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YouTube Designates Alex Okosi As MD Of EMEA Emerging Markets

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LAGOS STATE, NIGERIA, Sunday February 23, 2020/www.gbafrica.net/ – American video-sharing platform headquartered in San Bruno, California, YouTube has announced Alex Okosi will be assuming the office of the managing director of emerging markets for YouTube in Europe, Middle East and Africa (EMEA).

He will be responsible for running YouTube’s business and partnership teams across emerging markets in EMEA including Russia, the Middle East, North and Sub-Saharan Africa. He will report to the head of YouTube EMEA, Cécile Frot-Coutaz. Based in the London office, Okosi will start in April 2020.

According to Alex Okosi who expressed great joy after recieving the apointment stated that, YouTube is a game-changing platform that plays an increasingly important role in many lives today through the dynamic content and innovation that it delivers. He will joining Cecile’s leadership team to continue empowering creators and elevating value for viewers and partners across the region.

Okosi’s appointment will only further fuel the development of the creative ecosystem in the region. Prior to joining YouTube, Okosi served as a long-time TV executive. Most recently he was executive vice president and managing director of Viacom/CBS Networks Africa & BET International.

Commenting on the hire, Frot-Coutaz, said Okosi brought a “wealth of experience in the content industries and has a track record for building businesses and audiences in established and new markets” and would “drive further expansion in these key markets.”

Google and YouTube have long invested in growing its business across its EMEA emerging markets. Some recent milestones include Most recently at the annual Google for Nigeria event in July 2019, YouTube announced its commitment to support emerging talent across Nigeria by teaming up with Mr. Eazi and the emPawa initiative to support 10 emerging Nigerian music artists to build their craft, increase their fanbase and connect with the world through YouTube.

Throughout the years, YouTube has played an essential role in the discovery and development of African sound, exporting African music to listeners worldwide — in fact 70% of the views from the 25 most watched Sub-Saharan African artists, come from outside the continent. In September, YouTube successfully launched YouTube Music and YouTube Premium in MENA which further exemplifies the opportunities offered by this high-growth region.

Russia is one of YouTube EMEA’s highest growth markets with the number of YouTube channels with more than one million subscribers growing by more than 70% in the last year.

Business

‘TOILET PAPER, GENTLY USED/ How Facebook Marketplace Has Become An Unlikely Platform For Comedy

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In the two days since he advertised “unprocessed toilet paper” for sale on Facebook Marketplace next to a photo of logs, David Traichel says the response has been better than expected. No actual buyers, just hundreds of views, laughs, and “you made my day” from other users browsing through the online classifieds.

“So many people are so freaked out about the idea of not having toilet paper,” says Traichel, 39. The aerospace technician and welder from Northford, Connecticut generally uses Facebook Marketplace to sell vintage car and bicycle parts. He decided to offer his oak and cedar woodpile (price, $1) to jog users out of their shopping panic. “Maybe those people would see the ad and think, ‘OK, maybe I’m overreacting.”

Homebound Americans have turned to scavenging on ecommerce sites like Amazon, eBay and Facebook Marketplace for the boring household goods that have become hot items during the coronavirus pandemic. The shortages have inspired some mercenary sellers to excessive pricing (say, hand sanitizer for $149) and prompted the tech companies to crack down on price gougers. The hoarding frenzy has also been catnip for armchair humorists, who have found an unlikely platform to yuk it up in the free classifieds of Facebook Marketplace.

On the social network’s 800 million-user shopping site, one Internet standup is offering “toilet paper, extra long roll” for $69,4202—it’s a CVS receipt wound around the toilet paper dispenser. Another wants to sell you the “last roll of toilet paper in the world,” marked at $10,000. As a last resort, yet another smart aleck is advertising $90 toilet paper alongside a photo of sandpaper. “Don’t go without during this crisis,” it reads.

In reality, there’s no toilet paper crisis. Unlike imports such as iPhones and flat-screen TVs, most U.S. toilet paper comes from domestic factories, buffering supplies from a drop in production in China, where the viral outbreak started. Georgia-Pacific, maker of AngelSoft and Quilted Northern, is boosting its U.S. production. Proctor & Gamble, which makes Charmin brand toilet paper, Bounty paper towels and Puffs facial tissue, says production at its U.S. plants is at record highs. “Demand continues to outpace supply, but we are working diligently to get product to our retailers as fast as humanly possible,” says P&G spokeswoman Loren Fanroy.

Which makes it all the more absurd that anxious shoppers stripped supermarket shelves of every last double-ply roll. Relishing the irony, Kim Marie, a 42-year-old naturopathic practitioner from Manorville, New York, decided this week to flog “vintage toilet paper” on Facebook Marketplace. For just $55,990, she’s showcasing a water-damaged and rotting roll mounted on a rustic wall, closing with the Craigslist battlecry of overpriced junker listings, “no low ballers, I know what I got.” Marie, who regularly sells vintage housewares on the site, says she has received no serious inquiries. Just as well, since the item listed isn’t actually in Marie’s possession— it was a funny photo texted to her by her husband. She threw it up on Marketplace “to lighten the mood.”

