Recommended Reading: May 23, 2017 - eMarketer
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Recommended Reading: May 23, 2017

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

May 23, 2017

Amazon Expands Drone Effort in France

Amazon has opened a research and development facility near Paris to house a team of software engineers tasked with contributing to the ecommerce giant’s effort to create a dedicated traffic management system for its drone-powered delivery system, Prime Air. The French team joins a network of Prime Air development centers based in the US, UK, Austria and Israel already at work on integrating drones into the global air traffic control ecosystem.

Will Twitter Offer a Premium Subscription Service?

Speaking to investors on Monday, Twitter CEO Jack Dorsey was asked if the company would consider a subscription model. According to Recode, the idea has been floating around for a while, and it’s something the company is looking into. “We’re always talking with our customers around what could be and what they’d like to see, and this is an idea that has come up,” he said. “We don’t have any particular plans to announce today but we’re always looking at those patterns, that feedback and understanding if it’s the right thing to do for the greater Twitter audience.”

Spotify Buys AI Startup

Streaming music service Spotify has purchased Paris-based machine learning startup Niland for an undisclosed sum. Spotify believes Niland’s artificial intelligence (AI) technology will help improve Spotify’s recommendation and personalization technologies. It’s the Stockholm-based company’s fourth acquisition of 2017.

JD.com Looks to Drones to Serve Rural Areas

China-based ecommerce platform JD.com is working on a plan to use low-altitude drones to deliver goods to rural areas in the northwestern province of Shaanxi. The test program would rely on air bases to deliver goods within a 300-kilometer (about 186-mile) radius, both to cities and more remote areas. The use of drones could dramatically alter ecommerce in China, which has regions that lack delivery infrastructure.

Norway’s Media Team for Fact-Checking Push

Norway is the latest democracy to see its media titans pool resources to battle fake news in the run-up to a major election. Faktisk, a nonprofit fact-checking organization formed by newspapers Verdens Gang and Dagbladet and broadcasters NRK and TV 2, will launch July 4, according to Digiday. Norway has a parliamentary election scheduled for September 11.

—Cliff Annicelli, Rahul Chadha and Rimma Kats

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