CTIA 2014: FCC Chair Talks Net Neutrality, Spectrum Auction

CTIA, The Wireless Association, kicked off its Mobility Week in Las Vegas with a keynote address by FCC Chairman Tom Wheeler who spoke candidly about net neutrality, competition and the upcoming spectrum auction. Wheeler, who was CEO of CTIA from 1992-2004 and has been criticized by some consumer groups for his previous alliance, made it clear that in an environment where a vast and growing majority of Internet access is via mobile that a free and open Internet is vital. Continue reading CTIA 2014: FCC Chair Talks Net Neutrality, Spectrum Auction

YouTube Feature Enables Fans to Donate to Content Creators

In order for online video producers to make money, YouTube offers a feature that allows viewers to donate to their favorite artists. Independent content creators are the major source of revenue for YouTube, and while some of them do make money through pre-roll ads, it is not enough for many. Now, Google offers Fan Funding so viewers can essentially tip their favorite video creators. The feature works in both the browser and the Android app, and all transactions are processed by Google Wallet. Continue reading YouTube Feature Enables Fans to Donate to Content Creators

President Obama Names Two Googlers to Fill Key Tech Posts

The White House announced that it has hired Google exec Megan Smith to become the next U.S. Chief Technology Officer and Assistant to the President. Smith replaces Todd Park, who is moving to Silicon Valley in a new position as recruiter of tech talent for the federal government. The White House also announced that Alexander Macgillivray, former counsel for Twitter and Google, will serve as a deputy CTO with a focus on Internet and intellectual property policies and the intersection of big data and privacy. Continue reading President Obama Names Two Googlers to Fill Key Tech Posts

Growing Success of E-Sports Draws Attention of Advertisers

Over 70 million people watch e-sports over the Internet or on TV worldwide, estimates SuperData Research. ESL, Major League Gaming and other independent game leagues put on dozens of competitions per year. Game tournaments now sell out arenas in the same way that professional sports do, and top players receive incomes in the millions. Professional gamers are now granted visas, just as professional athletes are. And the success of the gaming industry is attracting advertisers worldwide. Continue reading Growing Success of E-Sports Draws Attention of Advertisers

After Google Bows Out, Amazon Moves In to Acquire Twitch

In recent months, we reported that Google was planning to acquire popular streaming platform Twitch.tv for more than $1 billion. However, Google was unable to close the deal, reportedly due to concern over antitrust issues related to its streaming video site YouTube. It looks like Google’s loss is now Amazon’s gain. Yesterday, Amazon confirmed that it is purchasing San Francisco-based Twitch, which touts more than 50 million monthly users, for approximately $970 million in cash. Continue reading After Google Bows Out, Amazon Moves In to Acquire Twitch

Piracy: Google Faces One Million Removal Requests Per Day

In a new first, Google claims that it now processes an average of one million pirate link removal requests per day. Copyright holders are reporting more infringing search results and overloading Google with DMCA takedown notices in an effort to combat growing piracy. During the second quarter of this year, “Game of Thrones” episodes were downloaded from P2P networks worldwide nearly 299 million times. Australia, Brazil and the U.S. lead in the number of shows downloaded. Continue reading Piracy: Google Faces One Million Removal Requests Per Day

Teens Shifting From Traditional TV Content to Online Videos

Nielsen reports that the number of hours people ages 12 to 17 watch traditional television has dropped seven percent in the last five years, indicating that teens watch less television than any other age group. Meanwhile, over 75 percent of this age group use Facebook and 25 percent use Instagram. Recent statistics have highlighted a shift in younger viewers’ habits from traditional television programming to digital short form content such as YouTube, Vine and Instagram videos. Continue reading Teens Shifting From Traditional TV Content to Online Videos

