Fox Livestreams Primetime Programs to Pay-TV Subscribers

As of Monday, Fox is livestreaming all its primetime shows to digital platforms in all 210 U.S. TV markets, the first broadcaster to do so. The first live-streaming show out of the gate was a live performance episode of “So You Think You Can Dance: The Next Generation.” Among the entertainment programs that will be livestreamed every night of the week and late-night Saturdays are “Wayward Pines,” “Master Chef,” ‘Hotel Hell,” “Home Free,” “Teen Choice 2016,” “Scream Queens” and new series “Lethal Weapon.” Continue reading Fox Livestreams Primetime Programs to Pay-TV Subscribers

Media Publishers and Their Sponsors Gravitate to Apple News

Apple is launching Apple News, a news reading app with content from leading media companies that gives publishers another venue for ads. The launch comes at the same time that Apple approved ad-blocking apps such as the just-released 99 cent Blockr, a concern among publishers looking for more savvy ways to take advantage of the burgeoning number of digital platforms. Among the companies committed to publishing on Apple News is GQ (sponsored by Burberry) and recipe site Epicurious (sponsored by Campbell’s Soup and Reynolds). Continue reading Media Publishers and Their Sponsors Gravitate to Apple News

EPIX is First Cable Network to Allow Offline Video Downloads

Premium cable channel EPIX — a joint venture between Viacom, Paramount Pictures, Lionsgate and MGM — is getting ready to launch a new feature that will provide users with offline viewing capabilities on mobile devices, including Apple’s iPhone and iPad, Android phones and tablets, and Kindle Fire devices. The news follows Amazon’s recent announcement that its Prime members would be able to view Amazon Instant Video content offline. However, the EPIX feature will be included in the channel’s TV Everywhere apps, and will not be available to over-the-top subscribers. Continue reading EPIX is First Cable Network to Allow Offline Video Downloads

Amazon Releases Fling SDK, New Competition for Chromecast

Amazon’s new Fling SDK helps mobile developers create second screen and Cast-like functionality for iOS and Android apps, essentially simplifying the “network discovery and communication technologies” around Fire TV, according to the company. “Flinging” (Amazon’s version of Chromecast’s “casting”) is a means of sending video, audio or images from an app to a television screen via the Fire TV player. Amazon is targeting developers already using Chromecast by offering the ability to integrate Amazon’s SDK with existing Chromecast apps. Continue reading Amazon Releases Fling SDK, New Competition for Chromecast

Amazon Launches Unlimited Cloud Storage for $60 Annual Fee

Amazon’s latest cloud storage plan, Unlimited Everything, offers customers unlimited cloud storage for only $60 per year. At that price point, Amazon’s new plan is virtually unmatched by any other storage plan available on the market today. Amazon has also launched Unlimited Photos, a plan available for $12 per year that offers customers unlimited photo storage and 5GB of space for other files. Previously, 5GB of free storage was only made available to Amazon Prime members. Continue reading Amazon Launches Unlimited Cloud Storage for $60 Annual Fee

Digital Newsstand Magzter Offers Unlimited Access to Pubs

Subscription-based app Magzter wants to become the Netflix of the magazine industry by offering customers unlimited access to nearly 2,000 titles. For $10 per month, subscribers can enjoy access to titles such as Maxim, ESPN and Fast Company among other popular publications. Magzter also plans to offer an alternative plan by which customers pay $5 per month to read any five titles on a monthly basis. The company is in competition with two other subscription magazine services: Readily and Next Issue. Continue reading Digital Newsstand Magzter Offers Unlimited Access to Pubs

Kindle Software Update Comes with Free Washington Post App

The latest software update to Amazon’s Kindle Fire will bring the new Washington Post app to users for free. The ready to read app features the latest news with various articles, images and advertisements. The app was designed with significant contributions from Amazon CEO Jeff Bezos, who purchased the news source last year for $250 million. The release of the app on the Kindle marks the first formal collaborative effort between The Post and its parent company Amazon.  Continue reading Kindle Software Update Comes with Free Washington Post App

