Facebook Acquires Cloud Video Gaming Company PlayGiga

thurrott | December 19, 2019

Facebook seems to be working on a new vision for its gaming products. The company may not be a huge player in the gaming industry, but it has invested a ton into its gaming products for years. And now, Facebook has acquired Spanish cloud video gaming company PlayGiga to further expand its gaming efforts. The company confirmed the acquisition to CNBC, though it declined to reveal any details about the acquisition. Facebook was rumored to have acquired PlayGiga last week by Spanish business newspaper Cinco Dias. The acquisition reportedly cost Facebook approximately 70 million euros. PlayGiga previously ran a cloud gaming service in Europe after being founded in 2013, though the company’s service failed to gain any traction. “We are excited to announce that the PlayGiga team is moving on to something new. We are continuing our work in cloud gaming, now with a new mission. We want to thank all of our partners and customers for their support over the years,” PlayGiga said on its website.

Spotlight

In the end, you need to be rewarding your sales reps with more than just money if you want to keep them motivated and if you want your sales compensation plan to deliver on its promises.


Other News
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.

Read More

BUSINESS

Connect Partnership Group Acquires Chicago-Based HARLON to Expand Sports, Music and Immersive Entertainment Offerings Nationwide

HARLON | June 24, 2022

Connect Partnership Group, a Dallas-based sports and entertainment agency, announced the strategic acquisition of HARLON, a full-service sponsorship sales agency that specializes in representing rights holders across sports, music, and entertainment. The acquisition will expand Connect’s growing portfolio of property sales clients, including the addition of immersive entertainment experiences to the company’s suite of offerings.The announcement comes on the heels of the XFL selecting Connect as its sponsorship sales agency to enhance and execute the League's corporate partnership strategy. As part of the acquisition, HARLON founder and industry veteran Scott Howard will join Connect as Executive Vice President of Property Sales out of the company’s Chicago office, bringing along HARLON’s exciting portfolio of immersive entertainment and music clients. For years I’ve admired the impressive work the Connect Partnership Group team has done, and I could not be more excited to step in and be a part of the company during an incredible period of growth,” Howard said. “I look forward to working alongside the Connect team and growing our business to provide the very best services for our clients. HARLON has been one of the Midwest’s most-respected emerging sales and marketing agencies, trusted by properties such as the Mempho Music Festival and Lighthouse Immersive, the powerhouse that created the Immersive Van Gogh Exhibit. To date, the attraction has sold more than 5 million tickets across 20 markets in North America in less than two years and is one of Ticketmaster’s best-selling exhibitions in history. Connect Adds Sales Veterans In addition to the acquisition, Connect announced the addition of three new members to the sales and consulting teams, all with extensive partnership sales and consulting experience with some of the country’s leading sports and real estate properties. Kristin Harwood joins Connect as Senior Director of Sales in Connect's Property Sales Division. Harwood spent more than five years managing partnership sales with the Seattle Mariners organization before assuming corporate partnership roles with the Dallas Stars, the XFL’s Dallas Renegades and Premier Partnerships. Joining Harwood as Senior Director of Sales in Connect’s Property Sales Division is Matt Castellan, who will be headquartered in New York and will focus on Connect’s representation of Hudson Yards’ sponsorship rights. Castellan most recently oversaw sponsorship sales for the Bryant Park Corporation and 34th Street Partnership in New York City, and has extensive marketing and sales experience from past roles with Stanton & Company, Citi Bike, the 2016 Chicago Olympic City Bid and the 2012 NYC Olympic City Bid. Price Johnson, who spent the last six years leading Topgolf’s Global Partnerships sales team, is joining Connect’s Consulting Division as a Special Projects Consultant to assist with its rapid national growth. Mr. Johnson brings over 25 years of combined sales, marketing and operational experience to Connect, including nearly 10 years in the software and communications industries, which aligns well with the Consulting Division’s growing roster of industry-leading technology companies. “The past year has been one of incredible momentum for Connect, our team and our clients, and by adding HARLON and a powerhouse of experienced sales members to our team will only accelerate our ongoing scaling efforts, help secure more key wins for clients, and further position Connect as a leader in the sports and entertainment industry,Connect is now bigger and more established than we ever have been, and we’re just getting started.” -Connect co-founder Danielle Shuff. Last Fall, Connect rebranded to reflect its rapid growth in areas beyond its formidable Partnership Sales and Strategy division, most notably its Consulting division, which has secured a unique niche in the industry by providing an outsourced business development team to companies that desire to sell their product or solution to large public venues. To support the continued growth - with Connect expecting year-over-year revenue to double as it readies more client announcements and client transactions in the second half of the year - the company is actively hiring sales professionals and account managers, with immediate openings in Los Angeles. Since it was founded in 2015, Connect has been trusted by some of the most prestigious companies in the world, including the Dallas Stars, LA Chargers, Chicago Cubs, XFL, Related Companies, Circuit of The Americas, VIRGIN FEST, IBM, Nokia, American Tower, and CommScope, amongst others. For more information about Connect Partnership Group or to contact directly, visit ConnectWins.com. About Connect Partnership Group Connect Partnership Group is a strategic sales and consultancy agency that specializes in representing and selling sponsorships, naming rights and other media assets in sports and entertainment, while also providing an outsourced business development team to companies that sell products and services to the industry. Based in Dallas, Tex., Connect capitalizes on a combined 120 years of sports business experience selling and activating sponsorships, operating events, consulting on behalf of Fortune 500 companies, and creating strategic and mutually beneficial partnership opportunities for properties and brands around the world.

