Deezer launching in United States with beta streaming for Sonos owners
Music streaming service Deezer is finally heading to the United States, after being available across Europe, Canada, and a few other countries for some time. In order to differentiate itself from the competition, Deezer plans to offer a higher quality of stream to owners of Sonos speaker systems, with a far higher bitrate than Spotify and Rdio streams available on 90 percent of the catalog.
Sponsored sessions provide advertising-free Spotify for 30 minutes
Spotify will soon be showing video-based advertising to listeners of its free service. The streaming music company has revealed it will start airing the videos to its free users shortly, with both desktop and mobile app users set to see the clips, though marketers will have a few options for how their advertizing efforts get utilized by the service.
Shuffle play mode now available for Windows Phone 8.1, free version supported by ads
Subscripiton music streaming service Spotify has announced that it is bringing its free listening experience to Windows Phones beginning today. In today's software update, owners of phones like the Nokia Lumia 920 or the HTC One (M8) for Windows can now partake in the Spotify experience, with a few limitations. As with the expansion into a free version for Android and iOS in December, the offering is supported by in-app advertising.
Netflix competitor Shomi boasts 14,000 TV shows, 11,000 hours of programming
Canadian cable companies Rogers and Shaw are preparing to open up its own streaming video equivalent to Netflix later this year. Shomi is a subscription video-on-demand service which will provide movies and TV show streams, which the two companies plan to launch in the first week of November for an estimated $9 per month, the same cost as its competition.
Trial period will be free, pricing expected to be similar to US premium cost
Roughly a month after first announcing its expansion into Canada, subscription streaming music service Spotify is now sending invites to people who signed up to receive notification when the service was imminent. Invitations are currently still on a limited basis, but the company is testing the service in Canada presently, Electronista has verified. Canada is not yet officially listed on the company's website as one of the countries it serves, but an official debut is expected in the coming weeks.
Apologies issued for surprise changes, some clarification added on audio recognition
[Updated with Twitch VOD highlight and appeal change] Twitch CEO Emmett Shear did an "ask me anything" Q-n-A on Reddit today, fielding numerous questions over the recent changes that the game-streaming service underwent this week. While Shear confirmed information on most of the changes that had already taken place, he did try to reassure users that the moves were done with a purpose.
Company shutters video service to focus on gaming site, old videos inaccessible
The online streaming video site that spawned Twitch has announced that it is closing down, effective today. Justin.tv, which was launched in 2007 by Justin Kan, Emmett Shear, Michael Seibel and Kyle Vogt, changed its website to a goodbye video and answered some questions about the future of the company and its users. The streaming service was touted as a "life streaming" platform that allowed a look into the everyday lives of the users, and its founders.
Home server replacement captures antenna, cable channels for viewing on most devices
For consumers trying to cut the cord and rely solely on the Internet for television entertainment, there are still some issues. Mainly, the problem is that local channels aren't accessible through existing streaming methods, outside of the some clips or news shorts from a website. Are there other options out there for people that still want to see their local news or sporting events without maintaining a cable subscription? Yes, thanks to Simple.tv. But does the device work in a manner that is consumer-friendly, or does it cause more problems than its worth? Find out in our review.
Agreement dates back to May, but wasn't planned to be announced to the public
In the quest to give its users a better streaming experience, Netflix has reached an agreement with AT&T to gain a direct network connection. The two companies revealed that they entered into a peering deal after news broke from anonymous sources that the movie service reached another streaming arrangement. Previously, Netflix had worked out similar deals with Verizon and Comcast.
Deal said to be worth $1 billion, matching previously rumored purchase amounts
A new report has surfaced that Google has signed a deal that would see the search giant picking up the popular game streaming platform Twitch for $1 billion. The report adds builds on the previous report floating around that Twitch was being courted by Google's video arm for a possible purchase with a price tag in the same ballpark. By purchasing Twitch, Google could be positioning itself to be the number one destination for live streaming games, as well as watching associated videos.
Israeli startup to be a part of Yahoo's cloud team, join research center in Tel Aviv
Yahoo announced last week that it is acquiring the Israel-based video streaming startup RayV for an undisclosed sum. The company will help Yahoo build on its video offerings, giving the company the technology it needs as it looks forward to video content for the future, says the search engine. The deal first made its way across the tech industry as a rumor back in May.
Original repository remains intact, popcorn-official and time4popcorn dead
The US Motion Picture Association of America (MPAA) has issued Digital Millennium Copyright Act (DMCA) takedown requests for code repositories for BitTorrent-based video streaming projects based on the Popcorn Time core. The MPAA requested that the code for "popcorn-official" and "time4popcorn" projects be removed from GitHub, but the original Popcorn Time repository remains intact and undeleted.
