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 »
The team used their own visual effects and rendering expertise atop Amazon’s brawn to do the sort special effects that succeed because you don’t know they’re there. Read more »
This year, less than half of the screeners Hollywood professionals receive to help them vote on the year’s best movies were illegally uploaded — but what’s the cause? 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.
Although Apple considers it just a hobby, its Apple TV and related content is generating big revenues: Sales topped $1 billion in 2013. With a current $25 promotion for Apple TV, is the connected set-top box about to graduate from hobby status with new hardware? Read more »
Al Jazeera is hiring dozens of video journalists to staff up for the launch of its AJ+ online venture. Read more »
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 »
This is not the first time that Audible has made an author-focused program less generous. 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 »
ProPublica has launched a “Data Store” where it’s selling or giving away the datasets it uses in its investigative journalism. 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 »
The founders of Inkshares don’t think the traditional publishing industry is broken, just antiquated and inefficient — and they think marrying crowdfunding and the kinds of services publishers used to offer makes for a pretty compelling service for writers and ultimately for readers as well Read more »
Barnes & Noble’s Nook segment took another big hit and the bookseller, which has cut 190 digital jobs, said more cuts are on the way. Nonetheless, it plans to release a new color device this year. 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.
Reddit is beta testing a new feature that allows users to create and update live blogs about breaking news events such as the recent uprising in Ukraine or the war in Syria — a move that could be a valuable addition to the cause of “open-source journalism” Read more »
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 »
Orange, which has the largest stake in French online video portal Dailymotion, is reportedly in talks with Microsoft over a potential partnership. Regulators in France nixed a previous attempt to sell the service to Yahoo, but this doesn’t appear to be a sale attempt – according to the Wall Street Journal, Orange wants an “industrial” partnership with Microsoft that would leave the telco in charge while expanding Dailymotion further into the U.S. market. Orange CEO Stephane Richard told the publication that talks are ongoing, but a deal is no certainty.
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 »
Comcast’s recent deal with Netflix re-ignited a debate on net neutrality and how best to implement it, with venture investor Marc Andreessen arguing that competition is what will solve the problem, not more regulations 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 »
Internet TV provider Aereo is forging ahead with its expansion even as the fate of its service lies in the balance. The Supreme Court will hear if the service is legal less than three months from now. Read more »
The top brass at both companies sat down at the Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas to negotiate the peering agreement confirmed Sunday by Comcast and Netflix. 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 »
It looks like Comcast and Netflix have resolved their peering dispute, but it’s unclear how. Comcast customers should rejoice because the quality of their video streams should get better. Read more »
The force behind Gawker’s revolutionary Kinja commenting platform is a vision of the future in which the truth about events is determined democratically by journalists and non-journalists alike, Gawker founder Nick Denton tells Playboy magazine 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 »
Amazon is rolling together its Prime and Lovefilm Instant video services in the U.K. and Germany. That means the cost of an annual Prime membership in the U.K. will rise to £79 per year from £49. 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 »
The value of social-media networks such as Twitter and Facebook becomes even more obvious during crises like the uprisings and anti-government demonstrations in Ukraine and Venezuela, where both have become a lifeline of real-time information for residents and expatriates alike 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 »
Whether you’re already a “Fannibal” or a newcomer to the “Silence of the Lamb” prequel series, NBC and Amazon want your eyeballs this Sunday for a social media-powered binge-viewing. Read more »