Your digest of the week’s top media, entertainment and technology news. 

Digital digest index

Ericsson signs global deal with IMDb

IMDb, the popular directory for celebrity, movie and television information, has signed a global distribution deal with Ericsson to integrate IMDb’s metadata into Ericsson’s content discovery ecosystem, which was launched at NAB this year. In a statement released by Ericsson, broadcasters, content owners and service providers will have access to the extensive universe of IMDb data from images, poster art to clips, trailers and cast and crew information.  

Star India invests $192 million into digital content

Media company Star India invested $192.04 million into its digital content stream. Reuters reported the intense competition among video streaming providers to break into the Indian OTT market has included bids from global giants Amazon and Netflix. Star India has secured its position as a competitive streaming video provider and is backed by 21st Century Fox invested the money in Novi Digital Entertainment Pvt Ltd that hosts streaming video platforms. A further $2.55 billion bid won Star India the rights to Indian Premier League (IPL) cricket for the next five years. 

UK government fulfils stage one of its fibre promise 

The UK government announced a £200 million fibre initiative earlier this year. Six months later, and stage one is being rolled out on 3 September. The six pilot schemes will be funded using £10 million with plans to test the innovative ways of connecting offices and public sector buildings with the next generation broadband. Reports suggest the final stages will incorporate a full fibre network running connections straight to customers’ homes or businesses to ensure Britain has a strong digital infrastructure.

BBC audited for gender equality pay

BBC Director General Tony Hall revealed the corporations plan to address gender pay discrepancies. The global corporation published salaries of the highest paid talent in July this year revealing major pay gaps between males and females as well as significantly lower pay for the top 10 stars from black, Asian or minority ethnic backgrounds. The Guardian shared the BBC will offer transparency going forwards with some stars potentially facing a pay cut. 

Blockchain used for VFX in Hollywood

Otoy has released their ambitious plans to use Blockchain, the technology behind the cryptocurrency Bitcoin, in a cloud rendering process for visual effects across virtual reality (VR) and other video content. Variety shared in an exclusive, the company plans to raise $134 million via token sales to start the process of rendering holographic 3D and video effects. The use of optimised chips instead of expensive supercomputers making for a cheaper and quicker implementation with the hopes to be adopted by the movie industry. 

Roku files for $100m IPO 

Streaming specialist Roku is aiming to raise $100 million after filing for an Initial Public Offering, aiming to be the TV streaming platform connecting the entire TV ecosystem to its growing database and simplified user experience. According to Advanced Television, the company has seen a 62% growth in the last six months through offering a streaming platform to help content publishers connect with their audiences and montetise opportunities. 

Putin says AI will rule the world

Russian president Vladimir Putin said in an address whichever nation leads the way with artificial intelligence (AI), he predicted, will be the nation to dominate the future of global affairs. Putin predicted AI to be used to fight cyber warfare and whilst likely to boost economies across medical research, surveillance technology and even to fight future wars. 

Future of film and TV secured for Scotland

A further £10 million investment into the film and TV sector has been pledged by the Scottish government. The contribution is part of a wider push to invest in the longevity of screen productions in Scotland. The government has donated a further £3.25 million to incentivise native Scotland productions, as well as a government funded project to establish a National Film and Television School in Glasgow.