Your guide to what’s happening this week in the media, entertainment and technology industry.
Top 10 global companies ranked
The BrandZ annual list of the world’s most valuable brands has been published by WPP and Kantar Millward Brown. Chinese companies Alibaba and Tencent join Google, Apple, Microsoft and Facebook reported CNN. The social media giant has been ranked a brand value of $179 billion, up 65% from 2017. Google takes the top spot for the last 12 years with its current value at $302 billion which is up 32% from last year.
BBC to stream World Cup in 4K UHD HDR
The BBC has confirmed it will stream dozens of the 2018 World Cup matches live in 4K resolution. The BBC reported it will be the first time its iPlayer will broadcast a major sporting event in UHD and HDR quality. It is also planning a separate VR experience.
Discovery to close London playout operation
Discovery has announced that it is to close its west London playout facility, citing a a shift to cloud-based technology. TVB Europe quoted a Discovery statement in which the broadcaster said the decision had “nothing to do with Brexit and everything to do with technology innovation.”
Qualcomm unveils XR platform
The chip maker launched its first platform dedicated to extended reality (XR) experiences with the launch of its Snapdragon XR1 chip and new wireless headset design. The new chip includes artificial intelligence (AI) engine for on-device processing promising high performance and efficient battery lifetime. According to Digital Trends, the new platform will support 4K video and visual-inertial odometry that allows users to interact with augmented reality objects.
Google to tap the Chinese tech market
Files Go, a new file manager for Android devices has reached China, a market notoriously hard to crack and one with the most app downloads and highest app revenue per year. Tech Crunch reported the partner-led approach will enable the distribution of Google Play Store to mass market. Google’ has also opened a Beijing based AI-lab further increasing its presence in China.
ITV & BBC £1bn venture for UKTV
In a move to secure British TV against the US tech giants, ITV and BBC are reported to be in discussions on buying half of the Dave broadcaster UKTV for £1 billion in a joint venture. The Telegraph reported the broadcasters are considering the partnership which would redraw the battle lines in an attempt to create a Netflix-style offering.
Sarah Silverman to debut Facebook comedy
American comedian Sarah Silverman, known for School of Rock and Wreck-It Ralph, is set to produce and narrate a new comedy series for Facebook’s Watch platform. Please Understand Me will be a five-part series in which two comedians act out problems in their fake relationship with a real therapist. The new comedic format will exclusively air on Facebook Watch for US audiences, reported The Hollywood Reporter.
New Zealand to regulate Facebook
The New Zealand privacy watchdog is seeking to regulate Facebook as the social media giant deals with the new privacy rules in Europe and the handling of personal data. Privacy Commissioner John Edwards has argued that Facebook should be held accountable to NZ laws and allow users access to their personal information held on the accounts of other users, while Facebook argued users are governed by US privacy laws and declined, reported by Reuters.
Amazon geo-blocks Australia
The US giant has taken action in response to a new sales tax collection law by blocking Australia customers from its US site. The law was recently legislated which forces online retailers to collect goods and services tax on sales below $756, previously overseas online retailers did not have to collect or levy the 10% tax on low-value goods them imported. According to the Financial Times, the new policy will restrict Australian shopper to only access the Australian-based Amazon which has a smaller range of goods at higher prices as of 1 July.