Posts Tagged ‘apple’

Netflix Doesn’t Have the Market Cornered on Binge TV: Zombies + Walter White Help AMC Win the Fall VOD War

December 20, 2013  |  All Things Digital  |  No Comments

Everyone* gets the concept of binge-viewing. And most people now associate binge-viewing with Netflix, in part because Netflix wants us to associate binge-viewing with Netflix . But if you want to gorge on episode after episode of your favorite show, you don’t necessarily have to pony up for Netflix, or for an iTunes season pass: Lots of you can watch lots of your favorite shows on your pay-TV provider’s on-demand system, for free. And many of you do. Time spent watching video on demand is increasing , even as traditional TV-watching flattens out and/or declines. Newest data point: In September and October, AMC Networks generated more video-on-demand orders than any other network, according to pay-TV tracker Rentrak. Which makes sense, because in September, AMC wrapped up its final season of “Breaking Bad,” and in October, AMC kicked off a new season of “The Walking Dead.” The breakdown: AMC generated 15 million VOD orders in September — about five percent of all VOD orders that month — and 10 million in October. VOD critics/boosters, like Time Warner CEO Jeff Bewkes , argue that those numbers could be much bigger if pay-TV providers did a better job of promoting the stuff they have, and making their TV guides and interfaces less awful. And that’s very believable

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Netflix Doesn’t Have the Market Cornered on Binge TV: Zombies + Walter White Help AMC Win the Fall VOD War

December 20, 2013  |  All Things Digital  |  No Comments

Everyone* gets the concept of binge-viewing. And most people now associate binge-viewing with Netflix, in part because Netflix wants us to associate binge-viewing with Netflix . But if you want to gorge on episode after episode of your favorite show, you don’t necessarily have to pony up for Netflix, or for an iTunes season pass: Lots of you can watch lots of your favorite shows on your pay-TV provider’s on-demand system, for free. And many of you do. Time spent watching video on demand is increasing , even as traditional TV-watching flattens out and/or declines. Newest data point: In September and October, AMC Networks generated more video-on-demand orders than any other network, according to pay-TV tracker Rentrak.

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No One Buys Music on the Web Anymore. Except When They Buy a Million Beyonce Albums in Five Days.

December 18, 2013  |  All Things Digital  |  No Comments

Sales of music downloads, which were supposed to rescue the music business from the decline of the CD, have been flattening for a few years. Then things got worse: This year, digital sales were down 4 percent through Thanksgiving. Lots of people assume that download sales are slumping because more people are listening to streaming services like Pandora and Spotify, but it’s hard to prove that thesis out. As Billboard notes, there are a lot of reasons for sales to slump. And then it turns out that people will still buy digital downloads, in record numbers. Sometimes

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2013 Was a Huge Year for Android Gaming

December 17, 2013  |  All Things Digital  |  No Comments

For years, Apple has been the presumptive leader in mobile gaming, and it’s still in pole position. But if global trends in 2013 were any indication, its nearest rival, Google Play, is putting the heat on. That’s one of the conclusions of a “2013 Year in Review” report released today by app-analytics platform Distimo . Although the vast majority of app revenue in the West is still coming from gamers on iPhones and iPads, Google Play as a source of revenue leads in South Korea and Japan, two of the three fastest-growing markets worldwide. (The third is China, where Google Play is drowned out by countless competing Android app stores that Distimo does not track). Just how much are those Asian countries growing? Try a 759 percent year-over-year increase in revenue, in South Korea’s case: Apple’s App Store is still doing just fine, thank you very much: The report estimates that daily revenue for the Top 200 iOS apps grew from $15 million in November 2012 to $18 million in November 2013. But Google is growing its share of the pie at a far faster clip, with the Top 200 apps grossing $12 million per day, up from only $3.5 million the year before. That’s huge. Distimo’s top-grossing charts for the year further solidify the case that this growth is coming from Asia

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Not the Singles Lady — Apple Says Beyoncé Album Breaks Record

December 16, 2013  |  All Things Digital  |  No Comments

Apple said the new self-titled album from music superstar Beyoncé had sold 828,773 copies since it was released exclusively by the iTunes Store three days ago. The company said that made it the fastest-selling album ever on the music-selling site. U.S. album sales totaled 617,213 for a work that included 14 new songs and 17 videos.

