New Samsung Smartwatch to Use Tizen Rather Than Android

Amidst the rapid growth of the wearables market, Samsung intends to bypass Google’s Android operating system in favor of the Tizen OS for its new version of the Samsung Gear smartwatch. Hoping to avoid giving Android the same boost it received in the smartphone and tablet markets, Samsung is aiming to develop more of its own software and services. Samsung is expected to unveil the updated Gear smartwatch along with a new HTML5 version of Tizen at the Mobile World Congress in Barcelona next week.

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Sony Sells More Than 5 Million PS4 Game Consoles Worldwide

Sony’s goal was to sell over 5 million PlayStation 4 game consoles by March, but sales had already reached 5.3 million units by February 8. PS4 was first released in November in North America, then Europe, Latin America, parts of Asia, and lastly Japan. PS4 sales have dramatically exceeded analysts’ predictions. Sony is also preparing to release PlayStation Now, an online service that will allow PS3 games to be played on PS4 and the Vita handheld this summer. Continue reading Sony Sells More Than 5 Million PS4 Game Consoles Worldwide

Pandora Lawsuit Could Impact Music Industry’s Royalty Model

For the past 73 years, the Justice Department has governed licensing organizations ASCAP and BMI to ensure songwriters receive fair royalty rates when their songs are played. Now Pandora is taking on ASCAP in a trial over royalty payments that is being carefully followed by the publishing industry. Music publishers including Sony/ATV and Universal are calling for an overhaul of the system, while tech firms are claiming that publishers are attempting to skirt federal rules designed to protect them.

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Report Points to Increase in Internet-Connected TVs in U.S.

Connected TV penetration has exceeded the 60 percent mark for broadband households in the U.S., according to new data from The Diffusion Group, indicating that an increasing number of consumers are interested in receiving entertainment services such as Netflix and Pandora. TDG’s January 2014 study found that 63 percent of broadband households have at least one Internet-connected TV, up from 53 percent the same time last year. The numbers reflect smart TVs in addition to devices like game consoles and Internet sticks. Continue reading Report Points to Increase in Internet-Connected TVs in U.S.

Google Exploring 10 Gigabit Internet Connection, Says CFO

Google is continuing to push for change in commercial Internet services, looking beyond the super-fast gigabit connections available in locations such as Kansas City, Kansas and Chattanooga, Tennessee. At a conference in San Francisco last week, Google CFO Patrick Pichette discussed the company’s 10 gigabit experiment, which is exploring connections that are more than 1,000 times faster than today’s average speeds. The news could encourage other providers to also increase their speeds. Continue reading Google Exploring 10 Gigabit Internet Connection, Says CFO

Study: Mobile Retail Sales Soar in 2013, Especially Via Tablets

According to a new report from Javelin Strategy & Research, most mobile commerce took place via tablets in 2013, due primarily to the doubling of tablet ownership year-over-year. Javelin reports that $59.7 billion in sales were made from mobile devices last year, up from $20.7 billion the year prior. The study shows that $56.6 billion was made through a mobile site or app while $3.1 billion was made via a mobile POS. Tablets were responsible for $28.7 billion in mobile commerce. Continue reading Study: Mobile Retail Sales Soar in 2013, Especially Via Tablets

Apple Builds New Networks to Boost its Internet Infrastructure

Apple is quietly building new networks, part of an expanded Internet infrastructure capable of delivering large amounts of content to customers, while providing Apple with more control over distributing its online offerings. It will also lay the groundwork for handling more traffic should the company decide to move deeper into television. Apple has been moving in this direction for a while, since the inception of its iCloud service and in response to rising sales of media via iTunes and the App Store. Continue reading Apple Builds New Networks to Boost its Internet Infrastructure

Should Industry Be Concerned with Decline in TV Households?

