Alphabet Inc unit Google has inked a deal with CBS Corp to carry the network on its planned web TV service and is in advanced negotiations with 21st Century Fox and Viacom Inc to distribute its channels, three sources told Reuters.
The service, which will be part of Google’s YouTube Platform, is expected to launch in the first quarter and will include all of CBS’ content, including live NFL games, one of the sources said.
Google’s so-called “skinny bundle,” with fewer channels than a typical cable subscription, will cost $30 to $40 a month, the source said. It was unclear which Fox and Viacom networks would be part of the Google service, two of the sources said.
The sources requested anonymity because the discussions are confidential. A spokesperson for YouTube declined to comment.
Google will be launching into an increasingly crowded market. Dish Network Corp and Sony Corp, which in the past year have launched skinny bundles to appeal to younger viewers who do not want to pay for cable.
And both AT&T Inc and Hulu, the online video service owned by Disney, Fox, Comcast Corp and Time Warner Inc, have streaming television offerings that are expected to go live in the next few months.
The Wall Street Journal, which first reported the news, said Google was also in advanced talks with Walt Disney Co.
A representative at Disney was not immediately available for comment. CBS, Viacom and Fox declined to comment.
Google has been talking to media companies about its web TV for years, but its plans have just ramped up over the past few months, one of the sources said. Apple Inc had looked at a similar service but has shelved that plan for the time being, sources had previously told Reuters.
Netflix Inc added over 50 percent more subscribers than expected in the third quarter as original shows such as “Stranger Things” attracted new international viewers and kept U.S. customers despite a price hike.
The company’s performance represented a turnaround from the previous quarter of disappointing subscription growth. Netflix, which has spent heavily to expand outside its home market, also said that it was on track to start harvesting “material global profits” next year, even as it raised spending on original programming.
Netflix added about 3.20 million subscribers internationally in the third quarter, higher than the 2.01 million average analyst estimate.
In the United States, Netflix added 370,000 subscriptions, compared with analysts’ estimate of 309,000, according to research firm FactSet StreetAccount.
“Investors appear laser focused on subscriber growth, and so long as Netflix delivers on that metric, investors will bid its shares up,” said Wedbush Securities analyst Michael Pachter. However, Pachter said he thought the continuing cost of developing new shows would undermine plans to deliver material profits in 2017.
Netflix has expanded into more than 130 markets worldwide, including most major countries, except China. It said on Monday it was dropping plans to launch a service in China in the near term, opting instead to license its shows for “modest” revenue.
The company said it still hopes to launch service in China “eventually.”
In the meantime, Netflix plans to keep pouring money into building its stable of original and licensed TV shows and movies. Content spending will rise to $6 billion next year, a $1 billion increase from 2016, the company said.”We will keep investing in growing the content spend, even domestically, for quite a long time,” Chief Executive Reed Hastings said on webcast.
Netflix has been facing a slowdown in subscription growth in the United States as the market matures and a planned U.S. price hike raised concerns it would not hit its targets. It also faces competition from the likes of Hulu and Amazon.com Inc.
But the company, whose other popular original shows include “Orange is the New Black” and “House of Cards”, said it expects to add 1.45 million subscribers in the United States in the current quarter.
Analysts on average were expecting 1.27 million additions, according to research firm FactSet StreetAccount.
The report said that the share of attacks from Linux botnets almost doubled (to 70 per cent) – and Linux bots are the most effective tool for the SYN-DDoS attack method. This is the first time that Kaspersky DDoS Intelligence has registered such an imbalance between the activities of Linux- and Windows-based DDoS bots.
SYN DDoS is one of the most common attack scenarios, but the proportion of attacks using the SYN DDoS method increased 1.4 times compared to the previous quarter and accounted for 76 per cent.
Oleg Kupreev, lead malware analyst at Kaspersky Lab said that it is Linux which is to blame.
