Pop Star Taylor Swift to Release Mobile Game Later This Year

Move over, Kim Kardashian. Taylor Swift is entering the mobile gaming space with the help of game publisher Glu Mobile, which has created popular games for Kim Kardashian and Katy Perry. Swift’s first mobile game is expected to be released in late 2016. The announcement gave investors some confidence and Glu Mobile’s stock jumped 29 percent in after-hours trading. Glu Mobile’s “Kim Kardashian: Hollywood” mobile game generated $43 million in its first three months. Continue reading Pop Star Taylor Swift to Release Mobile Game Later This Year

Pandora Media to Acquire Rdio Assets Following Bankruptcy

Pandora has largely been focused on Internet radio since its inception, but has also been increasingly competing with on-demand music services such as Spotify and Apple Music. The company announced yesterday that it plans to spend $75 million for the assets of struggling online service Rdio, which is filing for bankruptcy. The move could help Pandora significantly expand the way it delivers music. While the company presently touts 78 million customers, most of them listen for free, and the current Pandora model involves a feed of songs based on a user’s tastes, but with limited control. Rdio’s tech could offer Pandora users more control over their selections. Continue reading Pandora Media to Acquire Rdio Assets Following Bankruptcy

GOG Galaxy: New DRM-Free Online Gaming Service Goes Live

After a yearlong wait, game publisher Good Old Games (GOG) has finally launched online gaming platform GOG Galaxy, that much like Steam, updates games automatically. However, with GOG Galaxy the games can be downloaded without DRM restrictions for offline gameplay as well. Galaxy’s online social features and automatic updates are said to be optional and can be turned on and off as desired. A beta version of GOG Galaxy is now available for Mac and Windows users. Continue reading GOG Galaxy: New DRM-Free Online Gaming Service Goes Live

PC-Only Game with Galactic-Size Ambitions Raises $50 Million

“Star Citizen,” a PC-only game still in development by Cloud Imperium Games, is part space exploration simulator and part first-person action game in a huge universe of planets, space stations, cities and ships. Since the game’s announcement in 2012, the makers of “Star Citizen” have raised almost $50 million through crowdfunding, with 10,000 to 15,000 new people donating every month. In June 2013, it became the first crowdfunded project to raise $10 million. Continue reading PC-Only Game with Galactic-Size Ambitions Raises $50 Million

Amazon and Hachette Continue Tense E-Book Negotiations

During its much-publicized dispute over a new e-book contract with the Hachette Book Group, Amazon has proposed letting the publisher’s authors keep 100 percent of their e-book sales revenue while the tense negotiations continue. The proposal is Amazon’s response to Hachette authors’ complaints that they have become collateral damage in the ongoing negotiations. Hachette immediately rejected the proposal, suggesting that accepting it would be “suicidal.” Continue reading Amazon and Hachette Continue Tense E-Book Negotiations

More Fake Reviews for iOS Apps, Quality Lower for Android

According to analysis from Apptentive, 55 percent of apps with fake reviews were found on the iTunes App Store while 45 percent were on Google Play. The fact that Google Play requires a Google+ account may account for the lower number. Although iOS apps have more fake reviews, Android apps have the worst reviewer quality. The development of the “Love Score” metric, which helps publishers learn what customers really think about the apps they use, brought Apptentive to these findings.

Continue reading More Fake Reviews for iOS Apps, Quality Lower for Android

Is the Amazon-Hachette Dispute About More Than Book Sales?

Amazon is making books unavailable for pre-ordering and extending shipping times due to its dispute with one of the country’s largest publishers, Hachette Book Group. These tactics put pressure on Hachette as the two companies negotiate new terms of a deal for Amazon to sell the publisher’s books online. Amazon wants to increase its cut of the sales from Hachette books and e-books. In a statement Tuesday night, the online retailer said it does not expect the dispute to be resolved any time soon. Continue reading Is the Amazon-Hachette Dispute About More Than Book Sales?

