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.
Al Jazeera is hiring dozens of video journalists to staff up for the launch of its AJ+ online venture. Read more »
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.
Hulu Japan is being acquired by the local broadcast giant Nippon TV. The acquistion effectively puts an end to Hulu’s international ambitions. Read more »
Mohu Channels wants to make it easier to watch free HD TV and online video programming from Netflix and Hulu Plus without the need to switch inputs. Here’s how this looks like. Read more »
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.
Spotify is starting to see nine-digit play counts for some of its songs — but YouTube still drives far bigger audiences. Read more »
Vuclip may not be a household name in the U.S., but the company has managed to attract 120 million monthly users in Southeast Asia, Latin America and the Middle East. Part of Vuclip’s strategy: ignore western mobile strategies. Read more »
Amazon is partnering with the BBC to revive the cancelled Ripper Street crime drama. Is your favorite canceled show next? Probably not, but one can always hope. Read more »
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.
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.
Well, that was quick: The Qplay TV adapter goes on sale one day after Gigaom broke the story about the device’s impending launch. Read more »
Media data specialist Rovi is acquiring Andover, Mass.-based semantic technologies startup Veveo for $62 million in cash, with an option to pay an additional $7 million down the line if certain milestones are met, Rovi announced after the close of the markets Monday. Rovi is best known for its TV guides and entertainment data services, which the company supplies to Dish, Charter, Microsoft and others. The Veveo acquisition could help to make these guides more accessible, thanks to semantic search and natural-language recognition developed by the startup. For more on how data transforms media, also check out our Structure Data conference in New York next month.
Check out some leaked pictures and more details about QPlay, the new TV adapter built by the co-founders of TiVo. QPlay is set to launch any day now. Read more »
Netflix makes one of the most-used apps for smart TVs and connected devices. Here’s an inside look at the work that went into the app’s most recent relaunch. Read more »
Roku may file for an IPO in 2014, according to a Bloomberg report. Going public could help the company to raise additional funds for an increasingly competitive market. Read more »
Magisto is coming to Russia with a partnership with Mail.ru. The Russian intenet giant also invested $2 million in the video startup. Read more »
Mohu makes great TV antennas, but now, it wants to take on Roku & Co. and combine free TV with online video apps. Read more »
K-Drama fans just got one more site to catch up on their favorite shows: KDrama.com serves up newest episodes the same day they air in South Korea. Read more »
BitTorrent had big ambitions for live streaming, but users weren’t biting — so the company is shutting down its live video site and refocusing on mobile. Read more »
Aereo just hit a major roadblock, with broadcasters winning an injunction that will force the company to pull out of two markets. Read more »
This is a pretty fascinating read for all you multimedia geeks out there: Dropbox detailed its approach towards video streaming in a blog post this week that dives deep into the technical details of codecs and transcoding pipelines. In short, Dropbox takes the first few seconds […] Read more »
BitTorrent is giving its mobile apps a facelift, and adding its content publishing platform directly to its desktop clients. Read more »
Anti-government protests took a deadly turn in Ukraine’s capital Kiev Tuesday, and live streamers were on scene as the situation went out of control. Read more »
Sony is launching the PS4 in Japan this week, and the company hopes that video gamers there will also try out its music service. Read more »
Opera is getting ready to release its mobile data compression app Max to a wider audience: The browser maker opened up preregistration for a beta test of the Android app Tuesday, promising that the app will help users to get the most out of their data […] Read more »
Screen casting may be coming to Android — but is it a third-party development, or something that Google wants to introduce officially? Read more »
Dayframe’s newly-updated Android app is the best way yet to cast personal photos and other imagery to the TV screen. Read more »
More and more people are connecting their TVs to the internet — and as a result, they may be starting to watch less traditional television. Read more »
Looks like Jason Kilar misses his former Hulu colleagues. Why else would he keep hiring them away from the video service? Read more »
Here’s something cheesy but fun for all you Chromecast users out there: Google Play Music now lets you stream video of a fireplace to your TV while you cast your music. “Just in time for Valentine’s Day, we’ve got the perfect way for you to set the […] Read more »
For Comcast, the big money may be in Time Warner Cable’s broadband subscribers. But for its competition, the pressure is on to reinvent TV. Read more »
Google is using Helpouts to help kids apply for federal student loans. The initiative hints at more possible Helpouts uses in education and volunteerism. Read more »
New York-based video platform provider Kaltura has raised another $47 million in funding from SAP Ventures, Nokia Growth Partners, Commonfund Capital, and Brazil-based Gera Ventures. Existing investors .406 Ventures, Nexus Venture Partners, Intel Capital, Mitsui & Co. Global Investment and Silicon Valley Bank are also back for more. Kaltura wants to use the money for further international expansion, and has raised a total of $115 million to date.