YouTube paid service on course as partners sign up, TV networks still skeptical

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Google is pushing ahead with its plans to launch a paid YouTube service by the end of this year. So far, it’s signed up YouTube partners accounting for more than 90% of it views, but major TV networks are still holding out. Fox, NBC and CBS (among others) are still holding back according to Bloomberg’s sources.

Without support from TV networks, YouTube will have to attract paying subscribers with its own original content, or try and attract payers with nothing more than its home-grown stars and music videos. But that doesn’t mean the company is down-beat. There are many more options on its plate.

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Netflix Android app adds support for Google’s new Smart Lock password manager

Yesterday, as part of the company’s Google I/O dev conference keynote presentation, Google took the wraps off Smart Lock, a new password manager that makes logging into apps in Chrome or on Android much more painless. Now, some of the first apps to support the new feature are being updated starting with Netflix. Read more

T-Mobile offering Galaxy S6 and S6 Edge for presale, free 1-year Netflix subscription (Update: AT&T also)

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Update: AT&T has now shared their Galaxy S6 preorder details too.

T-Mobile and AT&T are both offering an HTC One M9 presale, but it looks like the un-carrier is also going to offer a similar promotion for Samsung’s Galaxy S6. Starting Friday, March 27 at 7 a.m. PDT you’ll be able to order Samsung’s newest flagship from T-Mobile, and the company says it will be shipping presale orders sometime before the device’s official April 10th launch date.

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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

Netflix for Android updated w/ Social Recommendation feature, Android Wear support coming soon

SOMO ScreenshotsNetflix announced in a blog post this evening that it is pushing out an update to its Android app with a handful of new features. First off, the update introduces a new “Social Recommendation” capability, which has been available on iOS for some time now. This feature allows users to easily and privately recommend shows that they love to friends and family, right from an Android device.

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Google shares this year’s most popular apps, games, music, movies, TV shows, books & news

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Google has put together a hefty infographic showing 2014’s most popular apps, games, music, movies, TV shows, books & news.

Health and fitness was the fastest-growing app category, with MyFitnessPal topping the charts within the category. Candy Crush remained the most downloaded game. Other app category chart-toppers were Facebook, Netflix, Pandora, TripAdvisor, Duolingo, Flipagram and NFL Mobile …  Read more

Google offering new Chromecast buyers 2 free months of Hulu Plus

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When the Chromecast originally launched more than a year ago, early buyers were offered three free months of Netflix as a bonus. That offer quickly ran out, but various other deals have popped up since. Now, Google is giving anyone who buys a Chromecast from October 1st through the end of the year two free months of Hulu Plus.

Hulu Plus currently runs $7.99, meaning that you’re getting a $16 value with your Chromecast purchase. While Hulu may not have quite the selection of Netflix, that’s still a great offer when the Chromecast only costs $35 to begin with.

The offer will be redeemable through chromecast.com/offers during the set-up process for new Hulu Plus and Chromecast users beginning October 1st. Keep an eye on 9to5toys.com for the latest Chromecast deals, as well.

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Chromecast boasts 400 million casts as it celebrates its 1 year mark w/ 3 months of free Google Play Music All Access

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Happy birthday, Chromecast! That’s what Google is saying today as it announced the HDMI media streaming stick has been used to cast content 400 million times in the 12 months since it launched. The Chromecast, of course, allows you to stream content from services like Netflix, Hulu, and Pandora to your HDTV from your Android or iOS as well as your computer via the Chrome browser.

We’ve added hundreds of your favorite apps, including WatchESPN, Pandora, Hulu Plus, HBO GO and PBS Kids; announced new features like mirroring your Android device to the TV and expanded to 30,000 stores across 20 countries.

That’s certainly a lot of casting from the $35 accessory, and Google is giving all Chromecast users 90 days of its Google Play Music All Access service for free to celebrate. The offer to redeem 3 months of free access to the $9.99/month music subscription service will run from today, July 24th, through September 30th, for all existing Chromecast customers not already subscribed to All Access. Read more

Chromecast support coming soon to controversial movie streaming app Popcorn Time

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If you’re not familiar with Popcorn Time, it’s an app that allows you to stream movie and TV show torrents without any of the hassles usually associated with torrents – what you get is an interface which looks just like Netflix or Hulu. Thanks to a popular forked version, you’ll soon be able to watch that content on your TV when Chromecast support is added …  Read more

Oyster “Netflix of books” subscription service now available on Android

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Oyster, a startup out of New York which lets you pay a subscription fee for access to books, has released an Android app after having been available on iOS since August of last year. It has appropriately gained a reputation of being the “Netflix of books,” allowing users to pay just $9.95 for unlimited access to over 500,000 ebooks, but also touts human curation as being one its most important features. Read more

Report: Google to announce Android TV platform at I/O conference next month

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Google is about to launch a new Android TV platform at its upcoming Google I/O conference in June, according to a new report from GigaOM. The report claims the new platform will be a revamped vision of what Google already has with its Google TV platform and will focus mainly on online content and Android gaming rather than integrating with existing pay TV services:

Android TV won’t be another device, but rather a platform that manufacturers of TVs and set-top boxes can use to bring streaming services to the television. In that way, it is similar to Google TV, the platform the company unveiled at its 2010 Google I/O conference. But while Google TV was focused on marrying existing pay TV services with apps, Android TV will at least initially be all about online media services and Android-based video games.

Google has apparently been making deals with partners in the lead up to launching the new platform, some of which are said to include Netflix and Hulu Plus as well as hardware partners that will build and sell the Android TV devices. The report also shared some details on the Android TV UI: Read more