abroad the CEO explained that “we here at Sankofa have an obligation to serve listeners with good programming content consisting of news, information and good music. We have carved an enviable niche in this field and this award only goes to cement our position as a force to be reckoned with when it comes to quality information and entertainment delivery.

As part of efforts to expand, a 24/7 IPTV project has been launched via www.sankofatv.com to portray Ghanaian culture in a more positive light to the outside world and also bridge the gap between Ghanaians living in Ghana and the diaspora. Sankofa’s free applications for both radio and TV are available for download on both Google Play store and Apple’s App-store.

Visit www.sankofatv.com and www.sankofaradio.com to learn more about programming and upcoming events involving Sankofa.

(Source: Oral Ofori/TheAfricanDream.net)

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Joel Orleans Covered In HOT 97’s News, Lists His Top Three Afrobeat Artistes In Ghana.

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Accra, Ghana – July, 11, 2019 - There's no stopping for Joel Orleans anytime soon. Fresh off from winning an award for ''Best Male Radio Personality'' at the just ended Ghana Entertainment Awards USA, YFM radio jock/rapper, Joel Orleans, has featured in HOT 97's latest news.

The news which was released on July, 4, 2019 covers American rapper, Blueface releasing a footage of the dispute and calls out fans, as well as Pharrell, for doing a great deed, plus our very own Joel naming his top three Afrobeat artists from Ghana. He named King Promise, Kwesi Arthur and Stonebwoy as his favorites.

Joel also listed Apolo Imon; a pioneer of the 'Tropical' wave, a genre that blends African, Caribbean and Western influences as one to be on the lookout for. This is the second time Joel has featured in HOT 97's news - in 2017 he made his way into their Snapchat news.

The ''Radio Man'' as he's affectionately called is the host of ''Dryve of ur Lyfe'' show which airs on Accra based radio station - Y107.9FM, from Monday to Thursday; 3PM to 7PM and Friday at 3PM to 6PM. Joel Orleans is also signed to The Black Star Line, run by multi-platinum and #1 billboard producer, Coptic. His multi-talented self has also gained him more recognition in the Hip-Hop realm in the country.

HOT 97 was born in 1992 and has been the premiere outlet for the hottest music and news in the Hip-Hop and R&B community for 17 years. HOT 97 has become a nationally recognized brand spawning a number of sister stations across the country. Their content offering includes ''hear it here first'' music, exclusive interviews and industry leading live events that are hosted by their celebrity personalities.

Watch the news above and share.

Link: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=rqRaJU0-20E

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Zone Three 6 Set To Begin Its Digital TV Terrestrial Transmission In Ghana

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With over 44 Television programs of Quality Lifestyle and Excellent entertainment programs ready to be served, #YOUMUSTSEETHIS.

The #YOUMUSTSEETHIS is a digital media campaign by Zone Three 6 Network Limited, to create an awareness on the start of their Digital TV transmission.

One of Ghana’s Biggest Entertainment source, Zone Three 6 will soon start its Digital Terrestrial operations on TV and can be assessed in some major parts of the country (Accra, Kumasi, Takoradi, Cape Coast, Ho, Koforidua and parts of Northern Region) in Ghana by simply rescanning your digital decoder, so #YOUMUSTSEETHIS

The Digital Terrestrial station based in Accra will start Test Transmission on 31st August 2019 and will provide quality Lifestyle and Entertainment programs for its Loyal Viewers 24/7.

The Music TV Channel will also add more alternative and a variety of programs to viewers to bring more viewing option to viewers.

Speaking on the launch of the TV Station, Operations Manager of the Brand Zone Three 6, Kevin Boateng also known as Quabena Kevin said:
“The brand has consistently been the go-to place for Life-style and Entertainment via the online portals like the website and social media platforms. Well before that was the Award Winning Magazine TV Show on GH One TV, so now imagine it being a dedicated Music TV Channel you can access for 24/7” – Quabena Kevin.

Zone Three 6 promises to provide unique and refreshing contents for Ghana and by Ghana.

“Zone Three 6 has consistently carved a niche for itself as authentic, and this is evident in our numerous partnerships across the continent such as being the Official Media Partners for The One Africa Music Festival, IARA awards (UK), Ghana Music Awards UK, Sound City MVPs, MTV MAMA, Channel O music Videos Awards held in major cities around the world.” – Quabena Kevin.

The brand has built a reputation of credibility and authenticity by Generating contents which are tailored side by side with interest of Ghanaians. Targeted at Mass African Youth, we are Focused on expertly curating the Best of the Best in Music and Engaging Youth in Social Conversation, the Multi-Genre, Multi-Platform Network offers Breaking Music News, Videos, Artist Interviews, Exclusive Performances, and Original Programming.

He also added that “This is a step further in making our Brand the Biggest Entertainment platform in Ghana and Africa. The 24/7 dedicated Music Channel will be FREE TO AIR and this reaffirms our commitment to bringing quality entertainment programs to our viewers”.

Zone Three 6 is set to do a big reveal of all their VJs in an exclusive announcement scheduled later in year and it includes the sauciest and refreshing Video Jockeys in the across the globe.

All you have to do is Scan your Digital TV or Digital Decoders to Access the Zone Three 6 Music Channel, #YOUMUSTSEETHIS

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”The NPP government has not failed the Creative Arts sector” – Prince Tsegah debunks false publications.

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Public Relations officer of Ghana Music Rights Organization (GHAMRO) and astute Ghanaian Broadcast Journalist, Prince Tsegah, known in the media landscape as, Da Don has stated that, contrary to reports desseminated by a cross section of the Ghanaian traditional media, successive governments have not neglected the 'Tourism, Creative Arts and Culture' sector.

According to the objective entertainment critique, a cross section of the mass communication media has made reports tarnishing his identity, adding that, successive governments, including the New Patriotic Party(NPP) administration have contributed a much needed quota to elevate the Ghanaian 'Tourism, Creative Arts and Culture'' ecosystem.

Earlier reports has it that, the Public Relations officer of Ghana Music Rights Organization (GHAMRO) added his voice to the tall list of players in the creative arts industry lamenting about the neglect of the sector by successive governments, as well as their failed promises.

Report stated that Prince Tsegah said, the NPP government has failed the creative arts industry, adding that, in their 2016 manifesto, they promised to help collect their royalties from various organisations. Reports also added that, Mr. Tsegah said, the NPP government payment of royalties aren't encouraging.

Reports also has it that, Da Don said, radio stations are not paying the royalties; explaining that, should media houses, including radio and tv stations pay their much needed royalties accurately, Ghanaian performing arts will bury anger and put on smiling faces to that effect.

However, in facebook post sighted by www.georgebritton.com, the Head of Communications at the Ghana Music Rights Organization(GHAMRO), Prince Tsegah debunked such publications by the traditional media, including web portals, explaining that, the quote attributed to him is false, calculated to reduce his image before the right thinking members of society.

Speaking on the collection of royalties from music users, especially radio stations, the facebook post, the celebrated media mogul stated that, the process is an uphill task, as the logging system technology is very expensive to acquire, adding that the New Patriotic Party(NPP) government prior to the 2016 general elections promised to help GHAMRO out with the logging system and that GHAMRO needs State intervention to be able to acquire that technology, which hasn't yet materialized.

Public Relations officer of Ghana Music Rights Organization (GHAMRO) and astute Ghanaian Broadcast Journalist, Prince Tsegah suggested that, it will be a plaudit idea, if legislations can be put in place to help collect royalties at the renewal of respective license at the National Communication Authority(NCA).

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