New shows based on DreamWorks Animation catalog to air on Netflix first
Netflix is continuing its drive for exclusive content by signing a deal with DreamWorks Animation. The multi-year agreement has the streaming video service securing the first-run rights for TV shows based on past, current, and future DreamWorks properties, and will add over 300 hours of programming to the Netflix show catalog.
Customized recommendations to apply to users, rather than entire account
Netflix will be adding separate user profiles to its accounts sometime this summer. The additional profiles will allow the streaming video service to keep a track record of what shows and films are viewed by individuals, rather than on the per-account basis it currently uses, in an effort to improve recommendations provided to its users.
Working with device OEMs to make Roku software for TVs
Roku has received another injection of investment to develop its streaming set-top box. The $60 million round of funding comes from new investors Fidelity and Hearst Corp, as well as from previous investors such as broadcaster BskyB and News Corp, and brings the total amount of money invested into Roku to $130 million.
Sony allegedly holding out for higher fee for streaming music
Apple may have hit another snag in its alleged plan to launch an "iRadio" service in the near future, according to an unconfirmed report from London's Financial Times. The forthcoming service, should negotiations get completed, would allegedly see iTunes offering a streaming music service that leveraged its enormous statistical and purchasing information from users to serve curated songs they would be likely to enjoy from artists they have bought before or would probably like. Sony, according to sources, is still holding out.
Apps include local content as well as nationally syndicated programming
Media streamer hardware maker Roku has deployed a new app set, adding PBS and PBS Kids content to most of its line of video streaming set-top boxes within the US. Now available for streaming are shows such as American Experience, Antiques Roadshow, Frontline, Nova, Masterpiece, and Nature. Children's programming now available due to the new additions include Curious George, Daniel Tiger's Neighborhood, Dinosaur Train, The Cat in the Hat Knows a Lot About That!, and Super WHY.
Extra DivX features provide multi-language subtitles, audio, chapters
Rovi has revealed that Toshiba will be the first television manufacturer to launch a range of DivX Plus Streaming-certified HDTVs. The addition of DivX Plus Streaming to the televisions will allow users to watch streaming content with typical features found in DVD and Blu-ray Disc usage, such as support for multi-language subtitles and audio tracks.
Offering replaces paid products from other companies
Google today announced that starting later this week, all US Congressional members will have access to YouTube channel "enhanced features." While no pertinent details have emerged from the search engine, the new permissions allows the elected officials to live stream video, much the same way that the State of the Union address was broadcast on the video streaming service.
Device would directly compete with Apple TV, Roku
Amazon is planning to extend its range of tablets and ebook readers by selling a set-top box, according to a report. The device, said to be coming out sometime in the fall, will provide streaming content, such as movies and TV shows to the user from the company's Instant Video catalog as well as Prime Instant Video.
Slight increase in Netflix profits next quarter, continued shift away from DVD
Netflix has announced its quarterly earnings report for the first part of 2013. The company reports having added over three million streaming members, bringing the company's total to more than 36 million worldwide. The company continues to see profits in the US offsetting losses elsewhere, with a $131 million profit in the US and a $77 million loss internationally. DVD rentals continue to earn well, with it bringing in $113 million profit for the company in the US. After all expenses, including payback of debt, the company earned five cents per share.
Overall iPlayer use equals 272M January record
Usage of tablets to view BBC content on its streaming service has beaten that of smartphones for the first time. Information published by the BBC saw 200,000 more iPlayer requests from tablets than mobile phones, with the combined usage of mobile devices making up 30-percent of all requests, namely 81 million requests for March alone.
Amazon Instant Video, Lovefilm users to help judge shows
Amazon is allowing its customers to view new television shows on its streaming services in the US and the UK, in order to decide which to create into a full series. The 14 pilot shows, created by subsidiary Amazon Studios, can be watched on Amazon Instant Video and Lovefilm, with the retailer hoping to use viewer comments to influence its choice of which shows get a full 13-episode season commission.
Warner Music said to be close behind, Sony in early stages
Should Apple actually succeed with its alleged plan to start up a Pandora-style streaming radio service, one of the biggest obstacles the company faced may be behind it as early as next week, if a report on The Verge is true. Multiple sources say that Apple and Universal Music Group, one of the "big three" music labels, have reached an agreement on streaming royalties -- and that the company is in the final stages of also closing a deal with Warner Music. The third major label, Sony, is an earlier stage of the process.
