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CES Preview: Content Takes Center Stage (Top 5 Storylines For Media & Tech) – Forbes



Well, it’s that time of year again. No, not the holidays. I’m talking about the Consumer Electronics Show (CES) that kicks off the new year to showcase the latest and greatest in tech (and snap us all out of our holiday hibernations). And, this time, media, entertainment and content share the stage with all the new gadgetry in this annual gathering of the tribe. Jeffrey Katzenberg (the quintessential Hollywood mogul) and Meg Whitman (his NorCal tech titan doppelganger) will keynote the event to discuss their pioneering new mobile-first video service Quibi and reveal Quibi’s first mini-sodes. The dynamic duo’s “Hollywood meets Silicon Valley” Quibi storyline serves as the perfect mantra for this year’s CES. NBCUniversal’s secondary keynote adds more content fuel to the CES punch. Execs from the Peacock will also discuss their upcoming entry into the overall subscription video on demand (SVOD) wars – which, for better or worse (you be the judge), is actually called “Peacock.”

Here’s a preview of CES’s headline stories for media, entertainment and tech execs.

(1) The Great Streaming Wars of 2020


Netflix versus all SVOD comers – and there are now lots of them – is the headline media story for CES. Netflix, of course, remains the undisputed champ amidst long-time SVOD rivals Amazon Prime Video and Hulu (respectively 2 and 3 in the U.S.). But 2020 promises to be a whole new world for the champ, since both Disney+ and Apple TV+ are now immediate mega-players with mega-cash. I recently wrote about Netflix’s daunting future for Forbes, and all other SVODs also face an uncertain future given the intensity of the competition amongst goliaths. Perhaps Disney+ is least immune and most certain to be a long-term winner, given that Disney holds content and franchise crown jewels that no others can match (not even close). These include Star Wars, Marvel, Pixar, the Disney Princesses, and its new Fox and friends (X-Men, Avatar, The Simpsons). CES gives each SVOD contender a chance to tell its story and convince us that it can win amidst this SVOD fever.

(2) The Coming 5G Wave

5G promises to be a massive overarching story at CES for myriad reasons, not the least of which is its anticipated transformational role in our media and entertainment experiences. 5G speed and capacity mean that we all will have more reason to live our lives heads down on our mobile devices. Gone are the days of pixelation and buffering. We will voraciously consume copious amounts of video content on our smallest of screens since our movie and television experiences will be even more impactful. But it’s much more than video. 5G promises to accelerate the already explosive growth of eSports – a $1 billion plus industry today that will double in just a few years. Cloud-based gaming takes center stage as 5G networks deploy, since latency becomes a thing of the past (think Google’s Stadia and Apple’s Arcade here). 5G also means that, at long last, augment reality’s (AR’s) mass market promise begins to reveal itself given the edge-based computing 5G facilitates.

(3) AR Gets Real

Speaking of AR, 2020 promises to be its break-out year due, in large part, to 5G’s transformational power. Expect the AR ecosystem (both content/experiences and the hardware/glasses that facilitate them) to immerse CES as a result. Apple’s great hope (and our collective expectation) for its “next big thing” may be its long-anticipated AR glasses. Many expect to see those enter the marketplace in 2020. Maybe that’s why Apple will actively participate at CES this year for the first time in nearly three decades (yes, decades!). (Of course, Apple also faces pressure to convince us that Apple TV+ will be a breakout hit, because results have underwhelmed so far). Many attendees will also look for long-time AR darling Magic Leap to see how it plans to justify its near $3 billion investment to date. Entertainment experiences drive a significant part of its story, and now it’s time for Magic Leap to deliver a real, significant and scaling monetization story (rather than a semi-immersive promise of one).

(4) AI’s Home Invasion Accelerates

Artificial Intelligence (AI) already has transformed our entertainment experiences in significant ways. Amazon’s Alexa and Apple’s Siri have become our new DJs, serving up our favorite music choices on demand in our homes and on our smart speakers (which are sure to abound at CES). The music business benefits greatly from this home invasion, which is yet one more factor that continues to drive annual double-digit growth for a long-starved industry that is expected to more than double in size to $45 billion by 2030, according to Goldman Sachs. AI moves beyond music in 2020 and begins to actively transform our video experiences as well, and we will see those early efforts on display at CES. AI-born virtual beings will also join us in Las Vegas this year, giving us an early sign of the mind-blowing things to come.

(5) TV’s, TV’s & More TV’s

CES wouldn’t be CES, of course, without TVs filling every inch of Las Vegas’s convention walls and halls. Each year, the industry gives us yet more reasons to ditch our existing living room screens for their “next big thing” – always bigger and better (after all, TV size and resolution have no limits, do they?). And, now that the great streaming wars have kicked off in earnest – and our SVOD-driven premium television and movie programming choices are better than ever – we have even more reasons to listen to the tech pitch people. Let’s also not forget about our new “TV’s” – our mobile devices. New mobile form factors will fill the halls (remember last year’s foldable phones?), especially with the coming onslaught of 5G. That’s good news for mobile-first Quibi. Katzenberg and Whitman have timed it well.

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Jimmy Butler steals the show on NBA media day with ‘emo’ phase look following Damian Lillard’s trade to the Milwaukee Bucks – CNN



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Social media traffic to top news sites craters



Traffic referrals to the top global news sites from Meta’s Facebook and X, formerly Twitter, has collapsed over the past year, according to data from Similarweb.

Why it matters: Website business models that depended on clicks from social media are now broken.

What’s happening: Regulatory pressure and free speech concerns have pushed tech giants to abandon efforts to elevate quality information, leaving the public more susceptible to misinformation ahead of the 2024 election.

