LucasArts Disney Star Wars

Reverberate: US media and marketing news you need to know – Star Wars trailer forces $2bn Disney surge, Netflix snags 5m 2015 users and Instagram toughens up on porn


By John McCarthy | Opinion editor

April 17, 2015 | 4 min read

Morning all, here’s a glimpse at all the media and marketing news you should know.

1. The new trailer for Star Wars Episode VII – The Force Awakens boosted Disney’s value by a full $2bn, reports Business Insider. The positive reaction to the release surged Disney shares by 1 per cent.

2. Netflix announced that it added almost five million new paid subscribers in the first quarter of 2015, according to the New York Times. This surge brings the international figure up to 59.6 million members, up vastly from 46.1 million the previous year.

3. Microsoft and Yahoo reworked their search agreement meaning that Yahoo only has to include Bing ads on 51 per cent of its results. A source close to the company told Business Insider that the move will give Yahoo access to a huge well-spring of user data which previously only Microsoft was receiving.

4. Spotify has introduced a new advertising option for brands in the form of ‘Playlist Targeting’. Adexchanger reports that it will grant brands access to what playlists people are listening to make it easier to target them with ads. For example, those listening to Spotify’s workout playlist would be optimal candidates for sports and health ads.

5. The New York Times has questioned corporate messaging app Slack’s chief executive Stewart Butterfield on the company’s mammoth $2.8bn valuation. Butterfield simply said Slack is worth the $3bn “because people say it is”.

6. SpaceX has released footage of its failed attempt to land a rocket in a ship, in attempt to re-use the highly-expensive craft. Painfully close to succeeding, Elon Musk admitted the vessel came in "too hard for survival".

7. Instagram has tightened its guidelines to clamp down upon pornography and harassment on the site, states the Wall Street Journal. Nicky Jackson Colaco, Instagram public policy director, said: “In the old guidelines, we would say ‘don’t be mean’, now we’re actively saying you can’t harass people. The language is just stronger.”

8. And finally, Vox is reporting that the new trailer for Batman v. Superman has been leaked. Warner Bros has been actively demanding the removal of YouTube videos but the file has made it on to torrent sites and other platforms - it was supposed to be released 20 April.

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