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Gold Level Contributor

Ogilvy Racks Up 1M Followers On LinkedIn

Image: Gabriel Varaljay | Unsplash

WPP’s big agency network Ogilvy reached a social media milestone earlier this month when it became the first agency brand to reach 1 million followers on LinkedIn.

That may not seem like a lot compared, say, to the 122 some million people that follow Barack Obama on Twitter according to this recent report -- but hitting the million follower mark in the LinkedIn universe is pretty impressive.

The largest following overall for a company page on LinkedIn is Google, with upwards of 18 million followers.  And British entrepreneur Richard Branson has the biggest individual following with 17 plus million.

As you would expect from a global agency network, Ogilvy has a global following on LinkedIn, with the top five nations represented being the U.S., U.K., India, Brazil and Spain.

Other widely followed agencies on LinkedIn include Leo Burnett with over 450,000 followers, Saatchi & Saatchi (nearly 400,000), McCann (300,000-plus) and DDB (about 275,000).

In addition to jobs, agencies tend to use their LinkedIn pages to showcase work and talent -- who generally have a lot to say on a lot of subjects.

In Ogilvy’s case, you’ll even get some words of wisdom from founder David Ogilvy, like “You cannot bore people into buying your product. You can only interest them in buying it.”

The agency was founded in 1948 -- but this adage still holds true today, doesn’t it?

Originally published by
Steve McClellan | September 23, 2020
MediaPost

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Silver Level Contributor

Political ads have followed consumers to popular streaming services. But unlike traditional TV broadcasters, streamers are not required to disclose how ads are targeted or who is viewing them. 

And while social media platforms have begun to come under public and government scrutiny, streaming services seem to be flying under the radar. 

Online political ads have enormous influence because of their abilities to “microtarget, manipulate and misinform voters at a level unmatched by any other form of political speech,” yet these ads “are subject to almost no regulation and oversight, especially in the domain of streaming platforms," sums up Mozilla researcher Becca Ricks. “It’s a worrying combination.” 

Mozilla, as part of the Mozilla Foundation’s efforts to ensure that the internet remains a public resource “open and accessible to all,” has just released a study on this state of affairs — and it’s not pretty. 

The study researched six leading ad-supported streaming platforms — Hulu, Roku, Tubi, CBS All-Access, YouTube TV and Sling TV — based on their political ad policies, ad transparency tools, ad targeting capabilities, potential for abuse, and user control over ads. 

The researchers asked a set of questions within each of those five categories, such as: Does the service fact-check or otherwise vet political ads? Does it have a public ad transparency library that includes all ads, not just political ads? How precise can political advertisers get when they target users? 

Mozilla then assigned a letter grade to each platform. 

Sling got the worst overall grade, an F, while YouTube got the best grade, B. The report card is shown above. More specifics about what findings went into individual platforms’ grades are available in Mozilla’s report

In the process, Mozilla uncovered what it describes as “startling” political advertising trends in the streaming space “that all voters should be aware of as the election draws near.” 

For starters, the study confirms that the streamers' targeting is highly sophisticated. “Most [ad-supported] streaming platforms offer very complex ad targeting that is comparable to Facebook,” the report points out. “Most allow political advertisers to pull in third-party data, which means that viewers generally could be targeted with political ads based on household income, education level, marital status, causes they support, their political party affiliation, whether they are a registered voter, or whether they have cast their ballot already.” 

(The report also notes that non-political advertisers have access to even more complex tools, including customer matching, inferred behaviors, and lookalike audiences.)

On the transparency front, “opacity, not transparency, is the status quo,” when it comes to political ads, says the report. In fact, all of the services were graded F on transparency except YouTube TV, which got a B.

For instance, only YouTube TV was found to offer ad transparency libraries or archives. Roku said it’s planning to release an ad archive soon, “but early details about that archive suggest that barely any information will be provided,” the researchers say. 

Originally published by
Karlene Lukovitz  | September 22, 2020
Media Post

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Gold Level Contributor

AT&T mulls part ad-funded tariffs

AT&T CEO John Stankey raised the possibility of introducing price plans part-subsidised by targeted advertising, Reuters reported, a system likely to take advantage of the operator’s digital arm.

