TikTok Takes Government to Court Over Potential Shutdown

TikTok’s lawyers filed suit with U.S. District Judge Carl Nichols to prevent the federal government from imposing a shutdown of operations on November 12, when companies will be banned from providing Internet hosting to TikTok. An attorney stated that, “competitors have already taken advantage of the government’s highly-publicized intention to shut down the app to entice TikTok creators and users to switch platforms.” Cloud platform provider Fastly saw its shares plummet after ByteDance, owner of TikTok, spent less than predicted in Q3. Continue reading TikTok Takes Government to Court Over Potential Shutdown

Google Organization Plans to Support Open Source Projects

Google has established the Open Usage Commons (OUC), an organization that will host the trademarks of three of its own most important open source projects as well as assist other open source projects manage and enforce their trademarks. Google has a vested interest in helping the open source software community; its Android operating system and Chrome web browser are both open source and the company relies on third-party open source software. The Open Usage Commons aims to create clearer guidelines and enforcement procedures for open source projects’ trademarks. Continue reading Google Organization Plans to Support Open Source Projects

Amazon Debuts Unit to Sell Its Cashierless Store Technology

On Monday, Amazon will introduce a new business unit, Just Walk Out, to sell the technology that makes its Amazon Go cashierless convenience stores possible, with a website launching on the same day. The company said it already has several signed deals, but would not be more specific. According to Loup Ventures, the market for retail stores without cashiers could grow to $50 billion. As Amazon vice president of physical retail/technology Dilip Kumar put it, “Do customers like standing in lines?” Continue reading Amazon Debuts Unit to Sell Its Cashierless Store Technology

Some Execs Oppose Rebranding of Popular Facebook Apps

Facebook is adding its name to Instagram and WhatsApp as part of a decision to unify its apps by branding them with the parent company’s name. The Facebook moniker will be visible on marketing and within the apps. Some Facebook employees purportedly oppose the move. The rebranding will bring the two popular apps in line with the naming conventions of Oculus, Portal and Workplace. The move to rebrand the two apps was first discovered in March, but at the time Facebook said it was just “testing the change” on a handful of users. Continue reading Some Execs Oppose Rebranding of Popular Facebook Apps

Brands Face the Challenges, Promises of AR/VR Experiences

Industry execs gathered for a CES panel to discuss the challenges brands are now facing with AR and VR. According to NorthSouth Studios chief executive Bill Newell, the most impactful events for AR in 2017 were Apple and Google’s introduction of AR development kits. But he acknowledged that convincing big brands to consider AR or VR projects is still a major challenge for the creators of those experiences. At the agency Firstborn, senior vice president business planning Gabe Garner says his company is always honest about the return on investment, which won’t match up with traditional media. Continue reading Brands Face the Challenges, Promises of AR/VR Experiences

Taco Bell Is Experimenting With New Marketing Vehicle: Lyft

Fast-food chain Taco Bell is teaming with ride-sharing firm Lyft to offer passengers a “Taco Mode” in the Lyft app for requesting rides between 9:00 p.m. and 2:00 a.m. that include a stop at a Taco Bell drive-through. The option will be tested around Newport Beach, California the next few weeks, and will likely expand nationally in 2018. “I kind of think of this like inverse delivery — like we’re delivering you to Taco Bell,” said Marisa Thalberg, Taco Bell’s chief marketing officer. “You’re being delivered to the food as opposed to having to get in your own car and drive.” Continue reading Taco Bell Is Experimenting With New Marketing Vehicle: Lyft

Netflix CFO Explains Plans to Ramp Up Original Programming

Speaking at Goldman Sachs’ Communacopia conference yesterday, Netflix CFO David Wells explained that the streaming service’s goal over the next few years is to offer more original programming. The company is aiming for half of its content to be represented by original productions and the other half licensed movies and TV shows. According to Wells, original programming will continue to be content produced by Netflix in addition to a range of co-productions and acquisitions. Netflix is “one-third to halfway” toward reaching its goal, he said. Continue reading Netflix CFO Explains Plans to Ramp Up Original Programming

