Visiting Dignitaries

Dial Through the Tears: Ryan Gosling Hotline Will Get You Through His Hollywood Hiatus

(Photo: Blinkbox)

Fans of hot person/rubbable GIF Ryan Gosling recently received distressing news that he was taking a gentleman’s intermission from acting to “find perspective.” But life is not completely over.

British video-on-demand service Blinkbox has created an indispensable new service called “The Gosline,” a 24-hour phone number that plays his best dialogue to help sooth devastated women and gays. Read More

streaming music

Spotify’s Business Model Called ‘Unsustainable’

Spotify playlist (screengrab)

In 2010 Swedish music streaming service Spotify was on the rise, with a 151 percent jump in revenue. According to PrivCo, a company that tracks financial data, the bottom almost fell out for Spotify in 2011 and the service’s current model is “unsustainable.”

CNET obtained confirmation from Spotify that numbers reported by PrivCo were correct–but not news. Spotify’s losses since jumping into the U.S. market were first reported in August by the Wall Street Journal.

Regardless of who reported what first, PrivCo’s assessment might sting at Spotify HQ: Read More


Google Debuts Nexus Q, A Media Streaming Device, But Will It Convince Anyone to Use Google Play?

(Photo: Google)

At its I/O developer conference today, Google introduced a new hardware device that streams music and video to a variety of Wifi-connected devices. A black orb with a glowing blue stripe, the Nexus Q is not just pretty, it’s Apple-quality pretty. In fact, as AllThingsD reports, its two main developers boast Apple design pedigrees.

But design isn’t everything. Functionality and already-established technology habits could derail the Nexus Q’s goal of catching up to the success of Apple’s iTunes store. Read More


Mobile Ambassadors Needed for Video Streaming App, No Uglies Allowed


Beautiful people only, plz. (Photo: Veetle)

Sometimes when it’s a boring news day, we like to troll the depths of Craigslist for story ideas, and today we unearthed quite a gem. It’s an ad posted to the NYC jobs section, seeking “mobile ambassadors” for the Valley-based startup Veetle, a Viddy-like service that allows users to stream live video clips.

Of course, you need active users to build a successful service like Veetle. If Reddit built their site with an army of fake accounts, Veetle will build its platform with an army of beautiful people, ugly users be damned.

“We’re looking for actors and actresses to be Mobile Ambassadors – aka use our free mobile app to broadcast their lives on a semi-regular basis,” reads the ad entitled “Good looking people needed.” “You will use the mobile app to to broadcast live (can be anything – trips to the store, gyms, conversations, anything random in your life… ).” Because who wants to watch ugly people doing mundane things? Read More

Keep it Current

Brian Lakamp, New President of Clear Channel Digital, Talks Radio’s Evolution

Brian Lakamp

When he was promoted to President of Clear Channel Digital this month, Brian Lakamp, stepped into some very big shoes. The radio giant’s digital efforts had previously been steered by Bob Pittman, the legendary founder of MTV, who is now CEO of Clear Channel’s umbrella of corporate holdings. (Mr. Pittman’s associates also recently launched a seed stage fund for digital media.)

“We’ve got a big challenge in front of us, as streaming radio becomes the norm, and the social graph allows for personalization in a way that wasn’t possible a few years ago,” said Mr. Lakamp, speaking with Betabeat by phone. “Add to that the 750 local radio brands we work with, and you have a a massive opportunity.” Read More

Web TV Wars

The Web TV Wars Are Starting to Get Really Bloody

Oatmeal really nailed this one

Netflix sent the blogosphere into a tizzy earlier this week when it announced it was dividing itself in two: Netflix the streaming video business, and Qwikster, the disastrously named DVD by mail step child. A lot of articles were written trying to parse the news, but the general sentiment was confusion.

The truth is that the TV business is on the brink of a seismic shift, akin to what has already happened in music with the iTunes store and Spotify. But the entrenched interests, both the networks and the cable companies, are doing everything they can to make sure they keep control during this change.

So you get a situation like Netflix and Qwickster, which as Elliot Van Buskirk explains, is all about the licensing silly: Read More