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Netflix will keep its DVD, Blu-ray rental business alive... for now

Netflix has transitioned subscribers away from renting DVDs and Blu-ray in favor of its streaming service, but that doesn't mean the rental business will suddenly disappear. There are still more than 5 million DVD subscribers, which is much lower than the 20 million subscribers in 2010, but that doesn't mean Netflix is just going to fold the business unit.

 

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In Netflix's East Bay distribution center that is located in Fremont, California, the automatic sorter processes more than 3,000 movies per hour - a significantly higher number than when human workers had to process each movie.

 

Netflix, however, has more than 65 million streaming subscribers, though the company said it is fighting to break even through 2016. The company is dumping money into content, expansion, and reinforcing its huge Internet pipeline.

Continue reading 'Netflix will keep its DVD, Blu-ray rental business alive... for now' (full post)

ESPN could be sold as a standalone service, but not anytime soon

Disney CEO Bob Iger sees a time when ESPN is available a la carte direct to consumers, with more viewers interested in cutting the cord. However, Iger is aware of declining revenue generated from traditional subscriptions, and finding new ways to cater to viewers is important.

 

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"Technology is the most disruptive force that so-called traditional media is facing," Iger recently said while speaking on CNBC's "Squawk Box." "[But] while the business model may face challenges over the next few years, long term for ESPN, they'll be fine."

 

Don't bother talking about price, as it "would be conjecture at this point." The service won't be available any time soon, and it'll probably take at least five years before the service is available - well, unless there is additional erosion to cable and satellite bundles.

Continue reading 'ESPN could be sold as a standalone service, but not anytime soon' (full post)

Would you pay $6.99 for a la carte streaming NBA games?

NBA viewers interested in watching out-of-market games that aren't on ESPN, TNT, or other nationally televised broadcast channels will be able to do so starting next season. It will cost $6.99 per streamed game, so it's not likely to be a service for casual NBA fans.

 

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Anyone interested in the a la carte option can stream selected games to a PC, mobile device, or purchase games to watch through your cable provider.

 

If you're not ready for the $200 League Pass, which provides all out-of-market games, and you don't want to pay $6.99 each, you can pay $120 for all out-of-market games for a single team.

Continue reading 'Would you pay $6.99 for a la carte streaming NBA games?' (full post)

PewDiePie publicly responds, following shock regarding his salary

PewDiePie reportedly makes millions of dollars for creating videos that are published on YouTube - watched by more than 27 million subscribers. A Swedish newspaper said PewDiePie Products AB generated a total of $7.4 million in 2014, a drastic increase from $3.5 million year-over-year.

 

 

"Money is a topic that I purposefully tried to avoid for the five years I've been making videos. I just feel like it's not important to anyone. I just want to make entertaining videos," PewDiePie recently said in a video.

 

I highly doubt PewDiePie believed he would earn millions of dollars from online videos - and feel that if you can build a following the way he did - a paycheck isn't out of the question.

Continue reading 'PewDiePie publicly responds, following shock regarding his salary' (full post)

Americans have streamed 135B songs and music videos in 2015 so far

It looks like Internet users in the United States absolutely love streaming content, with more than 135 billion songs and music videos steamed so far in 2015, according to Nielsen. It's a 50 percent increase year-over-year, with more users enjoying Spotify, YouTube, Pandora, and other services on PCs, mobile devices, and in the living room.

 

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Not surprisingly, digital song sales dropped another 10.4 percent, racking up 531.6 million sales - with CDs and digital albums dropping 4 percent down to only 116 million. Music labels are desperate to find ways to collect revenue from streaming music, especially with more people making the transition from downloads to streaming content.

 

"Obviously, the streaming piece is really great news, when you're talking about darn near 100 percent growth... with no new players," said Dave Bakula, SVP of Nielsen Entertainment, in a statement to Re/code. Of course, the figures compiled by Nielsen Entertainment don't include the recent launch of Apple Music - which may have a significant impact on streaming music.

