The headline on 15 November 2019
Twitter drafted a new policy in which it would label deep fakes and other “manipulated media”. It’ll run a notice next to those tweets, warning people before they RT or like those tweets, and add a link to content that explains why Twitter believes that tweet was “synthetic”. Twitter says it may remove the deep fake if it threatens someone’s safety, but otherwise, it’ll leave it up. It’s now running a survey to get people’s views on this draft policy (well done
Google is going to start naming and shaming slow websites. This will help you figure out if it’s the web page that’s slow or if it’s your network connection. Google hasn’t quite figured out how it’ll label them, but this is all part of the company’s plans to showcase “high-quality” experiences.
Disney launched its streaming app Disney+ in the U.S. People complained that it was hard to create new accounts, browse shows, and stream content. All technical teething pains as you’d expect. But it didn’t stop Disney from getting 10 million subs on the first day.
Facebook launched Facebook Pay, a service that will help you send money to people on Messenger, WhatsApp, and Instagram. You just need to connect your credit card to your Facebook account.
YouTube scared the shit out of creators. It updated its Terms of Service to say that “YouTube may terminate your access, or your Google account’s access to all or part of the Service if YouTube believes, in its sole discretion, that provision of the Service to you is no longer commercially viable.” Everyone thought YT would shut down non-viable channels when the company meant it would end its services that were not viable.
If the “clarified” TOS is meant to inform us that certain features on YouTube may be ended, then you need to update the TOS again because, the way it’s phrased now, everyone who read it thought it was saying YouTube will ban accounts for not being profitable to YouTube. pic.twitter.com/8UDcv0ASzs
— Possum Reviews (@ReviewsPossum) November 12, 2019
Instagram launched a TikTok copy. Reels lets you create 15-second videos, set it to music, and share them as Stories. It’s on both iOS and Android but limited to Brazil for now.
Softbank-owned Yahoo Japan is planning a $27 billion merger with Naver’s Line. This could transform Japan’s media landscape by combining news, e-commerce, and payments. This could be the shot in the arm that Line needs — it’s struggling to find new users with its app entrenched (only) in Japan, Taiwan, and Thailand.
Australia’s ABC decided not to broadcast the Tokyo Olympics live on the radio because of the costs. This ends a 67-year tradition for the broadcaster, triggering a storm of complaints.
The Atlantic has a new, redesigned app. The best thing about it: It feels like a newsletter. It starts with a “Today” screen that’s hand-curated and written by humans. The bad thing: It’s only on iOS for now.
Brave is now out of Beta. This free, open-source browser prioritizes security. It blocks third-party ads, trackers, and autoplay videos automatically.
Singapore-based theAsianparent raised a “seven-figure” Series C2 round of funding to expand into retail. The company plans to create a line of maternity and baby products. “Content companies cannot exist as content companies alone. We pivoted to being content and community with the launch of the app last year. And now, we’ve closed the loop with commerce.”
WordPress.com added recurring payments to the platform. “Let your followers support you with periodic, scheduled payments. Charge for your weekly newsletter, accept monthly donations, sell yearly access to exclusive content — and do it all with an automated payment system.”
Google News Initiative launched its second innovation challenge. If you’re in Singapore, they’d like to meet and explain the application process and help you understand what they’re looking for. This takes place on Friday, 22nd November, at 1 pm at Google’s Singapore office. Details and RSVP here.
