Apple TV Offers a Turnkey Premium Format With Dolby Atmos

Apple TV 4K, with the launch of tvOS 12, is about to get Dolby Atmos surround sound. Dolby Atmos, initially launched in movie theaters, differs from other cinema surround sound systems by replacing a fixed number of audio channels with the concept of audio “objects.” With Atmos, sound designers and mixers can manipulate each sound as an audio “object” and place it anywhere inside the “virtual” theater. When Atmos is played back in a real theater, the mix is mapped to the speakers to recreate the original intent. Continue reading Apple TV Offers a Turnkey Premium Format With Dolby Atmos

YouTube to Sell Vevo Music Video Clips Direct to Advertisers

Google’s YouTube will now sell Vevo’s music video clips directly to advertisers, as part of a deal struck late last year but just made public. Up until now, Vevo had the first pass at selling its own videos, leaving automated, remnant ad sales to Google. At YouTube’s “Brandcast” pitch event to advertisers, the company did not so much announce the terms of the deal, but let it slip that it was selling Vevo clips in its “Google Preferred” tier, which is a collection of its most valuable and most “brand-safe” content. Continue reading YouTube to Sell Vevo Music Video Clips Direct to Advertisers

Pandora Hopes to Convert Users with Free On-Demand Music

Pandora Media is launching free on-demand music with 15-second ads, in an effort to boost declining revenue and users. In doing so, it inches closer to rival Spotify’s model. According to one source, the user will be able to queue up 15 minutes, 30 minutes or an hour of specific songs for every ad watched; the company is still testing models that mix music and ads. By offering free songs in exchange for ads, Pandora hopes to entice listeners to sign up for its $9.99 per month Premium on-demand tier, which was introduced in March. Continue reading Pandora Hopes to Convert Users with Free On-Demand Music

Free-to-Play “Fable Legends” Arrives to Video Game Consoles

British video game developer, Lionhead Studios, recently announced that it plans to launch a new game console version of its free-to-play “Fable Legends” video game. The company, which was acquired by Microsoft back in 2006, believes that in offering the game for free, it can potentially attract millions of gamers that may eventually start paying for added gameplay features. The game, which will contain as many free features as possible, will be available to PC and Xbox gamers. Continue reading Free-to-Play “Fable Legends” Arrives to Video Game Consoles

Artists Get Major Cut from BitTorrent Premium Content Bundles

File sharing network BitTorrent is now giving all artists the option to distribute their content in paid content bundles. A paygate-based distribution model is a major departure for the site that is infamous for its pirating. BitTorrent will get a 10 percent cut of the revenue from these paygate premium content bundles, while artists will earn a whopping 90 percent cut. The artists will also get access to valuable data about the consumers who are buying their content on BitTorrent. Continue reading Artists Get Major Cut from BitTorrent Premium Content Bundles

Spotify Chief Exec Responds to Taylor Swift Pulling Her Music

Spotify Chief Executive Daniel Ek defended his streaming service in a statement released Tuesday in response to Taylor Swift’s decision to pull her entire collection of songs from Spotify. Swift, whose latest album “1989” sold almost 1.3 million copies in its first week, pulled her collection from Spotify because she believes the company does not fairly compensate music creators. Ek, however, pointed out that his company has now paid $2 billion in royalties and helps prevent piracy. Continue reading Spotify Chief Exec Responds to Taylor Swift Pulling Her Music

Viacom Music Group and Spotify Form Streaming Partnership

Viacom’s Music Group is partnering with Spotify to provide consumers with free music from featured artists via their website and apps. The company will also provide music from its series and franchises, including MTV’s “Teen Wolf,” VH1’s “Love and Hip Hop,” CMT’s “Party Down South” and the “MTV Video Music Awards.” More than 150 Spotify playlists will be available across Viacom’s network of sites, while Spotify will promote them to its 40 million global users. Continue reading Viacom Music Group and Spotify Form Streaming Partnership

