http://www.bloomberg.com/news/2013-12-18/sony-said-to-explore-sale-of-gracenote-audio-recognition-service.html Sony may be looking to sell media recognition specialist Gracenote, according to a Bloomberg report. There’s no word yet on how much money Sony is looking to make, whether the company intends to keep a stake in the unit, or even who a potential buyer […] Read more »
Viki, the international streaming video service that recently got acquired by Japan’s Rakuten, just took a big step into the Chinese market: Viki is supplying Baidu with movies and TV shows from a variety of countries including South Korea, Japan, the U.K. and the U.S., which […] Read more »
Former Apple executive Tim Bucher stealthily assembled an A-team of developers to solve personal media sharing with a company called Black Pearl Systems. Now, Bucher is coming clean and announcing the consumer brand Lyve Minds. Read more »
Al Jazeera’s AJ+ just published a first few videos on YouTube, giving us a first look at the online-only network’s take on news. Read more »
Annoyed by radio ads? You’re not alone, and you might get a break from new technology developed by Gracenote that could one day personalize radio advertising. Read more »
Five years after its launch, Roku finally gets an official YouTube channel. But for now, it’s only available on the Roku 3. Read more »
Rounds, the group video chat app we’ve covered a few times before on Gigaom, announced a partnership with Vidyo Tuesday. Rounds will use Vidyo’s technology to power the next generation of its mobile app, which will include features like video overlays while you browse a site […] Read more »
Two co-founders of TiVo want to give TV another shot. This time, their new product is all about streaming services like Netflix and Hulu. Read more »
Walther White’s lawyer is returning to the TV screen, and viewers in Europe and Latin America will get him exclusively via Netflix. Read more »
Verizon is close to inking a deal with Intel to buy the chip maker’s yet-to-be launched online TV service OnCue, according to a Bloomberg report. Intel originally planned to launch the service by the end of the year, but the company’s new CEO Brian Krzanich decided that Intel shouldn’t be in the TV business, after all. Bloomberg reports that Verizon wants to use the unit to offer TV services outside of its market footprint, but it’s still unclear how exactly such an offering would look like.
DirecTV wants to get into the online streaming race, but target niche audiences. That’s a smart move for the satellite operator. Read more »
Google wants to bring Chromecast to a number of other countries in 2014, and make casting a standard that works on multiple devices with thousands of apps. Read more »
Users are now able to launch music and movie streams from the web, just like has been possible with YouTube and Netflix since Chromecast launched. Read more »
Parents, this app wants to quantify your diaper changes. Ins & Outs is an activity tracker for babies, and it’s been built by the Janus Friis-backed product incubator The Factory. Read more »
It’s that time of the year again: YouTube stars like Freddie Wong, Toby Turner, Daily Grace, Mystery Guitar Man, Tyler Ward and a number of others are coming together Thursday night at 6pm P.T. for the site’s second annual Tube-A-Thon, a telethon-style live event that aims to raise money for charity. Just like last year, the event is going to be hosted by What’s Trending’s Shira Lazar, but this time around, it’s live streamed from YouTube’s Los Angeles studio space, which has been home to a growing number of live events this year, including YouTube’s first music awards show.
Simple.tv is getting ready to launch its cord cutting DVR in a number of international markets, and bring its mobile app to Android. Read more »
YouTube’s ad revenue is set to hit $5.6 billion this year, according to an eMarketer report relayed by the Financial Times. The same report estimates that the service’s net revenue after paying its partners is close to $2 billion, which would be significantly more than the $1.65 billion that Google paid for YouTube in 2006. YouTube now gets about 20 percent of all U.S. online video ad money.
Bloomberg TV launched live and on-demand video on Apple TV Wednesday, and now wants to bring its service to other smart TV platforms. Read more »
Rabb.it wants to launch its OS X-only video chat app on publishers’ websites, with a little help from WebRTC. Read more »
Rdio launched its music subscription service in 20 additional countries late Monday, bringing the total number of countries Rdio is available in now to 51. The new markets include 13 Latin American countries, Israel, South Africa, the Dominican Republic and a few smaller countries in Europe. The expansion could give Rdio a chance to leapfrog Spotify in some of these markets: The bigger competitor is thus far only available in 28 countries.
