Mark Cuban’s Fireside Acquires Stremium to Gain TV Access

Fireside, a streaming platform co-founded by Mark Cuban and Falon Fatemi, has acquired Stremium, which it will use to leverage Fireside onto Amazon Fire TV, Roku and other connected smart TV devices. Fireside is a streaming app that offers members an opportunity to interact with the platform’s founding talent, including Jay Leno, Craig Kilborn, Melissa Rivers and “Entourage” creator Doug Ellin as they appear live on their Fireside networks or shows. Stremium is a cloud DVR and live TV platform that lets consumers link their live channel providers through a single portal. Continue reading Mark Cuban’s Fireside Acquires Stremium to Gain TV Access

Google, Amazon Reach an Accord in OS Battle for Smart TVs

Google and Amazon have struck a deal to end simmering hostilities over a battle for control of smart TVs. After a particularly damning report by the Competition Commission of India last week, Amazon announced that TCL — a major player in the drama — will this fall release in Europe two new models equipped with Amazon Fire TV software. The new pax has also paved the way for Amazon to work with consumer electronics companies including Hisense, Xiaomi, and more, who were previously forbidden from using the Amazon OS under Google’s licensing terms. Continue reading Google, Amazon Reach an Accord in OS Battle for Smart TVs

Dish Network Sets Shutdown Date for Sling Media’s Slingbox

Slingbox, the pioneering streaming device from Sling Media, will be permanently taken offline on November 9. The “place-shifting” technology that let people take pay-TV programming with them on mobile devices (and helped foster Internet streaming), is being shelved by parent Dish Network, which announced the shutdown in 2020. Sling Media was founded in 2004 and purchased by Dish parent EchoStar three years later for $380 million. Although the Slingbox was deemed “revolutionary,” it never achieved mass adoption, ultimately getting displaced by content-focused streamers like Netflix and YouTube. But some Sling tech continues to be used by the industry. Continue reading Dish Network Sets Shutdown Date for Sling Media’s Slingbox

Conviva: Streaming Growth Surges in Asia and Latin America

Streaming analytics firm Conviva reports that the global streaming market grew 14 percent in Q2 2022 as compared to the same period last year. Asia and Latin America drove the growth, vaulting 90 percent and 70 percent, respectively. The quarterly Conviva State of Streaming Report noted that North America, the most mature streaming market in the world, grew a modest 5 percent year over year. “As the global streaming industry matures, streaming success is getting more complicated,” Conviva reports, citing as factors device fragmentation and heightened quality expectations in an increasingly ad-supported streaming world. Continue reading Conviva: Streaming Growth Surges in Asia and Latin America

YouTube Shorts Will Be Available on Living Room TV Screens

YouTube is laying the groundwork to bring its YouTube Shorts to Google TV and Android TV. While the company’s take on TikTok’s vertically framed, quick-hit content has been enormously successful — racking-up as many as 30 billion views in one day on mobile devices this year — there is as yet no dedicated TV support for the phone-first format. That’s about to change according to reports filtering out of an internal partner event. While the meeting centered on Alphabet’s own smart TV formats, as a content-provider YouTube’s past practices have tended to platform agnosticism. Continue reading YouTube Shorts Will Be Available on Living Room TV Screens

Plex Goes Social for Content Discovery, Adds Music Channels

Free streaming media service Plex is testing a new community-oriented feature called Discover Together that lets users add friends and keep tabs on their favorite programs, viewing their ratings and bookmarks. In addition to enhancing engagement by prompting online discussions, Plex hopes the crowd-sourced community data can eventually help power its recommendation engine. The idea is for Discover Together to launch with a high degree of privacy, inviting users to fill out Plex profiles with their geographic location and Plex Pass status, extending individual friend invites using a Plex username or email. The feature is currently in beta for web, iOS and Android users. Continue reading Plex Goes Social for Content Discovery, Adds Music Channels

NESN Is First Regional Sportscaster Offering DTC Streaming

Regional Sports Network NESN is launching a subscription streaming service called NESN 360 for $29.99 per month, with the first month priced at $1. NESN 360 allows fans to purchase a direct subscription to NESN’s live programming and video-on-demand content. Launched in partnership with the Boston Red Sox, the Boston Bruins and Major League Baseball, NESN 360 makes NESN the first regional sports network in the country to launch a direct-to-consumer service bypassing cable. Annual subscriptions are priced at $329.99 and include eight tickets to see the Red Sox play in 2022. Continue reading NESN Is First Regional Sportscaster Offering DTC Streaming

Google Says Android TV at 110 Million, Adds Central Casting

Google TV is working on an app that will let users cast content from multiple streaming services to a central TV or display. A new “central casting” button announced at the Google I/O developer conference will later this year allow the Google TV app on Android phones or tablets to send content from a variety of different streaming services to your TV through a single app. The Alphabet unit also updated statistics for its Android TV ecosystem, detailing 110 million monthly active devices using the Android TV OS, which includes Google TV. That’s an increase from 2021’s 80 million monthly active devices. Continue reading Google Says Android TV at 110 Million, Adds Central Casting

