Tuesday, September 17, 2019

Entertainment

Karma explores how today’s fragmented entertainment landscape is disrupting legacy media business models in terms of development, financing, production, distribution, and promotion, and the effects and implications on popular culture and society. 

Nike May Risk Customer Alienation with Data-Focused Acquisition

With Nike’s recent acquisition of Celect, an AI-driven predictive analytics company, the retail giant has the potential to transform its business from shoes and clothing to data. But privacy pitfalls lie ahead, and how customers feel about their buying patterns being monitored...

Apple, Google, Pandora Face Patent Lawsuit From Firm that Previously Sued Rivals

Apple, Google, and Pandora were sued last week for allegedly infringing on patents owned by  Post Media Systems in their online music services, in what may be the latest example of so-called patent trolls seeking to make profits through the legal system.

Immigrant Social Network Homeis Raises $12M to Expand to U.S.’s Latino Communities

Moving to a new country is scary, complicated, and fraught, and immersing oneself in a strange culture adds layers of dissonance and complexity.  Homeis, a social network for immigrants, is aiming to tame that beast. On Tuesday, Homeis announced...

Twitter Backs ShareChat, Looks to Compete with Facebook in India

Twitter led the latest $100 million round in an Indian social media app ShareChat, according to a TechCrunch report over the weekend, as the social media giant looks to compete with Facebook’s WhatsApp in the Indian market. Twitter faces...

Video Game Loot Boxes Face Gambling Comparisons, Gamer Backlash

A key aspect of the modern video game business model has come under fire recently –– and it has nothing to do with violent themes.  Loot boxes –– virtual in-game grab bags containing randomized virtual items that can enhance...

Instagrammable “Experiums” Connect People with Brands, Social Media — Not Each Other

It’s been three years since Museum of Ice Cream -- what might be considered the case study for pop-up Instagram havens -- opened its sugary doors. Now, co-founders Maryellis Bunn, called  “Millennial Walt Disney” by New York Magazine, and Manish Vora are...

Augmented Reality Dreams: Snap Tries Again With Spectacles 3

Snap isn’t backing down from its effort to sell video-recording sunglasses, unveiling its third iteration that doubles the cameras and the price.  On Tuesday, parent company of Snapchat, continuing its push into augmented reality hardware, unveiled the newest Spectacles...

Fun Kids Starts Kids’ Podcast Network as Parents Fret Over Screen Time

Podcasts -- a welcome respite from computer screens for adults -- are growing in popularity with a younger demographic. On Monday, U.K. digital radio station Fun Kids launched a preteen-focused podcast network. It includes programming adapted from popular Fun...

Slow Shift: WNBA to Appear in NBA 2K Gaming Franchise for the First Time

It took two decades, but the women of the WNBA are finally taking to the NBA 2K basketball court as a part of NBA 2K20, a video game that Take-Two Interactive Software, Inc. will release Sept. 6. This marks...

Podcasting Stays Hot: Entercom Lands Cadence13, Pineapple Street Media

Dealmaking in the podcasting field is continuing, as companies eyeing rising advertising revenues race for content. Entercom Communications Corp., the second-largest radio broadcaster by revenue, announced Aug. 7 its acquisition of two leading podcast companies: the remainder of Cadence13...

Big 4 Networks Sue AT&T-Backed Nonprofit Locast Over Free Web TV

A nonprofit backed by AT&T and Dish that claims to “Free Your TV” by offering free streams of broadcast networks’ local programs, was hit with a lawsuit this week in what may be a test of its ability to bypass networks’ traditional...

FaZe Clan Adds First Female Member in Boost for Esports Gender Parity

One of the world’s most popular esports organizations, FaZe Clan, signed its first female member: Fortnite player Soleil “Ewok” Wheeler, who is 13 and a student at the Indiana School for the Deaf.   Wheeler, FaZe Clan’s first deaf player,...

Facebook’s Video Platform “Watch” Draws Advertisers Wary of YouTube Pitfalls

Advertisers are warming up to Facebook’s nearly two-year-old Watch video platform as they seek an alternative to YouTube, whose problems with sexual and violent content may put millions of advertising dollars at risk.  An unidentified media buyer told the...

Netflix, YouTube Headed to Tesla’s Self-Driving Vehicles Despite Safety Concerns

Tesla is rolling out entertainment features for its vehicles -- while Wall Street questions the automaker’s profitability and critics continue to voice concerns surrounding its lofty self-driving goals.  Tesla CEO Elon Musk tweeted over the weekend that the company’s...

Pretzel Labs’ Alexa Apps Aim to Cut Screen Time, Build Family Ties

Amazon’s Alexa has its detractors, who see the voice assistant as an eavesdropping annoyance raising privacy concerns. To the mind of entrepreneur Adva Levin, it’s a creative tool, with the promise of bringing families together through play She started...

