Pages Navigation Menu

The blog of DataDiggers

Categories Navigation Menu

Twitch Prime adds its first non-gaming ‘loot’ with access to anime streaming service Crunchyroll

Posted by on May 15, 2019 in crunchyroll, game streaming, Gaming, Media, streaming service, TC, twitch, twitch prime | 0 comments

Twitch Prime, the game streaming service’s version of Amazon Prime, has typically focused on offering subscribers free loot and other game-related perks since its debut a few years ago. Now, that’s changing. Twitch Prime is today rolling out its first-ever non-gaming “loot” — a 30-day subscription to the anime streaming service Crunchyroll Premium.

Crunchyroll is a top destination for watching anime online, with more than 45 million registered users and 2 million paying subscribers who usually pay $7.99 per month for its “Premium” tier. The service’s library includes more than 1,000 series and 30,000 episodes. And the wider Crunchyroll brand includes things like mobile games, events, merchandise and more.

The two companies, Twitch and Crunchyroll, already had a long-term relationship before today. For the past two years, Crunchyroll made the game streaming site the exclusive live streaming home to its annual Anime Awards show, for example, and it operates its own Twitch channel. This past year, Twitch also streamed an exclusive pre-show anime marathon where more than 1.3 million online viewers watched a collective nearly 19 million minutes. The official Twitch stream of the Anime Awards show also reached nearly half a million unique viewers.

Given the Twitch audience’s clear interest in anime, a partnership that could potentially convert some of those fans to paying subscribers makes sense for Crunchyroll.

Meanwhile, for Twitch, the move serves as a way to test expanding Twitch Prime offers to a new category — free trials of subscriptions. The larger subscription market is booming, with some saying how everything from transportation to entertainment to groceries will eventually become subscription-based. Helping those companies reach Twitch’s younger demographic — and specifically those who are already paying for a subscription with Twitch itself — could help a service boost sign-ups.

While most streaming subscriptions today offer a free trial to interested users, smaller players often still struggle with discovery amid a growing number of new entrants on the market ranging from live TV services to video-on-demand and, soon, to big-name newcomers like Apple TV+ and Disney+, for example.

Twitch and Crunchyroll declined to say what sort of revenue share would take place if Twitch Prime members elect to continue with a paid subscription when the free month wrapped.

“While we constantly focus on delighting Crunchyroll fans, we also feel it’s our responsibility to continue to proliferate the popularity of anime to new audiences,” said Eric Berman, head of partnerships at Crunchyroll, in a statement. “We pride ourselves on working with like-minded, fan-focused partners and are excited to offer all Twitch Prime members a free pass to Crunchyroll right in time for the huge spring anime season,” he added.

The Crunchyroll Premium subscription offered to Twitch Prime members is twice as long as the company’s free trial, and it doesn’t require users to enter a credit card to take advantage of the perk.


Source: The Tech Crunch

Read More

Amazon Fire TV tops 34 million users, potentially widening its lead over Roku

Posted by on May 15, 2019 in Amazon, Amazon Fire TV, cord cutting, fire tv, Hardware, Media, roku, streaming, Streaming Media, streaming media players | 0 comments

Amazon Fire TV’s lead over rival streaming platform Roku is widening. In January at the Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas, Amazon said it had “well over” 30 million Fire TV users compared with Roku’s then 27 million active users. In roughly four months’ time, Fire TV has grown to more than 34 million active users, according to new statements made by Amazon this week. Meanwhile, Roku grew its account base by 2 million in the first quarter of 2019, to reach 29.1 million active accounts, per its earnings report this month.

The new figures for Amazon Fire TV were shared yesterday by Fire TV GM and global head of Marketing, Growth & Engagement, Jen Prenner, at the Pay TV Show during a panel titled “The Battle for Your Living Room: Sticks, Boxes, and Smart TV Platforms.”

Amazon also claims that Fire TV has grown to become the No. 1 streaming media player platform in the U.S., U.K., Germany, India and Japan, thanks to its strong sales momentum.

When Amazon first announced its user number at CES, there was some question as to how those figures were calculated. Roku typically defines an “active” account as one that has streamed through its platform over the past 30 days. Amazon, at the time, had only spoken about users more generally, without characterizing them as “actives.”

However, yesterday’s comments referenced “active users,” Amazon says, not just a total number of users.

Roku notes that its active account figures may include a family with multiple people (i.e. several “users”) — something it wants to note because of how the newly reported growth figures make it look. And until Amazon chooses to define how it determines an active user, it’s not possible to fully understand how to compare the two. Update: However, Fire TV devices today are registered to one person’s Amazon user’s account information. Once set up, it’s certainly possible for multiple people to watch the same Fire TV device. And if they’re not switching profiles, then Amazon — like Roku — wouldn’t have a way to track individual user data either.

Update, 5/15/19 3:45 PM: Amazon confirmed it measures “users” the exact same way Roku measures “accounts.”

