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Something for the weekend

The weekend is here and to celebrate, here is a list of what the Starcounters have been talking about in the news.

Holland & Barrett

Starcount client Holland & Barrett have announced it will hire several hundred engineers, designers, testers and product managers over the next two years to increase the momentum of its ‘digital transformation’. H&B want to build in-house capabilities that allow the company to be more digitally focused. Chief Technology Officer George Goley says, “We recognise the need to become digitally-enabled and interact with customers when and how they want to in a convenient way.” Online sales grew by 32% in the year ended September 2018 and this growth is expected to continue.

https://www.thegrocer.co.uk/hiring-and-firing/holland-and-barrett-to-embark-on-mass-hiring-in-digital-push/591929.article

Disney+

Disney is bravely embracing new technological trends as it announces the launch of its new streaming service Disney+. It won’t, however, be launched until November in the United States. The delay is largely due to the complications of taking back the streaming rights for its content previously sold to other platforms. CEO Bob Iger has described the success of the streaming platform as the companies ‘biggest priority’. As the number of streaming services grows, life after ‘cutting the cord’ gets increasingly complex…

https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/technology-47904958

Game of Thrones

Marketing for Game of Thrones has reached previously unseen levels. According to The Wall Street Journal, the marketing budget is around $20 million, and this stretches far beyond the realms of TV advertising. But is it all too much? Hotel partnerships, t-shirts, fashion partnerships, White Walker whiskey and the like have arisen but, are they really selling the show? The effects of this behemoth campaign will be interesting to see. #ForTheThrone

https://www.wired.com/story/game-of-thrones-marketing/

Amazon Alexa

Alexa causes more and more angst amongst consumers as it’s listening capability improves. Security concerns are mounting after the company admitted it listened in on conversations to improve speech recognition. Alexa’s AI has been unable to identify some words and phrases which is instead being done manually. Alexa does not currently allow owners to opt out of voice recording but individuals can block such files being used for further product development or delete archived recordings. Over 100 million devices have been sold but the details on usage are somewhat vague.

https://www.thedrum.com/news/2019/04/12/security-fears-raised-alexa-listens-conversations-train-its-ai

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