“Linux servers often contain common vulnerabilities but no protection from a reliable security solution, making them prone to bot infections”, says. “These factors make them a convenient tool for botnet owners. Attacks carried out by Linux-based bots are simple but effective; they can last for weeks, while the owner of the server has no idea it is the source of an attack. Moreover, by using a single server, cybercriminals can carry out an attack equal in strength to hundreds of individual computers. That’s why companies need to be prepared in advance for such a scenario, ensuring reliable protection against DDoS attacks of any complexity and duration”.
Brazil, Italy and Israel all appeared among the leading countries hosting botnet Command and Control (C&C) servers. South Korea is the clear leader in terms of the number of C&C servers located on its territory, with its share amounting to 70 per cent. Brazil, Italy and Israel saw the amount of active C&C servers hosted in these countries nearly triple.
DDoS attacks affected resources in 70 countries over the report period, with targets in China suffering the most (77 per cent of all attacks). Germany and Canada both dropped out of the top 10 rating of most targeted countries, to be replaced by France and the Netherlands.
The report also identifies an increase in the duration of DDoS attacks. While the proportion of attacks that lasted up to four hours fell from 68 per cent in Q1 to 60 percent in Q2, the proportion of longer attacks grew considerably – those lasting 20-49 hours accounted for nine per cent (and those lasting 50-99 hours accounted for four per cent (one per cent in Q1).
The longest DDoS attack in Q2 2016 lasted 291 hours (12 days), an increase on the Q1 maximum of eight days.
Asus has dropped a bomb ahead of the Computex 2016 by teasing Nvidia’s upcoming mobile Geforce GPU which is actually faster than desktop GTX Titan X.
Teased at its Republic of Gamers website, Asus did not reveal a lot of information but it did show a screenshot of the 3DMark 11 where the new mystery GPU scores above GTX Titan X.
While it is obviously based on Nvidia’s new Pascal GPU architecture, there are few information regarding the new mystery GPU, but rumors suggest that this might be the GTX 1080m.
Nvidia might have gone the same way it did with the GTX 980 for notebooks and has released a fully-enabled GP104 GPU with 2560 CUDA cores as the score is pretty much identical to the desktop GTX 1080. The GTX 1080m could end up with a GDDR5 memory and not the GDDR5X as the desktop GTX 1080, which should make it more similar to the upcoming GTX 1070.
According to the results, the new mobile GPU scores P20811 in 3DMark 11, which is significantly higher than the GTX 980 Ti and even a higher score than GTX Titan X.
We will certainly keep an eye on this mystery GPU and hopefully Asus will reveal a bit more information before Computex 2016 show where the official announcement is expected.
The Weather Channel is gearing up to roll out a mobile phone app for its recently launched online local news service Local Now in a bid to expand its viewership, Chief Executive Dave Shull told Reuters in an interview.
The independent TV network, which brings weather coverage from blizzards to tornadoes to millions of American homes, rolled out in January an online service “Local Now” that offers local news, weather, traffic and sports updates. The service is currently only available on Dish Network Corp’s online streaming service Sling TV.
“News should be personalized for you, hyper-local, and on-demand just like your favorite shows on Netflix or Hulu,” Shull said on Thursday. “You shouldn’t have to wait for the local news to come on at 11 p.m.”
The Local Now app, expected to launch in June, lets users access the service on iOS and Android phones by entering account information from their cable or satellite-TV subscription with some operators, such as Time Warner Cable Inc, Shull said. It offers a free trial for a week.
The launch comes as streaming services such as Netflix Inc and Amazon.com Inc’s Prime Video gain popularity and viewers shun traditional pay-TV offerings.
Streaming or over-the-top services bring slim bundles of channels from sports to kids entertainment to viewers, but often lack rich local news content as streaming rights have to be painstakingly negotiated with hundreds of stations.
The challenge for local news stations is to satisfy mobile demand without undermining viewership for traditional broadcasts, which generate hefty fees from cable operators who pay to carry their content.
