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Netflix Expands to European Markets, Promises New Content

Netflix is making content announcements and pledges ahead of its push into mainland Europe this month. The service has greenlit “Marseille,” its first original series based and produced in France, which the company expects will become one of its biggest new markets. The series is scheduled to begin shooting early in 2015 and will debut on Netflix later in the year. In addition, CEO Reed Hastings told German news magazine Der Spiegel that Netflix would “certainly” produce something in Germany in the future. Read more

China Creates Own OS to Kick Dependence on U.S. Systems

China could have its own operating system in place by October to take on imported systems currently offered by tech giants such as Microsoft, Google and Apple. Initial reports suggest the system would first appear on desktop computers and then later expand to smartphones and other mobile devices. According to Ni Guangnan, who heads a development alliance created in March, the domestically built software could replace desktop operating systems within 1-2 years and mobile systems within 3-5 years. Read more

YouTube Power Couple Produces Miniseries for Horror Movie

Producer Legendary Pictures and distributor Universal Pictures tapped YouTube stars Felix Kjellberg and Marzia Bisognin to develop a companion Web series for the horror movie, “As Above, So Below,” which opened in theaters this past weekend. PewDiePie and CutiePieMarzia, as the two are better known on YouTube, shot the series in the movie’s setting, the catacombs of Paris. The six-part Web series has generated about 20 million views, while the film’s trailer has been played 9.7 million times. Read more

Shapeways, Hasbro Allow Artists to Sell 3D Fan Art and More

3D printing and shipping company Shapeways is allowing any user to upload and sell content that features Hasbro characters. As part of the new agreement, Shapeways, Hasbro and the artist are all compensated. Many copyright holders see 3D printing as a modern version of pirating, as it takes little effort to download and print an object. With this new model, however, if an item costs $30, then Shapeways receives $20 for material and manufacturing, while Hasbro receives $3.50 and the artist receives $6.50.  Read more

Advertising May Result From $10 Billion Snapchat Investment

Snapchat is expecting a $10 billion investment from VC firm Kleiner Perkins Caufield & Byers. Even though the startup does not have a clear business model, its valuation has increased dramatically from last year’s $2 billion. The investment could help Snapchat advance into the advertising world, a move that is expected this year. Snapchat, which is the third-most used app among millennials, may become a viable platform for generating revenue from the age group through advertising. Read more

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