TikTok CEO Shou Zi Chew Determined to Solve Data Issues

TikTok is taking steps to ensure U.S. user data is secure and that young people will be protected from harmful content, company CEO Shou Zi Chew said at The New York Times’ DealBook Summit. “We have very rigorous data-access protocols,” the executive said Wednesday, addressing concerns expressed by members of Congress and the Federal Trade Commission. Chew said TikTok, which is owned by Beijing-based ByteDance, plans to work with Oracle as its data storage provider based in large part on the company’s strong security protocols. Continue reading TikTok CEO Shou Zi Chew Determined to Solve Data Issues

Ireland DPC Fines Meta $275 Million for Data Privacy Breach

Meta Platforms has been fined $275 million for violating European Union privacy rules, the result of a 2021 data leak that led to the online publication of personal information belonging to 500 million Facebook users. The penalty is the latest imposed on Meta by Ireland’s Data Protection Commission, which in September imposed a $400 million penalty on Instagram for mishandling children’s data. In October 2021, the same regulator fined Meta $235 million for violations by its WhatsApp messaging service. In total, Irish authorities have imposed penalties of more than $900 million on Meta in the past two years. Continue reading Ireland DPC Fines Meta $275 Million for Data Privacy Breach

FCC Adds Rules Blocking the Sale of Devices Made in China

The Federal Communications Commission has adopted new rules prohibiting the U.S. sale of certain telecommunications and surveillance devices manufactured by Chinese companies. In a move to shore up national security, the move blocks equipment deemed to pose an unacceptable risk from receiving import authorization. In recent years, the government has taken various actions to secure the U.S. supply chain for communications equipment and services. “These new rules are an important part of our ongoing actions to protect the American people from national security threats involving telecommunications,” FCC chairwoman Jessica Rosenworcel said. Continue reading FCC Adds Rules Blocking the Sale of Devices Made in China

Number of Pay-TV Package Subscribers Drops to 66 Percent

The number of households in the U.S. that are subscribing to some sort of multichannel pay-TV package has declined to 66 percent in 2022, from 88 percent in 2012, according to a new study from the Leichtman Research Group. The study defines pay TV as multichannel service delivered via cable, satellite, telco TV or ISP. “Two-thirds of U.S. TV households now get a live pay-TV service, a significant decrease from 79 percent five years ago,” LRG president and principal analyst Bruce Leichtman said, calling the decline “not solely a function of those disconnecting services, but is also related to a slowdown in those entering or reentering the category.” Continue reading Number of Pay-TV Package Subscribers Drops to 66 Percent

White House Updates Data Protection Framework with the EU

President Biden has signed an executive order designed to repair data sharing with the European Union. The arrangement has been in disarray since 2020, when the Court of Justice of the European Union nullified the Privacy Shield, jeopardizing what the White House calls a $7.1 trillion economic relationship, premised on companies doing business on both sides of the pond. Friday’s executive order stipulates new ways for the EU to challenge what it had previously identified as objectionable U.S. government surveillance practices. In March, the U.S. and European Union agreed “in principle” to a revamped framework for data transfers. Continue reading White House Updates Data Protection Framework with the EU

Tweets Go Multimedia, Edit Button Rolls Out for Twitter Blue

As it continues trying to close its $44 billion sale to Elon Musk, popular social networking service Twitter is taking steps to update its image, introducing multimedia posts for Android and iOS users, who can now augment text with photos, GIFs and videos in a single tweet. Previously, each tweet only accommodated one type of media, though multiple attachments of a single format were permitted. Simultaneously, the company has begun rolling out the “edit” button to U.S. subscribers using the premium Twitter Blue platform, which price increases from $2.99 to $4.99 this month. Continue reading Tweets Go Multimedia, Edit Button Rolls Out for Twitter Blue

Video-Game Advertising Projected to Top $14 Billion by 2028

Video games as an advertising medium is still relatively niche, but a migration to streaming has paved the way for what observers predict will be explosive growth. Ad Age recently identified gaming as “the next huge advertising channel.” Fast Company posits U.S. in-game advertising, or IGA, is currently between $6-$8 billion, which is less than 6 percent of U.S. digital advertising. Analytics firm Research Dive predicts in-game advertising will grow to $14 billion worldwide by 2028. Fast Company says here are nearly 3 billion global players — one in four people — and growing by 15 percent a year. Continue reading Video-Game Advertising Projected to Top $14 Billion by 2028

