Streaming Services Grow While iTunes Music Sales Decline

Music sales via Apple’s iTunes Store have dropped about 14 percent since the start of the year. Meanwhile, streaming services now supply one-third of the recorded music revenue in the U.S. The total number of streams reported for services such as Spotify and Pandora have increased 46 percent this year over 2013. This shift may be one reason behind Apple’s $3 billion acquisition of Beats Electronics. The company is reportedly planning to relaunch Beats next year as a part of iTunes. Continue reading Streaming Services Grow While iTunes Music Sales Decline

Comcast Trademarks ‘True Gig’ High-Speed Internet Service

Comcast applied for a trademark last week for a high-speed Internet service named “True Gig.” The company already offers an expensive high-speed Internet service known as the “Extreme 505” with 505Mbps download speeds, but Comcast plans to eventually launch an even faster gigabit Internet service. The company also wants to use the phrase to describe online video streaming. The company’s previous video streaming service is no longer being offered as a standalone service. Continue reading Comcast Trademarks ‘True Gig’ High-Speed Internet Service

Proposed FCC Rule Change Potential Big Step for Internet TV

The FCC is considering a change to federal regulations that could potentially put Internet TV providers on the same level as traditional cable TV companies. If the change were implemented, Internet TV providers would reportedly have the same ability as today’s cable and satellite companies to negotiate for carrying broadcast TV stations. The change could therefore help emerging multichannel video programming distributors (MVPD) to license the content necessary to become serious contenders. Continue reading Proposed FCC Rule Change Potential Big Step for Internet TV

Rooms: Facebook Embraces Anonymity with New Chat App

Facebook’s new “Rooms” app is reminiscent of the Internet bulletin boards and chatrooms of old. The iOS mobile app allows users to create discussion boards on almost any topic and chat with people they may or may not know. Participants can use any username they want and they can change usernames in different rooms. Unlike traditional text-heavy, desktop-based chatrooms, the Rooms app is designed for users to post videos and images and have online discussions on-the-go. Continue reading Rooms: Facebook Embraces Anonymity with New Chat App

Advertisers Still Favor Televised Sports Over Online Gaming

Video game-centric website Twitch, recently acquired by Amazon for close to $1 billion, now has a global audience of 60 million users. The audience is passionate, consuming 16 billion minutes of video per month. The site seems to be an ideal way for advertisers to reach the young male demographic, between ages 18 and 30. However, televised sports content remains a viable method for reaching this audience, and advertisers have not yet shifted in preference from TV to online gaming. Continue reading Advertisers Still Favor Televised Sports Over Online Gaming

Amazon to Join Crowded OTT Device Market with Fire TV Stick

Amazon announced its Fire TV Stick, a $39 device ($19 for Prime subscribers) that plugs into the back of a television to provide access to movies and shows via online services such as Amazon’s Prime Instant Video and competitors Hulu and Netflix. Scheduled for a November 19th release, the Fire TV Stick offers twice the memory of Google’s $35 Chromecast (a bestseller on Amazon) and is priced lower than Roku’s $50 stick. However, it joins a crowded market of over-the-top Internet streaming devices. Continue reading Amazon to Join Crowded OTT Device Market with Fire TV Stick

Judge Rules Against Aereo, Can No Longer Retransmit Live TV

A New York federal judge has ruled against TV-over-the-Internet startup Aereo and in favor of a group of major broadcasters including Disney’s ABC, CBS Corp., Twenty-First Century Fox, Comcast’s NBC, and PBS. Judge Alison Nathan ordered that Aereo’s “Watch Now” system be shut down. “The Supreme Court has concluded that Aereo performs publicly when it retransmits Plaintiffs’ content live over the Internet and thus infringes Plaintiffs’ copyrighted works,” wrote Judge Nathan in her 17-page opinion yesterday. Continue reading Judge Rules Against Aereo, Can No Longer Retransmit Live TV

