TweakTown NewsRefine News by Category:
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.'"
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.
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."
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.
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."
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.
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.
The fight against Internet piracy apparently isn't going well for copyright holders, and "legislation is pushing people to steal," said Andrus Ansip, Vice President for the Digital Single Market for the European Commission. Speaking during Midem, Ansip believes providing content across the EU - and educating users about legal options - are two critical steps that must be addressed.
The EU's recently adopted Digital Single Market strategy will hopefully end geo-blocking among EU nations, while consumers can legally purchase more content. The removal of geo-blocking will make it legal for 100 million Europeans to access content they own in other countries - a major development, with Europeans taking more than 270 million cross-border trips that last at least one night.
"Today, we don't have a Digital Single Market in the European Union," Ansip said.
The NFL is broadening its horizons a bit by expanding to live streaming, and will partner with Yahoo to get the job done. Yahoo won a bidding process and the first live streamed game will be the Buffalo Bills vs. Jacksonville Jaguars, scheduled for Oct. 25 in London. It's unknown which companies Yahoo outbid, but it's likely Google's YouTube service was one of them.
Even though cord cutting has become more prevalent in recent years, many subscribers don't abandon their cable or satellite service due to live sports. However, sports leagues in the United States are beginning to embrace online video - but the NFL is notorious for blacking out local teams from streaming services, forcing football fans to keep some type of subscription.
"We're thrilled that the NFL has chosen Yahoo for this historic opportunity," said Marissa Mayer, CEO of Yahoo, in a public statement. "It marks a significant change in the way users can access this amazing content."
Netflix is a streaming service that requires viewers pay a monthly subscription, and has been careful to keep ads away from members. However, the company is reportedly interested in displaying movie trailers prior to streaming some programs, according to reports.
The idea of third-party ads on Netflix obviously isn't making many subscribers happy - despite it being a long rumored possibility - as the US company is increasing members, but struggling to boost its net profit.
"We are not planning to test or implement third-party advertising on the Netflix service," according to a statement published by BBC. "For some time, we've teased Netflix originals with short trailers after a member finishes watching a show. Some members in a limited test now are seeing teases before a show begins. We test hundreds of potential improvements to the service every year. Many never extend beyond that."
I guess it should be no surprise to anyone that online video consumption continues to take over the Internet, gobbling up even more Internet traffic. It looks like Netflix remains dominant, racking up almost 37 percent of downstream traffic, with HBO Go and HBO Now also accounting for 4.1 percent of traffic on a US fixed network.
"Netflix continues to slowly increase its domination of North American fixed networks, accounting for 36.5% of downstream traffic in the peak evening hours," according to the Sandvine Global Internet Phenomena Report.
Meanwhile, BitTorrent traffic captured 6.3 percent of North American broadband network traffic, though is reportedly slowing. Sandvine collects information generated by traffic that passes through its networks, and has been applauded for increasing accuracy.