Roku dominated U.S. streaming player market share last year, but Fire TV has likely gained ground internationally. Today, the Fire TV ships worldwide to a wide range of countries, all of which can use the device to stream Prime Video content. Roku, meanwhile, ships to a couple dozen countries, including the U.S., Canada, the U.K., France and parts of Latin America. However, Roku last year had to stop sales in Mexico until it addressed issues involving access to pirated content, which were only resolved in October.

Fire TV also benefits from Amazon’s frequent and steep discounts on its hardware devices — including those over the holiday shopping period, where Fire TV Stick became a best seller. It’s been known to sell devices at cost or below, in an effort to gain market share. Plus, today’s consumers may be drawn to Fire TV because of its built-in access to Alexa — something that makes it one of the cheapest ways to get the popular voice assistant into the home.

Amazon is focused this year on expanding access to content and Alexa voice controls on Fire TV. On the content front, it recently came to an agreement with Google that allows it to finally bring YouTube to Fire TV, and following that, YouTube TV and YouTube Kids. It also has plans to support both Disney+ and Apple TV+ later this year, the company says.


Source: The Tech Crunch

Read More

Tinder is preparing to launch a lightweight version of its dating app called ‘Tinder Lite’

Posted by on May 10, 2019 in Apps, asia pacific, dating apps, Match Group, Mobile, Social, Tinder | 0 comments

Tinder is preparing to launch a version of its popular dating app aimed at users in emerging markets. The app, which will be called “Tinder Lite,” offers a smaller, more lightweight version of the current flagship app, the company says. Smaller app size is a defining characteristic of most of today’s “Lite” apps, which are specifically focused on addressing the unique needs of users in areas where data usage, bandwidth and storage space is a concern.

Most major tech companies now offer “Lite” apps for the large and rapidly growing online user base coming from these emerging markets — and specifically India, as of late.

For example, Google has a full suite of lightweight “Go”-branded apps, like Google Go, Gmail Go, Files Go, YouTube Go, Google Maps Go and Google Assistant Go. There’s also Facebook Lite, Instagram Lite, Messenger Lite, Twitter Lite, Uber Lite, Spotify Lite and even TikTok Lite, to name a few others.

Tinder, apparently, believes it too has reached the point of needing a Lite version, given the dating app’s traction and growth. While the company doesn’t share the size of its total user base, the Tinder app averaged 4.7 million paid subscribers in Q1, up by 1.3 million from the same time last year, parent company Match Group said this week when announcing its Q1 2019 earnings. In addition, the BBC estimated in 2017 that Tinder had around 57 million total monthly active users.

Match Group this week announced its plans for Tinder Lite for the first time during an earnings call with investors.

The company didn’t share an exact launch date for Tinder Lite, but, according to Match Group CEO Mandy Ginsberg, the app is “coming soon.”

Ginsberg was speaking about the promise of Southeast Asia in particular when she mentioned Tinder Lite. She noted that internet penetration had grown by nearly 15% in the region over the past five years, which made it a key area to target.

“This area has more than a dozen high-density cities with over a million people, and more young people are moving to large cities. These are really important factors that make the need for our app high,” she explained. “…We are excited about the Tinder Lite app that will be coming soon. It’s a big step forward addressing the needs of consumers there. Tinder Lite will be a smaller app to download. It will take less space on your phone, making Tinder more effective, even in more remote areas or regions. And keep in mind, these are regions where data usage still comes at a premium.” Ginsberg said.

Tinder already has a presence in the key Indian market, and its parent company Match Group recently restructured its Asia-Pacific team with the aim of further growing its dating app brands, including Tinder, in the region.

Tinder Lite, like some of other “Lite”-branded apps from tech companies, may remove some of Tinder’s heavier features to focus on the core experience of swiping and matches. But the company hasn’t said what will or will not be included in the slimmed-down version.

“As a result of our continued investment and growth in this region, we expect that APAC will make up one-fourth of our company’s total revenue by 2023,” Ginsberg added.


Source: The Tech Crunch

Read More

Mozilla’s free password manager, Firefox Lockbox, launches on Android

Posted by on Mar 26, 2019 in android, android apps, Apps, firefox, Mozilla, password manager, Privacy, Security, web browser, Web browsers | 0 comments

Mozilla’s free password manager designed for users of the Firefox web browser is today officially arriving on Android. The standalone app, called Firefox Lockbox, offers a simple if a bit basic way for users to access from their mobile device their logins already stored in their Firefox browser.

The app is nowhere near as developed as password managers like 1Password, Dashlane, LastPass and others as it lacks common features like the ability to add, edit or delete passwords; suggest complex passwords; or alert you to potentially compromised passwords resulting from data breaches, among other things.

However, the app is free — and if you’re already using Firefox’s browser, it’s at the very least a more secure alternative to writing down your passwords in an unprotected notepad app, for example. And you can opt to enable Lockbox as an Autofill service on Android.

