Spotify gains control of music at Starbucks thanks to multi-year partnership

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It used to be that when you went to Starbucks, you could pick up a card that gave you a free iTunes download, but it seems that will be coming to and end soon, which is no bad thing if you are an Android user. This is because Starbucks and Spotify have just entered into a multi-year agreement that will see the¬†music subscription service become an integral part of the Starbucks experience. This partnership will see the 7,000 Starbucks locations in the U.S. linked with the approximate¬†60 million (global) Spotify subscribers, creating a ‘first of its kind ecosystem’.

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MixRadio leaves beta, announces new partnership with HTC

mixradio bannerAfter being purchased by LINE from Microsoft and Nokia, MixRadio has ditched its beta tag and hit Google’s App Store. The music streaming service tries to offer a more personalized approach to your music by learning what you like and playing things it thinks you’ll like. Other apps have tried to do this with mixed success, so it’ll be interesting to see if MixRadio can pull it off.

The app has also announced a partnership with HTC that will curate music news to BlinkFeed on HTC devices. As the service learns what music you like, it will display relevant info and news about artists and genres you like in your news feed. It’s a pretty nifty use of BlinkFeed that hopefully works as well as it sounds. Read more

CBS, FOX, HGTV, and others update their apps to support Chromecast

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Chromecast owners have six new apps to consume content from starting today. CBS, FOX, FX, HGTV, Pluto TV, and Haystack TV all have update their respective apps to support Chromecast. Streaming content from some these networks, such as CBS, will cost money while others simply require television provider authentication. This all means that Chromecast owners have even more content to be devoured.

Want to watch Empire? Louie? Or what about Property Brothers? There are now apps with Chromecast support for that.

Hit the break for download links.

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Plex for Android update gets Material Design makeover with tons of new features

plex_app_iconPlex for Android has received a pretty big update that brings in a Material Design overhaul, plus a handful of new features that Plex users will be happy to see.

The new interface fits right in with Google’s own suite of apps, and boasts easy ways to browse content and select what server you want to stream media from. The home screen has taken up a modern redesign, and everything just looks fantastic. Read more

YouTube preparing to get back in the game with live streaming platform

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According to a new report, Google is preparing to relaunch its live stream platform with a focus on live gaming events and sporting events. Google sort of tried this once before with their YouTube Live service when they attempted to purchase Twitch for $1 billion. That deal fell through amidst claims of “antitrust concerns.” Since then, Twitch has gone on to achieve success in the market, with the backing of Amazon, while YouTube Live became an “also ran.” Now, Google appears to be ready to give it another go based on reports that internal resources are being committed to the initiative. Read more

Listen to full songs from Rhapsody through Twitter

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Almost two years ago Twitter tried to jump into the online music streaming market with their own Twitter Music offering, a platform that never took off and was eventually shut down. Twitter appears to be ready to give it another go with the addition of Rhapsody to their Twitter Audio Card feature. Rhapsody users can now share what they are listening to via Twitter and more importantly, followers can listen to the full song provided by the Rhapsody service as part of the partnership. Read more

DirecTV adds livestreaming from fifteen HBO and Cinemax channels

directv_logo_whiteStarting today, DirecTV customers can stream live content from HBO and Cinemax channels directly to their phones and tablets. This allows them to forgo the option to stream content after it has already aired. Customers can watch as if they were sitting in front of the television and the only difference is the size of the display. The channels added are HBO, HBO2, HBMO Comedy, HBO Family, HBO Latino, HBO Signature, HBO Zone, Cinemax, MoreMax, 5StarMax, ActionMax, MaxLatino, MovieMax, OuterMax, and ThrillerMax.

Hit the break for download links.

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Chromecast dominates U.S. streaming, users have hit Cast 1 billion times

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Google’s Chromecast costs only $35. At that price, people may assume the dongle is inferior to its competition. In reality, Chromecast is on the same level as other streaming devices. And today Google chief business officer Omid Kordestani pointed to a report from NPD Group that named Chromecast as the top selling streaming device in the United States. Holding the top spot in the United States should not be any surprise because of how low the price is to bring Chromecast home.

Kordestani announced a very impressive Chromecast statistic, too. In the near two years the device has been available, users have hit Cast one billion times. The milestone came last week. Also, Chromecast use has improved by 60% since launching in July 2013.