Indian Blockchain startup aims at automating multi-billion dollar invoice processing market- Tempemail – Blog – 10 minute

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90% invoices are processed manually, it takes about 15-30 days average processing time, 57% invoices are paid late affecting cash flows, $11-$15 average money spent in processing each invoices. An Indian startup, {Param}.network is looking to solve this issue built on blockchain and semantic web technology. Vaideeswaran Sethuraman, CEO & Founder of {param}. Network, shares his perspective on the big opportunity on automating manual invoices.
Some edited excerpts from the interview:
What are some of the issues with respect to manual invoicing for enterprises specifically from an Indian context? Manual invoicing is an issue that is plaguing global economies and not only India. In fact, currently 90 percent of the invoices are handled manually. In 2019, over 550 billion invoices have been estimated to be generated worldwide with the average amount spent on every invoice varying from $11 – $15 per invoice.Invoice processing is not only multi-organizational but also includes an array of other departments’ invoicing, such as purchasing, accounts to others’ marketing, operations and more.
Traditional invoicing involves multiple steps before the actual payment is made. Below are some of the most pertinent issues with respect to manual invoicing today:
1. It’s a costly affair– As mentioned above, an average invoice costs between $11- $15 to process. Invoices with special conditions like exception and non- PO invoices can cost up to $50 to process a single invoice. Organizations bleed because of such mismanagements of processes that can be automated.
2. Increasing complexity – Large enterprises process about 90 percent of their invoices manually. This increases the opportunity for the situation to turn complex when these enterprises have toengage with third party organizations for various functions. A large enterprise may get invoices from 30 different partners or vendors making it difficult to manage
3. It’s time- consuming- With manual invoicing, companies can take up to days or even weeks to approve an invoice. This not only makes the process longer, but further increases cost of operations for a business as they’ll have to pay more people for longer working hours.
4. It tends to make you lose money– Issues like duplicate payments, delayed payments, fraud, late payment fees and forgotten credit notes, are very common in manual invoicing. This can make a business lose more money and thus increase overheads for a company.
5. Prone to human error– As a tedious and monotonous task, errors are inevitable in manual processing
6. Trust deficit– Verification of invoices can also become a tedious task. If there was a purchase order created during procurement, the invoice must then be matched against the purchase order to confirm that the amount that is being paid is correctly stated on the invoice. While this procedure is in place to help protect against fraud and unauthorized transactions, mishaps still occur due to the sheer volume of invoices that need to be verified
How can Blockchain help in resolving these issues? Since invoice processing requires multiple parties, there is no automated authentication for checks and balances. Most of the existing Enterprise Resource Planning (ERP) systemsare deployed for inter-departmental requirements. The invoice processing by most of these companies are done through emails, by scanning each invoice either manually or through RPA to fit their SaaS mechanism. Apart from the fact that this is costly and time-consuming process, the real question here is that how can one trust invoices coming through several channels? There is a trust deficit which isn’t addressed today, and this is where {param}. network comes into play.
Since all invoices are on an immutable ledger, records cannot be deleted or altered, if any record is altered, all parties on the blockchain are alerted. Every node on the network is equipped with two databases, a public and private one. The public database shares only a hash while the private database contains the invoice. The hash is circulated across multiple parties on the chain, for everyone to witness the transaction and the invoice transfer occurs only peer-to-peer.A separate connection is created for the private database exchange, which is based on the Secure Token Transfer Protocol (STTP). Besides these, our technology brings other advantages, for instance it eliminates the use of paper and allows sharing of invoices electronically on a real time basis with a digital signature.
