• SoundCloud Raises $70M
    Music streaming service SoundCloud just raised $70 million, Business Insider reports, citing a filing. “The documents show that SoundCloud raised the loan from Kreos Capital’s fifth debt fund, as well as the Davidson Technology Growth Debt Fund and Ares Capital,” BI writes. SoundCloud last raised money in June 2016 when it raised around $70 million from Twitter Ventures, Twitter's investment arm.”
  • Chinese Video Streaming Startup Kuaishou Gets $350M
    Chinese video streaming service Kuaishou just raised $350 million from Tencent Holdings and other investors. The latest round values the startup at roughly $3 billion, Bloomberg reports, citing sources. Meanwhile, “The investment comes ahead of a potential initial public offering of Baidu Inc.-backed Kuaishou,” sources tell Bloomberg.
  • Watch March Madness In VR
    Six games — including the Final Four national semifinals and National Championship game — will be streamed in VR. The games will be available via the March Madness Live VR app  available on the Oculus Store, which will work with Gear VR devices. But it will cost you $2.99 per game.
  • Media Heavies Invest in Kid-Vid Start-up 'Pocketwatch'
    Pocketwatch aims to produce, acquire and distribute content for kids 2-11 across multiple platforms. A $6 million round of  funding was led by Allen DeBevoise’s Third Wave Digital with participation from investors including CBS chairman and CEO Leslie Moonves; film producer Jon Landau; UTA; Robert Downey Jr.’s Downey Ventures; Chris Jacquemin, WME partner and head of digital media; and Defy Media CEO Matt Diamond. Pocketwatch is led by founder and CEO  Chris Williams,, former chief audience officer at Maker Studios and GM of Disney Online Originals. Execs include chief content officer Albie Hecht, former head of Nickelodeon and HLN; and …
  • 'Wheel Of Fortune' Fail Gives Headline Writer Chance To Tell Related Story
    On Tuesday's episode of "Wheel of Fortune," a contestant flubbed what should have been an obvious answer to the puzzle requiring the most rudimentary knowledge of the works of Tennessee Williams. (Anecdotally, many years ago host Pat Sajak told me that once, a puzzle came down to one letter to complete "ABRAHAM _iNCOLN" and a contestant guessed, "B." No, Sajak told her. "It's 'L.' You know, the guy who wrote the Bettysburg Address." He insisted it really happened.)
  • We'll Fix LGBTQ Issues, YouTube Veep Says
    "The bottom line is that this feature isn’t working the way it should. We’re sorry and we’re going to fix it," writes Johanna Wright, YouTube vice president of Product Management, says about many LGBTQ videos that keep getting put on a "restricted list."
  • YouTube Humanitarian Gesture; So Long 'Annotations'
    YouTube is phasing out "annotations," those bottom-of-the-video ads that are so thoroughly annoying. They will be gone by May. New contrivances touted.
  • Report: Comcast Checks In At Hulu, But Not NBC
    Comcast cable networks, including Bravo and E!, have begun appearing on the service, Bloomberg reports, but not the NBC broadcast network. Hulu is beta testing its new cable-like streaming service. Though Comcast is a Hulu partner, the parent company still doesn't have a done deal to carry the network. 
  • Netflix Nixing Star-Based Rating System
    Netflix is replacing its star-based content rating system with simpler thumps up and thumps down. “Previously-given star rating will still be used to personalize the profiles of Netflix users, but the stars are disappearing from the interface altogether,” Variety reports. “Netflix is also introducing a new percent-match feature that shows how good of a match any given show or movie is for an individual subscriber.”
  • Twitter Replaces Yahoo at NewFronts
    Replacing Yahoo on the NewFronts schedule is Twitter, which will host its first presentation for ad buyers on May 1. Yahoo is in the process of being acquired by Verizon and in the last couple of years scaled back its NewFronts presence. Instead, Yahoo will hold smaller local sales events.
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