By identifying a viewer’s location, ad-free Local Now creates a real-time, short-form newscast using live data from Weather Channel traffic and weather cameras and news from a handful of content partners, such as the Associated Press. The newscasts, which do not feature a news anchor, use automated pre-recorded words strung together to deliver news.
By leveraging existing Weather Channel infrastructure and using cost-efficient technology, Local Now can offer local news coverage to distributors at a “fraction of the cost” charged by local news stations, Shull said.
That, at least, is the vision of Jia Yueting, a billionaire entrepreneur and one of a new breed of Chinese who see their technology expertise re-engineering the automobile industry, and usurping Tesla Motors, a U.S. pioneer in premium electric vehicle (EV) making.
“Tesla’s a great company and has taken the global car industry to the EV era,” Jia said in an interview at the Beijing headquarters of his Le Holdings Co, or LeEco. “But we’re not just building a car. We consider the car a smart mobile device on four wheels, essentially no different to a cellphone or tablet.
“We hope to surpass Tesla and lead the industry leapfrogging to a new age,” said Jia, wearing a black T-shirt and jeans.
A wave of EV start-ups has emerged in China after the government opened up the auto industry to deep-pocketed technology firms to drive a switch to cleaner electric as an eventual alternative to gasoline cars. Skeptics wonder just how start-ups like LeEco will deliver on their grand visions.
As a sign of intent, 43-year-old Jia last week unveiled the LeSEE electric concept supercar, a rival to Tesla’s Model S. The “smart, connected and self-driving” car will be displayed at this week’s Beijing autoshow.
“People questioned our idea, a small IT company building a car to compete with the BMWs and Teslas of the world, and laughed at us. It wasn’t easy, but here we are,” Jia told Reuters.
LeEco hopes to start producing a version of the LeSEE in a few years at a plant being built near Las Vegas by U.S. strategic partner Faraday Future, in which Jia has invested. Those cars would be sold in the United States and China. Further ahead, the plan is to produce electric cars in China, too, probably through a partnership with BAIC Motor.
The web-connected electric cars will have a “disruptive” pricing model similar to phones and TV sets LeEco markets in China, Jia says. His company, often called China’s Netflix, will sell movies, TV shows, music and other content and services to drivers of its cars. That’s why he says “one day our cars will be free.” Nearer-term, the disruption is more likely to be “double the performance at half the price.”
Streaming video service Netflix Inc forecast U.S. and international subscriptions would grow at a slower pace than Wall Street expected this quarter, causing its stock price to tumble by 8 percent earlier in the week.
Netflix said it expected to add about 500,000 customers in the United States in the second quarter that ends in June, compared with Wall Street targets of 586,000, according to FactSet StreetAccount. The forecast includes a “modest impact” from the beginning of a price increase for its monthly movie and TV subscription service, the company said.
The company known for its original shows including “Orange is the New Black” and “House of Cards” said it expected to add about 2 million subscribers in markets outside the United States, versus analyst expectations of 3.5 million, according to FactSet. It also reported results for the first quarter, when subscriptions outpaced its own target.
Netflix is prone to large stock price swings as investors bet on the possible success of its mission to redefine television viewing around the world.
The company’s long-term results depend in large part on how fast and profitably it expands. Netflix has launched in almost every country in the world, at a substantial cost, and now faces the task of adapting the service to different markets and cultures as competitors also rush in.
In January, Netflix went live in more than 130 countries, a huge global push by Chief Executive Reed Hastings to counter slowing growth in the United States.
Initial sign-ups were limited in some countries because the service at this point offers only English-language content and does not accept all of the local payment options.
The video streaming company plans to roll out to its members sometime in May a “data saver” feature, allowing them greater control over their data usage when streaming on mobile networks.
