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In Brief

Just about a year ago today, Penguin and Random House merged to create the world’s largest book publisher. And HarperCollins announced in May that it’s acquiring Harlequin. Now the season of consolidation continues: The large independent publisher Perseus is being sold off in an unusual three-way deal, Publishers Lunch reported Tuesday, with Hachette Book Group acquiring Perseus Book Group’s publishing imprints and Ingram taking its distribution business. PL notes that the acquisition will bring Hachette’s annual revenues to around $700 million.

In Brief

Google’s Chromecast streaming stick just got a bunch of new apps: Digital music service Deezer gave its paying subscribers access to casting through its mobile apps. Video workout service Dailyburn added Chromecast support to its website, iOS and Android apps, and PBS Kids added Chromecast support to its mobile apps as well. Earlier on Tuesday, video discovery app Stevie announced its own Chromecast integration.

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Both digital publishers and advertisers are trying to come up with a more accurate way of measuring the value of a reader than just raw pageviews or uniques. Upworthy says its “attention minutes” metric is better, and it has opened up the code for anyone to use Read more »

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In Brief

Earbits, the music discovery startup that shut down earlier this week due to lack of funds, unexpectedly announced its return Thursday. “A strategic partner has stepped forward and provided the necessary funding to bring Earbits back online indefinitely,” wrote Earbits CEO Joey Flores on the company’s blog. There’s no word yet on who this strategic partner might be and how big of a stake in Earbits it now holds, but Flores said that he would be sharing additional details soon.

In Brief

Twitter has acquired San Francisco-based video sharing startup SnappyTV, both companies announced Thursday without spilling any beans about the financials of the deal. You may have never heard of SnappyTV, but chances are, you’ve seen some of its work on Twitter before: SnappyTV has helped Turner to share March Madness clips in near-realtime, and also powered the video cards of numerous other TV networks. With the acquisition, Twitter obviously wants to bolster its own media chops, but the company promised Thursday that SnappyTV customers will continue to be able to share media on Facebook and elsewhere as well.

In Brief

Watching YouTube live streams on the TV just got a bit easier: Chromecast owners can now beam any live video streams straight from the YouTube iOS and Android apps to Google’s streaming stick. Casting of live YouTube’s live streams  wasn’t supported at all when Chromecast launched last year, and YouTube added the capability to cast live streams to its desktop app earlier this year. Now, all we need is a way to actually find all those live feeds – YouTube’s live streaming directory mysteriously disappeared a few months ago.

In Brief

Oyster android

The $9.95 per month ebook subscription service Oyster, which was previously only available on iOS, expanded to Android, Kindle Fire and Nook HD tablets Tuesday — thus removing one of the differentiating factors between it and rival service Scribd. New features include “read time” for books (there is a similar feature on Kindle e-readers) and the ability to turn a book’s pages using the volume buttons on an Android device. Oyster, which is based in NYC and launched in fall 2013, now has over 500,000 titles, with two of the big-five publishers — Simon & Schuster and HarperCollins — participating.

In Brief

Think all BitTorrent downloads are illegal? Think again: BitTorrent Inc. announced Monday that it has distributed more than 100 million copies of its BitTorrent content bundles ever since the introduction of the promotional format a little over a year ago. Bundles are essentially officially sanctioned torrents which tend to come with a call to action – users have to provide their email address to get access to some of the content. Some of BitTorrent’s most notable content partners included De La Soul, Moby and Tim Ferriss.

Upworthy often gets lumped in with creators of cheap clickbait content like ViralNova, but the company’s editorial director says it is driven by a different mission: to use social tools to get content about socially important topics in front of as many people as possible Read more »

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