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 world is increasingly expecting good design, as everything from platforms to products incorporates this thinking. This philosophy should extend to your company’s communication. Good design reflects your company brand, helping you deliver information in an effective and engaging manner. 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.
I am embarrassingly uninformed on certain current events. I’m hoping Vox can help fix that. Read more »
VHX has become a go-to resource for independent filmmakers looking to bring their work to audiences digitally. Now, it’s broadened its scope, lowered its rates and opened itself up to the general public. Read more »
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 »
An educational video from NASA found viral success earlier this month thanks to a bunch of video game references — but “Fusion vs. Fission” is only the agency’s latest star-studded short. 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 »
Just a few months after it started testing ads in user streams, Instagram has signed an advertising deal with agency Omnicom that is reportedly worth up to $100 million. 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 »
Advertising Age is bringing 4 insurgent media CEOs together with the nation’s biggest brands at the Digital Conference in New York, April 1-2. 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 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.
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.