Chromecast now plays local and cloud content, thanks to support for Plex, Avia and Realplayer Cloud. The streaming stick also added Revision3, Vevo, Viki and others. Read more »
Firefox’s nightly version got support for Google’s VP9 video codec a few days ago, Firefox Aurora users will be able to use the codec later this week. Read more »
Time Warner Cable’s incoming CEO is open to adding Netflix’s app to his company’s set-top-box. Rob Marcus, who will begin his gig as CEO of Time Warner Cable In January, said as much at the UBS Global Media & Communications Conference in New York Monday, according to Variety. That’s somewhat different from Comcast, whose CEO recently said that a partnership with Netflix is “not really a high priority” for his company. Netflix has started to work with ISPs overseas to get its app onto their set-top-boxes, but Netflix CEO Reed Hastings has said that he only wants these partnerships if his app gets prominent placement on set-top-boxes.
I’ve been testing Sonos’ new entry-level Play:1 speaker for a little over a month now, and I’ve learned to love the device, but also gotten frustrated by some of its shortcomings. Read more »
Google is reportedly working on a Nexus-branded TV set-top box. But how much of this is really about wooing consumers? Read more »
Yahoo has snapped up the team behind concert live streaming platform Evntlive. Read more »
Hisense is the latest to drop the Google TV brand for its new generation of Android-based TV devices. The company announced this week that it is building a new TV set dubbed the H6 SMART TV that features “the latest Google services for TV powered by Android 4.2.2″ (hat tip to Engadget). The H6 will come in 40-inch, 50-inch, and 55-inch, and Hisense is also building a new set-top-box dubbed the Pulse PRO, which will replace the Hisense Pulse Google TT box. We reported first in October that Google was phasing out the Google TV brand as it merges the platform with Android.
Netflix may call itself a next-generation TV network, but it’s fundamentally changing how we watch television, and in turn define ourselves as a nation, argues Tim Wu in a piece for the New Republic. Wu retells some of Netflix’s earlier original content efforts, and argues that the company’s recent shows aren’t about mass culture but about intense niche fandom. Definitely worth a read.
Some Chromecast users are starting to report that they have received the latest firmware update for Google’s TV dongle, and the most prominent change seems to be an even more subdued home screen. Gone is the big “ready to cast” tag line, as well as the Google-colored status bar. Instead, Google is introducing photo credits, an indication that the company may be opening up Chromecast backgrounds to a wider array of sources, possibly at some point including a user’s personal photos. You can check out some photos of the new Chromecast home screen here and here, and join folks speculating about other features of this update on Reddit.
Bonjour and guten Tag: Netflix executives have visited Germany and France as they are looking for additional markets to launch their service. Read more »
This morning, an email from a PR agency titled “Netflix likely to end binge watching in 2014″ hit my inbox, responding to this week’s announcement that the streaming service’s first animated original Turbo Fast will be released in installations, as opposed to making the entire season available on day one. Then, a little later, another email, this time from Netflix: “House of Cards returns for second season Friday February 14.” In one big swoop, ready to binge. No change of heart, after all. So why did Netflix divvy up Turbo Fast? Business Week has the answer, House of Cards star Robin Wright has no comment.
Media center app Plex could be coming to Chromecast soon: A recent version of Plex’s server software already includes a Chromecast configuration file. Read more »
Beats Music will launch its music subscription service in January, likely at CES, and the company is partnering with AT&T to get on people’s mobile phones. Read more »
As music subscription services are looking to bring their apps to the big screen, they might want to consider to take a closer look at Instagram and Co. Read more »
After an increasing backlash from some high-profile musicians, Spotify is going on the offensive by sharing some information on how it generates money for the music industry. Aside from average pay-outs, which range from $0.006 to $0.0084 per play, the service is also offering musicians detailed statistics, and even an additional revenue stream: Spotify has teamed up with Topspin to allow bands to sell merchandise through its service.
Rdio named Anthony Bay as its new CEO Tuesday. Bay joins the digital music subscription service from Amazon, where he was working as Global head of Digital Video. That’s an interesting background, considering that Rdio also is operating a digital video service called Vdio – but for now, Bay seems to be concentrated on Rdio’s music business, as the company’s press release doesn’t mention Vdio with a single word. Of course, it’s not like Rdio won’t keep Bay busy: The company has been trying to catch up with Spotify by partnering with radio network Cumulus to launch free, ad-supported services. But making the numbers work hasn’t been easy for Rdio, which recently laid off a reported 35 employees.
Online video service Blip is trying to scale down from 900,000 publishers to just a few thousand serialized shows. That process is anything but painless. Read more »
It’s true: The Chernin Group has acquired a majority stake in Crunchyroll, an online video service specialized in Anime. Read more »
Time Warner Cable knows that some of its customers don’t care about 300 channels. The company is now offering a bundle of local channels and HBO — but is it really a good deal? Read more »
Microsoft and Sony are both vying get your hard-earned money this holiday season. But which game console should you buy: the Xbox One of the PS4? Read more »