Users will then be able to “either stream more video under a smaller data plan, or increase their video quality if they have a higher data plan,” wrote Anne Marie Squeo, a spokeswoman for the company, in a blog post.
The company said it capped worldwide the default bitrate for viewing over mobile networks to 600 Kbps (kilobits per second), to protect its members from overage charges when they exceed mobile data caps. “We believe restrictive data caps are bad for consumers and the Internet in general, creating a dilemma for those who increasingly rely on their mobile devices for entertainment, work and more,” Squeo wrote.
Netflix said its research and testing indicates that “many members worry about exceeding their mobile data cap, and don’t need the same resolution on their mobile phone as on a large screen TV to enjoy shows and movies.” It is nevertheless providing the new feature for those users who value higher resolution and quality and are less concerned about data caps or have plans that don’t bill prohibitive overage charges.
AT&T and Verizon Communications were last week handling accusations from T-Mobile CEO John Legere that the “duopoly” was throttling Netflix streams to 360p resolution.
Netflix told The Wall Street Journal that it doesn’t limit video quality at T-Mobile and Sprint, as historically those two companies have had more consumer-friendly policies, usually slowing network connections, rather than charging overage fees when users cross data caps.
Netflix has been a strong supporter of the principle of net neutrality which opposes mobile and broadband service providers from throttling or speeding data from certain websites. But it recently signed on to T-Mobile’s free Binge On service that exempts some video streaming, including Netflix at 480p resolution and YouTube, from the operator’s monthly data caps on customers.
AT&T Inc announced that it will debut three new ways to stream DIRECTV content on wireless and wired devices from smartphones to PCs, targeted at price-conscious U.S. viewers who shun pricey cable and satellite subscriptions.
The Dallas, Texas-based wireless provider said it expects to launch the three offerings in the fourth quarter of 2016. They can be streamed on apps through any Internet or mobile connection, it added.
The first option DIRECTV Now will offer all content in its current packages, including add-ons, live and on-demand video. DIRECTV Mobile, for smartphone users only, will include premium content and youth-oriented videos created by Otter Media, an AT&T joint venture with an investment group headed by media entrepreneur Peter Chernin. Free, ad-supported DIRECTV Preview will offer content from “AT&T’s AUDIENCE Network,” which has exclusive original videos, in addition to Otter Media offerings.
Prices will be announced at a later date, a company spokesman said.
AT&T acquired DIRECTV for $48.5 billion last year, making it the world’s No. 1 pay-TV operator with 45 million video subscribers, including Mexico and Latin America, at the end of 2015. It is betting big on video to tap new revenue as the U.S. wireless market stagnates.
The online video market is competitive, with players such as Netflix Inc and new entrants like Dish Network Corp and Verizon Communications Inc rushing to service viewers who increasingly consume video online than through pay-TV services.
AT&T’s CEO Randall Stephenson hinted in December that his company was planning content packages that can be viewed on a smaller screen, or to a single screen in a home that’s not set-top box-driven.
AT&T executives have said the company has already acquired mobile streaming rights, by leveraging DirecTV’s relationships and agreements with content providers, for various premium cable channels such as Showtime. It will deploy 40 megahertz of contiguous airwaves to relay content over its network.
“We intend to offer customers a quality pay-TV experience, including top channels, sports and more, with increased value and flexibility of pure online streaming and no need for home installation,” John Stankey, CEO, AT&T Entertainment Group, said in a statement.
T-Mobile added a net 2.1 million customers in the three months ended Dec. 31.
The company’s average revenue per postpaid user fell marginally to $48.05 in the fourth quarter from $48.26 a year earlier, mainly due to promotions.
T-Mobile said it expects to add a net 2.4 million to 3.4 million branded postpaid customers in 2016, compared with the 4.5 million it added in 2015.
T-Mobile has rolled out a series of initiatives in the past three years to attract customers from bigger rivals Verizon Communications Inc and AT&T Inc, including free music and video streaming and lower-priced plans with phone leasing and data rollover offers.
