Saturday, February 29, 2020


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. 

The Man Who Helped Topple Gawker Is Pushing Column, Social Network for the Rich

Karma_News Summary_Column Social Network
The man who devised the legal strategy that killed Gawker is pitching a paid, invitation-only social network to top tech, business and academic leaders.Aron Ping D’Souza, who helped early Facebook investor Peter Thiel sue Gawker into bankruptcy, is trying to get the...

Tencent to Acquire Norway’s Funcom, As ByteDance Rivalry Moves Into Gaming

Tencent is feeling challenged by ByteDance, grabbing every opportunity to go after the TikTok publisher.  In the latest salvo, China’s Tencent is buying Norwegian games developer Funcom, owner of popular games including Conan Exile, for $148 million, the companies...

Comcast Kicks Off Sports Tech Accelerator, Teams with NASCAR, NBC Sports

Karma_News Summary_SportsTech
Comcast Corp. is putting a full-court press on its competition as investors and startups discover new opportunities in the increasingly tech-driven sports arena.  The media giant has launched SportsTech, an accelerator focused on emerging sports technologies. Ten startups will...

Pinterest Tops Snapchat Due to “Universal Appeal,” Becomes No. 3 U.S. Social Media Platform

Karma_News Summary_Pinterest
Those multitudes of pinned images -- crafts, wedding gowns, fingernails and appetizers -- are pushing Pinterest into the social media stratosphere. The online image board company has surpassed Snapchat in users to become the third-largest U.S. social-media platform, behind...

India Social Media Battle Seen Brewing, As TikTok May Face Challenge from Facebook’s Lasso

Karma_News Summary_India social media
Facebook is taking the fight against fast-growing Chinese video app TikTok to one of the hottest markets in the world for downloads.The U.S. social media giant plans to launch its short-video sharing app Lasso in India, most likely by May, Entrackr reported,...

Another Reason to Disconnect: Social Media Promoting Bad Self-Image, Even Among Healthy Users

You’ve seen them on Facebook and other social media -- posts by uber-fit people doing super-athletic things. You may want to look away, as it seems those photos and blurbs may not be great for your relationships and self-esteem.

Into the Future: Pandora Moving Slowly to Help You Chat With An Ad

Karma_News Summary_Pandora voice ads
Pandora is moving slowly with its voice technology that permits listeners to interact with ads, but not because it has any doubts consumers actually want to have a conversation with a snack advertisement. Pandora, the third biggest music streaming...

Peter Thiel Seen as Voice Advising Zuckerberg on Political Ad Policies

Karma_News Summary_Thiel Facebook
A billionaire libertarian, responsible for co-founding PayPal and bankrupting Gawker Media, may have Mark Zuckerberg’s ear as the Facebook CEO navigates policies on accepting political advertisements.    Peter Thiel, Facebook board member and its first outside investor, is advising Zuckerberg...

Twitch Fends off Microsoft, Facebook To Stay Atop Game Streaming Heap

Karma_News Summary_Twitch
Twitch’s early move into video game streaming is paying off, with Microsoft, Facebook, Twitter and Disney failing to dislodge the Amazon unit from its top position.  Twitch isn’t only defending its No.1 standing -- the company is expanding it....

Yubo Lands $12.3 Million to Put the Social Back in Social Media for Gen Z

Karma_News Summary_Yubo
With the cascade of likes, algorithms and influencers, today’s social media can feel anything but social for many users. Startup Yubo says it has an answer, an app that seeks to “reinvent online friendships” for Generation Z. The Paris-based...

Violet Grey’s Curation Model May be the Future of Conscious Consumption

Karma_Affiliate_Violet Grey
The deluge of advertisements that come with the holiday season often drown out any cautionary notes about over-consumption. But that may be changing, as the influence of Instagram and the less-is-more shopping habits of millennials and Gen Z push the purchasing conversation...

Not All Fun and Games: Online Play Increasingly Luring Kids for Sexploitation

Karma_News Summary_Online gaming safety
The virtual world your kid constructed in Fortnite may have an unseen threat built in -- sexual predators reaching out through the chat box. Just before the holiday season, when billions of dollars will be spent on games, authorities...

One Year After a “Crazy Idea,” Impact-Focused Film Festival Kicks Off in New York

Karma_News Summary_ESG & Impact Forum Film Festival
This time a year ago, Matt Ackermann had what he calls a “crazy idea.” This idea became ESG & Impact Forum, which opened with a film festival on Wednesday showcasing 12 short documentaries and social-impact solutions from around the...

