This week in Media and Entertainment: Firms focus on enabling media solutions with ML, Analytics & AR to tap into emerging consumer interests

Latest Industry Insights from Draup Braindesk

The future of broadcasting and OTT services relies heavily on the development of mobile applications and video streaming services to help companies deliver a better customer streaming experience.  

  • MultiChoice Group (MCG) partnered with Metrological to leverage the Metrological application platform to package its content with apps and premium OTT services from the Metrological App Library to enhance TV subscribers’ viewing options  

  • Walt Disney launched a significant reorganization to prioritize its streaming-video services to ensure a steady flow of the company’s best content, in a shift echoing similar moves by other entertainment giants 
  • Samsung partnered with Netflix to integrate Netflix’s streaming service more deeply with Samsung devices. Samsung will allow users to launch Netflix content by way of its voice assistant Bixby and will also deliver recommendations to Samsung users 

Most initiatives focus on building and establishing advertising products, with new mobile over-the-top (OTT), Ad engine, and connected TV advertising inventory. 

  • Google has created new methods to assist advertisers in attaining extra prospects and optimizing their app campaigns that are eligible to run on Search, YouTube, Google Play, Discover, and over millions of different websites and apps 

  • Facebook deployed augmented reality (AR) ads through Facebook’s Spark AR engine that helps advertisers create and incorporate AR effects into their campaigns and deploy the advertisements through the platform’s ad targeting system. 

  • Discovery partnered with FreeWheel, a Comcast company, to provide their unified decisioning platform that enables holistic advertising management for Discovery’s full roster of cable networks.

Latest Reports Published in Draup

Thomson Reuters Account Intelligence Report: Thomson Reuters focuses on leveraging a range of technologies to bring a digital transformation and create an enhanced security ecosystem, including AI and ML, process automation, cloud migration, and VR. The company uses AWS Cloud services such as analytics, database, containers, serverless, storage, and ML to develop new digital products. Read More>>
Cision Account Intelligence Report: Cision focuses on offering internet-based broadcast, global print communication through cloud platforms. It also launched Cision Connect, a relationship management solution for PR and communications professionals in its Communications cloud platform. Cision also makes changes in its key leadership to focus on ongoing commitment to growth and innovation. Read More>>

Key Funding Alert

Genvid raises USD 113 Mn for massive interactive live events like Project Raven  

Genvid Holdings has raised USD 113 Mn to fuel massive interactive live events (MILE) such as the upcoming Project Raven. MILE’s are part-game, part-TV shows such as Rival Peak, an online show on Facebook where spectators could determine the fates of 12 AI characters who competed against each other in a Survivor-style show. Read More>>

Startup Spotlight

Company – Podimo
Total Funding – USD 36.38 Mn
About: Podimo is an open podcast platform that offers a subscription service for creators. Founded in 2019, Podimo also offers personalized recommendations to listeners while offering creators a share of revenue via premium subscriptions. Co-founded by Morten Strunge, Nikolaj Koppel, Andreas Sachse, Eva Laegdsgaard, and Sverre Dueholm, Podimo is hoping to capitalize on the rise in consumption of podcasts. 
Read More>>

Key Insights and Signals in Draup

Centre Setup and Expansion
Comcast opens a New Xfinity® store in Muncie
The store features contemporary hands-on displays and seating areas where customers can interact with all Xfinity products from the internet, video, and connected home solutions to Xfinity Mobile. Read More>>
Lego flagship store to open in Spain’s Barcelona
This new store confirms Lego’s commitment to Spain, where they already have six certified shops in places such as Barcelona, Madrid, Zaragoza, and Seville. The store is set to open towards the end of 2021 and will feature Barcelona’s iconic landscapes in life-size Lego models. Read More>>
Reddit opens a Sydney office in a bid to boost its ads platform
Reddit has already partnered with local businesses, established brand partnerships, and is working with Australian-based communities and moderators to build out its regional footprint. Located in Barangaroo, Sydney, Reddit’s new office will focus on Australian operations. Read More>>
Disney opens Middle East’s first shop-in-shops in UAE, Kuwait
The company has partnered with Kuwaiti retail operator Alshaya Group to open its first-ever shop-in-shops in the Middle East with outlets in the UAE and Kuwait. Each store will feature a wide selection of products, including apparel, costumes, toys, and home goods from the US, curated for the MENA region. Read More>>
Black Desert’s Pearl Abyss is building a new art center in South Korea
The investment includes USD 26 Mn to construct a five-story structure. This building will consist of a floor area of 5000 sq. meters in Pyeongchon, Anyang City in South Korea. This will be the largest art center for the games industry in Korea once it’s opened in the first half of 2022. Read More>>