  • Meanwhile, news companies are scrambling to find business solutions while simultaneously fighting to protect their work in the AI era.

The big picture: While the news industry has known this day would come, many are still unprepared.

  • A slower ad market and less reliable traffic contributed to a record number of media job cuts this year.
  • Efforts to reach voters with trusted information are becoming more difficult as tech platforms lean into viral trends, instead of quality news.

Yes, but: Disruption is often a catalyst for change.

  • The over-reliance on social media traffic kept news publishers from focusing on building stronger consumer products of their own.
  • Publishers are better prepared now to defend their intellectual property in the AI era having learned from their mistakes of being too heavily reliant on third parties for survival.

Go deeper: Social media news consumption slows globally

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House Minority Leader Hakeem Jeffries. Photo: Anna Moneymaker/Getty Images.

House Speaker Kevin McCarthy (R-Calif.) is unlikely to get a lifeline from across the aisle as he fights to keep his job, according to interviews with and statements from nearly two dozen House Democrats.

Why it matters: If a half dozen Republicans support the motion to vacate introduced by right-wing Rep. Matt Gaetz (R-Fla.), which is set for a vote on Tuesday afternoon, McCarthy will need Democratic votes to survive.

Data: Bureau of Labor Statistics; Chart: Axios Visuals

For all the signs of a cooling economy, employers sure had an awful lot of open jobs as summer came to an end, according to a shocker of a labor market report out Tuesday. But it’s probably sending a misleading signal.

Driving the news: Employers reported having 9.6 million job openings at the end of August, according to the Job Openings and Labor Turnover report, up 690,000 from July, driven by a particularly large surge in professional and business services openings.

United Auto Workers members and supporters on a picket line outside the Ford Motor Co. Chicago Assembly Plant in Chicago, Ill., on Sept. 30. Photo: Taylor Glascock/Getty Images

Ford and General Motors laid off 500 more people after the United Auto Workers widened its historic strike last week, the automakers confirmed to Axios Tuesday.

Why it matters: Roughly 3,000 workers have been impacted by layoffs since the UAW strike against the Detroit Three began last month.


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India police raid homes of NewsClick journalists in illegal funding probe



Police in India have arrested a prominent journalist and founder of a news website under a stringent anti-terror law over allegations of receiving foreign money for pro-China propaganda.

NewsClick’s founder and editor-in-chief Prabir Purkayastha was arrested on Tuesday evening under the Unlawful Activities Prevention Act (UAPA) and criminal conspiracy charges, local media reports said.

Journalist Amit Chakravarty was also arrested in the same case, the reports added.

The arrests came after the office of the New Delhi-based news portal and homes of several journalists and writers linked to it were raided as part of an investigation into suspected illegal foreign funding of the media company. Laptops and mobile phones were taken away as part of the probe.


“A special investigations team launched a search operation to identify all those individuals who were possibly getting funds from overseas to run a media group with the main agenda of spreading foreign propaganda,” said a home ministry official overseeing the raids by the federally-controlled Delhi Police.

Indian authorities registered a case against NewsClick and its journalists on August 17, days after a New York Times report alleged the website had received funds from an American millionaire who, the Times wrote, funded the spread of “Chinese propaganda”. NewsClick denied the charges.


The raids on Tuesday were conducted at more than a dozen homes of journalists and some other writers linked to NewsClick.

A home ministry official said the raids were part of an investigation by the Enforcement Directorate, India’s financial crime control agency, into suspected money laundering by NewsClick, whose office was also sealed by the Delhi Police.

In a statement, the police said 37 male suspects were questioned at the NewsClick office while nine female suspects were questioned at their residences.

Thirty locations connected with the portal and its journalists were searched, the police said. Among those questioned were journalists Urmilesh, Aunindyo Chakravarty, Abhisar Sharma, Paranjoy Guha Thakurta and historian Sohail Hashmi.


NewsClick officials were not immediately available for comment. The company’s website says it reports on news from India and elsewhere with a focus on “progressive movements”.

NewsClick founder Purkayastha said at the time the allegations were not new and that the organisation would respond to them in court.

The Press Club of India said it was deeply concerned by the raids. A group of journalists has planned a protest march in New Delhi on Wednesday.

‘Coercive actions’

A statement from the INDIA alliance, a coalition of 28 opposition political parties, said in the last nine years, the government has deliberately persecuted and suppressed the media by using different investigative agencies.

“Even if you were … to believe these allegations at worst you could have targeted the management of the website, but what we are seeing now is that even junior employees are getting raided, even contributors are getting raided,” Shoaib Daniyal, political editor at the Scroll news website, told Al Jazeera.

“India has an extremely draconian terror law regime where people can be arrested and locked away for years without trial,” he added.

A spokesperson from Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s nationalist Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) said the raids were justified as foreign funding to media groups must be assessed by investigating agencies.

India has fallen to 161st rank in the World Press Freedom Index, an annual ranking by non-profit Reporters Without Borders, from 150th last year, its lowest ever. Modi’s government rejects the group’s rankings, questioning its methodology, and says India has a vibrant and free press.

A few months ago, Indian tax authorities raided BBC offices in New Delhi and Mumbai, shortly after the British broadcaster released a documentary that was critical of Modi.

Ties between India and China have been strained since 2020, when clashes between the two neighbours’ militaries in a disputed border area killed at least 20 Indian soldiers and four Chinese servicemen.

Since then, New Delhi has banned many Chinese-owned apps, including TikTok, and launched tax investigations into some Chinese mobile phone companies.


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