Spotify Readies New Free Version, Acquires Licensing Platform

According to sources, Spotify is working on a version of its free music service that would be easier to use on mobile phones. The rationale is likely that, after just going public, the Stockholm-based company now needs to grow its user base. The free service is also a springboard for the company’s paid service, which, although services less than half of its user base, generated 90 percent of last year’s 4.09 billion euro revenue. By the end of 2017, Spotify had 157 million users, of which 71 million were paid subscribers. Continue reading Spotify Readies New Free Version, Acquires Licensing Platform

YouTube to Launch its Paid Subscription TV Service in 2017

YouTube has long expressed interest in creating a live TV package, but now its plans for a paid subscription service have firmed up. With executives Christian Oestlien and Jonathan Zepp among those leading the charge, the company will launch Unplugged in 2017 and is now seeking content deals with major media companies, say those familiar with the plan. The new urgency in pursuing this long-held plan may be due to the fact that Dish Network and Sony have debuted online services, and Apple and Amazon plan to as well. Continue reading YouTube to Launch its Paid Subscription TV Service in 2017

YouTube Exec Stands By His Online Video Growth Predictions

During his keynote presentation at CES 2016, YouTube’s chief business officer Robert Kyncl expressed continuing confidence in the growth of online video. He believes that people will spend most of their time (outside of working and sleeping) watching digital video. The executive stood by his 2012 predictions that 90 percent of all Internet traffic would be video and 75 percent of all video would be digital by the year 2020. Kyncl also explained how YouTube is evolving and planning to support high dynamic range. Continue reading YouTube Exec Stands By His Online Video Growth Predictions

Tidal Could Come Through on Promise to Change Music Industry

Tidal, Jay Z’s new artist-backed music streaming service, is the latest addition to a crowded field of companies offering music online. Spotify, Pandora, Rdio and others have featured similar music libraries — until now. Jay Z’s hit album “Reasonable Doubt” disappeared from Spotify earlier this week, while several top artists started to release content exclusively on Tidal. The competition puts increased pressure on music fans to subscribe to one or more streaming services. Continue reading Tidal Could Come Through on Promise to Change Music Industry

Discovery Channel Founder to Launch Subscription VOD Service

Following his success at Discovery Channel, founder John Hendricks is ready to move forward with another media venture, only this time one built for online streaming rather than pay TV. Hendricks is scheduled to launch CuriosityStream in March, a nonfiction subscription service that offers nature, history, science and technology content on demand. As with most subscription services, CuriosityStream hopes to tap into the non pay TV market first before pushing to add from pay TV households. Continue reading Discovery Channel Founder to Launch Subscription VOD Service

Microsoft Now Offers Xbox Music Service on More Devices

Microsoft is now offering its Xbox Music service on more devices and via the Web. This is an expansion of the limited compatibility that the service offered at its initial release about a year ago. It brings familiar digital music services and software into a combined, single service. Xbox Music’s new platform support comes as Google, Apple and others are entering the music-streaming marketplace, with Amazon developing its own music-streaming devices. Continue reading Microsoft Now Offers Xbox Music Service on More Devices

Marvel Comics Launches New Subscription Service for iPad

Marvel has launched a new iOS app for comic book fans who want more access to their favorite superheroes. Back issues were previously only available via the Adobe Flash-based reader until Marvel launched an HTML5-based, iPad-compatible reader a few months ago. Now the companion Marvel Unlimited app will provide access to more than 13,000 comic books for a $10 monthly or $60 yearly subscription. Continue reading Marvel Comics Launches New Subscription Service for iPad

YouTube May Launch Subscription Streaming Music Service

YouTube is reportedly planning to launch a subscription streaming music service later this year, that could take on existing services such as Spotify and Pandora. The company is expected to offer a subscription plan that will likely overlap with new features coming to its Android music platform, Google Play. With the subscription, users will have access to new features, including ad-free music streaming. Continue reading YouTube May Launch Subscription Streaming Music Service

YouTube to Test Paid Subscription Channels on Limited Scale

While online video continues to grow, one challenge has involved effective revenue models. YouTube is addressing that hurdle with its decision to launch paid subscriptions for individual channels on its video platform. It is the Google-owned company’s “latest attempt to lure content producers, eyeballs, and advertiser dollars away from traditional TV, according to multiple people familiar with the plans,” writes Ad Age. Continue reading YouTube to Test Paid Subscription Channels on Limited Scale