COVID-19: Piaggio Group to launch digital marketplace to shop vehicles from home- Tempemail – Blog – 10 minute

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The auto sector is reeling under a prolonged slowdown due to the COVID-19 pandemic. There will be demand pressure, coupled with the challenge of availability of labour because of the migrant crisis. In this backdrop, it’s imminent for IT decision makers to resort to digital platforms to make the potential customers shop from home. Piaggio India is all set to launch a digital marketplace model to allow customers to shop from home. “Additional budget allocation will be done to facilitate the customers to do vehicle shopping from home. The necessary digital channel will be built. A marketplace model will be built for the customers to buy commercial vehicles, auto rickshaws, spare parts, scooters, etc. The dealers will be provided the necessary discount for the orders booked,” says Abhinav Srivastava, Head – IT, Digital Transformation, Cyber Security & Analytics, Piaggio Group. When asked about a few ideas to rationalise costs in order to face the slowdown, he said, “There is instruction on freezing the new hiring round. Also it is likely that there will not be any major expansion plans going forward, thus new investments on IT infrastructure including desktops, laptops will be stopped,” informs Srivastava. At Piaggio Group, certain initiatives will be put on hold, “We had planned a lot of process improvement initiatives to work on all the inward looking applications – on the shop floor, dealerships, etc. We had budgeted for it. These are not show stopper initiatives and they will be freezed,” says Srivastava. Any similar initiatives will also be put on hold. Moreover, there were certain report building enhancements, analytics activities that were planned. These are enhancements but not show stoppers. They will not be implemented. But certain programmes, which are mandatory in nature – like e-invoicing, will be rolled out as per schedule. They are also budgeted for in this financial year.      Apart from budget cuts, extra investments will have to be made in areas like application, network security. “The savings from the application and IT infrastructure has been channelised to cyber security,” says Srivastava.

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An investigation into dark web marketplace- Tempemail – Blog – 10 minute

