CBS to stream Super Bowl 50 and other NFL games to Apple TV

By Cody Lee on Sep 2, 2015

CBS Sports announced on Tuesday that it will be streaming an expanded schedule of NFL coverage this year to a wide range of devices, including Apple TV. The new schedule features two regular season games, four playoff games and Super Bowl 50.

This will be the first time ever CBS offers free live streams of regular season NFL games. Coverage begins with the New York Jets and Miami in London on October 4, and continues with the Carolina Panthers vs. the Dallas Cowboys on Thanksgiving Day. Read More

 

For $12 a month, you can now enjoy Hulu completely ad free

By Christian Zibreg on Sep 2, 2015

Unlike Amazon and Netflix who stream commercial-free movies and television shows in exchange for a monthly fee, Hulu’s existing $7.99 per month plan includes limited advertising. Wednesday, Hulu unveiled a new monthly plan that gets rid of all advertising for an extra $4 a month.

As noted in Hulu’s media release, commercial-free viewing is available to both new and existing customers for a monthly fee of $11.99. Read More

 

Amazon Video app updated to allow offline playback for Prime movies and TV shows

By Jeff Benjamin on Sep 1, 2015

Amazon Video received a fairly significant update today, which brings a compelling new feature to its video streaming app—offline viewing for Prime movies and TV shows. In version version 3.2 of the app, users can now download videos for offline viewing, which means that you can queue up TV shows and movies for watching when you’re low on signal, using airplane mode, or for the purpose of saving on mobile data usage.

The addition of offline viewing may not seem like a huge deal to some, but it could signal a change for mainstream video streaming apps in general, which for the most part, have only been capable off online viewing.  Read More

 

Meerkat now supports YES/NO polls, showing photos to watchers and more

By Christian Zibreg on Aug 30, 2015

Meerkat, the popular live video streaming software that competes with Twitter-owned Periscope, today issued a nice little update to its iOS application in the App Store.

With version number bumped to 1.5.4, this edition of Meerkat includes a few enhancements like a revamped feed and the ability to show your watchers photos from your Camera roll.

Perhaps most crucially, Meerkat now includes a polling feature which allows anyone to ask their watchers simple YES/NO questions about anything, as they’re broadcasting. Read More

 

Apple to live-stream September 9 media event

By Christian Zibreg on Aug 27, 2015

Those not in attendance will be happy to learn that Apple just confirmed it will provide a live-stream of its upcoming September 9 media event.

Like the company’s major events held in the past two years, the September 9 event should be presented at the www.apple.com/live micro-site in the blog format, with cherry-picked tweets, juicy photos and quotes updating in real-time right below the video stream.

The iPhone maker sent out invites for the press conference earlier today. Invite graphics sports the colorful Apple logo and a tagline reading “Hey Siri, give us a hint”. Read More

 

Bloomberg: Apple to delay TV service until 2016

By Cody Lee on Aug 13, 2015

Apple has scrapped plans to announce its long-rumored streaming TV service at its upcoming September 9 event, reports Bloomberg. Citing sources familiar with the matter, the outlet says that content deal talks with 21st Century Fox and others have been progressing slowly.

Additionally, Apple also doesn’t have the computer network capacity in place to ensure a good viewing experience—a common complaint among users of Dish’s Sling TV and other streaming services. Thus, the company has decided to push back the launch of its service to 2016.

Read More

 

Periscope for iPhone refreshed with muting, Handoff support and more

By Christian Zibreg on Jul 27, 2015

In addition to refreshing its main application for the iPhone and iPad with drafts support and interactive notifications on iOS 8, the micro-blogging startup Twitter today issued a noteworthy refresh to its live-broadcasting app, Periscope.

Available at no cost in the App Store, the new Periscope 1.1.3 implements support for Handoff, a new technology in iOS 8 which lets you seamlessly move tasks across devices.

