Tag Archives: Paid

Roku launches premium subscriptions for Showtime, Starz, and other services today

It’s an approach that’s similar to the paid add-on “channels” such as HBO, Showtime, and CBS All Access that Amazon offers to Prime Video customers. Roku thinks people might find it to be a more convenient subscription manager since there’s no recurring membership required. Each service offering a subscription will have a free 30-day trial. What’s less convenient is that Roku doesn’t have HBO among its partners, so you’ll have to get (and pay for) that one elsewhere. – Chris Welch, The Verge » http://bit.ly/2MCYstU

Spotify Is Letting Labels Pay to Put Music in Your Playlists

[T]he BBC reports that Spotify is currently testing out a system wherein record labels can pay to have music appear in the playlists of the service’s free users. It more or less sounds like these “sponsored songs” will function a little like Spotify’s regular ads for non-subscribers, but instead, they’re whole pieces of music. Tight. The FADER says that the sponsored songs will match the listening habits of each individual user because no marketing is better than the hyper-targeted kind. Again, if you already pay Spotify Premium’s $9.99 monthly fee and don’t see ads anyway, you’re unaffected, and free users can opt out of sponsored songs if they can somehow locate it in their options (The Verge has a handy guide on how to do so). – Phil Witmer, MOTHERBOARD http://ift.tt/2sBKKxa

Jay Z’s streaming service isn’t for everybody (i.e. the poors)

“This service is not for everybody,” company CEO Andy Chen told The Verge in October. “Spotify is for everybody. You don’t even have to pay! But for quality, you have to pay.” While Spotify freeloaders belly up to the streaming trough, shoving garbage, 320kpbs-quality audio into headphones so crusted with cannery grime and gizzard grease, they can’t tell the difference anyway, TIDAL users are pouring fizzy aural champagne into the flutes of their ear canals. They also enjoy high-definition music videos, “expertly curated” editorial content from Talkhouse Music, and its own Shazam-like service (which presumably not only identifies the song you’re looking for, but compliments you on your taste). – Sean O’Neal, The A.V. Club

The Best Lesser-Known Services for Legally Streaming Movies and TV

When you sit down to watch something, what you pick is largely dependent on your mood. Because of that, this guide is organized by what you might be looking to watch. Whether you feel like catching something light, like cartoons, or something dark, like an old horror movie, or something new, like a fresh TV show, there are plenty of services to choose from. – Patrick Allan, Lifehacker 

Warner Music Remains Optimistic on Streaming Music, as Long as It’s Paid

To offset the loss from downloads, Warner Music Group currently accepts the freemium model of ad-supported streaming music, but only as a means to convert users to paying subscribers. Paid subscriptions and not freemium plans are the future of the industry, states [CEO Stephen Cooper]. […] Warner’s emphasis on paying subscribers may not bode well for Apple’s reported plan of slashing monthly costs for its Beats Music service. The Cupertino company is rumored to be pushing music labels to cut current subscription prices in half to $5 per month as it negotiates the terms for its recently acquired Beats Music streaming service. Apple argues that lowering the monthly cost will encourage significantly more users to sign up for the paid service, but labels are obviously considering whether those gains will outweigh the lower per-user income that comes with the cheaper pricing. – Kelly Hodgkins,MacRumors
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8tracks streaming music service wants to be ‘better friend’ to indies

US firm 8tracks […] and has become an under-the-radar success: not just popular, but profitable too. Some achievement given that most streaming music services are losing money by the sackful. […] 8tracks launched in August 2008, bootstrapped by its founders, and ran for three years with “a little bit of cash from angel investors to pay our royalty bills” before raising a $1.2m seed round in 2011, then another $1.4m in 2014. The basic service is free with advertising, but also offers a “Plus” tier for subscribers to pay $25 every six months to remove the ads […] Some tracks are streamed from SoundCloud, via an integration with that service that means for those songs “the artist or label has waived their royalties”. However, [David Porter] says 8tracks thinks a lot about how it can be “a better friend” to independent labels in particular. “We’re working towards direct deals with labels, certainly on the indie side of things where there’s more flexibility than with the majors,” he says. – Stuart Dredge,The Guardian 
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Streaming Service Guvera Launches in India

Australia-based music streaming service Guvera has officially launched in India. The free, ad-supported mobile app, with its library of over 12 million tracks, is now available for Android and iOS devices in the world’s second-most populous country, which does not have access to Spotify. Guvera launched in 2010 as a no-frills MP3 download site, but later evolved into a playlist-driven streaming service offering both free, ad-supported streaming and, for its paying customers, ad-free listening. It has licensing agreements with UMG, EMI, Orchard and INgrooves, among others, and the service is quickly expanding. In the past year, Guvera has launched in Indonesia, Hong Kong, Malaysia, the Philippines and Singapore. Guvara joins a Spotify-less streaming market in India that also includes Gaana, Saavn, Wynk and Hungama. – Staff,Billboard 
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YouTube ‘Optimistic’ Its Music Streaming Service Will Launch ‘Soon’

The long wait continues for YouTube’s much-discussed music streaming service. CEO Susan Wojcicki told a tech panel on Monday that they’re still “working” on the Google unit’s answer to Spotify, and she declined to say whether the service would launch by year’s end, as previously expected. […] YouTube had originally planned to launch its on-demand music streaming service late last year, but pushed it back because they wanted to “get it right,” an exec told Billboard at the time. Via contracts signed by Google, YouTube has all the necessary licenses with major labels in order to operate a paid service. Wojcicki also revealed that YouTube is considering offering a paid subscription service on its video platform that would give users the option of skipping ads. Hulu offers a paid subscription, but incorporates what it calls a “modest ad load” while watching in order to keep the price below $8 dollars. – Marc Schneider,Billboard
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Jimmy Iovine gets pushback over Beats Music streaming plan

[Jimmy Iovine], who earlier this year sold the popular Beats headphones brand along with its sister music service to Apple for $3 billion, is attempting to steer the industry away from free streaming services in favor of lower-priced paid subscriptions, sources said. Iovine is getting plenty of pushback, however. […] Iovine — like other long-time recording execs — is no fan of Spotify, Pandora and other free ad-supported services that dominate the industry. While they are fast-growing, the money they generate for the labels is still a trickle. […] Although Pandora and Spotify pay just fractions of pennies to the labels each time a song is streamed, they represent the only area of growth in an industry plagued by piracy and slumping sales. What’s more, they share a cut of the ad revenue with the labels. – Claire Atkinson, New York Post  
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Herman Cain launches new premium streaming channel

[Herman Cain], in a blog post announcing the new streaming channel, wrote that it would cost viewers $9.99 a month—or $99.99 for a year’s subscription — a reference to his famous 9 – 9 – 9 tax plan. He also said, on how the channel came together, “In working with Jon [Klein] these past couple of months — and yes, that’s how fast this thing has come together — it’s been clear that he understands the old models that governed the business of television no longer apply.” […] The Herman Cain Channel” is produced by TAPP TV, who also produce “The Sarah Palin Show,” which launched two months ago. The company, founded by former CNN and NBC executives, has launched a total of three channels to date, with the offerings from political personalities Cain and Palin joined by a show starring popular radio talk show host Steve Arterburn. – TheGrio
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