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Tech Google Tidal

The Drum’s top ten tech disruptions of the week - Toshiba humanoids, Tidal flops, & Google's Mobilegeddon


By John McCarthy, Opinion editor

April 24, 2015 | 4 min read

It’s been a busy week in technology. Here The Drum has rounded up 10 of the top tech innovations that have been touted this week as capable of disrupting the world as we know it.

1. NBA team the Atlanta Hawks chose to exclusively sell some matchday ticket packages through Twitter. This is the first major uptake of the Twitter ‘Buy’ button in the sports industry and could well represent a sign of things to come.

2. Jay Z’s up-start music streaming service Tidal dropped out of the top 700 apps on the US iPhone chart, signaling that it may not ‘change the course of history’ as he first predicted. The slump came days after the departure of the brand’s chief executive Andy Chen after only a month in charge.

3. Netflix looks to be substantially eating into traditional US TV viewing. Analyst Michael Nathanson estimated that the 10 billion hours of video streamed via Netflix last quarter may be largely responsible for the 43 per cent ratings decline major networks saw.

4. Toshiba debuted its Aiko Chihira humanoid robot debuts as a greeter at Japanese department store. The robot is capable of communicating in many ways including Chinese and sign language but has not yet been programmed to respond to customer queries.

5. Google unleashed its ‘Mobilegeddon’ on the world, a search algorithm update designed to give mobile-friendly sites prominence in results on smartphone. Despite all the fear-mongering surrounding the event, Kareem Harper, vice-president of measurement and analytics for Weber Shandwick, told The Drum that “Mobilegeddon is an ideal opportunity to stop and re-assess your website strategy to align with best practices. Not just for Google points, but to ensure you’re curating the best possible user experience for your audiences and customers”.

6. The head of Pret A Manger offered up a unique customer loyalty scheme non-reliant upon “complicated Clubcard-style analysis” or tech-driven data-gathering. Instead Clive Schlee suggested that staff should - and do - give away free coffee and drinks to customers they like or “fancy”.

7. Wikipedia closed an account it asserted was operated by Conservative chairman Grant Shapps “or someone acting on his behalf” to edit rival’s entries. As the site grows in prominence as the go-to point for information, there may be more bans to come from those trying to alter history in the pre-election scrabble.

8. A German court ruled that AdBlock Plus, a web extension which blocks online adverts, was judged a lawful tool for consumers use. The ruling was reached despite the programme’s capability to harm the earning power of websites reliant upon web advertising revenue.

9. Twitter was among a number of companies which invested in beacon marketing firm Swirl’s $18m funding round. Using the platform, retailers, brand advertisers and publishers will be able to deliver programmatic content via bluetooth to nearby consumers on their mobiles.

10. The EU is considering founding a tech company watchdog to track the actions of internet companies such as Facebook and Google in the region. In a list of to watch companies, only five were founded outside of the US.

Tech Google Tidal

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