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Posted by on in Entrepreneurship
Pyeongchang Skyline Silhouette In Colorful Geometric Style South Vector Id908262930 1 Back in 2011, when South Korea won its longshot bid to host the 2018 Winter Olympics, the country wasn’t widely recognized as a destination for ski and snow lovers. It wasn’t considered much of a tech startup hub either. Fast forward seven years and a lot has changed. Read Morehttp://feeds.feedburner.com/~r/techcrunch/startups/~4/ZGZMYEViH8s
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Evan Spiegel and Miranda Kerr Getty

Snap CEO Evan Spiegel sold $50 million in Snap stock.It's his first stock sale since Snap's IPO.

Snap CEO Evan Spiegel sold 2,675,600 shares of Snap last week at a price of $18.71 per share, a transaction netting him just over $50 million.

The transaction was disclosed in a filing with the SEC, which you can read here.

It's Spiegel's first official public stock sale since Snap's IPO last March. He previously promised not to sell any of his stock during 2017.

The sale was conducted according to a pre-arranged sales plan, and was only 1% of his holdings. He still retains control of the company and its primary product, Snapchat, as does his co-founder Bobby Murphy.

Spiegel's fortune is worth roughly $4.5 billion.

Earlier this week, he defended Snapchat's recent controversial redesign at a conference in San Francisco.

"We'd been thinking about the redesign for a really long time because we were frustrated that when you looked at the [app], both sides looked the same," Spiegel said. "We're excited about what we're seeing so far. Even the complaints we're seeing reinforce the philosophy. The frustrations we're seeing really validate those changes."


Original author: Kif Leswing
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Washington, DC. Google Earth/Climate Central

The world's oceans levels are rising at faster and faster rates as waters warm and ice sheets melt.

Researchers, led by University of Colorado-Boulder professor Steve Nerem, looked at satellite data dating back to 1993 to track the rise of sea levels.

Their findings, published in the journal Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, show that sea levels aren't just rising — that rise has been accelerating over the last 25 years.

Even small increases can have devastating consequences, according to climate experts. If the worst climate-change predictions come true, coastal cities in the US will be devastated by flooding and greater exposure to storm surges by the year 2100.

Research group Climate Central has created a plug-in for Google Earth that illustrates how catastrophic an "extreme" sea-level rise scenario would be if the flooding happened today, based on projections in a 2017 report from the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Agency.

You can install the plug-in (directions here) and see what might become of major US cities.

Original author: Melia Robinson
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REUTERS/Mike Blake

Following its strong fourth quarter, Snap is making its Marketing API available to any ad agency, brand or ad tech company that wants to access the platform.The move represents Snap's most aggressive bid for digital ad dollars yet, as it looks to take on Google, Facebook and most notably, its arch-rival Instagram.Opening up its Marketing API will allow Snapchat to cater to an even broader base of marketers as well as prompt a wider variety of ads than the ones that currently exist on the platform."From an ad tech standpoint, Snap has been following the Facebook and Twitter blueprint so opening up the API is natural," Noah Mallin, head of experience, content and sponsorship at Wavemaker, told Business Insider.

Snap is making its most aggressive bid for digital ad dollars yet.

Following its strong fourth quarter, Snap is making its Marketing API available to any ad agency, brand or ad tech company that wants to access the platform.

The program, which was first launched in 2016, has been closed with limited access to a few companies until now. The move essentially allows any company — irrespective of its size, scope or the scale of the software it is building — to leverage the Snap API to automate its ad efforts or build and sell tools for advertisers to use.

"We've been listening closely to third-party developers as we transition Snapchat ad products onto our self-serve platform," James Borow, Snap's director of revenue programs, told Business Insider. "Today we're opening up our Marketing API to give every developer tools to build the Snapchat ad solutions that perform best for them and their customers."

The move is aimed at the so-called long tail, the thousands of developers and brands that want to customize the platform, build something new or even start a niche ad tech company.

Brands can, for instance, enhance their targeting, creative and measurement across all advertising efforts by easily layering on proprietary data sets through the API. They cal also automate processes like placing orders, or ingest ad metadata and performance metrics into their own data warehouses, ultimately better measuring the success of their ads.

Hootsuite, for example, has built a solution that allows its customers to manage their Snapchat Geofilter ads from within its tech platform, which has been helpful for customers that want to buy Geofilters for multiple locations at once and plan all of their ad spend collaboratively on one platform. It hopes to continue to build on the API.

"We're particularly excited to see how our customers leverage the new Snap Pixel," said Stefan Krepiakevich, VP of strategic alliances at Hootsuite. "And how it can help advertisers better manage their audience targeting and conversion tracking."

