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Spotify Launches Music Service In Argentina

September 24th, 2013 | 05:59 AM

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Spotify, the music streaming service, comes to Argentina today.

The service allows people to listen to music on of offline, depending on what kind of plan you get.

You can stream Spotify for free or pay 36 Argentine pesos a month to listen to it on any device at any time, even offline.

Spotify will be competing with Apple’s recently launched iTunes radio (only available in the US for now). The Huffington Post offered a good overview of both services here.

Spotify’s launch recalls Netflix’s messy entry into the Argentine market in 2011. Netflix, the video streaming service, launched with a limited movie and TV series catalog, disappointing many potential customers. The company initially charged 39 pesos a month for its service, but then switched over to US dollars, charging US $7.99.

At first, Netflix lacked a great deal of the content if offered in the US, leading to a lot of bad PR for the company. As time passed, the service improved and its local Latin American catalog grew, winning over many skeptical customers, especially parents who wanted their kids to access children’s programming and see content in different languages.

It’s unclear how Spotify’s music catalog in Argentina will compare with its offerings in the US and elsewhere. Let us know if you try it out!

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VIDEO: Buenos Aires in the 1950s

August 16th, 2013 | 06:29 AM

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This video was made by Braniff International Airways in the 1950s. It’s provides a fabulously interesting look at Buenos Aires in its heyday. It’s hard to imagine the city, or the country, getting this kind of positive publicity today.

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Bruce Springsteen To Play Buenos Aires

August 8th, 2013 | 07:00 AM

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He was Born in the USA, but he’ll be playing in Buenos Aires next month.

Legendary U.S. rocker Bruce Springsteen will bring his “Wrecking Ball” tour to the G.E.B.A on September 14.

Tickets go on sale Friday. You can get them here.

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Cablevision Argentina’s High-speed Internet Plans

February 7th, 2013 | 07:40 PM

A couple of weeks ago I interviewed Cablevisión CEO Carlos Moltini for my day job. You can read all about it here.

The article looks at Cablevisión’s investment plans and sheds light on how Argentina’s political context is affecting the company. For example, government import barriers forced the company to temporarily stop offering WiFi modems and other equipment last year.

But one thing that didn’t make it into the published article was the company’s plans for its high-speed Internet service, Fibertel.

Moltini said Cablevisión plans to raise its popular 6-megabit broadband service to 10-megabits, possibly as early as March though no date has been set. That’s good news for most surfers those who feel the need for speed.

Fans of the company’s high-end broadband product, Evolution, which offers 30-megabit download speeds, may not be so pleased, however, since the company has no plans to increase the speed.

Moltini said that while Cablevisión has the technical capacity to raise speeds to 100MB, Argentina’s market simply doesn’t demand higher velocities. Argentine companies and consumers don’t yet use enough video and other multimedia products to warrant flying at a faster pace.

So while Evolution has been a big breakthrough for Argentines wanting to surf the Internet at a quicker clip, the country’s speedsters will have to keep waiting before they can browse, download and stream as fast as people can in Asia, the U.S. and Europe.

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Killer Special Effects Video of Buenos Aires

March 11th, 2012 | 08:58 PM

The video was done by Fernando Livschitz at Black Sheep Films.

Kudos to E for passing this along.

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Sean Penn Meets CFK on Haiti Promotion Tour

February 14th, 2012 | 06:20 AM

Sean Penn, the actor and newly-named Ambassador at Large for Haiti, came to Argentina as part of a broader trip to make sure people and governments in the region continue to help the disaster-stricken Caribbean nation.

Penn met with President Cristina Kirchner on Monday.

I met Penn and his J/P Haitian Relief Organization president Benjamin Krause at a dinner Monday night. Fernando Sulicin, producer extraordinaire and a mutual friend, Penn, Krause and others are doing absolutely amazing work in Haiti. They are literally making the world a better place day by day. These people are doing the kind of thing that most of us only think about.

Please check out J/P HRO here and donate to Haiti here.

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Netflix Now on Apple TV, iPad & iPhone in Argentina

December 14th, 2011 | 09:28 PM

Netflix confirmed on Wednesday that it’s popular video and TV streaming service now works on Apple TV, iPhones and iPads in Argentina.

Can you do that, Cuevana?

On a related note, my buddy Brian Byrnes over at CNN recently interviewed Cuevana founder Tomas Escobar in English. You can see the video here.

Cuevana, of course, is the underground free video site that allows users to watch videos and TV series on their computers. The site has come under increasing pressure from production companies who say it’s an entirely illegal service.

Escobar claims Cuevana is akin to Google and simply puts users into contact with media content that is hosted elsewhere.

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Netflix Details Its Product Plans for Argentina

September 7th, 2011 | 08:32 PM

Netflix CEO Reed Hastings provided new details on Wednesday about the company’s online video service in Argentina.

Among other things, Reed said Netflix aims to have all of its TV and movie offerings available in their original languages with subtitles and secondary audio options.

