Music Streaming Up 42 Percent While Digital Downloads Fall

Streaming is the new face of digital music consumption, according to Nielsen’s 2014 Mid-Year Music Industry Report. In the U.S., on-demand streaming was up 42 percent from last year with over 70 billion songs (audio and video) streamed in the first half of 2014. Digital track downloads fell 13 percent to 593.6 million, compared with 682.2 million last year. The entire music industry’s sales, including albums, streaming, and downloads, dropped 3.3 percent. Continue reading Music Streaming Up 42 Percent While Digital Downloads Fall

Facebook Pursues Video Advertising with LiveRail Acquisition

Facebook announced Wednesday that it will acquire ad technology firm LiveRail, furthering its efforts with effective video advertising. LiveRail, sometimes referred to as a “supply side” platform, helps media companies sell video ads programmatically. The company currently works with clients such as A&E, Univision, MLB and BET. Facebook believes that the LiveRail acquisition will eventually lead to better video ads that are more relevant to its community. Continue reading Facebook Pursues Video Advertising with LiveRail Acquisition

Google Acquires Songza: Music Service with Focus on Context

Google is buying online radio service Songza for an undisclosed amount, in a move that could lead to increased competition with Apple, Amazon and others. The Pandora-like service anticipates the kinds of songs users want to hear with contextual playlists, a model that could be key to a future focused on the Internet of Things. The deal comes after Apple purchased Beats Music, Amazon launched its Prime Music service, and Google’s own YouTube readies a music service for this summer. Continue reading Google Acquires Songza: Music Service with Focus on Context

Social Television: Twitter Acquires Video Platform SnappyTV

Twitter acquired SnappyTV last week, a video editing platform that helps TV networks and cable channels share their video clips on social media. SnappyTV already has Twitter data built into its platform, and Twitter plans to further integrate SnappyTV with Twitter Amplify, which distributes video clips and ads across Twitter feeds. The acquisition marks Twitter’s next step in its social television strategy, shortly after losing two top execs who served as champions of the initiative. Continue reading Social Television: Twitter Acquires Video Platform SnappyTV

Connected Home: Google’s Nest Agrees to Acquire Dropcam

As part of its push to become the dominant OS for connected devices in and around the home, Google’s Nest Labs will purchase Dropcam for $555 million. Dropcam’s Web-connected video-monitoring service streams live to mobile apps and sends alerts based on activity in the home. Google acquired Nest, founded by Apple designers Matt Rogers and Tony Fadell, earlier this year for $3.2 billion. The acquisition of Dropcam is expected to generate privacy concerns. Continue reading Connected Home: Google’s Nest Agrees to Acquire Dropcam

Google’s Skybox Purchase is About More Than Satellite Images

By 2016, Skybox Imaging will use six satellites to capture daily images of the Earth. By 2018, the company plans to launch 24 satellites, imaging the entire planet with exceptional resolution. Google’s acquisition of Skybox for $500 million will allow the Internet company to use these satellites to provide faster online access to high-quality images. The deal, in the long run, is also expected to improve Internet access and assist with disaster relief. It could also collect new levels of information on people and companies. Continue reading Google’s Skybox Purchase is About More Than Satellite Images

AT&T Could Offer its Customers DirecTV’s NFL Sunday Ticket

With AT&T’s $49 billion planned acquisition of DirecTV, the phone company may offer NFL Sunday Ticket programming to its wireless customers. Sunday Ticket, a premium service that allows DirecTV customers to watch out-of-market NFL games, also allows users to stream to mobile devices at an extra cost. If AT&T is able to extend Sunday Ticket to its customers, it would further compete with Verizon, which already has streaming rights to Sunday, Monday and Thursday night football games. Continue reading AT&T Could Offer its Customers DirecTV’s NFL Sunday Ticket

Sprint Edges Closer to a $32 Billion Deal for Rival T-Mobile

SoftBank’s Sprint unit is reportedly poised to make a $32 billion offer to acquire T-Mobile that could take place early this summer. According to people familiar with the matter, the two telecoms have agreed on the broad outlines of a merger, but are still working on a formal contract. If completed and approved, the deal would combine the country’s third- and fourth-largest wireless operators, and potentially establish stronger competition for industry leaders Verizon and AT&T. Continue reading Sprint Edges Closer to a $32 Billion Deal for Rival T-Mobile