The move also comes on the heels of Snap's major push toward automating its ads and strengthening its programmatic business in recent quarters. Ad volume on the auction increased by more than 4x year-over-year, and over 90% of Snap Ads were bought programmatically during the fourth quarter.

Opening up its Marketing API will allow Snapchat to cater to an even broader base of marketers. While a majority of ads are now sold through automated auctions, there aren't enough advertisers bidding for these spots yet. So an open API will theoretically bring more brands on board. Revenue from small and medium-sized businesses is already rising: it more than doubled in the fourth versus the third quarter, Snap's CFO Imran Khan said.

It will also prompt a wider variety of ads than the ones that already exist on the platform, including ads with calls to action for consumers such as installing apps.

Snapchat has already indicated that it is bullish on such direct-response ads and smaller advertisers. After doubling its total revenue from app install campaigns since the beginning of the fourth quarter, Snap began offering free ad credits to advertisers running vertical video ads last week, primarily targeting advertisers who focus on direct-response.

"These releases are helping drive more spend on the platform, particularly from direct response marketers," said Lance Neuhauser, CEO of 4C, a marketing technology company and Snap Ads partner. "We're also seeing success with brand advertisers looking to complement their TV advertising and reach Snap's core demographic."

Ultimately, opening up the API will allow Snap to significantly boost its revenue by racking up ad spending from advertisers of all sizes using its platform without having to invest in hiring new developers, just as Facebook and Google were able to do.

"From an ad tech standpoint, Snap has been following the Facebook and Twitter blueprint so opening up the API is natural," Noah Mallin, head of experience, content and sponsorship at Wavemaker, told Business Insider. "Overall it's important for them to be able to show that there is depth to the advertising activity as well as growth, and that means bringing on more small businesses and brands of varying sizes."

Separately, Snap's VP of sales Jeff Lucas is leaving the company, according to Cheddar.

Original author: Business Insider
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Gettyimages 917216938 The nation state has survived wars, plagues, and upheaval, but it won’t survive digital nomads, not if people like Karoli Hindriks have something to say about it. Hindriks is the founder of Jobbatical, a platform that allows digital nomads to find work in other countries and helps with the logistics of getting there. The company also embodies a new world of highly-skilled, global… Read Morehttp://feeds.feedburner.com/~r/techcrunch/startups/~4/-CD46biIglc
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Sqreen Finals4 French startup Sqreen recently launched a Security Hub with dozens of plugins to put you in control of the security of your web app. In many ways, it feels like enabling tasks on popular automation service IFTTT. Sqreen participated in TechCrunch’s Startup Battlefield and Y Combinator’s current batch. The vision of the product hasn’t changed. Sqreen lets you protect your… Read Morehttp://feeds.feedburner.com/~r/techcrunch/startups/~4/iFErp-mZF78
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Bill Hader. AP

Bill Hader helped bring to life the voice of "Star Wars" favorite BB-8."The Force Awakens" director J.J. Abrams had Hader speak in a talk box while he used an effects app to come up with the voice BB-8 uses.Hader did not do any BB-8 voice work on "The Last Jedi," and he doesn't know if he's getting residuals for the work he did on "The Force Awakens."

Bill Hader is known for his characters while doing eight seasons of "Saturday Night Live," playing the lovable leading man in "Trainwreck," and his voice work on everything from "South Park" to "Inside Out."

But he also helped bring to life one of the most memorable characters of the current "Star Wars" trilogy: BB-8.

It's a highlight in his filmography Hader is shy to discuss because, he said, "Anybody could do what I did."

While making "The Force Awakens," director J.J. Abrams called on Hader to voice the droid (previously, Abrams had actor Ben Schwartz come in to do an English-language dub of the droid).

"That is J.J. Abrams being a really nice guy," Hader told Business Insider while promoting his upcoming series on HBO, "Barry" (airing March 25). "That's him saying, 'I know you like "Star Wars," do you want to come and do this?'"

Bill Hader helped bring to life the voice of BB-8, who is one of the most popular stars of the current "Star Wars" trilogy. Jordan Strauss/AP Hader said he tried to come up with a voice for BB-8, but it wasn't working. He left and felt he blew his chance at being a part of the saga. Then the actor said Abrams called him back again, "I mean, there were billboards already out for the movie," said Hader in describing how close it was to the movie opening when he got the second call.

This time, Hader spoke into a talk box while Abrams messed with an effects app on his iPhone and out of that came the basis for the BB-8 voice and it put Hader into "Star Wars" lore.

