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Redbox is officially venturing back into streaming — on a trial basis, anyway. A Redbox spokesperson told Variety Thursday that the company has started to test its new streaming service, dubbed Redbox Digital, with some customers. Variety first reported in April about Redbox’s plans to launch a new streaming service. “We are testing a potential new transactional digital VOD and EST offering, with a small subset of our customers, designed to complement our core kiosk rental business,” a company spokesperson said via email. “As we test and learn from our customers, we will make evaluations that determine any future course of action.” As part of these tests, Redbox recently published an iPad app for the new service, dubbed Redbox Digital, on the App Store. It also updated its official terms of service on its website with an entire section devoted to the streaming service, which spells out territorial and other common usage restrictions for digital services. View the full article
Cable giant Comcast will allow popular web video streaming service Netflix onto its X1 platform, the companies confirmed after being asked by Recode about talks to do so. Said the pair in a statement: “Comcast and Netflix have reached an agreement to incorporate Netflix into X1, providing seamless access to the great content offered by both companies. We have much work to do before the service will be available to consumers later this year. We'll provide more details at that time.” Sources said the deal to be on the cable giant’s set-top box would be akin to the arrangement that Netflix has cut with smaller cable operators in the United States and bigger ones across the globe. Basically, the Netflix app is present on the X1 platform, for users to sign into, making it easier than using other ways to do so. Netflix also has deals with Apple, Roku and Google’s Chromecast, with its app offered on these Internet TV services. It also is embedded in smart televisions. A recent report by Morgan Stanley, in fact, raised this possibility of a Comcast deal, especially noting that it could benefit by getting a larger bounty from Netflix for adding subscribers. It would also help Comcast have a more competitive video offering to others, like Roku, Verizon and Dish, that have apps from services like Hulu and Netflix. View the full article
Streaming music service Grooveshark has shut down as of April 30, 2015 as part of a settlement from copyright infringement lawsuits. This came as a settlement due to potential copyright infringements. The company could have been liable for up to $736 million in damages. As part of the shutdown, ownership of the Grooveshark service, website, and all of its associated intellectual property had been transferred to the labels Universal Music Group, Sony Music Entertainment, and Warner Music Group. There's still hope for recovering your playlists, however. A redditor named effstops has posted a link to a service called GrooveBackup where you can attempt to back up your Grooveshark playlists. Some users on reddit reported they have had no success with GrooveBackup. Please remember to use caution with the website. Grooveshark has also posted the following shutdown notice that points uses towards licensed music streaming websites on their website: View the full article