Music streaming service Spotify has launched a family plan that will let multiple people use the service without spending more for individual subscriptions. Spotify Family begins at $14.99 per month for two members, and that already amounts to a $5 per month savings since individual plans cost $10. Other family members can be added to a plan for just $5 per month, thereby increasing the savings.
Microsoft was left red-faced this week after its DCMA sweep of YouTube knocked several well-respected Windows bloggers down. The bloggers, including such well-known names as Bruce Naylor and Chris Pirillo were left shaken and angry by the take downs. Pirillo took to Twitter to air his frustration, creating the hashtag #MicroStopped to reach out to other Windows bloggers who may have been affected.
The BBC’s iPlayer applications have been updated to include 30-day viewing periods for content. iPlayer had previously offered a one-week catch-up period for most content, but now users will be able to catch up on TV and radio shows over the span of a month.
YouTube is beginning to roll out a channel donation feature that was first mentioned by the company a few months ago. If a channel decides that it would like to receive donations from viewers, a tip jar feature can be enabled. Videos from channels that have enabled the tip jar will include a small icon that lets viewers know they can donate. The icon is located in the top left corner of a video, and it will open to the donation page when clicked.
As SoundClound tries to find new ways to monetize its music service, the company has introduced advertisements and service tiers. Certain users will now be able to monetize their content and share part of the ad revenue with SoundCloud. Even for users who are not interested in making money, SoundCloud has announced different tiers of service that open up a variety of features.
YouTube has announced that it will be launching a paid music service, and in doing so, will remove indie artists from YouTube if their labels don’t sign-on. Music videos from independent labels will simply be blocked on YouTube because certain artists have not agreed to license their content for the music service. A large portion of the music industry is reportedly on-board with YouTube’s plans, but without the indie artists and labels, the music service won’t include everything that it needs to.
Beats Music is still one of the youngest music streaming services, but with Apple’s acquisition of Beats, the service is gaining a lot of extra attention. The service has now moved into version 1.1 on Android, and the update brings a few substantial improvements to the Music’s features. Beats Music for Android now has a completely new landscape mode and the ability to save songs to an SD card for offline playback. For people who have phones that do support SD cards, the feature is very useful given that music can take up a lot of space on a phone’s built-in storage.
Confirming rumors that have been gaining traction since May, Amazon has officially launched a streaming music service, Prime Music. With the service, Amazon Prime subscribers will have access to more than one million songs for free. No advertisements will be shown on Prime Music, but it will only include songs that are older than six months in order to save money when licensing content. New releases are always provided with services like Spotify and Rdio, though Prime Music is not trying to compete with them.
In just three years, Netflix and other video streaming services will become more profitable than the entire US movie box office that accounts for revenue generated by new movie releases. A report from PricewaterhouseCoopers (PwC) says that by 2017, Netflix, Hulu, and others will be more profitable and will also control 43 percent of the film industry. That market share, combined with the money to be made from streaming video, will put pressure on the industry to release movies outside of theaters sooner, says PwC.
YouTube will reportedly buy Twitch for an estimated $1 billion and to people who are not in the eSports community, the benefits of that may be difficult to understand. For some people, Twitch may be a site that they have never even heard of, yet for gamers, it is their home away from home. Research firm IHS has released a report showing just how popular services like Twitch are and the report’s data also sheds some light on why YouTube would be interested in buying Twitch
Live streaming site Justin.tv will be getting rid of all archived videos from its servers on June 8 in order to save space and because they were not popular in the first place. Justin.tv says that the vast majority of archived videos have only been viewed a handful of times while around 50 percent of them have only been viewed 1-2 times. Considering that all of the video files take up a lot of space, their lack of popularity is a fairly good reason to take down the files.
Vimeo is continuing to pump money into its own original series High Maintenance. The first 13 episodes of the series were released last year and now, an additional six will be coming. Unlike the first part of the series, the new episodes will cost an unspecified amount and will be available through Vimeo on Demand.