Hardware Partners to Introduce “Oculus Ready” Certified PCs

Oculus is joining with a number of hardware partners — including Alienware, AMD, Asus, Dell, Intel and Nvidia — to introduce “Oculus Ready” PC systems optimized for the Rift. Starting at price points under $1,000, PCs featuring the certification are expected to hit the market next year and could be a major step toward the consumer adoption of virtual reality. Oculus CEO Brendan Iribe previously hinted that a complete Rift system, including a PC, would run about $1,500. Founder Palmer Luckey recently added that the Rift headset alone will cost more than the $350 developer kit. Continue reading Hardware Partners to Introduce “Oculus Ready” Certified PCs

NBCUniversal Buys Into Publisher Vox Media With $200 Million

NBCUniversal just made a $200 million investment in digital publishing house Vox Media, as part of a strategy to collaborate on programming, advertising and technology. According to comScore, Vox, a hub for eight digital media brands, had 54 million unique U.S. visitors in June, about 41 percent of who are 18 to 34 years old. NBCUniversal also plans to invest another $200 million in BuzzFeed, valued at $1.5 billion. The two deals are more evidence of a trend of established media companies partnering with digital startups. Continue reading NBCUniversal Buys Into Publisher Vox Media With $200 Million

Instagram to Generate $595M in Mobile Ad Revenue in 2015

According to a new report from eMarketer, photo and video sharing app Instagram, which does not have a desktop ad product, is projected to bring in $595 million in mobile advertising revenue worldwide this year. The report predicts the Facebook-owned network will reach $1.48 billion in mobile ad revenue in 2016 and $2.81 billion the following year. By 2017, eMarketer expects Instagram will account for more than 10 percent of Facebook’s total ad revenue and, in the U.S., Instagram will have higher net mobile display ad revenues than Google and Twitter.

Continue reading Instagram to Generate $595M in Mobile Ad Revenue in 2015

GoPro Exec Aims to Connect Action Cameras to Cloud Service

As part of its larger effort to become a lifestyle media brand, GoPro is looking to cloud services as an alternative for the increasing amount of content that ends up stuck on SD cards. GoPro founder and CEO Nick Woodman wants to make it easier for users to instantly share photos and video. Although still in early development, the approach would involve uploading footage to a cloud service while the camera charges, where it could be immediately shared or edited. This would eliminate the step of transferring footage from an SD card to editing software. Continue reading GoPro Exec Aims to Connect Action Cameras to Cloud Service

Alibaba Tests Dotless Visual Codes to Fight Counterfeit Goods

Alibaba is facing a growing problem with counterfeit goods that has led to some top brands taking legal action. The Chinese e-commerce giant is debuting a solution in the form of unique tags similar to QR codes. The company is working with Israeli startup Visualead to introduce dotless visual codes, which can be used to scan products to prove their authenticity and then automatically destroyed so they cannot be used more than once. Customers will use Alibaba’s Taobao mobile app to scan the codes when they receive their orders. Continue reading Alibaba Tests Dotless Visual Codes to Fight Counterfeit Goods

Digital Media Pipeline: Awards, Perspective and a Look Ahead

The Entertainment Merchants Association gathered leading technology, distribution and content partners at its Digital Media Pipeline 2014 conference held at the Skirball Cultural Center in Los Angeles on Wednesday. The program included updates from the EMA’s Digital Supply Chain working groups and presentation of Digi Awards to “Breaking Bad,” Amazon, Content Bridge, and Disney for outstanding achievements in digital entertainment content, retailing, leadership and innovation. Continue reading Digital Media Pipeline: Awards, Perspective and a Look Ahead

Branded Video Content Migrates from TV to Online Platforms

At the 2014 NewFronts presentations, online video content providers revealed that product placement will play a larger role in video content. Just as TV shows feature certain brands, online videos may soon have integrated brands in their story lines. The practice, known as branded entertainment, may provide a new source of revenue for video content providers with original programming. Also, viewers typically find branded entertainment less obtrusive than traditional video ads. Continue reading Branded Video Content Migrates from TV to Online Platforms

DreamWorks and Fuhu Partner to Offer New Children’s Tablet

DreamWorks has partnered with Fuhu, maker of the Nabi line of children’s tablets, on an Android tablet called the DreamTab designed specifically for kids. The tablets will be available this year with a number of DreamWorks-branded accessories, such as headphones and carrying cases. They will feature original animation, educational videos, and have the ability to communicate wirelessly with DreamWorks-made toys. The studio will be able to program the device similar to programming a cable channel. Continue reading DreamWorks and Fuhu Partner to Offer New Children’s Tablet

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