streaming service

iHeartRadio opens up its playlists to all users with launch of Playlist Radio

iHeartRadio is best known for its free service offering thousands of live, streaming AM and FM radio stations and its ability to create your own custom station, similar to Pandora. Today, the company is adding a new feature for all users – both free and paid – that blurs the lines between streaming radio and the typically premium-only option of using playlists: Playlist Radio. Like most playlists, Playlist Radio isn’t a random assortment of songs. Instead, the songs it plays are curated and programmed by radio DJs and other iHeartRadio staff. That means there isn’t an algorithm deciding what to play next – you’re listening to a selection of songs an actual person has put together. However, because it’s still “radio” you can’t do some of the things you could with the premium product’s playl...

CBS launches a 24/7 streaming sports news network, CBS Sports HQ

As promised last year, CBS today launched its own sports news network, CBS Sports HQ, which will offer 24-hour streaming coverage of news, highlights and analysis for free online, via connected devices, and within the company’s over-the-top streaming service, CBS All Access. The network had originally said its plan for the sports streaming service was to replicate the success it found with its streaming news network, CBSN, which launched in 2014 to bring CBS news content to digital platforms. That network grew to 287 million streams in 2017, up 17 percent over 2016 – which was an Election year, CBS notes. Similarly, CBS Sports HQ will stream for free, 24/7, and work across a range of devices at launch, including smartphones and tablets (iOS and Android), connected TVs (Amazon Fire TV, Appl...

Mixer, Microsoft’s Twitch competitor, adds game sales

Twitch has long since allowed its streamers to generate revenue from their channels through things like subscriptions, virtual tipping, and game sales. Today, Microsoft is adopting one of those features for its own game streaming service, Mixer, with today’s launch of “Direct Purchase.” The addition will allow streamers to promote purchases – including game titles and other content – that are available for sale from the Microsoft Store. It can support things like base games, specific game editions, downloadable content, add-on packs, and more. All of these items can be purchased directly from the streamer’s Mixer channel itself, without having to exit the stream. In total, there are over 5,000 games that will be made available through Direct Purchase, including Xbox, Windows 10, and Xbox P...

Fox News to launch an over-the-top streaming service, Fox Nation

Fox News is going over-the-top. The Fox News Channel officially announced today the upcoming launch of an over-the-top streaming service called Fox Nation that will include live exclusive daily programing as well as long-form content available only to subscribers. Fox Nation will also include access to exclusive events and over 20 years of Fox News Channel programming, the company says. News of the upcoming service, set to launch in Q4 this year, was first reported by The New York Times, which noted that the streaming service’s content won’t overlap with what’s aired on the broadcast channel. Instead, it will include mostly new content, produced daily, from new anchors and commentators. One unique aspect to the service is that it will also encourage more interactivity with viewers through ...

YouTube TV raises pricing, expands with Turner, NBA, MLB additions

YouTube TV today announced a significant expansion of its channel lineup thanks to new deals with Turner, NBA TV, and MLB Network. A number of Turner-owned networks will be added to YouTube TV’s base package starting now, including TNT, TBS, CNN, Cartoon Network, Adult Swim, HLN, truTV, and Turner Classic Movies. NBA TV and MLB Network will soon follow. Unfortunately for cord cutters, the company is tweaking its pricing plan, too. Next month, YouTube TV will cost $5 more per month, bringing it more in line with competitors at $40 per month for new sign-ups. The good news is that existing YouTube TV subscribers will remain grandfathered in to the current $35 per month plan, which today includes access to over 50 networks like ABC, CBS, FOX, NBC, CW, ESPN, AMC, FX, FXX, Disney Channel (plus ...

Viacom to launch its own streaming service this year

Is there room in the market for yet another streaming service? Viacom thinks so. The company, on its earnings call on Thursday, said it’s planning to launch its own ad-supported streaming service by September 2018, the end of its fiscal year. The service will include “tens of thousands of hours of content” from across Viacom’s library. Viacom had hinted about its plans in streaming before, but it shared a few more details on the call about what the service will include. The company, which owns cable TV channels like MTV and Comedy Central, already licenses some of its content to other streaming services like Sling TV and DirecTV Now, as well as newcomer Philo (which it’s invested in.) But it’s also withheld a lot from third-parties, which it believes will be a strategic advantage. “It’s go...