"I mean, I'm signing BB-8 pictures now," Hader said.

But is he getting residual checks from it?

Hader said that he did not take part in any of the work that went into BB-8 for "The Last Jedi," but he does have a credit on "The Force Awakens." Actors receive yearly payments when movies begin getting sold on Blu-ray, DVD, streaming, or begin to air on TV (actors in television series get residuals when the shows are sold to syndication).

Will Hader get that sweet Disney money for years to come?

"That's a good question, I should ask my business manager," Hader said with a laugh. "You're finding out how bad I am at this. If my dad reads this he would lose his sh--. 'You gotta know how much f---ing money you have, you moron!'"

Processing it all for a moment, all Hader could answer was, "I mean, I would hope so."

Original author: Jason Guerrasio
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Shaun McBride, or "Shonduras," was perhaps one of Snapchat's very first homegrown social stars. Photo Courtesy of The 11th Second

A crop of influencers who had abandoned Snapchat are giving it a second look.They are being enticed by a range of new features on the platform, including an analytics dashboard announced Wednesday.The consensus is that Snapchat is well positioned to win back digital creators, given YouTube and Instagram's recent struggles on this front.

With over 900,000 followers, Shaun McBride, or "Shonduras," was perhaps one of Snapchat's very first homegrown social stars. But frustrated with the platform's lack of support for creators he "gave up" on it in early 2017, until the platform came knocking.

Now, McBride is among a crop of influencers boomeranging back to Snapchat.

These digital creators are giving Snapchat a second look for two reasons. For one, Snapchat is finally giving this community tools they've long desired to help nurture their fan bases.

And suddenly, recent stumbles by YouTube and Instagram in their influencer offerings may have given Snap an opening.

"I was insanely frustrated for the first two to three years, to the point that I left Snapchat," McBride told Business Insider. "But six months later, they got in touch and started consulting me about how they could make the platform better for the creator community."

The output of Snap's conversations with McBride — and a range of other Snapchat creators — is an analytics dashboard for creators, which was announced by the company today.

The dashboard is being rolled out around the world, not only to Snapchatters with official verified accounts, but also other creators with large audiences on Snapchat. The insights are intended to give them a deeper understanding of their audience as well as what type of content drives more meaningful engagement, a spokesman told Business Insider.

It includes data such as weekly, monthly and yearly total story views, the amount of time people are spending viewing their stories, as well as daily reach, audience demographics, and information on their audience's interests.

Snap CEO Evan Spiegel Mike Blake/Reuters The dashboard comes on the heels of the biggest ever redesign of Snapchat, which separated out content from friends and stories from publishers, creators and the community. That move gave creators a better canvas and also made it easier for people to find them.

"The redesign has reignited my interest in Snapchat," said Michael Platco, another Snapchat influencer who had turned away from the platform like McBride last year. "I have suddenly started getting hundreds of new followers every day, which had stopped happening when they got rid of autoplay."

Snapchat has been cozying up to influencers in recent months after years of deliberately ignoring them. The company, for instance, announced a series of updates last summer, including allowing users to link to external websites on their videos, modify their voices in their videos and add custom backdrops. The analytics dashboard is, in this regard, an obvious next step.

But more importantly, it should entice a wider swathe of creators and ultimately, brands who want to connect with influcencer on Snapchat.

"Up until now there has been no way to measure what your audience actually likes, so you are shooting in the dark," said Rayna Greenberg, who runs the account "onehungryjew" on Snapchat. "Brands want to know who your audience is, what the potential reach of a campaign will be, and what the success of any given campaign has been —so this will allow me to network, sell my platform and create ongoing partnerships with brands better."

It could also help attract smaller brands to Snapchat, said Jason Wong, founder of Wonghaus Ventures. Snap has already been doubling down on smaller advertisers by opening its Marketing API and offering them free ad credits.

"This could help creators monetize because previously, Snap creators didn't have enough metrics to attract small to medium size brands," he said. "Brands really care about metrics of a influencer's profile, and one thing that turned many away was the fact that Snap didn't provide those to its creators."

The move also comes at a highly opportune time for Snapchat. The company had a surprisingly strong fourth quarter, and has been aggressively bidding for a greater chunk of digital ad dollars by opening up its advertising floodgates.

Most of all, disgruntled influencers are grappling with problems on some of its biggest competitors. While small brands and influencers are worried that Instagram is choking their traffic, YouTube has been tightening the noose on influencers as it deals with the aftermath of its brand safety crises. The consensus, then, is that Snapchat is well poised to court the influencer community at a time when other platforms are struggling.

