Despite a rough year for digital media, Blavity and The Shade Room are thriving

Last week at TechCrunch Disrupt, TechCrunch media and advertising reporter Anthony Ha sat down with Blavity CEO Morgan DeBaun and The Shade Room CEO Angelica Nwandu to chat about their respective media companies, 2020 in the media world and how they view a recent conversation inside of media to hire and retain more diverse workforces. […]

Ron Howard and Brian Grazer say that their accelerator can help diversify Hollywood

Impact Creative Systems (formerly Imagine Impact) is bringing a startup accelerator-style approach to finding fresh creative talent, and it announced this morning that, with funding from venture capital firm Benchmark,  it’s spinning out from Imagine Entertainment — the production company founded by director Ron Howard and producer Brian Grazer. Right after the news broke, the […]

Prox helps influencers and experts make money by connecting with fans

If you’ve got a large online following, as well as knowledge that might be valuable to that audience, Prox is a startup currently in beta testing that’s building tools to help you make money. Michael Mathieu, formerly the CEO of YuMe, joined Prox as CEO in January. The goal, he told me, is to create […]

Facebook introduces a co-viewing experience in Messenger, ‘Watch Together’

Facebook today is rolling out a new feature that will allow friends and family to watch videos together over Messenger. The feature, called “Watch Together,” works with all Facebook Watch video content, including its original programs, user uploads, creator content, live streams and, soon, music videos. At launch, the co-watching experience can be used by […]

Podcast analytics and attribution startup Chartable raises $2.25M

Chartable, a startup known for its authoritative podcast download charts, is announcing that it has raised $2.25 million in seed funding. Founders Dave Zohrob and Harish Agarwal previously worked together at AngelList, and they also created Hacker Daily, a podcast recapping the headlines from Hacker News. Zohrob (Chartable’s CEO) told me their experience hosting a […]

Taboola and Outbrain call off their $850M merger

Online advertising is a game of scale, but one attempt to consolidate two competitors to better take on Google and Facebook has fallen apart. Taboola and Outbrain, startups that each provide publishers with ad-based content recommendation platforms, have called off a planned $850 million merger that would have valued the combined company at more than […]

Apple expands its podcast footprint with Oprah’s Book Club series

Apple is expanding its investment in podcasts. Today, Apple Books and Oprah announced the launch of “Oprah’s Book Club” podcast, an eight-episode series that will explore themes related to Oprah’s Book Club pick and bestseller, “Caste: The Origins of Our Discontents,” by Pulitzer Prize-winning journalist and author Isabel Wilkerson. The podcast is the first to […]

Media Roundup: Patreon joins unicorn club, Facebook could ban news in Australia, more

Welcome to the very first edition of Extra Crunch’s Media Roundup. Over the past few months, we’ve launched features like Decrypted, Deep Science and The Exchange, which aggregate and analyze the latest news in a given sector, so it seemed overdue to do something similar for media. The goal is to provide a regular update […]

Facebook Watch is getting 1.25B visitors each month

Facebook is sharing some new growth numbers around its video destination — namely, that Facebook Watch is now receiving more than 1.25 billion visitors every month. The company isn’t saying specifically how those numbers have changed during the pandemic (when video services like Netflix have seen dramatic growth), but product lead Paresh Rajwat said there […]

Microsoft launches a deepfake detector tool ahead of US election

Microsoft has added to the slowly growing pile of technologies aimed at spotting synthetic media (aka deepfakes) with the launch of a tool for analyzing videos and still photos to generate a manipulation score. The tool, called Video Authenticator, provides what Microsoft calls “a percentage chance, or confidence score” that the media has been artificially […]