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What are the key findings of your report on the dark web regarding the Covid-19 crisis?Cyfirma researchers observed that hackers are cognizant of the dangers of putting millions of lives at risk as families of those who have been infected by the Covid-19, would likely be desperately seeking a medical remedy. Any news of a vaccine availability could also send masses of people into a state of frenzy and cause major turmoil across many societies.
Kumar Ritesh, Founder & CEO, Cyfirma
While hackers and scammers have been leveraging the pandemic to push out malware and phishing emails as part of their cyber- attack campaigns to steal data from businesses and consumers, or to cause social unrest amongst various communities, there has been an understanding amongst hackers groups to not ‘cross the line of humanity’ by selling fictitious vaccines.
A marketplace in the dark web called Monopoly has restricted the sale of fake vaccines for Covid 19 on their platform. While they sell all sorts of illicit stuff. And the ‘founder’ of the marketplace wrote a post, ’Any vendor caught flogging goods as a cure to Coronavirus will not only be permanently removed from this market but should be avoided like the Spanish Flu’. The forum post also stated the gravity of the pandemic and asked sellers not to use the crisis as a marketing tool.
However, there is a group of hackers who have ignored this warning and are choosing to sell fake vaccines and making anywhere from US$ 99 to US$ 25000. According to a Cyfirma report, the hackers are from North Korea and have got interest from Italy, Spain, France and the US. Payment is being made via bitcoin, few bitcoin accounts have collected to the tune of US$ 400K just in the last six days.
The obvious fallout of this malicious act is loss of money by the users but in order to get the vaccine, they have shared their personal identifiable information including health and social security details. Theft of personal information will also fetch additional financial gains for the hackers. Cyfirma predicts that personal information provided to buy fake vaccines could be used for the next wave of cyber attacks.
How are cyber criminals taking advantage of the ongoing global pandemic?Due to the Covid-19, now a global pandemic, has enforced social distancing. Many employees are now working remotely in distributed operations. This increase in remote work arrangements, both temporarily and permanently, is creating significant growth in network access and traffic which provides more opportunities for threat actors to strike. Cyber criminals quickly recognised the opportunities the pandemic provided them. As the volume of emails from employers, governments and health agencies related to the outbreak increased, so did the number of phishing emails concerning Covid-19. Numerous scams, phishing campaigns, and malicious websites are proliferating. Covid-19’s impact is quickly shifting how businesses operate.
Cyber criminals are sending emails that resemble legitimate coronavirus-related notices in phishing attacks targeting anxious individuals expecting such communications. The attacks aim to get readers to click through on false links that promise coronavirus guidance. Covid-19 themed phishing campaigns using Word and PDF documents that include names like ‘ coronavirus response’, ‘coronavirus practices,’ and ‘coronavirus safety.’ Attackers are also using images and names of entities like the UN, WHO, CDC, FDA, and commercial companies in targeted fraud and phishing campaigns.
As a result of these activities, what are the security threats that have emerged, for organisations as well as individuals?We also noticed coronavirus-themed emails designed to look like emails from the organisations’ leadership team and sent to all employees. Embedded with malware that would infect corporate networks, these phishing attacks deploy social engineering tactics to steal data and assets.
Other than unleashing cyberattacks to steal data, we also witnessed the planning of fake websites to sell face masks and other health apparatus using bitcoin in China, Japan, and the US.
To aggravate matters, hackers were also strategising to spread fake news to create further confusion. By investigating the dark web marketplace, Cyfirma uncovered illicit groups selling organic medicine claiming to cure and eradicate the Covid-19 virus (this is separate from fake vaccines). These discussions in the hackers’ communities were carried out in Mandarin, Japanese and English.
A new malware called ‘CoronaVP’ was being discussed by a Russian hacking community; this could lead to a new ransomware or EMOTET strain, designed to steal personal information.
Hackers leveraging on the Covid-19 pandemic are motivated by a combination of personal financial gain as well as political espionage to cause social upheavals. Threat actors in the world of cyber crime are well-equipped with tools, technology, expertise and financing to further both commercial and political agendas. In our hyper-connected digital world, cyber crime is a lucrative business, and we should expect attacks to be more frequent and more sophisticated as the pandemic continues to cast a shadow over the global economy.
What we have witnessed in the field of cyber intelligence has taught us the importance of staying vigilant, and frequently, the most dangerous forces at work are those we cannot see. The importance of relevant and timely threat intelligence cannot be over-emphasised as early detection of cyber threats could save organisations from hefty financial penalties and irreversible brand damage.
Which sectors/businesses face the maximum risk of cyber attacks, particularly in India?
As observed by Cyfirma researchers, state nation activities involving Pakistani or Arabic groups, North Korean and Chinese groups have taken interest in the Indian government and businesses. 
Government agencies, large telecommunications, retail, transportation, healthcare, manufacturing, B2C and supply chain companies are within the radar of hacker groups.
While all businesses are at risk of cyberattacks, SMEs tend to be most vulnerable as they typically have fewer measures in place to protect their systems and data.
As a cyber intelligence company, what have been your efforts to mitigate risks for your client organisations, in the current scenario?As a cyber intelligence company, we are focused on bringing early warnings to our clients. Our key focus is always to ensure we detect these threats before the hacker gets the opportunity to mount an attack. We decode threats, help our clients make sense of them (who is the hacker, why is he interested, what does he want, when is he launching an attack, and how does he intend to do it), and provide remediation recommendations so clients can take swift actions to close security gaps.

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Apple rolls out universal purchases for the App Store, will expand marketplace to 20 more countries – Blog – 10 minute

In a nutshell: Users heavily invested in Apple’s ecosystem can look forward to a simplified app purchase experience across platforms, provided that developers make use of the company’s recently launched “universal purchase” feature.
Apple’s plan to offer universal purchases for apps was revealed last month, and the feature has now been officially announced by the company for developers, enabling them to distribute their software across Apple’s platforms with a single purchase.

The macOS version of your app can now be included in a universal purchase, allowing customers to enjoy your app and in‑app purchases across iOS, iPadOS, macOS, watchOS, and tvOS by purchasing only once. Get started by using a single bundle ID for your apps in Xcode and setting up your app record for universal purchase in App Store Connect.

While consumers can look forward to an improved, seamless App Store experience with universal purchases, developers are expected to take into account several considerations before implementing this feature.
Apps, for instance, need to be approved on at least two platforms (e.g., iOS and macOS) to become eligible for universal purchase, while the feature won’t support independent Watch-only apps.
Also, developers with apps on multiple platforms will only have access to a single app record if they plan to support universal purchases. Apple explicitly notes that records for an app on different platforms cannot be merged and that developers are required to “remove all but one version from sale and add the other versions to the remaining app’s record,” to support this feature.

