Snap hires long-time Google exec as it seeks to develop new AR solutions and leverage global carrier partnerships

Key Signals in Media and Entertainment 

Mergers and Acquisitions
Storytel acquires audiobook streaming service
The acquisition is Storytel’s first entry into the English-language market. Storytel, which operates in 25 countries, is the dominant audiobook streaming service in Nordic countries, which account for one million of its 1.7 Mn subscribers. is a growing profitable business with a consumer and partnership-friendly approach that offers Storytel a new platform for growth. Read More>>
Spotify to buy Ohio audiobooks firm Findaway
The acquisition comes as Spotify continues to expand its audio offerings beyond music and podcasts. The deal’s financial terms, which is expected to close in the fourth quarter, were not disclosed. Spotify gained a global following first as a music streaming service, but it has made significant investments into becoming a podcast company in recent years.  Read More>>
Tencent acquires game studio behind hit Nintendo Switch titles
Tencent Holdings Ltd. has acquired Wake Up Interactive with several Nintendo Switch hit games to its name as part of an acquisition spree in the home of anime and manga. Wake Up purchase, which came in September, is one of several deals that Tencent struck with privately-held game makers in Japan this year.  Read More>>
Early Works partners with Hakuhodo to release movies-based NFTs
Early Works aims to offer entertainment experiences and services which can be enhanced by holding NFTs released in collaboration with Hakuhodo DY Music & Pictures. As part of its first project, the company will commemorate the release of the movie EUREKA / Symphonic Psalm Eureka Seven High Evolution with an NFT series containing seven digital collectibles. Read More>>
Executive Movement
AMC Networks elevates Christina Spade as COO and CFO
In this new dual role, Spade will have operational oversight of key businesses, including AMC Networks International, while continuing to lead financial operations, investor relations, and global technology for the AMC Networks portfolio of targeted streaming services and award-winning brands. Based in New York, she will continue to report to AMC Networks Interim CEO Matt Blank. Read More>>
Snap hires a long time Google Exec to lead Global Carrier Partnerships
Anne Laurenson will lead Snap’s partnerships with telecom carriers across the U.S., Latin America, Europe, Middle East, Africa, and the Asia-Pacific regions. Laurenson will also help support initiatives around Spectacles, augmented reality glasses, and the company’s AR studio in Paris, in addition to working with carriers to improve the accessibility and experience of Snapchat. Read More>>
Deals and deal renewals
Roku signs IP license agreement with DivX
DivX,  a pioneer in digital video technology, announced that Roku, Inc., a leading video streaming platform, signed an intellectual property (IP) license agreement with the company. DivX licenses its technology to enable stunning video playback, and major consumer electronics brands have shipped over 1.6 Bn DivX-enabled devices worldwide. Read More>>

Latest Industry Insights from Draup Braindesk

Media & entertainment companies are developing news writing robots and movie genre prediction systems with high reliance on digital technologies such as AI/ML and speech recognition 

  • News Corp adopted Polar’s format management platform to transform social media posts into digital ads. It helps to cut down advertising costs and boost brand engagement. 
  • iHeartRadio partnered with Super Hi-Fi, an AI company, to solve awkward transitions between songs. It functions while listening to internet radio, a playlist, or picking the songs from those upcoming albums. 
  • 21ST Century Fox created a system called Merlin by partnering with Google to use the company’s servers and open-source AI framework TensorFlow. The system uses AI /ML and big data to experiment with movie attendance predictions. 

Media & entertainment companies are actively developing voice recording applications, crowd simulation, and content curation with high reliance on digital technologies such as AI and automation. 

  • Google launched a voice recorder app for android devices, which tap into advances in real-time speech processing, speech recognition, and AI to automatically transcribe recordings in real-time. 
  • Amazon introduced Amazon Translate that supports 54 languages and dialects, with 2,804 language pairs now supported. It also enables customers to translate information from one language to many languages. 
  • Facebook deployed automated content curation using AI, a detection system that identifies offensive speech more effectively and in multiple languages to remove more hate speech. 

Key Funding Alert

Racket launches an app for 99-second micro podcasts and a USD 3 Mn round of pre-seed funding 
Racket’s app provides an endless vertical feed of audio snippets that are all 99 seconds or less. The company also announced a USD 3 Mn round of pre-seed funding from investors, including Greycroft, Foundation Capital, and LightShed Ventures. Racket plans to utilise the funds to hire more engineers, fine-tune its design and expand its trust and safety resources. Read More>>

Startup Spotlight

Company –  Audius
Total Funding – USD 13.6 Mn
About: Audius is creating a fully decentralized community of artists, developers, and listeners collaborating to share. Using Audius, creators can generate immutable and time-stamped records for their creative works and register their assets to the Audius network. Read More>>

Latest Reports Published in Draup

RTL Group Account Intelligence Report – Oct 2021: RTL Group intends to work on emerging technologies such as Augmented Reality, the Internet of Things (IoT), Global Positioning Systems, and Natural Language Positioning to integrate them into its business model. Read More>>
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