The headline on 14 November 2019
Verizon’s new Stream TV set-top box decive launched without support for Netflix, free for new subscribers to Verizon’s 5G Home Internet plan through a promotion. Source: The Verge > Verizon’s new set-top box is possibly the worst option out there for streaming
Roku is releasing limited edition onn. Roku TV and the limited edition Roku SE streaming player will be available exclusively at Walmart for Black Friday. Source: BusinessWire > Roku Announces Limited Edition onn.™ • Roku TV and Limited Edition $18 Roku SE Player Exclusively at Walmart for Black Friday
Lionsgate has signed an output deal with Amazon for the U.K., giving Amazon first window streaming rights in the U.K. for the studio’s recently released and upcoming theatrical films. Source: Hollywood Reporter > Lionsgate and Amazon Sign U.K. Output Deal
The headline on 13 November 2019
The new Disney+ app is now available on LG TV models produced from 2016 through 2019 running the webOS platform, content including movies and shows from Disney, Pixar, Marvel, Star Wars, National Geographic and more. Source: PR Newswire > Disney+ Comes To LG Smart TVs
Netflix and Nickelodeon formed a new, multi-year output deal to produce original animated feature films and television series – based both on the Nickelodeon library of characters as well as all-new IP. Source: Netflix Media Center > NETFLIX AND NICKELODEON FORM MULTI-YEAR OUTPUT DEAL TO PRODUCE ORIGINAL ANIMATED FILMS AND SERIES FOR KIDS & FAMILIES AROUND THE WORLD
Facebook wants to do away with sexy emoji. We all know that the use of the eggplant emoji has nothing to do with eggplants. “It’s not a great joke. There’s no punch line, just an assumption that the viewer understands the reference: When depicted online, “eggplant” is code for “dick.”” Facebook doesn’t like this, and wanting to clamp down on it speaks to the ubiquitous legitimacy of these symbols. “Certain emojis will only be removed from Facebook and Instagram if they are used alongside a request for nude imagery, sex or sexual partners, or sex-chat conversations,” says the platform. Source: The Atlantic > Free the Eggplant
If your website loads slowly in Chrome, Google might give it a badge to shame it. They’re still experimenting with options on how to signal this to users. But speed is rewarded too: The options for the new badging will include “a loading progress bar that would appear green if the site is fast”. “We are being very mindful with our approach to setting the bar for what is considered a good user experience and hope to land on something that is practically achievable by all developers.” Source: The Verge > Google plans to give slow websites a new badge of shame in Chrome
YouTube redesigned its homepage. The YouTube homepage is Comfortable, which means you see fewer video thumbnails but more information about each video. Fewer videos mean longer titles, which also makes it easier to glance at information rather than hover or click through to see the detailing. Source: The Verge > YouTube’s homepage redesign means people will see bigger thumbnails and fewer videos
Apple redesigned, of all things, their privacy pages. This is interesting not just because of what they did but why. The Verge says the new pages are “now like product pages but for privacy”. They look great, and now detail privacy features on a number of their products instead of the generic boilerplate privacy boringness that used to live in this section. Redesigning privacy says a great deal about how the company is prioritizing privacy, and making it easier for its users to understand and access it. Source: The Verge > Apple’s new privacy pages are easier to read and look way better
The headline on 12 November 2019
Disney+ has experienced some technical difficulties on its launch day. Source: Hollywood Reporter > Disney+ Hit by Technical Issues on Launch Day
ABC is set to become the second of the major networks to no longer use Live+Same Day figures to measure the performance of its shows. Source: Variety > ABC to Stop Using Live+Same Day Ratings
The headline on 11 November 2019
Apple reportedly wants to put out an AR headset in 2022 and AR glasses in 2023. Source: The Information > Apple Eyes 2022 Release for AR Headset, 2023 for Glasses
Disney has provided more details about how its Disney+, ESPN+ and limited ad version of the Hulu bundle will work. This bundle will be live on Disney+’s website starting November 12th, 2019 for $12.99/month. Source: Cord Cutter News > Disney+ Announces New Details About Its $12.99 Bundle with Hulu & ESPN+
The Telecom Infra Project (TIP), Infinera and Edgecore Networks collaborated on the market adoption of carrier-class Disaggregated Cell Site Gateways (DCSG) technology with the first large-scale commercial deployment by Telefónica. Source: Infinera Press Release > Telecom Infra Project, Infinera, and Edgecore Networks Mark Milestone in Open Mobile Transport with First DCSG Commercial Deployment
The headline on 08 November 2019
The FCC has granted a good faith complaint by AT&T against some TV stations linked to Sinclair over signal negotiations. Source: Seeking Alpha > AT&T wins FCC good faith order against stations tied to Sinclair
Linda Yaccarino, chairman of advertising and partnerships at NBCUniversal, will deliver a keynote address at CES 2020. Source: BusinessWire > NBCUniversal Joins CES 2020 Keynote Lineup
WarnerMedia hired Andrew Reinsdorf as senior vice president of government relations, responsible for WarnerMedia’s federal and state legislative advocacy and constituency relations. Source: BusinessWire > WarnerMedia Names Andrew Reinsdorf Senior Vice President, Government Relations
The U.S. government charged two former Twitter employees with spying for the Saudis. The two — a former media partnerships manager for the Middle East and a former site reliability engineer — are accused of using their positions in the company to dig into personal information about Saudi critics and thousands of other Twitter users. The account of an anonymous person who angered officials with disclosures about corruption in the Saudi leadership was among those targeted by the alleged spies. Another was an account belonging to someone close to the late Jamal Khashoggi.
The U.S. reportedly launched a national security investigation into TikTok. Authorities are worried about how TikTok is gathering data, and whether China is censoring what’s seen by U.S. users. Lawmakers are also concerned that the platform could be used for foreign interference.
Australia’s government says it won’t loosen the country’s media ownership laws anytime soon. Communications Minister Paul Fletcher says he wants more time to see how recent reforms are playing out. Media execs want more flexibility to pursue acquisitions in regional areas which they hope will help them stay competitive in the digital space.