The limitation could make it tricky for developers to choose a platform of choice. A popular to-do list app, for example, could have thousands of reviews and ratings across its macOS and iOS versions, however, if its creator decides to support universal purchases, they’d have to choose one platform of sale over the other, forgoing all associated user data from the latter’s product page.
Apple also notes that the original product page will be removed from the App Store, along with its ability to provide app updates to existing users.
In other App Store-related news, the company has also announced that it’s expanding the marketplace to another 20 countries later this year, which will take its global tally to 175. The 20 new countries are listed below:
1. Afghanistan2. Bosnia and Herzegovina3. Cameroon4. Cote d’Ivoire5. Gabon6. Georgia7. Iraq8. Kosovo9. Libya10. Maldives11. Montenegro12. Morocco13. Mozambique14. Myanmar15. Nauru16. Rwanda17. Serbia18. Tonga19. Vanuatu20. Zambia

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Aiven increases access to managed Apache Kafka by providing it on AWS Marketplace- Tempemail – Blog – 10 minute

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Aiven, a startup that combines the best open source technologies with cloud infrastructure, announced today that its products will be available in the AWS Marketplace, starting with Aiven for Apache Kafka. This enables customers who use AWS to simplify their procurement process when purchasing Aiven products.
This new option allows customers of both services to receive a single invoice from AWS, rather than having two separate bills from the service providers. Additionally, purchases of Aiven services through the marketplace will count toward customers’ cloud spending commitments with AWS.
“Given the size and scope of AWS, it was a no brainer to simplify the procurement and accounting processes for their marketplace customers,” said Hannu Valtonen, VP Product at Aiven. “Our aim is to make it easier for our customers to take open source technology into use, and this is an important step in that direction.”
Aiven will gradually make its other offerings available in the AWS marketplace over the coming months. This strategy enables the open-source cloud provider to reach a new segment of potential customers who might not have been able to access Aiven’s products due to having different procurement rules that would have prevented it. With the ability to purchase Aiven through AWS, those users have better access to open source technology.
Headquartered in Helsinki with offices in Berlin and Sydney and Boston, Aiven is a SOC 2 and ISO 27001 certified cloud data platform provider, operating managed open-source database, event streaming, cache, search, and graphing solutions for over 500 customers worldwide.

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Online Content Marketplace Platform Pepper raises Rs. 2.2 Crores from Snapdeal Founders’ Titan Capital, YourStory and other Marquee Investors- Tempemail – Blog – 10 minute

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Emerging from a dorm room in BITS Pilani, the founders who are yet to graduate, have been able to aggregate over 1.75 crores of revenues and have a network of over 25,000+ content creators.
Content marketplace platform Pepper recently revealed that it has raised INR 2.2 Crores as part of its seed round led by Kunal Bahl and Rohit Bansal backed Titan Capital. Other marquee investors who participated in this round include YourStory, Padma Shri Dr Saurabh Srivastava (Co-founder of IAN and NASSCOM), Amit Ranjan (Co-founder, Slideshare), Alok Mittal (Co-founder & CEO, Indifi and former Jobs Ahead founder), Sidharth Rao (Chairman, Dentsu Webchutney), Ritesh Malik (Co-founder & CEO, Innov8), Sanjay Tripathy (Former CMO, HDFC Life and CEO, Agilio Labs), Manan Maheshwari (Co-founder, WYSH) and Hemanshu Jain (Co-founder, Diabeto).
With the infusion of new funds, Pepper is looking to expand its team in Mumbai and focus on product and its technology platform that will enable content creation ‘on-demand’. Founded in November 2017 by then second-year BITS Pilani students, Anirudh Singla and Rishabh Shekhar, the Mumbai-based startup aims to be India’s largest content marketplace platform and plan to make content creation, right from strategy to execution, accessible through an on-demand virtual workforce at any scale, vertical, and language.
Speaking about the platform, Anirudh Singla, CEO of Pepper, said. “With Passion Economy as a growing trend, it is important that you are able to enterprise your creators and help them grow. Through Pepper’s technology platform, it will not only be able to scale content creation to the tunes of hundreds of thousands of content pieces but also be able to create a framework that allows virtual collaboration of creators through tools on the platform. We are building the future of work for content!”
Anirudh also added that Pepper is now also expanding into graphics as a vertical and are launching a first-of-its-kind ‘content-as-eCommerce’ model which brands itself as the fastest content experience ever. Brands, SMEs and individuals can now order content in custom formats and get automated deliveries in available content genres, verticals and languages.
Pepper is currently working with Swiggy, InfoEdge, Urban Company, BookMyShow, Times Internet, India Today Group, Digit, Businessworld, Zivame, Bharat Matrimony, Simplilearn and 250+ other brands. Pepper aims to target over 1000 businesses and 200,000+ content creators over the next 18 months across domains and create an ecosystem for creators across graphic, voice and video. Pepper is actively looking to hire talent in tech and product.
Alok Mittal (Co-founder & CEO, Indifi) who invested said, “Pepper got my attention as soon as it was pitched to me. But what made me convinced were the founders, who at such an early age have made it into something formidable. They have been able to crack a lot of things, unit economics being one and I believe that is the best start anyone can have for their company.”
Amit Ranjan (Co-founder, Slideshare) who also invested also added that, “Pepper is building out an innovative digital content marketplace catering to the needs of Indian corporates, SMEs & startups. Started by a bunch of enterprising students from their college hostels, it is aggregating, organising and standardising the supply side of content to meet the ever burgeoning and diverse demand from industry. In a short timeframe, Pepper has notched up an impressive revenue run rate, is building relevant editorial tools and looks poised to scale up their business model. I’m happy to participate in their seed funding round and help Anirudh and his team in this journey!”
Pepper has been a part of Tech 30 at TechSparks 2019 hosted by YourStory and a Finalist at the Lufthansa Startup Expo by TiE Delhi NCR.
Pepper is India’s fastest growing content marketplace platform that assists businesses with end-to-end content creation. It aims to build a global ecosystem for content creators across text, graphic, voice and video. With a growing network of 25,000+ creators and 250+ customers, Pepper is a 14-member team based out of Mumbai.

