Skip links
top weekly news

The Week that Was – IT & Media major news checklist

This week went by with giant tech and media companies competing about who will be the leading podcast company; tech platforms’ financial reports for the first quarter showing all of the major ones had better results than expected monetizing from the pandemic and European Parliament being active in ruling on competition, social media responsibility and talking about sexism.

Pandemic financials

  • Q1 financial results were released by all major IT and Social Media companies, with strong revenues (1,2 trillion for Google, Apple, Facebook, Amazon and Microsoft – the ‘GAFAM’ – and we have also included Pinterest, Spotify and Netflix), but post-pandemic landscape raises questions regarding users’ acquisition and engagement challenges.
  • Gaming business is growing in the pandemic with US spending on the industry up 30% in the first quarter this year to USD 14.92 billion. Bored people locked up is one explanation but new launches like PlayStation 5 and Xbox-series consoles also contributed to the growth.


All giants fight for audio dominance

Audio has proved to be the new competition arena with all giants fighting for a dominant position. Spotify announced its own paid subscription platform where podcasters can charge extra for exclusive content. It’s for free the first two years and after that fee will only be 5%. Facebook and Spotify announced cooperation to play music and podcasts directly on the social media. The announcements came days after Apple launched a podcast service similar to Spotify’s.

Actions against Apple and Google’s dominance from regulators

  • EU Commission’s said Apple’s rules for streaming music distort competition by raising the costs of competing music streaming app developers. Spotify had submitted a complaint two years ago. Apple have time to comment before the Commission takes final decision including possible fine.
  • Apple’s and Google’s app stores were in focus at a recent US Senate hearing accused of being too dominant and blocking competition. The Australian competition authority joined the critics saying measures are needed to address the app stores’  dominance.

Content Regulation on Social Media

The European Parliament approved the proposed EU law forcing big tech platforms to remove terrorist content within an hour of publication, but Internet platforms will not have a general obligation to monitor or filter content. Civil rights groups have expressed concerns about the proposal.

Privacy vs targeting

The conflict between privacy and targeting advertising was stressed when Apple released its new iOS 14.5 for iPhones and iPads that allows users to refuse identifier used for targeting advertising in apps. Apple says the option of not using the IDFA (identifier for advertisers) is introduced out of respect for privacy while Facebook and other advertisers have objected they fear it will hit their advertising business.


European expansion plans for media

  • Netflix announced it is opening a Nordic office based in Stockholm in the second half of 2021. It will work as a hub for the region with a small satellite office in Copenhagen.
  • Italian commercial broadcaster Mediaset, owned by the Berlusconi family, announced that it is planning a European expansion and that it will move its headquarters from Milan to the Netherlands.


Sofagate addressed in the EU Parliament

Three weeks after the incident in Ankara, where the President of the European Commission was embarrassingly left standing by two counterparts, Ursula von der Leyen blamed sexism for the “sofagate”. No names mentioned she pointed at host Recep Tayyip Erdogan but at least as much to colleague Charles Michel, President of the European Council, who left her standing while he comfortably adjusted himself at the only offered chair.

Moonshot News is an independent European news website for all IT, Media and Advertising professionals, powered by women and with a focus on driving the narrative for diversity, inclusion and gender equality in the industry.

Our mission is to provide top and unbiased information for all professionals and to make sure that women get their fair share of voice in the news and in the spotlight!

We produce original content, news articles, a curated calendar of industry events and a database of women IT, Media and Advertising associations.

    Do you want an experienced opinion on a job issue?
    Moonshot Manager is here to answer!

      Moonshot community sharing thoughts and ideas, in a anonymous, safe environment.