Wednesday 5.15: News to Know
Digital Music News
Google Will Launch Music Subscription Service at I/O
Google is set to launch its own Spotify-like music subscription service at Google I/O Wednesday,according to reports from the Verge, the Wall Street Journal and the New York Times. The new service will offer unlimited music streaming, but also tie in with Google’s existing music locker offering and its MP3 store, according to these reports. Google will have to compete with a growing number of subscription music services, which include market leader Spotify, Rdio,Rhapsody, Muve Music and the yet-to-be-launched Beats music subscription service. However, Google would be the first company to combine a music locker for cloud-hosted personal music collections with a subscription offering.
BBC iPlayer is Now Available to Download for Windows Phone 8
The UK broadcaster inked a deal with Microsoft to bring its uber-popular streaming app to Windows Phone by summer time. This would mean that it’s available on Android, BlackBerry, Windows Phone and iOS. However,it’s worth noting here the app actually comes in the form of a shortcut that wraps the mobile website version of iPlayer with its media playerapp – which the BBC developed to circumvent issues with Flash on Android – allowing iPlayer to work on Windows Phone 8 handsets via a live tile. If Microsoft can ensure more top apps are made available for Windows Phone devices, it will certainly stand a better chance of securing a bigger share of the market.
Sony Rejects Loeb’s Call to Sell Part of Its Movie and Music Unit
Activist shareholder Dan Loeb just called for Sony to sellup to 20% of its entertainment division, and Sony has already rejected the offer in a statement provided to USA Today. Third Point, a New York-based hedge fund managed by Loeb, owns roughly 6.5% of Sony, making it one of the company’s largest shareholders with a stake valued at $1.1 billion. By selling 15-20% of Sony Entertainment, Loeb claimed Sony could boost the value of its shares, sharpen the company’s overall focus and help revive its consumer electronics business. (Three guesses as to which one of those Loeb cares most about.) Sony’s statement reads: “As President and CEO Kazuo Hirai has said repeatedly, the entertainment businesses are important contributors to Sony’s growth and are not for sale… We look forward to continuing constructive dialogue with our shareholders as we pursue our strategy.”
CBS Interactive Adds247Sports Football, Basketball Content
Adding to its niche content, CBS Interactive has entered into a distribution partnership with 247Sports. Per the deal, 247Sports’ football and basketball recruiting content will be added to CBSSports.com’s college sports coverage, as well as the national high-school sports coverage of CBS Interactive’s MaxPreps.com. Going forward, CBSSports.comalso plans to incorporate 247Sports features, including team and player rankings, such as the 247Composite Team Recruiting Ranking, Crystal Ball commitment prediction engine, Recruiter Rankings, Top 247, news and analysis.
How Cloud ComputingWill Save Hollywood
Why hasn’t technologyhelped speed up movie production, appeasing fan excitement and helpingHollywood powerhouses maximize revenue streams? As digital media files grow in size and complexity, mediaservice providers must spend more time and resources developing, transferring,storing and optimizing them. Public cloud-computing services offer a solutionto this, providing collaborative ecosystems in which providers can essentiallywork together under one roof to improve the efficiency of their services,including file conversion, encoding/transcoding, and moving and storing largemedia files. Cloud computing offers greater elasticity, instantaneous accessand increased collaboration to the media industry. For example, media companiescan spin up servers to meet immediate demand and then shut them down when theyare no longer needed. This level of elasticity is ideal for the mediaindustry’s unique workflows and exploding data volumes, allowing companies to control cost by using only the resources they require for the period they require them. What’s more, with the cloud, it doesn’t matter if you’re collaborating with partners in even the most remote corners of the world – as long as they have a good Internet connection.