In an interview with the publication, Stankey said he believed there was a segment of its customer base who would be open to accepting advertising in exchange for a discount of $5 to $10 on the cost of their monthly bills. He added the option could be available within two years.

The company is planning to launch a similar model for a discounted version of pay-TV service HBO in 2021.

Partly subsidised price plans are far from a new idea, with a range of MVNOs in several markets testing the model in recent years. But none achieved mainstream success and most large MNOs are yet to experiment with the approach.

Stankey’s comments on lowering monthly bills come as AT&T’s rivals make moves to increase their shares in the low-price segment of the US market.

Earlier this week Verizon signed a deal with America Movil to buy value-segment MVNO Tracfone for $6.25 billion, while T-Mobile US began offering discount rates prior to its big-money acquisition of Sprint.

Originally posted by
Chris Donkin | September 16, 2020
Mobile World Live

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Gold Level Contributor

Gamers tipped as $150B 5G opportunity

Ribbon Communications predicted the cloud gaming sector could open the door to revenue of $150 billion a year for 5G network operators, with users willing to pay more for the enhanced experience the technology offers.

In a study of more than 5,000 gamers in five countries, the company found 79 per cent would consider replacing their current broadband and mobile connectivity with 5G to get a better service when playing.

More than half (58 per cent) claimed they would switch their connectivity provider if a rival offered “a high-quality gaming service” with a 5G subscription.

Patrick Joggerst, Ribbon Communications’ CMO and EVP business development, noted key elements of 5G networks including network slicing could deliver “deterministic performance, high speed and strict service guarantees”, which will “help usher in new business and use cases”.

Almost all (95 per cent) respondents were ready to spend more to get “the best gaming experience possible”, with 60 per cent willing to double the sum they currently pay for gaming services.

Additional revenue for operators could come from selling subscriptions to cloud services and bundled packages, Ribbon Communications stated.

Joggerst said operators which invest in standalone (SA) 5G networks will be well-positioned to form partnerships with providers of game content and “dominate the 5G cloud gaming sector accordingly”.

Originally published by
Yanitsa Boyadzhieva | September 14, 2020
Mobile World Live

 

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Silver Level Contributor

With the Chinese government having thrown another wrench in the works by restricting exports of artificial-intelligence technology, TikTok parent ByteDance is talking with U.S. government officials about possible ways to avoid a full sale of TikTok’s U.S. operations, according to Wall Street Journalsources. 

President Donald Trump’s August 14 executive order gave ByteDance until November 12 to sell the operations to a U.S. business, or be banned in this country. 

ByteDance reportedly has been in talks with Oracle, as well as Microsoft, which has now teamed with Walmart on its acquisition bid. 

But clinching a sale under extraordinary time pressure has become even more difficult since China late last month implemented new restrictions on exports of AI tech — raising questions about whether an acquisition would include TikTok’s all-important algorithms. 

“Even if there isn’t a full sale, the outcome would likely involve some sort of restructuring of TikTok,” WSJ writes, citing one of its sources. “That could involve a deal in which TikTok takes on a U.S. technology partner that helps secure its data and potentially takes a minority stake.” 

It isn’t clear whether Trump would accept a partial sale under any circumstances. The specifics of China’s stance also remain unclear.

Originally published by
Karlene Lukovitz | September 10, 2020
MediaPost

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Gold Level Contributor
 

The global video game industry will exceed $200 billion in value by 2023 — up from a projected $155 billion in 2020, projects Juniper Research.

Mobile and cloud gaming will lead the growth, as the business continues to shift toward recurring revenue, according to the report.

In fact, revenue from stand-alone purchases of video games is expected to decline by 5% during the period, as free-to-play (F2P) games such as “Fortnite” and “Call of Duty Mobile” accelerate the trend toward in-game monetization.

Cloud gaming and other video-game subscriptions are projected to grow at an average rate of 9% per year, bringing in more than $8 billion in 2023.

But this will not immediately compensate for declining purchase revenue.

