Precisely one month after HBO Now debuted on iOS devices, we are getting a sense of how many consumers are paying for the mobile service. Based on App Annie statistics, the early traction looks terrific. HBO Now this week hit the No. 1 spot on the U.S. iPad revenue chart — and even more interestingly, it has soared to the No. 2 spot on the super-competitive U.S. iPhone revenue chart. More →
Jay Z this weekend tweeted an ominous and serious accusation: “There are many big companies that are spending millions on a smear campaign. We are not anti-anyone, we are pro-artist & fan.
#TidalFacts.” This would seem to indicate that he believes the broadly negative recent media coverage of his Tidal music streaming service is based on “big companies” waging an expensive media war on a small, floundering application. Is this a likely scenario? Let’s examine the timeline of the past week. More →
When Tidal made its big media push at the end of March, the core message was clear: while other streaming music services like Spotify and Pandora pay a pittance to artists, Tidal offers musicians a better deal. Unfortunately, Tidal also opted to use super stars like Nicki Minaj and Beyonce as spokespersons for the app. The result was the ultimate mixed message: You should feel sorry about how little money Nicki makes. More →
A few minutes after reporting its quarterly report, Netflix share prices spiked by 12%, despite having already climbed by 40% so far this year. The key surprise here is the subscriber growth: The company added 4.9 million new subscribers during the quarter, which is about 20% more than Wall Street expected. When Netflix offers a subscriber growth surprise of this magnitude, investors will overlook earnings and revenue misses. And Netflix did miss on both of those counts. More →
About three days after it received a lavish new funding round, Meerkat died an ugly and embarrassing death. It is hard to decide whether the Great Meerkat Debacle that has unfolded over the past week is a tragedy or a comedy — probably a bit of both.
The mobile streaming app that had whipped U.S. tech journalists into a frenzy announced $14 million in new funding on Thursday. Money poured in from Jared Leto, Greylock Partners and other illustrious sources. On the same day, Twitter launched its rival streaming app called Periscope. Apparently, investors didn’t stop to ponder why Meerkat people rushed to cash in so aggressively only a month after the app had debuted.
Well, we now know why. More →
A new Finnish mobile game company called Everywear has made a radical decision: It will only develop games for wearable devices. This leap seems gutsy, almost foolhardy… but the people backing the company are bound to give skeptics a pause. The lead investors in a newly announced €500,000 seed round are Lifeline and Sunstone, two institutions closely linked to the massive Nordic success stories of Supercell and Minecraft. More →
Mark Cuban has been blogging again. This happens with alarming frequency, but there is something special about today’s bloviation — serious news sites like MarketWatch turned Cuban’s comments into a lead news item. More →
For years, the decline in broadcast audiences has been sort of a mild, persistent headache for TV executives. U.S. viewership of “linear television” has been dipping at a speed of few percentage points per year: In some quarters, the drop stabilized for a spell while in others, it briefly expanded to 4% or 6%. But the Nielsen numbers from the second half of 2014 are the worst on record for a six-month period because U.S. television audience decline accelerated by a scary 7% in Q4 2014. More →
By noon, midtown Manhattan has turned into a ghost town. Times Square, the heart of Broadway, is nearly deserted and seems like a set for a chilly zombie movie. More →
I’ll be heading for CES again tomorrow, but mainly to meet people. As a device showcase, CES has demonstrated an uncanny ability to highlight trends that will never be. Perhaps the most legendary example was the year 2006, one year before the iPhone arrived. The highlights of CES 2006 pretty much represented every trend that was going to fizzle out far before anyone expected. More →