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Platforms Featured South Asia

India-based digital platform Global Music Junction is now Amara Muzik’s exclusive short video distribution partner

Pune, India – Global Music Junction, a digital entertainment platform under digital entertainment and technology company JetSynthesys, has signed an exclusive short video licensing deal with regional music player Amara Muzik to strengthen its position in the Odia market. 

Through the partnership, Global Music Junction will now become the exclusive short video distribution partner for Amara Muzik’s content and expand to markets such as Telugu, Tamil, Kannada, Northeast, and Nepal territories. Additionally, Global Music Junction is poised to leverage its market leadership in Bhojpuri music to further the growth of Odia music in the country.

Rajan Navani, founder and CEO of JetSynthesys, said, “Global Music Junction was always aimed at taking music to places and we now plan to take Odia music to a larger audience. We are thrilled to associate with Amara Muzik as their exclusive short video distribution partner and accelerate not only Global Music Junction’s but also Odia music industry’s reach in the country.”

Meanwhile, Rajkumar Singh, CEO of Global Music Junction, shared that after making a strong presence in the Bhojpuri market these years, they now plan to tap the Odia audience, and they are happy that they made it possible by collaborating with Amara Muzik. 

“With their presence in the industry that is backed by their owned content and strong production presence, this is a logical next step of growth. We are excited to see the growth this development leads us to,” said Singh.

Naveen Bhandari, managing director at Amara Muzik, commented that they are thrilled to collaborate with JetSynthesys and Global Music Junction through this exclusive deal, as short videos play a vital role in the promotion of regional content. 

“With Amara Muzik’s deep roots in Odia, Bengali, Chattisgarhi and Gujarati markets, and GMJ’s presence therein, we believe this partnership will enable us to have a wider reach and hence tap a larger set of audience. It will not only help us with extensive reach but will also give the Odia music industry a national platform. We’re looking forward to taking this long-term partnership ahead,” said Bhandari.

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Platforms Featured Global

Victoria’s Secret & Co. unveils new curated digital platform VS&Co-Lab

Ohio, USA – Victoria’s Secret & Co. has announced the launching VS&Co-Lab, an inclusive shopping experience for all customers. This curated digital platform connects the modern consumer with unique brands, bringing their stories and their intimates, lifestyle and swimwear products to the forefront. VS&Co-Lab launched as a new section on VictoriasSecret.com, where it will showcase brands that align with its values of innovation and inclusivity.

VS&Co-Lab marks the evolution of Victoria’s Secret & Co.’s journey to build strategic business partnerships with a focus on inclusive intimates and lifestyle brands on its own platform. At launch, a collection of 19 brands will be featured, 75 percent are founded, owned or led by women, including minority stake owned For Love & Lemons and Frankies Bikinis. VS&Co-Lab is committed to investing further with minority ownership in diverse brands that offer a differentiated view of the marketplace, customer and category.

Martin Waters, CEO of Victoria’s Secret & Co., said, “In addition to the growth we are driving through our core business, we see important growth potential through partnerships with innovative, relevant brands that can help us extend our reach into category and consumer segments where we have historically been underrepresented. We’re excited to launch this platform where we will showcase, market and create consumer engagement with such exciting, unique and relevant businesses.”

Helena Kaylin, founder of fuller figure intimates brand MINDD also launching on the VS&Co-Lab platform, shared, “As women, we are multidimensional. Our past experiences define how we want to feel today and inform our future.” 

Kaylin added, “Our partnership with VS&Co-Lab has strengthened our mission to drive the intimates industry forward through our obsession with continuous innovation. We harness cutting edge support technologies in order to blend style and comfort for the fuller figure consumer.”

Featured on the homepage of VS&Co-Lab, Nigerian American designer Buki Ade, founder of BFyne, has revolutionized the swimwear industry. “In a sea of sameness, it is crucial for any partnership to be with a business that aligns with our values,” said Buki Ade. “VS&Co-Lab’s mission to provide a platform for breakthrough voices, like BFyne, is vital to push forward diverse perspectives.”

Meanwhile, Patti Cazzato, head of emerging businesses for Victoria’s Secret &Co., commented, “As one of the world’s most recognizable companies among women, and with nearly 90 percent of our store associates worldwide identifying as women, we have a responsibility to ensure women can advance and thrive in every aspect of their lives.”

“VS&Co-Lab evens the playing field for unique brands that speak to the modern consumer. Through leveraging the strength of Victoria’s Secret & Co. and our passionate customer base, we are meeting consumers where they are while simultaneously partnering with small business to drive economic empowerment for women and people of colour,” Cazzato adds.

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Platforms Featured ANZ

Facebook, Australia mend ties as amendments applied to Media Bargaining Code

Australia – Facebook has decided to restore news provision for Australian users on its platform after the country’s government announced its latest amendments to the news media bargaining code.

On 17 February, Facebook broke the announcement that it will be restricting the users in the country from sharing and viewing Australian and international news content on its platform in response to the nation’s proposed media bargaining law, which obliges technology platform giants that operate in Australia to pay local news publishers for the news content made available on their platforms.

