Showtime’s Standalone Streaming Service Set to Premiere on Apple TV

A new report from Variety today suggests that Showtime’s parent company CBS is putting the final touches on a standalone streaming service for the premium cable network, with rumors pointing to an official announcement either later today or sometime on Thursday.

Variety says that CBS will reveal a partnership with Apple and the Apple TV that will be the exclusive home of the Showtime online-only service, similar to HBO NOW’s initial exclusivity window on Apple TV and iOS devices. CBS still plans for other online partners to be announced in the future, according to „industry sources.“

No name or price model was detailed yet for the Showtime service, but as pointed out by Variety, the move would fall in line with the company’s announcement last fall of a $6 per month streaming service that presented access to the network’s library of old and new shows. With Showtime cable subscriptions aligning closely with that of HBO, the new service would undoubtedly fall in the ballpark of HBO Now’s $14.99 per month charge.

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Apple Collects 15% of Revenue Generated From HBO NOW and Other Apple TV Apps

While the terms of the Apple-HBO partnership behind the launch of the HBO NOW streaming TV service on Apple TV last month have not been disclosed, Re/code reports that some Apple TV content providers, including Netflix, Hulu Plus and MLB.TV, provide Apple with 15% of revenue generated from monthly fees for subscribers that sign up through the set-top box.

Apple collects 30% of revenue generated from the sale of iPhone, iPad and iPod touch apps, including in-app purchases, so the commission for Apple TV apps is half the amount developers are forced to hand over through the App Store. While the difference does not make a difference for consumers, the lower cut could make Apple TV a more attractive platform for HBO and other cable channels.

„But it’s even more interesting to think about Apple’s tiers of fees as we enter a world where lots of people are going to be selling Web video subscription products via platforms like Apple’s. Whether Apple is charging 15 percent or 30 percent a month, it’s giving distributors a much better deal than the 50 percent that pay TV providers usually charge premium networks like HBO. That makes the platform even more enticing to cable channels that are thinking about stepping outside of the traditional pay TV bundle — and it puts more pressure on the cable guys to sweeten the deals they already offer.“

The report adds that HBO is in negotiations to reach HBO NOW distribution deals with its existing pay TV distributors, enabling them to sell the service to their existing subscribers as an add-on. HBO is said to already have a deal in place with Cablevision and is reportedly in talks with Cox and Verizon as well. HBO NOW is exclusive to the Apple TV among streaming boxes for three months, at which point it should expand to other devices and platforms.

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Now TV Adds New Entertainment and Sky Movies Passes to Apple TV in UK [Mac Blog]

UK home entertainment and communications provider Sky expanded its Apple TV offerings with its expanded NOW TV channel supporting the broadcaster’s Entertainment Month Pass and Sky Movies Month Pass, reports Engadget. These two passes join the existing Sky Sports day pass that debuted on NOW TV last year.

The Entertainment Month Pass for NOW TV brings the latest television programming from 13 pay TV channels, including Boardwalk Empire and The Leftovers, for £4.99 (US$8.19) monthly. The Movies Month Pass is for movie buffs, offering streaming access to more than 800 blockbuster Hollywood films for £9.99 (US$16.39) a month after a 30-day free trial. UK customers also will be able to access the £9.99 (US$16.39) Sky Sports Day Pass for one-day access to six different Sky Sports channels.

Apple recently has been expanding the content and capabilities of its Apple TV. In the past few weeks, the company has rolled out a new channels for Beats Music and FX NOW, tweaked the user interface with an iOS 7-inspired design, and added support for iOS 8 features like Family Sharing and iCloud Photo Support.

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Apple TV Updated with CNBC and FOX NOW Channels

Apple today added two more channels to the Apple TV, delivering financial news channel CNBC and network FOX NOW to the platform.

CNBC offers access to a live stream of the financial channel, as well as on-demand clips from news segments and full episodes of the channels „Prime“ content original series. Viewing requires authentication with one of a number of cable and Internet providers. Notable cable companies not available for authentication include Time Warner and Charter.

FOX NOW includes on-demand access to a number of shows from the network, including 24: Live Another Day, Cosmos: A Spacetime Odyssey, Glee, and more. Authentication through a cable provider is required for full access to content.

Update 7:40 AM: Apple has also added TV2 Sumo [Google Translate], the online version of popular channel TV2, in Norway.

