Roundup: Spotify buys Aussie company, Sam Frost, Streaming giants spend $600m

Sam frost

• AFTRS, Rokt smashes funding record, and Spotify adds ratings system

Business of Media

Streaming players invest more than $600m in Aussie content

Leading streaming entertainment services have dramatically upped their investment in Australian content in fiscal year 2021, investing $630 million in local content, reports AFR‘s Miranda Ward.

The figure is expected to be revealed in the Australian Communications and Media Authority’s second subscription video-on-demand Australian content investment report, which is expected to be published imminently.

The $630 million investment is well up on the almost $270 million spent by Netflix, Nine’s Stan, Disney+ and Amazon Prime Video on Australian content in FY2020.

[Read More]

Tech unicorn Rokt smashes funding record ahead of US IPO

Former Jetstar boss Bruce Buchanan’s tech unicorn Rokt has smashed the record for the largest single venture capital raising in Australian history with a $458m Series E funding round as its valuation nears $3bn ahead of a US initial public offering, reports News Corp’s David Swan.

The funding round for Lachlan Murdoch-backed Rokt was led by Tiger Global, which was an early investor in global tech giants such as Facebook, LinkedIn and Square. Existing investors including TDM Growth Partners, Square Peg, AustralianSuper and Hostplus also poured money into the e-commerce business, now worth $2.75bn.

Buchanan said that the raising represented a “coming of age” for both Rokt and Australian tech start-ups more broadly.

[Read More]


Sam Frost quits TV soap Home and Away after vaccine drama

Could Sam Frost be heading to Port Phillip Bay with news the reality-star-turned-actor is leaving Summer Bay? reports News Corp’s Jonathon Moran and Jackie Epstein.

The actor and former Bachelorette is returning to live in Melbourne after quitting TV soap Home and Away.

After a controversial time when she copped severe backlash after airing her vaccination views, it’s believed Frost wants to be closer to family and friends in Victoria.

She will film her final scenes on the production at Sydney’s Eveleigh Studios on Friday.

The news comes just a few weeks after Frost had announced she would finish off the year before being vaccinated.

In October, Frost announced she would be having the jab after sparking outrage when revealing on social media that she was holding off on the Covid vaccine and compared public backlash to those unvaccinated as “segregation”.

[Read More]

Sam Frost parties after quitting Home and Away over vaccination mandate

Sam Frost doesn’t seem too upset to be quitting Home and Away, “celebrating” with a co-star hours after the news broke last night, reports

Frost uploaded a short video to her Instagram story showing her partying with her Home and Away co-star Nicholas Cartwright, who plays Cash Newman on the show.

Cartwright, who can be seen inhaling from a hookah pipe in the video, shared it to his Instagram account with the caption “Celebrate!”

[Read More]

Industry placements for AFTRS graduates

The Australian Film Television and Radio School has announced 14 recipients of its expanded 2021 AFTRS Graduate Program, reports TV Tonight.

Graduates are given hands-on experience and the opportunity to be involved in a variety of roles, including development, production, marketing and programming, during a 13-week paid internship.

Graduates Skye Leon and Jasmine Stokes will join the ABC, Kayla Groombridge and Tace Stevens will join BBC Studios, Tatjana Hamilton and Michael Odewahn-Oxley will join Endemol Shine Australia, Keziah Zen-Aloush will join Eureka, Faraz Anarwala will join Fremantle, Ruby Langsworth will join ITV Studios Australia, Raquel Cuevas will join SBS, Aemon Barzanji will join Sky News Australia, Stella Sciberras will join Warner Bros. and Andrew Burvill and Melissa Brooks will join WildBear Entertainment.

[Read More]


Spotify buys company that turns radio shows into podcasts

Spotify has acquired Whooshkaa, an Australian podcasting platform that allows radio broadcasters to turn their shows into monetizable podcasts, reports The Hollywood Reporter’s J. Clara Chan.

Using Whooshkaa’s technology, broadcasters are able to record live broadcasts and edit out ads that can be replaced with dynamic, podcast-only ads. Following the acquisition, Whooshkaa’s technology will be integrated into Megaphone, the podcast advertising and publishing platform that Spotify acquired last year, and the audio giant will be able to add more third-party audio content to its library.

Financial terms of the deal were not disclosed. A Spotify spokesperson said the company is not planning for any staffing changes to Whooshkaa following the acquisition, and any employees who choose to join Spotify after the transaction is finalized will become full-time Spotify employees.

[Read More]

Spotify to add user ratings to podcasts

Spotify will allow listeners to submit their star ratings of podcasts as part of a new feature rolling out on Thursday that takes a page from Apple’s playbook, reports The Hollywood Reporter’s J. Clara Chan.

The feature will be available in most Spotify markets globally, except for Russia and Turkey, at launch. Users will only be able to submit a rating after they have listened to at least 30 seconds of the show, and the company has begun encouraging podcast hosts to start adding shout-outs in their shows to encourage listeners to leave ratings on Spotify.

Podcast creators will be able to check their star ratings — ranked from 1 to 5 stars — on their show pages as soon as the show has at least 10 ratings.

The star rating system follows a feature Apple has offered for its apps and podcasts for several years, though with any user-generated rating system, there can be instances of users intentionally targeting a show or app with 1-star ratings for reasons other than the quality of the show or product.

As for now, Spotify’s rating system will stick with the five-star ranking and users will not be allowed to write in reviews, as is the case with Apple’s approach to ratings.

[Read More]

To Top