Google Introduces Tokyo to Android Game Vending Machines

Japan has vending machines for a wide array of products — from batteries, beverages and magazines to fresh fruit and vegetables. Google joined the fray this week with the trial introduction of Google Play game-dispensing vending machines. Three different machines will each sell a collection of 18 free-to-play and paid-for titles. Consumers with an NFC-enabled smartphone running Android 4.0 can stop in front of the Parco department store in Tokyo’s Shibuya district to access the games. Continue reading Google Introduces Tokyo to Android Game Vending Machines

Amazon Launches Offline Viewing of Videos on New Kindles

Amazon is launching an offline viewing feature for its Prime Instant Video service on the new line of Kindle devices. The move is an attempt to catch up to Netflix and make the Amazon offering distinct from other subscription video services. Google is planning its own offline video feature for YouTube mobile apps as well. It remains to be seen if offline viewing will be a desired feature in the long term, but Amazon is the first to offer such an option. Continue reading Amazon Launches Offline Viewing of Videos on New Kindles

BitTorrent Targets Music Scene with P2P Publishing Platform

BitTorrent is teaming with DIY service provider Topspin Media, Web video production company The Collective, emerging music magazine The FADER, and digital distribution specialist Cinedigm to launch its publishing platform, BitTorrent Bundles. The company is hoping that its P2P-based direct publishing platform will appeal to musical artists and other creatives and has convinced performers including Madonna to distribute free content through its software. Continue reading BitTorrent Targets Music Scene with P2P Publishing Platform

Target Ticket: Online Video Service with the Family in Mind

Target launched its online video store to the public yesterday, designed to provide parents with family-friendly options for their children. The Target Ticket online storefront goes beyond the standard age-based ratings of other electronic sell-through services by enabling parents to create subaccounts for their children based on various criteria. Target Ticket currently has 30,000 movies and TV shows (for viewers of all ages) available to purchase or rent, download or stream. Continue reading Target Ticket: Online Video Service with the Family in Mind

YouTube Mobile Apps Will Soon Add Offline Viewing Feature

YouTube this week announced a new feature that will soon allow its users to watch video content offline. Starting in November, Google’s YouTube mobile apps will enable users to download content for offline viewing within a 48-hour period following the downloads. While the new feature may be a win for video fans when they are not online, some industry execs speculate that the move will not have much of an impact on total viewing numbers or advertising dollars. Continue reading YouTube Mobile Apps Will Soon Add Offline Viewing Feature

Target to Launch New TV and Movie Service Early Next Month

Target announced it will enter the Internet video business with a new service that will offer customers the ability to purchase or rent TV shows and movies. The Target Ticket service already has approximately 30,000 movie and TV titles available. Although the retailer is entering the digital video market a bit late in the game, the company is betting that Target Ticket will stand out due to its simplicity, parental controls, and access to next-day TV episodes.   Continue reading Target to Launch New TV and Movie Service Early Next Month

BitTorrent Trying Image Change as Legitimate Marketplace

BitTorrent is primarily known for software that makes it easy to download and distribute pirated digital content. It is now attempting to change its negative image. In the past few months, the company has been actively attempting to convince musicians and content makers that it can help them earn money. The company is offering its BitTorrent Bundle as a way to encourage users to download content, and give creators a way to charge for it. Continue reading BitTorrent Trying Image Change as Legitimate Marketplace

MakerBot Merges with Stratasys and Plans 3D Scanner Launch

The 3D printer manufacturer, MakerBot, will begin selling its Digitizer 3D scanner next week for a yet-to-be-announced price. The company first revealed an early prototype of the scanner at the South by Southwest conference. Users will be able to easily scan and distribute scanned image designs that are compatible with most 3D modeling software. In addition, MakerBot officially announced its merger with Israeli 3D printer and manufacturer Stratasys. Continue reading MakerBot Merges with Stratasys and Plans 3D Scanner Launch

Record Ratings and Illegal Download Spike for ‘Breaking Bad’

The final season of AMC’s “Breaking Bad” debuted with its best ever rating of 5.9 million viewers. Part of the high ratings can be attributed to Netflix, where subscribers can watch all previous episodes of the series, providing new viewers with a way to catch up prior to the new season. Along with the high ratings, there was a spike in illegal downloads of “Breaking Bad” episodes. This occurred despite the show being made available within hours across global regions. Continue reading Record Ratings and Illegal Download Spike for ‘Breaking Bad’

Comcast Pitching Anti-Piracy Alternative to Copyright Alert

Cable operator Comcast is developing a new approach to combating piracy that would convert illegal downloads to legal transaction opportunities. The approach would be an alternative to the Copyright Alert System, or “six strikes” voluntary initiative, currently supported by leading programmers, distributors and studios affiliated with the MPAA. Comcast is pitching its plans to film and television executives in hopes of getting major content companies and distributors on board. Continue reading Comcast Pitching Anti-Piracy Alternative to Copyright Alert

Audiam Finds New Ways to Pay Indie Musicians via YouTube

“Love Doctor,” a two-minute acid jazz instrumental is used in about 1,500 YouTube videos that do not pay for the rights to do so. The composer, Scott Schreer, has been working with New York startup Audiam in an effort to share in the advertising revenue associated with the videos. While serving as the Audiam test case, “Love Doctor” and Schreer’s library of 1,700 songs are generating about $30,000 per month for their use on the video site. Continue reading Audiam Finds New Ways to Pay Indie Musicians via YouTube

App Store Has Revolutionized the Mobile Device Experience

Apple’s App Store launched in 2008 for iPhone users to find and download apps. It has provided consumers with a great opportunity to personalize their mobile device experience, while launching a new economy where individual developers and larger companies can promote and sell their apps and services. The App Store has changed how software is purchased and distributed — and as a result, has led to a defining transition in personal computing. Continue reading App Store Has Revolutionized the Mobile Device Experience

DRM News: Now You Can Own the Digital Comics You Purchase

Image Comics, publisher of the best-selling comic book “The Walking Dead,” is now selling its comics as direct digital downloads, allowing the user to own DRM-free copies. It is the first major comic publisher to move away from the current model of downloading via licensing. Despite industry concerns regarding piracy and loss of revenue, Image Comics sees digital ownership as an opportunity for increased sales and distribution. Continue reading DRM News: Now You Can Own the Digital Comics You Purchase

Feature Film Makes Day-and-Date Debut on Vimeo On Demand

The release of “Some Girl(s)” marks Vimeo On Demand’s first foray into day-and-date releases. The film was directed by Daisy von Scherler Mayer and written by Neil LaBute, who adapted the script from his own stage play. The film’s “path to viewers through Vimeo On Demand is a highly-visible milestone in the growing direct‑to-consumer distribution movement, as Hollywood and independent creators alike look to bring films to market with greater speed and flexibility,” suggests the press release. Continue reading Feature Film Makes Day-and-Date Debut on Vimeo On Demand

Google All Access: Potential Impact of Another Music Service

Google unveiled its All Access streaming music service at this week’s I/O developers conference in San Francisco. The service, viewed as a potential competitor to Spotify, also has some musicians concerned about a future in which music listeners choose subscriptions to access music libraries rather than paying to download individual songs. Industry execs, labels and artists are debating the pros and cons of cloud-based music distribution. Continue reading Google All Access: Potential Impact of Another Music Service