Your digest of the week’s top media, entertainment and technology news.
Mediaset and Vivendi dispute
French media group Vivendi was set to buy Italian broadcaster Mediaset’s premium pay-TV unit in 2016 but backtracked causing a rift between the two companies, Reuters reported. Mediaset shares recently skyrocketed causing a bitter legal dispute with Vivendi, which is being sued for damages of approximately €3bn.
Harvey Weinstein sacked
Hollywood producer Harvey Weinstein has been fired from The Weinstein Company. At least eight sexual harassment allegations have been made public against Weinstein, according to The Guardian, which said that Weinstein’s behaviour was an “open secret” in Hollywood.
Nokia axes Ozo for digital healthcare
Nokia announced it will stop developing its 360-degree Ozo virtual reality camera, resulting in 310 job losses in Finland, the US and UK. The Verge published the news stating the company has changed its strategic goals due to what Nokia described as the slow development of VR across the industry. To grow its footprint, Nokia released in a statement it will begin to invest in the healthcare market whilst continuing to manage its commitments to standing Ozo customers.
TV ad spend
American Procter & Gamble Marketing Chief Marc Pritchard has urged companies to rethink their pull back from TV advertising. He argued an optimistic and cohesive future between TV and digital for the broadcasting industry. Pritchard told Campaign that TV is proving to be”significantly better and it’s very efficient and effective” in reaching audiences, while social media ‘likes’ are overvalued.
Dell unveils $1bn future tech development fund
Technology giant Dell has pledged to invest $1 billion over three years on developing products, research and partnerships for what they predict the future of a connected world founded on artificial intelligence (AI) and machine learning, reported Bloomberg. Dell Chief Executive Michael Dell said the company is looking for competitive options to attract new customers who are spending more on cloud-based computing services with providers like Amazon and Microsft. Dell will set up a new division in R&D for the emerging internet of things (IoT) market, placing IoT ahead of cloud services.
Cyber security as important as terrorism
The UK saw 600 significant cyber attacks in 2016 that required a national response, according to GCHQ Managing Director and ex-deputy Director MI5 Jeremy Fleming. The BBC reported the protection of the digital UK landscape is as important as counter-terrorism efforts. Fleming said: “Keeping our citizens safe and free online must become and remain as much part of our mission as our global intelligence reach and our round-the-clock efforts against terrorism”.
Facebook unveils VR Oculus Go headset
During the Oculus Connect 4 conference, Facebook Founder Mark Zuckerberg unveiled the $199 VR headset Oculus Go, ARS Technica reported. Zuckerberg announced the companies goal to reach 1 billion people using virtual reality (VR) headsets is ambitious but the affordability, quality of headset and experience will be the key selling points. Zuckerberg said: “I am more committed than ever to the future of virtual reality.” The new headset does not require a smartphone or PC link like its predecessor, the Oculus Rift.
BBC Head of News quits
The BBC’s James Harding is to step down as Director of News and Current Affairs to set up a new media company offering a “distinct approach to news and a clear point of view” he told his staff, according to The Guardian, Harding said: “I’m seriously excited about the prospect of building a new venture in news”. Harding was tipped to be a frontrunner to eventually take over from Tony Hall as Director General of the BBC.
The UK proposes internet levy
A levy on social media firms and internet providers has been proposed to help fund the continued online safety and strategy across Britain. The levy is designed to combat bullying and abuse for children and vulnerable users. Prime MInister Theresa May was critical of social media firms such as Google, Twitter and Facebook, calling them out on their ability to restrict and control inappropriate content reported Reuters.