Xbox Video Web Service Launches

Xbox Video service launches on the web

By on November 28, 2013 at 5:45 PM.

Xbox Video service launches on the web

Microsoft on Wednesday launched its Xbox Video service on the web at XboxVideo.com, allowing users to watch movies and TV shows in the browser, using the Silverlight plug-in. There are “more than 300,000 movies and TV episodes” to choose from, the company announced, and they can be watched on the Xbox 360, Xbox One, Windows 8.1 tablets and PCs, but also on other operating systems, Macs included. A Windows Phone application for the service isn’t available at this time, but the company says it’s coming soon. More →

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YouTube Music Pass

YouTube’s upcoming streaming music service revealed in new app

By on November 28, 2013 at 3:15 PM.

YouTube’s upcoming streaming music service revealed in new app

Google has its own streaming music service now that “Google Play Music All Access” is available, but the company may soon look to double down and launch a separate streaming service aimed at a younger crowd. The company recently released an update to its YouTube app for Android, and the new build was subsequently picked apart and examined by developers. According to Android Police, several references to a “Music Pass” service were found in the app’s code along with references to background music playback, offline playback and an ad-free listening experience. Several earlier reports have stated that Google’s YouTube plans to launch its own music streaming service, and it looks as though the service’s debut is fast approaching.

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Xbox One Free Music Streaming

Xbox One will offer free, ad-supported streaming through Xbox Music [updated]

By on November 6, 2013 at 9:45 PM.

Xbox One will offer free, ad-supported streaming through Xbox Music [updated]

The Xbox Live Gold subscription is gaining a little bit more value on the Xbox One. Microsoft’s Albert Penello confirmed on Twitter that Xbox One owners will not be required to sign up for a subscription to Xbox Music in order to use the service. Much like Pandora, iTunes Radio, or any similar streaming service, Xbox Music will have a free, ad-supported option, matching up with Xbox Music’s current offerings on Windows 8.1 and music.xbox.com. This has not been the case on Xbox 360, which does require a paid subscription to access Xbox Music. Microsoft has yet to announce whether or not the free option will be migrating to the 360 as well. More →

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Netflix Market Share

Netflix’s furious growth keeps Q3 entertainment spending from tanking

By on November 4, 2013 at 4:20 PM.

Netflix’s furious growth keeps Q3 entertainment spending from tanking

The Digital Entertainment Group noted recently that even though American household spending on home entertainment was flat year-over-year in the third quarter, there were dramatic shifts between different categories. BGR sister site Deadline reports that sales of discs, digital movies and television programs declined by more than 7%, while rentals were up by more than 16%. Americans are rapidly turning from owners of content into renters of content. This is not necessarily great news for Hollywood, since selling a $40 disc is far more profitable in the short term than renting a movie on demand for $1.99. Yet in the long term, rental income could turn into a torrent if it keeps growing rapidly enough. More →

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Digital Video Customer Satisfaction iTunes

iTunes is still America’s favorite digital video platform

By on August 6, 2013 at 6:00 PM.

iTunes is still America’s favorite digital video platform

Although iTunes doesn’t let users stream video as Netflix and Hulu do, it’s still the favorite digital video platform in the United States. A new survey conducted by analytics firm ForeSee shows that Apple’s iTunes has the highest customer satisfaction out of any major video platform, followed very closely by HBO GO, Netflix and Amazon Instant Video. While this may seem counterintuitive since iTunes forces users to download the shows they watch onto their computers, ForeSee says that “users want fast page loads and are dissatisfied when error messages or playback issues occur,” which helps iTunes because it “bypasses… performance issues” normally associated with video streaming. ForeSee’s full press release follows below.
More →

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Spotify Music Sales Analysis

Spotify may actually be reigniting music sales growth

By on July 31, 2013 at 3:50 PM.

Spotify may actually be reigniting music sales growth

In some ways, Sweden is the chilly laboratory of the global music industry. The local hero, Spotify, took over the country already at the end of 2011 as the cool animation by Digital Music News demonstrates. In 2009, streaming music was just 7% of music sales in Sweden. In 2013. streaming had exploded to 70% of the entire music industry sales. As the streaming revolution took off, something curious happened in Sweden: National music sales started growing robustly again, from $150 million in 2012 to nearly $170 million in 2013. More →

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iTunes Radio Pandora Royalties Comparison

iTunes Radio royalty rates revealed – Apple pays more than Pandora

By on June 27, 2013 at 8:30 AM.

iTunes Radio royalty rates revealed – Apple pays more than Pandora

When Apple was engaged in long, protracted negotiations with record companies over terms for its iTunes Radio service, many assumed that the company was trying to get copyright owners to take less money per song play than competing Internet radio service Pandora. The Wall Street Journal reports that this is not the case, however, because Apple is paying out $0.13 per song play, or 1 cent more than what Pandora pays out. In addition to royalties paid per song played, Apple is also dishing out 15% of its advertising revenue over the first year of its contract and will bump that number up to 19% of advertising revenue in the second year of the deal. The Journal also says that Apple is also “offering music publishers more than twice as much in royalties than Pandora does,” so it seems that iTunes Radio has the potential to be much more lucrative for record companies going forward.