"The YouTube creator community is having a hard time, and people fear the changes from Facebook are trickling over to Instagram," said McBride. "Snapchat has an amazing chance to seize the opportunity to do things right this time."

"It's long overdue," agreed Ben Arnold, managing director at We Are Social North America. "But it's great timing."

Original author: Business Insider
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The Rise of the Rest bus tour is headed to Memphis in MAy. Reuters

This post is part of Business Insider's ongoing series on Better Capitalism.AOL founder Steve Case and "Hillbilly Elegy" author JD Vance are overseeing the $150 million Rise of the Rest Seed Fund, operated through Case's venture capital firm, Revolution.The fund has 38 of the nation's highest-profile investors.In May, Case and Vance will be holding pitch competitions in Dallas, Memphis, Birmingham, Chattanooga, and Louisville.

AOL founder Steve Case and "Hillbilly Elegy" author JD Vance are headed to the southern United States to find the next big startups. They've got millions of dollars to invest from 38 of the country's highest-profile investors, including Amazon CEO Jeff Bezos, former New York City mayor Michael Bloomberg, and former Hewlett Packard CEO Meg Whitman.

Case and Vance are overseeing the Rise of the Rest Seed Fund, through Case's Washington, DC-based venture capital firm Revolution. Vance joined the firm last year, and Case announced the fund in December.

Revolution began Rise of the Rest bus tours in 2014 as a way to initiate relationships with American startup communities outside of Silicon Valley, New York City, or Boston. Revolution announced Wednesday that the upcoming seventh tour will take place from May 7-11 and include stops at the following cities:

Dallas, Texas Memphis, Tennessee Birmingham, Alabama Chattanooga, Tennessee Louisville, Kentucky

In each city, Case, Vance, and other members of the Revolution team will meet with local political and business leaders and host a pitch competition. Google for Entrepreneurs is providing pitch coaches for all participants. The winners will receive $100,000 from the seed fund.

Case and Vance told Business Insider that the purpose of the tours is to raise publicity and interest around the startup communities in these cities and start a dialogue among the entrepreneurs and Revolution that will continue in perpetuity.

Case briefly explained to us why he and his team chose each of the cities for the upcoming tour.

Original author: Richard Feloni
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Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg at a news conference at Facebook HQ in 2010. REUTERS/Robert Galbraith

Facebook will have to re-obtain consent from all its existing users, for all the data it is currently holding on them, according to Europe's new "ePrivacy law" and the upcoming General Data Protection Regulation."Existing data will risk becoming obsolete," Goldman Sachs says.The law applies to all tech companies that do business in Europe, but Facebook will be especially affected because its business consists entirely of user data.COO Sheryl Sandberg has already told analysts she expects Facebook to see a small decline in daily average users in Europe, but otherwise the company is prepared.

Sometime after spring this year Europe's new ePrivacy law will come into effect. The most disruptive part of the proposed regulation, according to tech industry insiders and analysts, is the requirement that companies obtain consent for any data they keep on their users. Old data will not be exempted or "grandfathered in" under the new law.

As it currently stands, that means companies will have to re-obtain consent from all their existing users for all the data they are currently storing on them, no matter how old, according to several analysts and policy experts.

In theory, the law will ban Facebook from using the data it already has, unless the company can persuade you to re-register your permission for all the info you have already given the company. The two largest companies affected by the law will be Facebook and Google.

But Facebook, perhaps, has the bigger hurdle to overcome in order to comply. It not only uses your data as part of your personal Facebook account, it also supplies that data to advertisers through its Audience Network and Custom Audiences products, which generate ads on other websites and apps outside Facebook. The new ePrivacy law will force Facebook to ask all its European users to give permission for each separate type of data being stored or shared by Facebook.

It is not clear when ePrivacy will actually be enacted, although observers estimate early 2019. The new law will work in conjunction with a second EU law that goes into effect in May 2018, the General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR).

Goldman Sachs: 'Existing data will risk becoming obsolete'

"Organizations will have to re-obtain user consent (for the data they wish to keep) and build a fully documented permission trail before GDPR becomes enforceable - or existing data will risk becoming obsolete. There is a risk of further customer data loss once users have the right to opt out of marketing campaigns and erase their personal data as mentioned above," according to a note sent by Goldman Sachs analyst Lisa Yang and her team.

"Facebook and Google will either be (a) prohibited from using the unprecedented amounts of data already in their control; or (b) subject to fines and penalties that will, for the first time in history, have a significant impact on their bottom lines," according to a white paper prepared for the trade organization Digital Content Next, which represents tech companies.