TikTok Said to Eye Jukedeck as A.I.-Made Music Becomes a Real Industry

Social media giant TikTok’s reported purchase of Jukedeck last week points to rising demand in the video production and entertainment industries for music created by artificial intelligence.   U.K.-based Jukedeck, which has raised about $2.8 million, mostly from Cambridge Innovation...

Meditation’s Music Play: Who Will Succeed in Bringing Mindfulness to Mainstream?

Jack Dorsey, the founder of the loudest and at times the most rambunctious of social media giants Twitter, spent his birthday on a silent meditation retreat in Myanmar in 2018. Twitter users snickered and tech journalists still make fun...

Apple Aims to Keep “Podfather” Status with Reported Plan for Exclusive Shows

The podcast skirmishes may be turning into an all-out war, now that a once-neutral player appears to have taken a side.  Apple is planning to fund exclusive, original shows for Apple Podcasts, which is already the biggest provider of...

PBS Kids’ First Indigenous-Led Show Highlights Challenges in Bringing Diverse Storylines

The first nationally distributed childrens’ TV show led by an indigenous character has arrived on public television, thanks in part to healthy funding and demand for a wider range of ethnicities and types. PBS Kids aired the first episode...

Pixion Wants to Bring “Lunchtime Esports” to Everyone

Pixion Games, a London-based studio developing competitive e-sports games for mobile devices, closed a $2 million seed round that it will use to hire staff and boost so-called “lunchtime esports.”  The company is the latest player in the fast-growing...

Vivendi’s Canal+ Acquires African Film Studio ROK to Help Cut Losses in France

Vivendi’s Canal+ acquired Nigeria’s largest film production house ROK, expanding into Africa’s growing “Nollywood” film industry while it fights rising competition at home. The deal by France’s pay-TV giant Canal+, according to Reuters, is the first international acquisition in Nollywood.

Smartphone Maker ROKiT Launches $50 Million Indie Game Development Fund

ROKiT, maker of 3D smartphones and handheld devices, launched a $50 million development fund to support independent game developers. The fund, ROKiT Games Limited, will invest in both mobile and console titles. Selected companies will be eligible to receive...

U.S. Podcast Rivals Stitcher, Wondery Team Up with Eyes on Growing U.K. Market

U.S. podcasting rivals Stitcher and Wondery are teaming up to help U.K. advertisers sell to their expanding podcast audience.  The ad networks unveiled a podcast platform, Podfront UK, which allows U.K. advertisers to buy premium inventory for Wondery and...

Music Modernization Act Brings a Level of Fairness to the Industry — But There’s Still Further to Go

Last week, Taylor Swift’s master recordings were sold to music entrepreneur Scooter Braun, reigniting uproar surrounding artists’ rights in the age of streaming.  Music streaming services like Spotify and Apple Music have long been criticized for skimpy payouts to...

‘Netflix for Podcasts’ Aims to Address Subscription Fatigue

Danish podcasting startup Podimo has attracted investor interest as it seeks to become the “Netflix for podcasts.” The company raised about $6.7 million in an investing round led by Germany’s e.ventures and Denmark’s Heartcore, ahead of the product’s launch later this year. Podimo...

Why Taylor Swift’s Scooter Braun Beef May Be a Turning Point for Modern Musicians’ Rights

Private equity now owns a stake in Taylor Swift, and while she’s not happy about it, she’s taken to the bully pulpit to repeat her concerns over eroding artists’ rights in the rapidly-changing music industry. On Sunday, media mogul...

Earios Takes on the Male-Dominated Podcast Network Space

A trio of female entertainment industry veterans have started a podcast network catering to women, carving out a niche as the nascent format expands rapidly and attracts bigger advertising dollars.  Former comedy agent Priyanka Mattoo joined writers and actresses...

China Yanking Podcast Apps May Chill Investment

China’s two top podcast-sharing Apps -- Himalaya FM and Lizhi FM -- were yanked from some Android markets amid Hong Kong protests, a move that may cool interest from companies who had been eager to invest in the world’s most populous country,...

YouTube’s Kid Issue Isn’t Just a YouTube Problem — It’s the Internet’s

YouTube is in the hot seat again for child safety shortcomings. Last week, The Washington Post revealed that YouTube was in the late stages of a Federal Trade Commission investigation launched following complaints from consumer groups that the site...

Wondery’s $10 Million Highlights Promise, Pitfalls of Podcast Industry

Wondery, the podcasting company that spawned the hit TV show “Dirty John,” announced a $10 million private equity cash infusion in a move that highlights rapid growth in the nascent corner of media as well as challenges to reach wider audiences.
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