On{param}. network, we capture invoices along with supporting documents, which acts as evidence to ensure traceability in the invoicing process.  More importantly {param}. network also aims to help auditors, as the platform enables the creations of an audit trail, which ensures there is no link broken in the entire process. Above all, our platform can bring down the cost of handling the entire process of invoicing to around $3-$4.
Simply put, imagine the convenience of WhatsApp and the experience of an Enterprise Resource Planning (ERP). All one must do is download, install, add contacts and share invoices instantly. {param}. network is a light-node software, where businesses can share quotations, purchase orders, invoices and confirm payments instantly over the blockchain. Think of our platform as a ZoomCall or Magic Link for e-invoice generation and sharing. Customer onboarding happens very swiftly, just a link is shared among all members of the platform and they’re onboarded.
How is Param network looking at addressing this market? What is the market opportunity? We are looking at large enterprises as anchor customers where enterprises to SMB volume of transactions use cases are higher and our initial customers are around this domain. Currently we have four MNCs using the platform. These were our initial BETA customers who have now moved permanently on our platform. With the government’s push towards GST e-invoicing our platform is now integrated with GST e-invoicing solution as well.The addressable market for this is large enterprises exchanging volumes of invoices with SMBs. Around the world, there are over 200 million enterprises, over $400 trillion worth of commerce is conducted and 500 billion invoices are generated globally. Even if someone taps just 1% of this and charges about a dollar for each invoice processed, you can see that the market opportunity is huge.
Number of clients using your Blockchain solution? Can you help us with some use cases of your clients who have benefited from using your solution?Our focus is on expanding into as many sectors as possible and creating awareness of blockchain backed e-invoicing processes. We are in our growth phase and currently, we have four customers including, an automobile company, a Fintech, a travel firm and a BPO organization. We are seeing a lot of interest in our offering as more organizations are realizing that e- invoicing is the future.
We worked with a company that had issues with their Logistics Services Providers (LSP). The company’s invoices by their LSP were not raised on time, which resulted in delayed processing of these invoices. Many a times, invoices were not matching with the contract rates. The company also complained about how there was a lag in real-time visibility of shipment as their LSP took up to two weeks to upload copies of the Lorry Receipts/ Proof of Delivery (PoD). This in turn affected the productivity of their finance team, as they had to coordinate withmany stakeholders (Logistics, Warehouse, LSP etc.) to verify the authenticity of the invoices. Since the company worked with hundreds of LSP vendors, reconciliation with these vendors became a painful task.{param}. network helped the company to capture all the missing data points (i.e. contract details, transportation order issued by the logistics team, vendors’ trip sheet (LR), good receipt note (GRN) along with digital signature of the receiver).
Now when the LSP raises an invoice, automatically all the documents are linked and a smart contract on the blockchain can verify the authenticity of the invoice and proof of delivery, which eliminates a lengthy invoice verification process by finance team. The outcome from our solution is that we have enabled the company’s LSP to raise invoices as soon as it delivers the goods. Earlier the LSP would take 15 days to upload invoice, now, it is done instantly within a day. We have eliminated the process of issuing credit notes to the LSP by the customer, as the system automatically calculates the value of the invoice on the customer’s behalf, which essentially saves a lot time for the company. Once the invoice is received, it is machine-approved and forwarded to account payables, eliminating the need for human intervention. With this, we have increased the productivity of the company’s finance team from roughly 500 to 5000+ invoices per month, which means we’ve roughly brought down the cost of processing an invoice from Rs. 275 to Rs. 80. Now, imagine an enterprise who deals with 10,000 invoice per month. We can potentially save Rs. 2.3 Cr per annum for the enterprise.

