It looks like the WWE’s online video venture is starting to pay off: More than one million people have now subscribed to WWE Network, the online-only subscription streaming service that provides access to the league’s 12 key events per year, plus access to reality shows and past matches, for around $10 a month. WWE originally tried to hit that milestone by the end of 2014, but is now expected to sign up even more users before the WWE’s signature WrestleMania event in March.
Google’s Nexus Player has arrived in stores: Starting this week, the Android TV-based streaming box is being sold by Best Buy, Fry’s and Walmart, as well as on the websites of Amazon, NewEgg, Staples and TigerDirect, according to a Google+ post penned by Google’s Nexus team. Of course, that’s not a big surprise to Gigaom readers: I reported last week that a move to take the Nexus Player to retailers was imminent.
Music subscription service Rdio launched in another 24 countries Thursday. The list of new markets for Rdio includes the Cayman Islands, Haiti and Jamaica, and brings Rdio’s global footprint to 85 countries and territories. Rdio also announced a partnership with Caribbean mobile operator Digicel that will allow Digicel customers to stream Rdio for free for 30 minutes a day without counting against their data caps. As a comparison, Spotify is now available in 58 markets worldwide.
Music recognition specialist Shazam has raised an additional $30 million from undisclosed investors. The new round of funding propels Shazam’s valuation north of $1 billion and brings the total amount of money raised by the company to around $125 million. Shazam now has more than 100 million monthly active users and has been expanding into both TV show and print content recognition. (If you’re interested in what else is possible with music data, make sure to check out our upcoming Structure Data conference, where we’ll have Spotify’s music scientist Brian Whitman.)
The Motion Picture Association of America (MPAA) has sued Chinese file sharing operator Xunlei for copyright infringement, according to the Hollywood Reporter. The lawsuit, which was filed in China, comes after Hollywood struck a deal with Xunlei last year that forced the service to filter infringing content. The studios contend that Xunlei never followed through on the deal, which apparently included requirements to block pirate sites, terminate repeat offenders and run any content licensing agreement by the MPAA for approval, according to Torrentfreak.