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Lenovo takes on Chromecast with own Cast streaming device

05/28, 6:50am

Round Lenovo Cast can mirror display from almost any DLNA, Miracast-enabled devices

Lenovo has revealed it is taking on the Google Chromecast with its own media sharing device. The Lenovo Cast is a compact round disc measuring 70mm (2.8 inches) in diameter and 15mm (0.6 inches) high, making it larger than Google's device, and it offers a few of the content streaming functions as its competition, except it also adds in a few more items that makes it slightly more flexible to use compared to its Google counterpart.

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YouTube adds 60fps live streaming option, new advertising units

05/21, 3:54pm

Google takes on Twitch by offering live streams at 1080p 60fps

Google is making a number of small changes to YouTube, that will likely be welcomed by advertisers and gamers alike. YouTube's live streaming capability will now include support for 60fps streams, making it more suitable for gaming, while the initial advertising preroll that runs before many videos will now allow users to find out a lot more information about the advertised products, as well as making it easier to purchase.

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Starbucks teams up with Spotify for in-store music

05/19, 9:14am

App integration will allow Spotify users to earn Starbucks rewards

Starbucks employees will be able to have more control over in-store music provided by Spotify, the two companies have revealed. A multi-year deal struck between the coffee chain and the music streaming service will also do more than provide music, with it opening up the Starbucks loyalty program to allow Spotify subscribers to increase their rewards balance and eventually earn free drinks.

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Forthcoming 'Apple Music' service to feature social artist pages

05/14, 9:34am

Users can choose to be updated on artist activity, comment on posts

Sources familiar with plans for Apple's new streaming music service, supposedly now to be called "Apple Music," have revealed that the service will have a deep social networking aspect for artists, but will not be the same as Apple's previous attempt at fusing social and music together, dubbed "Ping." Artists will have their own page that can be used for posting samples, concert and tour information, photos, and other messages that fans can comment on and "like."

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Pandora royalty payment rate to ASCAP upheld by appeals court

05/08, 11:31am

Appeals court sides with Pandora over songwriter royalty rate payments

An appeals court has upheld a ruling from last year concerning royalty rates paid by Pandora to songwriters. The US Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit agreed with an earlier ruling, which set the rate the music streaming service pays to the American Society of Composers, Authors, and Publishers (ASCAP) to 1.85 percent of Pandora's revenue, with no changes made to the figure.

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Spotify reportedly working on its own video streaming service

05/07, 5:35pm

Alleged discussions with video producers suggests Spotify video service on the way

Spotify may be considering a move into offering video as an extension to its service, according to a report. The streaming music service is allegedly in discussions with a number of digital media companies about adding video content to complement its existing track catalog, a subject Spotify may raise during its media event set to take place on May 20.

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Apple plans late June launch for revamped iTunes, despite obstacles

05/06, 12:48pm

Company pushing forward despite reports of record company reticence, federal investigations

Speculation and unconfirmed reports have run rampant over Apple's progress in its effort to revamp its iTunes music services, with recent reports suggesting the company may have difficulty hitting its planned June target for formally introducing both a revised Music app for iOS in the forthcoming iOS 8.4, and a significantly revamped iTunes Radio and Beats Music streaming service designed to compete with Spotify. Various reports, however, claim obstacles -- ranging from music label reluctance to federal investigations.

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Comcast's rumored YouTube-style service to use short-form programs

05/02, 8:37pm

Ex-YouTube employees allegedly acquired by Comcast for video service

More details for Comcast's rumored rival to the YouTube video streaming service have reportedly surfaced. Not content with its existing battle against the search company's fiber Internet project, Comcast is allegedly planning to launch a service which will provide "short-form programs" similar to some of the more popular channels and content available on YouTube today.

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Jay-Z defends Tidal's growth, claims over 770,000 subscribers

04/27, 6:58am

Artist-owned music streaming service rumors refuted by musician

Rapper Shawn Carter, known as Jay-Z, has taken to Twitter to claim artist-owned music streaming service Tidal is doing fine. Defending against suggestions that the service isn't as popular as initially anticipated, Jay-Z claims the service has grown to over 770,000 subscribers in the month since the celebrity change of ownership, and that it won't be as big as other services for quite some time.

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Tech TV show The Screen Savers resurrected on TWiT

04/21, 12:31pm

Daily TV show retooled as weekly live stream with returning hosts

A TV show about technology is making a comeback, but over the Internet instead of television. The Screen Savers, a daily Tech TV show which ran from 1998 to 2005, is going to be resurrected as "The New Screen Savers" by main host Leo Laporte and hosted on his own podcast network TWiT.tv as a weekly live show streamed online, with the first episode set to broadcast on May 2.