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STPI aims at transforming India into a software product nation- Tempemail – Blog – 10 minute

Dr Omkar Rai, Director General, Software Technology Parks of India, in conversation with Sandhya Michu shares how an autonomous society like STPI, under the Ministry of Electronics and Information Technology, Government of India, is building a sustainable startup ecosystem with a pool of industry collaborations and chief mentors to make India a software product country
Can you explain the transformation journey of STPI from its inception days?
STPI was formed in 1991 in order to ease out import and export hiccups. Software exports were not recognised by the customs department and that’s when the ministry created this platform to ease this system and we were the only single window to look after it. Secondly, the most challenging aspect at that point in time was to provide internet to the software exporters as many businesses required to get in touch with their counterparts and required high-speed secure internet connections.
STPI was licensed to provide them satellite-based internet gateways and provided small and medium entrepreneurs the opportunity to work with it. The idea was to facilitate import-export, and we did well, if you look at the export made by STPI in 2018-19 it has crossed `4 lakh 24 thousand crores and this is almost 50 per cent of the total exports from India. Now the point is that since India has 56 per cent of the total share in outsourcing IT service globally, but in terms of software products, the growth is not significant. As of now in terms of software products market, India is about US$ 512 billion, so the country’s share was nearly 8.2 per cent globally, till 2019.
People often raise questions that we do not have Facebook, WhatsApp, Adobe or Google. When STPI was created we were required to create jobs to put our talent in the outsourcing industry. Today, we have about 4.1 million professionals working in the field of IT service industry. The idea is to transform and capitalise the experience and talent of the IT service industry. The entire success of the startup industry of India is witnessing is because of the strong IT services in India. Therefore, we are working very closely with MeitY and a large number of stakeholders to build a platform where we can focus on the domain-specific incubators which can be made operational in the most practical and professional manner. STPI is endeavoring to create Centres of Excellence (COEs) and be functional in the emerging technologies as there are more opportunities and values in technologies like AI, IoT. We have launched six COEs in 2019 and 15 more are planned for in 2020. We want to work for transformation of India as a software product nation.
How do you view the existing startup base in India? What does STPI bring to the table?
Looking at the past of STPI, we have implemented the Infrastructure Service Provider (ISP) Scheme, wherein we incentivised the creation of infrastructure. We created IT Parks that came up in Pune, Hyderabad, Chennai, and Bangalore. Incubators require some infrastructure and so we have created this infrastructure all over the country and have promoted these incubators. In 2020, we are coming up with a new avatar in terms of letter and spirit and it is on the ground rolling. And as a part of the government, we have been interfacing with them since inception. The startup system requires nurturing, collaboration is to be looked at in a big and important way. Collaboration in terms that we provide an environment in which we can depute a veteran of the industry as a chief mentor of the COE.
STPI is planning to make India a product nation. Can you share the roadmap?
For making India a product nation you have to create startups and they will create products. India is now becoming an electronics manufacturing nation but of course, in the value chain we are a little at the middle somewhere, but the component industries are also picking up. And once this evolves, we will go ahead in terms of electronics manufacturing.
As I said, manufacturing is a challenge for us for many reasons but now things are lined up with state governments, the central government easing the norms, ease of doing business, labour reforms. I think it’s all going in a good direction and slowly the knowledge is being built up within India. All these clusters are doing well and it is creating a great foundation for large scale manufacturing.
Additionally, STPI is transforming its incubation services into smart incubation services. We are giving world-class infrastructure services. But we are now looking towards those services through which we can mentor the startups from the initial stage to their product completion. For this, we are going to launch a program that will be called a next-gen incubation program. It is in the finalisation stage and very soon we’ll be able to launch this at a few centers as a pilot.
In this particular program, we are just providing services through which we can map the lifecycle of the incubator, since the inception of their ideas to the product in the market. The highlight of this model is that we are only looking for collaborations. In our country we do not have proper collaborations – in academies, people are doing research, but are not able to market their products in the industry. Basically, STPI is now transforming towards serving the needs of those startups and now we are motivating them to create new products.

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Census Bureau aims to reach every person in the US with $500m, 1000-ad campaign- Tempemail – Blog – 10 minute

