Xbox Live services to go free from April 19-23
In an attempt to get some more users hooked on its premium Xbox Live subscription service, Microsoft will offer it for free for five days, commencing on Thursday, April 19, and running until Monday, April 23. Partners like Hulu Plus, Netflix, and EPIX will also open their doors for free during the same time period. Depending on where users are, however, they will get various amounts of free app access during those five days.
Ad-supported content available for free
Vevo has brought its music video library to the Xbox 360, enabling users to access more than 45,000 titles. The content is available in HD resolution and for free, through an ad-supported app that supports Kinect navigation.
Joint venture accused of hypocrisy
Vevo, a joint venture owned by several major music labels, has been accused of streaming a pirated NFL game at an event the company hosted during the Sundance Film Festival. Attendees were reportedly able to watch a football playoff game featuring the Patriots versus the Ravens, however the video feed was being illegally streamed from the Spanish site TuTele.tv via sports stream aggregator Frontrow.tv.
Vevo may drop YouTube for Facebook in hosting
Music video provider Vevo might shift its library from YouTube to Facebook if leaks are accurate. The service is believed in "very preliminary" talks that would see Facebook host the content and split ad revenue, CNET understood. The two sides had met "at least twice" and as recently as within two weeks.
Xbox 360 live TV goes available worldwide
Microsoft as repeatedly rumored has kicked off its Xbox 360 live TV option. Cable and fiber TV providers such as AT&T, Comcast, Verizon, as well as individual TV stations such as Bravo, Epix, HBO, and SyFy, are all promising apps for the new Xbox Dashboard to watch TV online. Most if not all of the services will require that viewers authenticate to get access and will still need to have traditional TV.
Facebook music service to get more partners
Facebook's imminent music service should include more partners than thought. New code exploration from Yvo Schaap has shown that Rhapsody, Deezer, Soundcloud, and Vevo will join those known to be part of the service. MOG, Rdio, and Spotify had been the only services identified before.
MySpace takes bids from six companies in selloff
News Corp's plans to sell off MySpace will come to a head this week, insiders said Tuesday night. About six companies, possibly including Vevo and Bebo's recent acquirer Criterion Capital Partners, were all expected to make bids by the end of the week. A Wall Street Journal source named an unnamed Chinese company as having talked about a deal, but it wasn't said whether this company would make the bid.
MySpace rumored dumped to joint venture with Vevo
News Corp's plans to offload MySpace may have it move the social network to the music video site Vevo, insiders said. While tentative, the strategy would see MySpace sold to Vevo in return for a share of the project. Bloomberg's sources suggested it would bolster the music videos with artist and fan pages as well as MySpace's other music content.
Supports video out
Music video service Vevo has released an official iPad app, Vevo HD. Complementing an existing iPhone title, the app mostly provides easier access to Vevo's library of over 25,000 videos. iPad clips are displayed in a larger resolution, and can be watched on a TV using a compatible output cable.
App, website to host videos simultaneously
Video website Vevo has launched a dedicated iPhone app. Users can more easily stream the service's music videos, mostly by mainstream, heavily-marketed acts like Eminem, Lady Gaga and Kanye West. A selection of videos by lesser-known artists like Sarah Harmer is also available, and in fact one browsing option concentrates explicitly on new artists.
Online music sales not yet at turning point
Online sales of music were up significantly in 2009 but still weren't enough to compensate for dropping CD sales, the IFPI said today in its annual overview. The revenue from Amazon, iTunes and other sources climbed 12 percent to $4.2 billion during the year, but a corresponding drop in CD sales is estimated to have made total revenues shrink by 8 to 9 percent to about $15.6 billion.
YouTube to test rentals with limited run
YouTube on Wednesday revealed that it will start offering video rentals through its site. In sync with the Sundance Film Festival, the host plans to rent movies from the 2009 and 2010 Sundance festivals as well as "other U.S. partners." Those from the festivals will be available through to January 31st, while other movies and videos should be available in the weeks ahead.
Warner Music adds videos to Hulu service
Warner Music Group announced this past Tuesday that it will provide its music videos, concerts and other related content to Hulu's free online video service. At the same time, Hulu users will now be able to access artist interviews and behind-the-scenes footage of recording labels that include Atlantic Records, Rhino Records and Warner Bros Records. Muse will be the first band to get their music content displayed on Hulu.
VEVO carries major labels, sponsors
YouTube late Tuesday unveiled a long-in-development project meant to drive music videos. VEVO provides a larger, streamlined approach to artists' videos than YouTube and organizes their content by more logical categories, such as by the genre or by channels. It still supports common features like embedding but stresses music-friendly features like synchronized text lyrics and direct links to songs when they're available in iTunes.