Europe Puts International Stream Rippers and MP3 Pirates on Notice With Inaugural ‘Watch List’

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Billboard reports: “Think stream ripping and MP3 pirates are a dying breed now with the rise of legal streaming? Not so fast, as the European Commission today publishes its inaugural list of non-EU websites and firms that they deem responsible for lingering piracy and counterfeiting abuse of European products, including music.”

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TikTok Parent ByteDance Raising $1.45 Billion to Invest in Media, AI

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Variety reports: “ByteDance, the company behind the wildly popular social video app TikTok, is in the process of raising a $1.45 billion fund to invest in media content and artificial intelligence, according to a report from business news site The Information. In the U.S., ByteDance is best known for TikTok, a social short-form video app that surpassed 500 million global monthly active users earlier this year.”

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Nascar steers into esports with eNascar Heat Pro League

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Venture Beat reports: “Stock car racing institution Nascar is steering its way into esports. Nascar, Race Team Alliance and 704Games are collaborating on the first-ever Nascar esports league on game consoles. The eNascar Heat Pro League will feature up to 16 race teams and 32 drivers, each owned and operated by real-world Nascar race teams.”

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Why Epic’s new PC game store is the Steam competitor the industry needed

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The Verge reports: “Epic Games’ new digital game marketplace, announced earlier this week and surprise launched during the Game Awards yesterday evening, has raised a lot of eyebrows in the industry. With its favorable 88 / 12 percent revenue split and Epic CEO Tim Sweeney’s pledge to better support creators, many in the industry are wondering whether this will be the game store that could truly rival Valve’s Steam.”

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Apple acquired Platoon, a platform for musicians to create and distribute work

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Tech Crunch reports: “Spotify has made some significant moves to bypass record labels and work directly with artists, and there are signs that Apple could be eyeing up a similar approach to get a bigger share of original content. Apple has acquired Platoon, a startup out of London that works primarily with musicians to produce, distribute and sell their work.”

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Amazon Bid for Fox Networks May Escalate Sports Rights Arms Race

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The Hollywood Reporter reports: “Live sports rights may be headed to a new frontier as streaming becomes an increasingly significant component of deals. While Fox recently inked a 10-year extension with Major League Baseball (worth north of $525 million annually) that includes expanded digital rights, Amazon’s bid for Fox Sports’ 22 regional sports networks could signal an escalation.”

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Virtual Reality Veterans Launch AR Startup Backed by Jeffrey Katzenberg, YouTube Founder Chad Hurley

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The Hollywood Reporter reports: “The company, based out of downtown Los Angeles, has formally launched out of stealth mode with backing from Jeffrey Katzenberg’s WndrCo, YouTube Founder and former CEO Chad Hurley and institutional investors including Founders Fund, The Venture Reality Fund and M Ventures.”

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Fandango Offering 50% Off Golden Globes-Nominated Movies and TV Shows

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Variety reports: “Fandango is latching on to 2018 Golden Globes hype to try to lure new customers to its FandangoNow streaming service — offering 50% off rentals or purchases of several nominated movies and TV shows for a limited time.The nominations for the 76th annual Golden Globe Awards were announced Thursday.”

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MoviePass will launch three new subscription plans in January

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The Verge reports: “Starting on January 1st, MoviePass will offer a three-tiered subscription plan to movie tickets which will give its customers varying levels of access to the latest films in cinemas (via NYTimes). Although all three tiers will be limited to just three regular cinema showings a month, more expensive plans will remove restrictions on which films you can see, and will also offer limited access to Imax and 3D film screenings.”

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Digital movie collection app Movies Anywhere adds its first pay TV partner, Comcast

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Tech Crunch reports: “Movies Anywhere, the Disney-led movie service operated in partnership Universal, WB, Sony Pictures and 20th Century Fox, is adding its first pay TV partner. Starting today, Comcast Xfinity TV customers will be able to sync their accounts with Movies Anywhere in order to access their movie purchases from the Xfinity Digital Store alongside those from other digital retailers.”

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