In this week’s digital news, AT&T reveals ownership rights of its streaming service HBO Max, IBM reveals first look of its futuristic smartwatch, Macy’s partners with Dick’s Sporting Goods, and more.
Streaming service HBO Max to arrive in 2020
Earlier this week, AT&T revealed an inside look of its new WarnerMedia streaming service, HBO MAX. The streaming service, due to launch next spring, will offer subscribers over 10,000 hours of content. In addition to offering more than just exclusive HBO content. Subscribers will have access to popular decade-old sitcoms such as Friends and The Office. It’s obvious that HBO, although diluting its overall brand in the process, has entered the competition against competing platforms by incorporating shows from different networks into its service. Top competitors include Netflix, Amazon Prime, Hulu, and more. However, the service will not launch until after Apple TV+ and Disney+ launch in November. HBO Max will cost slightly more than the typical HBO subscription of $14.99 per month. Yet, AT&T’s investment in other content should produce stronger loyalty from current HBO streamers.
IBM smartwatch transforms into 8-panel tablet
IBM shared a glimpse of a prototype for their first smartwatch, which they patented earlier this week. The company also revealed that the device will transform into a physical wrist-sized phone/tablet. Reports show “the original design portrays a smartwatch with a tall, nearly bezel-free screen that’s larger than the displays of most current devices, displaying the time atop weather details and icons for four apps.” In addition, the screen unfolds to display four panels, appearing as a smartphone.
The extra space will show not only nine app icons but an internet search bar, an expanded time, and weather area. Other versions of the smartwatch will expand to a larger display of eight panels with double the icons and features. Although this device seems implausible today, anything is possible with the rapid development and advances in display technology. Hopefully IBM will share more features and plans for the smartwatch over the course of development.
Macy’s Story goes outside with Dick’s Sporting Goods
Early yesterday Macy’s announced it’s new Story concept, “Outdoor Story.” The new theme stems from Macy’s recent partnership with Dick’s Sporting Goods and Miracle-Gro. Outdoor Story will feature more than 70 different brands. Along with various events at each location, such as gardening workshops and kayaking on the Hudson River. Shoppers will be able to buy Miracle-Gro’s “Twelve Indoor Growing System,” and a range of plants and planters, among other products. Macy’s latest Story concept launched at all 36 Story locations and featured more than 250 events. Which included a spotlight for local experts at the different stores. In addition, Outdoor Story marks the first partnership for Macy’s and Dick’s. Not to mention that it marks Dick’s first partnership with another major retailer. Macy’s has embraced the great outdoors and will continue to run this Story through September.
Stranger Things product placement valued at $15M
It was recently reported that more than a hundred product placements in Netflix’s new season of ‘Stranger Things’ brought in over $15 million in advertising value within the first three days of release. Brands shown throughout the series most frequently included: Coca-Cola, Cadillac, Chevrolet, Casio, 7-Eleven, Adidas, Reebok, and Burger King amongst others. Coca-Cola alone has brought in $1.5 million in ad value, which is pretty astounding for a season of television. Especially considering that the third season of Stranger Things actually has fewer product placements than many other Netflix shows. In fact, shows such as ‘House of Cards,’ ‘Daredevil,’ and ‘The Defenders’ all have more product placements per season than Stranger Things. However, with Netflix’s record-breaking viewership, the company is predicted to generate far more advertising value, with the final episode of the season containing the most brand visibility.
Google takes another crack at building a social network
A report early yesterday revealed that Google may have another go at creating its own social network. With the shut down of Google+ in April, the company will run a more low-key and careful testing period by setting up local networks. As of now, New York is the main location to experience Google’s new network. The network, “Shoelace,” Reports will connect people with similar interests. Currently, it’s by invitation only for Android and iOS smartphones users.
Knowing Google, it’s likely that they will finance this idea through hyperlocal advertising. However, it’s important to remember the importance of managing the adoption phase when launching a social network. Especially since many social networks have failed due to biased adoption. Although the possibilities of hyperlocal advertising are huge, managing a social network of this degree requires a mass amount of responsibility and control. But with all the knowledge and ambition upon which Google thrives, hopefully the company will make a comeback rather than repeat history.Published on July 12, 2019