Telegram Adds Business Features to Challenge Meta, Google

Messaging app Telegram has added business account features to create a custom start page, listings, maps, hours of operation, chatbot support and more. Anyone can turn their Telegram account into a Telegram Business account, and users don’t need coding skills. Public channels with 1,000 or more subscribers can receive 50 percent of the revenue from ads shown in their channels. Based in Dubai, Telegram says the channels of its global users generate over 1 trillion monthly views. In February it unveiled an ad program that adopted the TON blockchain’s Toncoin as its native currency. Continue reading Telegram Adds Business Features to Challenge Meta, Google

IAB and MRC Join Forces to Develop AR Advertising Guidelines

The global augmented reality market is expected to reach $289 billion by 2030, according to a recent study by Research and Markets, and advertisers have taken notice. While the majority of revenue is generated by software, then hardware, the augmented reality advertising market is projected to generate $1.2 billion in revenue in the U.S. in 2024, according to the Interactive Advertising Bureau. To help foster growth in that nascent sector, the IAB has teamed with the Media Ratings Council to create consistent definitions and measurement guidelines for ads within AR campaigns. Continue reading IAB and MRC Join Forces to Develop AR Advertising Guidelines

Apple Pushes Immersive Entertainment for Vision Pro Headset

Apple’s Vision Pro launches February 2 with pre-orders starting today. The mixed reality headset will have more than 150 3D movies available at launch, including content from Disney+ and Amazon Prime Video, as well as “immersive originals,” Apple says. While the company is positioning the $3,500 headset as “the ultimate entertainment device,” touting mind-blowing specs and a transformative experience, gaming currently drives an estimated 30 percent of immersive hardware revenue and non-gaming entertainment accounts for only 8 to 13 percent. Apple’s announcement focuses more on TV, movies, and sports than the Apple Arcade game hub. Continue reading Apple Pushes Immersive Entertainment for Vision Pro Headset

Nvidia to Pursue Mobile and PC Markets with Arm Processors

Not content with dominating what is currently the hottest processor market in the world — chipsets for artificial intelligence — and leading among GPU suppliers, Nvidia is branching into CPUs. The 30-year-old company, whose market cap passed the $1 trillion mark in May, is said to be “quietly” developing chips to run Microsoft’s Windows OS, tapping into a global market that hovers at about 300 million PC sales per year, 70 percent of which use Windows, according to Statista. Nvidia is reportedly pursuing its plan via a licensing deal with Arm, whose tech powers 200 billion mobile processors shipped each year. Continue reading Nvidia to Pursue Mobile and PC Markets with Arm Processors

Xperi Advances Its Plan for TiVo OS Smart TVs in Sharp Deal

TiVo has indicated it will enter the North American smart television set market, announcing a “multi-year, multi-million-unit agreement” with Sharp that will see sets start to ship in 2024 beginning in Europe. The move to populate the TV ecosystem with hardware running Xperi’s TiVo OS pits the company against an entrenched group of smart TV competitors that includes Amazon Fire TV, Android TV, Google TV, Roku, Samsung Tizen and LG Electronics’ webOS. Added to those is the Comcast and Charter Communications Xumo brand, and also Telly, which offers free TVs supported by ads. Continue reading Xperi Advances Its Plan for TiVo OS Smart TVs in Sharp Deal

Alibaba Announces a Major Overhaul to Its Top Management

Chinese tech giant Alibaba Group is restructuring its C-suite. Chairman and CEO Daniel Zhang announced that on September 10 he will step down to be replaced by Eddie Yongming Wu as CEO and Joe Tsai as chairman. Zhang will continue to run Alibaba’s cloud computing division for now, which the company plans to spin off in an IPO. Tsai is currently Alibaba’s executive vice chairman (and owner of the NBA’s Brooklyn Nets) and Wu is chairman of Alibaba’s Taobao Tmall Commerce Group. Wu will maintain his role with the e-commerce interests along with his new duties at Alibaba, where he will also replace Zhang on the company’s board of directors. Continue reading Alibaba Announces a Major Overhaul to Its Top Management

Brands Create Their Own Games to Expand Marketing Reach

Brands are eager to promote their products in front of the estimated 3.7 billion people worldwide who play video games. Now, rather than simply purchasing visibility, more adventuresome advertisers including PepsiCo and L’Oreal are creating games of their own. PepsiCo had a quest developed in collaboration with Y2K Games for Mountain Dew inserted into the latest edition of the publisher’s blockbuster “NBA 2K” series. L’Oréal embedded a mini game in Activision Blizzard’s “Candy Crush Saga” and saw 40,000 samples of the Prada Candy fragrance that was the reward for completing the game claimed on day one of the five-week promotion. Continue reading Brands Create Their Own Games to Expand Marketing Reach

