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With Installs Up 400%, Stitcher Sounds Like The Pandora Of Talk Radio

Stitcher LogoWith around of 650,000 users, installs up 400% this year, a podcast recommendation engine, and today adding Facebook auto-sharing to its Android app, Stitcher has made a lot of progress towards owning talk radio after the fall of AM/FM. Today it revealed a number of stats through a Facebook Developer Spotlight, but when I deduced that it now has 650,000 active users based on AppData and the fact that 30% of new signups are from Facebook, Stitcher’s CEO Noah Shanok confirmed “that’s a rough ballpark”.

In an interview he told me how his app will rule the digital airwaves by getting to commuters through new automobile integrations, and filling a giant hole in what Spotify and Pandora offer.

Dream Team Of Children’s TV Producers Create PlaySquare, “Touchable TV” For The iPad

playsquare-handWhat do you get when a team of Emmy winning children’s TV producers are introduced to the iPad? You get a company that has a whole new vision for the future of television. That company, PlaySquare, is working on something they’re calling “touchable TV.” It’s the idea that the child shouldn’t just be watching television, they should be interacting with it. And it’s not a second screen experience, where the iPad app serves to complement the show a child is viewing. It’s a television network on the iPad, where the show itself becomes personalized to the child, growing with them the more they play, and even “leveling up” as they learn new things.

EMarketer: 26% Of U.S. Consumers Access Social Networks On Mobile Today, Facebook 85% Of That

Image2 for post Details On The Upcoming New Facebook iPhone App. Now With Events!Figures out today from eMarketer estimate that in the U.S., just under 82 million consumers, or 26% of the population, will access social networks from their phones this year, rising to nearly 117 million by 2014. But if you are a social networking startup that sees that low-penetration figure as an opportunity, be aware that at the moment Facebook has all but cornered the market, and that the market is slowing down. Facebook today accounts for 85% of all mobile social networking activity, and that proportion is only growing: eMarketer projects that Facebook will account 87.4% by 2014 — or four out of every 10 mobile users and nearly two-thirds of smartphone users.

Meanwhile, growth in social network on mobile is slowing right down, from 50% in 2011 to 18% by 2014.

Square’s Starbucks Deal Puts It At The Epicenter Of ‘Seismic Change’ Away From Cash

starbucks macchiatoThe $25 million funding and sales deal announced late yesterday between mobile payments startup Square and coffee giant Starbucks is big, but it is only the tip of the iceberg for what the implications will be for Square and for mobile payments in general.

The deal formally covers 7,000 U.S. Starbucks stores, where Starbucks says customers will have “another way to enjoy a quick and seamless payment experience” at the coffee houses, alongside Starbucks’ existing mobile app, which also lets users pay without cards or cash and has seen some 60 million transactions to date.

But however big that already is, the Starbucks deal could mean more.

Kiip Takes Its First International Steps, Inks Reward Network Deal With UK’s Yo! Sushi

yosushi-kiip-notifKiip — the San Francisco-based mobile marketing startup that has created a “rewards network” in which users see offers for free goods and services instead of mobile ads — is going international. The company has signed on with the UK-based sushi chain, Yo! Sushi, to deliver offers for free food across apps used in the UK that have integrated Kiip’s service.

Although Kiip has had some of its U.S. customers serve ads outside of the U.S., this is the first time a non-U.S. company has signed on for the service, and the first time Kiip is sending out offers in the UK on a localized, London-only basis, to coincide with the fact that there are so many more people (and specifically Americans) in town for the Olympics. In a meeting this past weekend in London, CEO and co-founder Brian Wong told me this is just the beginning of many deals like this as Kiip ramps up its growth, on the back of a recent $11 million Series B round of funding. The expansion comes at a time when Kiip is competing against a number of other companies that also deliver rewards instead of straight advertisements, like Foursquare and Groupon. The space remains wide open, says Wong, and “we have realized that we could become the trusted rewards provider out there.”