T-Mobile said in November it would give customers a new option to stream video from services such as Netflix Inc , on their mobile devices without having it count against their data plans.
Net income nearly tripled to $297 million, or 34 cents per share, in the quarter from $101 million, or 12 cents per share, a year earlier.
Total revenue rose 1.1 percent to $8.25 billion, beating the average analyst estimate of $8.20 billion.
The European Union is aming to push for allowing consumers to access to their online subscriptions for services like Netflix, Sky and Canal+ when they travel in the 28-member bloc, setting it up for a battle with media groups.
The proposal was presented by the executive European Commission (EC) on Wednesday, along with a longer-term strategy for making copyrighted works more easily available across the EU, likely to run into stiff opposition from the media industry as well as from artists.
Letting people take online subscriptions abroad chimes with Brussels’ aim of tearing down borders in the online world and is reminiscent of its efforts to allow use of domestic mobile phone subscriptions abroad without paying hefty roaming charges.
Under the proposal, consumers with subscriptions to services such as Sky TV Now, ProSiebenSat.1MaxDome TV in Germany or Netflix in France, would be able to view content they have paid for when they temporarily travel abroad.
What temporarily means has been left open, but the EC expects companies to set limits on the amount of time people can use their subscriptions abroad so they do not abuse the system by buying cheaper services outside their home country.
While Netflix is already available in many European countries, content is tailored to local tastes, so a French user in Belgium, for example, will not have access to the specific French catalog without using workarounds such as virtual private networks.
“People who legally buy content – films, books, football matches, TV series – must be able to carry it with them anywhere they go in Europe,” said Andrus Ansip, commission vice-president for the digital single market.
The EC also proposed rules protecting people when they buy goods and digital content online, estimating this will spur up to an additional 13 million consumers to start buying online from other EU countries.
However, the bigger battle with the media industry is likely to come next year, when the EC plans to enhance the availability of TV and radio programs online across the 28-member bloc.
Broadcasters, film producers and rights holders fear even a modest dilution of territorial licenses would diminish their value. “Any dilution of territorial exclusivity could lead to pan-European licensing, ultimately destroying that rich, culturally diverse content offer that we are all striving to create,” said Mathieu Moreuil, head of European policy for England’s Premier League.
The Dorkbot malware aims to steal login credentials from services such as Gmail, Facebook, PayPal, Steam, eBay, Twitter and Netflix.
It was first spotted around April 2011. Users typically get infected by browsing to websites that automatically exploit vulnerable software using exploit kits and through spam. It also has a worm functionality and can spread itself through through social media and instant messaging programs or removable media drives.
Microsoft didn’t provide much detail on how Dorkbot’s infrastructure was disrupted. The company has undertaken several such actions over the last few years in cooperation with law enforcement.
Coordinated actions to take botnet servers offline have an immediate impact, but the benefits can be short-lived. Cybercriminals often set up new hosting and command-and-control infrastructure and begin rebuilding the botnet by infecting new computers.
Microsoft said it worked with security vendor ESET, the Computer Emergency Response Team Polska, the Canadian Radio-television and Telecommunications Commission, the Department of Homeland Security’s U.S. Computer Emergency Readiness Team, Europol, the FBI, Interpol, and the Royal Canadian Mounted Police.
Cybercriminals have sold a kit that allows other bad actors to build botnets using Dorkbot. The kit, called NgrBot, is sold in underground online forums, Microsoft wrote in a blog post.
Alphabet Inc’s YouTube is looking to get rights for streaming TV series and movies for its $9.99-a-month subscription service as it attempts to ramp up competition against rivals such as Netflix Inc and Amazon.com Inc, the Wall Street Journal reported, citing people familiar with the matter.
The Journal reported that executives of the company have met with Hollywood studios and other production companies in recent months to consider pitches and negotiate licenses for new content.
