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Streaming Customers Sue Over 'Netflix Tax'

Chicagoans claims tax violates federal law

(Newser) - Angry streaming customers in Chicago are fighting back against the so-called "Netflix tax," filing a lawsuit against the city last Wednesday that could have national implications, the Daily Dot reports. The plaintiffs—including Netflix, Hulu, and Spotify customers—allege the 9% tax on streaming services (an extension of... More »

Hulu Now Offers Commercial-Free Option

For $12 a month

(Newser) - Until today, Hulu's streaming content featured commercials—even if you were a paying subscriber. But as of today, the company announced, you can pay $12 a month for an ad-free version of the streaming service. The move is intended to help Hulu better compete with Netflix and Amazon Prime,... More »

20% of Young Adults Steal Streaming Passwords

Cost to the industry per year: $500M, report says

(Newser) - HBO chief Richard Plepler said earlier this year that people swiping HBO Go passwords from family or friends to watch their favorite shows and movies was not a big deal , but he may want to rethink that business concession. A new report by Parks Associates and cited by Consumerist shows... More »

Mindy Kaling Dishes on Her Move to Hulu

Hulu to air 26 episodes of 'Mindy Project' with new characters

(Newser) - If you're already overjoyed by news that The Mindy Project is officially moving to Hulu after it was shown the door at Fox, Mindy Kaling might just send you to Blissville. In an interview with the AP , Kaling says the show will get twice the episodes of an average... More »

Mindy Kaling's Show Canceled, but She Winks at Fans

Could 'The Mindy Project' be saved?

(Newser) - Fans of The Mindy Project were upset yesterday that Fox is canceling Mindy Kaling's sitcom after three seasons, but could it be saved? Kaling posted a video to Instagram shortly after news broke, Us reports: "Hey guys, I'm in Montana, is anything happening in LA? #themindyproject,"... More »

In Huge Deal, Hulu Gets Seinfeld Streaming Rights

Full series will be available to stream for first time

(Newser) - Seinfeld is coming to streaming video in its entirety for the first time. Hulu landed the rights to all 180 episodes in a massive deal valued at nearly a million bucks per episode, Variety reports, calling it "another sign that Hulu is stepping up its game." Amazon, Yahoo,... More »

Amazon Plans to Stream TV, Movies— for Free

And likely launch a Roku-like streaming box next week

(Newser) - YouTube and Netflix, watch your back: Amazon plans to stream video content for free and rise among the ranks of multimedia power players, sources tell the Wall Street Journal . If it happens, the project will include original series like Betas as well as licensed programming that Amazon could tie to... More »

Now Yahoo Is Going After Hulu

Marissa Mayer joins list of big suitors, says AllThingsD

(Newser) - First Tumblr , now Hulu? On the heels of its billion-dollar acquisition of the blogging site, Marissa Mayer's Yahoo has put in an offer for the video-streaming site, reports AllThingsD . This time, however, Yahoo has some serious competition, with the likes of DirecTV, Time Warner Cable, private-equity firm KKR,... More »

Apple TV Just Got Serious

Brian Barrett reads the tea leaves on a few recent Apple moves

(Newser) - Maybe it was a coincidence that in the span of two days Hulu Plus came to Apple TV, and Amazon Instant Video and Sky Now TV both came to iPad. But Brian Barrett of Gizmodo doesn't think so. "That makes three major content providers—read: competitors—that Apple'... More »

Feds Suspect Cable Firms of Stifling Online Videos

DoJ conducting antitrust probe, sources say

(Newser) - Federal authorities suspect cable companies worried about competition from online video have acted improperly to quash their emerging rivals, sources tell the Wall Street Journal . The Department of Justice has opened a wide-ranging investigation, and officials have spoken to online video providers and cable companies, including Time Warner and Comcast,... More »

Why HBO Suddenly Matters Again

It may not win the programming game, but it's ruling the platform one

(Newser) - When we last checked in on how HBO was doing, it was, well, uncool . In an April column for the Guardian, Michael Wolff outlined how the network had turned into a "rec room artifact," that was losing the great-TV battle. In a piece for paidContent picked up by... More »

Hulu Moves to Zap Free TV

...Unless you're already paying for cable

(Newser) - Using Hulu to avoid paying for cable may not work for much longer: The TV site plans to implement a new "authentication" model, forcing viewers to prove they're pay TV customers by signing in with their cable or satellite account number, sources tell the New York Post , adding... More »

Hulu, Netflix Launch Original Programs

Both Battleground and Lilyhammer get mixed reviews, as streaming services branch out

(Newser) - Online streaming sites Hulu and Netflix both launched original series this week, as both services take baby steps toward competing with regular television, reports Gigaom . A look at each:
  • Hulu's Battleground is the more conventional of the two, a 13-episode comedy about a Senate campaign in Wisconsin that started
... More »

Coming to Hulu: 2 More Original Shows

Political comedy called 'Battleground' and travelogue show to debut

(Newser) - Hulu is expanding its foray into the world of original programming with two new shows set to debut before summer, reports the Wall Street Journal . Battleground, scheduled to begin in February, will be a 13-episode scripted comedy about a not-exactly-functional Senate campaign. Don't expect a low-budget production: Hulu execs... More »

Hulu Joins Bidding War for Arrested Development

Netflix, Showtime also interested

(Newser) - Arrested Development is one hot property: Showtime, Netflix, and Hulu are now in a bidding war over distribution rights to the upcoming new episodes . Showtime and Netflix were originally reported to be interested in the newly-announced "limited-run series," and Hulu has most recently jumped into the mix, New ... More »

Hidden 'Supercookies' Stalk Users, Steal History

New techniques 'almost impossible' to detect

(Newser) - Privacy-conscious consumers have yet another thing to worry about in the ongoing battle over online security: supercookies. Unlike regular cookies that track a user's online activities, supercookies are much harder to locate and delete, and are able to reformulate a user profile even after that user deleted his regular... More »

Amazon Scores NBCUniversal Streaming Deal

Amazon Prime customers can now access 7K shows, 2K movies

(Newser) - Netflix and Hulu beware: Amazon has struck a new blow in the battle for streaming content. A deal with NBCUniversal has added some 1,000 movies and TV shows to the web giant’s streaming library. Alongside a deal with CBS, Amazon now provides its Prime customers—who pay $79... More »

Fox Puts Streaming Behind Paywall

Soon only Dish, Hulu Plus subscribers will have immediate access to shows

(Newser) - If you "cut the cord" and canceled cable when Hulu came along, you may have to wait more than a week after new Fox TV shows air to watch them. Starting Aug. 15, Fox will only allow Dish Network or Hulu Plus subscribers to watch its shows online immediately... More »

One Way Apple May Use All That Cash: Buy Hulu

With $76 billion in cash, pressure on Apple to buy something

(Newser) - Apple may have found something to do with its $76 billion in cash after all—the tech giant is eyeing Hulu, reports Bloomberg . Such a buy could cost Apple more than $2 billion, which would make Hulu the most expensive company Apple has ever purchased by far, topping the $400... More »

Google Hires Army of Lobbyists, Also Eyes Hulu

It lines up 12 companies ahead of possible antitrust suit

(Newser) - Busy times for Google, even beyond its social networking push :
  • Lobbyist blitz: The company is apparently taking a potential antitrust investigation by the FTC very seriously, reports the Hill : Google is hiring no fewer than 12 top lobbying firms to make its case to lawmakers. “We have a strong
... More »

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