Spotify Users Get TV Access Through Western Digital
-- Spotify is now available through Western Digital TV media players. For those of you unfamiliar with Western Digital, the company makes set-top boxes that connect a TV to the Internet (think Apple TV or Roku). These media players allow users to view pictures, watch video and listen to music using apps by the likes of Hulu, Netflix, YouTube and now Spotify.
Only Spotify subscribers -- not the free users -- can use the service through Western Digital devices (similarly, only paying subscribers get Spotify access through mobile devices). As for the cost of the media players, two Western Digital media players stream Spotify. At the Western Digital website, the WD TV Live has a $99.99 list price and WD TV Live Hub has a $199.99 list price.
Toyata Offers Embedded Pandora In Camry, Tacoma
-- Toyota is now offering an embedded version of Pandora in the 2012 Camry and 2012 Tacoma. With Toyota's Entune system, Pandora controls are made available via the radio dashboard, allowing drivers to select stations, thumb songs up and down, and skip tracks using the vehicle's controls. Entune connects with the Panora mobile app is currently compatible with Android, Blackberry and iPhone smartphones.
Entune is quite an interesting piece of technology. It connects the passenger to search (through Microsoft's Bing search engine), Internet radio (through Clear Channel's iHeartRadio and Pandora), movie tickets (through MovieTickets.com) and restaurants (through Open Table). It also gives sports scores, stock prices, traffic updates and weather information.
Hulu CEO: Big Chunk of Revenue Is Subscriptions
-- Here's a good news item for a digital music community that loves a good "advertising vs. subscription business model" debate. Online video service Hulu is getting an increasingly large part of its revenue from subscriptions. In a post at the Hulu blog, the company's CEO Jason Kilar revealed that subscription revenue will account for more than half of Hulu's revenue within the next 12 months. He noted that Hulu's subscription services generate a "modest amount" of revenue from advertising.
Multi-Tasking While Watching the Tube
-- What else are people doing while they're watching an additional 40 minutes of TV per week?
According to a new Nielsen report, 70% of prime time audiences are doing something else while watching TV. More than 30% are involved in social networking (because there are only so many waking hours in a day, this is obviously how Facebook can command so much of Americans' time). About 20% are reading printed matter of some sort, talking on their mobile phones, texting on their mobile phones, sending emails and browsing the web. A bit less than 10% are actually listening to the radio while watching TV.
But not everybody is watching more TV. Young adults are finding time to not watch as much TV. In the second quarter of 2010, weekly time spent watching TV dropped to 22 minutes for the 18- 24 age group and a full hour for the 25-34 age group from the same period last year.
Nielsen calls media multi-tasking "cross-platform." Until recently, Nielsen was using the term "three screens" to explain the prominence of TV, computers and mobile devices in how people consume media and communicate. But the company has not issued a Three Screen Report since June 2010. The new emphasis appears to be on showing how all three screens are being used at once.
And, often, the company will show how cross-platform use enables social media activity. This is why Twitter, for example, is full of TV-related conversation during prime time. If consumers weren't juggling TV, computer and mobile use, that type of social media activity would not be possible. Nielsen argues cross-platform use adds value to content and advertising, engages audiences and enhances the viewing experience. And those are completely believable claims. Just imagine watching sports without being able to check player stats, watching the MTV Music Awards without tweeting about it, watching "Mad Men" without looking up songs on Shazam or SoundHound, or looking up anything on Wikipedia at the spur of the moment.