Amazon has just announced a new content deal with NBCUniversal, bringing a host of new television series to the video streaming platform.
Some of those titles include Covert Affairs, Defiance, Grimm, Hannibal, and Suits. And what’s more, the company is pulling content from NBCUniversal’s children series such as Curious George and Land Before Time, which will be available with Kindle FreeTime Unlimited.
With platforms like Hulu and Netflix growing rapidly, and moreover making strides to offer the biggest libraries of content that include original programming, Amazon too has been working tirelessly to build out its offerings. According to the company, Amazon now offers more than 40,000 movies and TV episodes to Prime members, which can be watched across a wide variety of platforms including iOS, Kindles, Roku, Xbox 360, PlayStation 3, and Wii (U).
In terms of availability, Covert Affairs and Grimm will both be available today, while Hannibal will not be ready until later this year, and Defiance will be out early next year. Amazon is also bringing SyFy series such as Alphas, Eureka and Warehouse 13 to the platform, along with Smash, featuring Debra Messing.
Here’s what Brad Beale, director of digital video content acquisition for Amazon, had to say:
We listen carefully to our customers to find out which TV shows and movies they find the most entertaining. Our expanded agreement with NBCUniversal gives Prime members access to even more exclusive content that they can stream instantly, at no additional cost. Compelling shows like Covert Affairs, Defiance, Grimm, Hannibal and Suits are big wins for our customers and we look forward to adding more titles soon.
Alongside expanding its library offerings, Amazon is also boosting its original programming efforts. Most recently, the company released eight comedy pilots and six children’s series pilots to get feedback from customers. After they make their decision, they’ll buy out the remaining episodes of the series which people seem to love.
View original post here: Amazon Taps NBCUniversal To Bring Covert Affairs, Grimm, Suits, And More To Prime Instant Video
I’d been hearing whispers as of late that Twilio is meeting with VCs to raise another round, and I just got the good word from a very, very solid source.
I’m told that Twilio is in the process of raising a Series D, with a goal of raising around $50 million.
The talks are still rather early on. In fact, when I first got wind of the round last week, the first folks I asked were shocked that we’d already heard about it. At this point, it sounds like Twilio is aiming to close the round within the next 2 to 3 weeks. The total amount raised might change by then, but $50M is the current target.
Wondering what the heck a Twilio is? Twilio lets developers easily build things that require phone functionality. Want to build a customer service line with menus narrated by Morgan Freeman? Sure (note: bring your own Morgan Freeman. Also, someone please do this. I’ll totally write about it.) Want to build a tool that’ll text you the second Netflix’s Arrested Development revival season goes live? Already done. If you need to programmatically do something that goes down over the phone — be it SMS, voice calls, or VoIP — Twilio can probably do most of the leg work with just a few lines of code.
Twilio is actually one of my favorite companies in the valley right now, for at least two reasons: they make a damned cool product that in turn enables other damned cool products to be made, and very few people seem to realize how well they’re doing. While their CEO Jeff Lawson seems to prefer keeping their financials hush, every whisper I hear about the company suggests that they’re quietly kicking ass.
Amongst other good signs: the company is hiring like mad, to the point that they just (as in, this week) had to move into a much bigger office. They actually couldn’t find a ready-to-go office in SOMA with enough space for their growing team, so they spent the better part of the last year retrofitting a spot on Harrison Street that once served as a paper/textile factory.
Twilio has raised $33.5M to date, having most recently closed a $17M Series C at the end of 2011. If they successfully raise $50M, it’d be an injection roughly 1.5x larger than everything they’ve raised so far.
When I first started digging around this story, no one I spoke to could seem to agree on which VC firms were involved. Turns out, Twilio is just talking to a lot of firms. Two names that seem quite certain to be in talks at this point are Union Square Ventures and Bessemer Venture Partners — which makes sense, as USV has been re-upping with Twilio since their Series A, and Bessemer has supported them since their Series B.
Keep an eye on these guys, if you’re not already. If things keep going as they are, I’d bet on them going public within the next year.
Excerpt from: Twilio Is Raising A Series D Of Around $50M
Roku has launched a new app for its range of streaming set-top boxes today that gives user the ability to stream full episodes from television shows aired on PBS and PBS Kids.
The company revealed the news over on its official blog earlier today, highlighting the availability of popular PBS programs such as NOVA, American Experience, Masterpiece, Nature, Frontline and Antiques Roadshow.
The app will be updated daily and feature not just primetime shows, but those that are also broadcast through users’ local PBS station across the United States.
PBS Kids, meanwhile, will tailor to the growing demand for children’s television shows on other streaming services such as Netflix and Amazon Instant Video. These “junior streamers” can access full episodes from series such as Curious George, Daniel Tiger’s Neighborhood, Dinosaur Train, Super WHY! and The Cat in the Hat Knows a Lot About That!
The new app can be downloaded right now under the Movies and TV section of the Roku Channel Store. PBS is a non-profit public broadcasting television network in the United States and as such, is only available for Roku players in this region.
Read the original here: Roku adds full episodes from PBS and PBS Kids channels to its streaming boxes in the US
Buy new: $69.95
(Visit the Hot New Releases in Computers & Add-Ons list for authoritative information on this product’s current rank.)
Today at TechCrunch Disrupt NY, Ashton Kutcher took the stage with Guy Oseary to talk about their A-Grade fund. Arrington started right away about a rumor that the fund is raising money at a $100 million valuation. The two partners confirm the rumors, saying that they are raising “enough money.”
It means that financial institutions and companies will invest a certain amount of money in exchange for equity in the A-Grade fund, valuing the existing investments and activities at $100 million. With three partners (Ashton Kutcher, Guy Oseary and Ron Burkle), the fund has been investing for about two and a half years. Until today, the three partners only invested personal money. It is still unclear how much money they put into the fund to date.
Among its portfolio companies, the A-Grade fund has invested in Spotify, Uber, Shazam, Soundcloud, Fab and Airbnb. It mainly takes part in seed and Series A rounds.
When asked whether it is bundling current investments or creating a new fund, Ashton Kutcher answered that it is doing both. “We’re just somewhat formalizing what we’ve been doing,” Kutcher said.
The new fund will keep the A-Grade name. While the new funding is not official yet, Kutcher and Oseary said that it’s mostly a one-time investment. “We are pretty well filled up,” Kutcher said. The partners will make an announcement when the deal finalizes.
Read the original here: Ashton Kutcher’s A-Grade Fund Raising At $100 Million Valuation