Apple Needs to Secure Key Music Deals Before Beats Launch

Apple is expected to launch its Beats Music streaming service at next month’s developers conference, but the tech giant has not been able to finalize deals with several of the major music labels yet. Originally, Apple tried to negotiate favorable deals with music labels that would allow the company to sell Beats Music for $2 to $5 less per month than the industry standard $10. Meanwhile, Jay Z’s new streaming service, Tidal, claims its deals give artists four times the royalty rate of Spotify. Continue reading Apple Needs to Secure Key Music Deals Before Beats Launch

Snapchat Adds New Tool to Share News from ‘Discover’ Portal

Snapchat is finally letting users share stories with their friends directly from the app’s news portal. Users simply have to hold down a news story, add a comment or some emojis, and then send it to friends just like a regular Snap. The Discover portal has seen viewership drop since it debuted earlier this year, and Snapchat is betting on sharing to attract more loyal viewers. Many other media companies such as BuzzFeed rely heavily on social sharing to drive Web traffic. Continue reading Snapchat Adds New Tool to Share News from ‘Discover’ Portal

Nielsen to Track Audience Demos of Video Ads on Roku Devices

Nielsen and Roku have started working together to measure the audience demographics of ads that play through Roku streaming devices. That means Roku will be the first Internet-connected TV platform that will be able to offer the same audience guarantees as traditional television. Advertisers will already be familiar with the Nielsen audience breakdowns, which will also be integrated into the Roku Ad Framework toolkit. The companies will be testing the new tracking this summer. Continue reading Nielsen to Track Audience Demos of Video Ads on Roku Devices

SnapStream Unveils Affordable New DVR Targeting Businesses

SnapStream is known for making massive DVRs for media productions like “The Colbert Report,” but now the company is introducing a less expensive DVR that is still loaded with features. The SnapStream Express may prove too expensive to be a consumer product, but businesses may be drawn to the functionality and $499 price tag (plus $99/month service fee). It has 2TB of internal storage, an intelligent search function, and a Web-based interface designed for PCs. The DVR can also post clips directly to social media. Continue reading SnapStream Unveils Affordable New DVR Targeting Businesses

Software Subscription Marks a Major Shift for Microsoft Model

As mobile computing grows with the prevalence of smartphones and apps, Microsoft announced that it plans to bring in more money on a consistent basis by selling a subscription to Windows software. Currently, individuals and businesses pay a one-time license fee for Windows. To attract a wider user base, Microsoft re-engineered the software so that it will also work on phones and the company will give away the next version, Windows 10, for free to some users. The model will mark a significant change for Microsoft.  Continue reading Software Subscription Marks a Major Shift for Microsoft Model

AOL and NBCUniversal Plan to Share Content Across Platforms

AOL and NBCUniversal have reached a licensing and distribution agreement that will allow the two companies to share and develop content. Shows from NBC, CNBC and Telemundo could start streaming via online video platform AOL On. NBCUniversal and AOL may also start developing original content together to be distributed on the platforms of both companies. The agreement means that advertisers will be able to reach consumers watching this shared content on television as well as mobile and desktop devices. Continue reading AOL and NBCUniversal Plan to Share Content Across Platforms

Jay Z to Perform Free Concert Only for Tidal Music Subscribers

Rapper and producer Jay Z is promoting his new artist-backed music streaming service Tidal with an exclusive concert. “Tidal X: Jay Z B-Sides” will be held May 13 in New York City. The only way people can get tickets is by submitting a playlist on Tidal. The artist plans to play songs that he has not performed in over 10 years. The concert announcement follows in the wake of Jay Z vehemently defending Tidal on Twitter after other musicians had criticized the service for being too elitist. Continue reading Jay Z to Perform Free Concert Only for Tidal Music Subscribers

