Media

  • Netflix debuts choose-your-own-adventure stories for kids

    Netflix debuts choose-your-own-adventure stories for kids

    Netflix today announced the debut of “interactive” stories on its service – a sort of choose-your-own-adventure style of storytelling, where viewers get to decide what happens next. The new stories, whose development was rumored earlier this year, will initially cater to Netflix’s younger viewers, the company says, noting that kids in particular are already inclined… Read More

  • Spotify ‘Sponsored Songs’ lets labels pay for plays

    Spotify ‘Sponsored Songs’ lets labels pay for plays

    A mysterious “Sponsored Content” opt-out setting recently appeared in Spotify, and now the streaming giant has confirmed to TechCrunch what it’s about. Spotify is now testing a new “Sponsored Song” ad unit that a company spokesperson tells us is “a product test for labels to promote singles on the free tier.” Instead of appearing as obvious ad banners… Read More

  • Vice has raised $450M ahead of a potential IPO

    Vice has raised $450M ahead of a potential IPO

    Vice Media has raised $450M in new funding from private-equity firm TPG, with a deal valuing the media company around $5.7 billion post-money. Shane Smith, co-founder and CEO of Vice was just on CNBC answering questions about the funding and Vice’s plans to eventually become a public company. While remaining cryptic, Smith did note that this raise is “what we would do if we were… Read More

  • Netflix tests pre-roll video ‘previews’ that are personalized to your interests

    Netflix tests pre-roll video ‘previews’ that are personalized to your interests

    Netflix regularly experiments with new ways to introduce viewers to its own original programming, including through recommendations, trailers, and other featured selections on its homepage. The latest experiment, underway now, is the use of pre-roll advertisements that play before the show you’re about to watch. These are being used to promote Netflix series or movies that are live or… Read More

  • Amazon Channels now works like a TV login for HBO & Showtime’s apps

    Amazon Channels now works like a TV login for HBO & Showtime’s apps

    Amazon Channels is starting act like a TV provider. The service, which allows Prime members to subscribe to over-the-top premium networks like HBO, Showtime, Starz, Cinemax and others, now allows you to log into some of the networks’ standalone streaming apps, as well, starting with HBO and Showtime. That is, instead of entering in your cable or satellite TV credentials to gain access to… Read More

  • Samsung quietly acquired VR app studio VRB

    Samsung quietly acquired VR app studio VRB

    Samsung has been bullish on virtual reality hardware, hoping that its early moves in headsets and devices to shoot content will give it a stronger position in the space as (and if!) it continues to expand to more applications and users. Now TechCrunch has learned that as part of that effort, it’s also made an acquisition. Samsung quietly bought a New York-based startup called VRB, which… Read More

  • Musical.ly gets into original content with new shows from Viacom, NBCU & Hearst

    Musical.ly gets into original content with new shows from Viacom, NBCU & Hearst

    Lip-syncing social network Musical.ly is getting into original content, thanks to new deals with Viacom, NBCU and Hearst, which will bring short-form video series to the app. However, unlike the original videos found on Snapchat – an app that’s often the next step up for the tween-age Musical.ly audience – these shows are designed to be interactive. That is, the shows… Read More

  • Group Nine Media says it got 114M social engagements last month

    Group Nine Media says it got 114M social engagements last month

    With last fall’s formation of Group Nine Media, four digital media organizations (Thrillist, NowThis, The Dodo and Discovery’s Seeker) came together under a single corporate umbrella. Now the company says it’s seeing real success connecting with readers and viewers, with 114 million social media engagements in May — up from 70 million in January. As Group Nine CEO Ben… Read More

  • Spotify tops 140M users, revenue jumps over 50 percent

    Spotify tops 140M users, revenue jumps over 50 percent

    Spotify has been doing well on the revenue front, growing that aspect of its business by over 50 percent last year. The streaming music company reeled in $3.3 billion in revenue in total, as reported first by Recode, and spelled out in financial filings filed on Thursday. The company’s user base also grew to 140 million total people on the service, across both free and paid tiers, up… Read More

  • Facebook requests input on hard questions about censorship and terrorism

    Facebook requests input on hard questions about censorship and terrorism

    How should Facebook decide what’s allowed on its social network, and how to balance safety and truth with diverse opinions and cultural norms? Facebook wants your feedback on the toughest issues it’s grappling with, so today it published a list of seven “hard questions” and an email address — hardquestions@fb.com — where you can send feedback… Read More

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