Jury finds Apple did not push app developers into infringing older streaming patent
Apple has scored another legal victory, this time against Israeli firm Emblaze and its charge that Apple induced app developers to infringe Emblaze's US patent on live video streaming. A federal jury found in Friday that Apple was not guilty of requiring any of the seven example apps used in the trial to use Apple's own HLS (HTTP live streaming) protocol, and thus did not foster infringement of the patent. Emblaze, a struggling audio company that had tried to sell the technology many times, is also suing Microsoft in a similar case.
Blue warning notices appear under buffering YouTube videos, linking to a quality report
Google is taking a leaf out of Netflix's playbook, by hinting to YouTube users that their Internet service provider (ISP) is slow or poor. A new blue banner stating "Experiencing interruptions?" has started to appear underneath YouTube clips when users experience buffering or poor quality video, along with a link to the search company's YouTube Quality Report.
Lawyers use ruling to show 'unauthorized transmissions' through Hopper DVR
After the United States Supreme Court ruled against Aereo, effectively ending the company, Fox Broadcasting has been quick to use the ruling in another case, as uncovered by The Guardian. The media company has been waging a war against Dish Network and its Hopper DVR with Dish Anywhere streaming. The case is set for a hearing in the United States Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals on July 7 in California.
Redux to bring discovery technology to Crunchyroll, will shut down apps
Popular anime and drama streaming service Crunchyroll has announced today that it has acquired video discovery startup Redux. The team behind Redux will be joining the Crunchyroll family, bringing with them experience in lean-back types of video discovery. As part of the acquisition, Redux will wind down their service and apps.
Service thought to be YouTube clone won't focus on user generated content
An article from Gigaom suggests that Comcast is looking to test its streaming platform by the end of the year. The idea of a Comcast streaming service was rumored to be under development by the company in March, but few details have been released since then. Comcast is looking to bring more focused content, hoping to retain audience attention with a variety of channels they already have rights to.
Over 1M songs available on Amazon Prime Music at launch
Amazon has launched its long-rumored music streaming service, just one day after reports claiming it would do so this week. Prime Music follows on from Prime Instant Video and the Kindle Lending Library as an extra service included in the $99 annual Prime delivery subscription, giving customers the ability to stream music to multiple devices without any advertising.
Verizon drops places in latest Netflix speed rankings
Netflix will soon stop its customized error message warning of issues with specific Internet service providers (ISP), the video streaming company has advised. At the same time as releasing ISP speed results for May, Netflix states it will stop the customized notifications when its "small scale test" concludes on June 16th, before deciding whether or not it will extend the practice to other markets and ISPs.
Possible June, July launch touted for launch as part of Prime subscription
Amazon's rumored music streaming service could be launching sometime this June or July, though it may have issues competing with Spotify, Beats Music, and other competitors, according to a report. Rather than aiming to provide a wide selection of music, including newer titles, it is rumored Amazon will offer a restricted catalog, using songs and albums that are six months old or order.
Report shows streaming performance of YouTube videos over 30-day period
Google is expanding the coverage of its Video Quality Report to all Internet service providers in the United States. Originally launched in Canada in January, the service monitors the quality of connections between YouTube servers and the end user, with ratings provided for each ISP in an attempt to pressure telecommunication companies to improve their services.
World Cup will be first live-streamed sporting event
Apple is in the process of creating a dedicated ESPN station for iTunes Radio, its ad-supported free streaming service. The new channel will carry both original ESPN audio programs and will offer some live sports streaming, including this year's World Cup broadcast -- the first time a sporting event will be live-streamed through iTunes Radio. As reported in March, a number of local NPR affiliates will also be joining the iTunes Radio lineup.
Google takes stance against Comcast, Verizon charging for 'last mile' access
Google will not charge Internet services to host their content at Google Fiber locations, it has revealed. A Google Fiber blog post states the Internet service provider will provide free colocation at its Fiber facilities for services like Netflix, rather than following the lead of Comcast and Verizon in charging for direct access to the last mile connection to the customer.
Dish Network customers can access Hopper DVR through Playstation 3 app
Dish Network has teamed up with Sony to release a Virtual Joey Playstation 3 app that allows control of Hopper DVRs through the gaming console. Through the app, the Playstation 3 speaks with the Hopper DVR over an Ethernet connection. The application eliminates the need for another set-top box, but can be controlled with the Dualshock 3 controller or a Dish remote.
Streaming service adds worldwide subscribers at rapid clip
Streaming on-demand music service Spotify has announced that it has hit a milestone in mainstream adoption, with 10 million paying subscribers among its 40 million worldwide listeners. The figure is up 66 percent from March, when it reported just six million paying customers. Among the top streaming services, Spotify has a much broader reach than any of the others, operating in 56 worldwide markets.
