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Vivendi seeks buyers for Universal Music stake; Amazon plans new wearable device

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Vivendi seeks buyers for Universal Music stake; Amazon plans new wearable device

Top News

* Vivendi SA is seeking strategic buyers for a stake in Universal Music Group Inc. after some potential bidders were turned off by the price the company was seeking, Bloomberg News reports, citing sources with knowledge of the matter. Vivendi has reportedly set the minimum value for the business at $28 billion to $33 billion, the people said. Companies that have expressed interest in Universal Music Group include global investment firm KKR & Co., Tencent Music Entertainment Group, Apple Inc., Liberty Media Corp. and Alibaba Group Holding Ltd.

* Amazon.com Inc. is working on a voice-activated wearable device that can recognize human emotions, Bloomberg News reports, citing internal documents. Amazon has teamed up with Lab126, the hardware development group behind the company's Fire phone and Echo smart speaker, and the Alexa voice software team for the device that is described as a health and wellness product.

Technology

* Apple previewed a new Safari feature, privacy preserving ad click attribution, which will allow advertisers to measure ad campaign effectiveness on the web without compromising user privacy. The new technology prevents the combined data of an ad click and a conversion from being attributed to a single user at web scale. Instead, only websites that users visit will be involved in measuring ad clicks and conversion, according to an official blog post. Apple said privacy preserving ad click attribution is available as an experimental feature in Safari Technology Preview 82 and later.

* In more Apple news, the tech giant will hold its Worldwide Developers Conference on June 3 in San Jose, Calif. Apple is expected to unveil new software at the event, CNET.com reports.

TV networks

* AT&T Inc.'s Warner Bros. Television has promoted Susan Rovner and Brett Paul to presidents of the company, Variety reports. In their new dual positions, Rovner and Paul will now manage all scripted television programming developed and produced by the studio. Rovner and Paul were serving the studio as executive vice presidents.

Internet & OTT

* Hulu LLC unveiled new original animated kids series, "The Bravest Knight." The 13-episode series, which is based on children's book by Daniel Errico "The Bravest Knight Who Ever Lived," chronicles a young pumpkin farmer's adventure as he attempts to become the bravest knight who ever lived. The first five episodes will premiere on Hulu June 21, followed by additional episodes later this year, the company said.

* Netflix Inc. will produce a live action family movie, "Hello, Universe," based on a novel of the same name by Erin Entrada Kelly. The story centers on a bully's antics landing a boy in the bottom of a well, leading to his self-proclaimed psychic friend and unknowing crush teaming up to find him, according to a news release.

* Netflix will premiere the final season of original series "Orange Is The New Black" on July 26, according to an announcement on the show's Twitter page. The series, which was created and executive produced by Jenji Kohan, stars Taylor Schilling, Laura Prepon, Uzo Aduba, Natasha Lyonne and Danielle Brooks.

* In more Netflix news, the streaming giant has ordered a new kids animated series, "Dino Girl Gauko." The animated kids comedy series set in Japan is about a girl who turns into Gauko, a fire-breathing dinosaur girl, when her anger exceeds a maximum level, according to a news release.

* Simran Sethi, the Los Angeles-based director of Netflix international originals, responsible for India content, has resigned, Variety reports. Sources with knowledge of the matter said Netflix wanted an executive based in India to oversee local content but Sethi wanted to remain in the U.S. for personal reasons.

* Snap Inc.'s Snapchat multimedia messaging service has taken down some x-rated augmented reality lenses that were being distributed by adult entertainment company Naughty America, Variety reports. A representative for Snapchat said the lenses were violating its terms of service and community guidelines.

The day ahead

Early morning futures indicators pointed to a lower opening for the U.S. market.

In Asia, Hang Seng fell 1.58% to 27,267.13, while the Nikkei 225 was down 0.62% to 21,151.14.

In Europe, around midday, the FTSE 100 was down 1.35% to 7,235.19, and the Euronext 100 decreased 1.45% to 1,033.16.

On the macro front

The jobless claims report, the PMI Composite FLASH index, the new home sales report, the EIA natural gas report, the Kansas City Fed Manufacturing index, the Fed balance sheet and the money supply report are due out today.

Click here to read about today's financial markets, setting out the factors driving stocks, bonds and currencies around the world ahead of the New York open.

Featured news

The Daily Dose Europe: ARM suspends business with Huawei; EE, Vodafone pull Huawei phones: ARM Holdings PLC told its employees to suspend business with Huawei Technologies Co. Ltd., while U.K. operators EE Ltd. and Vodafone Group PLC dropped Huawei phones from their 5G network launches.

Facebook tightens streaming rules after NZ attacks; India may regulate OTT apps: Facebook Inc. introduced tougher rules for its livestreaming feature following the mosque shooting incident in New Zealand, while India is looking to regulate over-the-top apps that stream TV channels.

The Daily Dose Asia-Pacific: US may blacklist China's Hikvision; UK's ARM halts business with Huawei: Washington is looking to blacklist Chinese video surveillance technology company Hikvision, while British chipmaker ARM Holdings ordered its staff to suspend business with Huawei and its subsidiaries.

Featured research

Economics of Advertising: Cablenet CPMs continue to rise, still trail broadcast: Cable network CPMs are on the rise but still trail broadcast by a wide margin. Although growth continues, we are overdue for a recession, which could mark a setback in CPM growth.

Global Multichannel: Global market update — Ecuador: Amid a slowing economic environment in 2018, fixed broadband outperformed multichannel, growing 9.8%, while multichannel shrank 5.8%.

Global Multichannel: Euro sports rights update H1'19 — Streamers face distribution obstacles: Prospects for new sports streaming services hugely differ across European markets as they face resistance from operators to carry services that threaten their own sports offerings.

Global Multichannel: Global markets update — Romania: Kagan has recently updated Global Multichannel and Broadband analyses for Romania, as well as analyses for related operators RCS&RDS, Telekom Romania and UPC Romania.

Economics of Networks: Cable networks Q1'19 distribution revenue recap: The timing of third-party licensing deals causes revenue to drop at Viacom Inc. and AMC Networks Inc. in first quarter 2019.

Broadcast Investor: Year-end renewals boost TV station retrans growth in Q1: TV station gross retransmission revenue for the broadcasters in this Kagan analysis grew 17.1% to $2.37 billion in the quarter, representing 44.5% of total revenue of $5.31 billion.

Multichannel Trends: Wireline voice universe continues to shrink into 2019: Cable operators gained ground on the telco segment despite both groups incurring losses in the first quarter.

Technology: Public video CDN revenues rise on greater amounts of OTT video: With viewers streaming more video each year, video content delivery network traffic is surging.

Technology: IoT World 2019 offers news on narrowband IoT, smart cities and the edge: The recent IoT World show offered a platform highlighting advances in enabling infrastructure, notably covering topics such as narrowband internet of things and its applications as well as edge computing.

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