Apple to Buy Beats for $3 Billion: Largest Deal in its History

Apple announced yesterday that it has agreed to purchase Beats Electronics for $3 billion, in a deal that is expected to help the tech giant better compete with subscription-based music services. As anticipated based on earlier reports, Apple will offer the Beats streaming music service, built on curated playlists, and its premium headphones under a separate Beats brand, while the iTunes music store and streaming radio platform will be offered alongside the Beats music service. The Beats deal marks the largest acquisition in Apple’s history. Continue reading Apple to Buy Beats for $3 Billion: Largest Deal in its History

Google Tablet Prototype Touts Advanced Vision Capabilities

The team behind Google’s Project Tango research initiative has reportedly developed a tablet with advanced vision capabilities. The tablet is said to have a 7-inch screen, two back cameras, infrared depth sensors, and advanced software that can capture precise 3D images. Google expects to produce 4,000 prototype tablets beginning next month. Similar to its recent introduction of a smartphone with advanced vision capabilities, Google plans to initially offer the prototype to developers. Continue reading Google Tablet Prototype Touts Advanced Vision Capabilities

AT&T-DirecTV Deal May Hinge on NFL Sunday Games Rights

Telecom giant AT&T is poised to acquire DirecTV for $49 billion, but that deal could fall through if DirecTV fails to renew its “Sunday Ticket” offering with the NFL. The current DirecTV deal with the NFL, which allows the satellite company to broadcast all out-of-market NFL football games on Sunday afternoons to TVs and mobile devices, expires at the end of the 2014 football season. AT&T hopes to become a major broadcasting partner of the NFL with the acquisition of DirecTV. Continue reading AT&T-DirecTV Deal May Hinge on NFL Sunday Games Rights

FCC Faces Busy Year of Acquisitions, Auctions and Regulation

The following is on the schedule for the Federal Communications Commission: whether to approve or block AT&T’s newly announced $49 billion acquisition of DirecTV, whether to allow Comcast’s proposed $45 billion purchase of Time Warner Cable, establish rules for next year’s auction of TV airwaves to wireless carriers, and determine whether and/or how to regulate the way broadband providers treat traffic over networks (and possibly face a busier calendar if Sprint makes a bid for T-Mobile). Continue reading FCC Faces Busy Year of Acquisitions, Auctions and Regulation

Pay TV: AT&T Agrees to Purchase DirecTV in $49 Billion Deal

AT&T has agreed to acquire DirecTV for $49 billion. The two companies’ boards approved the agreement yesterday. The deal, which comes just three months after Comcast’s $45 billion agreement to purchase Time Warner Cable, will create a new pay TV giant as video consumption continues to move online. Combining AT&T and DirecTV would result in a company with 26 million pay TV subscribers in the U.S., second only to Comcast and Time Warner Cable if regulators approve their deal. Continue reading Pay TV: AT&T Agrees to Purchase DirecTV in $49 Billion Deal

YouTube in Talks to Acquire Video Game Streaming Site Twitch

Google-owned YouTube is reportedly in active discussions to purchase live video-game streaming service Twitch. While Variety indicates a deal has already been reached for more than $1 billion, The Wall Street Journal more conservatively reports that the two companies are in talks, but in the early stages of a potential deal. Twitch was launched in 2011 by Justin Kan and Emmett Shear, the co-founders of Justin.tv, which was one of the first sites to live-stream user-generated video. Continue reading YouTube in Talks to Acquire Video Game Streaming Site Twitch

Video Equipment Rentals Plans to Acquire Cameron Pace Group

Journalist and ETCentric contributor Adrian Pennington forwarded us news that Los Angeles-based Video Equipment Rentals (VER) will purchase 3D film and television leader CAMERON PACE Group (CPG). Led by James Cameron and Vince Pace, CPG is an innovator in 3D technologies and production services, including the FUSION 3D workflow system. VER, with headquarters in Glendale, California, has dozens of locations across the United States, Canada and Europe. Continue reading Video Equipment Rentals Plans to Acquire Cameron Pace Group

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