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Pointers: getting started with Spotify

04/17, 10:44am

Get the good and avoid the irritating features of streaming music

There are other streaming music services, and you can well argue that there are better ones, but Spotify is winning the war to become the Hoover, Xerox, and iPad of its class: the brand name that somehow becomes synonymous with the idea. At least, nobody tells you what their favourite iTunes Radio station is, no one in the world sends you links to Pandora, and it's like few people have heard of Beats Music. Yet. However, Spotify is known even by normal people, and it is a way in to the whole streaming music subscription concept.

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Meerkat starts testing of streaming app on Android

04/16, 10:13am

Live streaming app heads to Android before Twitter-owned competitor

Meerkat, the live-streaming mobile app, has beaten the Twitter-owned Periscope to Android, albeit in beta. While both apps are similar and available on iOS devices, Meerkat is the first of the competing services to make the transition to Android, with the startup asking for external beta testers to sign up and try out the app on the mobile platform.

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Briefly: Netflix adds audio descriptions, Office Delve for mobile

04/14, 10:47pm

Audio Description tracks added to Netflix-produced shows

Netflix is making some of its content more accessible to the visually impaired, by adding an alternate "Audio Description" track to shows. Starting with the recently-released Daredevil today and reaching other Netflix-produced shows in the coming weeks, the extra option provides a narration track that describes scenes and important character attributes, such as costumes, facial expressions, and actions.

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YouTube confirms ad-free subscription service on the way

04/09, 6:53am

Changes to YouTube Partner Program terms include similar revenue split as normal advertising

Google has confirmed to content creators the rumored YouTube subscription service is coming soon. The video streaming service is also laying more of the groundwork for its ad-free offering by changing the terms uploaders must agree to before uploading, adding language that explains how revenues from subscriptions will be allocated to video producers.

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Briefly: CBS All Access on Roku, Google Moderator shutting down

04/08, 6:17am

CBS All Access streaming service heads to Roku

Broadcaster CBS has expanded the reach of its video on demand and live streaming service to Roku devices. Already available on mobile devices, CBS All Access costs $6 per month and offers live streams of local affiliates in 14 major markets, though users in other areas will still be able to watch the on demand items, including new episodes of popular shows the day after they are broadcast.

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Roku 3 gains voice search, Roku 2 receives specification boost

04/06, 6:57am

Roku 2 hardware performance now equal to Roku 3

Roku has made some updates to its streaming set-top boxes, giving the Roku 3 and Roku 2 some small improvements. Chief among the changes is the addition of voice search to the Roku 3, allowing users to find content by pressing a dedicated button and speaking into the remote control, bringing it in line with other streamers offering the function, including the Amazon Fire TV and some Google TV devices.

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Report: Apple demanding studios provide streaming for TV service

04/01, 5:35pm

Apple leaving streaming to broadcasters; sticking with hardware, software

As part of its as yet unconfirmed live television service, Apple is reportedly asking the networks themselves to handle the technical details, and associated costs of the streams that will reportedly be available on the Apple TV, similar to deals in place now. Costs generally run $0.05 per stream per hour, but executives are said to be balking at the potential cost for the as yet unknown demand for the service.

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Tidal relaunches as artist-owned high-fidelity music streaming service

03/30, 6:24pm

Jay-Z, Daft Punk, other musical artists now owners of Tidal

Music streaming service Tidal has relaunched as an artist-owned company. At a star-studded launch event streamed live, the musical artists owning part of the service gathered together for the announcement, with the overall message offered being Tidal's push to benefit musical artists more than its competitors, such as Spotify and its allegedly low royalty payments.

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Sony launches Spotify-powered PlayStation Music in 41 countries

03/30, 6:43am

Replacement for Sony Music Unlimited heads to PlayStation 3, PlayStation 4

The replacement for Sony Music Unlimited is going live on the PlayStation 3 and PlayStation 4 today, powered by Spotify. Launching in 41 countries, PlayStation Music provides gamers with access to streaming music, allowing users to play their choice of soundtrack as a background to whatever game they are playing on the Sony game consoles.

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NBC denies ever having television streaming discussions with Apple

03/27, 5:10pm

Attorney responding to Comcast merger complaint spills the beans

Throwing some doubt on the veracity of earlier reports by the Wall Street Journal NBCUniversal has said in a letter to the US Federal Communications Commission that not only is it not keeping back content from any prospective Apple television network, it has not even been launched discussions with Apple in the first place. The revelation was made as part of an information request fulfilled by the programmer, answering questions about the prospective Time Warner Cable and NBCUniversal parent company Comcast's merger.