Google, YouTube, Twitch in acquisition discussions, deal possibly struck already
Game video streaming service Twitch could be acquired by Google in the future, according to reports. The deal, according to Variety, is said to have been reached between Twitch and the Google-owned YouTube, with the all-cash offer claimed to be worth at least $1 billion, though the Wall Street Journal believes the two companies are in early-stage discussions, and are not imminently close to an acquisition.
Latest in a series of album debuts attracting listeners, press
Apple's iTunes Radio continues to attract publicity and listeners through a string of recent streaming "listening party" album debuts, with the latest being Coldplay offering their latest album, Ghost Stories, as a free stream on the service. The new album, which debuts May 19, joins a long list of recent debuts, including albums by The Black Keys, Pharrell, Eminem and Beyonce.
New 'Turn Blue' to be released May 13; two songs available now
As part of an ongoing effort to differentiate itself from other streaming services, iTunes Radio has lately been on a tear of offering pre-release albums streamed on the ad-supported service. The latest entry is the new album Turn Blue by The Black Keys, now available to listen to in its entirety through a dedicated "First Play" channel. Also currently available under the "First Play" moniker are new albums by Michael W. Smith and Chromeo.
Select Nvidia cards to come bundled with Ubisoft's cyber thriller title
Nvidia has announced a new software bundle for customers who purchase select Nvidia GeForce GTX video cards, starting on April 29. While more recent bundles have focused on free-to-play games, the newest bundle offers customers a copy of Ubisoft's Watch_Dogs when it releases on May 27. Consumers that purchase a GTX 780 Ti, 780, 770 or 760 card will be eligible for the promotion.
Ad-supported mobile service touted as Hulu Plus hits 6M subscribers
Hulu will be enabling full episode streaming on its mobile apps for all users, the streaming service has revealed. Previously only available to Hulu Plus subscribers, users will be able to watch a selection of complete episodes of shows on mobile devices for free on the advertising-supported service from this summer, on top of the existing free service available via the desktop.
Streaming set-top box being offered to TWC subscribers
Fan TV, a set-top box from Fanhattan and designer Yves Behar unveiled last year, has signed a deal with Time Warner Cable, and has opened up for pre-orders. The device, which combines a number of streaming services in a similar way to the Roku and other media streamers, aims to streamline the viewing experience for users, and will be offered to Time Warner subscribers in the future.
High-resolution Netflix streams require 2014 smart TVs, fast Internet connection
Netflix has started to stream content at Ultra High Definition (4K), starting with original series House of Cards and a number of nature documentaries. The plans, which it first revealed last year and promoted at CES, provides owners of 4K televisions with more programming, though there are a number of caveats that potential viewers must work around.
SesameGO launches, offering US customers with kid-friendly streaming service
Sesame Workshop has today launched a educational television streaming service, called SesameGO. Offering children-centric, advertisement-free content, the service will features classic Sesame Street programming as well as current material. Web-focused, the service is optimized for Mac, PC, smartphones and tablets, with no native apps anticipated. SesameGO is available now for US residents, and is priced at $4 per month or $30 annually.
App update removes starred tracks from Spotify for new collection system
Spotify has made drastic changes to its user interface, by introducing a new darker theme. The change in appearance of the streaming music service across all platforms is joined by a new feature called "Your Music," something the company previewed in late 2012, allowing users to collect and manage their music without requiring users to create playlists.
Early-stage talks could see Apple-supplied device with higher-quality connection
Apple is reportedly in discussions with Comcast, which could see the two collaborate on a streaming TV service. Sources for the Wall Street Journal claim the service would involve Apple supplying the set-top box to customers, with Comcast giving the device preferential treatment in the bandwidth management of the connection itself.
Chromecast-like dongle from Amazon could offer high-end gaming
Amazon's rumored media streaming device may have more in common with the Google Chromecast than previously thought, according to a report. The retailer is said to be making the media player in the form of a dongle that can plug directly into a television's HDMI port, with one rumor claiming that it would have the ability to stream high quality games from a server, instead of relying on modified mobile titles for gaming.
Rate lower than ASCAP requested, higher than terrestrial radio
US Federal Court Judge Denise Cote has issued a ruling in a case between streaming music service Pandora and music publishers, which has set a new rate at which Pandora Radio will have to pay to the American Society of Composers, Authors and Publishers (ASCAP) for performance rights on streaming radio. The rate is set slightly higher than the 1.7 percent Radio Music Licensing Committee rate for terrestrial radio Pandora argued was appropriate, but far less than the tiered rate ASCAP proposed.
