first_imgBritish Prime Minister David Cameron visited The Prince’s Trust in London last month to meet young people who have been helped by the charity’s Enterprise Programme, and five volunteers who have provided Business mentoring support.David Cameron Visits The Prince’s TrustCredit/Copyright: www.princes-trust.org.ukThe visit followed the launch of the Government’s Start up Loan initiative, aimed at helping more young people into business.The £82.5 million StartUp Loan scheme aims to give a new generation of entrepreneurs the finance and support to potentially start over 30,000 new businesses, in turn boosting enterprise and economic growth.The Prince’s Trust will be one of the organizations to administer the loan, through its Enterprise Programme.The Enterprise Programme has helped more than 70,000 young people set up in business since 1983. The programme offers a mixture of mentoring and financial support, helping unemployed young people set up in business or find other positive outcomes, such as employment or a return to education or training.Find out more about the Prince’s Trust Enterprise ProgrammeSource:Prince’s Trustlast_img read more

first_imgAndrus AnsipNew European Commission vice-president Andrus Ansip has backed “solid” and “clearly defined” net neutrality and called for geo-blocking restrictions in Europe to be scrapped.In a speech to the European Parliament in Strasbourg Ansip – who is one of three European commissioners who has taken over from recently retired digital policy chief Neelie Kroes – said that geo-blocking based on location or residence “goes against the core principles of Europe’s single market.”He also said that building trust and confidence in the online world is vital if a digital single market is to exist in Europe and function properly.“Our citizens want the best the internet can offer, they want an internet that is safe and accessible to everybody. This is not a reality in Europe today,” said Ansip.“There is even more work to do to achieve a truly connected digital single market. A market where every consumer is able to enjoy digital content and services – wherever they are in the EU, including government services.“It means every company should be able to share and sell its wares to a market of 500 million, using seamless online channels.”In terms of geo-blocking restrictions, Ansip said that work should centre around reforming and modernising copyright rules and “getting rid of unjustified curbs on transfer and access to digital assets.”In 2015 the European Commission will present its strategy for a digital single market and prepare measures based on its assessment of “the most urgent obstacles to be removed.”“The benefits of a digital single market are €260 billion a year, potentially more. Imagine ending those barriers, making this a benefit to Europe, not the cost of non-Europe. This is the jolt that our economy needs and the opportunity our citizens want,” said Ansip.The comments came as the European Broadcasting Union (EBU) yesterday called on EU member states to launch negotiations as soon as possible with the European Parliament on net neutrality provisions.In an open letter co-signed by the EBU last month, the union said that legislation on net neutrality “would provide certainty for providers of innovative online content, applications and services, enhance transparency for end-users and boost consumers trust in the internet”.Neelie Kroes stepped down earlier this month, with her role divided up and three European Commissioners succeeding her: Ansip, vice president-designate for the Digital Single Market; Günther Oettinger, commissioner-designate for the Digital Economy and Society; and Jyrki Katainen, vice president-designate for jobs, growth, investment and competitiveness.last_img read more

first_imgRoku has started rolling out a software rollout in the UK, adding two new features designed to make it easier to find and follow content – Roku Search and the Roku Feed.  The update will be available on all current generation Roku players and Roku has at the same time this week launched its new, upgraded Roku 2 player in the UK.Roku Search will allow users to search for movies, TV shows, actors and directors, with the results to show the availability and price of this content across different channels.At launch, Netflix, Snagfilms and Popcornflix will support this search functionality in the UK, with more channels expected t be added over time.Roku’s new My Feed function lets users follow upcoming entertainment they want to watch, with an initial focus on  ‘Movies Coming Soon’, which will give reminders on when titles are available to stream, on what channel and at what price.Roku also said that a new version of the Roku Mobile App for Anrdroid and iOS and Android, with support for the new search and discovery features, is available now.Roku first announced the new Roku Search and Roku Feed functionality, and started to roll it out in the US, last month.The new Roku 2 player will be available in the UK starting this week from Argos, Curry’s and Amazon.last_img read more

first_imgNetflix is due to launch in Japan on September 2, marking its first steps into the Asian market.The video streaming giant confirmed the launch date to tech site VentureBeat, after revealing earlier this year that it planned to go live in Japan this autumn.Last month Netflix said in its second quarter earnings announcement that it had passed the 65 million subscriber-mark and also plans to launch in China next year as part of its ongoing expansion efforts.Though Netflix did not launch in any new markets in Q2, it said that its international segment is growing at “a rapid pace” with plans already in place to launch in Japan in Q3; in Spain, Italy and Portugal in Q4; and in further global markets after that.Netflix has already expanded into Australia and New Zealand this year, going live in these countries in March.News of the Japan launch date came yesterday as Netflix’s share-price climbed 7.6% to reach a day high of US$122.70 – exceeding its 52-week high of US$177.88.Bloomberg said the surge came as Guggenheim Securities issued a buy recommendation and a price target of US$160, indicating confidence in Netflix stock. Netflix’s shareprice has  already reportedly climbed 148% this year.last_img read more