In addition, the app has gained other perks like a new notification setting for people you follow, viewer statistics when browsing past broadcasts and more. Plus, it now tailors your global list of recommended broadcasts to your geographical location. Read More

 

Redesigned NFL Game Pass service coming to Apple TV with on-demand broadcasting

By Christian Zibreg on Jul 20, 2015

For the first time ever, the National Football League (NFL) will offer its Game Pass service to U.S. users on the Apple TV with on-demand broadcasting of games, according to an update on the Game Pass micro-site Monday.

Regular season, playoff and Super Bowl game broadcasts won’t be available as live streams but rather after they air on television. In addition, the organization will retire its existing Game Rewind service on July 31. Available to iOS, Android and Windows users in the United States, Game Rewind provides access to on-demand games after they air on television. Read More

 

Apple Music won’t auto-add streamed tracks to your Recently Played playlist

By Christian Zibreg on Jul 13, 2015

It’s no secret Apple Music has some way to go before achieving feature parity between iOS and OS X.

Some crucial aspects of Apple Music on iOS have yet to make their way into iTunes for Mac and Windows PCs, and now Apple’s $9.99 per month service was discovered to have been avoiding adding streamed songs to a Recently Played playlist.

As Kirk McElhearn noted, it’s a huge, unexpected oversight on Apple’s part because you should in fact be permitted to access a full history of what you have listened to, regardless of whether it’s locally stored music or Apple Music files streamed to your computer or mobile device. Read More

 

Standalone ‘Showtime’ streaming service debuts on Apple TV for $10.99 per month

By Christian Zibreg on Jul 7, 2015

After CBS announced a month ago that it would soon appease cord-cutters by rolling out a standalone video-streaming service over the Internet, Re/code revealed Tuesday that the network’s premium cable television service called Showtime is now available through the Apple TV, no cable subscription required.

The standalone video-streaming service is available on Apple’s $69 media-streaming box in exchange for a flat monthly fee of $10.99 with iTunes billing. A free 30-day free trial is available provided you have set up a valid payment method in iTunes.

A matching iOS app is coming at a later stage. Read More

 

Apple Music to exclusively stream Dr. Dre’s ‘The Chronic’ album

By Christian Zibreg on Jun 29, 2015

Apple Music will exclusively stream ‘The Chronic,’ Dr. Dre’s 1992 debut studio album, Rolling Stone reported Monday. As a matter of fact, the seminal album will actually make its streaming debut when Apple Music launches tomorrow morning.

This is newsworthy because ‘The Chronic’ has not yet been available on digital platforms like the iTunes Store, Beats Music, Spotify or Rhapsody due to legal disputes regarding distribution rights. Read More

 

Beats 1 celebrity hosts to include Drake, Dr. Dre, Elton John and others

By Cody Lee on Jun 25, 2015

Apple’s Beats 1 streaming radio service will feature celebrity hosts such as Pharrell Williams, Drake and Elton John, reports The New York Times. In a profile of Apple’s newly recruited D.J., Zane Lowe, the outlet says a number of well-known stars have been given spots.

Other well-known stars on the menu for Beats 1 programming include Dr. Dre, who will host a show called “The Pharmacy,” teen actor Jaden Smith, and Josh Homme of Queens of the Stone Age. Apparently, each of them will be hosting and planning the shows themselves. Read More

 

Apple denies claims that it’s threatening artists to force Apple Music deals

By Cody Lee on Jun 19, 2015

Apple denies claims made by some artists that it’s threatening to remove their songs from iTunes if they don’t sign up for Apple Music, reports Rolling Stone. A company spokesperson told the outlet that music “will not be taken off” as a result of license negotiations.