Conde Nast Plans Scripted VR Series to Attract New Audience

Conde Nast is attempting to appeal to the online audience that does not read the company’s lifestyle magazine, so it will start expanding its online video offerings. The Conde Nast Entertainment (CNE) division will produce two original scripted virtual reality series with Jaunt VR, which recently announced its planned LA studio. These new series will be released on The Scene, Conde Nast’s online video platform. CNE plans to make 2,500 videos for The Scene in the next year with the help of new content partners. Continue reading Conde Nast Plans Scripted VR Series to Attract New Audience

YouTube to Back Long-Form Content From its Popular Creators

Amid growing competition in the online video space, Google’s YouTube is trying to hang onto its lead by supporting some of the platform’s biggest stars. The platform will back long-form original series from the Fine Brothers, Prank vs. Prank, Joey Graceffa and SMOSH. YouTube and AwesomenessTV have also paired up to create several feature-length films that will debut online and feature YouTube stars. The Google subsidiary is facing competition from Facebook, Yahoo, and even Netflix. Continue reading YouTube to Back Long-Form Content From its Popular Creators

Twitter Earnings Disappoint as Company Struggles with Growth

Twitter stocks plunged this week after the company’s first quarter financial report showed less revenue growth than originally expected. The social network’s revenue grew 74 percent, which is lower than the company’s projections and its performance in the previous quarter. Twitter executives blame some of the company’s new advertising models as contributing to the slow growth, but other analysts believe that Twitter still has not found its niche among users and advertisers. Continue reading Twitter Earnings Disappoint as Company Struggles with Growth

Amazon Faces Growing Competition in Lucrative Cloud Business

Amazon is the current leader in the cloud computing business, with its Amazon Web Services division bringing in $1.57 billion in just the first quarter, but Microsoft and Google have their eye on a market that is projected to be worth hundreds of billions of dollars. To maintain its lead, Amazon has rushed to provide other software and analytics services and increased its network of resellers. The real winner, though, will be determined by what company hosts established enterprises. Continue reading Amazon Faces Growing Competition in Lucrative Cloud Business

Facebook Partners with Disney, Vice and Others on Video Ads

Facebook has launched a new marketing initiative called Anthology that enables advertisers to work with seven media partners to create sponsored videos. The company says that its media partners — The Onion, Vice, Disney, Funny or Die, Tastemade, Vox, and Electus Digital’s CollegeHumor — know how to get the most out of the Facebook platform. These video ads are one way that Facebook may be able to keep advertising, and soon publishing content, under its own roof. Continue reading Facebook Partners with Disney, Vice and Others on Video Ads

Apple Watch Launch: Limited Availability, but Wide App Variety

Apple launched its new wearable last week, and a wide variety of related apps are currently available, but customers are still trying to figure out where to buy the smartwatch and companies are still trying to figure out how to use it. The Watch was not available in Apple Stores, but it was in stock at select fashion boutiques around the world. Companies like Yelp and WebMD, meanwhile, are still trying to figure out how Apple Watch users will use their Watch apps differently from their iPhone apps. Continue reading Apple Watch Launch: Limited Availability, but Wide App Variety

Google’s Project Fi Phone Service Promises Fast Connectivity

Google has unveiled its experimental Project Fi, a new mobile phone service that seamlessly switches between Wi-Fi and 4G LTE networks to ensure that people will have the fastest connections. Users will also be able to switch between devices, so text messages and phone calls can be answered from a smartphone, tablet or computer. Google partnered with Sprint and T-Mobile for the data networks, and it plans on offering its Project Fi for as low as $30 per month. Continue reading Google’s Project Fi Phone Service Promises Fast Connectivity

Yahoo is Developing a Mobile Search App to Take On Google

Yahoo is making a personal assistant and mobile search app that will compete with Apple’s Siri, Google Now and Microsoft’s Cortana. The app, codenamed “Index,” will be able to pull information from a user’s email to provide the most relevant search results. It will most likely be ad-supported and the company is aiming to complete a pilot version of the app this year. Yahoo executives hopes this app will be able to take some share of the mobile search market from Google. Continue reading Yahoo is Developing a Mobile Search App to Take On Google

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