Once again, you’ll be able to watch all 67 March Madness games live online, or on your iPad, iPhone or Android device. But roughly two-thirds of the games will require authentication. Check out our guide for all the details. Read more »
BitTorrent-based video streaming app Popcorn Time may be the media darling of the moment, but it doesn’t account for a whole lot of P2P traffic — at least not yet. Popcorn Time usage makes up for less than 1 percent of torrent downloads in March, according to Variety, which tapped German P2P analytics company Excipio for the data. Popcorn Time offers users the ability to stream videos directly as opposed to having to download them first to their hard drives. The app first surfaced in early March, got briefly shut down by its own developers soon after, and resurfaced only days later on different servers.
Pocket Casts just added Chromecast support to the Android version of its podcast app, making it easier to cast audio and video shows to the TV. Read more »
Forget browsing your TV guide by show names — how about you look for the topics that everyone is talking about right now instead? TV data startup Boxfish, which just raised $7 million, believes it can make this happen. Read more »
Bonjour and guten Tag, Chromecast: Google seems to be set to launch its streaming adapter in Germany, France, the U.K. an possibly a number of additional markets next week. Read more »
Spotify competitor Rdio has acquired the Indian music subscription service Dhingana, according to local media reports that have since been confirmed by Dhingana executives. The acquisition could be a way for Rdio to quickly get access to a huge market, but it comes after Dhingana had to shut down because it wasn’t able to secure licenses from one of the country’s biggest record labels. Rdio said in a release posted on Dhingana’s website that it wants to launch in India later this year.
Leaks show that Amazon has developed a game controller for an Android device. Is it an accessory for the company’s TV streamer, or part of an even more ambitious video game initiative? Read more »
Got a Chromecast streaming stick? Then you can now cast media from Plex, even without paying for a PlexPass subscription. Plex also added automatic personal media uploads to its iOS app. Read more »
Netflix is getting three new original kids shows from DreamWorks Animation, and all of them are based on existing characters. Maybe this will make up for Dora disappearing a year ago? Read more »
Home entertainment revenues have been on a steady decline in the U.K. since 2008, but in 2013, that trend got reversed by Netflix and Amazon’s Lovefilm, according to a report from the Guardian. Video subscription services like Netflix and Lovefilm grew 120 percent last year, the paper said, quoting a recent report by the British Entertainment Retailers Association. Digital music services like Spotify and Deezer also fared well, growing 34 percent, but physical media sales were down 8 percent, and now only make up 40 percent of the home entertainment market.
Well, that was fast. Neil Young’s Pono startup, which wants to build a high-resolution digital music player by the same name, shot past its $800,000 funding goal on day one of its Kickstarter campaign. Pono launched a Kickstarter campaign to finance the production of its player Tuesday morning, and at 10pm, it already had raised more than $925,000. This also means that the discounted $200 Pono players are all gone, but backers can still secure a player for $300, which is $100 less than what Pono wants to sell the device for this fall.
Beats Music raised a big round of new funding, according to multiple reports that put the total amount raised between $60 million and $100 million. The new raise comes after Beats secured a $60 million round of financing a year ago, once again proving the point that digital music is a really expensive business. Beats competitor Spotify, for instance, has raised close t0 $540 million so far, and is now looking to go public to bring in more cash.
Spotify wants to keep the Echo Nest open for third parties, but Rdio’s CEO says that he doesn’t want to share his company’s data with a competitor. Read more »
Amazon’s TV streamer will have apps for Netflix and Hulu Plus, and will possibly support DIAL, but don’t hold your breath for a YouTube app. Read more »
The Kickstarter campaign for Pono, the high-resolution music startup founded by Neil Young, is live, with an ambitious goal: Pono wants to raise $800,000 within the next 34 days to fund the production of its portable music player. Early backers have a chance to pick up a Pono player for $200, as opposed to the $400 retail price it will be selling for this fall. Other rewards include posters signed by Neil Young and a private dinner with the rock star. The campaign page also includes a few more technical details, including that Pono will play FLAC files with bit rates of up to 9216 kbps.
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.