Season 1 of Netflix’s first original series ‘Lilyhammer’ is now live

By on February 6, 2012 at 8:30 PM.

Season 1 of Netflix’s first original series ‘Lilyhammer’ is now live

The debut season of Netflix’s first original series “Lilyhammer” is now available on demand to all Netflix “Watch Instantly” subscribers. All eight episodes of the series’ first season can be streamed beginning Tuesday, and the show is available in high definition. Lilyhammer is the first in a string of original content Netflix is working on in an effort to create an all-inclusive online-only network that will truly pose a real threat to traditional pay TV networks. The show features Steven Van Zandt of “The Sopranos” fame, who stars as a relocated New York City gangster trying to make a new life for himself in a small town in Norway. Netflix is working on more original content that will launch this year, including a new season of “Arrested Development” and “House of Cards,” starring Kevin Spacey. More →

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Hulu sued for patent infringement

By on July 29, 2011 at 7:31 PM.

Hulu sued for patent infringement

A firm named Rovi Corp has filed a complaint with the U.S. District court of Delaware alleging that Hulu infringes on one of its patents. Rovi Corp is not often in the headlines but its client list sports names of big hitter tech firms. Reuters said that Rovi licenses technology to Apple, Comcast and Microsoft and is even used to support the back-end of BlockBuster’s On Demand service and Best Buy’s CinemaNow. Hulu was put up for sale on June 24th and a number of companies are rumored to have been considering a bid on the streaming media company, including Apple. Hulu has yet to comment on the lawsuit. More →

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Spotify now available in the U.S. [video]

By on July 14, 2011 at 8:00 AM.

Spotify now available in the U.S. [video]

Spotify, the trendy music on demand service that has garnered tremendous media attention in Europe, has finally launched in the U.S. as rumored last week. Spotify announced earlier this month that it would become available in the U.S. “soon,” though open negotiations with Warner Music Group were reportedly preventing the company from setting a firm launch date. Apparently Warner finally came around. The Spotify service lets users stream unlimited music on demand, and also build and share playlists. For the time being, the free ad-supported version of Spotify that allows streaming to Windows and OS X PCs only is available as an invite-only service in the U.S. Those who don’t want to wait, however, can pay: a premium $9.99 per month subscription will let users stream ad-free music to mobile devices, share playlists and cache music for offline playback. A $4.99 intermediate plan will remove ads from the stream, but it doesn’t support streaming to the company’s mobile apps, which are already available for iOS devices in the App Store and for Android devices in the Android Market. A nifty little intro video can be seen below along with Spotify’s full press release. More →

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Spotify said to launch in U.S. next week

By on July 8, 2011 at 12:30 PM.

Spotify said to launch in U.S. next week

Popular European streaming music service Spotify could launch in the U.S. as soon as next week, AllThingsD’s Peter Kafka speculates. Spotify announced earlier this week that it would be taking its talents to the U.S., but it gave no indication as to how soon the launch might occur. AllThingsD says the smart money is on a launch next week, and the blog has historically been accurate with its coverage of the Stockholm-based music start-up. Kafka reaffirms that Spotify only has deals inked with three of the four major U.S. record labels, but he says a deal with Warner Music Group is close enough to being signed that it should be completed ahead of a launch next week. Like Microsoft’s Zune service or Rhapsody, Spotify allows users to stream music on demand, create playlists and more. The service uses a freemium model that permits ad-supported content to be streamed to desktop computers for free, and then offers mobile streaming, playlist sharing and sheds the ads for paid subscribers. Spotify has not yet revealed pricing for the U.S. market. More →

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Consumers will spend $2.1 trillion on digital information and entertainment products in 2011, Gartner says

By on June 27, 2011 at 10:01 PM.