N3twork App Curates Online Videos into Personalized Channels

N3twork (pronounced “network”) is a new app hoping to make video discovery a little easier by organizing online videos into channels, similar to those found on traditional TV. These channels, though, are personalized using data from the users. On each video, the viewer has the option to swipe right to save for viewing later, swipe left to skip, or tap to watch. The service pulls video from an estimated 6,500 different online sources, and users can also upload their own videos. Continue reading N3twork App Curates Online Videos into Personalized Channels

Netflix Signs Paid Peering Deal with TWC for Faster Streaming

Time Warner Cable signed a direct interconnection deal with Netflix, which makes it the fourth of the biggest ISPs to sign such an agreement with the video service. The deal should improve the Netflix experience for TWC broadband subscribers. Netflix signed similar deals with AT&T, Comcast and Verizon in recent months after fighting with the providers. Despite signing the paid peering agreements, Netflix continues to argue before the FCC and publicly that such arrangements violate net neutrality. Continue reading Netflix Signs Paid Peering Deal with TWC for Faster Streaming

Simple.tv Users Can Now Share Recorded Content with Friends

Connected DVR maker Simple.tv now provides users with the ability to offer friends and family members access to their recorded television shows and movies. Simple.tv’s DVR for cord cutters now enables guest passes so that others can access DVR recordings over the Internet via Simple.tv’s Web interface, the company’s mobile apps, as well as its Roku app. Guests are restricted to streaming content already recorded; they cannot tune into live TV or schedule additional recordings. Continue reading Simple.tv Users Can Now Share Recorded Content with Friends

YouTube Music Key: Google’s Upcoming Subscription Service

YouTube’s anticipated premium music service will likely cost $10 per month and be called “YouTube Music Key,” although the Google-owned company has yet to confirm. YouTube is already one of the biggest sources for free online music, but since it requires video, it has not taken the place of services such as Beats Music, Rdio or Spotify. The planned premium music service could change that by making the audio easier to access on mobile devices and providing an offline way to hear songs. Continue reading YouTube Music Key: Google’s Upcoming Subscription Service

LinkedIn Sees Bizo Acquisition as Part of Larger B2B Picture

LinkedIn announced last month that it would acquire business marketing startup Bizo for about $175 million. According to a recently unveiled internal document, the move is the latest step toward the company’s goal of entering the expanding B2B marketing space and turning its marketing solutions products into a $1 billion business by 2017. The Bizo acquisition is part of LinkedIn’s plans to become “the most effective online platform for marketers to engage with professionals.” Continue reading LinkedIn Sees Bizo Acquisition as Part of Larger B2B Picture

Google Planning to Offer Accounts to a Younger Demographic

In what could potentially become a controversial move, Google has plans to offer accounts to children under the age of 13 for the first time. Google services such as Gmail and YouTube do not currently offer accounts to kids (although kids can log on anonymously or pose as adults). Now Google is planning a new approach that encourages parents to open accounts for their children, and in the process control how they use Google services and the information that is collected about their kids. Continue reading Google Planning to Offer Accounts to a Younger Demographic

BuzzFeed is Using Investment to Test a Host of New Features

BuzzFeed, which currently draws more than 150 million average monthly viewers, wants to become known for more than its numbered lists popular with Web surfers. To achieve this goal, the startup just closed a $50 million investment from Silicon Valley VC firm Andreessen Horowitz. The investment will be used to develop new content sections for the site, create an in-house incubator for new technologies, and put more resources toward its LA-based video arm, BuzzFeed Motion Pictures. Continue reading BuzzFeed is Using Investment to Test a Host of New Features

CBS to Partner with SVODs for Exclusive Online Programming

CBS is reportedly working on shows intended for Internet distribution only, via services such as Netflix, Hulu or Amazon Instant Video. The new approach would allow CBS to sell its reruns to online video services in addition to new shows for exclusive streaming. During a Q2 earnings call last week, CEO Les Moonves announced that CBS “will be producing more and more shows for more and more outlets, including major streaming companies and other emerging distributors.” Continue reading CBS to Partner with SVODs for Exclusive Online Programming

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