Google Tests New Music Ads


Google.GreenGoogle is testing “Listen Now” ads with Spotify, Rhapsody and Apple’s Beats Music, the latest in a string of new ad formats that can simplify purchases for consumers.

Search for the name of a musical artist, from “The Beatles” to “Iggy Azalea” to “Eric Church,” and Google displays ads – grouped together under the “Listen Now” label — promoting music services, including its own Google Play.

The ads appear in searches on personal computers as well as mobile devices and are performing well for some advertisers, according to one person familiar with the results. Music services previously could have bought similar ads, but the grouping, display and labeling are new.

“We’re happy to help users quickly find legitimate sources for their favorite movies, music and more via Google search,” a Google spokesman said.

Two people familiar with the test described it as having started in the past few weeks. A Google spokesman confirmed that the music services pay for each click they get, the same way Google gets paid for its traditional text link ads.

Similar “Watch Now” ads that appear in searches for movies and TV shows were spotted by Search Engine Land in February.

Google is trying similar approaches with other new ads.

Searches for hotels bring up a box with photos, reviews and a widget where users can enter their travel dates. The widget includes “hotel price ads” that pass the dates directly to the site where users can complete a booking, potentially eliminating some steps.

Likewise, Google’s product listing ads display pictures and prices for an item before users click through to a retailer’s website.

Netflix CEO: We Surpassed HBO in Subscriber Revenue, Reached ‘Milestone’


Netflix-CEO-Reed-HastingsWith 50 million streaming customers, Netflix now generates more revenue from subscriptions than its premium cable network rival HBO, according to Netflix CEO Reed Hastings.

The streaming service reported $1.15 billion in subscriber revenue at the end of June, compared with $1.14 billion for HBO, Hastings said Wednesday on his Facebook page, calling the accomplishment a “minor milestone.”

“They still kick our ass in profits and Emmy’s, but we are making progress,” he added. “HBO rocks, and we are honored to be in the same league.”

Solidoodle Plans 3 New 3D printers, Including a Consumer-Oriented Model


The Solidoodle Press 3D printer. Photo courtesy of Solidoodle.

Solidoodle is known for its sturdy metal 3D printers, which are so strong CEO Sam Cervantes once stood on one. It’s also known for its maker-friendly designs; users can tweak and modify the printers to suit their own desires.

They’ve also released their very first 3D printer that isn’t made of metal and isn’t aimed at makers. The new plastic-framed Solidoodle Press is meant to be easy enough for anyone to use; a common claim in the 3D printer space these days as companies look to capture a bigger market.

“The Solidoodle (Press) is the sum total of all the improvements we’ve made from the 10,000 units (Solidoodle has sold). It’s really exiting to be able to do this,” Cervantes said in an interview. “Up until now 3D printers have been complicated. They’ve required a lot of calibration and tinkering. We really saw a need in the market for an easier to use consumer 3D printer.”

Solidoodle also debuted two new maker-oriented printers: the Workbench Apprentice (pictured above) and Workbench. They feature Solidoodle’s traditional tough metal frame, plus a big first for the company: two extruders, which will allow the machines to print in multiple materials and colors.

The Press is selling for $349 for a limited time before increasing to a full price of $599. The Workbench Apprentice and Workbench will cost $799 and $1,299, respectively. The Press and Workbench have a heated print bed, which helps prevent printed items from warping. The Workbench Apprentice will have the smallest build volume at 6 x 6 x 8 inches, followed by the Press at 8 x 8 x 8 and the Workbench at 12 x 12 x 12.

World’s Most Expensive RV Sold


eleMMent PalazzoNot all rides need to be powerful to be bold. Some are bold just for their design and, in the case of one RV that recently sold in Dubai, for being the world’s most expensive.

That’s the claim being made for the 40-foot-long eleMMent Palazzo, from Austrian company Marchi Mobile. It sold for a purported asking price of $3 million. That is somewhat understandable considering its outside is supposedly covered in gold.

