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Robinhood may be best known its free stock trading, but today it’s rolling out a new version of the newsfeed, adding content from Reuters, Barron’s and market coverage from The Wall Street Journal, with no paywall or additional charge.

In addition, Robinhood is introducing video into the newsfeed, with ad-free videos from CNN Business, Cheddar and (again) Reuters.

The startup, which recently raised $ 323 million at a $ 7.6 billion valuation, has been showing more interest in content lately with the acquisition of the financial podcast and newsletter MarketSnacks — and as part of the redesign, the newsletter (now called Snacks) can be read directly in the app.

“A lot of this is not even about making investment decisions,” Robinhood’s Vice President of Product Josh Elman told me. “[Some users] check Robinhood very, very often just to consume the news and understand the companies that they’re watching, the ones that they are invested in and continuing to hold.”

He added that just buying and selling stocks is “sort of a utility,” so Robinhood wants to help its users “to feel informed, to be empowered to make their own decisions.”

Robinhood newsfeed

Before redesigning the newsfeed, Elman said the team did a seven-day study, where they asked subjects to create a diary of “all of their experiences reading and understanding market news.”

Among other things, Elman’s team learned that people “really want to read news from multiple, trusted sources,” which is why Robinhood is partnering with these publications. In addition, they saw that people like watching videos: “Even if it’s in the background, ultimately, people really told us they feel more confident and control in their decisions.”

Along with bringing in new content (which, again, is taken out from behind paywalls and is ad-free), Elman said the Robinhood newsfeed also features “all-new algorithms and a whole new display layer.” Robinhood users can see the new interface for themselves, but I was curious about those algorithms.

“We start with the companies you either own and hold in your portfolio or are watching, what types of sources do you frequently like to watch … and we make sure that we’re bringing you that news as much as possible,” Elman said. “And we have a lot of room to grow from here.”


TechCrunch

YouTube has teamed up with Universal Music Group to remaster nearly a thousand classic music videos, the companies announced today, including those from from Billy Idol, Beastie Boys, Boyz II Men, George Strait, Janet Jackson, Kiss, Lady Antebellum, Lady Gaga, Lionel Richie, Maroon 5, Meat Loaf, No Doubt/Gwen Stefani, Smokey Robinson, The Killers, Tom Petty, and others.

Many of the most iconic music videos on YouTube were only available in the “outdated standards originally intended for tube televisions with mono speakers,” YouTube explained in an announcement. But today, people watch videos across a number of platforms — desktop, mobile, and TV — and they often do so in high-definition. The old videos didn’t hold up.

With the new partnership, both the video and audio quality will be updated to the highest standards, then the new videos will slide in to take the place of the existing SD versions. They’ll also retain the same URL on YouTube as well as all the view-counts and likes, instead of arriving as new content.

As of today, the companies have already updated over 100 music videos including the following:

The plan is to fully upgrade nearly 1,000 over the next year, with plans to have all 1,000 titles available before year-end 2020. More videos will arrive on a weekly basis as this program continues, YouTube says.

The videos will be available exclusively on YouTube and YouTube Music — the latter ahead of a planned merger with Google Play Music. 

You’ll be able to tell if a YouTube music video has been through the upgrading process because it will read “Remasted” in the video’s description.

“It’s really an honor to partner with Universal Music Group and change the way fans around the globe will experience viewing some of the most classic and iconic videos. The quality is truly stunning,” said Stephen Bryan, Global Head of Label Relations at YouTube, in a statement. “It’s our goal to ensure that today’s music videos — true works of art — meet the high-quality standards that artists’ works deserve and today’s music fans expect.”

“We’re excited to partner with YouTube to present these iconic music videos in the highest audio and video quality possible,” added Michael Nash, Executive Vice President of Digital Strategy at UMG. “Our recording artists and video directors imbued these videos with so much creativity; it’s great to enable the full experience of their vision and music. These videos not only look amazing on any screen now, they will be enjoyed by music fans for decades to come.”


TechCrunch

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