Your guide to what’s happened this week in the media, entertainment and technology industry.
EU approves new VOD quota
The European Parliament has approved new rules for audiovisual media services to include a 30% European quota for video-on-demand platforms. Digital TV Europe reported the revised legislation will apply to broadcasters and online streaming services including Netflix, YouTube and Facebook. The revised rules will see an enhanced protection of minors from violence, terrorism and harmful advertising as well as restricting the limits of advertising to take up a maximum of 20% of the daily broadcasting period.
Apple and Amazon suffer hardware hack?
Apple and Amazon are among 30 US companies and agencies that could have fallen victim to a hardware hack, Bloomberg reported. It claimed that supply chains had been comprimised and that a tiny chip no bigger than a grain of rice had been inserted into motherboards of Elemental AWS kit that allowed attackers to create a “stealth doorway into any network”. In a statement, Amazon said that at “no time, past or present, have we ever found any issues relating to modified hardware or malicious chips in SuperMicro motherboards in any Elemental or Amazon systems.”
Facebook faces $1.6B fine and formal investigation
The Irish Data Protection Commission has opened a formal investigation into a data breach which directly affected close to 50 million Facebook account, resulting in a fine of up to $1.63 billion. The Guardian reported the breach was discovered by Facebook engineers on 24 September 2018, taking three days to patch and in potential breach of the new GDPR rules.
NFTS secures £10M VR storytelling fund
The UK government has awarded the National Film and Television School and Royal Holloway, University of London £10 million in funding to launch a new school for storytelling in virtual reality (VR) and augmented reality (AR). According to Games Industry.biz, the new school will be known as StoryFutures Academy specialising in immersive storytelling to develop new training and research programmes including experimental labs and workshops all centred around VR, AR and mixed reality storytelling.
ITV denies plans to bid for Endemol Shine
The UK’s biggest commercial broadcaster, ITV has silenced rumours and speculation of its acquisition for Endemol Shine Group, announcing in a statement it has no plans to buy the production and distribution giant. According to Variety, All3Media, Endeavor, Sony, and Lionsgate have all been floated as possible buyer with the winner gaining programmes including Black Mirror and unscripted shows such as Big Brother and Masterchef.
Comcast borrows $27bn for Sky purchase
After winning the bidding war for Sky, Comcast has placed $27 billion in bonds to contribute to the $40 billion purchase. Broadband TV News reported the bond is the second largest of the year to date with investors indicating they are prepared to take up $88 billion in debt with the remaining amount of the purchase coming from long-term loans.
Tech giants oppose new Australian law
Facebook, Apple, Alphabet and Amazon are set to counter a new Australian law that would require them to provide access to private encrypted data linked to suspected illegal activities. Reuters reported, failure to comply would result in fines up to AUD $10 million and is a decision the government based on mitigating terror attacks, however, the technology companies have argued the law is a “back-door to user’s data”.
Smart home devices set for double-digit growth by 2020
The global smart home device market is expected to grow by 31% year on year in 2018, according to Advanced Television the market including smart speakers, video entertainment products, connected lighting, thermostats and home security products will top close to 1.3 billion devices by 2020. The International Data Corporation (IDC) predicts the market for Alexa, Siri, Cortana and Bixby to become well established but expects the market for these smart speakers to be largely relegated to China where companies including Xiaomi and Alibaba have already captured a large share.