Nielsen and Microsoft Partner on Cloud-Based Platform for Data

Nielsen Holdings and Microsoft are partnering on a cloud-based platform, Nielsen Connect, to help retailers gain insights from its consumer and operational data related to, respectively, media/TV ratings, and purchases of consumer goods. Nielsen chief technology/operations officer John Tavolieri noted that, given the value of the data, the industry has thus far not found a good way to “unlock” it. Nielsen’s data will be loaded to Microsoft Azure where the latter’s AI tools and APIs will enable users to search. Continue reading Nielsen and Microsoft Partner on Cloud-Based Platform for Data

Apple to Roll Out Original Video Programming via Apple Music

Apple is joining the ranks of Amazon and Netflix in creating original series specifically intended for online platforms. However, unlike its competitors, Apple does not have a devoted video platform, so it plans to create original content for its Apple Music streaming service that can be viewed on Apple TVs, iPads, iPhones and other devices. So far, Apple is developing a reality series called “Planet of the Apps” and a standalone series based on James Corden’s popular “Carpool Karaoke.” Continue reading Apple to Roll Out Original Video Programming via Apple Music

Amazon Expands Its Audible Programming to Include Podcasts

Amazon is recruiting comedians, radio producers, engineers, marketers and lawyers for almost 100 positions in the company’s growing Audible division. Audible currently offers more than 250,000 audiobooks and plays, but the new hires suggest that Amazon is investing in more original programming. Prominent comedians like Maria Bamford and Jonathan Katz, as well as producers from NPR, WNYC and the radio show “Fresh Air,” have already joined the Audible team. Continue reading Amazon Expands Its Audible Programming to Include Podcasts

SoundCloud Strikes New Licensing Deal with Universal Music

Streaming music site SoundCloud will now have access to the Universal Music catalog, including songs from artists like The Weeknd, Sam Smith and U2. The licensing agreement allows Universal Music artists to make money from the advertising on SoundCloud when their songs are played. SoundCloud already has licensing agreements with other music companies, including Merlin and Warner Music Group. The company said it would also introduce a paid streaming subscription service this year. Continue reading SoundCloud Strikes New Licensing Deal with Universal Music

Electronic Arts Launches Subscription Service for PC Gamers

Origin Access hopes to become the new Netflix of video gaming. For $4.99 per month, subscribers can sample new PC games before they’re released, receive special discounts on current games, and play some games for free. All of the games are delivered via Internet downloads. The subscription service is an extension of Electronic Arts’ Origin, an online community and store for PC games. EA already offers a similar subscription service for Xbox One games and rival Nvidia has one for PC games. Continue reading Electronic Arts Launches Subscription Service for PC Gamers

Hulu Considering Ad-Free Option for Its Subscription Service

Hulu is considering adding an ad-free option to its service, to better compete with Netflix and Amazon Prime Instant Video, both of which do not stream ads to paid subscribers. While adding the option would show that Hulu recognizes consumer preference for ad-free streaming and would likely bring in new customers, it could also risk damaging the company’s current ad-supported business. TV channel owners are worried that consumers are becoming too used to ad-free TV, which is why Hulu’s original model appeals to them. Continue reading Hulu Considering Ad-Free Option for Its Subscription Service

PlayStation Now Improves Search, User Experience with Apollo

PlayStation Now, Sony’s all-you-can-play game subscription service, just launched its new dedicated subscription app, codenamed Apollo, which streamlines the former transactional experience of sifting through numerous menus to find desired games. The new interface and navigation system is designed with an emphasis on visuals, similar to the Netflix and Hulu interfaces. Since its January launch on the PlayStation 4 console, PlayStation Now features more than 125 games available for streaming. Continue reading PlayStation Now Improves Search, User Experience with Apollo

YouTube to Back Long-Form Content From its Popular Creators

Amid growing competition in the online video space, Google’s YouTube is trying to hang onto its lead by supporting some of the platform’s biggest stars. The platform will back long-form original series from the Fine Brothers, Prank vs. Prank, Joey Graceffa and SMOSH. YouTube and AwesomenessTV have also paired up to create several feature-length films that will debut online and feature YouTube stars. The Google subsidiary is facing competition from Facebook, Yahoo, and even Netflix. Continue reading YouTube to Back Long-Form Content From its Popular Creators

Scribd Adds 9,000 Audiobooks to E-Book Subscription Service

Subscription service Scribd — the “Netflix for books” — now has 45,000 audiobooks in its library after striking a deal with Penguin Random House Audio. The new titles include popular works by Lena Dunham, John Grisham, and George R. R. Martin. According to Scribd, audiobooks have doubled the time users spend reading on the service. Audiobooks also help bolster Scribd’s catalog, which currently does not include digital books from two major publishers: Penguin Random House and Hachette. Continue reading Scribd Adds 9,000 Audiobooks to E-Book Subscription Service

Oyster Boosts Subscription Service with Digital eBook Store

Oyster recently announced it plans to start offering customers the option to buy select books that may not otherwise be included as a part of the company’s all-you-can-read subscription service. With its new offering, the company hopes to compete with major e-book retailers such as Amazon and Barnes & Noble. Despite having deals with three major publishers, Oyster’s e-book subscription service has been missing key titles from publishing companies such as Random House and Hachette.  Continue reading Oyster Boosts Subscription Service with Digital eBook Store

Apple to Unveil New Watch, Beats Music Service and Apple TV

Apple has scheduled two upcoming events during which the company is expected to share more about the release of some of the year’s most anticipated products, including the relaunch of Beats Music, a new Apple TV set-top, and the Apple Watch. The company will introduce the remake of Beats Music, a streaming music service with curated playlists, at an event in June. Meanwhile, today’s “Spring Forward” event will likely feature the long awaited Apple Watch and its Watchkit applications. Continue reading Apple to Unveil New Watch, Beats Music Service and Apple TV

Streaming Competition Ramps Up for Children’s Programming

Netflix, Amazon, YouTube and Nickelodeon are competing more than ever for a younger audience by offering on demand children’s programming. Netflix plans to add as many as five new original kids shows next year to go hand in hand with its exclusive library of Disney and DreamWorks content. Amazon has ordered second seasons of its kids programming and Nickelodeon recently launched a streaming service for kids ages 2-6. Even YouTube has developed a kid-friendly app for preschoolers.  Continue reading Streaming Competition Ramps Up for Children’s Programming

NBCUniversal is Developing Comedy Video Subscription Service

NBCUniversal hopes to reach the under-35-year-olds with its new comedy subscription service. The streaming service would likely include episodes of NBC shows such as “The Tonight Show” starring Jimmy Fallon and “Saturday Night Live,” in addition to exclusive original content. NBCUniversal is developing this new product to regain some of its cord-cutting viewers who have abandoned pay TV for online streaming. Currently, some of the company’s content is available on YouTube. Continue reading NBCUniversal is Developing Comedy Video Subscription Service

E-Book Subscription Service Scribd Now Includes Comic Books

Scribd customers now have unlimited access to some of the biggest names in comic books. The startup added comic books and graphic novels to its catalog of e-books and audiobooks that subscribers pay to access for $8.99 per month. Scribd currently has more than 100 million subscribers worldwide and over one million e-books, audiobooks and comic books. Marvel, Archie and Valiant are just a few of the comic book publishers that have signed on to offer their titles via Scribd. Continue reading E-Book Subscription Service Scribd Now Includes Comic Books

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

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