TikTok May Team Up with TalkShopLive for a Holiday Launch

TikTok is said to be partnering with Los Angeles-based TalkShopLive to handle its live shopping initiative in North America after an in-house UK effort produced lackluster results. Due to hit the U.S. in time for the holiday season, TikTok Shop will be built on technology and support from TalkShopLive as it positions live-stream shopping hosted by influencers, brands and retailers selling products on the short-form video platform. Launched last year, TikTok Shop UK was the ByteDance company’s first such effort outside of Asia, where it is available in countries including Vietnam, Singapore and the Philippines. Continue reading TikTok May Team Up with TalkShopLive for a Holiday Launch

EU Hints at Introduction of Metaverse Regulations and Taxes

European Commission president Ursula von der Leyen signaled the bloc is preparing the implement a regulatory framework for the metaverse, writing in her annual Letter of Intent for the State of the Union address that the Commission will in 2023 advance an “initiative on virtual worlds, such as metaverse.” The EU’s internal market commissioner, Thierry Breton, expanded on that in a blog post that Europe’s “way to foster the virtual worlds” will be threefold, focusing on “people, technologies and infrastructure,” with speculation bubbling that the third prong will involve some sort of carrier tax. Continue reading EU Hints at Introduction of Metaverse Regulations and Taxes

Xperi Names Vestel First Smart TV OEM for ‘Neutral’ TiVo OS

Top European TV supplier Vestel has become the first OEM for Xperi’s new TiVo-branded TVOS. In addition to distributing TVs under its own imprimatur, the Turkish firm manufactures sets for Hitachi, JVC, Toshiba and Panasonic. Vestel will begin selling branded TVs with TiVo as the primary software OS in mid-2023, Xperi said. Smart set manufacturers have increasingly sought a portal approach that helps customers navigate among a dizzying array of individual content platforms while sidestepping the additional costs associated with interfaces from the likes of Amazon Fire, Roku, Google TV or Android TV. Continue reading Xperi Names Vestel First Smart TV OEM for ‘Neutral’ TiVo OS

Streaming Viewership to Surpass Cable TV Before Year’s End

Streaming is expected to overtake linear TV viewing by the end of the year, according to a study by research firm Omdia. The Gauge, Nielsen’s latest media analysis report, found that streaming claimed 34 percent of total TV time in June for a fourth consecutive monthly record. That’s what cable claimed in June 2021, only to decline to 35 percent in June 2022. Nielsen SVP of product strategy and thought leadership Brian Fuhrer says what is unusual is “the extraordinary breakout that a number of the streamers had,” with Netflix jumping the most, a full share point. Continue reading Streaming Viewership to Surpass Cable TV Before Year’s End

Apple Posts Record Third Quarter but Major Decline in Profits

Surmounting inflation and supply chain delays, Apple posted revenue of $83 billion, up 2 percent year-over-year and a record for the company’s third quarter. However, profit declined 11 percent to $19.4 billion, the worst performance since 2020. Sales of iPhones were strong, generating $40.7 billion in revenue for the quarter, a 2.8 percent increase over the same period in 2021. But wearables did not prove as resilient, with revenue down 8 percent to $8.1 billion. On the earnings call to discuss Apple’s fiscal 2022 third quarter ended June 25, CEO Tim Cook said the results were “better than we expected.” Continue reading Apple Posts Record Third Quarter but Major Decline in Profits

Soft PC Sales, Currency Exchange Cloud Microsoft Earnings

Microsoft reported revenue up 14 percent year-over-year to $51.9 billion in its fiscal fourth quarter, which ended June 30. Net income was up 2 percent, to $16.7 billion for the quarter but down almost 19 percent for the year, to $61.3 billion for the 12 month period. Although the results fell short of expectations, Microsoft chairman and CEO Satya Nadella identified the Microsoft Cloud sector as a bright spot, pointing out that it “surpassed $25 billion in quarterly revenue for the first time, up 28 percent and 33 percent in constant currency,” despite the tough macroeconomic environment. Continue reading Soft PC Sales, Currency Exchange Cloud Microsoft Earnings

YouTube Partners with Shopify in Latest E-Commerce Push

YouTube has partnered with Shopify so creators and merchants can showcase products across both platforms. Eligible creators can now link their Shopify store to their YouTube channel and leverage Shopify’s real-time inventory syncing. Additionally, U.S. creators can enable onsite checkout, allowing visitors to complete purchases without leaving YouTube. Implementation is accessible through the Shopping tab in YouTube Studio. In addition, beginning next week YouTube will add shopping to its Explore tab, featuring goods from the U.S., Brazil and India, with additional countries to roll out later this year. Continue reading YouTube Partners with Shopify in Latest E-Commerce Push

