Best music streaming service for 2020: Spotify, Apple Music, Amazon and more

cnet | April 06, 2020

When you're stuck at home, music can provide a sense of order amid the coronavirus chaos. Streaming music is cheap or even free (in the case of Pandora and Spotify) and outpaces any physical format when it comes to ease and convenience. Sure, vinyl may be making a resurgence among audiophiles, but if you're concerned about sound quality then streaming still has a lot to offer. In some cases, subscription services can sound indistinguishable from, or even better than, a CD. We've checked out the leading on-demand music streaming apps and options -- services such as Spotify, Pandora Premium, Apple Music and Tidal -- as well as Amazon Music Unlimited and YouTube Music to see how each platform stacks up for your subscription buck.

Spotlight

Sony seeks to deliver products, content, and services that resonate with people and affect a positive impact on society, based on its Purpose to "fill the world with emotion, through the power of creativity and technology." Sony Corporation President & CEO Kenichiro Yoshida spoke at the Sony press conference held ahead of the exhibition's public opening, stating that "Creativity is a powerful driving force that moves Sony forward. When it is combined with our technology, it is unstoppable." He then proceeded to introduce Sony's latest offerings and new developments from our electronics and entertainment businesses.


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BUSINESS

Global Enters Mobile Gaming Arena With Strategic Investment and Exclusive Ad Sales Deal

Global | June 14, 2022

Global, the media & entertainment group, has announced (13 June 2022) that it has invested in Odeeo, a tech start-up that delivers non-intrusive audio ads in mobile gamesGlobal’s market-leading digital advertising platform DAX (Digital Ad Exchange) will become the company’s exclusive sales partner in the UK and in the U.S, expanding DAX’s existing podcast, digital audio, audio articles and programmatic outdoor offering for advertisers and creators. Odeeo serves mobile game developers and publishers, helping them to monetise and grow their gaming products. Its pioneering technology provides advertisers with access to 2.8 billion mobile gamers across the globe, promising ads that respect player experience and privacy whilst offering advertisers advanced targeting and a highly attentive audience. The company is based in Israel and was founded by Amit Monheit (CEO) and Elad Stern (COO) in 2021. “There’s huge potential to improve how brands advertise in games so Elad and I are delighted to be partnering with Global and DAX. Together, we can help brands explore new opportunities and reach target audiences" -Odeeo co-founder, Amit Monheit Mobile gaming is immensely popular and audio ads in this space are unique as they don’t interrupt the experience. By combining our expertise, we’ll be able to keep innovating and growing the in-game audio world. Stephen Miron, Group CEO at Global said: “We have been following the mobile gaming sector and particularly Odeeo’s growth for some time, and are pleased to announce both this strategic investment and Odeeo’s appointment of Global, through DAX, to be their exclusive sales partner in the UK and US. This reinforces our strategy of being the market leader for all forms of audio advertising, across live radio, podcasts, audio articles and now mobile gaming. We’re looking forward to partnering with Amit and Elad to help the gaming creator community make the most of audio advertising opportunities. Les Hollander, CEO DAX, North America, said: “Audio advertising in mobile gaming presents a unique opportunity to reach gamers with immersive, non-intrusive marketing. Partnering with Odeeo not only provides us with high quality games for our advertisers to utilise but also an opportunity for them to connect with highly engaged audiences. I’m thrilled that DAX is joining Odeeo on this new and exciting journey.” About Odeeo Odeeo is an audio ad platform. One that strikes a chord with the world’s estimated 2.8 billion mobile gamers and drums up new customers for brands. All while players enjoy their game without skipping a beat. It’s on a mission to create a better experience for players – running ads without interrupting the gameplay – connecting developers and brands through sound and building the most advanced audio platform on the market. Headquartered in Israel, the company was founded by Amit Monheit (CEO) and Elad Stern (Chief Operating Officer) in 2021 and helps to connect hundreds of studios and brands through audio. About Global Global is one of the world’s leading Media & Entertainment groups. Europe’s largest radio company, Global is home to respected, national market leading media brands broadcasting across the UK on DAB & FM and around the world on Global Player, including Capital, Heart, Classic FM, LBC, LBC News, Global’s Newsroom, Smooth, Radio X, Capital XTRA and Gold. Global Player allows listeners to enjoy all of Global’s radio brands, award-winning podcasts, and expertly curated playlists, in one place in app, on web and on smart speakers. Global is also one of the leading Outdoor companies in both the UK & Europe, with over 235,000 sites reaching 95% of the UK population. Global’s extensive and diverse outdoor portfolio encompasses Transport for London’s Underground network, almost all major UK airports including Gatwick, the UK’s largest portfolio of roadside posters and premium digital screens in prime locations, as well as the UK’s largest network of buses including all major cities. On-air, on Global Player and with our outdoor platforms combined, Global reaches 51 million individuals across the UK every week, including 25.7 million on the radio alone. Global created and operates DAX (Digital Ad Exchange), the market leader in digital audio advertising and a pioneering platform in programmatic outdoor advertising. The company headquarters is in London’s iconic Leicester Square. Ashley Tabor-King OBE is Founder & Executive President, Stephen Miron is Group CEO, Lord Allen is Chairman and James Rea is Director of Broadcasting & Content. Ashley Tabor-King created Global in 2007.