Hulu rolls out support for 60fps, a top request from sports fans

Hulu announced on Wednesday it has begun to rollout 60fps (frames per second) to its Live TV service – something that’s been one of the most-requested features, especially from those who stream live sports. These higher-quality streams are initially coming to a select number of channels and devices as the first phase of a larger rollout. One of the troubles with switching from cable and satellite television to internet-based live TV services is that streamed sporting events don’t always look right – the video can be choppy, which makes it more difficult to track the action. The issue is the frame rate. Streaming services often only support 30fps, while sporting events often come in at 60fps. Many of Hulu’s competitors already support 60fps streams to varying degrees. For example, Sling TV ...

YouTube TV’s app arrives on Roku

The YouTube TV app is at last available on Roku devices, starting today. Google had announced earlier that YouTube’s live TV service would be coming to Roku and Apple TV in the first quarter of 2018, following a delay that saw it pushing the launch date back from year-end 2017. Until now, YouTube TV has been fairly limited in its support of living room devices compared with rivals, only offering support for select smart TVs (LG and Samsung models), Android TV, Chromecast, and Xbox One devices. Roku is a major platform a TV app like YouTube TV needs to address, given Roku’s status as the top streaming platform in the U.S., according to multiple market research reports. However, it’s often one of the latter platforms to get a new app, as is the case with YouTube TV. The Roku app will work on...

Amazon’s a la carte TV service, Amazon Channels, adds CBS All Access

Amazon’s a la carte TV subscription service, Amazon Channels, just added another big name to its lineup. Today, the companies announced that CBS’s over-the-top streaming service, CBS All Access – yes, the home to the new “Star Trek” – will now be available on Amazon Channels. However, only the higher-priced, $9.99/month commercial-free subscription will be offered for the time being. The lower-cost, $5.99/month Limited Commercials plan will arrive in the “coming months,” CBS said. Amazon Channels first launched in the U.S. back in 2015 as the less-catchy “Amazon Streaming Partners.” It later rebranded and expanded to select European markets last year. The goal with the service – which today is exclusive to Prime subscribers and Prime Video members – is to offer premium programming options ...

YouTube Red cancels release of Morgan Spurlock’s ‘Super Size Me 2’ following filmmaker’s sexual abuse confessions

YouTube’s subscription service, YouTube Red, is losing another of its bigger names. Documentary filmmaker Morgan Spurlock’s “Super Size Me” sequel will be pulled from YouTube Red’s 2018 lineup, following Spurlock’s recent confessions of sexual misconduct shared on Twitter last week. Spurlock on Wednesday admitted to a sexual encounter in college that sounds like it would be considered date rape, as well as to a sexual harassment charge by a former employee. He posted the details of these events in a long Twitter post where he also said, “I am part of the problem.” His confessions have now impacted one of YouTube Red’s biggest deals to date. Google’s video service had picked up the Morgan Spurlock-directed “Super Size Me 2: Holy Chicken!” from the Toronto Film Festival this fall for $3.5 mi...

A new version of Mixer, Microsoft’s Twitch rival, hits iOS and Android

Microsoft today is officially launching a new version of its Mixer mobile gameplay streaming app, its Twitch rival. The app, which is initially available on Android with iOS arriving soon, was first introduced into beta testing this fall, with a focus on improvements to its overall user experience, content discovery, performance and personalization features. For example, the beta build introduced a redesigned “Trending” section that cycles through the featured broadcasts at the top, a better filtering tool to help you find interactive and co-streaming broadcasts, and a new “Following” section for tracking favorite broadcasters. This tab will feature broadcasters who are live along with other recommended streams. Meanwhile, users profile pages have been updated with links to their channel, ...

Twitch launches an Alexa skill that plays your channels on Echo Show, offers live audio streams

Twitch, the Amazon-owned video game streaming service, is now available on Alexa. The company says it has launched a new skill for Alexa device owners that will allow Twitch users to track their favorite video creators and be notified when they start streaming, as well as discover new games and channels, among other things. The skill seems best designed for the Echo Show, the Alexa-powered device that includes a screen for watching videos. After all, hearing the action taking place on an audio stream isn’t nearly the same as seeing it play out before your eyes, in real time. According to Twitch’s announcement, users can get started with the new skill by first connecting their Twitch account to Alexa. Then, they can ask Alexa at any time for various information, like which channels they fol...