Following the platform’s statement, the Morrison Government of Australia has decided to introduce further amendments to the law to ensure news media businesses are fairly remunerated, and to address the concerns of Facebook and other digital platforms such as Google.

The new law will now take into consideration a digital platform’s significant contribution to the sustainability of the Australian news industry before deciding to put it under the law, and this will be based on the commercial agreements it has reached with news media businesses.

In line with this, the changes to the law also state that a digital platform will be notified of the government’s intention to designate it under the law before any final decision, where confirmation will be no sooner than one month from the date of the flag. 

The refreshed law also states that non-differentiation provisions will not be triggered for reasons of commercial agreements resulting in different remuneration amounts or commercial outcomes in the course of usual business practices

Furthermore, within the new law, final offer arbitration will be the last resort with unsettled commercial deals requiring mediation, which implies that if a deal could not be reached, both parties would present their commercial deals to a fair mediator, picking one that would become binding under law.

The Australian government believes that these amendments will strengthen the hand of regional and small publishers in obtaining appropriate remuneration for the use of their content by the digital platforms. Also, these amendments can further add purpose for parties to engage in commercial negotiations outside the law, a central feature of the framework that aims to promote more sustainable public interest journalism in Australia.

Facebook said that they are pleased to have been able to reach an agreement with the Australian government and appreciate the constructive discussions they’ve had with Treasurer Frydenberg and Minister Fletcher. 

“We have consistently supported a framework that would encourage innovation and collaboration between online platforms and publishers. After further discussions, we are satisfied that the Australian government has agreed to a number of changes and guarantees that address our core concerns about allowing commercial deals that recognize the value our platform provides to publishers relative to the value we receive from them,” Facebook stated. 

The platform also said that within the agreement, the government has clarified that it will retain its ability to decide if news appears on Facebook so it won’t automatically be subject to a forced negotiation. 

As a result of the changes, aside from restoring access to news content, Facebook has now decided to resume further working on its investment in public interest journalism in the country. 

“It’s always been our intention to support journalism in Australia and around the world, and we’ll continue to invest in the news globally and resist efforts by media conglomerates to advance regulatory frameworks that do not take account of the true value exchange between publishers and platforms like Facebook,” said Facebook.

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Platforms Featured Southeast Asia

Half of Singaporeans made more online purchases, shifted to e-banking amid pandemic, says study

Singapore – As COVID-19 restrictions are in place, more and more Singaporeans are shifting towards patronizing digital gateways, a report from customer experience management company Qualtrics shows.

About 57% of the respondents said they have made more online purchases at this time, and shifted towards using online banking; while the study also found a 44% increase in online grocery shopping was also evident among respondents.

“After months of disruption, we are beginning to see new behaviors and preferences emerge that are likely to remain post-pandemic. There is no doubt that there has been a massive shift towards digital, making it critical for brands to ensure they are able to optimize the experience they deliver on their digital channels including mobile applications,” said Harish Agarwal, Qualtrics’ head of CX strategy for Southeast Asia.

The study also probed on Singaporeans’ concerns during the pandemic, where the majority of respondents, 92%, shared that they are still worried about the global pandemic and its effects on normal activities.

Despite growing pandemic concerns, some Singaporeans were shown to be optimistic about resuming routine activities such as  using public transport (61%), eating out at restaurants (58%), visiting a park (51%), and going to the mall (50%) in the next six months.

“Simultaneously, even though Singaporeans are beginning to go back to some previous habits, high levels of ambiguity remain, meaning businesses must be able to understand and quickly respond to changing environments,” Agarwal added.

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SME Featured East Asia

HSBC Hong Kong launches B2B digital community platform

Hong Kong – HSBC Hong Kong has rolled out a new business-to-business (B2B) digital community platform HSBC VisionGo. The platform will serve as an ecosystem for SMEs, startups, and prospective entrepreneurs where they can exchange dialogue for business insights as well as a place for networking. 

The platform is built on the company’s cloud computing platform Microsoft Azure. It employs machine learning technologies to offer personalized professional insights and networking opportunities through an AI-enhanced interface, along with new interactive features designed to further foster conversations and collaboration. 

The platform also enables SME operators to follow each other. Business topics can also be discussed among the community through interactive polling. In addition, SMEs can promote their own offers to create new business leads, or redeem available offers as added benefits. 

According to a recent HSBC report, 95% of Hong Kong businesses have extended support to, or have received support from other businesses they work with by exchanging expertise and sharing premises (50%), enabling others to get their products to customers (46%), or relaxing payment terms for their smaller partners (35%).

Terence Chiu, head of commercial banking at HSBC Hong Kong said, “HSBC is committed to investing in digital innovation to help Hong Kong’s SME sector. We are a connector in the business community, and we aim to use our strength to build a collaborative business ecosystem that will help businesses get through these challenging times and position themselves to make the most of the opportunities when they come.” 

A beta version of the platform was unveiled in March 2020. As the platform continues to develop, HSBC will be introducing features such as integration with its mobile payment service PayMe.