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We've been hearing about a music subscription service from YouTube for a while now, but it looks like it could be more of a reality in the near future. Yahoo's CEO, Susan Wojcicki, revealed during a recent interview that they are working on it, and should be unveiled before the end of the year.
Wojcicki also talked about an ad-free experience with YouTube, noting that the ad-supported model has been fine up until now, as it has provided them with the mountain of one billion users, but there are people out there - like myself - who don't want ads, and are willing to pay for that privilege. Wojcicki mentioned apps where there are ads, or you can pay to remove those ads.
The current state of TV is evolving and has led to established companies testing out direct-to-consumer services away from costly cable and satellite bundles. Both HBO and CBS recently announced online video subscription services, providing viewers with another way to watch content. Other content broadcasters are expected to follow suit, despite pressure from cable and satellite providers that offer premium subscription packages - in a continually evolving market.
Beyond HBO and CBS, the WWE wrestling brand, UFC mixed martial arts (MMA) promotion, and other established brands now have their own online on-demand video services.
As more American consumers begin to watch programs online, the future of TV content appears to be online - at the expense of cable and satellite providers - which could be even more disruptive in the future. Consumers can also choose Netflix, Hulu, Amazon, and other online video services that provide TV episodes, movies, and exclusive content for their subscribers.
HBO recently announced it plans to launch a standalone online streaming service in early 2015, but pricing details were not disclosed. CBS announced its online streaming offering will cost just $5.99 per month, but the HBO channel could end up costing upwards of $18 per month, according to analysts from Barclays.
Content providers creating their own online channels are turning the screws on cable and satellite TV service providers, and partners could pressure HBO to not cannibalize their subscriber base. HBO will have to try to appeal to consumers while not undercutting their partners - and if Barclays is accurate with an $18 per month service - it seems unlikely that most consumers will go for it.
There could be potential battle lines drawn between premium channels and their broadcast partners, but industry analysts believe they will have to wait and see how HBO GO proceeds in the future.
It's no surprise that the Internet is a major facilitator of intellectual property piracy and theft, but revelations that the United States hosts a majority of piracy websites might be a shock, according to the IP Crime Report released by the UK IP Crime Group. It's extremely difficult to shut down piracy groups that operate in other countries, which is what UK copyright enforcement groups have found over the past 12 months.
"Analysis has shown that the three key countries in which content is hosted are the UK, the USA and Canada," according to the report. "However, investigating servers located offshore can cause specific problems for FACT's law enforcement partners."
Trying to clamp down on piracy has evolved from individual lawsuits to increased effort to shut down those responsible for operating piracy rings and servers. However, Internet piracy will remain a problem for music labels, movie studios, and game makers, despite increased surveillance of distribution groups.
Just one day after HBO announced it has launched a standalone online streaming service, it looks like CBS is ready to join the online subscription fun. The CBS All Access offering costs $5.99 per month and provides access to live television programming along with current and past on demand content - with no TV subscription required.
Content providers and broadcasters have found many users are interested in watching content online - whenever they want to - without paying for pricey cable or satellite subscriptions. CBS also plans to launch a standalone digital news content service on October 28.
"Everybody is talking about it," said Leslie Moonves, CBS Corporation CEO, in an interview. "It is an important part of our future. Our job is to do the best content we can and let people enjoy it in whatever way they want. The world is heading in that direction."
HBO announced that a standalone, online streaming of its service would launch sometime in 2015, giving cord-cutters one more reason to consider ditching their cable or satellite service. The service will be designed more for the 10 million potential customers in the U.S. that don't currently have cable or TV service, as content providers look for new ways to expand.
The company will work with "current partners" and could expand to new content partners, but HBO CEO Richard Plepler didn't disclose additional details about what customers can expect.
This is a significant step forward for HBO, which traditionally was happy to work with pay-TV providers, but HBO and other providers have been under pressure to innovate.
The average Netflix user consumes 1.5 hours of streaming content each day, in addition to regular TV and Internet video viewing, according to a recent report. Most Netflix subscribers are in the United States, but the San Francisco Bay Area-based company is expanding, with operations in the UK, Canada, France and Germany - with additional international expansion expected in the future.
As broadband saturation increases in the United States, online video consumption - and a booming online video advertising market - has Internet users watching even more of their favorite TV shows and movies.
Average American TV consumption accounts for almost five hours per day, according to the Nielsen research group - and just 19 minutes is dedicated towards reading.
Apple TV owners now have a couple new channels to enjoy thanks to a recent update. The new channels include Fox Now and CNBC. One catch is that both of the channels do require a cable subscription to unlock most content.
A little of the content on both channels is available without cable credentials. The CNBC channel supports live broadcasts and the viewing of older shows and content as well. Fox Now has popular shows from the network that can be watched.
Those popular shows include American Idol, Glee, Family Guy, The Following, and others. Fox Now will offer full episodes of Fox series the day after the air on cable if you have a cable subscription. Participating providers include Comcast, AT&T, DirecTV, Dish, Verizon, and others.
Online video service Netflix surpassed 50 million members during the second quarter, with the number including free trial memberships. Netflix's adoption of original programming has greatly helped the company - despite an arm and a leg cost - as it draws in new viewers.
Around 75 percent of Netflix subscribers reside in the United States, but company officials hope to promote wider international adoption. Netflix is already available in 40 different countries, and will expand in Europe this September, reaching Germany, France, Belgium, Luxembourg, Switzerland and Austria.
"There is growing demand, for control and for the consumer to be able to click and watch what they want, and so that is why we are stepping up on the international expansion," said Reed Hastings, Netflix CEO, during a recent conference call. "We really see that this is an enormous moment in history as on-demand Internet services are coming to the fore around the world."
South Korean singer Psy's popular "Gangnam Style" music video became the first video to reach 2 billion views, as it instantly went viral after being posted online in July 2012. "Gangnam Style" has held the most viewed YouTube video for quite some time, also becoming the first video to eclipse the 1 billion-view mark.
Psy's "Gentleman" music video holds the record for most video views in a single day, picking up 38 million in less than 24 hours.
"2 billion views... they are very honorable and very burdensome numbers," Psy said in a statement. "With appreciation, I will come back soon with more joyful contents!"