SEC Provides Binance a Lifeline as It Pursues Fraud Charges

A federal court has approved an agreement between Binance co-founder and CEO Changpeng Zhao and the Securities and Exchange Commission that will allow the embattled cryptocurrency firm to continue operating while fighting an SEC civil fraud lawsuit, the outcome of which may determine the future of the crypto business in the United States. Filed June 5, the Binance charge rocked an industry already reeling from market turmoil and SEC complaints against Coinbase and the founder of FTX. The SEC initially moved to freeze Binance’s U.S. assets, but the company said that would put it out of business here. Continue reading SEC Provides Binance a Lifeline as It Pursues Fraud Charges

Google’s Investment in Anthropic Heats Up the AI Arms Race

Google has taken a 10 percent stake in artificial intelligence startup Anthropic for about $300 million. The move follows reports that the Alphabet-owned company has prioritized an acceleration of AI efforts, so as not to get left behind by OpenAI and its increasingly popular ChatGPT app. The cash infusion gives Google a roughly 10 percent stake in the San Francisco-based Anthropic, which Financial Times described as among “a new generation of companies trying to claim a place in the booming field of ‘generative AI,’” a sector that has triggered a veritable “AI arm’s race,” according to FT. Continue reading Google’s Investment in Anthropic Heats Up the AI Arms Race

TikTok Considers $1.5 Billion Plan to Quell Security Concerns

TikTok is in discussions with U.S. lawmakers about a $1.5 billion plan to reorganize its operations in order to provide more transparency and allay fears of Chinese spying and data manipulation. The talks have become more urgent in recent months as regulators at the federal and state level are threatening to ban the short-form video app on government-issued devices. TikTok parent ByteDance been negotiating with CFIUS, the Committee on Foreign Investment in the U.S. since 2019, when an investigation was opened following the Beijing-based media firm’s acquisition of Musical.ly, which it merged into TikTok. Continue reading TikTok Considers $1.5 Billion Plan to Quell Security Concerns

CES: HP Designs Dragonfly Pro Laptops for Hybrid Workforce

HP is targeting the prosumer market with an offshoot of its Elite Dragonfly business line, introducing the Dragonfly Pro Windows laptop and Dragonfly Pro Chromebook at CES 2023. Targeting freelancers, creators and hybrid workers, the aim is to simplify purchasing choices by offering basic configurations and limited customization. ”HP is taking the headache out of hybrid by delivering powerful and best-in-class ecosystem experiences,” said Alex Cho, president, personal systems, HP Inc. By 2027 freelancers will account for more than 50 percent of the total U.S. workforce, HP projects. Continue reading CES: HP Designs Dragonfly Pro Laptops for Hybrid Workforce

After Doubling Ad Revenue, TikTok Turns to In-App Shopping

TikTok is closing in on its downward revised 2022 ad revenue target of $10 billion, according to research firm Insider Intelligence. The ByteDance company had initially projected $12 billion but adjusted the forecast due to a digital advertising downturn that’s affected everyone from Alphabet to Meta Platforms. Despite the hedge, TikTok’s ad haul this year will nearly double that of 2021, and is expected to surpass the performance of Twitter and Snap. However, it still trails advertising on Meta’s Facebook and Instagram, which generated more than $84 billion in the first nine months of 2022 (essentially flat). Continue reading After Doubling Ad Revenue, TikTok Turns to In-App Shopping

YouTube Launches a Streaming Hub for Subscription Services

In Google’s ongoing bid to become a one-stop destination for video entertainment, the company’s YouTube has launched a U.S. streaming marketplace called Primetime Channels that debuts with 34 services, including Paramount+, Showtime, AMC+ and Starz. The company jumps in the ring with Amazon, Apple and Roku, all of which offer streaming subscriptions directly through their platforms, although none has managed to secure every major on-demand outlet. YouTube, the leader in free video streaming says it has integrated Primetime Channels among user-uploaded content, making it easy for viewers to hop from free trailers to subscription purchases. Continue reading YouTube Launches a Streaming Hub for Subscription Services

Netflix Expands Games Initiative with a New Studio in Finland

Netflix has made some budgetary cuts recently, but not in gaming. After three acquisitions, the company is building its first game studio from scratch. The new unit will be Netflix’s second gaming outfit in Finland, and the company has hired Zynga’s Marko Lastikka to run it. Earlier this year, the streamer acquired the Helsinki-based Next Games. The company’s mobile games portfolio also includes developers Boss Fight Entertainment in Allen, Texas and Glendale, California’s Night School Studio. Helsinki “is home to some of the best game talent in the world,” according to Netflix VP of game studios Amir Rahimi. Continue reading Netflix Expands Games Initiative with a New Studio in Finland

Roblox Targets Advertisers, Diverse Users with New Features

As it seeks to build-out a metaverse, online game platform and game creation system Roblox is courting brands as well as older users (54 percent of the platform’s daily active users are said to be age 12 and below). The popular gaming platform is adding facial capture for users and offering advertisers digital billboards and links to branded destinations. Roblox has been trying to divide its users by age, and added authentication for those 13 and above last September for access to more adult content. As part of the content diversification critical to both initiatives, Roblox is increasing its Game Fund to $35 million. Continue reading Roblox Targets Advertisers, Diverse Users with New Features