Vimeo has apparently ditched plans for a subscription video product. “Vimeo has been floating the idea of selling a subscription service since 2014,” Recode notes. The IAC unit is also losing Alana Mayo -- a former Paramount exec who only came aboard in March, according to Recode.
Amazon is adding an intercom feature to its Alexa-powered Echo and Echo Dot smart speakers, GeekWire reports. As such, “Amazon is taking a big step forward in its quest to turn Alexa into the operating system for the home.” In practice, “The intercom feature lets users access the speaker on one Echo device from another Echo device or the Alexa smartphone app.”
After a period of limited availability, YouTube is offering Uptime to everyone. As TechCrunch notes, the app is designed for groups of users to watch the same video, and then react to it as they please. “Instead of viewing YouTube videos on your own, then sharing those you like with friends via links in chats or to social networks, Uptime lets you watch videos with friends directly in its app,” writes TechCrunch.
The Wall Street Journal details Facebook’s nascent original-programming efforts. “In meetings with major talent agencies including Creative Artists Agency, United Talent Agency, William Morris Endeavor and ICM Partners, Facebook has indicated it is willing to commit to production budgets as high as $3 million per episode,” The Journal reports, citing sources.
Pandora’s co-founder is reportedly shedding his CEO title. Citing sources, Recode writes: “Tim Westergren plans to step down as the streaming music company’s leader.” Word is that the company is still searching for a replacement. While Westergren founded Pandora back in 2000, a number of other executives have served as CEO at various times over the years,
Apple is reportedly hoping to reduce record labels’ share of revenue from music streamed across its music services. “The talks cover Apple’s agreements for Apple Music … and iTunes, the store where people can buy individual songs or albums,” Bloomberg reports. “The record labels’ deals with Apple expire at the end of June, though they are likely to be extended if the parties can’t agree on new terms by then.”
Donald Trump this week heard petitions from drone and wireless executives to help their burgeoning business grow. “A T-Mobile executive mentioned Trump's ‘open-mindedness’ when it comes to regulation,” Axios writes. “And a Verizon executive’s comments called to mind telco hopes that broadband will play a big part in a potentially-forthcoming infrastructure package.”
Tesla is reportedly in talks with music industry execs about creating its own streaming music service. “Music industry sources say the car maker has had talks with all of the major labels about licensing a proprietary music service that would come bundled with its cars,” reports Recode. “Sources aren’t clear about the full scope of Tesla’s ambitions, but believe it is interested in offering multiple tiers of service.”
Google is calling for new laws that would affect law enforcement officials' ability to access digital data across borders. The current rules "are due for a fundamental realignment in light of the rapid growth of technology that relies on the cloud, the very real security threats that face people and communities, and the expectations of privacy that internet users have in their communications," general counsel Kent Walker said in a speech delivered in Washington.