Small Ad Networks May Suffer from “Do Not Track” Proposals

The Worldwide Web Consortium and the Digital Advertising Alliance have been working on separate efforts to draft rules that would allow Internet users to browse without being tracked by online marketing companies. However, the proposals from both groups will still allow Google or Facebook to track consumers on their own sites or properties such as Gmail or any site with a Facebook “Like” button. Small ad networks say the new proposals will undercut their business. Continue reading Small Ad Networks May Suffer from “Do Not Track” Proposals

Netflix Turns to Original Series and Licensing 5-Star Content

According to Netflix CFO David Wells, the streaming service plans on spending $3.2 billion on streaming content in 2014. Netflix acknowledged that a large fraction of the currently available material is not necessarily popular with its audience and plans to spend more money on shows with higher potential. A content shift through the next few quarters toward more original series along with licensing exclusive and higher-rated shows will account for this extra spending. Continue reading Netflix Turns to Original Series and Licensing 5-Star Content

Report: UHD TV to Reach One-Third of U.S. Households by 2020

According to a new report from Strategy Analytics, Ultra High-Definition is poised for rapid adoption in the U.S., with a projected 33 percent of households expected to have UHD TV sets by 2020. The report, “Ultra High-Definition TV Displays: Global Market Forecast: 2012-2020,” predicts that North America will become the leading region in UHD penetration by 2020, and entry level prices for UHD TVs will drop below $2,000 this year from one or more of the major brands. Continue reading Report: UHD TV to Reach One-Third of U.S. Households by 2020

Apple Leads Global PC Market, Lenovo Holds the No. 2 Spot

According to market researcher Canalys, Apple is maintaining a comfortable lead in the global PC market, despite a disappointing quarter for the iPad. In the worldwide market sector that includes tablets, laptops and desktops, Apple is the number one supplier, with Lenovo gaining ground. Apple sold about 20 million Macs and iPads in the first quarter. While the decline in iPads was the sharpest to date, Canalys believes Apple will continue to dominate the tablet market, due in large part to its robust ecosystem. Continue reading Apple Leads Global PC Market, Lenovo Holds the No. 2 Spot

Yahoo News Digest Now Available Globally on iOS and Android

Last week, Yahoo announced the launch of its News Digest app for Android devices. The company has also made the iOS version available for all users worldwide by adding Canadian and International editions (it was originally only available to iOS device users based in the United States or United Kingdom). Using algorithmic and human curation, Yahoo News Digest provides news round-ups twice a day, each story presented with a collection of articles, maps, Wikipedia entries, videos and photos. Continue reading Yahoo News Digest Now Available Globally on iOS and Android

Instagram Improves Explore Tab for Personalized Experience

Instagram has redesigned its “Explore” tab to provide a more relevant experience for users, rather than showcase random pictures that receive a lot of global Likes. The Explore tab will now display the photos and videos “Liked” by individuals that a user is actively following. This personalization reflects Instagram’s focus on each user’s social graph, which contrasts with the approach by Vine that largely centers on re-sharing content and notable video creators. Continue reading Instagram Improves Explore Tab for Personalized Experience

In 2013, 71 Million People Watched Online Computer Gameplay

Last year, more than 71 million people worldwide watched other people play computer games, according to a report from games research company SuperData. More than half of those people were in the United States and one in five American gamers either watch or participate in eSports, or organized video game competitions. At the League of Legends Season 3 World Championship last year, 32 million people watched the professional gamers battle it out. Continue reading In 2013, 71 Million People Watched Online Computer Gameplay

Google Aims to Steal Cloud Services Top Spot from Amazon

Amazon pioneered the idea of cloud services that allow individuals to build websites and other apps without using their own hardware. Google has also offered these services, but is repositioning itself to create a larger business out of cloud services. The IT market that spans hardware and software used to operate businesses is worth $600 billion, and cloud services have the potential to take a major share. Google is hoping to make its cloud service business even larger than its enormous ad business. Continue reading Google Aims to Steal Cloud Services Top Spot from Amazon

Gartner Report Forecasts Increase in Global Device Shipments

A new report from Gartner forecasts that combined global shipments of PCs, tablets, ultramobiles and mobile phones will reach 2.5 billion units in 2014, a 6.9 percent jump from the previous year (device shipments increased 4.8 percent in 2013). Gartner also predicts that the drop in sales of traditional PCs will continue to impact overall growth of devices, and the trend of substituting tablets for PCs will decline. As device saturation reaches a new high, pressure on margins is expected to lead to declining prices and emphasis on new features. Continue reading Gartner Report Forecasts Increase in Global Device Shipments

QuizUp Social Trivia App Draws More Than Twelve Million Users

Icelandic startup Plain Vanilla Games announced that the recently released Android version of its QuizUp trivia app drew one million downloads in the week after its launch, and is now averaging about 100,000 new registered users per day. The iOS version launched four months earlier and has attracted more than 10 million users. QuizUp pits users against friends and strangers worldwide, testing general knowledge across topics such as sports, TV, movies, music, books, science, geography and history. Continue reading QuizUp Social Trivia App Draws More Than Twelve Million Users

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

Banjo Raises $16 Million, Aims to Become TiVo for Social Media

Banjo Inc. has raised $16 million in Series B funding in its pursuit to become like a DVR for compelling social media content and conversations. Banjo offers a way to view aggregated, relevant social conversations about news and events attached to specific geographic locations or venues, all in one convenient stream. The startup recently released Android and iOS versions of its mobile app with a new Banjo Rewind feature that lets users access a past event to learn what people were discussing about it. Continue reading Banjo Raises $16 Million, Aims to Become TiVo for Social Media

CE Manufacturers Concerned Over Lack of Global 4K Standards

Journalist and ETCentric community member Adrian Pennington published a story last week regarding the need for global UHD standards, which included comments by Pixel Power CTO Nick Wright. “The staggered introduction of Ultra HD 4K production, distribution and display equipment risks fragmenting the market, adding unnecessary cost and yet again ending any chance of fielding a single, worldwide television standard,” writes Adrian. “The issue is causing concern among many manufacturers.” Continue reading CE Manufacturers Concerned Over Lack of Global 4K Standards

HBO Chief Exec on a Standalone Version of HBO GO Service

During a Q&A session at the Morgan Stanley Technology, Media and Telecom Conference in San Francisco yesterday, HBO CEO Richard Plepler indicated that the company has considered offering a standalone version of its HBO GO service. However, the prospect of offering broadband-only distribution will depend largely on demand, and only a small percentage of subscribers currently use HBO GO. The traditional model is still working for the premium channel, which reported subscriber gains of 2 million in 2013. Continue reading HBO Chief Exec on a Standalone Version of HBO GO Service

Worldwide Tablet Sales Up 68 Percent, Android Takes the Lead

Global tablet sales reached 195.4 million units last year, a 68 percent increase compared to 2012, according to Gartner. While sales of iOS tablets declined to 36 percent of the market in 2013, Android tablets captured the number 1 spot with with 62 percent of the market, thanks to the growth of low-end smaller screen tablets and first time buyers. However, when looking at sales by vendor, Apple still holds the lead, followed by Samsung, Asus, Amazon and Lenovo. Continue reading Worldwide Tablet Sales Up 68 Percent, Android Takes the Lead

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