After a monumental run that has seen stock prices nearly double in recent months to reach record highs, Netflix has begun to cool off a bit on Wall Street. Still, the innovative streaming service is bound for a strong close to 2015, predicted to end the year with nearly 70 million subscribers. According to a new report by Digital TV Research, Netflix is predicted to end 2015 with nearly 13 million additional subscribers after posting over 57 million subs in January. To give an idea of just how fast Netflix is growing, the company ended 2012 with just over 33 million total members, doubling its customer base over the last 3 years, and then some.
The launch of Apple Music was the talk of the Internet this week, as it arrived on the scene with the intention of knocking Spotify off its pedestal. It’s also accompanied by an always-on streaming radio station called Beats 1. If its first few hours are any indication, the Zane Lowe-helmed 24-hour streaming radio station is targeting hip, young music consumers, and those who want to embrace rising, festival-ready artists. Broadcasting live from LA, Zane Lowe kicked off the integral piece to Apple’s fledgling streaming service today with some simple words: “We must launch,” he said. “To those hungry for music from town to town, from city to city, here we go.” Image courtesy of
It’s a boom time for drones as more and more of us buy them for fun, and use them to do things like take crazy aerial photos, deliver packages, or even recreate Star Wars. If you are flying a drone this weekend then make sure you do it safely — and keep an eye out for any shotgun-wielding neighbors near your property. Californian Eric Joe has had to resort to the courts to try and get damages after his drone was shot from the sky late last year. Joe says his drone was on his own property at the time and wasn’t fitted with any recording equipment. His neighbor Brett McBay is accused of firing the shot, and said he thought the drone was a CIA surveillance device. So far, McBay has refused to pay the $850 awarded to Joe through the small claims court.
Apple co-founder Steve Wozniak once warned computers would make us irrelevant, and at a technology conference in late June, he elaborated on this, saying the concept of artificial intelligence caused him sleepless nights. However, he has moved passed fear, and reached acceptance. In Woz’s future, the world is at least partially controlled by artificially intelligent robots, but not in a bad, Terminator-style way. He says he’s over his fear of humans being replaced by computers and has now embraced the idea they can live together in harmony, though he admits this sci-fi world is hundreds of years away.
Unfortunate for residents of Chicago, the city’s amusement tax will be extended to streaming entertainment services like Netflix, Spotify, Hulu or Apple Music. Basically attaching to any cloud-based service that delivers entertainment to subscribers, companies like Netflix will have to include the tax in the subscription price and collect an additional nine percent for the city of Chicago. The change in the tax code also applies to “nonpossessory computer leases,” specifically to include remote computing platforms like cloud-based services. This new tax is estimated to bring in an additional $12 million a year for the city of Chicago, although the effectiveness of the tax is highly dependent on the number of streaming subscribers that live in the Chicago area. By design, this new tax has been implemented to combat the downturn of physical media purchases as well as the shrinking number of stores to purchase or rent entertainment.
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