Read More

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.

Read More

SOLUTIONS

Xperi and ARD Partner to Deliver the Dashboard of the Future

DTS | May 16, 2022

DTS®, a global leader in next-generation audio, imaging and sensing technology, and a wholly owned subsidiary of Xperi Holding Corporation (NASDAQ: XPER) (“Xperi”), and ARD, the association of Germany’s regional public service broadcasters, announced the integration of the ARD broadcasters into DTS AutoStage, the first global, in-vehicle hybrid radio platform to be commercialized around the world.ARD’s public broadcasting stations, which reach more than 52 million people and represent more than 74% of all radio listening in Germany, will be integrated, free of charge, in the DTS AutoStage ecosystem. DTS AutoStage increases consumer content engagement with bold and immersive imagery, station logos, songs, comprehensive artist and album information and more, all while making the broadcasters’ content more personalized and easier to find. DTS AutoStage also enables continued station listening from local broadcast stations when the vehicle drives out of broadcast range. “As ARD, we are committed to providing our listeners with a progressive radio experience, and we are happy to partner with DTS AutoStage to achieve that goal, We are looking forward to integrating with partners to help our broadcasters meet the needs of our listeners in the rapidly evolving connected vehicle landscape. Editorial control and user-simplification are important for us and we are happy that DTS AutoStage offers broadcasters those features while enabling a broad and consistent content delivery.” -Alexander Sasse, Head of ARD Partner Management Audio and Voice The ARD/DTS AutoStage integration offers seamless, accurate and consistent delivery of all ARD broadcaster metadata in the vehicle dashboard, with the key benefit that the stations can manage their services, station information and streams all in one place. ARD and DTS AutoStage systems support broadcaster services to provide security, reliability and data compatibility with car companies. “We are pleased to join with ARD to deliver the most innovative, visually-immersive in-vehicle entertainment experience to Germany’s owners of vehicles supporting the DTS AutoStage platform, such as the latest Mercedes-Benz S-Class, EQS and others,” -Gereon Joachim, vice president, automotive sales and strategy for EMEA, at Xperi. Joe D’Angelo, senior vice president, broadcast at Xperi further stated, We know that providing the digital dashboard’s best content and maintaining editorial control is critical to broadcasters, and our system has been designed to facilitate just this. Keeping radio front, center and aggressively competitive in the dash is key to our platform. We know that this is exactly what consumers want, and we are proud to deliver it1. According to D’Angelo, the DTS AutoStage platform has been purpose-built to support radio broadcasters around the world. The team behind DTS AutoStage, which is currently available in 60 countries, has unrivaled expertise in content management, delivery and content use compliance. DTS AutoStage is ISO 9001 certified and its content is sourced from more than 80,000 radio stations, 100,000 plus broadcasts, more than 40 million tracks, four million albums, one million artist bios and more – all aggregated, curated and personalized to create the richest and most relevant in-vehicle radio listening experience. The partnership with ARD continues DTS AutoStage’s momentum as it expands into mass market vehicles globally. DTS AutoStage already has content partnerships with major broadcast groups and aggregators around the world, including:, BBC, Bauer, Cumulus, Global Radio, NPO, Audacy, Beasley, Cox Media, radiko, Radio Maria, FM World and many others. Xperi’s automotive technologies are designed to improve the in-vehicle experience and, in addition to DTS AutoStage, include DTS AutoSense and HD Radio. DTS AutoSense comprises occupancy and driver monitoring systems implemented at the edge. HD Radio, now available in more than 85 million automobiles, is the most successfully deployed commercial digital radio system worldwide. About DTS, Inc. Since 1993, DTS has been dedicated to making the world sound better. Through its pioneering audio solutions for mobile devices, home theater systems, cinema and beyond, DTS provides incredibly high-quality, immersive and engaging audio experiences to listeners everywhere. Now, DTS is also powering imaging and sensing technologies as well. For more information, please visit www.dts.com. About Xperi Holding Corporation Xperi invents, develops, and delivers technologies that enable extraordinary experiences. Xperi technologies, delivered via its brands (Adeia, DTS, HD Radio, IMAX Enhanced, TiVo), and by its startup, Perceive, make entertainment more entertaining, and smart devices smarter. Xperi technologies are integrated into billions of consumer devices, media platforms, and semiconductors worldwide, driving increased value for partners, customers and consumers. Xperi, Adeia, DTS, IMAX Enhanced, HD Radio, Perceive, TiVo and their respective logos are trademarks or registered trademarks of affiliated companies of Xperi Holding Corporation in the United States and other countries. All other company, brand and product names may be trademarks or registered trademarks of their respective companies. About ARD ARD stands for "Association of Public Broadcasting Corporations in the Federal Republic of Germany." This consortium includes nine self-governing, publicly funded regional broadcasters serving Germany’s 16 federal states and airing approximately 250 hours of television and 1,500 hours of radio programming per day. In an online world dominated by commercial offerings, ARD provides trustworthy journalism unencumbered by the constraints of advertising and sponsorship. ARD’s online world comprises a broad range of topics such as news, sports and business, as well as shows about the arts and documentaries, to name but a few. It also gives access to ARD’s central on demand services, the ARD Mediathek and the ARD Audiothek.

Read More