The US Census Bureau has launched a $500m public education and outreach campaign, which will feature more than 1000 ads designed to reach 99% of all US households.
The initiative aims to communicate the importance of responding to the 2020 Census.
The Census Bureau conducted extensive research to create the ‘Shape your future. Start here.’ campaign to show that responding to the census is easy, safe and important, especially as this is the first census to go digital.
“Through advertising, public events, partnerships and digital and traditional media, we are embarking on a nationwide effort to let everyone in the country know about the upcoming 2020 Census and encourage them to respond online, by phone or by mail,” explained Census Bureau director Steven Dillingham.
“We are extremely committed to reaching those people who are historically undercounted.”
The Census Bureau, along with VMLY&R (Team Y&R), tackled challenges while putting together the campaign, from sorting through natural disasters in Puerto Rico to creating ads in 13 different languages to connect with multicultural populations.
Culture One World, which worked on the Hispanic/Latinx segment of the campaign, found concerns about confidentiality and data security were top of mind for respondents in these communities. Consequently, care was taken to address those issues and focus on the positive benefits of responding to the census.
Ads reaching multicultural and historically undercounted audiences have already begun airing, while ads for general audiences will begin running in mid-February.
Beginning in mid-March, households can respond to the census online, by phone or by mail. An anthem spot, ‘Everyone Counts’, notes the diversity of the country and the importance of being counted.
The communications campaign includes television and radio commercials; digital, social media and print advertising; and messaging on billboards and at bus stops.
The massive public education effort encourages participation among multicultural and hard-to-count populations with ads in English and 12 other languages: Arabic, Chinese, French, Haitian Creole, Japanese, Korean, Polish, Portuguese, Russian, Spanish, Tagalog and Vietnamese.
The 2020 Census paid media campaign will occur in three phases. The awareness and education phase is first, the motivation and participation phase second, starting in March, and the third reminder and non-response follow-up phase third starts in May.
The 2020 Census will officially begin January 21, in Toksook Bay, Alaska – a remote fishing village located on the Bering Sea. It aims to count every person who lives in the US by 1 April.
See some of the creative by clicking on the Creative Works box below.

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Samsung’s ‘SelfieType’ aims to let you type on an invisible keyboard – Blog – 10 minute

In context: When you think of keyboards, your mind is probably instantly drawn to the traditional, QWERTY-based physical devices you see in just about every modern home, business, and office throughout the world. Or perhaps you think of the smartphone and tablet-based digital keyboards many of us interact with daily. Either way, neither of these keyboard form factors are enough for some companies, and it seems Samsung is one of them.
The company today announced that it will be showing off five “innovative” products from its C-Lab start-up incubator. One of the products is “SelfieType,” a piece of software that can use a device’s front-facing “selfie” camera — whether it’s a laptop, smartphone, or tablet — to create an invisible keyboard for users to take advantage of.
To use SelfieType, you angle your device’s front-facing camera toward your hands and begin typing. So long as all of your fingers are visible, SelfieType’s “proprietary” AI engine should be able to analyze your finger movements and interpret them as valid key presses.
The software itself seems quite innovative, but in the real world, we wouldn’t be surprised if users have a tough time using it. Just about every digital keyboard out there offers haptic feedback when a button is pressed — usually a quick vibration combined with an audible “click.” Further, when operating the average digital keyboard, users can see precisely which key they’re pressing at any given moment, and mistakes are easy to fix.

By necessity, SelfieType appears to be throwing all of that out the window. The software doesn’t seem to have any audio or physical feedback, nor does it allow you to look down and see what buttons you’re typing.
This is a problem the SelfieType team will likely need to solve before moving forward, but it’s hard to say how they might go about doing that. Obviously, you can’t add haptic feedback or a holographic keyboard display to a table or airplane tray without external tools, which SelfieType’s developers want to avoid.
Still, this is an exciting concept, and if the SelfieType team can overcome the issues laid out above, it could be a compelling product. Not everybody wants to lug a physical Bluetooth keyboard around with them, and others might find the small size of a smartphone or tablet keyboard to be overly restrictive.
If SelfieType takes off, perhaps it could solve both of those problems, but only time will tell. The software is not yet available to users, and it will likely be a while before that changes.

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AMD aims to “push the envelope” at CES 2020, reveals CES press conference date – Blog – 10 minute

Something to look forward to: In the world of technology, January is a significant time of the year, as it heralds the arrival of the annual Consumer Electronics Show (CES). This year, CES 2020 takes place January 7-10 in Las Vegas, Nevada. While it surprises no one that AMD plans to have a presence at the show, Team Red has made it official with a press conference date.
AMD closed out 2019 by announcing its press conference, scheduled for Monday, Jan. 6 at 2:00 p.m. PST at the Mandalay Bay. None other than Dr. Lisa Su will be hosting the event. AMD also declared that it will “push the envelope” in terms of high-performance computing this year. A live stream of the event will take place on AMD’s YouTube channel, with an archived version appearing two hours after the stream.

