Google Launches In-App Search, Retains Control of Android

Just when it looked like Samsung was taking over Android, Google swooped in with a new in-app search function, as well as app content in mobile search results, for Android users. In the next few days or so, the features will be available not only for phones using the recently released Android 4.4, or Kit Kat, but also for older Android models within Google’s Search app. Google partnered up with Expedia, Trulia, Etsy and about nine other apps for the launch. Continue reading Google Launches In-App Search, Retains Control of Android

Simple.TV’s DVR Delivers Live Streaming to Mobile Devices

Simple.TV’s streaming DVR will be coming to the U.S. on December 12th, with recording and live streaming available for local devices, as well as TV delivered to Android and iOS apps. The $250 DVR supports several browsers and Roku players, and may even offer a Windows Phone app down the road. With options for premium services, TV-loving consumers who like to catch up with shows on-the-go will appreciate the added features. Continue reading Simple.TV’s DVR Delivers Live Streaming to Mobile Devices

TV App i.TV Acquires GetGlue for Powerful Social TV Platform

In an effort to create a more powerful second screen and social TV platform, i.TV has acquired the popular check-in service GetGlue. The i.TV app for iOS and Android is the most downloaded TV guide and discovery app with 15 million subscribers, and has been working to build up its backend. Now, with GetGlue’s more than 4.5 million users, the company plans on giving users a well-rounded platform on which they can get more recommendations for their entertainment. Continue reading TV App i.TV Acquires GetGlue for Powerful Social TV Platform

3D Printing: Mass Market Retail May Be in Serious Trouble

Having an efficient supply chain used to be enough for retailers to be successful (think Walmart). And with the advent of advanced analytics, it became possible for companies to suggest products or to provide add-ons (think Amazon). However, these techniques may become obsolete, as 3D printing and robotic manufacturing take over centralized production. It is not likely that a single company will capitalize on this, for we are now entering the ascendancy of design. Continue reading 3D Printing: Mass Market Retail May Be in Serious Trouble

Home Entertainment Branding: Studios Adopt Digital Monikers

Hollywood studios adopted new terminology this week in home entertainment sell-through branding that will soon appear across marketing and communication efforts. The terms “Digital HD” and “Digital” will be used to package digital versions of filmed entertainment and television content. According to the Digital Entertainment Group, the branding intends to enhance the value of digital home entertainment offerings and offer consistency for consumers. Continue reading Home Entertainment Branding: Studios Adopt Digital Monikers

Musicians Using Pop-Up Stores to Generate Buzz for Albums

Musical acts looking to attract greater attention around the time of an album release are opening “pop-up” stores, which are temporary venues that seem to surface out of nowhere. They most often are constructed in an urban location, typically in an already existing retail store of some kind, and sometimes close after only 24 hours. Various artists, such as One Direction and Bob Dylan, have recently used pop-up stores to promote music and sell merchandise to fans. Continue reading Musicians Using Pop-Up Stores to Generate Buzz for Albums

NASA Sets Data Transmission Record Between Earth and Moon

NASA’s Lunar Laser Communication Demonstration (LLCD) uses a pulsed laser beam to transmit data from Earth to the moon. The record-setting laser recently made history by sending data 239,000 miles at a download speed of 622 megabits per second (Mbps). Radio frequency has been the main method of communication, but does not have the data capacity and speed of laser. If the laser program is successful, NASA plans to use it on future missions. Continue reading NASA Sets Data Transmission Record Between Earth and Moon

YouTube to Launch New Premium On-Demand Music Service

According to inside sources, YouTube is readying a premium on-demand music service expected to launch later this year. The new YouTube offering, designed with mobile listening in mind, would be similar to a service such as Spotify, but include video. It is expected to be tiered with a free ad-supported option and a premium component that features unlimited access to a full catalog of tracks, similar to what Google offers with its All Access subscription music service. Continue reading YouTube to Launch New Premium On-Demand Music Service

‘Breaking Bad’ Creator Credits Illegal Downloads for Popularity

Vince Gilligan, the creator of the Emmy-winning series “Breaking Bad,” told BBC in a recent interview that he attributed the show’s following in part to illegal downloads. The dramatic final episode was downloaded illegally more than 500,000 times in just 12 hours — the show’s most pirated episode, according to Variety. But Gilligan also says those downloads negatively affected the people who worked on the show and earned them less money as a result. Continue reading ‘Breaking Bad’ Creator Credits Illegal Downloads for Popularity

Music Downloads on the Decline Thanks to Streaming Services

Music downloads are on the decline, and many music executives agree that streaming services like Pandora and Spotify are likely a major cause. So far, 2013 has seen 1.01 billion track downloads in the U.S. — four percent less than this time last year. Album downloads are up two percent, however, bringing the total downfall to one percent. Streaming services, meanwhile, have seen a revenue increase of 59 percent since last year. Continue reading Music Downloads on the Decline Thanks to Streaming Services

Should the Film Industry Embrace Piracy-Related Technologies?

An article in MIT Technology Review this week looks at the history and trends involving content distribution and suggests that Hollywood should consider adopting methods that are similar to those related to media piracy. While efforts to combat piracy continue, some question the perceived impact of file-sharing and other techniques, suggesting the film industry might be better served by adopting new ways to distribute its content and gain potential exposure. Continue reading Should the Film Industry Embrace Piracy-Related Technologies?

Overlap Emerging Between Free-to-Play and Console Games

Although competition is fierce, developers of both free-to-play games and console games are trying to compromise and attract a wider range of gamers. Both sides see an opportunity to bridge the gap with a new generation of game consoles from Microsoft and Sony. Free-to-play games can attract a demographic of casual gamers to the console, while consoles provide a new gateway to loyal gamers with a tendency to spend heavily on video games. Continue reading Overlap Emerging Between Free-to-Play and Console Games

DRM Integration Into HTML5 Concerns Open Web Advocates

While many are in favor of DRM being integrated into HTML5, some open Web advocates are concerned that the integration will eventually lead to third parties controlling too much of our online browsing. Tim Berners-Lee suggests that allowing content protection may be needed for standards to combat the rise of proprietary platforms. Meanwhile, mobile operating systems such as Firefox OS will be DRM-free. Also, some TV networks and performers are selling their content without digital restrictions. Continue reading DRM Integration Into HTML5 Concerns Open Web Advocates

Canadian Exhibitor Bundles Movie Admission and Home Video

Canadian movie exhibitor Cineplex launched its SuperTicket service this summer that bundles admission to a theater screening with a digital copy of the same film, delivered electronically months later. The package costs more than twice as much as a ticket to see the movie in a theater. The company experimented with SuperTicket deals for three films: “The Smurfs 2,” “Pacific Rim,” and “Kick-Ass 2.” While the approach could be a remedy for declining DVD sales, it remains unclear whether fans will pay in advance for a digital copy. Continue reading Canadian Exhibitor Bundles Movie Admission and Home Video

Facebook Targets Neglected Mobile Apps with New Ad Service

Facebook announced a new ad service this week that addresses the problem of neglected mobile apps. The service enables companies and developers to distribute targeted ads that remind consumers to open apps on smartphones that have been downloaded, but are rarely used. Facebook hopes to generate new revenue by targeting mobile app neglect. The company has already built a business to help companies get their apps discovered and downloaded; its app discovery ads have 145 million downloads. Continue reading Facebook Targets Neglected Mobile Apps with New Ad Service