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Spotify Offers Basic Streaming Plan, New Podcaster Feature

Spotify recently introduced a new $10.99 per month Basic streaming plan in the U.S., which includes “the music streaming benefits of your Premium plan without the monthly audiobook listening time.” As part of its move to provide “more choice for U.S. subscribers,” Spotify now offers subscriptions including an $11.99 per month Premium Individual plan, $16.99 Premium Duo option, $19.99 Premium Family (for up to 6 members of one household), and Audiobooks Access for $9.99 per month. Additionally, in an effort to boost video content the company is allowing podcasters, even those not officially hosted by Spotify, to upload video podcasts. Read more

Fox Streamer Tubi Seeks to Replicate its U.S. Success in UK

Fox Corporation’s ad-supported video-on-demand streaming service Tubi is launching in the United Kingdom with a content library of 20,000 movies and TV shows. With almost 80 million monthly active users, Tubi has grown quickly in the U.S. since its debut on the Nielsen Gauge just over a year ago and it is exporting the formula overseas. The new UK service will rely primarily on content from companies including Disney, Lionsgate, NBCUniversal and Sony Pictures Entertainment, as well Tubi Originals, arthouse fare and films from Bollywood and Nigeria, known as “Nollywood.” Read more

Apple Launches Public Demo of Its Multimodal 4M AI Model

Apple has released a public demo of the 4M AI model it developed in collaboration with the Swiss Federal Institute of Technology Lausanne (EPFL). The technology debuts seven months after the model was first open-sourced, allowing informed observers the opportunity to interact with it and assess its capabilities. Apple says 4M was built by applying masked modeling to a single unified Transformer encoder-decoder “across a wide range of input/output modalities — including text, images, geometric and semantic modalities, as well as neural network feature maps.” Read more

YouTube Premium Offering Smart Downloads, PiP for Shorts

YouTube is rewarding paid subscribers with early access to test features. Available now to those on the Premium tier are smart downloads and picture-in-picture for YouTube Shorts. Smart downloads populate automatically for convenient offline viewing, while PiP is touted as a convenience for multitaskers. The platform is also rolling out its “Jump Ahead” navigational feature to all Premium subs, starting with Android and coming to iOS “in the next few weeks,” the streamer explains. Powered by “a combination of AI and viewership data,” Jump Ahead lets users double-tap to skip ahead through a video. Read more

Data and AI Propel Amazon to $2 Trillion Market Capitalization

Amazon is increasingly betting on artificial intelligence as the key to its future growth. The company plans to spend $100 billion on data centers over the next decade — significantly more than it will spend on e-commerce and warehouse infrastructure. This is largely due to market forces. Thirty-year-old Amazon rode the e-retail wave to maturity, and the company’s AWS cloud service is now the new growth engine, driving the firm past $2 trillion in market value last week. The fifth U.S. company to hit that milestone is said to be building a new chatbot it hopes will surpass ChatGPT. Amazon also announced it has hired David Luan, co-founder of AI firm Adept. Read more

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