In what Reuters calls “a major reorganization of the company’s entertainment assets,” Alibaba just announced the formation of a new digital media group. “The move marks a total consolidation of Alibaba's media businesses, including Youku Tudou Inc., UCWeb Inc. and Alibaba Pictures Group Ltd. as well as the company's sports, games, literature, music and digital entertainment divisions,” Reuters reports. The Chinese tech giant also announced plans for a $1.48 billion fund for new projects.
Amazon reported earnings that were way below analyst estimates, on Thursday. “The company posted third-quarter earnings per share of 52 cents on revenue of $32.71 billion,” CNBC writes. “Analysts expected the online retail giant to post earnings of 78 cents a share on revenue of $32.69 billion, according to a Thomson Reuters consensus estimate.”
Alphabet on Thursday reported third-quarter earnings of $9.06 per share on revenue of $22.4 billion. “That’s another 20 percent gain compared to the same quarter a year ago,” TechCrunch reports. As such, Alphabet’s strategy of trying to stuff the difference between declining mobile advertising value with additional clicks appears to still be paying off.
Among other executive shifts, Google Access CEO Craig Barratt is leaving the Alphabet unit. Additionally, “the company will halt its rollout of Fiber to new cities [and] plans layoffs in those areas,” Recode reports. “Access operates as its own entity underneath the Alphabet umbrella, and runs the tech giant’s broadband Internet service, Fiber.”
Google just bought eye-tracking tech startup Eyefluence. “Eyefluence develops applications for use in the virtual and augmented reality fields with a particular bent toward eye-tracking software,” ZDNet notes. “Financial terms of the deal were not disclosed. Neither were any details relating to how the company will now operate or whether employees will be merged with Google's own research teams”
The New York Times is buying online consumer guide The Wirecutter for about $30 million, Recode reports, citing sources. “Brian Lam, a former editor at Gawker Media’s Gizmodo, founded The Wirecutter in 2011, and has self-funded the company’s growth,” Recode writes. “The Wirecutter provides recommendations for electronics and other gadgets that are both obsessively researched and simply presented.”
In a major blow to Buzzfeed, CNN just poached four top reporters from the digital news outlet. The group includes Andrew Kaczynski -- “the BuzzFeed reporter whose scoop about Donald J. Trump’s early support for the invasion of Iraq,” as The New York Times notes. “The departures … are also likely to resurface questions about the company’s plans for its news operation.”