Chrome is now telling you exactly which of its tabs is playing audio – but how does the browser actually know this? Read more »
Comcast is preparing to launch its cloud DVR in the Boston market “very soon,” according to a FierceCable report. The company’s SVP and GM of Video Services Matt Strauss told FierceCbale that the new network DVR, which will store customers’ recordings in the cloud, will be rolled out market by market this year. The cloud DVR will only be made available to subscribers who also have Comcast’s new X1 set-top box, which was also rolled out in Boston first.
Los Angeles-based music marketing and merchandise sales startup Topspin Media laid of a significant number of its staff Wednesday. Music blog hypebot first reported the news, calling it “major layoffs,” and laid off employees said on Twitter that “half“or even “the majority” of the company’s staff was let go. Topspin acknowledged that there have been layoffs when contacted by Gigaom, but declined to comment further on the matter. The company recently teamed up with Spotify to offer artists a way to directly sell merchandise through its service, and it is also slated to power a similar integration for the recently-launched Beats Music service.
Netflix CEO Reed Hastings recently said that it wants to do away from the one-price-fits-all model and introduce three pricing tiers for new members. Why three? The Atlantic looks at the behavioral psychology of pricing, and explains why the Goldilocks effect is always making us go for the middle tier, regardless of how expensive it is.
As the second-screen space is consolidating, it’s time to face reality and admit that social TV is dead, and much of it was a bad idea to begin with. Read more »
The majority of Viki’s users are accessing the service from mobile devices, and amongst mobile users, Android dominates. Read more »
Netflix is trying to lock down content rights ahead of its planned expansion to Europe later this year, according to the Wall Street Journal. The paper is reporting, as we did just last week, that Netflix is eyeing Germany and France in particular – but there are some hurdles with regards to regulations in France, and a bunch of competitors already in place in Germany.
Amazon has reportedly shown senior game publisher executives a version of its Android-based game console, which could launch later this year. Read more »
GetGlue is dead, long live tvtag? After getting bought late last year, the social TV pioneer just reemerged under a new name. Read more »
Your TV may have a browser — but you should think twice before you enter sensitive personal information. A recent report shows that devices from major manufacturers are not secure. Read more »
DramaFever hopes that a Korean penguin is going to be the next big hit for kids TV in the U.S. The site, better known for Korean soap operas, just opened a kids section. Read more »
SoundCloud has confirmed a new Series D round of funding that reportedly adds $60 million to the company’s coffers. Read more »
Pioneering digital music site Last.fm just launched a radio product powered by YouTube videos that will help to keep the music streaming, without adding to Last.fm’s music licensing bill, according to hypebot. Last.fm was one of the first sites to analyze listeners’ music collections and generate personalized radio streams, but the site has been on a steady decline ever since CBS bought it for $280 million in 2007.
Radio stations all around the world play thousands of songs this very minute. A new site dubbed Radio Search Engine makes all of that music searchable. Read more »
Hulu revamped its Hulu Plus UI on some connected devices last year, and viewers responded by sticking around a lot longer. Read more »
TiVo is laid off most of its industrial designers, according to a Wired report, which initially speculated that this may be part of a bigger strategy shift that would result in TiVo exiting the hardware business. TiVo has since assured me that the company will continue to make hardware, and in fact has plans for future retail products. Of course, TiVo has seen most of its growth coming from its operator business for some time, but last year, it nonetheless revamped its entire hardware line. This story was updated on 1/23 with additional information made available by TiVo.
HBO and Showtime didn’t like a recent media release by the NPD Group that suggested their subscriber numbers are down. The research company took another look at its data – and agreed. Read more »
Lively wants to give concert-goers an option to catch a show of their favorite band, and then listen to a recording of that show on their way home. Investors thought that’s worth $2 million. Read more »
Netflix is getting ready to overhaul its pricing structure and introduce three pricing options for new members. The announcement comes as the company grows to 44 million members worldwide. Read more »
Gradual copyright enforcement legislation, also known as three-strikes laws, don’t curb piracy: That’s the result of a new study that looked at the effectiveness of France’s anti-piracy legislation, which fines and disconnects users after repeat warnings. Researchers found, according to Torrentfreak, that this simply results in users getting smarter about piracy, shifting from monitored file sharing networks to other sources for unlicensed downloads.
Intel had it all: An A-list team, an intriguing product and even a number of contracts with TV networks, just waiting to be signed. So why did the company end up selling its OnCue TV service to Verizon? Read more »
The developer of Freevo, a pioneering media center app for Linux, Windows and OS X, announced that the app won’t receive any future updates. Freevo, which was first released in 2002, combined DVR and media playback capabilities for home theater PCs. Freevo’s developer wrote Monday on a mailing list that Freevo has been surpassed by other technologies including the media center competitor XBMC and Google’s Chromecast.
