On Thursday, Amazon launched it’s new Prime Music service. So far, it has not been able to generate a lot of hype and excitement from the user community. As a Amazon Prime member I’m excited about the addition of the new service to my current Prime subscription. From a business standpoint, many industry “experts”...
Do you have an iPhone 4 or iPhone 5? Possibly you’ve upgraded to a new iPhone 5s and are ready to see everything you can do with your new toy – I mean business tool? Want to be more productive this year? Looking for some new apps for your iPhone? If you’re looking for some new productivity apps in the new year, this list of...
There are so many amazing sites on the web. New ones popping up all the time. We run a tech blog, so our main reading content is obviously going to be about technology. There are so many great choices to consider. It was hard to narrow down the list but here are my favorite tech websites. Look at our list then share your own in the comments...
Our digital lives have already been taken over by the smartphone. According to a Ericsson Mobility Report, over the next decade, mobile devices and other smart gadgets will continue to grow in prominence. Both video, the internet, and mobile internet usage is expected to rise in prominence.
Between 2015 and 2021, the IoT space will maintain a hefty compound annual growth rate of 23 percent. IoT devices are set to overtake mobile in the connected devices category by 2018, according to Ericsson.
The introduction of 5G networks is part of this growth, which is expected to launch at some point in 2020.
Video is set to play an increasingly important role in our mobile lives. Video will account for as much as 70 percent of mobile traffic, Ericsson forecasts that by 2021.
That’s hardly surprising, considering the emphasis being placed on video by internet service providers and mobile carriers. For example, T-Mobile, offers unlimited video streaming to its mobile network subscribers on select services.
Between 2014 and 2015, video watching on smartphones went up a huge 127 percent. Interestingly during the same period, there was a 50-percent decline in television watching among teens.
People in the 30-35 age range spend four more hours on average watching TV than do teens, something that has remained true since 2011.
What video services are people watching? Leading the pack is YouTube, accounting for between 50 and 70 percent of video traffic.
The size of devices has an impact on the types of videos being watched. For example, tablets are generally used for watching longer videos, while tablets and smartphones are used equally used for watching short videos.
Teens tend to use Wi-Fi more often. They are also more willing to pay to access the internet.
The survey showed that 63 percent of teens were willing to pay more for better internet speeds, which is greater than any other age bracket. On the flip side, they are rarely the ones that are actually paying for the service.Read More
The TV winners for 2015
4K is all the rage
1080p sets will still be out there, but TV makers want you to buy 4K sets, despite a current lack of content and marginal increase in image quality for most viewers. If you’re going to buy a TV in 2015, you will be hard-pressed to find sets that don’t support 4K resolution (3840×2160 pixels).
Consumers are going to have to evaluate whether they want to pay a premium for some of the higher-end display technology, like 4K TV technology. Samsung ssentially abandoning OLED in favor of quantum dot technology by introducing it under the moniker SUHD TV. Quantum dots are nanomaterials that are designed to absorb light of one color and emit it as another color. By applying of film of this material to the back of the screen, TV manufacturers are able to produce an improved color gamut and saturation at a lower cost than OLED.
It is going to be at least another year or two until manufacturing costs on OLED come down and bring it in to the mainstream. OLED remains the most expensive display technology out there, and while it was at this year’s show, it was primarily LG pushing new OLED sets.
4K video cameras like the Sony 4K Handycam and other professional video cameras on display should gradually ease the current lack of native 4K content. In order to benefit from the very high resolution of a 4K, there is a need for more content and content creation tools.
With Samsung even showing a giant 105″ bendable display most TV makers are pushing curved screens as a premium option, . We believe PC users will have a large interest in curved multi-monitor setup, however we remain skeptical of the value of a curved display to the typical living room viewer.
Smart TV Operating Systems battles
CES 2015 was a bad year for Google’s Android TV operating system, with a number of big manufacturers charting their own course to prevent Google’s dominance in the living room. TV makers are quietly fighting an OS battle for their TV sets, with a number of manufacturers diverging from Android while others double-down on it.
In the most interesting twist of 2015, Panasonic introduced the first TVs built with the Firefox OS. Sony re-emphasized their use of Android TV, touting familiarity of Android to smartphone users. Sharp also continues using Android. LG is committed to WebOS. Samsung debuted its new Smart TV OS based on the company’s in-house Linux distribution, Tizen.