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GrainCorp builds payments engine into grain marketplace – Finance – Projects – Software- Tempemail – Blog – 10 minute

GrainCorp is reducing the risk for Australian growers being left out-of-pocket when brokering the sale of their grain by introducing a Secured Payment process to its CropConnect digital marketplace.
The Secured Payments option was launched in May last year for farmers warehousing grain at GrainCorp sites.
Before it existed, grain suppliers and buyers congregated via CropConnect but it was simply a “match-making service” connecting the two parties.
The actual transaction needed to be settled outside of the platform, saddling growers with risk if and when a buyer didn’t pay within the advertised terms.
Growers wore those costs. Last year saw the collapse of three grain traders taking with them $30m owed to Australian Growers.
However, this outcome could have been avoided – and no grain titles would have exchanged hands prior to payment being made – with the new Secured Payment process integrated into CropConnect, according to GrainCorp.
“There’s growing uncertainty across the grain market, which is already a volatile environment,” GrainCorp regional manager Peter Johnston said.
“This feature gives growers peace of mind that they have guarantee of payment or return of their grain title, before they enter the transaction.”
GrainCorp also stood to gain from the capability to securely pay for grain through its marketplace.
Like many industries, the grain industry is highly contested with a combination of corporate, independent and sole traders. 
The company faced competition from smaller operators with low overheads and that could heavily discount their services when handling, storing and transporting grain. 
Faced with the prospect of margin and market share erosion, GrainCorp committed to change and performed a detailed market analysis, uncovering the need for and appetite of sellers “for greater payment security and shorter payment terms”.
This provided a clear business case for the creation of the settlement platform.
Building the engine
To facilitate Secured Payments, a settlements engine was introduced into the CropConnect platform.
It was “an extremely complex project and represented a fundamental change in the way the business and industry as a whole operated and therefore required input and collaboration from nine internal GrainCorp teams and departments including: Stocks, Grower-Services, Buyer services, Grains Finance, Shared-Services, Treasury, Grains-IT, Trading and Legal,” according to digital services company Tigerspike, which partnered with GrainCorp to perform the work.
“The settlements project incorporated significant development work across the SAP backend, the middleware layer and the frontend [of CropConnect].”
Work was performed iteratively using an Agile approach, which Tigerspike said enabled the delivery team “to pivot and make changes to the design of settlements within CropConnect, which was essential to allow us to adapt to changes within the marketplace and updates to various regulations and policy.”
GrainCorp is anticipating an increased quantity of grain trades being performed through the CropConnect platform as a result of the introduction of Secured Payments.
On its first day with Secured Payment as an option, 325 tonnes of grain was traded. This grew to 808 tonnes by the end of the first week.
Secured Payments is also a new revenue stream for GrainCorp, which charges a transaction fee to use the service. 
The service is only open to “approved buyers”. To qualify, they are subject to credit checks and the setting of a trade limit.
This project is a finalist in the Industrial and Primary Production category of the iTnews Benchmark Awards 2020.

