VIRTUAL + AUGMENTED REALITY
Google’s Daydream View headset got a major price cut – if you’re buying it from Verizon, at least. The telco’s website is now selling the device for $39.99. The headset, the central piece of Google’s Daydream platform for mobile VR, debuted last year. Its original price was $79.99, though it had previously dropped to $59.99. The Daydream View is still being sold at full price in some places, including Google’s online store. As Variety points out, the steep price cuts elicits a question: Is Google planning to roll out a new, more expensive version of the View sometime soon? The company hasn’t commented on the matter.
APPS + PLATFORMS
Google’s iOS search app is getting some new updates. For one, the app is adding a Trending Searches feature. Google will now show iOS users searches that are “trending around you” when the search box is tapped on. (Twitter and Facebook have similar features.) In addition, Google’s iOS spp will now show users Instant Answers as they type, allowing them to get fast info before they press the search button.
Amazon recognizes its rapidly growing competition in the smart speaker market – and it’s moving to defend its turf, according to a new report from the Wall Street Journal. The paper reports that Amazon has been pouring resources into Alexa, its voice-activated AI product. The company is reportedly adding hundreds of new engineers to the Alexa program, and giving the unit hiring preference over other divisions. You can read the story here.
As first reported by Bloomberg, Tom Calderone is out at Spotify. Formerly the President of VH1, Calderone had served as the music streamer’s Global Head of Content Partnerships since last year. He oversaw Spotify’s original video and podcast efforts. As Bloomberg points out, those initiatives have struggled to catch on with audiences. A spokesperson from Spotify tried to frame things differently, writing that the company is focusing on “expanding video offerings on RapCaviar, Rock This and other popular Spotify owned and operated playlists.” Building video and podcast content “remains a priority,” the spokesperson wrote.
UPCOMING DIGITAL PROGRAMMING…
… for the week of Monday, Monday, September 4, through Sunday, September 10.
– People Now at People.com, Monday-Friday at 8:30a ET and 11:30a ET. Guests include model and beauty queen Olivia Culpo, actress Taryn Manning (Netflix’s Orange Is the New Black), and the cast of Warner Bros. Pictures ‘It’
– Netflix: Marc Maron: Too Real, a new comedy special, debuts tuday, September 5
– Netflix: Season 4 of animated comedy BoJack Horseman debuts Friday, September 8
– Netflix: The Confession Tapes, a new documentary, debuts Friday, September 8
– Netflix: Fabrizio Copano: Solo Pienso En Mi, a new comedy special, debuts Friday, September 8
– Netflix: Joaquín Reyes: Una y no más, a new comedy special, debuts Friday, September 8
– Netflix: Fire Chasers, a new unscripted series, debuts Friday, September 8
– Netflix: Greenhouse Academy, a new unscripted series aimed toward tweens, debuts Friday, September 8
– Netflix: Season two of family-oriented animated series Spirit: Riding Free debuts Friday, September 8
– Netflix: Original film #realityhigh debuts Friday, September 8
– Amazon Video: Season 2 of One Mississippi debuts Friday, September 8
Our Last Trivia Question: Bill Skarsgård, who plays the titular role in the upcoming film adaptation of Stephen King’s It, isn’t a stranger to scares. He previously starred in a horror-heavy Netflix series; which one? Answer: Hemlock Grove. Kudos to Louis Lewow-Lewow Media Group/GA, Mathew Melendez-SUNY JCC Jamestown/NY, David Westberg-SAG AFTRA Federal Credit Union/CA, Tom Moore-Kalt Productions/CA, and Lorrie Shilling/CA
Google’s first-ever Twitter post was written in binary code. What it did translate to in English? (Email [email protected] with your answer and be sure to include your name, company, city and state.)