27 Apr - 1 May: Your guide to what’s happened this week in the media, entertainment and technology industry.

Odeon owner bans Universal Studios films 

BBC News has reported that AMC Theatres, owner of Odeon cinemas, has banned all Universal films after the studio announced it would release new films at home and in cinemas on the same day. 

The decision follows comments by NBCUniversal which said the release of kids film Trolls World Tour performed well despite only being released online via streaming services. NBCUniversal then said it would release new films online and in cinemas once they reopen at the same time. 

Adam Aron, AMC chief executive said the ban will cover 1000 cinemas worldwide, and accused Universal of trying to break the business model and agreement between the studio and the cinema. 

Synamedia and Google Cloud partner up 

Synamedia is partnering with Google Cloud to elevate its video network portfolio with a ‘as-a-service’ OTT offerings.

Announced in a press release, Synamedia said that the partnership will enable it to increase scalability and maximise performance for OTT services, particularly for live sports events. 

Synamedia will use from Google Cloud’s well regarded expertise low-latency solutions for live linear video delivery, benefiting its OTT platform and broadcaster clients alike.

StarzPlay arrives in Japan

StarzPlay is now available in Japan via Apple TV, Variety has reported. Japan is the latest region the streamer has launched in, following its expansion in other international territories in Europe and Latin America such as Germany, France, Brazil and Chile.

Japanese customers can now watch the StarzPlay through Apple TV channels on the Apple TV app, available on Apple devices as well as Samsung TVs and Amazon Fire TV.

TikTok amasses 2 Billion Downloads

Gen Z social video app TikTok has been downloaded more than 2 billion times globally on the App Store and Google Play, according to The Verge.

The latest milestone comes just five months after the ByteDance owned app surpassed 1.5 billion downloads. In Q1 2020, it generated the most downloads for any app ever in a quarter, accumulating more than 315 million installs across the App Store and Google Play.