Streaming media

Roku to start playing interactive, targeted video ads [UPDATE]

Roku to start playing interactive, targeted video ads [UPDATE]

Roku, makers of the streaming video device of the same name, have just partnered with video advertising firm Innovid, and together they plan to bring personalized, interactive advertisements to apps that run on the set-top box. They claim the ads will be accurate and "entertaining" — because who doesn't love a good ad — by enabling users to do things like play games, browse a retailer's current sales and stock, or watch extended product videos, all with the Roku remote.

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Sonos boosts Spotify playback with Android beta

Sonos boosts Spotify playback with Android beta

Sonos and Spotify have long been a popular pairing, and now a new beta unlocks features like Spotify Radio, genres, and moods through the Sonos Controller. The beta, launching for Android users today but expected to roll out more broadly over the next few weeks, builds on Sonos' existing, rather rudimentary integration of the Spotify catalog, which currently allows users to navigate their playlists as well as search through all albums and artists.

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Devialet Phantom Review – Delectable French aural oddness

Devialet Phantom Review – Delectable French aural oddness

Devialet’s Phantom resembles something from Portal, has audiophiles by turns fuming or fawning, and squeezes up to 3,000W into a casing some physicists say shouldn’t work. The first all-in-one music system from the polarizing French firm, Phantom’s odd looks are, Devialet claims, merely the side-product of its homegrown pressurized drivers and hybridized analog/digital amplifiers. That means the big story is in the sound, but can this sci-fi prop of a speaker really be worth its $2k price tag?

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Did Apple dash Dre’s dream of a Beats Sonos-rival?

Did Apple dash Dre’s dream of a Beats Sonos-rival?

Apple axed Beats' ambitions of a wireless home audio system to rival Sonos, insiders say, with the rumored project iced in the aftermath of the acquisition. Beats Electronics had been working on a speaker system which would upgrade its existing range from Bluetooth-alone to supporting multiroom synchronized playback over WiFi, among other things, Variety's sources suggest, but a supposed combination of technical hurdles and dwindling confidence left the concept in limbo.

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Marriott becomes first hotel to offer Netflix to guests

Marriott becomes first hotel to offer Netflix to guests

Hotel room boredom will soon come to an end, assuming you're staying a Marriott. The company has just announced a new partnership with Netflix that will see its US hotels offering guests access to the popular video streaming service. Netflix will only be available at limited locations to start with, and it won't be quite as simple as checking in and having free access to all of Netflix's content — guests will need to be existing subscribers and sign-in to their accounts.

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PlayStation Vue rolls out iPad app for TV streaming

PlayStation Vue rolls out iPad app for TV streaming

PlayStation Vue, Sony's new television streaming service, has released its first iOS app for the iPad. PlayStation Vue Mobile offers similar functionality to what you'd have when using a PS3 or PS4 console, the only catch is that it's currently limited to the cities of Chicago, Philadelphia, and New York. These are the same locations that the Vue service launched in back in March. It's likely Sony will bring this up during E3 next week, hopefully with dates for additional availability.

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Spotify raises $526 million in funding to continue battling Apple

Spotify raises $526 million in funding to continue battling Apple

In the aftermath of Apple revealing its own new music streaming service, news has leaked that Spotify has just closed a funding round with $526 million in cash. This puts the Swedish company at a valuation of $8.53, reported the Wall Street Journal, and means they have doubled their total funding to over $1 billion since launching in 2006. The new funding is said to allow Spotify to invest in new expansions and offering new forms of content, as they face a growing rival in the new Apple Music.

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TiVo Online brings the TV recording solution to the web

TiVo Online brings the TV recording solution to the web

Subscribers to TiVo will soon find themselves able to connect via the web to recorded TV content with TiVo Online. DVR recordings of live TV streams will be given some wider breadth for viewing with TiVo Online, while the brand will also give users the option to connect to the shows they enjoy through alternate services. Click on the Simpsons, for example, and find links to Hulu and Fox. UPDATE: This service is up and running now, and provides services to both TiVo subscribers and those in search of an internet-based TV show and movie portal extraordinaire.

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Apple Music first look – Spotify threat but questions linger

Apple Music first look – Spotify threat but questions linger

There's unquestionably an advantage to being the home team, and in Apple Music's case that means coming preloaded on future iPhones while rivals like Spotify are stuck in the App Store. Apple's new streaming platform comes relatively late to the game - though, with Beats Music already under the Cupertino umbrella, it's been at least a stepparent to a streaming service for some time now - and, while that's allowed Tidal, Spotify, and others to grab the earlier adopters, it's also given Apple's team a chance to identify what some of the potential shortcomings in the current market. Turns out, a big part of that comes down to real, actual people rather than just algorithms. While it won't be until the end of June until Apple Music starts accepting new listeners, I got a preview at WWDC following the launch.

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