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Archivo del Autor: Belen De Leon

The Techies Turning Kenya Into a Silicon Savannah

The country is home to a $1 billion tech scene.
Source: Wired

Spotify runs test in Australia, allowing users to skip ads at any time, potentially boosting targeting and revenues

If you want to test out a feature on a large, well-known, global, platform, there’s a very simple solution: Test it in Australia. At a population of 24 million and with a predominantly Western culture, it’s a large enough test bed and small enough market, so ideal for testing new features before (maybe) rolling them out globally. And that’s exactly what Spotify appears to be doing in testing out how it can tweak its advertising platform to take the fight to the likes of Pandora and other competitors.

Advertising Age reports today that it’s running a test in Australia which will let listeners skip audio and video adverts at any time while the ad is playing. This is instead of having a preset time limit to listen to or watch the advert which can’t be skipped. They’ll be able to do this any time they want, as often as they want, and the new feature will also let them jump straight back into the music.

The feature (well, it’s still a test feature after all) is called “Active Media.” In it, advertisers won’t have to pay for any ads that are skipped. It’s a high risk strategy because clearly Spotify may get less ad revenue in the short-term, while the algorithm is trained to serve ads that consumers will in fact listen to. But Australia’s smaller market means any lost revenue will be relatively small.

AdAge quote Danielle Lee, global head of partner solutions at Spotify, saying the move is about tailoring the ads to users’ tastes, so similar to Spotify’s “Discover Weekly” feature, which does the same for music.

It’s a smart move, since, by allowing users to spend longer on the ads they actually do like, Spotify will get better data on the ads which work best for that particular user, and thus sell better-targeted ads which, in turn, will have a higher premium.

“Our hypothesis is if we can use this to fuel our streaming intelligence, and deliver a more personalized experience and a more engaging audience to our advertisers, it will improve the outcomes that we can deliver for brands,” Lee said.

Plus, a user listening to a better-targeted advert in full is worth more than blasting adverts to consumers who may ultimately be put off the platform for being forced to listen to adverts. They’d also listen to fewer ads overall, thus keeping the platform ‘sticky’.

Spotify says advertisers won’t have to pay for any ads that are skipped. If things go well, it’s likely the feature will expand globally.

Spotify previously reported in July that it closed the second quarter of the year with 180 million monthly active users. This is up 30 percent year-over-year. It now have over 101 million ad-supported users in 65 markets globally. Total ad revenue has reached $158 million, up 20 percent. Automated ad sales are growing quickly and accounted for more than 20 percent of ad revenue, the company reported.


Source: TechCrunch

iPhone X and Siri need to find and organize my photos faster – CNET

Commentary: Photos Memories is a solid step in the right direction, but Apple should go further to help sort and locate my photographic gems.
Source: CNET

From sails to subs: 400 years of shipbuilding at the Chatham Historic Dockyard – CNET

For four centuries, the Dockyard at Chatham built ships for the Royal Navy and her allies. Today it’s a massive museum, with ships from the age of steam, WWII and the Cold War. Here’s the full tour.
Source: CNET

Alex Jones Tops This Week's Internet News Roundup

Last week the Infowars founder was booted from several platforms—but not Twitter.
Source: Wired

Elon Musk’s Tweets, Tesla Might Go Private, Uber Loses in NYC, and More Car News

Plus, we chat with Kodiak Robotics, a new autonomous trucking startup, and Steve McQueen’s Ford Mustang Bullitt is back.
Source: Wired

Police Departments Need to Stop Posting Mugshots on Twitter

Opinion: When police departments post photos of protestors on social media, it puts them at risk of harassment, or worse.
Source: Wired

24 hours left to apply to Startup Battlefield Latin America

The clock is ticking: only 24 hours left to submit your application to compete in the first TechCrunch Startup Battlefield Latin America on November 8, 2018, in São Paulo, Brazil. Is your startup one of Latin America’s best? If so, don’t waste another minute. Apply right here, right now before the 24-hour clock runs out. Don’t miss your chance to launch your early-stage startup on a global stage. Apply no later than August 13, 2018, at 5 p.m. PST.

The winning founders receive a $25,000 non-equity cash prize and a trip for two to the next TechCrunch Disrupt. While there, they can exhibit free of charge in the Startup Alley.

All Startup Battlefield competitors — win or lose — reap the benefits of broad exposure to the media outlets and investors sitting in the audience. Plus, we video all the Startup Battlefield sessions and post them on TechCrunch.com. That exposure lives on long after the competition ends.

All competing teams also become part of our Startup Battlefield alumni community. Since 2007, more than 750 companies have competed in Startup Battlefield. Those companies — including Mint, Dropbox, Yammer, Fitbit, Getaround and Cloudflare — have collectively raised more than $8 billion in funding and produced more than 100 exits.

Here’s how the competition works. TechCrunch editors will evaluate every eligible application and select 15 founders to compete in the Battlefield, which takes place at São Paulo’s Tomie Ohtake Institute. Founders receive intensive — and free — pitch coaching from TechCrunch editors and will be primed and ready to go come game day.

During three preliminary rounds, five startups per round will each have six minutes to pitch and present their demo before a panel of top investors and seasoned entrepreneurs. The judges have six minutes following each pitch for a thorough Q&A. Only five teams advance to the finals for another round of pitching and more probing questions. And only one team will emerge as the first Startup Battlefield Latin America champion.

Here’s what you need to know about eligibility. Founders must meet these requirements:

  • Have an early-stage company in “launch” stage
  • Be headquartered in one of these countries: Argentina, Bolivia, Brazil, Chile, Colombia, Ecuador, French Guiana, Guyana, Paraguay, Peru, Suriname, Uruguay, Venezuela; (Central America) Belize, Costa Rica, El Salvador, Guatemala, Honduras, Nicaragua, Mexico, Panama; (Caribbean — including dependencies and constituent entities) Dominican Republic and Puerto Rico
  • Have a fully working product/beta reasonably close to, or in, production
  • Have received limited press or publicity to date
  • Have no known intellectual property conflicts
  • Apply by August 13, 2018, at 5 p.m. PST

TechCrunch Startup Battlefield Latin America takes place on November 8, 2018, in São Paulo, Brazil. You have everything to gain by applying, but time is running out: You only have 24 hours left to apply by the deadline of August 13, 2018, at 5 p.m. PST. Show us what you’ve got: Apply here right now.


Source: TechCrunch

Why you can't buy every phone you want from AT&T, Verizon, T-Mobile and Sprint – CNET

There’s a world of worthy phones out there that you might never get to see.
Source: CNET

The Creative Ways Your Boss Is Spying on You

The most common snooping techniques are relatively subtle, but trouble emerges when employers invest too much significance in these metrics.
Source: Wired

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