YouTube, Facebook Use AI Tools to Curb Unwanted Content

Google reports that AI-powered machines, not humans, detected about 80 percent of the 8.28 million videos taken off of YouTube in Q4 2017. This revelation underscores the importance of AI-enabled computers in removing unwanted content — and just how aggressively YouTube is pursuing their removal. At Stanford University’s Global Digital Policy Incubator, executive director Eileen Donahoe noted that balancing free speech with the removal of undesirable videos will be YouTube’s major challenge going forward. Continue reading YouTube, Facebook Use AI Tools to Curb Unwanted Content

Redbox in Public Beta for New On-Demand Streaming Service

Redbox, known for its red kiosks where users can rent DVDs and Blu-ray Discs, has unveiled a new on-demand streaming service for movies and TV shows. The new service is not subscription-based but, similar to iTunes or Google Play, allows the user to pay for each movie or show that they rent or buy; the on-demand service, currently in public beta, will offer the same kind of new release movies and shows available in the kiosks. The privately held company offers content from every studio except Disney. Continue reading Redbox in Public Beta for New On-Demand Streaming Service

Facebook Debuts Canvas for Instant Upload of Media Rich Ads

Facebook debuted Canvas, high-bandwidth ads that load quickly, and without taking users to a mobile site. The instant upload encourages engagement, giving advertisers a better way to reach people, and lets Facebook keep the experience within its pages. A small upwards-pointing arrow identifies a Canvas ad; clicking on the arrow reveals a full-screen with the rich media experience. The alternative experience is when a click on an ad leads to a mobile site that can take five to ten seconds to load. Continue reading Facebook Debuts Canvas for Instant Upload of Media Rich Ads

Facebook Eyes New Ways to Earn Revenue from Messaging

Facebook is looking to integrate mobile games into its Messenger app and business-to-consumer chats into WhatsApp. Both of these initiatives have the potential to generate new revenue for the social network. Game developers would potentially pay big bucks to make their games such an integral part of the Facebook experience. The gaming integration is already in the works, while the WhatsApp move may be introduced later. Facebook is talking with game developers to add new play options to Facebook Messenger. Continue reading Facebook Eyes New Ways to Earn Revenue from Messaging

Jay Z Has Major Plans for Artist-Backed Streaming Music Service

Rap star and mogul Jay Z is giving artists unprecedented control over their music by owning a piece of his new music streaming service. Jay Z bought Tidal, a subscription streaming service, for $56 million and plans to go head-to-head with other streaming services such as Spotify. The platform is a new alternative for artists and labels frustrated with the free streaming model. Tidal will feature $10 and $20 subscription options that provide access to millions of songs and videos. Continue reading Jay Z Has Major Plans for Artist-Backed Streaming Music Service

Mobile Gaming Revenue on an Upswing, Supercell is Top Earner

Revenue from mobile gaming is expected to rise 16.5 percent this year to $3.04 billion, surpassing the revenue growth of e-books, music, and videos. An estimated 60 percent of that growth is expected from in-app purchases. Mobile gaming companies will likely make most of that revenue from only a few strong-performing games because the revenue distribution is highly skewed towards the top. Currently, European gaming companies are making the most successful mobile games. Continue reading Mobile Gaming Revenue on an Upswing, Supercell is Top Earner

The Instagram Rapture: Millions of Fake Accounts are Purged

Instagram, the photo- and video- sharing service owned by Facebook, is deleting all the accounts it has identified as “spammy.” As a result, more than 29 percent of Instagram’s own followers disappeared last week. According to software developer Zach Allia, stars such as Justin Bieber and Kim Kardashian also lost millions of followers. The purge was intended to combat fake accounts, a problem that leads to hijacked hashtags, artificially inflated follower counts, and increased advertising costs. Continue reading The Instagram Rapture: Millions of Fake Accounts are Purged

Ellen DeGeneres Goes Interactive with Ellentube App and Site

Ellen DeGeneres is launching Ellentube, a website and app that will screen exclusive content from her popular daytime television program. The TV personality already runs one of the largest YouTube channels focused on television content. Now, along with executive producers Mary Connelly, Ed Glavin and Andy Lassner, DeGeneres has created Ellentube for interactive use. Fans will be able to upload videos, the best of which will be deemed suitable for a showcase on her daily program. Continue reading Ellen DeGeneres Goes Interactive with Ellentube App and Site