At #CES2020, AMD will push the envelope yet again to make 2020 an incredible year for high-performance computing.
Join us for our press conference on Monday, January 6th at 2PM PT on YouTube!
— AMD (@AMD) December 31, 2019

While it’s anyone’s guess as to what AMD has up its sleeve for CES this year, there have been some rumblings. AMD is prepping its Ryzen 4000 line up that will be underpinned by the Zen 3 architecture, and there’s a chance AMD might be ready to talk about it. However, CES seems a bit early, and we’d wager a Computex 2020 announcement is more likely for Zen 3.
There’s also the rumored Threadripper 3980X, reportedly boasting 48 cores and 96 threads. Additionally, there’s the RX 5600 XT, with rumored performance somewhere between Nvidia’s GTX 1660 Ti and RTX 2060. It’s possible AMD may take the wraps off the mid-range card at CES 2020. Then, there’s talk of AMD’s RDNA 2 architecture, built on a 7nm+ process that is supposed to power “Big Navi” and bring with it hardware accelerated ray tracing.
At any rate, we won’t have to wait long to see what AMD has in store. If 2019 was any indication, 2020 should be an interesting year for computing.

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Spotify aims to turn podcast fans into podcast creators with ‘Create podcast’ test – gpgmail


Spotify is testing a new ‘Create podcast’ feature that shows up atop a user’s list of their subscribed podcasts in the app interface, as first uncovered by Jane Manchung Wong (@wongmjane) (via Engadget). The button then provides a takeover promotion directing users to download Anchor, the podcast creation app that Spotify acquired in February.

This is yet another example of the investment that Spotify is making in podcasts – both their consumption and their creation. The subscription streaming company also unveiled a new analytics dashboard for podcasts earlier this year, and released it to all creators earlier in August. Because the company is also primarily a music streaming service, these insights include showing podcast creators what artists their listeners primarily gravitate towards.

Spotify has also launched a personalized playlist that mixes music with podcasts, opened up its podcast submission tool to all creators, and redesigned its navigation in-app to put podcasts on more equal footing with music, all in 2019 alone. The company is clearly doubling down on podcasts as a key element of its overall platform, building on a number of acquisitions on both the content and creation side.

Podcasts represent a way for Spotify to both diversify its revenue and open up a new line of business wherein it can own more of the upside, since its current licensing relationships with music labels mean it gets very little of the money paid from subscribers to its service based on their streams of songs. Especially via selling ads to creators and advertisers, Spotify stands to be able to make more from podcasts in terms of profit if it can continue to increase usage among listeners.




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Zhiyun’s Smooth-Q2 aims to be the most portable quality smartphone gimbal available – gpgmail


Zhiyun has been steadily rolling out new gimbals for smartphones and dedicated cameras for a few years now, and the company’s quality and feature set has improved dramatically over time. Now, it’s launching the Zhiyun Smooth-Q2 smartphone gimbal on Kickstarter, with the aim of delivering a “truly pocket-size” gimbal that has all the bells and whistles you could ever want or need.

The Smooth-Q2 is indeed a portable powerhouse – the company sent me a pre-production unit to test, and though it’s not the final shipping hardware, it already works and feels like a polished, quality device. The first thing you’ll notice right away about the Smooth-Q2 is its size – it can indeed slip inside a coat or pant pocket, though you’ll need a fairly deep one to make that work. Even if you don’t necessarily have a compatible pocket, it’s hard to beat the Smooth-Q2 for sheer portability, and that’s bound to save you some packing space when you’re getting ready for your next trip.

