Amazon said to be inflating streaming library size [updated]

By on April 13, 2012 at 5:30 PM.

Amazon said to be inflating streaming library size [updated]

Online retail giant Amazon is said to be stretching the truth regarding the size of its streaming content library when reporting numbers to the public. According to a report from Fast Company, the “17,000 movies and television shows” Amazon claims to offer Amazon Prime customers is inflated by roughly 10 times. Amazon Prime members have free, unlimited access to Amazon’s streaming content catalog, which can be viewed using a number of devices including a Roku set-top box and Amazon’s Kindle Fire tablet. Rather than counting a TV series toward the total content tally Amazon claims its users have access to, Amazon counts each individual episode of a TV show toward that 17,000-title total. So, for example, Fox’s “24” counts not once but 192 times, and various versions of the “Power Rangers” show add 715 shows to Amazon’s catalog. The actual size of Amazon’s library? 1,745 movies and 150 television series. Netflix, which has been said to have a catalog of 60,000 streaming titles, actually has approximately 13,000 different titles including 9,500 movies and 3,500 TV series, the report claims.

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Amazon reportedly working on original TV content

By on March 7, 2012 at 10:35 AM.

Amazon reportedly working on original TV content

As Amazon continues to expand its business into new areas, the company reportedly plans to follow Netflix’s lead and introduce original TV content in the future. Rumors suggesting the Seattle-based retail giant was planning an entrance into the original programming game first surfaced last month, and now Forbes reports that a recent hire at Amazon reinforces earlier reports. Joe Lewis, formerly with Comedy Central and 20th Century Fox, briefly listed his new job title as “Vice-President of Original TV at Amazon” until Fortune contacted him for comment on Tuesday. The executive then promptly changed his title to “Vice-President, Production at Amazon Studios.” No other information about Lewis’s role at Amazon or Amazon’s possible original programming efforts were made available. Streaming video rival Netflix released season 1 of its first original series “Lilyhammer” last month, and it has at least two other series — new original seasons of “Arrested Development” and “House of Cards,” starring Kevin Spacey — in the works. More →

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New Verizon, Redbox joint venture to offer Netflix-like video streaming

By on February 6, 2012 at 7:45 PM.

New Verizon, Redbox joint venture to offer Netflix-like video streaming

Verizon and Redbox-owner Coinstar on Monday announced a new joint venture in which the two companies will offer a new streaming video service. The joint venture was originally called “Project Zoetrope” and initial details began to surface in December of last year. It’s still unclear what the joint venture will be called or what exactly each company’s role will be, however Verizon said that the companies will begin to offer a “video on demand streaming and download service” that will no doubt compete directly with services such as Netflix and Vudu. Verizon’s press release follows below. More →

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Walmart dances around Apple's in-app purchase rules with VUDU web app for iPad

By on August 11, 2011 at 7:00 AM.

Walmart dances around Apple's in-app purchase rules with VUDU web app for iPad

On Wednesday, Walmart subsidiary VUDU launched a new iPad-accessible web app that allows iPad users to stream more than 20,000 movies and television shows directly from the Web. iPad owners don’t have to use iTunes and simply need to navigate to http://VUDU.com for access to rentals and purchases. “VUDU’s launch on the iPad plays into that vision as we’re committed to offering the VUDU experience on as many devices as possible so customers can shop for and access their favorite movies and TV shows however they want, whenever they want,” general manager of VUDU Edward Lichty said. Customers can add a VUDU web app to their home screen by clicking the “Add to Home Screen” button once they have accessed the website. Read on for the full press release.  More →

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Apple ponders Hulu purchase

By on July 23, 2011 at 1:01 AM.

Apple ponders Hulu purchase

Apple is toying with the idea of placing a bid on the Hulu video streaming service, Bloomberg reported on Thursday. In June, Hulu announced that it had hired Morgan Stanley and Guggenheim Partners to assist with a the sale of the company and rumor had it that Yahoo! was interested in making a bid at that time. Should an acquisition happen, Apple might use Hulu to create a subscription screaming video offering in an effort to compete with services such as Netflix. Currently, customers can only purchase or rent videos from iTunes. Amazon is also interested in the company, although Bloomberg reported that it won’t make a move unless it can have guaranteed access to television shows. Hulu, which offers a premium Hulu Plus subscription option for $7.99 per month, said that it expects to surpass 1 million subscribers this August. More →

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Hulu Plus launches for six Android phones as company is put up for sale

By on June 24, 2011 at 2:45 AM.

Hulu Plus launches for six Android phones as company is put up for sale

Hulu announced on Thursday that its Hulu Plus application is now available on select Android smartphones. The service costs $7.99 per month and allows users to browse and play Hulu Plus content directly on their smartphones. It’s currently only available for the Motorola Atrix, Motorola DROID X, Motorola DROID 2, HTC Inspire 4G, Nexus S, and Nexus One, but Hulu says it will add more devices throughout the year. New users can sign up for a free 1-week trial to give the service a whirl, and the app is available in the Android Market now. In other news, Hulu is also reportedly up for sale. The company has hired Morgan Stanley and Guggenheim Partners to assist with possible deals, and Yahoo is said to have already expressed interest in bidding on the streaming video firm. More →

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Adobe CEO says Flash feud with Apple is finished

By on June 2, 2011 at 3:15 PM.

