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On The Web

Well this is interesting: Lip sync videos and other fan adaptations of pop hits make record labels more money that the official music videos produced by the labels themselves, according to a report by the Toronto Star (hat tip to hypebot). The paper quotes Universal’s global head of digital business saying calling fan videos a massive growth area, and adding: “We’re very excited about the creativity of consumers using our repertoire and creating their own versions of our videos.” The flow of money is largely due to the fact that YouTube gives record labels the option to monetize third-party videos that use their music, instead of taking them down.

In Brief

Google just rolled out its Play Movies service, which offers Hollywood Blockbusters for rent or sale, in a whole bunch of additional countries — 39, to be precise, including a number of countries in Central and South America, Europe and Africa. This means that Google Play Movies is now available in about 60 countries around the world. However, TV show episodes are still just available in Australia, Japan, United Kingdom, United States.

In Brief

Longtime Pandora CTO and SVP of Product Tom Conrad is leaving: Conrad announced with a blog post Tuesday that he will be “transitioning to an adviser role” in three months, which is corporate speak for leaving, but on good terms. Former Pandora VP of Engineering Chris Martin has been promoted to Chief Technology Officer, and the company has started to look for a Chief Product Officer. Conrad can be credited for shaping Pandora’s technology strategy, which involved an early focus on mobile, and more recently, an embrace of open standards for connected TV and whole-home audio platforms.

On The Web

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.

In Brief

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.

On The Web

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.

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