Streaming Services May Revive Falling Music Industry Revenue

Worldwide recorded-music revenue fell below $15 billion in 2014 for the first time in years, but the growth of streaming music services may have helped slow the decline, according to a new report from the International Federation of the Phonographic Industry. For the first time, digital music sales exceeded CD sales. Revenue from streaming services rose 39 percent, and if the trend continues, the music industry might start to see a rise in revenue as early as next year. Continue reading Streaming Services May Revive Falling Music Industry Revenue

Sparked by Growth in China, Worldwide Ticket Sales Increase

According to the Motion Picture Association of America, global box office numbers were up 1 percent in 2014 over 2013, but ticket sales in North America dropped about 5 percent. The MPAA notes that China saw significant growth, a 34 percent increase year-over-year. Global ticket sales climbed to $36.4 billion last year — with $10.4 billion recorded for the U.S. and Canada and $4.8 billion in China. While domestic per capita ticket sales increased among moviegoers 50 to 59 and slightly among those 40 to 49, sales among viewers younger than 40 dropped. Continue reading Sparked by Growth in China, Worldwide Ticket Sales Increase

HBO to Test Simultaneous Global Airing of ‘Game of Thrones’

The fifth season of HBO’s global hit series, “Game of Thrones” is slated to premiere in the U.S. on April 12. This time around, however, the cable network plans to broadcast the series simultaneously worldwide in an effort to combat piracy. When episodes air at 9:00 pm in New York, they will also air at 2:00 am in London and 9:00 am in Hong Kong. While the international air times may seem unusual, HBO hopes they will curtail the number of illegal downloads of what has become the most-pirated TV show in the world. Continue reading HBO to Test Simultaneous Global Airing of ‘Game of Thrones’

Europe Writes Internet Rules to Take Greater Role on the Web

The European Union drafted a new data-privacy policy that it hopes will be adopted around the world. The policy would require companies to include the “right to be forgotten” option so that people could ask for their links to be removed and to ask users for explicit consent to use their personal data. Europe is looking to have more influence on the Web, which is currently dominated by U.S. companies. Representatives from the EU are lobbying other countries to institute the policy. Continue reading Europe Writes Internet Rules to Take Greater Role on the Web

Facebook Releases New Apps for Advertisers and Designers

Facebook has unveiled two new iOS apps designed for people working behind the scenes. Designers now have a tool that lets them prototype the interface of an app without writing a single line of code. The Origami Live app will then roughly translate the design into code with the click of a button. Facebook has also created a new app for advertisers so that they can schedule or even create their Facebook ads from their phone. Facebook Ads Manager provides metrics on the ad’s performance. Continue reading Facebook Releases New Apps for Advertisers and Designers

Cisco 2019 Forecast: 5.2 Billion People Will Be Mobile Users

Cisco recently released its annual forecast for global mobile data traffic, predicting that mobile traffic will experience tenfold growth during 2014-2019. By the end of that period, Cisco expects that 69 percent of the world’s population (5.2 billion people) will be mobile users. The company also anticipates 4.6 billion smartphones, compared with 3.1 billion feature phones by 2019. The study, which also addresses connected tablets and Wi-Fi-enabled laptops, suggests that 97 percent of worldwide traffic will come from smart devices. Continue reading Cisco 2019 Forecast: 5.2 Billion People Will Be Mobile Users

Global Tablet Shipments Drop 12 Percent Year-Over-Year in Q4

Facing the growing popularity of phablets, the tablet market experienced its first worldwide decline after multiple quarters of slowing demand. According to Canalys, global tablet shipments fell 12 percent from Q4 2013 to 67 million units in Q4 2014. The end of 2014 also marked the fourth consecutive quarterly loss for Apple’s tablet shipments. In Q4, iPad shipments plunged 18 percent, while Samsung’s tablet shipments fell by 24 percent. Although Amazon and Lenovo had promising seasonal sales, the industry experienced an overall drop in demand. Continue reading Global Tablet Shipments Drop 12 Percent Year-Over-Year in Q4