Adobe CEO says Flash feud with Apple is finished

Speaking during the D9 conference in California on Thursday, Adobe’s CEO, Shantanu Narayen said that his company’s feud with Apple, which was a result of Cupertino’s decision to omit support for Flash in its products, has come to an end. “Yes, the argument is over from our point of view,” Narayen said. “We are so excited about opportunities we have. We’re focused on that.” He added that Adobe welcomes, and is contributing to, the new HTML5 standard. Apple’s argument, which has been backed by many developers, is that HTML5 is more efficient than Flash — particularly when it comes to battery consumption — for presenting and viewing streaming video and other multimedia content. “At the end of the day, where Adobe makes its money is through our application tools, as well as our solutions, (and) being able to make that content and measure that content and manage that content,” Narayen told The Wall Street Journal. More →

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YouTube now streams 3 billion videos each day

By on May 26, 2011 at 7:01 AM.

YouTube now streams 3 billion videos each day

Google’s YouTube team on Wednesday announced two milestones to help celebrate its 6-year anniversary. Most notably, YouTube stated that as of this past weekend, the site now serves over 3 billion videos each day. That’s equal to half the world’s population watching one YouTube video each day, and it represents an increase of 50% over last year. The company also said that over 48 hours of footage is uploaded to the site every minute, which is a 100% increase over last year. Needless to say, YouTube has become an Internet staple over the past six years and try as they might, competitors have yet to come close to seeing the tremendous adoption YouTube has experienced. More →

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Netflix app can be installed on any Android phone without rooting

By on May 25, 2011 at 6:47 AM.

Netflix app can be installed on any Android phone without rooting

To say Android fans had mixed emotions earlier this month when Netflix finally released its Android app is an understatement. On the one hand, the app is finally here, which is obviously great news. On the other hand, Netflix only made the app available on five of the many, many Android phones currently on the market. But we have good news for those of you with an Android device not currently supported by the Netflix app: your pals over at xda-developers forum have figured out a workaround that will let you install the app and stream all the movies and TV shows you can handle — and you won’t even need to root your phone. The workaround is tested and working on plenty of devices and it couldn’t be easier to do; you’ll just have to change a setting and then install one of the Netflix apps linked in the xda thread. Of note, most AT&T devices won’t be supported until a fix is implemented, but that should be coming in the near future. Check out the via link below for the how-to, and the files you’ll need can be found through the read link. More →

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PlayOn issues new streaming TV API, adds 25 new channels in two days

By on May 11, 2011 at 9:00 AM.

PlayOn issues new streaming TV API, adds 25 new channels in two days

PlayOn on Wednesday announced the availability of a new API that makes building channels for the company’s streaming video service easier than ever. PlayOn’s new “dead simple” PlayDirect API allows partners to create new channels by simply specifying a URL for the video feed and then selecting the video’s viewable area. Since making the new API available just two days ago, PlayOn has already added 25 new channels including Food Network, Disney Channel Live, Lifetime and TV Land, which are now available to stream to computers and mobile devices. “By opening up the PlayOn technology platform to third party developers, we are able to expand the content available to PlayOn users,” a spokesperson said in a statement. “Just like Apple’s app store brought new features and functionality to the iPhone, we plan on seeing a host of new channels in PlayOn.” More →

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WatchESPN streaming video app now available for Android

By on May 10, 2011 at 6:58 AM.

WatchESPN streaming video app now available for Android

WatchESPN, an app that allows users to stream live TV content to devices over Wi-Fi or cellular data connections, is now available for Android devices. ESPN released the app for the iPhone and iPod touch last month and we’ve definitely been enjoying it, so seeing the network follow up with an Android app last week was most certainly welcomed. WatchESPN streams live content from ESPN, ESPN 2, ESPNU and ESPN3.com provided you subscribe to a cable TV package from one of ESPN’s partner companies. If your cable provider isn’t among those listed by ESPN, however, you’re unfortunately out of luck. More →

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Amazon tablet enters production, report claims

By on May 3, 2011 at 11:36 AM.

Amazon tablet enters production, report claims

According to a new report from industry watcher DigiTimes on Tuesday, Amazon has placed orders with manufacturers to build its first tablet PC. The report claims Taiwan-based Quanta Computer has received orders for between 700,000 and 800,000 tablets from Amazon, and the finished devices should begin shipping in the second half of this year. Earlier rumors suggested an Amazon tablet would launch this summer, so the timing of this new report further supports those claims. Amazon has built several successful devices with tablet-like form factors — it’s Kindle eBook reader is the best-selling product of all time on Amazon.com — but this would be the company’s first device to venture beyond eBooks. Amazon’s tablet, which is said to be based on the Android platform, will like showcase several Amazon products and services such as the Amazon Appstore, Amazon’s digital music store and the company’s new Cloud Drive digital music locker service. More →

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Hulu Plus for Xbox 360 launching Friday, free until May 6th

By on April 28, 2011 at 10:46 PM.

Hulu Plus for Xbox 360 launching Friday, free until May 6th

Looks like the weekend’s going to start a bit early. Hulu’s subscription-based Hulu Plus service will launch for Microsoft’s Xbox 360 on Friday, and here’s the best part: it’s free for  Xbox Live (Gold and Silver) users until May 6th. After that you’ll have to drop $7.99 per month to kick back and watch your favorite shows from ABC, Comedy Central, FOX, NBC, MTV, and others. Hulu’s even adding Kinect support, which means you’ll be able to play, pause, fast forward, or rewind whatever you’re watching with your voice or with a gesture. Hit the jump for the full release. More →

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