Pinterest has confirmed an AllThingsD report that it has raised a $225-million Series E round of funding led by Fidelity Investments, with previous investors including Andreessen Horowitz, FirstMark Capital, Valiant Capital and Bessemer Venture Partners chipping in as well. The investment comes at a $3.8-billion valuation, and the total amount of money raised by Pinterest is now around — brace yourself — $538 million. Pinterest recently started to experiment with ads, or promoted pins, as the company calls them – but so far it isn’t charging brands any money for these experiments.
Chromecast will soon get support for another major media service, as Google is preparing to push the button for Pandora integration any day now. Read more »
First, Netflix brought us binge viewing. Now it wants to shorten the time between TV seasons, stream in 4K and give us access to movies sooner. Read more »
Hulu revamped its mobile website Wednesday, giving users access to free mobile clips. Previously, only paying subscribers could access content on mobile. Read more »
Aereo finally released its Android app Tuesday, which subscribers of the TV streaming service can now download from Google Play. Aereo is currently just available in a handful of cities, but has said that it wants to be in 22 markets by the end of the year. The service still faces opposition from broadcasters, which recently asked the Supreme Court to take up their case after losing repeatedly in lower courts. Aereo had initially promised the release of its Android app for September, and is now calling the release a “public beta.”
When Carl Icahn invested in Netflix a year ago, he raised the possibility of a sale. Now, he’s turned into the company’s biggest fanboy, and is cashing in on Netflix’s soaring stock. Read more »
Chromecast may soon be able to run presentations straight from Google Drive, which is great news for teachers and company meetings. Read more »
Everyone’s been focused on iPad news, but Apple also highlighted some other accomplishments at its press event Tuesday. Check out these key numbers. Read more »
Netflix now has more than 40 million subscribers worldwide, and with strong results, it is now looking to expand into large additional markets in 2014. Read more »
Just three weeks after announcing his departure from Hulu, the company’s SVP of advertising is joining the Fremont Project, the stealthy startup headed by Hulu’s former boss. Read more »
Netflix still sends DVDs to around seven million customers. So when will the company pull the plug on DVD subscriptions and finally go online-only? Read more »
Chill.com laid off 40 percent of its staff this week after plans to turn indie film makers and comedians into Louis CK-style online distribution success stories failed to pay off. Read more »
Mote.io, the Chrome extension that turns your phone into a remote for your web browser, just added support for the Plex media center app, TuneIn’s radio streaming service and Google’s Play Music service. All of these extensions were built by third-party developers, thanks to Mote.io’s API. Check out our previous story about Mote.io here.
Apple will most likely introduce new iPads next week. But will the company also give its Apple TV device a refresh? Read more »
TV guide startup Dijit took the next step towards growing into a real business Friday with the launch of a partnership with three TV networks. Read more »
Google had a great Q3, with revenue growing 12 percent. Google CEO Larry Page would love to spend more of that money on moonshots. Read more »
Verizon’s decision to terminate a joint venture with Comcast and other cable companies puts the end to an ambitious project dubbed Nuon that included online components as well as dedicated streaming hardware. Read more »
isoHunt is shutting down as the result of a settlement with the major movie studios. isoHunt founder Gary Fung agreed to pay $110 million. Read more »
Policy makers should take a look at the Clinton White House for clues on how to regulate mobile technologies, argued a former White House advisor at GigaOM’s Mobilize. Read more »
Vizio launched a new, lower-priced version of its CoStar streaming player Wednesday. The new player, dubbed CoStar LT, will sell for $80, and offer access to apps like Netflix, Hulu Plus and YouTube, as well as second-screen control capabilities similar to Google’s Chromecast. The original CoStar, which Vizio continues to sell for $100, is based on Google TV, but its new sibling uses Opera’s SDK instead. Both devices combine live TV viewing with apps, but Vizio CTO Matt McRae recently told me that consumers are starting to watch more streaming content than traditional TV.