New Plex Features Help Viewers Navigate Streaming Services

Further to its goal of becoming a sort of Google-with-benefits for viewers who stream TV shows and movies across multiple platforms, Plex is reformatting its welcome screen to include a discover feature, universal search and universal watchlists. Rolling out in beta, the new Plex interface offers what amounts to personalized search-and-save “across virtually any streaming service,” from Plex’s own free movies and television series to subscription services like Netflix, Disney+ and HBO Max. “As of today, Plex searches, personalizes, and organizes all of your content, no matter where that content lives,” the company announced. Continue reading New Plex Features Help Viewers Navigate Streaming Services

ABC Announces Launch of 8 Local Streaming News Channels

ABC Owned Television Stations, a division of Disney, announced it is launching free 24/7 live and local streaming news services in the eight markets where its stations are located. As brand extensions of New York’s WABC, LA’s KABC, San Francisco’s KGO, Fresno’s KFSN, Philadelphia’s WPVI, Chicago’s WLS, Houston’s KTRK and Raleigh-Durham’s WTVD, the streaming news channels will serve local news and weather, breaking news and lifestyle stories from ABC’s multiplatform Localish as well as exclusive content. The streaming channels will be available via websites, mobile apps, Roku TV, Apple TV, Amazon Fire TV, Android TV and more. Continue reading ABC Announces Launch of 8 Local Streaming News Channels

CES: Atmosphere Brings TikTok Mobile Video to New Venues

Atmosphere — a startup that curates streamed video content for commercial venues including Westin Hotels & Resorts, Taco Bell and Texas Roadhouse restaurants, as well as gyms, spas, airports and other places people congregate — has entered into a deal with TikTok to offer clients a channel programmed with the popular app’s short-form clips. The offering will be distinct from TikTok TV, launched in November as the mobile app’s first dedicated foray onto television screens and now available via Amazon Fire TV, LG and Samsung smart TVs, Google TV and other Android TV devices. Continue reading CES: Atmosphere Brings TikTok Mobile Video to New Venues

Comcast Launching XiOne Streaming Device and XClass TVs

Comcast is upping its hardware play, launching a branded wireless streaming device, the XiOne, and offering TVs running its own software, dubbed XClass in the U.S. The cable giant plans to make XiOne its branded global platform. Comcast describes XiOne as a plug-and-play device with faster processing, more memory and a voice-activated remote. It supports Dolby Atmos, Dolby Vision, Wi-Fi 6, 4K UHD and HDR. XiOne boxes are currently available in Italy and Germany to some subscribers of Sky Q, which Comcast owns. Comcast has begun introducing the devices in the U.S. to customers using older boxes.  Continue reading Comcast Launching XiOne Streaming Device and XClass TVs

Amazon Readies Launch of Fire TV Sets with Alexa Assistant

E-commerce giant Amazon is readying the October launch of its own Fire TV sets featuring its Alexa voice assistant. The Amazon Fire TV Omni Series 4K, which starts at $409.99, and the Amazon Fire TV 4-Series 4K, which starts at $369.99, will be available on Amazon’s website and at Best Buy stores. Toshiba and Insignia, Best Buy’s house brand, have sold TVs powered by Amazon’s Fire TV operating system, the latter since 2018. Amazon adds TVs to its other branded products including clothing, groceries and even batteries. Continue reading Amazon Readies Launch of Fire TV Sets with Alexa Assistant

FOX’s Tubi Plans to Expand Sports Programming in the U.S.

FOX is introducing a sports content hub on its free streaming service Tubi. “Sports on Tubi” will add 10 live-streaming sports channels to its existing offerings, including FOX Sports, FOX Deportes, NFL, MLB, beIN Sports Xtra and beIN Sports Xtra en Español, Fubo Sports Network, Pac-12 Insider, Stadium and USA Today SportsWire, as well as channels for the ACC and Real Madrid later this year. The channels, which will only be available in the United States, will debut first on Amazon Fire TV and Roku and Android devices. Continue reading FOX’s Tubi Plans to Expand Sports Programming in the U.S.

Vizio Upgrades Content, Navigation, Discovery for WatchFree

Vizio refreshed its WatchFree+ streaming service (that now sports a plus sign) with a new look, customized recommendations and new navigation features to improve search and discovery. Also on tap is a programming guide with hundreds of free channels across multiple genres and a “featured” category for seasonal content, themed collections, pop-up channels for limited time programming and Vizio-exclusive custom-curated channels including Fork and Flight for food and travel and Investigation for true-crime shows. Continue reading Vizio Upgrades Content, Navigation, Discovery for WatchFree