But it is still a lot of money for something that could be considered a lot of ugly – at least on the outside. It looks like one of those creatures of the deep caught on camera during the raising of the Titantic. To drive something this hideous you need to have some deep pockets.

However, as your mom used to tell you (unless she was really shallow) beauty is on the inside. That’s where the element Palazzo shines. It comes with its own, as CNN describes it, “portable, push-button, pop-up rooftop terrace.” It also features a pop-up cocktail lounge, a fireplace, a master bedroom, and underfloor heating.

It’s also a double decker. Both the master bedroom, with an ensuite bathroom, and the cockpit are on the second floor. Its most appealing feature is it can even clean itself after a dusty day of motoring through the desert.

Speaking of motoring, most surprisingly, you could drive this beast down the desert motorways and not tie up traffic – at least for its speed. It tops out at 93 mph.

Deadmau5 And Rob Ford Talk EDM, Potholes, Coffee


Famous Canadians team up for producer’s latest ‘Coffee Run’ video

Deadmau5 is the outspoken outlaw of EDM; Rob Ford is the controversial mayor of Toronto, best known for his battles with drug addiction and being a mainstay punchline for late-night TV hosts. In a certain way, it makes sense for these two Canadians to team up, as they do in the latest installment of Deadmau5′s “Coffee Run.”

Like Jerry Seinfeld’s “Comedians in Cars Getting Coffee,” the YouTube series finds the electronic producer hanging out with celebrities over cups of joe as they check out the slick performance of Deadmau5′s many vehicles. As Spin notes, this 30-minute video finds Ford cruising in the musician’s “Purrari” as they discuss matters trivial (the intense Toronto traffic), musical (whether or not Deadmau5 is a “DJ”) and political (Ford’s day-to-day contact with constituents).

“Seatbelt on,” Ford says at the start of the clip, before they leave a parking garage and venture into the streets of Toronto for a trek to Deadmau5′s favorite coffee spot, Tim Hortons. It takes a while before this unlikely duo establishes a rapport – early on, they mostly talk about the speed of the Purrari (“This thing can fly; how fast can you get it up to?”), but the pair look like longtime friends once they take in some caffeine.

Ford’s coffee order (“5 espressos in one cup”) cracks up the producer, who calls it “cardiac arrest.” (Ford even questions the drive-thru worker to make sure she included the right amount.) Other highlights include Ford saying the gem “Roads are the most important,” an exchange about Deadmau5′s musical label (“You’re not a DJ – it’s different”) and banter about the boring nature of their personal lives.

Deadmau5′s latest album, the double-LP While(1<2), came out last month

Watch Skrillex Teach Ron Howard How to DJ


An exclusive clip from the doc ‘Made in America’ goes backstage with EDM’s most recognizable face

Over the past two years, Jay Z’s Made in America festival has brought together diverse lineups including Pearl Jam, Beyoncé, Haim and Skrillex. But what happens when these artists actually get a chance to mingle backstage? In a clip from a new documentary that attempts to tell the festival’s story, the film’s director, Ron Howard, meets up with dubstep guru Skrillex and gets an impromptu DJ crash course. “I loved seeing your hands,” says Howard after Sonny Moore stitches together several tracks at lightning speed, including the Fresh Prince of Bel-Air theme song. “It’s like you’re a tap-dancer.”

“EDM music, people are dismissing as a fad, sort of like they did hip-hop,” Jay Z says at the end of the clip. “I think it’s gonna be a bit more sticky. I think it’s the music of the next generation… They’ll buy other music, but it’s like, OK, this music is ours.”

Last fall, Howard discussed the film with Rolling Stone. “There was this inspiring expression of possibility, self-reliance and an entrepreneurial spirit, which was what Jay Z was talking about initially, and I kept seeing it pop up over and over again,” said the director, who has since begun work on a project about the Beatles’ early years. “I wandered into this without any predetermined idea what the film would be about, but this was consistently something that the cameras were picking up.”

The full documentary is now available on DVD, Blu-ray and On-Demand.

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