New payment option lowers cost for multiple users to access Spotify
Spotify is adding a new subscription option to its plan roster, one which covers multiple users. Spotify Family will provide access to the premium version of the music streaming service to up to five nominated users, with the group plan being discounted heavily compared to the single-user subscription, a payment option Rdio first introduced in June of last year.
Streaming version of HBO will be offered outside of current pay-TV packages
HBO will be starting up a stand-alone streaming service in the United States, the CEO has confirmed. Starting from next year, the broadcaster will be offering subscriptions to stream its content to customers with broadband Internet connections, without it being bundled alongside other channels as part of a more expensive pay-TV package.
Denied for Mac offers rule creation option for avoiding the music you hate
Since it's now commonplace to regularly listen to randomly generated or pre-curated music playlists, there will inevitably be songs you're not a fan of thrown into those mixes. Denied for Mac does one thing, and does it really well - it spares you from songs you don't care to hear, while streaming content from subscription-based platforms or iTunes. Though a convenient addition to an average listening experience, is it worth paying for?
Grooveshark disagrees with decision as it's based on 'an early iteration' of the service
After record labels were granted a summary judgment from a US District Court judge in New York in September, streaming music service Grooveshark says it's gearing up for an appeal to the the case. The reason for the appeal sounds somewhat defiant, as Grooveshark states it doesn't agree with the decision since it was based on "an early iteration of Grooveshark."
Users will be refunded for remaining time on October 10
Redbox and Verizon's collaborative effort for online video streaming, Redbox Instant, is shutting down. October 7 marks the service's last day, with refunds issued to current customers on October 10. Any kiosk credits owed may be used before 11:59PM local time on October 7. Unaffected by the change is the actual Redbox service, which will continue as before.
Plans to revamp Beats Music next year at lower monthly price
Apple is asking the major music labels to adjust their agreements with the iPhone maker to allow to go ahead with a planned revision of the subscription-based Beats Music service that may well portend a lowering of the monthly cost. The company apparently plans to introduce changes to the service next year, and wants to obtain new rights and features at a lower price as part of what it has in mind. Streaming services have recently gained in popularity at around the $10 per month mark, which is what Beats Music charges.
Spotify opens Canadian streaming service to everyone
Spotify has opened up its service in Canada to all users, following a brief invitational period. The streaming music service boasts over 20 million songs served on 320kbps streams, with chief content officer Ken Parks claiming the collection has been "tailor made for Canadian music fans." Users have the same ad-supported free and paid service options as other regions, with Spotify Premium priced at $10 per month.
PlayStation TV includes PS Now, in-home PlayStation 4 streaming
Sony will launch the PlayStation TV in North America from October 14th, it has revealed. The micro-console, capable of streaming games from the PlayStation 4 similar to the handheld PS Vita, will be able to play titles from a catalog of nearly 700 games from launch day, with one report hinting that more capabilities could be on the way.
Jury awards Personal Audio $1.3 million, less than the $7.8 million sought
Podcasters may not be in the clear of potential patent violations after a ruling this week in a Texas court. Six jurors found that CBS Corporation, home of the television network with shows like The Big Bang Theory and Person of Interest, infringed upon the patent by streaming episodic content of its television shows on the Internet. The trial only lasted four days, with CBS failing to prove the patent owned by Personal Audio LLC should be invalidated.
Music streaming service comes to Amazon's set-top box with Spotify Connect
Spotify announced this week that the music streaming service has made it to one of the products under Amazon's expanding lineup. Amazon Fire TV owners will now be able to use Spotify Connect to access the millions of songs the service offers on a subscription basis. The company notes that users can navigate Spotify Connect using a smartphone or a tablet as the remote, also seamlessly handing off the sound to the Fire TV. Spotify notes that a premium subscription is required to use the service on the Fire TV, which runs $10 a month.
Google reveals apps updated with support for Chromecast streaming
Owners of the Chromecast will have more choice of what to watch in future, as Google has revealed a new collection of supported apps for the streaming device. Watch Disney, Watch Disney Junior, and Watch Disney XD offer shows for children, with the iHeartRadio, Twitch, and DramaFever apps also joining the roster of Chromecast-compatible apps.
Deezer launching in United States with beta streaming for Sonos owners
Music streaming service Deezer is finally heading to the United States, after being available across Europe, Canada, and a few other countries for some time. In order to differentiate itself from the competition, Deezer plans to offer a higher quality of stream to owners of Sonos speaker systems, with a far higher bitrate than Spotify and Rdio streams available on 90 percent of the catalog.
Sponsored sessions provide advertising-free Spotify for 30 minutes
Spotify will soon be showing video-based advertising to listeners of its free service. The streaming music company has revealed it will start airing the videos to its free users shortly, with both desktop and mobile app users set to see the clips, though marketers will have a few options for how their advertizing efforts get utilized by the service.
