Wij willen met u aan tafel zitten en in een openhartig gesprek uitvinden welke uitdagingen en vragen er bij u spelen om zo, gezamelijk, tot een beste oplossing te komen. Oftewel, hoe kan de techniek u ondersteunen in plaats van dat u de techniek moet ondersteunen.

Acast, a podcast monetization and distribution platform, announced a new partnership with JioSaavn, one of the largest streaming audio services in India. The agreement mean JioSaavn will distribute content from Acast and have access to its technology for podcasters.

JioSaavn, which claims 104 million monthly active users, is the second-largest streaming audio service in India after Gaana, and holds about 24% market share, according to an OTT Audience Measurement Insights report.

Podcasts from Acast’s network will be added to JioSaavn’s streaming app over the next two months. Based in Sweden, Acast focuses on developing ways to help podcasters monetize, including subscription paywalls and dynamic ads. Publishers on Acast’s network include the Guardian, BBC, the Financial Times and PBS NewsHour.

JioSaavn launched original programming in 2016, including JioSaavn podcasts, which it says now has more than 200 hours of original content.

In a press statement, Ishani Dasgupta, JioSaavn’s lead of podcast partnerships, said, “Podcasting is still largely nascent to consumers in the Indian market, with momentum growing quickly. The ability to grow and build new audiences, new shows and establish pathways for brands to access both is really just beginning for our 1.3 billion potential consumer market.”


TechCrunch

Hooq, a five-year-old on-demand video streaming service that aimed to become “Netflix for Southeast Asia,” has shut down weeks after filing for liquidation and terminated its partnerships with Disney’s Hotstar, ride-hailing giant Grab, and Indonesia’s VideoMax.

Hooq Digital, a joint venture among Singapore telecom group Singtel (majority owner), Sony Pictures, and Warner Bros Entertainment, discontinued the service on Thursday. It had amassed over 80 million subscribers in nearly half of the dozen markets in Asia.

“For the past 5 years, we gave you unbelievable thrills, heartrending drama, roaring laughs, awesome action, and more. Our goal was to bring you the best entertainment from here to Hollywood. Our hearts are full of gratitude for all of you who shared the journey with us,” it says on its website.

Hooq publicly disclosed that it had raised about $ 95 million, but the sum was likely higher. News outlet The Ken analyzed the regulatory filings last month to report that Hooq had raised $ 127.2 million, and its losses in the financial year 2019 had ballooned to $ 220, suggesting that it had received more capital.

The streaming service said last month that it could not receive new funds from new or existing investors.

Homepage of Hooq

The service counted India, where it entered into a partnership with Disney’s Hotstar in 2018 and telecom operators Airtel and Vodafone, as its biggest market. The company also maintained a partnership with ride-hailing giant Grab to supply content in its cab, and VideoMAX in Indonesia.

Hooq brought dozens of D.C. universe titles including “Arrow,” “The Flash,” “Wonder Woman” and other popular TV series such as “The Big Bang Theory” to its partners. In India, users began noticing last week that those titles were disappearing from Hotstar.

A spokesperson of Hooq told TechCrunch today that its tie-ups with all its partners including Hotstar have closed. A Hotstar spokesperson did not respond to a request for comment.

Mobile operator Singtel first unveiled Hooq’s liquidation in an exchange filing last month. The Ken reported that the filing left hundreds of employees at Hooq stunned who thought the firm was doing fine financially. Nearly every employee at Hooq has been let go, with select few offered a job at Singtel, according to The Ken.

In an interview with Slator earlier this year, Yvan Hennecart, Head of Localization at HOOQ, said that the company was working to expand its catalog with local content and add 100 original titles in 2020.

“Our focus is mostly on localization of entertainment content; whether it is subtitling or dubbing, we are constantly looking to bring more content to our viewers faster. My role also expands to localization of our platform and any type of collateral information that helps create a unique experience for our users,” he told the outlet.


