Prime Video Goes Solo | Crunch Report


It’s Monday, April 18, and this is Crunch
Report. Are you a fan of Amazon’s video lineup but
don’t really care about fast, free shipping? Well, the company announced today that it’s
going to sell Prime Video as a separate subscription. Now, if you look like your existing Prime
subscription, don’t worry, you’re good, nothing’s changing. However, Amazon’s adding the option
to pay eight ninety nine per month and just get access to content like Transparent and
Mozart in the Jungle, without having to pay for extra stuff like shipping and music. Here’s
the interest thing: from a pure value perspective, Prime Video sounds WORSE than the full Prime
package, which costs only 99 dollars a year, but it does offer the flexibility of a monthly
subscription and it also makes it easier for Amazon to market this as Netflix competitor,
rather than a kind of confusing conglomeration of all these different services. YouTube videos might be getting a lot more
immersive, because the company’s adding support for 360-degree live streaming video. One of
the first videos to take advantage of these capabilities will be the livestream from the
Coachella music festival, but any YouTube creator should be able to livestream 360 video
as long as they have the right camera — which is, granted a pretty big caveat. To watch
the video, you won’t need any VR headsets or special hardware at all — you can just
watch it on YouTube on any device. YouTube is also adding support for spatial audio,
which is to say audio that tries to replicate the way things sound in a real space, though
that’s only going to be available for non-live videos for now. European regulators say they have no plan
to ease up their scrutiny of Google. In a speech today in the Netherlands, the European
Union’s antitrust commission Margrethe Vestager said her department is taking a close look
at Google’s contracts with mobile companies. She said, “Our concern is that, by requiring
phone makers and operators to pre-load a set of Google apps, rather than letting them decide
for themselves which apps to load, Google might have cut off one of the main ways that
new apps can reach customers.” Google, naturally, says that anyone can use Android, with or
without any pre-loaded apps. And by the way, it’s been about a year since the European
Commission launched its probe of Android, with some recent reports suggesting that the
commission is preparing to issue formal charges. Are you worried that your romantic partner
is cheating on you? Well, there’s a new smart mattress called the Smartress which is supposed
to help you detect whether that’s the case, because it can detect whether different parts
of your bed are being used. So if you’re on a business trip, you can use the Smartress
to detect whether someone else might be keeping your husband or wife company while you’re
gone. As TechCrunch’s Jordan Crook points out, if you’re really feeling paranoid, there
are other, more practical ways to achieve the same goal, like installing a camera or
getting their password or, I don’t know, accepting that if you don’t trust somebody the relationship
is probably over. But this is certainly an INTERESTING use of smart mattress technology,
and the company says it’s currently in the manufacturing process. The dates of Apple’s Worldwide Developer Conference
have become public, thanks to Siri. When you ask, Siri. “When is the next WWDC,” it will
tell you the answer: June 13 to 17. That means you can expect a flood of Apple news during
the keynote on June 13. WWDC is of course one of Apple’s big events for the year, though
the news that comes usually revolves around updated software instead of new devices, because
the devices get announced at separate events. For example, there have been been reports
that Apple will be renaming its desktop and laptop operating system to macOS, a change
we might hear about in June. That’s the report for today. I’m Anthony
Ha. Crunch Report airs every weekday at 7 pm Eastern,
4 pm Pacific, on techcrunch.com. You can also find us on iTunes, and on YouTube. See you
tomorrow!

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