There’s another recently released small-size smartphone gimbal on the market – the DJI Osmo Mobile 3. That has a clever method of folding down for easier packing, but the Smooth-Q2’s design, while similar in overall footprint, means it’s much easier to put in your actual pocket (or pack in a bag’s side pocket) than is the DJI version. And while both are incredibly easy to balance even if you’re a gimbal novice, I found the Zhiyun was actually the simpler of the two.

The Zhiyun Smooth-Q2 also feels more solidly constructed, though its simpler controls (it doesn’t have a trigger around or a zoom lever) may leave some creators wanting. There are some other advantages here, too, however – a quick release spring-loaded clip means you can detach your smartphone quickly for other uses without unbalancing the gimbal, and go right back to shooting when you’re done. Plus, you can connect via Bluetooth and control your smartphone’s native camera app directly, instead of relying on their ZP Play app – which you can still use for features like object tracking.

The Smooth-Q2 offers 16-hours of battery life, so you should easily make it through a day without requiring power, and it can do time lapses, with or without programmed motion, a vortex mode for capturing crazy rotational footage, and an aluminum body that should be able to withstand less-than careful stowage in your bag.

In terms of quality, the Smooth-Q2 really delivers in early testing with my iPhone XS Max, and I’ve included two quick sample clips so you can see for yourself. These are shot in the gimbal’s basic PF mode, in which the camera pans as you turn the gimbal side to side.

Zhiyun’s crowdfunding these but the company’s history and reputation mean that you can count on them to deliver. The entry-level price is set at $109 U.S. for backers, which is a $30 discount off the planned retail cost, and they should ship to backers in October according to the company.

Smooth Q2 2


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Japan’s ispace now aims for a lunar landing in 2021, and a Moon rover deployment in 2023 – gpgmail


One of the private companies aiming to deliver a commercial lunar lander to the Moon has adjusted the timing for its planned mission, which isn’t all that surprising given the enormity of the task. Japanese startup ispace is now targeting 2021 for their first lunar landing, and 2023 for a second lunar mission that will also include deploying a rover on the Moon’s surface.

The company’s ‘HAKUTO-R’ program was originally planned to to include a mission in 2020 that would involve sending a lunar orbital vehicle for demonstration purposes without any payloads, but that part of the plan has been scrapped in favor of focusing all efforts on delivering actual payloads for commercial customers by 2021 instead.

This updated focus, the company says, is due mostly to the speeding up of the global market for private launch services and payload delivery, including for things like NASA’s Commercial Lunar Payload Services program, wherein the agency is looking for a growing number of private contractors to support its own needs in terms of getting stuff to the Moon.

ispace itself isn’t on the list of 9 companies selected in round one of NASA’s program, but the Japanese company is supporting American non-profit Draper in its efforts, which was one fo the chosen. The Draper/ispace team-up happened after ispace’s initial commitment to its 2020 orbital demo, so its change in priorities makes sense given the new tie-up.

HAKUTO-R will use SpaceX’s Falcon 9 for its first missions, and the company has also signed partnerships with JAXA, Japan’s space agency, as well as new corporate partners including Suzuki, Sumitomo Corporation, Shogakukan, and Citizen Watch.


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Netflix aims to retain subscribers with launch of a feature to track new releases – gpgmail


Hoping to keep viewers engaged with its content, Netflix today announced the launch of a new section called “Latest” in its TV app, designed to highlight the streaming service’s recent and upcoming releases. The addition isn’t just another row or two within the main Netflix homepage. Instead, the “Latest” section gets its own dedicated area in the Netflix TV app, which is accessible from the left-hand sidebar navigation.

Here, it’s found beneath the “Home” button and above the links to the dedicated “Movies” and “TV Shows” pages.

The section will be personalized to the end user, based on their viewing history, the company says.

At the top of “Latest” is a row that showcases new content that arrived this week, which is then followed by two rows showing content that’s due to arrive this week and the next.

Users can also click on these future releases and set alerts to remind them when the TV show or movie they’re interested in watching has arrived.