Netflix isn’t going to produce elaborate second-screen apps with a whole bunch of additional content any time soon. Instead, it’s investing in second-screen control – and having high hopes for Chromecast. Read more »
Rhapsody teams up with Telefonica to expand to Latin America and more of Europe. But will the partnership result in a true bundled offering? Read more »
Spuul streams Indian movies to audiences worldwide. But with many users struggling with limited bandwidth, the company now added an option for offline viewing. Read more »
Everyone hates banner ads. Everyone loves music. So what happens when you combine one with the other? Read more »
Monty Montgomery, the mastermind behind Ogg Vorbis and Ogg Theora, has joined up with Mozilla to finish the development of an open next-generation video codec. Read more »
A German film maker has a radical proposal to fight piracy: force everyone to license everything online. Read more »
Premium movie channel Epix will premiere its documentary Schooled: The Price of College Sports online this Wednesday, giving people without an Epix subscription access to the movie through a live stream at 5pm PT. The movie, which is all about the money in collegial sports, was produced exclusively by Epix. Making it available online could be good promotion for the network, but it’s also an interesting response to piracy and cord cutting. Epix CEO Mark Greenberg told me in a recent interview that the TV industry has to innovate to win over cord cutters:
“Some in the media business call this cord cutting. But three decades ago, we had a different name for this in the industry. We called it competition.”
Vimeo now offers its paying pro members up to one TB of storage per year, after previously limiting them to 50 GB per year. More space for experimental short films, European documentaries and indie rock music videos? Read more »
Netflix is getting a new original drama from the creators of the FX show Damages. The show will be produced by Sony Pictures, a first for Netflix. Read more »
Canada’s cable TV subscribers could soon have the ability to subscribe to just the channels they actually watch: Canada’s Industry Minister James Moore recently said on a local TV show that his government is going to require pay TV providers to unbundle their offerings and offer TV channels a la carte, according to Reuters. Any such move would likely be watched closely by both cable companies and consumers in the U.S., where TV executives have long said that unbundling would actually make TV more expensive for consumers.
Sonos CEO John MacFarlane declined when Spotify asked the company to join its connected audio intiative. Instead, he hopes to pick up new customers with a $200 speaker, and promises to make Sonos more like Chromecast. Read more »
Indie label consortium Merlin is currently negotiating with Beats Music and others about licensing its repertoire to their services – but Merlin’s CEO warned that it may not be able to reach an agreement. Read more »
Just in time for the weekend comes an interesting cocktail party factoid, courtesy of the fine folks over at the Radio and Internet Newsletter (RAIN): 20 percent of Spotify’s catalog, or about four million songs, haven’t been played a single time. RAIN writer Brad Hill got the number from a recent Spotify infographic, which obviously put a slightly more positive spin on it, but he also had an interesting suggestion for shrinking this online music nirvana: gamify music discovery, and reward folks who play a song for the first time.
Want to see what the stars are watching on YouTube? Celebrity Tweet TV turns all of their shared videos into a TV channel. Read more »
Hulu’s new CEO may come from Fox, whose parent company News Corp. owns about a third of the video service. Both Reuters and Bloomberg reported Thursday night that Hulu will name Mike Hopkins, who is currently heading distribution for Fox Networks, as its new CEO soon. Hulu is currently being led by interim CEO Andy Forssell, who stepped in when founding CEO Jason Kilar left the company back in March. Notable about Hopkins’ appointment would be that Fox has been a long advocate of Hulu moving more towards a subscription and TV Everywhere model, which would deemphasize the free, ad-supported side of the service.
Google is getting ready to say good-bye to Google TV: The company is getting rid of the branding, but will continue to make Android available to TV manufacturers. Read more »
Al Jazeera Plus will be headquartered in San Francisco, have dedicated offices around the world, and produce news for the YouTube generation. Read more »
Brazil hasn’t been an easy market for Netflix, but the company is now taking some first steps towards the production of original content in the country. Netflix has commissioned a three-part mini series called A Toca, which stars local web video stars and will only be distributed to Brazilian subscribers, according to a Variety report. The company’s Chief Content Officer Ted Sarandos told Variety that Netflix will produce more original fare in Brazil as soon as it has a big enough local subscriber base. Netflix also announced that it will make the Brazilian movie Apenas o Fim available to its subscribers worldwide.
Vevo launched on its fourth connected TV platform Wednesday, bringing on-demand music videos as well as its 24/7 live channel to even more living rooms. Read more »
Animated GIFs are everywhere, but converting them into videos would actually save quite a bit of bandwidth. MediaCrush helps to do just that. Read more »