Consumers will spend $2.1 trillion on digital information and entertainment products in 2011, Gartner says

According to a new research report from Gartner, consumers are on track to spend a record $2.1 trillion on digital information and entertainment products this year. That figure is expected to hit $2.8 trillion by 2015. $1.2 trillion — 62% — is spent on subscription-based communication services such as mobile, voice, and data services, broadband packages, video services, online gaming, and cable TV subscriptions. $600 billion, 28% of the total $2.1 trillion, is spent on devices themselves, and 10% is spent on content such as computer software, video on-demand, and pay-per-view services. “The three key technology areas that will offer the best opportunity for vendors during the next three years are: wireless broadband, which will enable constant connectivity; location-based services (LBS), which will personalize and take advantage of the constant connected state; and operating systems, which are the foundation for integration applications that can bring it all together,” Mikako Kitagawa, principal research analyst at Gartner, said. Read on for the full release. More →

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Slacker intros ‘Slacker Premium Radio’ for $10 a month

By on May 18, 2011 at 5:59 AM.

Slacker intros ‘Slacker Premium Radio’ for $10 a month

On Tuesday Slacker introduced a new subscription service called “Slacker Premium Radio.” Slacker Premium allows you to search for artists and play songs, or even full albums, on demand. Similar to Rhapsody, you can also cache songs for offline playback on your phone where a 3G or Wi-Fi signal isn’t available. The streaming radio service said that it offers 6 times the amount of music that Pandora offers, although it remains unclear how its library stacks up against Rhapsody or Microsoft’s Zune service. Slacker Premium Radio is available for the web, Android, iOS, and BlackBerry now for $10 per month. More →

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Netflix inks multi-year instant streaming deal with Miramax

By on May 16, 2011 at 8:50 PM.

Netflix inks multi-year instant streaming deal with Miramax

Netflix announced on Monday that it has reached a multi-year agreement with Miramax to offer several hundred Miramax films, including hits like Pulp Fiction, Kill Bill, and Good Will Hunting, through its instant streaming service. “From day one, we’ve been very clear about the importance of digital and our desire to respond to the significant pent-up demand for our films — delivering to consumers whenever and wherever they want,” Miramax CEO Mike Lang said. Netflix did not disclose the financial terms of its deal with Miramax. Netflix subscribers looking to get in on the action will be able to access the new content — on a rotating basis — beginning in June. Hit the jump for the full press release. More →

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Spotify close to Universal deal, may launch without Warner

By on February 24, 2011 at 5:01 AM.

Spotify close to Universal deal, may launch without Warner

A report on Wednesday claims European streaming music extraordinaire Spotify is “a few weeks away” from signing a new deal with Universal Music Group, the world’s largest music company. Reuters cites people familiar with the talks in reporting the deal, which will give Spotify access to Universal’s massive catalog of music in the U.S. Spotify has already inked a deal with Sony and the company is thought to be getting close to a U.S. launch. Despite the company’s progress, however, the report suggests Spotify is considering a launch without having signed a deal with Warner Music Group, the world’s third largest music label. Spotify currently offers a streaming music service in Europe and has been making considerable efforts of late to launch in the U.S. The service allows subscribers to listen to songs on demand and stream customized Internet radio stations to computers, cell phones and other devices. More →

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Spofity signs first U.S. deal with Sony

By on January 21, 2011 at 5:32 AM.

Spofity signs first U.S. deal with Sony

Following rumors that streaming music provider Spotify was close to reaching its first deal with a U.S. record label, MediaMemo reports that the company has finally put one in its win column stateside. Spotify today signed a deal with Sony that will give the service access to Sony’s music catalog in the U.S., according to the report. The terms of the deal are said to be very similar to Spotify’s European deals, which would give U.S. users access to ad-supported streaming to a computer for free or ad-free streaming to a variety of devices for a monthly fee. The deal does not mean that a U.S. launch of the Spotify service is imminent, however. The company still needs to get additional labels on board, and it has had a great deal of trouble wooing U.S. labels thus far. Theories as to why labels are so reluctant include fear of further cannibalization of CD sales and fear of upsetting Apple, the top music retailer in the country. More →

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Comcast plans to offer live and On Demand content for iPad, Android tablets this year

By on January 5, 2011 at 10:49 AM.