“At current gaming subscription prices, it will take an average of ten months of a subscription payment to cover the retail cost of a single AAA game,” observed James Moar, co-author of the research. “The value of these platforms lies in keeping players within an ecosystem, ensuring that revenue across multiple games is captured by a single platform.”

As gamers subscribe to more services like Xbox Gamepass, EA Access and Google Stadia, and buy fewer stand-alone games, only mobile games will see a net increase in game installs between 2020 and 2023, Juniper says.

Due to F2P business models and game giveaways, virtually all (99%) mobile game downloads over those three years will be F2P, and fewer than 50% of PC game installs will be paid.

While mobile games will drive more purchases, PC games will be the most lucrative segment for in-game purchases due to their higher-value, game-expansion purchases. PC in-game purchases are projected to near $32 billion in 2023.

U.K.-based Juniper Research provides research and analytical services to the high-tech communications sector.

Originally published by
Karlene Lukovitz | September 8, 2020
MediaPost

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7821700475?profile=RESIZE_710x

 

 

This year marks the 35th anniversary of the Super Mario Bros. series, and while Nintendo has remained fairly quiet to this point, it pulled out all the stops this morning, announcing Super Mario 3D All-StarsSuper Mario 3D World + Bowser's FurySuper Mario Bros. 35, and more to help usher in its flagship franchise's major milestone. However, the fun won't stop with those announcements, as Nintendo has several in-game events planned across many of its most beloved titles.

To celebrate, various games ranging from Super Mario Maker 2 and Super Smash Bros. Ultimate to Animal Crossing: New Horizons and Splatoon 2 will feature in-game events centered around Super Mario. You can check out the list of announced in-game events below.

 

Originally Posted By: Brian Shea 

September 3rd, 2020 

https://www.gameinformer.com/2020/09/03/super-marios-35th-anniversary-celebration-will-spill-into-other-nintendo-games

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Gold Level Contributor

Telstra seeks to rule Aussie football with AR play

Telstra introduced AR features to its Australian football streaming app, seeking to boost user interaction in the service, as the operator continued to expand its sports coverage portfolio.

In a statement, Telstra said the AR options debuted in its AFL Live Official app were a world-first, bringing “a totally immersive way to view and interact with each club’s line-up” for forthcoming games.

The set-up offers views of specific players and related statistics: Telstra pitched it as a way to stay close to the action despite restrictions on attending matches due to Covid-19 (coronavirus), providing “professional-grade tools” to fans.

Telstra noted 5G would deliver further enhancements to its AR offering, explaining it would go “one step further” than employing the technology’s speed and bandwidth improvements, by turning “experiences that have been teased for years” into reality.

The operator previously integrated LTE-Broadcast (LTE-B) into the app, launching a service in 2018 as part of broader backing for the technology.

Originally published by
Yanitsa Boyadzhieva| September 3, 2020
Mobile World Live

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Silver Level Contributor

Facebook Inc. is threatening to block news sharing on Facebook and Instagram by Australian users if the country passes regulations forcing online platforms to make revenue-sharing agreements with news publishers.

In a post on Facebook’s blog on Monday night, Will Easton, the company’s managing director in Australia and New Zealand, asserted that the regulation drafted by the  Australian Competition and Consumer Commission (ACCC) leaves the company “with a choice of either removing news entirely or accepting a system that lets publishers charge us for as much content as they want at a price with no clear limits. Unfortunately, no business can operate that way.”

“Assuming this draft code becomes law, we will reluctantly stop allowing publishers and people in Australia from sharing local and international news on Facebook and Instagram,” Easton wrote. “This is not our first choice — it is our last. But it is the only way to protect against an outcome that defies logic and will hurt, not help, the long-term vibrancy of Australia’s news and media sector.”

The proposed law “seeks to regulate every aspect of how tech companies do business with news publishers,” and “misunderstands the dynamics of the internet and will do damage to the very news organizations the government is trying to protect,” he maintains.

“The ACCC presumes that Facebook benefits most in its relationship with publishers, when in fact the reverse is true. News represents a fraction of what people see in their News Feed and is not a significant source of revenue for us. Still, we recognize that news provides a vitally important role in society and democracy, which is why we offer free tools and training to help media companies reach an audience many times larger than they have previously.”