The EU is not kidding about those fines, either. The maximum penalty for breaking the law is 4% of total global annual revenues, which in Facebook and Google's cases would be about $1.6 billion (£1.1 billion) and $4.4 billion (£3.1 billion), respectively.

Goldman's Yang told clients that Facebook has already repeatedly fallen afoul of existing consumer privacy law in Europe:

"We note that Facebook was recently fined €1.2 mn by Spain's data protection agency for violating the country's privacy rules, with the regulator noting that "Facebook's privacy policy contains generic and unclear terms," and that "The agency considers that Facebook does not adequately collect the consent of either its users or nonusers, which constitutes a serious infringement". This followed a similar ruling from the French data regulator which fined Facebook €150,000 for collecting and compiling user data without a legal basis and explicit consent."

Facebook also this year lost a court ruling in Germany, which declared its privacy settings illegal because it fails to obtain the correct level of consent.

'Much of the EU data subject data on which Facebook and Google currently sit could lose its value'

The new requirement is as dramatic as it sounds, according to the DCN paper. Facebook's entire existing European user graph is under threat:

"Under the proposed ePrivacy Regulation, much of the EU data subject data on which Facebook and Google currently sit could lose its value because it could not be used for online behavioral or targeted advertising purposes, without dramatic changes to their current practices."

Similarly, at a Citi Research event held in late December, Yves Schwarzbart, the head of policy at the Internet Advertising Bureau UK, was asked, "Does that mean that you would have to restart building a user graph from scratch?"

He replied, "To some extent potentially, yeah."

The new regulation will affect any tech company from any country that does business in Europe. It is still being debated by the European Commission, so it may be changed or softened before launch.

Goldman's Yang believes both Facebook and Google are relatively well placed to handle the changes because they have "direct" relationships with people. Their users are so dependent on both their platforms, they are likely to hand over consent rather than be locked out of their email, Facebook, Messenger and WhatsApp. But even so, the fear is that when each European users is forced to review and consent to every single data-type they hand over the Facebook, they may reduce their total permissions, thus lowering engagement overall.

Sheryl Sandberg: 'We also know that there may be a DAU impact for implications on European usage'

Facebook is already preparing for the new laws.

COO Sheryl Sandberg said on her last earnings call that Facebook might take a hit: "We're going to continue to give people a personalized experience to be clear about how are using the data and give choices, and we realize that this means that some users might opt out of our ads targeting tool. We also know that there may be a DAU impact for implications on European usage."

But, she said, "The Facebook family of apps already applies the core principles in GDPR framework." The company rolled out a blog post highlighting its privacy settings options in January.

Original author: Jim Edwards
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State Police keep a handful of Confederate protesters separated from counter demonstrators in front of the statue of Confederate General Robert E. Lee on Monument Avenue in Richmond, Virginia, Saturday, Sept. 16, 2017. Steve Helber/AP This February marks six months since a white nationalist rally in Charlottesville, Virginia turned violent. One counter-protester, Heather Heyer, died and dozens more sustained injuries after a driver plowed into a crowd.

Heyer's homicide reinvigorated a national conversation about the role of Confederate statues, memorials, and plaques in public spaces. According to a recent study by the Southern Poverty Law Center, over 1,500 symbols of the Confederacy stand in public places in the US.

Since the Charlottesville incident, more than two dozen cities have removed Civil War-era monuments from plazas, parks, and government buildings or are considering such proposals. Officials from these cities argue that Confederate iconography encourages a revisionist history of the Civil War, during which Confederate states fought for the right to maintain slavery.

The movement to rid streets of these monuments may be just starting. Here are 9 cities that have already done away with them.

Original author: Leanna Garfield
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Getty Images

NBCUniversal is using the Olympics to tout its custom Total Audience Delivery metric as an alternative to the classic Nielsen ratings.The media company wants to stop advertisers and media journalists from focusing on Nielsen ratings at a time when people are watching less live TV.It won't be easy to shift the industry's fixation on this type of data. But most in the TV business recognize that traditional measurement systems are inadequate for fragmented digital viewing.

NBCUniversal is taking reporting ratings for the Winter Olympics into its own hands. The question is whether the rest of the TV industry will follow.

The media giant is using the Olympics to push its case for reporting what it calls Total Audience Delivery. This NBCU-created ratings construct is essentially a medley of data from different sources designed to help get across how many people are actually watching the games, whether on live linear TV, NBCU's apps, or mobile devices.