Startup Offers Customized Mobile Apps for YouTube Celebrities

High-profile YouTubers — whether they be vloggers, athletes, musicians or beauticians — can now reach their audience through personalized mobile apps. Victorious, a startup led by three former Google executives, launched last week. The company has recruited several YouTube celebrities to use its app to post photos and videos, and communicate with fans. Victorious will allow the creators to make money from in-app purchases, advertisements and merchandise sales. Continue reading Startup Offers Customized Mobile Apps for YouTube Celebrities

Contract for YouTube Premium Music Service Leaked Online

A full 32-page version of YouTube’s contract for its upcoming premium music subscription service has been leaked online through the blog Digital Music News. So far, the most controversial clause included in the contract concerns the ability of major labels to agree upon lowered rates and therefore influence the rate of royalties paid to independent labels. The leaked contract was drafted to send to these independent labels, but is not a reflection of the actual signed deals.  Continue reading Contract for YouTube Premium Music Service Leaked Online

Analysts Credit “Gravity” with Bringing 3D Back to the Spotlight

“Gravity” brought in 80 percent of its debut haul from 3D engagement, leading analysts to credit the film for bringing the format back into the spotlight. For studios and exhibitors, this is a plus because 3D tickets carry a large surcharge, potentially bringing in million of dollars. The recent increase in 3D interest can be partially attributed to the directors, including Gareth Edwards (“Godzilla”) and Marc Webb (“The Amazing Spider-Man 2”), who have been encouraging fans to see their films in 3D.  Continue reading Analysts Credit “Gravity” with Bringing 3D Back to the Spotlight

YouTube to Block Artists Who Don’t Sign Up for New Service

Content from indie artists could disappear from Google’s YouTube “in a matter of days.” As YouTube prepares to launch its ad-free streaming music service, it also plans to block videos from independent labels and artists that choose not to sign up for the new subscription offering. While YouTube has signed licensing deals with the major labels, it says it will block others from using its entire platform if they do not agree to terms of the upcoming premium service. Continue reading YouTube to Block Artists Who Don’t Sign Up for New Service

AT&T Could Offer its Customers DirecTV’s NFL Sunday Ticket

With AT&T’s $49 billion planned acquisition of DirecTV, the phone company may offer NFL Sunday Ticket programming to its wireless customers. Sunday Ticket, a premium service that allows DirecTV customers to watch out-of-market NFL games, also allows users to stream to mobile devices at an extra cost. If AT&T is able to extend Sunday Ticket to its customers, it would further compete with Verizon, which already has streaming rights to Sunday, Monday and Thursday night football games. Continue reading AT&T Could Offer its Customers DirecTV’s NFL Sunday Ticket

Amazon Prime Ready to Launch its Anticipated Music Service

Amazon has reportedly reached agreements with record labels in order to launch a streaming music service by June or July. The Prime music service does not plan to feature recent song releases, but will offer a catalog of tracks and albums that are six months old and older — providing an additional benefit to Prime members who already enjoy access to movies and TV shows via Instant Video, an e-books lending library, and free two-day shipping on products ordered through the retail site. Continue reading Amazon Prime Ready to Launch its Anticipated Music Service

Apple to Buy Beats for $3 Billion: Largest Deal in its History

Apple announced yesterday that it has agreed to purchase Beats Electronics for $3 billion, in a deal that is expected to help the tech giant better compete with subscription-based music services. As anticipated based on earlier reports, Apple will offer the Beats streaming music service, built on curated playlists, and its premium headphones under a separate Beats brand, while the iTunes music store and streaming radio platform will be offered alongside the Beats music service. The Beats deal marks the largest acquisition in Apple’s history. Continue reading Apple to Buy Beats for $3 Billion: Largest Deal in its History

Netflix Turns to Original Series and Licensing 5-Star Content

According to Netflix CFO David Wells, the streaming service plans on spending $3.2 billion on streaming content in 2014. Netflix acknowledged that a large fraction of the currently available material is not necessarily popular with its audience and plans to spend more money on shows with higher potential. A content shift through the next few quarters toward more original series along with licensing exclusive and higher-rated shows will account for this extra spending. Continue reading Netflix Turns to Original Series and Licensing 5-Star Content

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