But the app is really just a companion to Firefox. The passwords in Lockbox securely sync to the app from the Firefox browser — they aren’t entered by hand. For security, the app can be locked with facial recognition or a fingerprint (depending on device support). The passwords are also encrypted in a way that doesn’t allow Mozilla to read your data, it explains in a FAQ.

Firefox Lockbox is now one of several projects Mozilla developed through its now-shuttered Test Flight program. Over a few years’ time, the program had allowed the organization to trial more experimental features — some of which made their way to official products, like the recently launched file-sharing app, Firefox Send.

Others in the program — including Firefox Color⁩⁨Side View⁩⁨Firefox Notes⁩⁨Price Tracker and ⁨Email Tabs⁩ — remain available, but are no longer actively developed beyond occasional maintenance releases. Mozilla’s current focus is on its suite of “privacy-first” solutions, not its other handy utilities.

According to Mozilla, Lockbox was downloaded more than 50,000 times on iOS ahead of today’s Android launch.

The Android version is a free download on Google Play.


Source: The Tech Crunch

Read More

Wayfair to open its first brick-and-mortar store this fall

Posted by on Mar 26, 2019 in E-Commerce, eCommerce, merchandising, omnichannel, online shopping, Retail, Wayfair | 0 comments

Another major e-commerce brand its expanding its business offline. Wayfair, the Boston-based online furniture retailer whose net revenue topped $2 billion in the fourth quarter, announced this morning it plans to open its first full-service retail store this fall. The store, which will be based in Natick, Mass., will connect the company’s online business to the real world, allowing customers to meet with home design experts, try out the furniture in person and order home delivery of both in-store products and those from Wayfair’s website.

The company had previously operated pop-up shops in Natick, Mass. and Paramus, N.J., and it recently opened an outlet connected to its Florence, Ky. warehouse. However, these are not equivalent to the store it now has planned. But Wayfair will open four other pop-ups this summer, at yet to be announced locations, that will offer curated selections of merchandise.

The larger retail store will be located in the Natick Mall in Natick, Mass. — the same place where Wayfair ran its holiday 2018 pop-up.

Like most other furniture retailers, the new store will offer customers design assistance through complimentary consultations, where the experts may suggest recommendations ranging from home improvement projects to décor selections.

The shoppers will be able to order from the store’s product inventory, or from Wayfair’s website for home delivery.

It’s not unusual these days to see e-commerce brands pursuing an omnichannel experience, where their online site overlaps with a brick-and-mortar presence. Amazon, notably, has recently pursued this path through its Whole Foods acquisition, Amazon Books stores and Amazon Go convenience stores. Walmart and Target and other big-box retailers offer a variety of ways to shop online, pick up at the store or order home delivery with help from in-store associates.

Other e-commerce-first brands — particularly in the fashion and beauty space — also today often launch physical retail stores as a means of attracting new customers who hadn’t yet shopped their site, as well as catering to current customers through a new channel.

For example, Rent the Runway, The RealReal, Glossier, ThredUp, Allbirds, Away, ModCloth, Madison Reed and others have joined older brands like Warby Parker, Zappos and Bonobos in expanding their operations to include brick-and-mortar footprints.

While physical retail increases overhead, it does send a message to shoppers that the company is more stable than some other fly-by-night brands found only through Instagram and Facebook ads.

It also offers a way for customers to physically inspect merchandise they may not feel comfortable buying online — like clothes that require trying on for fit, makeup they want to test or — in the case of Wayfair’s furniture — a way to touch and feel the fabrics, closely inspect the build quality and visualize items alongside other design materials like fabric swatches or paint strips, for example.

“With the opening of our new retail store, we are offering our customers a new way to enjoy Wayfair’s exceptional shopping experience as we continue to transform the way people shop for their homes,” said Niraj Shah, CEO, co-founder and co-chairman, Wayfair, in a statement. “We look forward to inviting our customers further into the world of Wayfair, welcoming them to step inside our newest shopping experience guided by the knowledgeable support and expertise of our in-store design team,” Shah added.

The news comes just after Wayfair posted its biggest year-over-year revenue growth (40 percent) to date in a better than expected Q4 2018. The company also saw its active customer base jump 38 percent to 15.2 million, and orders per customer jump to 1.85 versus 1.77 in the year ago period. However, the retailer reported growing losses attributed to operating expenses, including marketing and advertising, and hiring — factors that have had some questioning the sustainability of Wayfair’s growth.

One single retail store won’t necessarily take the pressure off Wayfair’s high operating expenses, but it allows the retailer to experiment with a more traditional model and measure its impacts.

Wayfair didn’t offer an exact launch date beyond “fall 2019” or other details about the stores, like square footage, for example. It said other details will be shared closer to launch.


Source: The Tech Crunch

Read More