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Microsoft and SBI Foundation collaborate to create new opportunities for underserved youth; both firms announce plans to develop an AI powered marketplace- Tempemail – Blog – 10 minute

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Microsoft India today announced a collaboration with SBI Foundation to create opportunities for youth living with disabilities in the Banking, Financial Services and Insurance (BFSI) sector.
The three-year program was launched by Jean-Philippe Courtois, Executive Vice President and President, Global Sales, Marketing and Operations, Microsoft and Rajnish Kumar, Chairman, SBI at an event in Mumbai. Through this collaboration, Microsoft and the SBI Foundation will equip youth living with disabilities with the technology and training needed to better prepare them for integration into the BFSI workforce.
In its first year, the program aims to upskill 500 youth for BFSI jobs across five major geographies, including Bengaluru, Chennai, Hyderabad, Mumbai and the Tempemail Capital Region. The program will be driven in collaboration with various government organisations, industry skilling bodies and non-profits. The goal is to build a sustainable and scalable program that not only empowers youth with the skills they need to find employment in the financial services industry, but also advances cross-industry advocacy efforts to drive inclusion for and hiring of people living with disabilities.
Speaking at the event, Jean-Philippe Courtois said, “Focusing on accessibility, diversity and inclusion is central to delivering on our mission of empowering every person and every organization on the planet to achieve more. With over 26 million people living with disabilities in India, it’s essential that we find new ways to use technology to enable everyone to fully participate in the 21st century economy. By partnering with SBI Foundation, we have an amazing opportunity to benefit both people living with disabilities and the BSFI sector.”
Rajnish Kumar, Chairman, SBI said, “SBI has always striven for inclusion and empowerment of people with disabilities in the banking sector. We are also helping our peer banks to do so. Our collaboration with Microsoft will help us leverage technology and our experience in training employees with disabilities will open more avenues for employment and engagement of people with disabilities not only in the banking sector, but the entire BFSI sector.”
As part of this joint effort, Microsoft and the SBI Foundation will also develop an Artificial Intelligence (AI) powered marketplace that will enable the BFSI industry to more easily connect to people living with disabilities for upskilling and employment opportunities.

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DTA delays cloud marketplace launch – Strategy – Cloud – Software- Tempemail – Blog – 10 minute

The Digital Transformation Agency has pushed back the launch of its new government-wide cloud marketplace after being forced to revise the scope of the proposed panel arrangement.
The marketplace, which will replace the existing cloud services panel after four years of service, was revealed last October to better suit industry trends and changing buyer needs.
It aims to cover a broader range of cloud-based offerings described as anything-as-a-service, while also aligning with changing vendor licensing models and security accreditation.
The cloud services panel, which was established back in January 2015 to replace the data centre-as-a-service multi-use list and, still relies on the 2011 NIST definition of cloud services.
The new marketplace was anticipated to replace the cloud service panel by July, following a approach to market in the early 2020.
But in an update on Monday, the DTA said it had not yet approached the market for sellers and that the marketplace was now only expected to be up-and-running by “late 2020”.
The DTA put this down to the need to update the marketplace’s proposed scope and improve our approach for establishing this arrangement after feedback from buyers and sellers.
“We proposed establishing the CMP 2.0 [cloud marketplace] as a cooperative procurement arrangement for all Cloud Offerings to government,” it said.
“While this has not changed, we have adjusted our approach to simplify the scope and align more closely with the value-for-money (VFM) assessment the Commonwealth Procurement Rules (CPRs) require.”
The revised scope appears to limit the marketplace to two key areas: cloud services and cloud consulting services.
Under the previous scope, the panel covered cloud services, cloud consulting services and cloud-centric managed services.
As a result, the DTA has extended the term of the cloud service panel by a year (from 31 March 2020 to 31 March 2021).
“The extension will make sure we do not interrupt government cloud computing procurements during the RFT process,” it said.
The DTA also said it will adopt the international standard ISO/IEC17788 to describe and catalgoue cloud services on the marketplace, as well as use the skills for information age framework to describe skills and experience levels.
The DTA expects to approach the market for sellers of cloud offerings next month.

