streaming

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...

Amazon Prime Video will now show pay-per-view UFC fights

If you’re a UFC fan you’ll now have another place to watch fights — Amazon Prime Video. The online retailers just announced that starting with UFC 222 on March 3rd, all pay-per-view UFC fights will be available to buy and watch on Amazon prime. Fights can be preordered and also purchased up to four hours after the start time (in case you want to tune in late just for a title fight) and purchasers will also be able to rewind during the event and replay it within a 24-hour window. It’s the first time live pay-per-view material is being made available on Amazon Prime Video, and is another reminder that the platform thinks live sports are an important component of an attractive content offering. While UFC’s fights are available to buy and stream on their own website, this deal is important bec...

India-based music streaming service Gaana raises $115M led by Tencent

Chinese internet giant Tencent is continuing to put its money in India and in music streaming services after it agreed to lead a $115 million investment in India’s Gaana. Gaana is a music streaming service that was started by Times Media, the company behind the Times of India newspaper and tech incubator Times Internet among other things, seven years ago. Gaana didn’t reveal its user metrics, but CEO Prashan Agarwal said the company is “only 10% of the way towards building a business useful for 500 million Indians.” The company plans to use this new capital develop artificial intelligence to create more personalized services and features for listeners. It said also it will develop its paid-user service, too. Aside from a Spotify-like subscription offering, it also provides an ad-based serv...

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...

Twitch launches always-on chat rooms for channels

Game streaming site Twitch today is debuting an always-on chat room feature it’s simply calling “Rooms.” The addition was first announced at its developer event TwitchCon back in October, and was expected to launch before year-end. That timing shifted a bit, but the feature is going live today across both web and mobile for Twitch users worldwide. Rooms are custom chat spaces that are available from the channel page itself, and can be set up by anyone on their own account. They’re found in the header of the Stream chat on the creator’s channel, which is both where Rooms can be created or joined. Starting now, channel owners have the option to create a “Room” for a specific group of users – like their channels’ subscribers, moderators, followers, or others with a shared interest, like spoil...

Twitch’s latest features highlight channels’ top fans

The majority of Twitch’s product announcements lately have been focused around new tools or expanded money-making opportunities for its video creators. Today, the company is instead launching new features for viewers – one related to Twitch’s 60-second video snippets called Clips and another to its virtual tipping mechanism, Cheering. Starting today, “Clip Champs” and “Top Cheerers,” as these new features are called, will begin rolling out. The goal is with the additions is to better recognize those fans who regularly engage with and share creators’ content. Viewers who publish at least one video clip from a channel per week over the course of four weeks can earn Clip Champ status, as long as those Clips combined deliver a total of 50 views from other Twitch users or higher. Clip Champs wi...

ESPN’s streaming service will cost $4.99 and launch this spring

In the fall we wrote that ESPN’s new streaming service named ESPN Plus would launch in Spring 2018. However details were vague, with pricing unknown and no specific list of what programming would be available. But yesterday on Disney’s earnings call CEO Bob Iger unveiled some more details, including pricing. ESPN Plus will cost $4.99 per month, and be available “this spring”. The offering will be built into ESPN’s main mobile app which will be redesigned to have three main sections – scores and news, live streaming via cable authentication, and ESPN Plus. Notably, this confirms that ESPN Plus will not provide live access to ESPN’s main channels like ESPN and ESPN2 – you’ll still need a cable subscription to authenticate and watch. So what is ESPN Plus if it won’t give access to watch ESPN’...

Twitch now has 27K+ Partners and 150K+ Affiliates making money from their videos

Twitch today announced new metrics related to the growth of its game streaming service, including, most notably, that the number video creator Partners who profit from their Twitch content has climbed to 27,000 over the course of 2017, and the number of Affiliate streamers reached 150,000. Until mid-2017, Twitch had only allowed a smaller subset of its creator community to make money from their videos after achieving “Partner” status. As of last April, there were 17,000 Partners on Twitch, out of a total of 2.2 million unique monthly broadcasters. Now, there are 27,000 Partners out of roughly the same number of monthly streamers. Twitch today puts the monthly streamers figure at “2 million plus” – possibly because it’s waiting to hit the next milestone before announcing a more specific num...

Here’s how to stream the Super Bowl tonight

The NFL season ends tonight with the New England Patriots losing to facing off against the Philadelphia Eagles in Minneapolis, Minnesota.  The game starts at 6:30pm ET / 3:30pm PT and this year will be aired on NBC, meaning if you have cable or an HD antenna you can just tune into NBC to watch. If you want to watch it on a device like a phone, tablet or smart TV you can download the NBC app or NBC sports app. Usually these require authenticating with your cable login, but for the Super Bowl anyone will be able to watch without logging in. And this year for the first time you can watch the game on your phone even if you don’t have Verizon, either via one of the above mentioned apps or on the NFL Mobile app and the Yahoo Sports app. If you’re on the web you can also just stream the game at n...

The Grammys gave CBS All Access its second-biggest day for signups yet

Sunday night’s airing of the 60th Annual Grammy Awards turned out to be a big boost for CBS’ streaming service, CBS All Access, which offered a live stream of the event on its service. According to the network, its subscription video on demand and live streaming service hit new records in terms of subscriber sign-ups and unique viewers for the awards show specifically, and was the second biggest day for subscriber sign-ups ever. The biggest day for subscriber sign-ups was the premiere date for CBS’ anticipated, streaming-only series “Star Trek: Discovery,” not surprisingly. CBS declined to share how many sign-ups in total could be attributed to the Grammys, but did note that unique viewers of the live stream were up more than 40 percent over last year’s telecast, and it saw record traffic ...

Microsoft’s Mixer follows Twitch with addition of direct tipping and game sales

Mixer, Microsoft’s answer to Twitch, will soon allow its streamers to start selling games and other downloadable content via its service, and will introduce tipping, the company announced this week in its year-end wrap-up. The game sales will be made possible through the new Mixer Direct Purchase program, which is now in testing ahead of a broad, public launch, Microsoft says. Initially, the program will support all the games in Microsoft’s digital store, including 5,000 games across Xbox and Windows 10. In the future, it will expand to include other content, as well. Gamers will earn a percentage of the purchases they made through their stream, but Microsoft didn’t disclose what that percentage will be. The move is meant to give gamers the ability to further monetize their channels on Mix...

YouTube Gaming grew its streamer base by 343% in 2017, Twitch by 197%

YouTube Gaming, Google’s rival to game-streaming site Twitch, is starting to pick up traction. According to a new report from Streamlabs, Twitch continues to dominate the live streaming space, but YouTube grew its monthly active streamer base by 343 percent over the course of 2017. Twitch, by comparison, grew 197 percent. Streamlabs has visibility into the live streaming market by way of its platform, whose tools are used by a number of streamers to grow their channels. That said, its data should be seen as a window into live streaming, not the full picture. It also isn’t tracking Facebook Live streams that are private, or the larger world of YouTube Live, only YouTube Live Gaming. concurrent streamers concurrent viewers Despite YouTube’s gains this year, any competitor to Twitch still has...

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