YouTube is eager to secure these rights and is focusing on new material. It is however not clear which TV series or movies the company is pursuing, WSJ reported.
YouTube is still deciding how much content to license, but it wants to have a strong collection of original programing and licensed programing in 2016 and beyond, WSJ reported, citing a person familiar with the matter.
The company is using existing relationships of Google Play with movie studios and other premium video content owners to negotiate streaming deals, WSJ reported.
Former programing chief of MTV Susanne Daniels and Kelly Merryman, a former Netflix content executive, are involved in these talks, the newspaper said.
The service, which is called YouTube Red, could be host to exclusively streaming these contents. The shows or movies could also be also released through traditional channels like movie theaters, cable networks and DVDs alongside YouTube Red, the person added.
YouTube Red, which was launched in October, allows viewers to watch videos from across the site without interruption from advertisements.
T-Mobile announced that it will begin offering free streaming of wireless video to certain T-Mobile customers for services such as HBO, Hulu, Netflix and 21 others.
The service, called Binge On, will be available starting Sunday at no extra charge to T-Mobile’s Simple Choice customers paying for 3GB of data. In addition, the carrier said it doubled the LTE data caps at every level in Simple Choice at no extra cost.
He also said that neither the 24 video-streaming services involved nor T-Mobile customers will pay for the service. Binge On is powered by new technology built into T-Mobile’s network, which optimizes video for mobile screens and minimizes data consumption.
In an online FAQ, T-Mobile said its Binge On video quality “looks great” on a phone. The explanation says the service optimizes video quality for smartphone screens and minimizes buffering and maximizes quality.
Analysts had predicted the free video service would be announced today, but some were skeptical that T-Mobile could afford to offer it without leading to widespread LTE network congestion.
Roger Entner, an analyst at Recon Analytics, said T-Mobile would be using a compression algorithm that reduces video streams to one-third of their original size. Binge One won’t work with encrypted data, such as that from Google and Facebook, he said.
To be eligible for one line with sufficient data to use Binge On, a user would pay $65 a month. That cost would include $50 for one line that includes 2GB of data, but a customer would need to add 4GB more for $15 a month to get above the 3GB minimum for Binge On.
Shares of Netflix, known for its original shows such as “House of Cards” and “Orange is the New Black”, plummeted about 15 percent after the bell, before finally reversing most of the loss to trade down 2.4 percent.
U.S. credit and debit card companies have been shifting to chip-enabled cards ahead of the Oct. 1 deadline mandated for the switch.
For Netflix, the switch meant that many of the older cards on its file no longer worked as the companies gave new cards to their customers, leading to “involuntary churn,” as Chief Executive Reed Hastings put it in a letter to shareholders.
“It’s just the dumbest thing I’ve heard,” Wedbush Securities analyst Michael Pachter said.
FBR Capital Markets analyst Barton Crockett said the issue around the chip cards is particularly confusing, given that these cards have been around for a bit.
“It begs a million questions,” he said.
Netflix said on Wednesday it added 0.88 million U.S. subscribers in the third quarter ended Sept. 30, compared with its forecast of 1.15 million.
“The slowdown in U.S. subscriber growth was particularly disappointing because one would expect that since Netflix just raised rates last week, this number would have been strong,” said Crockett.
Netflix increased the subscription rate for some new members earlier this month by $1.00 a month to $9.99 in the United States, Canada and Latin America.
Internationally, Netflix added 2.74 million subscribers, compared with its projection of 2.40 million.
Netflix, which is also battling competition from streaming services such as Amazon.com Inc’s Prime Video service and Hulu, has been aggressively building its overseas presence.
The company said it was in the “early stages” of its China entry and said it was “still learning a lot”.
Netflix said in July its plans to enter China in 2016 could be delayed.
Netflix is being “more adventurous” on the news side, company executives said on a post-earnings conference call.
The company added it was not looking at live sports as an offering currently.