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Unruly boss says Tremor takeover puts it ‘on steroids’ to compete in video marketplace- Tempemail – Blog – 10 minute

Unruly’s sale to Tremor International has put the video advertising firm “on steroids” according to its chief executive, Norm Johnston, who told Tempemail of his plans to apply its creative brain to its new owner’s connected TV (CTV) and in-app advertising formats.
News Corp has announced a provisional sale of Unruly for a fraction of the £115m it paid for the company in 2015, accepting a deal comprising a 6.91% stake in Tremor and a guarantee of £30m in revenue. The Murdoch-owned media giant had been courting buyers for Unruly for months, largely as a means of generating capital and simplifying its business.
Unruly was founded in 2006 and styles itself as a brand-safe video advertising marketplace. It handles the outstream video inventory of more than 50 News Corp titles (largely exclusive) and an additional 2,000 direct publisher integrations. Its data informs video ads and delivers them into the body text, videos and pages of media partners. This attracted the attention of the news giant four years ago, and now its products and relationships have caught the eye of San Francisco-based adtech firm Tremor International.
Johnston spoke up Unruly’s analytics product, UnrulyEQ, which is informed by more than a decade of consumer advertising data, as part of its appeal to Tremor. This trove of consumer surveys and facial recognition data theoretically helps it develop ad formats and creative that is optimised for viewers.
He said: “One of the biggest pain points in the industry is the lack of good creativity and assets. What makes this compelling and is the ability to apply the data not just to our current formats but also Tremor’s in CTV, OTT, TV and in-app.”
With the rise of programmatic and the dominance of the Facebook-Google duopoly, the digital advertising market has become a fierce battle for market share. Before this deal, Unruly claimed to reach 1.2bn viewers. But with this deal pushing it into new formats, the revised figure will be higher.
Johnston said: “It is such a competitive environment. This helps us scale and offer more to advertisers faster than we could.” The group, he claims, now boasts “more ad formats than anyone”. Backed by its bedrock of data and Tremor’s work with Alphonso and Nielsen.
“We are very excited about CTV, our partners spend a lot on video and TV,” Johnston added. “We can capture more of that as we already work with them in video.”
Tremor now takes over from Unruly as the official outstream video supplier to News Corp, a relationship which will be helmed by News UK chief executive Rebekah Brooks who is joining the Tremor board to oversee progress. “It’s a win-win for everyone,” Johnston said. “The strategic partnership with News Corp carries on… but now we can scale faster.”
Over the next 18 months, the biggest challenge for Johnston will be to quickly integrate Unruly’s 250 staff with the “nimble” US-based Tremor. Unruly has experience of navigating acquisition from its News Corp buyout, and Tremor’s been a keen acquirer since its 2007 founding.
“We need to quickly realise all the benefits. We are quite confident we can do that pretty rapidly. Tremor has always been about speed from day one.”
In the last year, Tremor has launched a bespoke creative studio and made strides into CTV, merging its products with RhythmOne’s YuMe
On position for the future, Johnston said: “Advertisers want scaled solutions where they can drive better ethical advertising across geographies. They want something that delivers on brand safety, privacy and ethics. Whether we complement or serve as an alternative to the duopoly, we will now be on steroids.”
Cadi Jones, commercial director EMEA of adtech in-housing firm Beeswax, described Unruly as one of the few go-to places to access premium quality video inventory, largely through its exclusive media partnerships and sentiment analysis tools. It is primed to benefit from “significant and sustained growth” in video advertising, in particular CTV through its recently-partnered Telaria and Rubicon.
Its access to premium supply and quality content will catch the eye of advertisers, according to Jones.
“In more expensive media like video, where brands are no longer prepared to pay a premium for unknown quality, Unruly’s emotional analysis product will also help in this regard as third party data becomes less available at scale,” she said. “Brands need to turn to reliable data sources, moving away from extensively modelled data.”
Unruly’s acquisition by a digital tech company that operates in the same space is a “good fit”, Jones concluded.

