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Google Serves 25 Percent of North American Internet Traffic (Original)

Everyone knows Google is big. But the truth is that it's huge. On an average day, Google accounts for about 25 percent of all consumer internet traffic running through North American ISPs. That's a far larger slice of than previously thought, and it means that with so many consumer devices connecting to Google each day, it's ...

    


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Facebook’s Feature Phone Platform Scores 100M Users, Most In Emerging Markets (Original)

Facebook For Every Phone

Facebook announced that Facebook For Every Phone, a native app that works on feature phones, has been downloaded 100 million times.

Facebook For Every Phone is an essential part of the company’s global strategy because more feature phones than smartphones are used in developing markets like India, Indonesia and the Philippines. In fact, for many consumers, feature phones may be their main or only point of access to the Internet. Facebook only recently began selling ads on its feature phone platform and makes very little money that way, but extending into countries with rapidly developing tech ecosystem may help Facebook counterbalance its declining or stagnant traffic in countries such as the U.S. and UK.

Facebook had 751 million monthly active users on mobile as of March 31, 2013, an increase of 54% year-over-year.

Facebook For Every Phone includes the social network’s most popular features, including News Feed, Messenger and Photos. It is optimized to use less data than other Java apps and mobile sites, which is a boon for users on limited data plans. In addition, Facebook has partnered with mobile operators around the world to offer free or discounted data access to Facebook For Every Phone. The app is powered by Snaptu, a mobile platform that Facebook acquired in 2011.…

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Netflix Is the New Premium-Channel Standard (Original)

With the entertainment industry recognizing what Netflix is doing, it's time we realized that the streaming service is the new standard in premium channels.

    


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TV channel apps used by 14% of smartphone, tablet users (Original)

iPad miniSome 14% of smartphone and tablet users used TV channel apps from networks like MTV, Nickelodeon and USA Networks in the first quarter of the year, according to US research firm Parks Associates.

The study found increasing consumer use of apps from TV channels and shows and reported a 75% satisfaction rate among those that did use TV content apps in the quarter.

The most common consumer activities with these apps were watching video, looking up information related to programs, and purchasing related music or merchandise, according to the TV Channel and Network App Users study. Viewers also used the apps to check broadcast dates and times.

The research found millennials to have “much higher” interest in programme and channel specific apps than older consumer segments, and said that shows aimed specifically at this audience – like Gossip Girl – were “wise to develop a robust app offering.”

“This ‘second-screen’ generation is accustomed to consuming content on multiple devices,” said John Barrett, director of consumer analytics, Parks Associates.

Brett Sappington, director of research at Parks Associates added: “Companies in the television industry are experimenting with several approaches to TV-related apps for mobile devices. Some are already noting several benefits, including greater viewer immersion, the ability to appeal to viewers outside of the broadcast window, and new aspects to storytelling.…

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Deutsche Telekom launches Entertain to Go (Original)

Deutsche Telekom has launched its multi-screen TV service Entertain to Go service, offering access to around 40 TV channels from PC, laptop and iPad.

The service, which was first announced by the German operator last year, is priced at €4.95 per-month and gives access to content on a users’ home WiFi network. Entertain video library content can also be accessed over wireless networks.

The offering includes public broadcast networks such as ARD, ZDF and 3sat as well as private channels ProSieben, Sat.1, RTL and VOX.

The iPad version of the service is available to download now, with iPhone and Android versions in the works.

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What is the true cost of WhatsApp? (Original)

The same annual subscription model on all platforms

In a blog post yesterday, WhatsApp announced a new version of the popular messaging app for iOS and the move to a subscription model that has been using on the Android platform. The drop to free means that iPhone users now get to try the app for a year before the first $0.99 payment comes in. Previously, WhatsApp Messenger was a paid app on the App Store, where 99 cents (the cheapest pricing tier available) got you unlimited use for life.

whatsappingdogssc1.jpg

Despite some initial negative reactions, the new approach means WhatsApp has a business plan that makes some sense. Running a free service at the scale of Twitter can only come with a huge infrastructure cost. It's also fair for the people who helped to kick-start the service: current users are awarded with a "Lifetime" subscription — meaning they'll never have to pay one dollar a year.