It was the “organic toilet paper,” a $10 baggie of leaves listed on Facebook Marketplace by her brother’s girlfriend, that inspired Liz Stoppiello, 27. The stay-at-home mom usually sells items like car seats and books on Facebook Marketplace. This week she’s offering “washable crochet toilet paper! Been used only a cpl times” for a cool $100. The advertised off-white crochet squares, wrapped around a cardboard tube, look worthy of an Etsy storefront. It took about 30 minutes to make. She just wanted to “get a good laugh” from people and to promote her crochet-oriented Facebook page. “You never know if anyone will start to desperately need handmade items in the near future lol,” she said via email.

Her fellow Marketplace posters might be in on the joke, but Facebook’s bots are not. The social network, which uses artificial intelligence to help monitor content and warned Monday that its systems may have removed some COVID-19-related posts in error, had flagged Traichel’s toilet paper ad for unprocessed wood as “under review.”

Facebook “must be so flooded they don’t know what to do,” Traichel emailed, adding an “lol.” He isn’t interested in making a profit, at least not on his firewood. “If people really need toilet paper, I’ll give ‘em a roll.”

–Helen A. S. Popkin, Forbes Staff, Innovation

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Tech & Innovation

SA Minister Warns Over Coronav!rus And 5G Link Claims.

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CAPE TOWN, SOUTH AFRICA, April 1st, 2020/www.gbafrica.net/ South Africa’s Health Minister Dr Zweli Mkhize has warned against a conspiracy theory that links coronavirus to 5G technology.

Dr Mkhize in a tweet said: “5G is a technology issue and Covid is a virus. You cannot link the virus to technology.”

Claims that 5G technology could be linked to the spread of the coronavirus have been spreading online for weeks.

They got more traction last month after popular American singer and songwriter Keri Hilson shared the claims with her 4.2m Twitter followers and on Instagram – although she later deleted the posts.

An American medical doctor Thomas Cowan – speaking in Tuscon, Arizona in March – also advanced the conspiracy theory, in a video that has been viewed thousands of times on YouTube.

But to date, there has been no scientific connection between the spread of the virus and the 5G technology.

The South African health minister said people need to use facts to fight coronavirus.

“We have tracked the virus from animals to human beings. Let’s tell the truth. We can prevent the spread,” Dr Mkhize says.

Source: Ghana Web.

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Music

YouTube Music app now shows lyrics during playback

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American online video-sharing platform headquartered in San Bruno, California, YouTube Music, announced that it now displays lyrics on its iOS and Android apps that will help listeners view lyrics by tapping the ‘i’ button while a song is playing.

The feature is only available on the apps and not on the web player, although YouYube said it would be available on desktop soon. However, real-time lyrics aren’t supported yet and users have to scroll through manually to view them.

YouTube joins Apple Music and Spotify who added lyrics on their platforms last year. Apple Music has an official partnership with Genius, while Spotify uses Musixmatch. YouTube has opted to use LyricFind, accused of stealing lyrics from Genius last year, as its main partner.

YouTube says it receives lyrics from LyricFind on a daily basis, but there isn’t a specific time frame for when a song will get its lyrics. Lyrics appear for ‘Look What You Made Me Do’ by Taylor Swift but none are currently available for recent albums such as Childish Gambino’s 3.15.2020.

Song lyrics are now a popular service offered by music streaming platforms and YouTube may have some catching up to do on this front. The streaming platform has more than 20 million paying subscribers, while Spotify and Apple Music have reported over 124 million and 60 million, respectively.

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Tech & Innovation

Spotify Launches COV!D-19 Music Relief Project, Pledges $10m.

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Spotify on Wednesday launched COVID-19 Music Relief project to support the global music community.

The project, which is aimed at music industry professionals, will not provide financial support. Instead, it will recommend organisations that offer financial relief to musicians around the world who are affected by the coronavirus pandemic. The company will also donate to these organisations.

The music streaming platform has already partnered with relief funds such as MusiCares, PRS Foundation and Help Musicians. More partners around the world are expected to be added.

Spotify will also match the donations made on the Spotify COVID-19 Music Relief page dollar for dollar up to a maximum of $10m.

Music professionals who need assistance can get more information about applying for relief here.

Additionally, Spotify is introducing a new feature that will enable artists to fundraise directly from fans during this difficult time. Through their Spotify artist profile pages, the new service will give users the ability to direct listeners to the fundraising destination of the artist’s choice. Artists will be able to link a verified funding page for themselves, another musician in need of funds, or a separate initiative of their choice. The feature will be optional to artists with no extra costs.

Spotify for Artists users interested in this feature can sign up here ahead of its launch.

The music streaming platform also revealed some changes on a number of its Creator Tools programmes: music talent marketplace SoundBetter has reduced costs, cloud-based audio recording platform SoundTrap will offer extended free trials for educators, and Anchor will waive fees on its Listener Support feature.

The news comes after Spotify was criticised recently for its lack of response to the COVID-19 crisis, with musicians signing a petition that asks the streaming service to triple royalty payments.

Source: Music Africa

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