Amazon Draws Distinction Between its Tablets and E-Readers

Amazon recently announced the expansion of its tablet line and e-reader offerings. As part of an effort to strengthen ties between its tablets and other new hardware, Amazon has dropped the name “Kindle” from its tablets. Formerly called Kindle Fire tablets, the simply named Fire HD and Fire HDX will be more closely aligned with the company’s Fire TV and Fire Phone. The rebranding highlights the distinction Amazon hopes to make between the Kindle e-readers and more advanced Fire tablets. Continue reading Amazon Draws Distinction Between its Tablets and E-Readers

Simple.tv DVR Streams Live and Recorded TV to Mobile Devices

For over-the-air recording, Simple.tv offers plenty of perks for cord cutters. The set-top box will not only stream video content to desktops and mobile devices, but also other set-top streamers such as Apple TV, Chromecast and Roku. The device can run up to five streams at once and recorded TV shows can be downloaded for offline viewing. However, Simple.tv comes at a steep price: $200 for the box, $60 to $150 for the subscription, and at least $50 for the hard drive. Continue reading Simple.tv DVR Streams Live and Recorded TV to Mobile Devices

Apple and Amazon Planning Programs for Sharing Digital Media

In what could prove to be a bold move, Amazon and Apple are planning to allow customers to share media purchased from their digital storefronts with family members. Similar language is being used by both companies to describe the programs, and both are launching around the same time. Apple’s “Family Sharing” program will be available via its new iOS 8 software, while Amazon’s “Family Library” is scheduled to join hardware and software updates slated for the end of October. Continue reading Apple and Amazon Planning Programs for Sharing Digital Media

Amazon Update Brings Prime Instant Video to Android Phones

Amazon announced yesterday that it plans to make Prime Instant Video available to all Android phones in the U.S., U.K. and Germany. An update to the Amazon app for Android will enable users to stream movies and TV shows available through Prime Instant Video. However, users will first need to install or update the Amazon app, and then use in-app tools to install the Amazon Instant Video player app. Users will also need to enable a phone setting that allows installing of apps from outside the Google Play store. Continue reading Amazon Update Brings Prime Instant Video to Android Phones

Mobile Payments: Amazon Debuts New Credit Card Reader

Amazon Local Register, the company’s new card reader, is a black rectangular device that plugs into a merchant’s smartphone or tablet. For $10, it works with an app that tracks business transactions for merchants. Amazon offers lower processing fees with the device if a merchant signs up before the end of October, while the standard deal will remain a 2.5 percent charge, which is less than other card reader offers. The lower charge means that Amazon is likely making little profit. Continue reading Mobile Payments: Amazon Debuts New Credit Card Reader

Amazon Debuts its Digital Wallet App in Time for Fire Release

Amazon’s first smartphone, the Amazon Fire, hit stores on Friday preloaded with a digital wallet app that can store users’ loyalty cards and gift cards. About 70 retailers, including stores such as Whole Foods, GameStop, and AMC Entertainment are participating in the service. Customers can redeem their gift cards and rewards at stores by using the app-generated scanable barcode. The Amazon Wallet app is also available for download through the Google Play app store. Continue reading Amazon Debuts its Digital Wallet App in Time for Fire Release

Amazon iOS App Update Offers Free TV Episodes with Ads

Amazon has released a new update for its Amazon Instant Video app for iPhones and iPads that lets viewers watch the first episode of selected TV series for free, as long as viewers are willing to watch ads both before and during the show. The ad-supported model is a departure from Amazon’s focus on making revenue through its subscription streaming service, Amazon Prime Instant Video. The iOS update also brings a slew of HBO content, as part of a recent licensing deal. Continue reading Amazon iOS App Update Offers Free TV Episodes with Ads

Amazon Unveils New 3D Fire Phone with Dynamic Perspective

Amazon CEO Jeff Bezos unveiled the company’s new Fire Phone yesterday in Seattle. The 4.7-inch smartphone, which features a 3D display that detects where eyes are looking on the screen with “Dynamic Perspective,” will be available July 25 starting at $200. The device includes a scanning feature with its Firefly app, which allows users to scan products, signs, UPC or QR codes (ideal for shopping on Amazon), and Shazam-like features to identify songs and pinpoint scenes in movies or TV shows. Continue reading Amazon Unveils New 3D Fire Phone with Dynamic Perspective

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