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Starbucks Is Testing a Mobile Order-Only Location
Starbucks plans to trial a dedicated mobile order and pay store within its Seattle headquarters, Reuters reports. The coffee giant will begin testing out the new concept next week. Mobile orders from the building’s more than 5,000 employees will be routed to the new location.
Apple Sets Indonesia Investment
Indonesia’s Ministry of Industry announced that Apple plans to invest $44 million in a research and development lab to be built in the country. The move would help Apple comply with a government rule requiring that it locally source a proportion of components for electronic devices like the iPhone to sell them in Indonesia. eMarketer projects smartphone users in the country will number 67.1 million this year.
Verizon Might Tackle Cord-Cutting with Streaming Service
In an effort to tackle cord-cutting, Verizon Communications is in the process of setting up a streaming service package that will be available sometime this year, CNBC reports. AT&T and Dish Network provide similar products with DirecTV Now and Sling TV. A September 2016 survey from PricewaterHouse Coopers (PwC) found that almost half of US cord-cutters would resubscribe to pay TV if they could customize the package to exactly the channels they wanted.
Snapchat Makes Searching for Stories Easier
Snapchat is letting its users search across more than 1 million public Stories via a new feature it released in select cities. According to TechCrunch, users can find Stories relevant to their interests by keyword.
Indian Smartphone OS Indus Raises Funds
Indus OS, the India-based mobile operating system focusing on local languages, has raised new funds from two venture capital firms, according to MediaNama. Indus says it has 6 million users and supports 12 local languages and dialects in India. While English and Hindi are more common in the country’s largest cities, most people outside of those areas speak a different language.
Google Brings VR to Berlin’s Dancefloors
A new project from Google allows techno music fans to experience Berlin club culture through virtual reality. In collaboration with underground music platform Boiler Room, “VR dancefloors: Techno in Berlin” can be viewed on Google Pixel or any phone enabled with Google’s VR platform Daydream. Four in 10 marketers in Germany plan to include VR in their 2017 marketing strategies, according to Marketo.
Unilever Pairs with Lazada in Southeast Asia
Fast-moving consumer goods (FMCG) giant Unilever announced a partnership with Southeast Asia-focused ecommerce platform Lazada last week. Lazada and Unilever plan to collaborate to address logistical challenges, as well as to pool consumer data for marketing purposes. Lazada has seen strong growth in FMCG categories over the past few years.
—Rahul Chadha, Rebecca Chadwick, Rimma Kats
US paid media ad spending will grow steadily in 2017, on the heels of a strong 2016 boosted by the Rio Olympics and the presidential election. A focus on mobile will fuel growth, pushing total media spend to more than $206 billion this year—a moderate increase of 6.1%.
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