Less Than A Month After Its Mini-Pivot, Tripl Pushes Its New iOS App Out The Door

tripl2After the team at social travel startup Tripl had a change of heart last month, they eventually came to a weighty conclusion — now that their focus had shifted away from connecting travelers with friends that happened to be nearby, they had to redo the iOS app they had been working on for months. Now, just a few weeks later, Tripl has pushed that new (and free) iOS app out into the wild for users to muck around with.

In case you aren’t yet familiar with the new Tripl, the service is all about giving users a glimpse into where their friends are at any given moment by pulling in photos and check-ins from Facebook and other social networks — quite a treat when you’re usually cooped up indoors for most of the day like me.

Mobile App Monetization Startup Inneractive Raises $3.5M For Continued Global Expansion

mobile-phones-inneractiveMobile app monetization exchange inneractive has closed on $3.5 million in new financing, the company is announcing today. The round was led by Evergreen Ventures Partners, and saw participation from both existing private investors and new investors from the U.S. and Europe. The company, which integrates over 120 ad providers from 200-plus countries into a one-line SDK, now has thousands of developers using its monetization platform on iOS, Android, RIM and Windows Phone. It also offers SDKs for non-smartphone platforms like J2ME, Bada, Symbian and others, but without the one-line implementation.

Bingo! Facebook Gambles On Games Using Real Money, Not Credits, To Engage Users

bingo slots and frenzy (facebook gambling)For the last three quarters, Facebook has been struggling to move the needle on its payments business, but today a new game has launched that could provide a clue to how that could change that in the future: the social network has, for the first time, allowed a gaming app on its platform that allows users to play with real money — not Facebook Credits. Called Bingo & Slots Friendzy, the app is an extension of the Jackpotjoy.com franchise from Gamesys, and will be available in the UK only, and only to users over the age of 18.

As with many other apps on its platform, Facebook is not directly involved in the creation and operation of the app. Rather, it has permitted Gamesys to offer the app, and that is a sign it is testing the waters for how it might allow for more games like this in the future. Financial terms of the deal, Facebook tells us, are commercially confidential, so it is not clear whether proceeds from the game will follow the 30/70 revenue split that applies to games using Facebook Credits.

Kno Expands Beyond College, Partners With Houghton Mifflin To Bring Digital Textbooks To K-12

Kno Evolve LogoFounded in 2009, Kno began its career with ambitious plans to disrupt education with a little mobile hardware — by developing a tablet that was tailor-made for students. Unfortunately, thanks to the meteoric rise of the iPad and, later, Apple’s big re-entry into the textbook arena with iBooks 2, Kno’s hardware efforts didn’t pan out. Beginning early last year, the startup pivoted towards a more agnostic solution, creating an educational software platform and app to bring interactive textbooks to the college crowd.

But, with nearly $80 million raised from investors like Andreessen Horowitz, Mike Maples and Ron Conway, there’s more pressure on Kno to keep moving forward than there is on your average edtech startup. Today, the Santa Clara-based company took a significant step in that regard, expanding its scope beyond the college campus to bring digital textbooks into K-12 classrooms. To take on grade-agnostic solutions like iBooks 2, Kno has struck a partnership with educational publishing giant Houghton Mifflin Harcourt.

Kno Expands Beyond College, Partners With Houghton Mifflin To Bring Digital Textbooks To K-12

Kno Evolve LogoFounded in 2009, Kno began its career with ambitious plans to disrupt education with a little mobile hardware — by developing a tablet that was tailor-made for students. Unfortunately, thanks to the meteoric rise of the iPad and, later, Apple’s big re-entry into the textbook arena with iBooks 2, Kno’s hardware efforts didn’t pan out. Beginning early last year, the startup pivoted towards a more agnostic solution, creating an educational software platform and app to bring interactive textbooks to the college crowd.

But, with nearly $80 million raised from investors like Andreessen Horowitz, Mike Maples and Ron Conway, there’s more pressure on Kno to keep moving forward than there is on your average edtech startup. Today, the Santa Clara-based company took a significant step in that regard, expanding its scope beyond the college campus to bring digital textbooks into K-12 classrooms. To take on grade-agnostic solutions like iBooks 2, Kno has struck a partnership with educational publishing giant Houghton Mifflin Harcourt.