The history of Tremor International
2007: Founded as Marimedia
2014: Acquired Taptica
2015: Takes Tapitica name and focus
2015: Acquired AreaOne
2017: Acquired Tremor Video (now Telaria, a leading CTV SSP)
2017: Acquired AdInnovation
2019: Acquired RhythmOne
2019: Renamed as Tremor International
2020: Acquired Unruly, sold stake to News Corp

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Spotify acquires SoundBetter, a music production marketplace, for an undisclosed sum – gpgmail


Spotify today took another step in its efforts to build out services for artists to help diversify itself away from a business model predicated on paying music streaming royalties to labels: it has acquired SoundBetter, a music production marketplace for artists, producers, and musicians to connect on specific projects; and for people who are looking to distribute music tracks to those who want to license them.

SoundBetter has about 180,000 registered users and has paid out more than $19 million to musicians and producers to date, averaging around $1 million per month currently, itself taking a cut by way of a commission (of an undisclosed percentage) on each deal secured through the platform.

Financial terms of the deal are not being disclosed, meaning it’s unlikely to be a significant sum for the $24 billion streaming giant, which now has 232 million users, including 108 million Spotify Premium subscribers. New York-based SoundBetter had raised an undisclosed amount of funding from investors including 500 Startups, Foundry Group, Eric Ries and Verizon Ventures when it was still called Nautilus under AOL (disclosure: gpgmail is part of Verizon Media). Its last funding — convertible debt from Drummond Road and others — was back in 2015.

SoundBetter is not being shut down with the acquisition: a spokesperson confirmed to gpgmail that it will be business as usual as Spotify and the startup work on integrating SoundBetter’s services with Spotify for Artists, which currently offers musicians and others analytics on Spotify tracks and other services to help market themselves.

SoundBetter was founded back in 2012 by Shachar Gilad (CEO) and Itamar Yunger (CTO) and operates two main services. Its main business is an online marketplace for musicians to source singers, sound engineers, producers and other music and audio professionals to put the finishing touches on tracks (think Fiverr or Behance, but specifically for music). In June this year, it launched a newer marketplace called Tracks for people to license finished music, competing with the likes of Epidemic Sound (which earlier this year raised money at a $370 million valuation).

Interestingly, Spotify had tried to launch a direct music distribution platform in the past — including with an investment in DistroKid, a music distribution service that supports cross-platform uploads — but the effort never left the beta phase and was then shut down this past July. That decision possibly make more sense now, since the move might have been made to pave the way for SoundBetter.

Indeed, for Spotify, the deal is a signal that the company is going to continue investing in more behind-the-scenes services for artists and others in the music ecosystem, particularly in building up services that bypass (or at least exist alongside) those of traditional labels, and take some pressure off that side of the business. Last quarter, Spotify faced some criticism (and a drop in its share price) for missing its own targets for subscription growth

“As we build out our tools for creators, we want to give them the resources they need to thrive. SoundBetter has the same vision,” said Beckwith Kloss, VP Product, Creator at Spotify, in a statement.  “We’re excited that creators can generate income through SoundBetter, as well as benefit from its network of top professionals – from instrumentalists to songwriters to producers – as they perfect their tracks.”

Spotify has over the years amassed a growing list of assets that take the platform beyond basic music streaming, with a lot of attention of late focused on spoken word content, providing cloud-based studio services by way of SoundTrap (acquired by Spotify in 2017), and podcast platform Anchor (acquired last year).

But with music continuing to be the beating drum of the platform, Spotify will continue to build up that area of its business, too, not least because competitors like Apple are also continuing to build up its own services for artists that bypass traditional labels. 

SoundBetter already has a decent, if relatively small, business, with its fair share of big names. It claims that “Kanye West’s Producer, Hoobastank’s Drummer, Jamiroquai’s Guitarist, Beyonce’s Songwriter, Joe Cocker’s Bass player, Herbie Hancock’s Engineer, Morrissey’s Guitarist, The Killers’ Mixing Engineer, and George Michael’s Mastering Engineer” are among those using its services. This will give it a big boost in exposure: Spotify for Artists currently has 400,000 registered users, but the platform itself has become a cornerstone of digital music distribution.

SoundBetter offers the most comprehensive global marketplace for music and audio production professionals for hire in the world along with a member community spanning 176 countries and 14,000 cities worldwide,” said SoundBetter Co-Founder and CEO Shachar Gilad. “We are excited to benefit from Spotify’s global scale, resources, and vision to expand our network and drive more economic opportunities for artists of all levels.”


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