Quick Breaks is a daily column from the VideoInk editorial staff, which rounds up and features interesting developments in the larger digital video space that we feel you should be at least somewhat aware of. Have tips or suggestions for more Quick Breaks? Send them over to firstname.lastname@example.org/members.
Madonna released her latest music video, “Ghosttown,” on Meerkat today, April 7, at 10am PT. Prior to the video’s debut, the artist made a teaser trailer of the video, which she put on Tidal, a music streaming service of which she is a co-owner.
The entire “Star Wars” film series has become available for pre-order on Amazon Instant Video. Marking the first time the films have been (legally) available digitally, the pre-order extends to fans in the US, UK, and Germany, who can order one, all, or any of the films in the franchise. The “Star Wars” films, episodes one through six, will be ready to watch on Friday, April 10 through the Amazon Instant Video app. The films are also available for purchase via Google Play.
The Sixth Annual Indie Series Awards took place on April 1 in Los Angeles, hosted by Eric Martsolf from “Days of Our Lives.” “L.A. Macabre” won best drama and “Acting Dead” won best comedy at the awards ceremony. Judd Hirsch took home a best supporting actor award for his role on “Small Miracles,” and former “Baywatch” star Alexandra Paul took home a best supporting actress award for her work in “Mentor.” For a full list of the winners, visit the Indie Series Awards website. WebVee Guide live-streamed the ceremony with Happy Little Guillotine Studios, so a video of the event is still available on the site, as well.
Maker Studios has signed DIY YouTuber Kate Albrecht (known on the video platform as Mr. Kate) to focus on expanding her fan base and getting her to collaborate with global brands. Albrecht has over 314,000 subscribers on her YouTube channel. Her book, “A Hot Glue Gun Mess: Funny Stories, Pretty DIY Projects,” is currently available for pre-order and is set to come out this June. She will also be speaking at MIP Digital Fronts this year with Maker’s head of international René Rechtman.
EW Scripps has selected SpotXchange to manage its online and mobile video inventory in a programmatic fashion. This also means that SpotXchange will be a programmatic ad-tech partner for video news service Newsy, which was acquired by Scripps for $35 million in 2013.
Gail Berman’s The Jackal Group, a production co-venture in partnership with Fox Networks Group, has hired Bryan Thompson as head of business affairs. In the role, Thompson will oversee all legal matters for the company, including managing deals and transactions in all divisions including television, film, digital, and commercial theater. He will report to Berman, who serves as chairman and CEO of The Jackal Group. Thompson comes from Whalerock Industries, the new name of BermanBraun, which Berman co-founded with Lloyd Braun in 2007.
The Washington Post has named Micah Gelman the director of editorial video. In the role, Gelman will lead production and distribution of PostTV original videos in addition to overseeing editing and curating videos from content partners. Gelman will report to the managing editor for digital at The Washington Post, Emilio Garcia-Ruiz. Previously, Gelman has served as the director of digital video strategy and operations at Discovery Communications and the executive producer for US video at The Associated Press.