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

New Holiday Sales Records Predicted for Digital Home Video

The home entertainment divisions of Hollywood studios are projected to generate record sales of movies and TV shows on digital platforms this holiday shopping season between Thanksgiving and Christmas. Digital sales are experiencing an upswing as more consumers access media via their mobile devices, smart TVs and connected game consoles. In addition, retailers such as Best Buy, Target and Walmart are pushing digital in an effort to make up for the downward trend in disc sales. Continue reading New Holiday Sales Records Predicted for Digital Home Video

Know Before You Go: StoryTech Offers Preview of CES 2015

StoryTech Managing Partner Lori Schwartz moderated a CES 2015 webcast “Know Before You Go” on December 3rd. Industry experts discussed key trends they expect to see at January’s International CES in Las Vegas — from emerging areas such as immersive gaming, virtual reality and wearables to the infrastructure, platforms, and applications of a variety of compelling new products. Topics of the webcast centered on digital disruption, personalization, Big Data, the Internet of Things, and much more. Continue reading Know Before You Go: StoryTech Offers Preview of CES 2015

Data Caps May Result in Higher Prices for Internet Customers

The U.S. Government Accountability Office warns that data caps may drive the prices of Internet service up for everyone, instead of keeping costs low for the people who only use a small amount of data. Internet service providers do not have enough competition in some places, which would make it easier for ISPs to abuse a usage-based pricing system. The GAO recommends that the Federal Communications Commission develop a voluntary code of conduct for ISPs. Continue reading Data Caps May Result in Higher Prices for Internet Customers

Sony is the Company Behind Crowdfunded E-Paper FES Watch

Sony revealed that a team of its engineers is behind the development of an e-paper watch that appeared on an Internet crowdfunding site in September. The entire device, called the FES Watch, is made with electronic paper and can change its appearance based on a user’s gesture or at the click of the tiny side button. The device is not designed to be a smartwatch, but rather a stylish fashion accessory. Sony is also developing bowties and other e-paper products. Continue reading Sony is the Company Behind Crowdfunded E-Paper FES Watch

Slingbox Integrates YouTube Recommendations with Live TV

Sling Media, the company behind multiscreen TV devices including the Slingbox 500 and SlingTV, has added support for YouTube video recommendations in its TV guide. During live TV programming, the user could call up a menu of related YouTube videos on the bottom of the screen. Audible Magic’s audio-fingerprinting technology determines the content of the live TV. The top-trending YouTube videos are also located on a separate tab within the TV guide. Continue reading Slingbox Integrates YouTube Recommendations with Live TV

Verizon Will Not Sue FCC Over Net Neutrality, Despite History

Verizon now says it will not sue the Federal Communications Commission over net neutrality rules as long as broadband providers are not reclassified as utilities. However, Verizon did sue the FCC (and won) the last time net neutrality rules were introduced, which is one reason the FCC is presently considering reclassifying broadband. “We are going to be sued,” said FCC Chairman Tom Wheeler last week. In response, Verizon EVP Randal Milch e-mailed that Verizon would not sue if the FCC uses Section 706. Continue reading Verizon Will Not Sue FCC Over Net Neutrality, Despite History

Amazon Considering a New Ad-Supported Streaming Service?

According to recent news reports, Amazon is planning to launch a new ad-supported streaming service early next year that will be separate from Prime. The ad-supported option could become a significant challenger to streaming services such as Netflix and Hulu, especially if it undercuts the monthly fees of its rivals. Sources indicate that the new service would ultimately serve as a vehicle to attract more subscribers for Amazon Prime. Meanwhile, Amazon has denied plans to offer a new service. Continue reading Amazon Considering a New Ad-Supported Streaming Service?

Sandvine Global Internet Report Finds Netflix Still Dominates

According to the new Global Internet Phenomena Report by Canadian broadband network company Sandvine, Netflix continues to reign in the competition for streaming video. The popular video service presently accounts for 35 percent of all bandwidth usage in North America during peak hours. YouTube has the second highest bandwidth usage with 14 percent. Amazon Instant Video is the second highest paid streaming service, and it is growing quickly, along with HBO GO. Continue reading Sandvine Global Internet Report Finds Netflix Still Dominates

Report Points to Mobile Devices Replacing TV as ‘First Screen’

Is it time to come up with new language to address second screens? According to digital analytics firm Flurry, consumers spend an average of 2 hours and 57 minutes on their smartphones and tablets each day. Since the Bureau of Labor Statistics estimates that viewers spend 2 hours and 48 minutes per day watching television, the Flurry numbers would suggest mobile devices are becoming the new first screen. Flurry also notes that time spent with apps has increased nearly 10 percent in the last three quarters. Continue reading Report Points to Mobile Devices Replacing TV as ‘First Screen’

Nielsen Planning to Measure TV Viewing via Streaming Services

Nielsen is planning to begin measurement of viewership ratings next month of television shows streamed on subscription online video services such as Netflix and Amazon Prime Instant Video. Nielsen will analyze the audio of programs to identify which shows are being streamed, a new measurement capability that does not require the approval of the streaming services. The data could impact how business is conducted between the services and the studios that license content. Continue reading Nielsen Planning to Measure TV Viewing via Streaming Services

Former Hulu CEO to Target YouTube with Online Video Venture

Hulu founding CEO Jason Kilar, who left the service early last year, is among those getting ready to take a run at Google’s YouTube. Kilar is expected to roll out an ad-supported online video service called Vessel as soon as this month, according to insiders. Vessel, to be offered via a free tier or monthly paid subscription service, will reportedly feature videos from top YouTube stars with agreements that will keep the videos off YouTube for three days. Vessel was designed primarily for smartphones and tablets. Continue reading Former Hulu CEO to Target YouTube with Online Video Venture

Industry Leaders Join Forces to Form Streaming Video Alliance

In an effort to develop universal standards and best practices for high-scale Internet video services, 17 content companies, service providers and technology vendors have gathered to create the Streaming Video Alliance. Together, these companies hope to improve the online video experience. SVA will initially focus on open architecture, quality of experience, and interoperability. Formation of the group comes as net neutrality continues its path as a complex and controversial issue. Continue reading Industry Leaders Join Forces to Form Streaming Video Alliance

YouTube Music Key: A New Player in Subscription Streaming

For years, Google’s YouTube has been the most visited online destination for free music. And while other companies such as Pandora and Spotify have opted for a pay model to provide consumers with unlimited, uninterrupted music content, YouTube remained out of the subscription streaming business — until now. Last week, YouTube unveiled YouTube Music Key, a music streaming service that offers higher quality, access anywhere, ad-free music for $10 per month. Continue reading YouTube Music Key: A New Player in Subscription Streaming

Nvidia to Stream Games via Grid Cloud-Based Gaming Service

Following a positive response to the Shield Android tablet, Nvidia hopes to win gamers over once more with the launch of its game-streaming service later this year. The Grid cloud-based service is slated for a North American launch later this month with Europe and Asia scheduled for next year. Nvidia will aim to release new games frequently, every week or so, to quickly amass a library that exceeds 100 games. The gaming service hopes to capture consumers of the Shield products market. Continue reading Nvidia to Stream Games via Grid Cloud-Based Gaming Service

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