Amazon has plans to offer a streaming movie service tied to its forthcoming own-branded tablets, researchers at Detwiler Fenton claim. According to the research team, Amazon’s streaming movie service will be available to early adopters of Amazon’s tablet for free. The revelation seems obvious, but the Boston-based research firm’s claim could be the first well-sourced confirmation of the service, reports of which were purely speculative until now. It is also believed that Amazon’s tablets will feature deep integration with Amazon’s Cloud Locker streaming music service, and the Amazon Appstore will likely be a point of focus as well. BGR exclusively reported last month that Amazon is working on a pair of tablets — the dual-core “Coyote” and the quad-core “Hollywood” — that will give the company new revenue streams to compliment its dedicated Kindle eReaders. More →
Unlike Amazon and Google who launched half-baked cloud storage services for music, it’s going to be Apple that shows the world how something is done properly once again, it seems. According to The Wall Street Journal, Apple has finally struck deals with the four major recording companies in addition to movie studios:
Apple Inc. has reached terms with major recorded-music companies to allow it to launch a digital locker service that would be more robust than those currently offered by Google Inc. and Amazon.com Inc., according to people familiar with the matter.
According to these people, deals with three labels have been completed, and the fourth, with Vivendi SA’s Universal Music Group, is likely to be signed this week. Apple has signed deals with Warner Music Group Corp., Sony Corp.’s Sony Music Entertainment and EMI Group Ltd.
Add that on to a CNET report that Apple executives were all over film studios for more than a year, and it sure looks like iCloud won’t be just a simple MP3 locker, but a robust service that combines all kinds of multimedia, and most likely, social and location-aware elements as well, tied tightly into iOS 5. More →
We received word from a tipster that Amazon, practically confirmed to be entering the tablet market in the near future, isn’t planning just one device, but is planning on releasing at least two before the end of the year. Information is light, but we have been told that the “entry” level tablet, codenamed “Coyote” will be based on the NVIDIA Tegra 2 platform. The big boy? That’s codenamed “Hollywood” and will be based on the NVIDIA T30 “Kal-El” which will bring a screaming quad-core processor with a 500% performance increase over the dual-core Tegra 2. No word on screen sizes at this point, and we’re digging for more information, so stay tuned!
Google announced and launched its Music Beta service on Tuesday, and record execs aren’t too pleased with its decision to move ahead before reaching a deal. “People are pissed,” one record label exec told Hollywood Reporter, which explained in one article why it took so long for Google and the music industry to reach an agreement. Reportedly, Google offered some labels larger advances than others, which resulted in some firms holding out for more money. Similarly, the music industry is concerned that Music Beta users will upload music stolen from P2P sites — that the industry already wants removed from Google’s search results — to Google’s music storage locker. Lastly, the recording industry was concerned that Google’s music service could weaken the revenue stream from other sources, such as Apple’s iTunes. Ultimately, driven by competition from Amazon’s Cloud Drive, Google decided to pull the trigger and launch anyway. More →
Hollywood was granted a major victory by the FCC this past week in a decision that gives the studios permission to shut down the analog ports on home entertainment equipment such as televisions, cable boxes, and satellite receivers. The decision stems from a 2008 request by the Hollywood studios which asked for the power to block analog outputs which lack copyright protection and can be recorded from freely. Blocking these analog ports is an anti-piracy measure that would force television programming to play back via digital outputs which have copyright protection to prevent the recording of the video signal. This power to shut down the analog hole would only be used for first run content which, according to the studios, has the highest rate of piracy. Blocking this potential avenue for piracy would allow the studios to bring new content to the viewing audience sooner as well. New releases in exchange for Hollywood control of home entertainment equipment, sounds like a deal with the devil great decision, no? More →
In the waning moments before Apple’s highly anticipated tablet event, a few last minute leaks are stirring up the excitement. First, we have some blurry pictures of a tablet device of approximately 9-10 inches in size running a version of the iPhone OS. The device is encased in a plastic housing, bolted down to a table and covered with a black drape. This cloak and dagger treatment is reportedly standard practice for any super secret Apple device so these images may indeed be the Apple tablet. Apple is also reportedly in last minute negotiations with book publishers and television studios to finalize pricing for its rumored tablet device. Apple is rumored to be pushing Hollywood to offer $1 per episode pricing on television shows in iTunes and is offering book publishers a pricing scheme that would set book prices at $12.99 to $14.99 for best sellers with a basement price of $9.99 for less popular books. Apple would reportedly take a 30% cut of all sales, leaving book publishers with a take home price of $10.49 or less. This could place them between a rock and a hard place with Apple offering a potentially larger audience with less revenue per book, or going with Amazon which offers greater revenue per book with its Kindle but may not have the reach and allure of this rumored tablet.