Pinterest, The Knot to Stop Promoting Wedding Venues That Were Once Slave Plantations

Karma_News Summary_Pinterest and The Knot
Two of the biggest U.S. wedding websites -- The Knot and Pinterest -- are taking a step into the 21st century and embracing a policy to stop promoting wedding venues that had once been slave plantations to avoid glamorizing the past.  

TikTok Faces U.S. Army Security Assessment as Scrutiny Increases; Cadets Told to Not Use App

Karma_News Summary_TikTok under U.S. Army scrutiny
TikTok can now add the U.S. army to the range of American critics looking into privacy and security concerns related to the popular Chinese video app.Army Secretary Ryan McCarthy said a security assessment will be done of the app, which has been...

Shop Sustainably This Cyber Monday with These Companies

Karma_Affiliate_Cyber Monday
It’s the most wonderful time of the year for e-commerce. Monday, December 2 marks the 14th year that Cyber Monday will dominate holiday spending. This season, Americans are projected to spend over $143.7 billion on online purchases, marking a...

Next Up, Video Gaming — Cloud Streaming Replacing Hardware, M&A Rolls On, Survey Says

Karma_News Summary_Cloud gaming
It seems only one thing isn’t changing in the gaming industry -- disruption. “Companies… know they need to evolve,” ran across the top of EY’s gaming survey this week.  Constant disruption is sparking growth and consolidation, with cloud-based streaming...

CAUSEBOX: An Ethical Model for Subscription Box Success

Until relatively recently, the term “subscription box” brought to mind those “Cheese of the Month” clubs that sent a brick of Brie or bleu to your doorstep once a month for a year. But since 2011, the model has evolved well beyond...

Trufan Acquires SocialRank as Demand for Audience Info Soars

Karma_News Summary_Trufan acquires SocialRank
Trufan, which helps companies market to niche audiences, has purchased audience analytics firm SocialRank to bolster its position as a social intelligence platform. Swish Goswami, Trufan’s 22-year old founder and CEO, said that the combination will bolster his company’s...

Taylor Swift Asks Carlyle Group to Help Free Her from ‘Tyrannical Control’ Over Her Music

Karma_News Summary_Taylor Swift Carlyle
Taylor Swift doesn’t want to calm down. Her Thursday night appeal on Twitter is the latest and one of the most high-profile moves by a female entertainer in Hollywood to assert her independence and control over her own music.

TikTok Scrutiny Highlights ‘Deep Systemic Risk’ For All Chinese Apps: Experts

Karma_News Analysis_TikTok
This week TikTok generated a lot of headlines and regulatory scrutiny from U.S. lawmakers, but the issue goes beyond TikTok. Security experts and lawmakers painted a gloomy picture of cyber espionage and security threats paused by the Chinese companies...

Snap’s Spiegel Says Viable Augmented-Reality Glasses May Take Decade

Karma_News Summary_Snap Spectacles
Augmented and virtual reality applications are surging across many industries, but don’t hold your breath waiting for great AR eyeglasses, according to Evan Spiegel, co-founder and CEO of Snap Inc.Hardware constraints are forcing trade-offs related to power, field of view, and battery...

Welcome Friendshipping: Developer BetaDwarf Sees Videogames as a Solution Not a Cause of Loneliness

Karma Impact_News Analysis_BetaDwarf Loneliness
Key Takeaway: Danish online games developer BetaDwarf believes that a new type of game encouraging teamwork will bring people closer together. So-called friendshipping games counter prevailing wisdom that online games isolate people...

Dubai to Host Concert Promising Zero Carbon Emissions — Using Controversial Fuel

Karma_News Summary_Dubai zero-emissions rock concert
A Dubai concert is promising to Rock the World but not the planet. Still, the show is being powered by a controversial fuel that some say isn’t so green. Organizers of Rock the World/Save the Planet are marketing the...

Battle Royale: Singularity6 Bets That Virtual Worlds Will Outgun Social Networks

Karma_News Analysis_Singularity6
Key Takeaway: Virtual gaming worlds may become social networks of the future; they’re being watched by investors as usage slows in battle games like Fortnite.

As Loneliness Hits Crisis Level, BetaDwarf Gets $6.6 Million For “Friendshipping” Games

Karma_News Summary_BetaDwarf
Critics of online games say they isolate people and foster loneliness, which researchers have tied to a range of social problems.   But Copenhagen-based games creator BetaDwarf says its popular “friendshipping” games Forced, Forced Showdown and most recently, Minion Masters,...

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...

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...
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