Google will not launch a second music subscription service this year, people familiar with the matter told AllThingsD, as the company is not happy with the final product, which is now expected to arrive at some point in the first quarter of 2014. Not too long ago, code traces found in the Android YouTube app hinted that a YouTube music subscription service would be launched later this year, but it appears that Google decided only recently to postpone the launch. More →
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.
It’s not shocking that Netflix and YouTube generate a lot of web traffic but it is somewhat surprising to learn just how much bandwidth they consume. AllThingsD points us to a new study from broadband service company Sandvine that estimates YouTube and Netflix combine to account for just over half of all peak-hour download traffic in the United States and around 45% of all total traffic including uploads. What makes this particularly interesting is how much more traffic Netflix generates compared with rival video streaming services such as Amazon and Hulu, which at peak hours combine to account for less than 3% of all U.S. traffic. Sandvine’s chart showing how much of all U.S. traffic major websites account for follows below. More →
Count YouTube cofounder Jawed Karim among those who’s not a fan of forcing YouTube commenters to have a Google+ account. As The Guardian notes, Karim this week posted a comment on his YouTube page asking “why the f— do I need a Google+ account to comment on a video?” Google has claimed that it’s requiring commenters to have Google+ accounts to help them “see posts at the top of the list from the video’s creator, popular personalities, engaged discussions about the video, and people in your Google+ Circles,” and thus deliver a more personalized experience. Even so, Google’s assurance that the new comments system is being put in place for users’ benefit is unlikely to quell critics who think the company is cynically trying to find yet another sneaky way to foist Google+ on everyone.
The music streaming market has become especially crowded with the addition of Apple’s iTunes Radio, but another major player in the online world is supposedly preparing its own service to complicate matters even further. Billboard reports that YouTube is close to launching its own premium music streaming service, complete with a subscription-based model and a free component, similar to Spotify. More →
Although Google turned in a very strong earnings performance last quarter, one of the few troublesome spots was the continued decline in the company’s cost-per-click rate that it charges to advertisers. One of the reasons for this decline has undoubtably been that Google has had more difficulty generating ad revenues for its mobile websites and applications, which are quickly replacing its desktop websites as the most popular way to access its services. More →
Microsoft has had enough of wrangling with Google for the time being. WPCentral notes that Microsoft has updated its homemade Windows Phone YouTube app so that it simply redirects users to the mobile YouTube website instead of a dedicated app. Google has been blocking Microsoft’s Windows Phone YouTube app for months now and the company has repeatedly accused its competitor of violating its terms of service by adding features that prevented ads from playing on YouTube videos. Although the two companies vowed to work out their differences, Google once again blocked the YouTube app back in August and we haven’t heard anything about the two companies making progress ever since.
Here’s one advantage to not having Instagram on your smartphone: You won’t be tempted to upload pictures of your criminal activities for the whole world to see. The New York Daily News reports that New York police this week made the biggest gun bust in the city’s history after arresting two weapons runners and 17 accomplices while seizing more than 250 illegal firearms. More →
Google seems determined to make Microsoft’s life miserable when it comes to approving a YouTube app for the Windows Phone store. The Verge reports that Google has once again blocked Microsoft’s Windows Phone YouTube app because it still allegedly violates Google’s terms of service. Google first blocked the app three months ago when it said that Microsoft created it without Google’s permission and added features to the app that prevented ads from playing on YouTube videos. The two companies have since vowed to work together to make an app for Microsoft’s mobile platform but this latest dustup shows that the two companies are still far apart. Microsoft tells The Verge that it is working with Google “to resolve the issue.”
If your favorite video streaming service is experiencing slow buffering, then your ISP is unsurprisingly partly to blame — and not just because it’s delivering a shoddy connection. Ars Technica reports that ISPs and video service providers often get into heated disputes over “how much one network should pay to connect to another,” which can result in ISPs intentionally slowing down traffic from YouTube and Netflix. More →
A new report claims that Google is delaying manufacturers from releasing HTML5-based Smart TVs due to a drawn out process to earn YouTube certification. According to ETNews, the company requires manufacturers to go through “browser conformity tests” at is Mountain View headquarters before they can have access to an app for the popular video-sharing site. Google is also said to be requiring smart TV operators to place the app on the interface’s main home screen as well, and an industry insider blasted Google for taking away a company’s right of choice. More →
Millions of Internet users in Pakistan could soon lose access to Gmail to Google Maps unless Google bows to demands being made by the Pakistani government. The Times of India reports that Anusha Rahman Khan, Pakistan’s IT and telecommunication minister, said the government may block access to all Google sites unless the company removes “blasphemous and objectionable material” from YouTube. Pakistan has already been blocking access to YouTube since September, when the inflammatory video “Innocence of Muslims” sparked violent protests in several countries. The Pakistani government has so far been frustrated that Google has refused to provide filters for videos it deems offensive, although the new threat of a blanket ban may prompt the company to be more accommodating.
Google on Thursday announced the launch of a pilot program that will allow a select group of YouTube partners to charge users a subscription fee to access their content. Companies like Sesame Street will be offering full episodes on their paid channels, while UFC plans to give users access to classic fights. Premium content can be accessed for free with a 14-day trial, after which a subscription will be required. Google noted that fees will begin at $0.99 per month, though many providers will offer discounted yearly rates. After subscribing to a channel, users can access it from a computer, phone, tablet or a smart TV. Paid channels will be available today for select partners and will be available as a self-service feature for “qualifying partners” in the coming weeks.