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Twitter unveils Periscope live video broadcasting app

03/26, 1:22pm

Periscope for iOS available now, Android version on the way

Twitter has added another video service to its roster, alongside Vine, one which provides live video streaming to the microblogging platform. A rebranding of an app Twitter acquired in January, Periscope lets users instantly stream from their smartphone to their Twitter feed, with viewers able to provide feedback to the broadcaster in real time.

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Trent Reznor helping design overhauled iOS Music app, says NYT

03/25, 9:11pm

Beats integration, iTunes overhaul likely to be on agenda for WWDC in June

A new article in The New York Times describes in some detail the alleged transition plans Apple is undertaking to transform both iTunes and Beats Music, it's acquired subscription streaming service. Among other details, the report assigns roles to iTunes Radio chief Zane Lowe, who until recently was a top BBC Radio 1 DJ, and describes musician Trent Reznor as a "point man" on an iOS Music app overhaul.

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Google reportedly planning YouTube game streaming service

03/25, 2:09pm

YouTube Live apparently being retooled for live game streaming to compete with Twitch

Google may be planning to boost its live streaming functions in YouTube by taking on Twitch. A report claims YouTube will soon launch a game streaming service on the video site, one that is set to directly compete against the Amazon-owned service, by providing viewers access to live streams of esports and other similar content in a refreshed YouTube Live.

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Amazon updates Fire TV streamers, ships Fire TV Stick to UK

03/24, 3:17pm

Fire TV range adds external USB storage support, hidden PIN entry

Amazon has made a number of changes to its Fire TV and Fire TV Stick media streamers, as part of a software update. Changes to the devices, including the notable addition of support for external USB drives for extra local storage, come just in time before the retailer releases the Fire TV Stick in the United Kingdom, six months after the Fire TV shipped in the country.

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Music label reportedly pressuring Spotify to add free streaming limits

03/23, 9:51am

Universal said to be in contract negotiations, wants Spotify to weaken free service

Universal Music Group (UMG) wants Spotify to add more limits to its free streaming service, according to reports. The record label is apparently having issues with the freemium music offering and its apparent lack of revenue, and hopes that restricting the number of listens for songs will push Spotify users to the more lucrative paid subscription service.

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RIAA: Streaming music revenue now topping CD sales in US

03/19, 3:30pm

Downloads still king of market, but falling alongside overall music revenue

A new report from the Recording Industry Association of America (RIAA) finds that revenue from music streaming services such as Beats Music, Pandora, and Spotify have now in total beaten out revenue from CD sales in the US, capitalizing on the latter's continued fall from grace (largely thanks to excessively high CD pricing). Both formats are still well behind download sales as the top revenue stream, but even that format is gently declining.

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Pointers: making a station in iTunes Radio

03/18, 6:16pm

A little fine-tuning will result in delightful listening

Apple's iTunes Radio is one of those things that is criminally underused by most Mac and iOS users, and its a shame: the service is really very good -- and with a tiny amount of effort, can be as, or more, enjoyable than even Pandora One or the other subscription streaming music services, not to mention cheaper. In this post, we're going to show you how to create, and then fine-tune, a custom station that features music you love and compatible new discoveries.

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WSJ: Apple preparing to launch Internet TV service this fall

03/17, 8:08am

Rumored Apple streaming television service could have 25 channels at launch

Apple may launch an Internet television service later this year, a report claims. The supposed streaming service will apparently offer around 25 channels from major broadcasters including ABC, CBS, and Fox to subscribers, sources of the Wall Street Journal say, with Apple said to be aiming for an unveiling in June and a launch of the service in the United States by September.

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CasaTunes shows four new whole-house music streaming solutions

03/10, 11:55am

New components good for either add-on, or new construction

Streaming multi-room music solutions provider CasaTunes announced on Tuesday four new products for multi-room music with the CT-4+ System, CT-8+ System, CT-4S Streamer and CT-8S Streamer. The two CasaTunes Systems are complete multi-room audio systems, including the server, audio streams and audio distribution switch, with everything inside the one music system. The CasaTunes Streamers include the server and music streams, and are ideal for homes that want to add streaming music options to existing audio distribution systems.

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Revamped Beats Music, iTunes streaming coming in June, sources say

03/05, 5:24pm

Timing for overhaul set for around WWDC; Android version might continue?

Apple is now aiming for a revamp of its Beats Music streaming service, which will see the offering tied in more closely to both iTunes and other Apple products and services, to happen in June -- right around the time of the expected Worldwide Developers Conference, which is likely to happen on June 8–12, according to sources familiar with current plans. In addition to retaining the personalization and hand-curated recommendation features, Apple may be planning to lower the monthly cost.