TechCrunch

Kumu Holdings, a live streaming startup based in the Philippines, announced today it has raised about $ 5 million in Series A funding, earmarked for new features and growing its operations.

The round was led by Openspace Ventures, an early investor in Go-Jek, with participation from Kickstart Ventures, media conglomerate ABS-CBN, Gobi-Core Philippine Fund, and returning investors Summit Media and Foxmont Capital Partners.

With much of the country under COVID-19 lockdown or curfew orders, Kumu says usage of media and entertainment apps has increased. To address demand, the startup has launched new features over the past month to allow organizations like churches and industry groups to hold online events.

Kumu says it now has three million registered users and about 25,000 live streams broadcast each day, with average daily usage of about one hour.

Founded two years ago by Roland Ros and Rexy Josh Dorado, Kumu aspires to be a “super app” for Filipinos around the world, integrating live streaming, video chats and gaming, with plans to add online payments and e-commerce functions, too. Kumu’s upcoming features include a live commerce platform that allows users to buy items during live streams, giving content creators an additional source of revenue.


TechCrunch

Quibi launches its mobile streaming service, Apple sources 20 million protective masks and Red Hat announces a new CEO. Here’s your Daily Crunch for April 6, 2020.

1. Quibi launches its mobile streaming service in the middle of the quarantine era

The much-hyped mobile app promising to deliver “quick bites” of video entertainment is finally here. The company has been in the headlines for more than two years, thanks to the involvement of founder Jeffrey Katzenberg (who previously co-founded DreamWorks Animation) and CEO Meg Whitman (previously the CEO of eBay and Hewlett Packard Enterprise), not to mention $ 1.75 billion in funding.

Judging from a few hours of exploration, the app is as slick as promised, with impressive Turnstyle technology for switching between portrait and landscape viewing. What’s missing so far, however, is any real sense of creative breakthrough.

2. Apple has sourced over 20 million protective masks, now building and shipping face shields

The company is working with governments around the world to distribute its supply of face masks to where it’s needed most. Meanwhile, the first delivery of Apple face shields went out to Kaiser hospital facilities in the Santa Clara valley earlier this week, according to CEO Tim Cook.

3. Paul Cormier takes over as Red Hat CEO, as Jim Whitehurst moves to IBM

Cormier would seem to be a logical choice to run Red Hat, having been with the company since 2001. He joined as its VP of engineering and has seen the company grow from a small startup to a multi-billion dollar company.

4. GrubHub, Seamless’s pandemic initiatives are predatory and exploitative, and it’s time to stop using them

Jon Evans argues that GrubHub (which also owns Seamless) is hurting, not helping, the restaurants that it pretends it’s trying to support.

5. Pandemic puts the brakes on micromobility

Ride Report creates software that enables cities to better work with micro-mobility operators and has a bird’s-eye view on the industry. In a conversation with TechCrunch, CEO William Henderson outlined what we can expect for micro-mobility operators during the pandemic and once it’s over. (Extra Crunch membership required.)

6. Open banking fintech Yapily raises $ 13M Series A

Founded in mid-2017 by ex-Goldman Sachs employee Stefano Vaccino, Yapily’s open banking platform makes it easier for various service providers to connect to banks. Specifically, it provides a way to retrieve financial data and initiate payments via a “single secure API” that in turn connects to each supported bank’s open API.

7. This week’s TechCrunch podcasts

The latest full-length episode of Equity discusses the tremendous growth of Zoom and how that’s cast a spotlight on the videoconferencing app’s security flaws, while the Monday news roundup looks for positive signs in startup funding. And on Original Content, we review the first season of “Star Trek: Picard” and the extremely unsettling Netflix film “The Platform.”

The Daily Crunch is TechCrunch’s roundup of our biggest and most important stories. If you’d like to get this delivered to your inbox every day at around 9am Pacific, you can subscribe here.