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Sony Disney Anti-Piracy Plan

Sony, Disney concoct blockbuster plan to fight movie piracy

By on June 24, 2013 at 7:30 PM.

Sony, Disney concoct blockbuster plan to fight movie piracy

With entertainment companies growing increasingly frustrated in their fight against online piracy, both Sony and Disney have started rolling out a radical new plan in South Korea that could seriously upend the way movies get released. The Wall Street Journal reports that Disney and Sony have started letting viewers stream movies at home that are still playing in movie theaters, a move that other major studios are reportedly watching to see if it helps reduce the rate of piracy. The studios aren’t letting viewers stream movies at the same time they release in theaters, of course, but are instead letting them stream the films roughly a month after they launch in theaters. All the same, this gives viewers much shorter waits than they’re used to having for home movie rentals so it will be intriguing to see whether this helps the studios fight piracy.

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Apple iTunes Digital Music Market Analysis

Apple’s dominance of digital music market untouched by Pandora, Spotify

By on June 21, 2013 at 4:10 PM.

Apple’s dominance of digital music market untouched by Pandora, Spotify

Despite the rise of new competitors, Apple’s dominance of the market for digital songs remains the same. AllThingsD points out that new research from Asymco shows that Apple’s iTunes generates around $6.9 billion in revenue from digital music each year, which is 75% of the $9.3 billion that consumers spend on digital music annually. This means that while music streaming services such as Pandora and Spotify have shown rapid growth recently, they still can’t match the revenue generating powers of the iTunes store. iTunes’ popularity also shows us why Apple was able to successfully play hardball with music labels when negotiating a deal for iTunes Radio — its clout in the digital music realm means that record companies are willing to take less per-song revenue if it means they’ll be exposed to a much wider audience.

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Netflix DreamWorks Analysis

Netflix announces another vastly ambitious content deal – and Wall Street is in love

By on June 17, 2013 at 1:50 PM.

Netflix announces another vastly ambitious content deal – and Wall Street is in love

Netflix on Monday announced a blockbuster deal that will bring no less than 300 hours of original content from DreamWorks to its streaming video service. That means Netflix will have the rights to premier new series with characters from franchises that might include Shrek, Madagascar, Kung Fu Panda and Casper the Friendly Ghost. A deal of this magnitude with a leading animation house could be extremely expensive and no details about actual programming have been divulged at this point. That’s why it’s fascinating that Netflix’s share price soared by as much as 8% on Monday. More →

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Arrested Development Season 4 Torrent Downloads

Not even Netflix is safe from pirates

By on May 29, 2013 at 3:30 PM.

Not even Netflix is safe from pirates

Netflix has been helping cord-cutters save money for years, offering unlimited movie and TV show streaming for just $7.99 per month. Just because the service is affordable doesn’t mean it is immune to digital piracy, however, and newly available data shows that the service took a pretty big hit earlier this week. Early on Sunday morning, Netflix released the complete fourth season of cult comedy “Arrested Development,” the latest show in Netflix’s original programming lineup. Netflix has begun to develop its own shows in an effort to attract new subscribers of course, but according to paidContent, around 100,000 people downloaded season 4 illegally within the first 24 hours alone. Many of the downloads are said to have come from markets where Netflix is currently unavailable, though firm geographical data is not available.

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Opinions
Microsoft Xbox One Analysis

With the Xbox One, Microsoft’s vision for conquering the living room takes shape

By on May 21, 2013 at 3:55 PM.

With the Xbox One, Microsoft’s vision for conquering the living room takes shape

It’s taken a while, but Microsoft’s big plan for conquering consumers’ living rooms is now finally coming together. For years, major tech companies have been obsessed with getting their software and applications onto television screens and have mostly employed a series of set-top boxes that have done little to spark consumer interest. But unlike Apple and Google, Microsoft has always had a secret weapon that it’s been waiting to deploy to make sure that its software becomes entrenched on users’ television sets: Namely, the Xbox. More →

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