TV vs Digital
Sen. Warner to Broadcast Nets: Don’t Even Think About Using Cable to Bypass Aereo
During asubcommittee hearing of the Senate Commerce Committee into current issues in video, Sen. Mark Warner (D-Va.), pointed out that broadcasters access valuable spectrum that they received for free from the government. Warner cited an April 8 threat by News Corp president-COO Chase Carey to move Fox programming to cable if a legal fight to stop Aereo from retransmitting TV stations signal without paying retransmission fees. Gordon H. Smith, the president-CEO of the National Assn.of Broadcasters, suggested the right answer was to retain the copyright system.“The thing Congress can do is to be faithful to what is as old as our country,which includes copyright. If you have copyrighted material, the rights go with you and that deserves compensation, however you use it,” he said. The panel is preparing to to begin considering legislation later this year.
Congressneeds to reauthorize the Satellite Television and Extension Act, a law whichsets procedures for satellite DBS companies.
The New Yorker Launches Strongbox, an Open-Source Anonymous Tip Tool Built By Aaron Swartz
Now the New Yorker magazine says it can help journalists, and their sources, cover their tracks. It is rolling out an electronic tip box it says will give leakers and tipsters the ability to cloak their identity when they reach out to the magazine.
Time Warner to StreamTBS and TNT Online This Summer, Cable Subscription Required
ABC may have gotten the jump on other TV channels in bringing live programming to mobile devices, but Time Warner won’t be far behind. The companytoday announced plans to offer live TBS and TNT streams online beginning thissummer. Like ABC’s implementation, only pay-TV subscribers will get access whenthe time comes. That trend, which is bad news for cord cutters, is expected tocontinue when Fox and NBC eventually roll out their own TV Everywhere offeringswithin the next year or two. “Starting this summer, subscribers will beable to watch TBS and TNT live — anytime, anywhere, on multiple devices,”said Steve Koonin, president of Turner Entertainment Networks, during 2013’supfront presentations. Both channels have released apps across iOS and Androidthat provide on-demand clips and full episodes.
‘Wired’ Magazine Launching New Video Series
The techno-trend periodical, launched 20 years ago, has three new series that go live today onWired’s video channel and on YouTube. More series, like the others sponsored by MicrosoftSurface, Windows Phone and Windows 8, are in the works including the outlet’s first scripted series Codefellasabout the NSA, animated by Richard Link later Studios and starring John Hodgman (The Daily Show) and ReWired: The Documentary about the magazine’s redesign.
A Vision of Youtube
Youtube is getting bigger and bigger. “It has unlimited capacity; everything is global; there are very low barriers to entry at the initial stage; and most effectively, there are advertising technologies that allow for a very targeted reach, very focused buys.” Maker Studios, one of the biggest YouTube networks, gets 3 billion views a month and hopes to only get bigger.
Why YouTube Cover Sensation Sam Tsui Turned Down Record Labels for His Debut Album
A 24-year-old Pennsylvania native, Tsui, blossomed into one of the most popular cover artists on YouTube while at Yale, covering everyone from Michael Jackson to Adele. His channel amassed more than 500K subscribers with the help of childhood friend and producer Kurt Schneider, who helped deliver Tsui’s covers and mash-ups to millions of fans.
‘StyleHaul’, Fashion/Style-Centric Multichannel Network on YouTube Raises $6M
This follows a $6.5 million investment led by Bertelsmann Digital Media Investments, and brings the start-up’s funding total to $17 million. StyleHaul CEO Stephanie Horbaczewski tells AllThingsD that thenew funds will go toward building an off-YouTube destination for StyleHaul. Other initiatives include an interactive video player that allows users to buy products as they see them on the screen as well as two original web series.
Stats to Start
Big Leap for Digital Video Views in India
Regular viewers tune in more often As internet penetration rises in India, the digital video audience is growing fast. Between March 2011 and March 2013, unique visitors to video sites rose 69%, for a total of 54million unique video viewers at the end of the observation period, according to comScore Video Metrix. Butnot only are more web users tuning in to video in India, they are watching more videos and spending more time streaming.
The number of videos viewed grew even faster than unique visitors, doubling to 3.71 billion. And the average viewer watched68.7 videos in March, for a total of 431.5 minutes of digital video viewing.
Opinions & Analysis
The Jenna Marbles Paradox: WhyAre YouTube Videos So Terrible?
The drive for views (rather thanquality customers) explains it all.