Facebook says that in this year’s first five months, it sent 2.3 billion clicks from its News Feed back to Australian news websites at no charge, and claims the additional traffic is worth an estimated $200 million AUD to Australian publishers. 

Easton also said that Facebook wanted to bring Facebook News, which pays publishers for their news content, to Australia, but that proposal was “overlooked.”

He made it clear, however, that the aspects of Australian business that presumably do represent a significant source of income for Facebook — the products and services “that allow family and friends to connect” — will not be affected by Facebook’s actions.

Facebook and Google account for more than 70% of ad spending in Australia.

In recent years, Spain, France and Germany have all failed in attempts to secure more payments for publishers from Google, as a means of supporting local journalism.

Under Australia's legislation, a panel of arbitrators would determine the prices that Facebook and Google pay publishers, and the platforms could face fines of up to 10% of their revenue if they try to pull out of the deals.

“While news accounts for a relatively small part of Facebook's and Google's overall revenue, the ability to access and share news is seen as part of the appeal of the platforms,” notes NBC News. “Facebook's decision to deprive users of the ability to share news could thus have larger effects on its reputation, especially if other countries were to follow suit.

Originally published by
by Karlene Lukovitz  @KLmarketdaily | September 1, 2020
Media Post

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Gold Level Contributor

Facebook sues app developers for data misuse

Facebook initiated legal proceedings against app developers in the UK and the US for alleged misuse of user data on its main platform and account infringements on its Instagram subsidiary.

In a statement, director of Facebook’s platform enforcement and litigation team Jessica Romero explained the company was suing UK-based MobiBurn, and Oak Smart Technology and its founder Fatih Haltas for gathering user data from Facebook and other social media companies “by paying app developers to install a malicious Software Development Kit (SDK) in their apps”.

MobiBurn was collecting information including users’ name, gender and email addresses without compromising Facebook, but by using “the malicious SDK on the users’ devices to collect information”, Romero noted.

Facebook claimed it demanded an audit after discovering the issue with the help of security researchers, but the defendants failed to comply.

Its US lawsuit accuses Nikolay Holper of running Nakrutka, a service used to “distribute fake likes, comments, views and followers on Instagram” through bots and automation software.

The company said it previously cut off accounts linked to Holper and Nakrutka, and issued a cease and desist letter.

Last month, Facebook admitted a flaw allowed around 5,000 third-party app developers to collect personal user information after authorised periods had expired.

Originally published by
Yanitsa Boyadzhieva | August 28, 2020
Mobile World Live

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Silver Level Contributor

An interactive video game created by researchers and students in the EPFL College of Humanities (CDH) and UNIL Gamelab, in collaboration with the Initiative for Media Innovation (IMI) and Le Temps, allows users to explore a series of digital narratives that bear witness to the period of pandemic-induced isolation.

Would you let your children play in the park? How can you stay focused during your distance-learning course? Who are you going to call to pass the time while semi-confined? People across the world are dealing with these questions, and many more, as social distancing and confinement have become key strategies for fighting the coronavirus pandemic.

For CDH scientist and UNIL Gamelab researcher Yannick Rochat, an expert in game studies and digital humanities, a narrative video game seemed like a natural medium for exploring these questions, and how different people struggle to respond to them in different ways.

“Video games can convey information as well as emotions. The idea behind this game is to have a testimony to this period in history that has impacted us all. For a newspaper like Le Temps and for a researcher like myself, it is important to document and keep an account of these experiences,” he says.

On August 20th, Rochat and a team of collaborators from the worlds of gaming, programming, and graphic design released “Quatre apparts et un confinement” (Four Condos and a Containment): a series of interactive, choose-your-own-adventure stories that dramatize the lives of four fictitious neighbors in the same building.

Confinement through the eyes of others

The francophone game was developed in June and July, 2020, thanks to the (socially distanced) collaboration of IMI Director Mounir Krichane, Le Temps journalist Paul Ronga, graphic designer Mathias Hängärtner, EPFL student Andrew Dobis, and UNIL student Saara Jones. It is hosted on Le Temps’ website and mobile app.