TechCrunch

Disney+, the streaming service from the Walt Disney Company, has been rapidly ramping up in the last several weeks. But while some of that expansion has seen some hiccups, other regions are basically on track. Today, as expected, Disney announced that it is officially launching in the UK, Ireland, Germany, Italy, Spain, Austria, and Switzerland; it also reconfirmed the delayed debut in France will be coming online on April 7.

Seven is the operative number here, it seems: it’s the largest multi-country launch so far for the service.

“Launching in seven markets simultaneously marks a new milestone for Disney+,“ said Kevin Mayer, Chairman of Walt Disney Direct-to-Consumer & International, in a statement. “As the streaming home for Disney, Marvel, Pixar, Star Wars, and National Geographic, Disney+ delivers high-quality, optimistic storytelling that fans expect from our brands, now available broadly, conveniently, and permanently on Disney+. We humbly hope that this service can bring some much-needed moments of respite for families during these difficult times.”

Pricing is £5.99/€6.99 per month, or £59.99/€69.99 for an annual subscription. Belgium, the Nordics, and Portugal, will follow in summer 2020.

The service being rolled out will feature 26 Disney+ Originals plus an “extensive collection” of titles (some 500 films, 26 exclusive original movies and series and thousands of TV episodes to start with) from Disney, Pixar, Marvel, Star Wars, National Geographic, and other content producers owned by the entertainment giant, in what has been one of the boldest moves yet from a content company to go head-to-head with OTT streaming services like Netflix, Amazon and Apple.

The expansion of Disney+ has been caught a bit in the crossfire of world events. The new service is launching at what has become an unprecedented time for streaming: because of the coronavirus pandemic, a lot of of the world is being told to stay home.

That means huge demand for new services to entertain and distract people who are now sheltering in place. But it has also been putting a huge strain on broadband networks, and to be a responsible streamer (and to make sure quality is not too impacted), Disney confirmed (as it previously said it would) it would be launching the service with “lower overall bandwidth utilization by at least 25%.

Titles in the mix debuting today include “The Mandalorian” live-action Star Wars series; a live-action “Lady and the Tramp,” “High School Musical: The Musical: The Series,”; “The World According to Jeff Goldblum” docuseries from National Geographic; “Marvel’s Hero Project,” which celebrates extraordinary kids making a difference in their communities; “Encore!,” executive produced by the multi-talented Kristen Bell; “The Imagineering Story” a 6-part documentary from Emmy and Academy Award-nominated filmmaker Leslie Iwerks and animated short film collections “SparkShorts” and “Forky Asks A Question” from Pixar Animation Studios.

Some 600 episodes of “The Simpsons” is also included (with the latest season 31 coming later this year).

With entire households now being told to stay together and stay inside, we’re seeing a huge amount of pressure being put on to broadband networks and a true test of the multiscreen approach that streaming services have been building over the years. In this case, you can use all the usuals: mobile phones, streaming media players, smart TVs and gaming consoles to watch the Disney+ service (including Amazon devices, Apple devices, Google devices, LG Smart TVs with webOS, Microsoft’s Xbox Ones, Roku, Samsung Smart TVs and Sony / Sony Interactive Entertainment, with the ability to use four concurrent streams per subscription, or up to 10 devices with unlimited downloads. As you would expect, there is also the ability to set up parental controls and individual profiles.

Carriers with paid-TV services that are also on board so far include Deutsche Telekom, O2 in the UK, Telefonica in Spain, TIM in Italy and Canal+ in France when the country comes online. No BT in the UK, which is too bad for me (sniff). Sky and NOW TV are also on board.


TechCrunch

On-demand video streaming giant Netflix, which is increasingly expanding its footprint in developing markets, now has a new competitor in Indonesia: Gojek.

The Indonesian ride-hailing giant on Thursday launched a video streaming service called GoPlay that features exclusive access to “hundreds of movies and TV shows” as well as snackable short clips. The streaming service is currently available only in Indonesia.

