Online movie streaming in U.S. to top DVDs for the first time in 2012

By on March 26, 2012 at 7:05 PM.

Online movie streaming in U.S. to top DVDs for the first time in 2012

Online movie streaming in the United States is expected to top both DVD and Blu-ray use for the first time ever in 2012, according to a study from IHS Screen Digest. The study suggests that in 2012, Americans will legally stream 3.4 billion movies online — twice the 1.4 billion streamed in 2011 — while DVD and Blu-ray movies watching this year will to 2.4 billion from 2.6 billion in 2011. Last year, the unlimited-streaming services offered by Netflix and Amazon Prime accounted for 94% of all paid online movie viewing in the U.S. Additionally, consumers paid an average of $0.51 for every movie streamed online, compared to $4.72 for DVD and Blu-ray discs. “We are looking at the beginning of the end of the age of movies on physical media like DVD and Blu-ray,” IHS analyst Dan Cryan said. “But the transition is likely to take time: almost nine years after the launch of the iTunes Store, CDs are still a vital part of the music business.” More →

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Apple’s ‘iTV’ to launch in Q4 according to report

By on March 13, 2012 at 9:30 AM.

Apple’s ‘iTV’ to launch in Q4 according to report

Apple’s rumored iOS-powered high-definition television will enter production in May or June ahead of a launch slated for the fourth quarter this year, one analyst claims. Jefferies & Company analyst Peter Misek met with unnamed sources during a recent trip to the East, and he now believes Apple’s “iTV” is a sure thing. “Specialty components have begun to ship to Apple’s Asia panel suppliers with polarized films, filters, and IGZO components starting to move in small quantities,” the analyst wrote in a note to investors Tuesday morning. “We expect commercial production in May/ June with 2M to 5M builds likely. We still expect a CQ4 launch.” Apple’s HDTV has been rumored for quite some time, and it is expected to feature unique voice controls powered by Siri. Apple’s is also reportedly working on a subscription offering that will treat TV channels like apps and allow users to subscribe to individual channels or bundles of channels a la carte.

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Apple’s upcoming streaming TV service again tipped by CBS CEO

By on March 12, 2012 at 7:35 AM.

Apple’s upcoming streaming TV service again tipped by CBS CEO

Apple CEO Steve Jobs approached CBS approximately one year ago in an attempt to secure a content deal for a streaming television service that was in development at the time. CBS chief executive Leslie Moonves publicly spoke of the negotiations once before during an earnings call late last year, and now he is quoted again after having reportedly discussed the matter on stage during a presentation at the UCLA Entertainment Symposium. “I told Steve, ‘You know more than me about 99 percent of things but I know more about the television business,’ ” Moonves said according to Hollywood Reporter. Moonves said he denied Jobs access to CBS content for the service out of fear it might disrupt CBS’s existing revenue streams. Apple is reportedly still working on a unique streaming TV service that it intends to launch alongside an Apple-branded HDTV later this year. Some reports suggest the service may treat channels like apps, allowing users to subscribe to individual channels or groups of channels a la carte. More →

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Comcast will not offer Netflix to subscribers

By on March 9, 2012 at 8:45 PM.

Comcast will not offer Netflix to subscribers

On Tuesday, a report surfaced claiming Netflix was in talks with some of the largest cable companies in the U.S. to discuss integrating the company’s streaming product into cable services. The report stated that at least one cable provider was considering the launch of a trial run before the end of the year. Comcast, however, will not be that company, FierceCable reported. “We have no plans to offer access to Netflix to our customers through our Xfinity TV service, no matter what device,” Comcast spokeswoman Alana Davis said. The cable company recently launched “Streampix,” a subscription video service that competes with Netflix, allowing Xfinity subscribers to access TV series and movies from PCs and mobile devices. More →

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Xbox 720 will reportedly ditch disc drive

By on March 9, 2012 at 7:30 AM.

Xbox 720 will reportedly ditch disc drive

Microsoft’s next-generation video game and home entertainment console may use online downloads and a swappable solid state card port of some kind in place of a traditional disc drive. The news comes from British gaming magazine MCV, which cites an unnamed person who claims to have obtained the information directly from Microsoft. The Xbox 360 already supports digital content distribution models and it is expected that Microsoft will continue to increase its focus on non-physical media. At the same time, however, this new rumor counters earlier reports that the next-generation “Xbox 720″ will include Blu-ray disc support. When asked to comment, a company spokesperson wouldn’t confirm the move away from discs but did say Microsoft is “always thinking about what is next for our platform and how to continue to defy the lifecycle convention.” BGR exclusively reported last June that Microsoft intends to unveil its next-generation Xbox console at the annual E3 gaming conference later this year. The console is expected to hit the market some time in 2013. More →

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Redbox surpasses 2 billion movie and video game rentals

By on March 7, 2012 at 9:35 PM.

Redbox surpasses 2 billion movie and video game rentals

Redbox announced this week that the company crossed the two billion mark for movie and video game rentals. It will celebrate the milestone by offering a free, one-night movie rental with the code “THANKS2U” for one day only on Thursday. Redbox has seen substantial growth over the past 18 months, with one billion additional rentals, a feat that previously took six years to accomplish. “We’ve always known how much America loves easy, affordable entertainment, and today we can prove it two billion times over,” said Scott Di Valerio, chief financial officer of Redbox parent company Coinstar. “Just 18 months ago, we rented our one billionth DVD and we couldn’t be more excited to celebrate this remarkable second rental milestone with our customers.” Read on for Redbox’s press release. More →

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Netflix in talks with cable companies to bundle streaming service

By on March 7, 2012 at 8:00 PM.

