Netflix wants to go to Europe later this year, and the CEO of French operator Orange just spilled the beans about a possible partnership. Read more »
The ongoing consolidation in the Chinese online video space has resulted in Iqiyi becoming the most popular video site in the country. Read more »
After months of rumors, Warner Bros. is now making its $18 million investment in Los Angeles-based YouTube network Machinima official. The investment comes after Machinima was forced to lay off 30 percent of its staff last week, including its entire ad sales department. So why buy a stake in a struggling company? Because it buys the studio access to a young male audience for relatively little risk, argues Variety.
Neil Young is set to unveil his Pono music player at SXSW this week. The unveiling comes after the startup switched hardware partners in the last few months. Read more »
Connected speaker maker Sonos announced Monday that it generated $535 million in revenue in 2013. This represents a 97 percent year-over-year growth, according to a company spokesperson. Sonos got a nice boost in sales after introducing its $200 Play-1 speaker last year, with some retailers struggling to keep the device in stock during the holiday season. This year around, Sonos is facing a number of new competitors, with everyone from chipset makers to startups like Beep rushing into the internet-connected speakers market.
Google SVP Sundar Pichai told the crowd at SXSW that Chromecast has been selling really well, and that it will come to many more countries soon. Read more »
LiveNation Labs has made another acquisition. This time, it brought the team of social search startup YourTrove on board. Read more »
Netflix doesn’t do ads on its video service — but a recently-added featurette about the new Mr. Peabody & Sherman movie sure feels a lot like promotion. Read more »
Samsung’s new Milk app wants to beat Pandora with a novel UI and without any annoying ads. But what does that mean for Samsung’s online music strategy? Read more »
KoldCast TV wanted to be “the other TV network,” producing serialized original content and distributing it online. In the end, the numbers simply didn’t add up. Read more »
Looks like Dish’s internet TV deal with Disney may open the floodgates for news about similar arrangements: Reuters is reporting that DirecTV is in negotiations with Disney about also launching an internet-based TV service with programming from ABC and ESPN. DirecTV’s retransmission agreement with Disney is up soon, so the timing couldn’t be better.
Vobile wants to bring its video identification and management skills to YouTube publishers, which is why it hired YouTube analytics startup Blayze. Read more »
Vimeo wants to spend another $10 million on exclusive content for its Vimeo On Demand platform — but not everyone is invited to apply. Read more »
The BBC says it will take BB3 off the air and only stream it online. But will the broadcaster really follow through? Read more »
Dish may only have one broadcaster on board for its planned internet TV service, but the deal nonetheless represents a big step for the TV industry, and for people sick of paying for expensive bundles. Read more »
Roku just introduced a new streaming stick that looks a lot like Chromecast, but is still a Roku device at heart. Read more »
Looks like Dish had good reason to give up automated ad skipping in a retrans deal with Disney. The satellite provider just won the rights to include ABC and ESPN in an online TV service. Read more »
The Department of Justice thinks Aereo should be forced to shut down its service, which is why it wants the Supreme Court to overturn Aereo’s previous court victories. Read more »
Dish customers won’t be able to automatically skip over the ad breaks of ABC TV shows for much longer: The satellite service operator agreed to disable ad skipping to secure its access to ABC and ESPN. Read more »
Comcast is still in talks with online video companies that want to launch internet-based TV services — but will anything ever come out of these talks? Read more »
Vudu, the Walmart-owned premium video service, is adding Chromecast support to its iOS and Android app soon. Vudu announced the upcoming Chromecast support on its website Sunday, adding that users will also be able to cast video straight from the Vudu website. Google opened up the Google Cast SDK to developers a month ago, but so far, there haven’t been any new apps from major publishers. However, both Rdio and Beats Music have announced that they’re working on adding Chromecast support to their apps as well.
