It’s been a year since Hulu launched its streaming video service in Japan, and to celebrate it’s released its app on Apple TVs there. It hasn’t all been roses for the last twelve months, with a price drop in April — and we’re not seeing any celebration of subscriber figures in the blog post — despite including things like HBO that it seems unlikely we’ll see on Hulu domestically. Just like the Apple TV app that popped up over here, Japanese users should simply find it on their devices, while prospective subscribers are being enticed with one month free subscriptions if they sign up via their hockey puck.
The little media streamer company that could, Roku, has gained some powerful friends in its latest round of financing, with $45 million in funds coming from the likes of BSkyB, News Corp and another partner who would prefer to remain nameless at this time, as well as previous investors Menlo Ventures and Globespan Capital Partners. While we leave you to ponder which company might be that unidentified source, Roku is simply continuing on, earmarking the money for use in building brand awareness, expanding internationally and much, much more. Also, that MHL-connected Roku Streaming Stick introduced at CES? It hasn’t gone away and is still on track for launch later this year, with an eye towards providing a “Roku Inside” bundled experience for otherwise dumb flat-panel HDTVs.
Roku’s alignment with BSkyB (which reported a $10m stake in its earnings this morning, as well as the option to distribute its own branded Roku hardware) makes sense after the pay-TV giant launched Now TV recently with the hockey puck as one of its supported platforms, while CEO Anthony Wood tells us the fruitful partnership with News Corp had its root in the Fox News, Wall Street Journal Live and X-Factor channels it launched last year. Wood cites plans to make Roku “the TV distribution platform of the future”, and this fifth round of financing — larger than all previous rounds combined — may help push it in this direction, check out a few more details in the press release after the break.
Filed under: Home Entertainment
We’ve see BBC iPlayer reach many devices over time, but it’s been conspicuously absent on Windows Phone. Nokia has stepped into give us some relief, and it’s now promising that a port of the TV catch-up service will be ready for your Lumia 800 “in weeks.” Good news no doubt, although Nokia’s encyclopedic knowledge of British TV streaming is also dashing hopes of using the Sky Go mobile app on Windows Phone anytime soon: the same Nokia rep doesn’t see Sky being ready for a “good few months” at the earliest. As such, you’ll have no problems keeping up with Doctor Who and Sherlock when they’re airing, but we wouldn’t count on watching live football matches for awhile.