The video streaming company, which already has more than 25 million customers in Canada and the U.S, started streaming in Argentina, Paraguay and Uruguay on Wednesday, a day after it launched in Brazil. By the end of next week, Netflix will be offering its service to 43 countries in Latin America and the Caribbean.

For a look at why Netflix launched here before doing so in Asia and Europe, check out my article here.

For local readers, the key points are that Netflix will: (more…)

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Netflix Starts Streaming in Argentina on Wednesday

September 5th, 2011 | 08:47 PM

Netflix, the U.S. film and TV Internet streaming company, will launch its service in Argentina on Wednesday.

The company will charge 39 pesos (about $9.28) a month for unlimited streaming.

Netflix launched its first Latin American service in Brazil on Monday and plans to expand rapidly throughout the region. For more details, click on the company’s official press release here or on Netflix’s blog here.

It’s unclear how much the local service will mirror Netflix in the U.S. Will the same films and TV shows be available or will intellectual property and distribution rights change the online library?

Will TV shows and movies be dubbed or have subtitles or some mix of the two? Will it be possible to view the streaming in HD?  Separately, how will Argentina’s Internet service providers and their relatively slow local bandwidth offerings stand up?

Netflix officials have been in the region studying its Internet infrastructure and are confident the service will work well. Rochelle King, Netflix VP of User Experience and Design, said the following in a blog post:

“We’ve licensed thousands and thousands of hours of feature films, classic favorites, gripping telenovelas, documentaries and kids shows we know you’ll enjoy.  We’ve been testing and figuring out the right internet architecture to make sure the quality and speed of the Netflix streaming experience is the best it can be.  And we’ve been training people locally to deliver the excellent customer support Netflix is known for in the U.S. and Canada.”

Netflix CEO Reed Hastings will be in Buenos Aires on Wednesday to formally launch the service. I’ll be at his press conference. What would you ask him?

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Is Netflix Coming to Argentina?

May 8th, 2011 | 07:40 PM

The Financial Times reported on Sunday that Netflix, the U.S. film and TV Internet streaming company, is close to launching its service in Argentina, Brazil, Chile and Mexico.

FT’s report comes about a month after La Nacion published similar information. Meanwhile, La Nacion’s article came several months after Uberbin.net said in December that Netflix would likely be coming to the region this year. Finally, Seeking Alpha reported last week that Netflix plans to launch in South America.

I spoke with a Netflix spokesman last month and he declined to comment on the company’s plans. So far, Netflix has only operated in countries where the rule of law limits pirated downloads and the use of illegal video streaming sites such as those common in Latin America.

So-called “pirate” video services are extremely popular in Argentina. The online streaming service Cuevana is a perfect example. Cuevana, created by three college-aged Argentines, has become a tremendous success. Cuevana claims to have around 450,000 registered users.

Cuevana offers an exceptionally good service and it does so for free. Its questionable legality doesn’t seem to deter Argentines from using it and it’s legitimate to ask how Netflix could ever compete with such a free service.

But in the U.S., at least, Netflix offers something that Cuevana and other services do not. Netflix provides high quality HD streaming directly to your TV. If Netflix can offer such a service in Argentina, it will likely have a good chance of being a success.

However, for that to happen, Argentina’s comparatively slow bandwidth speeds will first have to improve dramatically. High quality streaming requires a fast Internet connection.

Happily, higher download speeds may be coming our way soon. Cablevisión has already confirmed that it plans to offer a super-fast Internet service in the first half of 2011. The company plans to launch the so-called DOCSIS 3.0 modem technology, giving customers download speeds that are around 10x faster than current rates.

That would let online addicts and heavy downloaders obtain speeds of up to 30 Megabits or even faster this year, easily enough to stream HD movies and TV shows directly to household TV sets, or to iPhones and iPads, etc.

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U2 to Play Buenos Aires March 30

November 29th, 2010 | 09:52 AM

The Irish rock band U2 will play Buenos Aires on March 30. Tickets go on sale December 7.

U2 will play at Estado Unico de La Plata in the province of Buenos Aires, the band said Monday.

You can get tickets here. Prices range from 310 to 1,300 pesos.

UPDATE: U2 has added a second date, April 2.

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Steve Carrell to Star in Adaptation of Argentine Film

August 26th, 2010 | 09:47 PM

Funny-man Steve Carrell will produce and star in a Hollywood adaption of the Argentine movie Un Novio para Mi Mujer, the daily Variety reported Thursday.

“In the original film, Un novio para mi mujer,’ a timid husband believes the only way out of his stifling marriage is to get his wife to fall in love with another man, so he enlists the help of a legendary yet unlikely Lothario,” Variety noted.

“Directed by Juan Taratuto, it was Argentina’s leading homegrown pic in 2008.”

Carrel is perhaps best known for his leading role as the hilariously inappropriate office manager on The Office.

If you haven’t seen the original Argentine flick, it’s definitely worth checking out.

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