Shuffle play mode now available for Windows Phone 8.1, free version supported by ads
Subscripiton music streaming service Spotify has announced that it is bringing its free listening experience to Windows Phones beginning today. In today's software update, owners of phones like the Nokia Lumia 920 or the HTC One (M8) for Windows can now partake in the Spotify experience, with a few limitations. As with the expansion into a free version for Android and iOS in December, the offering is supported by in-app advertising.
Netflix competitor Shomi boasts 14,000 TV shows, 11,000 hours of programming
Canadian cable companies Rogers and Shaw are preparing to open up its own streaming video equivalent to Netflix later this year. Shomi is a subscription video-on-demand service which will provide movies and TV show streams, which the two companies plan to launch in the first week of November for an estimated $9 per month, the same cost as its competition.
Trial period will be free, pricing expected to be similar to US premium cost
Roughly a month after first announcing its expansion into Canada, subscription streaming music service Spotify is now sending invites to people who signed up to receive notification when the service was imminent. Invitations are currently still on a limited basis, but the company is testing the service in Canada presently, Electronista has verified. Canada is not yet officially listed on the company's website as one of the countries it serves, but an official debut is expected in the coming weeks.
Apologies issued for surprise changes, some clarification added on audio recognition
[Updated with Twitch VOD highlight and appeal change] Twitch CEO Emmett Shear did an "ask me anything" Q-n-A on Reddit today, fielding numerous questions over the recent changes that the game-streaming service underwent this week. While Shear confirmed information on most of the changes that had already taken place, he did try to reassure users that the moves were done with a purpose.
Company shutters video service to focus on gaming site, old videos inaccessible
The online streaming video site that spawned Twitch has announced that it is closing down, effective today. Justin.tv, which was launched in 2007 by Justin Kan, Emmett Shear, Michael Seibel and Kyle Vogt, changed its website to a goodbye video and answered some questions about the future of the company and its users. The streaming service was touted as a "life streaming" platform that allowed a look into the everyday lives of the users, and its founders.
Home server replacement captures antenna, cable channels for viewing on most devices
For consumers trying to cut the cord and rely solely on the Internet for television entertainment, there are still some issues. Mainly, the problem is that local channels aren't accessible through existing streaming methods, outside of the some clips or news shorts from a website. Are there other options out there for people that still want to see their local news or sporting events without maintaining a cable subscription? Yes, thanks to Simple.tv. But does the device work in a manner that is consumer-friendly, or does it cause more problems than its worth? Find out in our review.
Agreement dates back to May, but wasn't planned to be announced to the public
In the quest to give its users a better streaming experience, Netflix has reached an agreement with AT&T to gain a direct network connection. The two companies revealed that they entered into a peering deal after news broke from anonymous sources that the movie service reached another streaming arrangement. Previously, Netflix had worked out similar deals with Verizon and Comcast.
Deal said to be worth $1 billion, matching previously rumored purchase amounts
A new report has surfaced that Google has signed a deal that would see the search giant picking up the popular game streaming platform Twitch for $1 billion. The report adds builds on the previous report floating around that Twitch was being courted by Google's video arm for a possible purchase with a price tag in the same ballpark. By purchasing Twitch, Google could be positioning itself to be the number one destination for live streaming games, as well as watching associated videos.
Israeli startup to be a part of Yahoo's cloud team, join research center in Tel Aviv
Yahoo announced last week that it is acquiring the Israel-based video streaming startup RayV for an undisclosed sum. The company will help Yahoo build on its video offerings, giving the company the technology it needs as it looks forward to video content for the future, says the search engine. The deal first made its way across the tech industry as a rumor back in May.
Original repository remains intact, popcorn-official and time4popcorn dead
The US Motion Picture Association of America (MPAA) has issued Digital Millennium Copyright Act (DMCA) takedown requests for code repositories for BitTorrent-based video streaming projects based on the Popcorn Time core. The MPAA requested that the code for "popcorn-official" and "time4popcorn" projects be removed from GitHub, but the original Popcorn Time repository remains intact and undeleted.
Jury finds Apple did not push app developers into infringing older streaming patent
Apple has scored another legal victory, this time against Israeli firm Emblaze and its charge that Apple induced app developers to infringe Emblaze's US patent on live video streaming. A federal jury found in Friday that Apple was not guilty of requiring any of the seven example apps used in the trial to use Apple's own HLS (HTTP live streaming) protocol, and thus did not foster infringement of the patent. Emblaze, a struggling audio company that had tried to sell the technology many times, is also suing Microsoft in a similar case.
