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Gaming’s $4.4 billion video-content business is why Warner Bros. wants Machinima

Gaming video is a big business.


Traditional media companies see a huge amount of potential in gaming-related content, and that has translated into another acquisition.

Warner Bros., a hollywood and gaming behemoth, took full control over the Machinima digital-video company yesterday, as first reported by Variety. While a lot of internet media startups are struggling to find a business model that can sustain growth, larger companies are seeing this market as a way to access a younger, more connected audience. This acquisition should give WB a way to develop and distribute content specifically for a key demographic of people ages 13 to 34 who have already turned the gaming-related online-video business into a $4.4 billion market annually on YouTube, Twitch, and elsewhere, according to intelligence firm SuperData Research.

“The acquisition of Machinima by Warner Bros. is evidence of the maturing market for online and digital video and the ongoing popularization of gamer culture,” SuperData chief executive Joost van Dreunen explained in a note to GamesBeat. “As video games have emerged as a mainstream form of entertainment, a wider variety of content-forms, including video, have started to become financially viable and, more importantly, sustainable.”

SuperData argues that WB will attempt to use its brands and filmmaking known-how to Machinima’s youthful tone because the Hollywood studio expects that the generation growing up on YouTube right now will begin to demand higher-quality production values.

Additionally, van Dreunen notes that Machima has a history of working in the fast-growing esports business. Professional competitive gaming tournaments draw in millions of viewers, and esports has developed into a market that is approaching $1 billion in revenues thanks to sponsorships, marketers, and gambling.

“Important in this acquisition is Machinima’s experience around eSports,” explained van Dreunen. “As this market grows to $892 million this year, a growing number of brands and advertisers are looking to gain access to a generation of media consumers that do not adhere to traditional viewing patterns and content. Machinima is in a strong position to provide relevant content around this growing market segment.”

It’s also unlikely that this is the last big acquisition by a traditional media power. You can expect more companies to make moves as they attempt to figure out a changing landscape that is moving away from cable subscriptions and onto the Web and smartphones.

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Existing EV batteries could be recharged five times faster

Lithium-ion batteries have massively improved in the last half-decade, but there are still issues. The biggest, especially for EVs, is that charging takes too long to make them as useful as regular cars for highway driving. Researchers from the University of Warwick (WMG) have discovered that we may not need to be so patient, though. They developed a new type of sensor that measures internal battery temperatures and discovered that we can probably recharge them up to five times quicker without overheating problems.

Overcharging a lithium-ion battery anode can lead to lithium buildup, which can break through a battery's separator, create a short-circuit and cause catastrophic failure. That can cause the electrolyte to emit gases and literally blow up the battery, so manufacturers impose strict charging power limits to prevent it.

Those limits are based on hard-to-measure internal temperatures, however, which is where the WMG probe comes in. It's a fiber optic sensor, protected by a chemical layer that can be directly inserted into a lithium-ion cell to give highly precise thermal measurements without affecting its performance.

The team tested the sensor on standard 18650 li-ion cells, used in Tesla's Model S and X, among other EVs. They discovered that they can be charged five times faster than previously thought without damage. Such speeds would reduce battery life, but if used judiciously, the impact would be minimized, said lead researcher Dr. Tazdin Amietszajew.

Faster charging as always comes at the expense of overall battery life but many consumers would welcome the ability to charge a vehicle battery quickly when short journey times are required and then to switch to standard charge periods at other times.

There's still some work to do. While the research showed the li-ion cells can support higher temperatures, EVs and charging systems would have to have "precisely tuned profiles/limits" to prevent problems. It's also not clear how battery makers would install the sensors in the cells.

Nevertheless, it shows a lot of promise for much faster charging speeds in the near future. Even if battery capacities stayed the same, charging in 5 minutes instead of 25 could flip a lot of drivers over to the green side.

Via: Clean Technica

Source: University of Warwick

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