Amazon Releases Fling SDK, New Competition for Chromecast

Amazon’s new Fling SDK helps mobile developers create second screen and Cast-like functionality for iOS and Android apps, essentially simplifying the “network discovery and communication technologies” around Fire TV, according to the company. “Flinging” (Amazon’s version of Chromecast’s “casting”) is a means of sending video, audio or images from an app to a television screen via the Fire TV player. Amazon is targeting developers already using Chromecast by offering the ability to integrate Amazon’s SDK with existing Chromecast apps. Continue reading Amazon Releases Fling SDK, New Competition for Chromecast

Legit Creates Personalized Watchlist for Movies and TV Shows

An app called Legit is launching as a universal guide for finding movies and TV shows across streaming and other services. It is presently focusing on content available via Amazon, Hulu, iTunes, Netflix, YouTube and in theaters. Apps that track where shows can be found on various services already exist, but Legit’s distinguishing feature is that it provides more personal and relevant recommendations by comparing a user’s tastes with those of his/her Facebook friends, based on how they’ve rated different content. Continue reading Legit Creates Personalized Watchlist for Movies and TV Shows

Google Amps Up Competition with Free Version of Play Music

A week before Apple was set to unveil its streaming music service, Google came out with a free, albeit limited, version of Play Music, which began as a $9.99-a-month subscription service in 2013. Google is offering the service to lure more listeners to its subscription version, which loses potential customers when they are asked to input credit card information. Whether this strategy pays off is unclear, and some industry analysts wonder if Google is cannibalizing its own services or amping up its music creds in a competitive streaming music environment. Continue reading Google Amps Up Competition with Free Version of Play Music

Discovery Acquires European Rights to Four Olympic Games

In a deal valued at 1.3 billion euros (about $1.45 billion), Discovery Communications has paid for exclusive rights to broadcast four Olympic Games across most of Europe from 2018 to 2024. The rights include broadcast and pay TV, the Internet and mobile. The deal, announced by Discovery yesterday, marks the first time that a single media company has paid for exclusive rights to broadcast the Olympics across Europe. Discovery plans to make at least 200 hours of the Summer Olympics and 100 hours of the Winter Games available on free-to-air television. Continue reading Discovery Acquires European Rights to Four Olympic Games

Google Offers New Tool to Help Site Visitors Discover Content

Google is now offering Web publishers free access to Matched content, a product for publishers to promote their content to site visitors through means of recommendations found on Web pages. The tool consolidates relevant content from a publisher’s site and displays it at the bottom of Web pages where it appears as a headline embedded with a direct link. Google claims the new product could help publishers generate more page views and make it easier for visitors to discover new content. Continue reading Google Offers New Tool to Help Site Visitors Discover Content

Twitter Homepage Redesign Intends to Increase Visitor Count

In an effort to increase the number of visitors to its site, Twitter has redesigned its homepage, allowing visitors to view content they would otherwise not have access to unless they were logged in. With about 200 million monthly visitors, Twitter wants to improve user engagement by adding a section to its homepage where users can view the most trending tweets or viral content as sorted into different categories such as “Business News,” or “TV Shows & Stars.” Continue reading Twitter Homepage Redesign Intends to Increase Visitor Count

Fan TV App Offers TV and Movie Discovery for Cord Cutters

Fan TV has launched a revamped mobile app that works as a discovery engine to help users keep track of the TV shows and movies they want to watch via streaming services or as paid downloads. To find a show or movie, users simply search the title and the app runs a query across the 44 different services that it tracks. If not readily available, the search is stored and users receive an update at a later date when a title has become available. The company also has a $149 device with a touch remote that combines live TV, VOD and streaming services. Continue reading Fan TV App Offers TV and Movie Discovery for Cord Cutters

