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- Peacock Launches 24-Hour 'Road to Tokyo' Olympics Stream
- Could Twitter's QAnon Crackdown Be Followed by Others?
- 'The Interchange' Launches to Connect L.A. Startups to Potential Recruits
- LA-Based CreatorIQ Marketing Platform Picks up $24M
Peacock Launches 24-Hour 'Road to Tokyo' Olympics Streammulticolored signagePhoto by Kyle Dias on Unsplash
As NBCUniversal prepared for its entry into the streaming wars, it looked to the 2020 Summer Olympics as a valuable tool to build interest and win over viewers. Because the company owns the rights to broadcast the games, it planned to use them to give what would ultimately be called Peacock some wind beneath its wings.
The coronavirus pandemic took the air out of those plans, but with the Tokyo Olympics having moved to the summer of 2021, the streaming service has adjusted. Peacock has launched a new 24/7 stream devoted to the games, which the service announced in a statement on Wednesday.
With the new "Road to Tokyo" channel, Peacock viewers will have access to continuous content "dedicated to Olympic and Paralympic classic moments, documentaries and studio programming," the statement said. This "pop-up channel" is one of Peacock's so-called linear feeds, where users tune into the channel but don't choose what they watch. Other channels include feeds centered around Saturday Night Live, The Office and Keeping Up with the Kardashians.
Peacock also announced it will feature a collection of NBC Olympics documentaries on its app, and produce three exclusive new specials "to prepare fans for what could be the most meaningful Olympics ever."
The games are now scheduled to begin on June 23, 2021. Although their delay has hindered NBCU's ability to market Peacock, the company is still turning to them as a tool to attract subscribers and goose excitement for its prized assets.
Could Twitter's QAnon Crackdown Be Followed by Others?
Twitter announced Tuesday evening that it began cracking down on accounts related to QAnon, the conspiracy theory that has gained traction across social media platforms. And there's a good chance other companies will follow suit, USC professor Nenad Medvidovic told dot.LA.
The company pledged to suspend accounts tweeting about "these topics that we know are engaged in violations of our multi-account policy, coordinating abuse around individual victims, or are attempting to evade a previous suspicion."
"What Twitter did is not entirely unilateral," Medvidovic, a computer science professor, told dot.LA. "There's actually a concerted effort in connection with other media platforms. The pressure definitely does build."
Twitter, Facebook, and Snapchat are independent companies that make their own decisions related to First Amendment issues, Medvidovic said. Still, it seems many of them are working off the same playbook when it comes to addressing and managing misinformation.
QAnon is a far-right conspiracy theory that revolves around unfounded claims of a "deep state" attack against President Trump. An individual going by the name "Q" first posted his theories back in 2017. The group has since falsely accused actors and politicians of running a child sex trafficking ring. Recently, attacks fell on celebrity Chrissy Teigen after she spoke out against Twitter critics who claimed the company was wrongfully censoring users.
Medviovic says that while QAnon is considered mostly a fringe movement, its messaging and actions are reaching the mainstream. Once it begins to incite violence, First Amendment protections are no longer guaranteed, Medviovic said.
Plus, Twitter is a private platform that can set its own rules and restrictions.
"I think the issue here is that it was bleeding into the real world and potentially encroaching on people's safety," Medviovic said. "I can definitely see something like QAnon being checked more consistently across the board."
Twitter says it no longer highlights QAnon posts in search and trending topics and will block URLs associated with the conspiracy theory from being shared on its site.
"As we work at scale to protect the public conversation in the face of evolving threats, we'll continue to lead with transparency and offer more context on our efforts," Twitter wrote.
'The Interchange' Launches to Connect L.A. Startups to Potential Recruits
VC firm Crosscut announced Wednesday the launch of a new, free platform for L.A.-based jobseekers, built in partnership with PledgeLA and the Annenberg Foundation.
The listings of L.A. startup jobs is called the "Interchange." It aggregates startup jobs across the city in an effort to make early-stage tech opportunities more open and accessible.
