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Sprint Stops Throttling Speeds as Net Neutrality Takes Effect

The new net neutrality laws had a real-world impact when Sprint announced it would no longer throttle speeds for unlimited data customers. Sprint chief executive Marcelo Claure made the move in reaction to customers disgruntled by the fine print of a new $80/month unlimited text, talk and data plan, noting that video would be delivered at lower speeds. The 600 kilobits/second speed recommended by a consultant to Sprint would have particularly impacted high definition video, which runs at three to four megabits per second. Read more

YouTube Stars Learn How It’s Done in Hollywood Productions

A growing number of YouTube stars — who are often more popular among teens than mainstream celebs such as Seth Rogen and Jennifer Lawrence — are making their way to Hollywood. By the end of 2015, at least a dozen movies featuring Internet celebrities will be released online and in a handful of theaters. Whether or not this transition works will have its first test in mid-July when “Smosh: The Movie,” “Bad Night” and “The Chosen” — three movies featuring popular YouTube personalities — are released. Read more

Amazon Unveils Data Science Used By 2012 Obama Campaign

Civis Analytics, founded by Dan Wagner, the former chief analytics officer for President Obama’s 2012 campaign, has rolled out a set of big data tools through Amazon Web Services. The year-old Chicago-based firm says it can eliminate much of the time and cost associated with marketing campaigns, in particular using cloud computing but without the need for customization. The service will start at about $5,000 a month, which Wagner claims will be “80 percent cheaper in most cases” than competing services. Read more

HBO Now Tops iOS Revenue Charts, Big Hit with Cord Cutters

HBO’s standalone streaming service HBO Now, a $14.99 per month over-the-top option for accessing HBO’s premium content without the need for a cable or satellite TV subscription, is atop the iTunes App Store revenue rankings. According to analytics firm App Annie, the HBO iOS app was the highest grossing app on the market in May. While June’s figures have not yet been released, App Annie indicates HBO Now is still performing well. Since Apple has an exclusive launch agreement for HBO Now, this could be the best insight into the service’s traction thus far. Read more

Survey: Stigma Associated with TV Binge Viewing is Declining

Binge-watching television shows is becoming a less shameful activity, according to a March survey of TiVo users. While 53 percent of respondents in 2013 characterized the activity in a negative light, only 30 percent of recent respondents felt the same. “People who are binge-viewing are feeling better about themselves,” said Jonathan Steuer, chief research officer for TiVo. Interestingly, 92 percent of respondents indicated that they have engaged in binge-viewing at some point, and 32 percent said they often wait to watch an entire season at once. Read more

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