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Apple in talks to add streaming HBO service to Apple TV

03/04, 6:02pm

Channel would not require existing cable or satellite subscription

According to a new report, Apple is in talks with movie and original program service HBO to bring its streaming service, called "HBO Now," to Apple TV as a standalone subscription service that does not require an existing cable or satellite connection. The deal, if it goes through, would bring some flexibility to users who would like HBO programming, but don't want to pay for a higher-priced bundle that cable companies often force on customers. The service might launch in time for the Game of Thrones premiere on April 12.

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Briefly: Target Ticket closes, UK music album chart counts streams

02/12, 12:28pm

Streaming video service Target Ticket shuttering next month

Target is shutting down its video streaming service next month. Target Ticket has already stopped providing rentals, though existing rentals will be viewable until the service shuts down completely on March 7, according to its support pages. The retailer has already made arrangements for its customers to watch movies through CinemaNow from the same account when Ticket closes, with any UltraViolet purchases viewable through other supported video services automatically.

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Netflix launches streaming service in Cuba, keeps price at $8

02/09, 3:08pm

Video streaming service enters Cuba after US relaxes trade restrictions

Netflix is continuing its current strategy of fast expansion into new countries, by unexpectedly launching in Cuba. The video streaming service is being made available to residents of the country for the first time, following the recent easing of trade restrictions that have been imposed on Cuba by the United States since 1961, though potential users still have some obstacles in the way between them and watching House of Cards.

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Briefly: Sling TV opens to all, UK universities smartwatch exam ban

02/09, 6:49am

Sling TV accepting new customer registrations without an invitation

Dish Network's Sling TV has been opened up to new registrations without requiring an invitation, following its soft launch. Spotted by GigaOM, the Internet TV service provides a trial week of usage before requiring users to pay for access. While the basic package includes live access to 15 channels for $20 per month, a collection of three add-on packages containing channels relating to news and information, kids and family, and sports can all be added at $5 per extra bundle.

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Matchstick delayed until August for hardware changes, DRM addition

02/08, 4:54pm

Firefox OS-based streaming device gaining faster processor, new Wi-Fi antenna

Matchstick, a streaming dongle similar to the Google Chromecast, is going to be delayed shipping out to customers, the project has announced. The Kickstarter-funded Firefox OS device is being held back until August rather than its initial shipping target of February, as the company is going to redesign it to account for a faster chipset, as well as adding in digital rights management (DRM) systems.

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Limited edition Sonos Play:1 Blue commemorates Blue Note Records

02/04, 11:20am

Boutique streamer identical to Sonos Play:1, boasts custom paint job

In order to "commemorate 75 years and counting of Blue Note Records," speaker company Sonos has debuted the Sonos Play:1 Blue Note Limited Edition wireless streaming speaker. The speaker, identical to the original Sonos Play:1, will be available online only in limited quantities, and for a short time.

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Jay Z looks to join streaming music industry by acquiring Aspiro

01/30, 9:57am

Parent company of Tidal, WiMP agrees to $56M acquisition by rapper

Rapper Jay Z is moving into the streaming music business, by attempting to acquire the parent company of two services. A press release and local media reports claim management of Swedish company Aspiro AB has agreed to the takeover by Jay Z's own companies, with the acquisition deal said to be worth approximately 464 million krona ($56 million).

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Briefly: RunKeeper adds Spotify, Nickelodeon streaming service inbound

01/30, 7:32am

RunKeeper adds Spotify integration to iOS app

RunKeeper has added Spotify integration to its iOS app. The fitness app will now offer access to Spotify playlists, created both by the user and by Spotify, and stream music while a workout is underway. Both Spotify and Runkeeper have to be installed on the same device with RunKeeper connected to the Spotify account in order to function, and though it is only on iOS for the moment, a similar update to the Android app may also happen in the future.

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Walmart ships Vudu Spark video streaming HDMI dongle

01/24, 2:03pm

Limited device doesn't allow app loading, only for Vudu

Walmart has commenced sales on the Vudu Spark video streamer on its website, in addition to 2,500 stores US-wide. The HDMI dongle is, as expected, a one-feature device intended only to provide streaming content from the Walmart Vudu service powered by a USB port, controlled by a dedicated remote control. Connectivity is through 802.11n Wi-Fi. Resolutions supported include 1080p 60Hz, with the addition of 7.1 surround sound audio.

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Vessel launches with exclusive video content for $3 subscription

01/22, 8:39pm

Videos on Vessel exclusive for 72 hours, offers creators financial incentives

Vessel, a video streaming service set to take on YouTube, has opened itself up to the public in beta. Unlike Google's video site, Vessel aims to offer professional videos from content creators, including web series and TV segments, with users able to pay a subscription price to watch new releases from videographers they follow before anyone else.

