Glu Mobile Wants To Build Streaming Games; Shazam's Data Collection Is Scrutinized

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Streaming Play

Downloading apps is such a pain. Developer Glu Mobile Inc. wants to create games that users can stream, Bloomberg reports. Rather than sifting through the app store, users can access streams via links on mobile web, text, email or social. Glu Mobile hopes streaming will not only create a better user experience, but offer more brand awareness and discoverability for apps. This could be bad for Apple and Google, which take a 30% or greater cut every time a user downloads one of the 2 million apps in their respective stores. But there are some drawbacks to the streaming hack. “You need a constant network connection,” said Forrester analyst Mike Facemire. “The offline network capabilities are obviated. There’s a difference between having a connection, and having a good connection.” More.

‘Listening’ Apps Under The Lens

Shazam got called out this week by Patrick Wardle, research director at the cybersecurity firm Synack and a former NSA staffer, for continuously recording on its Mac Desktop version even when the app is toggled off. Shazam acknowledged the practice, but explained to the IT trade pub The Register that the data is “used exclusively to find a match in Shazam’s database and then deleted.” Still, Wardle contends that a malware operator could clone or steal the recording before it’s deleted without triggering any alerts. Shazam’s response: “Even though we don't recognize a meaningful risk, the company will be updating its Mac app within the next few days.” More.

Network Woes

Univision will lay off 6% of its workforce after a slump in earnings this quarter. Most of these cuts will come from millennial site Fusion, which will be folded under Gizmodo Media Group along with African-American cultural site The Root. The Spanish-language network reported a net loss of $30.5 million, and revenue was down 8% to $735 million. Univision’s response to a growing network of cord-cutters is to focus on capturing the attention of English-speaking, digitally savvy millennials. It began that pivot by acquiring Gawker Media this past summer. “We need to position ourselves for the future,” said Isaac Lee, news, entertainment and digital chief at Univision. More at The Washington Post.

Smarter Ads

Facebook released a retail ad format featuring a main piece of creative with multiple product ads underneath. Instagram debuted a similar product earlier this month that lets users tap an image to view product details and then tap again to visit a retail site [AdExchanger coverage]. With the new ecommerce ads, the first touch goes to a Facebook-hosted product listing and the second goes to a retailer. “Instead of focusing too much on targeting a user with a single product, the goal is to give people enough items that might prompt them to shop more,” writes Marty Swant at Adweek.

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