Finds workaround for obstacles with two major record labels
Late on Thursday, unnamed sources from "people familiar with the negotiations" said that Apple has come up with a clever workaround to the major obstacles preventing it from concluding a licensing deal for its alleged "iRadio" streaming service. The breakthrough is said to have been sufficient to get two of the three major record companies on board for the yet-to-be-announced feature, and relies on letting Apple get the streaming royalty rate it wanted -- far lower than comparable services -- in exchange for creating ways for labels to make up the cost difference.
Content available for rental and purchase, no subscription service available
Music streaming purveyor Rdio is previewing its long-awaited next effort -- the video streamer Vdio. Calling it a "beautiful new way to buy, rent, and share your favorite movies and TV shows with your friends," the service is available today in pre-release form with a $25 viewing credit given to existing and new Rdio Unlimited subscribers.
Sources point to new video offering
Spotify is reportedly preparing to launch a streaming video service that may rival Netflix and other established players, unnamed sources have told Business Insider. The unconfirmed report suggests the company is already attempting to find partners that will help produce exclusive content, following a strategy already employed by Hulu and Netflix.
Service available over 29 counties across NY, CT, NJ, PA
Aereo today announced that its Internet-repeating television service is now available to the more than 19 million people living in the New York City metropolitan area. The region includes 29 counties across New York, New Jersey, Connecticut and Pennsylvania. Previously, Aereo was only available to residents of New York City's five boroughs.
App required complete rebuild from Windows Phone 7 version
Streaming music service Spotify is now available to use on Windows Phone 8 devices. Now downloadable from the Windows Phone Store, the new Windows Phone 8-specific app is launching in beta, and offers new users a free trial lasting for 30 days, before requiring the premium service subscription of $10 per month.
Renews exclusive programming from France, UK
Hulu has previewed three new shows that it will air in the summer as part of its original programming drive. The new shows, a pair of comedy series and a docu-series, are also joined by a number of new exclusive shows that will start in January, while existing Hulu-specific programming has also seen renewals.
Netflix encouraging subscribers to petition ISPs to use Open Connect
At the Las Vegas Consumer Electronics Show, Netflix announced its Netflix Open Connect initiative is now delivering the majority of Netflix international traffic, and has accepted its first two US ISPs for the service. Additionally, Netflix Super HD and 3D TV shows and movies are available on the service for the first time.
Charge intended for home use; OnBeat Rumble Lightning dock
Two new JBL products are expected to launch at the Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas next week. Both the JBL Charge portable Bluetooth streaming speaker and the Lightning-equipped docking station JBL OnBeat Rumble will be on display at the JBL booth at the expo, which begins Monday.
Existing eyeIO user Netflix likely to offer 4K media in future
Video processing company eyeIO has unveilled its second generation of video encoding technology. The new version includes a new option called StudioRes, which is capable of encoding 10-bit 4:2:2 H.264 video at a 4K resolution, as well as claims that it will encode video 45-percent faster than its previous incarnation.
Free service restricted to two hours per month after first year
Paris-based Deezer has launched an advertising-supported version of its music streaming service in more than 150 countries. The free service comes at the same time as the company announced it has achieved 3 million paying subscribers, each of whom listen to 60 hours of music per month, as well as the introduction of a 30-day trial of its Premium+ service.
Streaming service offers access through iOS, Android devices
Redbox and Verizon have publicly announced that Redbox Instant will be launching its streaming service later this month. Offering unlimited streaming of thousands of movies, Redbox Instant has also been confirmed to be offered through the web, as well as iOS and Android portable devices, Samsung and LG Blu-Ray players and Smart TVs, and Google TV.
Netflix competitor streamable to iOS, Android, Xbox 360
More details of Redbox Instant by Verizon's streaming service have surfaced, including the all-important subscription rates. The initial selection of devices the Netflix competitor will be available on has also leaked, as well as the existence of a combined streaming and DVD service that still uses the Redbox kiosks.
Service in beta, unavailable in some regions
The long-rumored browser version of music streaming service Spotify is apparently close to release, as reports have the company testing out a browser-based app in a limited beta session. Reports emerged today that the Spotify web player was indeed available in some regions, though Electronista's attempts at verifying this have been inconclusive. The company appears to be rolling out its web player gradually, with a layout that reportedly looks much like its desktop counterparts.