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Blockbuster On Demand For iOS Finally Arrives In App Store

Blockbuster has been teetering on the edge of oblivion ever since its bankruptcy filing in 2010, but after being bought by Dish Network in 2011, the company has begun a push to get back into the movie businesses.

Blockbuster relaunched its streaming video service, Blockbuster On Demand, last year, and the company is finally bringing it to iOS today. Users of the new app can stream movies to their iPhone or iPad. Unlike Netflix’s all-you-can-stream model, Blockbuster charges a rental fee per video watched, that runs between $2.99 and $4.99 per movie. Blockbuster’s movie catalogue offers thousands of hit movies and the app now supports HD.

Here’s the full description:

Blockbuster On Demand is a digital movie rental service that allows you to instantly watch thousands of movies in stunning HD and full Surround Sound. This free app gives you the ability to enjoy movies directly on your iPhone, iPad, or iPod.

Blockbuster On Demand features:

•Thousands of hit movies and new releases – rent and watch instantly or save to your Watchlist and view later
•Tons of movies you love – hand-selected titles with the highest ratings from Rotten Tomatoes®
•Stream Instantly — phone, tablet, laptop, Samsung Smart TV, Roku, and more
•Amazing sound and video – stunning HD movies in full Surround Sound
•Easy shopping and viewing – prime movie watching experience
•No subscription or late fees – pay only for what you watch

Scroll down to learn more.

Easier than looking for a kiosk to rent DVDs, Blockbuster on Demand allows you to stream and watch movies in HD instantly on your favorite device. There’s no waiting for downloads, just instant streaming. Signing up is free. Simply install our downloadable app – it only takes an instant. In order to change the way you get your rentals, we offer our service with no contracts, no commitment and no cancellation fee. Stream your movies in your home, on-the-go, and everywhere in-between. Your movies are available on all your devices that have our app. Load up on the greatest rentals. Start with a new release and go on to explore the thousands of hit movies we have to offer.

Blockbuster On Demand is available in the App Store now for free.

Source: App Store

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Tweetie And Letterpress Creator Loren Brichter Helping Design Team At Facebook

What’s this guy up to at Facebook?

Loren Brichter is somewhat of a rockstar in the iOS app developer community. The Wall Street Journal has called him the “High Priest of App Design.” If you don’t know Brichter by name, you know him by his work: Tweetie and Letterpress.

Twitter bought Tweetie and turned it into the official Twitter app for iPhone and iPad. Letterpress is a hit word game Brichter created after he left Twitter. He also worked with a small team at Apple on the first iPhone back in 2006 and 2007. Now he’s helping out at Facebook.

Facebook designer Mike Matas today confirmed that Brichter is now working at Facebook. “Really excited to have @lorenb helping my team out at Facebook,” tweeted Matas, another influential designer who came to Facebook when the social network purchased Push Pop Press. Matas is also another Apple alumnus.

We’ve reached out to Brichter for comment on what he is helping out with at Facebook. He could simply be advising Matas’s design team from a distance. It has been reported that former Apple designers like Matas helped create Facebook Home, the company’s new software for Android. Facebook is believed to be in talks with Apple about bringing parts of the Home experience to iOS. Home’s Chat Heads are coming to the Facebook iOS app in an update later today.

Source: @mike_matas

Image: The Verge

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Mastering OS X Calendar: Customize The Number Of Days Shown [OS X Tips]

Still better than the Beatles.

Remember that tip we gave you about showing more than seven days in a week in iCal? It’s been a while (and the app is now called Calendar), but there used to be a way to enable a Debug menu in iCal to allow you to open multiple windows, change the number of weeks that appear before and after the start date in Day View, and even show more than just seven days in a week.

Well, that debug menu has gone the way of Mac OS X Lion, but there is a cool Terminal command that does the same thing.

To start, launch Terminal from the Utilities folder and type or paste in the following command:

defaults write CalUIDebugDefaultDaysInWeekView 14

Then launch Calendar (or relaunch, if you had it up and running) to see that you’ve got 14 days in week view.

You can also change that 14 to anything. Try a huge number, try a small number–it’s all fun. When you’re done, repeat the command in Terminal and put the number of days you’d like to see in week view into the above command.

Myself, I keep putting the calendar back to 7 days a week, because it just weirds me out to have so many in one calendar view. One day, though, I’ll make Eight Days A Week official.

Via: MacWorld Hints

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