first_imgComcast’s statement this week that it is in “advanced stages of preparing” an all-cash offer for the 21st Century Fox assets promised to Disney presents a fresh headache for the Murdoch clan. Already facing a challenge from Comcast in the shape of its competitive bid for Sky, which in turn could complicate the Disney agreement, the Murdochs now must weigh up the threat of a direct bid by Comcast.When Comcast made a reported US$64 billion move on Fox last year, Fox’s board rejected this in favour of Disney’s lower-priced offer on the grounds that it could struggle to secure the approval of US regulators. AT&T’s attempt to acquire Time Warner, the subject of a legal battle between the telecom giant and the US Department of Justice, served as a warning.The timing of Comcast’s latest statement is crucial in this respect. It comes ahead of a confluence of decisions within a few days of each other in mid-June that will likely play a significant role in determining the outcome.First up is a judgment on the US government’s case against AT&T. A favourable outcome for the telecom operators would make a Comcast bid for Fox much more likely – and much more likely to secure the approval of Fox’s shareholders.Second, UK culture, media and sport secretary Matt Hancock is scheduled to take a final decision on Fox’s bid to acquire the shares in Sky that it does not already own.Third, the European Commission must make a decision on whether Comcast’s rival bid for Sky can go ahead.Comcast’s decision to make its intentions known now makes it less likely that Fox shareholders will approve Disney’s acquisition before the outcome of the AT&T case is known. Those shareholders have every reason to wait as, at the very least, a Comcast bid could force the price up.In addition to the hurdle of securing regulatory clearance, it has been pointed out that Comcast’s proposal for an all-cash bid would play to the disadvantage of the Murdochs because it could lead to a big capital gains tax bill.However, while the Murdochs hold 40% of Fox’s voting stock, the Disney bid will only give them a vote in line with the number of shares they own, giving other shareholders more power to accept or reject it. How attractive Comcast’s offer will be to Fox’s other shareholders will depend on whether it is big enough to offset any tax disadvantages to them and on how attractive they find the prospect of hard cash over the variable value of shares.Beyond the Game of Thrones aspects of the overlapping battles for Fox and Sky, what does all of this say about the future of Comcast in particular and the media and pay TV business in general?For Comcast, the strategic benefits of acquiring Fox’s assets are that it would give the company a much bigger international play in both content and distribution – in the shape of Hulu, Sky and Star India – and would give it much more scale in content in general, marrying NBCUniversal with Fox’s sports networks as well as the National Geographic and FX cable networks.Both the content and distribution pieces are attractive, at least in theory.In content, scale is increasingly seen as crucial for success in a world where the perception is that internet players as Facebook, Amazon, Apple, Netflix and Google (the so-called FAANG group, or FANG, depending on your view of the ultimate likely impact of Apple’s stalled moves into content) are making most of the running. Consolidation among more established media players has been gathering pace. In the case of Comcast, taking control of Fox’s assets will give it access to a much-enlarged library of content as well as an expanded portfolio of network brands at home and abroad.In distribution, a deal would wed Comcast’s 30% stake in Hulu to Fox’s 30% stake, giving Comcast effective control of an OTT direct-to-consumer play in the US – and also in Japan – to help offset the long-term decline in its domestic pay TV base. Regulatory restrictions preventing Comcast exercising control of Hulu that were imposed at the time of its acquisition of NBCUniversal, which previously held the stake, are set to expire later this year. On the other hand, victory for Disney, which also has a 30% stake, would give it effective control of Hulu, so the stakes are quite high.Internationally, Comcast could gain control of Sky either through its separate bid for the operator or through a combination of that and a successful bid for Fox’s assets. On the other hand, if Fox acquires Sky first, Comcast could potentially acquire Sky later along with the other Fox assets that were previously promised to Disney. A successful bid for Fox’s assets would also give it 100% control of Star India.Acquisition of these companies would give Comcast an international pay TV operation with growing revenues and profitability at a time when its own pay TV operation in the US is facing unprecedented challenges.Strategically, acquiring Fox’s assets makes a lot of sense for Comcast. Whether it makes sense to the number crunchers is another matter, particularly in view of the likely debt load that will be required to finance the deal.The many moving parts – from overlapping bids to regulatory hurdles – mean that the only thing that can be said with certainty about Comcast’s bid is that it creates a huge amount of uncertainty. Actually, there is one other certainty – which is that it will be interesting to watch how it all plays out.last_img read more