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ELeague Adapts TV to the Gaming Sensibility

The New York Times reports “The world of competitive video game sports has moved to the mainstream without much help from television. More than ever, though, television wants to get into the action.

On Tuesday, ELeague, a new gaming league, began pitting well-known gamers against one another on Twitch, the popular online video streaming service. The game: the first-person shooter Counter-Strike: Global Offensive. The objective: to kill the opposing team.

On Friday night, this week’s winning teams will go to virtual war live, but not just online — also on TBS, the national cable television channel.”

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Study: Video Streaming Is “Approaching Saturation”

The Hollywood Reporter reports “Just as CBS, Showtime, HBO and others are ramping up their digital efforts to compete against the likes of Netflix, a study on Wednesday says the U.S. video streaming market is “approaching saturation.”

In 2016, video streaming revenue will increase 22 percent to $6.62 billion, but the $1.19 billion rise over the previous year marks the first time growth will have actually shrunk. The year before that, growth was $1.21 billion, according to Strategy Analytics.”

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Xiaomi takes on DJI with its ultra-cheap Mi Drone

Mashable reports “The drone wars have begun. Watch out, DJI. Xiaomi’s first drones are here and are ultra cheap.

Dubbed the Mi Drone, the company announced on Wednesday two models in 1080p and 4K. The Mi Drone 1080 will be crowdfunded in the Mi Home app beginning May 26. The Mi Drone 4K will be available to beta testers in July.”

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Microsoft reportedly launching ‘Xbox TV’ devices next month

The Verge reports “Microsoft is said to be planning to unveil new Xbox streaming devices at E3 next month. The software giant has been considering an “Xbox TV” device for at least three years, and it appears a variant of it will be unveiled in June. Brad Sams, executive editor at Petri, revealed that Microsoft is “going to be announcing at least two streaming devices at E3″ during an online podcast today. Sams previously reported on the new Xbox elite controller, ahead of its announcement at E3 last year.”

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Warner Music U.K. Launches Creative Content Division The Firepit

Billboard reports “Warner Music U.K. on Wednesday launched The Firepit, a creative content division, “innovation center” and recording studio supporting the music giant’s artists, labels and partners, based at its London headquarters.

The move is part of the company’s push beyond traditional music formats and offerings.”

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Microsoft is giving up on consumer smartphones, too

VentureBeat reports “Microsoft is further scaling back its flagging phone business, exiting the consumer market and cutting another 1,850 jobs.

As part of the move announced Wednesday, Microsoft will take a $950 million charge and cut what little remained of its Finland-based phone hardware business, unwinding the last of its disastrous $7.2 billion acquisition of Nokia’s phone unit.”

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Spotify seeks more personalized playlists after Discover Weekly finds 40M users

TechCrunch reports “Apple Music, Tidal, and until recently, Spotify, failed at music discovery because they stuck to a blog-style format. But Spotify has cracked the code with a Facebook News Feed-style personalized, frequently updated playlist called Discover Weekly. Spotify now says the playlists have seen 40 million unique users since launching last July, and 5 billion tracks streamed.”

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Netflix and Amazon face quotas for European movies and TV shows

The Verge reports “The European Commission today announced a new proposal that will require streaming services like Netflix and Amazon Prime to devote at least 20 percent of their libraries to European content, as part of an overhaul of existing broadcasting regulations. The Audiovisual Media Services Directive also requires streaming companies to prominently feature European titles on their websites, and enables member states to mandate that the companies contribute to the production of European films and TV shows. The plan was announced as part of a broader effort to create a “digital single market” across the European Union.”

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Shamrock Capital Advisors Raises $250 Million for Entertainment Deals

Variety reports “In a sign of bullishness about the entertainment industry, private equity firm Shamrock Capital Advisors LLC has closed its $250 Million Entertainment IP Fund.

The fund is focused on acquiring or financing entertainment intellectual property rights across a diverse group of assets that have been through their initial window of release, including films, television programming, music publishing rights, recorded music masters and video games.”

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Samsung’s building the first national network dedicated to smart cities

The Verge reports “Samsung Electronics and SK Telecom just announced plans to build a nationwide network in South Korea to connect the intelligent devices required for the smart cities of the future. It’s hailing the new LoRaWAN-based network as the world’s first for commercial use (although KPN in The Netherlands says it will also have a nationwide network available by June, and Swisscom is deploying its national network this year as well). These are in addition to several community-based networks already taking root around the world.”