Cyanogen: Microsoft Plans to Invest in New Version of Android

Microsoft is planning to invest in Cyanogen, a startup that is building another version of the Android mobile operating system independent of Google. While Google requires smartphone manufacturers to feature Google apps and Google search, Cyanogen’s new operating system does not plan to have any similar requirements. For Microsoft, that means its Bing search engine and other software has a better chance of succeeding on smartphones with the alternative Cyanogen-built operating system. Continue reading Cyanogen: Microsoft Plans to Invest in New Version of Android

Android Dominated in Global Smartphone Shipments Last Year

According to recent figures released by Strategy Analytics, 2014 marked significant milestones for the mobile industry. Global annual shipments reached 1.28 billion devices from OEMs to retailers and carriers for sale, and Android-based smartphones captured 81 percent of the worldwide market, accounting for more than one billion handsets. Android has become the first platform to surpass the one billion mark for shipments. Apple captured 15 percent of the market last year, shipping 193 million units. Continue reading Android Dominated in Global Smartphone Shipments Last Year

Google Invests in SpaceX to Push Worldwide Internet Access

SpaceX recently landed a $1 billion investment from Google and investment firm Fidelity. Google’s commitment to SpaceX is part of the company’s ambitious plan to facilitate Internet connectivity on a global scale in order to serve more areas of the world, reach consumers more directly, and ultimately get its products into more hands. In addition, Google has plans to offer a wireless service through deals with Sprint and T-Mobile, which could lead to rivals lowering their prices and improving connectivity speeds. Continue reading Google Invests in SpaceX to Push Worldwide Internet Access

4K TV Shipments Up 700 Percent, to Top 100 Million in 2018

Research from Futuresource Consulting points to a 3 percent increase for the worldwide television market in 2014 over the previous year. However, 2014 is also expected to experience a decline in average retail prices from $652 to $608. The report suggests that 4K TVs will reach 100+ million units in 2018, with 11.6 million units shipping this year (a 700 percent jump). China accounts for more than 70 percent of demand for 4K, while Western Europe and North America represent 10 percent and 8 percent, respectively. Continue reading 4K TV Shipments Up 700 Percent, to Top 100 Million in 2018

LINE Messaging App Plans to Start Subscription Music Service

The company behind the LINE messaging app is the latest to join the crowded music streaming business. LINE will launch “LINE MUSIC” in collaboration with recording labels Avex Digital and Sony Music Entertainment. The new venture is backed by about $4 million, but it will have to compete with established streaming services such as Spotify, Pandora, and Google. LINE has achieved success with its messaging app, which now has over 500 million registered users. Continue reading LINE Messaging App Plans to Start Subscription Music Service

Tumblr Takes Lead as World’s Fastest Growing Social Platform

While Facebook is by far the world’s leading social platform (with 1.35 billion active monthly users), new research from the Global Web Index points to Tumblr as the fastest growing platform. Tumblr’s active user base grew 120 percent over the last six months, while Facebook only experienced a 2 percent bump. And in terms of overall member growth, Pinterest had 57 percent growth, compared to Facebook’s base growth of 6 percent. In mobile apps, Snapchat saw the most growth, up 56 percent this year. Continue reading Tumblr Takes Lead as World’s Fastest Growing Social Platform

Elon Musk Plans to Provide Internet Access on a Global Scale

Elon Musk, entrepreneur and CEO of SpaceX and Tesla Motors, has set global Internet access as his most recent endeavor. Working together with former Google executive and WorldVu Satellites founder Greg Wyler, Musk plans to design smaller and less expensive satellites that would compete with those already in space. Sources predict that the duo plans to launch close to 700 of these satellites. The projected cost of the project is in the range of about $1 billion. Continue reading Elon Musk Plans to Provide Internet Access on a Global Scale

Chinese Startup OnePlus Unveils $299 High-End Smartphone

Many of today’s top-tier smartphones can cost upwards of $650 (a price often hidden in a carrier plan), which hasn’t changed since Apple launched its first iPhone in 2007. Chinese startup OnePlus is aiming to change that. This month, the company will begin taking pre-orders for the One, a low-cost, high-end smartphone that runs a flexible version of Google’s Android called CyanogenMod. The $299 price tag is not part of a carrier plan, but the total cost, making the One about half the price of competing phones. Continue reading Chinese Startup OnePlus Unveils $299 High-End Smartphone

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