21 million people tuned in to watch E3 using Twitch, company says

More than 21 million people used Twitch to livestream events during the E3 gaming expo earlier this month, the company said in a recent blog post. The maximum number of concurrent viewers was 840,000.

 

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It was an impressive event for Twitch, with 11,986,000 hours of E3 content watched during the gaming show. The Microsoft news conference gained the most attention out of all hardware makers, while Electronic Arts drew the most Twitch attention from software makers.

 

It's getting easier of interested gamers and tech enthusiasts to watch keynotes and press events remotely using Twitch, YouTube, and direct stream links. Considering Amazon's low acquisition costs of Twitch, it absolutely turned out to be the right investment.

Continue reading '21 million people tuned in to watch E3 using Twitch, company says' (full post)

Google engaged in PR war against Hollywood, benefiting from piracy

The MPAA allegedly worked with Mississippi State Attorney General Jim Hood on increased censorship efforts, and Google wants to know more about this rather shady looking deal that took aim at Google. Google sued the Attorney General, and wants to see additional details, including internal communications at the MPAA.

 

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Not surprisingly, the MPAA said Google's intended scope is simply too much - and it's a continued public relations war against copyright groups such as the MPAA.

 

"Google portrays itself as the innocent victim of malicious efforts to abridge its First Amendment rights. In reality, Google is far from innocent," the MPAA has said in federal court. "Google facilitates, and profits from, the distribution of third-party content that even Google concedes is 'objectionable.' 'Objectionable' is Google's euphemism for 'illegal.'"

Continue reading 'Google engaged in PR war against Hollywood, benefiting from piracy' (full post)

Online video streaming is booming during the NBA Finals

Tonight is game 6 of the NBA Finals, with the Golden State Warriors one victory away from winning their first championship in 40 years. As millions of people have tuned in to watch the Warriors play against the Cleveland Cavaliers, there has been another big winner: online streaming.

 

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The ESPN WatchESPN live streaming service hosted 744,500 unique viewers during game 4, a whopping 128 percent over game 4 last season. If viewers are unable to watch a sporting event live, they are turning to online streams to help - and more legitimate options are available. NBC, CBS, NFL, and others want to keep viewers engaged, especially if it's through a legitimate service that they can monetize.

 

"I think people are realizing this other segment is big," said Greg Ireland, multiscreen video research director of the IDC research firm, in a statement published by the Washington Post. "It's getting bigger every year, and we have to provide for them."

Continue reading 'Online video streaming is booming during the NBA Finals' (full post)

Millions of users are pirating 'Game of Thrones' season finale

The Game of Thrones continues to be popular among viewers, with many watching through legal means - and plenty of users relying on streaming websites and illegal downloads.

 

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In just eight hours, there were 1.5 million downloads, which set a new piracy record. The piracy figure shouldn't take too long to reach 10 million, with interested viewers turning to torrents and other ways to download. The 480p version is currently most popular, with more downloads ahead of 720p and 1080p versions of the season finale.

 

"Never before have we seen this many downloads in such a short period of time, and last year it took half a day to reach the same number," according to TorrentFreak. "Based on this figure, the download count is expected to increase to more than 10 million during the days to come."

Continue reading 'Millions of users are pirating 'Game of Thrones' season finale' (full post)

Netflix trying to battle piracy of 'Orange is the New Black' series

Netflix wants people to watch Orange is the New Black, but not on piracy websites that are hosted in countless countries. The Silicon Valley company is trying to find ways to improve SEO and point users towards Netflix, instead of finding the streams elsewhere on the Internet.

 

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Unfortunately for Netflix, it looks like it's extremely easy to use Google, Yahoo, and other search engines to find illegal streams of the hit series. Recently, Orange is the New Black was the No. 4 most searched for term on Google, and chances are extremely high that plenty of Internet users found their way to third-party sites.

 

How serious of an issue is piracy for Netflix? It's the top competitor in terms of content providers, as the online video service fights for more paying subscribers.

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