In the new world of media, content companies must make all their offerings available to their audience wherever and however they want it – broadcast, cable, PC or stream, mobile or wired, scheduled or on-demand. In that regard, our friends at Apple Music will be launching a browser version of its music streaming service. Paid subscribers will be able to access the streaming service from any web browser by logging in using their Apple ID. The browser version of the application is currently in beta, offering listeners full access to their playlists and Beats 1 Radio. As part of the overall strategy, Apple confirmed that it is withdrawing iTunes and replacing it with a new package: Apple Music, Apple Podcasts and Apple TV. Apple clearly has a strategy for matching every new trend in music technology with a clear and impactful response.
Monthly Plan Prices
- HBO Now | $14.99
- Netflix HD Quality Plan | $12.99
- Disney Plus | $12.99
- Hulu (without ads) | $11.99
- Showtime | $10.99
- Prime Video only | $8.99
- Hulu (with ads) | $5.99
- CBS All Access | $5.99
- Prime Video | 14,210
- Netflix | 3,803
- Hulu | 1,437
- HBO | 926
- Showtime | 489
- Prime Video | 2,317
- Netflix | 1,966
- Hulu | 1,931
- HBO | 189
- Showtime | 70
High Quality Movies
- Prime Video | 125
- Netflix | 124
- Hulu | 52
- HBO | 32
- Showtime | 32
The Roku Channel is a two-year-old streaming service with 30.5 million users is offering a new Kids and Family portal, which is going live the week of August 19th.
Rob Holmes, VP of programming and engagement for Roku said, “We recognize that it can be a challenge to find quality kids and family entertainment across multiple streaming channels, particularly free, ad-supported options.”
With that in mind, Roku has bundled 7,000 free, ad-supported movies and TV episodes and they promise the ad intrusions will be 60% less than on standard TV. Participating programmers include: Hasbro Company, DHX Media, Happy Kids TV, Lionsgate, Mattel, Moonbug and pocket.watch, among others. Brands include: Care Bears, The Cat in the Hat, Leapfrog, Little Baby Bum, My Little Pony, Rev & Roll, Super Mario Brothers and Thomas and Friends. Premium channel viewers will see even more options.
Roku’s new family friendly portal includes a PIN-based system for parents to monitor the content their children watch. The free-to-consumer, ad-supported content is the advantage Roku brings to the market against some fierce completion from the paid offerings of Netflix and Disney+.
If money equals success, our friends at Apple are going for it. The Financial Times reports that the company is increasing its budget for content from $1 billion – which sounds a lot like Netflix’s reported budget for this year – to $5 billion. With that bankroll they’ll assure themselves of a competitive position against Netflix, Amazon, HBO, Hulu and Disney +.
One particular Apple program, The Morning Show, is reportedly budgeted at $300 million for just the first two seasons, which makes it more expensive than HBO’s Games of Thrones that is estimated to have cost a mere $15 million a season. The math says one season of The Morning Show will cost more than the entire run of Thrones. Nuts.
Apple is throwing big money and a-list talent into its efforts to establish a dominant position in the streaming industry. Jennifer Anniston, Steve Carell and Reese Witherspoon lead in The Morning Show cast while producing talent like Oprah Winfrey and Steven Spielberg are also contributing content. An interesting side story that comes out of all this content expansion is the need for lots of talent, both back stage and in front of the camera. There will be fewer starving actors in the future.
Many social media services have developed dark modes for using their websites at night. The glare of a bright screen at night usually puts a strain on a person’s eyes. Twitter and Gmail already offer Dark Mode settings and Facebook already has it for its Messenger app. According to software engineer Jane M. Wong, Facebook proper is already using an early version of Dark Mode, but it will take a while for this idea to be fully implemented.
Facebook frequently tests new features without making it obvious. However, the company doesn’t have set timelines for when new features are released. This new feature may negatively contribute to the problem of tech addiction. Daytime addiction to social media is already common among web users. Only time will tell if social media companies will ever begin to take the problem of tech addiction seriously.
Marlon Wayans has a new movie called Sextuplets coming to Netflix on August 16th. Sextuplets are like twins, but more …four more.
The plot starts with Wayans (Alan) searching for his birth mother ahead of the birth of his first child. He doesn’t know who she is and he doesn’t know that he was born as one of six. When he discovers the truth, he sets out to find his siblings too. Wayans plays all six siblings.
While Sextuplets has a Nutty Professor / Madea quality to it with one actor playing multiple characters, we are looking forward to see Wayans’s bring comedy to a family discovery message. Wayans said he is excited to be back in business with Netflix and that he loves how they embrace comedy and diversity.
Austin, Texas, the music capitol of the Southwest, is launching a new program allowing fans to tip musicians digitally rather than with cash. The city is providing ten selected musicians with DipJar, a device allowing them to take tips via credit or debit card. These artists will test the new fangled payment method at live venues for the next six months. Mat Oldigies, leader of the band Human Circuit, says that initially tips are fewer than before, but with extra motivation this might change. Austin is hoping that over time, this plan will be good for the finances of both the city and the musicians. In other situations, it’s common to see people spend more when they don’t have to take real money out of their pocket. Good luck to the players and pickers in Austin.
A new technological age is upon us. Artificial intelligence is being applied across many different industries very quickly. One of the uses in the healthcare field applies AI to diagnose illnesses. It is now being used to distinguish between benign and malignant cells in potential breast cancer tumors. These classifications can help patients avoid unnecessary treatments. AI uses machine learning, the science of getting machines to act without being explicitly programmed, in this case, to help make a diagnosis. It is becoming respected tool for breast cancer tumor classification by putting together and processing huge data sets to help doctors make more accurate, faster diagnoses and to suggest the most appropriate therapies for their patients.