Singapore has started to register drones that weigh more than 250g. It’s also raising penalties. First-time offenders could be jailed up to 2 years and fined up to US$37,000 for flying drones without a valid permit.
Google is reportedly considering changes to its political ad policy. The WSJ says Google will start sharing these with employees this week. Google made more than $120 million over the past 18 months through political ads, which it allows across Search and YouTube.
Google Discover, which pulls up a feed of recommended content in a new tab on the mobile Chrome browser, is driving more traffic to some sites than Search itself. Publishers are cautiously gleeful. “We all know the risks with algorithms. But I think this is here to stay.”
To build trust and optimism, Facebook decided to call itself FACEBOOK. You won’t see it on the app, but it appears on all corporate branding — a subtle way of telling you that Facebook, WhatsApp, and Instagram belong to FACEBOOK. When in doubt, put a cap on it.
Twitter is notoriously bad at shipping features that they talk about. But here’s something to look forward to — you can now follow conversations in topics that you care about. So if you’re into EPL, you just need to search for that and Twitter will give you a collection of those tweets.
Do you find it annoying how some people will keep adding you to WhatsApp Groups that you don’t care about? WhatsApp is finally letting you block some people (or everyone) from doing that.
YouTube Music is now available in Singapore, Hong Kong, Indonesia, Malaysia, the Philippines, Taiwan, and Thailand. It works in 78 countries, which puts it almost on par with Spotify.
Facebook says it will do more to fight fake news ahead of Taiwan’s presidential election in January. Taiwan’s cybersecurity authorities have warned of rampant misinformation — the island gets about 30 million cyber-attacks a month believed to come from China. In August, Facebook removed seven pages, three groups, and five accounts that it said were behind “coordinated inauthentic” actions such as posing as news orgs and driving people to sites outside of Facebook.
Poynter’s International Fact-Checking Network and Facebook announced a program to encourage the creation of new tools that could “improve fact-checkers’ scale, efficiency or workflow”. Grants of between $15,000-$70,000 are available.
Adobe, Twitter, and NYT are working on a way to add attributions directly to photos and other content. The tool will 1) record who created that content and 2) figure out if that content has been modified by someone else. Adobe showed how this could work in Photoshop, but didn’t say when it would be available.
The headline on 07 November 2019
Tegna reported third-quarter financial results. Successfully closed acquisitions of stations from Dispatch Broadcast Group and Nexstar Media Group which provide shareholder value, enhance portfolio of Big Four stations in key markets, further diversify geographic footprint and reinforce disciplined M&A strategy. Source: BusinessWire > TEGNA Inc. Reports 2019 Third Quarter Results
Amagi said it now supports more than 250 channels for its global customers using next-generation cloud solutions. Source: PR Newswire > Amagi Hits 250-Channel Milestone With Growing Demand for Cloud
The headline on 06 November 2019
Comscore reported third-quarter financial results and appointed Bill Livek as its new CEO and executive vice-chairman. Source: PR Newswire > Comscore Reports Third Quarter 2019 Results and Announces Leadership Transition
Nexstar Media reported third-quarter results, announced to enter into purchase and sale agreements with Charlotte’s FOX and MyNetworkTV Affiliates for approximately $45 million and divest Seattle’s FOX and MyNetworkTV Affiliates and Milwaukee’s FOX Affiliate for approximately $350 million. Source: BusinessWire > Nexstar Media Group Enters Into De-Leveraging Buy/Sell Agreements With Fox Television Stations
Sinclair reported third-quarter results. Source: PR Newswire > Sinclair Reports Third Quarter 2019 Financial Results
To rid an entire generation of the PTBD (Post Traumatic Browser Disorder) triggered by the use of Internet Explorer, Microsoft has redesigned the Edge logo. This is a landmark, people. The new lowercase ‘e’ looks almost nothing like the old lowercase ‘e’ of the horror story that was IE. The new logo looks like a stylized wave.
Remember how Adobe pulled its Adobe Creative Cloud services from Venezuela because of U.S. government trade sanctions against the country? It’s back — with three months added on as an apology for the millions of Venezuelan design folks who were left hanging.
