Google this evening has sent out an email to YouTube partners revealing details about the upcoming launch of a new subscription-based model for the service. The email states that YouTube viewers will soon have the ability to remove all advertising from the website for a flat monthly rate.
Google’s Play Music All Access subscription streaming service is today arriving for Canadian users almost a year after first launching in the U.S. and Europe. A report from the CBC notes that Google is expected to make an official announcement today ahead of the Canadian Music Week event kicking off May 6.
Google announced today on its Chrome blog that Major League Baseball is adding support for its $35 Chromecast streaming stick through the MLB At Bat app for Android and iOS. That means that users with the app and an MLB.TV Premium subscription will be able to stream live and on-demand video content from the app (or from a browser tab in Chrome through MLB’s site) to a Chromecast connected TV. You’ll also be able to use the phone or tablet you’re streaming from as a second-screen experience to “check scores, stats and news” while watching the game on the bigger screen:
MLB.TV is the latest live streaming service to come to Chromecast, so now MLB.TV Premium subscribers can invite their friends over to watch live, out-of-market games. While casting a game to the big screen, use your phone or tablet to check scores, stats and news from around the league. You can even choose between home or away broadcasts to steer clear of the opposing team’s announcers when your guys are on the road.
The updated apps are rolling out today for the MLB At Bat app for Android and iOS on Google Play and the App Store, but the Chromecast feature will require an MLB.TV Premium subscription to get started. Those cost $129.99/year or $24.99/month in comparison to the regular $19.99/season or $2.99 month At Bat subscription and offers “every 2014 Regular Season out-of-market game LIVE or on-demand in HD” across platforms.
It looks like Google might be repairing a new section in the Google Play store specifically for news content in subscription and issue form. While Google already has a dedicated Magazine section on the Play store, AndroidPolice first noticed clues in code for the web version of Google Play that hint Google could be preparing to launch a new service dubbed “Google Play News.”
While we don’t get much information about the service, we do learn Google Play News could offer “issues” and “subscriptions”. This makes us think the company could be preparing a subscription news service that rivals Apple’s Newsstand on iOS. Apple currently offers both issues of newspapers and magazines in subscription form through its Newsstand app.
It’s not clear how exactly the Play News section would differ from the existing Magazine section, but AndroidPolice noted that the Google Play code points to the section having its own heading color. This suggests it will indeed be a dedicated category on the store.
As I’m sure you know, the Play Store is color themed – Books are blue, Music is orange, etc. So the most important question a discovery like this raises is “What color will the News section be?” It turns out we can actually answer this one thanks to the Play Store CSS (mirror). It’s yellow. The News section will be yellow.
It’s a possibility Google will eventually merge this new newspaper feature with magazines like how Apple’s Newsstand app works, but we’ll have to wait to find out for sure what Google officially has planned for the service.