Recommended Reading: May 1, 2017 - eMarketer
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Recommended Reading: May 1, 2017

eMarketer’s scan of the key developments of the day, plus data to make sense of it all

May 1, 2017

Amazon Makes Alexa Sound More Human

Amazon has added a new set of speaking skills for its virtual assistant, Alexa. Via the new feature, she’ll be able to whisper and take a breath to pause for emphasis—as well as adjust the rate, pitch and volume of her speech, TechCrunch reports.

Qualcomm Warns of Profit Hit as Apple Holds Back Royalties

Qualcomm is forecasting a lower-than-expected current-quarter profit, pointing to its ongoing dispute with Apple about licensing fees as the cause. Apple said it had decided to withhold royalty payments to its contract manufacturers until the dispute is resolved in court.

SoftBank to Invest Over $1.5 Billion in Paytm

SoftBank is set to put roughly $1.8 billion into One97 Communications, which runs digital wallet firm Paytm. This is expected to be the single largest round of funding for an India-based digital commerce company, The Economic Times reports, and the deal will “value the Noida-based company at around $9 billion and provide a 20% stake to SoftBank.”

Verizon Invests in Self-Driving Tech Startup

Verizon has invested in Renovo Auto, an autonomous-vehicle tech startup. According to The Wall Street Journal, the company is looking to create a universal self-driving car software “similar to an operating system like Microsoft Windows or Google Android” that would help car manufacturers control their software and data across a group of shared vehicles.

—Rimma Kats

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As programmatic advertising matures, buyers and sellers no longer see it merely as a means of automating processes, but rather as an advanced method of controlling ad campaigns—and better targeting the audiences that come with them. Preview Report

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