Verizon is buying Intel Media’s assets to build out its own FiOS service and eventually also offer TV over the internet. But behind all of this is one big plan: to take on former ally Comcast. Read more »
Verizon is buying Intel Media, the Intel unit that has been developing an internet-based television service called OnCue. Read more »
Updated. The iPhone app for Beats Music, the much-anticipated music subscription service that is spearheaded by Jimmy Iovine, went live in Apple’s iTunes app store ahead of its official launch Tuesday morning. Beats will also be available on Android, but the app can’t be found on Google Play yet – and we just got words from Beats that the version on the app store (1.0.0) isn’t actually the final launch version, so installing may not get you very far. Beats has a big focus on mobile; new users that want to take advantage of the services 7-day free trial need to go through an onboarding process that is only available through its mobile apps. A sign-up page with links to the apps is also already available online. This post was updated at 9:12pm with more information on the iOS app.
Netflix apps are available on more than 1000 different devices, but have so far been absent from cable boxes. This is now changing, starting with a cooperation launched in Sweden. Read more »
The team behind the open source video player VLC released an updated iOS version through the iTunes app store on Monday that brings an iOS 7-optimized look to the app. The new version 2.2 also includes a number of new features, including support for streaming media directly from Dropbox or Google Drive, multi-touch gestures and improved UPnP support, which should make the app a better companion for network-attached storage drives. As always, VLC is free and ad-free.
TV viewers love Netflix, Hulu Plus and Amazon Prime Instant. But while these services are growing, premium cable channels are getting ditched. Read more »
Are you using someone else’s HBO GO password to watch True Blood? Don’t worry, you’re not keeping HBO CEO Richard Plepler awake at night. Instead, he thinks of it as marketing. Read more »
It’s true: Digg is doing original content, and one of its first pieces is a great long-form read titled “Is this thing on?” The article has radio journalist Stan Alcorn wondering why there are tons of viral videos on the internet, but rarely any viral audio stories. Alcorn found one great exception from that rule, but it’s not a podcast — and it may be hard to replicate. A must read for everyone interested in the future of radio, podcasts and online storytelling.
Rdio is now letting U.S. listeners use its music subscription service for free — on the web, anyway: The music service announced Thursday that it is allowing users to listen as much as they want on its website. Rdio is monetizing the new free offering through ads, which are sold by its new partner Cumulus. Ad-free listening still costs $10 a month. The announcement comes a day after Spotify announced that it is removing limits to free listening in all of its territories, and less than a week before Beats Music launches its service in the U.S.
Wikipedia has traditionally only accepted open media formats. But now it’s considering a change in tune to finally get more video contributions. Read more »
Got a movie that’s popular on Kickstarter? Then you may be able to get even more money from Vimeo. Read more »
Kids in Germany, France, Australia and across Latin America just got another way of watching cartoons on the iPad: Movile expanded its Play Kids service into 24 new countries. Read more »
Playboy.tv wants to bring adult entertainment to Chromecast, and is developing an Android app to do so. But will Google allow this? Read more »
Google brought its Google Play Movies and TV app to iOS Wednesday, making it easier for users of the service to watch rented and bought videos on their iPad or iPhone. The app also includes Chromecast support, making it possible to beam titles to Chromecast-equipped TV screens. However, there’s one thing amiss: Users won’t actually be able to rent or buy any movies or TV shows through the app — Google apparently wasn’t willing to send Apple checks for its 30 percent cut on in-app purchases.
One of the bigger surprises at CES was Hisense with its new line of Vidaa smart TVs, which are based on Android and show where Google TV is going now that it isn’t called Google TV anymore. Read more »
http://online.wsj.com/news/articles/SB10001424052702303754404579312904182126302 Verizon’s FIOS TV is the first pay TV provider to get a new, customizable kids TV channel dubbed My Nick Jr. from Viacom in the coming months, according to a Wall Street Journal report. Parents will be able to pick themes like “get creative” to […] Read more »
No matter what you think of Megaupload founder Kim Dotcom, you have to admit that he has a talent to rally the masses — and now, Dotcom wants to take that talent to the next level. Dotcom took to Twitter Tuesday to say that he is […] Read more »
Guten Tag and bonjour, Netflix: As the streaming video service is looking to expand further into Europe, it may come to Germany and France next. Read more »