Your guide to what’s happened this week in the media, entertainment and technology industry.
Web founder warns of “dysfunction”
The world wide web was founded 30 years ago this week and its founder Tim Berners-Lee shared an open letter that warned of the “sources of dysfunction” the web faces today. Berners-Lee said “the fight for the web is one of the most important causes of our time,” reported NBC News. Berners-Lee pointed to the roles of Google and Facebook and spoke about data privacy, misinformation and the role of social media in a democracy.
Disney confirms Fox take-over
Disney’s $71 billion deal to buy a large stake of 21st Century Fox will take effect on 20 March the companies announced on Tuesday, with Fox staff prepared for “layoffs and big changes,” reported CNN. Analysts expect that Disney will lay off at least 5,000 people as a result of consolidation. The firms have remained tight-lipped on specific plans.
Apple hints at TV release
Apple is likely to launch its new streaming video-on-demand (SVOD) service on 25 March after hinting to the media: “It’s show time” on its invitation, with no further details released. According to Reuters, the TV service is expected to launch globally to rival the likes of Netflix and Amazon and the first major event where hardware is not the primary focus.
Rakuten TV expands coverage and reveals 8K plans
Japanese-based Rakuten has announced its plans to add 8K content to its catalogue by the end of 2019 after signing deals with smart TV manufacturers including Samsung, LG, Philips and Hisense who will add a button dedicated to the Rakuten TV service on their remote controls. According to Broadband TV News, it has also added 30 new territories to its network taking its total to 40 altogether and has almost tripled its distribution in Europe.
House of Lords call for digital regulator
A new digital “super-regulator” is the leading recommendation from the House of Lords report submitted to the UK government to oversee the safeguarding and regulation of digital technology giants. The report stated the likes of Facebook and Google among others have failed to adequately tackle online harm and suggested Ofcom expands in enforcing the duty of care. Its recommendation comes with 10 guiding principles and a plethora of smaller changes to existing regulations.
- Read more Pressure mounts on digital giants
Facebook defends its business from the EU GDPR
In a bid to safeguard the social network’s business model and defend itself against the European Union’s global data protection regulation (GDPR), Facebook vice president for global affairs and communications Sir Nick Clegg said the Facebook business model should not be “outlawed”. According to Telecoms, there are two issues including the monetising of users data after consenting and Zuckerberg’s new strategy to encrypt users’ private communication making targetted advertising impossible.
Netflix to capitalise on interactive content
After the release of Black Mirror: Bandersnatch episode where audiences could choose their own ending, the streaming giant vice president of product Todd Yellin announced during his keynote at FICCI Frames in Mumbai this week: ”Interactive storytelling is something we want to bet more on.” He told delegates to expect more interactive content across different genres, Variety reported.
AP pioneers underwater live broadcast
The Associated Press (AP) has transmitted a “pioneering live, broadcast-quality video” from 200 metres below the surface of the Indian Ocean, reported Broadcast. It used LED light and optical technology with help from satellites to transmit the video removing the need for submersibles and fibre optic cables to successfully deliver the content to hundreds of broadcasters and digital publishers globally.
The US opposes global tax on digital giants
Britain, Spain, Australia and Italy are among those countries pushing for various forms of digital services tax to combat the challenges to the respective markets and the huge revenues generated. According to Software Testing News, around 127 countries and territories have decided to revise the global tax rules, however progress has been slow.