Blue warning notices appear under buffering YouTube videos, linking to a quality report
Google is taking a leaf out of Netflix's playbook, by hinting to YouTube users that their Internet service provider (ISP) is slow or poor. A new blue banner stating "Experiencing interruptions?" has started to appear underneath YouTube clips when users experience buffering or poor quality video, along with a link to the search company's YouTube Quality Report.
Lawyers use ruling to show 'unauthorized transmissions' through Hopper DVR
After the United States Supreme Court ruled against Aereo, effectively ending the company, Fox Broadcasting has been quick to use the ruling in another case, as uncovered by The Guardian. The media company has been waging a war against Dish Network and its Hopper DVR with Dish Anywhere streaming. The case is set for a hearing in the United States Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals on July 7 in California.
Redux to bring discovery technology to Crunchyroll, will shut down apps
Popular anime and drama streaming service Crunchyroll has announced today that it has acquired video discovery startup Redux. The team behind Redux will be joining the Crunchyroll family, bringing with them experience in lean-back types of video discovery. As part of the acquisition, Redux will wind down their service and apps.
Service thought to be YouTube clone won't focus on user generated content
An article from Gigaom suggests that Comcast is looking to test its streaming platform by the end of the year. The idea of a Comcast streaming service was rumored to be under development by the company in March, but few details have been released since then. Comcast is looking to bring more focused content, hoping to retain audience attention with a variety of channels they already have rights to.
Over 1M songs available on Amazon Prime Music at launch
Amazon has launched its long-rumored music streaming service, just one day after reports claiming it would do so this week. Prime Music follows on from Prime Instant Video and the Kindle Lending Library as an extra service included in the $99 annual Prime delivery subscription, giving customers the ability to stream music to multiple devices without any advertising.
Verizon drops places in latest Netflix speed rankings
Netflix will soon stop its customized error message warning of issues with specific Internet service providers (ISP), the video streaming company has advised. At the same time as releasing ISP speed results for May, Netflix states it will stop the customized notifications when its "small scale test" concludes on June 16th, before deciding whether or not it will extend the practice to other markets and ISPs.
Possible June, July launch touted for launch as part of Prime subscription
Amazon's rumored music streaming service could be launching sometime this June or July, though it may have issues competing with Spotify, Beats Music, and other competitors, according to a report. Rather than aiming to provide a wide selection of music, including newer titles, it is rumored Amazon will offer a restricted catalog, using songs and albums that are six months old or order.
Report shows streaming performance of YouTube videos over 30-day period
Google is expanding the coverage of its Video Quality Report to all Internet service providers in the United States. Originally launched in Canada in January, the service monitors the quality of connections between YouTube servers and the end user, with ratings provided for each ISP in an attempt to pressure telecommunication companies to improve their services.
World Cup will be first live-streamed sporting event
Apple is in the process of creating a dedicated ESPN station for iTunes Radio, its ad-supported free streaming service. The new channel will carry both original ESPN audio programs and will offer some live sports streaming, including this year's World Cup broadcast -- the first time a sporting event will be live-streamed through iTunes Radio. As reported in March, a number of local NPR affiliates will also be joining the iTunes Radio lineup.
Google takes stance against Comcast, Verizon charging for 'last mile' access
Google will not charge Internet services to host their content at Google Fiber locations, it has revealed. A Google Fiber blog post states the Internet service provider will provide free colocation at its Fiber facilities for services like Netflix, rather than following the lead of Comcast and Verizon in charging for direct access to the last mile connection to the customer.
Dish Network customers can access Hopper DVR through Playstation 3 app
Dish Network has teamed up with Sony to release a Virtual Joey Playstation 3 app that allows control of Hopper DVRs through the gaming console. Through the app, the Playstation 3 speaks with the Hopper DVR over an Ethernet connection. The application eliminates the need for another set-top box, but can be controlled with the Dualshock 3 controller or a Dish remote.
Streaming service adds worldwide subscribers at rapid clip
Streaming on-demand music service Spotify has announced that it has hit a milestone in mainstream adoption, with 10 million paying subscribers among its 40 million worldwide listeners. The figure is up 66 percent from March, when it reported just six million paying customers. Among the top streaming services, Spotify has a much broader reach than any of the others, operating in 56 worldwide markets.
Google, YouTube, Twitch in acquisition discussions, deal possibly struck already
Game video streaming service Twitch could be acquired by Google in the future, according to reports. The deal, according to Variety, is said to have been reached between Twitch and the Google-owned YouTube, with the all-cash offer claimed to be worth at least $1 billion, though the Wall Street Journal believes the two companies are in early-stage discussions, and are not imminently close to an acquisition.