The service, which Gojek began testing with select users in June, focuses on local content, Edy Sulistyo, CEO of GoPlay said. Gojek, which was valued at $ 9.5 billion in its last financing round, said it has partnered with major local production houses such as Base Entertainment, Kalyana Shira Films, and Wahana Kreator for production of original titles. The firm said it has also tied up with some international studios to source foreign content.

“Despite a rise in demand for local content and a growing number of mobile audiences in Indonesia, access has still been limited especially for consumers living outside of urban areas. With GoPlay, we aim to enable all Indonesian consumers to enjoy high-quality on-demand entertainment at their convenience, while providing a platform for local content producers to showcase their creative work,” said Sulistyo in a statement.

Gojek is offering the video streaming service through two aggressively priced monthly plans: IDR 89,000 ($ 6.27), which offers access to the full catalog in HD; and IDR 99,000 ($ 7), which will additionally also provide users with access to GoFood delivery vouchers.

GoPlay will compete with a range of streaming services such as Netflix, iFlix, and Hooq. Netflix last year began testing a low-cost mobile-only plan in some developing markets including Indonesia to boost its presence in those nations. The global giant eventually launched the affordable tier in India earlier this year. A Netflix spokesperson told TechCrunch this week that it currently has no plans to expand the low-cost tier to other markets.

Like many other major firms in Southeast Asia, Gojek is increasingly bulking up its ride-sharing platform to enter additional categories. Today, it offers an online payments service and a gaming platform. The firm began working on its video streaming service last year after it set up an in-house content studio.

Grab, Gojek’s arch rival in Southeast Asian markets, and India’s Ola, have also expanded their offerings in recent years. While Grab, like Gojek, offers everything including a video streaming service, Ola launched a credit card in May.

Grab has a partnership with Hooq for its video streaming service. In the run up to GoPlay’s launch, Hooq CEO Peter Bithos told TechCrunch in an interview that Gojek lacks the reach Hooq maintains in Southeast Asian markets. “Gojek hasn’t been able to get to anything like the scale or reach that we’ve got,” he said.

About 125 million people in Indonesia, or half of the nation’s population, is currently online. Sulistyo said Gojek sees a lot of potential for GoPlay’s growth in the country.

Indonesia has emerged as one of the fastest growing economies in Asia in recent years. According to a study conducted by Google and Singapore’s Temasek, Indonesia’s internet economy is estimated to be worth $ 100 billion by 2025.


TechCrunch

Hotstar, India’s largest video streaming service with more than 300 million users, disabled support for Apple’s Safari web browser on Friday to mitigate a security flaw that allowed unauthorized usage of its platform, two sources familiar with the matter told TechCrunch.

The incident comes at a time when the streaming service — operated by Star India, part of 20th Century Fox that Disney acquired — enjoys peak attention as millions of people watch the ongoing ICC World Cup cricket tournament on its platform.

As users began to complain about not being able to use Hotstar on Safari, the company’s official support account asserted that “technical limitations” on Apple’s part were the bottleneck. “These limitations have been from Safari; there is very little we can do on this,” the account tweeted Friday evening.

Sources at Hotstar told TechCrunch that this was not an accurate description of the event. Instead, company’s engineers had identified a security hole that was being exploited by unauthorized users to access Hotstar’s content, they said.

Hotstar intends to work on patching the flaw soon and then reinstate support for Safari, the sources said.

The security flaw can only be exploited through Safari’s desktop and mobile browsers. On its website, the company recommends users to try Chrome and Firefox, or its mobile apps, to access the service. Hotstar did not respond to requests for comment.

Hotstar, which rivals Netflix and Amazon Prime Video in India, maintains a strong lead in the local video streaming market (based on number of users and engagement). Last month, it claimed to set a new global record by drawing more than 18 million viewers to a live cricket match.


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