TAD is NBCU's not-so-subtle message that when it comes to measuring modern TV viewing, the incumbent TV researcher Nielsen can't cut it.

For example, NBCU says it delivered 26 million viewers on Sunday night, an audience it's calling the most "dominant" opening Winter Olympics Sunday ever.

That TAD number is made up of 22.7 million people watching on NBC along with a 15% boost from other platforms.

In fact, NBCU says that this year's games through Monday afternoon had already generated 445 million live-streaming minutes, which is more than the 420 million live minutes recorded during the entirety of the 2014 Games in Sochi, Russia.

"We want a holistic picture and a way to capture all that consumption," Krishan Bhatia, NBCU's executive vice president of business operations and strategy, told Business Insider. "We're going with best measurement available. And there is no single source that can do that for all platforms."

"And this is not just limited to the Olympics," Bhatia added. "If you look at a show like 'This is Us,' 50% of that show's audience is not captured in the linear rating."

Bhatia says what most big advertisers care about is running their ads during a certain time period (during a particular promotion, or holiday season), having their ads run alongside premium content, and reaching the right audience demographics.

And whether people watch on TV, the web, on a Roku, or on their phones — the Olympics delivers on all fronts.

"So if we can track those, it should count," Bhatia said.

Maddie Meyer/Getty Images Yet the way NBCU compiles TAD reporting is unorthodox and, according to some, less than ideal from a data-science perspective. That's because rather than using a single third-party measurement vendor (typically the preferred approach among media researchers), NBCU pieces together data from Nielsen, Adobe, the advertising technology firm FreeWheel, and Oracle to produce TAD numbers.

NBCU has two overarching goals with TAD. For one, it wants to get the ad-buying world accustomed to thinking of TV audiences as being less confined to live airings of shows and more like something that is compiled across multiple platforms over varied time periods. For the first time, NBCU sold advertisers packages that guaranteed specific audiences across platforms rather than that treated TV and digital audiences and ad sales separately, The Wall Street Journal reported.

In addition, NBCU with TAD most likely wants to nudge the press to stop reporting solely on Nielsen ratings on a given night. The company clearly wants to kill the narrative that took hold during the most recent Olympics, the Summer Games in Rio de Janeiro.

Right out of the gate, reports swirled that ratings for the 2016 Games were down considerably compared with the 2012 London Olympics. That led to stories questioning whether the Olympics were fundamentally in decline as a live TV event and whether millennials even liked sports.

Weeks later, NBCU was able to pump out data showing how many people were streaming various Olympic events on various platforms, particularly younger people. But by then it was tough to change the narrative.

Jorge Silva/Reuters

It's hard to communicate all that in a press release, especially as TV media is trained to report straight ratings. Thus, you get headlines such as:

As Business Insider has reported, TV measurement is facing something of a crisis, and NBCU wants to be seen as a change agent. Plus, the company spent over $7 billion to secure rights to air the Olympics through 2032, so it needs to get this right.

Over the past few years, NBCU executives have been openly critical of Nielsen's ability to track how people view TV outside traditional live TV viewing. The company has gone as far as publishing an open letter to Nielsen in late 2016 calling for a delayed rollout of its Total Content Ratings product and even hosted an industry-wide summit in November partially aimed at trying to fix media measurement.

Getting a huge industry to change the way it thinks and operates is never easy. But NBCU says however painful, it's necessary.

"It starts at the top. Consumers are shifting the way they watch TV," Bhatia said. "Millennials do watch the Olympics. But the industry is tethered to an airdate. If you're still focused just on ratings, you are missing the point. So when we have discussions with major agencies, we're trying to figure our a new approach."

Part of that approach is partnering with digital platforms to push out Olympics content (though, it's worth noting, not all big tech platforms are part of the mix). The list includes Apple News as well as Snapchat, where NBCU is streaming live Olympic footage.

"We're leaning in there," Bhatia said. "At the same time, we're doing less on platforms where monetization and measurement don't work for us here. Like Facebook."

Original author: Business Insider
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Jarrod Dicker Washington Post ad tech guru Jarrod Dicker Washington Post

Washington Post ad tech guru Jarrod Dicker has been named CEO of a blockchain tech company built for the media and ad industries. The venture, Po.et, promises to help journalists and creators keep track of their content across the web and to protect their revenue rights.  Dicker sees the technology eventually being used to create a marketplace via which brands can connect directly with creators.

Blockchain technology is often described as a would-be revolutionary savior for many industries.

A digital ad veteran sees the tech potentially reinventing both journalism and marketing.

