The shorter week notwithstanding, technology bellwethers had some big announcements that included Apple Inc.(NASDAQ:AAPL)’s Music launch, Facebook Inc (NASDAQ:FB)’s video ads, and Google Inc (NASDAQ:GOOGL)’s search deals.
Apple Music Launches, Minus Bells & Whistles
Apple unveiled its service earlier in the month, finally launching on Jun 30. But in what is a first for the iPhone maker, it announced that the service will be available on Android as well (later this year). That’s because Apple Music is not an exclusive on iOS devices and is in a pretty crowded market comprising Spotify, Deezer, Rdio, Pandora, Google Play Music and Xbox Music. Apple has no free tier unlike Spotify and some of the others and it has a curated radio channel called Beats 1.
Prices are also in line with industry standards despite the fact that it will have some great content. Two things still look special: the first being “Connect” where artists can interact with fans and the other being Siri integration, which could actually get some iOS users to switch. Especially since Apple has one of the most extensive collections in the market.
Facebook to Share Revenue with Video Creators
Facebook’s “Suggested Videos” feed could give the folks at Google’s YouTube some sleepless nights. It’s one thing to have video thrown at you in the newsfeed and quite another to go find it for yourself in a video feed even if you have to wade through some ads. If things go as planned, content providers will flock to the platform and, sometime in the future, you might just go to Facebook to check out some TV show, movie or other video without ever spending a cent. Or, you could buy it right there and then watch from the comfort of your chair.
Facebook figures this is such a good proposition that it’s charging the same 45% of ad revenue that YouTube makes. We were taking the 4 billion daily views with a grain of salt since a few-second pause over an auto-loaded video qualified as a view according to Facebook. But the social networking company is now also turning on the sound and tracking how long you watch for good measure. Now is it going to make videos as easily searchable as YouTube? That definitely seems to be the next step.
Good or Bad for Google Search?
Google’s search business appears to be in all kinds of trouble what with Yahoo displacing it in the Mozilla browser (in some geographies) last year, Microsoft last week and Apple’s Safari browser expected to do likewise some time this year.
But even as we were wondering whether Google’s search app and lower TAC costs (revenue share with partners) made these events a net positive, another story came to light: Yahoo is apparently testing Google search after gaining flexibility from its revised search deal with Microsoft earlier this year. We don’t know yet what this means exactly, so if it will result in a partnership, but all doesn’t seem so rosy for the still-reigning champion of search.4
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