Facebook "Watch": Videos From Billboard, Nas And More
Rounding up recent tech news that impacts livelihoods in the creative community …
Facebook Moves Into Video Streaming Space
On Aug. 9 Facebook announced it has begun rolling out its new Watch feature, combining live video, originals and community oriented video sharing with original programming expected to launch Aug. 28. In addition to providing creators with a potential new revenue stream, the Watch tab represents a strong move with major partners into the streaming video space that is captivating so much of America's attention. The company's announcement led with "shows that engage fans and community" — featuring the upcoming "Nas Daily" from the GRAMMY-nominated rapper, as well as music-related content expected from Billboard and Russell Simmons.
Growth Of Streaming Continues, Spurring New Concerns
Rounding up several streaming-service announcements, first, the Parents Television Council observed on Aug. 7 that "parental controls are lax or non-existent" on popular platforms such as Amazon Prime and Netflix. Separately, analysts Cowen and Co. predicted that by years' end, half of U.S. households will subscribe to Amazon Prime, which includes both music and video. On Aug. 8 Disney announced it would launch a new streaming service in 2019 and pull its programs off Netflix. It also took a majority stake in Major League Baseball's BAMTech streaming tech company for more than $1.5 billion. On the music side, Spotify revealed it has acquired 10 million additional paying customers since March for a total of 60 million paid subscribers.
IP Enforcement Coordinator Confirmed By Senate
On Aug. 3 the U.S. Senate confirmed Vishal Amin to serve as the new intellectual property enforcement coordinator within the executive office of the president. Amin's previous position was senior counsel to the House Judiciary Committee, and its Chairman Rep. Bob Goodlatte (R-Va.) commended the Senate on elevating his former staffer, saying, "I know that Vishal will continue to be a tireless advocate on behalf of American innovators and creators." CEO Keith Kupferschmid of The Copyright Alliance, which includes The Recording Academy as a member, expressed congratulations and said, "We look forward to working collaboratively with Mr. Amin as he undertakes his new role to help promote and protect our nation's creators and copyrighted works."