Users can click through the digital apartments, visiting each character and participating briefly in their lives: their decisions, their worries, their desires, or their frustrations. Some experiences may seem familiar to users, while some present a window into what others may be feeling during confinement.

“This video game allows us to tell the story of confinement from different angles, while allowing the player to participate. This represents an important opportunity to relive confinement, but from the perspective of another person – for example, a single mother, an elderly woman, or a student,” Rochat explains. He adds that the mobile-friendly, point-and-click format was inspired in part by narrative video games like Florence, but with the added complexity of text and dialogue.

IMI Director Mounir Krichane also explains that beyond the game’s instructive aspect, which reflects educational offerings at EPFL and at UNIL on video games, “Quatre apparts” is also a way for IMI and its partners to explore new modes of storytelling, including interactive formats.

“With most media organizations now facing the question of audience renewal, interactive formats are a way to remain relevant to changing audiences while also attracting new ones, especially among younger generations,” he says.

Thanks to its open-source code, the creators also emphasize that other media and institutions are invited to publish or adapt the unique gaming experience, for example into other languages.

 

Originally published by
Celia Luterbacher | August 20, 2020
EPFL News

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Silver Level Contributor

TikTok looked set to launch a legal challenge against an executive order by US President Donald Trump effectively banning the company’s operations in the country from mid-September.

Legal action was one of several options TikTok said it was considering earlier this month when Trump originally set out to stop US companies working with parent ByteDance. Several media outlets now report TikTok will initiate proceedings this week.

A TikTok representative appeared to confirm its plan, telling Mobile World Live it had “no choice but to challenge the executive order through the judicial system”, in an effort to ensure “the rule of law is not discarded and that our company and users are treated fairly”.

The company claimed it attempted to engage with the US administration to achieve “a constructive solution” for almost a year, but said it faced “a lack of due process as the administration paid no attention to facts and tried to insert itself into negotiations between private businesses”.

Following the order blocking trading with ByteDance from 20 September, Trump ordered the company to divest its US operations within 90 days.

Microsoft emerged as an early potential suitor for TikTok’s US unit, with Oracle also said to be interested.

Originally published by
Yanitsa Boyadzhieva | August 24, 2020
Mobile World Live

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Silver Level Contributor

Americans overwhelmingly support a U.S. ban on TikTok including -- surprisingly -- more than half of frequent TikTok users, according to a consumer tracking study released this morning by Horizon Media.

The poll of 900 Americans found 76% support a TikTok ban. Interestingly, 23% said they support the ban regardless of who owns it, including a U.S. company like Microsoft.

Horizon also conducted an analysis of social media conversations related to the ban and found there is "more to the story," including the fact that most users (62%) simply don't trust TikTok to secure their data. They rank TikTok as the "least trustworthy" of five social media apps surveyed, including Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and Snapchat.

"Chief among the issues is a distrust in a country like China, who has reportedly hacked the U.S. in the past, to protect user data (80%) and a belief that TikTok should be owned by a U.S. company—like Microsoft (63%; 72% among 18-34 year-olds)," the Horizon report notes.

The study, however, also found that many Americans (60%) is "the first step towards banning other things they care about even more."

The report also makes the case for an American company like Microsoft acquiring TikTok and turning things around, but it 

concludes by advising brands that it may actually be a good time for them to begin utilizing TikTok.

"Brands who are already tapping into TikTok may not need to worry about negative consequences of the potential ban, and in fact, it may be a good time for brands who want to reach younger consumers to dip their toe in if they haven’t used, or advertised on, TikTok already," the report says, adding, "The potential purchase by a U.S. company seems to only bring more upside, so TikTok advertisers—and potential advertisers—should keep an eye on the quickly-evolving situation."

Originally published by
Joe Mandese | August 18, 2020
MediaPost

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Gold Level Contributor

Following up on its effort that allowed small businesses to buy advertising times through a self-serve ad manager, Hulu has launched creative advertising services for small and-medium-sized businesses.

The effort looks to either repurpose existing video for streaming TV or to provide services for businesses that want to start from "scratch."

