[CONFIDENTIEL] Spotify, Buzzfeed, Amazon HQ2, Facebook Watch Party, Apple …

by bold-lichterman

Spotify, the leader in paid music streaming, will diversify with a news, sports, pop culture and political podcast offer, in order to capture radio / podcast listeners from its great rival Apple.

Eight companies, such as BuzzFeed or Refinery29, will produce new content for this initiative called Spotlight. Thus, BuzzFeed will produce a 4-7 minute daily log. These programs will only be available at launch in the United States.

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According to figures put forward by Bloomberg, Spotify seeks to start the cake of radio advertising, estimated at 18 billion dollars in the United States. The Swedish is also working to increase its profitability, on the eve of its IPO on the New York Stock Exchange, which promises to be one of the most anticipated of 2018.

It is likely that this new content requires more than just the ears: “I know people come to Spotify to listen first, but we’re starting to build something new. I want to create content that can be seen and listened to. ” said Courtney Holt, former boss of Maker Studio (Disney) and director of studios and video, at Spotify.

Spotify has 140 million active users, of which 60 million are paying. Its revenue jumped 50% in 2016, to $ 3 billion, but its net losses doubled at the same time to $ 600 million.

Amazon announced Thursday that it had selected 20 cities in the race to obtain HQ2, its next headquarters.

The stakes are high for the candidate North American cities: a budget of 5 billion dollars, and 50,000 jobs at stake.

CONFIDENTIEL Spotify Buzzfeed Amazon HQ2 Facebook Watch Party Apple
Photo credit: dennizn / Shutterstock.com

Amazon had already indicated that its choice would focus on an urban or peri-urban area of ​​more than a million inhabitants, and likely to attract tech talent. The cities still in the running are ** drum rolls **:

Austin, Texas
Columbus, Ohio
Los Angeles
Montgomery County, Md.
Nashville, Tennessee
Newark, NJ
New York
Northern Virginia
Raleigh, North Carolina
Washington DC

In total, 238 cities competed, often by offering tax incentives to seduce the e-commerce giant, but also by playing the card of originality – we remember in particular the mayor of Stonecrest in Georgia which had proposed to leave 140 hectares of the cadastre to make an independent city in the name of Amazon.

Amazon is expected to make its decision this year, after working with the finalists on the feasibility of the project. Among the cities that did not pass this selection round, we can mention Detroit, one of the American cities hardest hit by the 2008 crisis.

After having reoriented the newsfeed and planned in its roadmap the simplification of Messenger, Facebook has just announced the release of a new product. Called “Watch Party”, the aim of the offer is to allow several users to watch the same video simultaneously without it being broadcast live on the platform. This new tool is being tested on a small scale – only a dozen groups.

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Photo credit: Facebook

With this new proposal, Mark Zuckerberg intends to increase the number of interactions, which becomes the strategic keyword for the platform, between Facebook members. The social network thus realized that the videos broadcast live generated 6 times more interactions than the rest of the publications. The main reason is that people know they’re viewing the same content. “With everyone watching, commenting and reacting together at the same times, the tool creates a shared viewing experience that helps build the kind of community and engagement we’ve seen with live.details Fiji Simo, VP Product at Facebook.

The idea of ​​watching videos in groups is not new. Tumblr had already tested as well as Sean Parker, also co-founder of Napster and former manager (but still a shareholder) of Facebook, with its Airtime application, without much success.

Over a billion people are active on Facebook groups every month.

Donald Trump must be smiling. And for good reason, Apple is in the process of acting exactly as the American president wishes. The latter had notably assured that he would oblige Apple to repatriate its production on American soil … and here is that the Cupertino company plans to invest 350 billion dollars over five years, according to TechCrunch. During this period, Apple also promises to create 20,000 jobs, which would bring its workforce on American soil beyond 100,000. Like Amazon, the American giant intends to build a second campus, which will initially consist of host technical support for customers, as well as new data centers.

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The American firm also intends to increase the endowment of its Advanced Manufacturing Fund, announced in May 2017 by Tim Cook. This investment vehicle aims to promote skilled jobs in industry in the United States. It should go from $ 1 billion to $ 5 billion.

But what satisfies Donald Trump the most is the announcement by Apple of the payment of $ 38 billion in taxes on its profits made abroad, in accordance with the tax reform voted in late 2017 by the American Congress. In fact, $ 252 billion, or 94% of Apple’s cash, had hitherto been kept outside the United States, as Tim Cook’s firm refused to pay the 35% tax. mandatory. Donald Trump did not fail to greet this announcement on his favorite social network: Twitter! “I promised that my policy would allow companies like Apple to repatriate extraordinary amounts to the United States. I am delighted to see that Apple is following through on these TAX Cuts (Editor’s note: yes, the American president likes to scream). A huge victory for American workers and the United States», Wrote the tenant of the White House.