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 »
Bay Area-based music startup DeliRadio has raised $9.35 million in funding from Javelin Venture Partners and Lead Edge Ventures’ Scott Booth. DeliRadio lets users preview concerts in their area through free, Pandora-like radio streams. The company also announced the release of an API Tuesday, but it’s not the only player in this space: Spotify also just added concert listings, courtesy of Songkick, to its artist pages.
Alloy Digital, which brought us YouTube channels like Clevver and Smosh, is merging with Break Media, which brought us… well, Break. The new company is going to be called Defy Media, wants to target an audience between the ages of 12 and 34, and expects to have more than $100 million in revenue per year, reports Variety.
PlayKids TV just got a lot new content for the preschool crowd, and the makers of the iPad app want to lure in parents frustrated about Netflix not working on a plane. Read more »
After getting itself acquired by Japan’s Rakuten, Viki is now looking to brand and eventually personalize content discovery. Read more »
People are watching TV show episodes later and later. Is the sheer number of good shows on TV these days to blame, or do we want to binge on everything? Read more »
Simple.tv wants to get videos from its networked DVR onto more screens, which is why the startup is now embracing Chromecast and DLNA. Read more »
Fall TV means more stuff to watch, and keep track of. These apps can help you master your fall TV schedule. Read more »
Activist investor Barry Rosenstein has bought a 14.5 percent share in Outerwall, the parent company of Redbox, for around $204 million, reports Forbes. Rosenstein, who made the investment through his Jana Partners outlet, believes Outerwall to be undervalued, declaring in an SEC statement that options include cost cutting as well as “pursuing a sale, selling and/or discontinuing businesses.” Outerwall not only competes with Netflix through its Redbox DVD kiosks, but also through Redbox Instant, a subscription streaming service the company jointly launched with Verizon.
Can you tell me how to get to…the Sesame Street app: Close to half of Sesame Workshop’s audience now uses touchscreen devices. Read more »
TiVo recently launched three new devices that promise closer integration of streaming services and personal recordings. Check out our video review of the TiVo Roamio. Read more »
Amazon’s long-rumored TV set-top-box may finally see the light of day this holiday season. Read more »
Mixbit, the new video service from YouTube co-founders Chad Hurley and Steve Chen, released an Android app Thursday that aims to help users record, edit and mix videos on their handset. Mixbit is a bit like Vine meets mashups, allowing users to combine up to 256 single clips, which can be as short as one second, within a single mix. The Android app follows the release of the Mixbit iOS and web apps two months ago.
Rdio wants to grow its user base with the launch of free, ad-free streams on mobile devices. The company isn’t just taking on Pandora, but also beating Spotify to the punch. Read more »
Street race car driver, arch-enemy of Hollywood and… spokesperson for better internet access? Kim Dotcom has been there, done that. Read more »
Google has acquired San Francisco-based gesture recognition specialist Flutter, bringing two of the people behind Like.com back into the fold. Read more »
Looking to play local files with Google’s Chromecast streaming stick? Soon, Plex may be able to help you. Read more »
Ever wanted to mix Pantera with New Kids on the Block? A new music web app dubbed MashupDJ makes it possible. Read more »
Here’s another clue about Apple’s plans for the TV space: The company just hired CableLabs executive Jean-François Mulé to work on “something big,” according to a MultiChannel News report. CableLabs is a R&D joint-venture run collectively by the biggest cable operators that has brought us exciting things like the DOCSIS standard. Apple hasn’t revealed what it is working on yet, but Mulé’s hiring supports rumors that the company is looking to develop a kind of next-generation cable box.
Apple may one day make a full-blown TV set, but contrary to earlier rumors, German TV maker Loewe will likely not be associated with it. Read more »
YouTube is launching its own music awards show, and Vevo is going live in Germany. Both announcements came on the same night, and both don’t mention the other long-time partner with a single word. That’s not a coincidence. Read more »
Soundrop, the Spotify app turned collaborative listening platform, has secured another $3.4 million in funding from Northzone and Investinor. Soundrop offers Spotify users listening rooms that can best be described as a mix of Turntable.fm and Reddit. The Norwegian startup was the first maker of a Spotify app to receive funding back in June of 2012, and has since launched listening rooms on Facebook and the web as well.
MSN TV is no more: The internet TV pioneer, which launched all the way back in 1996, shut down Monday. Read more »
Direct-to-fan music distribution service CD Baby has paid its musicians more that $300 million since it first opened shop in 1997, according to a post on Hypebot.com. CD Baby began as a CD mail-order service for indie musicians, but has since expanded into digital distribution as well. The company expects to pay musicians $60 million this year alone, which goes to show that some folks are actually making money with digital music, after all.
What happens when one of the most talked-about shows on television airs its final episode? For one thing, a lot of piracy. Read more »
How stealthy radio technology developed for the armed forces is helping consumers to get rid of their expensive cable bill. Read more »
Wuaki.tv wants to compete with Netflix, Lovefilm and others for British eyes — but Netflix says it’s happy with its growth in the U.K., despite all the competition. Read more »
Intel may be ready to partner with Samsung or Amazon to get its TV service off the ground, but it’s unclear how exactly such a partnership would look. Read more »
Netflix has started to serve higher bitrate HD streams to all of its subscribers, but issues around peering and local content caching are far from resolved. Read more »
Stephen Colbert thinks that YouTube comments are the freest form of speech, and he urged his viewers to challenge YouTube’s new comment filters. Read more »
TV maker Vizio noticed something interesting earlier this year: During some weeks, people were streaming more media than watching regular TV. Read more »
Hulu has long insisted that it is less like Netflix and more like cable, giving viewers the option to watch current shows, but also showing them ads, even if they pay for the company’s Hulu Plus subscription service. But the company may be introducing an ad-free tier in the future: Hulu’s interim CEO Andy Forssell said at a Goldman Sachs conference this week that Hulu may give viewers an option to pay more for an ad-free experience, according to a Variety report. How much more are we talking? According to the report, Hulu generates about $7 of ad revenue for every Hulu PLus subscriber.