Jarrod Dicker, who until recently served as vice president, innovation & commercial at The Washington Post, has been named CEO of Po.et, a blockchain-based tech platform designed for digital publishing. 

Po.et is an open source initiative which promises to make it possible to track digital content and advertising wherever it travels across the internet. The enterprise's ambitions are noble – and quite lofty.

The idea is that journalists and other creators will be able to know where their content is being consumed or repurposed via a centralized digital ledger – like a verifiable time stamp that can't be altered or manipulated.

Dicker, who's credited with building out the Washington Post's proprietary advertising technology division Red (one of Business Insider's most interesting ad tech companies of 2017), sees Po.et as eventually becoming the backbone of a digital marketplace that serves multiple purposes – and ultimately betters the entire media ecosystem.

The Po.et marketplace aims to offer creators and media companies away to figure out just how popular their work is, and also enable them to make sure that their copyrights are being respected and they are getting paid what they're supposed to get paid.

And marketers will theoretically be able to log onto a Po.et-powered digital dashboard to see which creators are resonating on the web, and which might be a good fit to partner with, or even pay to produce content on their behalf.

Of course, getting an entire industry to agree on anything is never easy. Dicker believes the time is right.

"We're at this point in the industry when it feels like everyone is running uphill," Dicker told Business Insider. "Consumers are saying no to advertising through ad blocking. Publishers are feeling beholden to platforms. And there are real questions being asked like 'can media companies survive?' So we need to recalibrate what the value of content is."

Right now, Po.et is open sourced and free for creators to use. Over time the company plans to introduced paid services designed to help media companies license, commission and acquire content, Dicker said. 

Po.et isn't the only player trying to bring the blockchain to the media and ad industryds. For example, several startups like Amino see the technology helping stamp down the spread of fraudulent web ads by creating a more transparent money trail.

Dicker, who's previously logged prominent product positions at Time Inc. and HuffPost, said he sees multiple constituencies across the ad/media landscape finding value in this use of blockchain technology. But, if this catches on, it could have the potential to disintermediate players like ad agencies or even publishers, while empoyering a new generation of independent journalists, he said.

"You'll no longer have to go through middlemen," he said. "A GE or a Pepsi, they'll be able to find creators and work directly with them. They may realize, 'We don't need a Vox. We don't need a content studio.'"

"At the same time, creators are going to realize what they're worth," he said. "Some may not need to work with big publications but can go directly to readers."

Original author: Business Insider
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One-season wonder "Firefly" is still beloved "Firefly"

Netflix has managed to breathe new life into a number of TV shows thought dead, including "Arrested Development," "Gilmore Girls," and "Full House." And networks have done the same, rebooting classics like "Will & Grace" and "Roseanne."

But there are still shows that fans wish had one more season — the guilty pleasures or cult-classics that didn't get enough attention, but gained a loyal following.

On Friday, Reddit users responded to a question about which cancelled TV shows they loved, and would like one more season of. The results ranged from sci-fi one-season wonder "Firefly," to comedies that didn't gain the audience they deserved, such as "Pushing Daisies."

Below are 11 of the best suggestions from Reddit of shows that needed one more season:

Original author: Travis Clark
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William Brinson

An ardent meat-lover never forgets her first taste of Chipotle's Sofritas.

In 2014, the fast-casual chain added its first new menu item: organic shredded tofu that's braised and marinated with chipotle chiles, roasted poblanos, and a sizzling spice blend.

When Chipotle offered a promotion to try its looks-like-meat, smells-like-meat vegan substitute, in exchange for a free burrito coupon, Sofritas sold out at a bunch of locations nationwide.

Today, even meat-eaters (like me) often opt for Sofritas as a healthier alternative to meat that doesn't compromise taste. People say it's spicy, flavorful, and almost mistakable as ground beef.

I recently toured the factory where Hodo, an organic tofu company based in Oakland, California, makes the tofu for Chipotle's Sofritas. Take a look to see how it's made.

Original author: Melia Robinson
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The Lillium Jet demonstrating unmanned flight.Lillium

Lilium is developing a five-seat electric aircraft that can take off and land vertically.The company envisions using the aircraft like an Uber, hailing it from your phone to take you around the city, avoiding traffic.Lilium says it will start rolling out the technology by 2025.

Move over, Elon Musk. A German startup developing an electric, car-sized aircraft that can take off and land vertically just received a prestigious award — and the technology is seriously impressive.

Founded by a group of entrepreneurs in 2015, Lilium is developing the aircraft as a new form of sustainable urban transportation. The idea is to "revolutionize the way people move in and around the world's cities," Patrick Nathen, one of Lilium's co-founder said in a statement.

