The idea of “fair use” provides a critical exception to copyright law for artists, journalists and others. Increasingly, courts are asking if the new use is “transformative” – does this make sense? Read more »
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.
Well, that was fast. Neil Young’s Pono startup, which wants to build a high-resolution digital music player by the same name, shot past its $800,000 funding goal on day one of its Kickstarter campaign. Pono launched a Kickstarter campaign to finance the production of its player Tuesday morning, and at 10pm, it already had raised more than $925,000. This also means that the discounted $200 Pono players are all gone, but backers can still secure a player for $300, which is $100 less than what Pono wants to sell the device for this fall.
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 »
Looking for a night out at the movies but not sure what to watch? Just head over to the theater with Google Glass and a new app called Preview. Then you can view trailers of each flick simply by looking at the movie posters. 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 »
Searching through web video sucks, with most of the data coming from tags. But Op3nvoice wants to make audio from video searchable in the same way that the text-based web is today. 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 »
Streaming music service Spotify has acquired The Echo Nest and its graph of musical data spanning more than 35 million songs and 2 million artists. It’s an easy way for Spotify to match companies like Google and Pandora on the data science front. 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 move brings Opera in line with the other two big WebRTC-supporting browsers, Chrome and Firefox, which both already support the promising protocol in their Android versions. 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 »
The video streaming service will continue to use AWS and possibly other public clouds for spiky loads and move much of its big data stack from bare metal to MetaCloud’s private cloud. Read more »
Flipboard, a leading mobile news-reading and content-sharing app, is acquiring one of its main competitors — an app called Zite — from CNN for a reported $60 million and forming an advertising and content partnership with CNN for all of the media giant’s content 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.