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.
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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.
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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.

Chromecast made up 20% of streaming media device sales in 2014

streaming marketshareWhen Google released the Chromecast, it was set at a very cheap price point in order to chew up as much market share as quickly as possible, similar to Google’s approach with Android. Looks like that tactic paid off for the little streaming dongle, as the Chromecast holds second place in the market share race after just over a year on the market.

In 2013, Roku and Apple TV made up over half of the market, with Roku leading the way by a considerable margin. In 2014, that shifted dramatically with Roku losing a large percentage of the market and Apple TV actually coming in third behind Google’s second place Chromecast. Since the Chromecast is significantly cheaper than what’s offered by Roku or Apple, that’s helped it rise in market share so quickly.
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New streaming video service may be offered by Amazon

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New reports indicate Amazon is preparing to rollout an ad-supported video streaming service next year that is different from the Prime Video service included with their Prime membership offering. The new service will supposedly be aimed more at competing with Hulu and Netflix in that it will be based on a monthly subscription fee for access. Analysts think Amazon will undercut the monthly prices offered by other services through the use of ads. Wedbush Securities analyst Michael Pachter thinks this would make the new Amazon offering a “Netflix killer.”
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Spotify announces new family plans starting at $14.99 a month

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Good news for those of you sharing your Spotify subscription with your family, the popular streaming service has finally launched a discounted plan for families. This means no more of your weird son’s dubstep playlists mixed in with your Marvin Gaye collections. The plan allows you to have up to five people on the same account, while keeping playlists, libraries and recommendations completely separate. 
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Standalone streaming service from HBO coming in 2015

HBO_LogoHBO is set to launch a standalone streaming service in 2015, at least according to Richard Plepler, HBO CEO. What this means is that instead of having to pay for a HBO package through our cable or satellite provider, we’ll be soon be able to stream HBO much like we do via Netflix. What this also means is that we can watch Game of Thrones, Boardwalk Empire or True Detective without a.) illegally doing so or b.) “stealing” your friend’s HBO Go password. Of course, HBO is wading into an already somewhat filled pool of streaming services. No word on when in 2015 exactly, we’ll see this but either way, it’s coming.

source: NBC News

Amazon adds ‘hundreds of thousands of songs’ to Prime Music service

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We have literally no idea how Amazon’s Prime Music is  doing commercially, but it did recently add “hundreds of thousands of songs” and hundreds of playlists to the service.

The expanded availability of music is good for its current users, which can listen through their smartphones, computers, and Amazon’s cloud player.


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