Hulu will provide these businesses with access to creative partners who can create unique commercials -- rather than ads from standard-looking "templates." Creative partners include video services -- Genero, Shuttlerock, QuickFrame and VidMob.

In July, Hulu began offering the Hulu Ad Manager program for small and medium-sized businesses in a beta effort.

Companies can make media deals for as little as a $500 media campaign on Hulu.

In June, Hulu announced a new video advertising management platform -- Disney Hulu XP, available October 1 -- that allows marketers to make cross-media deals across all Disney networks and platforms.

Hulu pulled in $670 million in paid advertising -- and $1.27 billion in subscription fees -- according to an analysis of Walt Disney’s yearly 10K filing for 2019.

Hulu has said it has made advertising deals overall with the top 200 brands in the United States.

Originally published by
Wayne Friedman | August 17, 2020
MediaPost

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Silver Level Contributor

Apple removed popular gaming title Fornite from its App Store today (13 August), after creator Epic Games introduced a discounted direct payment option for iOS and Android in violation of Apple and Google’s marketplace policies.

In a blog, Epic Games noted Apple and Google collect a 30 per cent fee on purchases made through their app marketplaces, but by offering a direct payment option “we’re able to pass along the savings to players”.

 

It offered a 20 per cent discount on the price of games sold through Google and Apple’s marketplaces.

Apple explained the removal in a statement to The Verge, calling Epic Games’ move “unfortunate” and stating it would work with the company to resolve the situation.

Epic Games responded with a lawsuit, accusing Apple of maintaining a “stranglehold on the iOS ecosystem” and asking a judge to stop the company from imposing “unreasonable restraints” to preserve a monopoly over iOS in-app payments.

Google and Apple generally mandate the use of in-app rather than third-party payment systems. But Epic Games argued “thousands of apps on the App Store approved by Apple accept direct payments”, including Amazon and Grubhub, adding “we think all developers should be free to support direct payments in all apps”.

The gaming giant is just one of several companies calling for a review of app store practices, as Apple faces competition probes in Europe and the US.

Originally published by
Diana Goovaerts | August 13, 2020
Mobile World Live

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Silver Level Contributor

The French data protection watchdog launched an investigation into the privacy policies and child safety features of TikTok, becoming the latest nation to home in on the social media service’s credentials.

A representative from the French Data Protection Agency (CNIL) told Mobile World Live the authority was looking at issues including TikTok’s user communication; methods for exercising rights; and measures to protect children.

CNIL explained its investigators are collaborating with a broader European Union-level probe of TikTok’s practices which was commenced by the European Data Protection board in June.

As part of the efforts, the French authority is scrutinising a TikTok plan to construct a data centre in the Republic of Ireland, stating the company must prove the facility would meet General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) conditions.

TikTok’s owner ByteDance unveiled the plans to invest €420 million into its first European data centre last week, explaining the Irish site would enhance “the safeguarding and protection of TikTok user data”.

CNIL added a complaint by a TikTok user in May regarding a request to remove a video had also been a factor in deciding to probe the service.

Scrutiny in the US led the Trump administration to order a ban on domestic companies trading with ByteDance and Tencent, the parent of messaging app WeChat from mid-September.

Software giant Microsoft emerged as a potential saviour for TikTok with talk of a possible takeover of its operations in the US and other countries, with Twitter reportedly also throwing its hat into the ring.

Last month Pakistan issued a final warning over content on the app deemed inappropriate.

Originally published by
Yanitsa Boyadzhieva | August 11, 2020
Mobile World Live

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Silver Level Contributor

SK Telecom (SKT) and Microsoft planned to launch a cloud gaming service offering access to Xbox content from Android smartphones and tablets.

From September 15, consumers will be offered access to Xbox Game Pass Ultimate content for KRW16,700 per month ($14.07) through Google’s Play Store, Samsung’s Galaxy Store and South Korean app marketplace One Store.

In a statement, SKT said popular titles including Minecraft Dungeons; Halo: Master Chief Collection; and Forza Horizon 4 would be on offer.

SKT was one of three operators Microsoft partnered with in September 2019 to develop cloud-based mobile gaming, with the scheme at the time called Project xCloud.

