YouTube exploring subscription video service, competing with Netflix, Hulu & others

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The subscription-based video on demand market could see a significant shake-up this year as it was reported that YouTube has started to negotiate licensing deals for its own service to compete with services like Netflix and Hulu.

Variety quoted an unnamed YouTube partner as saying that the company not only wanted to discuss a licensing deal, but was extremely aggressive in its approach.

An exec at one YouTube partner says reps from the vidsite reached out late last year about an SVOD licensing deal. But the offer came with a warning: If the partner didn’t agree to the terms of the subscription service, it would be excluded from any future ad revenue — a tactic YouTube has used in dealing with independent music companies that refused to get onboard with Music Key.

This is the same approach YouTube was said to have taken to persuade independent music labels to sign-up for the company’s subscription music service …  Read more

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YouTube adds support for 360-degree video on mobile & web

YouTube is adding support for 360-degree video uploads alongside a new viewing experience for the video format on both mobile and the web.

Users viewing the 360-degree video (like the one embedded above) will be able to do so by dragging with their mouse in Chrome on the web or by physically moving their Android device (and soon iPhone and iPad) in the mobile app: Read more

Google software glitch exposes personal details of 280,000 Google Apps domain owners

The failed privacy add-on offered by Google's domain registration partner

The failed privacy add-on offered by Google’s domain registration partner

More than a quarter of a million people who had opted to keep their contact details private when registering web domains through a Google Apps service have had that information made public as a result of a software glitch by Google.

Usually when you buy a domain name, your name, address, phone number and email list are all made available to anyone who wants to view them by using a WHOIS lookup service. Most domain registrars offer a way around this, where their details, rather than yours, are listed. The $6/year privacy add-on offered by Google’s domain registration partner eNom failed when the domains were renewed, leaving the customer’s details exposed …  Read more

Google Fiber’s TV service likely won’t be posing a challenge to cable providers any time soon

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While Google’s fiber internet service is no doubt popular in the markets where it’s available, but the accompanying TV offering isn’t gaining nearly as much momentum. A report from Multichannel indicates that Google has only reached 29,867 video subscriptions, and 20,000 of those are from Kansas City, Missouri alone.

Google’s highest market penetration has been in Kansas City, Kansas, where 7,026 subscribers give it 13% of the market. In Missouri, those 20,140 subscribers make up only 10% of the market. The company has claimed 8% of the market in Provo, Utah, and just 5% in its Stanford market.

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LG reportedly working on a higher-end ‘G Note’ phablet

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Purported rendering of the LG G4

LG has already said that it is working on a phone that is a bit higher-end than its upcoming LG G4 handset, and it looks like the company might go with the familiar “Note” moniker to set this device apart from its siblings. A high-end large screen smartphone specifically called the “G Note” is reportedly in the works (via Korea Herald), and it looks like LG even applied for a trademark for the phablet earlier this month…

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‘Google Feud’ combines popular game show with Google search autocomplete

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Surely by now you’ve seen various jokes about Google’s autocomplete feature, which suggests endings for your search terms based on what other people commonly search for, but now a new game will test your ability to predict those sometimes nonsensical queries.

The game is called Google Feud, and, as the title suggests, it works in basically the same way as the popular TV game show Family Feud. The game presents players with an incomplete search item and asks them to guess the top ten crowd-sourced recommendations Google makes to complete the phrase. The answers are pulled in via the Google API in real-time to ensure the most up-to-date information.

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Google launches new online ‘Google Store’ marketplace to sell its devices

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Google has today launched the Google Store, a new marketplace separate from the Play Store that will let customers browse devices and products that were “made with Google.” You’ll find the wide variety of products you’ve come to shop for in the Play Store, including Chromebooks, Nexus devices, Android Wear smartwatches, and Nest smart thermostats among many others…

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Google ‘Nearline’ storage hybrid stores ‘nearly’ online data almost as cheaply as online data

nearlineToday, Google announced Google Cloud Storage “Nearline” – a new class of storage service for businesses to “easily backup and store limitless amounts of data at a very low cost and access it at any time, in a matter of seconds (instead of hours).”

The idea is that you can receive your data in a matter of seconds (which frankly is close to online service providers) but only pay what offline data providers charge. It is a big enterprise push and Google has lined up some impressive partners.

In this push, Google is leveraging its economies of scale and expertise in large scale storage combined with its Enterprise Apps offerings. It is a shot across the bow of traditional offline storage providers who can’t offer Google’s scale.  From the Blog post: Read more

Google launches first retail presence with the Google Shop in London, England

google-shop

More than a year after a failed attempt at establishing a retail presence, Google has opened the first ever Google Shop, reports the Telegraph.

The store, to be called The Google shop, will sell the company’s range of Android phones and tablets, Chromebook laptops, and Chromecast TV services. The shop will hold tutorials showing consumers how to use the devices and hold demonstrations showing off key Google apps. It is the first time that Google has opened a shop under its own name.

The Google Shop is store-within-a-store in a flagship branch of Currys PC World, a large electronics retail chain on Tottenham Court Road. The road is gadget central in London, almost every other store on the street selling consumer electronics …  Read more

Google CFO Patrick Pichette announces retirement, transition to occur over next 6 months

Patrick Pichette

According to The Wall Street Journal, Google’s Chief Financial Officer Patrick Pichette is retiring from the company. Pichette joined Google as CFO and a senior vice president in August of 2008. Prior to joining Google, Pichette worked at Bell Canada for seven years and also was also a partner at McKinsey & Company.

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