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
Andrew Maltin, the CEO of Hang w/ developer MEDL Mobile, noted in a blog post that the app’s trajectory has been better than expected. The app had 50,000 users and 550,000 user sessions three weeks after its soft launch.
“This proves that fans will rush in droves to Hang With their favorite celebrities and friends. And that once they arrive, they tell more people about it. Now we can start to put some marketing muscle behind it,” Maltin said.
The company’s president, Dave Swartz, called the numbers “phenomenal” when matched up against the hundreds of apps that MEDL has released.
The ad-supported app lets users sign up as broadcasters to share three minutes of live-streaming video of what they’re up to. Streams can be shared to Facebook or Twitter. Unlike Upfront, which was released on Thursday, Hang w/ allows anyone to start live-streaming and start connecting with viewers.
Hang w/ launched first on iPhone, but MEDL Mobile says an Android app is coming in the second quarter.
The company touts Soulja Boy, Terrell Owens, Jamie Kennedy, Ali Landry and Cheech and Chong as among its registered broadcasters. MEDL offers to help secure branded sponsorships for influencers looking to monetize the platform.
I found the service to be fairly noisy, and it’s clear that the app is in its infancy. The celebrity draw is certainly an appeal, but most of the profiles I saw were inappropriate selfies from people that I wasn’t interested in following. Judging by the current crop of people in the Broadcasting Now section, the service appeals to the amateur webcam crowd.
Still, Hang w/ does have potential to be an easy lifestreaming solution. 100,000 users isn’t exactly massive in today’s mobile market, but it does represent solid initial traction. Assuming that celebrities continue to flock to the platform and stream content, MEDL should have no problem rapidly growing its user base.
Image credit: MIXA
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Spotify has acquired Tunigo, one of the many music apps that are powered by its API, AllThingsD’s Peter Kafka reported today. The details of the deal aren’t being made public, but the startup will move its staff to either Spotify’s Stockholm or New York offices, as the talent is folded into Spotify’s larger team, Spotify confirmed via email. The Tunigo app will remain available separately for now.
Discovery is the word of the day when it comes to social music apps, with Twitter recently launching its own Twitter Music dedicated mobile and web app after purchasing We Are Hunted. Tunigo’s service is similar, but probably has more in common with apps like Songza and 8tracks, which curate playlists and suggests them to users based on genre, theme and mood. Tunigo is based in Sweden, and has apparently raised around €2.4 million with a staff of 17, also split between Stockholm and New York. The ultimate goal of the company’s mission was to provide a single button that users could hit to get the perfect playlist based on real-time data.
A Spotify spokesperson said that Tunigo has long been an important partner for the company, and points out that Tunigo has been a top ten app since Spotify first launched its app platform back in late November of 2011. “The acquisition fits into our overall strategy around music discovery,” according to the spokesperson, by “basically helping our users make sense of over 20 million tracks.”
In a separate statement from Tunigo CEO and co-founder Nick Holmstén, he explained that the deal made sense for them because they’ve already been working side-by-side with Spotify.
“Tunigo helps users find great music for every moment, and we’ve been working very closely with Spotify over the past few years,” he wrote. “This is the perfect match from a music discovery perspective. We’re passionate about music and technology, and looking forward to further innovating within the music discovery space.”
The first challenge for any company hoping to compete with iTunes on the digital music front is building out a comparably sized library so that users have access to the tracks they want, but once that part is more or less in place, the differentiating factor becomes which service can best help users deal with the crippling problem of overwhelming choice. Music discovery has always been a challenge, long before the rise of digital media and streaming music, but now when your field of selection isn’t just the local record shop, but essentially the whole of history’s recorded music, the problem gets compounded.
In other words, don’t expect this to be the last significant acquisition in this space, as streaming providers and other companies look to build the best discovery engine possible to convince consumers to choose their product over others.
Continue reading here: Spotify Acquires Music Discovery App Tunigo, A Spotify-Powered Songza Competitor
The evolution of the Internet has changed not just the way in which people listen to music, but also how musicians and artists should communicate with their most loyal fans.
Fabrizio Gentile, managing director of Deezer in the Benelux region and Dutch music producer and DJ Ferry Corsten took part in a panel at The Next Web Conference in Amsterdam to talk about curation, global reach and the advantages of using social media.
“We have about 200 employees, around half of which are developers and one-quarter are editorial managers,” Gentile said.
“That might sounds like a weird name, but actually whenever you go on Deezer – whether it’s on your mobile or on the Web – everything that you see has been chosen by someone. In most countries where we are, or where we have offices at least, there’s someone listening to 40-45 hours of music a week and suggesting that to users.”
The “human touch”, as Gentile describes it, separates Deezer from other music streaming services that rely solely on algorithms to create new artist suggestions.
Image Credit: Julia Deboer/Flickr
Go here to read the rest: DJ Ferry Corsten and Deezer’s MD reveal why the ‘human touch’ is vital for online music distribution
Amazon’s LoveFilm has announced a new version of its streaming app for connected devices, kicking off today in the UK and Germany with the PS3.
The new incarnation of LoveFilm Instant, version 2.0 for the PS3, is available to download now and you will be prompted to perform the update when you try to launch the LoveFilm app.
The updated app features a refreshed search function and recommendation engine, designed to surface more content, a new Watchlist feature and a new interface that’s geared towards improving the way users browse the latest films and TV shows.
These features now mirror the update that was rolled out to the Web-based version of the app last year, when it announced it was getting a search makeover, before adding the Watchlist feature similar to what already existed on Netflix.
With Watchlists, users can create an unlimited streaming playlist, and will obviously be synced across devices which is particularly useful for those who like to watch on their tablets, laptops and consoles.
To add a show to your Watchlist, you hit the ‘Select’ button on the PS3 controller when browsing, or hit the ‘Add to Watchlist’ button on the page itself.
Your Watchlist can be accessed from the homescreen.
The app also makes revisiting content a little more easy, with a new homescreen display that tracks what content is currently being viewed, and the last location reached in that specific video – this makes it easier to resume viewing on a different device.
In very related news, movies and TV shows are now available in HD on the PS3 for the first time, but only in the UK and Germany.
Amazon acquired LoveFilm in January 2011, though the company has been operating since 2002 – originally as a DVD mailout service similar to Netflix. It’s now moving more towards the streaming realm.
LoveFilm Instant is available for PC, Mac, Nintendo Wii/Wii U, Xbox 360, PS3, Kindle Fire HD and Kindle Fire, iPad and a range of Web-enabled TV sets and Blu-ray players.
Though this latest update is hitting the PS3 first, the new app will be rolling out to all platforms shortly.
Read the original here: Amazon’s LoveFilm starts adding Watchlist feature to its streaming apps, kicking off with PS3