Media News Roundup: Media on Apple Watch, Rubicon’s Acquisition, Periscope Privacy, and Jay-Z’s Tidal
Here’s a collection of media business and tech news that caught our eye this week, with a touch of explanation and commentary:
- The New York Times is going to feature breaking news alerts and will allow users to view full stories on their iPhones and iPads, but it is also customizing one-sentence stories for the Apple Watch. Andrew Phelps, senior product manager at the Times, says this has changed the Times’ view on development as a whole, turning it from a top-down to a bottom-up approach.
- CNN is focusing on personalizing its app to match the personal nature of a wearable watch, and its Apple Watch app allows users to choose to receive push notifications from 12 categories of breaking news, thus creating what CNN hopes to be a unique experience for each user.
- The Economist is taking a fairly different approach from the Times and CNN, and is focusing its Apple Watch app around audio: the app serves essentially as a remote control for the audio version of The Economist that plays on users’ iPhones. The Economist’s app reflects its expansion of what it believes to be its most accessible feature to access via a wearable piece of technology.
- Rubicon Project is a company working toward the automation of advertising, and it announced last Tuesday, March 31st that it had finalized plans to acquire Chango, Canada’s fastest-growing technology company.
- Chango specializes in intent marketing technology, or effectively matching ads with consumers based not only on what they have searched but on the context of the pages they are on and content they are exposed to on those pages.
- Combining Chango’s technology with its own will allow Rubicon Project to provide its buyers with intent marketing potential it previously could not offer and to expand and increase its services and their prices in the near future.
- Periscope is the new live-video app launched by Twitter last week which allows its users to view, like or “heart” video streams while they are being recorded live.
- The initial version of the app had a feature which allowed users to zoom in on the location of the user whose live stream they were watching, something which had the potential to offer a threat to privacy and security if live streams were being recorded from users’ homes. This feature was disabled in the app update made available this week.
- This introduces the apparent contradition of displaying your location on social media and maintaining your privacy; other social media platforms, such as Instagram, allow users to zoom in to the location photos were taken in down to the street level, and many have argued against this. However, the argument can also be made that choosing to share your location on social media means forfeiting the privacy associated with your location.
- Tidal is the music-streaming service now owned by Jay-Z which offers $9.99 per month or $19.99 per month plans (and cannot be used for free) and provides users with exclusive content from involved artists and high audio quality (those who pay $19.99 per month receive the highest quality). It was re-launched this Monday.
- Tidal is supported by a host of very powerful and popular musical artists including Beyoncé, Madonna and Kanye West, but its music library remains small and the music industry is already saturated with various streaming services which offer free and paid plans.
- It will be interesting to see if Tidal can successfully maintain the niche market it is likely to create, and if this will expand to affect the rest of the music industry.