Your digest of the week’s top media, entertainment and technology news.
Netflix to be acquired by Apple?
Citi analysts predict there is a 40% chance Apple will buy Netflix, after US President Trump’s corporate tax cut was passed. The corporate tax cut will enable companies a one-time allowance to repatriate money from overseas without being hit by a high taxation fee. According to Business Insider, Apple has about $252 billion in cash and less than a third of this amount is forecast to be needed to take over Netflix.
AT&T to launch 5G mobile service in 2018
AT&T has announced its plan to introduce the first 5G commercial mobile service in more than a dozen US cities throughout 2018. Its aim is to be the first provider rivalling Verizon Communications and T-Mobile in an attempt to increase revenue growth. Bloomberg reported the faster connections will help carriers sell advanced services including virtual reality, 4K video and enable self-driving cars.
FCC chairman drops out of CES
The Federal Communications Commission chairman Ajit Pai has cancelled his appearance at the Consumer Electronics Show (CES) in Las Vegas next week. Pai was set to debate his decision to overturn net neutrality rules, according to the BBC. The FCC has been under scrutiny after its decision with many arguing the change would make the internet less open and accessible as internet providers will be able to speed up or slow down companies’ data as well as charge consumers according to the service they use.
£60m boost for UK kids TV
UK Culture Secretary Karen Bradley has announced £60 million will be allocated to increase the production and diversity of children’s television. According to Televisual, the new funding initiative will be managed by the BFI and distributed over three years starting in 2019 in an attempt to reverse the steady decline in children’s TV programming.
Disney strikes deal with Samsung for smart TV apps
Samsung has made a deal with Disney to offer its customers the ability to directly stream all things sport from the ESPN app and a library of TV and film content from Freeform. Both apps were previously available on smartphones and tablets, according to the Multichannel report, with new smart TV owners able to make use of this collaboration anywhere in the US.
Spotify sued for unpaid royalties
The music streaming giant Spotify has been sued by California music publishing company Wixen for $1.6 billion after it allegedly hosted songs by Neil Young and Janis Joplin it does not have the full rights to, according to The Guardian. Wixen claims Spotify did not obtain the composition rights for over 10,000 songs and is seeking $150,000 per song as compensation.
Saudi Arabia to launch English news channel
The Saudia Press Agency (SPA) and Radio and Television Corporation are set to launch a joint English-language news channel. Rapid TV News reported that plans are in place for the new channel to run alongside the Al-Ikhbariya satellite TV channel.
LG unveils new AI smart devices
LG’s upcoming smart TVs, fridges and electronic devices will be developed with deep learning techniques under its new sub-brand ThinQ using its DeepThinQ learning technology which was launched at CES 2017. Endgaget reported LG’s statement that “AI is the next frontier in technology” and will continue to invest in AI, having launched an AI lab in Seoul to house its research.