1. Amazon Bids on Disney’s Networks
Amazon aims to increase its offerings for Prime subscribers after bidding on all 22 of Disney’s regional sports networks acquired from Fox in a merger earlier this year. Disney, who currently owns ESPN, is ready to sell the channels in order to attain consent for the other assets covered by the acquisition. The added channels—including frontrunner, the YES Network with the New York Yankees—will allow Amazon to broadcast games for 40+ teams from the National Hockey League, NBA, and Major League Baseball. Although this category of entertainment may seem unusual for Amazon, the company has been investing in a future in sports content for a long time—currently streaming 11 Thursday Night Football games through their NFL deal.
2. Instagram Counters Fake Activity
Facebook-owned app, Instagram, announced their movement to tackle inauthentic activity on the app by removing fake likes, follows, and comments by users seeking to escalate their popularity. Instagram has become an instrument for online influencers to collect a large follower base and then receive payments to market products to these followers. The company has created tools to recognize when these automated services are being used to expand their audiences. Instagram states that “every day people come to Instagram to have real experiences, including genuine interactions,” and hopes this will discourage users from giving their account login information to third-party tools which, in turn, will lessen the number of hacked and spammed accounts.
(Source: AdAge, BBC, TechCrunch)
3. Apple Modernizes Medical Records
Apple has joined Amazon and Google in the pursuit to dominate the healthcare industry. Apple has been in discussion with the US Department of Veterans Affairs to deliver access to electronic medical records via the iPhone. These efforts could stimulate future partnerships with medical institutions to allow iPhone operating systems to function as a tool for storing and sharing health data. Apple first began these plans last year, but the company is reportedly on track to distribute medical records for up to 9M US veterans to facilitate hospital visits and treatment delivery times. Later, Apple will likely expand to offer additional health services such as prescription refills via their Health app.