Streaming Services Grow While iTunes Music Sales Decline

Music sales via Apple’s iTunes Store have dropped about 14 percent since the start of the year. Meanwhile, streaming services now supply one-third of the recorded music revenue in the U.S. The total number of streams reported for services such as Spotify and Pandora have increased 46 percent this year over 2013. This shift may be one reason behind Apple’s $3 billion acquisition of Beats Electronics. The company is reportedly planning to relaunch Beats next year as a part of iTunes. Continue reading Streaming Services Grow While iTunes Music Sales Decline

Brands, Media Companies Try Out Tumblr Autoplay Video Ads

Tumblr is following in the footsteps of Facebook with its new autoplay video ads that will appear in users’ feeds. Yahoo, which owns Tumblr, launched the service with ads from Universal, CW, Hulu, and others. The video ads will be mute by default and play in a continuous loop. They will only play automatically when a mobile user has a Wi-Fi connection. Yahoo is hoping that the new ads will help the $1.1 billion Tumblr deal lead to generating significant revenue. Continue reading Brands, Media Companies Try Out Tumblr Autoplay Video Ads

Rooms: Facebook Embraces Anonymity with New Chat App

Facebook’s new “Rooms” app is reminiscent of the Internet bulletin boards and chatrooms of old. The iOS mobile app allows users to create discussion boards on almost any topic and chat with people they may or may not know. Participants can use any username they want and they can change usernames in different rooms. Unlike traditional text-heavy, desktop-based chatrooms, the Rooms app is designed for users to post videos and images and have online discussions on-the-go. Continue reading Rooms: Facebook Embraces Anonymity with New Chat App

Third Party Site May Have Stored 200,000 Snapchat Images

Members of anonymous online messaging forum 4chan claim to have access to as many as 200,000 Snapchat photos through a third-party app called Snapsaved. The smartphone tool allows creators to store photos from their Snapchat accounts. Anonymous members have said that a link will be posted, allowing users to download the photos. It is not clear who created Snapsaved, and the app’s site is no longer working. Meanwhile, Snapchat claims that its servers have not been compromised.

Continue reading Third Party Site May Have Stored 200,000 Snapchat Images

Facebook Debuts Hyper-Local Ads, Snapchat Ads Coming Soon

Facebook unveiled its hyper-local advertising feature this week. “Local Awareness” ads are designed to be more targeted and cost effective by allowing businesses to select a specific area for advertising and the age and gender of the desired audience. Meanwhile, Snapchat CEO Evan Spiegel says, “People are going to see the first ads on Snapchat soon.” The LA-based startup, which makes a mobile app for sharing brief photo messages, attracted investors this year at a $10 billion valuation without any revenue. Continue reading Facebook Debuts Hyper-Local Ads, Snapchat Ads Coming Soon

Amazon Draws Distinction Between its Tablets and E-Readers

Amazon recently announced the expansion of its tablet line and e-reader offerings. As part of an effort to strengthen ties between its tablets and other new hardware, Amazon has dropped the name “Kindle” from its tablets. Formerly called Kindle Fire tablets, the simply named Fire HD and Fire HDX will be more closely aligned with the company’s Fire TV and Fire Phone. The rebranding highlights the distinction Amazon hopes to make between the Kindle e-readers and more advanced Fire tablets. Continue reading Amazon Draws Distinction Between its Tablets and E-Readers

Major Media Companies Look to Leverage YouTube Success

YouTube’s growth shows no signs of slowing, particularly for the top YouTubers and the multichannel networks (MCNs). Each month, the top video sharing platform attracts more than 1 billion viewers watching 6 billion hours of video. Other media companies are now trying to get a piece of YouTube’s audience and its projected $3.4 billion net global advertising revenue. DreamWorks Animation, Disney, Warner Bros., and others are making deals worth millions with MCNs. Continue reading Major Media Companies Look to Leverage YouTube Success

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