Sony Rolls Out PlayStation Vue Streaming Television Service

Sony has joined the growing array of new streaming TV offerings with the three-city rollout of its PlayStation Vue Web-based streaming service. The $49.99 per month service will initially be available to PlayStation 4 and PlayStation 3 users in Chicago, New York and Philadelphia. It will eventually expand to other regions and be available on the iPad. PlayStation Vue offers a bundle including 50+ channels such as CBS, Discovery, Fox, NBC, TBS and USA. It also features a personalized, searchable approach to access live and on-demand TV. Continue reading Sony Rolls Out PlayStation Vue Streaming Television Service

Dish Has Plans to Offer a $200 Advanced Touchscreen Remote

As more people cut the cord and abandon their pay TV plans, Dish Network believes it can retain customers by offering a new remote control that promises to help people find what they want to watch. Startup Ray Enterprises is already working with Dish to make its advanced remote control compatible with Dish Network’s Hopper DVR. The $200 touchscreen remote includes search and recommendation features and the ability to control other devices connected to the TV. Continue reading Dish Has Plans to Offer a $200 Advanced Touchscreen Remote

Studies Show Listeners Still Turn to Radio for Music Discovery

Despite the rise of online streaming music services, the “local nature” of radio makes it the most popular platform for music discovery. According to Nielsen, some 243 million people still tune in to radio each week and 51 percent of listeners use radio to discover new music. That’s more than the number of people that find new music on services like YouTube or Spotify, but many music consumers use a combination of both traditional radio and online services to listen to their favorite tunes. Continue reading Studies Show Listeners Still Turn to Radio for Music Discovery

Shazam Revamps its Mobile App with Improved Music Features

With the launch of a new mobile app, Shazam hopes its latest features will increase the average time people spend using the app. The new features will allow users to see what songs are being searched for the most globally. Additionally, users will now have access to a stream of content such as articles and Twitter posts about different artists and songs. Also worth noting is that Spotify users will have the option to add the music they discover on Shazam to a Spotify playlist without leaving the app. Continue reading Shazam Revamps its Mobile App with Improved Music Features

New eBay App Intends to Improve Mobile Shopping Experience

E-commerce service eBay has remodeled its mobile app to meet the shopping preferences and habits of its customers. The company is starting with a new app for the iPad available now in anticipation of the holiday shopping season. The iPad app displays a page of curated content that reflects a user’s current and previous item views in addition to a list of recommendations to match user preferences. Collectively, the page is a Pinterest-like display of new items to discover and buy. Continue reading New eBay App Intends to Improve Mobile Shopping Experience

Fastest Camera Ever Captures 100 Billion Frames per Second

Researchers at Washington University in St. Louis have created a camera that can capture how light moves as it goes through and around objects. The camera may be used to observe body processes, study quantum phenomena, and eventually develop invisibility cloaks. Compressed Ultrafast Photography (CUP), as the technique is known, achieves an incredible speed by converting photons to electrons and recording the time and space data needed to create an image. Continue reading Fastest Camera Ever Captures 100 Billion Frames per Second

Google Plans Initiative to Build Products for Ages 12 and Under

Google has confirmed that it plans to develop kid-friendly versions of some of its more popular products next year. While Google has yet to release specific details about the initiative, many predict that Chrome and YouTube will be among those products redesigned for children 12 and younger. Google understands that kids are among those most active on the Internet, so it hopes to create Web-related products and services that are deemed appropriate for their use. Continue reading Google Plans Initiative to Build Products for Ages 12 and Under

Comcast Updates X1, Critics Concerned About Net Neutrality

Comcast introduced a new version of its television operating system, X1, at a media event in San Francisco on Wednesday. The system runs apps, records content to the cloud, and personalizes recommendations for users. The remote control features voice command, and the software also allows users to summon a technician to fix a problem if needed. These advanced technologies bring criticism that Comcast could become a gatekeeper of TV content, thereby violating net neutrality in the process. Continue reading Comcast Updates X1, Critics Concerned About Net Neutrality

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