Connected Devices Will Soon Be Everywhere Says Report

Everyone is getting connected, and more and more devices you can buy have that capability. And a new report says that by 2017, connected devices such as TV’s, streaming boxes, consoles and more will more than double.

connect-pc-tvNDP researched the market for their Connected Home Forecast predicts that by 2017 there will be 204 million devices that can connect to a TV and be able to deliver apps to viewers in US homes. This is more than double the number predicted.

Pushing the market will be Smart TVs and streaming media players, which NPD predict will account for the majority of growth during the next three years. The report says that the adoption rate will rise from 60% this year to 76% by 2017 of installed units.

The rise in connected devices will be driven by consumers upgrading hardware, along with the increase in streaming and app services from TV networks.

Speaking about the report, executive director for NPD Connected Intelligence, John Buffone said, “The evolution of hardware and digital content distribution is constantly changing the TV viewing experience. Over the coming years, the consumer’s preferred device for apps on TV will be shaped by the next generation of video game consoles, smart TVs, and a new wave of streaming media players.”

Netflix Hit 50 Million Subscribers As They Plan Global Domination

Netflix have revealed that they now have 50 million global subscribers for Q2 of the year. This means they have added 1.69 million new subscribers in the last 3 months.

Orange-is-the-new-Black-season2Most of that expansion is happening outside US borders though, with 1.12 million being new international subscribers. Netflix have in total 36.2 million subscribers in the US and 13.8 million International customers in around 40 different countries.

The company say they expect that number to rise and it expects for the next quarter to add a further 3.7 million global subscribers including 1.3 million in the US. Netflix are expanding into a further six European countries by September including Germany, France, Austria, Switzerland, Belgium and Luxembourg.

Speaking about that launch, Netflix CEO Reed Hastings said, “This launch into markets with over 60 million broadband households will significantly increase our European presence and raise our current international addressable market to over 180 million broadband households, or 2x the number of current U.S. broadband households.”

He continued, “Our international contribution loss of ($15.3) million has been rapidly approaching contribution profitability as we see improvements across all existing markets. Our broad success from Argentina to Finland has convinced us to further invest aggressively in global expansion.”

The streaming on-demand company have a long-term goal to reach 90 million subscribers in the US, and over 100 million globally.

The subscriber figures were helped by the launch of further seasons of Netflix hit TV shows such as Orange Is The New Black, which came back for a second season in June, and the second season of House of Cards launched in February.

Although Netflix are famous for not revealing viewing figures, Hastings said that, “Orange Is The New Black” became Netflix’s most-watched series during the first month after release of the second season”, and that it was, “every bit the global media event we had hoped for.”

Tivos Qplay Service Killed Off 6 Months After Launch

There is quick, and then there is damned quick. The Qplay service created by the founders of TiVo comes under the former as it’s closing down a mere 6 months after launching. The service has failed to take off with internet streamers who are offered a host of cheaper and free options.

Qplay-chromecastThe service which launched in February, required users to buy a $49 connected device (or more recently use an ipad app), which then streamed a curated content of video collected from the web.

The company announced on their website that they would be ceasing to stream on July 25, saying, “It is with heavy hearts that we announce Qplay will be closing. Our last day of service is next Friday, July 25,” the company stated in an email it sent to customers. “We truly enjoyed bringing you the best videos from around the Internet. We had fun building and using Qplay and hope that you did too. Unfortunately, it is not possible for us to keep developing and running the service.”

The company was created by co-founders of the TiVo DVR, Michael Ramsay and Jim Barton, who brought us TiVo 10 years ago. The service let viewers watch an uninterrupted stream of videos from sources like YouTube and Vimeo. But they essentially offered a product you could find without the hardware or expense, and the service lacked any premium content.

However, the shutdown is still a shock as they only just announced support for the Google Chromecast (ironically a product that probably helped shut them down).

The company are offering to pay back customers who shelled out for the $49 Qplay TV adapter.

Amazon Instant Video App Coming For Android

The Amazon prime instant app for Android has always been seen as a bit of an afterthought, only working on certain tablets at present. But Amazon are said to be rectifying that situation by launching a universal working version.

amazon-instant-android-appThe service is already available for the Kindle Fire tablet, iPhone and iPad, games consoles and smart TVs, and via a browser on laptops and desktop PC’s.

The news of an android app comes from PC Advisor, who say the app is imminent after speaking to Russell Morris, who is the marketing director at Amazon Instant Video.

The Amazon Prime Instant Android app will offer Prime subscribers access to unlimited streaming of a number of titles on Android smartphones and tablets, along with access to the Instant Video library which is pay-per-view .

Many presume that the app has taken so long to be released just so that Amazon could promote and sell their Kindle Fire tablet more, as it happened to have a working app.

Morris also said that 4K streaming is also coming to the Prime Instant Video service later this year, with all the Amazon Studios original content being filmed in 4K Ultra HD quality.

Morris did not specify a date for the Amazon Instant Android app, or even confirm that it will work with all android smartphones and tablets. But as Netflix have managed to make it work, one would assume Amazon can as well.

Netflix Privacy Mode Will Keep Your Viewing Under Cover

It is obviously an issue to some viewers that their viewing history can be soon by anyone logging into their account, especially as many individuals sometimes share a single login. With that in mind, Netflix have testing a new ‘Privacy Mode’ that will let you cover up your viewing activity.

netflix-privacy-modeMaybe you accidentally click on a movie that turns into something you wouldn’t want your wife/husband to know about, or you have a guilty pleasure of watching slasher horror movies and you work as a vicar. Whatever the case it has been reported by Gigaom that Netflix are testing the new feature.

The option will keep whatever you choose to watch out of your viewing and activity log, and make sure that Netflix do not use it to make further possibly embarrassing recommendations of titles you should watch.

The Netflix feature is said to be in the testing stage in all it’s markets, but no further details are available.

Disney Pixar Content Coming To Netflix Canada

Netflix in Canada have signed on the dotted line with The Walt Disney Studio, for an exclusive multi-year deal to bring a whole host of Disney movies to the streaming subscription service.

Netflix-DisneyBeginning in 2015, Netflix Canada viewers can stream new movies from Disney’s live action division, Walt Disney Animation Studios, Pixar Animation Studios, Marvel Studios, Lucasfilm, Disneynature and DreamWorks Studio. The deal will bring movies straight from the theater to Netfix after around eight months, which is sooner than they currently get to cable.

Chief Content Officer for Netflix, Ted Sarandos said, “We are delighted to be the new pay TV home in Canada for the world’s highest-quality, most imaginative and entertaining films. Canadians of all ages will have an incredible range of great stories and characters to look forward to.”

For Disney-ABC Domestic Television, executive Vice president Dan Cohen said, “We are absolutely thrilled that Canadian Netflix subscribers will be able to experience Disney’s premium films in the pay TV window. Netflix continues to be a highly-valued partner on a global scale and we couldn’t be more pleased to extend our great relationship with this exciting new agreement.”

Canadian Netflix users are also enjoying first-run movies from Paramount Pictures, along with DreamWorks Animation, and 20th Century Fox.