Technology • Internet & Web
Spotify launches support to video podcasts
Spotify launches support to video podcasts
Credit: Spotify

Spotify announced on Tuesday the global launch of video podcasts, a feature that allows users to watch the video content from a select group of creator podcasts.

In a direct response to YouTube, where only paid subscribers can listen to video content in the background, Spotify says all of its users will be able to seamlessly move between the video version and the audio.

Arts, Entertainment, Culture • TV & Movies
The ‘Snyder Cut’ of Justice League will be released on HBO Max
Zack Snyder’s director’s cut of the Justice League film
Zack Snyder’s director’s cut of the Justice League film Credit: HBO Max

Warner Bros. Pictures announced that a director's cut of Zack Snyder's 2017's DC Comics film “Justice League” will debut next year on the streaming service HBO Max.

“I want to thank HBO Max and Warner Brothers for this brave gesture of supporting artists and allowing their true visions to be realized. Also a special thank you to all of those involved in the SnyderCut movement for making this a reality,” said Snyder during a live video conference.

Arts, Entertainment, Culture • Music
Spotify launches group feature to synchronize music with friends
Spotfy app
Spotfy app Credit: Heidi Fin

The music and podcast streaming service Spotify has launched a new feature called "group session" that enables users to scan a host tag provided by the app and then synchronize what is played in real-time. The feature is currently in beta and users share the basic controls like playing, pausing, skipping and queuing.

Technology • Internet & Web
Kevin Mayer becomes TikTok’s new CEO
iPhone displaying the tik Tok app
iPhone displaying the tik Tok app Credit: Kon Karampelas

Kevin Mayer, the executive who led Disney's streaming efforts, is leaving the company to become the CEO of TikTok.

Founder Yiming Zhang will continue to serve as ByteDance CEO, while TikTok President Alex Zhu will become ByteDance’s VP of product and strategy.

Arts, Entertainment, Culture • TV & Movies
Season 5 of Netflix's Queer Eye to be released on June 5

Netflix announced that season 5 of Queer Eye will premiere on June 5. This season is set in Philadelphia and shows a return of all the Fab Five: Antoni Porowski, Bobby Berk, Jonathan Van Ness, Karamo Brown and Tan France.

Business • Media & Advertising
Spotify’s Premium subscriber base reachs 130 million users.
View from Spotify’s Stockholm HQ
View from Spotify’s Stockholm HQ Credit: Spotify

Spotify published its financial results for Q1 2020, reporting that it had 130 million Premium subscribers globally at the end of the quarter. That was up by 6m subscribers compared to the end of the prior quarter (Q4 2019) and up by 30m (+31%) compared to the same period last year.

The company stated it started seeing a fall in users in late February in virus-affected countries such as Italy and Spain, but has seen a meaningful recovery in the last few weeks.

Total revenue was €1.85 billion, an increase of 22% compared to last year, while premium subscription revenue grew by 23% reaching €1.70 billion.

Arts, Entertainment, Culture • TV & Movies
The Academy officially changes Oscar rules due to coronavirus

Movies that debuted on a streaming service without a theatrical run will be eligible for the Oscars, but only for the 2021 awards season, announced The Academy of Motion Pictures Arts and Sciences.

"Until further notice, and for the 93rd Awards year only, films that had a previously planned theatrical release but are initially made available on commercial streaming or VOD service may qualify in the Best Picture, general entry and specialty categories for the 93rd Academy Awards," the board said in a statement.