TiVo Owner Xperi Acquires OTT Software Firm for $109 Million

Technology company Xperi has purchased Norway-based OTT software maker Vewd for $109 million. Xperi purchased TiVo for $3 billion in December 2019, with the goal of integrating TiVo’s video UX with its smart TV expertise. Xperi intends to compete with companies like Amazon, Comcast, Google and Roku for the “gatekeeper” position in the world’s connected-TV living rooms. The Vewd deal gives Xperi access to an installed European footprint of roughly 15 million devices that it plans to target for activation of TiVo+, a free ad-supported TV (FAST) service. Continue reading TiVo Owner Xperi Acquires OTT Software Firm for $109 Million

HBO Max Ad-Supported Tier Bodes Well for Netflix Ad Plans

As Netflix strategizes its rollout of a cheaper, ad-supported subscription tier, industry analysts are citing HBO Max data to predict the plan will be a win for the streaming service. A survey by Insider Intelligence says that 67 percent of HBO Max subscribers are opting for the $14.99 per month ad-free streaming tier, while 28 percent have chosen the $9.99 ad-supported tier. Launched in June 2021, the economy tier offers access to the same movie and series content, but is capped at 1080p and without the convenience of downloading for offline viewing. Continue reading HBO Max Ad-Supported Tier Bodes Well for Netflix Ad Plans

Decline in Global PC Sales Expected to Impact Chip Demand

A slump in PC sales and crashing cryptocurrency markets appear to be tempering a demand for semiconductors spurred by COVID-19 era supply chain shortages. Inflation is another mitigating factor, as sales of laptops and high-end GPUs for gaming and cryptocurrency mining slacken. Research firm Gartner predicts global PC shipments will contract by 9.5 percent in 2022, with consumer demand projected to decline by 13.5 percent. Enterprise sales are also expected to drop, by 7.2 percent, according to Gartner. Those numbers align with the 10 percent PC sales decline Micron Technology has forecast. Continue reading Decline in Global PC Sales Expected to Impact Chip Demand

Netflix Targets Asia-Pacific Region to Boost Its Subscriptions

Netflix, which has been struggling to get its financial house in order against headwinds that include a 70 percent stock decline in the first half of 2022, plans to keep expanding in the Asia-Pacific region, where it continues to add subscribers and enjoy growth in line with its 2020 to 2021 performance. The streaming media and production company has laid off 450 employees since its disappointing Q1 report in April, when CFO Spencer Neumann said the company would be “pulling back on some of our spend growth across both content and non-content.”  Continue reading Netflix Targets Asia-Pacific Region to Boost Its Subscriptions

CJ ENM Opens the Largest MicroLED Virtual Production Stage

Entertainment company CJ ENM has opened what is being described as the world’s largest virtual production stage to use Samsung MicroLED technology. The facility, created in collaboration with Samsung Electronics, is outfitted with connected cameras and offers a 360-degree backdrop using Samsung’s “The Wall.” The South Korean virtual production stage will be used to produce scripted and unscripted shows for film and television and serve as a venue for concerts and other entertainment events. CJ ENM says the virtual production technology will also produce the next generation of immersive content for augmented reality experiences and the metaverse. Continue reading CJ ENM Opens the Largest MicroLED Virtual Production Stage

Clearview to Limit Sales After Settling Illinois Privacy Lawsuit

Facial recognition software company Clearview AI has agreed to limit U.S. sales of its identity database to businesses and other private actors as part of a lawsuit settlement. The case, brought by the American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) and other groups, was filed in state court in Illinois, where the Biometric Information Privacy Act (BIPA) is considered the nation’s strongest data privacy law. The lawsuit alleged that Clearview routinely scraped images of state residents from the Internet without obtaining their permission or making them aware of the practice. Continue reading Clearview to Limit Sales After Settling Illinois Privacy Lawsuit

China COVID Woes Cause Shutdowns, Supply Chain Impact

The supply chain crunch is about to worsen due to a phased shutdown of Shanghai that began Monday, say recent reports. The coastal city of 26 million people — a seat of international finance and business, and home to the world’s biggest container-shipping port — finds itself grappling with its worst COVID-19 outbreak to date. Authorities have switched from temporary neighborhood lockdowns to a mandatory citywide shutdown in a phased implementation whose stage two runs Friday to Tuesday. China’s biggest chipmaker, however, and an iPhone plant are continuing to operate under strict rules in Shanghai. Continue reading China COVID Woes Cause Shutdowns, Supply Chain Impact

CISA and FBI Warn of Possible Attacks on Satellite Networks

The U.S. government has issued a cybersecurity alert warning of “possible threats” to satellite communication networks and the country’s critical infrastructure. Concerned that recent attacks on European satellite networks could spread to the United States, a joint advisory published last week by the FBI and the Cybersecurity and Infrastructure Security Agency cited CISA’s “Shield’s Up” initiative, which warns that Russia’s invasion of Ukraine could trigger homeland attacks. The alert requests “all organizations significantly lower their threshold for reporting and sharing indications of malicious cyber activity.” Continue reading CISA and FBI Warn of Possible Attacks on Satellite Networks