Sony launched PlayStation Now, an all-you-can-play game subscription service back in January on PlayStation 4, but its gameplay experience left much to be desired. Now, Sony is looking to fix that with a new dedicated subscription app. Launched today on the PlayStation store, the new application aims to streamline the navigation process and make it easier for users to find the game they want to play among the over 125 games currently available for streaming.
For now, Sony charges $19.99 per month, or $44.99 for 3 months for the gameplay streaming service, which are significantly cheaper than buying individual games for dedicated gamers. That said, the games are not the current titles which typically sell for $59.99 each but are older games which might retail for $19.99 or less and were released for the Playstation 3, not the Playstation 4.
Following the subscription-based model that Netflix helped popularize, it may not be too far off to imagine that Sony would start selling gaming consoles on a discounted price in order to get more players to use its streaming service and thus locked in its ecosystem. Microsoft tried this strategy towards the end of the Xbox 360’s life in 2012.
In the past few years, the all-you-can-consume subscription-model has quickly swept the entire media industry – be it news, TV, or music, every media owner started selling consumers access to their content on a month-to-month basis. In this regard, gaming is the latest addition to the subscription craze, and we think this new model is most likely here to stay.
Read original story on: TechCrunch
Vimeo will now allow video creators to charge for monthly subscriptions to their libraries of content, in addition to the video-on-demand feature it added back in 2013 for content owners to rent out or sell access to their videos. If successful, this new feature could spur many “mini-Netflixes”, further fragmenting the online video audience.
Positioned as an alternative to YouTube, Vimeo has always been averse to pre-roll ads or other forms of video advertising, focusing on exploring other ways of monetization instead. Adding support for the subscription model seems like a natural progression, if not a belated one. For media owners, this new feature poses a great opportunity to try out the increasingly popular subscription model.
Read original story on: Gizmodo
Inspired by the success of Spotify and Netflix, Opera thinks users are ready to consume mobile apps via subscriptions as well. The software company is reportedly pitching curated versions of the company’s app store to mobile operators, which allows them to create their own stores. Users would pay a weekly fee to access as many apps as they wished within the selection.
Currently, Opera hosts 300,000 titles in its app store, and boasts around 100 million visitors every month. This could prove to be a good idea to encourage downloads. It will be interesting to see how Opera handles the ownership of downloaded apps after subscription expires.
Amazon is reportedly set to launch a new all-you-can-read e-book and audiobook subscription service named “Kindle Unlimited”, which will provide Kindle users with access to a potential library of over 600,000 titles for $9.99 per month. Such subscription-based business model has turned out quite successful for Spotify and Netflix, so it’s understandable that Amazon would be tempted to join the club now.
But would what has worked with music, TV shows and movies also work with digital books? After all, everyone would get Netflix for some binge-watching sessions, but binge-reading just sounds like cramming for a college exam. In addition, the major five publishers seem to be pushing back against this new service, with a representative form HarperCollins already announcing that it is “not participating at this time”, as it could potentially cut into their already meager profit margin. Despite these obvious obstacles it might face, it is worth noting that Amazon has a history of turning initially lackluster services, such as its Instant Video, into good ones, so perhaps they will find a way to make this work somehow.
Update: It’s been officially launched, with a decent but limited access to Amazon’s e-book library.
ABC is providing a live-stream of local programming via their mobile app in a landmark move for a major broadcaster. Amidst competition from streaming services like Netflix and over the air service Aereo, ABC expedited their mobile viewing project initially planned for 2014 as they will be rolling out in select cities in time for the upfronts. The new offering is only available to paying cable subscribers however and will feature the same ads offered on abc.com.
The battle of the paid vs shared web has been raging on for years, and still no content provider seems to have struck a balance between the two. Marco Arment’s iPad publication “The Magazine” is one such content provider, and it recently announced a change from a subscription-only policy to a metered paywall, more like the one the New York Times uses. This struggle calls into question where the line should be drawn between free and paid content, how sharing should be treated, and how advertising plays a role in internet media. Traditional advertising continues to decline in value, and for the first time, subscription revenue exceeds advertising revenue for the New York Times and the Financial Times. For smaller providers like “The Magazine,” is there a way to balance free content with paid content?
It appears an entire industry is cropping up around disaster prevention and we’re not just talking about Doomsday Preppers. A new service called SF Prep is making the process of preparing for destruction somewhat manageable. Each month, they will send you one thing you want and one thing you need, along with “do” cards that offer helpful instructions to prepare for a disaster like copying IDs and having cash on hand. The service seems a little stylized for its utilitarian purpose, but it’s worth checking out nonetheless.
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