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Talk Social: 2 September, 2020

Spotify invests heavily in podcasts

Spotify has been on a spending spree in an attempt to position itself as the number one podcast platform.

Yesterday, the Joe Rogan Rogan Experience made its debut as a Spotify exclusive show, that the company secured through a $100m (£82m) licencing deal. Last month, the app debuted the podcast of Michelle Obama, who struck a similar exclusive deal with the company for a series of conversation-based episodes.

One of the big reasons Spotify is getting into podcasts is to generate more ad revenue. Currently, the app offers an ad-free experience to paying subscribers who tune in for music. Podcasts are an opportunity to serve this community ads in a way they are more comfortable with.

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China seeks to delay TikTok US sale

New Chinese government restrictions could complicate ByteDance plans to sell TikTok to a US company.

The new measures from Beijing impose restrictions on tech exports, requiring companies to seek government approval on sales – a process that can take up to 30 days. This will interfere with the US government’s deadline of the 20th of September for ByteDance to sell or face a shutdown

Microsoft has been in talks for the past few weeks to buy the business. However, recently retail corporation Walmart has joined forces with Oracle Corp to lodge a competing bid. So TikTok’s future is still incredibly unclear, which could delay those brands considering content creation or partnerships on the platform from getting involved.

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Zoom’s profits skyrocket in lockdown

In the least shocking news ever, the go to video conferencing app of lockdown, Zoom, has reported that its revenues have soared in the second quarter.

Revenues were up 355 per cent to £496m for the three months to the end of July. Profits more than doubled to £138m, while customer usage was up 458% year on year.

This growth is largely down to its success in attracting corporate clients that pay to use its premium service. It has doubled large customers (those with revenues in excess of $100,000) to 988 during the quarter.

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Facebook adds a range of new features to its group video messaging platform

Facebook has announced a range of updates for its Messenger Rooms, including new immersive 360-degree backgrounds, where users can customise their backgrounds with their own images and videos.

Other updates to Messenger Rooms include new ways for users to organise meetings and manage meet-ups in progress.

The new features align with features that many other video chat tools already offer, such as Zoom, Skype and Houseparty.  Facebook hopes the new features give it a stronger position to compete with these group messaging services.

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Facebook vows to block news stories in Australia rather than pay for them

Facebook is preparing to block news content in Australia in response to new regulations which would force social media platforms to pay publishers for their articles.

In July, the Australian government announced plans to force Google and Facebook to pay royalties to publishers for reusing their content. Since this, the tech companies have made several attempts to appeal and block the regulations.

The latest development came from a Facebook blog post that said if the law was passed it would “reluctantly stop allowing publishers and people in Australia from sharing local and international news on Facebook and Instagram”.

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