Ticketmaster Teams with TikTok on Event Discovery Feature

Ticketmaster and TikTok have teamed up for an in-app event discovery feature that will let the short-form video app share live event information and direct users to Ticketmaster’s site for purchase. Influencers can now link relevant Ticketmaster events to their videos. Initially, the new feature will only be available to select creators, with plans to scale more broadly over time. Acts that have signed on to use the ticketing mini app at launch include Demi Lovato, OneRepublic, Backstreet Boys, Usher and more. WWE is also participating. The pact follows a similar agreement Ticketmaster made with Snapchat in February. Continue reading Ticketmaster Teams with TikTok on Event Discovery Feature

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

Gen Z Turning to TikTok and Instagram for Search and News

TikTok is at the center of yet another attention-grabbing trend: Gen Z has begun using it as a search engine, edging out Google. TikTok says a third of its billion or so global users are Gen Z, and these 10-to-25-year-olds are now using the short-form video platform for more than just entertainment and are increasingly turning to it as a source of information. Meta Platforms’ Instagram is also making a strong showing among information seekers in Gen Z — an important demographic among advertisers, as they are still forming brand loyalties and shopping habits. Continue reading Gen Z Turning to TikTok and Instagram for Search and News

Amazon Offers Concessions to Call Off EU’s Antitrust Probes

In the wake of the European Union’s strict new digital-competition laws, Amazon has proposed settlements in two EU antitrust cases. The U.S.-based e-commerce giant says it will stop using non-public data it obtains from the activities of independent sellers on its marketplace to inform its own business decisions in competition with those sellers. A separate investigation found Amazon to be self-dealing with regard to its Buy Box and Prime plans, resulting in a commitment to give third-party sellers equal treatment. The commitments would remain in force for five years, monitored by a trustee reporting to the European Commission. Continue reading Amazon Offers Concessions to Call Off EU’s Antitrust Probes

Snapchat+ Subscription Tier Launches in Limited Territories

Snap Inc. is beginning the rollout of Snapchat+,  a subscription tier promising “exclusive, experimental and prerelease features” as well as priority support for a monthly fee of $3.99. Targeting “our most passionate users,” Snapchat+ will be available at launch in the U.S., Canada, the UK, France, Germany, Australia, New Zealand, Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates, with plans for further expansion as the tier evolves. The Snapchat+ launch follows similar moves by Twitter, with Twitter Blue, and Meta Platforms, with Facebook Subscriptions as social platforms seek to supplement advertising with additional revenue streams. Continue reading Snapchat+ Subscription Tier Launches in Limited Territories

Google Revamps News Display, Works to Settle EU Disputes

Google News is trying to keep peace with publishers while adding functionality to its feed with a revamped desktop that lets users customize up to three topics on the home screen. For example, Local News, World News and Top Picks can be set to display across three-columns. Meanwhile, the global payment battle between content providers and Alphabet’s aggregator has achieved closure in France, where the competition authority said a settlement has been reached after a two-year legal battle and a $525 million fine. Terms include a pledge from Google to give news providers estimates of indirect revenue generated from news content that appears in its search results. Continue reading Google Revamps News Display, Works to Settle EU Disputes

Netflix Subscribers Struggle with New Password-Sharing Fee

Netflix subscribers are adjusting to its new pay-to-password-share policy, and it’s reportedly been a bumpy transition. In Peru, where active accounts were automatically opted-in for new sharing restrictions, reports of confusion are emerging. At issue, a reported lack of clarity over the company’s definition of a “household,” and new charges related to the term. In March, Netflix announced a test run of paid password sharing for non-household users in Costa Rica and Chile, as well as Peru. The Central and South American markets are on the lower side of Netflix’s revenue-per-user scale. Continue reading Netflix Subscribers Struggle with New Password-Sharing Fee

EU Digital Markets Act Poised to Compel Apple ‘Sideloading’

The EU is preparing to finalize its Digital Markets Act (DMA) designed to neutralize Big Tech’s gatekeeper status by leveling the playing field with smaller competitors. The DMA, which could be completed by month’s end, has ramifications for Amazon, Google and parent Alphabet, and especially for Apple, which faces what some describe as an existential threat through provisions that would allow software to be downloaded outside the App Store and third-party payment systems inserted on apps, known as “sideloading.” Failure to comply could carry fines and penalties totaling tens of billions of dollars. Continue reading EU Digital Markets Act Poised to Compel Apple ‘Sideloading’