1. Apple Launches 4 New Services
Apple’s highly anticipated “It’s Show Time” event featuring hosts Oprah Winfrey, Reese Witherspoon, and Steven Spielberg happened Monday. Not only did they unveil the streaming service that everyone was waiting for, but they released a number of other new services too. Here are the highlights:
• Apple TV+: Apple TV will give customers direct access to channels like HBO, CBS, and Showtime. Apple TV+ will feature a new streaming service that includes original content.
• Apple News+: For $9.99/month, customers can subscribe to get news from 300 of Apple’s new partners including The Wall Street Journal and National Geographic. Publishers like the New York Times didn’t join because Apple wanted a 50% cut.
• Apple Card: Users can apply for the card on their iPhone, which is digitally stored on the Wallet app. The app will show statements, balances, and tags of locations and retailers where purchases were made. Users can also get a physical titanium card that will provide a 1% cashback reward. Digital users will earn a 2% reward as the card is backed by Goldman Sachs and Mastercard.
• Apple Arcade: The new gaming subscription service will give users access to more than 100 games available through the App Store and produced by large and indie game developers. Users can play games on all their Apple devices.
2. Tonight Show Filmed on Galaxy S10+
Jimmy Fallon kicked off Monday’s Tonight Show with a video selfie outside of Rockefeller Center. “I asked NBC if we could possibly do a whole show shot on a phone, and they said yes. And then Samsung heard about our idea and gave us a bunch of Galaxy S10+ phones to play with,” Fallon told viewers. Fallon then ventured around NYC with guests to show his audience some of his favorite spots, the entire episode filmed on the phone. Why a Samsung? The collaboration is part of a bigger marketing deal between Samsung and NBCUniversal. Patricio Paucar, Samsung’s VP of marketing, explained that having a TV program showcase a product might help Samsung to “break through the noise and get people to engage…as opposed to showing [products] on a screen in a commercial.” The ironic part? Fallon is an iPhone user.
3. Gjirafa Secures $6.7M to Expand
Albanian tech company Gjirafa made headlines after receiving a $6.7M investment to expand across the Balkan region. The company offers all kind of Internet services for people who speak Albanian. Gjirafa started in 2013 as a search engine and went on to digitize Albania’s information from local businesses to bus timetables. The company also launched Netflix equivalents GjirafaVideo and GjirafaStudio, an Amazon-like e-commerce network GjirafaMall, and GjirafaAdNetwork, a service similar to Google’s advertising platform. What’s next? While Albania’s population is less than 3M, there are over 12M Albanian speakers in other countries worldwide. The company hopes to grow and will be doubling the size of its team after the investment. As the fastest growing tech company in the Albanian-speaking Balkan region, it’s currently experiencing as much revenue growth as Google did between 2001 and 2004.