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iHeartRadio Tops 100 Million Listeners
iHeartRadio hit a milestone, reaching more than 100 million listeners on its digital music, live streaming and podcasting service. In January, the company revealed two new subscription services—iHeartRadio Plus and iHeartRadio All Access—powered by Napster. eMarketer predicts there will be over 121 million US mobile phone music listeners in 2017.
Amazon Postpones Southeast Asia Entrance
Amazon has delayed its launch in Southeast Asia, which was expected to take place in Q1 2017, TechCrunch reports. The company has pushed that date to “later this year,” according to the news outlet. Amazon is starting to lag behind its main global competitor, Alibaba, in Southeast Asian markets. Alibaba purchased regional ecommerce platform Lazada in 2016 and has been forging partnerships with local ecommerce players since.
SoundCloud Raises $70 Million in Debt Funding
SoundCloud, which has been looking to raise more than $100 million since last summer, has raised $70 million in debt funding, according to Bloomberg. The online music service secured the line of credit from Ares Capital Corporation, Kreos Capital and Davidson Technology.
Alibaba Unveils Malaysia Distribution Hub
Alibaba continues to foster closer ties with Southeast Asian markets, this week announcing it would create a regional distribution hub in Malaysia. The new hub would be the first such logistics center outside of Alibaba’s home country of China. In addition, Alibaba signed other agreements with Malaysia’s government designed to foster cross-border ecommerce and help small to medium-sized businesses in the country get online. eMarketer estimates that retail ecommerce sales in Malaysia—excluding travel—will total $2.4 billion this year, but will make up just 1.7% of all retail sales in the country.
Who Even Watches DVDs Anymore?
Walmart created a solution for people who don’t watch their DVDs anymore, but still have them lying around. Vudu, the retail giant’s subscription-free video streaming service, is now able to adapt DVDs and Blu-rays into digital files from customer’s mobile phones.
India’s App Usage Shoots Up 43%
Mobile analytics firm Flurry reported that usage of apps in India grew 43% year over year in 2016, with usage of entertainment-focused apps increasing by 188%. Business and financial apps also saw strong gains, with use growing 176%, while shopping app usage increased 12%.
Will Reliance Jio Surive the End of Its Promotions? It Looks Good.
A recent survey of Reliance Jio’s users found that 96% planned to stay on with the India-based mobile service provider after its free voice and data promotions conclude at the end of March. Reliance Jio launched in late 2016 and grew a user base of more than 100 million people in less than six months through its free offerings, but observers questioned whether consumers would stick with the company once its generous promotions ended.
—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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