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MEDIA AND BROADCASTING

TV5MONDE Expands Global Reach with Harmonic Cloud Streaming

Harmonic | May 27, 2022

Harmonic (NASDAQ: HLIT) announced that leading French-language entertainment provider TV5MONDE is streaming its channels to millions of households with Harmonic's VOS®360 cloud SaaS platform. "Being the world's leading provider of French-language content, it is important for us to be hyper-present across all screens, We chose Harmonic as our technology partner based on their extensive streaming expertise and numerous successful cloud deployments globally. Harmonic's cloud streaming solution provides us with unparalleled efficiency and flexibility, which is pivotal for us to reach millions of viewers around the world." Harmonic's VOS360 SaaS streamlines all stages of the media processing and delivery chain. Support for the DVB-TTML subtitling standard (ETSI EN 303 560) on the VOS360 platform enables TV5MONDE to stream channels to audiences in 14 different languages while ensuring the highest level of subtitling interoperability for Latin and non-Latin alphabets, including French, French for deaf and hard of hearing, English, Arabic, Russian, German, Dutch, Romanian, Spanish, Vietnamese, Korean, Japanese, Chinese Simplified and Chinese Traditional. In addition to directly streaming to consumers, the VOS360 platform also delivers TV5MONDE's content to affiliates across the globe, further expanding its reach. "We're proud to help TV5MONDE bring French-speaking culture to a diverse audience around the world, Flexibility is at the core of the VOS360 platform. With our SaaS platform, TV5MONDE can easily manage and distribute different channel variants to various geographic locations, reaching viewers on a more personal level." -Tony Berthaud, Vice President of Sales and Video Services, APAC and EMEA, at Harmonic Further information about Harmonic and the company's solutions is available at www.harmonicinc.com. About TV5MONDE TV5MONDE is the global francophone TV channel, whose mission is to promote the French language and productions worldwide. TV5MONDE is one of the largest TV networks in the world, available in 198 countries and in 403 million households, with subtitles in 13 languages, operating 8 general entertainment channels, 2 thematic channels (kids and lifestyle) and an on-demand platform TV5MONDEplus. About Harmonic Harmonic (NASDAQ: HLIT), the worldwide leader in virtualized cable access and video delivery solutions, enables media companies and service providers to deliver ultra-high-quality video streaming and broadcast services to consumers globally. The company revolutionized cable access networking via the industry's first virtualized cable access solution, enabling cable operators to more flexibly deploy gigabit internet service to consumers' homes and mobile devices. Whether simplifying OTT video delivery via innovative cloud and software platforms, or powering the delivery of gigabit internet cable services, Harmonic is changing the way media companies and service providers monetize live and on-demand content on every screen. More information is available at www.harmonicinc.com.

