Your digest of the week’s top media, entertainment and technology news.
ProSiebenSat.1 & Discovery go OTT
German commercial broadcaster ProSiebenSat.1 and Discovery Communications have launched a free streaming service under the brand 7TV, offering German audiences a new content offering. According to Broadband TV News, the partnership, which is in its infancy, will expand with more channels and content partners as well as securing a Chief Executive for the company.
Netflix rises and expands
Netflix continues to grow with a record number of subscribers in Q3 of 5.3 million memberships globally, up 49% year-on-year. According to Advanced Television, the network benefited from its original TV series and films. In a statement, the company predicted it is on track to exceed $11 billion in revenue for 2017. Establishing itself as the primary internet entertainment provider, Netflix announced its plans to spend $8 billion on developing and producing original TV and films going into 2018. The Verge reported the production of 30 new anime series as well as 80 new films which are slated for 2018 release.
BBC ordered to air more British content
The BBC has been criticised for its lack of home-grown British programmes aired during prime time viewing. Media regulator Ofcom has effectively banned US imports or re-runs of TV series, enforcing 90% of content aired on BBC One and BBC Two must be original productions commissioned for UK audiences. The Guardian shared the news, highlighting the new regulations will boost content production, spending and diversity across the country.
NBCU & Snapchat open content studio
Snapchat has joined forces with NBCUniversal to open a new digital content studio for native mobile content. The California-based studio will focus on creating and producing shows both scripted and genre-based to debut on Snapchat. NBCU President of Digital Enterprises said in a statement published by Advanced Television: ”This digital content studio is an extension of our already strong partnership and an opportunity to develop new IP and franchises for a mobile-first audience.”
Magic Leap fund MR & AR enterprise
Mixed reality and augmented reality startup Magic Leap announced it has raised $502 million Series D round led by Temasek, according to Tech Crunch. Magic Leap Founder and President Rony Abovitz said: “We’re excited to welcome Temasek and the other new investors in this round to the Magic Leap family”. The Magic Leap strategy and plan remains a mystery but with high-profile investors such as Google and Alibaba, it has firmly cemented itselfas a player in the AR and MR sector.
Weinstein steps down & Roy Price exits Amazon
Harvey Weinstein has formally resigned from the board of The Weinstein Company which he co-founded with his brother. The departure follows allegations of sexually abuse spanning three decades. He refused to make comment, Reuters reported. In the wake of Weinstein’s resignation, The Guardian shared that Amazon Studio’s top executive Roy Price has quit from his position following sexual harassment allegations.
Qualcomm claims first 5G data connection
In what has been billed a world first, Qualcomm has successfully demonstrated 1Gbps of internet speeds using a 5G smartphone chip. BBC reported that Qualcomm described the demonstration as a “major milestone” with the fifth generation of the mobile network on the horizon. 5G promises faster data speeds and more bandwidth to carry more web traffic for users.
Samsung’s AI assistant takes two
Samsung’s equivalent to the iPhone’s Siri is Bixby, lined up to be a big feature of the Galaxy S8 smartphone launched earlier this year. It was a disabled feature because it wasn’t ready for the English speaking world, rendering a dedicated button on the smartphone useless. BBC reported the Samsung announcement during its Developer’s Conference. The rebuild of Bixby set to also be incorporated into Samsung home appliances including fridges and washing machines.