Category Archives: Media

Revcontent is trying to get rid of misinformation with help from the Poynter Institute

CEO John Lemp recently said that thanks to a new policy, publishers in Revcontent‘s content recommendation network “won’t ever make a cent” on false and misleading stories — at least, not from the network. To achieve this, the company is relying on fact-checking provided by the Poynter Institute’s International Fact Checking Network. If any two independent fact checkers from International Fact Checking flag a story from the Revcontent network as false, the company’s widget will be removed, and Revcontent will not pay out any money on that story […]

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Facebook buys Vidpresso’s team and tech to make video interactive

Zombie-like passive consumption of static video is both unhealthy for viewers and undifferentiated for the tech giants that power it. That’s set Facebook on a mission to make video interactive, full of conversation with broadcasters and fellow viewers. It’s racing against Twitch, YouTube, Twitter and Snapchat to become where people watch together and don’t feel like asocial slugs afterward. That’s why Facebook today told TechCrunch that it’s acqui-hired Vidpresso, buying its seven-person team and its technology but not the company itself. The six-year-old Utah startup works with […]

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Founder Zain Jaffer may be looking to take back control of Vungle

Zain Jaffer may be gearing up for a fight to take back control of Vungle, the mobile ad company he founded. Jaffer was removed from his role as CEO last fall following his arrest on charges of assault with a deadly weapon and performing a lewd act on a child. However, a San Mateo County judge subsequently dismissed the charges. The district attorney’s office released a statement offering more context for the dismissal, saying that they did not believe there was any sexual conduct on the evening in […]

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Spark Neuro raises $13.5M to measure your emotional response to ads and movies

I’m not immune to compliments, and Spencer Gerrol, founder and CEO of Spark Neuro, offered a real winner as he demonstrated his technology. “I love your brain,” he told me. This was after the startup’s vice president of research Ryan McGarry had strapped sensors to my fingers and head, then showed me an intense movie clip, with my attention level and emotional response displayed on a screen for all to see. That, in miniature, is what Spark Neuro does: It helps companies study the audience response to […]

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Soundcloud on the blockchain? Audius raises $5.5M to decentralize music

Audius wants to cut the middlemen out music streaming so artists get paid their fair share. Coming out of stealth today led by serial entrepreneur and DJ Ranidu Lankage, Audius is building a blockchain-based alternative to Spotify or SoundCloud. Users will pay for Audius tokens or earn them by listening to ads. Their wallet will then pay out a fraction of a cent per song to stream from decentralized storage across the network, with artists receiving roughly 85 percent — compared to roughly 70 percent on the leading […]

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Kin expands its celebrity-driven ‘neighborhood’ model for online video

Digital media company Kin has announced a slate of new video series from singer/actress Jordin Sparks, Bachelorette JoJo Fletcher and Jordan Rodgers (who successfully proposed to Fletcher over on the series). The company also revealed more details about its programming with Vanessa Lachey (who had already signed on with her husband Nick). She’ll be hosting a competition series called Beauty School Knockout, where contestants compete to create specific looks using unconventional products. This is all part of what the company calls its “neighborhood” strategy, where it launches a […]

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Portal offers an easy way to pay creators for their content

Portal founder Jonathan Swerdlin is just the latest media pundit to point to advertising as the root cause of the industry’s problems. But he’s not content to diagnose the illness — he thinks he’s created a cure. “Digital media has become toxic, in part, because of advertising,” Swerdlin said. “The unmet and unarticulated need is a peer-to-peer economy where you’re rewarded for creating value, rather than a quantity model” where a publisher or creator’s main economic incentive is to attract as many eyeballs as possible. Naturally, that’s […]

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Warner Music Group acquires Uproxx

Uproxx Media Group — owner of sites like HitFix, Dime and Uproxx itself — has been acquired. The Uproxx site focuses on entertainment and pop culture news, and was founded back in 2008. It was bought by Woven Digital in 2014, which eventually rebranded as Uproxx. Like many digital media companies, it includes both a publishing arm and a studio that works with marketers to create videos and other branded content. Today, Warner Music Group announced that it’s buying the company and its portfolio of websites (minus […]

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Maisie Williams shows off Daisie, an app for artistic collaboration

Maisie Williams, who’s best-known for playing Arya Stark on Game of Thrones, announced earlier this year that she’s founding a startup called Daisie. With the app set to launch on August 1, Williams and her co-founder Dom Santry came by the TechCrunch New York office to discuss her plans for the company. Daisie will offer a way for filmmakers, musicians, visual artists, writers and other creators to showcase their work and find collaborators. The startup has already picked an initial 100 creators to kick things off. Williams […]

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MoviePass borrowed $5M to end yesterday’s outage

More bad news for subscription movie ticket service MoviePass, which acknowledged yesterday that there was an unidentified issue preventing people from using their MoviePass credit cards to get tickets. A regulatory filing from parent company Helios & Matheson offers more insight about what happened. The filing (first spotted by Business Insider) announces a “demand note” of $6.2 million, including $5 million in cash that the company borrowed. It goes on to explain: The $5.0 million cash proceeds received from the Demand Note will be used by the […]

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