The headline on 05 November 2019
Enea Openwave successfully optimized Apple’s new streaming service, Apple TV+, over mobile networks, using unique traffic management technology. Video could make up 90% of 5G traffic, as additional video streaming services such as Disney+ are launching in Q4 2019. Source: Enea Openwave is First to Optimize Apple TV+ Streaming Service
Sabio launched App Science TV, it’s new advanced TV solution that enables brands to leverage data to serve highly targeted ad units via TV and mobile formats to improve the performance of ad campaigns and return on investment. Source: PR Newswire > Sabio Launches Advanced TV Solution
The headline on 04 November 2019
AT&T is reportedly soon shutting down WatchTV. Source: Cord Cutter News > AT&T Watch TV Will Reportedly Shut Down as AT&T Focuses on HBO MAX
Viant has acquired itself from media publishing powerhouse Meredith. Source: Ad Age > VIANT ACQUIRES ITSELF FROM MEREDITH
The headline on 01 November 2019
Apple TV Plus’ one-year free trial offer is showing error messages for some users, including “Your account is temporarily unavailable” or “You are not qualified for the hardware offer” How to fix it? Just update your devices with the latest software, log in to the Apple TV Plus website using Apple’s Safari browser, click to accept the free 12-month Apple TV Plus subscription offer, logout then relaunch the Apple TV app and sign in again. Source: Variety > Apple TV Plus Free Trial Offer Showing Error Messages for Some Users — But There’s a Fix
The headline on 01 November 2019
Twitter banned political ads on its platform, putting pressure on Facebook to follow suit. Jack Dorsey explained Twitter’s stand noted two fundamental issues that set social ads apart — 1) these are highly optimized, highly targeted; 2) and are delivered at speed. But Jack’s most astute observation is framed in the last tweet of this thread: “This isn’t about free expression. This is about paying for reach. And paying to increase the reach of political speech has significant ramifications that today’s democratic infrastructure may not be prepared to handle. It’s worth stepping back to address.”
A final note. This isn’t about free expression. This is about paying for reach. And paying to increase the reach of political speech has significant ramifications that today’s democratic infrastructure may not be prepared to handle. It’s worth stepping back in order to address.
— jack 🌍🌏🌎 (@jack) October 30, 2019
Some of Facebook’s employees want the company to ban political ads, at least 250 of them. These employees made their opposition known in a letter to the chief.
Australia’s competition regulator sued Google, saying it misled users into sharing personal data. The suit says the company left on, by default, a setting that allowed Google to collect location data.
Downloads of the teen-favorite TikTok app are slowing down for the first time since it launched. The decline in downloads seems correlated to how much ByteDance has been spending on ads.
A new report from DW Akademie suggests donors should think in terms of “viability” and not just “sustainability”. It said donors should adopt “core funding on principle”, rather than trying to fund specific investigations, or content on specific areas.
WhatsApp sued Israeli firm NSO, alleging the company infected devices with surveillance-ware. WhatsApp says 1,400 phones were hacked — mainly those belonging to journalists, human rights activists, political dissidents, and diplomats. NSO Group says it’ll fight the case. “The sole purpose of NSO is to provide technology to licensed government intelligence and law enforcement agencies to help them fight terrorism and serious crime.”
BBC’s news site is now available on the dark web on the Tor network. This is part of the BBC’s plan to make its content available to countries like China, Iran, and Vietnam, which have been blocking access to the BBC.
Crowdfunded startup Hong Kong Free Press has been sustaining itself through the goodwill of people. This week, a newlywed couple decided to donate all their wedding gifts to the team.
I did a talk last year about how HKFP is powered by kindness… This week, a couple decided to donate all of their wedding gifts to us – so ridiculously generous.
A leaflet they’re leaving on each table… 👇 pic.twitter.com/PWDuz1bVbz
— Tom Grundy (@tomgrundy) October 28, 2019
The Ken launched corporate subscriptions. Sign up for your whole team. If you add 10 or more, you’ll get a 30-day free subscription for everyone.
India’s rural journalism news org Khabar Lahariya introduced a new subscription product. Sound, Fury, and 4G cover the views of the country’s rural youth.
China’s tech news site 36Kr set the terms for its IPO in the U.S. It plans to raise $63 million, much lower than its initial target of $100 million.
Email service Substack started with a belief that there should be a better way for writers to make money from their work. “We see an enormous opportunity in this moment of reconfiguration, where new voices will emerge, new kinds of businesses will be built, and everyone can benefit from rewarding relationships.” Substack just turned two. This is where they’re headed.
Google launched its second innovation challenge for news orgs in Asia Pacific. This time, they’re looking to support projects that increase audience engagement. These projects will have “clear indicators showing the impact of the project from a user perspective and/or for a business perspective”. Google will fund up to $250,000 to selected projects. Applications close on January 7, 2020.
WAN-IFRA and Facebook launched Newsroom Transformation 2020, a six-month training program for news orgs across Southeast Asia. This program covers four key areas of digital transformation: culture, journalism, audience, and operations.
Facebook is looking for a News Program Lead in the media partnerships team to “build and operationalize new news products, including a new surface for news”. The role is based in Singapore.