Cleantech Group (CTG), an industry research firm for sustainable innovation companies, gave Lilium the Early Stage Company of the Year award in January, as part of CTG's Cleantech 100 awards.

Richard Youngman, CTG's chief executive, said Lilium's technology has the potential to "make the dream of zero emissions mass-transportation a reality."

How the Lillium Jet works

Lilium, which raised $90 million in September, tested a prototype of its jet last year in Munich. Similar to a quadrocopter drone, Lilium's jet is capable of taking off and landing vertically. Using fans embedded in the wings, the aircraft can hover, land, and take-off on the spot, using minimal energy.

Once airborne, the fans fold back into the wings — into a horizontal position — and that lift is transformed into acceleration. At that point, Lilium's jet can fly like a regular small airplane, reaching speeds of around 190 miles per hour) — all without generating harmful emissions.

The jet's electric engines, which function like traditional turbofans in a regular passenger jet, are designed to be much quieter and vibrate less than regular gas engines. This makes the jet suitable for use in dense urban areas, (where Lilium's founders see the aircraft being used, according to the company's website).

It's also highly nimble, meaning it can traverse corridors between buildings or bridges safely.

A rendering of a Lillium rooftop jetport. The company hopes to start rolling out its technology to consumers by 2025.Lillium

Like Uber, but for the sky

Lllium's founders envision hailing a jet from your phone, like hailing an Uber. Once hailed, you'll be able to meet your ride on a rooftop landing port, and take the jet anywhere you want between a network of landing ports — without getting stuck in traffic.

The plane, which is capable of flying for up to an hour on the single charge, will also be able to take short trips between cities. According to the company's website, the jet will be able to travel over 40 miles in around 15 minutes. The jet's total range will be around around 190 miles, making it possible to travel between Boston and New York City in about an hour.

While the jet is still in prototype phase, Lilium hopes to test it with a pilot as early as next year. By 2025, the company hopes to roll out the technology to the public.

Check out this video demonstrating the Lilium jet's first flight:

Original author: Jeremy Berke
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Find your internal motivation. Get enough rest. And eat churros. Dylan Martinez/Reuters

Olympic athletes are the best in the world at what they do.

They dedicate their lives to reaching the top levels of their chosen sport, knowing that they'll have just a few moments to put their years of work to the test.

Right now, we're seeing athletes like Mikaela Shiffrin put their training to work at the Winter Olympics. Two years ago, we got see some of the world's greatest athletes — like Katie Ledecky and Michael Phelps — put their skills on display at the summer games.

These athletes have cultivated habits that are essential for reaching peak performance in sports — or really, any aspect of life.

Most of us may not have the combination of genetic gifts, motivation, talent, and training needed to become Olympians. But we can still learn from these habits.

These are some of the most important performance-related habits that top Olympians have in common.

Original author: Kevin Loria
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Jonah Hill and Emma Stone star in the upcoming comedy series "Maniac." John Sciulli/Getty Netflix has a lot of original content in store for the rest of this year.

While Netflix has already released new seasons of a few fan-favorite shows like "Grace and Frankie" and "Lovesick," the streaming service is also set to release some new and anticipated originals.

We've already seen the premiere of the new sci-fi series "Altered Carbon" and David Letterman's new talk show. Among the shows still to come is the series "Maniac," a dark comedy starring Jonah Hill and Emma Stone.

Netflix has said it will spend $8 billion on shows and movies in 2018 — up from the $6 billion it spent in 2017.

To help you sort through all of the upcoming content, we've compiled a list of original shows that Netflix has confirmed are coming out in 2018. This excludes movies, kids' shows, and series that might not come out until 2019 or later.

Here are all the shows we know Netflix is for sure putting out in 2018, along with their release date if available:

Original author: John Lynch
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Dsc00606 002 A mapping startup based in Missoula, Mont., which allows users to download sophisticated offline topographic maps outlining public and private lands and a number of other features geared towards hunting, fishing and camping, has pulled in its first major outside funding. onXmaps has closed a $20.3 million Series A round led by Summit Partners. Bessemer Venture Partners, Millennium… Read Morehttp://feeds.feedburner.com/~r/techcrunch/startups/~4/IwospZchz8w
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Gettyimages 545393960 Uber is preparing to sell its Southeast Asian business to Grab in exchange for a stake in the Singaporean ridesharing company that has a big presence in that region, according to a new report from CNBC. Read Morehttp://feeds.feedburner.com/~r/techcrunch/startups/~4/DE548k1EDzk
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