The controversy arose earlier this week when Anton Newcombe of psychedelic rock group Brian Jonestown Massacre took to Twitter to complain about Apple and its bullying tactics. “I said what if I say no, and they said we’ll take your music off itunes. hard ball?” Read More

 

Apple Music will not feature Taylor Swift’s hit album ‘1989’

By Cody Lee on Jun 18, 2015

Apple was unable to secure the streaming rights for Taylor Swift’s ‘1989’ album, BuzzFeed reports. The outlet says both Swift’s label and Apple have confirmed the story, meaning the massively popular album won’t be available on Apple Music at launch.

Apparently Apple Music will feature Swift’s back catalogue, however, which includes 4 other highly sought-after records. But those can already be found on other subscription services such as Rdio and Tidal, so they won’t serve as a differentiating feature. Read More

 

Spotify launches fun new feature called Rewind that turns your music back in time

By Christian Zibreg on Jun 16, 2015

If you ever wondered which artists you would be listening to if you were born in another time, now you can thanks to Rewind, a new feature by Spotify that helps you turn your music back in time.

By doing so, Rewind makes it easy and supposedly fun to know what you’d be listening to in another decade, based on what you listen to today and thanks in no small part to Spotify’s rich knowledge graph about its user base. Read More

 

Spotify grows to 75 million active users and 20 million paid subscribers globally

By Christian Zibreg on Jun 10, 2015

Spotify has a lot to lose should Apple Music catch on with music lovers. Following Monday’s WWDC 2015 keynote which saw, amongst other things, the announcement of Apple’s ten bucks per month on-demand music subscription service, Spotify has felt compelled to share the latest stats to reinforce its position as the world’s leading streaming music provider.

As of May of this year, the Swedish startup had more than 75 million active users, of which more than 20 million are on one Spotify’s paid Premium tiers. Read More

 

Apple Music and the S-word

By Sébastien Page on Jun 9, 2015

While following the keynote yesterday and trying to cover the event at the same time here on iDB with the rest of the team, there seemed to be one word I didn’t hear Eddy Cue pronounce: streaming. I actually made a note of it in our Let’s Talk iOS episode dedicated to WWDC 2015.

It seemed odd that the word wouldn’t even get a mention. To confirm the omission was on purpose, I took a look at Apple’s mini-site dedicated to Apple Music, and realized the word streaming is nowhere to found there either. It’s like it’s not even part of the offer. Is the S-word taboo?  Read More

 

Apple looking to change 70/30 iTunes revenue split for media services

By Cody Lee on Jun 5, 2015

Apple is planning a departure from the long-standing 70/30 iTunes pricing arrangement it has with digital media companies, reports the Financial Times. According to sources familiar with the matter, Apple is discussing new commercial terms with a number of players in the video, music and news subscription space.

The split, which doles out 70% of app and media sales to content owners/creators and 30% to Apple for hosting and distribution, has been around since the iTunes Store first launched in 2003. Apple hopes the change can improve its relationships with media firms, and reassure regulators that it’s not abusing its power. Read More

 

Periscope for iPhone gains instant replays, finding location-enabled broadcasts and more

By Christian Zibreg on Jun 4, 2015

Periscope for iPhone, a Twitter-owned live-broadcasting app, was updated Thursday with a few new features, including one that lets you browse live broadcasts on a world map by location.

You’ll notice a new Map option under the Global section within the app. Tap it for a nicely done zoomable map which highlights live streams relevant to your current location. Read More

 

Showtime confirms online-only streaming service, launching next month on iOS and Apple TV

By Christian Zibreg on Jun 3, 2015

Showtime, a CBS-owned premium cable television service, has taken the plunge and will offer a standalone video-streaming service over the Internet with Apple as its first partner, the company confirmed Wednesday.

Simply called Showtime, the service will cost $10.99 per month and will be hitting the Apple TV, iPhone, iPod touch and iPad on July 12 ahead of season premier of several shows such as Ray Donovan and Masters of Sex.

A free 30-day trial will be available to new customers who sign up through Apple in July. Like HBO Now, Showtime’s new service will be an Apple exclusive at launch. Read More

 
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