Netflix in talks with cable companies to bundle streaming service

Netflix’s chief executive Reed Hastings has been meeting with some of the largest cable companies in the U.S. to discuss integrating the company’s streaming product into cable services, Reuters reported on Tuesday. The site’s source said that at least one cable provider may experiment and offer the streaming service before the end of the year. If a partnership were to come from these talks, cable operators could offer Netflix as an additional on-demand option that would be added onto a subscriber’s monthly cable bill. The cable industry originally viewed Netflix as a threat to its $100 billion-a-year business, fearing users would abandon more expensive packages in favor of cheap online streaming services. Having Netflix as an added option could be appealing to many cable companies in an effort to retain “cord cutting” customers. “It’s not in the short term, but it’s in the natural direction for us in the long term,” said Hastings during an investor conference last week. “Many [cable service providers] would like to have a competitor to HBO, and they would bid us off of HBO.” More →

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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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Apple to launch subscription TV service by Christmas, content talks going downhill

By on March 2, 2012 at 8:30 AM.

Apple to launch subscription TV service by Christmas, content talks going downhill

Apple has plans to launch a subscription television service by Christmas this year, according to a recent report from the New York Post. The paper states that Apple wants the service to treat channels like apps, allowing the user to purchase subscriptions for either individual channels or groups of channels a la carte. Apple has long been rumored to be pitching the service to top media executives, but according to the Post, the negotiations are not going well. Eddie Cue is reportedly leading the talks and content providers have seemingly not been partial to his propositions. Apple’s pitch can be summed up as “we decide the price, we decide what content,” one of the Post’s sources said. “They want everything for nothing,” said another. Apple apparently plans to launch some form of its TV service by the end of the year with or without full cooperation from the networks, and the service is expected to be available on Apple TV as well as the new iOS-powered HDTV Apple will reportedly launch later this year. More →

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Google Music said to be floundering as user count declines each week

By on March 1, 2012 at 2:05 PM.

Google Music said to be floundering as user count declines each week

Google’s answer to iTunes, Spotify, Pandora and other popular digital music services may be in serious trouble. Reports surfaced last week suggesting Google Music wasn’t living up to expectations and now, according to music industry insider Wayne Rosso, the service may be in deeper trouble than initially thought. “I’ve never seen anything like it,” an unnamed digital music executive told Rosso. “It’s astounding. It’s hard to believe that with an install base of over 200 million Android handsets they’re actually losing customers.” The well-placed source explained to Rosso that Google Music is losing customers on a weekly basis, and that it has gotten to the point where record label executives are worried Google may discontinue the service. First launched this past November, Google Music is a music store and cloud-based digital locker combination that allows users to purchase or upload music, and then stream songs to any computer or Android-powered device. More →

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Samsung partners with Blockbuster for streaming movie service

By on February 21, 2012 at 8:15 PM.

Samsung partners with Blockbuster for streaming movie service

Samsung has partnered with Blockbuster to stream thousands of movies to the company’s smartphones, tablets, ultrabooks, laptops, smart TVs and Blu-ray players, reports Smarthouse. The service will reportedly be rolled out in the United States and Europe in the first half of 2012, with an Australian scheduled to take place by early September. Samsung is also rumored to be developing a new global billing system that will allow users to easily log-in and pay for media content right from their devices. Blockbuster is the largest provider of rental movies in Australia, although in recent years the company has lost ground to both Netflix and Redbox. The deal is considered a win-win “for both Samsung, Blockbuster and Australian movie watchers,” according to Paul Uniacke the CEO of the Franchise Entertainment Group who has the rights to the Blockbuster brand in Australia. More →

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HTC rumored to be working on a streaming music service

By on February 15, 2012 at 9:15 AM.

HTC rumored to be working on a streaming music service

HTC has fallen from Android grace due to heavy competition from Motorola and Samsung, and the Taiwanese company promised to change by soon offering devices with thinner form factors and better battery life. Now, HTC and Jimmy Iovine of Beats Audio are rumored to be developing a streaming music service exclusively for HTC phones and tablets, according to GigaOM. The music service could launch at this month’s Mobile World Congress in Barcelona and it may help make HTC devices more appealing to consumers. The company is still working on pricing plans, however, and other details for the new service. BGR exclusively reported this past November that HTC will unveil the Ville at MWC along side the company’s quad-core flagship HTC Endeavor. More →

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BitTorrent inventor’s new p2p tech could ‘kill off television’

By on February 14, 2012 at 6:50 PM.

BitTorrent inventor’s new p2p tech could ‘kill off television’

BitTorrent inventor Bram Cohen took the stage at the San Francisco MusicTech Summit on Monday and gave onlookers a live demonstration of his new peer-to-peer live video streaming technology. Cohen’s new tech is potentially capable of streaming live video to millions of Internet-connected devices without the need for a central infrastructure, and he said the protocol could be used for video conferencing or even streaming sporting events. “My goal here is to kill off television,” Cohen joked to GigaOm at the summit, adding that he developed the new technology from scratch because earlier peer-to-peer technology introduces too much latency for live applications. Cohen said he is in discussions with several potential partners regarding implementations for the new technology, but there are currently no firm launch plans for products based on the new protocol. More →

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