Latest in a series of album debuts attracting listeners, press
Apple's iTunes Radio continues to attract publicity and listeners through a string of recent streaming "listening party" album debuts, with the latest being Coldplay offering their latest album, Ghost Stories, as a free stream on the service. The new album, which debuts May 19, joins a long list of recent debuts, including albums by The Black Keys, Pharrell, Eminem and Beyonce.
New 'Turn Blue' to be released May 13; two songs available now
As part of an ongoing effort to differentiate itself from other streaming services, iTunes Radio has lately been on a tear of offering pre-release albums streamed on the ad-supported service. The latest entry is the new album Turn Blue by The Black Keys, now available to listen to in its entirety through a dedicated "First Play" channel. Also currently available under the "First Play" moniker are new albums by Michael W. Smith and Chromeo.
Select Nvidia cards to come bundled with Ubisoft's cyber thriller title
Nvidia has announced a new software bundle for customers who purchase select Nvidia GeForce GTX video cards, starting on April 29. While more recent bundles have focused on free-to-play games, the newest bundle offers customers a copy of Ubisoft's Watch_Dogs when it releases on May 27. Consumers that purchase a GTX 780 Ti, 780, 770 or 760 card will be eligible for the promotion.
Ad-supported mobile service touted as Hulu Plus hits 6M subscribers
Hulu will be enabling full episode streaming on its mobile apps for all users, the streaming service has revealed. Previously only available to Hulu Plus subscribers, users will be able to watch a selection of complete episodes of shows on mobile devices for free on the advertising-supported service from this summer, on top of the existing free service available via the desktop.
Streaming set-top box being offered to TWC subscribers
Fan TV, a set-top box from Fanhattan and designer Yves Behar unveiled last year, has signed a deal with Time Warner Cable, and has opened up for pre-orders. The device, which combines a number of streaming services in a similar way to the Roku and other media streamers, aims to streamline the viewing experience for users, and will be offered to Time Warner subscribers in the future.
High-resolution Netflix streams require 2014 smart TVs, fast Internet connection
Netflix has started to stream content at Ultra High Definition (4K), starting with original series House of Cards and a number of nature documentaries. The plans, which it first revealed last year and promoted at CES, provides owners of 4K televisions with more programming, though there are a number of caveats that potential viewers must work around.
SesameGO launches, offering US customers with kid-friendly streaming service
Sesame Workshop has today launched a educational television streaming service, called SesameGO. Offering children-centric, advertisement-free content, the service will features classic Sesame Street programming as well as current material. Web-focused, the service is optimized for Mac, PC, smartphones and tablets, with no native apps anticipated. SesameGO is available now for US residents, and is priced at $4 per month or $30 annually.
App update removes starred tracks from Spotify for new collection system
Spotify has made drastic changes to its user interface, by introducing a new darker theme. The change in appearance of the streaming music service across all platforms is joined by a new feature called "Your Music," something the company previewed in late 2012, allowing users to collect and manage their music without requiring users to create playlists.
Early-stage talks could see Apple-supplied device with higher-quality connection
Apple is reportedly in discussions with Comcast, which could see the two collaborate on a streaming TV service. Sources for the Wall Street Journal claim the service would involve Apple supplying the set-top box to customers, with Comcast giving the device preferential treatment in the bandwidth management of the connection itself.
Chromecast-like dongle from Amazon could offer high-end gaming
Amazon's rumored media streaming device may have more in common with the Google Chromecast than previously thought, according to a report. The retailer is said to be making the media player in the form of a dongle that can plug directly into a television's HDMI port, with one rumor claiming that it would have the ability to stream high quality games from a server, instead of relying on modified mobile titles for gaming.
Rate lower than ASCAP requested, higher than terrestrial radio
US Federal Court Judge Denise Cote has issued a ruling in a case between streaming music service Pandora and music publishers, which has set a new rate at which Pandora Radio will have to pay to the American Society of Composers, Authors and Publishers (ASCAP) for performance rights on streaming radio. The rate is set slightly higher than the 1.7 percent Radio Music Licensing Committee rate for terrestrial radio Pandora argued was appropriate, but far less than the tiered rate ASCAP proposed.
Agreement claimed to involve Netflix renting server space in Telenor data center
Netflix may be making more agreements with Internet service providers (ISP) to prevent throttling, and is apparently doing so outside of the United States. A deal between Netflix and Telenor of Norway is reported to be similar to one between the streaming service and Comcast, with Netflix said to be placing its servers within the ISP's own data centers.
First time the event has been held in the US, will stream live on web, iOS devices
Just a few days ahead of the beginning of the first US iTunes Festival, being held as part of the South by Southwest (SXSW) conference, Apple has now re-added its iTunes Festival channel back to Apple TV, where concerts will be streamed live. Currently the channel also offers information on the concert schedule and background on the various acts, as well as a history of the festival -- which has previously only been held in London.