17-21 August: Your guide to what’s happened this week in the media, entertainment and technology industry.

Netflix chief made honorary SMPTE member

Netflix chief executive Reed Hastings has been awarded an honourary membership to the Society of Motion Picture and Television Engineers (SMPTE).

The organisation announced the award as part of its latest list of honourees, recognising Hastings “for his momentous development and continuing leadership of Netflix”.

Hastings is joined as an honouree by John D. Ross, recognising his career’s work in advancing the state of the art in television engineering, and Richard Edlund, for his work in advancing the art and science of visual effects cinematography.

The full list of honourees can be found here with SMPTE set to officially recognise them all at the Awards Gala which scheduled for 11th and 12th November during the SMPTE 2020 remote conference.

Oracle linked to TikTok bid

Tech giant Oracle has reportedly entered the race to buy social video app TikTok, which is facing a ban in the USA if a takeover is not completed by mid-November.

Microsoft has already confirmed it has held discussions with TikTok-owner ByteDance to buy the company’s operations in the US, Canada, New Zealand and Australia, but the Financial Times reports Oracle has also entered talks about a deal.

Trump last week ordered ByteDance to divest TikTok’s US operations within 90 days, following a recommendation from the Committee on Foreign Investment in the US, citing security concerns.

Twitter has also been named as a company that is considering a bid, according to several reports.

DPP publishes industry cloud guide

The DPP has released a new guide that aims to help media companies looking to make the move to the cloud.

To develop the The Cloud for Media guide, the DPP relied on the input of media executives, systems architects, software engineers, and operations specialists from across its membership.

“The Cloud is no longer a future ideal for media companies,” said DPP head of delivery and growth, Rowan de Pomerai. “It’s a reality for many, and this year has seen a dramatic rise in the need for remote working, scalable resourcing, and business agility, making the Cloud a necessity for all.”

Eleven Sports owner Aser unveils new D2C platform

Aser Ventures has launched a new direct to consumer streaming platform for live events.

LIVENow will air live events across the sports, music, fitness, and conferencing indsutries, with the platform live now.

Aser, which owns Eleven Sports, soft-launched the platform last year and has already shown coverage of the English FA Cup, La Liga, and Chinese Professional Baseball League from Taiwan. It also aired the One World: Together At Home concert held to raise money for Covid-19 relief efforts in the midst of the global lockdown.

It will offer viewers flexible pay-per-view access to the events, while coverage will also be made available through a global network of digital platforms, social channels and mobile companies.

“We built LIVENow because we understand the incredible power that the best LIVE content has to bring people together and we want to make access to this content easier and more flexible for consumers globally,” said Andrea Radrizzani, Aser Ventures founder and executive chairman.

Netflix trials “shuffle” button

Netflix is trialling a “Shuffle” button that will allow users of its service to watch randomised content.

The shuffle option is currently only available through the connected TV app. Netflix said it will analyse user viewing habits, as well as things saved to watch lists, in order to provide something they would expectantly enjoy watching.

According to the Verge, the current test version is called Shuffle Play, while Netflix has also toyed with the idea of “Play me something”.