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Amazon Really, Really Wants to Sell More Kindle Fire HDX Tablets

December 15, 2013  |  All Things Digital  |  No Comments

Amazon seems to be selling a lot of its newest Kindle Fire tablets*. But it would like to sell many more .  So here’s Jeff Bezos’ newest pitch : Buy a Kindle Fire HDX tablet today, and we’ll give you nine months to finish paying for it. Amazon started pushing its installment plan program this weekend, by splashing the offer on its home page. The basics: It is letting customers pay for its $229 Kindle Fire HDX 7-inch tablet , or its $379 8.9-inch version , in four-part installment plans. Customers shell out 25 percent of the purchase price – plus tax and shipping charges –  when they buy the gadget, and then spread out the remaining three payments in 90-day increments. There aren’t a lot of catches with the offer — for instance, Amazon isn’t adding any interest charges to its installment plan. But there is one interesting twist spelled out in the relatively fine print: If you don’t cough up the rest of the money, Amazon may semi-brick your tablet: “our remedies will include the right to deregister your Kindle Fire HDX device, which will block your ability to access Amazon content from your Kindle Fire HDX device.” Amazon rolled out its HDX line  earlier this fall. The tablets feature extras like a “Mayday” button which connects users with live support staff, and the ability to download some of the movies and TV shows offered on Amazon’s Prime Instant Video streaming service. The gadgets are supposed to compete with Google’s top-end Nexus tablets and Apple’s iPads, though Walt Mossberg says they’re not there yet . And now, an excellent movie about installment plans: *Though, of course, we have no idea what “a lot” means .

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15 Million Students Learned to Program This Week, Thanks to Hour of Code

December 14, 2013  |  All Things Digital  |  No Comments

Hour of Code , a five-day-old initiative to get kids to take programming tutorials during Computer Science Education Week, will soon reach 15 million students, organizers said. From the start, Hour of Code had boosts from friends in high places . It was on the front page of both Google.com and Apple.com this week, and U.S. President Barack Obama even made a promo video. Code.org’s efforts apparently drove so much traffic to Khan Academy that the non-profit educational web site went down. But the single biggest referrer to Code.org this week was individual teachers and schools who used the programs in their classrooms, according to Hadi Partovi, who co-founded the organization with his brother Ali Partovi. The two are repeat tech entrepreneurs and angel investors and have raised tens of millions of dollars to help increase the dismayingly low percentage of computer science classes in U.S. schools

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Huawei Pulls Back on Network Side, but Still Hopes to Build U.S. Brand for Phones

December 13, 2013  |  All Things Digital  |  No Comments

While it is ready to concede that the time isn’t right to crack the U.S. cellular network gear market , Huawei still wants to make a name for itself in the market for smartphones . Globally, the Chinese firm sells a range of smartphones, including plenty in the middle and higher ends of the market. In the U.S., though, it has struggled to move beyond entry-level devices , mostly for prepaid carriers such as Cricket’s Leap and T-Mobile’s MetroPCS. “What is stopping us is we don’t have strength of brand at the high end,” said Executive VP Colin Giles, who joined Huawei in July after spending more than a decade running Nokia’s operations in China. The company has tried efforts such as sponsorships and movie tie-ins, but Giles said that changing the perception of the company will take time, and will require a sustained investment. “If you are serious about the U.S., you need to commit on marketing,” Giles said in an interview on Thursday. But he also acknowledged that there are limits to what the company can do: “We’ll never have the budgets of an Apple or Samsung.” One trend helping the company is the recent move, led by T-Mobile, away from large carrier subsidies for new flagship devices. That could help level the playing field, and let Huawei’s value shine through. Giles said that another factor that actually helps Huawei and other Chinese upstarts is the success that Samsung and LG have had in the market over the last several years. “People see where the Koreans were five or six years ago, and see where they are today,” he said. “That’s opened the door for companies like Huawei.”

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iPhones Dominate Sales at All Four Major U.S. Carriers

December 13, 2013  |  All Things Digital  |  No Comments

Apple’s latest iPhones are topping the charts at U.S. carriers. That’s the latest from Canaccord Genuity analyst T. Michael Walkley, who says that the iPhone 5s and iPhone 5c have been among the top three sellers at all four major U.S. carriers during the past three months.

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Twitter Dethrones Facebook as 2014′s Best Tech Company to Work For

December 11, 2013  |  All Things Digital  |  No Comments

Sorry, Facebook — you can’t win ‘em all. Twitter took the top spot as best tech company to work for in 2014, according to job-listings and ratings site Glassdoor, ending Facebook’s three-year streak as champion. The social giant was bumped to third place, while professional networking site LinkedIn climbed to the second slot. The deciding factors? Some of the ratings on Glassdoor — which allows current and former employees to weigh in on their experience of working at a company — have said that the feel at Facebook has changed in recent years, likely due to the rapid scaling-up of the company. Also, a number of senior employees had left the company after it debuted on the Nasdaq in 2012. Of the Top 50 companies that made the list, nearly half of them were tech employers — including eBay (21), Google (6), Salesforce (22) and Apple (16). Nothing gold can stay, however. I imagine that Twitter, now a public company, will see similar scaling and departure themes, just like Facebook did in the months after its IPO

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