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Netflix financials reveal increase in viewers to 57.4M globally

01/22, 10:54am

Forecast for Q1 2015 places Netflix subscribers at over 61M

Netflix has grown its total audience by 4.33 million subscribers globally, the streaming service revealed in its financial results. The faster increase in viewers compared to the last quarter is reflected in additional subscribers for both US and international markets, 1.9 million and 2.43 million respectively, with the total Netflix audience hitting 57.4 million members.

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Marriott tests Netflix, Hulu streaming to hotel room televisions

01/20, 7:25am

Test allows Marriott guests to use own Netflix accounts during stay

Travelers may be able to log into their own Netflix accounts from a hotel's television in the future, if tests performed by Marriott are successful. The hotel chain is trying out a new in-room entertainment service which would allow guests to view streaming content from Netflix, Hulu, and Pandora, as well as the usual on-demand TV services.

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Briefly: Netflix on YouView in UK, online success at Golden Globes

01/12, 3:07pm

TalkTalk adds Netflix app to YouView set-top box

Netflix is being included on the YouView set-top box in the United Kingdom for the first time, giving viewers another way to watch shows from the streaming service. The TalkTalk-owned device will start rolling out to pre-registered customers initially, with Digital Spy reporting that the rollout is expected to continue to the end of the month, covering all 1.2 million TalkTalk TV homes.

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Spotify hits 15M subscribers, majority of streams on mobile devices

01/12, 1:11pm

Over 60M active users of Spotify, most connect accounts to Facebook

Spotify is continuing to enjoy rising user numbers, with the popular music streaming service announcing it has reached a total of 15 million subscribers. At the same time, reports claim that the majority of Spotify streams stem from mobile listeners, with 52 percent of listening taking place on smartphones and tablets rather than desktops.

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Roku announces partnership plans: 4K streaming, Roku TVs

01/05, 9:49pm

Netflix, Haier, Insignia on board as partners; releases across the year

Entertainment streaming platform provider Roku made a number of announcements today at CES regarding Roku televisions and expanded HD content streaming. Roku will be partnering with television manufacturers Haier and Insignia to produce new HDTV models of Roku televisions, while NetFlix works on delivering 4K compatible content through Roku's platforms, and a previous Roku TV maker will focus on debuting a Roku 4K Ultra HD TV for the new year.

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Netflix caching for offline playback 'never going to happen'

12/17, 3:21pm

Offline caching a short term fix, claims Netflix executive

Netflix will not be allowing its users to cache television shows and movies from the streaming service for later playback, an executive has advised. In an interview, Director of Corporate Communications and Technology Cliff Edwards denied Netflix would offer offline storage of content, categorically stating "It's never going to happen."

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HBO Go heads to Roku on Comcast, Amazon Fire TV

12/16, 7:16am

Streaming app from HBO hits Fire TV today, Fire TV Stick in spring

HBO Go is heading to a number of streaming devices now and in the near future, it has been revealed. Owners of Roku streamers on Comcast will soon gain access to the app and Showtime, while Amazon's Fire TV users are able to stream from the service straight away, with the app also including support for the Fire TV's voice search functionality.

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HBO outsources standalone streaming service, aims for April launch

12/09, 8:27pm

Executive decision prompts resignation of HBO CTO

HBO has hit some stumbling blocks in the creation of its standalone streaming service, it has been revealed. An alleged internal memo states that the broadcaster has decided to cancel its own attempt at the project, and instead will be using an existing streaming provider to provide the eventual service, something which is earmarked to launch by April 2015.

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Amazon Instant Video starts streaming TV shows, movies in 4K

12/09, 11:36am

Ultra HD streams of Amazon originals, Sony Pictures movies offered to Prime subscribers

Amazon has started to make some of its Prime Instant Video content available to view in 4K, later than originally thought and months after major competitor Netflix started offering its Ultra HD streams. The change will allow Prime subscribers to stream a selection of movies and TV shows, including some of Amazon's original productions, as well as offering up 4K movie purchases to all customers.

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Nielsen: TV viewing drops four percent from 2013, streaming booms

12/05, 7:53am

Average time spent watching TV in US lower, online viewing up 50 percent

The viewing of television shows in the United States via broadcasting has dropped in the face of streaming services gaining in popularity, according to Nielsen. The ratings company's third-quarter report claims the average American watches more than 141 hours of live television per month, or more than four hours a day, but the figure is a year-on-year four percent drop from last year's 147 average hours per month.

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