The justification of the new pricing scheme on the official statement mentions the absence of ads and other quotes go on the reluctance to offer consumables as in-app-purchases such as games or stickers.

We feel that this model will allow us to become the communications service of the 21st century, and provide you the best way to stay in touch with your friends and family with no ads getting in the way.

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Almost half of US consumers have tried Netflix, but loyalty level low (Original)

Almost half of US consumers in the 13-to-54 demographic have used Netflix at some point, but 51% of the streaming service’s customers would churn if their pay TV provider offered a similar service, according to new research.

Netflix is notoriously shy when it comes to revealing how its users engage with its content, but research group GfK’s Over the Top TV study sheds light on how Netflix’s customers use the service.

It found that the average Netflix user watches five TV shows and about three movies per week, equating to eight hours of viewing.

GfK says that 47% of 13- to 54-year-olds have now used Netflix, and 39% are monthly users – up from 35% in 2011. However, there is a lack of loyalty among that customer base with the number saying they would switch if there was a pay TV alternative rising to 51% compared to the 45%.

It also found that viewing numbers for series including Mad Men, Breaking Bad as well as older shows including Heroes outstripped those for its US$100 million (€76 million) original series House of Cards.

“In a short time, Netflix has carved out a powerful role in US media, providing the kind of content control and user-friendly interfaces that consumers demand now,” David Tice, senior VP of GfK Media.…

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Google in talks over online TV service (Original)

Google Logo ThumbGoogle has reportedly approached media companies about licensing content for an internet TV service, in a bid to offer a cable TV-style service over the web.

According to a Wall Street Journal report, Google has made “made overtures to some programmers in recent months” about the initiative, and is looking to license linear channels – most likely in the standard programming bundles taken by cable and satellite operators.

The search giant is reportedly looking to go up against other new entrants in the space like Intel – which is preparing a subscription set-top service that is expected to deliver live TV, catch-up and additional content over the web and roll out later this year.

Sony is also said to be looking at entering this space, offering content to Sony devices like PlayStation games consoles, TV sets and Blu-ray players.

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The Granddaddy Of Messaging Apps, WhatsApp, Finally Goes For A Subscription Model on iOS (Original)

whatsapp

While messaging has become a veritable war with apps like Line, KakaoTalk, WeChat, Path and Facebook Messenger across Asia and Western markets, there’s been one longstanding app that’s presided over the space with very few apparent changes.

WhatsApp, the Sequoia-backed messaging app that dominates in Europe and that is often tipped as an attractive acquisition candidate for companies like Google and Facebook, just went freemium finally on iOS. The app has been paid for years on the iPhone at a $0.99 price point.

But today it went free with an annual subscription fee of $1 after the first year. This isn’t really a surprise as CEO Jam Koum talked about this several months ago. It brings WhatsApp’s business model on iOS in line with other platforms like Android, BlackBerry, Nokia and Windows Phone.

The paid app business model is really a vestige of an older era when developers would sell their work up-front. But over time, many paid apps have made the switch toward going free with paid features. Games really triggered this wave, but other high-usage apps like messaging have gone for a freemium strategy.

Japan’s Line, for example, made $58.9 million in the first quarter of this year in Japan through in-app purchases and sales of stickers — which apps like Path and Facebook Messenger have subsequently copied.…

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Apple may be planning Kinect-style controls for its rumored TV (Original)

Even though reports that Apple had acquired PrimeSense, the Israeli company behind the technology in Microsoft’s Kinect, were shot down, the very prospect of getting their hands on that kind of technology leads to some intriguing possibilities.

The post Apple may be planning Kinect-style controls for its rumored TV appeared first on Digital Trends.…

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