Mergers and Acquisition 
Amazon acquires Facebook’s satellite internet team to compete with SpaceX
The deal supports Amazon’s USD 10 Bn effort to develop low Earth orbit (LEO) satellites capable of delivering high-speed broadband internet around the globe while marking the end of Facebook’s ultimately unsuccessful efforts to do the same. Read More>>
Lamar Advertising company announces investment in Vistar Media
The company has acquired a minority stake in Vistar Media, a leading global provider of programmatic technology for the digital out-of-home sector. Lamar’s investment of USD 30 Mn will help Vistar strengthen its balance sheet, expand its research and development and extend its reach into new markets. Read More>>
Verve Group acquires Smaato, securing a spot as a Top 10 Global Ad Exchange
The transaction places Smaato at an enterprise value of USD 170 Mn. This acquisition positions Verve Group as one of the top global mobile ad exchanges, with a joint team of over 300 employees spread across 25 offices worldwide. Read More>>
As movie theaters open back up, AT&T and Cinemark partner for Immersive AR
Moviegoers approaching the AT&T sponsored AR kiosk screen will be encouraged by the Tune Squad characters – Bugs Bunny and friends – to scan a QR code and reach a secure website where they can select their desired character and pose with them. Read More>>
FanDuel announces market access partnership with Mohegan to operate daily fantasy sports
Sports bettors and fans across the state of Connecticut will have access to FanDuel’s industry-leading online and mobile betting experience this fall. Additionally, FanDuel will supply an online casino experience under the Mohegan Sun brand and will operate daily fantasy sports in Connecticut. Read More>>
Clerk partners with Media company Meredith    
The company announced a merchandising partnership with Meredith Corporation to help manage their publications in over 15,000 stores per quarter. Meredith will use Clerk’s machine learning technology to ensure their magazines — including PEOPLE, Southern Living, and Allrecipes — are in stock and shelved correctly. Read More>>
Tencent Cloud and Boston Consulting Group announce strategic alliance   
Under the alliance, Tencent Cloud and BCG will carry out cooperation in finance and retail, together to facilitate digital transformation in enterprises and provide enterprise architecture design for enterprises’ access to the cloud. Read More>>
Executive Movement
Apple Podcasts Executive moves to Netflix
Former Apple Podcasts executive N’Jeri Eaton moves to streaming giant Netflix Inc. Competition in Podcasting has intensified as companies continue to invest more in the segment. It was reported in March that Apple is set to lose its top spot for US podcast listenership to Spotify Technology SA this year, based on a market forecast by eMarketer. Read More>>
Catalina welcomes Sean Murphy as Chief Data & Analytics Officer
With experience spanning the technology, media, and marketing sectors, Murphy most recently held a series of senior roles, including SVP of Analytics at Vericast. In his new position, Murphy takes over from Wes Chaar and reports to President and CEO Wayne Powers. Read More>>
Google’s director of AR is leaving to join Facebook’s Reality Labs team
Joshua To, director of Google’s AR / VR team, is leaving the company after serving for more than eight years. He began at the company in 2013 as a lead on Google Workspace — apps including Gmail and Docs — and later played a pivotal role in creating and guiding Google’s AR / VR team. Read More>>
Fox Corporation hires Brian Nick as Chief Communications Officer & Executive VP
Nick will join FOX from Coca-Cola Consolidated.  He previously led crisis communications and national media relations for Walmart, served as Communications Director for the National Republican Senatorial Committee, and Chief of Staff to former U. S. Senator Elizabeth Dole. He begins his new role with FOX at the end of July. Read More>>
IMG appoints Ross Hair as SVP, Head of EMEA
At IMG, he will be tasked with developing, implementing, and executing regional strategy for the media business and team in the region. Hair previously served as SVP, Commercial EMEA at Scripps Networks (now Discovery) from 2015-2018 and was Managing Director, ESPN EMEA from 2010-2014. Read More>>
Product Launch
Google is bringing TensorFlow Lite into Play services to encourage on-device ML in Android apps
To help increase adoption on Android, Google is now adding an “Android ML Platform” — primarily TensorFlow Lite — directly to Play services. File size constraints related to bundling libraries for ML to varying performance across devices has led google to create an updateable, fully integrated ML inference stack called the “Android ML Platform.” Read More>>
Netflix launches two new kid-friendly features
While Kids Top 10 will be launched on Wednesday, the Kids Recap Email will hit parents’ inboxes biweekly starting July 16. The bi-weekly kids recap emails will give parents a better understanding of their child’s preferences and news ways to engage those interests, with recommendations based on the child’s favorite shows and movies. Read More>>
The Trade Desk Inc. launches Solimar, a new Media Trading Platform for the modern marketer
Solimar addresses critical concerns for today’s marketers, including easy and secure onboarding of first-party data; the need to connect marketing performance to business growth goals; an increasingly cross channel digital media environment including the fast-growing world of CTV; and a rising focus on digital identity. Read More>>
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