PledgeLA is an initiative sponsored by the Annenberg Foundation and the mayor of Los Angeles to promote civic engagement and diversity within the tech community. Its 222 signatories span L.A.'s venture capital and tech community, all of whom have pledged to work toward improving equity and transparent reporting on their diversity efforts.
The Interchange uses the Monday.vc platform, which is now called Getro, to aggregate regional startup jobs rather than relying on companies to post opportunities on job boards or LinkedIn, said Calvin Selth, AnnenbergTech's program lead. The platform automatically scrapes each company's career page daily to make sure its listings are up to date.
One result from PledgeLA's 2nd annual survey found that underrepresented minorities were less likely to get their jobs through referrals. Interchange is an attempt to offer "a place to direct local underrepresented jobseekers to startup opportunities here in LA," Selth said. "We felt like this was a way to increase transparency about available roles while also helping startups that need build more diverse talent pipelines."
The platform focuses on startups that have fewer than 1,000 employees, is primarily a tech company, headquartered or has a technical team in L.A., makes more than $1 million in annual revenue or raises more than $1 million in venture capital, was founded after 2010 and is privately held, Selth said.
Crosscut head of platform, Nick Kim, said that early-stage tech startups are often cash constrained so post jobs on their own boards or use their networks to fill the top of hiring funnels.
"For marginalized or underrepresented people looking for high growth opportunities in tech, this means they might never see the best jobs before they're filled," Kim said. "Our goal is for all communities in LA, especially those who are not well represented in tech, to have access to the opportunities tech startups are hiring for. We hope that Interchange becomes a starting point for the promising talent that might have previously had less access to opportunity."
LA-Based CreatorIQ Marketing Platform Picks up $24M
CreatorIQ is expanding their cloud after announcing today that they raised $24 million in a series C round.
The investment was led by Kayne Partners Fund with contributions from Kayne Anderson Capital Advisors, L.P., TVC Capital and Unilever Ventures.
The Los Angeles-based marketing software company was founded in 2014 and recently named a leader in the "Forrester New Wave: Influencer Marketing Solutions Report." It's now among Forrester's list of rapidly growing software programs.
CVS, Disney, H&M, Mattel, Salesforce, Sephora and Unilever are some of the many well-known companies that already use CreatorIQ's platform to collect and analyze their marketing data for discovery, workflow and privacy.
The $24 million raised will allow the company to enter new partnerships with Collectively, Digital Brand Architects, Everywhere Agency, ShopStyle Collective and Sway Group. The funds will also allow CreatorIQ to expand its current data offerings and further develop elements of their system's user experience, data science and paid media components.
"As Marketing leaders accelerate their transformation strategies to close their in-house gaps across their marketing capabilities, they are uniting best-in-class technologies with leading data providers," said Igor Vaks, CreatorIQ's founder and CEO in a press release.
The company will also soon introduce a new learning machine it said will use analytics to power visual insights and, in turn, increase brand safety, content prediction, and recommendations. Called One60, the program will allow CreatorIQ's companies to host their own technology and data in one place.
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A new survey of the Los Angeles venture capital and tech community released Wednesday has found that white employees have a leg up on jobs through their personal networks and female tech employees continue to earn less than the national average, at 71 cents to their male counterparts' $1, among other findings.
The results were provided as part of the second annual survey by PledgeLA, an initiative created by the Annenberg Foundation and the mayor of Los Angeles to promote civic engagement and diversity within the tech community.
PledgeLA has 222 signatories from L.A.'s venture capital and tech community, including Beyond Meat, Honey, Fernish, FabFitFun, Snap, Soylent and Sweetgreen, who have pledged to "increase our community engagement by supporting organizations that are making a difference throughout Los Angeles," "actively and continuously improve equity, diversity, and inclusion at all levels of our organizations and in our investment decisions," and "hold ourselves accountable by measuring and transparently reporting on our progress and impact on these outcomes." (Note: dot.LA is a PledgeLA signatory.)
On the diversity front, "PledgeLA VCs fail to reflect the diversity of Los Angeles both within firms and in their investments," the report found, noting that Latinx, Black and women founders were among the most underrepresented groups.