Sony short throw projectors
On display in the Sony Life Space UX living room demo area, our favorite TV technology from CES 2015 were the Sony short throw projectors. Usually a video projector needs to be 6′-8′ away from its screen to project a massive image, meaning you’ve got to mount the projector someone on the ceiling. A short throw projector is able to accomplish the same thing from a couple inches away from the wall from a tiny form factor.
Sony’s demo showed a tiny projector that is able to create a 22″-71″ screen on any wall or even in the shower. The living room version was unbelievable. A modest pedestal just a couple inches from the wall was able to cast a giant 66″-147″ 4K image on the wall. A ceiling-mounted version in a bedroom was no bigger than a standard light fixture and projected a giant screen right on the ceiling above a bed.
3D TV is a thing of the past
3D glasses or demos were conspicuously absent from the show floor. We attended all of the press conferences from the major TV manufacturers (Panasonic, Sharp, LG, Sony, Samsung ) and didn’t hear a word about 3D. Given the huge hype that 3D TV got at CES in year’s past, I think it’s fair to say that 3D TV is dead.
What’s on the next horizon
Hovering in all of the major TV manufacturers’ booths were 8K sets (7680 x 4320 pixels). Little was said about these super high resolution sets, other than as exotic display pieces. While TV manufacturers may master the creation of 8K sets, it is hard to imagine the content creation infrastructure catching up to that resolution any time soon, as they are just getting started creating 4K content.
On Thursday, Amazon launched it’s new Prime Music service. So far, it has not been able to generate a lot of hype and excitement from the user community. As a Amazon Prime member I’m excited about the addition of the new service to my current Prime subscription. From a business standpoint, many industry “experts” are not as positive. How do industry experts and analysts feel about this music streaming service of the e-commerce giant?
Industry Experts Reaction to Amazon’s Prime Music Service
Jon Fortt, of CNBC, was asked if the addition of music streaming to Prime package was enough to move the needle and he said that it’s enough to keep the needle from moving backwards. This tells a lot of things about the brand new launched service. Fortt went on to say that the service is only good if someone wants to listen to the music of 90s.
A joke is how Gene Munster, MD of Piper Jaffray called the Prime Music service. Munster also said that over a period of time, Amazon.com, Inc. might make it better as they have done with Prime Instant video but it’s not usable currently. He compared it’s collection of songs with Spotify’s one and said that 1 million songs don’t stand a chance against 20 million.
In contract to Fortt and Munster, Henry Blodget, Business Insider CEO & editor-in-chief was on CNBC’s Squawk Alley recently and he was looking very positive and optimistic about the Prime package as a whole. He also said that this music streaming option with the other services makes the prime package fit well and this also fits well with Kindle. Blodget felt that the music streaming service comes free with the Prime package of Amazon.com, Inc. and when the company would launch the rumored 3D smartphone soon, the package would be more than handy for any books lover who has interest in movies and music too. However he said that Prime Music won’t even compete with Spotify. “It’s not intended to kill anybody else and it’s not as good if you stack it up next to Spotify, but it’s just more in the Amazon product bundle giving you value for that $99 you’re paying them”, Blodget explained.
Amazon Prime Commercial with music of ‘TUID – Morning Glory’
A lot of analysts feel that the service comes nowhere near to ITunes, Pandora or Spotify. Prime music just has got 1 million songs and lot of popular artists like Kanye, Jay-Z, Katy Perry would be missing because Amazon.com, Inc. didn’t sign an agreement with UMG and hence the company loses the fans of these popular artists already.
Munster went on saying that Amazon.com, Inc. spends so much on its services and this launch doesn’t impact its finance much so Prime Music can be seen as an extension to the Prime story and that it would become more measurable in the next few years. Munster also said that as per Piper Jaffray’s analysis Prime grows about 40% per year, which is very good and the biggest reason for most people to get Prime is the “Free 2 Day Shipping”.
So the judgment as the analysts see it is that to launch a serious music streaming service, Amazon.com, Inc. should have signed all the major music labels and without those it won’t be going anywhere. Those who already like Prime won’t abandon the service as they are getting an added benefit for free, however, it’s not going to excite a new user to register for Prime just for the music part of it.
I don’t feel that Amazon launched the Prime Music service to immediately ‘knock-out’ any of the current music streaming leaders. I think it is another add-on to help sell Amazon Prime memberships and to keep you coming to Amazon first. Mind-share equals wallet-share in Amazon’s bible. Amazon.com continues to do an impressive job at dominating the consumers mind and especially wallet share.