Subscription publishers (still) have platform problems

Platforms played integral roles in helping publishers scale audiences. Now, they’re helping with publishers’ subscription ambitions, with new product features and programs to educate publishers just starting to pursue consumer revenue.

While publishers are heartened by these steps, many are wary. Not only do platforms have a history of changing their minds about how their products work, they are also limited in their ability to help publishers’ subscription efforts. Here is a rundown of what the platforms have done and the gripes that publishers still have with them. Continue reading “Subscription publishers (still) have platform problems”

Everything Amazon’s Alexa learned to do in 2017

Amazon’s Alexa is leading the AI assistant pack. Echo devices are dominating smart speaker sales, and that was before Amazon brought the devices to more than 80 nations around the world. To defend its crown, Amazon moved fast this year to outpace competitors like Google Assistant and Microsoft’s Cortana. Apple’s delayed HomePod is due out next year, while Samsung and Facebook are also reportedly planning to debut smart speakers. It can be challenging to keep up with all the features Alexa has added to stay ahead of some of the largest tech companies on the planet, so here’s a rundown of everything Alexa learned to do this year. Continue reading “Everything Amazon’s Alexa learned to do in 2017”

Digiday Research: 90 percent of media execs think Amazon can threaten the duopoly

Digiday’s “Research in brief” is our newest research installment designed to give you quick, easy and digestible facts to make better decisions and win arguments around the office. They are based on Digiday’s proprietary surveys of industry leaders, executives and doers.

Amazon is eating the world. Just about everyone is saying it these days. The Amazon avalanche is coming to ad tech, too. In its third-quarter earnings call, Amazon announced that its advertising business grew 58 percent year over year to $1.12 billion.

The post Digiday Research: 90 percent of media execs think Amazon can threaten the duopoly appeared first on Digiday.

Amazon Alexa skills to accept payments

Developers and businesses making skills for Amazon’s Alexa will soon be able to accept Amazon Pay and make purchases directly within voice apps from the Alexa Skills Store. The news was announced today during the Alexa State of the Union at AWS re:Invent in Las Vegas. Other Alexa news shared today includes plans to bring Alexa to Australia and New Zealand in early 2018 and adding $100 million to the Alexa Fund for international investment. Continue reading “Amazon Alexa skills to accept payments”

Amazon unveils DeepLens, a $249 camera for deep learning


Amazon Web Services today unveiled DeepLens, a wireless video camera made for the quick deployment of deep learning. The camera will cost $249 and is scheduled to ship for customers in the United States in April 2018.

DeepLens comes pre-loaded with AWS Greengrass for local computation and can operate with SageMaker, a new service to simplify the deployment of AI models, as well as popular open source AI services such as TensorFlow from Google and Caffe2 from Facebook, according to an AWS blog. Continue reading “Amazon unveils DeepLens, a $249 camera for deep learning”

Alexa and Hearst Team Up on ‘Voice-First’ Brand

My Beauty ChatWhat if publishers started programming the new generation of audio assistants as a kind of hybrid of daily news, on demand radio/podcasting and information resource? That’s the sort of experiment Hearst recently launched for the Amazon Echo with its “My Beauty Chat” voice-first brand. Once the skill is enabled, asking Alexa to open the app offers you a choice of hearing a morning or afternoon 5-10 minute beauty program or a tip of the day. With launch support from sole sponsor L’Oreal, Hearst is programming this project aggressively, with two daily shows (one available before 4 p.m. and the other after) as well as a daily beauty tip.

Continue reading “Alexa and Hearst Team Up on ‘Voice-First’ Brand”

The Washington Post on Reddit surprises users with its non-promotional, ultra helpful presence

Democracy dies in dankness.

That’s not a typo in the Washington Post’s Reddit profile: The Washington Post account is an avid poster of some pretty good memes and gifs. It’s got jokes. It’s also a sharer of everything from polling stories to breaking national security stories to lifestyle columns to geeky features to fact-checks, and a facilitator of, and participant in, AMAs. The official publisher account has been live since April of this year, shortly after the platform began allowing public profiles, and appears to have broken through Reddit’s tough anti-brand, anti-paywall shell.

Continue reading “The Washington Post on Reddit surprises users with its non-promotional, ultra helpful presence”

How Google and Amazon are hooking kids from an early age

Google announced a notable update to YouTube Kids this week, one that gives parents a range of tools to tailor the app for their kids. Among the new features is one that lets parents create individual profiles for each of their offspring. They can set each kid up with their own passcode to keep siblings out — though parents can override it — and the general design now reflects the child’s age. This revamp is the latest in a line of recent initiatives from big tech firms as they double down on efforts to suck kids into their ecosystems.

Continue reading “How Google and Amazon are hooking kids from an early age”

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