Facebook Introduces Safety Check for Users During Disasters

Facebook recently announced Safety Check, an easy way to check on others when disasters strike. The service will first allow users to let others know they are safe during a disaster. It will also allow users to check in on others and mark friends as safe. Only friends will have access to these updates. The tool is designed for users to remain connected to those they care about. Safety Check will be available on Android, iOS, feature phones and desktops globally. Continue reading Facebook Introduces Safety Check for Users During Disasters

Google Report Explains Enhancement of Anti-Piracy Efforts

Google claims that it has taken additional measures to make search results more resistant to piracy. According to a new white paper, Google has changed its search-engine algorithms so the sites with a large number of takedown notices appear lower in search results rankings. The company has also enhanced autocomplete and related search, preventing the inclusion of terms associated with piracy. New advertising products will also promote copyright-friendliness.  Continue reading Google Report Explains Enhancement of Anti-Piracy Efforts

CBS All Access Targets Cord-Cutters and Cord-Nevers Demo

Just one day after HBO announced its plans to launch a standalone Internet streaming service in 2015, CBS followed with news of its own subscription streaming service that will provide consumers with access to live programming in addition to thousands of current and past programs on demand. The announcements could be good news for cord-cutters who are increasingly turning to the Internet for content. The news may also have an eventual impact on how TV is offered by cable, satellite and telecoms. Continue reading CBS All Access Targets Cord-Cutters and Cord-Nevers Demo

Free ‘League of Legends’ Game May Make $1 Billion This Year

The world championship for the biggest e-sport in the world, “League of Legends,” starts in South Korea this weekend. About 40,000 fans are expected to fill the stadium to watch the tournament live while at least another 30 million will watch the games online. Riot Games runs the League of Legends World Championship along with the online broadcasting, and by producing a premium sporting experience for players, Riot Games may make upwards of $1 billion in 2014. Continue reading Free ‘League of Legends’ Game May Make $1 Billion This Year

Reddit Acquires Alien Blue, Now the Official Reddit Mobile App

Before Wednesday, social media startup Reddit, which has 174 million regular monthly users, did not offer a mobile app. Instead, the online message board worked with a variety of third-party, unofficial programs. However, in the wake of a large round of venture funding, Reddit announced that it has purchased the most popular of these third-party programs, Alien Blue. The app will now become the official Reddit app, available for download via Apple’s App Store. Continue reading Reddit Acquires Alien Blue, Now the Official Reddit Mobile App

HBO to Take On Netflix with New Streaming Service in 2015

HBO announced yesterday that it plans to launch a standalone Internet streaming service in the U.S. next year that would not require a traditional TV subscription. The move is part of the cable network’s strategy to reach out to cord cutters, and underscores its growing rivalry with Netflix. The two companies are battling for a new generation of viewers who prefer watching their TV shows and movies via Amazon, Hulu, Netflix, and YouTube rather than subscribing to cable or satellite television. Continue reading HBO to Take On Netflix with New Streaming Service in 2015

Netflix Shares Take a Hit After Disappointing Third Quarter

While Netflix has become the largest standalone subscription programming service in the U.S., and the leading brand among millennials, the company attracted a disappointing number of new users during the third quarter, resulting in a 26.4 percent drop in its stock value yesterday. Netflix added 980,000 customers for the quarter, down from 1.3 million for the same period last year. The disappointing results were intensified by HBO’s announcement that it plans to offer a competing service next year. Continue reading Netflix Shares Take a Hit After Disappointing Third Quarter

Google Plans to Unveil Phablet and New Version of Android

Google’s new smartphone, expected to launch later this month, will be larger than Apple’s iPhone 6 Plus and the Samsung Galaxy Note. The high-resolution display is 5.9 inches diagonally, making it large enough to be categorized as a phablet. The handset, code-named Shamu, intends to compete in an emerging market of increasingly popular hybrid devices across the U.S. and abroad. Google also reportedly plans to debut a new version of its Android mobile OS at the same time. Continue reading Google Plans to Unveil Phablet and New Version of Android

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