Comcast is about to buy online video advertising company FreeWheel for a reported $320 million. The move comes as the company may be looking to strike partnerships with online video makers to distribute their programming. Read more »
Bop.fm allows users of subscription music services to share songs and playlists with users of other services. The startup just added Beats Music to the mix. Read more »
This Sunday, ABC is going to live stream the Oscars for the first time in the history of the awards. However, only a subset of TV viewers will have access to the show online. Read more »
Apple has been pushing for a windowed release strategy for new music, according to a Billboard report. In talks with record label executives, Apple has pointed to the latest Beyonce album as a possible blueprint for future releases: iTunes offered Beyonce’s self-titled album as an exclusive for one week when it was released in December. After that, it also sold at other retailers, but Spotify and other streaming services only got two tracks. Apple executives think that such windows could boost digital downloads, which declined by 5.7 percent last year.
Updated: This story has been corrected to reflect that it declined 5.7 percent last year, not 57 percent.
Al Jazeera is hiring dozens of video journalists to staff up for the launch of its AJ+ online venture. Read more »
Apple just launched an Apple TV promotion that looks a lot like an attempt to clear the shelves for new hardware: Apple TV buyers will get a $25 gift card, effectively lowering the price to $75, reports 9to5Mac. Last month, reports surfaced that Apple was getting ready to introduce new Apple TV hardware in the first half of this year.
Hulu Japan is being acquired by the local broadcast giant Nippon TV. The acquistion effectively puts an end to Hulu’s international ambitions. Read more »
Mohu Channels wants to make it easier to watch free HD TV and online video programming from Netflix and Hulu Plus without the need to switch inputs. Here’s how this looks like. Read more »
This is fun: Netflix just posted a few videos from its recent company hack day on its tech blog, showing what Netflix developers come up with if you give them a card blanche. Some of the hacks include a Fitbit integration that would pause a TV show as soon as you fall asleep and NFC / iBeacon to let you share content across devices.
Spotify is starting to see nine-digit play counts for some of its songs — but YouTube still drives far bigger audiences. Read more »
Vuclip may not be a household name in the U.S., but the company has managed to attract 120 million monthly users in Southeast Asia, Latin America and the Middle East. Part of Vuclip’s strategy: ignore western mobile strategies. Read more »
Amazon is partnering with the BBC to revive the cancelled Ripper Street crime drama. Is your favorite canceled show next? Probably not, but one can always hope. Read more »
Media center app Plex added a bunch of additional functionality to its Chromecast integration this week: In addition to videos, Plex users can now also cast pictures and music to the TV screen. Plex also improved video playback for Chromecast, and finally added a nifty new content browsing feature that mirrors information about the media in your Plex library to the TV screen. However, Chromecast support is still only available to paying PlexPass subscribers.
Sean Parker’s video chat startup AirTime quietly pulled off a relaunch last year, and no one noticed, until now: Erin Griffith over at Fortune reported Tuesday that the AirTime team is behind OkHello, a group video chat app. The main difference to AirTime, aside from a focus on mobile? This one may actually be working, and attracting real users – even without splashy press events.
Well, that was quick: The Qplay TV adapter goes on sale one day after Gigaom broke the story about the device’s impending launch. Read more »
Media data specialist Rovi is acquiring Andover, Mass.-based semantic technologies startup Veveo for $62 million in cash, with an option to pay an additional $7 million down the line if certain milestones are met, Rovi announced after the close of the markets Monday. Rovi is best known for its TV guides and entertainment data services, which the company supplies to Dish, Charter, Microsoft and others. The Veveo acquisition could help to make these guides more accessible, thanks to semantic search and natural-language recognition developed by the startup. For more on how data transforms media, also check out our Structure Data conference in New York next month.
Check out some leaked pictures and more details about QPlay, the new TV adapter built by the co-founders of TiVo. QPlay is set to launch any day now. Read more »
Netflix makes one of the most-used apps for smart TVs and connected devices. Here’s an inside look at the work that went into the app’s most recent relaunch. Read more »
Roku may file for an IPO in 2014, according to a Bloomberg report. Going public could help the company to raise additional funds for an increasingly competitive market. Read more »