Kareem Choudhry, VP of gaming cloud at Microsoft, said SKT was instrumental in delivering its Project xCloud preview through its “leading 5G network technology”.

Jeon Jin-soo, SKT’s head of 5GX Service Business Group, said: “Going forward, we will further enrich gamers’ experience by making more games available in the Korean language and identifying promising Korean games.”

Microsoft said cloud gaming will launch in beta for Xbox Game Pass Ultimate members in 22 markets to ensure stability as its scales the feature to millions of gamers.

Originally published by
Joseph Waring | August 5, 2020
Mobile World Live

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Silver Level Contributor

Los Angeles Times is bringing the communal dining experience online with its TimesDinner Series, set to launch September 5.

Restaurants Kato and Nightshade, along with their respective chefs Jon Yao and Mei Lin, collaborate for the first menu, which highlights their restaurants’ Taiwanese and Chinese influences. Dishes include smoked kanpachi and charred scallion and pork-belly ssam with fish sauce caramel. A cocktail pairing is available for the event.

LAT food columnist Luca Kwan Peterson hosts the first event, bringing together dinner guests and chefs over video chat. A discussion accompanies the meal.

Kato and Nightshade both appeared on the Times 101 Best Restaurants of 2019.

The series is sponsored by City National Bank with Project Angel Food stepping in as its charity partner.

Hosted by the Times Food staff, the series features two types of events that rotate between chef collaboration meals. They include a curated three-course takeout meal culled from two L.A.-based restaurants and a celebrity dinner party, featuring a three-course menu and an online get-together attended by special guests.

Tickets for the first Times Dinner Series meal are $175.

The next dinner is slated to take place September 12.

Originally published by
Melynda Fuller| August 4, 2020
Media Post

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Silver Level Contributor

Facebook moved to bolster an upcoming video play on its Instagram subsidiary, seeking to entice content creators to deliver exclusive content for the platform, in what The Wall Street Journal (WSJ) reported was a play directly targeting TikTok.

The media outlet claimed Facebook sought to attract TikTok users which have follower numbers in the millions to join its service, dubbed Reels, by offering financial incentives. The service is set to launch next month.

Facebook also reportedly sought exclusivity agreements which would see content posted to Reels before other social media platforms.

A representative told Mobile World Live the company had “a long history” of seeking out “emerging creators and working to break new stars on Instagram”.

“As with previous products, we remain committed to investing in both our creators and their overall experience, and in certain cases, we may help cover production costs for their creative ideas”, the representative explained.

Reels, which was unveiled in November 2019, is widely viewed as an attempt by Facebook to compete with TikTok, which is one of the most popular social media apps globally.

The Instagram feature will allow users to add music to video clips of up to 15 seconds, a set-up which proved a hit for TikTok.

Originally published by
Yanitsa Boyadzhieva | July 29, 2020
Mobile World Live

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Silver Level Contributor

British-content SVOD BritBox plans to expand to as many as 25 countries across Europe, Asia, Latin America, the Middle East and Africa.

BritBox, which launched in the U.S. and Canada in 2017, recently reached 1 million subscribers in those markets, making it about the same size as AMC’s British-content streamer, Acorn TV.

BritBox launched in the U.K. in November 2019, and had already announced plans to launch in Australia later this year.

The service, a joint venture of BBC Studios and ITV, offers North American subscribers BBC and other U.K.-originated programming, generally premiering on the same date or the day after.

The service also recently announced its first commissions of British-produced original dramas, including adaptations of bestsellers “A Spy Among Friends” and “Magpie Murders.”

"This international expansion plan will firmly establish BritBox as a global premium brand in a rapidly growing sector,” said ITV CEO Carolyn McCall, ITV CEO.

“In pay TV, the BBC and ITV have less than half a percent of the total market,” BritBox CEO Reemah Sakaan told the Telegraph prior to the expansion announcement. “BritBox is just new revenue, which is diversified outside of advertising. We are here to grow to an adequate size and get a good return on investment.”

Originally published by
Karlene Lukovitz | July 27, 2020
Media Post

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