Chromecast just got another major app update: Twitch, DramaFever and iHeartRadio added Chromecast support to their apps, and Disney continued the adoption of Chromecast by adding cast capability to its WATCH Disney, WATCH Disney Junior and WATCH Disney XD apps. These Disney apps do require authentication with your pay TV account information, just like the company’s Watch ABC app, which got cast support last month.
Roku has sold 10 million streaming players since launching in 2008, the company is set to announce Tuesday. Roku owners stream a total of 37 million hours of video and audio content every week, according to a study commissioned by the company. Roku said at the beginning of this year that it had sold nearly 8 million players, and it announced a benchmark of five million players sold in April of 2013. The company hopes to accelerate growth with the recent launch of Roku TVs manufactured by Hisense and TCL.
Spotify is coming to Amazon’s Fire TV, with a twist: instead of launching a regular app on the device, Spotify just made the Fire TV a Spotify Connect-capable device (hat tip to Engadget). Like with a number of connected speakers, users can now beam songs from their Spotify app to the Fire TV. It’s all part of Spotify’s efforts to be part of the upcoming connected audio watershed, and for Fire TV owners, it’s one more way to access full albums on the device, with Amazon’s own music app still mysteriously missing in action.
It’s not quite the unbundling many HBO fans have been hoping for, but HBO Go is taking some first steps to bring its HBO Go service to a bigger audience in Europe: The cable network is using cloud virtualization technology from ActiveVideo to bring its online service to legacy set-top boxes in 14 European regions, according to Broadband TV News. The same tech has been used by YouTube to bring its service onto older set-top boxes in Europe, and both services could theoretically use the same approach in the U.S. as well.
Binge-viewers rejoice: Netflix has rolled out its so-called post-play feature for Chromecast, automatically queuing up the next episode when you’ve finished watching an episode of a show. The feature works just like post-play does on devices like Roku, according to a post on Netflix’s blog, with one small difference: “We increased the countdown slightly to allow for more time to grab your phone or tablet.” Users who want to binge with their Chromecast need to update their Netflix iOS or Android app, and an update to the web app will be made available soon.
Roku launched a new white-label program dubbed Roku Powered Monday that makes the company’s streaming devices available to pay TV operators. Roku powered-devices feature the brand of the operator, and also give the operator the power to exclude certain apps. The program follows a partnership with British TV operator Sky, which has been selling customized Roku boxes under the Now TV brand for a little over a year.
Spotify just found another way to monetize the 30 million users of its free tier: The music service launched video ads across its mobile and desktop apps Monday, giving brands a way to insert either 15 or 30 second-long clips into its music stream. Advertisers who opt to pay more can also buy what the company calls a “sponsored session,” which gives users 30 minutes of uninterrupted listening if they watch an ad.