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APPLICATIONS

Bluetooth SIG Announces Auracast™ Broadcast Audio

Bluetooth SIG | June 09, 2022

The Bluetooth Special Interest Group (SIG), the trade association that oversees Bluetooth® technology, announced a new consumer brand for an upcoming audio broadcasting capability based on Bluetooth technology. This new capability, previously known as Audio Sharing, is now Auracast™ broadcast audio. Auracast™ broadcast audio enables an audio transmitter, such as a smartphone, laptop, television, or public address system to broadcast audio to an unlimited number of nearby Bluetooth audio receivers, including speakers, earbuds, or hearing devices. “The impact of Bluetooth audio has been massive. A simple, wireless audio connection between two Bluetooth devices has helped make our roads safer, our lives more productive, and our relationship with music, podcasts, video streaming, and all types of personal audio more convenient and joyful, The launch of Auracast™ broadcast audio will trigger another massive change in the wireless audio market. The ability to broadcast and share audio using Bluetooth technology will reshape personal audio and enable public venues and spaces to deliver audio experiences that will improve visitor satisfaction and increase accessibility.” -Mark Powell, CEO of the Bluetooth SIG. Bluetooth technology is extending its track record of innovation with the launch of Auracast™ broadcast audio,” said Peter Liu, System Architect, Pixel Ecosystem Products at Google. “We are proud to work with the Bluetooth SIG and are excited to see this capability provide consumers with new, imaginative ways to connect with each other and hear their world. Auracast™ broadcast audio will deliver life-changing audio experiences that will enhance the way we engage with others and the world around us. We will be able to: Share Our Audio: Auracast™ broadcast audio will let us invite others to share in our audio experience, helping bring us closer together. When using wireless earbuds to listen to a song or movie playing on a smartphone, tablet, or laptop, Auracast™ broadcast audio will allow family or friends to join in and listen using their own Auracast™ enabled Bluetooth earbuds or hearing device. The ability to pair your smartphone to your earbuds or headphones using Bluetooth technology has brought new levels of enjoyment and convenience to personal audio and is now a part of the fabric of our lives,” said Zeng Xuezhong, Senior Vice President and President of Smart Phone Department, Xiaomi Corporation. “The introduction of Auracast™ broadcast audio will enable us to move from personal wireless listening experiences to shared wireless listening experiences, unlocking the full potential of wireless audio and bringing even more value and delight to our customers. Unmute Our World: With Auracast™ broadcast audio, we will be able to fully enjoy televisions in public spaces, unmuting what was once silent and creating a more complete watching experience. Silent televisions in public venues like airports, gymnasiums, restaurants, and waiting rooms will be able to broadcast audio that any visitor with Auracast™ enabled Bluetooth earbuds or hearing aids will be able to hear. Hear Our Best: Auracast™ broadcast audio will allow us to hear our best in the places we go. When visiting a public venue such as a transit center, cinema, conference center, or house of worship, visitors will be able to receive audio broadcasts from the public address system directly into their Auracast™ enabled Bluetooth earbuds or hearing device. Travelers at an airport, for instance, will be able to receive essential flight announcements such as gate changes, boarding schedules, and other travel information directly to their personal audio device. When used in this manner, Auracast™ broadcast audio will function as the next-generation assistive listening system (ALS) technology. While current assistive listening systems, such as inductive loops, have been providing great benefit to people with hearing loss, they suffer from a number of challenges that have limited their deployment, including poor quality, high cost, and lack of privacy,” said Nick Hunn, CTO of WiFore. “Auracast™ broadcast audio is well positioned to become an advanced, new assistive listening system that will be significantly easier and lower cost to deploy while offering higher audio quality and greater privacy, improving audio accessibility and promoting better living through better hearing. “Hearing and understanding speech in various environments can be a daily struggle for people with any degree of hearing loss,” says Barbara Kelley, executive director of the Hearing Loss Association of America. “Audio quality innovations can benefit everyone, while also improving communication access to those with hearing loss. Having choices in technology to meet the varying needs of people with hearing loss is critical. The advent of technologies like Auracast™ broadcast audio has the potential to give people who wear hearing aids and cochlear implants an important new option for hearing access in their everyday lives.” Auracast™ broadcast audio is set to transform the way the world engages with wireless audio, enabling innovative new user experiences while delivering the next generation of assistive listening technology across a wide range of public venues,” says Andrew Zignani, Research Director at ABI Research. “ABI Research expects the wireless and assistive listening industries to rapidly embrace LE Audio and Auracast™ technology, enabling more and more people to share their audio experiences with others, tune in to public broadcasts, and provide people with hearing loss an easy to use, standardized, interoperable, and consistent assistive listening experience. Availability and More Information The Bluetooth specifications that define Auracast™ broadcast audio are part of the Bluetooth LE Audio specification suite and are expected to be released within the next few months. Audio product developers and venue operators can learn more about Auracast™ broadcast audio at www.bluetooth.com/auracast. For media kits, please visit: www.bluetooth.com/media/auracast. About the Bluetooth SIG Formed in 1998, the Bluetooth SIG is the not-for-profit trade association that oversees Bluetooth® technology. In support of more than 38,000 member companies, the Bluetooth SIG facilitates the collaboration of its members to create new and enhanced specifications that expand the technology, drives global interoperability via a world-class product qualification program, and grows the brand by increasing the awareness, understanding, and adoption of Bluetooth technology. About Bluetooth® Technology With 5 billion products shipping each year, Bluetooth technology is the global standard for simple, secure wireless connections. Since its formation in 1998, the Bluetooth community has continued to expand the capabilities of Bluetooth technology — powering innovation, creating new markets, and redefining communication worldwide. Today, Bluetooth is the wireless technology of choice for developers in many solution areas, including audio streaming, data transfer, location services, and large-scale device networks.

