Between Netflix, Hulu, SlingTV, Amazon Prime and other similar companies, cord-cutting consumers (or those considering cutting the cord) have several options for streaming video. The latest entrant into the over-the-top [OTT] ring comes from the other side of the pond: the BBC. [More]
When Oyster launched in 2013, it claimed to be the e-book version of Netflix, offering customers an all-you-can-read lending library of around 100,000 books for a monthly subscription of $9.95. A year and a half later, the company seems to have realized that a buffet of sometimes unheard of books isn’t exactly what consumers are looking for. So in an attempt to bring the latest and greatest titles to readers, the company now plans to secure its foothold in the e-book market with the launch of a retail component aimed to compete with Amazon, Apple and other online booksellers. [More]
If you’ve ever tried to withhold a tablet full of cartoons from the grasping clutches of a five-year-old intent on mainlining Dora the Explorer, then you know that children’s TV content is a pretty big deal. Often it’s the only thing that can prevent a total, shrieking, screaming, flailing and hysterical meltdown. Viacom will be trying to cash in on that need for kid fodder with a new stand-alone subscription service for Nickelodeon.
YouTube’s playlists are full of amateur and mostly amateurish video clips, which is fine because almost everything on YouTube is free. But there are also plenty of high-quality content producers posting videos on YouTube, some of whom are being paid handsomely for it. While such clips may add an air of professionalism to YouTube, will consumers be willing to pay $2.99/month for a service that curates the best of the web? [More]
While it seems music has moved as far away from the more physical music era of the past — records, cassettes, CDs, etc. — as we stream millions of artists into our ears from wherever we want, whenever we want, some people still like to get their hands on a solid hunk of plastic for their listening pleasure. A new vinyl subscription service is catering to those analog folk with LP deliveries.
Activision Blizzard has managed to pump up Call of Duty to a Goliath-like status in online gaming for the past several years, so it was only a matter of time until the publisher thought of a way to sap more money from dedicated players. Its answer is Call of Duty Elite, a service that offers stat-tracking, group management and social features for $50 a year. The fee also covers downloadable map packs that non-members will have to buy individually.
Making an about-face after stirring up a hornet’s nest of discontent by saying Americans were too self-absorbed to notice his company was providing cheap, streaming-only access to Canadian customers, Netflix CEO Reed Hastings said he was joking and that Americans would get a similar service soon.
Sony unveiled the specifics of its Xbox Live-like PlayStation Plus program on its PlayStation Blog, revealing an underwhelming set of features for the $50 annual fee. Bear in mind that Sony already gives away online play — something Microsoft charges for.
Sony’s two biggest announcements at video game summit E3 were of copycat efforts. By the end of the month the PS3 will start PlayStation Plus, a $50-a-year tier of its currently free online service that gives gamers a grab bag of free downloads and the ability to talk with other players online regardless of what game their playing — provided they’re also PlayStation Plus subscribers. It’s the company’s answer to pay-to-play Xbox Live. The first three months of PlayStation Plus are free.
TiVo may not have treated Lee right, taking him for granted and unfairly billing him while cutting off his lifetime service. Maybe it even slept around with cocktail waitresses and D-list reality show stars. But TiVo stopped dragging its feet once Lee told us his story.