"We still have much work to do, but know that our driven coalition of leaders from tech, venture capital, city government, and philanthropy are committed to helping bring ever more Angelenos into high-paying jobs and most importantly, to the decision-making table," said Cinny Kennard, executive director of the Annenberg Foundation.
Key findings from participating firms include:
- White employees overwhelmingly get their jobs through referrals and personal networks while people of color typically apply through LinkedIn or a company website.
- PledgeLA participating companies are more racially diverse than Silicon Valley, with a larger share of under-represented minorities at employee and manager levels
- PledgeLA participating companies are twice as likely to back female founders, but women still make up only 18% of their investments.
- There is virtual gender parity among employees and managers, especially compared to the more male-dominated Silicon Valley, even as pay lags. Women from under-represented minority groups only make up 5% of the workforce.
- While 74% of L.A. County is nonwhite, 44% of participating VC firms are nonwhite. That's roughly similar to the 45% from last year's survey.
- Firms are still more white and male among their senior leaders and executives, with men making up 58% of all leadership and white VCs making up 52%.
- Most VCs, especially non-white VCs, are "unsure" of how fair raises and promotions are.
- Women VCs earn about $18,000 less than their male peers, or roughly 82 cents per a man's $1.
- 8% of VCs reported experiencing misconduct, including sexual harassment, at the job or a work-related event.
Austin Clements, the chair of PledgeLA, said that "the goal is that we would eventually get to 100% participation" but in general he's "very happy" with the level of participation and general engagement on the issue this year.
The anonymous survey results are individually available to each company as well as their employees at the discretion of the company. PledgeLA committed to each signatory that it would not release individual company data publicly. The survey results are aggregated and anonymized. The initiative is planning to build out a leaderboard to highlight best practices and exemplars among L.A.'s firms and companies.
"We found that most companies just do not track these things," said Jasmine Hill, PledgeLA's Scholar-in-Residence. "The L.A. tech sector is a growing one and most of the time companies get very large and then as an add-on (or) from public outrage have to respond — and then say 'we're going to prioritize diversity'."
New Fund for Black and Latino Founders
"We love the idea that we can get in on the ground floor of supporting early stage Black and Latinx founders in South Los Angeles...to be able to say, 'Come on, everyone should have a seat at the table. What can we do to make that happen?" Kennard said in an interview with dot.LA.
Los Angeles Mayor Eric Garcetti said in a statement that "as we confront COVID-19 and begin the long road to economic recovery in its wake, our city will keep equity at the core of everything we do and keep the promise of Pledge LA -- to bring a more diverse chorus of voices into the heart of our dynamic tech sector."
Image courtesy of PledgeLA
Image courtesy of PledgeLA
Image courtesy of PledgeLA
Do you have a story that needs to be told? My DMs are open on Twitter @latams. You can also email me at tami(at)dot.la, or ask for my contact on Signal, for more secure and private communications.
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Los Angeles locals have always known it is a city of neighborhoods, but this novel coronavirus has made that especially clear. The official lines on where neighborhoods begin and end, and where cases are to be found, have never seemed so murky.
On Thursday, the USC Viterbi School of Engineering released two new COVID-19 data visualizations that aim to make at least where known COVID-19 cases are being found, a little more clear.
The first is an interactive map with reported cases that's broken down by each neighborhood with accompanying statistics that tells people where cases are, how many are out there, and how their neighborhood ranks.
The visualized data is not a complete picture of all COVID-19 cases as testing has thus far been very limited. The data also doesn't break up or provide the total numbers of those tested per region.
The school plans to update the map hourly with the information, which is based on Los Angeles County data. The map with reported cases by neighborhood is a collaboration between the Viterbi School of Engineering Integrated Media Center and the Annenberg School of Communications using their joint "Crosstown" platform.
The project is funded by an Annenberg Foundation grant, which aims to provide community-level data and analysis to the people of Los Angeles.
A second data visualization charts — via line graphs -- the progression of the virus in L.A.'s neighborhoods that have the most reported cases. It is expected to be updated daily.
The second project comes from USC Viterbi School of Engineering Autonomous Networks Research Group.
Do you have a story that needs to be told? My DMs are open on Twitter @latams. You can also email me at tami(at)dot.la, or ask for my Signal.
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