Winter Olympics Available via TV, Websites, Apps, Social Media

The 2014 Winter Olympics begin tonight from Sochi with a wide range of options for viewers this time around. Television networks will broadcast a great deal of coverage over the next 18 days, and fans will have numerous options for streaming content via smartphones, tablets and PCs. In addition to the traditional TV broadcasts, a number of websites, apps and social media platforms including Facebook will provide viewers with extended coverage and event highlights. Continue reading Winter Olympics Available via TV, Websites, Apps, Social Media

Cable Companies Move Toward Cloud-Based Set-Top Boxes

For the first time in more than six years, Comcast gained more video subscribers than it lost last quarter. The cable provider can attribute that growth to its new set-top boxes, which feature a searchable, cloud-based interface resembling that of a Roku, Apple TV or Google Chromecast. Time Warner Cable, which saw a decline in last quarter’s numbers, plans to release its own set-top box in hopes of boosting its subscribers and preventing cable cutting by customers. Continue reading Cable Companies Move Toward Cloud-Based Set-Top Boxes

GoPro Looks Beyond Action Cam to Establishing Media Brand

GoPro has become a leader in small, rugged, low-cost video cameras especially useful for extreme sports, documentaries and reality TV. User-generated content recorded on GoPro cameras has exploded on YouTube and other sites. Millions of professional and amateur users have posted videos online, often proudly labeling content with the term “GoPro,” which has become synonymous with action footage. Now GoPro has plans to become a media company. Continue reading GoPro Looks Beyond Action Cam to Establishing Media Brand

YouTube Content Creators Question Ad Revenue Sharing Value

Since YouTube simplified its model of ad revenue sharing by letting content producers merely click a button to opt in, it’s seen a sharp increase in the numbers of creators and content — and, subsequently, revenue. A growing number of video producers are earning their livings from the site, though many say YouTube’s substantial cut of the advertising profits makes it less lucrative than what their videos are worth and how much time is spent producing them. Continue reading YouTube Content Creators Question Ad Revenue Sharing Value

Avegant Glyph: Virtual Reality Headset Gets Positive Review

Avegant’s virtual reality headset Glyph features a visually stunning, immersive, 3D retinal display. The $499 Glyph does not have a screen like many of its competitors, including the Oculus Rift. Instead, it uses a projection method emitting light from a low-power LED that reflects light on both eyes’ retinas with lenses and about two million mirrors, so as not to cause eye fatigue. While many people are impressed, there are concerns regarding the headset’s size and cost. Continue reading Avegant Glyph: Virtual Reality Headset Gets Positive Review

Paper: Facebook Launches Mobile App for Streaming News

Last week, Facebook finally unveiled Paper, its much-anticipated mobile app that allows users to enjoy a personalized news stream. The app is launching today for the iPhone (an Android release has yet to be announced). Paper is essentially staffed by a computer algorithm and human curators, based on links shared by Facebook’s 1.2 billion users. Paper offers news in sections, similar to those of a newspaper, and uses smartphone tech such as gyroscopes and sensors to help drive interactive navigation. Continue reading Paper: Facebook Launches Mobile App for Streaming News

Amazon Says It May Increase Shipping Fees of Prime Service

Amazon announced in a fourth-quarter earnings conference call that it might be raising prices on shipping fees through its Amazon Prime program. The $79-a-year shipping service could go up in price by as much as 50 percent, increasing the company’s bottom line by close to $500 million. The announcement came as a pleasant surprise to investors following a slow holiday season for Amazon and its lowest growth rate in several years. Continue reading Amazon Says It May Increase Shipping Fees of Prime Service

Writers Guild Cautions Against Stiff Copyright Enforcement

A statement from the Writers Guild of America West raises the group’s concerns regarding copyright infringement fees and agreements, digital sales and other related issues. The letter particularly references the “notice and takedown” system of copyrighted material shared on the Web, noting that the system’s intentions are good, but may also cause potential harm. The statement was written in response to a recent green paper on copyright policy. Continue reading Writers Guild Cautions Against Stiff Copyright Enforcement

Viggle Purchases Dijit Media and Popular TV App NextGuide

TV loyalty program provider Viggle, formed in 2010, announced it has acquired San Francisco-based Dijit Media, a b2b platform developer and maker of TV and movie guide apps for mobile devices. Dijit’s primary consumer app is NextGuide, which combines listings from live TV and streaming services such as Amazon, Hulu, iTunes and Netflix for an automated and curated directory of movies and television shows. Financial terms of the deal have yet to be disclosed. Continue reading Viggle Purchases Dijit Media and Popular TV App NextGuide

Gracenote Plans to Collaborate on Internet Radio Platform

The Tribune Company-owned digital music data service Gracenote is making headway on an Internet radio program that would let other companies and brands use its technology for their own music apps. The technology behind Gracenote — Rhythm — could be used for radio services by consumer brands and car companies, especially those in other countries where Pandora is not available. Tribune acquired Gracenote last month for $170 million. Continue reading Gracenote Plans to Collaborate on Internet Radio Platform

Amazon to Launch Android Device for Games and Entertainment

Amazon is expected to launch a new sub-$300 games and entertainment device this year that runs Android. To compete with the likes of Sony, Microsoft and Nintendo, the product — the name of which has yet to be announced — is said to stream and download games, music, movies and television content. Key to the device’s success is its price point, on par with Amazon’s Kindle and Kindle Fire HD, which are priced comparatively lower than Apple’s iPad. Continue reading Amazon to Launch Android Device for Games and Entertainment

Gaming Community Twitch More Than Doubles Audience Size

Twitch, the live streaming service and popular community for gamers, recently announced that it reached 45 million unique viewers per month in 2013, up from 20 million the previous year. Twitch also noted in its year-end report that its viewing minutes doubled last year to 12 billion per month. Since its debut in 2011, Twitch has become the go-to streaming platform online for casual and pro gamers, thanks in part to the rising popularity of eSports titles. Continue reading Gaming Community Twitch More Than Doubles Audience Size

Hola: New App Skirts Copyright Law to Stream TV Shows, Music

A new Web application named Hola is bypassing copyright laws to deliver content to users who otherwise don’t have access to it. The app essentially unlocks international versions of Netflix so U.S. users can watch shows like “True Grit” or “Community” — only available overseas — whenever they want. By changing users’ IP addresses and making their devices act as routers, content is never copied illegally. Since beta testing began, the app has become incredibly popular, and it could alter the way the Internet operates. Continue reading Hola: New App Skirts Copyright Law to Stream TV Shows, Music

Online Streaming the Answer to Declining DVD, Blu-ray Sales?

According to a new report from U.K.-based Generator Research, online movie streaming can be as profitable as television downloads and disc sales. The report estimates that film producers are projected to earn $29.4 billion from television and home video sales in 2014. However, the report also recommends a shift in distribution strategies for home entertainment, as revenue from DVD and Blu-ray sales are expected to decline by 38 percent over the next four years. Continue reading Online Streaming the Answer to Declining DVD, Blu-ray Sales?

New Search Engine Gets Its Streaming Music from Live Radio

What if every radio station was searchable and you could look up a song you wanted to listen to, pick one of the stations it was currently playing on, and listen? Radio Search Engine, a new venture by entrepreneur Michael Robertson, allows just that. The site indexes around 40,000 radio stations in real-time and allows users to tune in from the Web. Currently in beta mode, Radio Search Engine essentially turns thousands of radio stations into a searchable music jukebox. Continue reading New Search Engine Gets Its Streaming Music from Live Radio

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