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VIRTUALIZATION

Alpha Metaverse Technologies Completes Acquisition of Shape Immersive Entertainment Inc.

Alpha Metaverse Technologies Inc. | May 06, 2022

Alpha Metaverse Technologies Inc. (CSE: ALPA) (FSE: 9HN0), (OTC PINK: APETF) (“Alpha” or the “Company”) is pleased to announce, further to its news release dated April 13, 2022, that it has completed the acquisition (the “Acquisition”) of 100% of the issued and outstanding share capital of Shape Immersive Entertainment Inc. (“Shape”) from all of the former shareholders of Shape (the “Shape Shareholders”). Shape creates three dimensional and non-fungible token (“NFT”) content and experiences for brands including Red Bull® and the Olympics®. Shape has also created metaverse experiences for NFT leaders RTFKT® (recently acquired by Nike®) and Star Atlas®. Bringing Shape’s next-gen content creation abilities into the Company’s portfolio of gaming solutions are intended to accelerate the Company’s metaverse production capabilities, provide cross-selling opportunities across business units and allow further gaming intellectual property development and speed to market. Shape will function as a business unit within the Company and Shape’s management team will continue to lead the studio. “Acquiring Shape accelerates Alpha’s positioning as a global leader in metaverse technology, NFT content creation and Web3 gaming. Shape’s reputation and skill sets are important assets to add to Alpha’s growing portfolio of gaming ‘software as a service’ applications and metaverse capabilities. The Acquisition will allow the Company to both invest in Shape’s growth and capacity while also giving Alpha the ability to build recognized metaverse gaming experiences in-house,” -Brian Wilneff, CEO of Alpha. A leader in metaverse development since inception in 2018, Shape was founded by Vancouver VR/AR Association co-presidents, Alex Chuang and Dan Burgar. Alex Chuang is a BC Business ‘30 under 30’ award winner and founded Launch Academy, Western Canada’s largest tech incubator, which has helped its members raise over $2 Billion since inception. Dan Burgar is an official ‘top 15 technology voice’ on LinkedIn® and a leading voice generally in the global metaverse community. “The metaverse is anticipated to be worth between $8 trillion to $13 trillion by 2030. By combining Shape’s talent and experience in Web3 with the existing gaming portfolio and user base of Alpha, Alpha will further its expansion into Web3 and position itself to capitalize on the unique tipping point in technology disruption,” stated James Basnett, CEO of Shape. In connection with the Acquisition, the Company also announces that 3,500,000 performance warrants that were issued on September 1, 2020 to certain consultants have vested in accordance with their terms and become exercisable. About Alpha Metaverse Technologies Inc. Alpha Metaverse Technologies Inc. is a technology company that focuses on emerging industries in Esports, mobile, console and web-based gaming, ecommerce, and other high growth opportunities such as augmented reality / virtual reality Web3 and Blockchain-based businesses. Through a strong portfolio of technology assets and products such as GamerzArena and HeavyChips, Alpha brings a unique mass-appeal focus to modern gaming platforms. Learn more at: www.alphametaverse.com

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Spotlight

Sony seeks to deliver products, content, and services that resonate with people and affect a positive impact on society, based on its Purpose to "fill the world with emotion, through the power of creativity and technology." Sony Corporation President & CEO Kenichiro Yoshida spoke at the Sony press conference held ahead of the exhibition's public opening, stating that "Creativity is a powerful driving force that moves Sony forward. When it is combined with our technology, it is unstoppable." He then proceeded to introduce Sony's latest offerings and new developments from our electronics and entertainment businesses.

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