– Warner Bros. has expanded its VOD day and date trial…meaning releasing movies on VOD and DVD on the same day. It will begin the trial nationally July 10 with the release of “The Astronaut Farmer,” which took in only about $11 million at the box office. It will test larger titles such as “300” in certain overseas markets later in the summer. We reported on some of the earlier smaller tests
– ITunes Store Adds NBC Soap: Long-running NBC soap opera Days of Our Lives is the latest TV offering to make it to Apple’s iTunes Music Store as part of Sony’s effort to revive the show’s popularity. Full episodes of Days will be offered at the standard $1.99, but consumers will be able to cut that to just 50-cents per show by ordering a 20-episode multipass for $9.99.
– Yahoo Spotlights Celebs: Yahoo is launching a celebrity-oriented portal in a partnership with TV gossip show Access Hollywood. The site, to be known as omg! is being eyed as a competitor to Time Warner’s fast-growing TMZ.com. Access also is expected to beef up its own website in the fall, adding a social networking component among other changes.
– NBCU Allows Its Videos On Others’ Sites: NBC is joining other media sites, such as CBS and NYT, in allowing personal websites to post video snippets of the network’s programming. NBCU is offering a video widget, supported by Clearspring, that will allow access to shows, the first of which include NBC Nightly News with Brian Williams and Dateline, as well programming from NBC Sports, DotComedy.com and iVillage.com. NBCU had previously created video widgets for shows such as Saturday Night Live and Heroes.
– Bravo Unveils Web Series: Bravo has expanded its original digital program offerings this month with the introduction of four web-exclusive series for BravoTV.com and OUTzoneTV.com. The shows include My Life on the Z-List: Jen’s Vlog, Miami Spice: Hot Recipes with Latin Flavor and Top Recipe: The Wrong Way to Cook (web extensions for Top Chef), Ask a Gay Man, and a weekly vlog for OutZone starring You Tube sensation/23-year-old Gap manager William Sledd.
– Rocketboom Gets YouTube Sponsorship: Rocketboom is launching a sponsorship system, with YouTube as the first participant. The sponsorships are selling for $3,000 per episode.
– Univision’s New Online Portal: Univision has launched a video portal on its site, Univision.com, through which users can access a selection of clips from Univision TV shows, interviews with Hispanic celebrities, music videos and news clips. It will also be launching a new social networking service, and has also launched a wireless video subscription service through Univision Movil.