Android, despite sales gains, still underused for web, streaming media
Mobile advertising analyst Freewheel has announced that the iPad and the iPhone are by far the most popular non-PC devices when it comes to streaming video. Together, the two devices make up more than 60 percent of all non-PC video viewing. The conclusion comes from analysis of more than 14 billion videos viewed through ad-supported apps (such as Hulu), which also found that viewing video on mobile devices has tripled since 2011 to a total of 1.3 billion videos streamed to users.
New Diamond Multimedia 1080P set top box also revealed
Graphic card manufacturer Diamond Multimedia introduced today an addition to the Dual View line of products and PC to TV adapter. The DV100 is a USB 3.0 to DVI /HDMI 1080P external dual video card and display adapter for multiple monitors. The WPCTVPRO is a set-top box allowing for video and audio playback from a computer to a television, including support for popular media streaming services
Over 8 million simultaneous streams of skydiving record attempt
Google has broken a record for streaming a live event. A 120,000-foot parachute jump by Felix Baumgartner on the Red Bull Stratos project saw over 8 million simultaneous live streams running through YouTube, alongside live television coverage of the balloon's launch, the skydive, and the landing.
Claim: new media delivery channels should be illegal before review
In an amicus brief in the Aereo television Internet streaming case, the former Register of Copyrights, Ralph Oman has claimed that new distribution methods of potentially copyrighted material should be cleared through Congress for approval before the technology hits the market. Oman goes so far in his brief to claim that when the US copyright law revision in 1976 that Congress specifically intended new technologies to apply before potentially disrupting existing distribution methods and other businesses associated with the release.
Survey results suggest reversal of user numbers
Televisions are the primary screen for viewing free and paid video streamed from the Internet, according to the NPD. A recent survey suggests that 45-percent of Americans primarily use their TVs for online streaming, while 31-percent used personal computers instead. This is the first time that the TV has overtaken computers for web-based video.
Service could rival Spotify, Pandora, iHeartRadio
A report in The Wall Street Journal claims that Apple is in talks with labels for a customizable radio service not unlike the service offered by Pandora and more recently by rivals such as iHeartRadio and Spotify among others. The service, which would offer streaming music and presumably be built into or connected to iTunes, would allow users to create virtual "stations" that offered music by, and similar to, a selected artist as a way of discovering additional bands.
Financial results show wider losses, higher revenues
Spotify is set to expand its streaming service to Canada, along with plans to open up in Asia and South America. Recently published annual accounts found by the Wall Street Journal included a management report dated April 23, detailing that the expansion into the Canadian market was always planned while hinting at moves in other continents, although not mentioning which specific countries.
Reaches million milestone after seven months
Movie streaming service Netflix has reached one million subscribers in the UK and Ireland. The landmark figure took just over seven months to reach, with customers being charged £6 ($10) per month for the streaming-only service, despite competition from the already-established postal and streaming-based rental service LoveFilm.
Expanded catalog reaches same level as Spotify
Music streaming service Rdio has expanded its music catalog to over 18 million songs, with a large proportion of additional tracks coming from independent artists. The increase of over three million tunes stem from 'landmark' deals with music distributors TuneCore and CD Baby, both of which are considered "two of the best distribution tools out there for independent artists" by Rdio CEO Drew Larner.
International Olympic Committee to run 10 live feeds of games
YouTube will be streaming the London 2012 Olympic Games to countries in Asia and Africa. The International Olympic Committee's (IOC) YouTube channel will be streaming various live feeds from the games, allowing potential viewers the chance to see the events in countries where it may not normally be broadcast. The countries list, including 42 Sub-Saharan African territories, was made public yesterday on the official Olympic website.
US defendant offered deal to implicate UK couple
It is a terrible cliché when a writer begins a story by claiming that a series of real-life events "reads like a Hollywood movie script," but occasionally dramatic stories occur that are hard to distinguish from the intricate plottings of screenwriters or novelists. An unusual operation involving the US-based Motion Picture Association of America (MPAA) hiring investigators to spy on a UK couple that ran a "links to streaming video" site has resulted in prosecution with the help of a US defendant.
New Zealand and Australia gain Spotify and chart apps
Spotify has expanded its music service to reach customers in Australia and New Zealand. As of today, both Southern Hemisphere countries will be able to use the streaming service, and will have country-specific apps offering curated music playlists. The launch takes place three months after Spotify first arrived in Germany.
