Weekly Digital News Roundup: Sept 11 – Sept 15
Microsoft agrees to $2.5-billion deal to purchase ‘Minecraft’
- According to the LA Times, Microsoft Corp. plans to spend $2.5 billion to buy what it called the most popular online game on Xbox, the building adventure title “Minecraft.”
- The purchase of the game maker Stockholm, Sweden-based Mojang is expected to close late this year. Compared with Microsoft’s blockbuster “Halo” franchise, “Minecraft” should give the company a younger audience to which it could introduce other Microsoft products and services, analysts said. It also establishes another Microsoft-branded product on competing operating systems, which is among the chief goals for Nadella.
- Minecraft’s creator Markus Persson said that he’s leaving Mojang effective Monday because he never wanted to create a blockbuster game. Though the spotlight was flattering, Persson said he was more interested in smaller projects. Some other company executives also don’t plan to join Microsoft.
How Pandora Mined Data to Create Lexus-Backed Concert Series
- According to AdWeek, Pandora wants to guarantee that marketers will have a die-hard audience at its branded concerts—and it’s leveraging its user data to back that promise.
- The streaming music radio service is partnering withLexus for a free, four-date southern California concert series, each of which will feature a single act, including Nico & Vinz, Magic! and Kongos. Each show also will showcase the Lexus F Sport, the luxury automaker’s millennial-targeted vehicle. The first concert, with Magic! in Camarillo, Calif., will take place today.
- Many companies are tapping into their proprietary information to help customize campaigns, using consumer behaviors to target online advertising. Pandora’s extensive data comes from having 76.4 million active users who average 20 hours of listening a month. So, if a marketer wants to target a specific group—say Hispanic millennials—Pandora conceivably can identify the best artist to reach them.
Forget Siri, Fetch Is A Real Personal Assistant, Contained In An App
- According to TechCrunch, Fetch, a mobile app that serves as a personal buying assistant by allowing you to submit text or photos then have results returned to you by a professional shopper, is expanding beyond product search with a new release out now.
- In the updated version, which also works over SMS, you can use your buying assistant to book flights, hotels, and rental cars, as well as buy movie tickets, event tickets, send flowers, pay parking tickets and more. In other words, Fetch is now an on-demand personal assistant, not just a shopping tool.
- The Fetch app will respond to your request within one minute, then return the best price within 10 minutes. Besides simply placing an order, it can track price drops on your behalf, and it can even track down out-of-stock items, alerting you to when they return to inventory. (Ahem, iPhone 6 Plus, anyone?) Items can be ordered using your own credit card info, now processed through Stripe, or placed for you on Amazon, using your Amazon or Amazon Prime account information.