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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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