Agreement claimed to involve Netflix renting server space in Telenor data center
Netflix may be making more agreements with Internet service providers (ISP) to prevent throttling, and is apparently doing so outside of the United States. A deal between Netflix and Telenor of Norway is reported to be similar to one between the streaming service and Comcast, with Netflix said to be placing its servers within the ISP's own data centers.
First time the event has been held in the US, will stream live on web, iOS devices
Just a few days ahead of the beginning of the first US iTunes Festival, being held as part of the South by Southwest (SXSW) conference, Apple has now re-added its iTunes Festival channel back to Apple TV, where concerts will be streamed live. Currently the channel also offers information on the concert schedule and background on the various acts, as well as a history of the festival -- which has previously only been held in London.
Music curation API used by other music services will remain open despite purchase
Spotify is looking to bolster the music curation and discovery functions of its service, by acquiring music intelligence company The Echo Nest, the streaming music service has revealed. The purchase will provide Spotify with deeper access to The Echo Nest's knowledge base and music curation tools, currently used by competitors such as Nokia MixRadio and Rdio for their own music discovery offerings.
Twitch SDK allows players to stream game footage from mobile devices
Game video streaming service Twitch is hoping to expand the reach of its service into mobile gaming, from its existing PC and console efforts. The announced Twitch Mobile Software Development Kit will allow developers to add Twitch streaming to mobile titles, letting gamers broadcast their gameplay live, as well as capturing and archiving the video for future viewing.
Claimed discussions with labels stalled over music licensing discount request
Amazon Prime subscribers may receive another benefit in the future, if a rumor is found to be true. It is claimed that the online retailer is looking to expand the Prime bonuses from the current Kindle Lending Library and Prime Instant Video offerings to include music streaming, with Amazon said to be in negotiations with the larger music labels to make the service a reality.
BlackBerry updates BBM app to work with Android 2.3
BlackBerry has opened up BBM for Android to users of older devices. BlackBerry Messenger can now be downloaded and used on smartphones and tablets running Android 2.3 or later, though the older version of the mobile operating system will not have access to new additions to the app, such as BBM Voice, BBM Channels, and Glympse real-time location sharing.
Hulu signs with CBS for 2,600 new episodes of programming for Hulu Plus
Hulu has made a new deal with US broadcaster CBS, adding 2,600 new episodes to its subscription-based television and movie streaming service Hulu Plus. The library expansion includes classic television content such as The Brady Bunch, Melrose Place and Taxi, as well as more recent programming such as Everybody Loves Raymond. The added content brings Hulu Plus' CBS library to over 5,300 episodes.
Speculation of pushing TV content, taking iTunes content delivery in-house
Apple, which has for years relied on third-party content delivery networks (CDNs) like Akamai and Level3 to ensure reliable streaming of its media content, is now building out its own CDN, reports the Wall Street Journal. This would in time mean that items such as iTunes streaming video and music content (movie rentals, iTunes Match music, iTunes Radio) as well as other large files such as OS X updates could be delivered on its own network.
Archive NFL videos, highlights, analysis in NFL Now app
The National Football League (NFL) is introducing a new online streaming initiative for fans of the sport, that allows them to follow their teams on any digital platform they choose, alongside its existing apps. NFL Now is billed as a digital network that offers fans the ability to watch a range of video content produced by the teams as well as NFL Films, as the organization moves to embrace Internet distribution.
Invitations to test game streaming service sent to PlayStation 3 owners
Sony has reportedly started sending out invitations to beta test its PlayStation Now streaming service. Taking place ahead of its expected launch in the United States this summer, the private beta will allow users to play PlayStation 3 titles without needing to download the game beforehand, with players able to stream games to a console over the Internet.
Steam's streaming service in beta, allows streamed game play between PCs
Valve has announced the latest update to its gaming service platform Steam, which consists of a beta release of its new, in-home streaming component. Steam's in-home streaming, according to its site, "will allow [users] to play a game on one computer when the game process is actually running on another computer elsewhere in [one's] home." Game audio and video is captured on the remote computer, and subsequently sent to the player's computer.
International expansion still dragging down bottom line, improvement in sight
Internet movie streaming service Netflix has announced its quarterly earnings. The company continues to be dragged down by a loss overseas, but still managed to earn $0.79 per share. With over 44 million customers worldwide, the company pulled down $1.18 billion in revenue in the fourth quarter, with $48 million of that being net income.
Canadian ISPs tested on streaming performance
Google will be offering users information about their Internet connection's capabilities for YouTube streaming, under a new monitoring system. The search company's Video Quality Report will analyze the connection offered by Internet service providers (ISP) and identify those that offer the best YouTube experience, in a move to help its end users have a more satisfactory Internet experience.