Comcast plans to offer live and On Demand content for iPad, Android tablets this year

Today, entertainment giant Comcast announced its plans to provide live and On Demand content to its customers via its Xfinity TV iPad and Android applications in 2011. Via a press release, the company explains:

Comcast Corporation, the nation’s leading provider of entertainment, information and communications, today announced plans to enable in-home streaming for live and On Demand content this year on Apple’s iPad as well as Android powered tablets. Later this year, customers will be able to watch live news, TV shows and movies in their homes whenever they want. Comcast also made two more announcements about its Xfinity TV service today. First, Comcast provided details about the play now capability that will be available on the iPad in the coming weeks and which will enable the viewing of On Demand programming on the iPad.

“Live streaming and the play now feature on our Xfinity TV app are two important pieces of our strategy to deliver any content to any device, any time,” said Brian L. Roberts, Comcast’s Chairman & CEO. “Comcast has a series of upcoming online enhancements and app releases that are part of a much larger effort to reinvent how customers interact with their entertainment on TV, online and on mobile devices.”

Extending home entertainment services to mobile devices is going to be the next frontier for cable/satellite providers. It’s nice to see Comcast is stepping up to the plate. Hit the jump for the full press release. More →

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Sony PSP to get Qriocity music with next update

By on November 26, 2010 at 8:35 PM.

Sony PSP to get Qriocity music with next update

Are you wondering what the music service on Sony’s upcoming PlayStation Phone might look like? PSP owners will soon have access to what may be the best indication yet of things to come. Sony announced earlier this week that a new software update, version 6.35, would prepare the PSP for the Sony’s upcoming “Music Unlimited powered by Qriocity” service — which bears a name so ill-conceived that even Sony apologetically wraps it with quotes. Like Zune, Rhapsody, Napster and countless other services, Music Unlimited will be a cloud-based product that allows subscribers to stream music on demand to compatible devices. The service will launch soon and when it does, Sony’s PSP will be ready and waiting. More →

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Netflix and EPIX ink multi-year deal, new releases to be streamed via Netflix

By on August 10, 2010 at 8:07 AM.

Netflix and EPIX ink multi-year deal, new releases to be streamed via Netflix

Today, Netflix and EPIX announced a multi-year partnership that will bring “an array of new releases and library titles from EPIX” to Netflix subscribers beginning September 1st. EPIX is “a joint venture between Viacom, Paramount, Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer Studios [MGM] and Lionsgate,” and “has subscription pay TV rights to new releases and movies from the libraries of its partners.” According to the press release, EPIX “will make these movies available to Netflix 90 days after their premium pay TV and subscription on demand debuts.” The move is big for Netflix, as “historically, the rights to distribute these films are pre-sold to pay TV for as long as nine years after their theatrical release.” More updated streaming content is certainly great news for Netflix users, no? We’ve got the full press release for you after the break. More →

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Clearleap to bring on-demand cable TV to Roku

By on June 25, 2010 at 5:30 AM.

Clearleap to bring on-demand cable TV to Roku

netflix-roku-box

Folks on the fence about a Roku box may be swayed by the news that Roku is teaming up with Clearleap to bring on-demand cable TV programing to the video streaming platform. Clearleap is a growing company that serves as the middle man between cable, satellite and telephone companies that have on-demand content and video streaming services like Roku that want to dish up this content. This arrangement would allow Roku users to purchase on-demand movies from their television provider via their Roku box and have all charges tacked onto their monthly TV bill. That’s definitely great for those with more than one TV in their house, and could also potentially allow television providers the option to offer the Roku box as a cable box alternative. Roku’s move towards providing traditional video-on-demand content is still in its infancy as no content providers have currently jumped on board. But if and when this on-demand service materializes, Roku owners will only have to download an update with the on-demand application to activate the service. More →

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