Available in app form for Windows, Mac, mobile
A new version of the subscription streaming music service Rdio has launched, bringing with it a native Mac OS X application for the first time. Previous versions were web-based. The new version is available on browsers, and applications Windows, the iOS, Android, and Windows Phone 7. All versions allow listening to over 15 million tracks on the Rdio service.
UK Official Charts Company measuring Spotify usage
The Official Charts Company of the UK from Monday onwards will start releasing a chart based solely on streamed music tracks. The Official Streaming Chart will be the first chart ranking audio streams from both ad-funded and subscription streaming services in the UK, instead of product sales or radio airplay figures.
Company calls on series writers and creators to assist
Amazon's Studios division has announced plans to develop original comedy and children's series. The company is currently calling on series creators and writers to submit their proposals for the streaming video programming, which will be distributed through Amazon Instant Video.
Unannounced move a treasure trove for fans
Earlier this week, Netflix added about 100 rock concerts and documentaries to their US catalog. The selections lean heavily towards classic concerts featuring acts such as Queen, Deep Purple, and early ZZ Top. While Netflix is no stranger to music-related programming, such a large increase in the library of offerings without a pre-announcement is rare. All of the new additions are available for instant streaming.
Aims to improve sound in personal media libraries
The forthcoming Ceton Echo will incorporate DTS audio enhancements to help users experience immersive sound through all kinds of digital media, from TV to web streaming to their own media libraries. The product essentially works like a bare-bones Apple TV, allowing Windows 7 computers and Ceton Q gateways to stream media from local machines. For PCs equipped with an InfiniTV digital cable tuner, it adds remote DVR and TV capabilities.
Grooveshark claims it dumped EMI
Grooveshark, a rogue streaming music service that has now been sued at least once by all the major labels over copyright issues, has lost its only partner. EMI, which had sued the company and then agreed to sign onto the service under the condition that Grooveshark license the EMI catalog, has terminated its agreement and sued the company anew, alleging non-payment on its license fees. Grooveshark claims that it has paid EMI over $2.6 million.
Was affecting files larger than 15MB
Apple confirmed an issue with iTunes in the Cloud earlier this evening that was preventing some users from streaming or downloading content from their iCloud account for a short period, AppleInsider reports. The issue appears to have begun around 6:30 p.m. Eastern time but was apparently resolved around two and a half hours later, judging from reports in an Apple Support community thread.
HD video still 'coming soon' to iOS
Subscription streaming movie and TV syndication service Netflix has updated their mobile app for iOS, bringing refreshed user interface graphics for Retina Displays but not yet making HD video available through the app. In addition, the update (v2.1.1) of the free app fixes VoiceOver support, improves playback on external displays, and offers "numerous" fixes and stability improvements.
Google has unspoken limit on daily streaming
Google is now known to have an unpublished limit on the volume of music listeners can stream from their Google Play Music accounts. The company has acknowledged that it does impose a daily limit on how many songs can be streamed by an individual using Google Play. Google, however, has declined to reveal the cap, but does claim that it has been set at a very high threshold so that most listeners will never encounter it.
All major NYC broadcasters involved in suits
A number of broadcasting companies have quickly moved to sue Aereo, a startup that aims to stream broadcast HDTV content. The broadcasters are attempting to prevent the service from launching, accusing the startup of copyright infringement and asking judges to order an injunction to block the service before it becomes available to the public.
No subscription service has yet made profits
Fighting both increased competition and increasing reluctance by major artists to get involved with subscription services, MOG has contacted interested companies about a potential sale, reports CNet. The company, which has been providing both free and subscription-based music streaming since 2005, may also be in financial trouble, having failed to ever turn a profit and, like all other subscription-based music services, report any significant revenue.
Works with iOS dock connector or USB ports
Users who have either Apple mobile devices using the 30-pin dock connector or other audio devices using USB ports can now stream high-quality audio without latency or interference using NuForce's Air DAC Wireless System. The two-part hardware system uses a transmitter and receiver that allow for easy creation of streaming audio networks using the 2.4Ghz radio band. Multiple receivers can be used to pipe audio wirelessly around a room.
Subscription brings Sony, CDBaby music, more
Sony has announced today that it will bring its Music Unlimited subscription service to iOS devices, seven months after the Android app version and a year since its US debut on PlayStations, Bravia TVs, PCs and other connected devices. Sony Entertainment Network head Tim Schaaff told reporters a free universal iOS app would be available this quarter, and that the iOS app will offer up to 5GB of offline caching for premium subscribers to compete with other services like Spotify, reports MobileBeat.