Sonos Search Engine Can Play Any Song in Multiple Rooms

Wireless audio company Sonos has launched a redesign that will provide users with a universal search, essentially enabling them to play any song in the world. The innovation can pull songs from a user’s MP3 collection and from over two dozen streaming music services including Pandora, Spotify, and Beats Music, and play the music throughout multiple rooms. For the past decade Sonos has been making wireless multiroom audio systems, but previously they only functioned with Sonos software. Continue reading Sonos Search Engine Can Play Any Song in Multiple Rooms

Digital Cinema Consortium Plans to Acquire Satellite Network

The Digital Cinema Distribution Coalition — a consortium formed by AMC, Cinemark, Regal, Warner Bros. and Universal Pictures — signed a letter of intent to acquire the Deluxe/Echostar satellite network in a significant step toward updating the digital delivery of content to theaters and eventually eliminating the need to ship hard drives. Over the next 12-14 months, the consortium will pay to convert 699 Deluxe/Echostar screens to DCDC and add another 300 that were not yet deployed. Continue reading Digital Cinema Consortium Plans to Acquire Satellite Network

CinemaCon: Exhibitors Hope Alternative Content Will Fill Seats

Digital Cinema is a hot topic this week at CinemaCon in Las Vegas on two specific fronts: the pursuit of alternative content to help fill theater seats during weeknights, and the need for a cost-effective electronic delivery system to transmit content to theaters. Still in its infancy, alternative content has already seen a number of success stories, including Met Live in HD (the Metropolitan Opera) and a 3D broadcast of the 50th-anniversary special of the BBC’s “Doctor Who.” Continue reading CinemaCon: Exhibitors Hope Alternative Content Will Fill Seats

Music Companies Make Money from Fan-Made YouTube Videos

According to the annual Digital Music Report released this week by IFPI, which represents some 1,300 record companies worldwide, Google-owned YouTube is now the most popular music service in the world. Moreover, the recording industry is generating more revenue via advertising and royalties from fan-made mashups, lip-syncs and tributes on the popular video site than from officially-released music videos. YouTube currently has more than one billion global users. Continue reading Music Companies Make Money from Fan-Made YouTube Videos

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

Warner Music Group Uses Shazam to Identify Breakout Artists

Warner Music Group has entered a partnership with Shazam to gain access to unique customer data. This data will allow Warner Music Group to see how often songs are listened to, and help them find breakout artists. Shazam is a popular smartphone app that helps consumers identify songs, and has about 500 million song identification requests per month. Due to this large volume, Shazam’s data gives a strong indication of which songs are popular with the public. Continue reading Warner Music Group Uses Shazam to Identify Breakout Artists

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

Comcast to Acquire Time Warner Cable in $45.2 Billion Deal

Comcast Corp. has agreed to purchase Time Warner Cable in an all-stock deal worth about $45.2 billion, in a move that will combine the top two U.S. cable operators. The boards of both companies have approved the proposed deal. The announcement likely marks the conclusion of an eight-month takeover battle waged by cable operator Charter Communications and its largest shareholder, Liberty Media. However, the proposed transaction is expected to face lengthy regulatory review. Continue reading Comcast to Acquire Time Warner Cable in $45.2 Billion Deal

NBCUniversal Opens Tech Center with Focus on Collaboration

NBCUniversal announced the launch of its 63,000-square-foot NBCUniversal Technology Center in Englewood Cliffs, NJ. The $17 million facility will serve as the new center for the company’s core technology team and home for its new Media Labs operation, which plans to work with academic research groups, startups and venture capital firms. The facility’s Technology Show Lab will provide the opportunity for employees and outside partners to collaborate on new products and technology innovation. Continue reading NBCUniversal Opens Tech Center with Focus on Collaboration

Spotify Has Plans to Go Mobile with Free, Ad-Supported Music

Spotify has plans to launch a free, ad-supported version of its streaming music service on mobile devices, according to people familiar with the matter. The Sweden-based company has reached licensing deals with three of the global music companies to use their recordings on the service. The ad-supported offering will allow nonpaying mobile users to play a limited number of songs on demand, but will mostly serve up music based on user input, similar to services such as Pandora.

Continue reading Spotify Has Plans to Go Mobile with Free, Ad-Supported Music

Celebrities Now Give Driving Directions via Traffic App Waze

The traffic app Waze is partnering with Universal Pictures in order to produce a celebrity voice navigation feature. The first celebrity to give directions is comedian and actor Kevin Hart. Waze essentially crowdsources traffic and navigation data, and friends and fellow travelers are able to post updates that provide a real time picture of road conditions. The app gained popularity after it was acquired by Google earlier this year for $1.3 billion. Continue reading Celebrities Now Give Driving Directions via Traffic App Waze

Google Envisions a Web Beyond Cookie-Based Data Tracking

Google is in the early stages of developing its own alternative to cookies, which have a few limitations when it comes to tracking users. The company is working on universal IDs, which will track users from device to device. Whereas cookies can be erased and sometimes lead to ineffective ad targeting, universal IDs would provide more accurate user data. But it could also create a Google-owned monopoly of data. However, Google isn’t the only company working on cookie alternatives.  Continue reading Google Envisions a Web Beyond Cookie-Based Data Tracking

Home Entertainment Branding: Studios Adopt Digital Monikers

Hollywood studios adopted new terminology this week in home entertainment sell-through branding that will soon appear across marketing and communication efforts. The terms “Digital HD” and “Digital” will be used to package digital versions of filmed entertainment and television content. According to the Digital Entertainment Group, the branding intends to enhance the value of digital home entertainment offerings and offer consistency for consumers. Continue reading Home Entertainment Branding: Studios Adopt Digital Monikers

DCDC Launches Digital Theatrical Delivery Service via Satellite

The Digital Cinema Distribution Coalition launched the industry’s first-ever digital theatrical delivery service yesterday. The service delivers films and other content to theaters via satellite. The DCDC initiative was founded by theater chains AMC, Regal and Cinemark, with Warner Bros. and Universal. Partnering with the remaining major studios and exhibitors Southern Theatres and National Amusements, the service will reach about 17,000 screens in 1,200 theaters. Continue reading DCDC Launches Digital Theatrical Delivery Service via Satellite

YouTube to Launch New Premium On-Demand Music Service

According to inside sources, YouTube is readying a premium on-demand music service expected to launch later this year. The new YouTube offering, designed with mobile listening in mind, would be similar to a service such as Spotify, but include video. It is expected to be tiered with a free ad-supported option and a premium component that features unlimited access to a full catalog of tracks, similar to what Google offers with its All Access subscription music service. Continue reading YouTube to Launch New Premium On-Demand Music Service

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