Comcast Unveils CDN Service for Content Delivery via Last Mile

Comcast has introduced a commercial content delivery service targeting large and mid-sized content owners that can offer competitive SLA and pricing, since the company already owns the network. Comcast’s CDN allows content owners to go directly to the ISP to store and deliver content via the “last mile.” While this approach can displace traffic delivered by third-party CDNs such as Akamai and Limelight, it should not be confused with a “fast lane” or “prioritization” of content. Continue reading Comcast Unveils CDN Service for Content Delivery via Last Mile

Facebook Plans to Launch its Long-Awaited Mobile Ad Network

Facebook is expected to launch its mobile advertising network during the F8 developer conference in San Francisco at the end of this month. Facebook plans to leverage its massive user information database for better ad targeting, and will pitch the ads to publishers and developers. The social giant will also benefit from expanding its ad reach, and will allow the company to profit from its over 1 billion users even when they are not on the site itself. Continue reading Facebook Plans to Launch its Long-Awaited Mobile Ad Network

Digital Comics Platform ComiXology to be Acquired by Amazon

Amazon announced that it will acquire comiXology, the digital comics platform that had its 200-millionth download last fall. With the sales of physical comics fading, comiXology is developing tech to allow the craft to move online. The company operates a comics store and a mobile comics app, which was the top-grossing non-game iPad app from 2011 to 2013. Its library includes 40,000 comics from 75 major publishers. ComiXology also opened a self-publishing platform last year. Continue reading Digital Comics Platform ComiXology to be Acquired by Amazon

Amazon Prime Bumped to $99, Retailer Considers Music Service

Insiders say that Amazon is hoping to introduce an on-demand music-streaming service for its growing number of Amazon Prime customers. While the company has negotiated with record companies and music publishers in regards to licensing, financial terms are said to remain an obstacle. The music service is expected to be one of several new possible features the company may bundle with Prime as it raises the annual membership fee from $79 to as much as $119. Amazon already announced a $20 increase to take effect in April. Continue reading Amazon Prime Bumped to $99, Retailer Considers Music Service

Pandora Lawsuit Could Impact Music Industry’s Royalty Model

For the past 73 years, the Justice Department has governed licensing organizations ASCAP and BMI to ensure songwriters receive fair royalty rates when their songs are played. Now Pandora is taking on ASCAP in a trial over royalty payments that is being carefully followed by the publishing industry. Music publishers including Sony/ATV and Universal are calling for an overhaul of the system, while tech firms are claiming that publishers are attempting to skirt federal rules designed to protect them.

Continue reading Pandora Lawsuit Could Impact Music Industry’s Royalty Model

Google and comScore Combine Efforts to Optimize Online Ads

Marketing data and analytics firm comScore has announced a partnership with Google to help advertisers understand specifically who is looking at their advertisments, and optimize the ads in real time. This partnership will combine Google’s DoubleClick ad-serving platform and comScore’s Validated Campaign Essentials (vCE) technology for measuring ad performance. The vCE technology will measure how viewers are interacting with Google advertisements. Continue reading Google and comScore Combine Efforts to Optimize Online Ads

BitTorrent Offers Hollywood Bundle Options for Promo Content

BitTorrent is making efforts to appeal to Hollywood — and help generate legitimate revenue — by offering studios and artists the opportunity to sell and distribute their material in Bundles as a way to entice customers to buy the full content on iTunes or other similar services. BitTorrent Bundles has already teamed up with Lady Gaga, Madonna and Vice Media to launch promotional content including photos, trailers, videos, songs and other extras. Continue reading BitTorrent Offers Hollywood Bundle Options for Promo Content

Marvel Comics Launches API Featuring 75 Years of Content

Marvel Comics is launching a beta version of an API and developer platform, which will give developers and fans access to its massive library of comics for building apps. The API will include artwork, character bios, expanded stories and more from the original creators spanning 75 years. There are more than 30,000 comics, 7,000 series and 5,000 creators in the database, and developers can even build mini-apps around their favorite characters, titles and creators. Continue reading Marvel Comics Launches API Featuring 75 Years of Content

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