According to a new report from Forrester Research, the percentage of U.S. households with cable or satellite television is projected to dip from the current 82 percent to 79 percent by 2018. However, Forrester’s Jim Nail suggests that the television industry should not worry about cord-cutters, since those who opt to unsubscribe from cable services do not watch much TV anyway, and are not turning to online options but simply avoiding the cost. Business Insider counters that a decline is difficult to view as a win. Continue reading Should Industry Be Concerned with Decline in TV Households?

Google and comScore Combine Efforts to Optimize Online Ads

Marketing data and analytics firm comScore has announced a partnership with Google to help advertisers understand specifically who is looking at their advertisments, and optimize the ads in real time. This partnership will combine Google’s DoubleClick ad-serving platform and comScore’s Validated Campaign Essentials (vCE) technology for measuring ad performance. The vCE technology will measure how viewers are interacting with Google advertisements. Continue reading Google and comScore Combine Efforts to Optimize Online Ads

CNN Turns to Films and Original Series to Help Boost Ratings

As the ratings for television news channels decline, broadcasters are looking for new ways to draw an audience. CNN is working toward gaining viewers by airing original films and series like the documentary “Blackfish,” which aired back in October, and “Chicagoland,” a reality TV show that will begin airing next month. Jeff Zucker, the newest president of CNN, took over in January and has been hands-on since, pointing the network in a slightly different direction. Continue reading CNN Turns to Films and Original Series to Help Boost Ratings

Cisco Predicts Massive Increase in Data Consumption by 2018

If Cisco’s predictions are correct, wearable technology is about to experience a massive growth spurt. The company projects that by 2018, 177 million wearables will make a sizeable contribution to the amount of data consumed around the world. In its annual report on mobile broadband growth, Cisco projects the 10 billion mobile connections around the world will blast through 190 exabytes of data — 11 times the amount consumed in 2013. Continue reading Cisco Predicts Massive Increase in Data Consumption by 2018

Cable Companies Move Toward Cloud-Based Set-Top Boxes

For the first time in more than six years, Comcast gained more video subscribers than it lost last quarter. The cable provider can attribute that growth to its new set-top boxes, which feature a searchable, cloud-based interface resembling that of a Roku, Apple TV or Google Chromecast. Time Warner Cable, which saw a decline in last quarter’s numbers, plans to release its own set-top box in hopes of boosting its subscribers and preventing cable cutting by customers. Continue reading Cable Companies Move Toward Cloud-Based Set-Top Boxes

Gracenote Plans to Collaborate on Internet Radio Platform

The Tribune Company-owned digital music data service Gracenote is making headway on an Internet radio program that would let other companies and brands use its technology for their own music apps. The technology behind Gracenote — Rhythm — could be used for radio services by consumer brands and car companies, especially those in other countries where Pandora is not available. Tribune acquired Gracenote last month for $170 million. Continue reading Gracenote Plans to Collaborate on Internet Radio Platform

Two LA TV Stations Test Channel Sharing to Free Up Spectrum

KLCS and KJLA in Los Angeles will be the first television stations to participate in a pilot test to determine if sharing airwaves can be achieved effectively without reducing signal quality. Since the conversion to digital broadcasting, stations have been able to use their spectrum allotment of six megahertz more efficiently and broadcast multiple signals on a single band. The FCC hopes the experiment will encourage broadcasters to participate in spectrum auctions so that more airwaves can be used for wireless broadband. Continue reading Two LA TV Stations Test Channel Sharing to Free Up Spectrum

White Paper Suggests Alternatives to the Fading Web Cookie

As more people now browse the Internet on multiple devices, Web cookies are becoming less reliable and are on their way to being phased out. The question of what will replace the technology points to companies like Google and Apple, which will likely have greater control over the technologies behind online tracking. A white paper by the Interactive Advertising Bureau puts forward possible solutions, such as device manufacturers providing data about their customers’ habits to marketers. Continue reading White Paper Suggests Alternatives to the Fading Web Cookie

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