Netflix says the feature is now globally available on its TV app, which means you’ll only find it on streaming devices like the Fire TV, Apple TV or Roku, for instance, or on other smart TV or game console platforms. However, the company tells gpgmail it already has a similar feature for Android users and is currently testing the “Latest” section on iOS.

The company first spoke to Variety about the addition, adding that the personalized suggestions update several times per day.

Netflix director of product innovation Cameron Johnson told the outlet the experience was similar, in a way, to movie trailers, as it’s also designed to get people interested in upcoming releases.

However, the launch comes at a time when people will soon be considering the value they receive from their Netflix subscription. The company recently posted a disappointing quarter where it announced it lost U.S. subscribers for the first time since 2011 and broadly missed estimates of 5 million subscriber additions, by adding just 2.7 million new subscribers globally.

The streamer blamed its light content slate for the declines. While it did claim a couple of bright spots in Q2, like the dark comedy Dead to Me and the limited series When They See Us, a good bit of Netflix’s original content is becoming formulaic and copycat-ish.

It’s now doing its own version of Project Runway, and has a slate of shows that are obviously inspired by (if not precisely copied from) popular reality TV hits like Million Dollar Listing, Say Yes to the Dress, Cupcake Wars, Top Chef, The Bachelor, Real Housewives, and others. It manages to snag beloved stars, but then puts them into mediocre fare. It underwhelms with its by-the-numbers original films.

That said, Netflix deserves credit for how far it has come since its early days as a mail-order movie service. Today, its multi-billion dollar investments in original content has led to the streamer being best known for its own breakout hits, like Orange is the New Black or House of Cards, for example.

But as its sheds its catalog content in favor of shifting its audience to in-house productions, its image has changed as well. It’s no longer thought of a one-stop-shop for anything you want to watch combined with a rich slate of quality originals. And now it’s poised to lose some of its most popular licensed content — Friends and The Office — as the traditional media license holders move into the streaming market.

Variety had reported in July that content from NBCU, Disney/Fox and Warner Bros. accounts for 60%-65% of Netflix’s viewing hours.

Now Netflix is facing competition from Disney+, which will undercut Netflix’s pricing at $6.99 per month and be offered in a $12.99 per month bundle that also includes Hulu and ESPN+. That’s the same price as Netflix’s standard U.S. plan.

More than ever, Netflix needs to keep its viewers locked in, and one of the best ways to do this is to remind them there are new movies and shows they will want to watch.

Image credit: Netflix


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PressReader aims to add more personalization to its digital news platform by acquiring News360 – gpgmail


A pair of digital news companies are teaming up, with PressReader acquiring News360.

PressReader was founded back in 1999 as Newspaper Direct. It now operates a platform that converts newspapers and magazines into digital formats, while offering a $29.99 monthly subscription that provides unlimited access to more than 7,000 of those titles.

News360, meanwhile, is relatively youthful, having been founded in 2010. It’s also created a news aggregation app, but the announcement makes it sound like PressReader was particularly interested in the company’s NativeAI technology for analytics and personalization.

In a statement, PressReader CEO Alex Kroogman suggested that News360’s technology will be used to improve PressReader’s consumer experience and publisher tools:

In a world where news fatigue is a real and growing problem, and media literacy a global concern, it’s more important than ever for people to have access to the trusted content they need in an engaging environment. By understanding each person’s interests, and building advanced data science systems around content analytics, we will be able to give our millions of readers the trusted media they want, how they want it, when they want it, and where they want it, while building more audience intelligence into the data that drives our publisher and brand partnerships.

The News360 team will be joining PressReader and working out of the acquiring company’s Vancouver headquarters.

News360 CEO Roman Karachinsky told me via email that the combined company will continue to support the News360 app and “develop it alongside the PressReader apps,” but he added, “In the short-term[,] the team will be focused on adding News360 tech into PressReader, so I wouldn’t expect big changes to the News360 app until we’re done with this.”

The financial terms of the acquisition were not disclosed. According to Crunchbase, News360 has raised a total of $7.5 million from investors including Ordell Capital.


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